Posts Tagged ‘revolution’

A New Type of New Year’s Resolution

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

by Andrea Corbo*

New Year’s Resolutions can get tiring. A lot of people don’t even bother making a resolution (I’m included in that list of people).  And usuallHappy New Yeary by the second week of January, resolutions have become false promises, half-hearted attempts at self improvement, and empty words. If you run a basic Google search for Resolutions 2012, you’ll find a ton of material, mostly talking about resolutions already lost and weight-oriented ideas. There’s even an app dedicated to success through habits – New Year’s Resolutions.

What about something different for a change? So, I ran a Google search for New Years’ Resolution 2012 for a good cause and came up with some other options.

The internet may be your best resource to help you find a resolution that means something to you. And if it means something to you, you’re more likely to stick to it! An easy way to start is to run a Google search for good causes, an issue you’re already interested in or volunteer opportunities. From there, you may develop ideas that lead to a worthy New Year’s Resolution.

How are you choosing to revamp your resolutions and create more meaningful intentions this year? Please share your thoughts with the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.


Bio: After receiving a B.A. in communications, and briefly working at a TV production studio, Andrea began volunteering abroad. This lead her to work in the non-profit world, where she was fortunate enough to learn about international education, women’s empowerment and social issues for the elderly, while traveling to over a dozen countries.  Since joining BurrellesLuce in 2011, Andrea is excited to share her thoughts and views on branding, social media, and communications with the growing Fresh Ideas audience, as well as her passion for cultural awareness, volunteerism, and sustainable efforts. Twitter: @AndreaCorbo; Facebook: BurrellesLuce; LinkedIn: BurrellesLuce 

You Say You Want a Revolution… in 140 characters or less?

Monday, February 14th, 2011
by Rich Gallitelli*
Image: CNN @piersmorgan Twitter Revolution
Image: CNN @piersmorgan Twitter Revolution

Egypt is the hot button topic and we are all witnesses to what some want to describe as a 21st century revolution.  On CNN, last week, the network repeatedly displayed a large screen showing in real time the social media posts that were related to Egypt.  It was astonishing to see. The board could not keep up with the updating posts, so the board basically resembled something like an amusement park ride’s flashing neon lights. And just like those flashing lights, social network postings at a meteoric rate can be encapsulating.  But can the intrigue last, or better yet, sustain an entire movement?  

It can no longer be surprising that social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the many countless blogs are being viewed as the forefront of this revolution. They have become what is the fulcrum of our collective “interconnectedness.” In my previous post, I discussed how email responses and phone etiquette, in today’s service orientated business world, are allowing employees to act as company brand ambassadors and, in turn, become the company’s brand. On the flip side of that, these company brand ambassadors are instantly accountable for their actions. Having a bad day?  Better not let that show up in your service industry work. The public’s demand for real time results has an agent of technology with new media to enact a change in dynamics in the moment and maybe even a change in social dynamics for an industry.  A waiter who gives poor service is no longer a regrettable experience between a few people.  Neither is a rude representative on the phone. Nor the president or parliament that fails to support its people. In today’s real time world, the negative experience instantly becomes online fodder for hundreds and potentially thousands to see.  Word of mouth, still the industry standard by which all companies build their reputations, no longer requires a face to face meeting for a poor review to be disseminated; it’s tweeted, it’s posted on Facebook, it’s blogged about and becomes part of an online community, with information that passes far beyond your own circle of contacts. 

Before the advent of social media, your reputation was built on the hundreds of positive reviews and one negative review didn’t fully transcend that reputation.  Now, that negative review becomes a flashpoint by which people will now effectively brand your reputation.  Think, did restaurants and hotels pay attention to comments and blogs about service in their establishments even just two or three years ago? I am sure they do now.  But can social media dispel the good reputations many service industry companies have accrued over the years?  Or is it just a flashpoint quickly brushed aside after it’s been tweeted and read?  Is it as lasting a movement, as say, the picture four activists sitting at the Woolworth counter in Greensboro, North Carolina? Hardly! Four students quickly grew to 600 protesters and in a few days, sit-ins had spread to Winston-Salem, twenty-five miles away, and Durham, fifty miles away. The day after that, students at Fayetteville State Teachers College and at Johnson C. Smith College, in Charlotte, joined in, followed on Wednesday by students at St. Augustine’s College and Shaw University, in Raleigh. On Thursday and Friday, the protest crossed state lines, surfacing in Hampton and Portsmouth, Virginia, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Sound familiar?  No social media at the time. Malcolm Gladwell, recounts in this New Yorker article, “why the revolution will not be tweeted.” It’s the cause that rallied the people together, not someone updating their Facebook status while eating lunch.

