Sunday, September 27, 2009

Getting Off the Ground

Last week, I had the chance to eat lunch with the Dicke College of Business Administration's Business Advisory Board. I got to have a delicious (free) meal, and have a great conversation with a few professors and business leaders at my table. One of the side conversations between myself and a President of a regional bank, was my choice as a Marketing student to take a class involving social media.

One question he directed at me, "What kind of strategies could you recommend I get involved in?" First, I was blown away, that a question like that was directed at me. Second, I brought up some of the advantages to starting a corporate blog. However, after reading part two, of Groundswell, I wish I would have read it a little earlier in the week. Having an answer by asking, what would be your overall goal, for starting such an initiative, would have been a better more educated answer (not that my answer was wrong or off base). Bringing up one of the five objectives commonly pursued: listening, talking, energizing, supporting, or embracing, may have been more along the lines of a recommendation than the straight answer I gave.

This chapter provided great insight on what to consider when implementing a new social media plan. Starting with first, an evaluation of your objectives. As many ideas I've had whether helping a friend with starting a business, and promoting his brand, this very first important step is one that would not have considered. Being aware of that first, has the ability to change the overall direction and increase the effectiveness of the plan.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pic of the Week


IMG_4246, originally uploaded by buckeye_guy72.
Did this pen drawing I did a while back as part of a brief pen drawing exercise.

I have a large Camaro that I have been working on (in pen as wall) that I will try to finish and post soon.

After the Camaro, I'll have to tackle a Michael Waltrip Racing photo.

Today's Marketing Leader - A Student Perspective

Earlier today, I was browsing around LinkedIn, and came across this discussion in the Answers section. The question is "What do you believe are the three most important attributes of a great marketing leader?"

Some of the common themes I saw from the active LinkedIn responders were:
  • Listening to others/humility
  • Strategic Planning
  • Communication skills (from interpersonal to verbal)
  • Leadership/Motivation
  • Creativity
Those are just to name a few. Every response had something relevant or important characteristic or quality for a Marketer to posses.

It leads me to one general conclusion: today's marketers must be versatile. This past summer, as a marketing intern, not only was I directing my own Stage-Gate development plan, I was responsible for contacting and working with members from departments from design and accounting, to finance and production. Marketers need to be able to motivate co-workers, delegate tasks, but most importantly, have an overall grasp for the plan, and then evaluate the execution. 


I am far from an expert in anything, but consider myself knowledgeable enough to get excited about opportunities to practices such qualities. I've already had a variety of internship experience, but tomorrow, I get to find out what my projects shall be, for my Senior Capstone course. I will have one individual case and a group case, where I'll be a single Marketer, working with a variety of majors outside of my own. This course is not just another group project, but a culmination of my college career, and a way to enhance my value to future employers by practicing qualities I mentioned above, and more - BEFORE I hit the real world.

Tweet Your Way to $100 million

As of noon today, the Wall Street Journal posted a Breaking News article (found here) that Twitter is reportedly raising $100 million from as many as seven investors. This is the third time that the folks at Twitter have raised capital, and this is the largest sum to date.

Using a similar method to the one applied for Facebook, investors have estimated Twitters value at over $1 billion. This is astounding because Twitter has yet to post any true revenue. This is because the value lies in the users, and the content users post. Supposedly, part cash being raised may go towards building premium services for Twitter-users.

So much of the value I perceive is that Twitter-users have the speed of communication and the variety of access is points (web, simple text message updates, to the applications for sophisticated smartphones).

As far as premium services go, what could Twitter offer for some type of subscription, besides what is already availible, such as: TweetDeck, Twittervision, Twitpic, etc.?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Democratizing Control of Information

In the latest chapter reading from the book, Citizen Marketers, it discusses how the blogosphere has granted the power do distribute information, among a larger group of people, at a rapid rate due to the ease and speed of many social media technologies. As I read, I tried to highlight some of the most interesting statements and I want to offer some of my thoughts on a couple topics.

First, I think it is amazing to take the ability to find an inadequacy, fix it or offer an alternative, and be able to make money. It's the classic, "if I'd have only thought of that first" mentality. The book's example is how the Trott's were able to make blogging a more user-friendly and accessible experience through creating Movable Type. For those, who are unware, the latest version has a significant number of features. One allowing individuals or groups to create a social network. The first one that comes to mind is President Barack Obama's site, which was part of his influential social media campaigning, in the last election. Putting power in the people's hands, Obama's campaign mastered this theory. Obama's site allowed his supporters to go online, host individual rallies, encourage voting, and watch election results. These were all events that were previously organized by campaign officials that were now allowed to happen at the free will of avid supporters.

The biggest challenge in blogging and spreading the word (of yourself/company) is to gain attention and followers. It helps having a strong brand, or a celebrity-esque name. Look at Twitter, and the number of people who follow large corporations, or celebrities like Shaq and Ashton Kutcher. (Follow Me here!) Also, Citizen Marketers recommends you become a "prolific linker." I'm not sure how many links per post make you prolific, but I at least try to link terms that make the most sense to the relevance of this post.

