Food & E-commerce Trends

By: Evan Brunette

The food market in America is facing a various number of encounters with changing consumer demands. This is making food companies lean toward trends that approach engagements that are more convenient, healthy, sustainable, and also the use of technology with food. On-going with the pandemic, grocery ecommerce is growing rapidly with the need of ordering essential goods online. “The migration of essential goods to online has accelerated this trend by three or four years in the span of three or four months. We forecast that food and beverage will be the fastest-growing ecommerce category this year, with year-over-year growth of 58.5%.” (Editors, 2020)

When a student enters college, they have to think about what they have to eat because they no longer have the luxury of home-cooked meals. Most college students’ diet would consist of ramen, boxed mac and cheese and other microwavable items.

There was an advertisement online I came upon called HelloFresh and it caught my eye. HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service that sends you fresh ingredients to your doorstep based on your dietary preference and schedule.  The advertisement that particularly caught my attention said when I signed up I would get 10 meals for free, so I decided to try their service.

Since most places were closed during Covid-19 and I didnt have a car it was difficult to get food. If it was not for HelloFresh, I would’ve been eating pizza everyday. “HelloFresh reacted to consumer trends, implemented new technology and data management systems and invested in growth strategies that enabled them to successfully outgrow their competitors in all of their markets. By initiating strategic transformations and deploying a strong set of dynamic capabilities, especially in detecting opportunities and making market-oriented decisions, HelloFresh was able to adapt to shifts in society, technology and competition. “(Katte, 2019) 

Using this service as a student would save time and money since there would be no need to go to the grocery store or look up recipes. I ended up having an amazing time with the HelloFresh service by learning how to cook and also becoming more familiar with tools in the kitchen. “I believe we’ll see many companies following this trend of using technology to update traditional service models, as we see the merging of convenience, local and trying to meet consumer demand for something natural and locally produced.” (Mohan, 2019) 

Little did I know when I clicked on that advertisement I saw for HelloFresh, it would lead me to a possible internship with the company. Matthew Sytsema, Director of Procurement for protein and seafood at HelloFresh, just moved in next to my house. I got to know him and after telling him about myself, he gave me his business card and told me to contact him for an internship opportunity in the summer. 

HelloFresh was able to adapt to shifts in society, technology and competition. This goes to show that using shifts in society and technology opens up other fields as an opportunity for the company and that is why HelloFresh became so successful.

Works Cited

Editors, E. (2020, July 28). Food and beverage will see biggest gains in retail ecommerce sales growth this year. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from

Katte, L (2019, July 02) “HelloFresh: a recipe for sustainable market leadership.” Retrieved February 19th, 2021, from

Mohan, A. (2019, January 07). 2019: ‘the end of the food industry as we know it’. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from

By: Grace Thompson

What makes you decide to go watch a new movie, either in theaters or on- demand in your own home? Was it the trailer you watched in the movie theater, or was it the teaser that showed up on your twitter feed? Sometimes a talented cast and crew are notisn’t enough to draw in an audience, so filmmakers rely on publicity to garner the attention their film deserves. Public Relations specialists employ strategy to generate buzz using the right medium for the film. 

The role of public relations in promoting a movie is to maximize the coverage of the film to the target audience. For example, when trying to promote an animated movie to small children and their families, the team running the campaign often places characters from the movie on a Mcdonald’s Happy Meal or on a sugary cereal targeted toward families with young children. It is important for the upcoming film to be in the news as much as possible, from the time the movie is announced, to the day it leaves theaters. 

Public relations plays a crucial role in the film industry. It’s important to generate buzz around a new movie to more than just moviegoers as it is important to gather interest from distributors (who are responsible for the marketing and deciding the media by which the film is to be viewed) and film festivals, bloggers and influencers. Essentially, the more interest you gather, the more your film is talked about, the more people go to see it, and the more money your film will make.

Like in almost all public relations campaigns, social media plays a huge role in spreading news about a film. Upcoming movies tend to have their own social media account, in which content about the upcoming film or information on how to view the film are easily available. These accounts are often where the casting announcements, teasers, and trailers are first shown to the public. 

Publicists use many different methods to initiate interest in an upcoming film. It is the publicistslists job to negotiate with the press for any additional media and cross-promotion opportunities. They host press conferences to announce a new film.  They release trailers, teasers and photo-ops. They are the ones who book actors to guest star on our favorite talk shows, radio shows and news programs. 

