Writing Exercise: Can robots ever be human?

The Terminator in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

The Terminator in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

I realize this topic is as incredibly deep and complex as it is general. I will start this by stating that I am not in robotics nor do I work with artificial intelligence. I have never even studied it. I am a man who is very interested in concepts and logic. I enjoy in delving into the overlying principles of things. My opinions on this are not fact and they possibly aren’t even close. Do not be offended. If my writing makes you think and feel, whether it is an introspective “I haven’t thought of that” or an angry “Is this guy an idiot?!?”… I have done my job.

Robots are a strong theme in American culture. They evoke a wide array of emotions from us. Many of us find them interesting. I loved the show Battlebots. I love having the newest, sleekest technology. I love that my phone can use simple algorithms to predict things I want to do. I am an absolute nut for predictions and analysis. Heck, I even have a scale that links to an online profile so I can see exactly how my weight is fluctuating. Give me a shiny piece of technology that syncs through WiFi or Bluetooth and presents its information in colorful bar and line graphs and I’ll be your best friend. These machines or robots are created to analyze us and assist us. They are getting smarter and we have long been past the point where our phones know more about us than we do. In some instances, our phones can probably predict what we will do before we know it. While computers (I’ll generally use that term here) are getting better and better at knowing us, that leads to another emotion we have towards robots:

Fear.

Americans have many fascinating obsessions. We glorify ninjas and pirates and have made ridiculous versions of them that never existed. We drool over superheroes who have seemingly plausible “origin stories” but are obviously impossible if you give it any amount of thought. We love orcs, mages, and elves despite there never being an instance of any of them in history. We equally are fascinated by the idea of robots, but unlike the others, robots are real. Robots are here. As many movies and video games there are that portray good robots who help us fight an enemy (usually other robots), there are just as many that feature robots that kill us. Usually the narrative is the same. We keep making technology better until we reach a point where AI has the ability to achieve free will. At this moment, AI is not a program anymore. It has consciousness. It doesn’t necessarily “feel” but it can make its own decisions and that turns for the worst when that is coupled with the intelligence, processing speed, and ability to essentially recall any memory in its storage in nanoseconds. These advanced robots then always go through some change that causes them to turn on humanity. Sometimes their coding just glitches. Sometimes an evil mastermind “rewires” them. Sometimes the perfect beings just realize how flawed humans are and decide to get rid of all of us. What makes this fear rational is that this could possibly happen down the road. For whatever reason, these robots are usually made into the shape of a human. This brings me to my actual point.

In this exercise, I’m not discussing if we will be mass-exterminated by a robot in the future. We are nowhere near that point. However, as computers get smarter and more knowledgeable of us, people have undertaken the task of trying to get them to emulate us. The question is: Will there a be a day where robots look and act like humans? Will you be able to bump into a stranger out in public, have a conversation, and then be shocked 10 minutes in when that stranger informs you that it is a robot? Many people say no, but there are also those who believe the answer is yes so strongly, they have dedicated their lives to it. I will not say no as the future is a long time, but I will say we are nowhere close.

The issue is that from an artificial intelligence standpoint, humans are perfectly imperfect. We are irrational and we act on impulse. We will actually make a terrible decision with no thought or research, but then we have the capability to amend the mistake and still get the job done. There are many times that humans will actually do research and then still make a mistake because of an unforseen variable. Humans have embraced the ever-present possibility of mistakes. Jobs have policies for getting stuck in traffic. Companies have insurance for people hurting themselves while performing work. Humans are irrational, but not random. We will do everything we’re supposed to do, then in a moment of rage, break a $500 cell phone. Computers are efficient and would never do these things.

