Category Archives: PRCA 3030 Social Media

Happy 50th Birthday, Barbie!

Playing with Barbies was one of my favorite things to do when I was younger. Not only did I have dozens of normal dolls, but I also collected special-edition Barbies and had all sorts of books and other items about her. I just thought she was so awesome! Created by Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler in 1959, 2009 marked the 50th anniversary of the debut of Barbie on television. Over the past decades, she has had over 100 jobs and reflected the popular trends in society. Not only has the marketing and advertising behind Barbie made her a success in America, but Barbie is a household name in almost every country in the world. She has had her ups and downs, but has been able to maintain a great tan, shiny hair, and perfect figures all these  years. She sure doesn’t look 50 to me! This video discusses the public relations campaign that was created to celebrate the famous doll by Ogilvy PR. From events, store openings, and viral videos, the strategies used to promote Barbie’s 50th birthday have been used globally to reach the many audiences that are interested in the landmark event. I think Barbie deserves a huge piece of plastic cake and a date with Ken for all her achievements!

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Be my guest…again!

The following post is by Makenzie Stratton, a fellow blogger in PRCA 3030. I write a post on the topic of PR reality shows, and found her article to be much more interesting! She talks about the show “Kell on Earth” and the effects it could have on the PR world. I loved reading it!

“Is Kell on Earth, bad news for the PR world?”

Bravo’s new show Kell on Earth, shows Public Relations practitioner, Kelly C in the world of fashion public relations. Kelly Cutrone is president and co-owner of People’s Revolution. People’s Revolution is a popular PR company to the world of television as it was seen in MTV’s reality shows “The Hills,” and “The City,” as both Lauren Conrad, and Whitney Port worked for Cutrone’s in the company.

Kelly Cutrone is a high power,  and tough PR executive, who is determined to get the job done, and to please her clients. The show has only aired a few episodes but I am interested to see how the show will continue to portray the field of Public Relations. Many movies nd television shows in the past have shown PR professionals are unethical professionals that lie and twist the truth in order to boost their client’s image.

My hopes for this show is that Kell on Earth will how that the world of Public Relations is not all fun and games. Public Relations majors take several classes on theories, and ethical researching. I take pride in knowing that as a future Public Relations professional I will serve both my client and the public ethically, and practice correctly. This show has shown the Public Relations is not just limited to party planning, and fabulous lunches with clients. Public Relations involving managing tough situations, holding your composure in a crisis, have strong connects with the press, and ensuring things run smoothly.

I hope Kell on Earth will prove to people who watch the show that Public Relations is hard work, and that it is not all fun and games. Where I worry about what the show may do to damage the field of PR I think with shows like this is can also gain awareness and understanding of what the field is as well. I will continue to watch the show and see what types of PR Kelly Cutrone and her company uses, and hopefully gain some knowledge that I can use for myself.

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Be my guest..

Below is an article by a fellow blogger in PRCA 3030, Marie Walker. I really enjoy reading her blog because she has such a frank writing style and approach to blogging. This post was about the Etrade commercial that ran during the Superbowl. It is an interesting and fun article that I hope you will enjoy too!

“Milk-a-Whaaaat?”

The E-Trade ad that premiered during the Super Bowl, shown  here, is now the new source of controversy in the great state of California.  Lindsay Lohan has filed a lawsuit against E-Trade claiming that the company has improperly invoked her “likeness, name, characterization, and personality” without permission, thus violating her right of privacy.  The complaint, courtesy of TMZ, seems quite unfounded.

I honestly don’t see any likeness being duplicated between the E-trade baby and Lohan.  The baby only had one line to say which was “milk a what?” which does not characterize nor mimic Lohan’s personality in any way, shape, or form.

