Image courtesy of Kate Lord
Divinely confident: Our own Nicole Kaldes braves the Secret Moth stage
Wednesday night, the MMC Secret team hosted an intimate evening for media guests to launch the brand’s newest innovations for personalized Clinical Strength protection: Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid and Secret Clinical Strength Clear Gel, two category-firsts, giving women 100% odor protection for 100% confidence, guaranteed.
The experience immersed short-lead media influencers in women’s journeys to 100% confidence through the live performance of true life confidence narratives, as told by three fearless female storytellers from the renowned storytelling group The Moth.
The themes of confidence and fearlessness shined through each uniquely captivating story, after which the media were encouraged to conquer their fear, and potential stress sweat, by sharing their own confidence story. MMC’s own Nicole Kaldes demonstrated her #BeFearless attitude and took to the mic to tell a personal high school story that was met with laughter and applause from the audience.
Media attendees shared photos throughout the night on Twitter and Instagram and left feeling confident and inspired by the experience.
For more information on the Secret Clinical Strength Collection, or to get your hands on one before they hit stores, visit: https://www.secretstore.com/ and learn about upcoming events from The Moth here: http://themoth.org/.
Following this week’s shutdown of the federal government, the media have been quick to report on the impact on various government functions. One topic has been glaringly absent from most coverage: FDA drug regulation. PharmExec reports that CDER will not accept any new applications that have fees attached – including new drug applications – until there is an official fiscal year 2014 appropriation or a continuing resolution.
A spokesman from CDER did not mention whether or not there will be a delay to products already accepted for review. However, the FDA notes that it will continue activities funded by carryover user fee balances under various acts, including PDUFA.
EyeOnFDA reports that the FDA Press Office is minimally staffed and will continue to issue press releases on Agency actions funded by user fees.
MMC will be keeping a close eye on updates and their implications.
Image courtesy of Marina Maher Communications LLC
Friday was the last day of MMC’s Summer Internship program. Some interns are headed back to school but four are staying on at the agency in account positions. Before we move on to our various new opportunities, we wanted to pass along some of our best tips garnered from our day-to-day public relations work, developing a PR program and working in an agency setting.
- Be creative: To make your product stand out with the media, always think of fresh ways to reach media as well as fresh angles to pitch stories.
- Be proactive! Whether it’s sending a coworker a placement about their client, following an industry trend, or just bringing the right materials to a meeting, learning to think and plan ahead will help make you an invaluable member of your team.
- Ask questions! Never be afraid to make suggestions and to ask for clarification if you have doubts. Your supervisor will appreciate your drive, thoughtfulness and desire to complete assignments accurately the first time.
- Never stop learning. Working in digital is all about staying relevant. You have to know what’s going on across every sector. Reach out to other teams to see how they operate. Never limit yourself. Be curious, ask questions, and don’t be shy about taking on a new project. There is so much to learn!
- Step out of your comfort zone. Some of the best ideas come from the craziest suggestions! Don’t be afraid to step up and share your ideas, or to take the initiative on a project.
- Always support your team! In team meetings, or when working on important projects—every member is crucial and everyone has something to contribute. Recognize others for the work they do. Only by working together can a team truly succeed—and excel!
- Foster relationships – There are amazingly talented people at MMC. Make sure to keep these connections and take advantage of every networking opportunity. You’ll learn more than you could ever imagine!
For many decades, it’s been common practice to engage celebrities, experts and others to credential brands. The process is pretty cut and dry. Experts or celebrities are positioned to media and consumers as paid spokespeople. But today, the process is a little more complicated. When brand marketers engage experts just to use their personal social media channels to spread brand messages, how will target audiences know if they are being compensated for that tweet or post? Some of these experts and celebrities don’t routinely disclose their brand relationship. And that’s when they, the brand and its agencies risk hearing from the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC’s updated Dot Com Disclosures, emphasize that “consumer protection laws apply equally across all mediums,” from traditional channels like television, radio or print to newer forms like desktops, laptops, and now, mobile. Worth noting is that these rules don’t just apply to bloggers and other Social Media content creators; they also affect socially-active spokespeople whose every status update, tweet, shortened URL, uploaded image and @reply is being monitored. This means that brands that pay others to “speak” on their behalf must insist that those parties disclose their connections. The FTC has stated publicly it is “cracking down” and companies that don’t comply can incur stiff penalties — in the neighborhood of $12,500 for the first offense and exponentially more for subsequent offenses. Not complying risks damaging company and brand reputations as well as those of the agencies involved.
To ensure compliance with the guidelines, here are some tips for “clear and conspicuous” disclosure:
- In situations where money or goods have changed hands, stipulate that all third-parties include statements of disclosure when they use personal social media channels to promote products or services. Some best practices include opening blog posts (or video segments) with “I received X from Y,” and placing “Ad” or “Sponsored” at the beginning of a status update or tweet.
- When sponsoring an online event – like a Twitter party, Google+ Hangout or Facebook chat – encourage hosts and channel owners to kick off the festivities with statements of disclosure and ask that they repeat them as often as necessary. Never assume that an audience has been “on” from the onset.
- When working with vloggers, make sure they incorporate statements of disclosure into their scripts as well as their landing pages. This same rule also applies to audio reviews (podcasts).
- When activating partners and advocates, build “compliance” into contracts and recommend that they use understandable language, clearly placed, to avoid confusion. “Clear and conspicuous” should be just that!
