Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jayme Dee

         This past weekend, I was visiting my cousin Mollie in Michigan.  She attends Biola University in California.  Sometimes I hate her for being warm and on the beach when we still have to wear winter coats. For example: two days ago, April 28, 2011, I was wearing my winter jacket and almost blew away because the wind was so strong. 
          Anyways, my cousin has a new musical obsession, and I have now adopted the same obsession.  The singer's name is Jaymee Dee, she has a crisp, fresh sound and it is addicting (not to mention...she looks identical to my cousin, Mollie).  I had to share Jaymee's music with you all. So far, she is a mildly popular YouTube sensation, but my cousin seems to think she will be famous shortly.  What do you think? 

           Her original single: Love Whiplash
                An impressive cover: ET


Just so you can see the resemblance, here is a picture of my gorgeous cousin, Mollie :
Mollie is on the left!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Unbelievable

Last week my three roommates and I were huddled together in our bathroom with blankets.  For the first time in my four years at Ohio Northern University (ONU), a tornado alarm sounded.  The alarm is horrific, and went off from just after midnight until about 1in the morning.  Thankfully, our night ended peacefully back in our beds. A tornado did not rip through our Ohio campus...the same cannot be said for the states of Alabama or Mississippi. Both states suffered severe tornadoes, killing hundreds of innocent residents. 

     Below are pictures of the ruins, they are hard to believe.  The damage is both disturbing and sad.  Many lost loved ones, and even more lost their homes, possessions and sense of security.  My heart goes out to those affected. I know how I felt when I was huddled in my bathroom.  This had to be an absolute nightmare.
   
Alabama tornado picture: Birmingham-area home destroyed by tornado that made Alabama news headlines
Source: National Georgraphic

Souce: TIME Magazine
The aftermath of overnight tornadoes show destroyed ...
Source: Yahoo! News
The aftermath of overnight tornadoes that left ...
Source: Yahoo! News
   Click here to donate to Alabama Disaster Relief.  Storms are unpredictable, you never know when and where they will hit next.  On another note, I do not feel ONU adequately responded to tornado warnings last week.  Many apartment buildings do not have basements, and those on the second and third floors do not have anywhere to go. Students did not even receive an emergency text message. ONU protocol needs to change, and fast.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Should Employees be Trusted?

    This week in Social Media class we are reading portions of The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott. Scott presents an interesting debate in Chapter 5.  He discusses whether or not employers should allow their employees to blog.  Interestingly enough the same debate happened with email, this was before my years.  I do however agree with the strong comparisons  between these two mediums.  I have a feeling that just as not allowing employees to send emails seems silly now, not allowing employees to blog will seem silly later.  Scott brings up a great point that we have to look at the people communicating and not the technology.


 Building on this idea, if industry leaders in the fields of Marketing and PR are not allowed to blog, how are they expected to be an expert on the matter? What if these same executives were still not able to use email.  Imagine how far they would need to come to catch up with the rest of the world.  Until I began writing this blog, it was difficult for me to fully understand blogging ( I still have a lot to learn). Also, blogging is a way of sparking debate, and spreading knowledge.  Why would companies want to stifle this creative ground? Those participating in blogging communities can easily monitor what is being said.

   While I think employees should be allowed to blog. I also understand the possible repercussions corporations. So, as much as it is a right to be able to blog, it is a company's right to monitor employee posts and comments.  Blogs could definitely be abused and grounds for firing.  This should be made clear in orientations and employee handbooks.  Those that want to keep their job and are respectful should not have any issues.  Besides, it is much more difficult to convince people to stop doing something entirely than enact lose guidelines.

 These are a few of my opinions...What do you think?
  • Should employees be allowed to Blog? 
  • If so does it need to be in their free time, or can it take place at work
  • Should their be guidelines? How strict?
  • Does it depend on the type of company (public, private, non-profit)?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

       Today is Easter Sunday. I spent the last two days in Michigan, which is one of my absolute favorite ways to spend breaks. Why? My entire family lives in Michigan excluding my mom, dad, brother, sister and I. I feel fortunate we are all so close, although we do not see each other nearly as much as we did when we were younger. This makes me appreciate the time we have together. Today and yesterday consisted of goofing around, catching up, and lots of card games and great food. I am still stuffed from the turkey dinner my aunt prepared, and sleepy from the ride home. Overall I had a great weekend and it is bittersweet to head back to Ada tomorrow. Especially since it is the start of my last month at ONU...hard to believe.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Job Search Continued...

