Dear Communication Superheroes: Part I

Posted in Superhero in real life, superpowers with tags , , , , , on April 15, 2013 by catherine9king

My professor of Media Relations & Publicity, Tim Roberts, told us to use “To” instead of “Dear” to start an email pitch, because “Dear” would be too cheesy to be professional. Since I know you all, using “Dear” might not be too much here, I guess.

I have to admit that starting this blog is only for my Online Tactics class at first, and it is really a stressful class. It seemed impossible for me to find my own voice and present superhero and PR at the same time. However, when I noticed that everybody in my class was managing his/her own way to run blog, I was encouraged. Now, my blog is not only a way to present my own voice, but also a motivation to drive me to explore.

As I said in my “About Me” video, to be a cross-cultural communication superhero has always been my dream. Also as I mentioned in my previous blog post, people are so obsessed with superheroes because they make people believe in miracles. As a PR-pro-to-be, I definitely have my own definition on superheroes.

My classmates are all communication superheroes. Of course my topic today will be introducing those communication superheroes I know and their blog. Oh, yeah, don’t forget about our professor, too.

Luke Armour is a charming, particular, humorous, and a little dramatic professor of Online Tactics with his blog – Digital Observations commentary Frivolity.

According to him, he is “digital strategist, podcaster, blogger, musician, daddy, thinker and totally not a robot.”

This is his first time teaching graduate level class, and he seemed a little bit intense at first. Online Tactics is in general practical, complicated, appealing, and obviously time consuming. However, we had fun and he taught us well.

Superpower: MENTORING & COMMUNICATION

WATCH OUT: rumor has it he is pretty sharp on grading.

As one of my closest friends in Kent State University, Otto and I share too many things in common, such as we both majored in teaching Chinese as a foreign language back in colleges, we both love movie and music, share great sense of humor, and we even share the same obsession with Jack Johnson.

His blog – The Voice of PR demonstrates his great instincts toward music, entertainment industry, and PR. He is also familiar with differences between Chinese and American music industry, which is amazing for a Chinese student.

Superpower: MUSIC & COMMUNICATION

NO HARD FEELINGS, he sometimes can be really harsh on music.

Sunny Huang, another closest friend of mine in Kent State University and her blog – PRincess Belle reveal a brand new angle to look at Fashion PR globally.

From creative marketing activities for brands to latest trend and fashion show, Sunny analyzes fashion PR with a refreshing view. As an amazing photographer and designer, most importantly a promising PR practitioner, Sunny provides more possibilities to deconstruct global fashion PR with camera, video, and social media.

Superpower: MULTIMEDIA COMMUNICATION & FASHION PR

BOSSY DIRECTOR & PHOTOGRAPHER, but what can I say, you better listen to her, because she rocks.

 

YoungProWineGuide blogger, a woman who knows how to enjoy life and wine shares some tips on wine and PR. As she is going to London this summer, she owns two blogs – Phylicia McCorkle & YoungProWineGuide to show her love toward communication, PR, food, wine, and music.

According to her, the YoungProWineGuide strives to provide a “no-fuss approach” for audience to better “understand guide to food and wine pairings in between basic wine information.”

Also, she connects PR, communication with the most attempting red-color-liquid, and makes it interesting and easy for all the readers.

Superpower: COMMUNICATION & WINE

Alert: you might be addicted to information she provides, just like you might get addicted to wine.

 

Even though I would be more than thrilled to introduce all the communication superheroes in my class to everybody, I still want to grab the chance and say the classic line:

Please stay tuned for scenes from my next episode.

 

Jacki K and her blog Reel Thoughts of Jacki K

Sijie Sheila Liu and her blog Chinese Social Media 101

Chloe and her blog Fashionaholic

Timilehin Oladele and his blog Urban Connection

Christina Best and her blog The Overwhelmed Bride

Crystal (Yan) Zhang and her blog Short Film Long Story

 

Please share your definition for superheroes with me and tell me what a superhero should look like to you 🙂 Maybe one of my classmates will fit your profile!

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Go out there and KICK ASS!

Posted in superpowers with tags , , , , on April 3, 2013 by catherine9king

I always think the best way of advertising for a movie should be “This movie contains adult contents and you need to be above 18 to watch it.”

OK, that’s PR me talking.

That idea occurred to me because I was watching Kick-Ass 2’s trailer on YouTube and it asked me to log in to make sure I am above 18.

After 3 years, Kick-Ass 2 is coming back in town and gets ready to kick some ass again.

The original Kick-Ass was released in 2010 and it is a story about Dave, a common teenager without anything special about him deciding to be a superhero one day. The storyline of Kick-Ass is deviated from traditional superhero movie and combines Dave, the normal high school kid, and two kick-ass superheroes together. Instead of exaggerating the born-with-superpower superhero, the focus of Kick-Ass is a boy with nothing special about him.

