Monthly Archives: February 2017

And the Oscar Goes to La-La Land…No Wait, Moonlight!

Sundays just haven’t been the same without football season (that’s because the Patriots have been too busy celebrating their 5th world champion victory baby!).  Even still, there are definitely some noteworthy TV specials to catch every once in a while.  One of those TV specials that aired last week was the Oscars.

The Oscars are just one of the award shows presenting awards in film for movies released in 2016.  All the hottest celebrities gathered on the red carpet of Hollywood in hopes of winning an Oscar for their work in the film.  After a full hour of showing off their glamorous outfits, they strutted into the Dolby Theatre to start the show.

Jimmy Kimmel was this year’s host, cracking jokes on the films and the political controversy that’s been happening lately.  No celebrity was safe from the roasting of the host (that also included Matt Damon as well!).  Kimmel’s fake feud with Matt Damon was one of the most entertaining running gags of the show.  From teasing him about his film The Great Wall to playing him off the stage, Kimmel’s pranks against Damon made for great entertainment.

This year’s Oscars made me laugh, cry, and even cringe.  Most of all, The Oscars shocked everyone with the ending results from the nominations.  But it was the last nomination results that became one of the most shocking incidents of all time.

So here’s what happened: Warren Beatty and Faye Dunway, who were reuniting for the 50th anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde, were presenting the final award for Best Picture.  The duo were playing around over who would present the award.  Warren Beatty handed Faye the envelope for her to make the announcement.  Faye opened the envelope and announced that La La Land was the winner!  At first, the crowd erupted in applause as the team rushed into the stage to accept their prize.

A few moments later, two partners of PricewaterhouseCoopers came up onstage to talk with the producers.  It was then that the producers announced that Moonlight was the real winner.  In a shocking turn of events, the cast of Moonlight went up to accept their award instead.  It would become a PR nightmare for PwC after going into crisis-management mode for their mistake.

What caused this shocking incident to occur on the Oscars?  Brian Cullinan, a partner at the accounting firm of PwC, and his colleague were tasked with handing the right envelopes to the presenters.  Cullinan seemed at ease with his job, even finding the time to tweet about Emma Stone before the show ended (bad idea here!).  He caused the show-business musical La La Land to be mistakenly named by handing out the wrong envelope to Warren and Faye.  This sparked a major PR nightmare for PwC, hurting the brand’s reputation after the blunder.

PwC acted quickly after the incident by reaching out to the academy with a sincere apology.  United States chairman of PwC Tim Ryan remarked that he shared apologies from the firm and himself, further mentioning how he will talk with the employees about how to make things right in the end.  In the PR sense, Ryan had to utilize corporate social responsibility in order to salvage his company’s reputation after the incident.  Still, that didn’t stop the social media world from spreading the news all around.

Millions of users took to Twitter on Monday to discuss the mistake during the Oscars.  Hashtags like #envelopegate and #Oscarfail trended on the Twitter feed, sending a public outcry over the wrong envelope.  They say that there is no such thing as bad publicity and this certainly held true for PwC’s PR nightmare they are facing.  PwC’s reputation has been severely damaged right now and they need to work quickly before things go even more awry.

This was the craziest event that happened at the Oscars on Sunday night!  I was SO confused when I saw this happening and I thought this was part of the performance.  When I saw that even Jimmy Kimmel was shocked himself, that’s when I knew that something went horribly wrong.  Mistakes like this one can be costly for a company like PwC if they don’t act quickly.  As a PR practitioner, this was one PR nightmare I enjoyed reading about after the Oscars was over.

In the end, blunders like this can cost you majorly.  A small mistake like handing the wrong envelope can cause drastic effects for you and your company.  With everyone living in the social media universe, that small mistake will be remembered for weeks at a time.  There will definitely be something more interesting people will be discussing about, but PwC still needs to recover from their PR nightmare.

Congratulations to Moonlight for winning Best Picture!  It was a strange blunder, but they still deserved it after all of that.



TGIF Quote Day 2/24

Happy Friday!

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

~Lewis Carroll

Brace Yourselves…Office Germ Warfare is Here!

