Sunday, April 25, 2010

Avatar: Part of YOUR Personal Brand

This week, we had a brief introduction to Second Life. We read an article in the New York Times "How Second Life Affects Real Life," to show the connection between our behaviors from online to offline. I found this very true, yet disturbing all at the same time. When we create an avatar, we want it to reflect our best or a according the article "our hottest self." It sounds pretty silly when you think you want an animated picture to be hot, right? However this is not just a picture, its a representation of ourselves, our identity. It makes me think back to the PRSSA National Assembly presentation, "Managing Your Personal Brand." I guess you think of an avatar as a personal brand because it represents YOU.

You can also think of it like this. Your profile picture on your Facebook or Twitter page is also apart of your personal brand. Sometimes your picture may not represent an everyday look, but your best. Why do you want a photo of you looking your best? Of course you want people to see your default photo and equate your name with that photo. Same with an avatar. Even though you are not physically present in Second Life, you SELF is.

I actually just set up a Second Life character named Penelope if she is flying around your area, it's me :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010


This past Wednesday, I decided to participate in my first Twitterchat, #PRStudChat. I logged into my Twitter account from the web, and noticed a few of my followers were using the hashtag, so I decided to join in. I quickly switched over from my normal Twitter page to the Twitterchat page that would allow me to view the conversation a little easier. At this site, I didn't have to remember to put in the hashtag, it already calculated it into the 140 characters for me, how handy!I noticed tweeters were introducing themselves, I introduced myself and mentioned I was a St. Edward's student. Tweeters were very receptive because I received a few responses that welcomed me into the chat, especially since I had mentioned it was my first chat. I was debating whether or not I should just "lurk," and feel my way through the conversation or get in and ask some questions. In the beginning, I just watched the updated feed and then I decided I wanted to add in some input. I noticed Tweeters would first ask a question a
nd label it Q1 and many people would respond or retweet the same post for professionals to answer. This process would continue with each question asked (we got up to about 5).

It was sometimes very overwhelming to participate because your feed would move so quickly. I was afraid to press "pause" in the upper right hand corner because I was afraid to miss out on something important! You gotta have some fast fingers to respond...! Also, you might see a post you want to retweet and comment on, but all you really have room to write is a short and sweet note like "great advice" or "interesting point."

Probably the most helpful advice from the PR pros was the conversation about Linkedin. I know we discussed its importance during class, but I still wasn't convinced that I needed to use it. I already had a profile set up (you know, just to have one) but my information was sparse. After seeing a few posts how useful it is for interviewers, I decided I better update mine ASAP.

Here are a few samples of my tweets during the chat:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shoud there be a Dewey Decimal System for Twitter?

It's official, EVERY Tweet since Twitter's launch in 2006 has been recorded in the Library of Congress. Twitter decided to share its archive and as you can imagine, the number of tweets recorded is in the billions! The Library will record the tweets about every six months and with about 55 million Tweets coming into Twitter everyday, that's enough recording to make anyone's head spin.

Let's think about this, why would the Library of Congress want to store a pop culture icon of social media in the midst of thousands of historic pieces of literature? If you think about it like this, Twitter has been revolutionary in the way we share information. Twitter has been able to let us communicate live about some of the most historic events since its launch in 2006. Twitter has been able to capture moments like Obama winning the presidency or the Haiti earthquake, which have effected all of our lives in one way or another. Not only is Twitter just a social networking site, but buried beneath the tweets about your disgusting ex-boyfriend, there are tweets that are of value in our history.

However not ALL tweets are housed in the Library, if your tweets are protected, then they will stay that way. Also, if your tweet is going to be stored forever in such a renowned location, maybe people will think twice about their tweets sharing TMI..probably not, but wouldn't that be nice?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


This is probably my favorite hashtag on Twitter and I recently saw a post..."#youknowyoureaprstudentwhen you ditch your friends for a Twitter chat!" I have never participated in a Twitter chat, but one day I could see friends in my network would be participating in some sort of chat because they were all using the same hashtag and posting frequently. In class, we discussed a little about the benefits of Twitter chat and some of the popular chats to participate in or at least very least, "lurk." If you're trying to find a job, most of the time these chats include professionals who can give you great tips (140 characters or less!) about what kinds of things recruiters are looking for.

