Category Archives: Trend

Why I Love TOMS Shoes Even More Than Before

Most girls will admit they have a weakness for shoes. I, however, am not one of these girls. I’d rather shop at Payless and I avoid wearing heels at all cost. But then I learned about TOMS and everything changed. Not only are TOMS Shoes adorable and comfortable, their business model is “one for one” – meaning for every pair of shoes I buy, they donate a pair of shoes to a child in a third world country. What’s better than buying a great product with the knowledge that you are helping out a needy kid?

Over the past few years, the company has developed a cult-like following thanks to grassroots marketing and strong word-of-mouth recommendations from people like me. Whether or not you have a closet full of TOMS shoes, I recommend taking a look at its latest social media campaign, which true fans will appreciate.

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Smirnoff: Don’t get caught without one

The blogosphere is a-buzz with news about the latest (or maybe only?) viral binge drinking game. Known as Icing, the rules are as follows:

1) You hand someone a Smirnoff Ice beverage

2) The recipient must take a knee and drink the entire sugary drink in one sitting

UNLESS

3) The recipient has a Smirnoff Ice beverage on hand

IN WHICH CASE

4) The original participant must drink both.

5) If you refuse, you are banned from the game and everyone makes fun of you.

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Filed under Best Practices, Blogging, Millennials, Trend

Twitter Account Spawns CBS Sitcom

I’m guess that most of us are frantically looking for a new show to tune into once LOST concludes this Sunday night. Well, for us social-media-loving folks can rest easy: ‘Bleep My Dad Says,’ a sitcom based off of Justin Halpern’s Twitter account, has just been picked up by CBS.

Launched just last fall, the Twitter account @ShitMyDadSays has garnered more than 1 million followers. The account is simple; Justin posts the blunt, curse-filled and hilarious things his father says to him. Here are a few examples:

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Filed under Celebrity, Internet, Pop Culture, Social Media, Trend, TV, Twitter, Video, YouTube

Ads: Coming to a Twitter Feed Near You

I had hoped this day would never come. Today marks the unveiling of a new advertising platform on Twitter. Ten percent of users will find themselves within the beta testing group that will receive “promoted Tweets” in their message stream. The first companies to take advantage of the opportunity include Starbucks, Best Buy and Virgin America.

While I completely understand the need for Twitter to increase its revenue and it may seem attractive for big time consumer companies to promote their products to targeted individuals using one of the fastest growing social media platforms, it seems the investment could do more harm than good.

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Watch Letterman Prove How Un-Tech Savvy He Is

As a PR professional, I can’t tell you how jealous I am of the extensive media coverage Apple has scored in the past month about its new iPad. Sure, it’s is sweet, but never has there been such a slam-dunk product launch when it comes to securing media attention.

While I’ve seen and read many great features on the iPad over the past few months, last night’s Letterman Top Ten is one worth sharing with you all. So please take five minutes – it is Friday, so I’m sure you’re not really ‘working’ even if you are in the office – and check out the “top 10 questions to ask yourself before you wait in line for the iPad.”

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Do Product Placements Make You (Ga)Gag?

Some have said that if content is king, then content distribution is the crown prince. While it remains paramount that brands continue to product relevant and provocative content, the means by which that brand image is shared needs to be just as, if not more, innovative these days.

Product placement is nothing new. Since 1919 when Red Crown Gasoline appeared in the short comedy film The Garage, to the far more recent outpouring of marketing in today’s entertainment, a la Absolute Vodka in Sex and the City, brands have made their mark in non-advertising for a price. Some are subtle (think Volvo in the Twilight series) and some are not so subtle (think the host of consumer brands highlighted in Talladega Nights). But none have found their way into as provocative a spectacle as the recent mini-movie/music video, Telephone by Lady Gaga and Beyonce. Continue reading

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Filed under Celebrity, Film, Pop Culture, Trend, YouTube

Thank You in 140 Characters

Now that we are officially deep into Award Season, I’ve spent a good amount of time watching and reading up on these shows from the red carpet interviews to the after party gossip blogs. While I, of course, love checking out the hairstyles, jewelry and gowns, I’ve begun to grow tired of the long-winded acceptance speeches that have caused these pop culture pageants to take up 5+ hours of prime time television.

It is for this reason that I’m a fan of the growing trend celebs like Lady GaGa, Pink and Taylor Swift have trail blazed: acceptance speeches via Twitter.

After last night’s Grammy Awards it’s become clear that many of the nominees are going beyond the microphone to share their gratitude. The best part is, these speeches are only 140 characters!

