Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Jason Falls and the Ethics of Social Media and News Reporting

Last Friday, Jason Falls came to speak to our social media class.  I was insanely excited to have him speak and he didn't disappoint, because whatever kind of lecture I had been expecting, it was not the one he gave (and I mean nothing negative when I say that).  He spoke to us about the lack of ethics in social media when it comes to much of the "news" that is broadcast on mainly Twitter, Facebook, and blog posts.  But he didn't seem to lecture from a strictly social media professional outlook.  Jason Falls was once a journalist, so he (very successfully, mind you) tied in the issues of ethics from the journalistic point of view as well.  Before coming to UofL, I was a photojournalism major at Western Kentucky University so the fact that he brought the journalistic aspect into the equation really struct a positive chord with me.  Falls drew from a recent and relevant topic to help support his points; the bombing of the Boston Marathon.  

Currently in the field of social media, it's not an unknown fact that there is a consistent push to be first to say relevant on the topics, be current and up-to-date with real time marketing and reporting.  Because of this insane push, people forget that there are certain lines that you must be cautious not to cross in addition to people's lives that could irreversibly be ruined.  An example Mr. Falls used was a 17 year old track star that essentially happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and somehow became a "suspect" for the bombing.  His picture was plastered all over the internet via Twitter and Facebook and now he can barely attend classes, let alone leave his home all because his name and picture were paired with words that essentially condemned him.  Another incident he mentioned was about an individual that overheard a name given out over a police scanner as a possible person of interest (possible, not yet an actual suspect) who then turned around and gave the name to NBC.  This broadcasting company then reported this name on live television and received mass amounts of backlash for releasing this name before it was even confirmed with authorities.  As you can imagine, another name falsely tarnished. 

While I cannot argue that during times and incidents such as these, it's very easy to have emotions get high, as well as having an elevated need for answers and something to help understand.  Couple that with the need to be the first to get something out for people to read and be at the fore front of the news, it's now more important than ever to really fact check before you jump in.  Always remember, it's generally better to be accurate than first.  It's much more difficult and time consuming to fix an avoidable mistake.  Before an individual active in this area slights not only their reputation, but another innocent person's in the process, make sure what you say is true and not just myth or a temporary explanation.

There's an article that was shared with the class that ties in nicely with Jason's lecture.  Augie Ray wrote the article Ethics in Social Media Marketing: Responding to the Boston Tragedy.  While his is written less from the journalist aspect and more from the marketing and advertising side of things, I think the main point trying to be made is reached.  My favorite argument he makes discusses the Ford ad thanking the Boston first response team for capturing the last bombing suspect.  While yes, it's admirable that they attempted to show support for the individuals involved in the capture, their execution left something to be wanting.  

(credit: Augie Ray Ethics in Social Media Marketing: Responding to the Boston Tragedy)

If they had left it at a simple text post on Facebook or a tweet simply saying, "Thank you, you are true American heroes" that would have been admirable and enough.  But to turn around and release an image with their product and logo plastered all over it was going a step too far in the wrong direction.  Had they used a photo of the first responders with their logo in the corner as it is above, that would have even been acceptable.  But not what was sent out to the public.  It comes as using this tragedy to gain more advertising possibilities.   I compare what Ford did to what Jason Falls is currently doing with his company.  For any product they sell that has anything to do with Boston, the proceeds for the bought items go straight to charities in Boston.  They aren't advertising this at all because they don't want any recognition for what they are doing (which is why I didn't want to name the company).    

Before I close this out, I want to mention that I'm sure Ford has done several other things to help those affected in Boston.  I was merely pointing out that in this one case, they could have done better.  I have nothing against the Ford company at all :)

Jason Falls Twitter: @JasonFalls

Augie Ray Article

Instagram meets Blogger?? Yes, please??

So, quick thought/suggestion here while I work on the remainder of my social media campaign proposal...

Can we get Instagram to link up with more blogging websites than just Tumblr??  Not everyone uses Tumblr and it would have really helped with this campaign...

A happy suggestion!!  :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Well, it was a long time coming...HOOTSUITE CERTIFIED!!