We are responsible for protecting the reputations of our brands and anyone who acts on their behalf. While the FTC updates aren’t actual laws, they are designed to provide a more open and honest consumer experience – and in the end, isn’t that what every brand wants?
Approximately 2,000 press releases are distributed daily. So how can you prevent yours from getting lost in the mix?
This infographic offers some suggestions, including the following:
- Limit your headline to 65 to 85 characters
- Use the keywords your target audience uses
- Move up the most important information – the main message and keywords
- Link to one or two priority websites, such as the company, product, or campaign site
- Be clear and concise, as always
- Nothing but NETFLIX – Whether it’s adding to your queue or watching instantly, Netflix has figured out the formula for success. With more than 2 million new users since the beginning of 2013, Netflix has risen to the top, while bringing the trend of “binge viewing” into the homes of the American public. The online video provider has branched out by creating original content with the launch of its first series “House of Cards.” Netflix also signed a coveted deal with the producers at “Arrested Development” to bring 15 original episodes of the cult comedy back to the small screen to pave the way for a potential movie. Netflix is hot right now, and its lack of commercial content is what makes it stand out from the other big guns of binge viewing. This is a tough nut for brands to crack, but a growing platform with real PR legs if leveraged strategically.
- Courting Martha Stewart? – America’s favorite homemaker sat down with Matt Lauer last week where she confessed to wanting to try online dating, specifically Match.com. This was obviously music to the ears of the folks at Match.com, who coordinated a follow-up special on TODAY featuring Martha and Matt hunting for her online love. Even if she doesn’t find her soul mate, Match.com certainly took advantage of a golden opportunity.
- Get Your Own Gala Gown – With the Met Gala taking place tonight, celebrities have enlisted the help of their glam teams and famous fashion friends to get prepped. Aside from the Oscars, the Met Gala is arguably the biggest fashion night of the year, and a time to make a real statement. Upscale E-commerce giant and event co-sponsor Moda Operandi has partnered with several of the designers to offer the gowns as soon as they hit the carpet in a live streaming flash sale. Get your credit cards ready gals, these gowns will cost you a pretty penny.
- Seacrest and Paltrow Team Up – PEOPLE’s Most Beautiful and E!’s most profitable have signed on to create a 10 episode web based series on AOL’s On Network. The series entitled “Second Chances” will feature Gwyn and her fitness guru pal Tracy Anderson as they share stories of women who have faced and overcome a variety of obstacles in their lives. The series will roll out over the next couple of months, as Ryan Seacrest Productions continues to focus on digital content.
- Mr. President Goes to Hollywood – President Obama took a break from his day to day duties to join Hollywood’s elite for the 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner. Conan O’Brien took over as host, while delivering some memorable zingers. Not to be outdone, Mr. President had no shortage of one-liners himself; even getting a few laughs while sporting his wife’s buzzed about bangs. Often deemed the “nerd prom,” the annual White House Correspondents Dinner is a collision of two different worlds, but always makes for some good laughs.
Image courtesy of Netflix
- Sweet Melissa – She’s done it again! Melissa McCarthy is Hollywood’s newest darling and the ratings prove it. She brought in big numbers during her second stint of hosting Saturday Night Live, following a highly applauded first hosting gig in 2012. With one box office hit under her belt already this year (Identity Thief), and with the release of The Heat costarring Sandra Bullock this summer, Melissa shows no signs of slowing down. She is charming, likable and has mastered physical comedy with comparisons to such legends as Chris Farley and Jim Carrey. Women are gaining strength in the world of comedy, and Melissa is just another example to prove it.
- The Even GREATER Gatsby – The remake of The Great Gatsby, brought to life by visionary director Baz Luhrmann has been the talk of the town for years. The film is finally about to make its debut, with a strategic premiere during the Cannes Film Festival. Aside from the actual film, the many released trailers feature exclusive song teasers by some of today’s biggest names including Jay-Z, Lana Del Ray and Florence and the Machine. An interesting vehicle to release new music, and most likely foreshadowing a bigger trend in the industry.
- It’s a Mad Mad World – In its sixth season, Mad Men continues to attract a hefty number of viewers. As the show centers on the inner-workings of an ad agency in the 50’s, it only makes sense for brands to cash in. Over the years big name brands have strategically partnered with the show including BMW, Banana Republic and Unilever. A changing opportunity comes as the show evolves with the times, and the cast is now entering a new era of fashion, food and brand names.
- Festival Frenzy – With SXSW behind us and Coachella this week, it’s officially music festival season! That means big name acts, festival fashion, and soaking up the sponsorship opportunities. It has always been a natural synergy for brands that leverage summer and being outdoors to sponsor music festivals, but more and more brands are seeing this as an opportunity to target a unique demographic. Returning brands signed on to leverage the festival this year include Lacoste, the Ace Hotel, Guess and Levi, with newcomers including Mulberry and Belvedere.
- Who Holds The Power – This week The Hollywood Reporter released its list of most powerful forces in media, and who tops the list is not surprising. Kelly Ripa and newly appointed host Michael Strahan cover the issue, with honorees including the TODAY crew, Good Morning America, Bill O’ Reilly, Wendy Williams, Jimmy Fallon, Jeff Zucker, Arianna Huffington and more. As the media landscape continues to evolve, the movers and shakers on this list are surely ready to evolve with it.
Image courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter