Author Archives: c21printern

Introducing c21’s newest interns

Kelsey Lynn and Christy Bruce joined c21 as its newest interns in late December.

Kelsey Lynn is an alumna of Georgia Southern University, where she received her bachelor of science in Public Relations. After graduating in December 2013, she moved to New York City for an internship at a fashion public relations firm. She moved back to Atlanta in March to be closer to family and friends. Kelsey enjoys traveling, hiking and spending time with her pup, Bristol.

Christy Bruce is an alumna of Georgia State University, where she received her bachelor of arts in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. When Christy is not sharpening her PR skills at c21, she enjoys shopping, blogging about fashion and checking out new restaurants in Atlanta.

The authenticity of an internship

For those of you who have never completed an internship, the word intern might have a daunting connotation attached. Certain misconceptions about the job include tasks such as filing, copying papers, sprinting to the local coffee shop or smiling and dialing for hours upon end. While those internships may exist, that’s not the case at c21.

The value of an internship is a match to no other. The opportunity should allow you to gain valuable experience, while dually providing a smooth transition into the working world. Internships are ideal for students or recent graduates who want to explore their interest in a particular field or industry, create a network of contacts, or find permanent paid employment.

Today, competition is fierce when it comes to finding a job. Recent college graduates are struggling now more than ever with landing their first entry-level job. For the most part, this dilemma is due to lack of real-world experience. Employers don’t necessarily have the time or budget to train pursuant candidates. This is where the value of an internship comes into play.  Employers should ideally develop a specific training program for their interns and provide aid as needed. No, you aren’t full-time, but you are receiving beneficial hands-on experience that will help you in your next endeavor.

The last internship I complemented lacked a defined training program for their interns. Roles and responsibilities were indirect and were left up to the interns to stay occupied. There was no real direction from the intern managers, except when someone needed an errand to run. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive the real-world experience I was looking for, but I was able to use the internship as a way to build my network.

My time here at c21

I have been an intern at c21 for over a month and have been assigned to various roles and responsibilities on a number of accounts. The client list at c21 ranges in industries from real estate and nonprofits, to sports and entertainment.  Within the last month, I have had the opportunity to work a number of these clients. A few tasks I am responsible for include drafting social media posts, pulling reports on client analytics, compiling clip reports, assisting with events and communicating with various clients.

c21 has a great team of leaders who are more than willing to train and work with me in areas I may need assistance. These tasks not only provide tremendous exposure to the work that goes on in an agency, but demonstrate duties I may be responsible for in the future. This is valuable knowledge I did not obtain in the classroom.

If you’re contemplating pursuing an internship, I highly recommend that you at least complete one before embarking into the real-world. This is the time to get hands-on experience and perspective as to the work you might be doing in the future or want to do. Not only will you receive great experience, but also the value of networking will be irreplaceable. I encourage you to check out a few agencies online and take a look at if they have internship opportunities.

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Christy Bruce and Kelsey Lynn

c21’s Summer Clean-up

It’s summertime!

The weather is hot and it’s time for patio lunches, seasonal cocktails and—gulp—sliding into those bathing suits. So we c21ers have been trying a few different things to stay on track, motivate each other and achieve our fitness goals!*

Lucky for us, we’ve got the inside scoop on many of our clients’ fitness classes and promotions.

If you didn’t know, barre-style fitness has been taking the world by storm. These classes use small, isolated, movements that are great for toning, improving posture and creating long, lean muscles. Our very own Sharon attends Pure Barre and has seen (and felt) the results! Interested in trying it out? Check out Pure Barre at The Collection at Forsyth, The Shoppes at Webb Gin, The Avenue at Peachtree City, or barre3—coming soon to The Avenue at East Cobb, and check out Pink Barre at Emory Point.

barre3
Photo credit: barre3
barre3 is coming soon to The Avenue at East Cobb!