After a bumpy road of technical difficulties, crazy finals schedules, and with no short amount of ADHD, I am finally a certified HootSuite Professional!!  And I couldn't be more excited about this.  Before the beginning of this semester I had no idea what HootSuite was or how to use it.  But after taking Dr. Karen Freberg's course as well as going through the certification process, I know without a doubt that HootSuite is a tool I hope to use in whatever professional career I end up in.

This social media tool is one that all businesses, companies, and brands should incorporate into their marketing and social media plans.  It has many organizational and analytic benefits.  For example, throughout the course of the semester, my Social Media class were separated into groups to take a department on campus and propose a social media campaign for them.  My group was assigned to the McConnell Center, one of the more prominent scholarship programs on campus.  Going into the initial meetings with our client, my partner and I quickly discovered that one of the major hurdles our client would be facing is the fact that there is currently a severe lack of manpower for any kind of social media team (we're talking one person handling all the PR and social media with little to no social media literacy at all).  We wanted to give our client a tool that would help save her time and keep her organized with all their social media platforms.  Our first plan of action, introduce the McConnell Center to HootSuite.  It allows the one person running the media show to schedule tweets and Facebook posts, as well as having all of the current McConnell Center pages in one place at one time.  There is no time wasted signing in and out of all the different outlets.  So far, our client as been nothing but thrilled with HootSuite and it has helped make her daily job more manageable. So for any companies out there that are in the same situation, I really urge you to sign up with HootSuite.

I really enjoyed how during the certification videos, they not only spoke about how HootSuite helps you to track hashtags and conversations in one area, thereby making it easier to respond quickly to any positive or negative feedback, but insight on proper ways to handle any bad tweets or messages going viral about your company.  They help with things to say or what do to if you don't have an immediate answer for an impending crisis.

My only recommendation for the certification process is maybe make new videos that are more interactive.  For people with attention deficit like me, sometimes it was hard to sit still or not kind of check out during some of the videos.  Which is upsetting because there is so much to learn about this great resource!!  If there were, say, little quiz questions after each section, that would have made the process easier to focus on as well as making sure the viewer is picking up on needed information.

My HootSuite Profile

Friday, April 5, 2013

How Instagram Can Only Get Better!!

It's fairly indisputable that Instagram is the major platform for sharing things that we love.  For all the foodies that upload pictures of their favorite meals or, if you're like me, sharing a photo of a meal you proudly cooked yourself all the way to posting about a brand you may love.  For example: a new car or the latest seasonal shade from the OPI Nail Polish line.  As Jamie Young states her in article Seven Features To Make Instagram Instantly Better, all of us are our own walking, talking advertisements (fully equipped with camera ready phones).  All seven ideas that Jamie Young listed, I completely agree with and even came up with an improvement of my own!!

Young's first idea is to make Instagram available for the iPad.  This is a fantastic idea due to the fact that large numbers of people have a tablet, a smartphone, AND a computer that they generally keep on their person at all times.  Why not have one more outlet to post on??  Back when Joey Wagner, owner of J Wagner Group, spoke in our class, he informed us about how his interns for the Kentucky Derby will walk around all day at the track, taking pictures of the fashion, the horses, anything to make the viewer feel as if they are really there.  From those iPads, they upload pictures in real to the company's Twitter account for all their followers to see.  It would be extremely convenient, as well as a fantastic strategy for J Wagner Group, to be able to edit those photos on the spot with their tablets, post them to Instagram and share those instagrammies on the company Twitter and Facebook pages.

I'm going to go out of order here and use another point Young makes to tie in with everything I just said.  How about the option to be able to use multiple accounts at once??  This could be useful for a company like J Wagner Group in case an intern snaps a shot for their own personal enjoyment (while not on the clock) to post on their own account with still being able to post for the company as well.  If you do this though, keep in mind to make sure you are aware of which account you are posting to!!  Social Media Crisis Management 101, haha.  As long as that risk is taken into account, the use of more than one account at a time can ultimately only be helpful for any brand and Instagram itself.

Syncing to the iCloud as well as the ability to make lists (like one can do on Twitter) are two other fantastic options.  Coming from someone that suffered iPhone issues with the Apple Software update a few months ago, I thought I had lost everything that had every been on my phone.  Thankfully because of the iCloud, that didn't happen.  The same essentially goes for Instagram with my pictures.  All of my important and favorite pictures are on Instagram and I feel like they are pretty safe there.  I delete things off of my computer and phone knowing that they are online on Instagram.  But what happens if Instagram crashes and all my photos are gone??  Having Instagram automatically be backed up by the iCloud is a vital thing for me. I wouldn't want any of those photos gone.  When it comes to the lists, that is more of an annoyance factor.  I don't want to scroll through my feed to look for gorgeous travel photos and only see pictures of people's coffee or inspiration quote.  Organizing the accounts I follow would help save time of I'm looking for a specific "genre" so to speak of photo.

