The end, we meet again

It’s crazy to believe that this semester is already almost over, only 16 days left, not including finals. It’s even crazier to think that this is my last fall semester at UofL. I have the days counted down for graduation in May already too, 168 days in case you’re wondering. This semester has flown by, they say the older you get the faster time fly’s, but I didn’t think it would start this soon. Big things are beginning to happen but at the same time my time at UofL is quickly coming to an end. This semester has been one of the toughest semesters during my time at UofL, for more than a few reasons but taking 18 hours may have had the most to do with it. But yet, as of now I have all A’s & B’s, not to toot my own horn, but if it’s one thing this semester has taught me it’s that hard work, though it may not seem like it at the time, does finally pay off.

With that said, this semester I have also probably learned more things that I can apply in real life and to future jobs than all of my other semester combined. Social Media, or Comm 460, with Dr. Freberg is easily the front runner out of all 6 of my classes in that area. Going into this class, I had no idea what to expect, but it definitely did not disappoint, if anything it has exceeded any expectations I did have. We did not just cover the basics of social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; we went in-depth and learned not only more about those sites but completely new sites I had never even heard of. For example, we did an entire assignment on Ptch, which focuses on video creation and telling a story through videos. Check them out here: http://ptch.com/ptch/5272b309d3d71d7efa15fd67 & http://ptch.com/ptch/5272c74ace7b744ed51bcbb6

Not only did we learn about social networking sites, we learned what social media can do for us, as individuals, and how we can use it to our own advantage and to even promote ourselves. Let’s take Klout for example, I had never heard of Klout, but now I’m constantly checking my score to see if it has gone up. Klout is a site that measures your influence based on activity through your social media sites. I am up to a 50, if I don’t mind saying myself, before this class I was not even a 20, so it’s not a far stretch that this class has helped to dramatically improve my influence.

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My favorite part of the class is a tie between how active we had to be on Twitter and having to blog every week. I love Twitter, it’s easily my favorite social networking site, and I told Dr. Freberg that from the very start of the class.

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Also, I love writing, so having to blog as an assignment two or three times a week, was not really like an assignment for me. It’s crazy to think that I did not have a blog before this class, especially since I want to be a writer. Dr. Freberg and several guest lectures taught us how to share our blogs. The coolest part, to me anyway, about my blog is that I can see how many views I have and where exactly they are coming from, before this class it probably would have taken me a good while to figure out how to do that. Currently, I’m up to 188 views, in 8 different countries, which just blows my mind.

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Oh hey, I should mention there aren’t any exams in this class, but don’t think that means you’re getting off easy. This class requires a lot of work and commitment, especially in the group assignment. Our group assignment was nothing like I have ever done before. We were assigned a client and to essentially come up with a new social media campaign plan for them, I’ll share more about it once we are completely done, as of now though I think we have a pretty good plan.

So basically, this is easily one of the best classes I have ever taken, and I’m almost sad that it is going to end; partly because I can’t take anymore Communication classes and partly because I know any other class I have left to take won’t be able to live up to this one. It’s been great, enough said.

My take on HootSuite University

            Before taking this class I had never heard of HootSuite, so I had no idea what it was or what it could do. To this day if I mention, HootSuite, to my friends, family or even fellow students, they do not know what HootSuite is, so I do not feel too bad that I did not know what it was. But now I do! HootSuite is a dashboard that allows you to have all of your social media accounts in one place. With as many social media sites as I have learned about this semester & the amount of new, emerging social media sites, HootSuite is definitely a must have to keep track of it all. But that is not all HootSuite can do for you. It allows you to follow specific hashtags, like we did with #Freberg13; I used it several times to follow hashtags for my favorite television shows, especially if I was not able to actually watch the show.

            HootSuite University is a division of HootSuite that through courseware, videos, lectures, & exams allows you to become HootSuite Certified. But what does that mean? To me it means more than the obvious, I’m certified in HootSuite; to me it means that I have completed the necessary steps to become a professional not only on HootSuite but in other social media areas. I became HootSuite Certified on October 19, 2013.

