Monday, October 28, 2013

State of the Cowboys: Defense falters as team falls to 4-4

As Week 8 comes to an end with the Monday Night Football matchup of Seattle at St. Louis, the 2013 Dallas Cowboys find themselves in an all too familiar place: Mediocrityville. The Cowboys failed to put away Detroit on Sunday and fell to 4-4 atop the dismal NFC East. From my vantage point of watching the game at home, I recognized three key factors to the team's late-game defeat.
First, the Cowboys did not cash in on all four Detroit turnovers. Generating only 10 points from four takeaways will not get the job done. You can't go three and out on two of the four possessions following a turnover and expect to win.
Second, poor clock management and crappy play calling by the coaching staff. Head coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan failed to realize that Detroit did not have any timeouts left prior to the third down play. Garrett should have advised Tony Romo to take a knee on third down, which would allow the clock to keep running down to about 40 seconds or so before kicking the field goal. If this scenario occurred then it would have been unlikely for Matthew Stafford to drive 80 yards for the game-winning score. Most fans hated the fact that the team didn't run their regular offense to simply get a first down, which would have essentially ended Detroit's chances at a comeback. Garrett still struggles with clock management in late game situations. It cost the team wins at Baltimore last season and at Arizona in 2011.
Finally, the implosion on defense. Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2 AKA "Tampon 2" defense held Detroit to only seven points through three quarters. In the final frame alone, the defense gave up 24 points and 265 yards. It's rather difficult to win games when the offense gives you two ten point leads in the fourth quarter and you still fail to deliver. The defense is dead last in the NFL, giving up 422.5 yards a game. As of now, this unit is complete garbage. They aren't helping the team at all. Forcing turnovers is great but it's better to not allow Calvin Johnson to accumulate 329 yards receiving and only get one sack on Matthew Stafford. No one fears this defense. They lack a formidable pass rush, which is putting their secondary at a liability. Kiffin must tweak his scheme so that defense can flourish in these final eight games. The team can become better but they must go back to basics, fix the little things and escape from Mediocrityville.
The Cowboys return home to face the 1-6 Minnesota Vikings in their week 9 matchup.

Friday, October 25, 2013

PR Costumes to avoid for Halloween

The holiday season is upon us beginning with Halloween on Oct. 31. It’s one of my favorite holidays of the year because I get to binge on discounted candy and also be my favorite costume: a broke, college student. Dressing up is on everyone’s mind this time of year. However, many PR professionals make the mistake of wearing certain costumes year-round as without knowing it. Here are some of the following Halloween faux pas:
·         Frankenstein: A mix of knowledge and alienating co-workers can have disastrous effects. Putting together archaic ideas and boring concepts can strain even the longest PR relationships. Be open to new ideas and creative strategies so that bridges aren’t burned that you need to cross again in the future.
·         The ghost: Becoming a flimsy presence during the planning stages is not an option in public relations. Do not be the person who cannot handle criticism or who turns into Casper when it is time to dole out accolades and achievements. Be helpful and make your presence known. Someone is always watching.
·         The Mummy: It is so easy to be bogged down by the daily workload and become overwhelmed since we live in the days of a 24-hour news cycle. Find some balance by taking a break from the 9 to 5 and have a personal day where you are in a state of relaxation such as picking up a new hobby or going to a concert with friends. The work/personal life balance will help you to become a more productive worker in PR.

Hopefully, you’ll heed these warnings and dress up in something festive for Halloween like Iron Man or Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tips Brands Should Use when posting During a Natural Disaster

Imagine that a natural disaster has occurred in your neck of the woods. A massive hurricane made landfall overnight and damaged about 30 percent of the city, totaling at least $500 million in damages. Your company makes the mistake of using the buzz surrounding the tragedy to market a new product but instead of receiving new customers, they get backlash from the media and consumers.
When brands do this, it comes off as artificial or offensive, to say the least. Marketing requires a nimble hand, balancing benefits of engaging with customers and doing damage control on content that is more focused with the brand than with the audience. Saying and doing nothing during these instances of crises is probably the best move. The following are some tips to avoid these mistakes.
First, make sure the content is relevant to the current natural disaster at hand. If it’s something that you wouldn’t normally post that puts the company in a positive light then it’s best to pass on it. Secondly, brands should create volunteering opportunities where consumers can contribute directly with their money or time. The company should also strive to make a generous donation to a known relief effort such as the Red Cross or United Way. Finally, disable scheduled tweets or Facebook posts. There is nothing more awkward than reading online about a tornado killing 30 people and seeing an ad that has nothing to do with it and comes off as insensitive.
Though these tips were blunt, brand managers who continue to use natural disasters as marketing opportunities should proceed with caution and not make the same mistake twice.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Senate leaders reach deal to reopen government

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) is currently on the floor announcing the deal to raise the debt limit to Feb. 7, 2014 and end the 16-day government shutdown. Below is the video courtesy of the Washington Post.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Building a PR Campaign for a Startup Company

Public relations professionals are hired to do image branding or run lucrative campaigns for various clients from different industries. However, only a handful creates campaigns for startups. Startup PR could be seen as a challenging task given the client is starting a business from scratch but if you love being in PR and have a great support team in your corner then you can be successful. The following are some tips from an article on that you can use to maximize your efforts to gain attention for your clients.
1.   Quit being boring: Being personable and telling a story in an exciting way tends to get others excited, too. Reporters crave quirky stories that other people can relate to. If you can make people relate to you then you will get on the reporter’s radar.

2.     Pick Your Media Contacts Wisely: If you want reporters to care about you then care about them first. Pick a handful of targeted outlets and learn about them. Read the stories they are writing and make sure they are relevant to your story. In addition, build relationships with the reporters by reading and promoting their coverage.

3.     Raise awareness through events and crowd-funding sites: Use events, conferences or crowd-funding sites to get on a journalist’s radar. A lot of media outlets such as Tech Crunch host events that focus on startups--- a great opportunity to be introduced to the press and launch your product or service.

To view the full list, click here.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Errors when Pitching Stories in Public Relations

The Internet is buzzing with bloggers and media personnel wanting the inside scoop to know the ins and outs of working in public relations. One aspect is pitching stories to the higher ups. However, there are egregious errors made when pitching a story. The first mistake is overpromising. This error reinforces unrealistic expectations, which is the primary reason that most business relationships fail. It’s a rookie mistake because the average PR profession cannot predict results without having a decent range of accuracy.
Another error is the PR pro does not knowing their client’s business. You should know the basic knowledge of how and why your client is in business and cater to their media needs accordingly. Not knowing reveals a sin of omission and it is recommended that you should no longer work with that particular client.
Finally, a PR professional should never sell themselves short. In an effort to win a pitch, most PR people will reduce their asking price in order to give away their best methods for action without being paid properly. The reason is because he/she is insecure about the value of the services they provide to potential clients. Know your worth before doing business.