Celebrity Influencers Under Fyre?

By: Donald Smith

Last week I spoke a little on how influencers and people’s trust in them on social media. Well, after the Fyre Festival debacle that trust may have taken a hit.

First, let’s see what the Fyre Festival was supposed to be. Most of you probably had not

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“Fyre Music Festival” By Fyre Festival

heard about it before because it was an inaugural event. The music festival was supposed to be a “once-in-a-lifetime musical experience” on a private island previously owned by Pablo Escobar. It boasted a packed line-up of A-list artists such as Migos, Disclosure, Major Lazer, blink-182 and many more. Along with music, there was supposed to be “a uniquely authentic island cuisine experience” and “luxurious accommodations.” Ticket Packages for the festival started at $1,200 and some came with six-figure price tags. The festival was also endorsed by multiple celebrities via their social media channels such as Ja Rule, who was also a founder, Kendall Jenner, people might want to stop using her, Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid.


Now, come the day of the festival and all of the luxuriousness and music that was promised was nowhere to be found on the island. Instead, attendees were met with disaster relief tents and sandwiches, not submarine sandwiches. It was not until most of the guest had already arrived on the island before the festival founders released statements saying the festival was canceled. However, none of the other celebrity influencers, except Ja Rule, posted any apology for their promotion of the event. Actually, they did the opposite, they deleted any social media content on their accounts that included mention of the Fyre Festival. But, even when looking at Ja Rule’s “apology” it does not seem sincere. Only Billy McFarland showed any real acceptance of responsibility for the festival’s demise.

With the silence of the celebrities who promoted the event, is it possible to say that trust of other celebrity influencers will be lost? Personally, I am going to have to say no. Only those who have been caught up in situations such as this one will lose trust from their followers. It would not be rational to say that because Kendall Jenner and Ja Rule got caught up with this festival that Beyoncé’s or Drake’s followers will lose trust in them. Therefore, it is still okay to use celebrity influencers, as long as they have not been in the news in connection to controversies because they have been successful in driving reach and sales. Lastly, here is an article from Vogue that all influencers should take a look at before accepting someone’s offer to promote a product or event, due diligence is key.

The Growth of Influencers just Higher

By Maia Wilson



Image Source

Utilizing influencers as a way to better market to target customers is one tactic that many companies are using quite regularly. No longer are companies and/or brands advertising through infomercials and cheesy advertising. They know that influencers such as bloggers, youtubers, and microbloggers are the best way to get product to their customer in a genuine and rapid way.

First we ask ourselves who are bloggers and how do they have so much power?! AN influencer, in the simplest state of the word is an person online who has a wide following of people who are both active and engaged (Smartinsights.com). Because influencers are meant to provide honest opinions of products they use, they are seen as the most reliable to their audience. In this state, the more people influencers get to buy the products they like the better the company does. So, as a company, why wouldn’t you want to have the influencers on your side? 

There has a been a major decrease of advertisements in print whether it be magazines, newspapers, or mail. So much in fact, that influencer media has over taken this form of advertising. According to Business2community.com, 84% of marketers are planning to or already use influencers as a marketing tool. These numbers only seem to be getting larger as the internet and mobile phones are becoming the new way to shop.

The key to imparting influencers into a company’s marketing plan is to make sure to the company chooses the right influencers for their company. Some influencers are perfect for one brand but make no sense for another. It is important for marketers to do their research on who to choose for their target market. With the right talented influencer for each company, marketing will be revolutionized into a trusty and genuine world of products.


The Rise and Rise of Influencer Marketing – Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice. (2017, February 20). Retrieved April 16, 2017, from http://www.smartinsights.com/online-pr/influencer-marketing/rise-rise-influencer-marketing/

Gregorio, O. (2017, February 7). The Top 8 Social Media Marketing Trends in 2017 [Infographic]. Retrieved April 16, 2017, from http://www.business2community.com/social-media/top-8-social-media-marketing-trends-2017-infographic-01772758#jwwZgDv0UMDxhv0a.97

Top Three Biggest Business Mistakes on Social Media

By Catalina Uriarte

As our world becomes smaller and social media is becoming the primary way of communication businesses are rushing to invest in social media platforms. Social media is a unique platform of advertising because it allows the consumer to interact with companies like they never could before. As consumers we focus on the experience. We want to feel special and connected with our brands, social media allows us to do that. While Social Media can be a great tool for building loyal customers it can also be a double edged sword. When used improperly it can be insulting and you can lose customers. Here are some of the biggest business mistakes made on social media and what we can learn from them.

