TRUMP NEEDS TO CHILL, PRONTO

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By Risë Birnbaum

Call me nearsighted (I am), but I just do not see how anyone believes a word Donald Trump says.  The latest kerfuffle happened today (it’s a daily thing now), and involves the new luxury hotel he’s building in downtown DC.

The Washington Post recently stated there are illegal immigrants working on the hotel, so Anderson Cooper decided to ask Trump directly about the allegations.  Trump’s answer:  “I can’t guarantee that all the workers I employ have legal status in the United States, but if I were to discover any illegal immigrants…we’d get rid of them immediately.”

I guess the same illegal immigrants that Trump believes are “raping our women” are OK to have around as long as they help him put up his luxury hotels.  Remember, this is the same guy who re-tweeted that “Jeb Bush has to like Mexican illegals because of his wife.”  Where does this guy come off?  And he doesn’t regret a word.  Nope.  Not one, single word of his nonsensical rants.  He also called conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer a “rodeo clown.”  Now, Krauthammer is not my favorite guy in town and maybe he should cut down on the hair dye, too, but he sure doesn’t deserve what Trump dished out.  Neither does Jeb.

Really, folks, can anyone out there actually take their precious vote and pull the lever for this guy?  If anyone’s a clown, it’s Trump, and if our country is going to get through this election cycle, he either better take some xanax, or we should.  Some noise-cancelling headphones would help, too.

BYE BYE BRUCE, HELLO CAITLYN

It’s Trans-Jenner Time

Risë Birnbaum

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Caitlyn Looking Coy

Just when you think you’ve heard and seen it all…there’s more.   World — meet Caitlyn.  Caitlyn is gracing the July cover of Vanity Fair and, yes, Caitlyn used to be Bruce.  Annie Leibovitz captured Caitlyn for a cover that will go down in history about a his-to-her story.

No, this is not a still from Ex Machina, it’s formerly Bruce Jenner, the worlds’ greatest Olympian, who is looking pretty hot in some lingerie.  I’m not sure she’ll be the next Victoria’s Secret model, wait — strike that.  I think Victoria’s Secret might jump all over this opp.

Remember, this is the same testosterone-fueled person who jumped higher and ran faster than any other Olympian in the world (though hormone levels have probably changed).  And now this javelin-tossing athlete is striking a pose like a 1950’s  pin-up girl.

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Bruce Jenner wins the Decathlon

As the red blooded all American woman that I am, I still drool over pics of Bruce when he won Gold.  That said, I guess Bruce-turned-Caitlyn still looks pretty fetching.

I could crack jokes all day.  It’s too easy.  This is an amazing story that will hopefully liberate men and women who believe they were born the wrong sex and are determined to do something about it.  If Bruce had not become Caitlyn, he might have died.  He and his family admit that.

So, Caitlyn is waaaay out of the closet, way beyond that box of Wheaties and way beyond the limits that we place on ourselves.

Bruce was amazing at the Montreal Olympics in 1976.  But, mon dieux, Caitlyn is even more amazing on the cover of Vanity Fair in 2015.

CRACKING THE BLOGGER CODE

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BY: JASMINE WALTON

In the world of PR, blogger outreach is one of the sharpest, new arrows in our quiver. Why? More laser-targeted impressions, which means the right reach. And it’s only natural that followers are more likely to trust a blogger’s word over a branded ad.

Our zcomm team taps into the blogger world, in addition to other digital marketing tactics, to target specific audiences in industries including health, beauty, food, consumer and non-profits.

One of our key partner bloggers is Kimberly Vetrano, the founder of “She Scribes.” Kimberly doubles as a mother, wife, photographer and freelance writer. She decided to become a blogger because she loves to write, and blogging was a way to write about her life.

Kimberly prides herself on blogging about a variety of topics for a diverse readership. Her tag line is “A little bit of this, a little bit of that.” In fact, her blog topics are heavily influenced by her readers. She makes sure to read her fans’ comments, and even does yearly “polling” to find the topics that her readers find most interesting. In addition to blogging about her life, she also tracks and writes about what’s trending — crafts, recipes and style posts are all hot topics now.

When asked how she keeps her blog so active, Kimberly says her blog is her business, and she treats it that way. Kimberly says, “I make it a priority to post at least once a day, 7 days a week. If I have something planned on the weekend, I’ll write a post ahead of time and schedule it on the weekend.”

Kimberly tries to engage her followers through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. “Social media influences my blog in a big way…there are plenty of readers who share the same interests and can engage with you about them on social media channels or via comments on the blog posts.”

Kimberly’s favorite social media outlet is Facebook. “I feel like I can connect with readers more on that platform. I can scroll down and read comments and reply to them when I have a chance. I feel like Facebook is more personal.”

