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Pokémon Go, Caffeine and Data. What More Can You Need?

While playing the ever popular Pokémon Go app, there are few things you need other than caffeine and cellular data to keep your Pokémon catching adventures going. Now Pokémon Go is making it easier for you to get those necessary supplies by partnering with both Starbucks and Sprint.

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According to an article by Ragan’s PR Daily the popular gaming app by Niantic Labs recently announced their partnership with the beloved coffee company, Starbucks. Starbucks stores will now be labelled as PokéStops and gyms for players to stop in, grab some caffeine to recharge and continue playing their game. Not only will 7,800 Starbucks locations be turned into PokéStops, but to celebrate the partnership Starbucks has also announced a special addition Pokémon Go Frappuccino. This is a high point for fans who can now drink their favorite game-inspired frap and have fun in the new stops catching Pokémon. While announcing the partnership, Niantic Labs also leaked that there are new Pokémon being created for the game in addition to the new PokéStops.

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Starbucks isn’t the only company partnering up with the hottest gaming app of the year. Sprint has also announced their partnership with Pokémon go, as well as a couple surprises of their own for the players and fans. Sprint stores across the nation will be turned into even more PokéStops for app players and offer charging stations to allow gamers to fuel up their smart phones before heading out to hit other PokéStops. Along with the PokéStops and charging stations Sprint boasts about its unlimited data plan to make sure that players of the app never run out of data, so they can “Catch ‘em all!”

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These aren’t the first large companies Pokémon Go has partnered with and they definitely won’t be the last. It seems the launch of the app over the summer was just the beginning for the revival of the Pokémon phenomenon.

Read more at: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/21901.aspx

Models with Down Syndrome Becoming More Visible

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Over the years brands have stuck to the traditional idea of using regular everyday people to represent their brand’s image. From time to time, advertisers would occasionally feature people with disabilities, but recently models with Down syndrome have become more visible. Fisher-Price recently released a new advertisement featuring Lili Boglarka Havasi, a 2-year-old model with Down syndrome, in a commercial for the Fisher-Price Little People Sit ‘n Stand Skyway. People with Down syndrome have also been featured in ads for other popular brands such as McDonald’s, Target, A.C. Moore, Zulily and have been spotted on New York catwalks.

So why has this trend started? Advertisers eventually caught on to the fact that consumers preferred a broad cross-section of individuals included in advertisements. The response was positive, especially from millennials, to inclusiveness and portraying “authenticity” in advertising. Using models with a physical disability allowed them to communicate their values and connect with customers.

Parents of children with Down syndrome say that it’s about time advertisers noticed the distinctive beauty of people with the condition. One mother, Megan Nash of Buford, GA, has a son, Asher, with Down syndrome and will soon be modeling for the OshKosh children’s clothing line.

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When Nash first submitted his pictures for a casting call she was told they weren’t included in the final round because the retailer hadn’t specifically asked for child models with special needs. Nash shared her story on Facebook, which went viral. This resulted in the story getting back to OshKosh, who then stated it wasn’t the company itself, but rather the talent agency that had turned her down. OshKosh then invited Nash and her son to a photo shoot for the company’s holiday ad campaign.

Numerous brands are continuing to include people with Down syndrome and even groups such as Changing the Face of Beauty have focused on improving the inclusion of models with disabilities. In 2015 they set out to find 15 retailers who would commit to using models with disabilities in their advertisements.

People with Down syndrome are continuing to be featured in acting roles and advertisements. Perception continues to change and Nash continues to have hope in progression for people with disabilities. “They’re not going to say, ‘Oh, that boy has Down syndrome,’” she said. “They’re going to say, ‘Look at that jacket the boy is wearing in the ad.’”

To read more visit The New York Times.

Crisis Lessons Learned from Samsung’s Public Relations Disaster

Throughout the past few months there has been tremendous backlash against the Samsung brand due to the new Samsung Note 7 batteries exploding. Customers have been infuriated and airlines are even implementing rules against passengers taking these phones on board flights due to a fire risk. Tensions are high and Samsung has been feeling it, but they have yet to take the necessary steps to maintain complete transparency with the public and keep their stakeholders updated.