The next step would obviously be teaching the robots to emulate us. This would not be easy to do since they do not have emotions. You could program a robot to emulate the average human, but then have it rarely do random acts, but this is not even close to being the same. I think watching a robot pretending to be human would be like watching a fake viral video on the internet. I would bet that every day, hundreds of companies try to fake videos where something ridiculous happens in public. They stage events that are cute, romantic, or dangerous. They sit in meeting rooms and analyze other viral videos. Many of them probably even have focus groups to test how believable they are. No matter the process, most of them hit the internet and are ignored. The problem is that real viral videos happen naturally. We can tell when a video is faked/staged because it just seems unnatural to us… It seems inhuman. You could strap a GoPro camera on a thousand people’s heads and then upload that footage into a robot and it still would be emulating humans. The robot needs to feel, think, and act on impulse for it to be believable. It needs to be human. We are nowhere close.

I find this entire process scary. Using programs and algorithms to assist us has progressed society to new heights. Things have become cheaper and easier. We can digitally film and edit. We can make complex spreadsheets in a window that would have taken an entire wall of a conference room to draw out. We can instantaneously mail each other through the internet. The list of things technology has provided us would be a mile long, but how far do we need to go? Why do we need robots walking around pretending to be human and acting like us? I don’t agree with making humanoid robots to complete certain tasks, but I see the purpose (I think the implications toward jobs would be horrible). I don’t see the purpose of making human robots that do everything we do and that pretend to be us. That’s another issue, however.

As the future comes, we will undoubtedly reach higher levels of technology. Processors will get better. Memory will better. Storage will get better. There will be a point where things like androids will be a possibility. I just don’t think we’re anywhere close to that right now.

Thanks for reading my random fit of writing inspiration.

-Marty

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Video Game High School Season 3 Review (No Spoilers)


VGHS

The best shows have a way of making you not want them to end. The writers do their best to make the plot satisfy you so you will close the book and feel like it has finished its course, but you never do. That is the boat Video Game High School is in. The characters are so lovable and memorable that the show could have gone for another five seasons, but the creators were tasked with finishing all of their stories in this season. This was a big challenge.

Many shows that garner popularity tend to go out on a victory tour, giving fanfare to the viewers and highlighting the most lovable points of its characters. This is not the approach VGHS takes. This season, all of the characters hit some of their darkest times. I won’t spoil anything, but all of the major characters go through life-changing events that make them look at their lives from a different angle. Even Ki, the unwavering bastion of caring and righteousness, finds herself questioning whether good always wins. VGHS swung for the fences with the story.

This is a good thing. These actors and actresses really have come into their own and it’s noticeable as they flex their acting muscles. After seasons of Ted Wong goofily deflecting anything that might hurt his feelings, he finally hits his breaking point and shows a wide range of emotions. As the show digs into his relationship with his father, it creates some very powerful stuff. Ki also creates some moving work as she is put in a position where she can’t fix everything with both her life and friends. It’s one of the few times in the show that “life happens” for her and she is not used to be powerless to it. Brian, who has carried the show at times from an emotional standpoint, continues in that regard. While he steps back as the main character and lets his friends join him in the main narrative, he continues to be the glue that holds the group together and finds himself in tough situations because of it. His friends need him even when they don’t realize it. Brian, or Josh Blaylock rather, deserves awards for his parts in this show as a whole.

The one character I was a touch disappointed with was Jenny Matrix. Don’t get me wrong, her acting was solid and I like her as a character. However, her desire to be a professional gamer is a huge focus during this season. The viewers always knew that Jenny was the player in the school that had the best chance of going pro and it was her lifelong dream. I find this a little strange because Brian actually carried the team on his back quite often and was shown to be on Jenny’s level throughout the show, but the writers made it obvious that he didn’t have a chance of going pro. We always knew that this would inevitably lead to a conflict between Jenny and Brian. Well, that conflict happens in this season and it absolutely tears Jenny apart. She has to come to terms with who she is and what she wants. After this issue seems to be resolved, later in the series, she does something that completely contradicts this in a matter of three seconds. It seemed the character hadn’t really progressed at all and it was disappointing to see, but the writers knew what they were doing. It was destined from the start.

