Thursday, March 31, 2011

Insider Trading for the Masses?

      Every day in the Wall Street Journal there seems to be another incidence of insider trading.  Just yesterday, March 30, 2011,  there was a story titled "FDA Chemist Charged as 'Insider'."  Cheng Yi Liang, an employee of the FDA, has had access to password protected information on major drug approvals.  Over the last decade, this has allowed him to profit 3.6 million from the stock market.  Liang was able to deceive his peers by using seven different brokerage accounts that were not in his name.  (For the full article, follow this link:  FDA Chemist Charged as 'Insider'. )
      Now you might be asking yourself, what does insider trading have to do with social media? Well, I connect the two with accessibility of information.  Reading Chapters 4 and 5 in Brian Solis's book Engage got me thinking about the amount of information available to consumers on the internet today.
         Consumers are now better informed than ever, and can make decisions based on company sponsored wikis, podcasts, blogs and consumer reviews. Social media helps eliminate the guessing game that used to be consumerism. You no longer have to be a top executive to receive inside scoop on  new product lines or upcoming mergers. The information can inexpensively become public knowledge.  Consumers can create dialogue with one another or directly with experts in the field.
         Companies have greater transparency and are leveling the field of knowledge among consumers, staff members and investors. I think it is neat that you no longer have to know the right people, or hold the right position to be fiscally or emotionally investedin a company.  My only concern is relevant to insider trading,  when is the amount of information available too much? Will there be companies be held accountable for the credibility of information shared on informal media channels such as podcasts, blogs or other social media sites? Will it become more difficult to prove insider trading with more information publicly available?

         I leave you all with this question: Do you foresee the vast accessibility of information to be entirely good, or are there looming dangers involved?  These are all things I am looking forward to seeing play out in the future, and I am looking forward to hearing your feedback as well.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

O Canada

       Yesterday morning I began my trip to Windsor, Canada for Sigma Phi Epsilon's formal dinner. Each spring, this fraternity celebrates another year as a brotherhood. 
       I would like to provide the inside scoop to everyone that wonders what exactly goes on at such an event.  After passing through grouchy Border Patrol Officers, fraternity boys and their dates check in to the Holiday Inn on Ouellette Street.  This hotel is literally .2 miles from the Detroit Winsor Tunnel, which always seems to be a faster route to Canada than the bridge, (although far less scenic). 
      Once checking in, the fun begins with a banquet style dinner and awards ceremony.  Brothers are recognized for various reasons including four president's awards, which goes to a brother from each grade who goes above and beyond in their fraternity position held. Other awards are less serious such as "night-owl" and "strike-out of the year." My favorite award of the night was the "Rico Suave," jokingly this award is given to the brother with the best pick-up lines.
     Next is where I come in, last year I was named Sweetheart of Sigma Phi Epsilon. At dinner I presented a paddle (pictured below) to the brothers. 

Emily Bunka and Mike Davis
     Once I presented the paddle, the 2011-2012 Sweetheart was announced to be Kelsey Finch. She was thrilled to be chosen, and I cannot think of anyone better for the job.  Kelsey and I have been friends for a very long time, and she is one of the kindest people I know.  Congrats Kelsey! After dinner, Windsor has a lot to offer those looking for fun. Night clubs line the streets, as well as Caesar's casino and Karaoke Bars. Unfortunately no one from our group had a big win gambling, but we are holding out for next time! Personally I stayed close to quarter slots after discovering penny slot machines require a minimum bet of 30 cents.  Who would have thought that would be the case?
Emily Bunka and Kelsey Finch
     This weekend was a success.  Great friends, awesome food and incredible memories.  A short 2 1/2 hours from Ada is a whole other world.  Get out there and explore, if you ever have a chance to go to Canada, or anywhere else I urge you to take the chance! 

     Thats not all, after experiencing the wrath of customs, I am curious to hear about your experiences.  Please share!

Friday, March 25, 2011

You Digg?

