Protectors of the First Amendendment— The Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee University

A group of women wearing jeans and red t shirts standing outside, next to a sign with a QR Code that reads "Scan to Eat"
Members of the Martin Hall Agency Team encouraging WVU students to stop by their “Taste of Freedom BBQ.”

The First Amendment— the foundation of American democracy as we know it— is under attack. Students at West Virginia University showed a general lack of understanding and knowledge about the First Amendment. Most concerningly, students did not seem to care about their freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly and petition, with most students unable to name all five.

Thus, it was our goal to educate students on WVU’s campus about their protections guaranteed by the First amendment and educate them on why they should care about them. Our challenge: shifting attitudes on the First Amendment from misconstrued and undervalued to understood and appreciated. 

Research Insights

After a deep dive into academic and trade literature, as well as reviewing other campaigns and organizations with aligned missions, we found that many people viewed the First Amendment as a political or partisan issue. We also found that students simply lacked knowledge of what the First Amendment was or how to apply the freedoms within it. Further, we understood that while the campaign needed to be informative, it also needed to have an element of fun and engagement that appealed to self-interest.
To move from national insights to better understanding the WVU environment where our campaign would be launched, we also conducted extensive primary research including:

  • Expert interviews with WVU College of Law professors
  • Man-on-the-street interviews in front of WVU’s student union
  • Focus group with questions about First Amendment knowledge and perceptions of other campaigns
  • Quiz testing WVU students knowledge of the First Amendment. 

Our research confirmed that college students lacked a general understanding of and emotion towards the First Amendment and the attacks against it. Specific findings included the most commonly unknown or forgotten freedoms were assembly and petition. We also found that many students remain hesitant in speaking out about attacks against the First Amendment due to fear of not knowing enough or seeming too political. Finally, we found that the knowledge of students within the College of Media was not significantly greater, and in some areas less than, students in other university units.

Research Findings

Two red circles with white text that reads "Many students were unaware of their rights and could not name the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment" and "Many students felt that anything involving the First Amendment was a political or partisan issue"

Target Audience

Based on our research, we also identified three audience segments for the campaign: uninformed, informed and hesitant, and informed and initiated. 

The first segment, uniformed, referred to students who had little to no knowledge of the First Amendment and the freedoms it protects. The primary goal for this segment was to change this lack of knowledge into informed WVU students who are aware of the First Amendment and the freedoms it entails.  

The second segment, informed and hesitant, was made up of people who are aware of the First Amendment’s five freedoms but did not take action to defend them or educate others. This complacency may be due to fear of social backlash or not knowing “enough.” The goal for this segment was to give this group confidence in their knowledge of the First Amendment and make them care about attacks on the First Amendment.

The third segment, informed and initiated, is a group made up of students familiar with the First Amendment and who take action to educate others and themselves on the topic. We knew that this segment would be crucial in garnering support for our campaign and its goals. Since the awareness of the First Amendment’s attacks against it are a familiar and personal issue for this group, it was important for our team to get them to participate in our campaigns and these students have the power to influence and educate their peers to do the same.

The Message

Building on our research insights, we developed a governing brand idea that would serve as the media agnostic key message throughout our campaign.

“Complacency is Compliancy”

Governing Brand Idea

Creating First Amendment Protectors

We wanted our campaign to educate WVU students about the importance of the First Amendment and why they should protect it. To increase student awareness of the First Amendment, we executed both digital and event based strategies with tactics that included a scavenger hunt, an online First Amendment Credential certification, a First Amendment magazine and a “Taste of Freedom” barbeque. A website was developed to serve as a central hub for all aspects of this campaign. 

Digital Scavenger Hunt & Badging Program

The purpose of the First Amendment credential is to ensure that college students are aware of their First Amendment freedoms and can practice and protect them in their daily lives. This badge will prove a student’s knowledge and awareness of the importance of the First Amendment and why it needs to be protected. To earn the badge, students are required to complete a digital scavenger hunt that introduces them to compelling information in a fun and engaging way.  After completing the scavenger hunt, there is a short quiz that tests their knowledge. Successfully completing the quiz results in a certification and badge being emailed to the student. Additionally, we submitted a badge proposal to the WVU Teaching and Learning Commons to award students a credential if they successfully completed a First Amendment quiz. 

White badge with a red outline on a blue background. The badge has an American flag on it and text that reads "Freedom Comes First, 1st Amendment Awareness Completed"
An example of the badge students receive after completing the First Amendment quiz.

Magazine

In order to further our educational efforts, digital and print magazines were produced and distributed to target classes as part of encouraging students to earn the badge. These magazines showed students current real-world circumstances where the First Amendment had been under attack, including the Russian citizens having vital speech, expression and press rights stripped during the Ukrainian war.  

An image of people protesting with their fists in the air. The text reads "Freedom Today" "Say goodbye to your First freedoms. An inside look of how the First Amendment is dissolving in a world of social media and censorship."

The Taste of Freedom Barbeque

To garner even more awareness and participation, we hosted a Taste of Freedom Barbeque in the Free Speech Zone on April 20, 2022. Before entry, students scanned a QR code that launched a quiz. They had to obtain a perfect score to get a five freedoms stamp and their free barbeque. Also on display were banned books provided by WVU libraries. 

These posters helped spread the word about our event while also displaying American flag colors, synonymous with the campaign branding. Our team hung the flyers around campus on doors, walls, windows and bulletin boards. The event was also promoted on Instagram by Martin Hall Agency and team members shared the post on their Instagram stories as well. The QR code on the bottom of the graphic also takes you directly to our website, where students could see what the event was about and find more information on attacks against the First Amendment. 

Success and Results

At the onset of our campaign, we set a strategic objective of securing at least 150 certified protectors of the First Amendment.  As the following results illustrate, we exceeded initial expectations. 

  • 412 certification quiz responses 
  • 167 certified protectors
  • 120 event attendees
  • 146 social media impressions

“We no longer take for granted that young media professionals have a full understanding of the First Amendment – an essential foundational amendment for our democracy and our profession. A certificate that demonstrates 1a competency in media and civic contexts would be a welcome addition to cite on a resume.” 

Dana Coester, Professor, WVU Reed College of Media

Special thanks to the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University for providing financial support through a 1ForAll grant. 

“We believe that by learning and understanding the problem, we can discuss opinions and solutions in a proactive way. By improving the services offered to the community, everyone in it can benefit. The community is rich with people, and everyone is deserving of a quality life.”

Humans Of Morgantown (HoM)
Orange sign with white text that reads, "what is a neighbor?"

