All About Abby

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I'm a senior Management major/Public Relations minor from Cincinnati about to graduate in May from Ohio Northern University!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Favorite College Memories

In eight short days, I will be receiving my diploma from Ohio Northern University and beginning the next chapter in my life. ONU has provided me with an abundance of memories and knowledge that I will never forget. For my last required blog post, I decided to take a trip down memory lane to recap some of the great times I had as a polar bear in the past four years.

1. The Armory. My first two years in Ada, the Armory was open and that establishment provided me with many fun nights. The Armory had a huge dance floor and often had live bands. I remember sneaking in most of the time so I did not have to pay the five dollars for cover (#cheap). I will never forget the nights I had at the Armory dancing the night away with my closest friends.

2. SAAC Dances. Where do I even begin to describe the wonderful times at SAAC dances? Let’s just say, the volleyball team knows how to have a good time. The food was always delicious and I remember plopping a ridiculous amount of cheesy potatoes on my plate. If you want to see a picture of me in my prime, just look at a picture of me from any SAAC dance.

3. Volleyball. Deciding to play volleyball in college was one of the best decisions I have made in my lifetime. My teammates are the best and made my four years of collegiate volleyball very enjoyable. Being able to experience the final four my sophomore year is one of my greatest memories. Go Bears!

4. 218 E. University Ave. Living off campus my senior year was incredible. I felt so free and like a big girl living on my own. The parties and small gatherings we threw at our house were always so much fun and I will definitely miss this house.

5. The Beagle. I can’t talk about my favorite memories of Ada without mentioning the Beagle! The Beagle is where I have spent every single weekend of my junior and senior year. The Beagle was always followed by a trip to McDonalds, which was just as fun. One of the things I will miss most about Ada is being able to walk everywhere and the Beagle was definitely a good walking distance from my house.

I hope my readers and fellow Polar Bears enjoyed this post. To my graduating seniors, I will miss you all so much as we go different ways in our life. To the juniors, make the most of your last year in Ada because your college career will be done before you know it! Peace out Ada.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lessons from Professional Bloggers

This week, I read Chapter Seven of Paul Gillin's The New Influencers. The section that really stuck out to me was entitled, "PR pro as blogger." I am new to the blogging world and probably would never have created a blog had I not taken social media at ONU. I thought if I had a blog, no one would read my posts anyways and I would be wasting my time. However, as I enter the real world in two short weeks, I realize my blog could be more important than I think. 

Andy Abramson is a PR professional who understands the blogosphere well. Abramson sees four basic benefits in blogs for his business: being quoted in the media, making new contacts, generating speaking engagements and bringing in business. Each blogger requires a custom pitch and vigorous follow-up. Since I am applying for various public relations and public outreach positions, I realize that keeping my blog will be beneficial to my professional and social world. 

Renee Blodgett is another top blogger in her profession. Blodgett's blog, Down the Avenue, is a smart, savvy, hip and very in tune with the culture of the Silicon Valley. She writes about her professional and personal experiences, and fiction. Blodgett's advice is that bloggers still need to have a message, blogs can't just be conversations. I took time to check out her blog and I was very impressed. I loved how she wrote about a wide range of topics, such as bin Laden's death, the ultimate women's expo, book releases, the galaxy, etc. Blodgett included many pictures, videos, slideshows and her favorite quotes, which I really enjoyed. Blodgett's blog can definitely serve as my 'mentor' blog when I enter the professional world. 

Reading this section in Paul Gillin's book inspired me to keep up with my blog after my social media course is over and I am no longer required to write three times a day. I hope I can find a job where I can utilize my blog to better the company. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

‘Dang it feels good to be a... SENIOR!’

This week was filled with fun and exciting activities. On Wednesday, the Dicke College of Business Administration held a senior luncheon with Dean Fenton for all students graduating in May. The luncheon was at one of the conference rooms in The Inn at Ohio Northern University. The food included some of my favorites: chicken alfredo, lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, and breadsticks filled with cheese. Of course, I had a little bit of each main course. After the students ate, Dean Fenton spoke a few nice words with us and congratulated us on graduating. The Dean invited two past alumni to give us graduates some advice about job hunting and giving back to the university. The luncheon was a good time with some delicious food and great information.