This past week, our Social Media class was told to complete an online resume. Since searching for a job has seemed like a full time job lately, I was open to new avenues. My attempt at an online resume is here. I found the website we used, Visual VC, to be relatively user-friendly. My only complaint is that unless you have a lot of work to link, Visual VC is very similar to Linkedin.  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My First Podcast

So after reading about making and listening to podcasts, I finally got the opportunity to make a podcast myself. My lovely co-host (Karlie Franco) and I spoke about professionalism on social networking sites.

Listen here : Emily and Karlie's Podcast

Below is the script we used while recording. Feel free to refer to it if you missed something!

INTRO

K: Hey listeners! I’m Karlie and I’m here with Emily for today’s podcast. Today we’ll be discussing professionalism and self-censoring on Twitter and Facebook. We’ve gotten the questions you’ve posted on our blog and we’ll do our best to make sure we answer them all.

So, after surfing around the Internet about this issue, I found one of the questions usually posed is whether or not having Twitter or Facebook is worth the time if companies are telling employees what they can or can’t post. What are your thoughts on this?

E: Most of the sources we found say it’s okay to be yourself but be careful what you post or tweet. Your employers are watching and listening. According to the 2009 Microsoft Study, 79% of recruiters search for candidates online prior to an interview, and 70% have rejected candidates based on what they found. In the end, just be smart about what you say online because it could cost you your job and your reputation.

K: I completely agree, within the last few months, comedian Gilbert Gottfried was fired from his job as the Aflac duck for Tweeting, “Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them." He also posted: "I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, 'They'll be another one floating by any minute now." This goes to showy no matter who you are, if you say something that puts a company’s reputation on the line, it’s OK, but you may be in need of a new career path.

E: Our goal today is to prevent this from happening to all of you. MSN Careers lists 8 ways to get fired because of social media. These are what not to do: “ Post off-color remarks, Post confidential details, Bad-mouth your clients, or disrespect your employer”

K: These may sound like common sense but you would be surprised at how often it happens. The last few suggestions MSN has are “ do not Post inappropriate photos, create animated videos of your co-workers, or talk trash about your boss.” Last, “Play hookey then post about it.”

E: Well I hope that answers the question for you, thanks again for writing in. Our next commenter asked, “ It’s difficult to self-censor yourself online, is it easier to just have a twitter account for work and one for personal use?”

K: While attending Ohio State’s Regional Activity for PRSSA, Speaker Brandi Hann who works in human resources at SBC Advertising says she personally does not feel separating is necessary but also feels that being wary of what you post during work days and at home is crucial. I agree with what she is saying because if you are a PR Professional who knows the proper way to use Twitter, there should be no question about the integrity of what you are posting.

E: This is so true, I would recommend using Facebook as more of a way to connect with friends and family, whereas Twitter and Linkedin might be better suited for developing professional relationships. So with that said, where do you draw the line between social and professional networking sites?

K: This question is probably best answered with an example from a Cisco Employee. Conner Riley interviewed for an IT position at Cisco Systems Inc. After being told she was hired, Conner went home and decided to mix her social and professional life by posting “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” Unfortunately, Cisco made the decision for her and fired her within hours of her post. Tim Levad, a Channel Partner at Cisco: “Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.”

E: For our and your entertainment we will share a few more infamous tweets gone wrong like the “Cisco Fatty” incident. James Andrews, the then Vice President of Ketchum was visiting Memphis and upon arrival tweeted, “True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say I would die if I had to live here!” Needless to say, this did not go over well.

K: Likewise, Kenneth Cole, the fashion designer tried his best to promote himself in lighthearted manner during a very tense and violent situation. He Tweets: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo -KC” Cole later apologized via Facebook.

E: The account director at Chrysler’s social media firm was stuck in traffic in the Motor City when he tweeted: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to (expletive) drive.” He thought he tweeted that on his personal account, but he didn’t, he actually posted it to his client’s account. It cost him a job and his firm the account.