  1. Not choosing hashtags wisely

Hashtags can be a great way to start up online conversations about your company and grow awareness. As a general rule of thumb, before posting any hashtag check to see if that hashtag is already trending. Make sure your hashtag can’t be tied into current

#notguily example 1
Off the Casey Anthony trail, many were upset with the verdict tweeting out #notguilty 

events unless that is your intention. Lastly, make sure if your hashtag involves more than one word that it spells out only the intentions you are going for and NOT something that will get you fired. Hashtag hijacking may be more difficult to dodge, but these examples are totally avoidable


This tweet is created to promote British singer Susan Boyle’s new album. Unfortunately it looks like it spells out. . . something else. 

2. Trying to profit off tragedy

Many companies like to make ties based on current events. It adds to relevance, emotion, and resignation. With that being said, companies should never commercialize off of

example 2 kmart
Kmart sends their prayers to Newton Connecticut shooting victims yet ads a hashtag advertising.  

tragedy. No matter how good the intentions this shows to backfire time and time again. The most recent example being Pepsi.

3. Making flat out stupid or insulting comments

bic-womens-day example 3.jpg
Sexist advertisement tells women to act like a lady but think like a man. 


While all these examples are awful these ones are just down right stupid. Always make sure what you are posting sends a positive message to all genders, races, ages, and individuals. Social media is worldwide, be culturally sensitive!






All and all be smart to avoid a social media PR crisis. Happy posting!


Read, M. (2012 December, 14). K-Mart Uses Its Stupid Spammy Hashtag in Tweets About Shooting. Retrieved April 16, 2017, from http://gawker.com/5968602/k-mart-uses-its-stupid-spammy-hashtag-in-tweets-about-shooting

Stevens, H. (2015 August, 27). SheKnows Media uses Bic ‘Act like a lady, think like a man’ ad to teach. Retrieved April 16, 2017, from http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-sheknows-media-bic-ad-teaching-opportunity-balancing-20150827-column.html

Vgenopoulos, K. (2016 June, 22). The 10 Worst Twitter #Hashtag Fails of All Time. Retrieved April 16, 2017, from https://miappi.com/10-worst-twitter-hashtag-fails-time/



Pepsi Co or Pepsi..NO?!

Photo Via Pepsi

Eliah Davila |@essenceofeliah

If you’ve been logged on to any social media platform this last week it was hard to ignore the Kendall Jenner slander. You may have chimed in or just watched the Pepsi advertisement yourself to catch up on the Jenner gossip and let it play itself out. Either way everyone online has agreed on one idea of the advertisement, it was bad. Not only does the advertisement try to represent people of all walks of life but it also stepped on many toes. The video advertisement had hip Kendall Jenner strip off her wardrobe from her modeling shoot and join a march of people with protesting signs. At the climax of the video Jenner hands a cop a Pepsi and the crowd follows with joyful cheers. Social media revolted against the video. No one defended the advertisement and it left everyone unsettled even led Pepsi to quickly pull the advertisement from the media. Pepsi gave their condolences to the public not defending the advertisement but explaining the company was aiming for “a global message of unity, peace and understanding” and continuing by admitting “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize”. This advertisement did get unity though. People like Martin Luther King’s daughter Bernice King spoke up against the advertisement tweeting “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi” along with a photo of Dr.King being held back by a group of cops. Also, Black Voices Associate Editor at The Huffington Post Taryn Finley tweeted “Kendall Jenner gives a Pepsi to a cop and rids the world of -isms. Y’all can go somewhere with this tone-deaf, shallow and over-produced ad” disagreeing with the advertisement completely. Many users of twitter put their two cents in about the advertisement by adding memes and speakings about the insensitive message. Pop star Madonna made a point trying to defend not Pepsi but Kendall Jenner herself on an Instagram post captioning “When you wake up and realize that S*** just really doesn’t make sense. Side  Note: My Pepsi commercial was pulled 30 years ago because I was kissing a black saint! #ironic” following with a separate post of Madonna carrying a Coca-Cola can. If Pepsi’s goal was unity, the agreement is that all users of social media united to agree this advertisement was just not the solution the world needs.




