Burger King pays for Mr. and Ms. Burger-King’s wedding

By: Yeimi Vasquez

Photo via: CNN

Burger King will pay for Mr. and Ms. Burger-King’s wedding. How did this happen? Through the power of social media after an article in The State Journal-Register went viral.

The article described how Joel Burger and Ashley King’s last names coincidentally incorporated the fast-food giant’s name. The couple was contacted via Twitter and Skype by Burger King’s Alison Brod to announce  the surprise.

In my opinion Burger King’s reactive response turned into great PR. It took advantage of the social media world as people shared the story. Thus demonstrating the power of social media.

But what exactly is social media?

In my opinion it can be described as user-generated content where masses of people interact. So when interesting things hit a newsfeed it is a natural tendency to share what’s found.

According to Texas A&M computer scientist James Caverlee, social media can not only change minds, but also change the world as a form of persuasion. Since crowds are naturally forming, he says it is easier to crowd-source information than your typical word-of-mouth marketing. Especially when disasters or obscure things happen.

In definition, Caverlee’s  research has proven how important social media has become to companies today, particularly when it comes to measuring the positive and negative effects of content.

For instance, Burger King can use analytic tools via Twitter, Google Analytic’s, Facebook Analytic’s, etc. to see how people are engaging with the company. Such as finding out who posted, why, when, how many people were reached and the overall positive or negative business outcome of the content in general.

Consequently it is clear that social media has become a huge part of our culture. It is the definition of creating the ultimate connection and Burger King did just that by ‘caring/paying’ enough to pay for a wedding that creates a type of personal corporate social responsibility.


By: Yeimi Vasquez

Photo by: Market Ready Real Estate

Tweetchat’s, also know as Twitter chat’s, are a good way to find people with similar interests, expand expertise and build relationships-all for free.

As social media grows, it is important to not only understand how to use each medium, but also learn how to utilize them, especially in public relations.

Since the basis of public relations stems from completing communications plans that are developed by targeting specific audiences, it is important to actually know not only those demographics, but also their likes, dislikes and even the style in which they communicate.

Tweetchat’s are thus a great way to do just that. According to the Huffington Post, company’s can even host them as a way of customer service and insight. As well as a way to connect with customers or fans like celebrities and Forbes journalists have done.

These engaging conversations can build relationships that can help you in the present and future. It can also be a good opportunity to network. Getting insights from professionals behind a screen can be easier and faster to get answers.

So as this semester began, I have to admit I was terrified of Tweetchat’s. It was not the fact that I would be communicating with pure strangers, but it was because most of the Tweetchat’s I entered contained mostly professionals. It put me in an uncomfortable position. However, I found that although I am not an expert, there are plenty of nice Twitter professionals that help you feel comfortable.

One thing I would strongly suggest is to find the right chat! Even if it means sitting in on one before actually chatting. You definitely want to make sure your interested in the topic and get used to the style in which they communicate.

So all in all, just take advantage of the opportunity not only from a public relations perspective, but even just to chat!

Responding to negative social media: DeMarco Murray

By: Yeimi Vasquez

Photo source: Vine via Aden 

The social media world exploded on DeMarco Murray as he signed a contract for the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday.

Murray agreed to a five year, $42 million deal to play for one of the biggest rivals from the Dallas Cowboys division, the Eagles. While some fans congratulated him, the majority of ex-fans spewed negativity all across Murray’s social media.

Some fan’s went with visuals and burned his jersey.

On Twitter a video of Murray being booed at a UFC event in Dallas Saturday night even went viral with 1.7 k favorites and 1.2 k retweets.

According to the Dallas Morning News, during a news conference Murray was asked about the images of his Cowboys jersey on fire. Murray laughed it off claiming he did not:

“I don’t take it personal,” he said. “I’m sure their feelings are hurt. I apologize for that. I’m ready to move on and I’m glad to be a part of this [Eagles] organization.”

He also claimed he chose the Eagles not because they offered him more money than the Cowboys, but because the Eagles had a “better chance at a Superbowl.” Yet the Eagles did not even make it to the playoffs last season, the Cowboys did. Hmm.

Nevertheless as contradicting as Murray may be, I applaud him for having good social media manners.

According to Daly-Swarts Public Relations, he followed the rules in PR social media 101. These tips include:

  • Do not delete negative comments, they will only ignite more
  • Keep it cool
  • Confront the source
  • Make amends
  • Acknowledge mistakes

He did not add to the negativity. He addressed the issue, apologized and moved on.

So whether it be negativity in traditional PR or social media PR, it is clear that adding fuel to the fire only will definitely only make the fire bigger. However keep in mind that in the social media world, nothing can really be deleted.

So as for Murray, good job on your social media manners, but next time just go with the truth; Money meant more to you than loyalty.

Decide who inherits your Facebook: Legacy Contact

Photo by: Facebook

By: Yeimi Vasquez

What happens after you die.. on social media? Well if you want to be in control of that you go to Facebook.

