What can we learn from the “Pretty on Fleek” drama?

It is no secret that I am a Barb but this post will remain unbiased.

Recently Nicki Minaj and Christina Milian got into a mild spat over the phrase Pretty on Fleek

Apparently Christina owns an online boutique that sells clothing with popular sayings on them. One of the recent shirts say Pretty On Fleek which is a line from Nicki’s song featuring Beyoncé titled Feeling Myself

Nicki made a joke about this by saying on her Instagram:

“Fleek by Onika – I saw Christina selling tshirts that say Pretty On Fleek, I was waiting on my percentage at the door! *tilts head*”

To be fair, Nicki did say Pretty on fleek on the track. However, the real person who is owed a percentage is the person who started this “On Fleek” era. 

What can learn from this?

The person who started “on Fleek” probably had no idea it would take off as fast and as far as it did. But, it did. 

Remember, the the lovely folks of social media don’t owe you homage. They can screen shot or imitate what you do and there is no guarantee you will always be credited for your work. Unless you own it. Then you can sue them.

For example: Ms. Ester Jones aka Baby Ester, African-American entertainer from the 1920’s, was known for her singing style that often included a “Boop oop a doop.” After Helen Kane imitated the style and called it her own, cartoonist Max Fleischer created the Betty Boop character. Kane tried to file a lawsuit against Fleischer only for the courts to decide that Kane was not the orginator of the Betty Boop style. Ester Jones died before she was able to receive any monies from the lawsuit that proved she was the original Betty Boop.

You have to protect yourself and your brand. I recently had a meeting with Keya Crenshaw, Founder and CEO of Black Chick Media, who informed me that copyright and trademark are two vital parts of a small business that most people forget about. It is true that it is an extensive and costly process, however, it’ll be all worth it in the end!

Have any copyright and trademark tips for entrepreneurs? Share with us so that we can inform our readers. 

Just a kid from Chicago | D. Rose & Powerade

“You see, you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity. We would all love its will to reach the sun.”

That is how the new Powerade commercial starts out featuring Derrick Rose and voice over by the late and great Tupac Shakur.

Rose has faced a lot of adversity over the last few seasons suffering injury after injury. Now that’s he’s out for the season, yet again, basketball fans are not happy and have been very verbal on social media.

Instead of laying low, Rose is rising to the occasion with his new ad campaign with Powerade #JustAKid.

How can we relate this to our businesses?

Let’s be honest, entrepreneurs can make a lot of mistakes. For those of us just starting out, like me, you’re probably making twice as many.

Derrick Rose is showing us that mistakes happen – some are preventable while others are not. You can have yourself a pity party or you can get up and try again. At least this time you know what doesn’t work.

We’re all just a kid with a dream. Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing it.

Check out the Powerade #JustAKid campaign below:

What Is the Right Thing to Say?

First things first. I must start this blog by saying that I am very thankful and pleased with the opportunity Tonnisha has provided me with! This is my first internship and I actually feel of importance to the company. In fact the only thing I knew about interns before this is the phrase, ‘in turn’…OK that was a corny joke. But seriously, I’m a rookie at this, and I appreciate her taking a chance with me.

I spent some time thinking about what my first blog post would entail. As I was brainstorming ideas, it just hit me! Instead of thinking about what I should say, I should think about what I shouldn’t say.

Many of you reading this might have just read that last sentence and said to yourself, ”Wait, what?”

Hear me out..

When it comes to verbal or written communication, the whole point is to have an impact on the audience. Whether you are a public speaker or a kid trying to convince his mom to let him have a cookie before dinner, your argument must be very convincing and memorable. To do this effectively, avoid focusing on saying the right thing, and shift focus on not saying the wrong thing.

See where I’m going with this?

Think about parallel parking. When parallel parking, you don’t focus on where the other cars are, you look at where they are not. This allows you to pinpoint just the exact angle to turn the wheel to safely park your car.

Still don’t get it?