I am not a senior yet, but I am about to turn that corner soon when I am going to be scouting out for an entry level job. Of course it's never to early to start looking around and building up a network, that's how you get ahead of the game! Some popular social networks are PROpenMic, LinkedIn Groups like PRIntern |EntryLevel, and Twitter initiatives such as #HAPPO. So I figure now that have the resources, it can only benefit me to join these networks and do what any PR pro does best, NETWORK!

Also, a Twitter chat, #PRStudChat, will be held tomorrow Wednesday, April 14th at 1:00 pm CT. This is a great opportunity because experienced recruiters will be giving us some insight on how to land a job. Some of the experts will include:

  • Jessica Porterfield, a recruiter with Fleishman Hilliard. Jessica has eight years of experience in the Biotech/Pharma industry and now recruiting in PR.
  • Jessica Bayer, a Public Relations recruiter at Qorvis Communications. Jessica specializes in Public Affairs, Government, Crisis, Interactive, Creative, Consumer and International relations.
  • Laurie Bartolo, a recruiter at Ogilvy. Laurie’s career spans almost 20 years and covers a wide geography, from Florida to Washington DC to New Mexico and now Michigan.
  • Lindsay Olson, a recruiter, founder and partner with Paradigm Staffing who spends her days helping companies build public relations and communications teams nationwide.
  • Rachel Kay , President and found of RKPR. Rachel, whose firm is currently hiring, is an award-winning public relations expert with experience spanning a multitude of industries including consumer technology, food, beauty and fashion, the Web and more.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Google Juice

If you type your name into a search engine or "Google yourself," what are the results? For me, I have my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn profile at the top of the list, my work's website next, my blog, St. Edward's PRSSA blog, and of course a blast from the past with a Dallas Morning News Article on my highs chool drill team (sighhhh...). We have learned in class that is VERY likely for a future employer to just type in your name into Google and see what skeletons you have hiding in the closet.

Reading a little into Edelman's "Search Engine Visibility," gives a little insight in how Google might "select" the hits that come up when you put a search in and also the direction search engines are moving. First, Google is said to have a democratic way of selecting what things will rank accordingly when you search for something. For example, Edelman discussed how the New York Times was particularly frustrated when sites like outdated BBC sites, wikipedia, and YouTube showed up before their new story when "Gaza" was typed into Google. So it makes you wonder, what does it take to get a high ranking on Google? Bribes? Turns out, Google is just like a friend and all "it" wants is a little bit of TRUST.

Not only does content have to be reliable, it must also be LINKED. I discussed earlier, Foremski's rants about linking in a press releases, but as it turns out, linking is also very helpful in SEO. This is not really new information, but the methods in which we are linking and changing from "static linking" to a new form that allows a company to build relationships as well. Today, many companies are taking advantage of social media to link and drive traffic to their websites. That is to say if you see a Twitter discussion about a particular topic and then see a news story about the same topic, that link is more likely to rank higher because of the popularity of Twitter. So the more social networking sites you link to, the more "Google Juice" you will get!

The secret to Social Search is to employ an "embassy strategy." Companies that set up meaningful, engaging and permanent outposts inside all of the relevant social networks will be more discoverable than those who don't. Today the benefits of visibility are measured via Google results. Tomorrow it will be within search engines that are embedded into the social networks.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Topper Takes a Tour!

For this video, our group decided we would like to highlight the 125th anniversary of our St. Edward's campus. In order to accomplish our goal, we decided it would be helpful for prospective and incoming Freshman students to be aware of our anniversary, since the celebrations will roll over into the fall semester as well. We decided to incorporate the 125th anniversary theme of "Journey of St. Edward's," into creating a "journey of the campus," by giving a tour with a very special guest.

We have heard that our mascot, Topper the Hilltopper, was a huge hit at the previous Homecoming celebrations this past February. Naturally, we decided that this would definitely bring some traffic to our video because, come on, who doesn't love Topper? This would be a great way to build up our school spirit, both for current students and prospective students alike. Plus, Topper would be able to debut in his first feature film!

