Thursday, March 31, 2011

Feel Good About Yourself!!

Have you ever been sitting around with a bunch of girls and the conversation inevitably turns to a rants session bashing on our bodies and looks? Sure you have, because this is such a common scenario these days. One girl will start with, "Oh my gosh, I'm so fat!" Then another one will chime in with, "Me too! I need to work out." And yet another girl will say something about her need to exercise and how she wishes she were prettier. These conversations are ridiculous and are awful for our self-esteems. Some people say that there is tremendous pressure on young girls from magazines, television shows and advertisements, which I think is true, but I also think that a person's harshest critic is herself. I think this is true even if we aren't just talking about looks. When it comes to school and activities or sports, we tend to focus on the things we could have done better at than what our actual achievements are.

Complaining about our flaws isn't going to do anything for us. If we really wanted to change ourselves to feel better then we can. Go work out or put make-up on oh take a few minutes to vent and let it all out if it helps you feel better, but don't sit there and degrade yourself and wallow in self-pity. Everyone should be happy and do what it takes to make themselves feel good each day.

This video has been making its way around the web for a while now, and though it's quite funny how blunt and honest he is, his message is very valid and true. I think everyone should take a look at it and could take a bit of advice from him.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Back to the Books!

Well since I was in New Orleans the past week, I missed the memo of the switched readings for class. I decided to catch up with that and see what all the hype was about viral videos! Though I am thoroughly upset that I missed the day in class that you all just watched YouTube videos all day, I am well aware of some of the most viral videos and have a few favorites myself. One of them is Grape Stomping. There have also been remakes and re-enactions of this, but it started out as a story on the news telling about a winery where you can actually stomp on the grapes to help make the wine. However, it turned out to be a hilarious fail.

What I like about viral videos on the web are that anyone could make one, from a dancing baby in a home-video to a child lipsyncing, from pets doing tricks to mishaps and failures of various activities.
Actually let me correct myself -- not everyone can make a viral video (purposely.) Anyone can make a video and post it on the web, and I mean, it is possible for that video to go viral, though it probably won't unless bloggers and viewers really like/dislike it and share it with everyone they can.

In The New Rules of Marketing & PR, I found the example of Mentos and Diet Coke to be really very interesting from a company's viewpoint. Now of course I've heard of the reaction when Mentos are dropped into Diet Coke, and I've even done the experiment in elementary school, but the fact that these two guys recorded the reaction and put it on the web for everyone to see -- genius. Seriously though, who doesn't like to see explosions and watch things blow up? Not only did Mentos greatly benefit from this video that spread like wildfire, they also took it to the next level with social media and got the customers in their market to get involved. They hosted a contest for people to tape their own experiments and send them in to a special Mentos website where other people could vote and choose the video they liked the best. So smart. Then, to make it even better, they chose the prize offered to the winning video by carefully examining who the target audience would be -- technology savvy, younger people -- so they chose to give 1,000 free iTunes songs. This is such a great example of marketing because they did everything so thoughtfully and planned out once they got all of that publicity from that video, to continue gaining more publicity and milking it for what it was worth.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Book: New Rules...

In our textbook, The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott, I really liked the section in chapter four called "Understanding Blogs in the World of the Web." I found this section to be very true. I liked how it was comparing the world online to the world in reality. Basically it was describing how the site Amazon is the bookstore, eBay is like the garage sale, and blogs are just the people that you can chat with in restaurants or at the bars. They may not be completely accurate, but they have things to say. These things could be relevant to you and your life, like for finding a job or keeping up with the happenings in the industries and world. Other things being said could also be helpful tips and advice or just sharing funny stories. You can follow any blog, basically like keeping in touch with friends. It's pretty interesting that pretty much every aspect of life can be found online and are only a few clicks away.
Another thing with blogging that was talked about in the chapter was that bloggers are usually more focused on opinions or one side of a topic, rather than how a journalist writes in a more balanced form. I would say that bloggers write in a more subjective manner while journalists have more of an objective writing style. I also think that bloggers have more freedom in choosing what they're going to share with the world.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Does Social Media Make Us Antisocial?

