Monday, June 29, 2009
Apparently Britney Spears, Harrison Ford, Natalie Portman and Jeff Goldblum all died the same day as Michael Jackson, thanks to a false web site, fakeawish.com, and the hacking of Twitter. News of these celebrities "deaths" spread quickly, leaving one Twitterer asking the question, "why is everyone dying?"
Although I am a huge advocate of anything to do with social media, this was not the way it was meant to be used, nor was this respectful to those who did die this past week. But, it does show advertisers and marketers just how gullible and easy it is to capture audiences using social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs. I believe advertisers will use this information and we'll see many more "fake"stories pop up, but this time, hopefully not about deaths.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Social media has become the newest way to network with those we would have previously joined organizations to meet, but, even if you had a stellar resume, would you show up to a networking event just wearing old jeans and a t-shirt? Neither would I. It doesn't give off the professionalism that most of us would like people to see and your great resume would be overshadowed by a pair of ratty jeans. It's the same with writing. Why write an outstanding entry with errors in it? It undermines your knowledge and ability.
Below I've listed five of the most common mistakes I have seen (I could go on for 100 more mistakes, but I'll keep it short). Take a look at these errors and put your best foot (and image!) forward when writing:
- There, Their, They're - "there" refers to a place, "their" refers to ownership, "they're" is a conjunction of "they" and "are". Example, "Their house is over there next to the burger bar. They're planning on going there for dinner."
- Bullet points - keep bullet points parallel to each other. If you put a period at the end of one bullet point, put one at the end of all of them.
- Spell check - use it!
- Its, It's - "it's" is a conjunction for "it is," "its" is used whenever "it is" should not be in a sentence. Example, "It's not that hard." "The company hired its interns."
- You're for your - "you're" is a conjunction for "you" and "are." "Your" is possesive.
And lastly, I leave you with this tidbit - Always, always, always review your work! I have come across numerous blogs by top executives that have minor typos in them such as an extra letter in a sentence or at the end of a word, or even different font sizes and types. It does not make them look like the expert they are supposed to be!
Monday, June 22, 2009
A list of 10 reasons to use social media for hotels was posted today on hotelinteractive.com. Not only was it informative for hotels, I decided that Ms. Susan Deluzain Barry's list could actually be used for everyone else who may, or may not be, interested in social media for their business or otherwise (Matt Jones, please take note...again).
- To replace the boring old newsletter
- To compound the power of people
- To record history painlessly
- To supplement (or replace) printed brochures
- To establish your hotel (or anything else!) as an expert
- To get customer feedback before you mess up
- To find out what your clients care about
- To set yourself apart
- To crack yourself, and your fans, up
- To humanize your business
Well said Ms. Barry. As you can see, this can apply to anyone in any business, or even for personal reasons.
For more from Ms. Barry, visit her at her company, Hive Marketing.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Advertising Age printed an article by Matt Jones entitled, "Why I Hate Social Media." Before opening the link, I knew I would disagree. Why? Because social media is awesome. It opens new gateways to connecting with brands, consumers and corporations than ever. Not to mention, it gives advertising agencies and "normal" people an option to stretch their creative legs and find other ways to express themselves and their brand.
In Jones' article, he tends to focus on the "media" part of social media, not the "social" part, where it should be focused. He says that many companies who are using social media, are using it to replace Web sites and advertisements.
Truthfully, I don't know many companies that have gotten rid of their campaigns completely and simply used Twitter to market a new item. What I do see, is a lot of companies utilizing social media and adding it to their already growing campaigns. It also gives consumers the option to interact more with the company and give feedback. Like I said, it's the "social" part of social media that makes it so important.
The second interesting item I found was a video, Social Media in Plain English, created by Commoncraft.com. This video illustrates the power social media has.
So, Matt Jones, I ask you, why should we ignore social media?
Thursday, June 18, 2009
1 800 Customer Care Numbers? Consider it a Thing of the Past. Enter Social Media and the World Wide Web.