Eror, Aleks. “Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi Ad Is the True Face of Advertising.” Highsnobiety. Highsnobiety, 09 Apr. 2017. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.

France, Lisa Respers. “Why Madonna Is Drinking in the Pepsi Controversy.” CNN. Cable News Network, 06 Apr. 2017. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.

France, Lisa Respers. “Why Madonna Is Drinking in the Pepsi Controversy.” CNN. Cable News Network, 06 Apr. 2017. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.

PepsiCo. PepsiCO, 5 Apr. 2017. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.

Reeves, Rachel. “Social Media Mocks Kendall Jenner for Tone-deaf Pepsi Ad.” AOL.com. Abid Rahman, 05 Apr. 2017. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.

Smith, Alexander. “‘We Missed the Mark’: Pepsi Pulls Ad Featuring Kendall Jenner after Controversy.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, 05 Apr. 2017. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.

Watercutter, Angela. “Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner Ad Was So Awful It Did the Impossible: It United the Internet.” Wired. Conde Nast, 05 Apr. 2017. Web. 09 Apr. 2017.

The Persona of Chance The Rapper and the PR secret to his Independent Success

by Brayon Potillo

As many of you read this headline you probably began to wonder “who is Chance the Rapper?” To some he is Chancelor Bennett from 79th,  born and raised on Chicago’s southside to Ken Bennett and Lisa Bennett. To others Chance is well…a rapper, but there is much more to him than the releasing of music on a platform for the sole purpose of making money. There lies within him a unique purpose in what he’s doing and a strong force behind him. Although, Chance claims blessings keep falling in his lap, we got to thank God for the knowledge he blessed him with as well.

Chance the rapper is a 23-year-old music mogul who has not only built up independent success with a net worth of 5 Million off of free music, touring, and merchandise. He also received 3 Grammys from this past Annual Grammy Award show. A lot of people would attribute this success to God and Chance’s divine relationship with him; however, we can also can attribute this to Chances’ team and his incredible PR strategies/skills. After observing his credible success, I found three major keys (as DJ Khaled would say) to his rise from Chicago’s slums to Chicago’s best.

la-the-59th-grammy-awards-show-20170212.jpgChance at the Grammys 2017

1.Brand Development

First, we have brand development! Unlike many artists, Chance saw the full product as opposed to seeing them as separate ingredients. Chance knew that being an independent artist meant building a brand following from a brand image. From his relationship with God to his unique Chance 3 New Era caps, it all became an inspiration which created loyalty with his fans and led to the rules of the Grammys being changed. Chance the Rapper’s Brand is the most important reason why he is here and why people want to be him. Brand development is the most important piece of being an independent artist and having an outstanding image.


 Chance 3 Art Cover

2. Quality

Next, on the list we have quality! From his merchandise and advertising to his music, Chance has a quality to himself that I just do not see in any other artist. This is because coming from an independent artist standpoint, QUALITY can either make or break you. Besides your brand, the quality of your brand is what attracts people to you. For instance, there are artists who drop tons of music and never see any success, while Chance has only dropped 3 tapes and has 3 Grammys. You would think coincidence, but it’s all about the quality folks.

3. Marketing

Lastly, Chance’s marketing is the final component in his independence. An example of this would be the campaign Chance ran for his recent project “Chance 3” where he allowed his fans to print copies of the cover art and plaster it around the United States. Moreover, having customizable merch and hosting private events, which builds more loyalty amongst your base. It allows them to feel important, besides the customer is always right! In fact, the Thank you Obama Campaign he ran with Merchandise thanking the Obamas for their time and contributions while in office. Moreover, Chance is a marketing genius besides the music prodigy of Kanye West.

ChpE3nRUgAAMBr7.jpg-large.jpgChance Posters at NYU


Customizable merch via Chanceraps.com

f5eeb2d8-6dbb-8500-a93c-497f9258b95b1486070571588.jpegChance Thank You Obama Merchandise

Photo Citations:

Photo 1: Wang, Amy X. “Why Chance the Rapper-who Just Made Grammy History-gives His Music Away for Free.” Quartz. Quartz, 13 Feb. 2017. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

Photo 2: Ex, Kris. “Chance the Rapper: Coloring Book.” Chance the Rapper: Coloring Book Album Review | Pitchfork. N.p., 17 May 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2017

Photo 3:
Kyrellos. “Spotted Lil Chano by NYU @chancetherapper #Chance3 Https://t.co/cxAP9UOTW2.” Twitter. Twitter, 04 May 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

Photo 4: “Chance The Rapper Models New ‘Thank You Obama’ Clothing Line And We Want To Buy It All.” Chance The Rapper Models New ‘Thank You Obama’ Clothing Line And We Want To Buy It All | BLAVITY. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.