On Feb. 12 the social media giant created a feature that lets you choose someone to look after your account when you die, called  ‘Legacy Contact.’

This will allow your ‘heir’ to officially memorialize your account. They will be able to update profile pictures, create and edit past posts, as well as respond to new friends requests. However, once you select the person who will be in charge of your ‘legacy,’ you will be unable to change it.

To select your official digital gravestone-Legacy Contact- go to your security settings. Or you can choose the alternative option under the ‘Legacy Contact,‘ delete your account.

But why? Legacy, that’s why. Some people just want to be memorialized.

Or maybe as The Wall Street Journal says, to bring clarity to issues that are legally and emotionally challenging. For instance, when an account holder dies, a court order must be obtained in order to access the account.

So was this a good public relations move?

Technically, in the eyes of Facebook- yes. This was actually a response to the demands of grieving families. According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook had previously just frozen accounts after its members died.

I think it is clear that social media is not going to die, literally. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has found a way to immortality. But in my opinion it is a little creepy for a person to create posts on the deceased’s account.

But maybe Facebook is not just a data-hungry giant used for social media marketing, maybe it deeply cares for grieving families. Or maybe it has found a weird way to market off these accounts.. Only time can tell for now.

Papa Johns Iggy Azalea apology needs to #bounce

By: Yeimi Vasquez

Photo from Iggy Azalea’s Twitter.

“Better ingredients, better pizza” – Papa Johns.

Too bad it doesn’t have better privacy protocols when it comes to handling customers personal information like phone numbers, says hip-hop artist Iggy Azalea on Twitter.

This Papa Johns incident was an example of PR social media gone wrong.

According to ABC News, after receiving her pizza Azalea realized the delivery driver had given out her number to a family member as well as a plethora of texts and phone calls. Azalea spoke her avid mind on Twitter, confronting Papa Johns about it’s privacy protocols.

In attempt to “better” appease her, it used the hashtag #bounce as a joke by citing a lyrics from one of her songs. Papa Johns retweeted: “@iggyazalea #We should have known better. Customer and employee privacy is important to us. Pleas don’t #bounce us!”

Unfortunately, this joke was not taken lightly with Azalea. She retweeted that a breach of privacy had occurred and they were not taking it seriously since the pizza-chain also obtains customers addresses and credit card information.

In response a Papa Johns spokesperson told ABC NEWS privacy was extremely important and has taken appropriate disciplinary action with its employee, as well as trying to make it right with Azalea.

However, I think Papa Johns definitely needs to re-prioritize who and what is being posted on it’s social media accounts because every positive and negative post is crucial – especially if that post carry’s more than 4.2 million Twitter rollers like Azalea.

Social media and PR are communication tools that brand a company. They are the medium from customer to service. Social media has become a platform for people to talk about the company and it’s products.

With more than 4.2 million Twitter followers, Azalea can be defined as an influencer in PR. An influencer is someone with connections to well, influence other people by their actions. For instance maybe other people will not buy from Papa Johns now because they are afraid to have their privacy breached.

I don’t think Papa Johns has realized how serious this matter can possibly become since privacy breach turn into lawsuits.

So now what Papa Johns? You’ve re-apologized to Azalea and have taken “disciplinary action” with your employee.

But I do think it’s time for crisis communication, AKA a better social media/PR manager.

Snapchat’s billion dollar future?!

By: Yeimi Vasquez

Snapchat. The social media app that lets you send not just your typical pictures and videos to your friends, but also money. The globally popular app became popular due to its ‘self-destructing’ images that would erase after 24 hours, to never be seen again unless scree- shot.

Snapchat decided to be an easier version of Western Union, Snapcash. All you had to do was enter your credit/debit card information into you account and you could transfer money to friends by inserting a $ sign in the message. But this isn’t the only implication of its billion dollar future.

According to the Los Angeles Times, last Tuesday the company began refining its billion dollar image to the max by taking a leap into a marketing strategy. It has become a channel for media hubs that displays content from company’s like ESPN, the Cosmopolitan, the Food Network and CNN. This new feature is called Discover.

It has officially created a way to advertise in an acceptable manner on social media. You have the option to view the ‘story’ (the content that will be showed from the discover feature) unlike advertisements on its big-faced competition Facebook, Instagram or Twitter where content is automatically featured on its newsfeed.

This is definitely a big step in social media public relations and it’s working. It has joined the hybrid advertisement world on a social media platform.

From a public relations perspective it has created its communication audit and is now implementing it’s goals and objectives. Snapchat’s demographics was originally 13-25 years-old. However with the new Discover feature it has expanded its doors to billions of dollars by creating highlights from companies such as ESPN, with demographics typically men 18-50 years-old (depending on the sport).

Snapchat’s public relations team is definitely on their toes, finding ways to remain new and trending in the public eye by building, nurturing and repairing relationships for the past, present and billion dollar future.