We hoped to not only use this video assignment for class on our blogs, but also feature it on the 125th anniversary website in order to bring traffic to the website. Speaking with the St. Edward’s Marketing Department early in the semester, I learned that one of the major goals is to link the microsite, Twitter, and Facebook page together to create a much more interactive experience for students to get involved. By bringing Topper in the mix, we wanted to a way for students to feel connected to their university and spread the word about the anniversary celebrations.

Ally Hugg, Sara Roberts, and I take a tour with Topper as our tour guide. He leads us toward many of the campus hotspots like the Holy Cross Plaza marked with our University seal, the captivating Main Building, and the grand Sorin Oak Tree. Topper provides us with fun facts and information that would be useful to prospective students and give them a visual of what it is like to walk around the St. Edward’s campus. Of course, the 125th anniversary is mentioned when the fountain located by the Main Building engraved with the words “St. Edward’s 1885” is passed in our tour. Of course Topper does not want anyone to forget about St. Edward’s birthday!

We hope that “Topper Takes a Tour” will encourage students to become more involved in St. Edward’s 125th anniversary. Whether it be to participate in the celebrations or participate in the 125 service challenge, it is a great way for students, faculty, and the St. Edward’s community to come together to celebrate the anniversary and the completion of the 10 year strategic plan that has transformed the campus.

Topper is also available by appointment for special University events!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Since the PRSSA National Assembly a few weeks ago, my Twitter network has grown tremendously, and I love it. Before I was only following a few celebrities and "30 PR pros" that you SHOULD follow on Twitter. Even though I "should" be following these people, I realized that I wasn't really responsive to the tweets they were producing. Yeah, I mean some tweets I looked at but most of them I just blew off.

It was a little difficult working with my Twitter frustrations for my "Personal Learning Project" in my Social Media for PR class. I was looking at the pros' posts and even asking questions, but I was getting very little response. Luckily, this PRSSA Assembly changed it all. I feel that now when I go on Twitter, that my network is a little more personal (probably because I actually met these people) and I enjoy reading their tweets. I am also glad that many of my followers and followees have really relevant links that have helped me with my project.

To be honest, I am not sure what the problem was before when I only had a few PR people I followed. Perhaps it could be that I am more motivated to interact and respond to people I have met before? I wonder if anyone else experiences this issue? Maybe for some people it is just the opposite and they are more inclined to interact with people they don't know. It could also be that I am interacting with my future generation of PR pros that could make it a little more interesting for me. Either way I am glad I have build up a network that I like. No offense PR pros... I am still following you too!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

RIP Press Release

Four years ago, Tom Foremski blogged about how press releases need to move forward to a include a new step..include hyperlinks. On March 30, Foremski yet again about his frustration with PR pros still neglecting this easy step. So in class, we discussed some of the reasons why PR pros are NOT hyperlinking. Perhaps laziness, forgetfulness, or a control factor? Whatever the reason is, PR pros are not moving forward to evolve the press release, but managing to keep the profession stuck in the past..

So I looked at the new template for the press releases we are supposed to be creating and I liked them..ALOT. Now, we are not required to to create a narrative about the event/person/news we are highlighting, but BULLET.. how much easier could that get? Not only that, but we can incorportate pictures, videos, graphics to make a once white sheet of paper, much more appealing to the eye. So tell me this, WHY oh WHY would we want to keep doing the same old stuff?

Here's a copy of the new template that NEEDS to be followed:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Twitter to the Rescue!

About a week before spring break, several students from the St. Edward's chapter attended the Public Relations Student Society of America's National Assembly. Luckily this year the event was held at downtown Austin's Hyatt Regency, so we had a very small commute compared to others!

A little sidenote-- This event was occuring during SXSW so I was a little concerned about parking (but then again, when in Austin are you not?) I had looked on the website at hotel parking prices and they were running at about ohh.. $18.00 per day. Panicking that I would spend close to about $60.00 dollars just on parking that weekend, I decided to call the Hyatt Regency. I was a little frustrated to be put on hold a few times, but that was really the least of my worries. I asked the concierge if there were any special parking permits that were available to students attending the PRSSA event this weekend.. and the answer was unfortunately a big fat "No."

