Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The NEW Rules of PR

For the entire semester my communication classes have been informing us of new ways technology, mainly social media, is shaping our lives. This week in Social Media class, we learned the specific ways that social media is changing Public Relations in particular.We have all seen examples of how social media and the internet in general is now allowing for organizations to communicate directly with its consumers. Whether or not you think this is a good thing is up to you, but no one can deny that this is happening and will probably only increase in time. Just like my other post for this week, the new rules for PR bring to mind the use of viral or word of mouth marketing. Because we are able to comment on pretty much anything online, people are relying more on word of mouth advertising. To quote Tuesday’s lecture, “people want authenticity, not spin.” Well, what better way to guarantee authenticity than to read the comments of users who have already purchased the product/have done business with the company you are unsure about? Although our lecture featured various other ways in which social media is influencing PR, I think the most interesting and relevant to me is the use of viral marketing. It’s everywhere!

Another interesting note- i wasnt aware that there was a Word of Mouth Marketing Assosciation. check it out here.

TOMS Shoes Campaign

For my Public Relations class, I had to do a case study analysis on a recent PR campaign. Immediately, I thought of TOMS shoes. Before starting this assignmentI didn’t know much about the company besides the fact that when you purchase a pair of shoes, a pair also gets donated to a child in need. Well, that’s actually all there is to it. And like most people who know about TOMS shoes, I didn’t learn about this through a commercial or an advertisement, but I heard it from someone wearing the shoes. This is what makes TOMS shoes so unique and so innovative- there viral marketing. Their approach has sparked a “consumer evangelist” approach because not only do they purchase something for themselves, but by doing so, they are also providing a necessity to a child. Consumers are filled with a sense of pride when wearing their shoes, and they are compelled to tell everyone they meet about the significance of the shoes and the background of the company.

“The Power of Word of Mouth Marketing”:

It’s real and immediate- real, live people telling other people in real time
It’s personal- not a pitch. The person knows you and is trying to be helpful
It’s honest. Three’s no commission, no connection. You’re more likely to believe
Its catching. People love to share a good idea or experience and other people like to listen. ( The only thing people like to share more than a good experience is a bad experience.)
it’s customer driven. The customer decides when he/she will talk/listen. It is not imposed”

Thursday, March 25, 2010

YouTube is down!

YouTube, the popular video sharing site we all know and love, was apparently not working yesterday. I wasn’t aware of when this happened, or how long it went on, but everyone seems to know that it is back up. Now, how do so many people know the approximate time YouTube started running again? Social media, of course! The mashable article “We Interrupt Our Regular Programming: YouTube Is Down [UPDATE: It's Back]” includes these three updates:

Update: Interestingly enough, the videos on YouTube seem to work, only the front page seems to be affected.

*Update #2: We’ve received the following short message from Google: “YouTube is temporarily unavailable. Our engineers are currently working to restore the site.

*Update #3: It’s back. The downtime lasted approximately one hour.

I think this shows a great example of how social media offers a fast and efficient way of connecting people around the world. Whether or not you think YouTube is significant is up to you, but you cannot deny the fact that tweets definitely help spread the word.

I’d also like to point out that even the article itself included various posts within the hour offering updates regarding the status of YouTube.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Viral Videos

The term “viral” isn’t one I would normally associate with the Internet, but as of late, it is pretty standard Internet lingo. So, what does going viral mean? Today in class we discussed just that. When a video goes viral, it means that someone has been exposed and “infected” with the message of a video and then passes on this infection to someone else. If one person passes this message onto 5 people, and those 5 people pass the same message to 5 people, the message has then gone viral. Sounds pretty easy right? Not! As of March 2008, youtube receives over 150,000 videos daily which means that this is what you’d have to compete with.

A recent example of a viral video is the New “Meet iPad” video. According to this article, The “Meet iPad” Apple commercial which debuted during the Oscars has went viral this week, raking in 2.5 million views in just seven days.

Take a look!

Meet Ipad

125 Anniversary Podcast

President's Meeting Podcast- click here to listen

For our podcasting assignment Michelle, Christiana and I decided to attend the Presidents Meeting to get a better idea of what the 125th Anniversary Celebration was all about. From the meeting, we got some great information about how far St. Edwards has come and where they started. We got to interview the President and get some information on the new 5 year plan being implemented for 2015. So if you’re interested in that, go ahead and tune in!

show notes:

Introduction- 00:35

History of St Edwards- 00:55

Information from Presidents Meeting- 1:35

Inside Scoop into 2015/ President’s Interview-4:10

Globalization of St. Edwards/Study Abroad programs -5:00

Last words- 7:20

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Non-Profit Challenges You to Ditch the iPhone for a Day

Yes, that’s right. The non profot organization Reboot is challenging you to turn off your iphone for a FULL 24 hours. An entire day without it!

