Tag Archives: The UnAgency

Recap – The Essence Music Festival

By: Portia aka Intern Tia Tia

Beyonce' at Essence Festival

One word. Phenomenal!  That’s all I have to say about the production of this year’s Essence Music Festival, held in the musical and cultural city of New Orleans, as it’s held every year – did not disappoint.  TWS Media sleuths was on the pulse at the “One Night Only” event hosted by actress, Cynthia Garrett, ready to give a great recap of the happenings, partyin’, dancin’, jazzin’ and celebratin’ promised to take over the city.  Katrina’s imprint is still felt as evidenced by many of the physical areas around this city, but could not damage the spirits that sang and danced throughout it.

Beyonce’ Knowles, headlined the concert shouting, “Put your hands up!!”, and that was all she wrote!  Beyonce’ danced back and forth in her 4 inch heels, singing “Put a Ring on it.”  As the camera turned to the crowd you could see women putting their hands in guys face twisting it back and forth as Beyonce’ instructed them too. Too funny!  My only question is what kind of hair extensions does she have because it was just flowing and I didn’t see any braids for a sew in? Nice job Bey’s stylist!

It was so much talent and star power from old school to new school, a music lovers dream! EnVogue, Ne-Yo, Jazmine Sullivan, Salt-N-Pepa, John Legend, Charlie Wilson, Al Green, Teena Marie and Robin Thicke all blessed the stage on this musical evening.  And speaking of EnVogue, the ladies came out in all black swaying back and forth while singing, one of their number one hits, “My Lovin” (You’re Never Gonna Get It).   Next they sang “Free your mind.”  This ensemble really took me back!

In other news, Alicia Keys was said to take a plunge…makes me recall that song she sings, “I Keep on Fallin’”….Okay, seriously, she took a fall, but apparently was so smooth with it that it looked as if it was all part of the performance.  And her reps say that her and baby are doing fine.

Trey Songz & T.I. shut down Carol’s Daughter’s “Toast to Women” event which brought out

Trey Songz & T.I. @ 2010 Essence Music Festival - Necole Bitchie

the likes of Tameka Raymond, Jada Pinkett-Smith and of course, the fabulous Mary J. Blige who debut her latest fragrance, “My Life”, which is a Carol’s Daughter collaboration. Go Mary!

Then came one of my favorites, John Legend, hello! “Let’s get lifted,” I wonder if he sang that for me? Now was he fly or what; we even share something in common, DIMPLES!!!!  When he sang, “Green Light,” a song that shares a special place in the heart of TWS Marketing Communications UnAgency!  Catch us live every Friday at 11 am EST to The Greenlight Project on Blog talk radio.

Overall this Annual, “One Night Only”, Essence Musical Festival was off the charts!  Hip Hop, R&B, Oldies, Old School and New School were in the building! Each and every artist truly did a great job!!! After watching a show like this it shows you that Hip Hop isn’t dead! All these genres of music are all similar in a certain extent so let’s keep jammin!  I cannot wait until the Annual Essence Musical Festival!  Great job Essence!!!

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How The Book of Me Inspires The Book of You

I sat at my desk typing this post with much on my mind and not sure of the focus of this post. There are many things have touched my life over the past two weeks. Beginning with the very personal and cathartic testimony of my challenges with weight and body image, to the deaths of public people many of us know about – Dorothy Height, Benjamin Hooks and GURU as well as a close family death of the last of a generation in my family.

Each of these life touches made me think more and more about the story I am crafting for my life. And, I realized that as I blog about whatever part of my life I am focused on at the moment, the most important requirement is that it be authentic me. That can emotionally taxing and difficult to get to sometimes in a world where we’re surrounded by only seeing the surface of things, but, I remind myself and those around me of that intention as often as I can.

As a marketing expert and new media entrepreneur, one of my greatest joys is being immersed in the quality stories that talk about challenges yet find the silver lining and the hope. I get exposure to many in my daily media fix. Others I get in obvious places and not so obvious places. And still, with as many stories as I am exposed, I find there is still room for more stories from perspectives that speak to, look like and reflect me.