Wednesday night the Senior Send-Off was held at the Lima Civic Center. My friends and I were really excited to attend this event. We had a little celebration before the vans were to pick us up from McIntosh Center at 5:15 p.m. We planned on getting on that first round of buses and vans, and we actually sprinted to Mac from our house to ensure we got on those vehicles. My friends and I got there at 5:12 p.m. sharp; and the big bus and vans were already gone. So what do we decide to do with our spare time until the next round comes back in 45 minutes? Go have a beer (or three) at the Inn bar.

I was having a blast at the Inn, but the buses and vans came back to Mac to take us to Lima. I made a new friend on the ride and sang my heart out for everyone in the van. Once we arrived at the Civic Center, I could not believe my eyes of how many pizza boxes and wings were in front of me. I loaded up my plate with four slices of peperoni and cheese pizza and about six mild wings. Once I finished eating, I played the various casino games and won nothing. That’s just my luck. The raffle prizes were announced last and again, I won nothing. But, I had a really awesome time with my fellow graduating seniors and P5’s and I’m glad I got to experience the Senior Send-Off.

In conclusion, I find that being a senior is great fun and I’m really going to miss all the good times I have been experiencing as of recently.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Another Event Increases Internet Traffic

Last week, I blogged about how the Royal Wedding dominated the social media world. This week, we have another huge event significantly increasing Internet traffic. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about – Osama bin Laden’s death.

I enjoyed finding statistics from the social media sites for the wedding of Kate and William, so I decided to write a similar blog as I did in week eight. But this time is a way different occurrence. Instead of celebrating a wedding, America is celebrating a death. I found an interesting article written by CNN staff writer, David Goldman, which deals with Twitter, Google, News sites and the death of bin Laden.

On Sunday night during the news event’s peak, Twitter users were posting 5,106 tweets per second. This traffic on Twitter is the second-highest volume of tweets in Twitter’s history. The first is when Japan brought in the 2011 New Year, tallying 6,939 tweets per second. From 10:45 p.m. to 2:20 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, the average of tweets reached 3,000 per second. This represented the highest sustained rate of tweets per second in Twitter’s lifetime. Another interesting fact is that before the White House told the news media that bin Laden had been killed, a former Secretary of Defense posted the word on his Twitter:
“So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama bin Laden. Hot Damn.”

Google Trends ranked the keywords “Osama bin Laden dead” as “volcanic,” the top level Google assigns for a trending topic. Osama bin Laden’s story resulted in a peak of more than 4.1 million page views per second on news websites supported and tracked by content delivery network Akamai, which delivers about 20% of the Internet’s content. Akamai supports,, and Osama’s death brought roughly 2.5 million page views per second on those pages. However, this story did not rank in the company’s top 10 news events for the highest page-view peaks. The Royal Wedding ranked sixth on Akamai’s list with 5.4 million page views per second.

I (unlike most people) did see the news on bin Laden’s death first on the television while watching Dateline NBC. However, my friends and thousands of others across the world heard the news first on Twitter or Facebook.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Run for the Roses

Yesterday, I ran in the Third Annual Run for the Roses at Ohio Northern University’s Dial-Roberson Stadium. This was my third year competing in the 5K part of the event, and I finished in 103rd place with a time of 26 minutes and five seconds. I was proud of myself for being able to keep a decent pace the whole time, as I had not been working out like I used to last year and the weekends festivities were a little out of hand). However, I was more proud of myself for running and donating money to a good cause.
Run for the Roses is a race in loving memory of Angela Badertscher and in honor of Kim Badertscher, both of whom attended ONU and were diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Kim graduated from the ONU Athletic Training program then became a clinical outreach Athletic Trainer for the university. Angela lost her battle with Cystic Fibrosis about three years ago at the young age of 27.
The race is entitled Run for the Roses because children with Cystic Fibrosis often call the condition “65 Roses.” Last year, the event was able to raise $9,500 in the Badertscher’s name to a Cystic Fibrosis Organization of their choice. This year, the goal was to be able to donate over $10,000.
The ONU Athletic Training program did a great job with planning and organizing the race. I really hope they reach over $10,000 this year, and I am glad I was able to support the cause.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Where everyone should be: Twitter.

