Update: More Maddie Migis!

Update to Maddie Migis .com

Hello!

Welcome to my new-and-improved blog. I still use this site as a portfolio, but in the most wholesome ~new year new me~ vibes, I have decided to finally start using it however I want! This is henceforth my personal blog where I will chronicle projects I do at home, try new things, and write about issues and topics that matter to me.

For the record, you can still view my portfolio, videos, and contact me if you want to talk. I am currently looking for new opportunities in both my career and personal life.

In the future, keep your eyes peeled for lots of exciting new content–but don’t expect it to be consistent! I’m trying new things. To quote Miley Cyrus, “I can’t be tamed.” I’m not going to go that far, but expect a wide range of topics and a sprinkling of opinions on the menu. I’ll try to keep it fresh.

See you soon!
-Maddie

What Young Professionals Can Learn from Comey

AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB / Getty Images

I have some new-found free time, and I used some of that free time today to watch the Comey hearing. Regardless of how you feel about the current investigation, I think that young professionals can learn a lot from how James Comey conducts himself not only in a political hearing, but in a professional way. Comey is in no-doubt a seasoned professional. He served four of his ten year term as FBI director, but he served as a US Attorney beforehand, and worked on some pretty high-profile cases. He’s the one who brought charges against Martha Stewart, of which she was found guilty on all counts. Here’s what I noticed from Comey’s testimony today that I thought was relevant to professional situations.

  1. Be honest.

    Comey’s testimony revealed a lot of truths about the investigation. Obviously, when someone is under an oath and on-the-record, we assume that their statements are true. But Comey answered all questions posed to him, as long as the question was able to be answered in a public hearing. This is in stark contrast to the hearing yesterday, where members of the intelligence committee refused to comment on specific conversations with the president.

    Young professionals would be good to follow suit in most situations, if presented. Honesty has always been my policy, and it’s certain that an honest professional is more credible than one who dodges questions. Whether in politics or otherwise, nobody wants to speak with someone who withholds information or lies.

  2. Sometimes, be quiet.

    I heard a commentator on CNN who was disgruntled with Comey’s actions when he didn’t tell President Trump up-front that his actions were dishonest, but instead took notes. I found this notion absurd. I have been in situations where I have felt uncomfortable about a colleague’s dialogue, but have kept it private. In this way, I think Comey was right in his action to not immediately disclose his conversations with the President when he knew it was possibly unethical, even unconstitutional. Comey likely knew this was likely to end up the way it has ended up. He was wise, and was quiet. He released the information, and kept track of the occasions that there were discrepancies, and then when the time came he was ready to defend himself.

    I think this lesson goes past the communication profession and extends to working relationships in general. When dealing with unruly bosses, creepy superiors, or even just a disgruntled coworker, it never hurts to document what happened, even if just to cover your own butt. Sometimes you may never have to use this information against a coworker or in defense of your own person, but it’s just for your own safety. I have kept information for this reason in the past, and I have never found myself in a position where I had to report it to my superior or a member of HR, but I do not regret documenting it. Hopefully you never have to use it either, but until that time, in some situations, it’s best to keep to yourself. Just like Comey.

  3. Always take notes.

    Like the above post, notes, or documentation of hostile or unethical instances, often does more than benefit yourself. In the case of James Comey, it made him a more credible source for information when he was asked to testify. And, his forethought to take detailed notes of encounters with the President and other important officials gave him materials he was able to then turn into the acting Attorney General for evidence to prove his case.

    I am a podcast fan. In one of my favorite podcasts, Serial, Adnan Syed is asked about six weeks after a specific day when his girlfriend goes missing what he did that day. Adnan, regarding the day in question as a normal day, says he doesn’t remember what he did, specifically in the hours in question, when they believe the murder was committed. For this reason, among others, Adnan is still in prison fifteen years later. I don’t want to go too deep into this true crime drama, but basically, sometimes having an alibi can keep you out of trouble if you were ever accused of something, be it a murder or a bold email to a boss. I keep a planner, so due to my excellent organization skills, I would like to think that within reason, I can go back and recount my schedule. Comey can do the same thing on these pivotal moments due to his notes. While I’m not suggesting young professionals should be constantly preparing themselves for testimony, it’s important to be accountable. Taking notes in meetings ensures you remember the main talking points, but specifically, you remember the tasks your boss asked you to complete. After an hour long meeting, do you remember everything your boss said? I’m not implying that you don’t listen in meetings, but sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of all that information without a written record. At least, for me. I would argue that taking notes and writing down my schedule offer me many distinct advantages in my organization. Comey would likely agree that a written record, whether that’s notes or keeping an agenda, is probably a good idea.

