There Are More Rules to Social Media Than Life


It’s no secret that we live in a media driven society, particularly social media driven. Generally speaking, as a society we have become increasingly impatient and we want information disseminated across all platforms as quickly as possible. With that, companies and institutions have this constant pressure to please their publics with quick, interesting and relevant information.

After a few social media fails within the past few years, we have all seen what that pressure can lead to.

The Social Media Governance website is an extremely beneficial tool in order to gain a better understanding of how a variety of companies, agencies, and even educational institutions manage their social media policies.

I compared Kansas State University (KState) and Coca-Cola’s social media guidelines with one another, and although I did not find the results to be very surprising, I definitely thought the differences were worth addressing.

Coca-Cola   VS.    KSU-logo-PMS-268

As I initially scrolled through both websites, it did not take me long to realize how detailed Coca-Cola’s was compared to KState’s…honestly, probably double in length.

Even though I was tempted to contribute to the laziness of our society and skim through most of the paragraphs on both sites, I actually paid a decent amount of attention to each paragraph…key word: decent.

With that said, even through my “decent” reading, it was very clear how much more restricting Coca-Cola is regarding employee’s online communication.

This didn’t surprise me though.

Obviously, Coca-Cola is a massive company, so any minor mistake throws off their entire reputation…including a single tweet. When working for a company like Coca-Cola, your personal social media is just as much of a representation of the company as your professional involvement is. Even if you may not be Coca-Cola’s online spokesperson, you have to act like one, and abide by all of the rules that the assigned online spokesperson does.

With KState, after reviewing their guidelines (notice that I said guidelines and not principles, which is how Coca-Cola refers to them), as an education institution, they take a more relaxed approach.

Now, of course KState recognizes that they too have a significant reputation on the line as a university, but because of their role as an educational institution, they encourage students and faculty to have a voice within the University.

That said, they are not telling their online users what to say, what not to say, how to say it, what to look for; they simply remind them of the ground rules when using social media, all while maintaining a positive reputation for KState.

When representing any company, agency or institution through social media, you always have to be extremely careful; it’s imperative to know who you work, what they stand for and what regulations they have in place.

If you’re working for extremely large, respected companies or agencies, such as Coca-Cola, you may want to leave any online communication up to the online spokesperson, while educational institutions employees or students should use the lack of restrictions regarding the online communication to their advantage.

You Really “Butchered” It This Time, KitchenAid

With the extremely fast paced and high pressure social media world that we live in, it is so easy for individuals and even big companies to make an accidental, but like we’ve always been told, “Once you put it out there, it’s out there forever.”

KitchenAid is a perfect example of what NOT to do!

In 2012, when Obama was reelected as President, customers really got a sense for how KitchenAid felt about it.

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Although the tweet was promptly deleted, it was still out there long enough for millions of people to respond, and even worse, screenshot the tweet. When I went to search for the image above on Google, all I had to type was “KitchenAid,” and rather than their different kitchen products coming up as primary suggestions, the first suggestion was, “KitchenAid Obama Tweet.”

This tweet was posted due to the fact that the particular employee, who is normally responsible for KitchenAid’s Twitter handle, accidentally tweeted this off of the company’s Twitter page, rather than their own personal page.

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Personally, I still don’t see that as an excuse because when you are an employee of a company you are representing them 24/7. In some cases, your actions and words are direct representations of your employer and what they stand for as a company. Especially with the lack of grammar in this tweet, in my opinion, I think that an employee should maintain professionalism at all times, especially on their personal Twitter page due to the fact that nothing is truly private on social media no matter how secret you make your settings.

I believe that KitchenAid did handle this situation well. They immediately deleted the tweet and tweeted out their sincerest apologies, and were extremely sensitive to Obama and his family during that time. KitchenAid’s Senior Director of Marketing also immediately released a statement to various media outlets:

“During the debate tonight, a member of our Twitter team mistakenly posted an offensive tweet from the KitchenAid handle instead of a personal handle. The tasteless joke in no way represents our values at KitchenAid, and that person won’t be tweeting for us anymore … I am deeply sorry to President Obama, his family, and the Twitter community for this careless error.”

An easy and inexpensive way that I think companies can avoid the mix of personal and professional lives, especially when it can cause a blow up for the company, would be to provide your employees handling the company’s social media accounts with a company phone. It should be required that the company phone is solely for that particular employee’s work email, as well as any and all social media accounts that they are responsible for.

You’ll get em next time KitchenAid! Hopefully.

 

The Key to Success Behind Content Marketing

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Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG) was recently named the #1 media agency in world. Pretty amazing, right?