When relevant brands come to zcomm for blogger outreach, we call Kimberly (and lots of other bloggers) with the kind of content that she loves. Because we know what she likes. So, when reaching out to bloggers, take time to read the blog on a regular basis BEFORE you contact them so you know exactly what they write about and the content that floats their boat. That’s the key to cracking the blogger code.

Social Media and the Election

This post is part of a series written by zcomm interns. Be sure to check back each week for their take on the latest in the public relations industry. This week, Hailey discusses the upcoming election and the role social media plays.

For months now, the internet has been flooded with political news and opinions. I’ve seen countless Facebook posts and tweets about the upcoming election and its candidates, but are all of these social media users actually planning to vote? Anyone can sit on the internet and rant and rave about candidates, but I hope that those who truly care will take their opinions to the polls.

During the third presidential debate, my roommate and I noticed that if we were to base the election results on candidate popularity, Barack Obama would win by a landslide. However, I saw someone post about the same concept, except that Mitt Romney would be the victor. Initially I thought my Facebook friend must be blind, but it makes sense. The majority of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers grew up near me, went to college with me, or were in my sorority, so it’s likely that we share similar views. You can’t really get a glimpse of the majority when you’re surrounded by others much like yourself.

To get a better idea of candidate popularity on social media, I was going to compare the exact amount of Facebook “likes” both Obama and Romney have, but in the past five minutes alone Obama has gained more than 2,000 likes. Each time I refresh the page, the number continues to grow. The same goes for Romney. Although both are seeing increasing numbers, Obama has nearly 32 million “likes,” while Romney has just over 12 million (as of 11:10 a.m. EST).

There’s a huge gap here, but is social media support in any way indicative of election results? I guess only time will tell.

Twitter Bowl

This post is part of a series written by zcomm interns. Be sure to check back each week for their take on the latest in the public relations industry. This week, Hailey discusses the Twitter bowl and who would be winning if it was up to social media.

It’s that time of year again. Football season is back and everyone’s excited, especially Washington Redskins fans following Robert Griffin III’s impressive NFL debut. Maybe this really will be their year… The Redskins have built up so much hype surrounding RG3, and his face and name seem to be everywhere. There’s no escaping him. His Subway commercial aired what seemed like 300 times during the Eagles/Browns game, and my entire Twitter feed on Sunday was filled with “Hail Yeah RG3” and pictures of people “griffing.”

It’s clear that RG3 is a fan favorite, both on and off the field. He only has one regular season game under his belt and he’s already up to more than 340,000 Twitter followers. His remarkable talent is what brought him to the DC area and turned him into a celebrity, but what if it were the other way around? What if popularity determined success?

If the NFL playoffs were based on popularity alone, who would be the Super Bowl champion? Don’t get too excited Redskins Fans. You still wouldn’t even make it to playoffs. Behold Super Bowl – Twitter style. If the NFL playoffs were based solely on the amount of Twitter followers each team has, the post season would look like this.

Based on the bracket, it’s obvious that the amount of followers each team has is not based on success alone. The New York Jets have only been to the Super Bowl once, yet they are the Twitter Bowl champions with 449,151 followers, more than the entire AFC South Division combined. The Dallas Cowboys have been to eight Super Bowls, but they have a ton of bandwagon fans so it’s not surprising that they also have more than 400,000 followers.

The Indianapolis Colts, the Tennessee Titans, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Arizona Cardinals would be the five worst teams in this fictional league with 354,977 combined followers. With only 26,061 followers Cardinals would be absolutely horrible. Their extremely low amount of followers is surprising considering their star wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, has the fourth highest number of followers (1,355,554) of all NFL players. He falls only behind Reggie Bush (2,577,903), Tim Tebow (1,863,891), and Michael Vick (1,486,843).

Chad Johnson, a.k.a. Ochocinco, was the NFL player with the most followers with 3,752,474. Now that he is a free agent, that title goes to Reggie Bush, who probably wouldn’t have that many followers if it weren’t for his relationship with social media savvy Kim Kardashian.

Although the primary goal of professional sports teams is to win, they too are organizations that need to work toward having a strong social media presence. This bracket may not reflect upon the teams’ success, but it does reflect upon their social media efforts. Perhaps a little public relations training camp could do them well.

Twitter followers each NFL team has (as of Sept. 10, 2012)

AFC East

New England Patriots – 412,931

New York Jets – 449,151

Miami Dolphins – 157,929

Buffalo Bills – 112,242

AFC West

Oakland Raiders – 187,214

Denver Broncos – 182,899

San Diego Chargers – 155,173

Kansas City Chiefs – 107,369

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers – 382,262

Baltimore Ravens – 165,720

Cincinnati Bengals – 114,620

Cleveland Browns – 110,340

AFC South

Houston Texans – 138,797

Indianapolis Colts – 100,633

Tennessee Titans – 95,692

Jacksonville Jaguars – 53,364

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys – 402,034

New York Giants – 341,233

Philadelphia Eagles – 217,688

Washington Redskins – 129,870

NFC West

San Francisco 49ers – 225,837

Seattle Seahawks – 103,919

St. Louis Rams – 103,732

Arizona Cardinals – 26,061

NFC North

Green Bay Packers – 309,894

Chicago Bears – 188,945

Detroit Lions – 161,174

Minnesota Vikings – 140,107

NFC South

New Orleans Saints – 238,793

Atlanta Falcons – 131,635

Carolina Panthers – 112,289

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 79,227

Spice Girls Take Olympic Gold

This post is part of a series written by zcomm interns. Be sure to check back each week for their take on the latest in the public relations industry. This week, Hailey discusses the 2012 closing ceremonies and the Spice Girls performance.