  4. Never skip dinner with your wife.

    Comey was asked at one point in the testimony about the dinner he had with Trump, where one of the most objectionable statements was allegedly made, Trump asking Comey to “let [Mike Flynn] go.” In this situation, Comey describes the instance Trump called him and asked him to come to dinner. Comey says he had to cancel a prior engagement with his wife to attend dinner with the President. In retrospect, Comey said he wishes he would have kept his previous engagement and enjoys spending time with his wife. The moral of this story, of course, is not a professional one. But regardless, you should never skip dinner with your wife.

Sources:
All information included about the Comey testimony and prior testimony of intelligence officials received from live CNN coverage. Live updates can be found here.

Image of James Comey. AFP photo by Saul Loeb, Getty Images. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/james-comey-testimony-photos_us_59394c64e4b0061054801922

Background information about James Comey retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/03/us/james-comey-fast-facts/index.html

Find more information about Serial (it’s a great podcast) at https://serialpodcast.org/

 

Sometimes, Seeing is Even Better than Believing

Lifebuoy shows that real germs are much scarier than consumers might imagine.

Lifebuoy, a soap company, has discovered what may be the most effective way to sell soap. Germs are often represented in promotional materials by cartoonish figures or monsters, with “bad-boy” personalities. But Lifebuoy wanted to show people that they real thing can be much, much worse. By using real objects, they created real cultures as promotional materials to show people in malls in South America how dirty their stuff really is.

The ads, as the video shows, are obviously effective, and super gross. They show real-life bacteria associated with everyday objects like game controllers and phones, and it’s quite disturbing (Kulp). It’s a powerful image, and while it might not make people buy Lifebuoy, maybe more people will wash their hands or sanitize their phones more often. It’s very powerful imagery.

Lifebuoy is good at capturing the public’s attention this way. Recently, in what I think was a more effective display for their brand equity, they used their soap to trace their logo, and it kept bacteria from growing in that area.

The ads are gross, that’s for sure. But they’re also powerful. I don’t think most brands would consider installing giant petri dishes all over the place, but you can’t deny what kind of message it sends. More importantly, this campaign shows germs in their true form, not in the way that we see them in many medicinal and health advertisements today. It’s refreshing, but also meaningful. It has a potential to make a positive, lasting, impression.

Sources Cited:

Kulp, Patrick. “Soap Company Uses Bacteria-coated Billboards to Prove How Dirty Your Stuff Is.” Mashable. Mashable, 01 Dec. 2016. Web. 01 Dec. 2016. <http://mashable.com/2016/12/02/soap-bacteria-ads/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-main-link#I3QOg5I2Qkqx>.

Lifebuoy Magic. Lifebuoy, 12 May 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFCsq05bzhM>.

One Chili’s Ruins Veterans Day for All Chili’s, Everywhere

“On a day where we served more than 200,000 free meals as a small gesture of our appreciation for our veterans and active military for their service, we fell short,” said Kelli Valade, President of Chili’s Bar and Grill in a statement released following a 11/11 PR fiasco (Brinker). You can watch the event go down in the Facebook post that has gone viral, here. The abbreviated version goes as follows, a Trump supporter, also a veteran, suspected a man, named Ernest Walker, wasn’t actually a veteran, and that his service dog was not a service dog. This man’s suspicion led the manager of the said Chili’s (located a stone’s throw from Denton in Cedar Hill, Texas), to question Walker’s veteran status and service dog (Wright).