     The book Groundswell has inspired me to explore unconventional social media sites. Lately, I have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of news stories I come in contact with throughout the day.  There are talk shows, news programs, newspapers, peer groups and internet sites all trying to win my attention.  As a college student, it is difficult to find time to search through the bulk of news in order to find a few articles that are relevant to my life.  
    Groundswell suggests as a great social media tool. This site is similar to the "like it" button on Facebook.  It expresses approval, and more approvals lead to higher  ratings.  Stories on Digg are essentially ranked by popularity. seems ideal for a girl like me, so here goes nothing.  Today I joined the Digg World. My first impression of this site is very positive.  The fact that articles are grouped by category makes maneuvering around the site incredibly easy.  The Business section and Lifestyles sections are most relevant to my life. In the next few weeks I look forward to reading top rated stores from these categories.  At first glance, I  also enjoy the section denoted "Hot Stories on Dig." Under this particular heading, I found an article called, "The Safest Countries in the World." After Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti and the Tsunami in Japan, I am curious which places are the most prone to disaster, and which are least prone.  "The Safest Countries in the World," lists Storrs, Connecticut as the safest state in the United States.  Overall, this site names Estoni,a Qatar, Bahrain the United Arab Emirates and Andorra the safest place to live.  Ratings are based on disasters in the past century. All of the countries listed have not experienced any monumental disasters in over 100 years. I found this article to be fascinating.  Hopefully the rest of my experiences with this site are as fruitful.  
    My question to my readers is this: Do you Digg? If not, is there a site that you prefer for discovering top news stories? Keep reading my blog because for the next week I will be checking Digg daily and make sure I report back with my satisfaction level. Thank you all for taking this social media journey with me. My hopes are to eventually master alternate media outlets in order to compete in the field of Marketing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The New Influencers: Success Story

     In the book The New Influencers by Paul Gillin, there are many blogging success stories. My favorite thus far is the blog named HackingNetflix by Mike Kaltschnee. I am interested in this particular success story for several reasons:
     The first reason: Mike Kaltschnee was tasteful in his blogging and the company he wrote about. Netflix has been supportive of his blog and even decided to put him on the press list.
     The second reason: Kaltschnee has been supporting his family financially through blogging. Who knew you could make a living by expressing your views online.
     The third reason: I always thought blogging was complex, Mike took a very simple idea and focused in on a very specific audience. I always thought you would want variety to attract people's interests, instead Mike found a topic that very little had been said about and had over 2 million visitors in 2006.
     Blogging is a more capable tool than I ever realized! I cannot wait to learn more about attracting an audience's attention. This is my 6th blog post and believe me, I appreciate now more than ever the social influencers among all of us. Attracting unique browsers daily must take passion and hard work.
     Paul Gillin points out that Mike is a non-traditional journalist. With people trusting in the media less and less, I wonder if blogs will surpass traditional sources of news in terms of message credibility. What do you think?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Video Contest Entry

In class, I posted my first ever YouTube video. While the task seemed daunting, I was surprised at how user-friendly imovie was to make a video.  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Yet Another YouTube Video!

This quarter, for Publicity, Media, and Campaigns, our objectives are educating the 18-25 year old public on national energy issues using non-traditional marketing. While on YouTube earlier today, I found a very helpful video for those of you in my class.  However, even if you are not in Campaigns, take a moment to check out Post Carbon Institute's YouTube video. The video is 5 minutes long and incredibly easy to follow.  I am interested to hear your feedback on whether or not this non-traditional marketing method is effective in your eyes.  

I had to share, hope you all enjoy!

300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 seconds

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


        For 12 years Susan G. Komen has been benefiting from Yoplait's Save Lids to Save Lives Campaign. Ten cents is still donated for each mailed lid. I am not sure if it is because of this campaign, or not, but I have developed a habit of looking at all yogurt lids for similar campaigns. 
       For instance, this morning I was eating Dannon's Lite and Fit yogurt. I absent-mindedly checked the lid and found myself being a dorky business/PR major. I got excited because there was a health tip on the inside of the lid, it read "get inspired and stretch or do crunches on commercial breaks". with a link to discover more health tips on their facebook page.  
       Somewhere in the last decade or so the inside of a yogurt lid became a platform for communicating with consumers.  Dannon is benefiting from an already conditioned public. We have been trained to check the lids, Dannon was just smart enough to use this outlet to communicate.
       Not sure if they planned this or not, but I thought this tactic was very clever.  I for one was reached by the message, and although I did not friend them on facebook... they made me stop and think.  Honestly that is half the battle. I am inspired by their creativity in discovering a voice through their packaging. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

