Rising Above the Snark—Part I

We live in a day and age where haters and trolls lurk in every corner of the Internet. Just pay a visit to one of Twitter’s trending pages and you’ll find a flurry of snarky tweets. When the going gets tough and Internet snarks get tougher, it’s important to keep your head up and rise above the negativity.

Today, we’re launching a five-part blog series about public figures that have taken some serious heat but took the high road and responded with civility rather than snark.

Miss America 2014: Nina Davaluri


When Nina Davaluri was crowned last year as the first Indian-American Miss America, the social media world went nuts with rude and racist comments about her Indian heritage. In response to the backlash Nina graciously stated, “I have to rise above that,” and “I’m so proud of the younger generations for really stepping up to those comments because for every one negative comment tweet or post I received hundreds if not thousands of words of positive remarks and support and encouragement.” Davaluri’s words remind us that our comments on social media reach more than just our close friends so we should be mindful and share only positive posts on the web.

Snark Free Day is SIX days away. What’s the snarkiest thing someone has ever said to you? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #losethesnark.

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Life Of A PR Intern Week Four

Happy Hump Day Everyone,

H&P is assisting The Lyman Museum and Mission House with marketing and outreach. The museum/mission house, located in downtown Hilo, was originally the home of New England Missionaries, David and Sarah Lyman. The Lyman Museum, one of only four museums in Hawaii part of the American Alliance of Museums, has some interesting exhibits and information for residents and visitors alike. I recently took a guided tour, led by Bruce McClure, and found that one can learn quite a bit about Hilo within an hour.

In addition to the traditional mission home, the museum has two galleries and features a variety of special exhibits. One exhibit, the John Howard Pierce: Photographs of Hawaii Island 1958-1969, features photographs taken by Pierce on Hawaii Island with a call-to-action-help identify the photos! Through his photos, Pierce, a former Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter and Lyman Museum curator, brought alive the history of the 1960′s, a time when Hawaii transitioned from being a territory to an official state.

Mr. Casil, the saxophone player in the center, came to Hawai'i from Ilocos Norte, Philippines.

As business professionals here in Hawaii, it is important that we take the time to understand and learn the history of our islands. ONe image in particular taken by Pierce captures the essence of old Hawaii. In the picture above stands Alfredo Casil, an immigrant part of the 1946 Sakadas, the last large group of Filipinos recruited to work the sugar plantations. It is said that Mr. Casil was offered a musician job in Honolulu. However, being a man of his word he turned down the offer honoring his agreement to work on Hawaii Island. This photo and Mr. Casil’s story has helped viewers and museum curators gain a better understanding into the larger story of Filipino immigration to Hawaii.

Hawaii, like a traditional grass hula skirt, is the sum of many parts woven together. There are many strands that make up a grass skirt and no matter where they are, there is still a connection to place. Our history and blending of cultures is what holds the community-or in this case the grass skirt-together.

As an intern working alongside some of Hawaii’s PR professionals, I have learned to appreciate how much of Hawaii’s unique history and culture are taken into consideration when doing anything; these are guides that help determine how to interact with the community today. Hawaii’s past is the key to understanding how to positively build the future of Hawaii.

For more information regarding The Lyman Museum and Mission House please visit their website at, http://lymanmuseum.org/

Me ke aloha,


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Life Of A PR Intern Week Three

Happy Hump Day Everyone,

This Week I had the opportunity to work out of the H&P Oahu office. The Oahu office, located in the heart of downtown Honolulu, has a different atmosphere then that of Hilo; it’s in the middle of the state’s capitol, where there is more “action in terms of news and social events. Time flies by here, especially in the life of PR.

I have made progress in pitching a spokesperson from Partners in Development Foundation Hui Ho’omalu and in the process, have learned more about Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Clubs. In doing my research and following up with contacts, I have a greater appreciation for the art of networking.

In Hawaii, the “aloha spirit” runs through the fabric of society. As an intern at a smaller, boutique firm, I have learned to appreciate some of the perks of a more intimate environment. At H&P, the staff and interns work closely, allowing the team to continuously build and strengthen relationships while getting good work done. Relationships extend beyond just work; there is a genuine interest to really know one another, which leads a more effective and efficient work environment because we can anticipate the wants and needs of others. Some of us would consider this type of sincerity to be the “aloha spirit.” This “aloha spirit” is really the art of networking.

Networking goes beyond interacting on social media; it’s about going outside of your comfort zone to, making contact and forging new connections with others. The Chamber and Rotary Clubs are examples of networking between businessmen and women. Groups like the Rotary Clubs use their organization to network both internally and externally. Internally, members look for ways to support each other and promote their fellow Rotarian. Externally, Rotary Clubs often seek out different organizations to present to membership. The speakers series is an opportunity to expand one’s network and learn more about what’s going on in the community.

As a young adult, I have learned to value the relationships I have with the others around me. The “aloha spirit” is not just a cultural way of life it is a way of embracing your strengths and sharing with others your mana’o or knowledge with the others around you. through the use of the “aloha spirit” we are able to network easily with the others within our community.

Hawaii, much like a lei, is a series of different colored flowers, which represent people, woven together, continuously learning and thriving off of one another.

Me ke aloha,



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Loss for Hawaii: Brain gain suffers, again

Dean John Pezzutto of UH-Hilo College of Pharmacy (UHH) is resigning at the end of 2014.

What a great loss to our community.

We are fortunate he stayed to fight through the Legislative process to get funding to build the College of Pharmacy building.  It was a daunting process, as things often are, here, in Hawaii.