Having the opportunity to hear from an employee, a recent Marquette graduate that is (*raising the roof motion*), who works for one of SMG’s many internal brands, LiquidThread, was an eye-opening, and extremely informative experience.

SMG and everything that their agency has to offer is nothing short of a success. I mean why do you think I applied to intern for them this summer? Because they’re amazing!

SMG is committed to their clients and they are constantly applying the latest digital trends to all of their brands just as quickly as the trends are popping up and continuing to evolve.

In regards to the media field and the endless list of global media agencies, SMG is an extremely respected company, and to have the opportunity to work for any of their internal brands is about as good as it gets!

Manager of Brand Content at SMG’s LiquidThread, Joe Buzzelli, introduced our class to a whole new world of brand content, particularly regarding how to understand brands, how to maintain relevance within your brand, and how to be the best brand among your competitors.

“Yes, you absolutely need to understand content, but first, and more importantly, you need to understand people.”

I couldn’t help but quote Joe word for word on that because of how beautiful it was – yes, beautiful. It is such a simple thing to remember, yet so many brands forget this. Too many brands nowadays are so focused on developing the most creative content that they forget about their audience, the sole facet and drive behind why they are creating that content in the first place.

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During the first stages of creating content, brands need to step back and remember why they are doing what they are doing, but more importantly, who are they creating what they’re creating for.

In order to stand out and be the most successful brand, it’s imperative that brands create stuff that people love and will feel immediately attracted to, whether it be physically or emotionally, or both.

Brands need to fully understand the needs, wants and passions of their audience.

When brands are able to identify their target audience as people, rather than consumers, then, and only then, is when they will truly succeed.

“Let’s Get Digital!”-Laughlin Constable

Have you ever walked into a room, sat down, and started listening to what is being said and just felt so unintelligent? Yeah…that’s kind of how I felt at this year’s Digital Summit hosted by the Diederich College of Communication and Laughlin Constable, but in the best way possible, I swear.

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This year, we were able to gather speakers from extremely well-respected companies such as, Google, Spotify, Microsoft, Laughlin Constable and many many more. That said, now do you kind of understand why I didn’t feel like the brightest bulb in the bunch? I mean seriously, these speakers were incredible. Their expertise in everything digitally related was extremely commendable and inspiring, especially for me, a student currently studying and hoping to pursue a career in the digital media field. This year’s speakers taught me so much more than I could have possibly ever learned in a classroom.

Although I gained a tremendous amount of insight from all of the speakers, I would have to say that one of the best speakers was Laura Markewicz, the Vice President of Digital Strategy at Laughlin Constable. Her insight regarding the future of our digital world and the various keys to success was fascinating.

Laura’s Top Five Rules for Success in the Digital Field:

1.) How we use technology is what matters most. By itself, technology means nothing, it’s how we apply it.

2.) Never think like a marketer, think like a human! (This was said more than once throughout the course of the entire Summit, by multiple speakers)

3.) Dare to be different! Do the opposite! Step out of your comfort zone because that’s the only way that changes will continue to evolve.

4.) Disruption happens every single day, and we need to embrace those changes.

5.) Stick to your roots. Never stop telling stories! You need to tell stories that entertain, inform and inspire in order for them to be most effective.

Later in the day, Laura’s boss, Mark Carlson, the EVP of Strategic Planning at Laughlin, really emphasized Laura’s final rule for success. He explained that as humans, we process over 700 words per minute because of the various amounts of thoughts that are running through our head. The only time that we are able to genuinely focus is when we are being told a good story. Good story telling is what marketing needs to be today, especially with all of the outside distractions.

One of the most memorable quotes from Laura’s presentation was actually from Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, he said: “Do something. Either lead, follow or get out of the way.”

 

The Trendiest of Trends

If you’re anything like me, or have crawled out from under your rock, you have accepted that Instagram is the greatest thing that has happened since Mean Girls.

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Slowly but surely, several companies are recognizing the prominence of Instagram as a content platform. Users may have recently noticed those random, sponsored Instagram ads that pop up in your feed, or the companies that are beginning to “conduct” the “Instagram ad train” (One of my many corny metaphors, but let’s go with it).

Throughout 2016, Instagram users should expect to see many more brands jumping on this train. Personally, as someone who is very active on social media, and has become extremely passionate about this field through my studies of media, advertising and brand reputation/management, I am thrilled for this Instagram ad trend to develop even further. Jonathan Long from Market Domination Media claimed, “Creative advertising content on Instagram will dominate the first half of 2016.”

