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How J. Cole Has Finally Begun to Embrace Social Media

Not known for being on social media as often as his other musical counterparts, Grammy-award winning rapper J. Cole has used the year 2021 to connect with his fans more often than he has ever done before. Whether it be through his Twitter account or on Instagram, Cole has almost made as many announcements online this year alone as he has in the last couple of years all together. About a decade ago, Cole and his production team were known for their “Dollar and a Dream” tours, where they promote $1 dollar concerts through word of mouth across several cities worldwide, but things are way different now. Much of this can be attributed to the changing times that society has undergone with the global pandemic as a result of COVID-19, but more than that, it appears that Cole has truly begun to embrace his ability to have a big platform to keep fans updated on his future endeavors.

It started with his first post of the year on January 21st, where he humorously admits in his tweet that he “forgot how to use Twitter”, before going on to promote his new signature sneakers with popular shoe company Puma. After this announcement, Cole again took his usual hiatus from social media. Four months later, however, he shocked fans with the announcement of a new album on the way titled, “The Off-Season.” Right away, this sent fans across all platforms into a frenzy waiting for the album to be released, and in the meantime, Cole would stay active on Twitter giving continuous updates on the album and promoting his latest sneakers.

After the release of the album, he would send links on his account to his newest music videos and to where fans could purchase tickets to see him on tour. This led to more social media outlets other being used by Cole, including YouTube and the website of his music label, Dreamville.com. In fact, he has used YouTube to release his newest song, “Heaven’s EP”, and the song is only able to be listened to on there and no other streaming services. Besides this, he has continued to be online selling merchandise and promoting other artists on his label.

Recently, Cole postponed his Philadelphia concert from its previously scheduled date on September 29th to October 27th. He announced the sudden news to fans on his personal Instagram account, stating that logistical issues were the cause of the rescheduling. He stated, “While the show is amazing, we didn’t account for the fact that it takes way longer to load [the lights] into the house, so we’re experiencing delays in opening the doors to get people in.”

Ultimately, J. Cole is another artist that has taken advantage of this new social media era to display his work on a variety of platforms. Although it took him a little longer to accept than other rappers, he has fully utilized how it keeps his fans in the know of his otherwise private lifestyle.

other rappers, he has fully utilized how it keeps his fans in the know of his otherwise private lifestyle

PR + Campaign = SUCCESS! (The PR Professional Formula)

A PR campaign is the most valuable tool a business can use to increase brand awareness or profits for years to come, even after the campaign is over. If effectively done a PR campaign will leave an impression on the target audience that will influence their attitudes and behaviors about a particular product, service, or person. However, if the campaign misses the mark or is a total flop it can harm a company or brand. It is harder to change negative opinions about a company once the damage is done, so this powerful marketing and branding tool should only be used by professionals.

Although I am not a successful PR professional yet, with emphasis on YET, I am on my way to pursuing a promising career in Public Relations. Last semester I took an Introduction course to PR, where I had to develop and pitch a mock PR campaign idea to a potential client. The PowerPoint presentation was presented to the students in the class, who served as the company. I had to follow a strict outline using the RACE process (Research, Action, Communication, and Evaluation) while staying within the allotted time frame. This detail was especially important, it made me aware of how planning and practicing are key when pitching ideas. This project required me to use written and oral communication along with public speaking skills such as voice control, volume, and pace. Overall, this exercise and the material we covered in the course helped to shape my career aspirations of wanting to be a PR professional.

This semester I am excited to be a part of 1853 Communications, a student PR firm at Arcadia University. I am getting firsthand experience and working with a diverse team, which I really appreciate because of the different ideas and viewpoints. At the beginning of this semester, we have dived right in by designing logos, budget planning and met with a client to discuss a PR campaign. Now we are in the process of developing and planning an awareness campaign for a non-profit organization, “For Pete’s Sake” (FPS). FPS is a cancer respite foundation that provides adult cancer patients (24-55 years old) and their families “a break from cancer” at one of their respite locations. This plan is still in the developing stages, but we have been covering a lot of ground in a collaborative group, smaller teams as well as being assigned an independent task to complete. This practicum is the perfect follow-up to the course I took last semester (Intro to Public Relations) because it picked up right where I left off. I am getting the opportunity to use the knowledge and skills I learned about the PR field while being able to improve on my skill set. I recommend taking a practicum in a related field of study along with an internship. The experience is different with a practicum course and an internship. Both courses are beneficial and will help build your resume along with providing a great start on your career path, combined they will give you an advantage in the work field.

