Bad Branding on Social Media

Pageant Lifestyle

The only thing worse than ignoring social media as a branding tool is using social media incorrectly. Put frankly: if you aren’t going to do it right, don’t do it at all. Sometime’s bad branding can be worse for a public figure status than not using it at all.

There are plenty of tips out there to strengthen your social media presence, but what types of things should you avoid? There are three important points to focus on when looking at bad branding: Posts, Picture, and Followers.


  • Edit and Revise
  • Positivity
  • Quantity Control

The conversations and interactions you have with people at appearances are, by far, the most important interactions you can make as a titleholder. But for those who aren’t at your events, your posts are the only way they can keep track with your reign. As a contestant you made promises to the public, and your posts hold you accountable.

As a public figure it is vital that you post with intention. Every post should not only have a purpose, but be written well. Double check for spelling and grammar errors, make sure you tag any organization you work with, and make sure that the information is correct and gets the point across. You aren’t expected to have a great day every day, but don’t use your page as an outlet for rants. Do not, ever ever ever, negatively discuss a sponsor or partner, director or volunteer, or sister queen– even if they “deserve it”. You do not want to burn those bridges. You also don’t want to drown your viewers with posts. By making sure each post is purposeful and intentional it will help to limit fluff posts. If you plan on posting more than once in a day, space them out. Don’t spam your viewers with posts. On the flip side, you never want to go without posting. Even if you post the occasional fluff post, your audience will lose interest. Set up a schedule with relevant articles to fill in gaps between appearances, and keep your audience engaged.


  • Selfies
  • Food/Fitness
  • Blurry Pictures

Whether or not you use Instagram, pictures are an important part of social media branding. It shows your viewers exactly what you are doing in the community. Whether it is service based, event based, platform based, or preparations; you are a public figure, and people want to see you in action.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but it’s important to make sure you are in charge of those words! You want to make sure the quality stands up to the quality of your brand. A selfie may be cute, but does it represent who you are as a person or titleholder, or does it uphold the quality the organization or region you are representing? Often times a restaurant or gym will sponsor a titleholder, and although it is important to shout them out (with pictures), posting daily photos of your food or fitness endeavors may put unintended attention on your lifestyle. That is not the goal of a titleholder. Always make sure the picture is a good quality photo. You never know where it may end up- on a website, in a newspaper. Your main goal is promoting your business. It may seem like common sense, but first and foremost your public figure page is promoting the organization.


  • Follow for Follow.
  • “Please follow back”
  • Buying Followers.

A sign of a strong social media presence is the number of followers or likes, as well as the interactions with posts. The number of people in your network is often a sign of your notoriety, and can be used to secure sponsors. It may be tempting to use various techniques to gain followers, but they will only ruin your credibility as a public figure.

Asking for a “follow” or “followback” is, simply put, lame. Using the hashtag #follow4follow or #f4f will invite an abundance of users to come follow, expecting a followback. But these users are not in your target market. They aren’t in your region. They aren’t interested in your reign or platform. They are interested in their follower count. They will probably unfollow you in a few days anyway so their followers count exceeds their following count. Asking a person to follow is desperate, and shows a lack of interest in genuine interactions. If you want more followers, invite people to follow through your actions. Like your sister queens’ photos, even those in other states. Comment on posts about your platform, those made by sponsors or local civic organizations. Make them want to follow you.

Facebook has been cracking down on fake accounts, so not only are you risking losing your credibility as a public figure by buying these fake followers, but there’s a high chance that Facebook will delete them anyway. Not to mention, the number of your followers is not nearly as important as who those followers are. Fake followers to not interact with posts- no likes, comments, or shares. This means your posts are essentially useless, because no one is actually seeing them.


Social media is so important for personal branding as a public figure, wether or not you’re a titleholder. Just be sure to follow all the great tips out there, and avoid the things that could diminish your value.  What other things do you think Public Figures should avoid doing on social media?


#Trending: How Old is Miss New York?

Pageant Lifestyle

You’re too young to represent the entire state.

You’re too old to be Miss America.

You need more experience- they’ll never crown a senior in high school. 

We’ve all heard the whispers. Somehow the age of the titleholder impacts their ability to serve. But is this true? As long as you fall within the age requirements set forth by the Miss America Organization, there are no stipulations that one age group will make a stronger titleholder than another. But this doesn’t mean that

Age: Exhibit A

Exhibit A

As you can tell, during the past 25 years the age of Miss New York has been on the higher end. Even though contestants are eligible, and have won local titles as young as 17, this is not reflected in the state titleholders crowned since 1991.

Age: Exhibit B

Exhibit B

The number of titleholders crowns at each age is more clearly shown in Exhibit B- shown to the left. Not only is it more likely that a titleholder is crowned during her later years of eligibility, but specifically she is more likely to be crowned if she is 23 or 24 years old. This can be for any number of reasons- previous competition experience on the state stage, maturity in interview, poise and confidence that comes with age, and even judge’s opinion during ranking. Coincidentally, the two (2) young ladies who were crowned at age 20, the youngest age represented, were crowned back to back in 1998 and 1999.