That said, like any other trend that companies try to pick up, it has to be done perfectly in order for it to be effective. The harsh truth in the advertising world, especially when thousands, potentially millions of dollars are being spent on ads, is that it must be done correctly from beginning to end, or don’t do it all.

Plan your work, work your plan.

So…what exactly is this trend all about and what does it mean for brands?

This developing Instagram ad business allows brands to truly create and easily disseminate their brand itself, as well as the brand’s visual identity right into the hands of their current and future clients and customers.

As of recently, Instagram ads have allowed for much more accessibility and interactivity between a particular brand and its followers, clients and/or customers.

There is a price tag attached to just about everything in advertising, but if brands are serious about getting on board with this trend, they can (and should) pay for the option to include links and call-to-action buttons in their posts. The simplicity behind clicking a link or button and being directed to the brands homepage, product or event is one of the best and most beneficial features for organizations looking to increase their market of consumers.

Two more features of Instagram ads that I believe are significant contributions to the success of the ads are the sponsored ads, which are generated from Facebook interests, as well as the fact that these are pictures or videos that people don’t need to go out of their way to see, but have already been implemented into users everyday Instagram use.

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According to Adweek, Instagram will be using the same interest-generated technology that Facebook uses. When brands create sponsored posts, those posts will reach a very specific set of Instagram-user feeds due to users interests generating from their Facebook interests, allowing for a “cross pollination” between the two platforms. This feature is an incredibly easy and strategic way for organizations to reach their niche target market.

Another aspect behind the Instagram ad trend, which will make it so successful, is how easy it is for organizations to communicate their brand through one simple picture or video. We live in such a fast-paced environment, especially in regards to technology, that we have become incredibly lazy.

Honestly…I applaud you if you have gotten this far in my blog post considering how much people HATE to read. Unless a headline is telling me that someone will pay for all of my future student loans, I have no interest in reading past the first paragraph of an article or post on any social media. The easiest and quickest way to grab viewer’s attention is through a picture. According to Adweek, a successful brand never forgets the 20 percent rule; there should never be more than 20 percent of text in an advertising image.

All in all, brands are not going to want to miss out on the Instagram ad trend in 2016. Hop on board (my hypothetical Instagram ad train) and let the pictures do the talking!

 

Signing off…for now.

 

What is (Inter)National Marquette Day?

No, Marquette does not have a homecoming, but we do have National Marquette Day. National Marquette Day is equivalent to Christmas morning for Marquette students and alum from all over the globe; it is truly the greatest day of the year. This year, National Marquette Day is Feb. 27, 2016.

It is yet another opportunity to pay for overpriced basketball tickets to watch our team lose (especially considering we are playing the #1 team in the nation this year). It is day where you can wear an obnoxious amount of blue and gold and feel absolutely no shame because thousands of people in Milwaukee and across the globe are doing the exact same thing. But more importantly, National Marquette Day is a day to celebrate how much we love Marquette University as our forever second home.

The best part about National Marquette Day is that there are so many events that have been organized to bring the entire Marquette family together.

  • Event: Basketball Game
    • When: Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 1 p.m.
    • Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center
    • What: The biggest event of National Marquette Day is by far the basketball game! This year, our men’s basketball team will be playing Villanova, who is currently the number one team in the nation (that should be interesting).
  • Event: Basketball Game Viewing Parties
    • When: Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 1 p.m.
    • Where: Bars across the globe!
    • What: Across the globe, there are viewing parties to watch the basketball game at bars. What could be better than drinking your favorite beer, watching your favorite team, and hanging out with your college buds?
  • Event: Pep Rally and Fireworks
    • When: Friday, February 26, 2016 from 6 to 7 p.m.
    • Where: Parking Lot F (across from the Al McGuire Center)
    • What: Enjoy some chili, s’mores, hot chocolate and many more treats with President Lovell, Coach Wojo, and hundreds of other Marquette students and alum. And who could forget about the fireworks that are scheduled to start National Marquette Day off with a bang? Best part about it all is that it’s FREE!
  • Event: Late Night Marquette
    • When: Thursday, Feb. 25 at 9 p.m.
    • Where: Varsity Theatre
    • What: Late Night Marquette has organized a FREE show featuring Mentalist Sean Bott. Be prepared to be amazed with Sean’s mind reading, telepathy and fortune telling performance. The LA Times said that Sean is a “crazy mix between Jack Black and Criss Angel.” You won’t want to miss this!

For more information on all of the events, go to National Marquette Day’s official website: www.nationalmarquetteday.com and spread your excitement for National Marquette Day and share all of your pictures and memories from the day with the hashtag,  #nationalmarquetteday.