A lot of companies have jumped on the online marketing and advertising bandwagon (which they should) but have not used all the web's abilities to their utmost capacity. The ability to interact and create strong relationships with customers online is readily becoming the norm. Clients expect to be able to contact a company instantly with problems, concerns, ideas, etc. As I've mentioned before, your audience is in control.
She mentions some perfect examples of how companies are taking social media and using it to their benefit, such as BurgerKing's WhopperSacrifice on Facebook, where consumers can trade in 10 of their friends for the love of the Whopper. The application has recently been disabled since the love of the Whopper was confirmed after 233,906 friends were sacrificed. I'm sure we'll see much more from BurgerKing and others in this arena since it was so successful.
Another example she mentions is Starbucks' My Starbucks Idea campaign, which prompts consumers to share their ideas directly with the company, as well as interact with each other and vote on other people's ideas.
Lichtenberg says there are five fundamental requirements for corporations embarking on the online customer relationship forum. Here's the cliffnotes:
- Be a Panther, Not a Dinosaur - corporations must be flexible and commit to customer's needs and wants
- Evolve Your Organizational Culture and Structure - align internal culture with customer's culture
- Understand that Loyalty Is Key to Revenue - rely more on customer loyalty that charging inane fees
- Bring in the Right People - bring in people with solid, "in the trenches" experience
- Have a Strategy! - set goals, develop a plan and budget
To sum it all up, Ravit says "for corporations to remain competitive, they will need to become more flexible, put people at the center of their culture, and remain dynamically attentive to human needs. It is time again to realize that change should be embraced, not feared, and to put in place the right structures, strategies, and people to support this change."
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Defined as (by Wikipedia) the "term applied to the period of life immediately following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the early twenties to the early thirties."
If you are plagued with QLC, you might have the following symptoms:
- feeling "not good enough" because one can't find a job that is at one's academic/intellectual level
- frustration with relationships, the working world, and finding a suitable job or career
- disappointment with one's job
- boredom with social interactions
- loss of closeness to high school and college friends
- a sense that everyone is, somehow, doing better than you
- extreme insecurity
And, to add to the already mounting personal problems, the awesome economy we have today is affecting our emotions as well.The closer I get to 25, the more I notice all my friends taking off in their careers, getting married or buying a house. Sure, I'm a tad jealous about some things, but I also know that the one thing that connects us all is the constant question of, am I going in the right direction?
When we all graduate, we have this incredible idea of where we will be and where we are going. I'm going to get married and have an awesome career, etc. But, as the saying goes, life doesn't always go as planned. And even if it does, many of us are wondering if its the right career for us or what is the next step. And Real Life steps in.
Our generation is different from our parent's. More is expected of us, we have more choices and financially we're not as well off.
- use the value of networking and ask for someone to be your mentor. They can help make the transition into actual adulthood easier and may even be able to offer insight on things they may have done wrong and what they wish they would have done
- start a blog. Write about what you're feeling and I guarantee a flock of people our age will readily comment about their woes. Also, writing always makes a person feel better
- look at the decisions we make today as important, but not irreversible
- write down your goals and plans for the next month, year and five years out and post them where you can see them everyday. It'll keep you on track and show you how far and accomplished you've become (if you don't know exactly where you want to be, find out where you think you'd like to be, i.e., buying a house, moving to a new place, etc.)
- talk with others on online sites and get some advice from people who have been there and done that
- realize you are not the only one - we're all in the same spot!
Although I can't guarantee that all this will make you feel 100% better, it'll help. And it'll get you on the right track.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The campaign, which boasts a Twitter account (@ZachJohnson16) and of course, a Web site chronicles Zach's days as a woman, from his first day and visit to the school nurse, to when he has his first period (videos can also be found on YouTube).
It's an interesting campaign and idea, however, I'm not sure this may be the greatest way to appeal to women and sell Tampons. What do you think?
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sometimes you may know things and not consciously realize you know it until someone says it (comedians are good at this, too). When I read what Ms. Ferguson wrote - your audience is in control - I realized a lot of companies know this but haven't put it into practice. In fact, many companies refuse to even acknowledge the presence of some social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to their detriment. It's not what the company thinks the consumer wants, it's what the consumer actually wants! And there is too many outlets to inform the company what their audience wants/needs to let it pass you by.