Age: Exhibit C

Exhibit C

The number of titleholders crowned at each age can also be shown in a percentage, as seen in Exhibit C to the right. Nearly 1/3rd of the past 25 Miss New York titleholders have been 23 years old when crowned. This includes three of the state titleholders crowned in the past 4 years.

Note: Earlier data does include 18 and 19 year old winners, as well as 25 and 26 year olds- before the age restrictions changed. Maryalice Demler, former Miss Buffalo and Miss New York 1990, was the last Miss New York titleholder to be crowned outside of the current age requirements. She was 26 when she won the state crown.

This information does not explicitly state that a girl between the ages of 17 and 19 is unable to win (it has happened in years prior to the years included in this data), however it is less likely based on this trend. A local titleholder who is competing for the state crown should be award of this trending age when she competes, and use it to her advantage. Work it the interview room to market yourself as a fresh face that can bring new ideas and connect with children, model a wardrobe that balances your youth and maturity, and most importantly- show the judges that your age is not a limitation, but an advantage.

How to Stay Motivated during Pageant Season

Pageant Lifestyle

Are you a pageant contestant who can’t seem to win the crown? You get awfully close, going home with Miss Congeniality or a runner up trophies each time, but most of all you go home with discouragement and doubt from not winning? It can be easy to want to give up, stop competing, and throw in the towel. But quitters never win, and winners don’t quit. Stay motivated, keep envisioning the crown on your head, and work your hardest.


  1. Blog About It.
    When you finally win a title, and you will, you will want to track all your appearances and achievements on a blog or public social media page. There is no reason why you can’t start a blog now, and track everything leading up to the crown! In order to achieve effective personal branding, you never want to have your blog linked to your title. This limits when you can write, and what you can write about. But forming a blog around you as a public figure, or your platform, you now have the freedom to write before and after any titles you acquire.
    Blogging about your accomplishments, even before a title, will help you stay motivated. You will not only be able to leave a paper trail of the events you are attending, with pictures of the lives you are impacting, but you now have interview ammunition.
  2. Make a Vision Board- Or Vision Journal
    Sometimes we get so caught up in the competition that we forget why we are competing. Is it the crown and trophies we want? Or is it the ability to say we beat out a dozen other girls? Do we have a passion for our platform, or did we make that up just for the title? Writing down your goals and including why they are important will help to keep you on track. Set goals with deadlines, so you are able to check them off when they are achieved.
    Decorate your vision board with stickers, washi tape, motivational quotes, and pictures. Then hang the vision board up on the fridge or by your bed. When you see the board you will remember what you are working for, and what you need to do to achieve it.
  3. Transformation Tuesday
    It might seem silly to think that posting a side by side picture of two stages in your life could actually motivate you, but it really can. Maybe not a baby picture compared to a picture from now, but consider a #TT Picture from your first pageant to your last. Or a picture from evening gown or swimsuit from each of your last pageants. You  will always be your biggest critic, and your mind plays tricks on you. You may not be able to see your personal growth from the inside, because you are busy picking out your flaws. Seeing Before and Now pictures side by side will really spark the ability to see growth between where you came from and where you are now. Imagine what your next picture in the series will look like. It just might have a crown.
  4. Embrace the Sisterhood
    We joke that sisterhood is the invisible 5th Point of the Crown, but why not take that for what it’s worth? Find a pageant pal and work together. Friendship is important, more important than winning, and can really boost your mood. Attend events together, to go the gym together, practice current event questions. You may think that helping your friend out will sabotage you in the end. What if she wins and I don’t?  As a friend, you will support her just like always. But think about if you win, and she doesn’t. Wouldn’t you expect the same support from her? Sisterhood is more than just a friendship, its a bond through thick and thin. Help each other succeed, and you will both be successful.

#Trending: The Importance of Preliminary Awards at Miss America

Pageant Lifestyle

For three years New York has gone to Miss America, competed during the preliminary round without winning any awards, and  then went home with the Miss America crown. It leads us to question if a preliminary award is necessary or valuable during the Miss America competition, in regards to the past Miss New York titleholders.

Note: Years represent their year as Miss New York, not the Miss America year. Top 10 may actually be Top 11 or Top 12.

The Numbers

A. Between 1960 and 1975:

  • Zero (0) preliminary awards
  • Three (3) Top 10 placements
  • One (1) Miss America
  • Three (3) Non-Finalist Talent awards

B. Between 1976 and 1995:

  • Eight (8) Preliminary Talent Awards
  • One (1) Preliminary Swimsuit Award
  • Five (5) Top 10 placements
  • Two (2) Top Five placements
  • One (1) Miss America
  • Five (5) Non-Finalist Talent Awards

C. Between 1996 and 2016:

  • Four (4) Preliminary Swimsuit Awards
  • Three (3) Top 10 placements
  • Three (3) Top 5 placements
  • Two (2) Non-Finalist Talent Awards
  • Three (3) Miss Americas

The Analysis:

Will a Preliminary Make You Miss America?:

Although a preliminary award has statistically not been necessary to earn the Miss America award, the Miss New York state titleholders who won a preliminary award have had higher rates of Top 5 and Top 10 Placements. Out of the 55 years researched, only 6 have earned finalist spots without a preliminary award, not counting the 4 who have won Miss America without a preliminary award.