After reading a blog called Overtweeting: Are We Becoming Socially Antisocial? from Influential Marketing Blog, I felt like I should tell you all me take on the situation.

The blog starts out saying that in the past there were two different types of thoughts: the thoughts we would share with others and the thoughts that we would keep to ourselves. But now there is a third type of thought where we share online with the virtual world instead of telling someone in person.

To be quite honest, I don't like texting people, though it's a basic necessity these days for communication. I would much rather meet with someone and be talking to them face-to-face than through a phone screen. I just don't like how impersonal it can be. Plus with texting, there are so many ways that messages can get misconstrued and taken the wrong way. I think that you get a lot more out of communicating in personal than though technology.

Now don't get me wrong, I think technology is great and it can help you connect with people who aren't here that you can't just hang out with and see, I just think that technology has changed society and especially for the younger kids who grew up with all the technology. For example when people text or Facebook chat each other while in the same room instead of just engaging in a conversation. I mean technology is great and all, but that cannot be solely what you use to communicate. Another thing that gets me are those virtual online worlds like World of Warcraft and that SecondLife website. Some people get so addicted to those games and they make that their life. I can't imagine making a character on a website be how I communicate with the world. I suppose that I just need people interaction that much, but I think everyone does, which baffles me because then instead of going out and hanging out and doing things, some people can just sit in front of a computer screen all night.

Sometimes I think we all just need to take a break from social media, because it does take up so much time and just unplug and go out into the world without being so dependent on that constant connection. It's a pretty freeing feeling to not always have your phone on you. That way you can just enjoy living in the moment without all of its distractions and interruptions.

Monday, March 21, 2011

We're in the NOLA, Baby!

Well for the next few days, I'll be in New Orleans, LA for the American Marketing Association's 33rd Annual International Collegiate Conference. I attended the conference last year, even though I wasn't an officer for the group, and I had a blast. 

This year I'll be going as the Vice President of Fundraising for ONU's AMA and will have a little more responsibility there. This year's theme for the conference is Marketing to the Wii Generation. One of the biggest event of the conference is the Chapter Exhibit/Trade booth Competition. Our AMA chapter competes in this event every year, and we have to decorate a booth in a 10 x 10 ft. space that is relevant to the theme, has an educational value, and incorporates a game. For our last year's trade booth, our theme was "Tapping into Arrr New Norm" and we all dressed like pirates! This year our booth's theme is "Wii like to Party" and is a play off of the Mario Party video game and it's mini games.

Our ONU chapter also competes in a SABRE Business Simulation and the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network Sales Competition. We also attend speakers and luncheons and award ceremonies, which are held at the end of the conference. Last year we were recognized nationally for our fundraising efforts. This year we're hoping to be recognized once again.

Even though we're at a conference for AMA, it doesn't mean it's all work and no play! We get all of Wednesday free to walk around and explore New Orleans. My favorite places from last year would have to be the French Quarter and of course, Bourbon Street! I'm looking forward to being there again and being able to have fun as well as compete and learn about the things we can do for our ONU AMA group.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

So Clever.

First of all I would like to start by saying that I LOVE SmartWater. I love the taste and the bottles and even the label, because it has a little saying on the inside of the bottle.
I can't say that I've really seen any SmartWater commercials or seen too many advertisements, but this YouTube video seems to have taken all the stops. This advertisement is trying to make a viral video, which according to wikipedia, is a video that becomes popular through the process of internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites and e-mails. Generally these viral videos include silly things like dancing babies, little animals, lip-syncing, and sexy hair whips, which is exactly what was included in this commercial. SmartWater uses these little tactics to hopefully create a video that will go viral, giving them massive exposure to promote their product.
I first saw this YouTube video on the blog, AdRants, and I must admit that it was pretty clever for SmartWater to take advantage of the video sharing media. They're also letting the public display their opinions in comments and the video has  likes and 4,636 dislikes. This kind of made me think about the groundswell and how big of an impact the public as a whole can affect this video and the spread of it, based on whether they like it or not.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Getting the Dirt on Groundswell