“Lohan is suing for $50 million in compensatory damages and an additional $50 million in exemplary damages. She also demanded that E*Trade stop running the ad.” (News Briefs)

“They used the name Lindsay,” said Stefanie Ovadia, Lohan’s lawyer. “They’re using her name as a parody of her life. Why didn’t they use the name Susan? This is a subliminal message. Everybody’s talking about it and saying it’s Lindsay Lohan.” (NY Post)

“Lindsay” was in 2008 the 380th most popular name for newborn American girls, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration. That was down from 241th in 2004, when Lohan’s popular film “Mean Girls” was released. (Reuters)

I think this is another sad attempt by Lohan and her handlers to gain publicity for the fallen starlet.  Lohan, who has yet to produce any reputable work since 2004, has a career that is in serious need of resuscitation.  She would be better served if her publicist took her out of the spotlight, cleaned her up, and sent her back out with some new found talent in tow.  This seems like a new low for the star.  I don’t know of anyone who thought of her when this ad was released, myself included.

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Kotex’s new advertising campaign

Television commercials about tampons and feminine issues are generally not ones I pay much attention to. Having your period is not glamorous or fun, and normally the commercials make it seem like it is something enjoyable and exciting. Which is not the case, at all. I have noticed the recent ads by Kotex, however, and I think they are genius. They are so appealing because they poke fun at the typical tampon commercials and are just straightforward.

The new campaign that Kotex launched is refreshing and different from its competitors, with a frank approach to dealing with an issue that every young female deals with. According to an article in the New York Times,

“We’re really out there and we’re trying to touch women and say we care about this conversation,” said Mr. Meurer, of Kotex.

I think the campaign and the public relations strategies that are being used to promote the product are brilliant. We live in a society where certain matters are supposed to be kept secret and presented in a happy light, but who says you are supposed to embrace your period? Real girls do not like dealing with it, so it is great to see a company taking notice that the typical ads are so unrealistic. Hopefully Kotex receives a lot of praise for their bold tactics and new commercials!

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Tips for Blogging & Tweeting on the Job

I recently came across this article by Andrew Worob at “PR at Sunrise” that gave some excellent tips for using social media for corporate purposes. I enjoyed reading them because they were simple and made sense!

1) Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was any social media community. If you invest and start your own blog, Twitter handle, etc. you are kidding yourself if you expect instant ROI. Be patient, give it time, and you’ll see the rewards in the long run.

2) How often should you blog/tweet? Whenever you have content that provides value to your readers. But more than anything, be consistent.

3) You don’t need to have a crisis communications meeting whenever you see a negative comment about your company. Respond to those comments with honest thoughts and never delete them from your page (if applicable). That person may not like your company, but they’ll respect you even more when they see that you didn’t  ignore their comment.

4) Gaining admirers on these networks is not rocket science. Engage with people and be transparent. That’s how you gain and maintain an audience.

5) Do not put someone in charge of your blog/Twitter handle, etc. that does not want to be there in the first place. You need someone that WANTS to be involved. Take it from me, writing a blog is hard work … but it’s a lot of fun if you enjoy it!

It will definitely help to keep these in mind when you are entering the world of public relations or any career where implementing social media is an every day duty. Best blogging wishes!

Information used on this blog post can be found at the following website:

http://worob.com/2010/04/19/five-social-media-tips-for-corporate-bloggers-and-tweeters/

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Reading Notes

Another book we will be reading this semester is titled “A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization,” by Deltina Hay. It gives “Strategies, Tactics, and Tools for Succeeding in the Social Web.”

Chapter 1- The introductory chapter discusses 3 things to keep in mind when making your social media plan:

  1. Interactivity-commenting on blogs, giving ideas to others on social media websites
  2. Sharing– linking images, videos, websites to friends online
  3. Collaboration-using bookmarking sites and contributing to feeds

By commenting on blogs, sharing photos and videos, and working with other programs, you can optimize your presence and networking abilities on the Internet. The chapter also discusses badges, which are essentially images and links that you can add to your pages in order to make them more “linkable to other sites.

Chapter 2– This chapter discusses the importance of adding tags and keywords. By using phrases and ideas that are related to a blog post, picture, article, or anything you are working with online, you can make it more visible to others by providing tags. It can make them pop up on Google or other search engines before others and therefore, gain more popularity and views.

By adding personal information to your social media profiles, you can increase the chance for finding others and others finding you online. This will create the opportunity for making more connections and making your blog or website more friendly!

