Can Netflix Save Itself?

After the Netflix PR crisis that occurred the past few months after the service’s price raise in July, CEO Reed Hastings recently tried to make things right. He scrapped Qwikster and announced that Netflix would return to the service that everyone has grown to love. While the price raise will stay because “the price change was necessary,” Hastings promises that “we are now done with price changes.”

It is now almost two weeks after Hastings made this last announcement. What can we learn from this crisis? Where does the company go from here?

Carolyn Kepcher provides a checklist in her article, “Netflix provides good example of what NOT TO DO in big business strategic changes.”

DON’T:

• Assume that success is forever: Don’t let your success get to your head because you never know when an obstacle can arise.

• Make a big change without communicating: Kepcher explains that people everywhere need an explanation, a chance to give their own opinions, and some advance notice.

• Follow a mistake with a bigger mistake: When involved in a crisis, make sure you handle it promptly but efficiently to avoid digging an even deeper hole for yourself.

• Do too little, too late: Don’t wait too long to respond to your crisis, or you’ll never recover from it.

I believe Netflix is on the right track to recovery, even if it took one or two tries to please consumers. Hastings hopefully learned his lesson after the heavy public backlash on the Internet and will not act so quickly next time to fix something that does not need fixing. As for the price increase, I do not know if this will continue to hurt the company, but I think everyone appreciates Qwikster’s elimination. Some say the company does not want to be in the DVD business much longer because Hasting wants to move towards online streaming, but hopefully Netflix will survive this rough time to even move in this future direction. With the recent addition of the CW Network to its streaming service though, I see Netflix getting out of this rut and surviving this hardship.

What do you think? Did Netflix dig itself too deep or will people forget about this in a year or two?

Nick Schweers
Director 

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Internship Spotlight: Jazz at Lincoln Center

Name of Company/Organization: Jazz at Lincoln Center

Office Location: 60th Street, between Broadway and Columbus

Was it  in-house or agency? In-House

Type of PR: Entertainment/ Non-Profit/ Corporate

Size of PR Department: Small, 4 people

Semester and year you interned:  Summer 2007

How did you find out about this internship? Professor Berman

How many days a week did you work?  Are they flexible? I worked three days a week. They are very flexible!

Was it a paid internship? They give you $50 for 20+ hours.

What  were some of the things you were responsible for? I worked during the summer, which was the planning time for the upcoming season of events (which is Oct. – May), so I did a lot of organizing information, research and brainstorming ideas. I also did a lot of press clippings and got to write some press releases.

What did you learn from this internship? I knew I wanted to do entertainment, and this internship showed me a different way I could go about it, since it’s a venue that produces shows but also offered other aspects. I also learned how to really think like a PR person.

What did you like about this internship? I loved everything! I got to do PR for specific shows, as well as the organization itself. I also was the publicist’s assistant for Wynton, Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.  Everyone is really nice. You can wear whatever you want and it’s located in a fantastic part of the city.

What, if anything, did you dislike about the internship? Since it was summertime and the season wasn’t in effect, I didn’t get as much hands on experience as I wished.

Would you recommend this internship to other PR students? Yes!

Additional Comments/Advice: There is so much to do here and everyone is very willing to help you out and teach you anything! Great, comfortable atmosphere!

Website

The Newest Addition to Hofstra’s PR Faculty: Professor Jeffrey Morosoff

Professor Morosoff

With 30 years of public relations experience under his belt, Professor Jeffrey Morosoff has had an interesting career path thus far. In between classes, I made time to stop in and speak with the newest addition to the Hofstra public relations department, learn more about his public relations experiences and his involvement with the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island (PRPLI), of which he is the former president.

Explain how you got into Public Relations?

I started off in radio as a disc jockey, playing music on the radio. Eventually, I ended up doing the news for 106.1WBLI on Long Island. My public relations career began at the age of 23.  I happened to bump into a college friend who was working as the Director of Public Affairs at Cablevision. Three weeks after that meeting she called and offered me a position as the Assistant Director of Public Affairs at Cablevision. After three years at Cablevision, I went into government PR, doing freelance work for elected officials running campaigns, and media relations.