I am looking forward to executing our PR campaign and it is a success, and YES, I am claiming it as a success already, failure is not an option. This along with the other projects we do will add to our portfolios but pulling off a successful PR campaign that will bring awareness to a great cause is a huge self-accomplishment for all of us at 1853 Communications. No matter where we end up in life, we will always remember this PR campaign as paving the way to becoming successful Public Relations professionals.

The UFC’s Successful PR Tactics During the Pandemic

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is one of the fastest growing sports in the industry currently. Through the pandemic the UFC transformed from targeting a niche sporting audience to becoming a mainstream sport, and an industry leader in PR tactics. So how was the UFC able to pull off this rapid increase in attention and revenue?

On May, 9th, 2020 The UFC hosted the first major United States sporting event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. UFC President Dana White was unrelenting in his pursuit of bringing back sports during this global tragedy. He saw an opportunity with the lack of sports media during that time, and took advantage of the circumstances by continuing to host fight cards with extensive COVID protocols. As a result of this PR tactic, White and the UFC had the entire sports industry completely focused on their organization, as it was the only source of current sports media coverage.

White’s diligent efforts during the pandemic helped the UFC begin many major partnerships with Industry conglomerates. A few of the UFC’s current partners include: ESPN, Draft-Kings, Monster Energy, Modelo, and Harley-Davidson.

Although hosting events during a deficit in sports content was a huge factor in the organization’s industry growth, their PR strategies before and after this event are a major factor in what made their organization successful. The UFC has one of the best, if not most consistent PR teams in the industry, and their strengths shined during the pandemic, as they had the opportunity to not be outshined by larger sports organizations.

The UFC uses social media as one of their main PR tactics. Their Instagram has 28.9 million followers, their Twitter has 8.7 million followers, their Youtube has 12.3 million subscribers, and their Facebook has over 28 million page likes. So it’s safe to say that their social media has a pretty strong outreach.

The organization uses their social media to post content that advertises their fighters, upcoming fight cards, announcements, and incorporates advertisements into their content. They have an extremely consistent and engaging social media presence that effectively keeps fans coming back to their pages.

Arguably one of their most successful PR strategies is their utilization of “hype videos” for each fight card they are advertising. The purpose of these videos is to get fans excited enough about a fight card that they are willing to pay for it, especially in the cases of Pay-Per-View events.

The UFC targets their PR strategies to convince fans to invest in two financial avenues. First is to encourage fans to purchase an ESPN+ subscription. This subscription gives subscribers access to the weekly “Fight Night” cards for $6.99 a month. The second avenue is using their PR to encourage fans to purchase their Pay-Per-View events (having an ESPN+ subscription does provide a discount for these events, but you still need to pay a one time fee of $69.99).

Their PR tactics, and social media content to “hype” fights get fans so excited that they are willing to spend money to be able to watch different fighters each week. The promotion videos are not only fun and exciting to watch, they are extremely persuasive in convincing fans that this is a once in a lifetime event, and they can’t miss it. The use of their social media and “hype videos”, even before the pandemic, has allowed the organization to build its brand up to this point.

The UFC’s social media also allowed the organization to showcase the strengths of their event management team. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is not a sport like basketball, where teams have a season schedule that is predetermined months before they start playing. MMA matchmaking is ever changing, as schedules depend on injuries, weight-classes, wins/losses, championships, etc. Hosting an event during the pandemic was not an easy feat, but hosting weekly events, especially given the burden of constantly changing fighter schedules and availability, is even more unheard of. The UFC has been able to pull off incredible event management for years, the pandemic just gave them an opportunity to showcase their strengths with the sports industry’s full attention. They continue to set the standard for how effective and efficient organizations need to be with how they schedule and promote events.