No matter where you are from, or what year you have graduated or will graduate in, WE ARE MARQUETTE!

 

Signing off…for now.

 

Top 5 Super Bowl Commercials…According to Me

The Super Bowl is one of the most viewed and talked about television program every year. Why though? Is it because of the two teams playing that particular year? Is it because of the halftime performance, and possibly how horribly wrong it went (cough cough, Janet Jackson)? As a communication student, but more importantly, as a regular human being who likes to be entertained, I think what brings the most attention to the Super Bowl are the commercial ads.

After briefly watching the 2016 Super Bowl, I have picked out my top five favorite commercial advertisements. In no particular order, they are…

Doritos Ultrasound

What better way to sell your product than through humor? Unfortunately, though, like every year with Super Bowl commercials, there is always one, or a few, that is considered to be controversial, and this year it was this Dorito’s commercial. For me personally, I think Doritos did a great job exemplifying their humor and creativity through a short story.

Colgate Conserving Water

Wow. Shout out to Colgate for this genius commercial. I know I said I didn’t have a particular order for my top five, but I think this was my favorite commercial ad for 2016. Rather than throwing their brand in your face, Colgate told a story, appealing to their viewers emotional side. For people like me, who prefer Crest over Colgate, after watching this commercial, I respect Colgate more as a brand, and tbh (to be honest), I would absolutely consider buying one of their products.

Hyundai First Date 

This commercial used a double-whammy strategy by not only using humor, but using a famous person to capture viewers attention into watching the commercial, but more importantly, to draw them into their brand and its products. I appreciate the creative spin that Hyundai took by telling a story while subtly showing off their product. 

Hyundai Ryanville 

I guess Hyundai was willing to spend a lot of money this year by bringing in actors who are very well liked. I mean, who doesn’t appreciate a little man candy…yeah I’m looking at you, Ryan. Hyundai did a great job this year by focusing more on the story-telling tactic, while still subtly bragging about their cars and their special functions. 

Heinz Wiener Stampede

What I liked the most about this commercial was that you had no idea what the commercial was about, or which brand it was going to represent. For me, I believe that that is one of the best tactics to use because it creates curiosity among viewers, forcing them to continue watching, and ultimately (well, hopefully), bringing more attention to your brand in such an easy way! And come on, who isn’t immediately drawn into a commercial with dogs frolicking in an open field? 

That’s all I got for this weeks blog post! Until next time!

Oh…and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Signing off.

The Question Every College Student Gets Asked At The Holidays: What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?

Coming to Marquette, I initially had a double major in secondary education and mathematics. I had always been one of those people who knew exactly what they wanted to do ever since they were a little kid, and for me, I knew for an absolute fact that I wanted to be… no, better yet, I was born to be a teacher.

After finishing my second semester of freshman year, I had come to the conclusion that I absolutely, positively, did NOT want to be a teacher, especially for math. It was in April of my freshman year that I had to find a new passion.

It was difficult to accept the fact that what I thought I was put on this Earth to do, was in fact, not at all what I wanted to do. This transition was far from easy, but after doing my research and having long discussions with my family, I knew that I had found a new career path.

After taking multiple PR courses at Marquette, I can confidently now say that I have never been more passionate about something than I am about PR.

When people ask me why I love PR so much, my response is the same every time; it’s simply because I love people, and I love working with and learning from people who are just as excited and passionate about this field as I am.

PR majors are lucky because there are so many jobs that are available under the big “PR umbrella.” For me, I have a list of “dream jobs.”

Down the line, after gaining some PR experience, I would absolutely love to work internally for a company or organization, and further develop its internal communication. Because I am a people-person myself, and an even bigger people pleaser, there’s nothing I want more than to create a working environment where people are happy, motivated, and most importantly, have strong communication among one another.

Another PR area that I would love to work in, which I think is often forgotten about, is event planning. I consider myself a very organized and creative individual, and would love to apply both of those skills in the event planning field. I would love to work for Ryan Alexander Events, a company that plans some of the most featured and recognized events in Chicago.

No matter what job I end up having, one aspect that I know will be a part of my future career is that it will be in Chicago.

Whether I end up working internally for a company, or become an event planner, or end up somewhere I would have never guessed, my PR education will come into play every moment of every day (HA! That rhymed! Maybe I should be a poet instead?). Any-hoo, I am confident that my background in PR, especially regarding relationships, ethics and transparency, will help me with any position that I choose to fulfill. I believe that my strong people skills will play a significant role in allowing me to connect with my clients, and ultimately creating that strong and trusting relationship with them.