But even if you can’t get out to a fitness class, there are workouts you can do right at your desk! Lauren and Natalie teamed up to create mini-exercises for us to do around the office when doing different tasks:

5 squats when waiting printer
10 lunges when going to the kitchen
20 jumping jacks when exiting the office
Minute plank holds every 30 minutes

sign
Use our list or come up with your own exercises for your “office obstacle course”!

But of course, no fitness regimen would be complete without proper eating.

Juicing has become a very popular (and fashionable) way of staying healthy. It’s great for ridding your body of toxins and replacing it with good-for-you nutrients and vitamins. I recently did an Arden’s Garden two-day detox and, though it took a great deal of discipline, I felt better, thought clearer and used the detox as a gateway to a healthier lifestyle!

2 day detox
This two-day detox is available at Whole Foods, in various Arden’s Garden retail locations (if you’re in the Atlanta area), or to order online.

You can make your own juice or stop by a local place and pick some up. Our Inman Park neighbors at Kale Me Crazy have lots of great packages that you can personalize for your juicing needs!

But I know you weren’t just thinking about juicing when I said proper eating – so let’s move to delicious foods! Here are some great recipes from our office chefs and foodie connoisseurs, Natalie and Telleen:

Loaded Spinach Salad
Ingredients:
1 pound of baby spinach
1 Golden Delicious Apple, chopped
8 oz of sliced, black olives
4 oz of feta cheese

 

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing
TastyKitchen
Photo Credit: Tasty Kitchen

Ingredients:
(For salad)
1-½ cup Water
¾ cups Uncooked Quinoa
1  Red Bell Pepper, Stem And Seeds Removed, Then Diced
½  Red Onion, Diced
1 cup Shredded Red Cabbage
1 cup Shredded Carrots
½ cups Chopped Cilantro
½ cups Cashew Halves Or Peanuts, (honey Roasted Is Good)
¼ cups Diced Green Onions
Fresh Lime, For A Bit Of Tang

(For dressing)
¼ cups All Natural Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon Honey (use Agave If Vegan)
2 teaspoons Freshly Grated Ginger
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce, Gluten-free If Desired
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
Water To Thin, If Necessary

Instructions:
To cook quinoa: Rinse quinoa with cold water in a mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water.

Remove pan from heat and fluff quinoa with fork. Place in a large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.

To make dressing: Add peanut butter and honey or agave into a medium-sized microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 20 seconds. Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and both sesame and olive oil and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner dressing, simply stir in a teaspoon or two of water or olive oil.

Add as much or as little dressing as you’d like to the quinoa. I always start out with a little bit of dressing and usually add more to suit my taste preferences. Alternatively you can save the dressing for later and add when you are ready to eat; however the flavors of the dressing usually soak into the salad so I love adding it to the quinoa first.

Next fold the red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro into the quinoa. Garnish with cashews and green onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges if desired.

PB and Peppers
Photo credit: PeanutButterandPeppers.com

Need a place to get fresh ingredients for your meals? Check out Sprouts Farmers Market at The Shoppes at Webb Gin. And coming soon to Atlanta, Earth Fare.

A great way to start cleaning up those eating habits is by drinking more water. Craving a beverage with some flavor? Try fruit-infused water! It allows you to get your recommended intake of water while helping curb your appetite, detoxifying your system, boosting energy and improving overall health.

You can make fruit-infused water by the pitcher or by the glass. Simply add your favorite fruit to a large pitcher of water and let sit for at least 30 minutes before drinking. Need some help getting started? Check out this website for some tips!

Trying a new workout? Got a healthy recipe you’d like to share? Post about it in our comments!
*Please remember to check with your doctor or physician before embarking in any new workout or diet.

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Celebs + Twitter = InstaPublicist

Anna-Chlumsky-On-Phone gif
Courtesy of PopSugar.com

The power of social media has increased steadily since 2007, and celebrities have definitely taken notice. It has almost become a requirement to use social media platforms to let the world peek into their personal lives. Celebrities share their most intimate moments and give us a glimpse of nearly every aspect of their lives; from behind-the-scenes snapshots on movie sets, to special moments with loved ones, to photos revealing salacious amounts of flesh that surge to the top of the trending list.