Whether or not you believe the UFC hosting events during a global pandemic is ethical, the success of their PR strategies by finding opportunity during the rapid decline of sport content was business savvy. Their PR and event management teams had a chance to shine, and they definitely took full advantage of the opportunity.

Looking Back On A Challenging Year

As the Arcadia community looks back on one year of being fully online, it is important to hold onto silver linings. One year ago, April 5th, 2020, students and faculty were meant to return to campus to finish out the school year in person and what we once believed would be a two-week spring break, has turned into a year of hardship as we navigate living through the pandemic. 

Looking back on this year of online schooling can be quite sad and hard to comprehend, especially after believing that we would only be online for two weeks last April. Students should know that counseling with wonderful staff is available to all and can be very beneficial to reckoning with living as a college student through a pandemic. Counseling is currently available through phone and zoom sessions; to learn more, visit this link or call 215-572-2967. And if all goes according to plan, in person sessions will be offered next semester! 

Students have been frustrated, grief-stricken, and disappointed during this past year, but they have also been incredibly resilient, hard-working, and determined. Arcadia students have displayed incredible adaptability this past year, let’s take a look at some of their accomplishments:

  • 1853 Communications, Arcadia’s student-run Public Relations firm, just completed their first ever virtual campaign in partner with Donate Life to raise awareness about organ donation. 
  • Arcadia’s theatre department proved its adaptability by putting on its first ever virtual productions which were fantastic. 
  • Seniors have been working tirelessly and are finishing up their theses online with the assistance of our dedicated faculty and they’re looking great so far.

Last year, we watched as the class of 2020 graduated with a diploma in the mail and now we are gearing up to hold smaller, department-based, commencement ceremonies on our beloved Haber Green this May. 

As the Arcadia community plans for the upcoming academic year we are so excited to see everyone back on campus and to recreate campus life in a cautious, yet fun and interactive way. As we can see, one year can change a lot! With the vaccine rolling out and “more than 500 Arcadia community members received their first COVID vaccine dose, administered on campus by Rite Aid pharmacists on April 8 in the Great Room” to students and staff, hope is definitely on the horizon. 

Earth Day

Earth Day is drawing near! Thursday, April 22nd is a day dedicated to supporting environmental protection. More than 1 billion individuals celebrate this significant holiday, involving over 190+ countries. In schools around the nation, teachers will start the day by announcing the significance and history of Earth Day before diving into fun projects that celebrate environmentalism and sustainability. Here we will do the same, starting with a brief history of this holiday and including some at-home ways to help you become more sustainable in honor of Mother Earth!

History

According to earthday.org, the first Earth Day was on April 22nd of 1970. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin recognized the ignorance Americans had when it came to pollution. Americans were oblivious to the fact that they were “consuming vast amounts of leaded gas through massive and inefficient automobiles”. At the time there was an anti-war movement and Nelson decided to use that to push a teach-in day (April 22nd) about conservation on college campuses. This event quickly snowballed, capturing the attention of the media and the official name became Earth Day. It became so popular that earthday.org also states that “Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, urban dwellers and farmers, business and labor leaders”. This sparked a revolution in environmentalist-focused laws around America and people began to celebrate Earth Day around the world in 1990. Now, it is a widely honored day that people take part in every year!

At-Home Sustainability

Below are some fun ways that YOU can celebrate being sustainable this Earth Day, as well as everyday of your life! Although it is important to note that the growing climate crisis is due to big corporations and their non-eco friendly practices, any small step an individual makes to grow towards sustainability gets a big hug from Mother Earth. 

  • Save! And! Reuse! Amazon! Boxes!!!!!
  • Upcycle your clothes! There is a whole community on TikTok dedicated to this!
  • Opt in for No Receipts when shopping, as it saves paper
  • Have an exact meal plan going to the grocery store, so you don’t end up wasting food
  • Grow your own herbs!
  • Take showers instead of baths, but still make them short! A standard shower head uses 2.5 gallons of water in a single minute- imagine it as gallons of milk wasted! 
  • Use reusable make up cloths
  • Cut up old t-shirts as rags instead of donating them, Goodwill throws a lot of donated items away
  • Keep plants in your home as a method of air purification!