If you weren’t aware, you can’t question a service dog. It’s part of the ADA law that says, basically, if your dog helps with your disability, it’s a service dog. I worked with a nonprofit for adults with disabilities, and I am very familiar with this law. No place of business is allowed to question you about it, so if you believe the dog helps you and is worthy, you can bring it in. Asking about a service dog’s credibility is ILLEGAL, no matter what the instance, so that action was Chili’s first boo-boo. Their managers should know this law, and the fact that the one in the video doesn’t shows he probably shouldn’t be manager in the first place.

Full disclosure, I worked at a Chili’s in high school and had a very positive experience. My managers were excellent and I enjoyed working under Brinker, the parent company of Chili’s, and I do believe in their merit as a company. All of my experiences, for the most part, were great. I know this is probably not everyone’s experience, and I know not all management is great. I understand that. But here’s the thing I can’t get over: it was one free meal. The manager had already given this man a free, rightfully-deserved meal, as Chili’s gives to all veterans who show valid military ID on Veteran’s day. Why did he feel it was necessary to take it away? A single free meal, regardless of what it was, should mean absolutely nothing to Chili’s. Especially if he had a service dog, why would he question this man’s validity? Who knows.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-49-30-pm

But, in this instance, most people assume racism. Even though that might not be the case, it looks bad for Brinker at every angle on this one. Which, if you work for Chili’s or Brinker, is a big bummer. Like Valade said, Chili’s gave away 200,000 free meals, and made a lot of veterans feel appreciated and valued. And over 200,000 did. They left with free food in their bellies and gratitude for the brand. But, since one manager messed up, all of that work goes unnoticed, and one ruining just one veteran’s experience on veteran’s day is cruel, any way you slice it. I’m sorry for your loss, Brinker, and I am sorry for Ernest Walker’s terrible Chili’s experience. A GoFundMe has been set up in his name, and has raised near $6,000 for his “dinner,” and I have to think that that much money, from the goodwill of the internet, not Brinker, has got to help ease the pain. And, as someone who knows from experience that not all Chili’s are bad, take it from me: Brinker did more good than bad on November 11th, and while the public may never recognize it, 200,000 veterans are thankful, and that’s important too.

 

Sources Cited:

Brinker. (n.d.). Open Letter from Kelli Valade, President of Chili’s® Grill & Bar. Retrieved November 17, 2016, from http://brinker.mediaroom.com/newsreleases?item=135354

Wright, I. J. (2016, November 15). Chili’s Crisis Proves How Little It Takes to Sink a PR Effort. Retrieved November 17, 2016, from http://www.prnewsonline.com/chilis-veterans-day

 

Snapbots: A Solid PR Stunt When America Needs it Most

by Maddie Migis

snapbot

America is done. Tired of hearing about nothing but Trump and Clinton for the past three months, and in some cases, defeated by the results. So, in the midst of a lot of nasty hate language, protests, and non-stop news coverage, America was aching for a good PR campaign.

Insert Snapchat’s Snapbot–selling spectacles, a limited-range pair of video-capturing glasses that retails, only in the Snapbot, for $129. The spectacles are meant for recording video, like snapchat, and the video can be synced to the app accordingly (Heath). It’s definitely a boutique product, only for the most dedicated snappers, or those very concerned with documenting their life in real-time.

It’s a great and hopeful thing at a dismal time. And, priced at $129, the spectacles are accessible to many demographics (Wright). If consumers are dedicated enough, and lucky enough, the spectacles would be a very impressive Christmas gift.

The whole experience is really cool. Snapbots all come with a user interface that helps users decide between the three available colors–black, coral, and teal–by showing how each color would look on their face (Wright). In this way, Snapchat was able to come up with a clever way around the vending machine’s inability to allow customers to try on glasses.

So far, the Snapbots have only been spotted in Venice Beach, California (Heath). It seems that the Snapbots will be the only way for people to get their hands on spectacles. The Snapbots will only be in one place at one time, and the only tell of their location will appear on a map 24 hours before they show up at their ever-elusive locations. It’s fun, surprising, and accessible, to a lucky few. It’s the PR campaign America needs right now.