I began to wonder: perhaps celebrities use social media platforms to do more than just send out controversial selfies and tweets—they also use social media to carry out PR functions.

So I decided to examine how celebrities use social media (with an emphasis on Twitter) to fulfill some of the same functions that a publicist does. After all – who better to do the 24/7 job of a celebrity publicist than the celebrities themselves?

Two-way symmetric communication
The very definition of public relations is managing the flow of communication between an entity and the public, and tweeting is a great way to open the lines of communication between celebs and their followers. Gone are the days of traditional fan mail where people actually write letters to their favorite star. In this instant and digital age, celebs know exactly what their fans are saying about them—and if fans are lucky, celebrities may actually respond!

But careful – some celebs are notoriously known for snapping on fans who get on their bad side. So tread softly.

rihanna gifCourtesy of WeHeartIt.com

Releasing Statements
Although most celebrities still rely on a publicist to release official statements regarding both personal and professional matters, fans, journalists and entertainment reporters alike keep an eye on their Twitter feed to get news straight from the horse’s mouth. Celebrity posts can go viral in a matter of minutes, so sometimes a tweet circulates quicker than an official statement or press conference.

Damage Control
Luckily for us regular folk, if we make a mistake, we can handle it privately. But for celebrities, they’ve got to watch what they say and do before it blows up in their face—which can be difficult to minimize in the harsh Hollywood glare. Celebrities often issue public apologies via Twitter to express their remorse for whatever unfortunate incident may have occurred.

(For some, damage control equals deleting a tweet before anyone can see it. But these days, even deleting a tweet doesn’t do much. Check out this article on celebrities who have once tweeted and deleted.)

Promotion
If used efficiently, social media platforms can help celebrities push their own projects—retweets and posts favorited by fans can generate just as much buzz as a multi-million dollar advertising campaign. And I just can’t make this point without bringing up Beyoncé’s game-changing move, when she announced the release of her new album on Instagram with a 15-second teaser that she simply captioned: “Surprise!”

(Okay, I realize everyone can’t be Beyoncé, but this definitely made artists rethink how they promoted their projects.)  

Beyonce-Album mashable
Courtesy of Mashable.com 

Can you think of some other ways that celebrities use social media to carryout PR functions? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

 

BK Headshot


Brittany Knox
 is the newest public relations intern here at c21. She is an alumna of Georgia State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. When she’s not sharpening her skills as a future PR maven, Brittany enjoys traveling, dancing, and dining around Atlanta.

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The Value of an Internship

For some people, the word intern conjures up images of filing papers, standing idly at the copy machine, or making a mad dash down to Starbucks for 15 different orders with 15 different flavors at 15 different temperatures.

But that’s not the case.

Internships provide a smooth transition into the workforce, and equip candidates with the necessary skills they’ll need to succeed in their industry. I’ve learned this valuable lesson through past experience and my current internship with communications 21. From the first moment I walked through its doors, I knew this was an agency that meant business. c21 has launched award-winning campaigns and is the recipient of more than 70 industry awards; and during my first two months as an intern, I’ve definitely grown to understand why.

c21 awards Just a few of c21’s many AMY and IABC awards

c21 works with clients in a variety of industries: from The Avenue, the CIAA, and the Emory Point shopping center (I knew I was onto something when I’d spend my days shopping at Lizard Thicket), to Xytex, a tissue, cord blood and sperm bank. The leadership here are very dedicated and have helped me become an integral part of the team. I come into the office each day determined to complete client goals and meet deadlines, and I leave feeling fulfilled and confident that I’ve outperformed myself.