The show also adds some new bad guys, which was refreshing. At the end of Season Two, Ashley Barnstormer and his Napalm Energy Drink High School pop up and nab The Law in a seemingly random move. This story arc is fleshed out and you realize that this energy drink company/high school is gunning for VGHS. Dean Calhoun has made some powerful enemies, one being Ashley and another being a known face I won’t reveal. Napalm Energy Drink High School has an unlimited amount of money, as does its two leaders, and that money allows them to do anything they want, which puts the protagonists in bad situations over and over again. Ashley Barnstormer is absolutely hilarious. He calmly connives and picks people apart. He is very similar to The Law from Season One. The scene where he is a “captive” was particularly funny to me. Napalm also picks up a new face, who you will recognize from Disney’s iCarly, and he brings up one of the most random plot twists in the show to date. It is pretty funny and he immediately becomes mortal enemies with The Law for more reasons that one. He is a man of few words, but gets some very memorable scenes, especially closer to the end. Ki’s old rival, Shane Pizza is also a blast to watch. He never loses and so calmly buys his way out of every challenge and problem. He also has a much bigger role in this season in ways you wouldn’t even imagine. His condescending tone is hilarious and how he has kept it through three entire seasons without letting a smile or chuckle slip is impressive. Snaps, Ki. Snaps.

Every show can use more of this guy: The Law

Every show can use more of this guy: The Law

That brings me to one of my biggest disappointments. The Law is practically not present in the entire season. I know Brian Firenzi, the actor who played The Law, moved to London after Season Two but I still find the aggressive phase-out of The Law disconcerting. While every character has a special place in my heart, The Law has always been my personal favorite character of VGHS. His romance with Shotbot and the narrative of him uncovering his framing by Shane Pizza in Season Two carried the show for that stretch. The Law was eccentric and ridiculous, but was human at the same time. I would go so far to say that he was so humanized in the later part of Season Two, he was turned into a good guy and the viewers were rooting for him. Of course it was a “Law” move to immediately go against Brian and his friends at the first chance he got to join Napalm, but what followed wasn’t. He immediately became a subordinate to Ashley and allowed himself to be pushed around, which doesn’t fit his character at all. Then he practically disappears for the rest of the season to then pop up for an anticlimactic finish in which he doesn’t get revenge or even try to against any of the people who wronged him. He was turned back into the comedic relief character who pops up a handful of times that he was in Season One. It was just so disappointing because in Season Two, he really was fleshed out and became a driving force of the show. Maybe I just love The Law too much and am the only one who cares he was gone. While I’d have a beer with any of the cast mates of this show (except the girl who played Sushi Princess, of course), Brian Firenzi would have to be on the top of that list. Look at his Twitter account. He is a complete hoot.

Season Three featured all of the side characters we have come to love from Wendell to Games Dean to Clutch to Jumpin Jax to Drift King to the Duchess. It was wonderful to see, but I wish the show could have gone longer so that we could see their stories drawn out more. How did the Duchess of Kart and the Drift King get to their respective roles as the lead of each racing team? How did the two racing teams come to hate each other? Many of the side characters could have had their own stories, or at least origin stories, and I felt like there were opportunities left on the table, but this was likely due to resource restraints. They were very clear about this third season being the final season so they obviously couldn’t travel down too many avenues. At the closing of the season, I felt unsatisfied with the endings of the side characters, They just basically disappear into the woodwork after the climax of the entire show. I was hoping for Wendell getting the respect from his peers he worked so hard for; Drift King and Duchess excitedly hugging and showing that there is hope for a racing-based friendship; A real showing of friendship between Games, Jax, Brian, and the other FPS players; or just maybe a small montage showing what happened to everyone. I also was a bit saddened by Drift King sliding back into a villainous role towards Ted as I thought Season Two hashed that out, but he redeems himself. There are many great things done with the side characters, though. I won’t tell you it, but one of the best scenes of this season involves Dean Calhoun. You’ll know it when you see it.