I am not so dedicated to the brand, and most consumers aren’t either. That’s why the exclusivity of the product works so well. The Snapbots ended up being just what the public has needed in a time of unrest and disagreeance, little bots that look like minions but spit out video-glasses (Wright). It’s the little things in life. Thanks, Snapchat, for a great PR campaign and a good distraction from what’s actually going on in our country.

Sources Cited:

Heath, A. (2016, November 10). Snapchat will sell its Spectacles camera glasses through pop-up vending machines. Retrieved November 10, 2016, from http://www.businessinsider.com/snapchat-spectacles-vending-machines-2016-11
Wright, I. J. (2016, November 10). Snapchat Spectacles’ Spectacular PR-Stunt Launch. Retrieved November 10, 2016, from http://www.prnewsonline.com/snapchat-spectacles-launch

Powerful Dem Women Want YOU to Join the Girl Club

by Maddie Migis

Emily’s List, a PAC devoted to trying to get pro-choice women democratic candidates elected, just produced a really cool ad. And while yes, PACs aren’t usually the most desirable thing today, this ad is cool. Especially for women.

The point of this video, which you can watch here, is to get women to vote for other women. The video stresses the importance of voting for other women to ensure gender equality. The video also points out that believe-it-or-not,”[y]ou didn’t get here because you’re a woman. You got here because you’re the best person for the job,” says Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill (Logan). Women are powerful, and this video does a great job of presenting these powerful women for what they are: forces to be reckoned with.

At the end, an appearance is made by none other than Hillary Clinton, the ultimate #GirlBoss of politics, who re-affirms the message: girls get stuff done. It’s a great, empowering video, showcasing every single Democratic woman in the Senate, and of course, their fearless leader, the pinnacle of female politicians (Logan).

Regardless of your political affiliation, it’s hard to argue the benefits of having strong female role-models in political circles. These women are well-known for their political choices, too, but regardless of their party affiliation, these women can serve as role models across the spectrum for being successful and speaking their minds.

I, of course, love it. I love when other women are empowered by powerful role models such as these Senators (and Hillary). And, after all, the boys can keep “fight club,” because “girl club” is way cooler. After all, “[t]he first rule of girl club is to talk about girl club. Talking is good. It builds community and consensus.”-Tammy Baldwin, Democrat, Wisconsin (Logan).

 

Sources Cited:
Fiorozi, P. (2016, November 3). Clinton, Dem women star in ‘Girl Club’ ad. Retrieved November 3, 2016, from http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/304278-clinton-dem-women-star-in-girl-club-ad

Girl Club by Emily’s List. (2016, November 3). Video [Girl Club]. Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0A6fTN6Jn0: Emily’s List.

Logan, E. (2016, November 3). Get Your Daily Dose of Girl Power With This Awesome New Video from the Democratic Women in Office. Retrieved November 3, 2016, from http://www.glamour.com/story/democratic-women-appear-in-girl-club-video

 

Subway Can’t Shake Jared’s Personal Crisis

The once-spokesperson’s seedy reputation still means bad business for Subway

by Maddie Migis

Jared Fogle is synonymous with Subway, due to his long-standing promotional deal with them, in which, on a diet of Subway sandwiches, he lost a large amount of weight. But, unfortunately for Subway, Fogle’s name is still synonymous with the brand, even after he was sentenced to sixteen years in prison for charges related to child pornography and soliciting sex from minors. Even though the conviction came after Fogle had cut his ties with the corporation, the public still very much associates the Fogle with Subway.

jared-fogle

Now Fogle is back in the spotlight yet again, but this time, for something his wife says Subway, not Jared, did wrong. She says that she thinks Subway could have been aware of Jared’s perversions all along. This comes in conjunction with evidence that in 2004, Fogle approached a young girl and asked about a sex act in Las Vegas at a Subway event. In addition to this, she’s suing for a number of damages, saying that Subway worked for their expansion at the expenditure of Fogle’s wife and children.

Subway was where I had my first job. Being a “sandwich artist” wasn’t the best job I’ve ever had, but I remember it fondly, as most people probably remember their first jobs. For $7.25 an hour, I was stoked to even be getting a paycheck, and free sandwiches. But Jared is synonymous with the brand for me, too. Back then, Jared was still a fixture of Subway’s promotional materials, from cups to signage, he was on it all.