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When facing a crisis it is important that the company assumes complete transparency with its consumers in order to maintain a good relationship through the tough times. There are several important steps which Samsung has failed to perform, and in result, is turning a crisis into a mega-crisis. According to an article from PR News, there are certain precautionary steps that must be taken by a company to resolve a crisis effectively:

  1. Be Prepared

A crisis can happen to any company, it is never expected but it is always important to be prepared. Your company should take time to identify the possible crises that could occur and come up with an action plan for each possible crisis.

  1. Establish the Facts, Apologize and Take Action

It is important to be honest about the facts of the issue right away. Holding anything back will cloud the stakeholders’ thoughts and judgements about your company. An apology should be voiced immediately to the public on behalf of your organization by the appointed spokesperson, then action to resolve the crisis should be taken right away.

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  1. Appoint the Right Spokesperson

The face of a brand determines the public’s views and opinions of that company, especially in the midst of a crisis. It is detrimental that the right spokesperson is appointed to help with crisis management in order to diminish the effects of the crisis. However, the person who is leading the actions and response to the actual crisis should not be the appointed spokesperson who communicates with the media. The two jobs should be separate to ensure proper coverage of both.

  1. Listen and Monitor What People Are Saying

Having a social media monitoring application is extremely important in order to know what the public is saying at the time of the crisis and what their opinions are. The monitoring also allows the company to respond to the public through social media which is beneficial for maintaining transparency.

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  1. Keep Communicating and Be Proactive

Along with the Social Media monitoring there needs to be constant communication with all stakeholders and the public. There is nothing worse than making vague statements, having the truth come out and your company getting stamped a liar. Constant communication across all platforms will help to keep the relationship and trust between the brand and consumers. Once the crisis has died down, it is important to maintain consistent communication with the public by updating them with business successes and other positive news in the company.

  1. Learn From Mistakes

As detrimental as the crisis may be to the company it is important to view it as a learning experience. The crisis will die down eventually and at that point the company and its stakeholders should talk about what worked and didn’t when dealing with the crisis to use it to better plan for any future crises that may occur.

Read more at: http://www.prnewsonline.com/samsung-maher

 

“She’s a Lady” but She Doesn’t Fit the Mold

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H&M developed a new advertising campaign earlier this year that clearly states there is no correct way to be a lady. Set to the song “She’s a Lady” by Tom Jones, the commercial goes against the very misogynistic themed tune. The advertisement by Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors features many women who in the past would not be considered the ideal “lady” that is described in the song. An article by AdWeek describes the implications of this commercial.

There are some very iconic people involved in this stand-out commercial including actress Lauren Hutton, model Adwoa Aboah, transgender actress Hari Nef, Design Army’s Chief Creative Officer Pum Lefebure and Lion Babe’s Jillian Hervey. There is something uniquely inspiring about this campaign’s direction, which clearly goes against the societal norms of what it is to be a lady.

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The new fall 2016 fashion line by H&M is presented in this commercial and it isn’t until after you view it, that you find out there is a hidden message in this fashion preview. The campaign helps to create conversation about the oppression of women in a seemingly entertaining way.

The commercial challenges the traditional concept of what it means to be a lady in a variety of ways. Most people think of women (ladies) as having long, thick, luscious hair, but H&M’s new commercial features a woman who has a bald head and challenges the viewer’s thoughts on what is beautiful. A woman is beautiful and a “lady,” no matter the length of her hair. Throughout the commercial women are curvy, transgender, bald, muscular, and don’t have “lady-like” posture. All of these women are still ladies, no matter what the traditional thoughts on that label are.

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H&M made a strong advertising move by creating a commercial that is not only entertaining, but has a heavy social message behind it. There is sure to be a lot of opinionated talk about this bold campaign.