This week, my social media class received a Twitter assignment that involved following two people and two organizations on Twitter, and then we had to compare and contrast how they utilize the social media site. I followed and paid close attention to Geoff Livingston, Brian Solis, Lima News and the Cincinnati Enquirer on Twitter for one week.

I chose Lima News and the Cincinnati Enquirer because I thought comparing and contrasting two newspapers in different areas of the same state would be interesting. The Lima News description stated they are a daily newspaper covering nine counties in northwest Ohio and included the Lima News’s website. The Cincinnati Enquirer had a more simple statement, “auto news feed from Cincinnati.Com. Therefore, I thought the two Twitter profiles were going to be different from each other. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s picture was a cartoon boy holding a newspaper, while Lima News’s profile picture was more professional – a symbol of a blue and white torch. The Lima News has 14,701 tweets and has 600 followers. The Cincinnati Enquirer has twice as many tweets at 29,645 and has 4,367 followers.

The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Twitter is very simple to follow. All they do is put the title of the most recent news article as the status with the web address to access the full article following. The Cincinnati Enquirer has a new tweet basically every hour. Here are a couple examples of what the enquirer’s tweets look like: "Bengals Draft Class 2011". "April rain falls a few drops short of record" This is a very easy method for the newspaper and doesn’t take up much of the employee’s time. The Cincinnati Enquirer never used a hash tag, at least not this past week. Most of their headlines on Twitter were about car crashes, the Bengals, the Reds, shootings and other violence, robberies, the Flying Pig Marathon and several pictures from high school proms. The Lima News Twitter operated in the same format; recent headlines with the website to the story. However, these stories were greatly different than the Cincinnati Enquirer stories. Also, the Lima News updated their Twitter posts far less than the Enquirer. Sometimes the Lima News went 7 hours without a new story. Like Cincinnati, Lima had tweets about automobile accidents, prom photos and weather updates. But Lima News had way more tweets about specific events, different high school sports games, kids winning contests and citizens being honored for various things. I was interested to see that ONU was mentioned on April 26th about police making arrests in dorm thefts. ONU was mentioned this past week several times. Lima News did not use hash tags. I think they both should rethink their ways of utilizing Twitter because people can go to their newspaper home page and see the exact same stories. However, it is an easy way for people to pick and choose what stories they would like to read.

Geoff Livingston goes by @geoffliving on his Twitter. He has 11,862 followers and 38,845 tweets. Geoff is the co-founder of Zoetica and the author of two books. Brian Solis only has 10,133 tweets, but has 90,274 followers. He is the author of Engage! Solis sometimes tweets up to 6 times in one hour of the day, and is constantly on Twitter. I believe the only time Solis is not on Twitter is when he is asleep. Livingston is the same way, however a couple times he tweeted 10 or more times in the same hour.

Geoff Livingston sparingly uses hash tags, however in almost every post, he uses the shout out (@person’s name). This is an example of what many of his tweets look like: "@kanter @katyaN4G yes, @kamichat and i were honored to put in extra time over that weekend on the Gaga project." Livingston used his has tags numerous times for #SOBcon, which must have been a conference that recently took place in Chicago. He also uses many bit addresses that take users to articles on e-mail marketing, blog posts and online business techniques. Livingston seems very personable and keeping up with him was a difficult task. Brian Solis sparingly used hash tags either, but he did use them for generic terms, such as #love, #graphic and #Engage. Most of tweets were also about social media marketing and he included links to different articles. Solis is also a fan of the shout outs. Here is an example of his tweet: "RT @WOMMA: Free chapters of @briansolis and @duncanjwatts' books to download. Win signed copies!" Both Solis and Livingston were always telling people how it was nice to meet them and thanking people for various things, like reading their books. More recently, Solis was discussing paid celebrity tweets, which I found very interesting.

In conclusion, the two organizations and two people I followed were very similar to one another. I wish one of my selected four would have used hash tags more because I need to learn how to correctly use hash tags. However, I enjoyed this assignment and I’m glad I got my Twitter back!