I was pretty determined not to pay $60.00 so I turned to an alternate method of communication (drum roll please...) SOCIAL MEDIA! I logged on my Twitter account and found the account for the Austin Regency Downtown. I was already live tweeting with the National Assembly hashtag, #prssana, so I decided to tweet the Hyatt about their parking. I asked them, once again, about special parking prices for our event and was instantly retweeted by a few other students who also were concerned. A little less than 20 minutes later, I spotted the Hyatt's reply to my question and it was good news, FINALLY! They made parking only $5.00 for the weekend for us! YES.

I was pretty please that social media saved the day.

Monday, March 22, 2010

In the Words of Aretha Franklin...

In this week's readings, we read a little bit about the evolution of blogging in "Citizen Markerters." It was pretty interesting that today's was really the Roman's Acta Diurna over 2,100 years ago. Imagine taking the time to carve this message right now into a huge stone and hanging it in the public square, who has the time for that? how technology has changed..
In addition, the chapter went on discussing the invention of the printing press. movable type 1.0, LiveJournal, podcasting, and even TiVO. Probably the most interesting of examples was the creation of TiVO. When I was in middle school, I can remember thinking that this was perhaps the coolest thing ever invented. I was very involved in dance, so I never had the time to watch much T.V., but when I did, nothing ever seemed to on. With TiVO, I could record the O.C. AND even pause it too, just like a movie! Much of the success came from the idea of personal FREEDOM. Audiences were no longer chained to their seats during their favorite show and were use the restroom and grab a snack for an extended period of time (longer than a commercial break at least).

Another interesting topic in this chapter discussed podcasting. From previously taking an advertising class, I was aware that radio is struggling in a world of iPods. However, until recently, I was not even aware of podcasting, and was really surprised with the 63 million podcast listeners that are expected for 2010. Maybe I just wasn't in the know? But it doesn't surprise me that since these are becoming more and more popular, radio is not only losing their viewers to music on the iPods, but to podcast. Again, we can hear Aretha in the background screaming "Freedom," for the cause of this shift in technologies. No longer do we have to be limited to radio stations on a family road trip, we can now play OUR chosen audio.

It's all about freedom.

Friday, March 12, 2010

"You Have Just Won the Superbowl.. What Are You Going To Do Now?"

".....I'm going to DisneyWorld!" This is perhaps the most classic example of the way companies use celebrity endorsements for their brand. In this week's readings, we were asked to read a document about FTC guidelines and advertising. Celebrity endorsements caught my eye (probably because I just attended presentation managing personal brands and how Tiger Wood loss his endorsements due to his infedelities). This presentation and few paragraphs I read about the guidelines really made me think about how celebrities are really an effective way to get people to buy something. Athletes, like Anna Kournikova, have been the spokesperson for the Canon "Powershot," and has been pretty effective ( I mean hey, I bought one).

Athletes are not the only people used for endorsements, Hollywood celebrities are notorious for it too. For example, I follow celebrity socialite, Kim Kardashian on Twitter. Many, many of her tweets are promoting the popular weight loss product, QuickTrim. Last night, I saw a commercial of both her and her sister, Khloe, both asking "How Hot Can You Be?" with QuickTrim. For advertisers, I think this is particularly effective. Many people soak up so much celebrity news, gossip, and trends.. it would almost be ridiculous not to use them for their leverage.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Hilltoppers Attend PRSSA National Assembly in Hometown

AUSTIN, Texas (March 10, 2010) This week seven St. Edward’s University Chapter members will be attending the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Assembly. This year, the National Assembly will be hosted at the Hyatt Regency hotel down located in downtown Austin.

PRSSA will host students and elected chapter delegates around the nation from 248 universities nationwide to come receive leadership training as well as vote on the National Committee representatives. The conference will include a Day of Competition sponsored by CW network and numerous keynote speakers. The Assembly will begin on Thursday March 11th through Sunday, March 14th.