Also, it interprets the rationale for superheroes from a brand new angle. It’s not because of vendetta; it’s not because of responsibilities. Dave is determined to be a superhero because he feels like it. Also, everyone can be a superhero with proper training and enough knowledge.

“Who are you?”

“I am kick-ass.”

The Kick-Ass realized a dream of an ordinary person becoming a superhero. With the help from Nicholas Cage and Chloë Grace Moretz, the Kick-Ass was a catch before it was released. Matthew Vaughn’s bluntness with violence and justice brings out the comic style of the story, too.

It seemed inevitable for Kick-Ass to be called “Brilliant and everything works perfectly in this amazing movie” and reach a successful box-office of $19,828,687 in the opening weekend in United States only.

Will Kick-Ass 2 be as “brilliant” as the original Kick-Ass?

Or it would be something called “Ass kicked”?

Without Matthew Vaughn and Nichols Cage, Jeff Wadlow will get help from Jim Carrey. New mission, new challenges, I am looking forward to it.

Gotta share the red band trailer with everybody. Guess everybody will be intrigued by the “over 18 contents”.

The deeper I dig about superhero, the more confused I get. Do we want to see special people with unique powers or we’d rather enjoy they have flaws, too? Do we enjoy the moment they can easily save the world or we prefer to see them struggling in daily life as well? We love them because they are so special or because they are not that special after all.

Oh Yes! No Cape, Please!

Posted in Superhero in real life, superpowers with tags , , , , , , on March 18, 2013 by catherine9king

The Incredibles is no doubt one of my favorite superhero movies.

No meaning to be disrespectful to the conventional and serious superhero culture, The Incredibles is just a better story that can touch me easily and make me sympathize.

After watch this trailer, I think, the reason why I love it so much should be pretty clear.

What’s the toughest thing being a superhero?

Trying to live a normal life!

It addresses the dilemma of being a superhero and a normal man at the same time instead of conflicts between justice and crime. Even the villain in this movie is not that evil. Oh yeah, he is actually evil. However, it would occur to you that he was still a little boy trapped in his superhero dream after you knew the reason why he became a villain.

The Incredibles is more about superheroes being normal and normal people becoming superheroes. So, of course I love it because of the possibility it presents.

And there is another reason I am so into The Incredibles.

That would be “NO CAPE, PLEASE!”  Literally, I am not a big fan of capes of all times.

Because capes are tragedies! In some ways, I think Edna Mode, the costume designer in The Incredibles, is the most brilliant supporting figure in superhero movies.

Also, no cape is not only about fashion ideas.

Image

The picture is provided by Disney-Pixar.

It is a symbolic gesture to show that superhero can be really close to normal human being. Edna, the costume designer in the movie, suggests no cape because it always gets superhero “INVOLVED in” something. We are thinking from a ordinary human being point of view, instead of living in the superior superhero universe.

Also, it raises a question.

What will a superhero be off-scene, after his golden year?

Rumor has it that Brad Bird might think about making a sequel, but right now he has achieved great success with his live-action directorial debut Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, is trying to revive his San Francisco earthquake project 1906, and is considering an offer from Legendary Entertainment on their fantasy naval warfare film Here There Be Monsters. But sure he will think about the sequel of SUPERHERO FAMILY WITHOUT CAPE.

I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing it.

What do you think about superheroes’ cape? Do you find it annoying? Or you’d rather think that’s the classic symbol of justice? Tell me you opinion!

How Should PR Practitioners Promote Superhero Movies?

Posted in superpowers with tags , , , , , , , on March 12, 2013 by catherine9king

Here comes my public relations personality again.

What should we do to create an impressive superhero? What should PR professionals do to bring out unique personalities to convince viewers about the plots?

And most importantly, how show we promote superhero movies?

I am wondering all the time as a PR practitioner. Allow me to take Avengers as my example.

Image

Traditional Advertisement

 

Movies tend to promote themselves with traditional advertising outlets. Billboards, cover pictures, exclusive interviews with famous magazines seem like their go-to promotion plan.

As Bill Sledzik, my professor of strategic writing in KSU JMC school, mentioned, the disadvantage of Internet to promote something is viewers need to know it first. I totally agree with him.

Where did you first see the amazing poster of The Avengers? Where did you first get to know about the movie of The Avengers?

 

Social Media

 

Of course they will set up a Facebook page and a Twitter account for The Avengers. However, are they really working?

I cannot deny that social media presence gathered fans and viewers, as well as attracted attention. However, how many of them already liked the movie before they followed The Avengers on social media?

