Friday, December 18, 2009

Hello Everyone!

My blog has moved to its own web page - yay! Please visit me there - I enjoy all your comments, please keep them coming!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Social media dangerous for the younger generation?

Tonight I attended a social media forum for a volunteer organization I’m involved with (I know, you’re thinking – “Why would a social media expert like myself go to a social media forum?” – because you can always learn more…write that down). Anyway, at the forum, one of the ladies asked a question about how she had read that social media was hurting children because they weren’t learning how to speak to people face-to-face.

Ok, I see her point – barely, however, I believe that this same thing was said about TV, the telephone, cell phones, the internet...I could go on and on. I understand that this creates a new problem for parents. Not only do they have to monitor their children’s cell phones and internet activity, they now have to monitor social media posts and interactions.

But I disagree. I think that social media may actually be a great way for ‘tweens (read: ages 10 to 12) to engage in conversation with others, learn more about the world and other cultures, and overall, learn how to interact with their peers. For instance, one of the main rules of social media is to be interested as well as be interesting. That means that to engage with others, they must be interested in what the other is saying, or ask questions about that person.

Another point is that social media allows ‘tweens to see people’s personalities instead of just their looks. Ultimately it gives them a real idea of what a real person is, the individual personalities, and not just what a person wears.

Parents should embrace the capabilities of social media (just as they did with the internet, the cell phone, etc.) and find a way to teach their child how to be careful with social media, but also use it for the benefits and learning opportunities it can create.

Social media brings us a way to break out of our shells and learn how to interact with others gradually instead of throwing a shy, socially-awkward teenager into a crowded room of people. Honestly I think that social media may help more ‘tweens learn how to become self confident and sure of themselves.

What do you think? Is social media something that should be blocked from the younger generation? Or embraced?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day 2009: One Color Unites Us

In honor of World AIDS Day (December 1), I wanted to commend (RED) for their great branding strategies and ability to engage with the public through social media, advertising, and, most importantly, brand partnerships.

As most of you know, (RED) has combined forces with retail giants Starbucks, Dell and Gap (to name a few - see a complete list here) to create more awareness of AIDS/HIV in Africa (and consequently, it has spread to help those throughout the world). (RED) recently announced their newest partnership with shoe retailer extraordinnaire, Nike.

As most Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising students can tell you, the first thing they learn is that cause branding is a huge way to make an impact, as well as give your company the attention they need - without throwing advertisements in consumer's faces.

Today, on World AIDS Day, many different companies are working with (RED) to make sure we, the public, know about this day of knowledge and protection.

On Twitter posts, you can put the terms "#red" or "#laceupsavelives" and your tweets will show up in the color red.

On Facebook, the (RED) site gives fans a list of things they can each do to show their support and to help fight AIDS, such as purchasing Nike's red laces, posting a video on the Lazarus Effect (below) or change your profile picture to something red (they have a few choices).

Starbucks is offering 5 cents for every beverage made and purchased; Gap is offering 1 percent of all its revenues from US and Canada; and Dell is doubling its contributions until Dec. 2.

Not only does this increase sales for these (RED) partners, but it shows they are willing to give back and gives each a good name (at least for one day). And, I bet, the next time you are out shopping, and notice the (RED) logo, you'll think twice about purchasing something else.