Archive for the 'Topics of the Week COMM 2322' Category


What I’ve Learned Through Blogging

I’ve definitely learned a lot about blogging through what I’ve done for my two classes, both Public Relations Applications and Social Media for Journalism and Marketing.

querty by stitch

Here are a few of the major things learned:

I’ve learned to write concisely.

Nobody wants to read through multiple lines of words upon words, especially when it’s all on a computer monitor. Because of this, I’ve managed to “say more through saying less” in my writing. Adjectives are good as long as they’re not piled upon each other, you don’t want to give unnecessary details, because it’s already enough to get a reader to want to read through your content to begin with.

I’ve learned to (try to) stick to a schedule.

At the moment, I’m racing against the clock to get this piece done in time. Had I learned to stick to a schedule earlier in the semester, I wouldn’t be in this situation. Writing to a schedule helps you to pick up any slack that may exist. We need to work within our own deadlines and give ourselves some self-imposed stress to get quality work written.

I’ve learned to be consistent.

This really builds off of the last point, though not completely. Consistency involves the ability to continue to do something, and steadily improve over time. Before this class, I didn’t have that whatsoever. I was an early quitter that would become bored of anything I started pretty easily.


Vans Warped Tour

Let’s just say that this is a form of a warm up for potential future opportunities:

Vans Warped Tour 2012 Poster by Vans Warped Tour

This summer, 42 different US and Canadian cities are going to get Warped.

The Vans Warped Tour, now prepped for it’s 17 years in the business, is ready to roll out with a new lineup and perspective on the business. “You see, it’s not about what you have to show off, it’s about what you could actually do, and I think this year’s set of bands have exactly what it takes to do something completely different than before” says founder Kevin Lyman.

The dates are as follow:

June 16 – Salt Lake City, UT
June 17 – Denver, CO
June 20 – Las Vegas, NV
June 21 – Irvine, CA
June 22 – Pomona, CA
June 23 – San Francisco, CA
June 24 – Ventura, CA
June 27 – San Diego, CA
June 28 – Phoenix, AZ
June 29 – Las Cruces, NM
June 30 – San Antonio, TX
July 1 – Houston, TX
July 3 – Dallas, TX
July 5 – St. Louis, MO
July 6 – Detroit, MI
July 7 – Chicago, IL
July 8 – Minneapolis, MN
July 9 – Kansas City, KS
July 10 – Indianapolis, IN
July 11 – Cleveland, OH
July 12 – Pittsburgh, PA
July 13 – Toronto, ON
July 14 – Montreal, QC
July 15 – Hartford, CT
July 17 – Buffalo, NY
July 18 – Scranton, PA
July 19 – Boston, MA
July 20 – Philadelphia, PA
July 21 – New York, NY
July 22 – Oceanport, NJ
July 24 – Washington, DC
July 25 – Virginia Beach, VA
July 26 – Atlanta, GA
July 27 – Orlando, FL
July 28 – Miami, FL
July 29 – Tampa, FL
July 30 – Charlotte, NC
July 31 – Cincinnati, OH
Aug. 1 – Milwaukee, WI
Aug. 4 – Seattle, WA
Aug. 5 – Portland, OR

Be sure to give us a like on our Facebook!

Tweet: “Hey US fans, are you ready for Warped? Here’s a link to the dates announced thus far! We’ll keep you posted! _______ ”



Tobacco and Public Policy

I think it’s safe to say that the life and career of somebody working in public policy is more than definitely an ambitious one. They want to make a change happen in the world, or even personally see to it that things stay the same in their workplace. It definitely takes a strong will, intellect, and the willingness to voice opinions, and voice them in a strategic way, whenever needed.

So I decided to give anti-tobacco lobbyists a look, and see what they had to potentially say about all of the mess that they deal with on a regular basis.

Butts2 by Dave Hull

It was actually very tough to find any info on a specific lobbying group. But after some very persistent searching, I came across Vector Group. Vector Group appears to be a lobbying group that works with both tobacco and taxes. I couldn’t find all too much information on what they’ve done, but I did get some statistics off of influence explorer.

The main chunk of information that seemed relevant in any way whatsoever was the amount of money spent in all of their lobbying efforts. According to what was said, the firm had spend a total of $500,000 on their 2011 efforts alone.