It is impossible to focus on the car in front of you and behind you at the same time. If you tried, you would probably crash into one of them. By focusing on where the cars are not, you are giving yourself a better chance of parking successfully. Why? Because you are focusing on the opportunity of the open parking space more than the full spaces.

Every action on behalf of a company will have a positive or negative reaction. Often times we focus more on what everyone else is doing or saying and miss out on open opportunities to be innovative.

What is the right thing to say? Who knows! But what not to say is what everyone else is saying. Take advantage of open parking spots to fill. Here is where you will have the opportunity to create the new standard.

Hopefully, this post will be just as entertaining and intriguing to read, as it was to write! And of course – informative.

Until next time,

Dez, Media & Communications Intern

Crisis PR: Krispy Kreme KKK Wednesday

Krispy Kreme UK is in the middle of a PR fire storm with their recent campaign titled KKK Wednesday’s.

Apparently KKK stands for Krispy Kreme Klub and was intended to be a day for customers to come into the store and decorate donuts.

Remember, when creating PR campaigns:

1. Be mindful of how the campaign would impact others. Avoid any puns about religion, race, sexual orientation or politics. All are sensitive subjects and can be seen as offensive to some groups of people.

2. Avoid using words/phrases with negative connotations. Of course we all want to change the world and get rid of the negative. However, it takes time. It is difficult to take something like KKK and turn it into a positive, especially with all of the recent happenings in the news.

Example: Draya Michele has a clothing line named Fine Ass Girls which – we can see the obvious acronym there.

3. Keep it classy. Using offensive language should also not be a part of your PR campaign. You have to be clever and witty, yet you don’t want to offend your grandma. When creating a campaign ask yourself: Would my grandmother be OK with this as well as my target audience?

4. If you make a mess, clean it up and FAST! We can’t knock the fact the company cleaned up their mess fairly quickly by releasing a statement. At least they took full ownership and didn’t sit on it like some companies we know. *cough* BP *cough*

Nice try, Krispy Kreme. Better luck next time.

New Intern: Dez Stewart

That’s right! TJE Communications has snagged its first intern; Dez Stewart!

Dez is a junior at Ohio Dominican University studying Public Relations. He is also a starting wide receiver on the football team and has earned many accolades including Offensive Skill Player of the Year and First Team All GLIAC for the second time. Dez is also involved in the university’s Public Relations Student Society of America and the Panther Activities Council.

TJE Communications is proud to have Dez on board. He will be assisting with many aspects of the company including writing blogs. Be on the lookout for his posts right here on the site!

Welcome, Dez! 

Why Gabrielle Union Makes the Perfect Employee

Recently Gabrielle Union got into a mild twitter beef with Charles Barkley after he said that her hubby, Dwyane Wade, did not deserve to make the all-star team this year. Mrs. Wade defended her 11th time all-star spouse by simply telling Charles to “stop talking.”

On top of that, Dwyane was recently fined $15,000 for flipping the bird to a fan after he made a vulgar comment in regards to Gabrielle. In an interview with Angie Martinez, Gabrielle stated that she was happy he defended her and will even pay the fine for him.

So you’re wondering…how does of all this mean Gabrielle Union would make the perfect employee. 

Let me explain.



1. She is willing to defend the brand Gabrielle could have easily sat back and let Charles Barkley make his comment in peace. Instead, she stood up for her husband and added the fact that he is an 11th time all-star.

Having people on your team that are willing to defend the brand is essential. There is no way you can do it alone. A strong foundation and a strong team that believes in one another makes for successful outcomes.

2. She’ll even pay the fine Hubby was not pleased when a fan made inappropriate comments about Mrs. Wade. His bird flipping cost him $15,000 and Gabrielle’s reaction was a big smile. She even told Angie Martinez that she would pay that fine for him.

As a business owner, mistakes will be made and sometimes it will cost you. Luckily with an employee like Gabrielle, you’ll have someone that is willing to take the fall with you, regroup and keep pushing towards the goal.