            Through the Social Media Courseware part of the HootSuite University I learned a lot about from one of the first sections called “The Do’s & Don’ts of Social Media Etiquette” which is something from the very beginning of the semester I wanted to learn about. An example that I liked that they gave during this part of the courseware involved putting personal information on Twitter. Instead of telling the whole world she could get the condo by dropping the asking price $2000 by tweeting to his client, the client direct messaged him & asked to only direct message her from now on, so that her personal information, in this case financial as well, was not viewed by the whole “Twitterverse.” This may seem like common sense, and to me it is, but the fact that it was pointed out made you really pay more attention to not only what you tweeted but whom you tweeted it to.  Also, they selected six key things to always do on social media: be yourself, be transparent, be respectful, play by the rules, listen frequently, & engage. These six things are crucial in being successful on social media and now I can carry these with me to any job that I might have, that is on social media.

            Another social media tool I learned about this semester was Klout. Same situation as HootSuite never heard of it & had no idea what it could do for me. Well, HootSuite taught me even more about Klout than what I learned in class. In class we focused on what Klout can do for us, as individuals, but HootSuite showed me what it could do for a business. In the first series of lectures, the section titled “Klout for Business: leveraging for your brand with Joe Fernandez, CEO of Klout” is part of a section I am currently referring to. Through this lecture they interviewed Joe Fernandez through Google hangouts; he started out explaining what Klout is, in case people did not know, and the how he came up with the idea behind Klout, both of those things I found to be fascinating.

            But specifically for businesses, he first talked about what HootSuite can do for e-marketing, and then he moved on to Klout. Klout, has a division called “KloutWorks” that deals with large brands, like Disney and Nike, it helps the company to connect with the people. KloutWorks looks at influential people in those brands and takes a product from that company and gives it to them for their feedback: the example he used was the Windows phone. I really learned a lot from this particular lecture and feel like I can apply what Joe Fernandez said to any business I could potentially be working for or assisting them with their social media influence. I did not know Klout could do this for businesses and I feel as if many businesses may not know either; I simply could have the opportunity to inform them about it because I became educated on it through HootSuite University.

            A topic that I thought HootSuite University could have spent more time on was Social Media Management. I am very interested in all the different ways to manage social media, specifically with multiple accounts. I kind of find it ironic actually, since HootSuite is a type of Social Media Managing site. They did have one lecture under section 3, titled “How to Get Your Life Back: 4 Tips & Tricks on Effective Social Media Management with Susan Murphy” that I will briefly mention, especially since I think this topic was really lacking in the lecture series. Personally, I did not know who Susan Murphy was, so I did learn that much. She is the Co-Founder and Content Strategist at Jester Creative Inc., which I also had not heard of. So much learning going on, in so many different fields through HootSuite University and yet it all somehow nicely ties back into social media, that’s one thing I really do like about the program.

            I agreed with Susan that managing social media occupies so much of our time; I believe social media never sleeps, ever. She actually talked about why social media campaigns fail, which I wanted to note, so our group did not do that for our own campaign. The reasons she mentioned are misallocation of resources, misalignment of goals, and mismanagement of time. No one usually talks about failures, so I found this interesting, especially the mismanagement of time, since she just mentioned how much time social media occupies of our lives. The main point of her presentation was the 4 tips for effective social media management, they were: have a plan, set up dashboards, build your calendar and use notifications. All of these points can be applied to any social media campaign, which I like, but I found them a bit generic and obvious. Don’t get me wrong, this lecture was informative to a certain extent, but it was the only one on the topic. Other topics like engagement, boosting participation and several other topics got two or three, if not more, videos.