Buyer Personas at ONU

For week eight, our only reading assignment was to read Chapter 10 of The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Scott. Chapter 10 was entitled, “You Are What You Publish: Building Your Marketing and PR Plan.”  This is a very important aspect for any business, whether you sell products or offer services. One of the most essential things to remember for a marketing or PR plan is to focus your complete attention on the buyers. For my analysis, I wanted to discuss buyer personas.
A buyer persona is a representative of what type of buyer organizations have identified as having a specific interest in the company or product. Building buyer personas are the single most vital step in creating the plan. Scott has a very interesting example in his book. A college website usually identifies five different buyer personas: young alumni, older alumni, the high school student who is considering college, the parents of the prospective student and current students. Therefore, a well-executed college site should target these five distinct buyer personas.
I took a look at ONU’s website to see if we were able to target the five different personas. On our home page, we are able to reach five personas with a drop down tab named, “Information for you.” The choices visitors to the website can select are: current students, faculty and staff, prospective students, parents and family, and alumni. I think our website does a fantastic job of reaching people are who invested in ONU or want to become a part of our Polar Bear family. This was done because ONU was able to get to know as much as they could about the particular group of people. For example, under the parents and family section, ONU realized they are a huge part of the decision process and often pay the bills. Therefore, the section includes a letter from Dr. Baker regarding tuition and our transition to semesters. Also, there is a link to sign up for the e-mail newsletter, Northern Express.
The buyer persona profile gives companies a chance to emphasize with target buyers and see the product or service through the buyer’s eyes. When customers encounter your website, you want the customers to think this organization understands me and my needs. ONU’s website does a great job of displaying different web content that will fit everyone’s specific wants and needs.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Social Media Royalty

I was not up at 4:30 this morning watching the Royal Wedding, but I did see a recap of the grand event on E! News.  During this show, they had a live count of how many times Prince William or Kate Middleton were mentioned on Facebook or Twitter. As I was watching, about two million people from all over the world tweeted about the newlyweds. The number was increasing by roughly 30 people every second.

Even before the wedding began, the online buzz surrounding the Royal Wedding exceeded the talk and discussions of the Japan earthquake. As of two hours before the ceremony and in the last 30 days, 911,000 tweets were recorded, which is equal to more than 30,000 tweets per day, according to Webtrends. This web analytics company also discovered there were approximately 217,000 Facebook status updates and 145,000 blog posts about William and Kate’s wedding day. Well, make that at least 145,001 blog posts now.

An article by Ben Parr entitled, “The Social Media Buzz Behind the Royal Wedding,” has some great statistics. About 65% of the social buzz is coming from the U.S., while only 20% of tweets, blog posts and Facebook updates are from the U.K. Canada is in third place with 2.6%. Twitter is where most of the online community is chatting about the Royal Wedding at 71%. Facebook has 16.9% and blogs take up 11.3%.

All these tweets, blogs and status updates are only expected to increase because people are now wanting to discuss the aftermath of the wedding – what Kate’s dress was like, where’s the honeymoon, how was the party, etc.

The social media world is being dominating by Royal Wedding news today and days to come.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Top 10 Guidelines for Social Media Participation

As I was reading Part IV of Engage by Brian Solis, which is entitled "We Are the Champions" by the way, I noticed the Top 10 guidelines for social media participation that apply to your future company employees or contractors. I figure many of us will be utilizing social media for our jobs upon graduation and I wanted to reiterate the importance of these guidelines for those who will be creating or contributing to blogs, wikis, social networks, etc. 

  1. Be transparent and state where you work because your honesty will be noted in the social media environment. Also, be clear about your role.
  2. Never represent yourself or your future company in a misleading way.
  3. Post meaningful and respectful comments. 
  4. Use common sense and common courtesy and don't violate the company's privacy.
  5. Stick to your area of expertise, but do feel free to provide unique and individual perspectives on non-confidential activities at your workplace. 
  6. If you disagree with others' opinions, be polite and appropriate. Also, never get overly defensive and do not disengage from the conversation abruptly.
  7. When writing about the competition, make sure to behave diplomatically and have the facts straight. 
  8. Never comment on anything related to legal matters. 
  9. Never participate in social media when the topic being discussed is considered a crisis situation. 
  10. Be smart about protecting yourself, your privacy and the company's confidential information. Keep in mind that what you publish is widely accessible and will be around for a long time. 
These guidelines were provided by Todd Defren, president of SHIFT Communications. I hope you keep the top 10 guidelines for social media participation as you enter the workforce! 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Home Life

As I was making the drive  from my boyfriend's house in Toledo to my humble abode in Cincinnati today, I had 200 miles and 3 hours to ponder, "What should I discuss in my next blog post about my life?" And I came up with: my home life.