You may have heard people say, “I can’t get a job because I don’t have experience, but I don’t have experience because I can’t get a job.” It can be a sad cycle that seems never-ending—especially for college students and recent grads. 

But that’s the great thing about internships! They provide the training that candidates need to land that dream job.

job experience cycle know your meme Photo courtesy of knowyourmemes.com


I was one of those college students who would echo that mantra to anyone who would listen. However, I decided to get productive and made the decision to put myself on the path towards a brighter future. Although I started my intern journey later than some, I’ve gained corporate, international, non-profit and agency PR experience in a plethora of areas including travel and tourism, real estate, sports, retail and healthcare—in just one year.

Another concern that some students have is “working for free.” Paid internships do exist, but it’s important not to be picky. Monetary gain is an added bonus, but the hands-on experience is invaluable and can lead to greater things. Movie mogul Steven Spielberg got his start as an intern; so did Microsoft founder Bill Gates and fashion designer Betsey Johnson.

Two of c21’s account managers started out as interns, and now they’re in charge of several client accounts!

To sum it all up, if there’s one piece of advice I could give about internships, it’s this: don’t limit yourself and make sure you’re doing everything you can to improve your chances of snagging that dream job – especially during these tough times. It’s harder to find something when your resume is blank or filled with irrelevant experience. Take the internship and get the experience!

If you know any superstar internship candidates with an interest in public relations, marketing, communications or journalism, click for more information about an opportunity with c21.

BK Headshot


Brittany Knox
 is the newest public relations intern here at c21. She is an alumna of Georgia State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. When she’s not sharpening her skills as a future PR maven, Brittany enjoys traveling, dancing, and dining around Atlanta.

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Can You Handle a Crisis?

Olivia Pope gif_ABC-iVillage

 (Credit: iVillage.com, ABC)

Suit up, gladiators—Scandal is back!

Like most people on this planet, I’m obsessed with ABC’s show Scandal. I’m a sucker for juicy storylines and plots that thicken with each passing minute. And as a public relations practitioner, I’m drawn to the show’s emphasis on crisis management.

In case you have been living under a rock for the past couple of years, let me give you a little background:

Olivia Pope is a lawyer and former White House aid who started her own firm, Pope & Associates. Her team specializes in crisis management, solving tough problems and working efficiently to get her clients out of some serious jams. By her words, she’s the best of the best and second to none when it comes to handling crises. She’ll clean up a mess and then walk away from it with her signature strut and say her signature line: “It’s handled.”

(Pope is a loose depiction of expert crisis manager Judy Smith, who served as George H. W. Bush’s Deputy Press Secretary and represented Monica Lewinsky during the mother of all scandals.) 

The general public and PR professionals alike enjoy watching Scandal because of its thrilling depiction of crisis management. They enjoy seeing how Olivia will deal with major incidents that threaten to harm her clients and their reputations.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, public relations is more than just crisis management. But it’s definitely an important and necessary aspect.

Corporations and businesses should have thorough plans in place for potential crises that may arise. Consider organizations like food and beverage industries, chemical plants, airlines or cruise lines (2013 Carnival Cruise Lines debacle, anyone?). All of these industries must consider any possible disaster scenarios, however unlikely. If disaster does strike, they need structured and defined procedures in order to resolve the issue. They’ve got to know who to call, what to say and what to do to handle media, communicate internally and maintain a level of trust with the public.

And that’s why having efficient public relations specialists in place is so important.

But for unforeseen situations (such as cases that Olivia Pope handles), it’s vital to be on your toes and think several steps ahead. Time is most certainly of the essence, so having a plan in place will help tremendously.

c21 has great experience helping clients during a crisis, but some of the best ways we help are by equipping clients to succeed when the unexpected happens. Media training helps company spokespeople feel ready to take questions, and we can also draft corporate crisis response plans.