            Overall, I clearly learned a lot from HootSuite University. The program is easy to deal with and I never had any site glitches or typical issues you usually experience with online sites. HootSuite University is something I think all students need to be participating in, with the increasingly amount of content only shared on social media and even just the amount of people on social media, students need to be educated on all of topics HootSuite University addresses. I think even professors should go through HootSuite University, especially those who may be older and not with all of the technology. I know it’s a bit of a stretch probably to get professors to go through the HootSuite Certification process but as I much as I learned and the ways in which I am going to be able to apply it, just think what professors could do with this type of information. And hey, not to take it too far but I even think HootSuite needs to have a video chat with Dr. Freberg and our social media class, or well I guess the next semesters class, it would be a type of promotion for HootSuite, showing that students do actually go through all the steps and become very educated. Also, it would be a great type of guest lecture to add to the schedule. And last but not least, it would be awesome to say you were interviewed as a professional and are in an online video because you are a professional on a topic, especially at such young ages

Chipotle

About a month ago I wrote a blog about how I had wanted to start trying new restaurants because I’m tired of always eating at the same places, well when I actually get the chance to eat out that is. Well I mentioned in that previous post, check it out here: https://rachelclearyblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/louisville-lunch/ , that I had a new favorite restaurant. Well, I’ve changed my mind. My new favorite restaurant is….
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That’s right Chipotle! If you’re not familiar with Chipotle, which you may not be, because there is only one in Louisville! Well, technically there are two now, but I’ve never been to the other one and it’s like brand new. Plus I just love the atmosphere of this particular one since its downtown. But anyways it’s obviously a restaurant; it is located in downtown Louisville, Ky., right past Fourth Street live. It’s literally right on Fourth Street.

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Chipotle serves Mexican gourmet burritos and tacos, made exactly with the fresh ingredients you want. I’ve always been a big fan of Mexican food anyways, but Chipotle takes it to a whole new level! Instead of a traditional burrito, they have these awesome burrito bowls that they fill with any ingredient you choose. If you check out the picture I took of the one I made, it has: white rice (it’s usually cilantro rice but I’m not a fan), refried beans, seasoned chicken, lettuce, and cheese. Yes, I like mine pretty simple, but the possibilities of ingredient combinations is endless.

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Chipotle also has the best chips and salsa, both of which are made in house and do not come out of a can or a bag. They have all your typical soft drinks, but it’s the cups that grab your attention. Each cup has a different little story on it and just little different things like that set restaurants a part and hey I look forward to reading the different cups. Check out these two:
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Clearly, I have a new favorite restaurant! If you’re interested in seeing what Chipotle’s full menu looks like for yourself or want to see which location is closest to you, check out their website: http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/Default.aspx?type=default
Oh my, I just seen on the website that they are starting to cater events now too, I would definitely be at that event!

Crisis… what crisis?

The first time I took a class with Dr. Freberg, it was spring 2012 and the class focused on strategic communication. In this class was the first time I was introduced to the idea of crisis communication. Crisis communication focuses on the protecting and defending of an individual or company when facing a crisis that could affect it’s reputation.

It just so happened that during the time of this class, the crisis of the Costa Concordia cruise ship crashing occurred. While it was a terrible situation, it actually gave us a chance to learn and examine a very relevant crisis communication case. Just for a quick overview, the Costa Concordia was a cruise ship that crashed off of the coast of Italy, killing 32 and injuring 64 people, while spilling approximately 500,000 gallons of oil into the ocean. It is considered to be one of the biggest ships to have crashed and then been abandoned, possibly of all time. The crisis fact comes in not only from the facts I just stated and the basic disaster but also because the captain abandoned ship, when it was basically his fault the crash occurred. And even more of a crisis was the way Carnival Corporation handled the crash. They tried to release several press releases; many of them were failures and insulting to those involved. The whole situation was just handled poorly. Basically, this case is a great example of what not to do. For go even more in-depth about the Costa Concordia crisis check out this site: http://maritimematters.com/2012/01/a-short-history-of-the-costa-concordia/ This site is also where I retrieved the pictures below
Before
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After
COSTA-CONCORDIA-wreck-off-Isola-del-Giglio-Photo-credit-Uaohk-GNU-Free-Documentation-License

While that case did not necessarily take place on social media, it was a hot topic all over social media sites and as I mentioned several press releases were released that went viral. But now I would like to discuss an example of social media and crisis communication that just recently happened. Let me first say that I apologize for the language that is about to be seen, it is not my own and I am simply showing what was said. Kevin Ware, member of the University of Louisville’s Men’s Basketball team, sent some vulgar tweets to former University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball team member Anthony Davis, allegedly because of a girl. While the tweets have now been taken down, of course they were screen shot, see below. The power of the screen shot was utilized here, because had it not been screen shot, there wouldn’t be any proof the crisis occurred.
BYEYbGzIcAA85KK