I feel honored to be consciously making the choice to tell some stories for the first time or echoing other stories through the work we are doing with The Greenlight Project and other ventures to come from TWS Media. At the same time the story of a company dared to be started by two women (Rochelle Valsaint and Tamika Morrison) with a vision is a story of faith, test, perseverance and determination that is also being told. The details are being unfolded in real time and not always to our liking. Believe me y’all when I tell you, we are not sure what the day, week and/or month holds for us sometimes in our pursuit of entrepreneurship. But, we know what is being told is faith we have in the walk. And we are purposeful in this work daily.

So as we walk toward our dreams, we look to support and inspire the dreams of others by ‘Greenlighting’ some people, places, products, services and things that might not have otherwise gotten ‘the go.’

And we hope our audacity to create this story of legacy will touch many for years to come.

Food For Thought: The Ethnic Buying Power in the U.S.

By: Tamika L. Morrison

With the 2010 Census now in full swing, you’re starting to hear buzz words like: buying power, African-Americans spending is in the Trillions, Hispanics are leading, diversify your brand, etc. We’ve been talking about it on our radio show, The Greenlight Project and we talk about it with our clients who are intentionally looking to diversify their marketing budgets.

What’s all this talk about buying power and what does it mean to the now ‘ethnic majority’ in the United States? The growth of Ethnic minorities in America has been phenomenal.  Since 1980, the Asian American population has almost tripled, Hispanic American more than doubled, Native American increased 62%, and African-American increased 31%, while the non-ethnic population has remained almost the same.

This is a trend that is expected to continue.  The latest estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau predict that the minority population will comprise fully half the U.S. population by the year 2050.

Let’s illustrate this:
TV Basics: Ethnic Buying Power
Hispanic, African-American and Asian target markets have made substantial gains in buying power* over the last decade. As these groups increase in number and purchasing power, their growing shares of the U.S. consumer market are drawing attention from all types and classes of advertisers.
Buying Power (billions of dollars)
1990 2000 2008 2013
African-American 318.1 590.2 913.1 1,239.5
Hispanic 211.9 489.5 951.0 1,386.2
Asian American 116.5 268.9 509.1 752.3
Total 4,270.5 7,187.6 10,721.0 14,013.7
In 2013, African-Americans will account for 8.8% of all U.S. buying power, up from 7.4% in 1990.

Compared to the total U.S., African-Americans spend more on:

  • Telephone Services
  • Electricity
  • Groceries
  • Natural Gas

In 2013, Hispanics will account for 9.9% of all U.S. buying power, up from 5.0% in 1990.

Compared to the total U.S., Hispanics spend more on:

  • Groceries
  • Telephone Services
  • Housing
  • Clothing

In 2013, Asians will account for 5.4% of all U.S. buying power, up from 2.7% in 1990.

Compared to the average U.S. household, Asians spend more on:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Telecom Services
  • Education

Top States for African-American Buying Power

The ten largest African-American markets account for 61% of the African-American buying power.

Rank State Totals in Billions
of Dollars
1 New York 87.6
2 Texas 72.0
3 Florida 62.9
4 Georgia 62.6
5 California 61.8
6 Maryland 52.3
7 Illinois 44.0
8 North Carolina 40.9
9 Virginia 38.2
10 New Jersey 34.8

Top States for Hispanic Buying Power
The ten states with the largest Hispanic markets account for 80% of the Hispanic buying power.

Rank State Totals in Billions
of Dollars
1 California 249.0
2 Texas 171.1
3 Florida 101.3
4 New York 75.3
5 Illinois 41.0
6 New Jersey 35.6
7 Arizona 31.3
8 Colorado 21.0
9 New Mexico 17.9
10 Georgia 15.1

Top States for Asian Buying Power
The ten states with the largest Asian markets account for 75% of the Asian buying power.

