Social Media Bookmarking and Diigo

 

I have recently created an account with Diigo, a social book-marking site that I’m sure will prove to be a resourceful forum for me in the near future. I have attached a link to my Diigo account, which includes a variety of social bookmarks like my favorite blogs, important social media sites, and pages that I have stumbled across and found interesting.

This site in the short time that I have had it has already provided me the opportunities to bookmark some really interesting sites that I have come across. I have also used to site to bookmark some of my old favorites to make them all readily available in one location.

To visit my Diigo click: here!

Diigo provides a unique opportunity for people to share the social media sites that they find the most intriguing. This resource can be especially useful for students, especially those working in groups. Recently, I have been working on a research proposal for my qualitative research class, and although we have not yet utilized Diigo, I think my group members will be open to the idea of sharing links on Diigo.

Say I am researching our topic, and I find some really great academic articles that are really relevant to our thesis and would be really useful for my group mates. All I have to do is bookmark the article and my peers can access the article from anywhere by simply signing onto my Diigo and opening my bookmark. So simple, right?

Diigo’s benefits can also reach far past the classroom. Pre-professional organizations like Florida Public Relations Association and AdFed can create Diigo accounts to share professional articles amongst themselves and learn as much a they can from each other. If an organization was having a guest speaker come, Diigo would be a good way for them to share that speakers work so they can all become familiar with the speaker before his arrival.

Sites like Diigo can be utilized by people in all walks of life, especially PR professionals and students! Hopefully social bookmarking sites like this will catch on and become more popular!

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Tosh.No

Daniel Tosh has always been one of my favorite comedians. I religiously tuned into his show, Tosh.0,  every week, and even dropped an ungodly amount of money to see his tour live when it came to Tampa last year.

Tosh’s comedy thrives off of being offensive and vulgar, and it appeals to my generation; it has clearly made him one of the most successful comedians of today. But when does a line get drawn between what is appropriate for television broadcast and what is strictly too offensive to be socially acceptable.

I was curled on the couch watching Tosh.0 with my boyfriend this week when a seriously disturbing segment of the show was aired. Not only did I have to leave the room, but I have no desire to watch the show any time in the near future because of this one clip. The portion of the show called “web redemption” is a segment in which Tosh brings in a viral video superstar and gives them a chance to redeem themselves on air for their stupidity or clumsiness. The segment has featured famous YouTube stars, including the bed intruder song phenomenon Antoine Dodson and National Anthem butcher Natalie.

The web redemption I was offended by was for a politician who had a tantrum on his campaign tour and became a popular YouTube target. The segment featured an interview with Phil Davidson and proceeded with a shot of Davidson and Tosh in the back of a convertible, spoofing off of the Kennedy motorcade. The scene then showed Davidson’s head exploding, making fun of the devastating Presidential assassination.

I was so offended by this and thought that there was a huge issue with making fun of such a national tragedy. The Kennedy assassination happened almost 50 years ago, yes. But, I still don’t find it to be a laughing matter.

The first amendment grants us the right to free press, but I think that there should be considerations made by producers to ensure that viewers are not being lost due to poor public relations. Where should public relations people step in? I love the Tosh.0 show and I am sure that I will give it a second chance, but I hope that Daniel Tosh, who is still my favorite comedian, will proceed with caution when making jokes about national tragedies and devastating events like the Kennedy assassination.

 

Sheen Madness

Anyone who has tuned into a radio show or television program lately has heard the news of the devastating downward spiral that actor Charlie Sheen has been suffering through.

We can’t get enough Charlie. Broadcasters and celebrity coverage agencies, like TMZ (whose cover page even features Sheen), have all hopped on the Charlie Sheen publicity train and we haven’t really heard much that doesn’t involve Sheen and his drug consuming, tantrum throwing antics. But is Sheen really the most interesting thing going on right now, or is he just a victim of the “celebrity crazy-guy trend” that popular gossip columnists seem to be creating?

I have noticed that when the media gets hooked on a celebrity, they never drop it until there is another celebrity screw-up to transfer their attention to. We have gone from Paris Hilton, to Lindsay Lohan, to Mel Gibson, and now we are onto Charlie Sheen. When is it going to get old? Videos like the one below are sweeping the  Internet, displaying a Sheen freak out. Entertaining? Absolutely. But how is this negative publicity going to effect the famous actor’s career?