“We are very excited to have the National Assembly hosted in our hometown because it provides our chapter with a greater opportunity to send more students who want to participate and get involved,” says Ally Hugg, Chapter President. Local PRSSA Chapters at The University of Texas, Texas State, and St. Edward’s University will be hosting a “Networking Bingo” that will give students a chance to meet other students and other local Austin- area communication professionals, work on interviewing skills, and discuss recruitment opportunities on Friday March 13th at 5:30 pm.

The St. Edward’s University Chapter will be live tweeting at the Assembly and "Bingo Networking" from @SEUPRSSA and from personal twitter accounts. Students will also be posting information on the Chapter blog and Facebook account.



Courtney Medford

St. Edward’s PRSSA Secretary

Monday, March 8, 2010

PRSSA Podcast for St. Edward's University 125th Anniversary Celebration

Show Notes

00:06 – Introduction to Podcast show

00:19.3 – Description of episode

00:13.1 - Introduction of hosts and guests

00:48.5 – Overview of 125th campaign

01:16 - Sara asks about campaign, and why focus specifically on 125th year?

03:03 – Incorporation of social media sites in campaign

08:59 – Service challenge

11:14 – Ally asks about incorporation of “real-life Topper”

12:08 – Upcoming events on campus

13:19 – Conclusion of interview

Sunday, March 7, 2010

If at first you don't succeed or try, try again..or should you?

According to this week's reading "A Persistence Paradox," created a studied that tested the popularity of uploaded web video from YouTube based on how frequently someone uploads content. The results found that the more persistent you are, the less likely you are to have any success with your uploads becoming popular by an audience. What?

After reading only the first few pages of this study, I will admit that I was very confused. I was under the impression that a person who uploads more and more videos will begin to create an audience because people will be interested in what he or she might upload next. To my surprise, the wording of the study made it appear that this is not true and a person who routinely uploads video content somehow will "annoy" other users.

Reading a bit further, I discovered that the reason behind the study's finding is really that older video uploaders are less likely to create hits on their video than newer ones. A possible solution to this paradox is that amateur video producers and uploaders take less time than say, professional YouTubers, therefore the quality of their work is less than professionals. We then would want to watch something made with more substantial content by professionals than a YouTube video that is made by your average joe.

Even though this study may have supported evidence for these findings, I am still going to have to disagree. The very essence of YouTube is for ANYONE to post their videos and receive feedback. "Citizen Markerters" uses great examples of how amateaur YouTube videos create newsworthy buzz. You don't have to be a Hollywood director to make a video that people will talk about!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pillow Talk

Have you told someone "oh, that's so easy, I could do it in my sleep..." Apparently that phrase can now be true with a couple who can blog with their sleep. Adam is a sleeptalker. Not just a mumbler, but a talker who slips out more than a few Zs during the night talking about unrelated topics that is paired with some naughty humor. His wife, Karen, has audio recorded and even started a blog to showcase Adam's outrageous nighttime behavior. Friends and family describe Adam to be a well-mannered individual during the day, but as we can read from the blog, it does a complete 180 by night. I guess this can be a new take on the the phrase that a full moon "brings out the crazies a night." Full moon or not, it is definitely certain that Adam's idea of pillow talk has taken a new spin. To give you an idea of some of his loony nightly monologues, here is a sample of today's post on the blog:

Mar 1 2010

"I'm sorry. I just ate asparagus. You'll have to clean the toilet."

"There you go again, wasting decent oxygen on talking."


Seriously, is this not a great idea for a blog or what? I think it would also be beneficial for Karen and Adam to make a podcast out of this. Since Adam appears to be consistent in his sleep talking, it would be great to just make a podcast and those subscribers who sync their iPods while they are sleeping, could listen to Adam on the way to wor. Maybe include with some commentary from both Karen and Adam. Just a thought!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Who Says Facebook and Twitter are Distractions?