Subway got such a big boost from the campaigns Jared Fogle was a part of, I don’t think anyone my age or older will forget Jared Fogle’s ties to Subway for a long time. Maybe Subway will one day be able to bury the hatchet that is Jared Fogle, but for now, the man is a constant stain on Subway’s reputation, and they’ll have to do some serious rebranding before people will forget. It’s not necessarily Subway’s fault that Jared was such a nasty guy, but regardless, they’ll be paying for it for a while. Apologies, whether warranted or not, maybe the the only way for Subway to keep swimming.

Sources Cited:

Arenstein, S. (2016, October 25). Jared’s Crisis Lingers Over Subway. Retrieved October 27, 2016, from http://www.prnewsonline.com/prnewsblog/jareds-crisis-lingers-over-subway/

Buckley, M. (2016, October 24). Jared Fogle’s ex-wife alleges Subway knew of his ‘depravities’ Retrieved October 27, 2016, from http://www.indystar.com/story/news/local/hamilton-county/2016/10/24/jared-fogles-ex-wife-sues-subway/92678014/

Jared Fogle [Photograph found in Subway]. (2015, July 7). In Eater.com. Retrieved October 27, 2016, from http://www.eater.com/2015/7/7/8906389/fbi-raided-home-of-subway-guy-jared-fogle

CoverGirl’s First CoverBoy

CoverGirl, a drugstore beauty staple, has been picking a diverse lineup of women to represent it’s makeup for decades. Beginning with powerful female role models of multiple races and sexual orientations, like Queen Latifah and Ellen, from new up-and coming celebrities, like Zendaya.

But CoverGirl has picked a new “Cover Girl,” aka brand ambassador, and he’s not a girl at all. He’s a 17-year-old high-school student named James Charles, and his beauty skills are unparalleled.

CoverGirl has been trying really hard to reach the millennial marketplace. I can tell because I always see their promoted tweets (for Katy Perry’s lipstick line) on my timeline. They’re absolutely relentless. Katy Perry’s new cosmetics line is minimally packaged and edgy, with cute, kitschy names for her lipstick shades that makes them appealing to young women. But choosing Charles as an ambassador is a whole new kind of genius.

Social media influencers like Charles have a crazy amount of influence with their followers. James Charles has 613k of them. Let alone he’s a male, part of a demographic that’s growing in popularity. Many male makeup influencers have large followings on social media and popular YouTube channels.

By picking James Charles as a “Cover Girl,” CoverGirl makes friends with all the millennials who love the progressive side of the makeup industry, where anyone can rock a smokey eye and a nude lip. Coleman undoubtedly has the skill to play with a major brand, though he’s just 17.

The internet’s reaction to Charles’s new ambassador position has been beaming. The internet loves that a well-deserving (well-liked) male makeup artist gets recognized by a big brand. CoverGirl is asking people to welcome him to the GoverGirl lineup with the hashtag #COVERGIRLJames, and he’s gotten lots of love. Thanks CoverGirl, and thanks James Charles, for your amazing makeup looks, I hope there’s many more to come. And can we talk about his highlight? #SLAY

 

 

Sources Cited:

Allen, K. (2016, October 13). CoverGirl taps YouTube star to be its first CoverBoy. Retrieved October 13, 2016, from http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/21575.aspxSources Cited:

Feldman, J. (2016, October 11). Meet the First Ever Male CoverGirl, James Charles. Retrieved October 13, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cover-girl-boy-james-charles_us_57fbf36ee4b0b6a43034bd60

 

Dunkin Donuts and Coke Join Forces, Fight Starbucks

By Maddie Migis

Luckily, coffee and coke isn’t a combo you’ll see on the market anytime soon. However, coffee chain Dunkin’ Donuts is partnering with Coca-Cola to try and make their entry into the packaged coffee market. Recently, Dunkin’ Donuts has suffered from a drop in in-store sales. The two companies will pair together to try to slow Starbucks’ bottled iced coffee roll. Starbucks has made great efforts to promote their new line of iced coffee, and they plan to expand upon their products. In 2017, Starbucks will begin to offer iced bottled Teavana tea options, for which they have partnered with Anheuser-Busch to bottle (Patton).

images
Dunkin Donuts pans to enter the bottled iced coffee market in 2017.

