Thursday, March 28, 2013

Women's History Month: Carol Burnett

I always get a side-eye from people when I tell them that Carol Burnett is one of my favorite women in the entertainment business.  But it's so true. I loooove me some Carol Burnett. 

I didn't laugh a lot as a kid.  There was crazy drama in my life and LOL's and giggles were not as common as they should have been.  BUT, when the "Carol Burnett Show" came on TV, I literally could not stop laughing for 60 minutes.  I'd smile so hard that my jaws would turn red and puffy. Tears in my eyes, loss of oxygen intake....all that!  I mean, the characters she played were classics!  Who could forget Mrs. Wiggins (the *clears throat* secretary), Starlet O'Hara (Gone With The Wind) and the long-suffering, emotional housewife Eunice Higgins, my personal favorite.  Great times.

Years ago, I had a dream about Carol Burnett.  I was at the grocery store, in the '10 Items or Less' line and looked to my left.  And there she was.  I was speechless at first.  Nervous.  Then....I went right up to her, introduced myself and told her how much I loved her and what she'd meant to me growing up.

"Aren't you sweet," she said.  We talked for about 10 minutes.  She listened to me blabber on and on about her work.  She told me about her upbringing, encouraged me to be fearless and then...she hugged me, tugged on her ear and waved good-bye.  I melted.  

The "Carol Burnett Show" ran for 11 years on CBS and won 25 Emmy Awards.  Amazing!  But get this - the network initially didn't want her to do a variety show.  They believed the variety format could only be successful with a male lead. Ha!  She showed them!  #girlpower

The entertainment world has had a five-decade love affair with Carol Burnett.  I've loved her since she made me smile as a kid.  Today's generation got a taste of Ms. Burnett when she showed up on popular shows like Desperate Housewives, Glee and Law and Order.  She'll be 80 years old next month and she's still going strong. 

Here's a clip of Carol Burnett as Eunice.  Funny, smart and fearless.  Doesn't get any better than this...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tie Tuesday (MmmHmmmmm)

I looooooooooove a well dressed man.  So, starting today I'm kicking off 'Tie Tuesday'!  Every week, I'll give some love to a man who deserves it.   

The first one goes to Justin Timberlake!  SO appropriate and timely too.  He released his latest CD last week entitled, "The 20/20 experience" and the first single guessed it, "Suit and Tie."   Click Here to see Justin perform it live!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Harlem Shake: A PR Lesson

Do me a favor, go to YouTube and type in the words "Harlem Shake."  Tell me what you see. I'll wait (there are more than 220,000 results).  *sips smoothie*  

The Harlem Shake.  Get into it.  It goes a lil' something like this... Put something on your head /over your face (a hat, scarf or ______)... *Harlem Shake techno music plays*  Start dancing slow, do whatever you want.  Then, as the music climaxes, just wild out.  Get crazy, wacky, jump up and you for about 30 seconds.  That's it! 

Crazy, right?    

As a PR professional, I'm always fascinated when something goes "viral."  Part of me thinks, hey--this kinda stuff doesn't just happen.  No freakin way!  There has to be someone or something behind this. The other part of me understands and appreciates great PR.  

The "PR me" knows that phenomenons like these are unexpected, totally organic and will eventually fade away.  But for me, great PR is addictive.  And viral PR?  Woo la la.  LOVE it!  And while you can't predict when something will go viral, there are some things you can do to get people interested and excited about your product/company/service, and grab their attention like the Harlem Shake: 
  • Create something that quickly entertains/educates your audience, and hits a nerve.
  • Use the power of the Internet/social media to pass it on to others; make it sharable (If it's a video, make it focused, consistent and short.)

  • Don't duplicate what's already been done - People won't be as engaged if they've seen/done it before.

  • Don't be afraid to add a bit of humor (be HAS to be funny or it could backfire.)

  • Luck - Even with the best strategy in place, sometimes success involves a little luck.

Remember there's no blueprint to creating something viral.  But if you incorporate the above elements in your PR plan, you'll create something that's impactful and memorable.