I got into teaching when I took a PR and Alumni Relations job at my alma mater, New York Institute of Technology. I received my masters and began teaching as an adjunct at NYIT. Shortly after that, I took an administrative position at Nassau Community College before becoming a full-time faculty member at Hofstra University this past September.

What was your biggest accomplishment in Public Relations?

There is euphoria in working on a campaign for an elected official and winning on Election Day. One of my greatest moments in PR was when I helped launched a recycling program in Babylon. My job was to get the word out about how to recycle, what to recycle, and when to put out their blue bins. There was a six-month education program leading up to the launch. On the day of the launch, I drove around and saw that 80% of the homes had their blue bins outside. I thought I did a good job effectively communicating the message to recycle.

What is your advice to graduating seniors?

You cannot overestimate the value of networking. The more people you know the easier it will be to find avenues of work. Networking does not mean with just professionals, but with classmates too. My first job in public relations came from a classmate who was in a position to hire me. Keep in touch with those you think will be successful, and they can help you succeed.

To work in this industry, you need to be a good writer or you will not last. Don’t be shy. Be aggressive because it is the aggressive people that get ahead in public relations.

Networking Tips and Etiquette

Hofstra’s chapter of PRSSA will be hosting its 4th annual Networking Dinner on

Thursday, Nov. 18 at 7:00 p.m.

Networking Dinner is an excellent opportunity for Hofstra students to connect to PR professionals on a more personal level. Professionals attending the dinner will include: Jessica Bellucci from Pix 11, Stephanie Golden from The Lippin Group, Erin Maestas from The Knot, Michelle Betrock from the Food Network, Jill Weiskopf from New York Magazine, and many more. All professionals will be invited to share a few words about what they do and will then be able to mingle with students.

For any PR student looking for an internship, or just more information about a particular branch of PR, this event is a must!

It is essential to not only be able to network but be able to walk into any situation and confidently begin a conversation with anyone in the room. As the saying goes, it’s not always what you know but who you know.

Andrew Weich, a PR and Social Media Coordinator, provides some good tips on the Comet Branding Blog http://cometbranding.com/blog/.

1. Hang up and Live.

First of all, put your phone away. “Hang up and Live.” My good friend Vince always preaches this to me when we are together in social settings. I know,  sounds hypocritical for me to tell people to put their phone away when I catch myself disobeying this rule. I often find that my phone can be a crutch at a networking event. Instead of forcing myself to talk with someone, I’ll just whip out the ol’ Droid from my pocket and check my email, Twitter and Facebook. Then I think to myself, “How can I expect to engage with other attendees if I’m glued to my phone the whole time?”

The phone doesn’t have be turned off or left in the car, but be conscious of how other guests perceive you. I’m less likely to walk up to someone and spark up a conversation if all they are doing is staring at their phone. Even in this TweetUp/MeetUp/Web2.0 world we live in, we still need to be aware of our surroundings and make the right impression.

Prepare your Elevator Pitch

Typically the first question someone asks you after finding out your name is “what do you do?” It’s a pretty basic question, but sometimes can cause a lot of people to trip up.  Before you enter a networking event, quickly practice your elevator speech to yourself. How do you want these potential professional contacts to see you? Make sure it’s not too long — just some quick facts about who you are and what you do, which will hopefully open up into more conversations.

The eyes are the windows to the soul

My high school theater director told me this quote in terms of engaging with the audience, but the same concept can be applied to a networking setting. Non-verbal communication cues are very important in a social atmosphere and I believe the eyes take the cake. We can say so much with our eyes alone, so maintain eye contact with the person you are talking to, smile, be engaged in the conversation and see where you can contribute.

Speak up!

This is one tip I usually have the hardest time with. Being a young professional in a networking setting, I often just try to blend in the background and listen, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but shouldn’t always be the case. When in a discussion, feel free to speak up. Show your smarts and contribute to the conversation. During my college career, I had a professor with an outstanding business record that would always say teaching had opened his eyes to so many possibilities. Although young professionals might not have all the experience, we still have some pretty cool ideas so don’t be afraid to share and contribute.