Quickly, the tweets were taken down, and soon followed Kevin Ware’s entire Twitter account. And then immediately following was a statement via Twitter from the University of Louisville’s Senior Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations, Kenny Klein. See that screen shot below, I love screen shots.
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(Screen shots from: http://collegespun.com/aac/louisville-big-east/photo-kevin-ware-either-wants-anthony-davis-head-or-his-twitter-account-was-hacked)

This case is undoubtedly a case of crisis communications and social media. The crisis took place on social media and was corrected via social media. The crisis really was that it made the University of Louisville look bad, because athletes are such huge representatives of the University. However, the situation was quickly taken care of, leading to the question crisis.. what crisis? The way in which this situation was handled and the urgency leads to the belief that the University was prepared for something like this to occur.

Being prepared for a crisis to occur to something I would like to address before ending this post. I did not simply want to just give you all examples of crisis communications. I believe it is just as important as to know and understand the examples, as it is to know how to prepare and what steps to take in a crisis situation. I found this site: http://socialbarrel.com/social-media-crisis-management-infographic/53952/ to be extremely informative in just those areas. I will share the infographic, which is actually in general one of the best infographics I have seen, below that I think sums it up very well.
social-media-crisis-management

Viral Creation

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(Image from: http://www.gaebler.com/Viral-Marketing-Strategies.htm)

This week in my social media class, we focused on viral creation and how to create, share and promote viral stories. Several guest lectures have also commented on this idea of things going or being viral. Adam Lefkoe, see my blog I wrote all about him here: https://rachelclearyblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/adam-lefkoe-mo…-sports-anchor , said that something won’t go viral, if you want it to or try to plan to make it viral, it just won’t happen. It’s kind of like when someone is trying to be funny, but they just aren’t. Also, Joey Wagner spoke about events going viral, but he used this to his advantage, by promoting his events. Also, check out the blog I wrote all about him here: https://rachelclearyblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/joey-wagner-of…j-wagner-group. So, what I am trying to get at here is at going viral, being viral, having viral content, creating viral content, whatever you want to call it, is essential.

An assignment we had to do for this same class I mentioned, ties perfectly into the idea of viral creation. We were asked to create campaigns for a company, of our choosing, through the mobile application Ptch. I won’t attach the whole assignment, since it is quite long and my professor, whom reads this blog, has already read it once; I’ll just go over it briefly. If you are not familiar with Ptch, the mobile application, it allows you to create and share videos, but most users, use it to tell some type of story. Which is where the assignment comes into the picture, pardon the pun, I created two Ptch’s for the company Gigi’s Cupcakes, which you can check out here: http://ptch.com/ptch/5272b309d3d71d7efa15fd67 and http://ptch.com/ptch/5272c74ace7b744ed51bcbb6 . These two videos tell a story about what the company’s product can do for you. This is viral creation. I created viral creation, while a tad redundant, I just think that is so cool.

In class, we also discussed the steps on how to create a viral story. The five steps are:

  • Planning- determine your target audience
  • Story- needs to be personal, relevant, emotional, and original or a creative remix
  • Distribution- make sure you’re on the right platform and time for social media
  • Momentum- share your viral creation on multiple platforms, it calls action
  • Measure- involves engagement, reach, sentiment analysis, and traffic to the site(s)

 Each one of these steps is crucial to viral creation and by following these five steps it makes it more easy to not only create a viral story but to share it with others.

(The preceding information came directly from Dr. Freberg, via PowerPoint Presentation at the University of Louisville, Social Media Class, Comm 460)

 

Joey Wagner, of the J Wagner Group

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Event planning and social media these days they go hand and hand. Joey Wagner, of the J Wagner Group, came and spoke to my social media class on Monday about just that. It’s so inspiring to see a local guy doing such great things not only locally, but now he’s expanding nationally. He started off with a little background information about himself. Joey Wagner graduated from Fern Creek High School, Morehead University with a Communication degree, and even went on to get a Masters in Sports Administration. Seems like he had all the bases covered for what he is doing now. Also, he told us about internships he had with the PGA golf tour and at WHAS11.

