Archive for August, 2012

Matlock is Happy to Announce our Partnership with Neighborhood Nexus

August 29, 2012

We are delighted to announce that Neighborhood Nexus has selected Matlock Advertising & Public Relations as their agency of choice.


A regional information system, Neighborhood Nexus provides data, tools and expertise as a catalyst to create opportunity for the citizens in all 20 counties that encompass the metro Atlanta area. Neighborhood Nexus was created in 2009 to bring better data to the thousands of decision-makers throughout metro Atlanta. With Atlanta’s rapid growth there is always a need for more and better information. Drawing on a wealth of expertise through partnerships and collaborations with the academic community, Neighborhood Nexus closes the gap in affordable, accurate neighborhood-level data that is compiled and updated on a regular basis.

Matlock Vice President and Group Director Greg Heydel says, “We are excited about helping communicate the availability and benefits of this crucial regional resource – Neighborhood Nexus – which fosters better decision-making for those who are enhancing lives in their communities.”

The core partners of Neighborhood Nexus are:  Atlanta Community Foundation, Emory University, Georgia State University, Atlanta Regional Commission, and The Civic League for Regional Atlanta.


Marketers Need to Understand the Fallout Over Gabby Douglas’ ‘Do’

August 22, 2012

Check out this great article on regarding the issues that black women still face regarding image and self-worth based on their hair in today’s society. This topic is particularly relevant based on the recent  backlash of the 16 year old Gold Medal Olympian, Gabby Douglas, and the flack she received from both Blacks and non-Blacks regarding her hairstyle!

As marketers it is crucial to understand the importance of speaking to black women directly in an honest and relevant way while celebrating black culture and black beauty.

Marketers Need to Understand the Fallout Over Gabby Douglas’ ‘Do’

For Black Women, Issues of Image and Self-Worth Often Focus on Hair

By:  Published: August 21, 2012
Pepper Miller

When Gabby Douglas unexpectedly captured the Olympic Gold medal in gymnastics this summer, I was elated, peacock proud and genuinely happy for the 16-year-old and her family. It was all the more special for me because she is African American. Then, incredibly, followed flack from critics black and non-black about Douglas’ post-performance hairstyle!

She apparently used a chemical relaxer or heat to straighten her naturally coarse, kinky hair. At the roots was new growth that reverted to its natural state from perspiration. The combination of straight and kinky hair struggled through giant hair clips and the hairstyling gel used to maintain the same style as her teammates.I, like many black folk, accepted her look because we understand how our straightened hair transforms when it comes in contact with moisture. It’s OK. It’s part of our culture. Our hair is different, but not deficient.

The shallow, thoughtless, tactless criticism, especially from blacks, was shocking, and I don’t condone the comments or the attitude they represent. But they do put a spotlight on the ongoing issue that blacks, particularly black women, have about their identity.Just last year, there was a big identity/hair discussion when “Sesame Street” featured the “I love my hair” video, which has come to be one of my favorites.The show’s head writer, Jim Mazzarino, who is white, created the video of a dark brown, kinky-haired Muppet character singing about why she loves her hair. He was motivated after his adopted Ethiopian daughter told him and his wife that she “wanted her hair to be long or blonde like Barbie or a princess.” It was an early sign that the child was questioning her beauty, identity and self-worth through associations related to her hair. The video became an unexpected viral success.

Given society’s intrigue with blacks’ hair, the black community’s frequent judgment about hair, and all the challenges associated with styling and maintaining their hair, black women are likely to spend two to three times as much money on their hair as white females. Hair weaving — the process of adding human or synthetic hair to existing hair via braiding, sewing or gluing — has exploded. At prices ranging from $350 to more than $1,500, many black women are selling their souls for this hairstyle.
Black women see weaves as extensions of themselves and say the longer hair styles are about style options and feeling feminine. What they don’t say out loud is that long hair provides an equalizer for society that identifies long hair as the standard of beauty.
Chris Rock uses comedy to explore the hair-weaving phenomenon in his 2010 documentary, “Good Hair.” I was drawn to one woman who wanted to get rid of her weave but was concerned about her husband’s reaction (and possible rejection). She had the weave when they met and throughout their seven-year marriage. Her husband had never seen her natural hair. Then there were the celebrities who admitted that they did not exercise because they didn’t want to ruin their weaved hairstyles. This rationale is a common barrier to exercise and a factor for poor health among black women.
“People of color are still dealing with issues of identity, self-love and race, head on— and daily,” says Craig Brimm, blogger for kissmyblackads. He adds: “The bottom line is how unfiltered acceptance is still very important to African Americans and that hair still plays a (big) role in positive recognition.”
For the marketer trying to open or grow a dialogue with the black community, the back stories behind many blacks’ reactions to Gabby’s post-performance hairstyle and the rationale for the Muppet video provide a glimpse into the importance of image and self-worth to the black community. This is important to understand because there is a tendency to think that in our society these issues are receding, but that is not the case. Change is happening, but at a slow rate. A few marketers who “get it” are celebrating black culture and black beauty by including models who represent a variety of skin tones, hair styles and hair textures in mainstream and targeted advertising.
I wonder … if Gabby Douglas had rocked an Afro puff, would we be having this discussion? But then could she comfortably rock an Afro puff? Given that society’s (and Olympic) standards have not fully embraced natural black hair … I would say no.

Marketers Need to Understand the Fallout Over Gabby Douglas’ ‘Do’

What I’ve Learned at Matlock – A post by Public Relations Intern Asha Haki-Tyler

August 10, 2012

Where can I even begin when I start to reflect on my past month at Matlock? Returning here to intern for the summer has been one of the best decisions I’ve made, because the “fruits” of my labor will always be bountiful for both my academic and career pursuits. I learned so much about how critical a person and/or company’s reputation can be to their success.


Dealing with issue/crisis management and media monitoring has taught me that while yes, “all publicity” may indeed “be good,” it takes a strong public relations team to truly allow its client’s audience to view it that way, and capitalize upon it so the client can continue to be profitable and successful. Working with social media to develop a client’s image has allowed me to truly see the importance of keeping your personal social media platforms private and/or appropriate in this ever-growing digital age.

One of my dreams is to open up my own thriving fashion and entertainment publicity firm. With the wealth of experiences I’ve garnered this summer, I feel more confident that my dream can become not only a realistic aspiration, but eventually an actuality.

As always, thank you for this opportunity Matlock!

What I’ve Learned at Matlock – A post by Public Relations Intern Asha Haki-Tyler

August 6, 2012

Here is what our clever intern had to say about her experiences at Matlock Advertising & Public Relations from last week:

“This week at Matlock I believe I really refined the way that I approach and understand the purpose of media. Through my media monitoring activities I had an active hand in extracting and interpreting the trends, thoughts, and actions of the nation, if not the world. Not only did this sharpen my media relations, and issues/crisis management skills, but it simultaneously kept me abreast of the latest, and most important news. When I return to Boston University in three weeks, this experience alone will be extremely relevant to the courses I will be taking, hopefully keeping me ahead of the collegiate learning curve.”

“Once again, thank you so much for this opportunity!”