K: In closing, we will go over 5 Rules for Professional Social Networking.

E: Karlie and I found a handy blog post on one of our favorite sites, Mashable. The first rule Dan Klamm of Mashable lists is knowing your platforms. Each social media platform has its own environment, and rules of maneuvering. In order to use these websites to your advantage, it is best to know how each social network operates.

K: The next rule Klamm writes is customize everything. In his blog post, he says “It shows that you value your unique connection with the recipient it is easy to feel used when you send them a generic request or message.

E: Ask for something specific, always know your motives for connecting via social media. Professionals have limited time to spare, make it as easy as possible for them to help you by knowing what you want out of the interaction.

K: An important concept is to take it offline whenever possible. Interactions online are often missing key components such as eye contact, body language and tone of voice which contribute to building relationships. When meeting through social media, ask for the preferred method of contact. Some like email, others like phone calls, and still more like face-to-face interaction.

E: Lastly, always say thank you. Simple enough, but always appreciated.

E: That wraps up this week’s podcast, thanks for tuning in; Feel free to visit our blogs for all of your social media updates at emily0989.blogspot.com and kfranco.blogspot.com. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Distinguished Lecture Series on Ethics

       Hello Bloggers, tonight I attended the Distinguished Lecture Series in the Dicke Forum.  The presenter was Dominic Salomone, CFO of First Charities Network.  He is a graduate of Ohio Northern University, Class of 77'.Salomone stressed the importance of 10 principles when approaching an ethical life and career.  These principles are known as The Code of the West and were published by James Owen.  I will list these ten principles now:

1. Live each day with courage. 
2. Take pride in your work.
3. Always finish what you start.
4. Do what has to be done.
5. Be tough, but fair.
6. When you make a promise, keep it.
7. Ride for the brand.
8. Talk less and say more.
9. Remember that some things aren't for sale.
10. Know where to draw the line.


          For whatever reason these 10 principles really resonate with me, and I believe they will serve as a great code of personal ethics in my career.  This speaker was an inspiration because he started out at Ohio Northern University, and ended up taking the Banking Industry by storm.  These principles are a reminder to stay true to myself and take pride in my work. Thank you Dominic Salomone for a terrific speech tonight!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Loving that Toyota's Gone Viral !

If you have not seen Toyota's latest viral video, watch it now by clicking on this link: 
The viral video "Swagger Wagon" has gotten over 8,000,000 views and is used as a tool by Toyota to promote the 2011 Sienna Minivan.  I had to share this video because I found it to by hysterical! With all the negative press Toyota has gotten in the last year or so, this is exactly what they need. Toyota is doing a fantastic job coasting through negative press by putting a smile on consumer's faces.  Through product defects and other mishaps, it is impressive that Toyota can be light-hearted and continue to do business as usual.  Hopefully Toyota's reputation will make a quick recovery following this campaign. I am always rooting for a good comeback!

Monday, April 11, 2011

8 Year Business Simulator

       This quarter in my Advanced Marketing Class, my group members and I are competing under the alias "Team Digby".  We are competing against five other groups selling sensors on an online simulator called CapSim Management Solutions.  The program has been neat thus far because group members are responsible for collaborating each week on budgets, products, market segments, R&D, and production.   Involved in this program are also financing your business through issuing stocks or bonds. The simulator produces results each week, just in time for the next week's projections to be submitted.  

       As much as i dreaded this project, it is much less intimidating now that we are entering our fourth round of projections.  The game has definite strategies to it, and I have enjoyed competing against classmates.  This post's purpose is to acknowledge a fine tuned teaching tool, and share a positive review with the blogging community.  CapSim does a great job simulating a real-life company, and gives all students a taste of every aspect of running a business. As a marketing major, we do not just focus on promotions and sales.  I am also responsible for estimating capacity in our manufacturing plant, and forecasting inventory on hand for each product.  

        So far "Team Digby" started out strong.  We were in first place in terms of stock price and market share in year 1.  Year 2 we continued to have success, and year 3 we dropped to third place. However, I am especially excited to view  results for Year 4 (later today!) because we launched a new product and hope to come out on top once more.