The Challenge

Morgantown, W. Va. is home to a diverse array of neighborhoods, businesses and people; however, one community of residents is often neglected, overlooked and dehumanized. The unsheltered population or people experiencing houselessness are often misunderstood and subject to scorn. To turn the tide, our mission was to work alongside the Morgantown Special Committee on Unsheltered Homelessness to create an open and honest dialogue about housing concerns in Morgantown, with the hopes of creating a more empathetic, understanding and welcoming community for all of our neighbors. 

Research Findings

Through secondary research, as well as ethnographic research and expert interviews, we found several factors that contribute to the unwelcoming and often unsafe realities for individuals experiencing houselessness.  The factors include: 

  • a lack of dialogue between members of the unsheltered community and elected leadership; 
  • the use of harmful and insensitive language in news coverage; and 
  • public discourse focused on negative stigmas surrounding houselessness.

Target Audience

For this campaign, we decided to focus on city council members, police officers and individuals who live in the Morgantown area who may have some influence over their communities (i.e. neighborhood association presidents). These audience segments were targeted because of their proximity to the unsheltered community and their ability to impact positive change in the way the unsheltered community in Morgantown is viewed. 

Messaging

We wanted our campaign to send the message that people experiencing houselessness were not a nuisance, but neighbors. They are not “homeless” their home is here in Morgantown and they are valuable community members worthy of respect. To this end, we used this message throughout our multifaceted education and awareness campaign.

“Neighborhoods have people, communities have neighbors.”

The Governing Brand Idea

The Exhibit: Neighbors Beyond Neighborhoods

To better understand our neighbor’s passions we launched the Neighbors Beyond Neighborhoods art exhibit. The exhibit recognized our neighbors’ passion and creativity through works including original live music, photography, paintings, poems and ceramics of, about and by people experiencing houselessness. 

The exhibit was open to the public over the course of three weekends, with an opening reception that took place during a downtown street fair type event and an invite-only closing reception. To get our target audience involved we reached out to community leaders, business owners, city council members and police officers and encouraged them to join us in highlighting the unsheltered community’s work. 

The exhibit provided a safe space for community members to share their thoughts and opened room for dialogue. During the event, visitors were asked to share their reflections on the art exhibit. These written testimonials shared reflections on what it means to be a neighbor, the shared sense of community in Morgantown, the inspiration gleaned from the art and a general sense of compassion.

White poster board covered in rainbow sticky notes
Man talking to man and woman standing in front of an art exhibit
Yellow canvas paintings on a black backdrop
Statue of a man sitting on a wooden block
Man wearing a suit jacket talking to a man in a brown sweater
Man wearing a brown sweater and jeans talking to a video camera

Deliverables

Highlighting the fact that a neighbor isn’t just someone who has a physical address, we also created window and yard signs to let people show their support for their community members. Signs were given to event donors, local businesses, community groups, and elected leaders who displayed the signs in front of their homes and business. 

Exterior of a building with a sign in the window that reads "hello, neighbor"
Orange sign with white text that reads "hello, neighbor"

Media Language Guide

To elevate the use of person-first language and coverage, a media language guide illustrating examples of proper ways to report on houselessness was developed and distributed to local news agencies. 

Pop-up Exhibit

Four pop-up banners created in the fall of 2021 were also used as a way to break misconceptions and increase awareness.  The banners, displayed in local businesses and churches, include quotes from Morgantown residents, both sheltered and unsheltered, with a question asking viewers to identify which residents were housed and which were not. In most cases, viewers are not able to do so, reinforcing the idea that people experiencing houselessness are not much different than those who are housed. 

Digital Assets: Social Media & Website

Humans of Morgantown (HoM) Facebook and Instagram pages, launched in the fall of 2021, were used to introduce followers to different people in Morgantown while also promoting the exhibit. Specifically, Instagram and Facebook highlighted stories of the unsheltered population along with photos of people and fun facts about them. The stories demonstrated our similarities while focusing on the humanization of our neighbors who are unsheltered.

black and white picture of hands
orange background with white text that reads "I'm someone that people can talk to"

Website

The HoM website was used to provide information about the Neighbors Beyond Neighborhoods art exhibit, services for those experiencing houselessness, ways to get involved, the campaign’s message and the steps for reserving the pop-up exhibit. The HoM website is meant to keep our community informed, reach a wider audience digitally and provide additional ways to learn. 

As Seen in Neighbors Beyond Neighborhood

Three black and white photos. One of a woman with short blonde hair and tattoos, one of hands and on of a man sitting in a chair

Results

One of the most successful results from this campaign was the elimination of the word “homeless” from any of the news coverage talking about the Humans of Morgantown campaign. In addition to this Humans of Morgantown also saw an increase in social media engagement, as well as funds raised for local charities benefiting people experiencing houselessness.

Digital

  • Instagram: 37% increase in following; 194% increase in number of accounts engaged
  • Facebook: 86% increase in following; 604% increase in post engagements
  • Total follower growth across all platforms: 65%
  • Total visitors to our website: 781

Exhibit

  • Estimated 500 visitors to the Neighbors Beyond Neighborhoods Art Exhibit including the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Morgantown.
  • 30+ yard signs and business decals distributed
  • Money Raised for Friendship House: $1600

News Coverage

By: Sarah Frate


As social media marketing (SMM) continues to grow, companies are constantly adapting their strategies and tactics to maximize consumer engagement. SMM provides companies with an extremely convenient and effective way to attract both new and existing customers. 

The most commonly known SMM activities involve posting images, videos and text updates that promote audience engagement. However, the popularity and relevance of each activity are constantly changing and adapting. That’s why it’s important to constantly reevaluate your content mix. 

As we all know, the one thing about trends is that they’re constantly changing. If you were to ask marketers a few years ago, no one would have predicted that Tik Tok engagement would vastly surpass Facebook or that QR codes would make a large comeback. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of SMM trends to keep an eye out for in 2022.

Tik Tok Marketing 

In today’s social media world, Tik Tok is the most downloaded app on Android and IOS cellphones and other electronics, dramatically surpassing other social media platforms. The growth of this app has drastically increased since its emergence in 2016 and does not appear to be slowing down any time in the near future. 

Key facts from Sprout Social:

  • 1 billion active users monthly
  • 90% of users go on the app daily
  • 69% of American teenagers are on the app

Also, Tik Tok states that approximately 47% of the app’s users have purchased products seen on the platform. The company added that 67% of its users “agree that TikTok inspired them to shop even when they weren’t looking to do so.”  Sprout Social

Looking at TikTok’s large audience base, marketers can use this platform in order to effectively increase their consumer engagement. For example, a company could collaborate with a well-known influencer to endorse their product/ service to their followers.