We are nearing the end of February and I have gotten through the worst of this head cold/cough I caught the past weekend.  After a long week of work/play around Boston, my sickness caught up to me out of the blue.  What followed was a series of coughs, muscle aches, stuffy nose, and an overall lack of motivation to get things done.  Thankfully the weather is getting warmer and I plan to wander outside more to take in some fresh air!

Rather than grossing you out with my cold symptoms, I’ve decided to take the time to discuss sickness during the wintertime.  Every winter, thousands of people catch some form of bug/flu that goes around each year.  Like a parasite feeding off of its prey, viruses spread like wildfire in the office.  It only takes one ‘patient zero’ victim to set off the germ warfare that travels around the atmosphere.  Whether you are just starting out as an intern or living large as the company’s CEO, no one is safe from the inevitable plague that invades the office.

So how does this happen?  Why is it that we catch a flu or bug every winter?  Even when we eat right and keep ourselves moving, how is it that we become an easy target of the virus?

Well folks, it’s about time we start getting scientific about the ‘patient zero’ phenomenon that happens every winter.  It’s sick, shocking, and may be traumatizing for some readers.  Before we open the doors to the office, let’s get some basic science out of the way first.

If you took away anything from grammar school science class, you would remember that the common cold is caused by the spread of viruses.  Viruses are microorganisms that invade normal cells inside your body and multiply in order to produce other viruses.  These tiny capsules are much smaller than bacteria, infecting cells that are contained within your bloodstream.  They eventually eradicate these cells, which causes you to become sick.  A virus could cause severe illnesses such as smallpox, HIV/AIDS, and hemorrhagic fevers.

People spend 90% of their time indoors, especially during the wintertime when it’s cold.  If you are residing in New England right now (like I am!), then you are probably rushing to head inside to keep yourselves warm.  You head into your office building where millions of microbes are floating around the rooms.

To better understand how viruses are easily spread around the office, let’s discuss the day-to-day agenda that happens inside the building.  We will use a public relations office as our example (to keep the entertainment PR theme going!).  Our day in the PR agency starts and people start heading to their desks.  Hundreds of men/women are loading the stuff into their desk and brewing up that first cup of coffee.

What’s the most common office item used daily? Electronic devices, of course!  Various electronic gadgets are used to complete the tasks on the PR agenda each day…which collect MILLIONS of microbes.  That’s right people, those smartphones/laptops you are attached to contain a multitude of harmful bacteria that plagues the office (FYI, your keyboard alone contains 3X more bacteria than your toilet seat!).

While your clicking away at your keyboard, your co-worker will probably come around to give you a second set of eyes on your task.  He/she will tap away on your keyboard to provide some necessary changes for the press release you are working on.  After all’s said and done, your manager will come by to use that SAME keyboard to give you their feedback on what looks better.  And while all that is happening, your desk is sucking up millions of microscopic bacteria that sticks there for days.  Like a magnet collecting pieces of metal, your office desk collects millions of microbes that floats around your office’s atmosphere.

Your building  provides air vents, which ALSO spews out microbes as well.  Pieces of dust are constantly floating around the rooms after exiting the air vent, which land onto your office.  There might not even be a ‘patient zero’ around and you could STILL be infected by the virus.  It’s like you’re in a constant battle of germ warfare and you can’t even see your enemy!

That’s all to it folks: common everyday items we use are constantly collecting microbes that get seeped into your bloodstream one way or another.  Even if you don’t come into physical contact with people, you are still susceptible to receiving the virus one way or another.  They say that sharing is caring, but the virus is certainly NOT something you want to share with your co-workers!

At the end of all of this, there are some simple rules to follow when the plague hits the office.  Always wash your hands constantly and cover your coughs to prevent the virus from spreading further.  Keeping hand sanitizers or wipes with you at all times helps to prevent infection as well.  If you do get hit hard, it is vital to stay at home for the day.  The last thing you want is to spread the virus to more employees after catching it earlier.  Work may be important, but your #1 priority is your health.

It may still be February, but Spring is just around the corner and warmer weather is coming soon enough.  Use these essential tips to survive the office germ warfare that invades the building every year.  With these tips at hand, you can win the germ warfare in order to live sick-free another day.