I kept in touch with my friends from grade school and high school, which makes coming home a good time. We are still very close and even though we go to different schools, getting back together is like we never left each others side. I love living near downtown, where there are neat bars and clubs everywhere to enjoy with my pals. My friends and I know how to have a good time, responsibly of course.

Not only do my friends know how to have a good time, my parents and family members know how to party. My parents love to catch up with me over a glass of wine and they're always willing to cook up a good meal when I come home. My mom and I have the same taste in television shows. We love to relax on our big, comfy couch and tune into the latest reality shows.

Another reason I love coming home is my dog, Izzie Belle. 'The Izz' is what I like to call her and she's a basset hound/lab mix. She is always full of energy and so happy to see me. When I'm home she follows me around everywhere and has that sad puppy face when I leave that makes me feel so bad. The Izz is my bundle of joy.

I'm home writing this post with a glass of white wine and Cynthia just yelled, "dinner's ready!" Spaghetti, Italian sausage, meatballs, cheesy bread and salad is on the table. I'm going out to meet up with my friends later. That's why I love home.
The Izz!
My Cincinnati girls!

My dad and brothers at a Skynyrd Concert!

Friday, April 22, 2011


This week, CareerCast released the 2011 Most Stressful Jobs. You’ll never guess (or maybe you can) where public relations officer was ranked…number two. Public relations officer fell right behind commercial airline pilot. 

CareerCast describes the job of a public relations officer: “[They] are responsible for creating and maintaining a positive image with the public for many companies and government agencies. They typically are responsible for giving presentations and making speeches, often in front of large crowds. This highly competitive field and tight deadlines keep stress at high-levels for specialists. Some PR officers, also, are required to interact with potentially hostile members of the media.”

After the stressful jobs of 2011 were released, Lauren Fernandez decided to write an article based on the fact that public relations officers have the second most stressful job. Fernandez talks about how PR jobs aren’t as stressful as firefighters or surgeons and includes the joke, “PR isn’t ER.” She believes the number two spot can’t compete with rescuing people. Fernandez created a list, a very accurate list: ‘11 signs you know you work in public relations’. My favorite being number two: You can power-walk in 5-inch heels with your laptop bag while checking your BlackBerry.  Check it out for yourself here! 

To you future PR folks, sorry to say being very stressed is something you have to look forward to. As for you current PR professionals, do you agree or disagree with the ranking and the 11 signs Fernandez provided?

Monday, April 18, 2011

ONU Get Connected!

 I play the starring role in this YouTube Video for a Broadband video contest

Podcast - Recruiting With Coach Witte

 Joe Clarkson and I met with ONU's very own Coach Witte to discuss the ins and outs of the recruiting process for D3 volleyball programs. Coach Witte does an excellent job of incorporating social media tactics that are involved in recruitment into our discussion. She gives advice to high school athletes looking to play sports in college and how they can be marketable. Coach told Joe and I how the recruiting process has evolved and how the process will change even more for the future. We end this podcast with an outlook for the 2011 Polar Bear Volleyball Season.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekend Fun!

I have yet to blog about all the fun I have on the weekends and I’m running out of weekends to enjoy in Ada. I was definitely in need for an entertaining weekend because this week I was so busy with projects and papers, and I got a bad cold. I didn’t even go out on Tuesday!

After this long week, Friday was finally here. I knew this weekend was going to be an epic weekend because several volleyball alumni were coming back to the village to party. After I got my workout in with my roommates, we attended several different parties before going to the Regal Beagle, where we boogied the night away.

On Saturday, I went to El Campo with my friends where I had delicious enchiladas and a mango margarita. My roommates and I had a party at our house after dinner. The party was really controlled until about 11pm when about 40 people walked through the door. Shortly after that, the Ada police came. Thankfully, they let us go with a warning and told us to tune the party down.  So we went to the Regal Beagle for round two. The dance moves got a little more extreme on Saturday night and the late night McDonald’s tasted better than ever.