As movies and their budgets keep getting bigger, the promotional budget is almost equal to the production budget. This makes, making the public relations campaigns more innovative with the intention of garnering a larger profit from the film. It is hard to go anywhere out in public without seeing a poster for the next big budget action movie. Other movies, such as small independent films , are often only shown to their target audience through social media, as they normally do not have the promotional budget to appeal to all movie goers. 

Agencies that specialize in film and entertainment are normally located in larger cities where movie production takes place such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. These agencies are involved from the very beginning, often before production even begins on the film. The employees of these agencies work tirelessly to show as many people  as they can the hard work that went into these films and so the film can make the profit that it deserves, and even introduce the audience to what may be their new favorite film.


Personally, I didn’t see too many grammatical errors. The ones I did see, Evan touched base on. AP style was on point, and the sources you provided were really helpful. I really enjoyed the topic you wrote about. I knew PR played a big role in the fim industry, but maybe you can go into detail more about the effects it makes on society and how it has changed society maybe. I really enjoyed how you provided many examples on promoting movies and cross-promotion opportunities. One thing I would change is to, like I said, include somewhere in the middle a paragraph on how the film industry affects society and how PR plays a role in that. 

Works Cited 

Camero, Rosa. “Public Relations in the Films Distribution Industry.” RosssCammm Films & Marketing, 15 May 2020,

“Production Notes: Public Relations.” Nevada Film Office, 3 July 2017,

Whitewaterpr. “Role of Public Relations in the Film Industry.” White Water PR, 18 June 2016,

By: Kevin Teagle

Advertising has been done more than one way throughout the years. One of the best ways for a brand to advertise themselves now is through popular athletes to wear or show off product on social media. Over time, brands and athletes have become bigger with mutual interest and often the brand wins more so than not. In this short but simple blog I’m going to explain how athletes are needed by brands to further their advertising venture.

One reason that brands like to use athletes is because athletes are celebrities and depending in the sports figure. If we have a five-star athlete on deck like Lebron James, he has deals with brands like Sprite and McDonalds. These aren’t the best things for your body but because you have the best basketball player in the world shown eating and drinking your product people will go out and buy it. Athletes are also used because it gives off a sense of security to people that are curious and wish to buy it. Imagine Serena Williams being shown with a new type of camera and she is taking a bunch of ads and in plenty commercials for the item.

 It feels more official because you think there is no way she would put her name behind something without it being official. It also seems that brands go to athletes because they give off athlete matching the vibes of what the product gives off. This also gives off a sense of an authentic partnership which makes people think “if they use it, I want it too”. That’s something people feed off as well “they must pick players that attain the physical appearance, the demeanor, and style of play that fits the brand’s image”, connected to whoever is in the ad. While brands take a huge risk due to rumors, injuries, trades, and scandals athletes have boosted sales so much over the years that they are the clear favorite in the future of sponsorships.  

Besides features that align an athlete and a brand another reason that athletes come back with the brinks trunk after talking with companies is the possibilities of connections. When I say connections, I mean that one-star player can convince another player to sign with a certain brand. One example is how Lebron can convince young star players to sign with Nike who is known to give signature shoes with young stars. Another example of stars who can connect stars with other brands would be Dwayne Wade in the 2012 season. His teammate Lebron James was seen drinking Powerade and Dwayne suggested if his friend should go with Gatorade “That’s why he’s cramping,” Wade insisted. This insists that one brand is better than another and will produce his level of play on the court and that will make people buy more of that.

Finally, I think that brands and athletes go together so well and make advertising the future with this partnership because of the treatment. The treatment of the athlete makes them household names which is something that players look to do as their play begins to give them hype. It also shows that brands are willing to take care of people who works well with them and that looks good from the outside.

Works Cited

Kirkpatrick, Spencer. (2016 October 28). Endorsing Athletes that Fit Your Brand’s Image.

Lawrence, Blake. (2013 August 13).  Why Big Brands Spend so Much on Athlete Endorsements.

Lemmons, Malcom. Why Are Athlete Endorsements So Important For Brands?

By: Hannah Gary

Throughout the years public relations has gone through many changes. Aspects such as technology and communication advancements made this possible, but nothing can compare to the growth of social media. It has become a massive part of our clients’ marketing strategies such as increasing brand awareness, growing revenue, building relationships, providing customer services, and more. I am going to list four ways social media has changed public relations in the world today.