Recently, I was informed in Comm class at school that social media, like Facebook and Twitter can be affecting the way we right..i mean, write. I decided to look into this further because I think it is a valid statement, but is it for better or for worse? I remember a similar dilemma when I was much younger, with the new SpellCheck option for Word. Teachers and parents were frustrated that their student would not be learning an important skill, because a computer program would just automatically fix it instantly.
For a college student, social media is almost as required as a classroom textbook. We are constantly updating our Facebook status, uploading pictures, "Facebook stalking" our friends, tweeting, retweeting- the possibilities are endless. But some people seem to think this is cutting into our schoolwork and consequently making our academic papers less fluid and a series of broken paragraphs, rather than one smooth flowing essay.

At first glance, it appears to be reasonable that we are becoming too distracted with technology. If we are constantly interrupted with distractions, how can our thoughts be constructed coherently and logically into one essay? Well, there have been some conflicting reports with this issue. While some believe these distractions are hurting our writing skills, other believe these social media websites are actually helping us perform better. How? “People are more successful if we force them to move away from a problem or distract them temporarily,” observe the authors of Creativity and the Mind, a landmark text in the psychology and neuroscience of creativity.
Ok, i guess I can relate to this to some extent. It is sometimes difficult to sit at your computer continuously writing a research paper, little breaks do come handy in between. If anything, it makes me set certain goals to finish certain sections of my paper so I can reward myself with chatting and catching up with a few friends on Facebook. However, I can understand the statstic from Nucleus Research that states that an average of all company workers are on Facebook and lose approximately an hour and half of productivity throughout the workday. If you are using Facebook to avoid doing work at your job, I can see why this can be a problem. However, I think using it as an online breakroom for your 15 minutes does little to no harm.

One last thing. Many of the information we receive is relying less and less on news sources and more and more on social media. Many companies rely on getting their information for industry news, product launches, and information about competitors in one fashion or another, on the Internet. Social media, like Twitter, is exploding for providing this kind of information- you just have to follow the right people.

So is social media ruining our school papers and productivity? Yes and no. It all depends on how you use it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Podcasting for PR

This week, our PR for Social Media class discussed the dos and donts of making a podcast. To be honest, I have never subscribed, or even listened to a podcast before, I guess I just never understood what actually they were. After learning about how easy they are to listen and download, I'm wondering why I never knew this before...

Even after being introduced to podcasts, I was kind of wondering how something with limited visual cues could be useful in a PR profession. My brain was painting a picture that podcasts were just like talk shows with a few cute bells and whistles that were spliced in. But that was far from the truth. After listening to a few examples, you do not just have to interview people in can record professionals leading discussions or lectures, and use it as another learning tool in your area of study.

Podcasts are audio mp3 files that use RSS so you can subscribe to this podcasts (meaning every time you plug in and sync your iPod to iTunes, you will automatically receive new podcasts.) Because podcasts use RSS, the PR industry is benefitted because it keeps an audience up-to-date, sometimes even on-the-go. Not only is it effective with constant communication, it adds personality and edge to competition. Even though podcasts are popular, many people (like myself) have not yet experimenting with a podcasts, therefore it would be a great technique to make yourself stand out from competitors. It could also be a great addition to your blog. Instead of only conveying messages through words, it adds variety in a sea of text. Adding a podcast to a blog can provide a medium of communication for the audience to respond as well.

Podcasts are inexpensive and easy to make- I expect to see more and more podcasts emerging within the PR industry.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"People Do Business with People They Like"

In response to this week's readings, "Unveiling New Influences," discusses how engagement is the way for big brands to control their messages. Before with traditional methods, companies specifically handpicked their messages with regards to certain targets. However the personal side of these messages were not fully developed until the socialization of the web emerged, creating new dissemination to all web-users, not just direct demographics.

Creating a community based network is now more important than ever. It is important to build relationships with people, because now it is enforced. We have reached a point where telephone and newspaper is not the only desirable means of communication, we have emerged into Web 2.0, where you are able to email, blog, IM, Wave..all methods that mimic more and more real life communication (but still with limitations.) In order to build your community, you must engage with the people around you (both within your industry and your customers as well). Instead of just forming one way messages to inform your consumers, you now must LISTEN.

