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Calculating ROI in Social Media

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roiROI. ROI. ROI. Say that ten times fast! Say it once or say it a thousand times, most social media professionals are tired of getting asked to calculate it. I spoke with a representative at Oracle, one of the largest tech corporations, not long ago. My contact there confirmed that nobody has a definite answer to calculating ROI in social media. This proves a point of mine exactly, there is no direct answer to return on investment (ROI) from social media.

Now, there are things we can quantify in social media. We can find the number of likes, retweets, mentions, pins, hashtags used and more. We can find out how many people visit our website and are referred from social networks. We can see how many people share our most recent blog article or press release. What we cannot determine is what we are going to get out of it for all the money that we spend on it – and if you’re not spending money on it you’re already in trouble.

What most do not realize is that no matter how you see it, social media is a key lifeline for business. It is necessary. It is no longer an optional thing to do. Everything is becoming socialized. To maintain a positive share in the marketplace, businesses need to keep themselves out there. Ten years from now, you will stumble upon this topic and laugh. I’ve been using social media for 11 years now and all it has taught me is that people like to feel close to what they believe in. If they like science fiction novels, people will use social networks to connect with science fiction authors, fans and companies. If people are interested in baking, they will follow famous bakers, share recipes on networks and talk with other fellow bakers.

The fact is, if you are not out there talking with those interested in topics that you or your company cares about, someone else will. Someone else will lead the conversation. Someone else will move your customers to their side. The question constantly arises – What is the ROI of social media to our organization? The real question is – What is the negative ROI if you do not use social media?

SDC Preview: Meet Workshop Speaker Don McLean

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screen-shot-2013-10-21-at-11-55-19-am

The 16th Annual Student Development Conference committee is proud to present Don McLean, the marketing and proposals lead at MMS Holdings, Inc.

Don will be one of the workshop speakers at SDC on Friday, Dec. 6 and will speak about personal branding.

Don’t forget to get your early bird special rate by reserving your spot at the Student Development Conference. The early bird special rate is $10 and is available until Friday, Nov. 29. Please visit the SDC web page for more details.

Payment and RSVP’s must be made to Lisa McClees before Friday, Nov. 29 to receive the early bird rate. Refunds will not be given once payment is made because SDC is a fundraiser for EMU PRSSA.

Personal Branding for Students

  • Understanding the personal brand concept
  • Why are personal brands important?
  • How to elevate your personal brand
  • How social media plays a part of personal branding
  • Key…

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Dropping the F** Bomb at Work!

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03_zappos-employeeNo, not that f-bomb.  In this case, the ‘f’ stands for fun! You may ask if work and fun can be synonymous. The answer is ‘yes.’ Companies need to brand themselves from the inside out to create happy employees. Happy employees work harder, While certain companies are doing it right, others are suffering through the day-to-day struggles.

Fun does not mean not doing work. Fun means having an enjoyable environment. It involves hardworking people who want to be able to take a break to re-energize. It is a management team who understands that happy employees make the best employees. A fun work environment is not meant for the lazy or undetermined. It is meant for the go-getter, the innovator and the rule-breaker. This type of work environment expects and retains the best.

Branding your company as one that is fun and full of life is not easy. It takes a good amount of thought and a culture that encourages you to enjoy your work life. Here are a few examples of work environments that brand themselves from the inside out:

  1. Google: Google probably makes every one of these lists. It just goes to show if you do something right, you will be recognized. Here is a great explanation of what Google does to make work fun.
  2. Brogan & Partners: Every year Brogan takes their entire company on a mystery trip. No, not the mystery trip your grandparents took with their senior unit to Branson, Missouri. Real vacations to tropical paradises. The catch is they do not tell them until they get to the airport. Pretty cool, huh? Yea, they know how to have fun. They also encourage you to bring your dog to work.
  3. Zappo’s: This office environment is not state of the art like Google. It is not relaxing like Brogan. It is what is known in the corporate world as ‘cube-ville.’ This boxed in world is very different from the average though. They ask employees to have a lot of fun with their cubes. It is not unusual to have props hanging from the sides of the wall cubes and even the ceilings to make the space their own. See what I mean here.

Now you may be thinking that your work environment is nothing like that. Not to worry. There are things you can do. If your work is stuck in the past, you can step up and make change. Sometimes it only takes one person to get the fun started at work. If you were a small business owner, what would you do differently to foster creativity and fun at work?

1 Year on My Blogging Journey

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Today marks the one year anniversary since I published my first post. I especially want to thank you for being a follower of Advertorious and reading it regularly. It makes me feel so good to know that my thoughts and ideas are being well received with a larger community.

