Archive for September, 2012

Today’s post is by Peppercom intern, Jackie DiMauro–future PR star and current organizer extraordinaire.

Today, a fellow intern asked me, “Hey! I know you are the queen of planners, where can I get a good one around here?”

Cue the horns, fireworks and fist pumps.

Oh, me? Why thank you. I really AM the queen of planners, aren’t I?

Let’s just say I’d usually feel bad for anyone who stumbled across my color-coded planner, but this was the greatest compliment someone could give an organized-crazed person such as me.

I always carry a planner/journal, a calendar and an iPhone to organize and prioritize my day-to-day life. I started doing this in college when I was juggling six classes, a full-time internship, and somewhat of a social life. Now, even though I’m out of school, these prioritization skills are still relevant and necessary, especially in PR.

My planner helps with many things, including:

  • Keeping track of my time and how long I work on projects.
  • Prioritizing current assignments and staying on top of deadlines.
  • Staying prepared for meetings.
  • Having a visual of my workload.

When you’re constantly prepared for meetings and meeting deadlines, it shows you’re serious about the position and the company. Your managers DO notice these things and they WILL respect you more.

But remember: it’s not only important to be organized and prioritize your workload as an intern, but also to be interactive with your co-workers and team members.

Starting at a new place, we interns may not know the best person to turn to if we have questions and we definitely don’t want to step on any toes. Should we lean on fellow interns? How about an AE? Dare I ask upper management? Sure, any of the aforementioned titles have a time and place to answer questions, especially depending on how closely you work with someone, but interns shouldn’t be afraid to communicate with management.

I’m not saying ask your management supervisor where to find a pen, but if you have a question about an account you’re on or a positive idea to share during a team meeting– then by all means say it! Being proactive and contributing thoughts to the people in power will only help an intern in the long run. It will also help gain the trust and respect of fellow team members who are above you.

Personally, it feels great to interact with upper management, or clients, and be considered a team player. It shows a level of professionalism, that as interns, we strive for.

So go out to your nearest Staples or Barnes & Noble, grab a nice, new, neat planner, and start organizing and prioritizing your workload. And, at your next team meeting, try to contribute an idea or story you’ve come across. Not only will you feel great, but your actions will speak volumes to your team members and managers.


Women in PR — A Meme

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Today’s post and fantastic meme creation  is by Peppercom’s Dandy Stevenson. Enjoy.



Today’s post was originally published on Peppercom’s PepperDigital blog.

Every once-in-a-while a marketing/ad team just gets a new product so right. Consumers love the product, the messaging is fantastic and, overall, you wish you and your team had come up with the campaign.

This is not one of those times.

A few days ago I stumbled upon the page for a new writing product from BiC—Cristal for Her. Immediately I was intrigued, because how can a pen be “for her?” Apparently the colors have to be lighter and more sparkly, the weight of the pen must be noticeably lighter and the grip has to be, um, more ladylike.

For reasons I won’t completely bore you with, especially since if you’re above the age of 10, you can see the issue with the product itself. I was fuming just from reading the description of the product.

And I wasn’t alone.

One thing the marketing/ad/PR/apparently the whole company completely forgot about was not just the general public’s reaction to such a ridiculous product, was that, in the digital age, that reaction would get much attention and quickly.

Think about the firestorm you’re creating—you’re offending both men and women:

1) I personally can use a normal pen just fine and suspect a lightweight smaller grip will hinder my writing, not help. The natural conclusion for me is that if this pen is for women and I am a woman, then I must have monstrous hands. Also why do I need a pen “for her”?

2) Men with smaller hands or who like sparkly colors who could potentially want to use this product were just told that it’s a product for women.

And this is just the tip of the offensive iceberg—talk about alienating an entire consumer base.

But these same opinions and many more were mirrored on Twitter, on the reviews and pretty much anywhere an Internet goer can go and quickly.

BiC’s major error was not listening to its audience before creating the product. Peppercom’s go-to-market strategy has completely changed thanks, in large part, to Emily Yellin and her insistence that with new campaigns, etc. we listen to both the client and the client’s audience before implementing a plan. If BiC had done the same thing, they wouldn’t have to include sarcastic comment reviews titled “I’m writing this from the kitchen while making a sandwich for my husband” in their reports about the product. Though, I bet the reports would be pretty funny.

This was definitely not a good move for BiC and they should think about not just apologizing to women, but to the world for such a sexist marketing ploy. But a positive did come out of this; we were again reminded that for better or for worse, social media will spread our ideas (good or bad) in a matter of minutes. This is why marketing/ad/PR pros need to consider all ramifications of a new product or campaign. And, I’ll be completely honest, I would pay money to go back in time and sit in on the meeting to know who green lit this product’s campaign.

If you haven’t already, check out the reviews of this product. I’ll just go off with my monstrous hands and try to make it through the day knowing I’m using a pen designed for a man.

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Intern Video

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