PR Campaigns – The blog

April 18, 2009

Dominoes and Susan Boyle…the powers of YouTube

Filed under: LAM Creative — allund @ 2:28 pm
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The internet is a powerful tool that can be used for good or for evil…no im just kidding. However the internet does a great a job of showing the realites of our society and ultimately it has become one of the largest tools to change opinoiuns. Is it perhaps the largest opinoun leader in th world? Im going to give you 2 examples of how the internet specifically Youtube changed the minds of millions across the world this week.

The first example is the recent Youtube video of Dominoes employees. Recently in class we discussed crisis manaement and how companies should act and react. A video was posted on Youtube this tuesday called “Disgusting Dominoes” in the video workers at a Dominoes in North Carolina handle the food that they are preparing in foul ways. By the end of the day the video had been viewed over 1 million times. In fact the orginal video has been removed but alternates have been posted and the alternates already have at least half a million views.  Dominoes reputation with in the matter of hours was jeopardized by just 2 employees and the internet. The company responded with a video of their own on Youtube.  After looking at  both the videos do you think Dominoes response was effective? Do you think Dominoes can do anything else?

Dominoes also posted a response on their web site right away. However the video they have posted has less then half of the views of the orginal video posted.

I didn’t want to end my last blog on a sour note so I also wanted to include the Youtube video of british idol contestant Susan Boyle which has had millions of views on Youtube and been featured on the National news.  Ms. Boyle lives alone  in a small “pig town” with her cat Pebbles and has never been kissed when she walked on the stage no one took her seriously until she opened her mouth. Im sure a lot of you have seen this video but if you haven’t it will surely bring a smile to your face. It reminds all of us, especially as PR practicioners that you should never judge a book by its cover.

April 13, 2009

Upcoming Presentations: Fear or Fun?

Filed under: LAM Creative — mgjersvi @ 11:50 pm
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So, we all have these major presentations right around the corner.  According to my classmates this fact is very big and scary.  For me, the presentation isn’t the scary part, that’s when I get to shine.  I don’t mean to say that I’m some world-class speaker, just that, as PR majors, that’s when we get to do what we’re best at.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be to pitch to a client without being able to really present your proposal to them.  Think about it.  If all we could do was send them a giant packet of information without having the opportunity to “sell” our ideas, our lives as PR practitioners would be infinitely harder. 

Here’s my thought: we get to present to an audience who is interested in what we have to say (at least we know Dr. Gilpin and our individual clients will be).  We are so lucky!  I was flipping through presentations on Ted with my own personal challenge in mind.  I decided to click on presentations that sounded completely boring and see how well the speakers could engage me.  It was kind of fun. 

Bonnie Bassler describes bacteria communication and makes me question the idea that I am a human.

C.K. Williams discusses his poetry, the idea of youth and something about having to pee in the sink.

David S. Rose explains how to pitch for money via powerpoint alone…a bit relevent.

Dan Dennett explains that being conscious does not make you an expert on consciousness.

So what do you think?  How are these speakers doing?  Are they engaging you?  Any tips for our own presentations?

April 6, 2009

Don’t tweet and drive, tweetcall.

Filed under: LAM Creative,Uncategorized — lehanson @ 4:44 pm

New applications continue to evolve for the Twitterverse. When doing a bit of research for this blog post I was surprised and impressed with the amount of apps I came across on the Twitter Fan Wikipage. The latest app being tweetcall. Yes, you guessed it. This app allows you to call in your tweets to avoid multi-tasking and driving. A post on gadgetell.com by JG Mason gives a run down of how it works.

Tweetcall is directed toward non-technical tweeters and users that don’t want to pay for text message tweets. It works in the same way, call in and state “What’s on your mind” in 140 characters or less. But as  Mason states in Twitter without all that annoying typing: Tweetcall, what if your Tweet isn’t translated correctly? The example he gives:

What if I say, “I am booking in Times Square on my wheels,” but what gets transcribed from voice to text is “I am hooking in Times Square in high heels.”  Embarrassing, right?  Worry not, TweetCall uses voice recognition technology developed by Quicktate which is a “highly accurate transcription service, which uses humans to proofread all messages for proper syntax, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation before they are submitted.”