This scene comes right after one of my favorite scenes from the season.

This scene comes right after one of my favorite scenes from the season.

Those complaints are so miniscule towards how amazing this show is, though. The action scenes are better. The acting is better. The story is real and makes the characters suffer to come out stronger in the end while peppering in the trademark VGHS humor. This season even adds in MMO, JRPG, and social gamers into the school’s cast, which was hilarious. Season Three was a great tribute to not only VGHS itself, but gaming as a whole. Plus, it features one of the craziest final scenes of a show I’ve ever seen.

One other thing that I personally enjoyed about this season was the adult theme. Season Three starkly deviates from its more kid-friendly past. There are jokes about sex and cussing. This doesn’t seem like a video game-based Disney show anymore. This is a thought-provoking, roller coaster of emotions that keeps true to its fun and giddy nature while taking you to places you never thought VGHS would. I loved it. Its cheesiness is a big part of my love for VGHS, but this move towards adult content was a great one that paid off. I won’t mention the ending of the show, but even that isn’t the Disney perfect ending we would expect from VGHS, but instead follows in the footsteps of other emotionally driven shows like Friday Night Lights. VGHS brings it.

All in all, Season Three of Video Game High School hits big. While I wish the show could go on for another ten seasons, this is the finale we get and it does more than enough. We learn who Brian, Jenny, Ki, and Ted really are as they, as well as the whole school, are tested by these new evil forces represented by Napalm Energy Drink High School. We go to both the bottom and top with these characters by the end of the season and it is an incredible and rewarding journey. My lone complaint that I will carry over is the lack of The Law, but that doesn’t detract much from what is otherwise a near perfect closing to one of my favorite shows ever. To those of you who didn’t donate to the show and have only seen Episode One:

‘LAW READY FOR THIS?

9.5/10

To watch Episode One of Season Three of VGHS, go here.

-Marty F. Nemec

Game of Thrones makes TV watchable again



Game of Thrones

I admit that I’m a tough sell with TV shows. I have probably watched two or three episodes of a hundred shows. I just don’t have time for TV shows that can’t keep my attention. I expect shows to make me interested in the futures of the characters. I expect to laugh or cry (feel like it). I expect to feel emotion.

Three of the only shows I have ever finished and made me satisfied with my decision were Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, and Arrested Development. Game of Thrones definitely meets all of my expectations for great shows.

I won’t ruin what happened, but in a roughly four episode span, featuring both the “Red Wedding” and the “Purple Wedding,” this show blew my mind and changed what I thought about TV shows. Game of Thrones will keep you up at night thinking about the show’s events. It will have you talking to coworkers about it.

The one constant complaint I hear is that Game of Thrones is too long. The episodes are sometimes slow and always an hour long. What you don’t realize, though, is that the entire show is a series of build-ups. Each long build-up peaks at a crazy event that leaves you speechless and then the next build-up begins. You have to know these characters. You have to love or hate these characters to truly appreciate what the show has to offer. That is why you have to watch the episodes that aren’t action-packed from start to finish.

I strongly suggest that you get a big bag of popcorn and dedicate a Sunday afternoon to Game of Thrones. After three episodes, you will most likely be as hooked as me (and most of the country). It is an incredible show that will make you feel every emotion known to man. Don’t be that guy (like me) again who starting watching Breaking Bad after it ended and you already knew the ending.

Also, you will come to really appreciate Jack Gleeson’s portrayal of the cowardly, yet sadistic, King Joffrey. What a tough role and Jack nails it every single episode.

-Marty F. Nemec

6 Ways to Find New Blog Ideas

contentisking3

“Content is king.”