In conjunction with this, take a look at Griffin Farley's blog from 22squared. This is a great example of actually listening to the consumer. T-Mobile brought normal (i.e., not actors) people together to create an advertisement. Like Faris states on his blog, "The key is to produce something that both pulls people together and gives them something to do...We are social creatures - I'm sure you all agree - but we need reasons to be social."
Sunday, June 14, 2009
"Does a brand need to build its own online community or does a brand need to embed their community within an existing social network," asks blogger Igor Beuker on Viral Blog.
According to Beuker, it depends on the company's goals. He continues on to list the proper steps a company should take to create their online marketing strategy and gives excellent examples on companies with great social marketing, such as Jeep, Dell, Starbucks and even Barack Obama.
The best bit of advice he gives is he warns companies not to focus on making money before making their online community. Many companies have posted social pages and then wait for the community to come, making no effort to manage the page (for example, Wal-Mart's Facebook page).
"How to fix it: Don’t put the cart before the horse. When creating your online community, keep in mind the best interests of the people you are trying to reach. Communities don’t form around the idea of being monetized, so make sure that your community-building efforts have a clear utility built in for its members. "
The article, "Why Wal-Mart Needs a Facebook Strategy," brings great insight into the best way for companies to use social sites to their advantage.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
One commercial that needs recognition is Wendy's Frosty Posse. Bringing back 90s-era boy bands built from cubicles and what looks like tech geeks? What could be better?! Add awesome white outfits and stupendous dance moves and not only do you have an eye catching commercial, you have people (namely the target audience in this case) singing the frosty song with friends while out on the town. Wendys has even created a Web site for their new boy band. It includes the making of the video, behind the scenes extras and even bios on each of the band members. And, of course, there is a page dedicated to the new musical group on Facebook and a fan base (Ahh social media - I love you so).
COPY: Dallas Fire Department
FROM: Former client
DATE: March 3, 2008
SUBJECT: Your duty
Recently, I had the misfortune (I say fortune) to call your station as an emergency arose. My dog, Mudd, fell into a hole in our house that we were remodeling. Being that Mudd is blind and deaf and certainly cannot get out from underneath the house, we had to call your services.
I must say that it was a privilege to see you at work, saving our beloved dog from certain doom. I admired your valor (and strong arms) as you pried up floorboards and hacked your way through darkness while not once showing any fear. (I have to ask, do you work out often?)
After successfully saving part of my family and departing back to the station, I decided I needed to thank you for your undying devotion to the art of saving kittens in trees and dogs under houses. So, I did what any single, hot-blooded, young woman would do. I made you banana bread and delivered it to you the next day, with phone number attached. But this time, you failed me.
I noticed on your Web site that your mission statement says, “Our mission is to prevent and suppress fires, educate and rescue citizens, provide emergency medical services, promote public safety and foster community relations.” However, you failed to do the last one. I know you felt it as much as I did Laos, so why did you not call? Your chiseled features and strong legs, lifting my toy poodle from a hazardous situation; your smile to me when I say we’ll do this again soon; the way you seemed so concerned when you asked what the problem was… *sigh.*
I’m sure the fireman’s code says it is your duty to romance a woman in distress, but yet, I have not heard from you. You came to my house and rescued a damsel/dog in distress, arriving on your big, red steed; wearing your large, princely pants to hide your huge…muscles, but left this princess all alone even after the giving of sacred banana bread.
I feel I must remind you that you have not yet completed your duties, but I shall forgive you once you arrive at my doorstep after reading this memo. I look forward to your speedy return.
In our American culture today, a large part is about weight and body image. When women get together, a majority of the time, at least one says something about how they are dissatisfied with their body image. Appalachian State University calls this “fat talk,” and it requires the conversers to say something negative about their body, too. In fact, women in the conversation are looked down upon if they don’t say anything negative about themselves.