A good idea that opens Twitter up to a different demographic. I’m curious to see if this app is utilized. What are your thoughts and is this something you would try out? The other aspect of Tweetcall is how it adds audio to your Twitter feed.  The phone number is toll free but it makes me wonder how the creator of Tweetcall profits. So if you have answers let me know.

March 29, 2009

Skittles, a leader in social media??

Filed under: LAM Creative — allund @ 2:57 pm
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Skittles everyones favorite candy has been the topic of talk lately on Twitter, Facebook, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, FOXnews and Adage…in fact last week they were the top trending subject on Twitter!

So whats the deal? Did they introduce a new flavor or something? No, they introduced a new website that is one of the first of its kind. The new interactive Skittles website incorporates all facets of social media. I suggest you check it out

In short Skittles took their website and turned it into one big Social Media site. The homepage has a navigation bar which includes a combination of social media sites.  The most popular so far is the Twitter feed which shows anyone who uses the word Skittles in their tweets.  One of the most interesting things about the site is that it has no filters. As far as I can see you can say anything you want and view anything that you want about the Skittles brand. They are not censoring what people are saying. You can write something positive or negative about the Skittles brand and Skittles is just letting you put it out there. The new site is getting people to talk about theirproduct whether it is good or bad.

The web site also includes a Facebook Fan page with 585,000 fans, Youtube page with over 26,000 views, Flickr page with 16,500 items and of course a information based Wikipedia page. All you have to do is click on the navagation box and it will lead you to each site.

The large number of views, items and fans are all positive numbers for the Skittles brand and has made Skittles the buzz word in the web and media world.   As I listed above this new type of interactive site has already been blogged about in the blogosphere and has caught attention from nationwide media outlets.

This site is not only innovative but daring as well. The risk is paying off for the Skittles brand.  They are reaching out to their consumers and engaging them with the tools that they have provided but in the same way they are not controlling what they are saying.

Do you think this new type of site would work for most companies? Or does it just work with Skittles because they are a candy brand?

One of the annoying things about the site is that they require you enter your age before you enter the site. Do you think this is a good or bad thing? I personally don’t care and I think it is kind of smart on their part to see what age groups are viewing their site. However some people have a problem giving up their age.

Do you think that this interactive social media based website will be the future template for company/brand websites?

One thing that we know for sure is that Skittles has created a large social media forum with this site that has caught fire! This can become a revolutionary way to interact with your consumers in a positive and non threating way. Only time will tell if it will be effective for a prolonged period and if this type of model will become a website standard for companies but for now lets just enjoy the revolutionary idea of tasting the rainbow from all angles.

March 23, 2009

School, work, interning…who needs sleep?

Filed under: Authorship,LAM Creative — lehanson @ 11:23 pm

The countdown is on. With only 6 weeks left in the semester many students are counting down the seconds until graduation, lucky for me (in my opinion at least) I’ve decided to stick around Walter’s for an extra semester to fulfill the requirements for a business minor. In the meantime I’m counting down the days until summer which means finding a summer internship and job NOW. Browsing through twitter today I saw a tweet from “InternQueen” a.k.a, Lauren Berger, about managing an internship and a job. It linked to her blog, I Am Intern , which offers a plethora of information and tips for getting that super competitive internship, time lines for applying and companies hiring, perfect for students like myself.