Creator economy

In our society today, the average consumer sees between 6,000 – 10,000 advertisements daily. Marketers can make their company stand out from the rest by having a creator endorse their good or service on their social media platform, where they most likely have a large fan base. 

Social media creators/influencers have a huge impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions. Because of the extremely large creator economy, the industry is predicted to reach $13.8 billion (blog.hubspot.com). Marketers can use the size of this industry to their advantage by incorporating social media creators/influencers into their content strategies.

According to The Voice of Marketing, “content creators are mini agencies.”

social media statistics hootsuit

Rise of social commerce

Another trend marketers should look out for this year is social commerce. This is the buying and selling of a good or service directly from a given social media site. 

The Harris Poll conducted a survey with 250 business directors and over 1,000 American customers to gain a deeper insight into how they use social media platforms as well as how it can impact a company. Here’s what they found:

  • 91% of the business directors surveyed predict that their organization’s budget allocated for social media marketing will increase by over 50% within the next three years.
  • 77% of American consumers surveyed stated that they are more inclined to give a company their business if they have a positive experience with them on social media.
  • 85% of business directors believe moving forward, that data collected from social media will soon become a central source of business intelligence for companies. 

Additionally, the survey concluded that 80% of participating consumers believe that companies are able to create brand familiarity when they market their products or services on social media platforms.

Social media data is the new wave of digital evolution in the marketing world. As you can tell from this insight, the number of social commerce consumers has been on a steady uptick since 2019 and shows no sign of slowing down. 

chart of social commerce trends for US social commerce buyers

Social audio strategies

The appearance of audio within social media platforms is a relatively new, yet beneficial marketing tactic. Social audio is a type of social media that uses audio as its main source of communication. The most known form of social audio is podcasts which have become increasingly popular in the marketing world, but playlists are also increasing in popularity.

This newer strategy not only allows for active user participation but also provides a more in-depth explanation of the content being delivered that isn’t always supported in text. 

The most popular social audio platform used today is Clubhouse, which has approx. 10 million users, both on IOS and Android electronic devices.Types of Social Media Content 

This strategy has experienced a drastic increase in popularity since the early 2000s and is expected to continue its growth into 2022.

Numbers and Facts You Need to Know About Audio Content in 2021 - Business 2  Community

Livestream shopping and Ecommerce

Ecommerce, AKA internet/ electronic commerce, happens when a consumer buys or sells a good or service directly through the internet. The transfer of both data and money is required to carry out these online transactions

A type of ecommerce that is rapidly expanding in the marketplace today is livestream shopping through social media platforms. The decline of brick-and-mortar shopping has sparked the life of this trend since the pandemic outbreak. Sprout Social reports: 

  • 43% of Gen Z have purchased a good or service through social media platforms
  • 49% of Millennials use social media platforms to shop
  • 73% of corporations currently use social media platforms to sell their product/ service
  • 79% of businesses plan to use livestream shopping by 2025

Shoppable content is extremely beneficial for companies to quickly expand their customer base and increase revenue. 



Sources

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-trends/

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/social-media-predictions-2017

https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-marketing-trends-for-2022-predictions-from-the-pros/

By: Noah Coby


Person with long pink hair and bright orange makeup. They are wearing a black shirt with orange flames and an orange skirt
Phoenix a la Ball

Hi, my name is Noah and I am a drag queen, Phoenix a la Ball

Recently, I was asked by someone “What is the weirdest overlap between drag and advertising?” This question started what I like to call “The inevitable crash of advertising ideas into my drag career.”

I have mentally gone over these ideas countless times at night lying in bed, wondering “What music would most generally appeal to the audience I am going to perform to?” and “Who even is my target audience in drag?“ 

I eventually found answers to my questions, elevating my drag, but I also noticed some things or even ideas that may be missed in your advertising class. Here is what I have learned being a “Dragvertising” professional.

So, what is drag anyway?

Two years ago, if you asked me what drag was, I would not have been able to give a concise answer. Now after being a drag performer for around one year, I have gained a better understanding of drag as art.

Drag is essentially an amalgamation of art media. It generally refers to performers that use their appearance, gender expression and performance to entertain an audience. Some mainstream drag artists include RuPaul, Trixie Mattel and Violet Chachki

If you feel lost in a sea of words you don’t understand, more basic information on drag can be found in this Masterclass Article, which details exactly what drag is and how it came to be in today’s culture. 

Where advertising and drag collide

The cosmetology skills, sewing and music are all art and are among the more obvious skills required to have drag be a career. The unassuming skills are ones that as an advertising student, seem obvious to me. Differentiation is one of the first techniques I realized could benefit me, and I began finding what seemed to be missing from the start. In the drag world, being similar is one of the dualistic aspects of drag. It can be helpful with inspiration and technique, but it also diminishes your identity. Drag is an art form and artists draw inspiration from one another. 

So, in this world where no idea is completely original, how do you stand out? In advertising, the next step is called a SWOT analysis. It evaluates strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Within drag generally, you would begin by observing the environment you perform in. This is less of a formal process. It does however include many of the same thought processes. It involves evaluating much more loose and unresearched areas, and a certain degree of listening to your audience. 

Person with brown curly hair wearing a long dress with orange and brown leaves, standing in a kitchen

Personally, I noticed a lack of technology use within the Morgantown drag scene. I also noticed the lack of representation of the 2000s childhood experience. Taking these two ideas, I used my skills in audio editing, and created a performance number to music from many of the shows that filled my childhood. On the night of the show, after the performance, I was walking around speaking to people. Many of the comments were on the music choice and its editing, and how they felt nostalgia from it. I realized then I had made a step toward setting myself apart from my “competitors.” One of the main takeaways from this experience that I can now see being useful in advertising is the power of diversity. Someone without my experience could have never created something that resonated with those people, and so the power of having multiple viewpoints lies in the variety of stories you can tell.

The bottom line…

While differentiation is the only topic I spoke about, there are numerous more lessons and ideas I have garnered from working within both the advertising and drag spaces at once. Here are just a few more to consider that mean the most to me. 

  • Being able to design your own assets is invaluable. I create posters for my haus’ performances, as well as edit pictures we use in them. (Examples below)
  • The creative process is the same, so once you grasp it, it is universal. Once you find your method, try applying it to all aspects of your life. 
  • You will never please everyone, just like you can’t target everyone in advertising. Some people will not enjoy your work, but as long as your technique and execution are good you are fine. 

