Welcome to the Ampersand Blog
The peeps at Kel & Partners have a lot to say. After all we are public relations and social media zealots who thrive on sharing interesting news and great stories with the public. The Ampersand Blog is really the voice of our Peeps – the kick-ass team of people that work at K&P. Whether it’s a story about the way PR works NOW, the social media universe, our families, beloved pets or quirky travel experiences, you’ll find it all right here. You may laugh, you may cry, but the best part is you’ll leave feeling “wicked smaht” as we like to say here in Boston.
Archive for the ‘Television’ Category
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Diane Coffey | Thursday, May 22, 2014 20 Comments
Will Is Dead? A Cautionary Tale About Going Offline in the Connected World Age
If you’re not a fan of CBS’ The Good Wife, you probably won’t care about this post, but if you are a fan, you’re probably still in shock, as am I, that they killed Will. Let’s mourn together. I know I’m a little late to the party, but I found out a week later than the rest of the world. You see, I was on a blissful vacation in sunny Mexico, totally off the grid for a week – which is pretty much unheard of if you’re a PR exec – when all hell broke loose on The Good Wife. Shame on me for sipping on Pina Coladas, listening to a great mariachi band, laughing it up and having fun with my husband when the unthinkable was happening—they killed Will. Why, oh, why, wasn’t I checking my Facebook page or Twitter feed while I was away? How did I not see it coming? I’m part of the connected world. Before I went on vacation, I was “connected” right?
When I returned from vacation and found out what happened to Will, I scoured the Internet looking for answers. I wondered how, in today’s world of social media, when news is shared so swiftly and secrets are hard to keep, this news had not been leaked. There were countless stories, right there online—even one from the producers, explaining why Will had to die—and yet, I had not seen any of them. Not even one. I was having too much fun being blissfully offline. Maybe I should have checked my social channels after all.
I know some of you reading this will think I’m a bit shallow for being so affected by Will’s death—after all, it’s just a silly TV show, right? But, in my mind, Alicia and Will were eventually going to end up together. He was the true love of her life, not her cheating husband, who had publicly humiliated her and made her look like a fool. She and Will had unmistakable chemistry—they were H-O-T together—one of the main reasons to watch every week. How could the producers not see that this would cause a firestorm reaction?
The lesson I learned here is never to go on vacation and disconnect so completely ever again. Who knows what I’ll miss then.Read more
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Jayne Seward | Friday, January 24, 2014 23 Comments
Top PR Blunder Of 2013: Lululemon’s Founder Strikes Foot-In-Mouth Pose
While perusing through Business Insider’s end-of-the-year stories, one specific headline caught my attention: Max Nisen’s “The 5 Biggest PR Blunders Of 2013”. From Chick-fil-A’s inauthenticity to Carnival hiding at the top, Nisen hit the nail on the head with his list. But the one blunder that really struck a cord with me was his #2 choice: ‘Lululemon: Shifting the blame’. As a PR professional and Lululemon customer, this was one communication crisis from 2013 that is hard to forget.
Lululemon founder and chairman Chip Wilson ignited a social media frenzy last November after telling Bloomberg TV that “quite frankly, some women’s bodies just actually don’t work,” in reference to criticisms that Lululemon’s pants were too sheer. Numerous media outlets picked up the story, and Twitter erupted with responses to Wilson’s “fat-shaming” comments.
Although I think we can all agree that his statement was offensive, what made the whole situation worse happened when he released an ‘apology’ for his actions on YouTube that has since been deleted from the company’s YouTube page. Many believed the apology was insincere, and ABC News noted, “It seems like he [was] saying I’m sorry I got caught, but I’m not sorry I said it.”
In many ways, how Wilson handled the situation showed us how not to handle a PR crisis situation. Here are a few things we can take away from this situation as we begin a new year in crisis communications:
- Think Before Speaking – All company spokespeople should think carefully before they speak – especially in our media-happy world where anything can be shared by anyone.
