I made a comment on Lauren’s post “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” on PROpenMic regarding how Earth Day this year seemed like a much bigger deal than it has in the past because of these 2 reasons:

  • People are connected more online than ever before (surge of Earth Day statuses on Facebook and Tweets)
  • The idea of “going green” has really taken off

Back to the subject of iced coffee…

Yesterday, on April 21, Dunkin Donuts had a nationwide promotional event to support the nonprofit organization Homes for Our Troops. Dunkin Donuts declared it National Coffee Day, selling the small 16 oz. coffee drinks for only 50 cents! Five cents of that cost would be donated to Homes for Our Troops.

Dunkin Donuts incorporated Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube tools to help promote the event.

What a great way for Dunkin Donuts to not only promote their deliciously famous coffee but also to raise funds and awareness for Homes for Our Troops nationwide.

Bravo Dunkin Donuts for a great PR move and making a mean cup of iced coffee!

A classmate of mine, Lauren Gaulin wrote an interesting post on celebrities on Twitter. Read it and let her know what celebrities you follow and your thoughts on the matter!

Due to our addiction to coffee, my sister and I have been intrigued recently by McDonalds new line of coffee drinks called McCafe. On our Easter weekend trip from Clemson to Myrtle Beach (around a 4 hour drive in case you were wondering) we stopped at McDonalds to try one. We should have taken it as a sign that our iced coffee drinks tasted better after ice was melted but we didn’t give up on good old McDoanlds so we tried it again on way home. We were equally dissatisfied vowing to next time we will just pay a few cents more and go to the experts at Starbucks.

The lesson of the story is that from the corporate PR perspective McDonalds have been doing a fabulous job with promoting and advertising McCafes, actually persuading and empowering my sister and I to take action and try their new products, TWICE!

Between training the staff and the actual development of the product, something went terribly wrong. This inferior end product completely undid all of the hard work done at the corporate level, and the unpleasant experiences was stronger PR. It’ll be a while until my sister and I visit McDonalds again for a McCafe.

Thousands of times through out my education, ever since I start learning how to put shaky letters together in kindergarten I have heard the phrase,

“To be successful in whatever you want to do, you have to be a good writer.”

I heard this phrase again today at the Communication Studies job fair from a professional. She was telling about how writing public service announcements were great exercises in the quest to becoming a better writer because you are limited to a certain amount of space. Depending on the media, for the same announcement you may have enough room for a paragraph’s worth of information or just one sentence.

Based on that thinking it would only make sense that having to fit everything that you want to say into 140 characters would challenge and enrich the writer. Jennifer Blanchard gives there 3 reasons how Twitter makes you a better writer.

  • Twitter forces you to be concise
  • Twitter forces you to exercise your vocabulary (eliminate adjectives and adverbs, beef up those verbs)
  • Twitter forces you to improve your editing skills

So not only is Twitter an important tool for networking and learning cool new things, but it also will imporve my writing skills to boot.

I commented on a classmate Allie’s blog on branding online and offline.

On a personal level when I was interviewing for an internship I had an eye opening experience when it came up in conversation that he had just hired a social media “guy.” It brought all of the things that I had been reading about online immediately to life offline for one of the first times outside of the classroom or a PRSSA event. So social media isn’t just in its own segragated corner in cyberspace, it is real, and companies are using it as a tool to brand themselves.

After reading so much about how tough it is for graduates and young professionals to find jobs in these tough economic times, it was refreshing to find Gary Hamel’s advice for companies to “understand these Internet-derived expectations, and then reinvent its management practices accordingly” when employing Generation F or Generation Facebook.

This immediately caught my attention, “that’s me and my classmates!” What an appropriate name for our generation since we spend our free time, and even our procrastination time when we should be working on other things on Facebook. It truly is such a staple in my generation’s culture!

Here are 2 of the 12 characteristics that stuck out to me:

7. Resources get attracted, not allocated. People typically only spend their time and attention on the web on things that are attractive, fun, and interesting. If they things are not visually attractive and don’t draw you on the internet then you will just move along to something more interesting and appealing even if the content of it is really great. 

11. Intrinsic rewards matter most. People volunteer their time to share advice and insights on things that they are genuinely interested in with others online for no monetary reward. Just think about all of those blogs, like this one for example that you are reading right now. I am not getting paid to share insights that I find about PR and social media, these are some of my interests that I enjoy sharing with my classmates and others on the web.

I think that it is important that more traditional Fortune-500 companies acknowledge these differences in the Generation Facebook, not only in their future employees but also in their consumers.

Fifteen year old blogging extraordinaire  Alex Fraiser wrote an interesting post about preparing yourself before blogging. I found that I have run into a lot of the same frustrations with blogging and found these tips very helpful.

It is important to ease yourself into the blogging mood by working in a space that you are comfortable in, getting rid of distractions,  and getting your notepad and pen ready. Also before we blog and are in the process of blogging it is important to work on your concentration by getting a drink or snack (this was something that I didn’t know before this helped with concentration, I would have thought that it would be more of a distraction), do a little reading or even some games to get your brain going, and play music.

The most important tip that I took away from this, and one that I completely agree with is to make blogging an enjoyable activity to do rather than a chore. Sometimes I know I struggle with thinking that blogging and keep up with social media is a chore when I feel like I have a million other things on my to-do for the day, but I will now remember these tips and that social media should be fun, not a drag!

I found this interesting video from Joel Mackey or commonly know as webaddict on twitter. The video is a slideshow showing how AIG’s reputation has most definitely taken a blow from their executives taking an exclusive, luxurious, and most importantly $440,000 retreat right after AIG got the federal bailout. Social media is mostly responsible for the sculpting American’s view on AIG and other news in these unstable times.

View the video here.

The line that stuck with me the most was:

“Social media is about a fundamental change in society where people will aggregate around a common cause & make their opinions heard loud & clear”

Maybe instead of looking for leader to unrealistically have the power to completely change the nation and get us out of these tough times, social media will rise up, and the power and change will be democratic resting in the people at their computers using twitter, Facebook, blogs, Youtube and flickr?

As some of you may have heard well-known Reverend David Wilkerson and of his World Challenge Ministries, his interdenominational church Times-Square Church in New York and of his book, The Cross and Swtichblade. Most recently you may have heard of him because he used the power of blogging to communicate his urgent message that he received from God on March 7.

It really is a testament that times truly are changing, since bible times where people would go tell it on a mountain through word of mouth, now religious leaders are tune with the modern ways to communicate messages of the ancient Holy Spirit to the people of today.

My mom originally showed me an online article about his post, and we immediately visited his blog looking at this post and the others around it trying to determine if we should believe his warning. I looked at his credibility by seeing all of the missions that he has led throughout his life as well as books and what other pastors were saying about him.

I couldn’t help but kept on wondering is this some sort of a publicity stunt? My conclusion is that he is  credible and I can’t see what his motivation would be for it to be all for publicity without having some sort of truth behind it. We’ll just have to see what happens!

All of our research on him and work was conveniently right at my finger tips on the internet. The whole blogosphere is truly a wealth of resourceful information, not just for PR advice, that I am most familiar with but for other advice and messages.


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