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Jennifer Lawrence: a PR nightmare or dream client

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Originally this week I was going to speak about branding our own image to the public eye but after listening to current Entertainment news this week, I think an article about Jennifer Lawrence can display image branding better than I can. Within the last couple weeks I have seen a lot of buzz and interviews with Jennifer Lawrence with the new “Catching Fire” movie coming out from the Hunger Games (which the movie is premiering this weekend). Now honestly, I’m not into the Entertainment industry at all.  I watch two television shows, one being SportsCenter, and I haven’t seen a new movie in a year.  But I know who Jennifer Lawrence is from her ridiculously funny personality and interviews. Buzzfeed posted an article on November 19, 2013 with all of the ridiculous quotes she has had and praised her honesty with her audience.  She is the definition of quirky unfiltered humor.  When reading this article and her quotes I couldn’t help but begin to laugh.  

Words for the wise: don’t read this article at work, you will get funny looks when you begin laughing and choking on your coffee sitting at your desk alone.

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Now this article called “21 Times Jennifer Lawrence Totally Nailed The Whole Interview Thing”, talks about Jennifer’s honest and sometimes unfiltered or inappropriate responses. She gives her honest opinions about everything reporters ask and often handles situations in the most awkward ways possible. But throughout the whole thing she is herself. Something many people might agree is missing from the Entertainment industry. As someone who refuses to watch television because of this, I actually relate to Jennifer Lawrence and see her as a sincere person. Now from a public relations stand point I can’t decide if her team is often horrified by her answers or take them in stride to help build her image. I would hope the latter is the actual technique and angle.

Even though this article shows Jennifer Lawrence doing ridiculous faces on live interviews, talking about her adjusting herself, and even saying “Well screw them” on an interview, she always acts the same ways. While I wouldn’t encourage a client to say that exact phrase on television, it is believable if you follow her career and realize her personality. These ridiculous actions and responses are what make her personality visible to audiences like me. Having a quirky sense of humor or having an awkwardness to her personality is what makes her stand out from the crowd, and not in a Miley Cyrus kind of way. Jennifer Lawrence shows how in the entertainment industry, you can still be yourself and be loved by millions of fans without being criticized for them. Now even though she says some ridiculous and inappropriate quotes to the media, my opinion is that Jennifer Lawrence would be a good client to work for. She has always owned her personality and even though some viewers may not appreciate it, there is no reason to apologize for being herself. Maybeee a little reputation management but none to the extent of recent stars in the headlines.


The Best Way to Learn the City: Get Lost

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When I first moved here I didn’t know the difference between the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side, Tribeca, SoHo, Astoria, or Greenwich. The only difference I knew was that the West side was the West side…and the East side was the East side (Also that the east side was on Gossip Girl). Kind of obvious differences but they still meant nothing to me. When I first moved here I used technology to help me get around. I was an avid user of Google Maps and the Smart Phone App “Hop Stop”.

After I “thought” I got the hang out of it I started venturing out on my own. Mistake #1. I have a little more faith in myself now but even today, after being here for close to three months, I still had to use Google Maps AND Hop Stop to find my destination. And in the end? I still had to ask someone where the building was. Sometimes you have to remember just because a building says it is located on Park Ave, doesn’t mean it is actually on Park Ave. It could be located half way down 42nd street and still say Park Ave (I’m still not sure how that works!).

The point of this is to go explore the city. You will be surprised by what you find everywhere. The secrets of Central Park, the Markets in Brooklyn on Sunday, the restaurants in Hells’ Kitchen and the Village. Last week my sister and I went exploring Central Park and came across buildings I have never seen and then somehow also ended up on W 90th street after starting on E 92nd. Talk about confusing. We didn’t even realize it until we got all the way into the Upper 90s but we got to see so much beauty that this city has to offer. We also got a good laugh out of getting lost on the other side of the city and ended up walking all the way to Eataly on 24th street.

*This a picture we took when we realized where we were. We were suppose to be on the East side!

The best way to learn this city is to remember it is a grid system for the most part in Manhattan. I always tell myself that no matter how lost I get I always see someone new, something new, and have a great time getting lost. I have finally started to recognize buildings, parks, and random food vendors so I know when I’m going the wrong way. But like I said before, the best to learn the city and see something new every day? Go get lost for a couple hours.

Branching Out

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Moving to the Big Apple has been quite the “experience”.  Sometimes I swear that if MTV followed me around and taped the experiences I’ve had, they would have a hit Reality TV show.  Now that may sound like an exaggeration but let me paint you a brief picture.  In the last two months I have gotten lost about 60 times, once so bad it took me an hour to even figure out where I was (which I’m honestly still not sure where I was), and came face-to-face with a couple of rats trying to move into my apartment to be my new roommates.  The last two months since having to NYC have had its high and low points, but one of the hardest things has actually been branching out and meeting new people.