Ward, Melissa. “Chance the Rapper: Marketing Genius or No?” Target Marketing. N.p., 24 June 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

Avila, Mariano. Chance the Rapper Is a Marketing Genius. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Payne, Ogden. “Three Marketing Takeaways From Chance The Rapper’s ‘Coloring Book’ Roll-Out.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 27 July 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

Oscar my Tweets

By Abisola Adeyemi

This evening Oscars hosted their 89th award ceremony and i experienced it from the red carpet to the actual event from the comfort of my twitter feed. The hashtag #Oscars was pretty lit if i do say so myself.

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 12.12.23 AM.png

I experienced most from the official twitter account @TheAcademy account which was poppin’.

The page is following 1156 accounts which are majority of celebrities and other media organizations, and they are followed by 22.8k followers. The feed was updated every time there was something not to miss on the red carpet, a quote or when there was an Oscar winner.

I thought the award presentations via twitter were cool. This was a brilliant way for followers to experience the ceremony as if they were watching it or there themselves.

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 11.17.14 PM.png


This was the many of the twitpics shared to their twitter feed to honor award recipients.

The fact that it is a red envelope like the one presented at the ceremony was pretty cool.

They also featured quotes like this one from Emma stone, which captures in words the way she felt when she received her award for Actress in Leading Role.Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 11.30.15 PM.png

Engagement during the show with the followers was high which ranged from 200-4.0 k likes or retweets.

I would say this was a remarkable evening for social media, a chance for the public to take part in the excitement of their favorite stars and directors received recognition of hard work.

I couldn’t help but to think of the team behind this account that made this happen. From the looks of how every moment from the show was updated The Academy’s social media team was on top of their “a game” i would say.

To show how much of an engagement twitter had on the ceremony.  Stars were chosen to read mean tweets about them. I thought this was awkwardly funny, particularly because the tweeters probably had no idea that their tweets would even make it to national television, but to see the reactions from the stars they talked about was priceless. They didn’t seem to be too bothered about it, it was all banter i would say.

Felt like we were all present and winning.









The Ugly Babies of Sports Broadcasting

By Cesar Valdes


It’s become a skill in sports media: throw it on the wall and see if it sticks.

That’s the route that many of the top network’s ‘premiere analysts’ or ‘experts’ take when discussing topics and news in the world of sports.

National talking heads like Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless (both of whom were once columnist and reporters for newspapers), and many other lesser known loudmouths have all sold their journalistic soul to the Fake News Devil.

What they do on their own national platform is not educate their audience, like many local beat writers do. Actually what they really do is feed their audience spoonfuls of lies and fantasies.

Image result for skip and stephen


So just how are Bayless and Smith able to be so informed on over 100 professional sport teams?

Well, they just aren’t.

There is no way a single human being can cover that many professional sport teams. Heck, it’s difficult as it is covering just one professional team.

Yet they talk about the athletes, front offices, and fan bases as if they’ve spent their entire professional career covering them. What’s even uglier is that the general public believes half the things that spew out of their mouths, rather than pay attention to a less dramatic report by a beat writer who spends nearly every single day of a teams’ regular season with that team.

Why? Because it’s fun!

I mean, why wouldn’t we want to hear the same “Dallas Cowboys will/could land this free agent” claim year after (I swear I’ve been hearing that for the past seven years).

The baseless claims that national pundits put out undermine the hard, unrewarding work that many local beat writers produce.

Beat writers are the ones who know how to connect the dots, they understand what the organization they’re covering may do because they talk to the players, coaches, general managers, and other sources with extensive knowledge every single day.

Some people choose not to listen to these beat writers because they don’t always agree with their fantasy dream of what is to come or they simply love the soap opera that comes with their antics.

Ultimately, if you want to be a knowledgeable fan of a team then follow a beat writer covering that team.