We are wasting valuable media space for gossip about which celebrities are doing drugs and who is sleeping with who, when it could be utilized in a far more efficient manner. Two and a Half Men, a popular sitcom featuring Sheen and a dynamic cast of comedians, has recently been taken off the air due to the erratic behavior of Charlie Sheen, which was probably the contributing factor as to why this celebrity disaster is so heavily publicized. But, clearly the need for PR professionals in Hollywood is an urgent matter since targeted celebrities are so incapable of damage control.

Celebrities are in the limelight, all the time. Having a PR professional at hand to counteract damaging TMZ footage and gossip columns can be the difference between being a respected member of the industry, or the laughing stock of all of Tinseltown.

Hollywood is always victimizing someone, who will be next?

 

PROpenMic: A PR Student’s Most Valuable Resource

I have recently subscribed to PROpenMic for my Social Media for Public Relations course, but I think that this site will prove to be very helpful to me not only as a PR student but even as I move into a career in PR.

PR OpenMic is a forum for students, as well as public relations professors and even actively working PR professionals to network with a common interest; PR. It provides a social networking opportunity similar to Facebook and LinkedIn, but unlike these sites, it provides its account holders with the opportunity to utilize others and learn the exciting and helpful things that others in the PR field have to offer.

The benefits of PROpenMic can be invaluable to students in particular because it offers the ability to “friend” some of the most successful professionals in the field. The creator of the site, Robert French, has blossomed the account to the resourceful and awesome PR forum that it is today and within only a few years, the site has managed to gain almost 7,000 members.

The site even features a “Jobs and Internships” section where employment-seeking members can explore potential job opportunities. Building a positive social media presence, I have found, plays a huge role in landing a decent PR job after graduation. My professor, Barbara Nixon, gave my class a lecture on social media presence and since then I have been very conscious about the things I have posted.

PROpenMic is a phenomenal resource for students to use to not only build up their social media presence, but to learn as much as they can from the brilliant minds in the field of PR that have made themselves accessible through this site.

Podcasts in Education

In my time as an undergraduate PR student, I have learned multitudes of resourceful and relevant information from my professors that will be practical for me to utilize in a career setting in the near future. My professors have utilized engaged learning to ensure that I am getting the most out of my undergraduate education, and I will go into the workplace confident and prepared for a successful career. But in a generation where podcasts and webinars are so easily accessible, there really is no limit to the amount of information one can absorb not only as a student, but even after graduation and on into the corporate world.

A study done at The University of Southern Mississippi called the Pilot Project studied student aptitude in regards to podcasting and how podcasts can be used in the classroom. The study found that statistically, students were interested in “accessing instructional materials” by podcast. 79% of students were in fact in favor of the use of podcasts in educational endeavors. The slideshow below offers more of the Pilot Project’s findings:

My generation is no longer limited to the material we learn from our college faculty alone, but we can now venture out into the minds of public relations professionals everywhere with the click of a mouse. Podcasts can play an integral role in the process of preparing for a career in PR. Resourceful podcasts can be found in almost any subject area, and are free to listen to for anyone.

SocialMediaTrader* references that according to In-Stat, almost 275 million people will have access to a portable media player in 2011. That is an overwhelming number of potential listeners and to think that such a multitude of people could have access to a your podcast is definitely an incentive to share your knowledge with the world. Not only are you enlightening the minds of others with your unique perspective on public relations ideas, but creating a prepared and professional podcast presence can help build your identity and credibility as a social media and public relations professional. The benefits of podcasting are applicable to everyone, and can develop the way educators teach the young minds of today and tomorrow.

Foursquare and PR: Friends or Foes?

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A smart phone equipped with the Foursquare app is a business owners dream, especially for local business owners who acquire the bulk of their customer traffic from word of mouth and recommendations. Foursquare gives smart phone users the ability to “check-in” anywhere they currently are, including restaurants, stores, even friend’s houses and college buildings.

What’s the point, you ask? Depending on the business, many companies give free merchandise and products to the “Mayor” of their location. A foursquare user secures Mayor status by being the person with the most check-ins at a certain location within the past 60 days. Companies that give away “Foursquare Freebies” include Chili’s (free chips and salsa), American Eagle (discounts on clothing purchases), and even Dominoes (free pizza to select participants).