Clickable Links, or at the very least, a Copy and Paste option for links is another improvement that Young brings to the table.  Being able to embed clickable links to open in another browser window or at least copy and share a link to take to a seperate browser is another convenience idea that would make the flow of Instagram that much steadier.

Finally, and I love this improvement so much, a character limit to captions or at the very least a read more option for captions.  It's quite frustrating scrolling through your feed only to end up reading a novel about someone's photo.  Keep it simple so that you don't lose your audience.

Now, for my own improvement, the ability to reshare a photo or when you tag another user in the caption of your photo, have that photo show up on their Instagram (as it does on Facebook).  Given that Facebook as essentially taken ownership of Instagram, I don't see how this could be a major issue.  Every single one of my friends says this about Instagram when posting photos.  A personal example of this: back in February, the fraternity that I am Sweetheart for and I went to Cincinnati for formal weekend.  There was a day we all went to the zoo and of the guy's date and I took a really cute photo together:

I uploaded it.  She loved it and wanted it on her Instagram.  In order to do this I had to either text her the picture so she could upload it from her phone or she took a screenshot of my Instagram account and then reposted it that way.  Which doesn't sound like much work but when you're running around in the sun enjoying your day at the zoo, or out at an event for work, vacation, etc. the faster you have a picture you want on your account, the better.  Everyone wins.  

If you want to read Young's article for yourself (and I highly recommend it) here is a link for you:
Seven Features To Make Instagram Instantly Better

Follow her on Twitter as well!!  I did :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tiger Woods and Nike, Newest Ad a Crisis??

If you're a fan of Nike, or follow Nike Golf, you've probably seen this ad:

(photo credit: www.wwd.com) 

This ad which claims, "Winning Takes Care of Everything" has stirred up some controversy and anger in several people.  At first I hesitated to call this an actual crisis for Nike, because I have no doubts that they are a large enough brand to walk away from this relatively unscathed, but after reading several articles and scrolling through Twitter feeds it is an issue for Nike that should not be brushed off lightly.  

Back when Tiger Woods was at the peak of his issues during the fallout of his marriage, many of the brands that signed with him dropped Woods for fear of a bad image for them.  Nike was one of the few to stand firm with him.  And while I respect their faith in him and staying with him during his return to the top, I can't help but disagree to their approach with bringing Woods back into the public.  It feels as though they went into this with the intention of, "Look, I overcame this obstacles and persevered."  Which is all well and good but to use his quote of "Winning Takes Care of Everything" was not the best route.  If people had somewhat started to forget about his past issues, this quote just brings all of that negative publicity back.  In addition, it feels as though the impression that as long as you are at the top you can do whatever is being put forth.  Any young, aspiring golfers could be led to the impression that they can hurt people, act out, etc and as long as they stay #1 it's whatever, no consequences to their actions.  I don't understand how out of the numerous people that Nike as working for them, not one person stepped back and said, "You know, there is probably a much better route to go about doing this."  

Personally, and this is completely my own opinion, if I was employed with Nike's marketing department I would want to pull this ad and release a new one with the same possible intent mentioned above but worded in a different, more positive manner.  Nike would still be supporting Woods while maintaining a strong brand image. 

Anyone that happens to read this, I would love to know your thoughts on the matter.   