Wagner went on to tell us about his group and what they do. The J Wagner Group focuses on events, marketing, and promotions. The group has produced events for some of the biggest companies, while using social media to promote the events. To check out everything their company can do for you, check out their website: http://www.jwagnergroup.com/index.php?page=main. He told us about specific events, such as Pink Prom, Glow Go 5K, Thunder Lounge, Pink Tie Ball, JockTails and many other charity events, that his group has done.

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Stay up to date or even check out for the first time some of The J Wagner Group’s events on social media from this screenshot I took during his presentation

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Wagner spoke to us the most in-depth about the Pink Prom. Pink Prom is a benefit for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Just in case you aren’t familiar, the Susan G. Komen Foundation is a foundation not only supporting people who have or had breast cancer but they are also helping to find a cure. For more information about the Foundation, check out their website:http://ww5.komen.org/. The J Wagner Group donates 100% of their ticket sales for the Pink Prom to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. What I found to be the most interesting thing that Wagner told us about the Pink Prom is that they essentially “teased” the idea of Pink Prom on social media accounts for four months before actually announcing the event. To me, it seemed that the event was a much bigger success than Wagner expected it to ever be.

The first year of Pink Prom the event had around 450 people and raised an amazing $11,000 for Susan G. Komen Foundation. But it gets even better than that; the next year of the event, 750 people attended and over $15,000 was raised. Wagner is planning to expand the Pink Prom event to several other cities in Kentucky and other states. He actually even received a call from the president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation personally. And last but not least, The J Wagner Group is working with Dillards to create a Pink Prom merchandise line that will be in their stores for at least 3 to 4 months.

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Besides all of the great events Wagner told us about, I also learned a lot of life, social media, and event planning lessons. One thing that really stood out to me that he said was, “you never know 100% who you are talking to, so treat everyone how you want to be treated.” It seems like common sense, but it just really stuck with me, because you never know when an opportunity could present itself. Also, in regard to event planning, he told us that for the events the group does, he wants there to be a “wow” factor when you walk in and when you walk out, he wants it so that you can’t wait to come back to the next one. I think those are great goals for any event and I was very impressed with this. One last thing I want to mention in this post that Wagner talked to us about is social media and event planning. He said to never tweet business stuff on your personal account because you don’t want to promote “back to back.” This makes perfect sense, because you don’t want to overload followers with content. Also, Wagner has specific times he or his team tweets, not only for consistent content reasons but for targeting specific audiences.

(All logos directly from http://www.jwagnergroup.com/, except for screenshots, which are my own, from Wagner’s presentation)

Rolls, Pepperoni Rolls

I think it’s finally time for my first food blog post. Today I wanted some pizza for lunch, but I wasn’t in the mood to go get it and wasn’t hungry enough to eat an entire pizza. So what did I do? I made pepperoni rolls. Now what exactly are pepperoni rolls? Like many people do these days I found the original recipe on Pinterest, but made it my own. All you need is three ingredients, but you can of course add many others.

For these pepperoni rolls, you need crescent rolls, whatever brand you like, but I stick with Pillsbury; any type of cheese, today I am using Kraft Mexican four cheese blend, mozzarella cheese is really good to use, but we were out; and of course, pepperonis. These pepperoni rolls are so easy to make, they clearly don’t require a lot of ingredients and they are delicious.

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Literally, all you have to do is unroll the crescent rolls and add the cheese and pepperonis. Personally, I add the cheese first and for a good reason. By adding the cheese first, the pepperonis way it down and keep it from falling out. You can always add pizza sauce and other ingredients if you want to dress it up more, but I like mine cheese and pepperoni only. Here’s a step by step picture I took, while I was making them.

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Simply follow the baking instructions on the crescent rolls label, but allow for a few extra minutes because of the addition of the cheese and pepperonis. Here’s the final product, man they were good.

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The empty plate speaks for itself, yes that is Megara from Hercules on that plate

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