St. Patrick’s Day and Public Relations

Questioning Origins of St. Patrick’s Day Themes

Leprechauns, rainbows, parades, and beer are now some key factors in the modern St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. As much as we spend every March 17 blindly celebrating the holiday with these themes, have you ever stopped to think where all of these St. Patrick’s day themes came from? By looking back at the holiday’s history, one can ultimately find that public relations are the culprit for turning the originally Irish-Catholic holiday into the drunk green parades we now know and love.

Looking Back at the creation of St Patrick’s Day 

St. Patrick’s day was first recognized by the Vatican in 1631 as those in Ireland had celebrated the “religious feast day that commemorates the death of St. Patrick,” the nation’s patron saint credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, who died in the fifth century (Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise). “For most Irish people at home, the day remained primarily religious into the 20th century,” and did not even become “a public holiday in Ireland until 1904”.  

However, it was during this time in the 1900s that the holiday began to transform. During the 1920s – 1950s, the religious holiday was more somber with morning mass, a military parade, and closed bars. In the 1960s, the holiday began to become more exciting when celebratory parades began to replace the traditional military parades leading to the beginning of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival in 1966. The festival in Dublin, Ireland is more familiar to what we know now, including a “four-day event of music, treasure hunts, performances, and of course, on the day itself, a two-hour parade” that draws up to half a million people.

St. Patrick’s Day Traveling to the United States

Immigrants in the United States wanted to find a way to celebrate their pride “The first recorded celebrations of March 17 [in the United States] took place in Boston in 1737,” but it was not until 1766 when “the tradition of parading began amongst Irish Catholic members of the British Army in New York”. At the end of the civil war as more Irish immigrants came to the United States, and as the St. Patrick’s Day Festival began to surge in popularity in Ireland during the late 1960’s, Irish immigrants began to carry over their celebrations to the United States. This celebration was not only a tradition they carried from Ireland, but also a way to celebrate their culture as they were often stereotyped while in the United States. 

Public Relations Using Holiday for Profit

In the 20th century, marketing and public relations firms began to take advantage of the annual festival taking place in the United States. Companies’ event planners could plan out promotional events surrounding the annual festival. Some examples of this you might see today are parades, bar crawls, concerts, and game nights. Public relations workers took it even further and began to create season product lines involving anything that was the color green. Seasonal clothing, foods, drinks, and alcohol are all some of the ways that marketers began to use the holiday to their advantage for promotional purposes. The main marketing actions that solidify the event as a national holiday rather than a yearly festival are the greeting cards that began to become mass produced throughout the nation during March. Ultimately, the timing, unique colors, and entertaining events associated with Saint Patrick’s day on March 17 all tied perfectly together to create a joyous, cultural celebration just as the weather begins to become nicer out leading up to spring. 

The Strength of the Holiday

With the help of marketers and public relations professionals, St. Patrick’s day was able to stand the test of time on a national level. Beginning in the 1600s and a quiet religious holiday, festivals and marketers have transformed the holiday into the entertaining and joyous holiday we all know today. Although the original intent of public relations professionals may have been to profit off of the festivals, their actions lead to the continuous celebration of Ireland’s culture on a national level centuries after its origin in the 1600s.

All historical facts and statistics are outsourced from the “TIME” article “How America Invented St. Patrick’s Day” written by Zócalo Public Square on March 15, 2015. Zócalo Public Square is a magazine of ideas from Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise.