Two-way Communication 

PR Firms reach their customers through channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and many more social media platforms. Sharing your brand’s personality with consumers allows them to feel a deeper connection with what you have to sell. Social media is also helpful for the consumers to engage with your brand, whether it’s by liking something you posted or sharing your content so others can see. The only bad thing about this is that people are also able to complain or criticize your brand, which others can also see. 

Finding Influencers

If you’re looking to get into the work of Influencer PR, the best platform to find influencers is Instagram. Influencers build relationships, trust, and credibility with the people who follow them. Influencer marketing is extremely beneficial to the ADPR industry because it improves your brand awareness, provides value to your audience, and builds partnerships for the future. When it comes to consumer engagement, statistics show that 80% of marketers rate content marketing as most impacted by influencer marketing. (Garrett, 2020) From a beauty guru with 20 million followers to an ASMR vlogger with 8 million followers, influencers are possibly one of the best ways to get customers to engage with your brand and create opportunities. Once you partner with the right influencers, it will help your brand tremendously by gaining traction. 

Crisis Management

By using social media, PRs can monitor the public’s opinion about a current brand before it is put out for people to see. (2021, January 16) If there is a bad review on a company, we can productively address the issue before a major brand crisis happens.  There are six major steps you want to take when handling a Public Relations crisis: (2020, August 14)

  1. Have a response team
  2. Devise a strategy and brief your team
  3. Have a message
  4. Identify and address the company being affected
  5. Monitor the situation
  6. Review and learn from the situation

Making Announcements

PRs are responsible for their clients getting the word out of a new product, service initiative, or anything that is  important for consumers to know about their brand. You could get the word out by writing a blog, posting graphics on Instagram, posting a YouTube video, a simple tweet with good, related hashtags, and more. Like always, you have to implement strategy and tactics before anything.

When people think of Public Relations, they think we are mostly about just making a brand look good, or fixing their situation, which is somewhat true, but it goes way deeper than that. PRs take their time to build brands, shape the perceptions of clients, create reputations, build trust, and so much more. Social media has played such a huge role in what we do, and it is just going to keep growing from here. 

Works Cited

Garrett, M. (2020, October 27). How to use social media for PR. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from

Admin. (2020, August 14). 3 tips for using social media as a public Relations tool – Y Digital: Social and digital marketing agency. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from

How to manage a social media crisis: A practical guide for brands. (2021, January 16). Retrieved February 19, 2021, from

By: Juliet Thomas

In the age of 24-hour news cycles and the increasing accessibility of information through social media, the American public is becoming more politically involved than ever. Voter turnout for the 2020 election was the highest in American history, with over 159 million ballots cast (Lindsay 2020). This figure represents about two-thirds of eligible voters in the United States. In an increasingly politically aware society, social media and public relations continue to play a bigger role in government and politics. The value of political social media strategy is often underestimated because it is such a new phenomenon. When we see the final product of elections, we often don’t consider how strategically each campaign message is crafted in order to create a statement. Having a strong social media strategy is key for future elections and campaigns. 


Approximately 79 percent of females and 69 percent of males from age 13-38 (Generation Z and Millennials) actively use Instagram (Tankovska 2021). Generation Z accounts for one in ten eligible voters, which is an estimated 24 million people (Parker & Igielnik, 2021). President Joe Biden’s campaign team was able to use a unique strategy on Instagram to target these young voters that paid off for him. His team utilized influencers to get the word out to vote for Biden. Some notable ones include Lady Gaga, Keke Palmer and Youtubers James Charles and Nikita Dragun. “Influencers were able to act much like small scale press conferences to youth voters – those not traditionally glued to CNN or other news channels” (Suciu 2020). During a global pandemic where door-to-door campaigning and rallies are more or less impossible, Biden’s team utilized social media in a new, groundbreaking way that helped lead him to the Presidency. 


Former President Donald Trump received a lot of notoriety for his Twitter account, which he strategically started utilizing during his 2016 Presidential campaign and for the duration of his Presidency. His posts were known for being “unfiltered” which allowed voters to understand his personality, a strategy that a lot of political candidates shy away from. This allowed him to gain a massive following. Trump was one of the first political figures to use social media in such a major way that drew international attention. This attention wasn’t always positive and caused controversy which ultimately led to the removal of his accounts. Twitter is widely known for political discourse. This is because Twitter is a reliable social media channel that allows users to post easily shareable information in 140 characters or less. This platform will likely continue as an important media channel for campaigns. 