Here are some fun statistics from the first year of Advertorious:

Why do I blog? I do not do it for the money, that is for sure. In fact, this entire year I have not been paid for any of my work. I blog to open opportunities, to share ideas and most of all, to learn. In my post Educate or Deteriorate I spoke on the importance of continual learning. That is a philosophy of mine that is ingrained in my being and will stay with me for life.

What you can do for me? I never ask for much in return. All I care about is that you enjoy what you read and from time-to-time you share a post or two with your friends. if you have any suggestions for further posts leave a comment below.

What will you see in the next year? Some even larger interviews with key folks in business, advertising, marketing and public relations. No guest posts. A deeper focus on social media and personal branding. A continuation of the dedication to answer to every question or comment that is made by readers, You never know, I may just write a book.

What do you want to see in the next year of Advertorious?

5 Steps to Landing the PR Internship You Want!

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You, the millennials, are looking for internships and neomillennials will be shortly. It is both a scary and exciting time. Getting your first job in public relations is not that easy. There is a ton of competition. When you finally land a job, it may not be all it was cracked up to be. These five steps will help put you in the best possible position to land your dream internship in public relations or any industry:

  1. Your sell sheet! The first thing that any potential employer will see is your resume. You on paper. Use this resume to sell yourself, Before you even send one out, do some research on resume writing tips. Make sure to have your resume reviewed and critiqued by as many people as possible including teachers, friends, relatives and even professionals. It is widely known that the average human resources professional looks at a resume and makes a decision in under 10 seconds. Make sure your resume stands out.
  2. Escape social beheading! Social media is more powerful than ever, I do not need to tell you that. However, I do need to tell you to review your accounts. After your resume passes approval the next thing that is looked at is the social media profiles. If anything of your is public it is now connected to you. Before you even have the opportunity to talk to someone you could be nixed because you looked wasted in your profile pic. Clean up these profiles. Review them alone and with a friend, critically. Google yourself and see what else comes up. Do your own PR damage control before the damage is done.
  3. The 3 P’s! If your resume gets through and your social media profiles pass the test, it is time for the interview. The 3 P’s are simple – practice, practice, practice! Practice your interviewing skills. Ask your PR professor or another student if they will do a mock interview with you. Online there are many sites with common interview questions. Research them and decide on some talking points to those questions. Along with this it is important to listen to yourself, so record it. Every iPhone has a voice recorder. This will allow you to adjust things that may get in the way of the interview, such as ending every sentence with “So… yea.”
  4. Get your swag on! Prepare well in the last three steps and you will get the interview. From the time you arrive in the lobby until the time you leave you need to be well put together, not just in clothes but in mannerisms. The number one thing that you need to remember is that every person you talk to was in your place at one time. They are only human. Have confidence, dress the part, and most of all be yourself.
  5. Get the eye of the tiger! See what you want and do not stop until you get it. Following up is an important and underrated part to the interview process. In my most recent internship interview process, only 1 in 7 millennials sent a follow-up note. Follow-ups are important because they might be that extra little boost you need to stand out from that other stellar intern that you are competing against. Put together a well-written, passionate note and either email or mail it to the employer. Handwritten notes allow for a nice personalized touch. This will show them you have drive and lets potential employers see you roar!

These five steps will elevate your chances of landing the internship you want and deserve greatly. You may have heard pieces of this before, but it is a process. One or two  of these steps could be solid but without any one piece you will falter. Think about it this way, skip a step and automatically the best you can do on the test is 80%. That is, if all other cylinders are firing correctly. Challenge yourself to shoot for 100%.

What is the best advice you have ever been given in regards to interviewing for an internship?

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Article originally posted as a guest post on http://emuprssa.com/2013/09/13/5-steps-to-landing-the-pr-internship-you-want/

What Happens in Vegas: Brand Immersion in the American Culture

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whathappensinvegasOnce a brand is so heavily immersed in the American culture, it creates a huge amount of staying power. The brand name turns into a word or phrase used to describe entire categories of products or a lifestyle choice. The perfect example of one brand applying to an entire category is Kleenex.

Growing up i, like many others, did not know the word ’tissue.’ Kleenex is what everyone I knew called them, no matter the brand. To this day, I never use the word tissue. It was something built into my culture as a specific word. When a brand has this amount of pull, the staying power is immense. This of course applies to only one product category. Can you think of a brand that spans the gamut of all product categories?

Cadillac is one such brand. Cadillac has been synonymous with applying as a phrase meaning the “gold standard.” What do mountain biking tips, health care. grilling, power cables and surf shops have in common…

Read the entire article on the Talent Zoo blog Beneath the brand at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beneath-the-brand/blog_news.php?articleID=18181

Cadillac is Back at Hero Status

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bob_ferguson_cadillacOn June 14, 2013, Bob Ferguson, Vice President of Global Cadillac, spoke to a large group of industry professionals at the Adcraft Club of Detroit GM Day. Ferguson is clearly focused on the long-term brand strategy to bring Cadillac back. After some neglect and declining market share for more than thirty years, Cadillac recently has had its highest sales spike since 1976.