By: Cheyenne Oakes

Most of my knowledge of public relations came from seeing flashy campaigns on television and social media that included athletes, celebrities and influential figures.When I first became interested in public relations in high school, I was unsure of all the opportunities within different sectors of the communications industry. Throughout college, I have learned more about public relations and have quickly realized that I want my future work to have a meaningful impact on lives. After experiencing my own health challenges beginning in the summer of 2020, I developed a deep passion for patient advocacy and began looking for ways to combine my love for public relations with my interest in improving the patient care process within healthcare. Through discussions with mentors and peers, I learned of healthcare communications, but quickly became aware that many students are unsure of how public relations fits into the healthcare sector and what opportunities there are for young professionals within the sector.

What does public relations in healthcare look like? 

Every kind of business needs a public relations strategy in order to effectively communicate to its audience. The healthcare sector is no different. Whether it be hospitals, long-term care facilities or pharmaceutical companies, they all utilize public relations to promote their product or service. And for many businesses within healthcare, the goal of effective public relations is to benefit the patient. 

Public relations within healthcare, also known as healthcare communications, is the use of communication methods to educate an audience on health issues or to promote services and products by a business such as a hospital or pharmaceutical company (Communications Strategy Group, 2021). Although traditional communications methods such as press releases and social media are often used to reach audiences within healthcare, public relations campaigns within this sector are much more likely to have a direct impact on audiences’ health and well-being compared to other sectors (Communications Strategy Group, 2021). Examples of public relations material within the healthcare sector include campaigns to raise awareness for certain conditions or diseases, hospital or health facility material to help prepare patients and families for upcoming stays, surgeries or procedures and traditional press and media releases by health businesses for announcements and crisis communications. 

Take a look at the examples below of two different health communications campaigns from the Lupus Foundation of America and the Ad Council in partnership with the American Medical Association and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that include materials to raise awareness for lupus and prediabetes, respectively. These campaign materials use traditional public relations tactics such as grabbing the reader’s attention with graphics and text hierarchy to inform the reader of potential symptoms of lupus as well as tips for reversing prediabetes. 

Campaign material from the “Be Fierce, Take Control” campaign created by the Lupus Foundation of America. (Image via Be Fierce, Take Control)
Campaign material from the “Do I Have Prediabetes” campaign created by the Ad Council, the American Medical Association and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (Image via, Do I Have Prediabetes)

The healthcare campaign below created by the McCANN Paris Agency in partnership with Spinneys Supermarket, the American University of Beirut Medical Center and the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation aimed to educate Lebanese women on how to perform a self-check breast exam by using the traditional techniques of baking bread. In Lebanese culture, women traditionally do not openly talk about their bodies, so the “Bread Exam” campaign strove to educate women while also remaining culturally aware. The campaign went viral on social media and was covered by several international media outlets. This campaign used traditional and non-traditional communication methods to help educate and raise awareness for breast cancer. 

Campaign video from the “Bread Exam” campaign created the McCANN Paris in partnership with Spinneys Supermarket, the American University of Beirut Medical Center and the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation. (Video via, Little Black Book

How does healthcare communications benefit patient care? 

The ultimate goal of healthcare communications is not only to help businesses and companies succeed but also to benefit and improve patient care. One way this has been accomplished is through increased choice for the patient which can be communicated through health facilities’ social media channels.

In the “The In-Demand and Demanding Career of Healthcare Communicators” panel hosted by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media Integrate Online program and the West Virginia University Public Relations Student Society of America, Marketing Consultant at the University of Cincinnati, Maddie Ernst, explained the importance of health facilities using social media to effectively communicate to patients.

“We’re trying to increase awareness of these centers, really educate, on who we are and what makes us different, and really what makes us different is that academic piece,” Ernst said. “And then, how do we portray that on social media when it can be really technical.” 

Ernst shared that patient stories and testimonials communicated through social media channels can be effective when health facilities are trying to reach potential new patients and ease the stress that may be associated with trying to choose the right doctor and facility for the patient’s needs. 

“That’s like one of the biggest ways to kind of just talk about what makes us different and take such technical research terms and technologies and have it spoken by a patient,” Ernst said.  

What are the benefits of a career in healthcare communications for young professionals? 

While healthcare communications is a fast-growing sector of the communications industry, many students and young professionals are unaware of its benefits and how they can become involved. 

Panelists from the “The In-Demand and Demanding Career of Healthcare Communicators” including Ernst; Senior Account Executive at FCB Health, Maya Tretheway; Marketing and Public Relations Director at Boone Memorial Hospital, Karlie Price; and Director of Marketing and Communications at West Virginia University School of Public Health, Nikky Luna shared their experiences of working in healthcare communications and the benefits it has as a career option for young professionals. 

Each panelist works in a different style of healthcare communications including agencies for pharmaceutical companies, teaching hospitals, local hospitals and public health education. They shared that working for an agency consists of busy days with lots of deadlines, but also offers a chance to work on many accounts simultaneously. Panelists working for hospitals also shared the rewarding aspects of getting to tell patients’ stories through their work as well as sharing the constant innovations being made by healthcare professionals every day. All panelists agreed that working in healthcare communications has allowed them a career that feels bigger than themselves and offers them the opportunity to change lives. 

Throughout the event, panelists emphasized that students do not need a strong background in healthcare in order to work in healthcare communications. Having the foundational skills of any communications professional such as writing and storytelling, as well as being open-minded and always ready to learn will help young professionals interested in healthcare communications create a solid basis for their career. 

Although many students may be unaware of how public relations fits into the healthcare sector, the job opportunities offered by healthcare communications are vast and rewarding for young professionals. From traditional agency roles to in-house work for hospitals and health care facilities, the jobs within healthcare communications offer extensive opportunities for beginner public relations professionals to gain experience within the field while having a meaningful impact on the lives of patients. Working in healthcare communications does not require a strong background in healthcare-related fields and by using the foundational skills of any communications professional including storytelling, young professionals can connect with patients in order to improve the healthcare system for all. 

Personally, I believe healthcare communications provides one of the best opportunities to use the skills I’ve learned in public relations strategy to make the world a better place. My hope is that more young public relations professionals become aware of healthcare communications and all that it has to offer, for the professional and for the patient. 