Rank State Totals in Billions
of Dollars
1 California 162.8
2 New York 51.4
3 Texas 32.7
4 New Jersey 31.7
5 Illinois 22.5
6 Hawaii 21.9
7 Washington 16.3
8 Florida 15.8
9 Virginia 14.7
10 Massachusetts 12.9

How will you use this information to empower yourself to choose better how you spend your dollars and with whom?  Or as a marketer, how can you use this information to re-position your brand and align better with the spending power in the U.S.?  Sound off; let us know what you’re thinking.

Follow me @twsprfirm

*Television Bureau of Advertising “2008 Media Comparisons Study” Retrieved March 20, 2010 from the website http://www.tvb.org/nav/build_frameset.aspx.

Tiger Tales – A Lesson in Crisis PR

by Tamika Morrison

Tiger Woods emerged from obscurity on Friday, February 19th at 11am ET to finally deliver a statement about his allegations of infidelity. For three months he allowed the media and his 10+ mistresses to speculate, assume, and address us, the public – the mogul brand that he was and the disintegrating PR mess that he’s become. Many a publicist wondered where in the hell was his PR team when he needed them?

The Tiger Woods PR story is a lesson in PR crisis management because it was a disaster from the start. How in all of Hades can an athlete like Tiger Woods logically explain how he crashed his luxury car into a tree in his own neighborhood, traveling at less than 30mph at 2:30am if he’s not drunk, fighting or running for his life? Let’s examine a few of these bloopers.

Unfortunately for Tiger, Hades can’t help him on this one. It’s obvious from the looks and sounds of things, there’s more going on than meets the eye (note: the details of the accident scene, the 911 call, the cancelled appointments with the Florida Highway Patrol, etc.) Tiger’s PR team let too much time pass before issuing a real statement. In fact, we’re technically still waiting on one to be released. This is lesson #1 – act quickly. It seems as if his lawyer has been acting as his publicist with all the silence going on. Attorneys will tell you to keep quiet or else incriminate yourself. But in this case, that wasn’t the right approach. I’m not here to ‘knock’ his PR people when they’re already down,  it’s not like PR pros go around asking for crisis situations to manage. But when a crisis arise, there’s no time to waste. Kevin Sullivan a PR veteran and ex-White House Communications director under former-President George W. Bush says it very plainly, “Tell it first, tell it yourself and tell it all. That is the tried and true formula for handling a messy public relations crisis in the smoothest possible way.”

Well as it turned out, there was nothing smooth about this mess. Before it was all said and done, there were 10 mistresses and counting that came forth with stories of scandal and infidelity. Even saying that, I’m not sure it would have been easy for Tiger to tell it all, but he should have told it first and in a timely manner. Being timely minimizes the rumor-mill from spinning out-of-control with allegations that make it harder to counter the truth. Who’s to say these 10+ women are really telling the truth, from the facts of the situation only two women seem to have credible stories. Again, if a timely message addressing the media was issued on the grounds of his infidelity, maybe things could have gone a little smoother?

In a Crisis situation you have to be quick and nimble, two elements the Woods PR team failed at terribly. A statement addressing his condition should have been released with thanks to his fans for the care and concern, he should have strategically planned a meeting with the Florida Highway Patrol (all the cancellations made things worse) and issued a gag order until his PR team had enough time to address the salacious matter, but not too long. It’s easy to say what should have been done when you’re not the one dealing with it, but I believe Tiger’s PR crisis is a textbook case to examine and learn from. In crisis, you must act quickly, logically and in a manner that keeps the brand intact.

Only time will tell the final outcome of this “Tale of the Tiger” and whether his marriage and image can be saved. He’s not only a text book case for PR pros, but a grave example to the rich and powerful that they too are subject to the laws of the land just as everyone else. As we say, “What’s done in the dark will come to the light.”

A very difficult situation for Tiger and his brand indeed.