I can think of a handful of really good acceptance speeches:

And I can certainly think of many truly terrible ones:

While I recognize that these are very special and important moments for these actors and musicians, it is virtually impossible that they can thank everyone in the allotted time and many tend to ramble on and on and on and on. . . Unfortunately, any genuine, poignant commentary in these speeches (which Merryl Streep so delicately exhibited at this year’s Golden Globes) is few and far between.

So in the spirit of the Digital Age, let’s enforce a new code when it comes to acceptance speeches: Please, keep it to 140 characters.

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Top Takeaways from Social Integration: Harmonizing Social Channels into the Marketing, Communications & Service Platform

This morning I had the pleasure of attending the Business Development Institute’s social media seminar on social integration in New York City. I had the chance to meet many interesting and intelligent PR/marketing practitioners and listen to several top-notch speakers. I left with a wealth of knowledge and I’d like to share with you a few of the top takeaways that were discussed.

  • Digital Content doubles every 18 months. The amount of data available online in constantly swelling and it is up to marketers to 1) cut through the clutter and determine the areas where their clients already have a voice; 2) identify the white space their clients can “own”; 3) execute innovative social media campaigns that maximize opportunity and reach targeted audiences.
  • There is a paradigm shift already taking place within integrated communications; we need to focus on facilitating meaning Engagement online, rather than garnering the highest number of impressions possible.
  • The Digital Newsroom is no longer just for media. To appease a broader audience, we need to aggregate company and industry news (not just press releases), incorporate multimedia features (podcasts, video, etc.), and repurpose existing content (white pages, bylined articles, etc.) to tell the story that we want to be told.
  • You can’t ignore Negative Commentary online. Consider this: If a consumer walked into a retail store with a complaint, would the customer service representative send them to the back of the line?
  • Social media is much like the lesson we teach children about crossing the street: Stop, Look and Listen before you make a move.
  • Social media tools have enabled a constant Mobility which means that we must be “on call” 24/7. Consumers are constantly looking for more information, more connectivity and more usable content. Before you engage, be sure you are prepared to nurture and maintain the process.

You can check out the event’s hashtag on Twitter for additional insights and takeaways from today’s attendees by searching #BDI.

Do you have any other tips or best practices you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you.

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Filed under Best Practices, Branding, Facebook, New Room, Social Media, Trend, Twitter, Video, YouTube

Surfing the 3-D Channels

Companies like Comcast, Samsung and Vizio have hyped the coming of 3-D television for the past few years, though it looks like this Jetsons-esque notion may become a reality sooner than later.

As much as I enjoyed watching Avatar with silly 3-D glasses on, I’m not so sure this form of media will serve all programming as well. I’m all for technological progress, but here’s a list of shows I certainly don’t want jumping out of the screen:

  • NFL injury play backs – These shots give me the willies already. I’d hate to see a compound fracture coming at me.
  • Dirty Jobs – I certainly don’t need to see Mike Rowe pluck goose feathers, scrub mechanical piping or stick his hand in any sort of animal in 3-D.
  • Jon & Kate Plus 8 reruns – The hideous Kate hair looks like it’s jumping out at me already.
  • Nancy Grace – When hi-def was introduced, that was bad enough.
  • Seinfeld – Don’t mess with perfection.

Please feel free to add to the list in the comments section!

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In the Wake of Brittney Murphy’s Death, Twitter Provides Platform for Newsworthy Public Statements

As the Sunday news cycle erupted with news of Brittany Murphy’s tragic death, I couldn’t help but notice a consistent mention in each story I read: celebrity condolences from Twitter. Not only were People, E! and other tabloid-esque media including this information, but The AP, The New York Times and other more traditional news outlets included Twitter mentions in their coverage of the actress, as they would a formal public statement.

CNN even posted a follow-up article discussing the social media frenzy the ensued following the announcement:

The topic “RIP Brittany Murphy” began trending on Twitter on Sunday evening, as millions included the phrase in their Twitter postings. Most fans simply wanted to share their feelings about Murphy, 32, and talk about their favorite movie roles. . . One Facebook page, “RIP Brittany Murphy,” had 2,000 members as of Monday morning with fans posting their shock about the “Clueless” actress’ death on the page’s wall.

While recent deaths including Patrick Swayze and Michael Jackson resulted in similar trending topics on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, this was the first time that “hard-hitting” news sources substituted interviews for tweets—and I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

Whereas more traditional means of getting public statements from friends and family of the deceased would have travelled through a conduit of publicists, lawyers and agents, the commentary tweeted directly by Kutcher and others appeared to be heart-felt and genuine. In my humble opinion, I find that “from the horse’s mouth” commentary to be a refreshing addition to the news cycle, especially in reports of loss and tragedy.

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Filed under Celebrity, Facebook, Pop Culture, Social Media, Trend, Twitter