Tik Tok

Tik Tok is an emerging platform with an estimated 1.1 billion monthly users (Doyle 2021). Tik Tok videos are a maximum of 60 seconds long. Due to a unique algorithm, any Tik Tok user could have a video become viral overnight, no matter their follower count. Senator Jon Ossoff used Tik Tok to his advantage during his 2020 election and subsequent runoff election that just concluded in January 2021. His account has over 452 thousand followers and 7 million likes. Combined with other campaign efforts, this strategy helped him get the word out for his campaign. His message was able to become more effective by using this platform in a push to become more relatable to young voters. Tik Tok is a newer platform that is worth exploring for other campaigns. 


In our digital, politically conscious age, political public relations professionals will have the opportunity to be creative with their job by using social media. As shown through success stories, thinking out of the box is a necessity with strategic social media. No matter what the channel, social media is a valuable strategy for communicators to use to reach voters while campaigning. According to 2020 Presidential election exit polls from the New York Times, Generation Z accounted for 17 percent of the votes, Millennials accounted for 23 percent, Generation X accounted for 38 percent and Baby Boomers accounted for 22 percent. Generation Z is the first generation to grow up completely familiar with social media and the internet, with Millennials not much ahead of them. As the majority of Generation Z comes of voting age, these demographics will become even more important for political candidates and their campaign teams to pay attention to. Social media is the avenue of the present and simultaneously the future for strategic communicators to pay attention to. 

Works Cited

Doyle, B. (2021, February 06). TikTok Statistics – Everything You Need to Know [Feb 2021 update]. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from

Lindsay, J. M. (2020, December 15). The 2020 Election by the Numbers. Retrieved February 17, 2021, from

National Exit Polls: How Different Groups Voted. (2021, January 05). Retrieved February 17, 2021, from

Parker, K., & Igielnik, R. (2021, February 09). What We Know About Gen Z So Far. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from

Suciu, P. (2020, November 17). Social media Proved Crucial for Joe Biden – It Allowed Him to Connect with Young Voters and Avoid his Infamous Gaffes. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from–it-allowed-him-to-connect-with-young-voters-and-avoid-his-infamous-gaffes/?sh=595516e44148

Tankovska, H. (2021, January 28). U.S. Gen Z & Millennials Social Network Reach by Gender 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from

By: Tristan Haley

Let’s face it, digital marketing is here to stay whether we like it or not. Those invasive little pop-ups are the future of advertising and making them work in your favor can be harder than it seems. Every day there’s a new article covering the ills and evils of the digital marketing landscape. Often, these articles gripe about the struggle of generating reach and engagement due to the fact that the majority of online content is user-generated. Companies can be put in quite a predicament if they aren’t creating content that is relevant and timely to their consumer base. 

Brands must come to terms with the fact that the majority of users are averse to their advertising efforts to a point where 86% of users skip through ads and 47% use ad-block while browsing the internet (AdAge, 2020). This issue can be remedied somewhat through artificial intelligence and strategic planning, but the best way to make an impact with your digital ads is to do away with the cheesy tone-deaf messaging. Think of Pepsi and its poorly received “Live For Now Moments Advertisement” starring Kendall Jenner. This advertisement was rolled out during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement much to the anger of consumers. This poor ad timing makes it difficult to form a bond with consumers and end up putting them off to your company. Most advertisers fail to keep up with the news and in today’s digital world news travels faster than ever. 

Advertisers must be vigilant when it comes to generating content during periods of unrest because it can be seen as insensitive and downright distasteful. This lack of awareness can turn people off to your company and drive away potential customers. Advertisers need to have a plan in place to cover, swap, and cease ads immediately due to the pace of the news cycle and global events.