Wine gif
(Credit: iVillage.com, ABC)

Scandal premieres tonight at 10 p.m., so tune in to watch Olivia Pope in action.
And be sure to keep a glass of wine nearby—the trailers have promised another season of twisty-turny goodness. Check out Mystic Wine Shoppe and get inspired!
Drink responsibly.

BK Headshot

Brittany Knox is the newest public relations intern here at c21. She is an alumna of Georgia State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. When she’s not sharpening her skills as a future PR maven, Brittany enjoys traveling, dancing, and dining around Atlanta.

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The Super Bowl: PR, Marketing and Branding Blitz

Over the years, the Super Bowl has experienced an evolution—and it’s not just for hardcore football fans anymore.

It’s gone from simply being the most popular national sporting event, to becoming every advertiser’s dream time slot. Marketers, advertisers and public relations professionals have quickly caught onto the trend of capitalizing on television’s biggest event. Corporate sponsors, products, companies, musicians, teams and players alike all use the Big Game to get a step ahead. Some favorite commercials are ones that premiered during a Super Bowl.

NFL AND ITS TEAMS/PLAYERS
Obviously, the Super Bowl is a major opportunity for sports, team and player marketing. The NFL and its sponsors rely on loyal fans to wear those Seahawks and Broncos colors and jerseys to advertise for these teams during and after the big game.

And that goes for all teams. Football is football; whenever one team is being discussed, it’s an opportunity to discuss them all. 

It’s also an opportunity for those players who have product endorsement deals to capitalize, even if they’re not on either of the competing teams. Even though Clay Matthews didn’t play during this year’s matchup, his Gillette commercials still got buzz. Drew Brees still had Nyquil ads.

And who could forget Troy Polamalu’s ridiculously fun Head & Shoulders commercials?

troy polamalu head and shoulders
Photo Credit: luxist.com

 

PRODUCTS AND SPONSORS
There certainly wasn’t a shortage of Super Bowl ads this year, despite the $4 million price tag for a 30-second spot. There was an engineer quitting her job, a puppy and a Clydesdale, Tim Tebow without a contract, a Frito Chicken Enchilada melt…and a frisky bull.

More than 20 brands and products began unveiling their ads several weeks before the game, generating early buzz and anticipation. Viewers and critics already had a few favorites selected well before the kickoff.

(Are we the only ones who still have that Budweiser commercial pulling on our heartstrings?)

But it’s not just about getting a product’s name out there anymore: it’s also about how PR, marketing and digital professionals can push their products by seizing every opportunity to grow awareness and fan engagement.

Oreo-Dunk-in-the-Dark 
(Remember this brilliantly-placed ad following last year’s brief Super Bowl blackout?)
Photo Credit: wired.com

In my opinion, the blackout that happened at the Super Dome last year was the ultimate test of professionals thinking on their toes in an unforeseen situation.

Not just thinking in terms of, “Oh dear…how should we handle this crisis?”
But also, “How can we take advantage of this moment and be memorable?”

And the folks over at Oreo nailed it—it’s a marketing move that’s still talked about today.

PERFORMERS/ENTERTAINERS
And what’s just as big as the actual game? The halftime show! Bruno Mars took this sought-after musical spot during this year’s game and revived the crowd witnessing a virtual blowout into a frenzy of catchy tunes, bright lights, gold vests and dance move reminiscent of James Brown and Michael Jackson. The Red Hot Chili Peppers joined him in the middle of his set to rock the stadium and keep the crowd on their feet.

Half time performers are often announced several months in advance, so it’s a great opportunity to create added buzz around entertainers and boost record sales.

And it’s definitely a plan that works.

Billboard reported that following their highly anticipated reunion at the 2013 Super Bowl, Destiny’s Child album sales spiked 197%. The Who’s album sales jumped 102% after their performance in 2010. Justin Timberlake’s album sales for “Justified” increased 160%, despite the infamous wardrobe malfunction during 2004’s halftime show.

bruno-mars-and-the-red-hot-chili-peppers-take-over-super-bowl-halftime-show

(Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers brought the house down Sunday night)
Photo Credit: businessinsider.com

The bottom line is this: the Super Bowl is more than the final football game of the NFL season. It’s an event that’s hyped up for months preceding its commencement, and is talked about for months after the winning team has been crowned. It’s a great opportunity for products to push their companies that will be used all year round.