References 

Ad Council. (n.d.). Helpful lifestyle tips. Do I Have Prediabetes? Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://doihaveprediabetes.org 

Communications Strategy Group. (2021, Oct 12). Healthcare public relations: Ultimate guide to PR in a pandemic. https://wearecsg.com/healthcare-public-relations-ultimate-guide-to-pr-in-a-pandemic/ 

Little Black Book. (2021). The Bread Exam. https://www.lbbonline.com/work/53608 

Lupus Foundation of America. (n.d.). What is lupus? Be Fierce, Take Control. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://befiercetakecontrol.org

West Virginia University School of Medicine. (2020, Jan 28). WVU Heart and Vascular Institute named Gold Center of Excellence for cardio-oncology program. WVU Medicine News. https://medicine.wvu.edu/News/Story?headline=wvu-heart-and-vascular-institute-named-gold-center-of-excellence-for-cardio-oncology-program_0 

[WVU Marketing Communications]. (2022, March 10). The in-demand and demanding career of healthcare communicators. [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlULpAsSIVA 

WVU Medicine. (n.d.). Preparing for your test. J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://wvumedicine.org/ruby-memorial-hospital/services/wvu-specialty-clinics/radiology/preparing-for-your-test/ 

By: Sophia Hudanich


Owning a camera phone means you’re a photographer- well not really. An abundance of selfies and quick snapshots fill social media pages— killing the creativity behind photography. There’s a lack of individuality between pictures. Taking a scroll through Snapchat during a beautiful day means you’re going to see hundreds of sunset pictures being posted— all pictures of the same sunset and no meaning behind the photo. A photographer would ask how they can create a compelling picture of the sunset that is different than one you can find online. 

“It’s not enough to just own a camera. Everyone owns a camera. To be a photographer, you must understand, appreciate, and harness the power you hold!”

– Mark Denman
“Storytelling in Street Photography” by Andrej Zwitter (Image via IMDB)

Taking a step back and learning from previous photographers can help increase individualism in pictures. Even without owning a high-quality camera, there are still steps you can take to add creativity to your pictures. Take Andrej Zwitters as an example. Zwitter Focuses on “Street Photography”  and has created engaging stories from pictures that you might have passed by without noticing.

Step 1: Find your inspiration.

Before you even pick up a camera write down what story you want your photo to tell. Take time to brainstorm before you start your photography journey. The way you capture the world should be unique to you. There are multiple ways to capture a picture. Looking through past photographers’ work for inspiration could be the edge you need to create storytelling images. 

Different steps you can take for brainstorming for the perfect image: 

Creating a Pinterest board dedicated to your photography inspirations is a great way to start your photography journey. You don’t need to only add different pictures to your vision board. You can use artwork and a different aesthetic to your board. 

Start to journal! Anytime you see something that inspires you, write it down. There is no such thing as a bad idea. 

Try adding the first two brainstorming ideas together. Group your ideas and imagery inspirations together by theme. Then you’ll be prepared to create powerful images.

Step 2: Stop taking random pictures: Notice the little wonders

Snapping a picture of the beach to post to your Instagram page is not going to make you a photographer. Try taking a step back and looking for a story to tell. Find something that stands out from the rest of the beach pictures you’ve seen online. Whether it’s a bird eating a bag of chips on the sand or your friends playing a game in the ocean. Take a second to process what you are seeing, and decide what you are trying to tell from your pictures.

GOOD VS BAD 

Think about how the image on the left makes you feel in comparison to the one on the right. 

The image on the left was shot on a digital camera while the one on the right was taken by me on my iPhone. The image on the left uses lighting to their advantage while the image on the right, taken by me, didn’t take them to consider different values. The second image doesn’t have the same effect as the first image. You can tell the photographer on the left took their time to capture a compelling shot. The one taken by me lacks a storyline.

Step 3: Step outside of your comfort zone. 

You now have inspiration. You understand how lighting can create a storyline in your photos. Now it’s time to challenge yourself. If you like taking pictures outdoors, ask yourself how can I make this interesting? Photographers are always taking chances. Try to push yourself and take pictures of something that wouldn’t have caught your attention before. Push yourself to stray away from mainstream media’s idea of social media-worthy images. Photography should challenge you. 

Photography is an art form where people can showcase their creativity, talents and unique ways they view the world. Camera phones are taking away the patience, planning and precision behind capturing the perfect snapshot. Photography is up for interpretation, but don’t let the camera phone kill the creative process behind photography. Using a camera phone will only destroy photography if you let it.

By: Madison Kelbaugh


(Trillion Creative, 2019)

So, what exactly is a social media algorithm? Let’s start from the beginning, previously all social media platforms were organized in chronological order by time, most recent to oldest. Social media marketers and social media users who were used to this found their posts became lost and engagement activity was significantly decreasing due to the old algorithm patterns. Fast forward to now, and smart AI technology curates the algorithm by organizing posts that are most popular and in relation to posts you’ve interacted with. Unfortunately, the algorithm can work against you or your business when it comes to reaching your audience without the right tactics. 

After putting it into this perspective the algorithm seems easy, right? It’s almost so simple that it’s complicated.

What you want: To be seen, follower relationships and engagement.

What you need: Understanding of the algorithm, consistency, content and relevancy.

Do you want the algorithm to work for you? Follow along for tips and tricks on how to beat the algorithm on the most popular social media platforms.

Understanding the algorithm

Let’s dive into what we know about the algorithm on the two most popular social platforms: Instagram and TikTok Although there is no blueprint to exactly what the algorithm is on these platforms, I did the research for you to find what we know about the algorithm this year. 

Instagram:

Stories and Posts- This is what you first see when you open your Instagram app. Instagram stays true to its roots by putting your friends and family’s posts and stories first before you see an ad. The first stories and posts you see right now are because of the post information, information about the poster, user activity and interaction history. To dive further the Instagram algorithm even predicts how long you will spend looking at the post, liking, commenting, clicking on the profile or sharing. 

Explore page This was created to find new posts or accounts to follow and interact with. On your explore page right now Instagram chose a cluster of posts you would be interested in and arranged them because of post information, interaction history, user activity and information on the poster. 

Reels- The main goal of Instagram Reels is to entertain, that’s why the reels you see are from those you do not follow. Just like with posts Instagram posts Reels that they predict you will engage with from your user activity, interaction history, reel information and information about the poster. 