Sunday is always a day of relaxation for me, but my roommates and I had some intense cleaning to do.  We mopped the floors several times, and they are still sticky. But, the party was well worth a little stickiness.

Having some of the volleyball girls that graduated back in Ada for the weekend brought back so many awesome memories. We are still the same group of crazy, fun girls when we get together and I love our reunions.
Such a fun group of girls!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shame on Kobe

I am sure some of you heard the news surrounding Kobe Bryant recently, but for those who haven’t, Kobe is now the target of gays and lesbians everywhere after he called the referee a “f***ing f***got.” The incident occurred Tuesday night of April 12th when his team, the Los Angeles Lakers, played the San Antonio Spurs.

Kobe directed this gay slur at the referee after receiving a technical foul and the network broadcasting the game, TNT, caught Kobe on camera clearly showing the words clearly coming out of his mouth.

 The Human Rights Campaign launched a statement against Bryant:
            What a disgrace for Kobe Bryant to use such horribly offensive and distasteful language, especially when millions of people are watching. Hopefully Mr. Bryant will recognize that as a person with such fame and influence, the use of such language not only offends millions of LGBT people around the world, but also perpetuates a culture of discrimination and hate that all of us, most notably Mr. Bryant, should be working to eradicate. Bryant and the Lakers have a responsibility to speak up on this issue immediately. America is watching.”
Kobe responded by saying his works were out of frustration during that intense moment in the game and his words don’t express his feelings towards gays and lesbians. Also, he said he did not mean to offend anyone. Kobe can apologize all he wants, but his action in the game two nights ago definitely hurt his public image and still offended hundreds of people across the country.
The NBA has fined Bryant $100,000.
$100,000 for two words. Two totally inappropriate words that were completely unnecessary to say, even in the heat of a big game.
 I hope Kobe and all NBA players think twice before opening their mouths and saying something offensive, especially during a nationally broad casted game. What Kobe said was completely disrespectful to the refereeing official and the LGBT community. I hope NBA players see that many young kids watch their every move in games and try to be just like the big guys they see on television, so please NBA players, and try to be better role models.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All About the Release

I am glad our week six readings had to deal with PR press releases because at my internship this past summer, my supervisor told me one thing I need to improve on is my writing skills, especially when it comes to writing news releases. While the chapters we read this week don’t exactly deal with how to write a good press release, I still took away some great information from The New Rules of Marketing and PR, by David Scott.

I found out the water company I worked for did some good things when we wrote press releases, such as: we sent out press releases when we had something interesting to share, when we won an award or new customers, and when we were holding press conferences. Also, the water company simultaneously posted our release on our own website so more customers could see the news right away and we posted links in the releases to lead customers to the water company’s website. The water company kept the news release live for as long as the content was appropriate. The links we included in the press release was very important because the link allowed our customers to find more information about our company and led the customers to specific content. The link can lead to increased views on pages of the website and increased website search engine rankings.

However, we could have done some things better with our news releases. The water company did not add social media tags to our press releases. We could have used Technorati, digg, or so the press release would have been found by more people. Another thing my past company did not do is sent the release to one of the news release wires, like Business Wire, Market Wire or PR Newswire. Also, the water company did not have a regular editorial calendar that included a series of news releases to show the company was busy. The media room on our website was lacking news releases at times which showed that the company was not moving forward or had nothing to contribute to the industry.

The readings for week six were helpful and I will definitely apply these lessons at my next job.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Social Media and Small Businesses

This week, our social media class was assigned chapters from New Influencers, by Paul Gillin. Chapter six definitely struck a chord with me because the chapter talks about why social media is so well-turned to smaller businesses. My family owns a small flag manufacturer on the outside of downtown Cincinnati. The National Flag Company has been in my family for years. My dad is the President and CEO and employees about 30 people. National Flag recently created a Facebook page, but the flag company does not know how to utilize other social media sites.