No, preliminary is not needed to win Miss America. But it is greatly improve your chance of becoming a finalist.


  • Miss America: 5 Winners between 1960 and 2014
    • 4/5- No Preliminary Awards
    • 1/5- Double Prelim Winner (Ironically, NY’s only ever double prelim winner)
  • Top 5: New York has had Five (5) Top 5 Placements
    • 1/5 No Prelim Award
    • 4/5 Won Preliminary Awards
      • 2/4 Talent
      • 2/4 Swimsuit
  • Top 10: New York has had Eleven (11) Top 10 Placements
    • 5/11 No Prelim Award
    • 6/11 Won Preliminary Awards
      • 5/6 Talent
      • 1/6 Swimsuit


What Should I Focus on- Talent or Swimsuit?: We can note that Miss New York has transitioned from sending a girl with a strong talent (but who wasn’t strong enough to make Top 10) to a strong talent to a strong swimsuit. Considering a decently consistent Top 10 placements throughout the years, but also an increase in Top 5 placements, we can assume that New York has shifted in the same direction as the general concept of what Miss America should be in that time.

This being said, it can be inferred that a strong talent is necessary to get the points and earn a spot in the Top 10, but a strong swimsuit is needed to push you further and secure a spot in the Top 5.

  • Preliminary Talent: New York has had Seven (7) Preliminary Talent Winners (Excluding VW)
    • 2/7 Top 5 Placements
    • 5/7 Top 10 Placements
  • Preliminary Swimsuit: New York has had Four (4) Preliminary Swimsuit Winners (Excluding VW)
    • 2/4 Top 5 Placements
    • 1/4 Top 10 Placements
    • 1/4 Non-Finalist

#TitleholderProblems — Time Management

Pageant Prep

An important part of balancing your daily life while prepping for a pageant is time management. But once the crown is on your head, it’s like the expectations double. Suddenly you are expected to fulfill more obligations than before. There is a subliminal competition between other titleholders- who attends the most events, who raises the most money, who travels the most miles. It can be overwhelming! And somehow you are still expected to sleep.

Being able to properly manage your time is a skill, and an art form. A lot of us rely on our cell phone’s calendars to remind us of events, but as a titleholder this is not enough. It is incredibly important to use a planner dedicated strictly to time management to ensure that everything is in one place, it easy to access, and doesn’t rely on a battery. Once you get the hang of a planner you will be able to attend your events without the stress of double booking, the looming anxiety that you missed something when you have a Saturday “off”, and overall a stress free day.


Click Here for Planner Organization Tip Video

Building an Effective Planner:

  • Color code events. If you have a job or school, highlight those events in blue. Fundraisers can be green. Community service is pink.
  • Make To-Do Lists. Use a sticky note with your daily “to-do” list for errands. Plan this out the night before a busy day, and stick in in your planner. Cross things off when you complete them. Anything you don’t finish can be moved over to the next day.
  • Account for travel time. When you have back to back events, don’t forget to include travel time between events.
  • Block off personal time. Set “black out” times for sleep, homework, and relaxation.
Which blogging platform is your favorite?!

Which blogging platform is your favorite?!

Pre-write and Schedule Blogs:

  • Decide in advance how you would like to blog. Weekly highlights? Blog post for every event? Blog post for current events related to your platform? Decide ahead of time, and include “blog day” in your planner.
  • Type out a template for blog posts highlighting upcoming events during an “off” day. Include the name of the event, the location, any networks or sponsors, and the organization it is supporting. Save the drafts. Then, on the day of the event, just add pictures and fine details, then post.
  • Begin planning a post 2 weeks before, and have a draft ready 1 week before. This way you never have to play catchup.


Set Alarms and Time Limits:

  • Whether you are sleeping, at an event, (hopefully not sleeping at an event), working on a blog, or doing homework, it is important not to let the time slip past you. Set time limits for how long you are dedicating to something, and use an alarm to keep you on track.
  • When working on homework, paperwork, or a blog post- use an alarm to help you stay focused. After an hour or more your brain will fry and you will be overwhelmed. Take time away to relax, or simply switch between activities to stay focused.

If You’re Early, You’re on Time…:

  • Whether it is attending a physical event, or submitting paperwork- always plan to be early. This will help to cover yourself for unseen circumstances.
  • Plan to arrive at events 10-15 minutes early. This will account for parking, finding the correct location, and getting debriefed when you arrive.
  • Plan to submit paperwork at least one day early. This will give you at least one more day to revise and make corrections. Use this time to let someone else look over your paperwork and check for mistakes!

The ability to multi-task is important, but in the end it is important to remember that you can’t do everything. As long as you are planning your day and week ahead of time, and doing your best to balance your time, you are ahead of the game. Stay focused, and let the time as your titleholder tick by.