True friendship in this world, anywhere can be scarce. I overheard someone in New York City saying that after living in the city for over 8 years now, they could still count their friends here on one hand.  While I have only been here a few months, I can relate to that.

How hard can it be to meet people in NYC?  Actually it appears a lot harder than someone might think.  I know, I know- millions of people live in this city but in large cities like San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta there are a staggering part of its population living in single households.  Maybe it’s easier to have one’s own space than to have to share but for people moving to these cities alone knowing no one, how does someone meet new people?

I have had the lucky chance to be able to meet people that I call friends through my Graduate Program and have even had the chance to make some friends through my career in the NYC.  The other way I have started to branch out is by volunteering and attending more events.  Even though events are school sponsored, putting yourself out there and being more outgoing goes a long way. Knowing barely anyone before I came to the city, a simple Internet search probably could have helped.  When I searched for this blog, the Internet search included gyms for me to join, clubs and organizations to volunteer at.  The thing that has finally worked for me is to take chances.  Go get lost in the city, find something that interests you and branch out to meet new people.  I had good experiences branching out and I’m sure anyone in a similar position will find the same success.   

Unpaid Internships: Worth It?

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This past week’s controversy in the publishing and media field has got me thinking.  Do most corporations just take advantage of interns for the “free labor” and allow students to get the experience they need for jobs?

Conde Nast has been the main topic in a lot of my NYU Public Relations Courses this week with their decision to abruptly end their internship program.  The main topic though has been, “Was that a good PR move?”.  (In case you were wondering my answer is no, it was not a good PR move).  The controversy was displayed when two former interns of their magazines sued the company for paying them under minimum wage.  Instead of waiting, Conde Nast just released a statement saying that the internship program would no longer exist into the 2014 year.

Now, this post isn’t about what Conde Nast did right or wrong, it’s been the internship system as a whole.  And more importantly why haven’t more interns brought this issue to the forefront sooner?  In my own undergraduate career I held four internships, none of which were paid for.  Why did I do it then?  Well it got me to where I am now-sitting at my job where later I’ll be heading to my Grad class at NYU.    

Internships provide students with the necessary experience it takes to work in the real work place.  Some can be taken for credit through college universities, but often students end up paying for those credits.  Even the students who are lucky enough to get a paying internship still only end up with a small stipend, which is part of the Conde Nast scandal.  Then there are the really fortunate students who have paying internships, but in my experience, they seem to be the smallest of the population.  The question is, “Is it really worth it in the end?”

In my opinion, the answer to that is YES.  Unpaid internships have been the most beneficial part of my undergraduate degree.  Having four internships on my resumes set me apart from all other students, paid or unpaid.  Even completing one internship gives a student they experience necessary to make it in some industries and can show students if that is truly the perfect fit for them. 

With the claims made against Conde Nast for overworking and underpaying, I do not agree with those.  Internships should have to follow some labor guidelines.  I am completely in support for any laws being made where interns get some sort of appropriate compensation, but how many reputable, career changing programs will be lost because of those rules?  Only time will tell.

Pin It

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All of my friends rave about Pinterest.  Some of them are even obsessed to the point where they talk all the time to compare recipes, fashion tips, and other interesting things.  Pinterest has never stuck in my mind to join.  I actually never understood the point in it even until my social media class at NYU where we had to give a presentation about Pinterest, and I was lost trying to “pin”.

The day we gave our presentation on Collaborative Social Media Platforms is when I made my Pinterest Account.  After exploring how to use the social media platform, I discovered I already had 5 followers, without creating any boards or pinning anything.  It connected right to my Facebook account and my friends from that social media platform connected with me.  Now all I had to do was figure out how to actually use Pinterest.

This is what my Pinterest looked like after I logged in the first day:

1 st day

The first step I thought was necessary was to create boards to pin things too.  The first board I made I simply named “Food”.  Everyone I talk to about Pinterest always gets these fancy and crafty recipes off of Pinterest and post them on Facebook.  So after my first board was made I started looking for recipes.  The only problem is…I can’t cook or bake.  So this held my attention for about 2 minutes.  I finally started to look for something on Pinterest that had to do with my hobbies.