The First Step towards my Engagement with Social Media

         Prior to taking this class (and reading chapter one of Engage by Brian Solis), I do not think I realized the science that is social media today.  The first few pages labeled me a social media follower.  Right away I wanted to change this label; Engage has inspired me. Then it set me backwards once more when it said:  

"This is something so much deeper than anything I could cover "for dummies." It is a matter of taking the easy route versus immersion.Success and Maturation is tied to the latter." 
(Solis xviii)

         Part of me thought there was an easy way, and that by sitting through class I would learn everything I needed to know.  This is not the case, in order to truly engage in social media, I cannot just sit back and absorb information.   There is not an easy way to master the art that is social media.  I am prepared do delve into social media and really try my best to understand it. 
         This book has also made me a world where jobs are hard to come across, social media may be the tool our generation needs to secure success.  It makes perfect sense that older workers will be looking to new graduates to understand social media at a very high level.  It is our job to be prepared to meet their expectations.  

My first step: Committing.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ruby Affairs

         Last night I attended my third drag show. All thanks to Ohio Northern University.  As much as I try to be open to new things, I am a very conservative person by nature. Let me provide a little background.
         Annually Open Doors, an Ohio Northern organization, hosts The Ruby Girls to perform. The Ruby Girls are men that have come together to perform as women. Their main purpose is to have fun with students and raise money for Aids research and awareness. 
        In order to involve students, individuals are asked to participate in the drag show and perform a song dressed as the opposite sex. The show is a competition between student organizations measured by which team raises the most money.
       As nervous as I was to attend the first, second,...and third time, I have not regretted attending. Seeing friends dressed up and prancing (or strutting) on stage is hysterical. This year's winning group was close to my heart.  My Delta Zeta sorority sisters performed alongside our Sigma Phi Epsilon sweetheart and came in first place. The group raised over $170 for the cause. 
I respect my sorority sisters for taking a risk and enjoying themselves.  Dressing up like a man and dancing on stage is not something I think I could ever bring myself to do.

      For all you out there that are conservative like me, learn this lesson from my experience. Different is not always bad, and life is too short to be serious all the time. Bye for now, be sure to look at the picture of the winning team below.  It is just BEGGING for compliments :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Yes You Can!

My boyfriend showed a moving YouTube video this week. Ever since, I cannot resist sharing this video with others.  I hope it affects you the same way it has affected me. Social media dominates the public agenda these days, and I believe society could use more positive news stories like the one posted below. With all the tragedies, war and bullying in today’s news, the American public could use some encouragement.  PR professionals could utilize this outlet to build relationships with the public.
         The video below documents an extraordinary journey of two men, known as Team Hoyt, which has taken place over the past 40 years.  Team Hoyt consists of a father and son who have competed in 68 Marathons, 238 Triathlons and even 6 Iron Man Competitions. An Iron Man Competition, according to the official Iron Man Website, consists of 2.4 miles swimming, 112 mile biking, and 26 miles running. This is an impressive accomplishment alone, but here is the kicker:  
        Dick Hoyt finished each of these races while pushing his paralyzed son Rick in his wheelchair. Ever since Rick was young, he wanted to be able to run, and the first time he and his father ran together he claimed, “It felt like I wasn’t paralyzed.” His father took it upon himself to live out his son’s dream.  Today they still run every week and give speeches all over the country.  Dick Hoyt is now 65 years old, and when he began running with his son he could barely run a 5K. What a distance he has come! In a world of depressing and negative news stories, I found this story to be inspirational and highly refreshing.
         Many people have never attempted, let alone completed, these challenges on their own. Dick has competed in over 1000 races while pushing the weight of his 110 pound son.  I was so inspired to hear this father and son story; it is unbelievable.  The physical strength and endurance Rick displays is remarkable.  
        My favorite part of this story is that even though Rick has been told he can set a world record (35 minutes away from the world record at The Boston Marathon in 1992),  he refuses to run without his son.  This is an unlikely love story; but one that will try to always remember, so I will not take my life or family for granted. The attitudes of Team Hoyt are so positive, even though they both have had so many setbacks in their lives. 
        In today’s society I propose more stories like this one, and less negativity in the press.  Now I pose these questions: do you feel the same way? Do you feel there is an imbalance between positive and negative news stories in our media channels?

This video, and the thousands that have watched, give me hope that good news is just as appealing as bad news (cough Charlie Sheen) in social media today. 

For more information go to or watch their video here