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August 26th, 2011

Serious offer, or PR strategy?

Serious offer, or PR strategy?


People have been left wondering: “Serious offer, or PR strategy?”, after Abercrombie & Fitch offered to pay members of the MTV popular reality show ‘Jersey Shore’ if they would stop wearing its brand.

In a statement, the company claimed that Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino’s association with Abercrombie & Fitch could significantly damage its image.  The company put out a press release saying: “We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans.”

However, Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch has admitted: “We’re having a lot of fun with it”, which raises questions about the seriousness of the offer, and has had many characterizing it as a publicity stunt.

Since the news came out last Wednesday, Abercrombie & Fitch has received a huge amount of media attention. If the true goal was to get publicity, it’s worked. But the question remains: was this a good PR move, or a bad one?

On the day of the bizarre offer, Abercrombie & Fitch’s stock price dropped nearly 10 percent. ‘The Situation’ himself commented on the dip, noting that Abercrombie & Fitch has gotten itself into a ‘situation’. Wall Street Strategies Analyst Brian Sozzi found the offer to be “counter to everything the company stands for,” and suggested it might be a publicity strategy for back-to-school. The offer’s timing certainly fits that theory.  The coverage has been pretty impressive too.

But perhaps Abercrombie & Fitch didn’t expect the backlash from Jersey Shore fans, reviewers and bloggers. If so, how unfortunate. Unless its offer is very serious, how will it amend ‘the situation’?

 

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August 24th, 2011

The Last Post?

The Last Post?

The news that the Irish Post, the UK’s best-selling Irish community weekly, has gone into liquidation could be interpreted as another sign of the terminal decline of print newsmedia. It seems that with dwindling circulation figures and plummeting advertising revenue, the paper’s publishers were left with little choice but to call in the liquidators. But as the chaos continues after the recent scandals that put an end to the most popular paper in Britain, at least the Irish Post can be laid to rest with dignity.

 

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August 12th, 2011

Complete reliance on GPS system could be a fatal matter

Complete reliance on GPS system could be a fatal matter

It’s impossible to deny the advantage my generation has had because of technology. Changes have taken place that have made even the simplest task automated. However, this has caused a new problem where many are depending too much on their technology and thinking, what could go wrong?

Well, a story I read on NPR http://n.pr/rhgjSW gave me food for thought. It made me realize the great advantages of technology, but also about the potential problems. Especially when it comes to the traveler’s best friend, the GPS.

The story about a death in California’s Death Valley because of the overdependence on GPS by the driver is very astonishing. A similar occurrence took place two summers ago under the same circumstances, when a boy and his mother died after they got stuck for days on an abandoned mining road having trusted their GPS. It’s believed that cause of the mishaps were that the GPS companies in did not update their maps and therefore still had roads that have long been inexistent or are very isolated.

At first, you might think this is a fault of the GPS companies since they haven’t updated their systems. But are they only ones to blame?

Though the GPS companies are incorrectly leading travelers in especially dangerous areas such as Death Valley, a certain percentage of the fault seems to be on those with over-reliance issues. The GPS is very helpful of course, but drivers must be more aware of their surroundings especially when traveling in places they aren’t familiar with. Tourists and those oblivious to their surroundings will drive through isolated roads they have never been on because they trust the GPS, and unfortunately it may cost them.

Until people learn to control their faith in technology, deaths as bizarre as these will unfortunately remain a reality.

 

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July 18th, 2011

From a Pos participant

From a Pos participant

The Possible Project, “Pos” as we’ve come to call it, is a program designed for Cambridge teens wanting to peek into or dive into the world of business. The program prepares the youth participants through extensive hands-on training, through presentations, guest speakers, lectures, and group and individual activities and projects. As a participant of the pilot program, I received the knowledge necessary to develop a business plan and became motivated to start my own business venture.

Looking back at my first day of the program, I was one who only wanted to peek into the world of business.  I had other goals and had no intention of being an entrepreneur later on in life. Although the goal was for the participants to use their acquired knowledge and ultimately start their own businesses, I didn’t have any idea of what I wanted to do. I thought it was kind of impossible because I thought that starting a business meant that you invented something new and useful, or that you needed a lot of money to open up something already known and enticing. Well, with this mindset I didn’t think I was going to develop a business venture. As we dived into the curriculum and the program went on with guest speakers coming in and telling  their success stories, I became motivated because I saw that most of them hadn’t  invented anything new and hadn’t had a lot of capital to start with. They did what they knew how to do and they loved it. When we began brainstorming ideas for our own businesses, ideas flowed around, both short term and long term. Ultimately, I started to brainstorm possible things I could do with baking, as I loved to bake cookies especially. So there I had it– I would make decorated cookies for different occasions. I am still working on this idea, keeping in mind different terms I’ve learned such as marketing, branding, customer acquisition, and many more, all of which will help me along the way. Ventures from the pilot group vary from youth to youth– From Web design, to eBay, greeting cards, sewing with international fabrics and a few more.  I am truly appreciative of a program like this and I thank the founders, Mark and Becky Levin, both of whom are great, successful entrepreneurs. Mark once came in to speak to us, and his advice  was: “Do what you love to do, get lots of good advice, and never give up”. We at Pos will keep this advice, for we believe it will take us a long way down the road to success.

Additionally, The Possible Project has also collaborated with the Cambridge Innovation Center working to find internships for the program’s participants so that they can have first-hand experience working for or with a company. I am excited to start my internship here with Prompt Communications. I look forward to writing in different ways and using new software as well as learning about the different technology companies Prompt promotes.

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