3. She believes in the plan, not the band$ Upon getting married, Gabrielle and Dwyane signed a prenup. Why? Because Gabrielle married for love, not money.

Your employees should believe in your dream just as much as you do. Sure, we all are in business to make money. However, the payout of success should be worth more to your employees than their salary.

It is clear that Gabrielle’s loyalty and belief in the brand would make her the perfect employee. As I begin my own journey as an entrepreneur, I am seeking those who are loyal and willing to take the plunge right along with me. Sure, we may fail a few times before we get it right. But that’s what teammates are for!

What are your thoughts about Gabrielle’s spat with Charles? Comment below.

Super Bowl Commercials: Best and Worst

For every PR/marketing guru, the Super Bowl is more than  a football game. It is a time where we judge all of our fellow professionals and their decision making in creating either the best or the worst Super Bowl commercials.

Budweiser’s Best Buds commercial made us cry (if you didn’t cry watching this you have no soul) and the commercial for Dove’s Men Plus Care was a decent. We even got a good laugh out of FIAT’s commercial about a car popping viagra pills and the Snickers Brady Bunch mash-up.

There were some commercials that did not spark humor. Like Nationwide’s commercial about preventable accidents. While this commercial was sad to watch, it’s a harsh reality that needed to be touched on.

The commercial that took the cake for us was Coca-Cola’s Make It Happy commercial. This ad touched on bullying but it was more of a call to action. Coca-Cola encouraged those who see negative tweets to reply with #MakeItHappy and they’ll do the rest! Check out some of their #MakeItHappy tweets below:


The worst commercial goes out to Nissan’s With Dad commercial. Can’t help but think they just really wanted to make a “dad” commercial like everyone else. The commercial was way too long and it had to be watched multiple times to understand it. Quite frankly, I still don’t get it!

What were some of your best and worst commercials? Comment below.

Kim K teams up with T-Mobile #KimDataStash

Could have sworn this blog told you that Kim K was still winning months ago – and it’s still true.

Kim has teamed up with T-Mobile for a clever commercial regarding unused data. She pokes fun at herself and all of her Instagram posts of her outfits, vacations and more outfits.

This commercial is PERFECT! And Kim is still the perfect example of how to turn a crisis into a masterpiece.

You don’t have to like Kim, but you can’t deny that woman’s hustle.

Check out the commercial and let me know what you think:

What can we learn from popular culture?

There’s a lot going on in popular culture that we can learn from and apply to our businesses and every day lives. The juiciest rumor report from Angela Yee can spark an idea for a business plan. Take a look at the current events happening in popular culture that we can learn from:

1. Yasmen Eleby, 40 Marries Herself As bizarre as that sounds, it is true! Yasmen made a promise that if she wasn’t married by 40, she would marry herself, and she did. So what, if anything can we learn here? If you have a dream that no one believes in,  set a goal, grab it by the reigns and make it happen by yourself.

2.  Paul McCartney teams up with Kanye, then Kanye AND Rihanna How cool is this? The lesson here is simple: think outside of the box. Are there avenues you haven’t thought of? Possible collaborations that seem impossible? You won’t know what you’re capable of unless you dream big and aren’t afraid to fail.

45Seconds – Rihanna ft. Paul McCartney and Kanye West

Only One – Kanye West ft. Paul McCartney

3. Kobe Bryant out for the season due to rotator cuff injury Kobe Bryant has been a victim of injury for the last two seasons. Let’s be clear, I respect Kobe as a ball player, but we all got to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. In Seth Godin’s The Dip, he teaches us when to quit; but quitting isn’t quitting if you do it right. What can we learn from Mr. Bryant? Know when it is your time to quit and do so gracefully by starting a new venture or adding a new element to your business model.

Who knew we could learn so much from popular culture!? Everything around you is a learning opportunity. Cease it.

What are some other happenings in popular culture we can learn from? Comment below.