Here are links to several good reads on the topic:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Running, Music and Fireworks, Horses, and Social Media

So far this semester, we have had some fantastic guest speakers in Dr. Freberg's Social Media class, and today was no exception.  This morning we had the privilege to have Robert Young, the Vice President of Public Relations for the Kentucky Derby Festival come in and deliver another very interesting presentation.  I really enjoyed how he was giving us his perspective on social media and it's uses while showing us facts about it has helped his work with Public Relations for the festival.  A lot of the major advantages for social media campaigns that he touched on were ones that have been highlighted by previous speakers as well.  For example, the importance of real time coverage via Twitter or Facebook.  Kind of like how people were tweeting about the power outage at the Super Bowl as it was happening, Robert Young and his team will be doing the same thing this year for all the Kentucky Derby activities.  Something I thought very cool (and if you enjoy fashion, you may like this as well!!) is that during this year's fashion show for the race, they will have people tweeting live by the runway all the different fashions as the models walk with designer names, the price for the outfit being worn, as well as where you can find it!!  Very handy for those that love Derby fashion and want to find their perfect Derby outfit to show off!!  Maybe you're more partial to the airshow the morning of Thunder Over Louisville??  If you're anything like my father and me, this bit of information will appeal to you.  Derby reps will be working with the air teams for the pilots and tweeting real time coverage for those on the Waterfront keeping them updated with essentially instant schedule changes.  

A second topic Mr. Young touched on was the importance of knowing your audience and making sure the timing and content of your posts are done correctly!!  I love running and have always wanted to run one of the Derby mini marathons but, like so many others, knee injuries prevent me from doing that.  However!!  If you are one of those that make a point to run the minis every year, Robert talked about how his running audience are different from the people that are only interested in Thunder and what the theme and soundtrack will be like for the firework shows.  Maybe you only want to see the Balloon Glow and watch the balloon races??  At first, the Derby team thought it was useful to have several different Facebook pages for each event or interest.  This turned out to have negative effects for the PR team.  In my mind, it seemed to be a "mistake" that needed to be made.  At the very beginning there were 11 Facebook pages for the Derby Festival.  As time went on and  the events to were starting to begin, in became increasingly difficult to keep up with all the different pages and updates.  So how did they decide to fix that??  Have one page on Facebook and one Twitter account for the Derby Festival of course!!  In regards to Facebook, Robert said that keeping your posts short and the content on point as well as relevant is absolutely imperative.  In his words, simply because Facebook doesn't have a character limit, don't let yourself fall under the illusion that you can tell one long, massive story.  In today's society people don't have the attention span to sit and read some long, drawn out Facebook post.  Keep in short and simple to be effective!!  Pay attention to analytics to find out when your page is getting the most traffic and post during those times.  For Twitter, they are using separate hashtags for each event.  That way, individual that only care about how to book a hotel for the mini marathons can follow that hashtag while those that only care about Thunder and music can follow a specific hashtag for that.   I think this is a fantastic idea and will prove to be very effective!!

A final I thought was extremely interesting was how Robert Young and the PR team used social media to keep people following the Derby festival during down time with the Derby Chili campaign in the fall.  They were concerned no one would know about it and it would end up falling through the cracks.  Not so!!  It ended up being a tremendous success because they posted about Kroger giving you a coupon when you buy beef in order to make a chili recipe to enter.  There were no advertising costs, beef sales rose up to $1.7 million, and their entry numbers shot up from, I believe it was something like 600 from a previous Derby Burger contest to over 2,000 entries.  

If you want more information on the Derby Festival, here are their pages to visit!!  


Facebook Page

Thank you for speaking today Mr. Young!!  

(photo credit: Dr. Karen Freberg)

Friday, February 8, 2013

I need to visualize this...oh look!! An infographic, how visually stimulating :)

By a show of hands, how many of you that have stumbled across  this blog are visual learners??  You can't see it, but I am raising my hand as well.  Sometimes it's a struggle to understand new information or data without it being presented in a right-brained manner.  Behold, the power of an infographic.  Finally, someone has found a way to present data in a way that can be easily interpreted for those that learn from a more "creative" presentation.

So what is an infographic??  Exactly as it sounds.  It's a graphic or picture that presents information about a business, social media stats, step-by-step instructions, etc.  You can also turn your resume into an infographic!!  It will definitely make you more memorable.  Infographics are a success for purely psychological reasons.  Infographics are another way to be transparent with your audience by putting all your information out there with a creative spin.  They are easily memorable, which you need for today's market.  Not only for competitive reasons but purely for the fact that if you can't capture a viewers attention and then maintain it in something like...5 seconds, you're already hurting.  And again, for those of us that find our strengths from the right side of our brain, it's easier for us to tap into the memory bank of our minds and recall information because we have a picture and colors to put with it.  For example!!  