Consequently, one in five young women now take diet pills. The University of Minnesota conducted a study of 2500 teens and found that 63 percent of teenage girls are engaging in unhealthy weight behaviors, such as the use of diet pills, laxatives, vomiting, and skipping meals. Although the girls think this will help them lose weight, ironically, it actually is more likely to contribute to weight gain.
Some women are so upset with their looks, that they are demanding drastic changes to their body through plastic surgery. One woman asked for her belly button to be taken completely off.
How has it gotten so bad that we hate how we look? Models in the 1980s, such as Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, were regularly a size 4 to 6, however, now, model sizes are 0 to 4. When did a size 6 become fat?
We need to embrace ourselves for who we are and what weight we are normally. One study has shown that actually being happy with yourself leads you to be at a healthy, normal weight. Tracy Tylka, assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University, demonstrated how women who are more comfortable with their bodies are far more likely to follow a healthy eating regimen.
"The message that women often hear is that some degree of body dissatisfaction is healthy because it could help them strive to take care of their bodies. But it may be just the opposite: an appreciation of your body is needed to really adopt better eating habits," Tylka said.
If everyone looked the same, it would be boring. Variety is the spice of life, so let’s live it up!
She was an incredibly sought after marketing executive who had recently spun off from her former boss’s company to create her own, Rhoda’s Awesome Marketing. Rhoda’s Awesome Marketing came about after she had an elicit affair with her boss of one year, Dave,* and soon found out he was balding and quite a bit older than she had originally thought. Overall, their relationship had been a good one for that week, but she eventually figured out that she deserved better.
Her marketing firm was doing fantastic business and was recently the front-page article detailing her new business invention, Being Nice, for Fortune magazine. It was a huge hit and helped many companies to be more adept at their business. Because of the publicity of this article, even Microsoft contacted Rhoda directly and asked for her help as a consultant in the marketing department. Of course, Rhoda agreed – how could she not consider making $1 million for a short-term contract? – and called up her friend Maggie, the only Project Team Assistant who had worked her way up in the consulting firm Vain & Company to manager.When Rhoda called asking her for consulting help, Maggie quickly obliged and sent one of her most accomplished consultants to be by Rhoda’s side.
Josh Tugudtobtru,* who had his undergrad from Harvard and MBA from Stanford, quickly became one of Rhoda’s greatest side kicks. Rhoda and Josh became instant friends and told each other everything, except Josh had a secret that he didn’t dare share with Rhoda. He had seen her stunning picture on the cover of Fortune magazine and had been crazy about her since, and only a month after beginning working with Rhoda was soon deep in love with the marketing temptress.
Maggie had not known of Josh’s admiration of her good friend and had been on the prowl looking for a perfect guy for Rhoda. She had been scouring every place she could think to find Rhoda’s perfect man, the pizza place, the wine store, every happy hour in town and even Rhoda’s firm, but she found none good enough for Rhoda; until one day when a co-worker of Maggie’s set up camp at the computer behind hers to work on a program. His name was John Hotforeigner,* from England. Maggie had spoken with him a few times before, at Vain sponsored parties, and one of the interns thought he was interested in Maggie, but Maggie dismissed this assumption. In her mind, he was already dating Rhoda.
He was handsome, a gentleman, had a great job and knew three different languages fluently. Not to mention he was tall and from England. Oh, and he also had a good personality. Maggie decided to introduce him to Rhoda at one of their Italian club meetings. She spoke with John throughout that Wednesday and eventually persuaded him to come to the ICTD meeting by informing him of a great business contact he could meet, James Gandolfini, the meeting coordinator. That evening, Rhoda and John met, ate pasta and chatted about their careers and hobbies. Maggie was pleased to see that they got along well, but was surprised when Rhoda later said that she wasn’t that interested in John and he seemed interested in Maggie. Being that this was the second time that she had now heard he might be interested in her, Maggie thought this was ridiculous, and decided to dismiss it.
In the meantime, Rhoda and Josh continued to work together, however Josh was beginning to feel that he needed to kiss Rhoda, touch her or do anything just to be near her. Pretending his feelings weren’t real wasn’t working anymore - he could barely contain himself!