GO DIGBY!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Who is in Control of a Company's Brand?

       Tomorrow is the first exam of the quarter in my Social Media Class. While reviewing, I stumbled upon this quote in the book Groundswell by Josh Bernoff:


     The value of a brand belongs to the market, and not to the company. The company in this sense is a tool to create value for the brand...Brand in this sense--it lives outside the company, not in the company. When I say that the management is not prepared for dealing with the brand, it is because in their mind-set they are managing a closed structure that is the company. The brand is an open structure--they don't know how to manage an open structure.

      My interpretation of this argument is that the public contributes a great deal to a company's brand. I do not think this is necessarily the case. While people have the opportunity to interact with company websites, and forums, at the end of the day a brand concept is created by the company itself. Feel free to disagree, that is why I am re-posting this quote, to spark discussion!

      The term brand can be defined several ways. My personal definition of a brand is in the details. For example, a retailer's brand begins with the way customers are greeted when they enter stores. It is then reinforced through tangibles such as lighting, store design, logos, bags, pricing and displays. A brand is the complete embodiment of an organization. To me, a brand is ideals on paper brought to life by hand-picked designers and a thoughtfully crafted web-persona. I feel social media can be used as a great extension of a brand, but the brand does not begin and end online. Social media may also serve as an indicator of how well a brand reads to its customers. If the brand is negatively received it is a lot easier to spot using online forums and comments. In conclusion, while a brand can be expanded upon online using social media tools, I believe the majority of a brand is still in each company's control.

Eager as always to hear your thoughts!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lessons Learned in Chicago

While in Chicago this week on a PRSSA agency tour, I was able to visit four impressive PR agencies.  The lessons I learned are arranged below according to agency.

Ruder Finn
  • In an interview, a good question to ask is whether or not the company has professional development programs for employees.
  • A great method of networking is conducting informational interviews with industry professionals.
  • Correct AP style is an indicator of professionalism on resumes.
  • As an intern, have an open mind to a wide variety of tasks. Remember:  as an intern, you are proving you are worth hiring.
  • Online portfolios are becoming an industry standard to showcase an applicant’s work. 
Ketchum
  • Internships are typical starting points at PR agencies. It is highly unusual for a PR agency to hire an employee without him or her being an intern first.
  • Always be sure to "court" contacts; do not just ask for favors. Contacts will be more willing to help a friend than a stranger.
  • Do not be afraid to email or call an employer several times.  Emails are commonly buried beneath more time-sensitive material.
GolinHarris
  • Big agencies can feel small.
  • Focus on the environment/corporate culture of an organization before accepting a position. 
  • Include numbers in your resume, and tailor a cover letter to compliment the posted job qualifications.
Weber Shandwick
  • Public relations professionals have made a career out of telling and selling stories.
  • Large agencies allow for creativity because they have less limited budgets, and their contacts are more widespread.
  • If you showcase your specific skill sets while interning, full time positions may be created to support your expertise.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Preparing for the GMAT

In addition to working as a waitress and being a full-time student, I have been preparing for the GMAT the past few months.  This test will be here before I know it, which has been a dark cloud looming in my life.  While I am not planning on going directly into a graduate program, I would eventually like to go back to school.  The GMAT can make this dream a reality.  The website mba.com says, "leading business schools and management education programs worldwide recognize the GMAT as the most effective predictor of success." Scores can be used for up to five years when applying to masters programs.  Recently I stumbled on a helpful blog called  GMAT Hacks, for anyone else taking the GMAT I highly recommend subscribing to this blog.  Articles discuss test-taking tactics and the site has over 1800 past test questions.  Jeff Sackmann is a test prep tutor that has written this blog for the past ten years. After looking over his advice on taking the math sections (my weakness), I already feel more confident in my abilities. Consider this blog a shout-out to Jeff Sackmann, I plan on reading this site every day until T-day (test day!).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Would you buy an Ipod for a Penny?


(This is not a trick question…of course you would!)   