(photo credit: Pinterest via KISSmetrics)

Now, if you had attempted to simply tell me this information vocally or written it out in stats form on a blackboard or PowerPoint...I'd probably look at you like you had grown another head.  But with the help of infographics and KISSmetrics, I understand the concept of bounce rates, the stats and analytics behind it, as well as how to strengthen bounce back rates and what not to do.  

Want an infographic about INFOGRAPHICS??  There's an infograph for that ;)

(Photo credit: Pinterest via AEJMC PRd)

To be completely honest, I wanted to attempt to make this entire blog post infographics (created by yours truly) about infographics.  Sadly, I ran out of time, but you can certainly go to these resources and make your own!!  C'mon, its fun :)


Infographic Tools



Videos!!  (all of which you can find on YouTube) (give credit where it's due):

I highly recommend getting on YouTube and finding videos on your own.  Some are upwards of 20 minutes long, but very helpful :)

(the above is a bit lengthy, 'round about 7 minutes)

Friday, February 1, 2013

How Is Your Prefrontal Cortext Looking?? Neuromarketing :)

Up until this year, I have never heard of Neuromarketing.  But the more I read about it, the more I love it!!  Neuromarketing is the study of a person's sensory, cognitive, and affective responses to marketing stimuli (thank you Wikipedia!!).  That being said, I'd like to discuss an article I found about how the size of your brain could have an effect on how well you are with social media and the people you are trying to reach out to.

Roger Dooley runs a website/blog (it's fantastic, I encourage you to check it out and subscribe) primarily for all things neuromarketing and neurosciences.  He wrote a post about 6 months ago titled Bigger Brain = Social Media Success.  According to his article, a man named Robin Dunbar conducted a study on the orbital prefontal cortex and how people whose brains are larger in size in this area are generally going to be better on Twitter and Facebook.  How is this??  This is the area of your brain that is strongest with things like decision making and cognitive processing (Dooley).  It has a major influence in your intentionality, which to my understanding, is the part of your mind/personality that forms representations.  These three things combined help an individual naturally have better social skills.  Better social skills means a stronger social media presence.

Now, this isn't to say that this holds true for everyone.  What struck me about this article is that it hasn't been studied yet whether this is an unchangeable factor or if with time and training, an individual may sharpen these skills.  Like learning a new language, you can better your skills with the language.

What is your opinion!!  Let's discuss (it's how you learn!!).  Are some people naturally just "better" with social media because nature gave them a better brain for it??  Nature over nurture, as Dooley calls it.  Or do you think that with time and the correct training, a person can become better than the person with the larger PFC??

 Roger Dooley

Bigger Brain = Social Media Success 

(credit for this lovely brain picture goes to www.nature.com)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blogs: Accelerated Word of Mouth!!

Well this should be fun!!  A blog post about blogging :)

In my Strategic Communications class last semester, we learned that blogs are the earliest form of social media.  And there is a reason that they have stayed prominent despite the emergence of Facebook and Twitter.  Heck!!  It could even be argued that Twitter was formed off the concept of blogging, which is understandable seeing as it is a microblogging medium.  Blogs are a fantastic way to show people your personality and to make yourself completely transparent to your audience.  Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress (to name only a few) are simple (when used correctly), yet effective ways to help readers feel connected to you, build relationships, and share stories.  For example, take this clip from BBC's television show, Sherlock set in modern day Britain.  Martin Freeman's character, John Watson, maintains a blog throughout the entire series and posts about Sherlock's and his investigations.  As an end result, the two become internet phenomenon's and everyone flocks to Sherlock for help.  Hysterically enough, John is continuously getting complimented on his blog throughout episodes.  Moral of the video: tell your story, make it true to you, and people generally will want to keep coming back for more.  

(credit to YouTube)

Still not convinced blogs are a good way to go??  Take this story that was told to me by Sheryl Connelly from Marketing Media Management.  Well you see, there's this tiny company.  Maybe you've heard of it??  It's only just Zappos.com.  There was a woman that ordered shoes for her ill mother as a present.  Before the shoes arrived, her mother passed away.  Knowing there was no longer any need for the ordered shoes, she contacted Zappos and informed them of the situation.  The representative she spoke with told her to leave the shoes on her front porch once they arrived and they would take care of the rest.  When dealing with what she was, no one should have to worry about the hassle of returning products that had been ordered online.  After speaking with the woman, the representative for Zappos told the UPS man to pick up a dozen roses for their customer and a sympathy card.  Little did they know, the women was a blogger with a rather strong following.  She told her story via her blog and the story went viral.  What we have here, is essentially what I like to think of as "accelerated word of mouth".  