Now where does PR play into all of this? Really, it’s all about PR! Foursquare, which can be linked to Facebook and Twitter, is a technological method of spreading company awareness by word of mouth. I, for example, was completely unaware that a Yogurt Mountain (one of my favorite frozen yogurt destinations) was built in Lakeland until I saw that one of my Facebook friends had checked in there on my news feed. Had I not seen this check-in, who knows how long it would have been until I knew about Yogurt Mountain’s Lakeland location.

Trends on Foursquare can also be effective attention getters, and seeing that multiple friends have checked-in to a similar destination makes social media consumers want to try the place everyone’s talking about. Many social media consumers are typically pretty trendy people, and often times it is this demographic that is eager to try new and hip places. Foursquare puts businesses on the trend map and simultaneously gives companies the chance to make their customers feel significant by validating the importance of their patronage. It’s an ideal PR tool for all types of businesses. Social media experts have even made articles available on how to utilize Foursquare to benefit your business. Kyle Lacy in his article, “5 Ways to Use Foursquare for Business” gives a brief summary and how a business can capitalize on Foursquare to maximize benefits.

Foursquare can be dangerous however if you make your check-ins accessible to anyone and everyone. Giving strangers the ability to know your every move can be risky, especially when checking-in to your home. However, when used responsibly, the app is a fun and resourceful way to recommend your favorite businesses to friends and other social media acquaintances.

Social Media and Businesses: BFFs.

I have grown up in a technologically sophisticated decade, and the world of social media has boomed within my generation. Finding an undergrad student without a Facebook these days can be as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack.

Even though social media sites have millions and millions of members, some business are still scared of social media presence and its power. But in a time where a “like” on Facebook can hold as much weight as a verbal recommendation, companies need to jump on the social media bandwagon and utilize social media to spread awareness of their brand.

Social media is free! This makes sites like Twitter and Facebook ideal for businesses ranging from huge corporations to small local businesses. Customers want to feel valued by companies, so they are looking to have dialogue.

Panera Bread is a company that stands out to me for how perfectly they use social media to their advantage. On their media site, the accept praise from satisfied customers, but also take and address any constructive criticism dissatisfied customers may have posted. Just simply responding to these unhappy customers can be the difference between that customer trying your product again or spreading their bad experience to countless amounts of friends.

There is truly no way to know how much reach someone has in the social media world, which makes each user just as valuable as the other. Companies using social media sites put themselves on the same level as the customer, which can be perceived by customers as unsurpassable customer service. Companies and the social media networks should certainly be “friends”. Social media, if used properly, can be a method of connecting with your customers on a personal level and making them feel valued. Valued customers are happy customers and happy customers are returning customers.

Not only does social media presence function to establish a relationship with customers, but it also provides the opportunity to reward valued customers by “tweeting” promotions or distributing printable coupons that will bring customer traffic into your business. Some companies will offer promotions if you “re-tweet” something and I have even received gift cards for watching short promotional videos.

Businesses cant shy away from the groundswell, the have to embrace it!

CrunchIsCalling Has People Talking

It has become obvious to anyone who is involved in the social medias that companies are starting to understand the power of the groundswell. Not only have all varieties of companies established an online presence for themselves, but many of them have also been exploring creative ways to energize their product by utilizing the social medias.

Wheat Thins has come up with a fresh and innovative advertising campaign, CrunchIsCalling, that ties in Twitter with the use of their product. The commercials that I have embedded in this post are from the campaign and display the creative strategy that is sure to be duplicated by other companies in the near future.

In these commercials, Wheat Thins has incorporated Twitter into their advertisements. The ads feature a crew from Wheat Thins reading tweets about their product, than going out, finding these tweeters, and giving them a palate of Wheat Thins.

Now, why is this effective? Because when people see this commercial it makes them start tweeting about Wheat Thins, hopeful that they might be one of the lucky ones chosen to receive a visit from the Wheat Thins crew. Wheat Thins has found a way to get people to talk about their product on social media sites. This cant be considered anything other than sheer genius on the creative director’s behalves.