What the Instagram algorithm will remove: 

  • Misinformation
  • promoting unethical content
  • political topics
  • low quality 
  • watermarked Reels

What the Instagram algorithm wants:

  •  Reels! Because Instagram wants  to grow its Reels you can use this to your advantage. Keep your reels short, fun, and entertaining to gain high engagement. 
  • Timing is crucial, if your post doesn’t gain high reactions at the first moment the content is posted, it will not gain anymore. Therefore, you should post your content when your target audience is most active on Instagram. You can find this by using analytics.
  • Create interactive stories. This is a shortcut to get people to interact with your story and the algorithm notices high engagement and will place the stories you interact with most at the beginning of the story line up. 
  • Encourage followers to comment or ask a question to gain more comments. Comments are reactions and the algorithm will notice a post receiving multiple comments. 
  • Use popular hashtags. Hashtags give insight to the platform on what content this post has. Using popular hashtags will give you a greater reach to others who are interested in the hashtag. 

    (Shatanjeev, 2022)

TikTok

The TikTok algorithm places videos on your “For You” page that you would be interested in from many different objectives. What TikTok’s algorithm avoids are duplicates, videos you have already viewed, spam, and unethical or inappropriate content. And TikTok does not base the videos on your For You page on the high number of video views or a content creator’s followers. If a popular video is on your For You page it is because you have been interested in similar content prior. 

What the TikTok algorithm wants:

  • Go pro! Switching to a TikTok pro account will let you see your insights on your posts and who your target audience is. The upgrade will give you the tools for improvement on how to create the right content your audience is interested in and when to post.
  •  Find your community. Everyone’s For You page is made up of mostly one topic you are most interested in. Find what subculture your content relates to and join that community. Finding a community of others who are interested in your content will help you to gain brand loyalty, more followers, and credibility. 
  • Like Instagram, you need engagement within the first moments after posting. Grab your users’ attention at the beginning of the video and keep your videos short and straight to the point. 
  • Don’t forget about captions. TikTok gives you 150 characters which is short enough to give a quick reason why users should watch your video, or create a reason for people to comment in the comment section, ethical of course.

The bottom line

You can implement all of these tactics but consistency is key. Staying on top of the algorithm will get you the recognition you want for your personal brand or business.

By: Lauryn Lubecki


Ever wondered the differences and similarities between working for an individual client versus at an agency? Here at the Martin Hall Agency, we’ve been pondering the same question as many of our account representatives are rapidly approaching graduation. In an attempt to learn more, I interviewed a few amazing pros that offered us some great insight.

Before we dive into their answers to my questions, let me introduce you to our pros. On the agency side, I spoke with Nicole Andino, a Marketing Coordinator for PAN Communications, and Merritt McNeely, Executive Vice President at Flock and Rally.  To learn about the client-side, I talked with Madison Cavanaugh, a Demand Generation Specialist at OneTrust, and Hannah Cebula, a Branded Content Specialist at Audi of America.

Each of these impressive professionals were all asked direct questions involving perks to their jobs, their frustrations and what best prepared them for their roles. Read on to learn more about agency life and client-side work. 

Agency vs. Client: Best parts of the job

What is the best part of your job? 

Agency employees shared that what was more important to them was working for an agency that puts their employees’ mental health first and being able to work on multiple projects at a time. While client-side pros felt that the best part of their job is the relationships with coworkers that allow them to create great work for their brands. 

Nicole Andino: “I’ve chosen an agency that puts people first, that is most important in searching for a job. Agencies do not need to be cutthroat, they need to care about people so I am fortunate I found one that does care about their employees well being.” 

Merritt McNeely told us, “I have a very awesome job, from an agency standpoint, is the ability to work on so many different projects and clients. We do integrated marketing communications for all different types of companies. The diversity of work from the agency setting is exciting.” 

Madison Cavanaugh shared, “I get to work with the same group of people day in and day out, so I get to build closer relationships with them. Being able to grow stable relationships with no delay in communication is a huge perk.” 

Hannah Cebula indicated that, “I am surrounded by a team of people who want to produce beautiful work for our brand and to have fun while doing it. I work specifically in content production, so any time we’re on set for a production I feel like I have the best job in the world; and it’s so satisfying when we see the end product that our teams are able to bring to life.”

Agency vs. Client: Work Culture

Do you enjoy working for multiple accounts at once? 

Both agency employees agreed that their workdays look different every day. There is always a new project to be working on. 

Here’s what they expressed:

Nicole Andino explained that,  “My favorite part is not having the same kind of day any day of the week. My job is always fresh and never boring. There is always something to do.” 

Merritt McNeely stated, “Yes! It keeps things interesting. What makes things tough is for content creators to switch clients so quickly in creating content and switching tone and voice. Each client is different.” 

Do you enjoy working for one client at a time? 

Both Ms. Cavanaugh and Ms. Cebula enjoy working for an individual brand. They both stated they like being able to focus on one brand. 

Madison Cavanaugh stated, “Working in-house in house, my clients are products. I sell the products and use internal branding to do it.” 

Hannah Cebula shared with us, “I love it! Working for one brand at a time isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it sure is mine. The brand I work for keeps me busy enough that I couldn’t imagine adding another brand to the roster.”

Agency vs. Client: Prior Experience

What do you feel best prepared you for your job (other experiences in your education, internships, etc?) 

Andino felt that PRSSA was helpful in making the connections she needed in the professional world. McNeely stated that hands-on real-world experiences were what she found most valuable in her development as a public relations professional. Cavanaugh worked within multiple internships at WVU while in school here, whileCebula worked in a year-long internship in Washington D.C. which ultimately led to her job now. 

Nicole Andino said, “I was a part of the Public Relations Student Society of America, that was a fun way to start meeting people in the industry. Having a mentorship type of relationship with a professor in at least one course is important, too. My capstone course changed me for the better, I was insecure when I started and after getting hands-on experience I learned more than I could have asked for.” 

Merritt McNeely told us, “Definitely not my education. The real-world experience I got right out of college prepared me. I was put in a leadership role immediately and had to adjust quickly. I am more likely to hire someone based on jobs or non-paid or paid internships.” 

Madison Cavanaugh said, “I was a Martin Hall Agency student, and a teaching assistant for Public Relations and Advertising Writing. I did an internship at Kaiser Permanente with market research and analytics. I was also an intern for WVU Extension, where I worked on writing grants.” 

Hannah Cebula explained to us, “I was lucky enough to start with my company fairly early on in my career. I graduated from WVU in 2016 and had a year-long internship with a tech association in the DC metro area working on their annual international trade show. My current employer was a member of the association, and because of that connection and my internship, they recruited me to be a content coordinator on their newly formed internal agency on their marketing team. I’ve been with them since 2017, and I’ve gotten to work in several different roles on their marketing team.”

Agency vs. Client: Frustrations

What are some frustrations you have in working for an agency? 

