The Wonderful World of Michael

Are you interested in film, music, television, pop-culture, Toronto life or the Canadian public relations industry? If so, you are definitely in the right place!
Recent Tweets @MikeCGiardino

I recently came across an article from Ragan’s PR Daily entitled, Do we apologize too much? PR Professionals weigh in. It commented on one of Bill Maher’s recent Op-Eds from the New York Times in which he urges all Americans to stop apologizing. He brings up the recent trend which sees the overemphasis on political correctness.

http://prdaily.com/Main/Articles/11195.aspx

Now, I think this is a big problem. One that will not go away any time soon. With so many avenues to express ones opinion - the Internet and social media - everyone with access to a computer has become a citizen journalist. The big problem here, is that people have stopped respecting other peoples cultures, beliefs, values and most of all, opinions. It seems like with every advertisement or campaign that has “gone wrong” and received excessive media coverage, people weighing in are split on the issues. And they are free to have their own opinions, but that doesn’t mean that the other side is wrong. Recently there have been many advertisements that are meant to be a play on words and not taken seriously. The problem is that too many people take things too seriously. So yes, I feel like PR professionals and brands around the world apologize way too much. Although people offer much commentary on certain things in this world, I feel like professionals that put out content need to simply sit back and realize that they have done nothing wrong - people are most definitely going to have conflicting views on the specific content.

Public Relations is an industry filled with empathetic individuals - being one makes you a better PR professional. However, we need to realize that no matter what campaigns are pursued and what content is put out into the public realm, there “will” be people who disagree and have a problem. We need to learn to stop apologizing.

I even need to stop apologizing in my everyday life. Why is it that I find myself apologizing to people who have bumped into “me?” I apologize even when I’m not in the wrong, something I obviously need to work on. Does this make me a better PR practitioner though?

I am sitting here at school and cannot believe that my classmates and I only have a week left of class. It’s like the year has passed before our eyes.

To start, the decision to attend a post-graduate program was made based on a plan I had made years earlier. It was the natural progression. I would go to university for four years and then take a year after to specialize, and that is what I did. As soon as I read about Centennial College’s corporate communications and public relations program I knew that it was for me (plus, a recommendation from a friend didn’t hurt either). What a perfect decision it was.

This program has taught me so much; everything from writing and social media to event management and media relations. We learn pretty much every facet of the public relations industry. The program has given me so many amazing opportunities and experiences. One notable experience was from our event management class. In teams, we were to choose a charity and run an event for them, based on a zero dollar budget. We built an event from the ground up, having to contact sponsors and present our sponsor kit, produce tickets, pursue media opportunities, advertise, and most importantly, run the event. The charity my team chose was My First Wheels, a local grassroots charity that donates lightly used bicycles to children in low-income neighbourhoods. Our event, entitled A Bid For A Bike, was a live auction and was My First Wheels‘ first ever fundraising event. What ended up being a small project, we were shocked when we realized that we achieved big results. The attendance far surpassed our expectations and so did the amount of money raised. As a team, we were extremely overwhelmed by the $2700 we raised for the charity. Not only were we happy and excited about our achievements, so was Lenni Eubanks, Founder of My First Wheels, which can be seen in an e-mail addressed to the team:

Leanna, Robyn, Emily, Mike, Sasha, and Shahroz

WOW! That was incredible. You guys did such an outstanding job. I am so grateful to you all for the work you put into tonight’s event, and the real difference you have made to kids right here in our city who could use a little light and a little lift. 

I am so impressed by all of you. You are bright, talented, generous spirits. The world needs more people like you.

There aren’t enough words to express my thanks. Your contribution, your enthusiasm and your support will be forever locked in my heart and I will always be grateful to you.

Thank you. So much.

Lenni 

This achievement is something I will always be proud of. Not only did we run an event that was far more successful than we imagined, we also made a huge difference for children in Toronto. It was a total team effort and we stayed dedicated and committed until the very end.

My last significant experience brings us to the present day. Since September I have been involved in the Canadian Public Relations Society, a professional association for the public relations industry. As a member of the Student Steering Committee I help plan and run events in Toronto for students in public relations programs. The first event of the year was Passport to PR, where students had the chance to tour specific public relations agencies and communications departments around the city and network with their employees. The second event was Building Media Relationships where journalists and public relations professionals sat on a panel to answer student questions on how to build exceptional relationships with journalists and editors and how to act. Interestingly enough, many of the topics covered had already been taught to us. This is a testament to the effectiveness of the Centennial College program.

With the friends I’ve made and the things I’ve learned, I wouldn’t have asked for anything better. This was the best decision I ever could have made.

I am me. Michael Giardino. I honestly think that there is no one else in the world like me and for a number of good reasons.

1. I have an infectious personality. When I’m happy, I make everyone else happy. When I’m sad, I still try to make everyone else happy.

2. I am HILARIOUS! At least, I’d like to think I am. I make people laugh, it’s what I do. There are some things that come out of my mouth where you’ve even got me scratching my head.