I did a board on fashion, books, and businesses after.  I was able to look up the company I work for and got to see our products, much more interesting than looking at recipes by the way, and looked at fashion ideas for the upcoming seasons.  After all of this I don’t think I would make Pinterest a way to connect with my friends or a normal daily habit.  But seeing my companies stuff on Pinterest shows me how influential Pinterest can be as a Collaborative Social Media Platform, displaying our products to people.  It allows me to go to the website and to click on it.  The Pinterest allows takes me to websites that are similar to my type of boards I’m interested in, even if it isn’t directly correlated.  However from this whole experience I can say one thing, I don’t see myself Pinning again anytime soon.

This is what my Pinterest looks like now!


The Unused Social Media Aspects

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Both of my posts about social media and connecting people have been about my own personal experiences.  For this week I looked up national statistics about how other people used social media the same way I have.  Most of the results were concurrent with my thoughts from the past two weeks.  There are several statistics posted for the main motivations for using social media.  All of the numbers can be displayed below.

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Credit for Graph:

The numbers in this graph shows how Social Media is used by most people and how it isn’t used by most people.  The ones that correlate directly with my blog is the staying in contact with current friends at 67% use, staying in touch with family at 64%, and re-connecting with old friends at 50%.  It can be a clear assumption that most people use social media for its original intentions.  The main reason of finding the statistics this week was to prove my point.  How people add “friends” on social media because they know them currently or may have known them?

Now it may just be me but I actually don’t stay in touch with all 864 friends on my Facebook.  I add friends or people I use to know just to look at their profiles.  When looking at their profiles I just sometimes catch myself up on their recent activity…and forget about it until it comes into my newsfeed again.  Now I am not surprised how many people use social media to stay in touch with current friends.  This seems the easiest solution when living far away from people or just joking around and sharing funny pictures.

What I am surprised about the graph above though is the lack of social media to make new “friends” or relationships.  Facebook and Twitter give you the options to “like” or “follow” certain topics, hobbies, or really anything people can think of.  Facebook specifically gives you the options to like movies, music, hobbies, and pages based on certain topics.  These thing should be helpful to bring people together who have never met before.  Like the graph above people use it to keep in touch with current friends.  Well I think social media could be used to meet new people, whether it is following a blog you are interested in, following someone on Twitter because you have similar followers, or like the same interest pages on Facebook.

I think this isn’t as commonly used because people feel there is a stigma with randomly adding or following people on social media.  Even when I follow or add someone I think if it will be strange to do so, even if I already know them.  But if someone has a common interest why not add them and expand your network?  This topic is something that I may have to look into more because right now I’m not sure how I would respond on social media if people followed or added me based on my interests.  Social media has many different aspects it can be used for, some less than others.

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Social Experiment

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This week I decided to do my own type of experiment about connecting with people, or more re-connecting with people.  I decided to start thinking about who I had fallen out of contact with since high school and middle school.  I picked three people, one I was already friends with on Facebook and hadn’t talked to in a couple months, the second was someone who I wasn’t friends with on Facebook and hadn’t spoken to in years, and then someone who I had never been friends with but went to High School with.  Now you’re are probably thinking the same thing I was thinking to myself when I did this…what a creeper.  But I wanted to see what the reactions would be of me doing this.  Now the point is to see who I can reconnect with on social media and who accepts my friend request or message.  The first person that I reconnected with or tried to was one of my closer friends from High School and I sent her a Facebook message.  The second person and third person I started by just sending them friend requests.  Now all I had to do was wait and see if my friend requests would be accepted and how soon my message would be answered.

The weirdest part of this experiment was trying to purposely re-connect with people and pick who I was going to add.  Now I actually really did feel like a creeper.  When being on social media and sending friend requests, I never think twice about it…now I was actually trying to find people I half knew to add.  Not exactly a normal occurrence on Facebook.  It was also very strange to write a message to someone I hadn’t talked to in years but used to be so close with.  I had a hard time making my message sound casual and genuine when writing it.  Many of my first drafts seemed a little over excited and fake. After I sent my message to a girl (all people shall remain nameless) I waited for a response.

A couple hours later I had my response.  Our conversation started with the typical “Hey, how are you?!” and providing any information to catch us up on each other.  The conversation actually did reconnect us in ways.  We hadn’t spoken in years and catching up with her was a nice thing to do.  Now we have been talking since then.  The people that I added both actually accepted my friend requests within a day or two.  I haven’t gotten any messages from them but having them add me made me feel a little bit more connected because now I see their Facebook updates.  In my opinion I think Facebook is much easier to re-connect with people then other social media websites like Twitter or Instagram.  Facebook gives you live feeds on what people are doing, where they checked in, and any other things they want to announce.  After my experiment I would feel confident in using Facebook if I ever wanted to re-connect with someone again.