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!

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.