The 2012 Olympics generated more than 150 million tweets during the 16-day event, but the most talked about moment had nothing to do with athletics. The Spice Girls generated a whopping 160 thousand tweets per minute during the closing ceremonies, breaking the Games’ previous TPM record of 80 thousand after Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won the 200m race.

Although 160 thousand seems like a large number, it’s nowhere close to what Blue Ivy Carter generated when Beyonce Knowles showed off her baby bump at MTV’s Music Awards in August of 2011. Before even leaving the womb, Blue managed to generate 9 thousand tweets per SECOND. If you do the math, that would be about 540 thousand tweets per minute, more than three times what the Spice Girls’ performance accumulated.

If we had the technology in the 90s that we have today, I bet the Spice Girls would be right up there with Beyonce. I have a hard time imagining what my childhood would have been like had I grown up with the easy access to the internet, but I’m pretty sure I would have singlehandedly given the Hanson Brothers the TPM record.

As a 90s child, I like the way we obsessed over celebrities better.  We didn’t express our love for them on Facebook or Twitter. We wrote it in our Barbie journals or our marble composition books. We didn’t stalk our pop star idols online. We read about them in BOP or Tigerbeat. We didn’t take videos of ourselves singing and dancing to our favorite songs. We just charged our parents and neighbors to watch us do it live.

The Spice Girls may not have generated nearly as many tweets as Beyonce and then unborn baby Blue, but they created some of the best childhood memories for us 90s kids. Most of their 160 thousand tweets during the Olympics closing ceremonies came from us 20-year-olds who spent our summers dressing as Baby, Sporty, Posh, Scary, and Ginger, and choreographing dances to every song on the Spiceworld album. I shudder at the thought of children dressing and dancing like Beyonce. Nevertheless, so she can continue to run the (Twitter) world, and I will continue to spice up my life.

Don’t Spoil my Winner

This post is part of a series written by zcomm interns. Be sure to check back each week for their take on the latest in the public relations industry. This week, Hailey discusses the 2012 Summer Olympics and the spoilers.

It used to be easy to avoid hearing about the ending of your favorite TV show or the result of the game you recorded but haven’t yet gotten to watch.  Most of the spoilers came verbally and face-to-face. I’d prefer it to stay that way, because usually you can figure out what they’re about to say and stop them before they do. But now, information is being thrown about everywhere, and it’s essentially impossible to avoid.

The Olympics started a week and a half ago, and there has already been public criticism about the way event results are handled due to the time difference. Usually when something big happens, it’s publicized right away, not withheld until the majority of people are able to watch it.

However, with this year’s Olympics things are much different. Most of us don’t find out about the results until the taping of the event is aired during prime time television.  This is exactly how NBC wants it to be, yet they’re among the biggest culprits. Last Monday NBC aired a promo for the “Today” show about Missy Franklin and her first Olympic gold medal before they aired her medal-winning 100 meter backstroke. Their poor planning spoiled the race for viewers.

In addition to the accidental television spoilers, some are also worried about what they’ll see on social media. I’ve had issues in the past with people tweeting who did and did not get a rose on the Bachelor, so I know how annoying a spoiler can be. On the other hand, I think the case with the Olympics is a bit different. The outcomes of the events are genuinely newsworthy. We don’t keep the outcome of the Super Bowl a secret because the game often ends after a lot of people like to go to bed. Why should we do it with the Olympics?

If all of the events were shown live, those who truly care about them would probably work around their sleep schedule to see them. For example, just last year more than 22 million Americans tuned into the Royal Wedding coverage, which started around 4 a.m. EST. At the same time, if events were aired at all hours of the night, people would complain about knowing the results before they’ve been given a chance to watch them. I’m sure viewership would go down as well.

Truthfully, I don’t think there is a way to deal with the time difference that will make everyone happy. My advice? If you really want to avoid hearing about the outcome of an event before you’ve seen it, stay off social media. NBC promised they will not have any more spoiler slip-ups, but it’s not like they planned to ruin the outcome of Missy Franklin’s race, so cross your fingers while watching TV. For more advice on avoiding Olympic spoilers, check out CNN’s list of tips. Good luck!