For a man of Pezzutto’s stature and international reputation in the pharmacy field, it must have seemed like he was swimming in jello.

Let’s hope he’s laid a strong enough foundation that we won’t see an exodus of the other fine professors and researchers he lured to UHH.

The College of Pharmacy, now called Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, is not only an important resource for Hawaii, but for all the Pacific Region.

-Barbara Hastings

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H&P welcomes to the team Kawena Carvalho-Mattos!

E komo mai, Kawena!

Kawena Carvalho-Mattos joins H&P as an account coordinator charged with digital communication and social media tactics.

She will assist with online strategies and help clients determine the most useful platforms to get their messages across.

Carvalho-Mattos began as an intern with H&P in January 2014. She graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a B.A. in communication. She will pursue a graduate degree in the fall.

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Life Of A PR Intern Week One

Happy Hump Day Everyone,

This week, the H&P team has been assisting Partners in Development Foundation, Hui Hoʻomalu program. This program assists in finding temporary homes for Hawaii’s foster children. The ultimate goal is to have a child reunite with his or her family. According to the State Department of Human Services (DHS), there are approximately 1,200 children in Hawaii’s foster care system and an estimated 67 percent of children are reunited with their families.

June is National Reunification Month. This year, DHS is honoring Randy and Vivian Kim Seu, Family Drug Court and Child Welfare Services on Oahu.

From left to right in the back row is Vivian, Savannah and Randy. From left to right in the front row is Anthony, Angel, Josephine, and Devin.

A luncheon will be held this Friday, June 20 in honor of the Kim-Seu’s as well as individuals and organizations that support families during the reunification process. The Kim Seu’s hope that their  story can be an inspiration to other families who are struggling to get through the rehabilitation process. Randy works as a laborer/construction worker and Vivian works part-time at Palolo Housing, where the family resides.

Among the many other things I have learned this week, taking time to appreciate your family is definitely something all of us need to keep in mind. As we lead our stressful busy lives, don’t forget to stop and take a look back at the people you come home to. I will be assisting to see this project through in the next few weeks. I will be writing a media advisory for the event to be held this friday as well as pitching family/PIDFHH spokesperson on a speakers circuit.

For more on the Kim-Seu’s journey listen to this, a feature piece by Wayne Yoshioka of Hawaii Public Radio by clicking here. http://hpr2.org/post/june-national-reunification-month. A press release on the family can also be found on our website by clicking here. http://hastingsandpleadwell.com/press_releases/oahu-couple-reunites-children-honored-national-reunification-month/.

Me ke aloha,


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Life Of A PR Intern

Aloha Everyone,

My name is Amber Manini and I am H&P’s Summer 2014 Intern. I am currently a senior at the University of Hawaii at Hilo hoping to graduate next May with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications and a minor in Hawaiian Studies.

Having a background in Hawaiian history and politics I hope to bring a local perspective to the table. Hawaii, the stir-fry of the pacific, has much to be proud of with their multicultural diversity. This diversity being something I believe needs to be relayed to the general public. I have knowledge in news writing, but hope to further develop my writing and interpersonal communications skills as well as cultivate long-lasting relationships with clients and H&P staff.

This summer I will be primarily working out of the Hilo Office, assisting organizations such as Partners in Development Foundation (PID), the Lyman Museum, and HOPE Services Hawaii with press material development, media relations, social media and community outreach.

Every Wednesday I will post a “hump day” blog about the awesome work I am doing at H&P. The idea is to give you a taste of what my experience is like in the world of PR.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for your weekly “hump day” updates, #prtips and interesting client/industry news.

Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment!

Me ke aloha


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H&P’s #prtips Social Media Campaign

In an effort to start a dialogue within our online community, Hastings & Pleadwell launched our #prtips Social Media Campaign this week. Each Monday, Hastings & Pleadwell will post a public relations tip, that we believe everyone can benefit from, on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

Be sure to like and follow us to see our weekly tip. Got your own p.r. tip? Post, tweet and hashtag it at #prtips to join in.

Here’s the this week’s tip!

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A Customer Service Lesson from B Hotel in Orlando

Barbra Pleadwell and I just returned from a three-day confab of public relations professionals from 50 major markets across the US— the PR Consultants Group.  http://www.prconsultantsgroup.com/directory/

The conference was at the B Hotel in Orlando, but the hotel, recently acquired by the B Hotel and Resorts group,  wasn’t finished.

We weren’t on the planning committee so don’t know the behind-the-scenes details, but what we experienced was first class customer service, despite an unfinished hotel with some construction going on.

It was clear the B Hotel management understood the potential downside of a bunch of PR folks for all over the country having a bad experience.  Staff went to extraordinary lengths to make us comfortable, from tasty food to speedy room service, always-friendly staffers and services provided complimentary at every turn.

Then, when weather canceled some of the participants’ flights home, B Hotel was kind enough to let them stay on, free-of-charge.

Posted by Barbara Hastings

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Girl Scout Cookie Drop

Today, Girls Scouts of Hawai‘i kicked off its annual “cookie season” with a cookie drop topping record orders of more than 387,500 boxes of Thin Mints, Tag-a-Longs, Samoas and other Girl Scout cookies statewide. Jai Cunningham of KHON 2 news came by and spoke with four lucky Girl Scouts from Daisy and Brownie Troop 445 of the Aiea and Pearl City area. Jai’s favorite Girl Scout cookies are Tagalongs. What is your favorite flavor?

To watch the segment, click here.

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