This particular post caught my attention because I am currently managing an internship and a job and honestly, it’s not that bad. If anything it has helped me manage my time like a pro. College is a time to take advantage of being able to have a ridiculous schedule that relies on little sleep, gaining experience, making/drinking coffee A LOT, and sucking it up so we’re prepared for what lies ahead. At a recent PRSSA meeting, the past president came to talk with us about her experience entering the work force and it was intimidating. She admit how she thought she’d have no problem getting a job with 4 internships under her belt, past PRSSA president and other credible activities listed on her resume. However, that was not the case. It took her 6 months to find a job post graduation. Internships are crucial these days and because many of them are unpaid, not having a job isn’t an option. Berger offered some tips on her blog to balancing both. Here are a few that I thought were most beneficial:

– KNOW YOUR NEEDS. Make a list of what you NEED to do over the summer. If you need to make a certain amount of money, write that down. Also, tally up the amount of hours each day you must work in order to make that kind of money.

– WORK AT NIGHT. If you don’t have a summer job yet I suggest looking for a “night” job like waiting tables. If you can find a job that doesn’t require you to be there until 5 or 6pm that is ideal.

– MANAGE YOUR EMPLOYER’S EXPECTATIONS. With both your employer and you internship coordinator be very specific with them about your time commitments. Don’t say that you might be able to stay past 4pm some days at your internship if you must be at work at 5pm. Don’t over commit yourself. Decide which hours you 100 percent can commit and tell those hours to your boss.

– BE PUNCTUAL AND ALERT. Since you will be splitting your time, it’s important to be extremely punctual. You want to show both employer’s that you can juggle two things at once and it won’t cause you to be late, procrastinate, etc. If you are tired, hide it! Make sure that you are bright eyed at your internship and at your job. Both places won’t want someone that seems to be “dragging”.

– SHOW THAT YOU CAN HANDLE IT. If you excel at both places that means double the letters of recommendation, double the experience, double the number of items to add to your resume. Your parents, employers, co-workers, fellow interns will all be impressed.

Even though I haven’t settled on what type of PR I want to pursue yet, (I think entertainment) I know that I’m in the right field because of the fact that I give 16 hours a week to the firm I intern with, without pay, yet I enjoy going every Monday, Wednesday, Friday. It’s not as much work as it is enjoyment or fun. I think this is something important for students and interns to take into consideration because if you’re already cursing a job you aren’t paid for, how much are you going to enjoy it when you’re bringing in the dough? Working and interning can be used in the same sentence, don’t be afraid to give up some time because once the countdown to graduation begins, it goes fast and in the end the experience will be worth every last second.  

March 16, 2009

Own Your Conversation

Filed under: LAM Creative,Uncategorized — mgjersvi @ 11:41 pm
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A few weeks back our class had the priviledge of hearing a lecture by SEO guru Vanessa Fox.  While speaking to us via Skype, Fox discussed several companies that failed to make themselves known through Google.  As Fox explained, it’s not enough just to have an amazing Web site, people have to be able to find it, and most people find sites by Googling.  What I found most interesting were the companies that spent millions of dollars on ad compaigns and then failed to optimize their sites.  (Apparently you have to make your Web site “readable” for Google.)   One example was the “Hang in there Jack” campaign by Jack In The Box. 

Many of us remember the moment vividly.  We were happily watching and analyzing another Super Bowl commercial when our beloved Jack was suddenly blindsided by a bus!  I, for one, was shocked and concerned.  Apparently so were others.  Thousands of viewers rushed to their computers and typed “hang in there jack” into their Google search bars, but they were all greatly disappointed.  Jack’s new Web site was not launched until the moment the commercial aired, and it wasn’t landing on Google’s top ten.  What a failure!  Millions of dollars on the ad spot and no one could Google the Web site.  While I’m still concerned for poor Jack, I’m happy to report his site is now doing well on Google.