While making yourself personable and transparent is massively important, there are other key elements that must be done as well to help generate traffic.  Videos.  I love videos (as you can most likely tell from my posts).  Pictures and links to other websites and resources is another excellent option.  In addition to having fun visuals, adding "tags" or "labels" to your posts make them more easily searchable and will help to bring in more traffic.  When and if someone comments on a post, comment back!!  Let them know you are aware they are there.  Engage, engage, engage :)  

To touch a little on microblogging and Twitter, it is important that when you post through this media outlet, you do not exceed 120 characters.  Many of you probably already know this, but for those of you that don't, those left over 20 characters are for people to comment with when they retweet you.  Let them have their voice.

Go forth and blog!!  It's quite fun.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Importance of Engagement: Jeff Rushton

One of the best parts of Social Media (from a business and marketing perspective) is the ability to engage with your customers and the general public on an extremely broad range.  Each individual person has their own voice and own personality to share with the world.  Being involved with customers and consumers is the main reason why I love social media as much as I do.  That being said, today's guest speaker for COMM-460 really struck a positive cord with me.  Our class had the privilege to have the University of Louisville's Director of Digital Media, Jeff Rushton, tell us his story and insights.  Despite that fact that he thought he was boring us to tears and suffering from a lack of his morning Mt. Dew, his presentation was fantastic.  

To start off with, the analytics portion of his presentation was astounding.  I didn't realize that UofL's homepage, on an "average" month (and by average Jeff meant months other than January and December) gets about 4.5 million hits worth of traffic!!  This bit of information really brought home to me just how important a webpage can be for a company or university.  Being able to attract your audience and hold on to their attention is so so important.  But Mr. Rushton didn't build this machine of a homepage so easily.  He tracks numbers and runs analytics everyday and works off of those numbers.  So anyone out there wanting to boost their homepage or maintain an audience.  Track numbers quickly after posting anything whether it be on a website, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and see if your numbers go up or down.  Never underestimate the power of numbers.  Which coincides with Jeff's other point of his presentation.  Quantify everything you do.  What Jeff meant by this, and I'm sure it's common sense for several social media experts out there, is make sure that everything you say or post means something.  Avoid posting simply to post because that's a very easy way to lose followers.  Make sure that your posts will not result in your employer looking at you and asking, "So what??  You posted on Twitter 50 times in the past hour.  How has that generated any results??"  Timing is also everything.  While tracking numbers, look for patterns in the traffic.  For example, Jeff knows not to post anything to UofL's Facebook page or homepage between 3:00 PM on Fridays and 10:00 PM on Sundays.  Traffic is at it's lowest during this time so posting anything (or a great of number of things at the very least) just seems counterproductive.  Jeff also makes a point not to post above 5 times a day.  He's noticed that anything above that (from his perspective) results in a loss of followers.

To wrap up my quick discussion of Mr. Rushton's visit, the importance of engagement seemed to be brought up quick a bit.  It's literally how he got his start with Facebook and UofL.  He started posting periodically when he would see things that people were saying on Facebook and would engage in conversations with these people that were visiting.  It's always a great feeling when a celebrity, your favorite company/brand notices a tweet of yours and responds to it.  It shows you care and appreciate the fact that they are there and (hopefully) saying nice things about you or your company.  ENGAGEMENT.  Always.  An example of fan engagement on the UofL Athletics website is a photo collage in celebration of UofL's victory at the Sugar Bowl.  Jeff and the Social Media Director for UofL, Nick Stover, created this "fan poster" with fan pictures from Facebook .  When you click on any picture, it will take you to that photo's source.  Pretty neat!!  And it makes the head of our Cardinal bird.  In my mind, it's a creative way to show Cardinal pride while giving a shout out to the fans that made the trip down to New Orleans to support their team.