Another element that adds to the commercial’s effectiveness can be seen in the second embedded video, which is that the company took the initiative to respond to a tweet that read, “Hey @CrunchIsCalling I think the Wheat Thins commercials are UBER FAKE. How do they find people off their tweets?” Because this tweet had a negative connotation, the Wheat Thins CrunchIsCalling crew paid the tweeter a visit to prove the authenticity of their candid visits.

I think this is an incredible way to energize your product and the communities that use your product and get people talking about your product on social media sites. Bravo, Wheat Thins!

Imported From Detroit

Every year, countless Americans glue themselves to the nearest TV set to bear witness to the biggest annual sporting event in the U.S.

The Super Bowl hype is instilled in the hearts of all football fans, regardless of whether their own teams are playing on the most prestigious gridiron of all time. This pre-game excitement, however, is not just in anticipation of the pigskin passing and the touchdown celebration, but it also comes from the annual tradition of hilarious and creative advertisements.

This season, one particular Super Bowl advertisement resonated with me because of its impacting nature and its appeal to my particular generation. The ad was for Chrysler and it featured rapper and recording artist Marshal Mathers, commonly known as Eminem.

This ad features the most brilliant and well put together copy I have ever heard by far. It is powerful and draws in viewers to make them feel what its like to be in Detriot. I have never been to the steel city, but watching this commercial provided me with a feeling like I had been there before.

The cinematography of this ad is very well done, and I thought the camera angles gave it a unique, movie like feel.

What I believe to be the most original thing about this ad was its ability to appeal to my generation. Chrysler is a luxury vehicle that sells primarily to an older audience. What this ad is trying to do, I think, is to take a car that is normally not driven by the 20-35 year old market, and make it appeal to that specific target audience. The copy writers accomplish this by including Eminem, who has been a platinum artist for the majority of the last decade, and establishing a connection between the rapper and the Chrysler 300.

Because this commercial gives my generation the ability to correlate between Chrysler and the fresh and hip artist Eminem, I think that the advertisers will achieve their goal of establishing the brand to be a luxury car for drivers of all ages. I loved this ad and I hope that it will up the anti for Super Bowl advertisements to come.

Energizing the Groundswell

“Energizing the Groundswell” according to the author of GroundswellJosh Bernoff, is one of the most important and effective steps that a company can take in utilizing social media to it’s advantage.

To “energize” the groundswell, a company must first conduct research to find out where and through what channel their customers are communicating about their product. Are the majority of their customers on Twitter, or is that demographic more apt to Facebook? These are questions the company’s researchers must ask.

Once a community is located, the company can then take steps to energize the members of the group. If a community has not already been established, the company can form one, if a community is applicable to the product. People aren’t going to be enthusiastic and eager to blog about products like toothpaste or light bulbs, but if a company sells something that people are going to be excited about, like handbags or electronic devices, than a community is an appropriate place for consumers of those products to interact and share experiences.

Some companies partake in ambassador programs, which constitute interactions between the company and opinion leaders of communities called ambassadors. The ambassadors provide the companies with feedback on their products and in return receive rewards such as free products or first hand information about featured or new products the company offers.

These ambassador programs are inexpensive for companies to facilitate, and the reward is a substantial incentive for the ambassador, especially if that ambassador is passionate about the product and eager to help the company improve.

The book offers 5 techniques for “energizing your organization”. They are:

1.      Figure out if you want to energize the groundswell
(Sometimes companies have a lot of customers with negative experiences, and if your company is one of them, encouraging your customers to voice their opinions could be a death sentence.)

2.      Check the social technographics profile of your customers
(How actively involved is your target audience in the social media? If you are selling denture or pacemakers, the groundswell might not be the most efficient way to interact with your customers.

3.      Ask yourself, “what is my customer’s problem?”
(What problem are you solving for the customer? If you sell used books, maybe your customer’s problem is that new college textbooks are too expensive.)

4.      Pick a strategy that fits your customer’s social technographics profile and problems
(If your customers have already formed a community on their own, let them run with it! Don’t create a competing community.)

5.      Don’t start unless you can stick around for the long haul
(Energzing the groundswell can have notable rewards if you put in effort and constantly adjust your methods to be as efficient as possible. You have to commit!)