The change and demand for freedom in Egypt is truly remarkable. It is something entirely different than what many generations have grown accustomed to.  No army.  No invasion.  No secession.  No strong victimizing the weak (for the most part).  And yes, we have one tweet at a time, one Facebook posting at a time, one woman’s bravery for a call to a common cause on YouTube.  One has turned into thousands and then millions, with billions of the world’s citizens watching events unfold in real time. But it all started in real-life, real-time.

February is Black History Month and I am reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. I am, as ever, amazed by the picture of all the people standing in the Washington Mall, demanding, peacefully, the equality rightfully given to them in the Constitution.  Imagine if that speech with the historical implications was given today. Would people attend or steam the video live at their computers?  Would people make the trip to Washington, D.C. or just comment about it on Facebook?  While social media has the ability to rapidly organize people to an event or a cause, it hasn’t shown that it can continue to extol its influence beyond that.  As Andrew K. Woods wrote in his recent op-ed for the New York Times, “Of course, great movements require great leaders. That’s why the leadership vacuum in the Middle East is so politically electric, and why Tunisia is still a mess. The crucial question, in Egypt as in Yemen and Tunisia, has little to do with Twitter’s availability. It is whether a galvanizing figure will step forward and seize this opportunity to lead, or remain in the crowd, just another decentralized node in the network.”

So while I am here, I will gladly and proudly proclaim “Viva La Revolution” and hope for a better Egypt. Yes, I am astonished at that screen of social media posts.  The question is, will the masses be listening, or better yet, tweeting, long after social media’s initial impact has been felt and the state of Egypt is left in the hands of the Egyptians? Or is social media just another hyped-up PR tactic?


*Bio: Richard Gallitelli brought a wealth of sales and customer-service experience when he came to BurrellesLuce in 2007. His outstanding performance as a sales associate and personalized shopper for Neiman Marcus (he also has worked for Nordstrom) earned him a nomination by Boston magazine as “Best of Boston” sales associate for high-end retail fashion stores. Rich’s talents also won him praise and a profile in the book, “What Customers Like About You: Adding Emotional Value for Service Excellence and Competitive Advantage,” written by best-selling business author Dr. David Freemantle. Rich majored in English Literature at William Paterson University, and is a published poet and short-story writer. Facebook: BurrellesLuce Twitter: BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: BurrellesLuce


Big Media, Mass Media, New Media – Oh My!

Friday, September 10th, 2010

A few days ago, I read NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen’s inaugural lecture to the fresh crop of future journalists at Sciences Pos School of Journalism in Paris. I’m not going to recap the historically rich (and lengthy) address, but will borrow a piece or two for the purpose of discussion here. (Note: his post can be found here if you’d like to read it in its entirety.)  This address was directed to future journalists, but I think public relations practitioners that deal in media relations, can learn from it just as well.

Rosen began with a clip from the 1976 movie Network, which is about a TV news anchor who begins to act out on the air. I realize this was before many of you were born, but please take a few minutes to watch what is probably the most well-known scene in the film.

Rosen believes the filmmakers are “showing us what the mass audience was: a particular way of arranging and connecting people in space. Viewers are connected ‘up’ to the big spectacle, but they are disconnected from one another.” He explains, “But Howard Beale does what no television person ever does: he uses television to tell its viewers to stop watching television. When they disconnect from TV and go to their windows, they are turning away from Big Media and turning toward one another. And as their shouts echo across an empty public square they discover just how many other people had been ‘out there,’ watching television” – concurrently yet disconnectedly. 

I agree with Rosen’s belief that this clip clearly demonstrates the great event we are living through today: the breakup of the mass audience and the shift in power that goes with it. What if today’s TV personality acted like Howard Beale? Rosen answers: “Immediately people who happened to be watching would alert their followers on Twitter. Someone would post a clip the same day on YouTube. The social networks would light up before the incident was over.  Bloggers would be commenting on it well before professional critics had their chance.” 

Cases of where citizens beat journalists to the punch are numerous but a few off the top of my head are: the Mumbai attacks, the Hudson River plane landing, or more recently the Discovery Channel hostage situation.

Rosen goes on to explain, “The media world today is a shifted space. People are connected horizontally to one another as effectively as they are connected up to Big Media; and they have the powers of production in their hands.”

The digital revolution changes the equation, according to Rosen. “It brings forward a new balance of forces, putting the tools of production and the powers of distribution in the hands of the people…”.

From my media relations standpoint, this means the days of blasting out a press release to every big (or small) media outlet are rapidly coming to an end. NO, I’m not saying big media is dead, nor is the press release (sheez, don’t get me started!)

What I am saying is that PR agencies, public relations practitioners, branding/marketing folks, small business owners, etc. now, more than ever, have additional opportunities to reach out to their publics in multiple ways – connecting with their individual audience(s) – and each other wherever they hang out.  Big media and small media alike are still very much part of that equation, but now there are even more possibilities.

That’s my takeaway from Rosen’s speech and the clip. What is yours?