Gillin states several reasons as to why social media can be helpful to small businesses: 

1) It’s all about the searchSites like Google are the best thing that ever happened to small businesses. Companies, like National Flag, that can’t afford much advertising can achieve international visibility in vertical disciplines through search performance. National Flag recently hired someone to optimize their search engine so when consumers search for flags in our area, National Flag will show up first on Google search results or be at the top of the page.

2) Get personalOne of the main reasons people do business with a small company is to get personal service. Although National Flag has not yet tapped into podcasts or blogs, they are certainly something to consider because they bring a distinctive voice and a sense of humor.

3) The voice of authority Google favors content over commerce. This is more cost efficient for small businesses than using advertising.

4) You can’t beat the costThe real investment is the time. Most social media sites are completely free of cost. This is definitely helpful for National Flag. Two summers ago, I organized a marketing project that included mailing magnets with our name, logo and phone number on them and mailed them out to past customers. This took a lot of my time, wasted envelopes and the magnets cost money. Social media will help National Flag keep costs for advertising way down.

The chapter goes on to discuss some small business blogging successes. The National Flag Company has tapped into the social media world, all they need is to do is figure out which sites will work for them and how to gain followers and fans to get our name out to the public.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Three Important Social Media Sites

Many people my age are too wrapped up in Facebook and Twitter they forget to join and create profiles on other social media sites. Geoff Livingston wrote an informational article today called, “Are you ignoring these 3 important social media sites?”

As my peers and I are entering into the workforce and the ‘real’ world, I think everyone should create a LinkedIn profile. I know you all have heard of LinkedIn and most likely know what LinkedIn is all about, but what you may not know is over 100 million professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities. This is an awesome way to network and find a job. This is also a way to control your professional identity online (which sometimes Facebook does not help with this). LinkedIn is a simple, yet professional way to keep in touch with former and present employees and classmates. Most young people don’t understand that we can truly power our career from a LinkedIn profile. Livingston states LinkedIn is in intense competition with Facebook and Twitter, but somehow LinkedIn “keeps it coming.”  

The second social media site Livingston discusses is YouTube. Although YouTube has been around for about six years, more than 1.2 billion videos are watched by 89 million Americans every day. We can expect to see more video demand and less text-heavy media on the Internet. Livingston claims that YouTube is more powerful for social media communications than Twitter, in some cases. Also, there is no better place to practice marketing than the largest video social network. At my past two internships, I have created a YouTube channel for the businesses and produced, edited and shared my informational videos with the entire YouTube network.

The last social media site everyone should join in StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon takes you to web pages, photos and videos handpicked by your friends and like-minded people. This is the one site that I have not joined yet, but I do plan to sign up. My friends are always 'stumbling' and constantly share funny videos with me. StumbleUpon recently gained a few million new users, with more than 15 million accounts total. Livingston claims that this site is the ultimate in surfing, which means if you can foster a strong community, and then you will see dramatic increases in traffic. Also, StumbleUpon could be a more productive effort then retweets.  

All of these sites are free and allow you to build your own community on the Internet.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Some people play sports in college, some join sororities or fraternities, some choose to solely focus on academics, and some get involved in different clubs and organizations. I am the first - a college athlete. Playing volleyball in college was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I was unsure at first whether I wanted to play volleyball at a DIII school or go to a large state school. I did know if I played I wanted to go DIII because I didn’t want volleyball to completely take over my life and I wanted more time to visit with friends and do homework, but DIII athletics also have that very competitive feel. After visiting ONU, meeting the team and coaches, and seeing the facilities, I had to come here to play my favorite sport.

Throughout my four years as a college volleyball player, I have experienced both successes and failures as an individual and as a team. The success that our team experienced my sophomore year was beyond amazing. We beat two very good teams in intense battles at the NCAA Regionals and ended up going all the way to the final four in Illinois. Our team got to attend a banquet with the other seven teams that got to the elite eight, complete with delicious food and a chocolate fountain (my favorite thing ever). But the best experience was getting recognized for being one of the top eight DIII teams in the country.

Sophomore year was filled with great accomplishments, but the other three years were just as good to me. Though the honors I have received through the years mean a lot to me, being on the court in front of our many awesome fans and family was so exhilarating. I loved the feeling of nervous excitement before every serve and pure joy getting the winning kill.