Melissa has read several articles about networking etiquette from various business professionals and websites. Each article she’s read more or less said the same thing. Here’s the consensus:

Pay attention to social cues

Although you may have intentions of discussing business, your prospective contact may have been looking forward to some down time. If you infringe on certain topics the other person is not interested in talking about, you are risking losing what may be a valuable contact to you in your future. Be sure to gauge what mood the person is in, or perhaps warm up with basic topics of interest so you may eventually ease the conversation into what you intended to talk to the person about.

Dress to impress

Networking isn’t always at a ready set time and place. You could find potential contacts at a bar, restaurant, or even in line for popcorn at the movie theaters. Therefore, make sure you are always in clothes that flatters you in a composed way. But don’t feel inhibited if you aren’t dressed your best when you run into a potential contact; your best outfit is a genuine smile and confidence. Basically, you want to make sure “your visual message matches your verbal message” as Aviva Shiff says in her article on Sideroad, a website that gives “Practical Advice Straight from the Experts”.

Set a goal

Why are you networking? Is it because you’d like to learn from people involved with certain industries? Is it because you think you’ve designed the next form of social media?  Be sure to mingle genuinely with everyone, but setting a goal such as “I’d like to walk out tonight with 5 business cards” will not only give you more drive, it will help you avoid sitting at the bar or table where you may not meet as many people compared to if you were up and about.

Master small talk

Easiest way to do this? Research, research, research!!! Read newspapers, books, listen to different kinds of music. Basically, you want to have a well-rounded basis of information. You never know what sort of interests people will have. Challenge yourself to be able to find common ground with everyone you meet.

Follow-through

Networking is all about building relationships. It goes beyond a conversation. Be sure to shoot a follow-up e-mail or call, either about meeting up at another event, congratulating he or she on a latest accomplishment, or even sending information on topics that you were discussing.


The bottom line is that networking is self-promoting and personal branding. Look and talk the way that you want to be seen and heard. Show interest while others are speaking and actually try to develop relationships.

Alissa Crist, Freshman, Public Relations Major

Melissa Louis-Jacques, Junior, Music Merchandising Major with Public Relations Minor

PRSSA and PRestige take a Road Trip to the NYSCA Conference

PRSSA and PRestige at NYSCA Conference

The 68th Annual New York State Communications Association Conference (NYSCA) kicked off on October 22, 2010, at the Honors Haven Resort and Spa in Ellenville, NY.  The weekend was filled with informative communication discussions and interactive panels. The conference concentrated on a broad range of current issues facing the communications field today.

Both Prestige Agency and Hofstra PRSSA members were in attendence to represent Hofstra University at the PRSSA Regional Chapters Round Up that took place on Saturday night. The hour-long discussion featured PRSSA members from Hofstra University, California University of Pennsylvania (CalU) and Slippery Rock University. The discussion allowed us to inspire one another as we exchanged ideas and strategies for fundraising, recruitment and social events. It was a great way to network with future PR professionals, exchange contact information and even take some great group pictures, all while building a sense of community with our regional peers.

I gained valuable knowledge about how other chapters are structured and we all had the opportunity to compare success stories. The summit was followed by a cocktail/social hour and keynote address.

The conference was definitely a success and the regional round-up was certainly worth the four-hour drive and bumper to bumper traffic on the George Washington Bridge! Prestige Agency’s very own Hilary Franklin and PRSSA’s Alexander Petrucelli are running a committee of Hofstra PRSSA members who are helping to organize the 2011 Annual NYSCA Conference. I have no doubt it will be just as informative and successful as this year’s conference.

Aqlesia Sahle VP of Development and Recruitment

ED2010 and Hofstra’s PRSSA Turn the Page on the Future of Magazines

ED 2010/Hofstra PRSSA Event

On Wednesday, November 10th during common hour, Ed2010 and PRSSA are co-sponsoring the panel of a lifetime in Dempster Hall Studio A. “Turning The Page: The Future of Magazines” will be moderated by the school of communications very own Dean Cornog.