For The Avengers’ Twitter page, more than 90% of their recent posts are the same. “Today’s # Avengersfanoftheday is @XXX. Calling all #Avengers fans: Are you ready to assemble?” Personally, I would like to hear more about The Avengers 2 than seeing this on their Twitter page.

The Avenger’s Facebook page is doing better. But it is more like an official website than a social media page. The multimedia content is cool, but not engaging enough.

What should be shown on the Facebook page and what should be shown on the Twitter page? What are the differences between those two? Do they really know what the nature of social media outlets is?

My Opinion

It sounds a bit of silly, but I am convinced that people who are following Twitter page and Facebook page have different personalities. In that way, what they would want to know from social media could be a lot different.

Twitter page could be more conversational. Fun facts, inside jokes, snap shots would be great contents for it.

Facebook page could be a little more official than the Twitter page. Videos, interviews, and official scene pictures would be better for it.

Especially for superhero movies, maybe they should send messages about superheroes’ flawed personalities, their complicated missions, and their personal stories.

Would you be more interested in the superhero movie if they were using right channel to send right messages? What kind of way do you prefer to receive information about superhero movies? Let me know your opinion!

Who would you choose to believe more?

Posted in superpowers with tags , , , , , , on March 8, 2013 by catherine9king

This time I will go a bit out of “traditional superhero track” and dive in my professional path.

PR practitioners are discussing storytelling a lot recently. They mentioned “Narrative arc”, “Character archetypes” and other techniques to better storytelling.

Interesting point Christopher Vogler raised is that every story should have a “hero”, some “villains”, and a “mentor”. Since it relates to “heroes”, I think superhero movies should be the best representatives for this hero type of storytelling.

Vogler mentioned storytellers should stage an ordinary world first. He said in his book The Writer’s Journey: ”The special World of the story is only special if we can see it in contrast to a mundane world of everyday affairs from which the hero issues forth.” In that way, every superhero has a cover identity.

Even if they should be looking like this:

1

They would still need to look like this:

2

According to rules of storytelling, this is the way to make them more believable. They could establish emotional connection with viewers because they are one of us.

However, after I watch Dreams with Sharp Teeth, a documentary about Harlan Ellison, an extraordinary author and possibly the most contentious man alive, I encountered some questions.

Allow me briefly introduce Harlan Ellison first.

Harlan Ellison is an author, essayist, commentator, actor, and activist. He won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe award twice, the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker award six times (including The Lifetime Achivement Award in 1996), the Nebula three times, the Hugo 8 1/2 times, and received the Silver Pen for Journalism from P.E.N. He was called “one of the greatest living American short story writers” by The Washington Post.

Rooted in Cleveland, Ohio, Harlan was bullied almost everyday before he ran away from home when he was 13. He was admitted by The Ohio State University, but left halfway through his sophomore year, after punching a professor who said he had no talent. He started his writing career in New York, once fell in with a Brooklyn gang for 10 weeks, was drafted into the Army.

Harlan is, what he called, “a cranky old Jew”. Also, he is all about confrontation with the unfair world. His brutally blunt conquers countless readers.

What I found in Harlan’s life story is that it is easier for me to connect with his story than superhero stories. Compared to superhero impossible miracle kind of stories, do you find true stories better representatives of “superpower”?

Here come questions.

Who would be a better representative for justice and courage? Someone from our world or Superhero?

If everybody is choosing “the hero” over “the superhero”, do we still need superheroes?

Also, especially for PR practitioners, what kind of story do we need to convey messages? Superhero impossible miracle kind of stories? Or outstanding brave heroes of our own kind of stories? How to pull it off then?

My Beloved SUPERMAN Actors

Posted in Superhero Actors with tags , , , , , on February 13, 2013 by catherine9king

I don’t know what’s for you, but the first superhero I knew was SUPERMAN.

Image

Wikipedia gave me some definition on superman, as “Superman is a fictional character, a comic book superhero who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. He is widely considered to be an American cultural icon.”

After American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster created superman in 1932, Clark Kent became one of the most famous American names worldwide.

This is not enough for me so I went to IMDb to dig a little deeper. Continue reading

Why Do We Need Superheroes in the World

Posted in superpowers with tags on February 6, 2013 by catherine9king

The world needs miracles to believe that tomorrow is going to be better.

The reason why I started this blog is the exact reason why we still need superheroes.

Last time I checked, superhero was originated in United States and now accepted by the world. I am from China, my country does not believe in individualism, not like America does. China believes in collectiveness. I was raised and taught to get ready to sacrifice myself if that is for greater good. Everybody should do it and that is even in our book.

It seems like if sacrificing you alone will save thousands of people, then you are not somebody with blood and flesh any more. They will forget about your family, your parents, your friends, and especially you. Then you become some sort of symbol, and disposable garbage. Continue reading

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