If you are curious about UofL's homepage or Jeff Rushton himself, here are a few links to help you connect with them:

To connect with Jeff, you can find him on Twitter at @jeffrushton 

Cardinal Fan Poster (credit to Yahoo! News)

Speaking with us in class today :)

(photo credit goes to Dr. Karen Freberg via Twitter @kfreberg )

Friday, January 25, 2013

Just Having The Best Day Ever!! Living Life Like Stu Holden

For my Social Media class, we were asked to write two blog posts a week covering things we discussed in class as well as things that interest us.  To be honest, people interest me.  You can learn so much from every new person you meet or public figures you see in Hollywood, the music scene, or athletics.  For this weeks freelance post, I would like to "spotlight", so to speak, a personal hero of mine.  He's an individual that I find to be very inspiring and drives me to work hard, find the good in life, and keep strong faith in the paths and goals I set for myself.  He is literally the happiest person I have ever come across despite the fact that he has had a few set backs with this playing career, as you will soon find out, he has an unwavering optimism that I have yet to see anyone equal. 

Stuart Holden, a soccer (or football, depending on preference or where you may be reading this) player was born in Aberdeen, Scotland on 1 August, 1985.  He moved to Houston, TX with his family at the age of 10.  In the year 2005, after playing for Clemson University for about two years, Stu signed on with the English Football Club.  Unfortunately, shortly thereafter he was attacked outside of a pub in Newcastle for being a player for Sunderland.  He suffered a left eye fracture which, when attempting to train with the club, left him seeing two soccer balls flying through the air.  It was a very frustrating time because it left Holden wondering if he'd ever be able to play.  People told him that no team would want a player that can't see correctly to play for them.  Once that injury healed up, he then suffered an ankle injury which pulled him out of playing yet again and essentially ended his first career in England.  He never actually got to play a match during his time with the team.

In 2006, however, Holden signed on with the Houston Dynamo and would play for them until 2009.  During these years he also played for the US Men's Soccer Team in the 2008 Olympics, scoring the match winning goal against Japan!!  Stu was back in action for sure. In 2009, he played for Men's National Team where he caught the eye of clubs over in England.  Months later he signed with another English Club, the Bolton Wanderers where he still plays today.  However, during his time with Bolton, he sustained an injury to his right knee during a match with Manchester United.  It took him out of action for six months, but during this time he kept an amazing attitude, posting video blogs to his personal YouTube account so that fans could follow his progress and know that he was working hard to get back to full health.  Once healed, he played one match before the team's doctors ruled him out of playing again for continuing ligament issues.  However, just recently on January 15th, Stuart made his return to Bolton when he was substituted into Bolton's match against Sunderland after being out for almost an year and half.

His story has taught me to live life as positively as possible.  It's because of him that even when I am having a bad day, I tell everyone that it's the best day ever and finding the good in almost any situation.  Anyone that happens to see this post should really Google Stu or visit his official website (I have provided a link for your convenience) because I have only scratched the surface with this man.  Read about all the wonderful charity work that Stuart involves himself with.  Watch interviews about him and see for yourself how strong of a personality he has.  

(credit for photo goes to www.topdrawersoccer.com)

I got to meet the man himself after a Dynamo game back in 2009.  Never been so starstruck in my life, haha.  

Just a fun fan video that I found years ago via YouTube.  It's a little outdated seeing as the clips are from his Dynamo days, but I feel the Scottish Braveheart music is extremely fitting ;)

Scoring the game tying goal against Haiti and catching the eye of English clubs:

Jump Right In!! Transmedia Storytelling

A new form of social media marketing that I believe should not be written off for any means is that of transmedia storytelling.  To my understanding, when using this tactic for marketing you are not only telling your audience about your product...you are engaging them.  What better way to connect with your audience??   

Let's delve a bit deeper here, shall we??  First of off, it's very important to understand that you are not simply telling a story.  To my personal interpretation, you are taking a single part of that story and spreading it around through various media platforms.  The best example I could come up with myself are the Harry Potter books.  J.K. Rowling wrote these 7 beloved novels and shared them with the world.  Soon after, the novels were made into the movie.  But they didn't stop there.  The online website Pottermore launched, which allowed readers to dive into their loved magical world.  You travel through the books, unlocking secret items, learning spells, and gaining points for your house.  Yes, your house!!  You get sorted and can travel to Ollivander's to purchase your wand.  Living at Hogwart's via the internet not enough??  Universal Studios in Orlando build The Wizarding World of Harry Potter exhibit where visitors can travel to Diagon Alley and have a pint of Butterbeer as well as purchase an actual wand for themselves to take home (unfortunately, the magical capabilites are not included).  