Jack’s case and Fox’s presentation inspired me to do some of my own research.  I thought of some of my most and least favorite commercials and looked into how well their respective companies “owned” the conversation.  I’ve ranked them from least to most successful:

  • Jared the Galleria of Jewelry: He Went to Jared Campaign –  Every one of the top ten Google results when searching “He went to Jared” is a Web site bashing this campaign.  This is the opposite of what a company wants.
  • Stride Gum: Alternate Uses Campain – If you search “alternate gum uses” you’ll find Stride’s official Web site as the seventh result.  It’s safely in the top ten and it’s link is clearly labeled.
  • Dancing With the Stars Campaign – Granted this campaign does not use a tagline.  The only thing you hear over and over is “Dancing With The Stars.”  Type these words into Google to understand what it means to own the conversation.

March 2, 2009

Hold the presses….literally

Filed under: LAM Creative — allund @ 10:04 pm
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Everyday we hear on the news, internet, Facebook, Twitter and even in our classes that communication is changing.  I often wonder if this change  is a good change?

On Thursday the Rocky Mountain News printed their final edition.  The newspaper had been reporting on Colorado news for over 150 years.  On Waggener Edstrom’s blog “Let’s Define Death” president Frank Shaw talked about the certain demise of several major newspapers. Here is the list of Newspapers that he listed are in trouble on his blog.  He acquired the list from the Silicon Alley Insider.

We all know that newspapers are fading fast, but it is still sad to see them go. I remember as a child watching my mom come home every night and religiously read the newspaper. Things have changed she is lucky if she gets through one paper a week. Now she mostly gets her news from the internet because it is faster and more concise. The internet plus sites like Craigslist who have revolutionized the classifieds have helped contribute to the newspapers demise.

However I can’t help but wonder if we are to blame as well? Our generation, the generation of mobile phones wireless internet and Ipods. Have we changed communication that much that we have helped ruin an entire industry?

On ABC’s world news with Charlie Gibson there was a recent report on the declining health of newspapers. Click here to view the video. Newspapers have been the eyes and ears for small and large cities. When they can’t function on the level that they need to cities are the ones that are missing out. When papers start to loose there print editions how will that effect their content? Content in most newspapers has already been drastically reduced. When a paper looses its paper what then does it become?  A glorified blog?

How will the change of newspapers as we know them affect the Public Relations field? Will reporters have the time to even report on pitches by a PR professional?

We are left wondering what the future will hold for newspapers and what the trickle down affect will be. Instead of saving newspaper clippings are we going to be printing off blog posts?

February 16, 2009

Who Owns Social Media?

Filed under: LAM Creative — mgjersvi @ 10:18 pm
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I first heard the term “social media” in JMC 301: Intermediate Newswriting.  I was considering a story on text messaging and my teacher said I should point it in a  “social media” direction.  I had no idea what she was talking about.   This term has now inundated my life.  I think I understand how many organizations are feeling about this phenomenon: like  I’ve been training in the kiddie pool and now I’m supposed to swim laps across the Atlantic.  Despite my fears (being eaten by a shark, drowning, etc.) I plunged into the great saltiness.  I am now the proud owner of accounts on Twitter (feel free to follow me – MeganGj), Delicious, Word Press (so what if they were required for class), MySpace and Facebook.

Ah, Facebook.

As of February 4, 2009, Facebook owns all content posted on, transmitted through or pretty much distantly related to its server EVEN AFTER AN ACCOUNT HAS BEEN DELETED, and it can use your content for any purpose including advertising.

Facebook’s updated Tems of Service have caused a stir on Twitter with many tweets expressing frustration and plans to end accounts.  Several of the tweets complained about Facebook owning everything they posted without acknowledging that users freely choose what to post.  (Granted it is probably easier to vent in 140 characters than to weigh both sides of an issue.) None of the tweets I read mentioned the fact that Facebook always did own what you post.  The only difference now is that its ownership does not expire when you cancel your account, as Jacob Botter of  The Consumerist explains.

I had a minor internal struggle about this issue.  Here’s a summary of my thought process:

  • That’s messed up.
  • I can’t really explain why that’s messed up, it just is.
  • I’m finished with social media…except what’s required for JMC 417.
  • I guess I’m really frustrated that Facebook always owned my content and I didn’t know about it.
  • I guess I always knew that I had to be careful about what I posted because the Internet is forever.  Once something’s out there it’s out there for good.
  • If it weren’t for other forms of social media I wouldn’t know about this issue.
  • I guess social media is not completely evil…I guess.