Listening is the key to building relationships. Without listening, you would not be able to hear your consumers and respond to their needs. This may mean completely reinventing your product or making minor adjustments, but either way, you will be eventually coming out ahead. This concept of engagements redefines the way consumers are able to instruct and critique the products we want to buy, which is extremely helpful to brand marketers. Their role is now not only to put out the messages, but be receptive to their own messages and to the others around them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Some of you might remember that awful YouTube video of two Domino's employees tampering with a customers food..Yes, I will spare you the details for those of you who do remember. At first, it seemed to take Domino's awhile to get onboard with their damage control tactics, but they eventually managed to install faith back within the customers. (with a LOT of help from Twitter)

After the pitfall with the two employees, Domino's built up customer relations through a Twitter account "dominos." Today, I am scrolling their twitter home page and I can see they are not only promoting their newest promotion "The Pizza Turnaround," but are working to respond to individual customer needs, which goes a step beyond a marketing tool, but sustainable PR relationship. I search at the official Domino's Twitter account and saw that their page was filled with replies to individuals, meaning their goals go far beyond selling a few pies...they care about their customer's satisfaction.

Not only did Domino's improve their customer relations with some social media, but their pizza too! The company's new campaign, "Pizza Turnaround," required Domino's to listen to some of its harshest critics and make a change to their needs. Domino's would browse through their tweets and print out negative feedback in order to address the needs of their customers. WOW. So I guess you could say this is not just Domino's Pizza, its the "People's Pizza." Still, Domino's has not pumped the breaks on its social media. The official "Pizza Turnaround" website includes a feed where tweets can be seen about the new pizza flavor using the hashtag #newpizza.

As for me, I'm pretty partial to a local pizza place, Conan's, here in Austin. Although, I'm definitely willing to give Domino's a shot, for social media's sake

Here is the YouTube video of "Pizza Turnaround.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Toyota Can't Catch a Brake

You may of heard about the recent problems today has been facing lately. I have caught bits and pieces from overhearing the news and seeing a few headlines on the internet. Toyota has been doing 24/7 damage control on recent "brake breakings," that have caused alarm for many customers. For me, I have always known the Japanese to be reliable producers (they may not invent anything-but at least they know how to build something good) so I was rather surprised to see Toyota going through such a crisis. I am a proud owner of a Rav4 and love it.. I am wondering what has gone wrong, but more importantly I'm wondering how Toyota is handling their situation. If Toyota's PR team is managing it anything like the Domino's fiasco, well we have a problem.

Well, at least Toyota took the right steps in their crisis management...but it took them a few pushes and shoves just to get them out into the media. In the early part of 2010, Toyota began a series of recalls that were not paired with answering and consoling customers about their safety. Toyota now has several TV and radio ads announcing their recalls, but are trying to instill faith back into the people. To me, Toyota's only mishap was timing..but timing is everything right? Better now than never.

Milk and Cereal

"Citizen Marketers" has coined a great name for all of those ametures out there who are promoting a big name for a company or organization. One of the funniest things I read was how the creation of a simple idea of creating a silly video made a big hit for many cereal brands. One day, two boys uploaded a video on YouTube calling it "Milk and Cereal," that became viral. Many other teens had replicated the idea, but with other cereals besides the original (Apple Cinnamon Cheerios). With a few simple, corny lyrics, the videos all became a hit creating many smiles for many of the cereal brands.

Here is a snippet of the lyrics:

Milk and cereal (milk and cereal)
Milk and cereal (cereal and milk)

Milk and cereal (cereal, cereal)
Milk and cereal (cereal and milk)
Cereal and milk (x12)

I don't want my Wheaties, give ‘em to the needy
Feeelin' kinda greedy, I keep them for myself
I keep them for myself

No Grapenuts..
For Grandma....(Grandma eats a bran muffin)
Mom likes Special K.........
You can't pinch an inch
You can't pinch an inch (x5)
They're magically delicious...
Keep your hands off my Lucky Charms
(pink hearts, yellow moons, blue diamonds (blue diamonds), green clovers)

Milk and cereal (milk and cereal)
Milk and cereal (cereal and milk)

Milk and cereal (milk and cereal)
Milk and cereal (cereal and milk)

Milk and cereal (milk and cereal)
Milk and cereal (cereal and milk)

Milk and cereal (milk and cereal)
Milk and cereal (cereal and milk)

Milk and stereo (stereo, stereo)
Milk and Cereal (cereal and milk) (x5)

Milk and Cheerio-eo-eo-eo)

In the morning at the table (milk and cereal milk and cereal)
Snap, crackle, pop
Snap, crackle, pop (x6)

Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs
Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs (x7)
Trix are for kids
Trix are for kids (x10)

In the morning...
At your table....
Milk and Cereal.... (x2)
Cereal And Milk....
Milk and Cereal....
Cereal And Milk...

