Tag Archives: success

P.R. Gone Wrong

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Photo Credit: Cyril Attias via Compfight

 

Abercrombie & Fitch is a retail store that has had its share of bad publicity over the years. It all started back in 2006 when the company was accused of purposely excluding plus-sized women from wearing clothing sold in their stores by not offering sizes above a large. However, clothing they made for men came in sizes up to XXL. The CEO of the clothing store, Mike Jeffries, commented on the accusations and his words upset a lot of consumers worldwide. Jeffries quoted, “we hire good-looking people in our stores because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.” When the world heard what the company had to say, a lot of negative remarks about the store were made and sales decreased. Tim Walker posted an article online that described this event as not only bad publicity, but also as a bad business move in general. While the company’s biggest rivals were adding larger sizes to accompany more consumers, Abercrombie didn’t budge. Jeffries made it clear that he wanted to deliver a certain look and he wasn’t going to change it. Although this isn’t the first time that a retail store has been accused of discrimination, it was the apology that the CEO made that really grabbed attention from the media and consumers.

Earlier this year, the quotes that Jeffries said resurfaced after a YouTube video was posted of a man giving Abercrombie & Fitch clothing to the homeless. After this video went viral, the CEO made a public apology that stated his words were taken out of context. Many people did not believe his apology was sincere and a riot against the company began. Petitions against the company were created and business started to drop. To solve this dilemma, the company invited members of the National Eating Disorders Association to the headquarters to discuss the events that took place. Many people are still upset about the situation, but some people think that the actions the CEO took were strictly business tactics.

Jim Joseph wrote an article that explained the strategical side of the situation. In his post, he state that when removing personal emotions from the equation, the business plan behind it all is revealed. Joseph says that Jeffries was simply defining his brand and what it stands for, which is a key to good marketing. By pinpointing who the targeting consumers are, Jeffries created a well-defined market for his business. He even states that the CEO’s speech was merely a publicity stunt to get attention from the media. When looking at the situation in this way, the company achieved the success they were looking for. I thought that this was a great example of ethics versus business. Although the company did not actually do anything wrong, the public deemed it as unethical, which hurt them in the long run. I believe that an earlier apology could have really helped the company out. Since Jeffries waited nearly four years before he apologized, consumers did not buy his sincerity and believed that he was only apologizing because he got caught. However, since the targeted market was not the ones who were upset by this behavior, I do believe that the company will be able to survive this downfall and continue to have a successful business.

Blogging: Back to the Basics.

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Photo Credit: Jonathan Cohen via CompFight

As a new blogger, starting out can be a bit of a blur, so I have been searching the web for tips on how to ease this process. I came a cross an article by Susan Gunelius at offered a lot of advice on starting a new blog, getting it to grow, and even ways to make a profit from a blog.  Here are some of the tips I found to be most useful.

1. Define Your Goals:  In order to start a successful blog, you need to know what you want to accomplish with it. Are you trying to educate others on a certain topic or will it be used to express your personal thoughts and ideas? Either way, a blog has a greater success rate is there is a goal defined in the beginning. To reach this success, decide what you want to obtain from this blog in the future. Design your blog with these goals in mind.

2. Be Visible: Your social game plays a huge part in whether your blog will be successful or not. You must promote your blog so others know that it exists. To do this, you need to find blogs similar to yours and comment on them. By allowing those with similar interests hear your views on things, they are more likely to check your blog out for themselves. I thought this tip was especially important since we are focusing a lot on networking this semester.

3. Take Risks: Many new bloggers are considered timid when it comes to their blog. Keeping your blog fresh with new ideas, widgets, and designs will keep your followers coming back to see what is new. However, this does not mean that you should place every thing you possibly can onto your blog; instead,  review potential assets to your site and only use things you believe will help you reach your blogging goals discussed in the first tip.

Since networking seemed to be such a big part of blogging, I also searched a little on how to leave an efficient comment on a fellow bloggers page. I read a very helpful article written by Jarrod Anderson that explains how to professionally represent yourself through comments online. 

1. Know Your Audience: One of the most important keys needed to leave a professional comment is knowing who you are talking to AND who could possible see the comment. For example, when posting online about something you dislike about your job don’t forget who has access to those words. The co-worker you always see in the break room that you added a few weeks ago could very well share your unkind thoughts to other employees or even management. By considering everyone who is able to view your conversation, you are more likely to have only appropriate comments made.

2. Avoid “Sensitive” Topics: Although we all have our own political thoughts, online is not always the place to share them. When you are promoting a certain image avoiding unnecessary confrontation is a must. Try to avoid discussing touchy topics such as politics and religion where some viewers could become offended. Even though you are entitled to your freedom of speech, sometimes it is best to keep your own personal views out of your public life.

3. The Internet is Forever: Technology today makes almost anything possible. Once you post something online, it is there forever. Even if it is deleted, viewers are able to screenshot pictures of your words to haunt you later. Always think about what you say before posting it for everyone to see.

Although some of these tips may be seen as common sense, I believe that if you follow all of these rules online you will achieve success and maintain a professional image.