MotrinMoms Observations

Attending a PRSA luncheon today it was painfully obvious which PR professionals were tuned into social media and which were not. As I sat at a table with five other PR practitioners the MotrinMoms incident was brought up. Only two of us had heard of MotrinMoms. Coincidentally, we were the only two who had Twitter accounts.

The Motrin Campaign
So what is the MotrinMoms incident? Motrin developed an ad campaign aimed at Moms who carry children in baby slings. The ad claimed that Mom's do this to look like "an official Mom." Adding that baby slings are a great cause of neck and back pain. The solution? Motrin, of course!

The ads were placed online and in magazines. Once Mom's saw the ads they were deeply offended and began posting furious messages on Twitter. They organized and used a #MotrinMoms tag to make their tweets easy to find. To their credit, Motrin was able to respond to the outcry over the weekend and has since removed the ads. To view the ad and Moms responses view the videos below.

The Industry's Awareness
My question is after all this, how did only a select group of PR professionals have any knowledge of the event? The simple (and scary) answer is that many PR professionals are still not tuned into social media. I find this astonishing when social media is talked about at luncheons, at the PRSA National Conference, in news articles, trade publications... Social media appears to be so prevalent in our industry that popular PR vendors (Cision, Vocus and PRNewswire to name a few) are holding Webinars.

If Motrin has taught us anything it's that it is very important to listen to what people are saying about your company online. If PR professionals are not listening their clients will not be able to respond to negative attacks or benefit from this new medium.

The Solution
The only way to get comfortable with these new tools is by using them. My advice? If you don't have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account get one now. Never heard of Digg? Google it and start learning. The only way PR professionals will be educated about social media is if they invest the time to learn about it, and that means playing with these tools.

If you aren't convinced that Twitter is a valuable tool go to and put in your companies keywords. It will generate a list of tweets of what people are saying about your company. I urge all communication professionals, old and young, to start learning more about social media. I am confident that failing to immerse yourself in this new medium will cause you to find yourself unemployable.

Where were you?

Where were you the night Barack Obama was elected? This question is bound to be asked time and time again. There are certain events in each country's history that define a generation. For my grandparents it was Pearl Harbor and the stock market crash of 1929. My parents generation was defined by the JFK assassination, Martin Luther King assassination and Woodstock. Generation X has partly been shaped by the challenger explosion.

This of course leads to Generation Y -- the millenials. When I was little I'd hear stories of the 1960's and it sounded like the most exciting time. The U.S. was full of young revolutionairies, mind altering drugs, bell bottom pants, duck and cover drills and an endless parade of events that would never be forgotten. To be clear, I am not advocating mind altering drugs or bell bottoms, but there was something special about the 60's that made my middle school mind yearn for that same kind of excitement.

As it turns out I got exactly what I wanted. The questions that will define my generation will be, "Where were you when the Twin Towers fell?" and "Where were you the night Barack Obama was elected?" Maybe if I'm lucky... "Where were you when the first woman was elected president?" or "Where were you when we dropped our dependence on foreign oil?"

I am very excited and honored to be a part of this generation. My generation will launch the world into a new technological era, we will work to find solutions to the world's energy crisis and hopefully make life just a little bit better for the next generation. In the spirit of hope here are a few of my wishes for the next twenty years in no particular order.

  • U.S. and all other nations become energy independent, reducing our global carbon footprint
  • Legalization of gay marriage and gay adoption
  • Full sex education for all children
  • An end to the abortion debate - give women the right to choose
  • Better regulation of reproductive facilities (sperm banks)
  • Higher educational standards with the government support to make this a reality
  • Affordable healthcare for everyone
  • An end to war in Iraq

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

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