I really liked the idea in Groundswell that said to pay more attention to the relationship than the technology. I mean of course the technology is changing and though the medium may not change right away, the tools being used are sure to change relatively quickly. As long as you are engaging and really connecting with your audience and target public, then which methods you use are arbitrary.
I would say that this word of advice not only goes towards businesses trying to relate to their audience, but even for people and their everyday relationships too. Being in college and away from my friends from back home who are off at other colleges, sometimes it's hard keeping our up on our friendships. Even though I've all got classes, work , meetings and plans with my friends here, it's still important to connect with the important people in my live, no matter how it's done. Regardless of how the contact is being made, whether it's by sending an e-mail, calling, texting, facebooking them, or following them on twitter, the important thing is that the connection is being made and that I am able to get through to them.

This the message that was bring sent in chapter two because there are so many different ways for companies to communicate with their markets, as long as you can make that connection and maintain it, then how you do it is less important.

Life is Soooo Much Better with Broadband!

I made this little clip for my social media class and for the Connect Ohio contest that we are required to enter. The purpose is to "produce Public Service Announcements (PSA) that tell great stories and inspire people who don't use broadband today to GET CONNECTED!"


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Family is Key.

Part of the reason that I chose to attend ONU is the location. I'm from St. Marys, Ohio, which is about 40 minutes south of campus. This is great for me because I'm pretty close with my family. My parents are wonderful. They do so much for me and always support the things I'm involved in. They would come up every weekend that ONU had a home football game to watch the cheerleaders stunt. It was seeing them and great to know that I had the biggest fans watching me every week. I felt really blessed that they would come, especially since most of the other girls' parents could make it to few games, if any at all.  The other plus to having my parents frequently visiting was that I could give my mom  my laundry and she would take it home and bring it back clean the next week!

The distance is also great, because if I ever really need to be home or just want to get out of Ada; I can do it. I've been able to go home for doctor appointments (and not have to wait two hours at the health clinic here) or to go home to watch my little brother, Jeremy, play tennis.

I suppose I shouldn't really call him little, since he's about to graduate high school. I'm really excited though, because he is coming to attend Ohio Northern this fall! I'm so glad that I will still be here at Northern for one more year and get to help him through his first year away from home. I know how scary it was to come to a completely new place and not knowing anyone. So me being here should help him feel much more comfortable here. He's actually coming up to visit and stay this weekend and he's bring our cousin, Ben, and their friend, Dylan. I'm excited to see him because, though I only live 40 minutes away, this will be the third time he's come to stay. I'm looking forward to taking the boys out and showing them around and exposing them to the wild Ada night life! Ha. I've got to get Jerm used to life at ONU; that way he'll know what to expect for the next four years. I've had an amazing three years so far, and I hope he'll feel the same about this place. It's definitely my home away from home.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Still Winning?

Charlie Sheen.

He's been most known for his roles in the TV sitcom, Two and a Half Men, and movies, Wall Street and Hot Shots (parts one and two). More recently, though, Sheen is known for violent outbursts, drug and alcohol habits, rehab visits, jail time and ridiculous tweets and rants.

Although he was recently fired from Two and a Half Men, the most popular comedy on the air, Sheen has hardly left the spotlight. He launched his official website a few days ago, which he's using to sell tickets to his upcoming shows in Detroit and Chicago and to sell t-shirts displaying his favorite "Sheenisms." 
His new website is not the only form of media being used to reach his audience. He also uses the popular social media site, Twitter. Sheen's Twitter account has earned him a Guinness World Record. After joining Twitter on March 1, the 45-year-old became the "Fastest Time to Reach 1 Million Followers," Guinness announced Thursday. According to Dan Barrett, Guinness community manager, Sheen had one million followers in 25 hours and 17 minutes. Sheen’s Twitter account, @CharlieSheen, currently has over 2,700,000 followers. 