Chapter 3– The main thing I learned from this chapter was what “RSS” meant: Really Simple Syndication. Which is ironic, because I was assuming it had some elaborate meaning. By using an RSS feed, you generate content, make the “feed” available, and then anyone who subscribes can read it. By using tags, categories, links, and tracebacks, you can make your feed incredibly functional online.

The author discusses using programs like FeedBurner to manage your feeds, promote them, troubleshoot them, etc. Your feed is not going to grow without care, just like a flower without water.

Chapter 4– By personalizing your blog with creative details, you can make it more appealing and fun to update. Headers are at the top of the blog, and can be a sentence or statement about the blog and what readers can expect from reading on. It can be anything catchy or expressive that will catch attention and prompt people to want to follow. A footer, on the other hand, is less personal and contains the important copyrights and credit to the designers of the webpage. Do not remove this or you may have problems!

Adding a sidebar to your blog is a way to make it easy to navigate and organize. You can include things like widgets, categories, tags, calendars, archives, etc. The sky is the limit to the appearance of your blog!

Chapter 5– This chapter discusses podcasts, which are “a series of audio or video files that is distributed over the internet and can be syndicated and subscribed to.” The author gives these tips to making the best podcast possible:

  • Many audio and video search engines use speech recognition software to identify keep terms within podcasts.
  • You add the metadata for each podcast episode when you save it as an MP3 file.  Repeat key terms from the actual spoken episode in this metadata.  Metadata describes other data. It provides information about a certain item’s content.
  • The page where each podcast episode resides is called its landing page.  Its advisable to repeat key terms from the podcast here also.

Like a podcast, a webcast is an online broadcast of information, which can be about any topic and usually consists of a series of videos or updates. YouTube tends to be the most popular website for creating weekly or daily webcasts.

Chapter 6– Being involved in a social network can be one of the most rewarding and important activities you can engage in. It allows you to connect with millions of others, whether for a personal or business reason, and stay updated in their daily lives. Some popular social networking sites include:

  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

They are free and relatively easy ways to get active online and connect. Facebook tends to be the most popular, while sites like Twitter are considered more “micro-blogs” because they only allow you to post a limited amount of information at a time. LinkedIn is more of a professional profile that can be helpful with sending resumes and experience to employers.

Chapter 7– Along with social networking, you can use social bookmarks to keep track of your favorite websites for others to view. Not only is this helpful to the individual, it can be very useful for students working on projects to send websites to classmates. The most popular website for social bookmarking is Delicious. It is free and doesn’t take long to add a long list of your favorite websites.

Crowd-sourcing is a way to allow users to determine the popularity of websites, news-sources, and blogs through voting. Sites such as Technorati, Digg, and StumbleUpon all offer these services. They are different from social bookmarks because they share information and facts, rather than opinions and favorites.

Chapter 8– This chapter focuses on media communities.  They are websites that users can visit and post opinions and share advice with others on multimedia topics and items. It is a great way to connect based on common interests and hobbies. Some sites focus on sharing images, such as Flickr, and allow people a place to format and keep all of their photos online.

“Playlists” can be used to organize videos and show them to others. Before you create a specific playlist, you can create a draft version, or a “quicklist.” You can also add a badge to a website, which is essentially a small caption of another social website in the version of a widget.

Chapter 9Widgets and Badges are the focus of this chapter. By definition in the book…

“Widgets are snippets of code, usually displayed graphically, that can be used to syndicate content, for example RSS feeds, or to add interactive features that users can drop onto their own blogs or websites.

Badges are an icon or logo that has a link back to its source, which serves as a way of displaying one’s membership or presence in a community on the Social Web.”

They can be used to customize blogs and make them more personal. Widgets can display things such as the weather, a poll, a countdown, calendar, game, or countless other options. Including widgets makes blogs more interactive and can increase the number of follows to your page if they are fun and useful. A badge is essentially an image that represents a link to another website or page. Including badges increases the possiblity of someone visiting one of your other social networks.