It looks like I’ll be keeping my Facebook, at least for now.   I will definitely be reviewing my privacy settings though and reading those Terms of Service agreements more carefully on other social media sites.  I certainly understand why so many organizations are wary about jumping into this ocean.

What do you think?  Should we head back to the kiddie pool or keep paddling away?

February 9, 2009

Nowadays birds aren’t the only ones going tweet tweet.. Here are 5 easy ways to use a tweet to get ahead!

Filed under: LAM Creative,Uncategorized — mgjersvi @ 10:42 pm
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What is a “Tweet” you might ask? I didn’t know what it was either, until five days ago when I decided to see what all the fuss was about and I signed up for a Twitter account.

Then I learned that a “Tweet” is a update that answers the question “What are you doing?”  A “Tweet” can only be a post of 140 characters or less. When you are tweeting it is like microblogging because you have such a limited amount of space. However you can use that small amount of space to sound of about anything. These “Tweets” and Twitter have helped change how social media communicates today. 

As of November 2008 over one billion “Tweets” have been recorded on twitter.com. TechCrunch blogger Robin Wauter  reports that Twitter boasts over 6 million active users to Facebooks 120 million . Even though the number of users is considerably less then Facebook, Twitter users have influential voices especially in technology says BusinessWeek’s article Beyond Blogs .

So this made me wonder how can I use a “Tweet” or Twitter successfully as a PR practitioner? Luckily, I ran across this interesting blog, PR’s guide to Twitter.  Immediately I thought (Jackpot) I am a new user and I want to know what everyone is raving about.  How will Twitter be able to help me now? and also in my future?

Here are some of the blogs quick tips for PR practiconers when using Twitter as not only a personal but professional tool. (Courtesy of Drew B of course.)

  1. Research– (Reminds me of the R.O.P.E theory) Twitter can track issues for you by just using search.twitter.com for any topic. Not only will you see live updates but you can also find people that are specialists in a specific area of study.
  2. Storytelling– If you need help telling a story ask for it using Twitter. Twitter can help narrow your search so you know where to look before you go digging. You can also ask questions to your followers thus receiving instant feedback.
  3. Networking– In almost every job networking is a necessity especially for PR practitioners. Twitter can help you find people you already know and people you would like to know. You can find common interests with your peers and keep a eye on what events you might all be attending.
  4. Promoting– Make sure this is done tactfully you don’t want your message to be confused with spam. If you have to do PR for a product and you think that people will want to follow news about it then post it on Twitter. Sites like TwitterFeed will convert RSS (a way to get updates on blog entries, news headlines audio and video) into “Tweets”.
  5. Recruiting– Twitter can help you on any project you just have to ask. Your contacts could pass your message to their contacts and then your question could go even further. Also people have been known to use Twitter to sniff around for a new job too. In the article posted by BussinessWeek 23-year-old Amanda Mooney “tweets” that “her new resume is only 140 characters long” after she landed a new job in PR using Twitter.

With all of the upsides to Twitter, I asked myself how did I not “tweet” before? I am happy that I have found it now.

Even though Twitter isn’t exactly a rare jewel anymore, I did feel obligated to share some of its perks with you. I am sure some of you might be in the same boat as me and weren’t quite sure how to best utilize Twitters functions.

After doing some research about Twitter I have found some other sites that give some good feedback on Twitter as well. Check them out: Newbies Guide to Twitter, The Twitter-guide and Bursting the Twitter bubble .

As young PR practitioners it would be dumb not to spend some time utilizing this tool and collaborating together now!

Time is a’tickin! In a couple of months we will be practicing what we preach.

So hopefully we all will be Tweeting by then, if you aren’t already!

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