3. I am driven. I strive to be the best and only the best and I do this by working hard and learning from past mistakes.

4. I am caring. One of my number one goals in life is to do my best to help people. There are times when I do this too much though, and focus on helping others before helping myself.

5. I am flexible. No, I can’t lift my leg over my head. But bring me to any sports game, to any restaurant (except sushi), to any concert, to any movie, to any… Well, you get the picture… I’m up for anything.

6. I focus on relationship building. I love to talk and I love to be around other people. I think this is why I’m in the field of public relations.

7. I like to try new things. Not all things (I will never eat sushi), but most. I like to think that I’m Curious George some times. Just curious about the world.

8. I love my family. You know how you always hear some people complaining about being around their families - parents, grandparents, siblings? That will NEVER be me.

9. I love my friends. I am who I am today because of them. There are times when we can get a little too crazy, but that’s how we roll.

10. I appreciate the little things. I’m an optimist that way. Even in the most brutal of circumstances, I can find even the smallest thing to make things even a little better.

Now you may be thinking… WHAT?! He’s only listing 10? Well, for one, I don’t want to bore you any longer, and for two, I could probably go on all day naming off reasons for why I’m unique and why I’m the person I am today. So to conclude, I hope you have learned something new about me just as I hope to learn something new about you.

So, how are you unique? Drop me a comment below!

Until next time…

Mike :)

Now that I have finally secured an internship and know what clients I will be working with in the future I decided to write a post on a future client that has been very successful in tying itself to the Summer Olympics: Nike. Nike has many things going on and seems to be doing things the right way. In this post I’m going to take a look at Nike’s most recent media coverage and social media strategy.

With new products such as Nike+ and Nike FuelBand, endorsements from London 2012 Olympic athletes and a new campaign called Make it Count which ties it all together, Nike has found tremendous success in the media. Much of this media has been coming from London where the 2012 Summer Olympics begins in four months. Although Nike isn’t an official sponsor of the games, they have received even more media coverage and publicity than the official ones, surpassing even Adidas. With Nike’s Make it Count campaign, the brand has teamed up with athletes competing this summer who represent the brand, designed their own shoes and have urged the public to join the running club and visiting Nike Running UK’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Nike has been receiving press in North America from its Nike+ and Nike FuelBand technologies and products, which have recently been released. Much of the press includes product reviews and market information. Nike Running has been targeting most of its press towards the United Kingdom while Nike FuelBand has been targeting North American until it’s release overseas. All articles, listed in a spreadsheet found on the next page, have been positive for both campaigns. Two sample articles, representing both campaigns can also be found.

Nike has planned a great deal on their social media strategy and has been successful in its attempts to engage consumers. Nike has separate profiles for each separate sport, as well as each separate major product or campaign.

Nike’s general brand Facebook page works to reinforce the message that all people, whether involved in sport or not, are essentially athletes. In the words of Bill Bowerman, “if you have a body, you are an athlete.” This is a very important lesson that other brands should take note of. By doing this, Nike does not segment its audience like other athletic brands may do. This is the overall message of the Make it Count campaign, that life itself is a sport, so everyone should make their lives count. The Facebook page also engages customers by providing support for all Nike+ applications, technologies and products. It also incorporates the locations of all Nike stores and photos of new products. With over 8.5 million likes, the brand is most definitely doing something right. While direct engagement is not present, the page does offer detailed information on all programs and campaigns currently running, as well as updates on all athletes endorsing the brand.

Nike’s general brand Twitter page is also effective in reinforcing the Make it Count campaign. It uses the hashtag #makeitcount to engage with all Twitter followers. While the Facebook page informs, the Twitter page engages, even though both pages should have aspects of both. The main focus of this profile is to motivate and persuade customers to live healthy and active lives, while supporting the lives of all people regardless of athletic ability. Much of the brand’s Twitter feed is made up of @ replies to customers who have tweeted the brand with questions or commented on specific work out routines or plans. Tweets are full of motivational quotes and tips from trainers, with the purpose to make customers feel good about wearing or using Nike products. The brand reinforces the fact that Nike provides the first step, motivation; the rest is up to the individual to make it happen or #makeitcount.

So next time you’re on Twitter or Facebook, give Nike a visit. It’s definitely worth the time.

Until next time,

Mike

 I remember tweeting about this show this past summer during CTV’s Upfront Presentation. Something about the preview really caught my eye and got me excited for its premiere. Before I go any further, I just want to let it known that it’s not because the show is about Broadway or Marilyn Monroe or a Marilyn Monroe Broadway show, because I don’t know much about either of the two. What caught my attention was the originality I saw. It is a unique idea and it doesn’t use the same formula as other shows currently on the air. It seems to thrive on being different. Creativity and good writing makes for a quality television show. This is exactly the reason why I became obsessed with such shows as Six Feet Under, American Horror Story and Lost to name a few. They are unique and each tell a quality story with rich character development. This is what I look for in a show, and by the looks of the extended preview, we might just get another hit.