I just recently made myself a Twitter account and decided to follow him too, to see what all the hype was about. I think Sheen is using all of these outlets to gain even more publicity for himself. In the aspect of PR, he is using them as a type of crisis control, though not in the usual way that companies would. Sheen basically rants and comments about how he's done nothing wrong and blames others for these happenings, where any other company would be issuing apologies and whatnot. That's just not how Charlie Sheen operates, though. Sure he has interviews on the television and vlogs on the internet, but he considers himself to be invincible. His strategy seems to be working for him right now. Guess I'll just have to continue to keep tabs on him to see just how long he can use the media like this while still "winning."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Just Getting Into the Books

After just getting started and reading the introductions of our books for class, I'm getting more excited about taking this class. Like Aggie said, the books read much less like normal boring textbooks. I'm not sure if this is because I am more interested in the subject than in other classes or not.

I found Engage, by Brian Solis, to be pretty interesting because it gives the business perspective and usage of social media, opposed to just when people use social media sites to keep in touch and post about updates in their lives. I think this book is going to be a great resource for my internship this coming fall for the Ada Chamber of Commerce as a Social Media Strategist. Reading the first two chapters has given me a greater insight of just how huge the impact is from social media websites. I was a little surprised to find out the number of millions of users for each site and how vastly these sites have grown in just a few short years.

One thing that I noticed about the book's writing, though, is that I think some of the facts and numbers that Solis is telling us about could be better portrayed in a chart or graph. I hate reading paragraphs or pages stating nothing more than this percentage of people thought this, but this percentage of people thought that. I think that is so boring and makes reading harder to do because I just want to get the information but I can't stay focused on the material when it basically says the same words over and over, only changing which fact is being stated. If the author would have put that information in a pie chart, perhaps, or even a bar graph, I think it would be much easier to see what is being demonstrated and get the same effect without being so wordy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

ONU Life #1

Well this is my first blog, ever! I've given a passing thought to starting a blog once before, but never really had that inspiring moment to actually do it. Now I've got to write a blog three times a week for my social media class. This one will focus on my life at ONU, since I haven't started the readings yet and figured this shouldn't be too difficult.

Well I just returned from spring break, where I joined most of our cheer squad on a road trip/cruise to the Bahamas. The weather was great, especially since we left Ada in a blizzard. The trip was a blast. It was my first time on a cruise ship, and I wasn't disappointed.

After break and diving into spring quarter, I had a full day on Monday with classes scheduled from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. I made a trip home after my final class let out for the night. Since I had been traveling every day over break, I didn't have a chance to be home at all and see my family. Going home was also my way to sort-of extend the break. I was home until this afternoon and being home was great. There's just something about mom's home-cooked dinners and being surrounded by family and pets that just keep you coming back for more.

Once I was back on campus, however, all of my responsibilities and assignments came rushing back. For this only being the first week of classes, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the work to come, the meetings, the hours of work and trying to find time for all of it. I'm hoping that my economics class is not going to be as near as hard as the first day seemed, though that may only be wishful thinking. I am really looking forward to this social media class, and Aggie knows the struggle that I had to get the override to be included. My consumer behavior class shouldn't be overly difficult, I don't think, but advanced marketing should be pretty interesting since the class is pretty much based on a market simulation game and how well you can run your "company" for eight years (read weeks).

Other than classes, I've got interviews being set up in my search for the internship required for graduation next year. I've also got a few long nights ahead of me for American Marketing Association (AMA) and getting our trade show booth all set up and ready for our national conference in New Orleans at the end of March. Work is also starting up again with the Phonathon and the sports department, where I follow ONU's track team and type up press releases at the end of each meet.

There are now only about ten weeks of classes until summertime. I absolutely cannot wait until the weather finally gets nice and warm, because though my schedule doesn't allow me very much free time, I love being outside and can't wait until I can break out my bike and rollerblades again.

Well that blog turned out to be a little longer than expected, but that's a pretty general overview of my current life at ONU.  Hopefully you learned something new and found a bit of entertainment.

Thanks for reading!!