No Grapenuts..............

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wave Goodbye?

This week, the reading for my Social Media for PR class tackled the mysterious Google Wave. After reading about all of its useful features, like email, IM, WebChat, message boards, and wiki, I decided to take a stab at it.

I didn't slice very deep, barely did I even make it to correctly uploading a photo.. Wave is confusing to a new user. Well, that's to be expected, I remember feeling completely lost with the new concept of Twitter. Part of the problem is the "lonely experience" I felt because I had only two contacts. Once I dived into reading more about Google Wave, the more I realized it is not so different from the technologies I have already been exposed to, it just surprising to see it all wrapped up in one.

I decided the wiki-feature of Wave is something very different. If I make a "wave" (the equivalent to an email), my document can be edited by the people I send it to. Weird? In my opinion, I would see that as a huge problem because how could the document be trusted if it was sent to a large quantity of people. For instance, say Wave took part as an internal email system for a corporation and was used to communicate about business meetings, events, and other corporate business, one individual could alter a date or time- which could be annoying.

On the other hand, I look at this for class projects and assignments as a great tool. If you are in a group with Snobby Sally or Cranky Chris, you might have zero initiative or ambition to ever actually meet with them, but the project has to get done somehow. With Wave, you can upload a document and send it to the unfortunate group members and work collaboratively on it (you can even use the IM to chat about your ideas/suggestions while editing the document).

Is Google Wave a hit or miss? I'm not sure it's effect yet because not everyone has access to it. From reading a few articles from class, I see it MIGHT have some potential in the future.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

SocialBowl Sunday

Whether or not our favorite team made it to play in the legendary Superbowl, we are more than likely to tune into the action for the quest for the ring or tune into to some of the best commercials of the year. As a Dallas Cowboy fan, I am not so much interested with either the Saints or Colts, but I will admit I am excited about the new buzz circling around that advertisers are taking a new approach to their commercials.

Think about it.. You and at least 10 of your close friends piled on the couch around the T.V., passing the chips and dip, and popping a few beers. It's an advertiser's dream to have this many pairs of eyes tuning into the network, so a boring commercial won't make the cut. And with commercial spots soaring well over into the few million dollar range for just 30 seconds, no pennies can be wasted with mediocrity. Advertisers again are now having to think outside of the box (literally) to get audiences interacting with their brand from the T.V. to your computer or cell phone.

Audi is taking a stab with social media advertising with it's new campaign to promote an earth friendly diesel fuel. For better or worse, the people are talking, well tweeting, about the series of videos posted on YouTube known as the "Green Police." Even though this seemingly controversial name may be making quite a stir, there is still no such thing as bad publicity..people are still talking.

Well, one of the biggest companies that will be MIA for the Superbowl is Pepsi. Pepsi is completely opting out this Sunday and taking its new campaign, "Pepsi Refresh," which is leaving competitors like Coca-Cola chuckling about their decision. Coca-Cola will be using BOTH Superbowl ads to promote their Facebook page to support Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Why not take advantage of T.V.'s most popular Sunday and connecting it to technology's latest buzz? Denny's, Doritos, Unilever, and VW seem to agree with the approach as well. Unilever will be connecting with Twitter to engage audiences having them tweet about their Dove ads.

Whatever team you will be rooting for this Sunday, the winning team will be in the limelight for maybe a day or so. I don't know about you, but the next day I'm not talking about the game, I'm talking about the commercials. We will just have to wait and see which social media snap will launch the "Hail Mary" hype and ultimately lead to a W.