Andino stated that working with many different types of personalities can be daunting at times. McNeely explained that sometimes a lack of preparation on the client’s end can be challenging to overcome. Both Cavanaugh and Cebula explained frustrations that all related back to the overall communication in working for one brand. Marketing teams are large for bigger brands and therefore connecting with everyone can be challenging. 

Nicole Andino explained, “Working with all different types of people. You have to be direct, stay professional, and work with many different types of individuals. Knowing how to communicate your needs to your clients but know your boundaries at the same time.” 

Merritt McNeely expressed to us, “The client’s lack of preparation always constitutes an emergency on our side. It does not always put us in the most fair position because the end goal is obviously to please clients.”  

Madison Cavanaugh explained, “After graduating I worked on a really small team where I was one of three people. I dabbled in many areas of marketing because of how small the team was, then I moved to the company I’m at now, where there are 60 people on the marketing team. Because there are so many people working on the same product or for the same client, communication is hard. Overall, lack of communication on a larger team is a frustration.”

Hannah Cebula said, “My frustrations don’t come from working on one brand, but rather the complexities that come with working for an international brand, and I wouldn’t necessarily call them frustrations. There is an added layer of checks and balances that have to happen when working for an international brand – our global headquarters sets the global strategy, and we have to adapt the strategy to be successful in the US market. Ensuring that everything we do works in tandem with the global strategy, as well as our own market-specific strategy, can get very stressful. But that’s the reason I love working for my brand – I still have a fast-paced, ever-changing environment to work in while not having to split my attention between multiple brands.”

Do you feel overwhelmed in working for multiple clients at one time? 

Both agency employees felt that working on multiple accounts at once is stressful and overwhelming. 

Nicole Andino said to us, “At times yes. There are boundaries and balances that you need to learn how to manage in order to not be overwhelmed.” 

Merritt McNeely explained, “Oh yes, absolutely. Oftentimes it was because of the unknowns. When I worked on multiple clients, it was the most complex clients in our agency. What makes it most difficult is when someone has an emergency. Agreeing to a rush job with a client is difficult.” 

What do you think are common misconceptions about working for an agency? 

Andino felt that new graduates looking for an agency to work for occasionally feel they may not have a voice in their agency. McNeely stated that clients commonly think an agency has one template to follow in regards to producing consumer engaging content and that agencies typically take an individual approach toward every client they are working with. 

Nicole Andino shared with us, “Definitely that for recent graduates looking for jobs is that you do not have a voice. You should not have the mindset that you have to work your way up to receive respect.” 

Merritt McNeely indicated, “That we charge a ton of money to crank out templatized work to clients where we give a product that is not customized. A lot of agencies are that way, but we do pretty customized work.” 

Do you believe a benefit of working for one client is how deep you can dive into your work?

Both client professionals agreed that a great part of their job is that they can dive into their work deeply and have an in-depth understanding of their company. 

Madison Cavanaugh indicated, “Definitely because you can focus solely on that client or on that product. It gives the opportunity to give more of a whole approach to things.” 

Hannah Cebula shared with us, “Absolutely. I work in the automotive industry, and I’ve gained so much knowledge about an industry I knew nothing about when I started. All my focus is on this brand and how we can succeed in every project we work on. Automotive is one of the most complex industries to work in – at least from a marketing standpoint – so it’s a necessity that I keep my focus on our brand and our goals in order to ensure we reach them.”

Do you feel in working for one client you are hyper-focused on digital marketing? 

Cavanaugh stated that all she does is digital marketing so she does feel hyper-focused on it. Cebula said that she does not feel hyper-focused on digital content because she does not always approach a new idea with the preconceived notion she will have to use digital marketing. 

Madison Cavanaugh stated, “All we do is digital marketing, so yes. COVID-19 changed the way we market things, so especially after the pandemic, everything became digital.”

Hannah Cebula explained to us, “Thankfully, no. My focus is on brand and retail creative advertising, so part of my job is finding the right channels to push out the creative content. A lot of times that is through digital tactics – and I’m looping social media under digital with that – but sometimes the best channels for our creative are regional TV buys or email campaigns. Digital marketing plays a very important role in the marketing mix, but I never approach a project thinking that it must live through digital marketing. If that’s what makes sense for the project, then we’ll use it.”

Overall, all pros have very similar answers to each question. Agency employees seemed to value how their agency treats them and how varying their work day life is. The hands-on experiences that they are able to have access to provide them with better connections within their professional lives. 

Individual client employees agree that the best part of their job is producing work that is helpful and beneficial to their brand in a creative and artistic way. Both agreed that being able to study their company in depth has aided in their ability to create content that increases sales. 

Interviewing agency and individual client employees gave me a clearer understanding of the similarities and differences in the world of public relations, and I hope after reading this, you feel the same way too! 

By: Tara Maupai


With brands increasingly involving platforms such as Instagram and TikTok in advertising campaigns, some questions arise: is social media real advertising? Would David Ogilvy, the “Father of Advertising” approve of it? To answer this question, we look at insight provided by Ogilvy and his teachings through his books, “Confessions of an Advertising Man” and “Ogilvy on Advertising.” Although Ogilvy’s work was published decades ago, his content creation principles are prevalent in modern advertising — alive and well in social media — and I’ll use his own words to explain how.   

“To stand out, you must be well defined in the minds of consumers: who you are and what you do.”

A catalyst for building a brand: While the best advertising stays true to its brand, first that brand must be developed. Utilizing social media platforms allows companies and creators to produce and build upon their personalities. For both new and well-established brands, social media is the way to reiterate those brand personas. When deciding between brands that sell or promise the same thing, consumers are going to choose the brands they feel they resonate with the most. Not only do brands market their products, but they market themselves, too. Branding arguably is what sells products more so than the products do themselves. Take Merriam-Webster for example: by taking the task of selling a dictionary (boring, as all dictionaries are) and building a personality of fun, witty, and relatable on Twitter, their account grew by over 200,000 followers in a year and is continuing to grow and maintain popularity.

 “Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.”

Research and analytics are key: Ogilvy believed in the importance of research in advertising, including testing product and branding concepts. Audience and engagement analytics offered by social media channels Instagram, Twitter and TikTok as well as third-party tools provide developed and extensive data. This data helps brands and creators measure success as well as weak points within products, campaigns, or just overall big ideas. Knowing everything about your audience and industry before a campaign is activated helps brands be that much more successful. Comment sections, shares, replies and direct messages are also crucial, delivering direct feedback through conversations that brands and other consumers can respond and react to. 