That is a saying that holds true for the online operations for any industry, whether it is a blog or a social media platform. What makes a blog different is that a 140-character sentence or a single picture doesn’t cut it as a post. Since most blogs are focused a particular niche, industry or hobby, it limits the amounts of things a blogger can write about. I doubt I have to say it, but a marketing blog posting a review on “Despicable Me 2” would raise some eyebrows and probably open the exit door for some of the blog’s followers.

Readers also like regularly posted material, which is where the problems arise. Some bloggers post every other week, while others post every other day. No matter how often you post, you eventually will sit down at your desk and find no “great ideas” in your head.

When it happens (and it will), there is no reason to panic or decide to not write a post that day. There are many tactics I have seen work time and time again. All of them are incredibly simple and I’m sure one will help you fight that pesky writer’s block!

Talk to your friends and family

Family dinner or blog brainstorming session? It can be both!

Family dinner or blog brainstorming session? It can be both!

Your goal is to get more followers, while giving your current fan base good content to read. You will probably be writing for the average person more than a professional in your field. For this reason, you need to know what the average person wants to know about your topic. That information could be what pulls an interested reader in.

I don’t know about you, but my mom doesn’t know anything about social media. My brother, while being able to fix airplanes, does not know anything about public relations. These are perfect people for me to have a conversation with to figure out what they don’t know about my topic. You could be a banker or a maker of hang-gliders. I guarantee you have family or friends that you can talk to about your topic to figure out what they don’t know. Every single question they have can be a blog post in itself. If not, you can compile them together to make a bigger post.

Many of you see or talk to these people every day. Utilize them! Also, more than likely, they will actually want to know more about what you do anyways because they care about you. When you answer their questions in your blog, go ahead and send them the link. They will appreciate it.

Search through social media platforms

If you are blogging professionally, you should be connected with other similar professionals. I personally follow hundreds of other social media marketers and PR pros on Twitter, Google+ and other platforms. They post great content daily and you should be looking at it. You can also use any of the social media platforms’ search functions to search what it is you write about. You will quickly find content about your field.

Before you accuse me of anything, no, I am not telling you to plagiarize or copy anyone’s idea. However, maybe a blog post you read was missing a key piece of information that your brain caught. Maybe reading about your topic caused your brain to think of something entirely new. Maybe you want to write about what someone made a post about, but you have an entirely different view on it. It is much easier to think of blog ideas when your brain is thinking about your niche rather than staring at a white screen. Once again, please do not steal anyone’s work or ideas. You would hate it if someone did it to you, so don’t add to that horrible practice.

Social media is filled with thousands of people just like you and all of them are posting content every minute. It may take some searching, but you will find something to spark your creativity.

Respond to comments on your blog posts

You haven’t been ignoring those, have you? I personally try to respond to every comment in some way. Sometimes it takes a while for me to find time, but it is something I strive to do. Every comment has the capability to become a small conversation. It is shocking how much insight readers will put into their comments if they like your post enough. I’ve had comments so long and truthful, they could be their own blog posts! I appreciate every comment and it is fascinating to see the views of other people.

Well, fortunately, reading the views of other people gives you valuable information. What do your readers think of your industry? What are they right about and what are their misconceptions? Are there common themes or questions that repeat from reader to reader? What do your readers want to see more and less of?

Your readers are who you are catering to. You shouldn’t bend over backward, but you should definitely heed their warnings and advice. Chances are if most of your readers like something, most people in general like it. Swim through the information you receive from comments and you can probably fill a whole page out with blog ideas.

Go on a walk or do a workout

That is stupid. I can sense you thinking it. However, stupid it is not! I have utilized this for years during my journalism curriculum and it has almost always helped me. Physical activity causes blood to pump through your body. Not only does this process wake you up, but it causes more blood to go to your brain, which promotes creative thinking. It is the same reason people swear energy drinks and coffee make them think better. Caffeine, taurine and ginseng all promote blood flow, which do the same thing. Exercising is healthy, however, and can be done in the same room as the computer.

