Playing for Change: Peace Through Music

My Mom sent me the link to a very powerful YouTube video a few weeks ago which has stuck with me ever since I watched it. Other than frequently reflecting on the video to myself, I was reminded of the video as I was waiting in the Washington-Reagan Airport this past weekend. I heard the unique rendition of “Stand By Me” playing in the background and my attention quickly turned to the TV tuned to CBS news in the airport terminal.

Mark Johnson, co-director of the documentary “Playing For Change: Peace Through Music” brought together musicians from all around the world to show the simple, yet transformable power of music. 10 years ago, Mark Johnson set out to travel the world in order to record as many different artists as he could find, 100 to be exact, ranging from a Blues singer in New Orleans to Chamber Groups in Moscow. These different groups performed and put their own touch on songs many of us may recognize, such as “Stand By Me” or “One Love.” The film brings people together through music: to a place where they are all connected- where religion and politics are no longer a dividing factor.

Ever since the video of Mark Johnson’s interview has been on YouTube, “Playing for Change” has taken off. Several major news stations have covered this story, and I recently heard talk that he is going to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Not only did I want to write a blog post in order to share this amazing movement and documentary, but also to point out the power of a video on the internet. This has been great PR for the “Playing for Change” documentary by being able to spark peoples interests and igniting their emotions through a 10 minute clip. I would not define this as a viral video quite yet, but I can definitely see the potential and powerful impact “Playing for Change: Peace Through Music” could bring our world.


April 22, 2009 at 10:28 am Leave a comment


The beginning of this semester is the first time I was introduced to several social media sites (other than Facebook, of course) I have realized that wrapping your head around social media can be a bit overwhelming at times – as I have had to grasp the overall concept of social media, how it functions in PR, and how to use all of the different social media sites. This semester I have worked to overcome my fear of blogging and also experimented and learned about Twitter.

The next on my list has been to engage in PROpenMic. Although I am relatively new to this site, I have gotten my feet wet and am already able to see the beneifts and wonderful networking system this website provides: for students, professors, and PR practitioners. I have posted 2 of my blog posts on the PROpenMic and plan to become more involved with this site in order to fully understand its networking and educational opportunities.

April 22, 2009 at 8:02 am Leave a comment

Comment on Lauren Gaulin’s Blog Post

I commented on one of my classmates, Lauren Gaulin’s, blog post in which she discusses the Clemson Men’s Soccer Coach case. He was arrested at his Clemson home on charges of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature following a domestic dispute. Lauren raised the question on what could have been done differently regarding the statement that was released by Clemson Athletic Directors. Check out my comment and give Lauren your feedback as well!

April 21, 2009 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment

Bad PR Example: Don’t Text a Pitch

Even though our world, especially the PR industry, is relying more and more on technology and is turning to social media- text messaging is still not an acceptable way to pitch a story to a journalist. Bottom Line: They won’t pitch your story and will probably delete your number! This informal way of communication should be used for making Friday night plans with friends, not to pitch your “great story idea” to a professional in the business.

The Bad Pitch Blog wrote a blog post about a PR practitioner (unnamed) who sent a text message to a well-respected free lance journalist for a major news organization. Needless to say, this text did not convince the journalist to take on this story but did give he and his co-workers a good laugh.

This is my bad PR example because it hurt this PR person’s credibility and professionalism. The likelihood of the journalist ever taking on one of her stories is slim to none. Also, the PR and Journalism world is built off of a network of connections- so therefore she also discredited herself with other journalist he might come in contact with. Along with hurting her personal credibility and professionalism, she also misrepresented the companies she works with.

Perhaps one day text messaging will be an acceptable means of communication- but for now, don’t do it!

April 20, 2009 at 4:47 pm Leave a comment

Good PR Example: Flight Attendent’s Rap Catches Passengers Attention

Whether you’re a frequent flier or you only fly a couple times a year- most people would be able to summarize the preliminary safety precautions recited before taking-off on an airplane. You know, those safety rules when most people continue reading their magazine. A Southwest flight attendant decided to twist things up a bit by rapping the safety information.

I was forwarded this YouTube video today. I am unsure as to who recorded the video onboard the airplane, but I would assume it was pre-planned by one of the Southwest employees due to the quality and footage of the video.

As the flight attendant mentions in this video, Southwest Airlines is known for “doing things a little differently.” In my opinion, this YouTube video serves as great PR for Southwest Airlines- and has the potential to become viral. The flight attendant’s clever rap not only captured the passengers attention, but the YouTube video also gives viewers a glimpse into the culture of Southwest Airlines, and perhaps would encourage them to fly Southwest next time. I thought this was not only a clever rhyme, but also a great PR stunt for the company!

April 19, 2009 at 6:36 am Leave a comment

Good PR Example: Get Wrapped!

One of the newest and most innovative ways to advertise your company, or even your trendy personality, is to get your vehicle or boat “wrapped!”

Nick West started in his college dorm room designing stickers and different graphics for friends. Interested in combining his passion with a career, he started to look into one the newest forms of advertising, wraps.

To put it in Layman’s terms- a car wrap is basically a big sticker, designed with the graphics of your choice, that is heated and stretched to cover the surface of your car. The wraps are weather resistant and can be removed, leaving zero damage to the car’s paint. Most recently, Nick has delved into wrapping boats- and has since wrapped several wake-boarding boats.

ZDecals wrapped this Supra Wakeboarding Boat!

ZDecals wrapped this Supra Wakeboarding Boat!

His company, ZDecals, is most known for wrapping company vehicles, trailers, race cars, RV’s, and boats. However, they also offer partial car wraps (only covering a portion of the vehicle), banners, store front graphics, view thru window vinyl, decals, wall murals, floor graphics, and more. At ZDecals they say, “If you can put a logo on it. We can do it.”

In order to keep up with the growing popularity of wraps, ZDecals has created a website and most recently a Facebook Profile to communicate with potential customers and to “get the word out.” Although fairly new to Facebook, this form of PR has been helpful in reaching potential and current customers. Check it out!

April 15, 2009 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

Rumor: Is this a correct headline?

I realized a common, quite funny, tendency in the blogosphere I should be aware of after reading David Caolo’s blog post. He points out that many people believe they can write whatever they want in a blog post headline, as long as it ends with a question mark- even if the healine is stating a FACT… I guess this allows people to state their thoughts, but the question mark allows room for error!

“Apple will introduce a new hotpink iPhone?”

If you are stating a fact or simply describing the blog’s topic, leave out the question mark in your headline. If you are asking a question or have heard a “rumor”- David suggests you state this as a question and should preface your headline with:

“Rumor: Is Apple introducing a hotpink iPhone?”

This pointer opened my eyes, so thought I should share!

April 15, 2009 at 5:51 pm Leave a comment

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