Source link: https://time.com/3744055/america-invented-st-patricks-day/

Happy Women’s Day

Where there is an existence of a woman there is love, beauty, strength, change, magic and happiness. Here is a list of women we admire:
Kamala Harris is the United States’ first African American female vice president, the highest ranking female official in U.S. history.
Amanda Gorman is a poet and activist. Her focus is on the issues of
oppression, feminism, race and marginalization. She is only 23 and she is the first person to be named “National Youth Poet Laureate”. She delivered her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of U.S president Joe Biden.
Malala Yousafzai is an education activist. She advocated and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education.
Rosa Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement. She is known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. She resisted bus segregation. Parks rejected bus driver James’s order to vacate a row of four seats in the colored section in favor of a white passenger, once the white section was filled.
Harriet Tubman is American abolitionist and political activist. She escaped and rescued approximately 70 enslaved people using the network of antislavery activists and a safe house known as the underground railroad.
Madam Cj Walker was an African American entrepreneur, philanthropist and social activist. She is the first female self-made millionaire in America. Walker made her fortune by developing and marketing a line of cosmetics and hair care products for black women through the business she founded “Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing company.”
Theresa Kachindamoto is known for her forceful action in dissolving child marriages and insisting on education for both girls and boys.
Ruby Bridges is an American civil rights activist. She was the first African American child to desegregate the all white William Frantz Elementary school in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis.
Kalpana Chawla was an American astronaut, engineer. The first woman of Indian descent to fly in space.
Katherine Johnson is the African American woman whose hand calculations successfully launched John Glenn into orbit in 1962.
Sonia Sotomoyar became the first latina supreme court justice in the U.S.
Mae Carol Jemison is an American engineer, physician, and former
NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

To these strong women, may we be them, may we know them, may we raise them.

If they can do it you can as well. As Dr. Mae Jemison said “ Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.Fearfully and wonderfully Follow your dreams.”

Black Female Pioneers of Yesterday and Today

Inez Kaiser
Inez Kaiser was born in a time where race kept her from fulfilling her need for higher education. Held back due to racial exclusion, Kaiser found solace in Pittsburg State University and studied education. Determined to expand her knowledge, she later earned a master’s degree from Columbia University and an honorary doctorate from Lincoln University. Kaiser led a
twenty-year teaching career in home economics while simultaneously publishing her column “Fashion-Wise and Otherwise” in black-owned newspapers spanning the United States. After an editor suggested she venture into unknown territory, Public Relations, Inez quickly took a liking
to the field and a few years later, birthed Inez Kaiser & Associates, the first African American female-owned public relations firm in the United States and the first black-owned business in Kansas City, Missouri. The firm found great success acquiring big-name clients such as 7Up, Sterling Drugs, and Sears. What seemed to be a risky career change led Inez down an exciting
and adventurous path. In her lifetime Kaiser became the first African- American woman to join the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the first black women to join the Public Relations Society of America, a National Minority Advocate of the Year (1997), and a trusted
political advisor for minority women and business during the Nixon and Ford’s Presidential era. Laid to rest in 2016, at the age of 98, Inez Kaiser spent her life dismantling gender and racial barriers, cementing herself in history as an entrepreneur and civic leader.
Nepherterra Best
After working on a government affairs team and landing large accounts only to watch her supervisors land the check, Nepherterra wanted to reap the rewards of her hard work and build a name for herself. Award-winning PR professional and serial entrepreneur Nepherterra Best draws strength from her predecessors in her passion project, Dope Boss Mom Blog, and three successful businesses Pride Public Relations, Mosaic Communications, and NewsReleaseNow. Serving as the Chief Communications Officer and Co-Founder of Pride Public Relations, she and her partner have built the company into an award-winning African American women-owned PR
firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. Best’s primary goal is to expand her current companies to their fullest potential; it’s possible she’ll follow in Kaiser’s steps, one day returning to her political roots advocating on behalf of minority women and businesses. Although Best may seem settled
in her career path, this is just the beginning of her legacy. Leaders such as Inez Kaiser paved the way for black female entrepreneurs in 2021. Today’s entrepreneurs such as Nepherterra Best are continuing to make strides in the business community to make it more inclusive and welcoming towards black women. These two women and thousands of others like them are people who used their “limitations” to their advantage and battled against racism and sexism to create their unique paths and forever fasten themselves in history.

