KONY 2012: Social Media Blitz

Joseph Kony is a warlord in central Africa who forces the children he kidnaps to become child soldiers or sex slaves. And NGO Invisible Children wants to make him famous for it.

Invisible Children believes that simply making people aware of Joseph Kony will cause people to take action and bring him to justice. Their tactics include utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube in combination with underground media (posters, fliers and campaign lawn signs).

What’s exciting about them, however, is that they’re finding lots of success in the social media space. They’re succeeding where so many marketing, PR and social media firms fail. As far as I know, their success is a result of their message and their relationship with key influencers such as Rihanna, George Clooney and Justin Bieber.

I hope more details surface about Invisible Children’s success in social media. I’m sure whatever they did to gain recognition in the space will be the subject of case studies by PR professionals and others making their living in social, and I’m excited to see how an NGO can leave its mark on an industry I’m involved with.

For more information about the campaign, check out their website, Twitter feed and YouTube channel. Also, give their Facebook page a visit and pay attention to how they used Facebook’s timeline feature.

**UPDATE**

The Washington Post has an excellent article breaking down how Invisible Children connected with key influencers to help make their campaign viral.

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Street Photography: Portraits

Street photography can be intimidating. You’re out on the street with a camera trying to capture interesting moments, but at the same time you’re trying to blend into the background and not look like a creep with a camera. After all, it would be disconcerting if you were taking a stroll downtown and saw someone trying to snap your picture without you knowing it.

I think the best way to get over this fear is to do street portraits. In street photography, you’re trying to capture moments without anyone noticing. With street portraits, you have to confront the issue of consent directly.

Getting up the nerve to do this can be difficult (Danny Santos has an awesome post on how to overcome your fear of approaching someone for their portrait). But once you do get up the nerve, you will get some pretty unique photographs.

Continue reading

Hunger and Perspective

Two conflicting ideologies are battling for prominence in my life. To me, they epitomize “yin” and “yang” in that I need a healthy balance of both.

Staying hungry

I’m at a  good spot in my career. I feel like I’m at a great company doing an internship that’s relevant to the field I want to break into. But being a PR pro isn’t all I want. I feel like there are three areas in my life I want to develop:

1. Physical – I want to be in the best shape of my life this time next year. I’ve been off-and-on with my diet in terms of what I eat and my daily calorie intake, but I feel like I can hit my goals 100 percent of the time if I try. On top of that, I want to be stronger.. a lot stronger than how I am. It’s always been a goal of mine, but I feel like I finally have the tools to make the physical transformation I want to make. Continue reading

Moved to Seattle! (And other important updates)

Hi guys,

I know it’s (acceptable contraction for ‘it has’?) been a while since I last posted, and I’ve undergone some major changes. My friends have been left in the dark about what’s up with me, causing them to wonder why the hell I didn’t tell them what I’ve been up to. So in case I’ve missed anyone, here’s what’s been going on in the Life of Bryan:

1. I moved to Seattle

Having been a former resident of Seoul, I can say I’ve lived in some of the world’s largest cities. But I’ve never lived in an American metropolis… until now. I even work on the 13th floor of one of the high-rise buildings that dot the Seattle sky. Speaking of work…

2. I’m an intern at a global PR agency.

I’m finally putting my major to work for me as an intern at Weber Shandwick’s Seattle office.  I can say I’m finally using what I learned in college in the real world. I love what I do and actually look forward to coming into work every day. And yes, this is the first time I’ve ever said that about a real job and meant it.

3. I gave up freelancing. 

It’s something I always said I’d do if I ever started working in PR, and I did that to ensure that I would give 100 percent of my focus to my job. I think it’s a good decision that I do not regret. Freelancing taught me a lot about running my own business and working hard enough for myself, and I’m using the life skills that freelancing taught me in my internship. But it’s time to move on, and freelance writing is in my past.

That’s more or less it. I want to promise that I’ll upload more frequently in the future, but I’ve made that promise before and it never works out.

Thoughts on coffee drinking and the coffee culture

Picture of coffee beans

Let me start off by saying that I’m not a coffee expert. I’ve been drinking coffee for nine years, and I only took it with cream and sugar for three months when I was starting out. I drink mochas, lattes and frappachinos, but those are all in a different category than coffee to me.

I am not an expert in what makes a good coffee great. I understand how different regions have different flavors (and have gotten better at telling where a bean came from just by its taste), and I can have basic conversations about how you’re drinking a roast (when the coffee’s flavor comes from how the bean is roasted) or you’re drinking the bean (when the coffee’s flavor comes mostly from the bean).  But my understanding of coffee is limited.

But I do know what I like about coffee and what I hate about coffee culture. Being an avid drinker of coffee has given me insight into the mysterious black liquid of a non-technical sort. As someone who has worked as a journalist, a college student and a freelance writer, I like to think I’ve downed more than my fair share of coffee. As such, I’ve welcomed some trends in coffee and shaken my fist at others. Continue reading

Google +: A better tool for PR than Facebook?

I’ve been using Google Plus for two or three weeks now, and I love it so far. It still has a “shiny” feel to it and I love seeing how people are adapting to its features.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed about it, however, is that it is not, and never will be, a Facebook killer. Far be it from me to attempt to predict the future, but I don’t see Google + intruding on Facebook’s territory. Here’s why.

Internet Sharing Culture

Most of what I see on Google + so far is stuff people share from the Internet. It’s kind of like twitter, but with a higher character count. I’ve been directed to a lot of stuff that is interesting to me by the people I follow. I think this is because I’m in special Google circles with my friends, and the things they post to people in the circles I am in are directly related to my interests. (I’ll explain the emphasis later.) Continue reading

Make no mistake: The US Women’s team lost to a better team

Let’s get something strait: the US should not have won the Women’s world cup final. Let me repeat:  the US should not have won the women’s world cup final. The Japanese team proved that they were the better team, despite the fact that the US team controlled the pace of the game for a good 70 minutes.

Before there’s any misconception, I was pulling for the women’s team. I don’t think there’s any disrespect in saying that they lost to a team that was simply better.

But I do think it’s disrespectful to the Japanese team to say the US team simply choked. It detracts from the Japanese team’s talent and (Warning: cliche ahead) their will to win. And it overlooks the obvious: Japan was the better team on March 17th, 2011.

Here’s why: Continue reading