Ferguson focused his discussion on Cadillac as an epic tales of sorts. The hero is the automobile, with various sections of the story revealing its true character. Ferguson describes it as a tale with three acts.

  1. Act One: Cadillac is described as the hero in its infancy. It is born. It leads. It is iconic. It holds the virtues of the American public. As many know, Act One lasted for many years, from approximately 1902 through 1976.
  2. Act Two: Things were shifting and the hero that is Cadillac was lazily focusing on size and its past status. Cadillac, the hero, slumped. It was caught off guard by its enemies and the new idea of what an iconic car should be.  Act Two lasted a lot less longer than the previous act, from approximately 1976–2012.
  3. Act Three: Cadillac is described simply as redemption. The hero…

Read my entire article originally published on the Talent Zoo blog Beneath the Brand here: http://www.talentzoo.com/beneath-the-brand/blog_news.php?articleID=17905

Cadillac is Going Rogue

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2014-cadillac-ctsCadillac is “Going Rogue.” No, not in the Sarah Palin-esque style after which she so eloquently titled her memoir. Rather, in its advertising switch from Fallon Worldwide to three firms from the Interpublic Group of Companies simply called “Rogue.” Rogue is comprised of Campbell Ewald (Detroit), Hill Holiday (Boston), and Lowe (London).

“Our open architecture model brings together outstanding IPG talent with deep knowledge of both autos and the luxury consumer — domestically and around the world,” said Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO of Interpublic Group. “Our offering will be comprised of the exceptional creative capabilities of Hill Holliday, a powerful base of operations in Detroit thanks to Campbell Ewald, and Lowe’s dynamic international network.”

Back in March, Bill Shea at Crain’s Detroit Business told the public that Cadillac would be taking the reins of its advertising back from Fallon Worldwide and giving it to Campbell Ewald. Tuesday, Shea announced that “Campbell Ewald hired as part of Cadillac ad account switch.” The focus has been on Campbell Ewald because of its long history…

Read the entire article on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=17668

The Secrets to Secrets: Mad Men Philosophies

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Stan Rizzo (Jay R. Ferguson), Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) - Mad Men - Season 6, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/AMC

Stan Rizzo (Jay R. Ferguson), Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) – Mad Men – Season 6, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/AMC

Episode four of Mad Men season six, To Have and To Hold, is very secretive. In the first scene, we learn that SCDP is going after Ketchup after all — behind the scenes. Don and Stan spend a lot of time in a back room at the firm with tin foil over the windows. They are keeping this creative pitch a secret from everyone, including the other partners at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (SCDP). The presentation day comes and Draper et al. give it their best. Upon leaving the room, they run into Peggy and Ted Chaough. Don listens in on Peggy’s pitch and is visually heartbroken when she uses one of his tried-and-true techniques. Both firms run into each other at a first-floor restaurant. Ken Cosgrove walks in and tells them that Ray from Heinz baked beans found out about the pitch and fired SCDP on the spot. Project K fell flat.

There are some secrets to secrets. Don and the gang attempted to court Ketchup as if it was another mistress. It backfired. In any business there are always secrets, whether they’re little secrets to keep from lower levels of staff or bigger secrets such as the one Draper encountered. Here are four secrets when it comes to secrets at SCDP and your office:

  1. A secret is only a secret if you don’t tell anyone. SCDP was doomed from that start when Stan told Peggy about the then-potential Ketchup pitch. Also, since the Ketchup and Baked Beans accounts were part of the same company you had to know that they would find out sooner or later. Not to mention, Timmy was not the only Heinz man in the room. He had others involved in the selection of the competing agencies. We also have to realize that Timmy from Ketchup didn’t like Ray from the Beans business. These types of workplace politics always exist. No matter what you think, secrets will be known eventually.
  2. Nothing ever stays secret for long. Once you tell someone a secret they will most likely tell it to someone else. It is part of human nature to let people in on the juicy gossip. How Ray found out about the pitch we are not sure, but it could have been any number of things, such as: a memo (a forwarded email today), a friend privy to what is happening on both sides, or Timmy may have told him directly to watch his sales crash and burn. No matter how Ray learned of SCDP’s disloyalty, we learn that secrets are not designed to be kept secret long.
  3. You are a key player. You know you are key to the company when you’re involved. For Don, Stan is his new go-to guy. Ginsberg is shut out again. When you are part of a secret this big, that is a real testament to your character. When you are a key player, you should be open and honest about things. Stan forgot to mention to Don that he let it slip to Peggy that SCDP is not pitching Ketchup. Don would have been able to foresee some things and make more informed decisions.
  4. Weigh the possible outcomes. If and when the secret does get out, is it worth it? From the start, Don and Pete said Ray would never find out about this. They did not think about what would happen if he did. Could they afford to lose the business? It is a gamble. When you go to the casino it’s not smart to take so much money that it would leave you living out of your car for the next few years. Only play what you can afford to lose. Since it is still a secret, the rest of the partners will not be happy once they learn about this loss. Would the other partners have made the same decision? If you do not want to get caught, do not proceed. You must be able to accept the consequences no matter what the outcome is. Peggy and Stan’s friendship is now severely damaged and the company has lost a multi-million-dollar national account.