Coca-Cola is likely trying to use Dunkin Donuts’ bottled coffee opportunity to help their stock, which like Dunkin’s is also down. Hoping to stop a downward spiral for both Coke and Dunkin Donuts, is this bottled coffee move the right one for the business? Dunkin Donuts may be down in in-store sales, but they have a successful and quite large grocery store presence. Hopefully, the bottled iced coffee will be sold at a price point that’s cheaper than Starbucks, and therefore more accessible to the millennial market Dunkin’s desperately trying to grab the attention of (Patton). Ready-to-drink coffee sales have increased as consumers have shied away from all the negative aspects of soda (Allen). Consumers want the caffeine they need without the nastiness of soda, and Starbucks has done a great job.

Starbucks is the current market leader, and if Dunkin’s bottled iced coffee rollout is successful, they could lose some of their market share, and Dunkin and Coke could both use that share desperately (Allen). I think that if Dunkin Donuts is going to try to appeal to the fast-paced millennial market, they’re going to need some rebranding. Their logo is out of date, and if they repositioned themselves as trendy and low-cost, they might just be able to give Starbucks a run for their money.

 

 

Sources Cited:

Allen, K. (2016, October 6). Coke and Dunkin’ Donuts team up to challenge Starbucks. Retrieved October 06, 2016, from http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/21533.aspx

Dunkin Donuts. (n.d.). Image [PNG]. Dunkin Donuts Nutrition.https://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/nutrition.html

Patton, L. (2016, September 29). Dunkin’ Donuts Partners With Coca-Cola for Bottled Iced Coffees. Retrieved October 06, 2016, from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-29/dunkin-donuts-partners-with-coca-cola-for-bottled-iced-coffees

 

Everyone’s Favorite Female Superhero is Out of the Closet, No One is Surprised.

Wonder Woman is Queer, Duh.

By Maddie Migis

wonderwoman

It has just been announced, by the current head writer of the popular Wonder Woman comic Greg Rucka, that the main character (known both as Wonder Woman and Diana) is queer (Karlan). Bisexual, to be more precise. This move is simply a happy admittance of a very solid backstory and rationale for the character’s LGBT status: she grew up on a planet that consisted of only women. This place is referred to as an “Amazonian Paradise,” of course, with no men (Prudom). The creators of the comic book ascertain that of course, growing up without men, Diana is attracted to women. She’s also attracted to men, however, as bisexuality is not a concept on her home planet, and does not hold a social stigma or any other type of societal penalty.

While some LGBT individuals might wish for this man-less planet full of Amazonian bisexual women, others are just thankful that LGBT characters are finally getting to have a say, in the open, about LGBT people. As a demographic that makes up a huge segment of the market, it’s good that DC Comics is finally thinking about that market. Though Wonder Woman’s identity feels like a perfect, if not logical fit due to her upbringing and heritage, it’s a welcome addition to the comic book universe. Male superheroes and their macho personality traits leave little room for the few female heroes to take charge, let alone be visible. Wonder Woman’s identity is a win not just because she’s a hardcore female hero who could take Superman any day, but because she can now serve as a role model for LGBT youth. Rucka says that they’re not pushing an agenda with this decision, it’s just a fact that has never been publicly acknowledged (Karlan). DC made a great, albeit accidental, move that comes just before the June 2017 release of Wonder Woman’s own movie. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Sources Cited:

Karlan, S. (2016, September 29). DC Comics Writer Confirms Wonder Woman Has Had Relationships With Other Women. Retrieved September 29, 2016, from https://www.buzzfeed.com/skarlan/wonder-woman-is-totally-bisexual-confirms-dc-comics-writer?utm_term=.ofL0eXYw6#.uoAMKj0dr

Prudom, L. (2016, September 29). Wonder Woman is bisexual, and it’s NBD. Retrieved September 29, 2016, from http://mashable.com/2016/09/29/wonder-woman-bisexual-greg-rucka/#1msNFy1jXaqz

Image courtesy of Buzzfeed.