National Love Your Pet Day

National Love Your Pet Day is being celebrated on Saturday February 20th this year! Love Your Pet Day gives pet lovers an excuse to give extra love to their fur babies. This holiday was created to encourage pet owners to spoil their pets and focus on the relationship they have built with them. ​Here are some ways you can celebrate with your pet this year!

●Allow your pet to have a special treat

●Go for a long walk or adventure!

●Give them lots of attention

●Practice some of their favorite commands! (Sit, Rollover, Fetch, Etc.)

●Play with their favorite toy!

●Don’t forget to have lots of snuggle time!

The holiday also encourages pet owners to observe their animals’ environment. Here are some ways to go about this:

●Inspect their toys and make sure they’re safe to play with! Get rid of any broken toys that may have become hazardous.

●Check that their vaccinations are up to date. If not, schedule their next vet appointment.

●Give them a bath, brush their hair, brush their teeth, etc. Make sure they’re nice and clean!

●Wash their bedding, blankets, etc. Even if it’s not laundry day!

Remember this is their day to be pampered!Give your fur babies a hug for us! Happy snuggling!

Fun Virtual Activities to do with Friends

The one thing I have struggled with the most during the pandemic is maintaining my relationships with people I cannot spend in person time with. Just like most people, I have been stuck in a house with my family for the last couple of months. While I love my family and am used to spending a lot of time with them, seeing as I spent 18 year with them, but this is the first time I have not been able to spend time with anyone else. The short trips I take to the store does help a bit but with our masks covering our faces and at least six feet between us, it is hard to get any honest human connection that way. FaceTime and Zoom have kept human connection alive during a time it feels impossible for it to exist, yet talking to someone through a screen with no activities can get a bit old. I began to look for ways to spend time with my friends even though we have run out of things to talk about, especially since there is less to experience stuck in your house. Playing video games is the easiest thing to do virtually with the creation of gaming consoles, online gaming and digital platforms like Discord. Yet, it is not easy to spend thousands of dollars on a console, online gaming membership and the video games themselves.  Here are a couple of free/cheap activities you can do over the phone with someone you no longer get to spend in person time with.

1. Teleparty

Watching television shows and movies is probably the number one thing people spend time doing together. Of course, since the pandemic started we have all done our fair share of Netflix binging but it is always more enjoyable with company. I have found a browser extension that allows you to watch the same thing as your friends at the same exact time. You simply find the show or movie you want to watch, can be on Netflix, Disney, Hulu or HBO, click the Teleparty extension in the top right corner of your browser, copy the invitation link and send it to your watch partner. When your partner clicks the link, it will bring them into the Teleparty watch room where the show or movie will be synced perfectly. If one of you pauses or skips, the video will do the same for the other person. Amazon Prime Video has their own version of this on their website, but it only works for things on available on Prime Video.  JellyParty is just like Teleparty but it allows you to watch anything from anywhere together. So if there is something on YouTube you may want ti watch together, I would recommend JellyParty. But be warned that while all these extensions are wonderful, JellyParty can be finicky at times. 

2. Skribbl

Pictionary is a game that most people have probably played at least once in their life. Skribbl gives you the opportunity to play this with your friends even when they aren’t with you. For this to work, you will need to visit skribbl.io and create a room. After you have done that, you simply need to copy the invitation link and send it to however many people you would like to play with. Once they receive the link and click it, they will be transported into your created room. After that all thats left to do is press play!

3. Jackbox

This is a great website for someone who likes playing comical games with friends. It is a lot like Kahoot but with the raunchiness of Cards Against Humanity. There are multiple games to play on Jackbox and all of them are hilarious. Quiplash is a game to see which of your friends can come up with the funniest joke on the spot. Fibbage helps you figure out which of your friends is a horrible liar in a humorous way. And Drawful is a lot like skribbl but with a slight twist that results in hilarious drawings. Trivia Murder Party is a lot like Jeopardy, if Alex Trebek constantly made fun of you and and killed whoever lost.  All these games are available on JackBoxgames,com and all you need to do is pay less than $10 for any game you want, create a room and send the rooms code to your friends!

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