Make sure you keep that sports momentum going—the CIAA 2014 Basketball tournament is just a few weeks away! As the agency of record for the CIAA, c21 is busy putting the final touches on the event. Check it out!

BK Headshot

Brittany Knox is the newest public relations intern here at c21. She is an alumna of Georgia State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. When she’s not sharpening her skills as a future PR maven, Brittany enjoys traveling, dancing, and dining around Atlanta.

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Lindsay Lohan: a PR Case Study

linsanity

(Photo courtesy of Cane and Todd Benson Art)

Another mug shot on the books for Lindsay Lohan.

The actress who was once praised for her talents by peers and fans has fallen from grace. Movie roles and projects for which she has been critically acclaimed have been eclipsed by her growing criminal record, which includes reckless driving, assault and theft charges.

And even during her court hearings, there’s always some sort of distracting factor that seems to impair the situation—what she’s wearing or not wearing; how gauche her makeup looks; or what profanity she has written on her fingernails.

It seemed as if Lindsay just couldn’t catch a break.

Her failed attempts at making a comeback on the big screen appeared to be more ammo for critics and celebrity columnists. And when the going really got tough, it seemed as though Lindsay’s press and legal team just…split.

In October 2012, Lindsay’s former PR representative, Steve Honig, relieved himself of his duties without publicly giving a reason. But even though he’s been tight-lipped about it, I think we can all read between the lines.

Lindsay’s longtime lawyer, Shawn Holley, stepped down from her role as Lindsay’s legal representative back in January of 2013, but ultimately returned to the troubled starlet’s side to help get her back on track.

LiLo’s troublemaking and insurmountable legal and press issues got me thinking about public relations.

I started wondering if situations like Lindsay’s were continuing to stigmatize the industry, labeling PR professionals as “fixers” who only spin stories and sweep the dirt under the rug. It always seems like they don’t get the proper credit for doing great work when there isn’t a problem.

Sometimes, I feel like this is an industry that’s terribly misunderstood; there’s so much more to PR than just image repair and crisis management.

The problem that entertainment publicists face, however, is that their clients have free will. They believe they can do or say whatever they want — and publicists can’t necessarily stop their behavior. It’s not like the communications department of a major corporation, where everything can be monitored, quantified and produced with a high level of control.

With lawyers and PR reps quitting left and right, I thought for sure that Lindsay had branded herself as the client that everyone would steer clear of.

But I was wrong.

Lindsay signed on with PR team Rogers & Cowan (the same PR team that helped restart the careers of Robert Downey, Jr. and Britney Spears), and Lindsay’s journey to restore her image has been somewhat of a smoother ride. R&C has helped secure interviews that allow her to set the record straight, including the highly-anticipated Oprah’s Next Chapter segment that aired in August 2013. A reality show, which will chronicle the young star’s road to recovery, is also in the works, and could give Lindsay a second chance with her fans and colleagues.

These days, it appears LiLo is keeping her nose clean and her court-ordered stint in rehab seems to be doing some good. She’s jumping into new projects and film endeavors. Let’s just hope she’ll make wiser movie choices to counter the string of bad ones, and garner more positivity around her likeness.

The macrocosm that is Hollywood is only magnifying Lindsay’s personal and legal woes. But if she harnesses her level of exposure appropriately, she can turn the negative light into a spotlight of triumph.

Now, let’s see what we can do about that Justin Bieber.

BK Headshot

Brittany Knox is the newest public relations intern here at c21. She is an alumna of Georgia State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. When she’s not sharpening her skills as a future PR maven, Brittany enjoys traveling, dancing, and dining around Atlanta.