Audience cultivation is a significant problem when it comes to digital marketing, over half of the money spent is wasted on off-target audiences.“56% of advertisement campaign impressions are lost due to either fraud or off-target audiences”(Innovecs, 2019)”. What this tells us is that advertisers have been taking the convenience of digital marketing for granted and this has made their ability to cultivate audiences poor. In order to make an impact, limit click fraud and gain a following; advertisers must work on segmenting their audience. By segmenting the audience you can market more effectively because you have smaller pools to work with and analyze. This method also offers a higher return on investment because by segmenting audiences, advertisers can save more money by focusing on specific groups rather than shelling out large sums of money for broad-scope digital campaigns.

The ability to interact with consumers directly is a very important and very underutilized benefit of digital marketing. It’s called social media for a reason and what better way to know your consumer base is by actually being social. “Whether the social action is responding to customer reviews, engaging in LinkedIn discussions, replying to comments on Facebook, or re-tweeting customer-generated content, genuinely connecting with shoppers can increase social media success metrics across the board” (10th Degree 2020).

Customer feedback is a very crucial part of having a successful online campaign, the ability to connect with customers and show them that you care about their thoughts and opinions is very important for future campaigns and overall brand image. Digital advertising is getting bigger by the day and advertisers must work to understand how the landscape works for those who fail to keep up with the trends will be relegated to the backlogs of the virtual world

Works Cited

4 common digital marketing problems and their best solutions. (2020, November 20). Retrieved March 05, 2021, from

Panel, A. (2020, July 15). 10 major issues digital marketing may face in the future. Retrieved March 05, 2021, from

What are 2019’S challenges and digital ADVERTISING TRENDS? (2020, June 22). Retrieved March 05, 2021, from

By: Michael Gagliardi

Advertising is the act of drawing attention to a particular product or service. Some businesses hire outside agencies to help them while others decide to take it into their own hands. There are a surplus of ways to get the attention of consumers to make them potential customers. Billboards, radio and T.V. commercials, fliers, and product placement in movies are all common places to see or hear advertisements. In the last 10 years a new surge of advertising has taken over with the recent advancements in technology and social media.

According to a study done by The Pew Research Center 70 percent of adults have at least one form of social media. They go on to say that those adults spend an average of 2-3 hours a day scrolling through different platforms. According to the Search Engine Journal Instagram has over 1 billion monthly users while Tik Tok has just over 1.2 billion. If you were to add the number of monthly users for both of these platforms it would still not add up to the amount that facebook has. Facebook has the most monthly users at 2.5 billion, which is 32 percent of the world’s population. 

Ana Gotter of Disruptive Advertising claims Facebook is the best social media platform to advertise on. The price of a Facebook advertisement is based on the number of people who view the ad on their timeline. There is also interest based targeting which means if people follow similar pages there is more of a chance they will see the ad. This feature saves the business money because they are only paying for people to see the ad if they are most likely already interested. This is a great tool to help reach the businesses target audience. Billboards, commercials, and fliers are easily missed by consumers and businesses waste money for people to not notice. 

Instagram is another popular website to buy advertisements on. In 2020 Instagram was the sixth most visited website and had the fourth most users of any smartphone application. The price for an instagram advertisement is a minimum of five dollars per day but will go up if there are more than that amount of engagements. 

As reported by The Pew Research Center 53 percent of companies who participated in the survey said that they saw a “Major impact” in customer engagement. This means that more potential clients have seen the company’s page. The study also shows that 11 percent of the businesses saw a major rise in sales due to social media ads while 39 percent saw a minor increase. This means social media advertising was beneficial to 50 percent of the companies who were surveyed. 

Works Cited

“Current World Population.” Worldometer,

Gotter, Ana. “The 5 Most Sales-Effective and Cost-Effective Ad Types in 2019.” StackPath, Disruptive Advertising , 30 Aug. 2019,

Kellogg, Kristi. “The 8 Biggest Social Media Sites for Marketing.” Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Journal, 11 Feb. 2021,,Instagram.%205%20Snapchat.%206% 20Pinterest.%207%20Reddit

“Reach More People with Instagram Ads.” Instagram for

Thomson, Kristin, et al. “Section 4: Social Media Use.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, Pew Research Center, 31 Dec. 2019,

By: Jesse Vermette

Electronic sports, otherwise known as Esports, are continually becoming more prominent. Competitive gaming has been around for over two decades, but since the COVID-19 pandemic began there has been a large increase in attention to the market. This industry has greatly benefited from the pandemic due to increased screen time by millions of people worldwide. This has led to increased attention towards the Esports community, which can only prove to be beneficial in both the short and long term.   

