Royal Baby

It finally happened. The moment we’ve all been waiting for since the wedding. Will and Kate are having a baby.

Let’s be honest for a minute. I know you’re just as excited as I am over the royal baby. Sure, you might not give interviews confessing your love for the royal couple and their unborn child, but not all of us can be true Will and Kate fans. Did you wake up at 4:30 am to watch the royal wedding? I did.

Now I’ll be eagerly awaiting the royal baby for the next seven to eight months. Welcome to my life.

Want more? Of course you do. Check out my quotes in this CBC article and this Canadian Press piece.
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How Much Privacy Can A Royal Expect?

The royal family can’t catch a break.

On the heels of Price Harry’s nude photo debacle, the always-perfect Kate Middleton is at the center of a topless brouhaha. The Duchess of Cambridge was caught on camera – sunbathing topless, no less – by a photographer with a super long lens. The paparazzi also mentioned to snap some shots of William delicately applying sunscreen to Kate’s thonged-behind.

The royal family is rightfully angry. Actually, angry doesn’t begin to describe it. They used the D-word (Diana) in a media statement they released once the photos went public. “The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to the Duke and Duchess for being so,” said a palace spokesperson. If the Queen’s people are bringing up Diana, then you know it’s serious.

My take: the Harry and Kate situations are very different. Harry invited in this controversy, similar to other scenarios (or PR nightmares) that the spare heir is often plagued with. Kate’s nude scandal is different. This was a clear invasion of her privacy as she was on private property, in the backyard of a secluded family home, when the photographer creepily snapped her photo. It’s a breach of privacy. She’s not a celebrity – or a reality star – she’s the future Queen.

An Unapologetic Statement

John Galliano proved once again why he deserves all of the backlash he has been receiving. Following his anti-Semitic rant in late February, the designer was fired from his position as creative director at Dior, was scorned by Natalie Portman and was shunned by the world. This pathetic and unauthentic “apology” statement only furthers my hatred for the designer. Read his statement below, with commentary from yours truly.

“Since the events of last Thursday evening I have not been able to make any public comment on what took place based upon advice from my French lawyer. However, given the continuing delays at the French Prosecutor’s Office, I should make my position clear.” Blaming someone else? Classic.

“I completely deny the claims made against me and have fully co-operated with the police investigation.” Silly claim considering there is video evidence of your anti-Semitic tirade.

“A number of independent witness have given evidence and have told the police that I was subjected to verbal harassment and an unprovoked assault when an individual tried to hit me with a chair having taken violet exception to my look and my clothing. For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me.” Someone doesn’t like your look so you spew anti-Semitic hatred at them? For the record, Hitler killed gay people as well as Jews, Gypsies and other minorities. Are you sure you still love him?

“However, I fully accept that the accusations made against me have greatly shocked and upset people.” Bravo.

“I must take responsibility for the circumstances in which I found myself and for allowing myself to be seen to be behaving in the worst possible light.” Worst possible light does not accurately define the harshness of the situation.

“I only have myself to blame and I know that I must face up to my own failures and that I must work hard to gain people’s understanding and compassion. To start this process I am seeking help and all I can hope for in time is to address the personal failure which led to these circumstances and try and earn people’s forgiveness.” Why would you work to gain people’s understanding and compassion? You don’t deserve it and no one will ever understand why you said what you did.

“I have fought my entire life against prejudice, intolerance and discrimination, having been subjected to it myself. In all my work my inspiraton has been to unite people of every race, creed, religion and sexuality by celebrating their cultural and ethnic diversity through fashion. That remains my guiding light.” All the more reason for you to NOT love Hitler and for you to NOT discriminate against Jewish people.

“Anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society. I unreservedly apologise for my behavior in causing any offence.”

If there’s one thing her reality shows have taught us, it’s not to upset Kelly Cutrone. The PR maven, who I found to be quite charming, knows what she wants. With a hectic schedule to keep up with, Kelly rightfully expects for her requests to be fulfilled. If they’re not – she has no problem voicing her complaints.

The most recent example comes from the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto (airport location). Following a night of meditation with AMMA, Kelly requested two wake-up calls and a pot of coffee in the morning. Unfortunately, the service staff did not understand the message and failed to equip Kelly with her requests. As any upset customer would do, Kelly voiced her complaint.

The difference? Kelly is a pop culture icon with the ability to have her message spread through the masses. While someone like you or me could voice a concern and have it go relatively unnoticed, a bad review from Kelly will wind up on the Huffington Post. Will this bad publicity affect the Sheraton brand? Not likely, but it’s never pleasant to have videos like this floating around. Next time, Sheraton, ensure that you comply with your guests’ requests – especially if they’re famous.

It’s All About White

The A List and her idol, Kelly Cutrone
The lady in black wore white. It shouldn’t be such a newsworthy event, but when the dresser is Kelly Cutrone, white is headline news. The first lady of PR donned a white tunic while in Toronto to promote her pro-bono client AMMA, the hugging saint. While I made sure to take the time to receive a blessing from the “love is my religion” guru, I was most interested in meeting Kelly.

I would like to say I was starstruck, but I can’t. Kelly may star on hit reality shows like The HillsThe City and Kell on Earth, but in real life, she’s a doll. Our time together felt more like catching up with an old friend than it did talking to an influential public relations practitioner and television star. Kelly greeted me warmly, recognizing me from Twitter, and proceeded to get me a hug (“darshan”) from AMMA. Following the long embrace, I chatted with the PR maven about branding, social media and television (head to Hip & Urban Girl’s Guide for a full recap).

