My Summer as America’s Weatherman’s Bike

Confused by the title?  Let me start from the beginning, and I’ll explain how I became Al Roker’s bike and everything that it taught me about public relations.

This past summer, I interned with Roker Creative Media (RCM), a startup branch within the television studio Al Roker Entertainment.  RCM aims to create content for companies beyond traditional advertisements. Their mission is to amplify their clients’ media presence by managing social media sites, producing online video content, and brand consulting.

Ok, so what does this have to do with a bike? As a creative media intern, one of my main responsibilities included assisting in the management of RCM’s company social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterst, Instagram and Google+.  This is where I got my first little dose of PR in an applied setting. Social media has become a huge— I repeat HUGE— part of any and every brand’s image. In fact, the effective use of social media is absolutely essential to company and brand success in this day and age. It’s all about creating a positive image for your business and getting as many people as possible to take notice.

Now, as you can imagine, Al Roker is the CEO of Al Roker Entertainment and Roker Creative Media.  During my time with RCM, Roker was getting media attention for riding his bike everywhere in New York City instead of taking a car as a way to stay fit. The city bike initiative was also getting a lot of media attention this past summer.  Because of this my supervisors and I thought it would be fun and quirky to create a Twitter account for Al Roker’s bike as a way to promote fitness and biking in a humorous way. And so, for the rest of my summer I was Al Roker’s bike.

It was a challenge to find funny ways to tweet about bike facts and fitness, being that I was not at all familiar with “bike culture”.  Between researching content for my tweets and trying to craft the perfect brand image for the twitter account, I found the task much more difficult than I imagined it would be. After all, I tweet everyday, I considered myself a social media expert prior to my internship. Turns out, creating and upholding a social media brand image takes work. There’s a method to the madness. PR is everywhere, even in Al’s Bike’s tweets.

By: Liz Shaffer

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