Browsing Tag

public relations

Malick Ba

Kanye West Vs. Taylor Swift-A Love Story

July 19, 2016

The Kanye West and Taylor Swift conundrum just got a bit crazier. If you haven’t heard Kanye’s song “Famous” off of his latest album The Life of Pablo, pause right now and listen below. *Caution-Nudity*

As you just heard, one of the opening verses in the songs has caused quite the conversation.  “For all my south side n***as that know me best, I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex, why? I made that bitch famous.”

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Obviously that’s a very bold statement by Mr. West-and a daring one at that. Kanye is always known for saying some outlandish stuff, but just this week alone that verse has caused quite the commotion. Taylor Swift had come back denying that Kanye had ever reached out to her about the verse previous to it being record and sold on one of the best hip-hop albums of the year. So why has this become so relevant? A few days ago, Kim Kardashian (Kanye’s beloved wife) had tweeted a video of a conversation between Kanye and Taylor concerning the verse. The video’s content was basically Kanye talking to Taylor about using her name in that song and the content around it. What was surprising was that Taylor Swift gave Kanye the ok to use her name in a verse-which ultimately goes against all of the claims that she had made when the song was first released. Check out the clip here.

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Why is this a big deal? This whole situation just goes to show the power of influencers and public relations as a celebrity. This feud has been popping up all over the internet and has ultimately damaged Taylor Swift’s public image-she lied and got caught. I bet her PR team is working furiously to try and resolve the issue but at the end of the day, three of the biggest names in the industry are being talked about on a wildfire level once again. While this is a PR issue for Swift, something to me seems like this wasn’t planned out perfectly between the trifecta of Swift, and the West’s. Its just too easy.

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While we’re still looking for answers about who’s right and who’s wrong in this situation-bottom line is that situations like these are reasons how celebrities stay relevant and always in the spot light. When people ask why Kim Kardashian is famous, you look at situations like this. She’s gotten herself involved with some of the biggest names in music. They’ve interconnected themselves using the internet to create a story that puts every single one of them in the spotlight.

Lets get serious. kanye gif 2While Taylor and Kanye have had a history of feuding, adding Kim to the mix just amplifies the story even more. Kanye and Kim have their own relationship. Kanye and Taylor have their own relationship. Now, Kim and Taylor have their own relationship. Each one of those people has their own publics to manage and be involved in. I don’t pay much attention to stories like these, but its fascinating from a PR perspective to see the types of interconnectivity between not only the three, but what this means if you’re a fan of either one of those people. It’s a matter of picking sides, and the three of them influencing their publics and the media in a way that amplifies into a huge story. While I’m not really a fan of Taylor or Kim, I’m going to have to default and join #TeamKanye for this.

 

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Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Beyoncé and Lemonade

April 26, 2016

She’s the master of the surprise album. She’s powerful. She’s a master of marketing. To no surprise, this article is all about Beyoncé herself. With her sixth studio album titled “Lemonade” released out of nowhere last weekend, I felt it was appropriate to talk about the Queen herself.  The album is full of broken relationships and ultimately a testament to the strength and perseverance of black women. While although I think Beyoncé fans would love anything that she put out, Lemonade is just a testament to how well her marketing department knows how to operate.

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Lemonade originally became available on Tidal which is a music streaming service owned by her husband none other than Jay-Z. Conveniently, her album became available as soon as her HBO special ended on 10pm on Saturday. For those who are unfamiliar with Tidal, Jay-Z acquired the Swedish music streaming service Aspiro, and rebranded it as Tidal with several other dominant artists last year. One of their biggest marketing strategies is the exclusivity it provides. If it’s on Tidal, then that’s how you get it (cough cough, Kanye West). However, her album was uploaded to iTunes on April 25th.giphy (3)

According to Billboard.com, when her album was released on Saturday, google searches involving the words “tidal” and “music” rose above to over 150%. That is definitely indicative of the kind of power Beyoncé has. Projections for its sales are expected to sell approximately up to 600,000 units this week alone.

Back to the album, it has started a lot of controversy in many other ways. Beyoncé discusses cheating in relationships within the album that has broken the internet. Without mentioning his name, Jay-Z has been under fire recently. Lyrics hint at the fact that Jay-Z possibly cheated on the Queen with Rachel Roy, a fashion designer that has been rumoured to be involved with the Brooklyn super star over the years. But that may be one of the most magnetic traits about the album. The internet is full of conspiracy theories discusses the possibilities of their future. Is this some sort of PR stunt to promote the album? Who knows? Is it legitimate? No clue. But what I do know is that the media (most notably tabloid magazines) have been inadvertently promoting her album, her music, and herself exponentially over the last few days since Lemonade’s release.

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Beyoncé is arguably one of the most powerful women in the world, if not the most powerful women in the music industry. The timing of its release was unknown, but perfect. The lyrics behind her music imply, but don’t tell.  The amount of articles, theories, and bits of information that have been written about Beyoncé is just indicative of her control over us. All hail the queen.

 

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

Tim Hortons Is Way Too Canadian For It’s Own Good(will).

January 27, 2016

In the last month, we’ve seen some pretty big changes with everyone’s favourite thrift shop Goodwill. According to The Toronto Star , in the last few weeks the second hand clothing store has seen 16 stores and 10 donation centers in Ontario shut down without much communication from upper management. What I mean by that is Goodwill employees had shown up for their respective shifts only to find a note on the door saying that the store has been closed.  On top of that, one of the biggest issues with this that I have is that Goodwill is known to hire a plethora of individuals with disabilities. With a combination of horrible communication and laying off 430 employees (many with disabilities) from a public relations perspective, this looks really really bad. To flip the script a little bit, there is one organization in Canada that truly embodies what it means to be inclusive, helpful, and truly Canadian: Tim Hortons.

A note posted on the front of one of the 16 Goodwill stores closed.

A note posted on the front of one of the 16 Goodwill stores closed.

It has been reported by The Toronto Star that Mark Wafer, a Tim Hortons franchise owner of 6 has reached out on social media to (former) Goodwill employees  (disabled or nondisabled) and has been offering them a place to work. Wafer himself identifies as being deaf, only being able to listen with 20% hearing.

Mark Wafer and Employee

Mark Wafer and one of his employees.

This is not some sort of elaborate PR stunt. This is not a marketing tactic to get people to buy more coffee. This is a story of someone who is truly able to embody what it means to be a loving, helping Canadian. Whether he knows this or not, Wafer carries the characteristics of the type of person that Tim Hortons’ brand should want to employ in their organization in management positions. Canadian businesses should look to Wafer as to how they can improve employee relations, business practices, and public image.

This situation reminds us about the difference between good management, and bad management. Goodwill ownership has fumbled pretty hard with public image because of their colossal lack of effective communication. The Tim Hortons brand has a gem in Mark Wafer. This is a prime example of a person who can improve business and perpetuate the positive Tim Hortons’ culture of what a true, inclusive Canadian leader would do in a situation like this.

Somehow, Wafer made Tim Hortons even more Canadian eh?

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Malick Ba is currently an aspiring marketing professional living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to what he can provide to the marketing world upon graduation. Follow him onTwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.