View the full commercial: https://youtu.be/8-RY6fWVrQ0

Read more at: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/hms-stunning-new-ad-subverts-what-you-think-lady-should-look-or-act-173487

Snapchat and Instagram Continue with the “Story” War

Social media sites are in a constant battle for users by creating new features and nothing is different when it comes to Snapchat and Instagram. Snapchat is known for its 10 second pictures or videos that users are able to send to other app users or post on their “My Story.” My Story is a temporary photo/video album that is available for only 24 hours after posting an image that your list of friends can see. Instagram, on the other hand, is a more permanent photo sharing social media site. Users can post photos or videos that go onto their followers’ news feeds as well as their personal Instagram page, which is like a digital photo album.

Throughout the past few months Instagram and Snapchat have been in a battle over the “story” feature. Snapchat has had their “My Story” feature since fall of 2013, but Instagram announced its new “Instagram Story” addition in an update in early August 2016. This sparked controversy and competition between the two social media apps.

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According to an article by The Verge, Snapchat has now copied a feature of “Instagram Story;” the ability to rewind a story. Users of Snapchat will no longer need to exit the story and scroll to their friend’s name to re-watch a story they may have skimmed over.

Instagram allows the viewers of the Instagram Stories to tap on the left side of the screen in order to rewind and replay the story. Snapchat has now adopted this feature and allows its users who update the app to do the same thing.

Along with the ability to go back to the previous snap in a story, Snapchat included a few other new features to its latest update. The Snapchat filters that users know and love are now available on the rear camera, which Snapchat calls “world lenses.” Another feature in the update is the ability to send a snap of a friend’s story to another friend on the app.

With all of the newly updated snapchat features, it leaves us wondering what Instagram will retaliate with next.

To read more visit: http://www.theverge.com/2016/11/8/13565030/snapchat-stories-rewind

 

Parallax News’ Daily Brief Offers Three Viewpoints on Top Debates

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Parallax News is a daily email brief that breaks major debates down into multiple perspectives. Each brief shows multiple viewpoints from politicians and experts – ranging from the left, right, center, or otherwise – in one place. This allows readers to better make up their own mind on issues. Parallax explains controversial topics in areas such as the 2016 Presidential Election, national security, emerging tech and the environment.

Recent briefs have looked at: Why Is Trump Saying the Election Is Rigged?/ What Does Donald Trump’s Tax Leak Mean?/ Does Hillary’s Child Tax Credit Make Sense?/ Will the Debates Swing the Election?/ Should the U.S. Retaliate Against Russia?/ Is Wikileaks Good for Democracy?

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America is more polarized today than at any time “in the last two decades.” Recent events such as allegations of the Facebook trending bias, concerns of algorithm bias, and the stark political divide of the 2016 election are a few examples. As America relies more and more on digital media for their news, Parallax aims to fight against political polarization by showing conflicting perspectives in one place.

“We created Parallax to expose readers to viewpoints they wouldn’t normally see, and probably don’t agree with. This can lead to constructive debate and a more nuanced understanding of society, regardless of your political beliefs,” says Michael P. Daley, CEO & Publisher of Parallax News. “The idea behind our multi-perspective approach is that we feel like digital polarization and the so-called ‘filter bubble’ are big dangers to intelligent content and politics. The 2016 Election has been living proof that Americans are not having a cohesive argument.”

“This doesn’t mean that everybody needs to all of a sudden agree with one another,” Daley says that he does not expect that to happen any time soon. “But it’s pretty hard to achieve any progress if citizens are living in completely different political realities. That doesn’t only affect marquee issues like immigration, but also other crucial topics like infrastructure and education. Exposure to multiple perspectives is a healthier way to read about the world.”

Parallax News offers a free daily email brief, Monday-Friday, with the day’s top debate broken down into multiple perspectives. To subscribe to Parallax News daily emails, visit: http://subscribe.parallax.news/

Parallax is on Facebook , Twitter , and Medium as well.