The show is about a group of writers and directors (Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, Anjelica Huston) who come together to put on a Broadway musical based on the popular Marilyn Monroe. The show focuses on the lives of these characters while attempting to produce a hit musical. The show also focuses on two actresses battling it out for the role of Monroe. An experienced Broadway star (Megan Hilty of Wicked fame) is put up against a talented newcomer (Katharine McPhee of American Idol fame). The first season seems to give the viewer an inside look into the making of a Broadway show and the fight for stardom from its two main characters.

Smash has been getting some publicity over the fact that it looks similar to other musical shows currently on the air like Glee. Producers of the show have gone on record to say that while it may be about a musical production, it will focus on the drama of producing such a project and how it affects the people involved. I don’t think we will see any characters breaking out into song in this show, unless of course, they are auditioning. The fun thing about these unique concepts is that I can see where the show could go in the future. I can see the two actresses moving onto other productions or other facets of the entertainment industry and can also see the creators and producers moving on to create other productions.

What will happen to these characters once the musical becomes a success? What if it fails? I guess we’ll soon find out. We’ll also find out if Smash smashes in ratings to become a success itself. I don’t think the show will have any problems, especially with Steven Spielberg at the helm.

Smash premieres on NBC in the United States and CTV in Canada on Monday, February 6 at 10 p.m. ET . The premiere episode can also be seen on CTV.ca starting tomorrow for three days.

Watch the extended preview below:

  1. Commit yourself to making lots of mistakes. – Mistakes teach you important lessons. The biggest mistake you can make is doing nothing because you’re too scared to make a mistake. So don’t hesitate – don’t doubt yourself. In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a…

Wow. It has definitely been a while since my last post and a lot has happened. Everything seemed to work out. I was accepted into the program I wanted to be in and I made the crazy move from small city to mega metropolis. The two-day move was worth it. This was a month ago.

Since I moved into my new downtown Toronto condo on September 1, I have done a lot of firsts: first Blue Jays game, first time at the CNE, first time at a Toronto bar, first free concert (Coldplay at that), and many more to come. Just this weekend is Nuit Blanche, which will be another first.

I am now in my fourth week of the Corporate Communications and Public Relations program at Centennial College and I am loving it. The work might be a little strenuous at times but it is definitely manageable. There are some awesome people in my program as well as amazing instructors who will have great impact on the start of our budding careers.

Now that I am in the big city, I finally feel like I am “in my place.” I am absolutely loving what Toronto has to offer and am sure that there are many, many more firsts to come!



Happy Autumn!

Mike

Uncertainty — Most likely the worst feeling in the whole world. We all feel it at some point in our lives, all for different reasons. In my case, it is not about triviality like some people; what new sports car to buy, what jeans to wear today. No, in my case, it goes a lot deeper than that. My uncertainty lies in the many choices I will be forced to make in the near future. Having finished undergraduate classes for good, I was stuck with the problem that most graduates are faced with — what to do next. I was almost positive I’d be able to find work in my field right away, but after applying to full-time jobs, contract work, and even unpaid internships and not receiving a single interview or even call back, I realized it wasn’t going to happen. Now, I will admit that I did not put as much effort into this as I should have, but I came to the conclusion that I was up against people who not only had BA’s, but also had experience and post-graduate programs under their belt. So I quickly began applying to colleges and am now hoping and praying that I get in for a September start date. What’s sad is that this all happened within the past two days. Now, you may be thinking that I’m worrying about this way more than I should be, but you’ve got to realize who this is coming from. I am usually a very organized person and tend to plan things way in advance, but some things you just can’t be ready for. I guess my message for this blog is that you never really know what’s to come. As much as you try to plan your life and plan for the future, you can never be sure what lies ahead. You may feel uncertain about some things throughout your life, but the best thing to do is to just stay calm, work hard, forget about your pressures, and hope for the best, because in all honesty, the show must go on…


Until next time,

Mike

Hi everyone. I feel like this is a very appropriate time to start a blog. I’m graduating from university and doing what most people call “entering the real world.” Wouldn’t it be nice if the “real world” they spoke of was MTV’s version. That would make everything so much easier. Oh great, now I have “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by the Beach Boys stuck in my head. Thank God for YouTube.

I guess it’s apparent that I need to work on staying on topic with these posts. But I guess that aspect will make this blog so unique. I like to discuss a broad range of topics, as I have a broad range of interests. On here you will enter my world, filled with music, film, writing, literature, television, politics, top news stories, technology, cooking, restaurants, tourism, and media (I guess I could go on all day). You could call me a media freak, of sorts — I am a Communications major after all.

I am a Wilfrid Laurier University graduate from the Communication Studies program with a minor in English and Psychology. I am now looking to enter the Corporate Communications and Public Relations field, which is one of my main motivations for starting this blog. I am so used to writing dry, long, and pointless essays (okay, so some of them “were” actually quite worth the time and effort), that I’d like to start honing my writing for the public, especially regarding topics I’m actually interested in.

Anyways, thanks for reading. I definitely hope you guys stick around and join me in this new journey of mine in the “real world.” I’ll finish this off with a little Beach Boys action:

Thanks for checking me out and feel free to follow me on Twitter @MikeCGiardino.

Until next time,

Mike