Chapter 10 Social media newsrooms are places for businesses, teachers, or individuals to gain a lot of media coverage and tend to have lots of media and news releases on a daily basis. They shouldn’t replace original websites, but should be a place for people to visit in order to gain recent information and current news on a specific business or topic. You can do several things with a social media newsroom:

  1. View recent and past events
  2. Organize press releases, old and new
  3. Keep track of major media coverage
  4. Download photos, videos, podcasts, etc.
  5. Store personal information on employees

These newsrooms should be supplements to the original company webpage and should be updated daily in order to be useful to viewers. Keep things interactive and useful.

Chapter 11– I learned something useful in this chapter, which was what exactly a “wiki” is. Hawaiian for “fast,” the term describes websites that allow users to post and update information, no matter if it is true or not. Quite possibly the most popular “wiki” website is Wikipedia, which is a virtual online encyclopedia that contains lots of information, some useful and some just complete lies. People still flock to these websites despite their lack of credibility.

Users can create social pages, where they can discuss any topic they desire and talk about them with others who share similar interests. Another Internet sensation, 3-D worlds, give people the sense that they can have another life online. These websites create a “virtual community” that they can be a part of and interact with millions of others across the world.

Chapter 12– The author discusses 3 things to ask yourself when optimizing your website:

  • Can users interact with the content?
  • Can visitors share the content easily with others?
  • Does the site encourage collaboration?

Having a successful and effective website is all about interactivity and allowing feedback and commentary from others. If not, your website or blog will just be like an online reference or book. It will be boring and people will not want to read it. You can make the most out of your social media expereince by adding widgets, tags, RSS feeds, and bookmarks to make it more interesting.

Chapter 13– Much like using crowd-sourcing, social ranking is a way for users to see the relevancy of their pages and how searchable they are online. It is a great way to determine what you can improve and fix on your blog in order to make it more popular. You can also use a “lifestream,” which is like a blog, but contains streams and bits of information from other social networking sites instead of personalized information and posts. The author also talks about the concept of potential social networking distribution, which would allow users to carry around their virtual profile and identity throughout different websites and networks. This is an excellent idea because there are so many social networking sites, usernames, and passwords to keep track of!

Chapter 14– Before you jump into the social networking world, it is important to establish some goals or things you would like to achieve by using the Internet. By having a set of strategies and tactics, you can understand and implement exactly what you want, and hopefully get the kind of experience you want out of it. The book discusses the following:

  1. Increasing web traffic
  2. Driving sales or new business
  3. Monitoring brand awareness
  4. Improving customer relations
  5. Managing reputation
  6. Establishing credibility
  7. Creating buzz
  8. Improving public relations

No matter what you decide to use social media for, using the “survival guide” can help you along the way. Remembering to be original and interactive in your experience are key factors.

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Social networking beneficial for Long Beach businesses

I recently came across an article about how businesses and nonprofit organizations are benefitting from using social networking sites in a tough and changing economy. According to Kristopher Hanson at the Press-Telegram of Long Beach, California, local companies in the city have had recent success in using services such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Yelp. With the opportunity to use these social media sites for free advertising with cusomters, businesses everywhere are taking advantage of the Internet. It definitely is an easy way for customers to give free feedback, whether it is good or bad, for the employers to use at their disposal. Hanson puts it into clear terms:

“By posting updates, sale notices, special events and competitions on a growing network of sites, tech-savvy businesses are growing buzz and sparking interest with existing and new customers.”

The article talks about how one restaurant in Long Beach offers free appetizers and desserts for customers who can correctly answer a question each week. I think this is a brilliant and easy way to gain customer loyalty to their social media websites and provide a fun contest that will differentiate them from other restaurants in the community. Since the majority of business owners tend to be in their late 40s and up, knowing how to create blogs and use the Internet is a key skill that employers will be looking for among new graduates. According to a study in the article, sales increased 41% over a 10-week period for a company who used a Web-based campaign to improve sales. Sounds like an improvement to me!

Information used in this post can be found at the following website:

http://www.presstelegram.com/ci_14865268?source=rss_viewed



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