Before the pandemic, in-person Esports tournaments were common in this community. With the new policies and laws regarding social distancing and venue capacity throughout the world, there have been almost no in-person tournaments within the past year. Unfortunately, this has led to large Esports tournament organizers and sponsors having to lay people off, impose salary cuts, or close completely towards the beginning of the pandemic. On the plus side, this is an online market, so online tournaments have vastly increased throughout the pandemic. This industry revolves around being online, which proves why it is in the minority of industries that have flourished during the pandemic this past year. 

With the great increase in the popularity of Esports comes the opportunity for brands to infiltrate and take advantage of this market. Viewership of tournaments, teams, and individual players has greatly increased, allowing brands to reach an audience they did not expect to reach a year ago. Brands can work with individual content creators, professional organizations, games, and others to advertise to this large audience. This audience is generally hard to target if you do not associate your brand with the video game industry. This concept stresses the importance of brands getting involved in this market sooner rather than later.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Esports market could be easily defined as a niche market. The pandemic led to a “boom” for the industry which led to boosted revenue. Brands are beginning to realize that this market is not just the typical casual video game scene, but an opportunity to promote their brand through partnerships and sponsorships. It is very common to see energy drink brands partnering with Esports teams and content creators. These include Red Bull, GFuel, Monster, Mountain Dew Kickstart, and others. Technology companies like Intel, Nvidia, Corsair, HP, and AMD sponsor tournaments and provide equipment for the players. Many brands see that the video game audience has an increasingly large base that can be capitalized upon. There are many opportunities in the Esports scene for these brands that have yet to be tapped into, but I am sure we will only see the industry continue to increase due to the “boom” caused by the pandemic. This will cause more and more brands to partner, sponsor, and fund varying aspects of the industry.

Works Cited

Fudge, B., & Frascarelli, B. (2020, December 23). How COVID-19 changed the ESPORTS industry in 2020. Retrieved February 18, 2021, from

GingerMay. (2020, August 20). Advertising in esports: The new champion of engagement. Retrieved February 18, 2021, from

‘It’s still niche’: Esports See audience surge, more TEPID ad demand. (2020, April 13). Retrieved February 18, 2021, from,the%20absence%20of%20live%20sports.&text=%E2%80%9CWhile%20esports%20is%20more%20mainstream,for%20sports%20at%20Horizon%20Media

Lugris, M., & Mark Lugris (2020, July 25). New esa report shows gaming is no longer a niche market. Retrieved February 18, 2021, from

Tancredi, B. (2020, April 08). Esports: Changing the name of the advertising game. Retrieved February 18, 2021, from

By: Payton Otterman

When I tell people that I’m a public relations major, most of their knowledge of the profession is solely based on the idea that PR professionals fix public relations crises. While the entire profession isn’t built upon fixing crises, it is a big part of what we do. 

A public relations crisis is when any “negative event or review related to your business gains traction in the public sphere” (Caramela). In the age of social media, your brand’s seemingly simple mistake can immediately become public knowledge. 

An example of a PR crisis is 2019’s college admissions scandal. Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, along with others, were charged with fraud when they cheated the system to ensure that their children went to the college of their choosing. At the time, Loughlin was acting in “Fuller House,” Netflix’s reboot of “Full House,” and she was acting in Hallmark Channel movies. After the scandal, Hallmark dropped Loughlin and Netflix made the decision to continue production of “Fuller House” without her.

I get the purpose, but I’d think about changing it sense you already end the sentence with EVERY company should have a plan in place in case disaster strikes! If you’re not prepared, you’ll be scrambling to respond to the crisis in question, and your team may fail to craft the proper response. It’s important to identify your crisis communications team and identify and train your spokespeople. Knowing your audience is also important, because your team must understand who they’re communicating with and how they’re going to communicate that message. Lastly, it’s important to evaluate how well your team did in responding to the crisis. This will ensure that your team knows what to do next time crisis communications are needed.

No matter how big or small a PR crisis may be, it’s important to acknowledge and own up to your mistake. When owning up to your mistake, it’s important to be sincere. However, you’re going to need to put in a little more work than just apologizing – you’re going to have to tell the public what you’re going to change in order to prevent the same mistake from happening again. 