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter


Another example I find to be relevant is the Lego company.  They take stories or current events all the time and build their own stories with their legos.  

or promoting The Lord of the Rings trilogy:

Still a bit hazy on the concept??  It's alright.  Here are some resources I hope you can find helpful.  

Transmedia Storytelling 101

Enjoy the video :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Please don't tag me!!" Facebook's New Graph Search

Facebook's new Graph Search feature seems to be bringing up fairly strong opinions on the ever present issue of what is really private online anymore.  For my self personally, while yes it does make me slightly uncomfortable that if someone searches a restaurant I was at, you will have a fairly direct link to my profile and pictures...at the same time, my views on privacy remain essentially the same.  Be smart about what you post.  Don't put pictures or tag yourself at locations which could lead to trouble for you.  If I am out with friends or at a party, I make sure that I'm only in photos, or personally post my own photos, that show enough to say, "Hey, night out with the girls.  We got dressed up.  Yay!!" and nothing more.  My best friend tags us at every location we go to be it our restaurant of choice for lunch, the mall, the movies, etc.  If she begins to go on a "tagging rampage", I simply ask her to not tag us so much because it makes me uncomfortable.  I rarely, if ever, check into a location.  So in that regards, my issue with Graph Search comes into play.  Because I have little to no control over what my friends post.

This may cause certain concerns for people that may be attempting to find a job with a company or already employed with someone and are actively involved online.  If a future employer sees photos of you doing things that could make the company look bad, you may not get hired.  I heard a story, I believe it was last year, about a woman that was laid off from her teaching position for a Facebook status that bashed her students.

Really the moral of the story, and I know I'm probably beating this point senseless right now, is just BE SMART.  Privacy online is dead.  Keep yourself up to date with new privacy statements and controls and regulate what you post and keep an eye on what your friends may post about you.  Google knows all, and does not forget.

For anyone that may want more information about Graph Search here are two videos that I feel give a nice idea of what it is.  This first one is shorter and gives a slightly "romantic" feel to this new feature for anyone that may already feel a little put out by it.

(credit to YouTube)

And this video that is, in my mind, slightly more detailed :)

(Credit for video goes to YouTube and Nightline)

I like this video because it raises another interesting question...does anyone believe Facebook could ever have the capacity to replace Google??  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Well then, let's get started!!

Hello everyone!!

My name is Heather Pence and I am a Senior at the University of Louisville, studying for a degree in Communications with a minor in English Literature.  I was born and raised in Houston, TX until the age of 13 when my family and I moved to the fine city of Louisville.  I am, and always will be, a proud Native Texan.  A little more about me is that I love to travel.  Getting on a plane and flying to new places is exhilarating.  I love to meet people and learn new things at all times.  As the name of my blog may hint, I am obsessed with anything England, British, or related to the UK in anyway.  To travel to that area of the world and find a job has been my lifelong dream.  It's been that way since I was 5 when I first began watching imported television shows on the BBC/PBS stations.  Music and running are what get me through the day.

Now that, that part of the introduction is out of the way, I'd like to talk about why I decided to take the class for which I am starting this blog (Social Media or COMM-460), what I hope to gain from it, and the areas of Public Relations or Advertising that I hope to get into someday and seem most interested in.  I wanted to take this course not only because of our professor, Dr. Karen Freberg, but because I have been nothing but fascinated with social media since I first joined MySpace way back in the day.  It has exploded into the remarkable field and I want to sharpen my skills to their fullest.  I mentioned in my intro that I love meeting people and building strong relationships with individuals.  To hopefully put my point into perspective, I am currently the Sweetheart for the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity here on campus.  Part of my duties is that I spread the world about the colony and help bring in new brothers.  I am a walking, talking, tweeting/Facebooking representative for these men and I've loved every second.  I want to do the same  thing for my future job.  Represent a strong company in the most positive way and help build it great and wonder things through social media.

Hopefully that answered any beginning questions.  I never had the opportunity to work any internships through my college experience so I hope this class and this blog (which I will continue after this course and graduation) will help me build a strong presence and hopefully build strong relations and networks with whatever I do.  It seems to me that we will be doing lots of hands on assignments with real world qualities that will do nothing but benefit us.