Finally, one evening, when Rhoda and Josh were working late, Josh suggested getting a bottle of wine to share for a break since they’d been working almost 12 hours straight. Rhoda agreed and the two sat in the middle of the firm sipping wine together and working on the presentation for the next day. A few glasses of wine and 20 excel spreadsheets later; Josh could help himself no longer. Without thinking he reached over, grasped Rhoda’s arm with his right hand, brought his face closer to hers and kissed her. At first Rhoda resisted, but then she slowly gave in as the magic of his kiss touched her. Then, Josh let go, astounded at what he had done, but more surprised at how incredible it was to kiss her.
This started the beginning of a beautiful relationship and soon, marriage. During Rhoda’s marriage ceremony, she said in her speech that without Maggie, she never would have found Josh. And what about Maggie and John? Well, Maggie finally realized that John spoke mostly to her and he had asked her out on two dates already but she hadn’t noticed that’s what he had intended. The two began to date frequently and had a good relationship for a month before Maggie got bored and moved on to someone else at her work, Richard Finallybrkeupwhisgirlfriend.*
* Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
This secret agent knew it was only him who could help the world survive. Quietly, he crept behind the tall, wooden ledge where the blue monster stood guard. The secret agent climbed at a slow pace up the wooden plateau and then POUNCED! The blue monster started fighting back, but the secret agent managed to hold the blue box steady, ripping and shredding it to pieces. The secret agent, although not new at this, was surprised when the blue monster tried to fight back again, but the secret agent would not give up. He was the protector of all humans and this blue monster must die!
He threw the monster to one corner of the white expanse, holding a part of the blue monster while the rest of his body went in a different direction. The blue monster was incredibly hurt, but still alive. The secret agent ran to the blue monster to finish his mission. He shredded and ripped and ultimately killed the blue monster, flinging his body parts to the far reaches of the universe to save the human race –“Rambo! No!” The human female yelled at her dog, who was surrounded by blue Kleenex.
She had come home early because her cold was still making her sneeze and feel tired and had caught Rambo, her black, one-year old Chihuahua, red-handed, shredding an entire box of Kleenex, covering her living room and coffee table.
As Rambo ran for cover under the couch, he couldn’t help but think that it was a good thing his human had come so late, otherwise, the secret agent couldn’t have completed his mission and saved the world….
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s 2009 now, right? That means these bands haven’t been performing since the late 80’s: Cyndi Lauper had her first hit in 1983 and New Kids on the Block hit their big time in 1988.Who decided that reuniting bands from that era and having them perform now with new material will be just as wildly successful as before? That’s like deciding that the boom box is going to make a return and be just as popular. Our culture has changed tremendously since the 1980’s, and I wonder if these stars can make music for today’s predominant audience.
Is the American entertainment industry interested in a pop idol who is 55 (Cyndi Lauper)? Or a boy band who’s average age is 39 (Donny Wahlberg is 39, Danny Wood is 40, Joey McIntyre is 36, Jordan Knight is 39 and Jonathan Knight is 40)? According to Wikipedia, New Kids on the Block performed on The Today Show on May 16, 2008, and the performance attracted one of the biggest crowds, some 4,000 people, in the show's concert series history. Cyndi Lauper’s release of her new song, “Same ol’ Story” was the number one downloaded song on the day of its release. Maybe I’m wrong and their success will top what they had previously, however, looking at statistics from preceding bands who have tried to return, it may be short lived. Numerous other bands have tried to make a comeback, but after their first released single, they weren’t successful either. Are Cyndi and the New Kids on the Block’s recent popularity a passing fancy?
The Backstreet Boys reunited in 2004, and their first CD out after their four year hiatus had only one song that made it to the charts in the US, “Incomplete.” Their newest CD, sans Kevin Richardson, Unbreakable, dropped out of the charts two weeks after its release.Does this mean New Kids on the Block and Cyndi Lauper are in style just this month? Probably. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if these bands can really make a comeback.