Lindsay Lohan- Lessons in PR

(Image via HuffingtonPost.com)

We first met Lindsay Lohan as the plucky red-head in the “Parent Trap,” a young girl so full of talent it was hard to imagine she would ever be unemployed in the acting world.  Fast forward ten years and you see Lindsay Lohan, the platinum blonde, orange faced socialite whose legal woes have made the press much more often than her acting roles.

In March of 2011, Platform Magazine compiled a list of the public relations flubs that Lohan has made ever since her 2007 arrest following her first DUI.  After a second DUI, three stints in rehab, a public altercation with her father, Lohan’s public image seemed irreversibly tarnished.  More importantly her personal life seemed to be getting increasingly dangerous and self-destructive. When she appeared in court, she was repeatedly chastised for dressing inappropriately, arriving late, and not taking the consequences seriously.  Family, friends, law enforcement and even dedicated fans of Lohan were getting fed up with her seemingly non-caring attitude, lack of responsibility for her actions and an overall blase attitude towards getting her life back on track.

One of the most important things that Lohan should have done initially was to take responsibility for what was going on and strive to keep the distance between her public and private life.  Her publicist repeatedly denied claims of substance abuse, claiming Lohan was doing just fine, while the tabloids were video taping her stumbling out of a night club at 4 a.m.  Instead of lying to the public to keep face, Lohan should have admitted her problems and sought to deal with them privately. While it can be unimaginably difficult to deal with personal issues as a celebrity, there are those celebrities who are able to be famous without having their lives splashed across a tabloid.

Lohan also needed to do the little things to show that she truly wanted to repair her image, as she claimed in an interview with Extra magazine last year.  Little things like dressing professionally and being prompt instead of showing up an hour late to a court hearing wearing six inch heels and a low cut blouse.  Platform Magazine also cites Lindsay’s tendency to fall back on her past successes without looking forward to future projects for motivation.

Lindsay Lohan has experienced the extreme pitfalls that come with being a celebrity and there have been many public relations lessons to learn from observing her media history.  The good news for Lohan is that things are looking up; she has almost completed her mandatory hours working the Los Angeles County Morgue,  she is planning on hosting Saturday Night live and she is also slated to portray Elizabeth Taylor in her biopic.  Hopefully Lohan has learned from her past and will strive to be a responsible and more private celebrity in the future.

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To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

(Image via mediabistro.com)

In today’s social media saturated world, you would be hard pressed to find somebody who does not have a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or at the very least a Myspace. At the most basic level social media has completely revolutionized the way that people communicate and share their lives online. Social media platforms have similarly  changed the way that companies and celebrities interact with the public.

Twitter specifically has given fans the ultimate tool to directly communicate and sometimes even interact with their favorite celebrities.  Through Twitter you can tell Coldplay how amazing their Grammy performance was, commiserate with Kim Kardashian about her most recent break up, or tell Lil’ Wayne what you thought of his latest album. Twitter has also  helped companies, organizations and groups become more reachable by providing a channel for customers to give feedback on a product, complain about a bad experience, or applaud a recent purchase.  Establishing online communication via Twitter  has become essential for businesses and celebrities because it helps create brand loyalty.

I recently spoke with a friend who contacted a travel agency to request the online special that had been advertised though he had already purchased his travel package.  After he was denied the online rate, he took to his Twitter and complained that the special was misleading and how disappointed he was with their customer service.  Within minutes, he receieved a call from the agency’s director of hospitality who offered him an extra night free of charge for his hassle. While not every complaint is acknowledged this promptly, or as generously, this is a perfect example of how Twitter can help a business interact with its customers and establish brand loyalty at the same time.

Twitter is also useful for celebrities, who can announce apperances, special events, concert dates, important notices, and also personal messages to fans. Pop icon  Lady Gaga has a Twitter following of almost 20 million and she uses her account to communicate and receive feedback from her loyal followers. Twitter gives celebrities the opportunity to keep fans more involved in what they are doing, and when they are doing it.  Just as companies can create brand loyalty through customer communication, so too can celebrities create a loyal Twitter base through fan interaction.

Who & What is Perception PR?!

(Image via pollackblog.com)

Hello and welcome to my blog, Perception PR!  My name is Sarah Raniele and I am a senior public relations major at the University of Oregon. I spent the first two years of my collegiate career at Loyola Marymount University in beautiful Los Angeles, CA, but I traded sunny L.A. for rainy Eugene in the fall of 2010 in order to purse a degree in Public Relations

I will be graduating in June of 2012 and hope to work at an up and coming PR firm that specializes in personal branding & management, as well as crisis evaluation and management. Through my past experience working at a sports PR department and an internship with a non-profit organization here in Eugene, I have come to find out how much I enjoy working in public relations.

So what is Perception PR? Perception PR is a blog where I will explore and discuss various issues that arise when working in the PR industry, and how personal branding & crisis management can affect the public perception of celebrities or companies. I also will use celebrity examples to illustrate the ideas and principles of PR that I find the most important. I hope you enjoy reading my blog!