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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 January, 2014

  • Facebook

    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?

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  • Facebook

    Ginny Pitcher | Friday, January 3, 2014 13 Comments

    Social Media’s Next Generation: Disappearing

    Allowing Trey, my 11-year-old son, to create a Facebook profile at the age of nine seemed like a smart, savvy move. As someone who preaches the benefits of a connected, socially enabled world, I had no fears about prematurely turning over the keys to the largest social network on the planet. I figured that I would be able to monitor what he posted, gain insight into his relationships, and truly see – through his interactions – what type of man he was becoming.

    Yeah, well, that was a short-lived experiment. The only one who posts to Trey’s Facebook page is me. Every picture, sappy testament on how proud I am as a mother (completely self serving), or forced-family-fun event where Trey is tagged, litters his Newsfeed. There are no girls popping on asking if he likes them. There’s no picture, where he tags all his bros and waxes poetic about their friendship. Good luck finding a statement about his beautiful, supporting and funny mother. It just ain’t happening.

    @TroubleBrown isn’t interested in chronicling his life through Facebook or even shooting out snippets through Twitter (oh yeah, I already pushed that on him when he was eight, http://ampersandblog.com/2011/03/28/is-tweeting-at-8-years-old-too-young-one-mothers-confession/). Trey and his comrades have chosen to become the disappearing generation – where content isn’t captured for a lifetime in a newsfeed or content stream. Trey and his friends skew toward platforms like Snapchat (snapchat.com), where content fades once viewed, and ask.fm (www.ask.fm), where users hurl anonymous questions at one another.

    Scrounging through his profiles on both platforms, here is the fun stuff I can tell you:

    • Sixth graders are obsessed with dating
    • Words like “swag,” “idk,” and “baller” are used a lot
    • Even though Trey couldn’t articulate what an adjective is, he can describe most kids with five
    • Every so often someone from another country will post a question and they are always thoughtful, like: “what historical figure do you most despise?” or “what would you grow in your imaginary garden?” (Trey’s honest answer: money trees)
    • Trey likes a lot of girls and uses the adjective “funny” as one of his top favorite traits in liking a girl

    And here is the not-so-fun stuff I can tell you:

    • Anonymity gives people balls and let’s them say unkind things
    • Photos that disappear means that sometimes you do stupid things and don’t worry about the repercussions
    • There’s just the slightest veil of secrecy with all of the anonymous, disappearing content that makes me uneasy, a little scared
    • For the most part, I have no idea what Trey communicates or says about his friends, his life, me

    So, where does this leave me? While I probably thought I was being progressive by letting Trey establish his social profile early on, I’m find myself at the same crossroads as every parent (even those more conservative than me…shutter). Just because you turn over the keys to the social kingdom, there is no guarantee that your kid will take the same path. New technology, sometimes driven by the faults of old technology, will be developed, adopted and appropriated by different generations. And sometimes, that means that you just won’t be part of it. Ultimately, if I did my job right, Trey will respect the boundaries of what is good and suitable content. It will mean that if he were to save every photo he shared, every comment he posted, every interaction he had, his story would be that of a kind, fun and loving boy.  So, I’m not holding my breath on this one…but I’m pretty sure I got most of it right.

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  • Facebook

    Alosha O'Brien | Wednesday, January 1, 2014 58 Comments


    Relationship Is A Story between you & Someone you Love I Love My family So Much I AM So Lucky To Have such an amazing Life I Have Everything That I Need In Life.

    1 Before I Came To United States I Was In The orphanage from Time I Was A Baby & It was Hard Some Times Seeing Some one Get adopted & you Don’t Ever See them again.

    2 I did Make friends Some Were so Funny & It was Cool To Hang out With One of My favorite friends Is pasha He was The Best Ever, I was So Lucky To Be chosen To Come To America I was here With Max from Belarus We stayed with the host family The Joyce’s, They Had Three Sones, dog Danny Ryan, well I was here dan & Jennet Put me in Milton School I Went To Glover school , It Is Weir I Met same, One I Did Not speak A word of English, I All ways Hangout With Hime & His Family & My host family Had To use pictures for Me To understand Weir We Are Going All The Time. I was So Lucky To find Such Amazing family Like The o’brien family, They Are funny Very Cool To Hang out With, My adopted parents Had To Go To Russia To Sign some documents, My Mom & Dad Are The Best Parents Anyone Can Ask for They Give My Life & A place To Live & It Is Their Home Weir I Hade 2 Sisters Sara Lily & 1 brother Same & I AM blessed To Be With The Best family, & My outstanding Job Thank you To Best Buddies Jobs Kelandpartners Is The Best place To Work I Love each and everyone In My K&P Team So Much, you Are My 3rd family you Help Me So Much With My family That Is To Me A true relationship & Some One you trust & Their To Help you , & all ways Their by your side, This Is what relationship is all about My friend’s.


    Happy New year My friend’s

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