       Digg.com brought to my attention a trendy new way of finding deals online. Many people would jump at the opportunity to purchase laptops and flat screen televisions inexpensively.  This thought process is the basis for Quibids, which is a penny auction website that begins bidding at $0.00. This online auction is comparable to eBay, except each bid placed costs 60 cents. (To recap, if you place a bid, it raises the price by a penny, but costs 60 cents.) In my opinion, the site is genius, because it is highly profitable.  Although, I'll admit, my first instinct was to question the integrity of the site, because it seems too good to be true. Here is a video describing how Quibids works.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0UCMJRZSGbk/TZeXUrtL9WI/AAAAAAAAABc/5Y-fPy43xrE/s320/347-LogoOriginal.jpg

        In theory, this is an incredible opportunity to purchase high end goods at an affordable price.  Taking a chance, I decided to sign up for an account.  Here is where I found the first red flag. In order to place a bid, you must purchase bids in a bundle.  The minimum sale for first-time users is $60.00.  Unfortunately, I think this price tag is a bit steep for a trial, so I have not bid on any items just yet.  On the other hand, I have spent time watching auctions. 
        Many blogs have begun to expose Quibids auction site. Some People claim there are robots placing automatic bids on big ticket items, while others say they win items within the first few days and then rarely win again.  Others blame losses on bad strategy, and claim to have received immense savings. 
        I decided to investigate into what others are saying about this site.  Social media can serve as a wonderful tool, because social media allows people to connect to those that have had experience directly.

 Here is feedback I found on Reviewopedia.com regarding Quibids:


Mike says:
     March 7th, 2011 at 11:08 pm -I 100% disagree with BigPicture. Think of it as gambling at a casino. You win some and you lose some. You do not want to spend money on this website, thinking that you will automatically win. Thats just stupid!!!I won an apple Ipad retailed for $499.99 for $5.56 + $15.99 s&h + 30 bids. If you do the math 30bids * $.60 cents a bid = $18.00 so for a grand total of $39.55, i bought an ipad. Yes the people that lost the auction lost their bids, but isnt that what gambling is all about? You would not try to get a casino shut down just because you lost a bet! think of this site as a virtual casino, not a scam.
 Winner says:
      January 4th, 2011 at 1:44 pm -It amazes me how the majority of these comments are all negative. I signed up on Quibids today and won 3 auctions in less than a hour and those are with the initial 100 bids I paid $60 for. A Minolta 35 mm camera (list for $525)that i paid 3.78 with 10 bids, a 32 inch Viao TV, for 11.21 with 6 bids and a $100 Lowe's gift card for 11 cents! Its all about timing and waiting out the suckers. It is no different then playing the stock market. You will win some and you will lose some. TIMING PEOPLE!! TIMING!!! If you don't understand the stock market you will never understand penny auctions. they are not a scam. It just takes intelligence to understand it
Mark C. says:
     February 23rd, 2011 at 7:13 pm -I personally believe this company needs to be investigated. On at least two auctions, I've watched a 'person' bid so many $.60 bids alone they could have bought the item twice at retail price. Either they are the dumbest person on the face of the planet, or this is a bot simply running to drive the price up and keep others bidding on the item. The 'person' that was doing this had the nick 'annalovell'. If anyone else notices this, please post...
Sicofit says:
      January 27th, 2011 at 2:51 pm- I've never fallen into the penny auction trap but am still blown away by how these sites are allowed to advertise their business. Showing a winning bid by dollar amount is completely misleading and shouldn't be allowed. Example: Advertising an iPad having been won for $22.67 actually means 2267 bids at$.60/bid were placed. This means Quibids receives $1360.20 for an item that retails for $699.00. I'm not saying that there aren't any deals to be found on these auctions, but promoting 95% savings is just untrue. I'm glad to see the high number of posts that recognize this and I'm tired of seeing these advertisements on my computer. And those people who boast about winning items for $12.00, what did they really spend and how about the auctions they don't finish?
       
       If this site matches the positive comments above, it is a gold mine.  I find the positive comments about difficult to believe though.  If anyone else is daring enough (and has money to wager) I would love to hear about your experience with this program.  I’ll come right out and admit it, I am too chicken.  Before I paid the $60.00 required to register, I am glad I consulted the reviewopedia forum.