“This event was created to help student journalists at Hofstra University gain a perspective on what is really going on in the magazine industry,” said Dara Adeevo, President of Ed2010 at Hofstra University. In a world that is turning its back on print media three prominent speakers from the magazine industry will be on hand to discuss the future of magazines.

Representing Hearst Corporation will be Eve Burton, vice president and general counsel. Hearst Corporation is one of the nation’s largest communications companies.  Their extensive list of published magazines includes Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Food Network Magazine and many more.

Jeannie Mullen, global executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Zinio will be in attendance. Zinio creates digital editions of magazines and provides customers with exclusive features such as video, audio and live links. The company offers U.S. Weekly, Esquire, Rolling Stone and Elle just to name a few.

Philip Whitney, vice president and online marketing and product development at American Express Publishing will be in attendance as well. Whitney oversees the company’s websites such as TravelandLeisure.com, FoodandWine.com and Departures.com.

Whether you are interested in public relations, publishing, editing or just love magazines “Turning The Page: The Future of Magazines” is an event you will not want to miss!

For more information, please contact PRSSA.Hofstra@gmail.com or hofstra.eoc@ed2010.com.

Kimberly Caro, VP of Fundraising and Philanthropy, PRSSA

The Blackout: The Effects of a Social Media Blackout on a PR Student

Social media is an important tool for everyone in today’s society. For a young adult, it seems crucial to constantly stay connected. If you’re a young communications professional in the making social media quickly becomes your middle name.

Forgetting about all of this, I accepted a challenge to go at least one week without logging on to Facebook and Twitter. My answer to this challenge was to add an extra week just to prove that I could handle it.

Here’s what I learned about myself, and PR, in the past two weeks:

Where’s the news?

I didn’t realize how much I relied on Twitter for news until I deleted Ubertwitter off of my Blackberry. Normally, I let my traditional media consumption habits fall to the wayside because of social media. The blackout helped to bring a more active media consumer out of me. I visited news websites more often for updates and actually caught myself paying more attention to the 5 o’ clock news. In addition to the Chronicle (which I normally read), I found myself desperately searching for the Daily News to read. In my personal life, I was also absent for a few personal updates via Facebook. I can’t believe I missed a couple of birthdays and relationship status changes! Shame on me, right?

Where are my contacts?

These days, when we make a new friend in person, our first or second instinct is to add them to our social network of choice. PR professionals often add their new professional contacts after a successful networking situation. For the past two weeks, I added no one. I started a list of people to follow last week to make sure that I wasn’t missing out on any potential contacts or hurting any feelings. Also, it was incredibly frustrating to realize that there were some contacts that I could ONLY reach through Facebook or Twitter. I made another list to remember whose phone numbers to get after the blackout.

What’s the joke?

As anyone on Twitter knows, there are inside jokes and news exclusive to the site.  For example, artists give their Twitter fans a sneak peek of new music, and awareness campaigns gain a following on the site. Of course, I received none of the above. For me, this was just a simple case of being out of the loop until a friend would graciously fill me in. However, in the PR industry, failing to monitor the media especially social media can easily lead to an out of control situation.

I had homework before this?

On the bright side, I had more time to actually complete homework, PRSSA duties and more. I also had the opportunity to catch up on all the blogs and television shows (Entourage marathon!) that I had let get away from me. (Ironically, being off of Twitter actually made me miss a lot of the shows I wanted to catch up on. Usually, I would see a tweet about the show to remind me it was on!)

Isn’t there anything else to do?

The downside was clearly boredom. I had no idea how much of my spare time social media actually occupied. Without my favorite procrastination tools, I had nothing but extra time on my hands these past two weeks.

In the end, this blackout was a great reminder of the role social media plays in my life. It did not prove to be a necessity, but it absolutely serves many important purposes. Those functions can help to strengthen personal relationships; as well as help a public relations practitioner effectively do their job. Facebook and Twitter, respectively prove themselves to be irreplaceable in everyday life. I also proved to my challenger (my younger brother) that I could make it without Facebook and Twitter.  My real question is, in this day and age, why would anyone want to?

Nikki Croney PRSSA’s PR Director