ABOUT PARALLAX NEWS

Parallax News is an e-newsletter that delivers short daily explainers about major issues in policy and culture to your email from three different perspectives. Parallax News offers three, 100-word viewpoint paragraphs to engage readers across all political and cultural standings. For more information please visit Parallax News on Facebook, Twitter, and Medium.

“Dress for Success”- is it All in Your Head?

Everyone knows the phrase “dress for success” and assumes that this means you should always dress up for work or a professional event. An article written by The Muse called “The Scientific Reason Why Dressing for Success Works (With a Twist, Of Course)” highlights scientific studies which show that simply dressing differently from your usual attire delivers confidence that you didn’t know you had.

If your everyday clothing routine usually consists of throwing on a T-shirt, your favorite pair of jeans, and some comfortable sneakers, you might want to swap that out for a suit before you head to your next interview. Adding some extra effort to look “put together” for a job interview will give you an extra boost of confidence to make you stand out to your potential employer. It will increase your inner confidence, as well as the hiring manager’s confidence in you and your ability to be professional.

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On the other hand, the same confidence can occur if you dress down in your place of employment that usually has a strictly professional dress code. Scientifically this gives the impression that you are better at your job than you actually are. Dressing casually in a place where everyone is dressed to the 9s causes the same effect that dressing in a suit when you usually wear jeans will. If you dress in a way that is not the norm for you, expect to act differently whether it is actually improving your abilities, or just making people think you are a mastermind at your job.

The Muse highlights a study based on Harvard Business School research that analyzed students’ opinions of college professors:

“The authors described two male college professors—one clean-shaven and dressed in a suit, the other with a beard and a T-shirt—and asked college students to rate each man’s skills as a teacher and researcher. True to what the authors had observed in their field study, the students thought more highly of the casual professor—but only when the descriptions mentioned that the professors worked at prestigious universities with formal dress codes. In other words, it wasn’t the casual dress itself that inspired more confidence; it was the nonconformist attitude that the casual outfit signified—which, in turn, is seen as a ‘reflect[ion of] high levels of autonomy and control.”

Overall, your appearance doesn’t just affect your own attitude, but it affects those around you as well. So, “dress for success” and remember, “look good, feel good.”

Read the whole article here: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-scientific-reason-why-dressing-for-success-works-with-a-twist-of-course?ref=carousel-slide-1

Get into the Social Media Spotlight!

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Have you ever wondered why your company’s social media accounts aren’t taking off? You’re thinking, “Other companies have a large following and seem to be so successful on social media, why are our social media follower numbers so low?” Well, having social media accounts, and having an impactful social media presence are two entirely different things. It takes more than just having the accounts and occasionally posting to them about your business to make your company successful on social media. In this post we are going to give you some useful tips from our own experience, as well as tips we found from Forbes “How to Conquer Social Media #LIKEABOSS”, to help you make an impact on your consumers through social media.

  1. Not everyone wants to hear about what your business is currently working on. Yes, it is important to share what you do as a company, but it is also important to post things that will get people talking. For example, if you are a travel company, try posting an article you find about the best places to travel in the world. That is the type of post that will grab people’s attention, get them to click on your article link, and most likely comment on the post and share it with their fellow “wanderlust” friends. This not only puts you in the spotlight, but it shows people that you have more uses in mind for your Facebook and Twitter accounts, than just trying to push your business onto your followers.
  2. Having social media and being active on those accounts shows your consumers/followers that you, as a company, are human. It makes you more assessable because you are constantly communicating with the world; and therefore humanizes you (Forbes 2016). Show the world that you have a personality! Occasionally share that funny video of a dog struggling to get out of bed and relate it to how the people of your office feel on Mondays, but make sure to maintain a balance between professional and personal posts.
  3. Social media ultimately does a great job of increasing awareness of your company. Basically, it can help to spread the word that you exist. The world is in the technology obsessed age and social media is a big part of that. It is partly free advertising, as well as the gateway to communicating with your audience, which are both big perks.