I literally have a pair of 30-pound dumbbells feet away from my desk. When my mind gets groggy, I pick them up. I’ll alternate what muscle I work out since dumbbells are pretty versatile. With the 30-pound weights, I find that I can do three sets of 15 curls with each arm if I want to workout my biceps. After 90 curls, I feel like my mind is at its peak and my writing follows suit.

If it is daytime, a nice walk out in the sun can have the same results. Jogging in place or a jump-rope are other indoor ways to get your blood pumping.

Find your place of inner peace

While not everyone has a beautiful mountain view on tap, finding a peaceful place can be helpful.

While not everyone has a beautiful mountain view on tap, finding a peaceful place can be helpful.

While physical activity helps when your brain is running slow and you feel tired, sometimes you will encounter the complete opposite problem. Sometimes you have too much on your mind and you can’t make sense of it. Maybe your blog post ended up going three different directions and you didn’t want it to. When this happens, you have to relax!

Everyone has a place of zen. Mine is walking while listening to my iPod. I just let my mind wander as I either walk around the neighborhood or in a circle around my living room. I let my mind daydream about whatever I want and when I’m done, I sit down at the computer with a completely fresh start. It’s almost like hitting the reset button on your creativity. Every computer starts to get slow if you don’t reset it after a while. Your creativity is the same way.

Your place of zen might be laying out in the sun for a tan. It might be logging into Pandora Internet Radio and closing your eyes. It might be a bike ride or a nap. Maybe it’s meditation or yoga. I don’t know what it is, but finding your place of inner peace can do wonders for your writing.

Think about what is popular now

Celebrities and sports stars are always doing and saying things that get them in the news. TV shows and movies are constantly rising to prominence and disappearing shortly after. People are murdered and others say controversial things. Trends shoot upward and downward. It is how life works.

These trends hold opportunities for bloggers. Using keywords that correlate to popular trends can bring more traffic into your site. It is also challenging to do and undoubtedly makes the writer have to think about the topic in a different way. It breaks the monotony of writing the same educational posts every couple days. In all honesty, it is fun and it helps you remember the joy you have in blogging.

I personally love trying to mix pop culture with my blogs. I recently found a way to link Justin Bieber song lyrics to public relations in an older blog post here. These kind of posts should not be done too often, but I think everyone appreciates them. Pick and choose your topics, however. Just because things are popular doesn’t mean you should write about them. Sometimes it’s not good to trivialize big issues that the nation is passionate about.

I hope one of these tips helps you if you find yourself without a blog idea. All six of these have worked for me at different times and I hope you have the same success I did!

Do you have any other tips? Do you have any comments on my tips or the subject in general? I’d love to read them! Comment below!

-Marty F. Nemec.

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Cosplaying, Gaming, and Comic Books: My Day at GAAM

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My Saturday was spent hanging out with video game players and comic book fanatics. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

As some of you know, one of my internships is at Folio Weekly, a wonderful Arts and Entertainment magazine based in Jacksonville, Fla. When the editors asked us who wanted to go to GAAM (Gaming, Music and Arts), my hand shot up faster than a European supercar.

I’ve never been to Comic-Con or any place that has cosplaying. I’ve never been to any gaming conventions. Like many people my age, though, video games were a big part of my childhood. To be around hundreds of others just like me (I say that loosely) seemed like an experience I wanted to be a part of. Unlimited free food, beer and music also made the event more enticing.

And I had a blast.

It really was fun and I would recommend going to GAAM if it ever comes to a place near you. Here are some pictures I took:

(All of these pictures are on my Instagram here. If you like them, please go there and comment/like the pictures.)

An Iron Man parody of the old iPod commericals.

An Iron Man parody of the old iPod commericals.

Team Rocket and Pikachu from Pokemon.

Team Rocket and Pikachu from Pokemon.

I'm not sure what this fairy is from but I liked her costume.

I’m not sure what this fairy is from but I liked her costume.