The friendships and memories I have made by being a part of the ONU volleyball family will stay with me forever. Being done with college volleyball is definitely a weird feeling, but I won’t stop doing what I love because my career is over. I will continue playing in open gyms, intramurals and leagues at home.  

Sophomore year - Alex and I with our trophy after beating WashU in the NCAA Regional Finals

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Energizer Groundswell

This week, we had to read one hundred-something pages from part two of Groundswell. Out of the six chapters that comprised part two, I enjoyed Chapter Seven: Energizing the Groundswell the most.

Chapter seven talked about the importance for businesses to find enthusiast customers and turn them into word-of-mouth machines. This is basically free advertising and is called energizing, the third level of groundswell thinking. Energizing is more than just talking or listening, energizing is a marketer’s dream. Word-of-mouth can be very powerful and successful because:
o   It’s believable
o   It’s self-reinforcing
o   It’s self-spreading

I would like to note that the opinion of a friend or acquaintance who has used the product or service is the most trustful source of information, according to Forrester’s Media & Marketing Online Survey. I definitely agree with this statement because it’s true for me, too. Whenever my friends buy new shoes, I am always first to ask how comfortable are they or are the shoes worth the price. If they have good feedback, I will trust them and go buy a pair for myself. If my friends try a new dish at a restaurant and they say the food is tasty, I will most likely order that for myself the next time around. Energizing works like that in a way. Because my friends had good experiences with the product, I will like the product and talk about the shoe or the food to other people.

Something that companies can do to connect with consumers who love their brand are use ratings and reviews, create a community to energize customers, and participate in online communities of brand enthusiasts. Constant Contact, an email marketing company experienced success creating a community forum where customers could encourage each other. ConnectUp! now has participation from 13,000 people, with 6,000 posts in 39 forums. I actually worked with Constant Contact at my internship this past summer and was very impressed with their services. I would definitely refer them to other customers. Although I never visited this online forum, ConnectUp! is a way to increase revenue and gain more customers, especially because the forum is highly active.

Energizing – a powerful way to use the groundswell to boost business.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Cobra has been Found!

As Renee mentioned in class today, the cobra that escaped from the Bronx Zoo has a Twitter account. But, I don't know how much longer the account will remain active, because the missing cobra has been found alive and well today.

I wanted to give everyone some background on this situation – the 20-inch Egyptian Cobra escaped on Friday, March 25th sometime in the afternoon. Cobras are known to be uncomfortable in public areas, so officials knew the cobra was most likely to be in a non-public area of the reptile house; and that’s just where officials found the serpent this morning. This snake could have killed a human with venom in 15 minutes. 

Now onto the cobra’s Twitter account – known as BronxZoosCobra, the person behind the account tweeted about the snake's escapades in the Big Apple. The only user BronxZoosCobra is following is TheBronxZoo. The location is listed as, “I’m not at the Bronx Zoo.” The bio states, “I’m an Egyptian cobra out on the town.” This cobra was also smart enough to make a gmail account! As of now, there is no immediate comment from the person who was sending messages via Twitter as the snake, who attracted 217,046 followers when I checked tonight. Apparently, the snake’s last adventure was attending the New York Yankee’s Opening Day baseball game.

My top three favorite tweets the 'cobra' posted included:
·         ‘If you see a bag of peanuts inexplicably moving along the ground at Yankee Stadium today. Just ignore it. It’s probably nothing.’
·          Anyone know if Rebecca Black lives in NYC? No reason.’
·         Dear @CharlieSheen, know what’s better than tiger’s blood? Cobra venom. #winning #snakeonthetown Also I’m 20 inches long. Just sayin’.’
Big props to whoever is behind the Twitter account; you have managed to gain a massive amount of publicity through news stations, newspapers, blogs, etc. Also, you have managed to create quite the flurry during this six day missing spree. This frenzy also created a Facebook page to get the Bronx Zoo Cobra to host SNL. I would like you to reveal yourself and shake your hand. You are one funny person. Unfortunately, your time in the public eye may be short-lived because following a cobra who is back in the cage just won’t be as entertaining. 

I hope the zoo officials make sure the snake cages are a little more secure this time around, but for now, rest easy Bronx residents.