Just like The Hills finale showed us, nothing is as it seems. Kelly’s television persona is developed and edited into a character the producers want her to be, while in reality she is warm and welcoming (she even hugged me goodbye!). Friends were shocked to hear how open and gracious I found Kelly to be, but I think it speaks to her spirit. The PR maven knows what she wants and she knows how to get it. Kelly broke into the industry by not taking no for an answer, and she managed to not lose her true self. In all, Kelly was a true inspiration and remains my PR idol.

Confession time: everyone has had an Old Spice experience. Whether it’s your scent of choice or your boyfriend’s, the smell is hard to miss. While the brand is still top of mind when considering deodorant choices, the 71-year-old company was obviously looking to spice up their image (no pun intended). Enter social media.


The content rich fan page, 140-character tweets and accompanying YouTube videos have made a splash in the online sphere. Breaking through the clutter is an obvious challenge for all brands trying to make an impact on consumers, but Old Spice’s formula is a winner.


Essentially, Old Spice is taking online engagement to a whole new level. Every company is capable of replying to Facebook and Twitter messages with text, but Old Spice has turned to YouTube. Capitalizing on the service’s instantaneous posting abilities, spokesperson/personality Isaiah Mustafa is personally responding to tweets mentioning Old Spice. I don’t mean generic “thanks for your tweet” videos, but hilarious responses performed in true “Old Spice” form. Case in point: Anonymous.



The hilarious short clips are making a splash online, much like the swan dive in the original video (above). The amount of online chatter is astounding and the video responses have all gone viral. The company even chose to sponsor a trending topic on Twitter, although I doubt it was needed. Utilizing various aspects of social media has obviously paid off for Old Spice. They are the brand of the moment, and it seems like no one can get enough of Isaiah Mustafa. If this doesn’t win the public relations/social media campaign of the year, I don’t know what will..


Brand management for Old Spice has always centered on the alpha male – the man all men aspire to be and all women aspire to have. Their latest video, Old Spice Questions, has gone viral, with over 438,000 views in one day. I’ve never been much of an Old Spice girl myself, but something really caught my eye in this video. I think it was the jumping of a cliff. What pulled you in?


His career has fizzled ever since the Rihanna scandal, but Chris Brown is still trying to work on repairing his shattered image. Brown’s latest stunt involved shedding a bucket of tears while performing a tribute to his idol, Michael Jackson, at last night’s BET Awards. The supposed compassion failed to impress this cynic. What did you think of the hoopla?


While my last post on the BP oil spill was more humorous, this video beautifully highlights the tragedy in the Gulf. With the GLEE rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” playing in the background, the shocking images of the oil-laden ocean are even more poised. The devastation is evident, but this video really puts it all into perspective. Do you think BP is doing their part to help clean up their mess?


From a public relations perspective, BP has failed to clean up their mess. In addition to their failure to stop the oil spill, they have also failed to communicate with the public. BP’s initial closed-communication led to the public making their own assumptions. The fake BP Twitter account has garnered lots of publicity, and the company is furious they didn’t get the word out first. In the social media age we live in, communication is instant and companies must secure online channels to best connect with the fast-paced public.


Another scandal arose this weekend, as CEO Tony Hayward was spotted attending a yacht race. For an executive that publicly stated he wants his life back, perhaps he should stop doing it so publicly. Lesson to be learned from Tony’s errors: make sure you have a CEO who stands behind the company in good times and bad. What do you think of the saga?

Google’s Pacman Touchdown

Google is celebrating the 30th anniversary of America’s most popular game with a Pacman logo. Famous for exhibiting new creatives daily on their home page, Google is now commemorating the Pacman franchise. The search engine giant is also gaining tons of publicity for the interactive game design. Over 200 articles have been written about the home page game, and I’m sure the number will grow by the day’s end. What great PR! Click your way over to Google to relive your childhood memories and eat your way to the search engine.

Rattling the cage during his first public statement since the scandal broke, Tiger Woods poured his heart out on national television for 13.5 minutes.


In front of an audience of media, friends and his mother, Kutilda Woods, Tiger read a prepared statement and admitted his mistakes to the public. While not directly mentioning the affairs or the whores, Tiger said he was sorry for the pain he caused his wife, his children, his mother, his friends, his colleagues and his business sponsors.


Today’s press conference marks the beginning of the long rehabilitation of his public image. Cynics thought he would use the conference as a stepping stone for his professional career. Surprisingly, he left golf and his return to the sport out of the equation. Fellow golfers have expressed their anger at his timing, stating that it takes a lot away from today’s golf tournament, WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.


From a public relations standpoint, Tiger finally did everything by the book. A lot of the flack Tiger received following the car crash and the revelations about his affairs was due to his lack of transparency. Rather than making a statement, Tiger ran, leaving the media and the public to formulate stories about what might have happened. For the first time since the scandal broke, Tiger has finally listened to his PR team and is now on the road to image recovery. His team coached him beautifully. The result had Tiger looking vulnerable as he publicly took responsibility for his choices and gave us reason to sympathize.


A downfall of the press conference was the lack of a question and answer period. By reading a prepared statement and refusing to speak out on his own, Tiger seemed robotic. His words and movements were planned and left little room for actual human behavior. I understand that his PR team wanted to plan his every move, but this sort of press conference should have been done in November. It is time for Tiger to step up his game.


What do you think about Tiger’s apology?