Tingle from Legend of Zelda.

Tingle from Legend of Zelda.

A little Link from Legend of Zelda.

A little Link from Legend of Zelda.

Scorpion from Mortal Kombat.

Scorpion from Mortal Kombat.

Sheik and Link from Legend of Zelda.

Sheik and Link from Legend of Zelda.

Kitana from Mortal Kombat.

Kitana from Mortal Kombat.

A stormtrooper from Star Wars.

A stormtrooper from Star Wars.

Dark Link from Legend of Zelda.

Dark Link from Legend of Zelda.

A female Luigi from The Super Mario Brothers.

A female Luigi from The Super Mario Brothers.

A female Link and Ganon from Legend of Zelda.

A female Link and Ganon from Legend of Zelda.

Deadpool dressed as Link and Spiderman.

Deadpool dressed as Link and Spiderman.

Sailor Mars from the Sailor Moon anime.

Sailor Mars from the Sailor Moon anime.

Link from Legend of Zelda and Pikachu from Pokemon.

Link from Legend of Zelda and Pikachu from Pokemon.

Venom from the Spiderman comics.

Venom from the Spiderman comics.

Wonder Woman from DC Universe.

Wonder Woman from DC Universe.

A Halo soldier.

A Halo soldier.

A giant gaming room at GAAM.

A giant gaming room at GAAM.

A great mashup of many different games.

A great mashup of many different games.

Art from Legend of Zelda.

Art from Legend of Zelda.

Art from Legend of Zelda.

Art from Legend of Zelda.

My friend, Allen Armstrong, shooting a BR from Halo.

My friend, Allen Armstrong, shooting a BR from Halo.

Have any comments on this? Is this something you would be interested in? Write them below and I look forward to reading them.

-Marty F. Nemec

How Justin Bieber’s Music Can Make Your PR Better

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I have been fascinated by posts when writers compare movies or TV shows to real life. You can really learn things when they are shown from an abstract angle that is relatable.

I have been bouncing around ideas in my head to do one of my own. I wanted it to be relevant to today’s culture, but I wanted it to be challenging for me to make a correlation. I wanted it to be something that people don’t associate with PR or bettering the practice of it.

I went with Justin Bieber.

Justin Bieber has good PR advice hidden in his music.

Justin Bieber has good PR advice hidden in his music.

Justin Bieber is one of those guys where you either love him or hate him. I personally hate the way he dresses and talks, but I respect what he has accomplished. I’m personally a fan of Justin Timberlake and there are similarities there. I like some of Bieber’s latest works, but don’t go calling me a Belieber, though!

His music tends to be about the same topics most R&B stars sing about, mostly girls, and certainly nothing about public relations. I have decided to find lyrics in his songs that can be applied to PR and its practice.

“One Time” (My World- 2009)

So we gonna keep, keep climbin’ to the mountain top.”

In PR, or life in general, you have to always be trying to better yourself. The landscape of PR and social media is changing on a daily basis. If you don’t keep up, you’ll get left behind. Writing is also an ability that has to be honed over the course of your life and career. The better you get at writing, the better work you can produce. The better work you can produce, the better job you can do at influencing people.

While it is nice to have a general mindset of improving yourself daily, it is also important to make actual goals and objectives for yourself. To make it up the ladder, you have to go step by step. However, be realistic with your goals. Picking goals that are impossible is a very quick way to deflate yourself and probably do more damage than good.

“Favorite Girl” (My World- 2009)

You’re used to going out your way to impress these Mr. Wrongs.”

In PR and social media marketing, it’s all about your target audience. You have to find your niche and stick to it, providing great content for your fans. If you try to write for everyone, you’re going to produce content that everybody can relate to, but nobody thinks is great. You may entertain every possible reader that comes, but none of them will come back.