One of the biggest mistakes a PR team can make during a crisis is staying silent.  Although your legal or management team may want you to remain silent, you should try to go through the chain of command in order to change that. As a public relations professional, it is your job to apologize publicly if necessary.

Another mistake that professionals make is waiting too long to respond to backlash. Adrienne chance, the communications director for TrailRunner International, tells professionals that after brands acknowledge the impact their mistake has on people, sincerely apologize, and then “explain why the mistake happened and how it will be avoided in the future,” your brand needs to make a timely apology (Forbes).

Chance told Forbes Magazine, “The more time that passes before a company take these actions, the less meaningful they become. It’s critical for a brand to own its error before the audience owns the conversation” (Forbes). However, you must be sure not to give a response before knowing all of the facts involved in the situation.

At the end of the day, we’re all human and we ALL make mistakes. Apologizing and owning up to your mistakes can be difficult, but as professionals, we must be equipped with the skills so we properly respond when a crisis occurs.

Works Cited

Bernstein, J. (n.d.). The 10 steps of crisis communications. Bernstein Crisis Management.

Caramela, S. (2020, November 18). PR crisis? 6 steps to help navigate the storm. Business News Daily.

Forbes Communication Council. (2016, September 23). Six tips for responding after your brand makes a public mistake. Forbes.

Story, J. (2020, January 6). The biggest PR disasters of 2019. Ground Floor Media.

By: Ryan Putz

One of the fastest growing and most popular apps currently is a platform called “TikTok”.  For those who do not know TikTok is a social media platform where users can post and watch small clips that range from six seconds to one minute.  If you go on your iPhone right now you will see that TikTok is the number one free app on the app store currently, and it’s popularity is only growing.  Since the Coronavirus lockdown “TikTok and its sister app Douyin – which is available in mainland China – now have an estimated two billion downloads worldwide, with about 800 million active users.” (Tiddy, 2020)  It is a hot spot for wanna be influencers due to it having the reputation of being “the easiest app to go viral on”.  It also has an in-depth algorithm that keeps feeding you content of your interest in a never ending news feed that keeps it’s users interacting and engaging with the app.  While this app is highly addictive and from the outside seems quite harmless, what you don’t know is that the app is collecting massive amounts of valuable data about you without you even knowing it.

TikTok has millions of users every single day and is collecting valuable information on these users through data collection.  TikTok collects data on the app such as Geolocation, everything that you touch on the screen, everything about the device used to access TikTok such as the model of your phone, your mobile carrier, operating system, etc.  It also has access to your contact list as well as tracks everything that you write on the app, even if you delete it and don’t hit send. (

If all of that doesn’t creep you out, probably the most valuable data that they collect from you are the data that have to do with your interests.  All day TikTok is monitoring exactly what videos that you are interacting with and viewing frequently.  The system knows exactly how many times you have viewed a video or if you watched one second of it and kept scrolling.  All of this valuable information about you is either being sold, or used to advertise products to you that you’d be interested in. 

TikTok even ran into some data collection trouble this past August.  TikTok reportedly violated Google’s data collection policies by tracking the individual identifiers of Android user’s smartphones.  According to the Wall Street Journal, “The app logged users’ MAC addresses — unique digital identifiers attached to all smartphones that cannot be reset — allowing TikTok parent company ByteDance to track people even if they changed their privacy settings to opt out of certain ad-tracking practices.”  This is a big red flag as Google has banned developers from collecting users MAC addresses in 2015, while Apple did the same thing about 2 years earlier.  Unfortunately no legal action has been taken yet due to these reports.  (Sonnemaker, 2020)

TikTok’s mixture of an extremely addictive algorithm along with their data collection methods means that a lot of personal and valuable information is being collected with every scroll.  I personally have deleted TikTok since finding out their data collection methods but a lot of people could care less about TikTok collecting your valuable information, what do you think?

Work Cited

Banjo, Shelly, and Kartikay Mehrotra. (2020)., Bloomberg, retrieved from

Sonnemaker, Tyler. (2020),  “TikTok Reportedly Violated Google’s Data Collection Policies by Tracking the Individual Identifiers of Android Users’ Smartphones.” Business Insider, Business Insider.

Tidy, Joe. (2020) “TikTok: What Is the App and How Much Data Does It Collect?” BBC News, BBC,

(2020) “TikTok: What Data Does It Collect on Its Users, and How Do Other Apps Compare?” Sky News, Sky,

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