“Unless your campaign has a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”

Perfect for big ideas: Social media is a collection of big ideas shared across the globe. Campaigns can be multifaceted across many platforms at once and even the smallest of businesses can take advantage of social media marketing strategies and find success in their original and innovative content going viral. Brands often reach viral status through creating clever challenges, hashtags, essentially relating content to pop culture and tapping into the subconscious minds of consumers while presenting original and fun material. They must be able to keep up and constantly create content or they’ll fall behind in the algorithm, losing out on followers and profit. Not only does social media allow for the expression of specific big ideas within a singular campaign, but it also allows brands to express their overarching big idea, or governing brand idea, aka the GBI. Discovering the GBI sets the framework for everything pertaining to the brand: its messaging, strategies, story, promise and experience. While Ogilvy himself did not use the term GBI, he would have given it the D.O. stamp of approval, because it admirably encapsulates his entire school of thought.

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Requires compelling copy: Copywriting in social media relies on headlines and short yet persuasive writing. According to an article about attention span on social media, Facebook reported that the average attention span of a smartphone user on a social media platform was 1.7 seconds, even less than those using desktops, which is 2.5 seconds. To prevent audiences from scrolling past a post, it must immediately catch their eye. There are so many different things to look at on social media, consumers’ attention spans do not have time to read or watch something boring. A prime example of this is the moniker used on the internet, “Too Long Didn’t Read,” or “TL;DR.” Social media algorithms emphasize skilled and accessible copywriting to effectively reach and captivate the appropriate audiences, which goes beyond just cute or catchy taglines: drawing consumers in through headlines and copy takes refined strategy.

“You cannot bore people into buying your product; you can only interest them in buying it.”

Captivating visuals are mandatory: There are many different visual elements that a brand can use to become successful on social media: photography, videos, graphics, art and much more. Whereas in traditional advertising, each medium has its own set of rules. If there were to be one rule about social media, it is this: you have to be creative. Much like traditional advertising, it is distasteful and taboo to copy other brands or creators’ work. This means that visuals must be original, showing consumers something that they haven’t seen before, or in a different light. This is where photography and other artistic direction shine through on social media. To compete with other brands and creators on social media as well as draw and maintain the attention of consumers, eye-catching visual content is a must.

“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.”

Drives sales on- and offline: The biggest lesson that David Ogilvy gave to the advertising industry was that the point of the business is to sell – above all. Brands use social media to not only direct consumers to their stores, website, or partnered e-commerce retailers but also use the platform itself as a marketplace to sell straight out of, like Instagram Shopping and TikTok Shopping. Showing products and services in action is a large part of advertising campaigns as well, especially when partnering with influencers. Consumers being able to witness products and services in action contribute to brand reputation and consumer trust. Within the service of selling on social media, another Ogilvy principle is ever-present: storytelling. By fusing storytelling inside advertisements, you truly appeal to consumers. Ogilvy explains this notion in an interview clip from 1985. The goal of advertising comes down to selling – while it takes hard work, just as any traditional advertising channel, social media pushes exceptional selling statistics.

Above all, Ogilvy wanted creative minds to understand this: the heart of advertising comes from understanding consumers, and the audiences you wish to reach —  grasping who they are, and why they do what they do. After accomplishing that, the possibilities are endless. You can predict what will draw them and keep them in, what they will buy, how and when they will buy it. Social media in advertising effectively embodies Ogilvy’s philosophies. So, to finally answer the question, yes —  he would undoubtedly approve of and consider social media to be real advertising.

By: Erin Daly


It’s cheap, trendy and it’s disposable. It makes purchasing clothes on impulse easy and affordable. 

What Exactly is Fast Fashion, Anyway? 

Fast fashion is the mass production of cheap, poor-quality, disposable clothing items. The clothing produced is developed rapidly and marketed fast to follow the fashion trends of our world. Due to fashion trends always changing, the clothing is produced to meet what trend society wants at that given time. 

Long train made of used clothing in front of fast fashion store H&M

An activist disguised as a Queen of Old Clothes promotes a Buy Nothing Day on “Black Friday” as part of the campaign to reduce overconsumption. The Trash Queen wears a seven metres long train made from used clothing. Greenpeace activists as trainbearers present the Trash Queen as an ambassador of the Detox our fashion campaign and call on the public to pursue a sustainable fashion lifestyle. The message on the paper bags reads: “Trendy today – Trash tomorrow”. Fuer einen verkaufsfreien Tag wirbt am “Black Friday” eine “Trash Queen” in der Hamburger Innenstadt. Ihre sieben Meter lange Schleppe aus Altkleidern symbolisiert die weltweite Menge an textilem Muell. Die Altkleiderkoenigin wirbt fuer nachhaltigen Modekonsum. Die Botschaft auf den Papiertueten lautet: “Heute Trend- Morgen Muell”.

How is Fast Fashion Advertised to Target Consumers to Make Purchases? 

Social media influencers play a significant role in promoting fast fashion, through advertising and communicating to brands’ audiences. The use of well-known style influencers who know how to properly promote the clothing and have consumers make purchases stimulates rapid consumption. Style influencers’ platforms will consist of, Influencer Shein try on haul, the brands have sent them for FREE. Making the audience to believe they will look just as good as they do in the clothing being advertised. 

Why do Style influencers promote no matter how unethical the brand is? 

A style influencer has a large social media following, creates mainly fashion content and has the ability to influence the opinion and purchase behavior with their recommendations. According to  eco-stylist, “The average style influencer can make anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 a year promoting products on their Instagram.” Specific influencers will partner with any brand to gain cash, this means even if the brand is unethical and a big polluter of the environment.  

Take a look around at influencers’ social media posts, and you are more than likely to see more than half their posts promoting a brand. 

Here are a few style influencers that promote fast-fashion brands:

Influencer promoting H&M, Zara, and Shein on Instagram

Delaney Childs promoting Princess Polly with a 20% off code

How Important Public Relations Directors are in the Fast Fashion Industry 

Keeping the relationship between companies and consumers is the duty of public relations specialists. A brand’s public view being positive constantly creates stronger relationships and creates that brand’s growth. Fast Fashion brands including, Zara, Shein, BooHoo, H&M, Forever 21 and many more receive much negative publicity. Public relations efforts go above and beyond to protect these specific brands at all costs. Not only do public relations directors and specialists maintain a brand’s image but they also are offering positive coverage without advertising. 

What it all comes down to 

The fast fashion industry will forever keep growing and changing rapidly. The continuance of influencers advertising on their social media platforms without the concern of how unethical a brand is will encourage these companies to keep expanding their business. Individuals need to keep up with calling out brands for how unethical they are to help create changes within the fast fashion industry.

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