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Ultimately, think of social media as a strategy to help you reach an objective or goal. It is one path that can help you succeed, but will not be the “make” or “break” for your company. If you keep this in mind, use it as a tool, and make sure to create interesting posts consistently, it may be the extra push you need to get you in the spotlight on social media and in the business world.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/brianscudamore/2016/06/29/how-to-conquer-social-media-likeaboss/#19697fed7b08

Starbucks and Microsoft Outlook Mix Work and Play with New e-Gift Cards

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Starbucks and Microsoft Outlook have joined forces to make the first email check of the day a little more exciting. Users can start sending Starbucks gift cards over email to friends, family, coworkers and clients using Outlook 2013 and 2016. Now, rather than traveling to a store to purchase a gift card to give, the giving can happen in a matter of minutes with a single email. This type of marketing could change the way gift cards are given and expand the platforms on which brands can be advertised.

According to Microsoft’s website, Outlook wants to use this new feature to emphasize the importance of personal relationships in business. “Outlook now makes it easier for you to have that personal connection by enabling you to meet your customers, business partners or study group at your favorite Starbucks location,” says Microsoft’s website.

This e-gift card feature is possible because of a free add-in that Outlook now offers.  As part of Starbucks’ plan to expand digitally, users can download the add-in and not only send gift cards over email, but also attach gift cards to future emails and schedule meetings at a nearby Starbucks. For a short time, these e-gift cards give back, too! Starbucks is offering $5 gift cards to Outlook users who send Starbucks gift cards of $5 or more.

Both Microsoft Outlook and Starbucks stand to benefit from this partnership. Last quarter, nearly 12 million Starbucks users were a part of the rewards program, and about 25 percent of transactions happened over the Starbucks app. Starbucks now has a new digital platform to expand their sales on, and the option to schedule meetings at a nearby Starbucks with the add-in will further direct traffic to the store.

Likewise, Outlook has started allowing add-ins to help the program run smoother, with useful functions like filtering spam and connecting to other services.  This Starbucks add-in could be the first of many as other companies follow the trend and market their product digitally over email servers like Outlook.

For more information about the Starbucks and Outlook partnership, read the full article here: http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/06/20/instant-analysis-starbucks-partners-with-microsoft.aspx

Budweiser Taps into American Patriotism with New Branding

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The countdown to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio has officially begun and with just under 3 months until the opening ceremony brands big and small have the opportunity to take advantage of one of the most watched sporting event in the world. Budweiser is doing just that with the introduction of their new beer cans and bottles they have aptly renamed “America.”

According to NPR, summer is the best selling season for beer with about one-third of all U.S. sales happening between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Combine the busy beer season with the 2016 Summer Olympics and Presidential Election and this summer is primed for what Budweiser Vice President Ricardo Marques says will be “the most patriotic summer that this generation has ever seen.”

In addition to the new name, the beer the cans will also feature phrases from the Pledge of Allegiance and lyrics from “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.” The summer cans and bottles will hit the shelves on Memorial Day and will run through the November election; a seven month period in which every Budweiser sold in the U.S. will read “America.” Marques addressed the name change saying “Budweiser has always strived to embody America in a bottle, and we’re honored to salute this great nation where our beer has been passionately brewed for the past 140 years.”

To go along with the new look, Budweiser is introducing the “America is in Your Hands” campaign. This summer long campaign will focus on “reminding people from sea to shining sea to embrace the optimism upon which the country was first built.” The new cans and bottles will be featured in a national TV spot that is set to premier June 1.

The rebranding of Budweiser’s cans and bottles hopes to capture the patriotism of U.S. consumers. With the 2016 Summer Olympics, Presidential Election and the Copa America Centenario, U.S. patriotism will be running high, and Budweiser hopes this new branding will attract even more U.S. consumers. Despite the mild backlash by many after the announcement of the name change, Budweiser is taking advantage of a unique opportunity this summer and only time will tell if the campaign will strike success.

For more about this topic check out NPR’s full article here: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/05/10/477499942/budweiser-will-call-itself-america-for-a-limited-time