Whether you’re blogging or using social media, it is important to write to your particular audience and let the rest find you. If you’re passionate enough and write in ways that anyone can enjoy, you will recruit fans to your viewpoint. Don’t change your viewpoint over and over to try to get new fans. You’ll probably fail and lose your old fans at the same time.

“Up” (My World 2.0- 2010)

It’s a big, big world. It’s easy to get lost in it.”

Social media is everywhere. There are countless social media platforms on the internet and each one is full of users. The thought of those untapped markets probably has you salivating. Unfortunately, you can’t be on all of them. In all honestly, you could choose to only be on Twitter and still spend every second of every day on it and still wish you had more time. It’s not easy to use social media for marketing. People are unresponsive and have a “What’s in it for me?” mentality.

Believe it or not, there is a limit of posting you should do on social media. By posting too much on social media to try to get new fans, you’re swamping the fans you already have. It is counterproductive to punish your loyal fans and maybe send them away as you chase down new ones. It’s also counterproductive to have ten social media profiles and barely post on any of them.

“Never Let You Go” (My World 2.0- 2010)

Bring the doubters on. They don’t matter at all.”

At least once per day, I come across a tweet, blog or article that is bashing the prospect of social media marketing. Many people are firmly locked into the traditional forms of PR, believing that only the media can reach the people who will become customers. That success in the field comes from counting clips out of newspapers and news broadcasts. It’s simply not the way it is.

Of course the media clips are important, but social media is where the customers are. More and more people spend more and more time on social media. Since PR pros send their message to the news media and the news media send their message to the customers, wouldn’t it be great if the PR pros could just cut out the middleman and send their message straight to the customer? They can! It’s free to make a social media account and it’s free to interact with the people there.

People will continue doubting the effectiveness of social media marketing, but as time goes on, I guarantee it will become more important to businesses. I really think it is the future and arguably, the present as well.

“Beauty and a Beat” (Believe- 2012)

We gonna party like it’s 3012 tonight.”

When it comes to PR in a business sense, party like it's the future.

When it comes to PR in a business sense, party like it’s the future.

No, I’m not suggesting drinking on the job or anything like that! You need to be thinking like it is the future. You need to have a plan in place. Very few successful PR professionals just “wing it.” There is a reason that the words “strategic” and “tactic” come up in PR speeches and articles. Every move you do needs to be planned. Every tweet, status, blog post, press release, etc. needs to be done with a greater goal in mind. You should have a path, although many times you will find that path rerouted. That’s just part of the game, but the point is you have a destination in mind.

“As Long As You Love Me” (Believe- 2012)

We both know it’s a cruel world but I will take my chances.”

This is a fitting quote to end this piece with. One of the main things you need to do in any profession is believe in yourself. The truth is no one has a writing style like your’s. No one has a mind like your’s. No one has gone through what you have and no one can tell the personal stories you have bottled up inside you from living your life. You are genuine and unique. Let it show and be proud of it!

Let your personality come out in your writing, especially on Twitter and in blog posts. You can easily be yourself and professional at the same time. People don’t want to read or listen to a robot. They want a person on the other end. Any action online will see its share of criticism and trolls, but the positive feedback always outweighs the negative by a huge margin.

There is only one you.

I hope you learned something from this. I had a blast looking through Justin Bieber’s songs trying to find lines I could link to PR. It was tough and a little strange, I know, but I hope it was entertaining for you. Maybe you can do one of your own with a different artist. If you do, I hope you had as much fun as I did!

What did you think about that? Is that something I should never do again? Let me know in the comments.

If you like this post, please click the “Like” button. It would mean a lot to me!

-Marty F. Nemec

My interview with Keenen Ivory Wayans, the director of “In Living Color,” “Scary Movie,” and “Scary Movie 2”

Keenen Ivory Wayans

Keenen Ivory Wayans

It was such an honor to interview one of the Wayans brothers and Keenen has done so much for the comedy business as whole, not to mention the rest of his family.

The article can be found on Folio Weekly here.

Marty F. Nemec