- Tell The Truth – Always be honest and speak the truth to your customers and to the public. Own up to mistakes if you’ve made them, and cite specific actions you’re going to take to remedy them. Being truthful and authentic can go a long way.
- Tell It Fast – Wilson waited four days before issuing an apology. Responding immediately could have lessened the blow in this instance, and it’s critical to act quickly when in a crisis situation.
Business Insider also summed up the overarching PR lesson that can be learned from this quite well: “Don’t blame customers for your mistakes, and know when to shut up!”
Do you think Chip Wilson has made the situation better or worse by attempting to apologize for the comments he made on television?Read more
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Anna McCarter | Friday, December 13, 2013 30 Comments
A Nostalgic Look at Some of Our Favorite Holiday Commercials
The holiday season is upon us and with it comes a new crop of holiday-themed commercials. This year, you’ll find Taylor swift and Justin Bieber making an appearance in a celebrity-filled Macy’s holiday commercial. You may have also seen the group of pant-less men “jingling their bells” in the risqué Kmart commercial. Companies put a lot of creativity (and money) behind their holiday advertisements, as it’s a key window to drive retail sales, but consumers more often remember the particularly heart-warming ads far beyond the season – sometimes for many years to come. In honor of the holiday season, let’s take a moment to look at some commercials of holidays past, which have become holiday classics.
Who can forget the bright red Coca-Cola holiday trucks that lit up the night? As a true “Americana” brand, Coca Cola does a great job of associating their product with family traditions like waiting up for Santa – or in this case, waiting for the red Coca Cola trucks coming to town.
In the early 1990s, Folgers Coffee pulled at our heartstrings with the “Peter Comes Home for Christmas” commercial. Folgers incorporated the
classic scene of a person waking up to the smell of a fresh brewed pot of coffee. But on Christmas morning, the version is extra special with Peter’s surprise return home. This ad reminded us that no matter how many presents are under the tree, having your family home for the holidays is always the greatest gift. And of course, it reminded us that Folgers Coffee is perhaps “the best part of wakin’ up” on Christmas morning.
Campbell’s hit one out of the park with their melting snowman commercial from 1998. As the snowman eats the soup, you see the snow melt away to reveal a young boy underneath. The commercial is clever, and most importantly, it makes you want to warm up with a bowl of Campbell’s soup after watching it. Their tagline says it all: “Nothing melts away the cold like a delicious bowl of hot chicken noodle soup.”
In December, most people watch classic movies like “A Christmas Story” or “It’s A Beautiful Life” to get in the holiday spirit. In a similar way, these older commercials stir up holiday excitement and make us nostalgic for seasons past. What are some of your favorite holiday commercials from over the years?
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redheadmeag | Thursday, April 28, 2011 22 Comments
Let’s get it on…line
As a PR person, I am a rabid consumer of media. I subscribe to 12+ magazines and get giddy the days they arrive in my mailbox. My day always begins by flipping between Today, The Early Show and the local news stations. On my drive in to work, I listen the radio every day, flipping between local stations and NPR.
But the biggest rock of crack in my pipe (to borrow a phrase from Kel Kelly) comes from the internet. I subscribe to dozens of newsletters from media sites and bloggers to have news delivered to my inbox, all fresh and ready for me when I get in to work. My Google RSS feed should have it’s own internet zip code. And Twitter….ah, Twitter. I follow every mass media outlet known to (wo)man, use TweetDeck to separate news sources by topic so at a glance I can consume dozens of pieces of information to stay on top of what is going on. My friends share tons of news via Facebook, and Facebook Connect enables me to communicate with them about the stories they read across the internet. What a wonderful world!
My dependence on the internet to stay up-to-date becomes most apparent on those oh-so-busy days when I find myself with several out of office client meetings, on location for news segments and knee deep in pitching. If I go a day without checking Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Business Insider, CNN, Slate (and many more) – the next day, I am shocked to realize how much has happened without me even knowing it. I can’t imagine my life without internet news to stay informed.
What about you? Is the internet your primary news source? What is your favorite media format?Read more