Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Search for Social Media

Cross-posted in the Zeno Group blog, Acropolis.

As a member of the Zeno Group Digital Lifestyle team, I feel that it is my duty to help engrain social media into our everyday PR lifestyle. So, for this past week’s Zeno LA “Happy Half-Hour Friday,” it was my turn to put my party-planner hat on, creating our first ever Social Media Scavenger Hunt! I think the digital lifestyle team was a little more excited about this than, say, our business manager, but overall the event was a great success.

The scavenger hunt featured several different social networking tools (Facebook, Digg and Twitter, to name a few) and called for participants to not only learn about them, but take the extra step and interact with each other using these tools. For example:

  1. Sign into Twitter and create a Tweet using the #ZenoLA hashtag.
  2. Now, respond to one Tweet that another Zeno LA employee posted.
  3. Post an insightful comment on one of your favorite PR blogs. Which blog did you choose to comment on?

Of course, this was not meant to be a full training on all the social media tools available, but rather a fun way to expose the office to some of the new tools and apps available. (For example, most PR professionals know about Twitter, but many might not be aware of the long – and growing – list of apps that are available for it).

Broadening the scope of this post a bit, we are entering into an era where it is important for everyone in PR to at least be familiar with the basic social media and networking tools. By now, many PR professionals are aware of the ‘biggies’ (i.e., what they should pay attention to), but many have not taken the time to actually learn about and understand them (let alone start using them). Simply creating a Twitter ID and tweeting once or twice isn’t enough anymore; smart PR people should take it one step further and engage with the community on a regular basis, especially if it’s something that might make sense for a client down the road. At the same time, it’s okay to focus your attention on a select number of tools after you’ve explored all of the options. If you try Friendster but realize, “hey, maybe this one isn’t for me,” that’s okay! At least you took the time to figure it out.

On a different note, I encourage you to implement a social media scavenger hunt in your own office and share the results in the comments section below!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Let's Hear It for the Women

Cross-posted in the Zeno Group blog, Acropolis.

Whenever I was asked the question “Who would you most like to have lunch with” in elementary school essays, my default answer was Steven Spielberg (what 10-year-old child aspires to have lunch with a popular film director over Jonathan Taylor Thomas, I do not know, but apparently I did). Fifteen years later, if you asked my now more grown-up and professional self the same question, I’d have to say Google’s Marissa Mayer. Hands Down.

On Tuesday, FastCompany’s Saabira Chaudhuri published an article on the “Most Influential Women in Web 2.0” (which, of course, includes Ms. Mayer). Though the article picked up a lot of heat throughout the blogosphere, with some calling the author “sexist” for not also including men, I believe it’s about time women are recognized for their great achievements in Web 2.0.

From Arianna Huffington who created what is now the most popular blog on the Web, Huffington Post, to Ning’s Gina Bianchini, the outstanding women featured in this article have all made great strides online during a time when women are finally beginning to put the “housewife in the kitchen” stereotype behind them. Truth be told, it can be fairly intimidating competing and interacting with the “big boys” online. These women offer great advice, such as “you need to stick your neck out there and just do it in order to be successful.” (Cyan Banister).

In a traditionally male-dominated industry, it is nice to read about and celebrate the achievements of women who have made great strides in the online environment. As Marissa recommends, it’s important for women to find a company that fosters “an environment where people will invest in you.” I’ve found this to be so true and important to my growth as a digital media professional. For me, with Google and Marissa as examples, nothing is impossible.

Photo Credit: dfarber on Flickr

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This is TOO Cute!

I just had to share this picture with you all :) (If you own a doxie, like me, you will likely find it extra funny). Enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

SO Social... 2.0 Style

I just created a profile on Savvy Auntie, an online social network specifically for Aunties. I suppose this now gives me bragging rights for my adorable niece and nephew (pictured below - I tried relentlessly to talk my sister into creating her own blog this past weekend, but she just 'didn't get the point, when there's Facebook...')

This is one of hundreds, maybe even thousands, of niche networks popping up all over the Web. The common trend of our generation has been to join as many of these communities as applicable in efforts to stay connected, build relationships, learn, and offer advice & peer counsel. Wait, back up. For centuries, people have always longed to belong to communities, joining groups and associations for essentially the same reasons. Web 2.0 simply offers these niche groups the tools to bring activities online. So does that mean the offline community no longer exists? No way, but it can have more members and communication methods than ever before.

Other niche networks I belong to... How about you?
  • PR Open Mic - A fabulous online community for PR students and professionals.
  • MyRagan - An online community for communicators.
  • LinkedIn - Is this really 'niche' anymore?
  • BlogHer - A social community for female bloggers.
  • LiveMocha - Online community for language learners.
  • Action Profiles - Community for boarders (snow, skate, surf, etc..) Good for connecting riders with sponsors, or riders with boarding buddies.
  • Yelp - My favorite online reviews site.
And the cuties? They're below :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

This Is Great

A bit of humor to jump start your Friday afternoon :) Classic commentary on our generation, although I think it's already a bit outdated (I mean, come on; where's the blackberry?!)

Photo curteosy of

Great Job Hunt Advice

Really great post from one of my former classmates on how to build your network prior to the job hunt. Her advice helped her land a job at a fab agency within one week of moving to a new city!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

History in the Making

8.5 years ago, our country nearly encountered a global crisis.  In the face of Y2K, many people truly believed the end of the world was just a few weeks away.  I, on the other hand, wanted to do something great.  Yes; I wanted to be the very first person this century to do something.  After days of contemplating, I finally decided upon my infamous task: I decided that I would be the first person in America to flush a toilet.  

Looking back through history, our country is characterized by a fear of the unknown.  The unknown that, 'hey, maybe the world isn't flat,' to 'hm.. do you think consumers are finally sick of us shouting?'  

Tonight, another unknown event went down in history; the election of Barak Obama as President.  As much as I'd like to say, 'woo hoo! This cat-fight election is finally over!' I'll leave it at my take-aways from Y2K that seemed oh so long ago: Yes; change is scary.  But in times of change, one thing remains constant - change brings about a world of opportunity.  Americans found an opportunity to explore the world, from one end and right back home again.  Web 2.0 allowed companies the opportunity to personally connect with consumers, instead of shouting at them.  And Barak Obama?  He has the opportunity to turn this country around, if only we remain optimistic.  

And Y2K?  Well, that made me a legend ;)  Will you be the first to flush a toilet in this new age?