“The National Day of Unplugging” has been criticized for disapproving of their own point by advertising on twitter and facebook. But we all know that these technologies help promote human interaction and when you want a piece of information shared quickly and efficiently, a facebook status update or tweet will probably do the trick. The article also states that this idea is spreading, and that other people and companies want to have their own kind of “unplugging” events. I think this type of idea has been a long time coming, but I don’t think its purpose is to void our lives of all social media. Rather, I think it is merely to raise awareness of the fact that some aspects of our face to face lives are being more and more replaced by interface. For the people that disagree, going a day without their iphone for a day would definitely test this.

I personally think that social media is a great source for communication. However, it can have negative effects for those who use hide behind technology. Young people who have grown up with social media might also be too accustomed to the technological driven society and not be as involved in face to face communication. But I don’t think we as a society are anywhere near getting completely rid of face to face communication just yet. This event though, does seem like a really good idea to raise awareness of this issue.

So, what do you think. Could you go a day without your iphone? )or whatever your phone of choice may be)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Classmates.com Agrees to $9.5 Million False Advertising Settlement

Classmates.com, a site that claims to be able to reunite old friends, is being sued for false advertising. Apparently, the website sent emails with false claims. One of the persons involved stated that he received an email saying an old classmate of him was looking for him and that the only way to see who this person was, was to upgrade his membership. Naturally, this upgrade didn’t come without a price. But the price was not what upset people, it was the fact that the upgrade didn’t lead to anything. This was just a “dubious marketing ploy from Classmates.com”.

I do agree that the false advertising done by this site was wrong, but how different is it from any of the other heaps of junk email and pop up ads we see daily. I have also seen these classmates.com pop up ads with the same proposals. “someone is trying to get in touch with you.” But I personally pay no attention. And even if it were a site that I was interested in, I still don’t think I’d react any differently. For example, if facebook were to email me with the same type of upgrade proposal, I still wouldn’t agree to it. And I honestly don’t believe that many other people would either.

whatever you beleive, this isnt the only legal trouble plaguing this website. the article refers to some privacy issues people were also having issues with. But the fact that classmates.com is having to pay for tactics employed by various other dating sites, might raise some interesting questions for those sites as well.

So, should people be more cautious with the email claims they receive, or should the websites be the ones to blame?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Search Engine Optimization and Visibility

Before learning about Search Engine Visibility and Optimization, I wasn’t familiar with any of the steps that come with gaining an audience or a following online. Now I know that creating any kind of content you wish to share online is probably a lot easier than getting it out there and into the hands of a lot of people. On Tuesday in class we went over some of the things to do “findable” on google, and I also looked for bookmarks on delicious about the same thing. I came across this interesting article entitled 5 Ways to Avoid Sabotaging Your Personal Brand Online, and found some more helpful tips.

The fourth tip on this list is to Limit Self Promotion. A couple weeks ago in my Public Relations class we also talked abou self promotion and how it could actually backfire. Now, I would assume that promoting yourself on facebook, twitter, myspace all other social media sites would result in more people knowing about you and listening to what you have to say, but this isn’t always the case. In Social Media class we looked at the example of WholeFoods and their tweets. WholeFoods is an excellent example of a company who is well known, has a good twitter following, and does not use excessive self-promotion. The blog states that too much self-promotion can lead to people unfriending or unfollowing you which probably wont be good for your search engine visibility.

Check out the other tips from this blog here

Monday, March 1, 2010

Okay, so obviously social media plays an increasingly important role in our lives today. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t currently be enrolled in this Social Media for PR class. So it should come as no surprise that people are looking to social media outlets for their news. The article Social Media Plays a Major Part in How We Get News includes interesting statistics like this one:

Based on a sample of 2,259 adults, the study reveals that three fourths of the people (75%) who find news online get it either forwarded through e-mail or posts on social networking sites, and half of them (52%) forward the news through those means.”

I cant say that this news is shocking to me though. I personally prefer the old fashion way of a tangible news source. You know, a newspaper, Time magazine, or something of that sort. But I also don’t always find the time (yes, that’s my excuse and im sticking to it) to watch the news or read a newspaper. But because we all always have time to check our facebook and twitter pages, it should come as no shock that this is where we look for our news. Also, In our defense, facebook and twitter mobile make it incredibly convenient. The article also refers to the pew study’s statistics that state that only 7% of people are getting their information from a single media platform or news source. This supports what I recently read in my Public Relations class, about people not being “loyal” to one specific news source anymore because of the increasing array of various news platforms. While this may not necessarily be a good thing for news channels or newspapers, I think the fact that we can now even get our news from social media sources is a good thing that shows how connected we all really are.