Would this be called successful? It’s hard to tell with raw numbers, especially when the site doesn’t reveal how well their efforts have worked out.


Ford vs The Whitehouse

So back in September 2011, Ford made a mistake.

More than likely, you’re probably wondering as to how or why an American automaker could have potentially blown it so much to the point of having reached the oval office. Basically, it all started with a commercial that had gone a little too far.

You see, in this commercial, the man speaking takes an opinionated stab at what the American government has done with the bailouts of the automotive industry crisis that spanned from 2008-2010 through saying the following:

“I wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government. I was going to buy a car from a manufacturer that was standing on their own- win, lose, or draw. That’s what America is about: it’s taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail, that you gotta pick yourself up and go back to work.”

Now, as a spectator in this situation, I would say that Ford was at fault in this situation. They should not have been so free to use something like that as a way to increase sales in any way, shape, or form. It was great that the brand had taken down the ad all together, as ultimately, it would have hurt them.


Impulse PR Interview

So on Monday, March 26th, I got the opportunity to interview Nate Sirotta, the owner of both Impulse Management and Impulse PR. He told me about many different things about his job, like what he liked and didn’t like about it, and how he got his start in PR.

Impulse Artists Logo

*Warning: My audio-editing software, Audacity was malfunctioning. So I had to experiment with AVS. The problem is that it included an audible watermark, so it will be popping up every 10 seconds of the interview. So please bear with me. You could read a considerable chunk of the interview below*

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Nate Sirotta, and I work in artist management and development for a company that I founded called Impulse Artists. The company also has a publicity division called Impulse PR. So I’m both an artist manager as well as a publicist.

Nate Sirotta Twitter Portrait Shot

So how did you get to where you are now?

Well I definitely have quite a bit of ways to go before I could be totally content with what I’m doing, but as far as getting into music PR, I was a touring musician myself for about 5-6 years and an early part of college as well. I toured in a band called Down for the Count, and while I was doing that, I was the one handling all of the band’s business needs, as well as media outreach and press coordination and all of that kind of stuff. So, that’s pretty much where I got my start and built foundation for my network.

As far as clients go, who have you worked with? This would be through Impulse.

I’ve done different campaigns, big and small. I currently represent two record labels, one of them is called Siren Records and Anchor 84 Records, both are indie-labels. So I represent both of them and their entire roster as well. I’ve also worked with a few other bands, like the bands Culprit and MY MOUTH IS THE SPEAKER. Culprit is from LA and MY MOUTH IS THE SPEAKER is from Ohio.

I’ve also worked on some tours in the past as well, as that’s something we offer at Impulse PR, comprehensive tour press. I did the first ever Mind Equals Blown tour, which happened last November. And that featured Happy Body Slow Brain, which featured a couple of the ex-members of Taking Back Sunday, Culprit , the band I still work with, and a band called The Paper Melody. That was sponsored by the website, and we handled all of the PR for that. We’ve done other tours as well, usually small indie tours. We are a boutique company, so we don’t handle top-tier clients as of yet. So we’re basically the affordable option for start-up bands and record labels that are looking to raise awareness and increase exposure.

Culprit Band Shot by Ian Flanigan

What is your typical work-day like?

Usually Monday through Friday, seeing as those are functioning business hours for most people, well at the least, the press. Typically, I get up around 8 in the morning or so, and since I work from home, I just make some coffee and something to eat, I just jump right into emails right around 8:30-9:00 in the morning. I put out any fires from the night before, especially on Mondays where I catch up on things from the weekends. Usually I start making phone calls like usually (in the) late morning, between 10 and noon, like between breakfast and lunch. Those are two fairly constant parts of my day. Those are staples that happen pretty much every day.

As for the rest of my afternoon, sometimes I’ll have a meeting to go to. And living in LA, things will take forever to get to because of traffic and because the city’s huge. So you know, meetings take up an entire afternoon and at least once or twice a week I’m at a show or having a drinks with a client or potential client. It’s sort of a non-traditional work environment, but I really enjoy constantly changing, it makes for a good learning experience. I feel like I’m learning new things every day from the people I’m interacting with and obviously handling things differently maybe than I did last week. There’s a lot of trial and error as well.