How do you deal with secrets at work? Are you always in the know or in the dark? Give me a fifth secret to secrets.

Read the original article on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=17379

Loyalty, Friends, and Work: Mad Men Philosophies

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heinz-baked-beans-mad-menLoyalty and work in advertising. This is not the standard norm that it once was. Loyalty in this business — in any business, for that matter — is more of an old value that sits on the shelf, used occasionally but most often forgotten. Mad Men’s latest installment in their Emmy-winning series titled “The Collaborators” brings us three major instances of challenged loyalty in business. Let’s not even get started on their personal lives.

  1. Loyalty and longtime business: Don Draper and Ken Cosgrove are visited by Heinz Baked Beans client Raymond Geiger for an introduction meeting. He introduces them to Heinz Ketchup’s “Polished Pollack.” The meeting ends and after the head of the “Coca Cola of Condiments” walks out of the room, Ray quickly changes his tune, saying not to go after the Ketchup division. Ray assures Don and Ken that he is happy with SCDP and walks out. Ken Wants to go after Ketchup anyways but Don reels him back in, saying, “Sometimes you gotta dance with the one that brung you.” Ken is unhappy with this response. Did Don do the right thing in keeping loyalty towards Ray and the Baked Beans division? This brings us back to earlier in the Mad Men seasons, when Don wanted to stay with Mohawk Airlines and Duck wanted to go after American Airlines. Ultimately they ended up without either airline. This makes me think that Don may have had this in his mind when he was explaining his rationale to Ken. We will have to wait for further episodes to see how this unfolds; however, what would you do in this situation? It would be easy to risk everything and go for broke, but would you be willing to lose the Baked Beans business? Don’s loyalty in business, though ironic, shows great concern for his clients and their best interests. When clients know you are in their corner, they fight for you in ways that you could never think of. Ray is testing Don’s loyalty and it looks like he is going to pass.     
  2. Loyalty for the good of the client: Don’s loyalty towards this work and what is right for the client is tested again in this episode but in a different way. One-third of his Jaguar client, Herb Rennet, is trying to poison the deal once again and thinks only about himself. Herb calls a meeting with Pete and Don to discuss changing all of the media buys and creative to favor his part of the business. Then he asks Don to pitch it to the rest of the team as their idea. Don knows this is not right and the work will suffer. He also knows that it will reflect poorly on the firm if they run with this plan. When the rest of the Jaguar team comes in for the final discussion before launch Don pulls a pitch move like we have never seen before, attempting to sell Herb’s idea but knowingly sounding very off base. The Jaguar team knows that this does not sound right for their luxury brand so they stay with the original decision as Don intended. This loyalty that Don showed exhibited what needed to be done for the good of the client. Sometimes what is asked of you and what is right do not always coincide.
  3. Loyalty towards work friends: Peggy Olson is on another one of her after-hours calls with Stan Rizzo, physically laughing, when her new boss walks in. Boss Ted Chaough kindly asks what was making her laugh. Stan was talking to her about the Heinz incident and SCDP not going after the Ketchup brand. The next day when she walks into the office, Ted has a folder for Peggy to prepare to go after Ketchup. Peggy says she cannot do that because she learned about it in confidence from a friend. Ted tells her “Maybe you need a friend more than you need a job,” ending the conversation with, “This is how wars are won.” Peggy is faced with a tough situation. Does she go after the potentially huge opportunity for the firm or stay loyal to her friend? If Peggy wants to stay at her current firm she will have to go after the account. Can she do that and still be loyal? Peggy is used to being loyal to Don Draper and SCDP, and that is one of the underlying issues here. Since SCDP is not going after the account, it would make the most sense to let Stan know that her firm is and leave it at that. That way she is letting her friend know their now-inside information while being loyal to her new boss. It may not be the war like Ted explained, since Don walked out with the white flag, but it will test Peggy’s loyalty.

These situations may play out very differently if Mad Men were set in today’s world. This idea of loyalty seems lost. What would you do if you were faced with these tough decisions? Would you rest on the laurels that your parents and grandparents taught you or would you take a chance?

Read the original article on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Ave at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=17337