What’s your favorite thing about music publicity?

I’m always in the corner of the underdog, you know? Clients that nobody else would take on, or bands that are sort of forgotten, have lost their way, or need a sense of direction? It’s really exciting for me when we that first piece published. It’s really exciting to see how the client is about having their music exposed to the masses. Because if you’re talking about a mainstream band, or somebody that everybody already knows, like The Used or Blink-182. If The Used’s or Blink-182’s publicist, then good for you, you’re probably doing pretty f***-ing well for yourself. But at the same time, everybody already knows about those bands, and you can think of new and exciting ways to tell the same story I guess, but with bands that are like amazingly talented and hardworking who have not been noticed, it’s really rewarding for me to be able to do the dirty work, get my hands dirty, sink my teeth in, and really expose stuff that’s unknown, different, and nobody’s heard before. That’s how kind of how I’m trying to build my company, by being a trusted provider of solid-clientele that’s going to be creative and innovative on a project.

What’s your least favorite thing about your job?

Well you know, being a smaller company, as far as our “flow” goes, our cash flow and income goes for the company, it’s fairly small as like I said before, we’re trying to be an affordable option for a lot of start-ups and stuff like that, but sometimes the bills have to get paid and you have to take on projects that you don’t necessarily want. It’s basically like you’re advocating or trying to sell something that you really don’t believe in at all. It’s kind of an internal struggle, you know? It is, it’s lying, and it’s lying professionally. You’re basically a professional bulls**t-er. A lot of times when that comes along, it’s sort of demoralizing, you know? That’s the “dark-side” of PR, because everyone knows what it’s like to be super-excited about a project or client that you’re working with, and you’re both passionate about the music and you’re just flowing with ideas. You sort of have to take what you can get, and I don’t do that very often, but sometimes you gotta take a project that is going to pay.


You could reach out to Nate Sirotta through Impulse’s twitter.


Foreign Outsourcing

For years, there’s been this ethical debate in the world of big business. Of course, I am talking about the problem with foreign outsourcing.

"Worker at Seagate tests drives" by Robert Scoble

In case if you don’t know what outsourcing is, or aren’t sure of what it really is, defines outsourcing with these two definitions:

1. (Of a company or organization) to purchase (goods) or subcontract (services) from an outside supplier or source.

2.  To contract out (jobs, services, etc.): a small business that outsources bookkeeping to an accounting firm.

So there you have it, my personal definition of outsourcing is this: “To use outside sources to get things done.” This is great for cutting costs, and being efficient and productive, but what about the people you’re cutting costs from, your employees?

On a business standpoint, I’m all for outsourcing. You’re doing your job: you’re being efficient and saving money that would be lost. Isn’t the goal of a business to gain a profit anyways?

At least somebody is getting the jobs that are outsourced. These businesses are helping others that live in third world countries! To put this into a whole other perspective, what if it is God’s will for big businesses to assist those in greater need than ourselves?



So there’s been this new trend that’s being used in the world of blogging, they are called infographics. But what exactly is an infographic?

After looking around on Google for a definition, I came across one from the oxford online dictionaries that says that infographics are: “a visual representation of information or data, e.g. as a chart or diagram: a good infographic is worth a thousand word.

After looking at the definition, I decided that it would be a good idea to look for some examples. So I ended up poking around on Mashable until I came across some good ones.

"The Most Viral News Sources in the World" by NewsWhip

I like that this infographic shows how popular European news sites really are. Does this mean that us American trust those sources more? Or does this mean that we don’t share the news as much as Europeans?

"The Rapid Rise of Pinterest's Blockbuster User Engagement" by Statista

It is so crazy knowing that so many people spend so much time on Pinterest. It is tied with Tumblr for most average minutes per visitor. I didn’t think of it as such a major site, but if so many people spend so much time on it, then perhaps it would be worth it for brands to look into creating pages on the site.

Facebook Spam and Cybercrime on the Rise: How You Can Avoid It" by Zone Alarm

I didn’t think that so many people have used Facebook, apparently the total amount of users is 3x the population of the United States? Wow. I really like how this infographic gives more than just facts by listing 6 ways to improve your Facebook security.

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