To wrap up, I know it has been mentioned to drop this book from the reading list, but I have found myself enjoying the reading in CM, the most so far.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tale of Two You's

With the huge social media explosion taking place in our world today, especially for emerging professionals, it's important to be aware of your online profiles. Filtering content on profiles such as Facebook should be common knowledge, but can be an easy thing to miss. It's really hard for employers to take you, the professional, seriously while you, the party-er, is bragging about the past weekend's escapades, or posting all the crazy photos online.

Most people are aware enough not to post compromising information themselves. What people need to watch for is what other people post. If needed, individuals should ask photos or other information be removed if necessary. It is always interesting to see the information that people post about others.

Have you ever read the fights between people on Facebook? They are hilarious to read. I can recall seeing those on news feeds in High School, but I was always dumbfounded that they actually happened. Does anyone have anything surprising that they've seen come up on Facebook or anywhere else online?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Stuff you might miss

To all my seniors out there, there are some things I'm not going to miss about being in school. Here's a couple:
1. Homework - when you work, you get to go home and more or less do what you want. Not when we're in school. That's what makes summers so great. You may actually have some free time. Not the kind of free time you make when you should be doing homework.
2. Just forgot what number 2 was - Well I thought I had a list. Mainly homework is what I won't miss.

On that note, on our last year on campus, take time to do some things you won't ever do again. This summer, I started biking. Just riding a bike to ride. It was something I hadn't done since before getting my drivers license. You could kind of call it the Le Tour de Ada, but I don't think this is that impressive. But what I will say it has been fun visiting the grain towers north, south, east and west of Ada. Here are a list of villages/towns I've been on my bike this summer:

Ada
Alger
Dola
Dunkurk
Lafayette
Lima
McGuffey

I still have yet to make it to Kenton and back, but fully intend to ride there and north of Route 30 (not on the same ride of course) before it gets too cold outside. I think we all know that my window of opportunity is closing quickly.

I also intend of going to the Wilson Football Factory "garage sale" and getting some discount Ada merchandise on Saturday. I want a flawed piece of Ada, history. That's right, one of those discounted NFL footballs!

Overall, I'm just encouraging some exploration of Hardin County and the ONU area. Don't miss out on the things that make this area unique - whether or not you plan on coming back after graduation.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pic of the Week


IMG_4233, originally uploaded by buckeye_guy72.
Not only am I required blog for my social media course, I am also required to post images to Flickr for my Graphic Design course. I also have an interest in Digital Photography, in which I'm now taking that class. So in honor of being so enveloped in Social Media these days, I'll occasionally post a Picture of the week.


So check back often, these are bound to be very exciting!


This image is 1 of 101 apples I drew. It is mixed media, pen and colored pencil. I'm not a very abstract person, nor do I typically draw abstract, but this turned out really cool. Thoughts?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Reading Reaction: Week 1

In the reading for this week's class, one of the most interesting sections was from the first chapter of Citizen Marketers, by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba. I was intrigued by their theory of the Four F's: Filters, Fanatics, Facilitators, and Fireworks.

As I was reading the descriptions of each type, I found myself trying to come up with examples of my own, using blogs or websites I regularly read. Here are some of the thoughts I was able to come up with. Being the motorsports and car enthusiast that I am, you might be able to guess the general theme.

1. Filters -
ilounge.com - I know this site was featured in the book, but I wanted to mention it because this site was very useful during my internship this summer. At one point I was looking into various iPod accessories with my company as a part the product development I was working on.
In addition to ilounge, I also read a filter type blog devoted to unhappy Enterprise Rent-A-Car employees. I ended up declining a position with their Internship program, in lieu of working with American Trim, where I had an AWESOME summer experience!

2. Fanatics -
The Daily Planet - I came across this blog multiple times from another NASCAR site I often read. The tagline of their blog reads "Where NASCAR fans talk TV all the time." The authors here, post commentary of coverage for almost all NASCAR events, from qualifying to post-race coverage.

3. Facilitators -
MyMonte.com & Camaroz28.com - Even before it was mentioned in the book, my first thought of a facilitator type blog would some kind of online car community. Back in High School I was a member of  MyMonte.com site with the user-name, Nvr2HotMonte. While my screen-name was cool, my activity was pretty slim on the site. Until the 2010 Camaro was released back in March, I would constantly be searching for information regarding the new model on the forum.

4. Fireworks -
Numa Numa guy (or any other viral video that has been passed my way) - I refer to the Numa Numa guy in particular because it was the first viral videos I remember watching. The book mentioned the Milk and Cereal video, and I'm sure that one shortly followed.
Over the last year, there have been a number of movies have started their promotion plans with a form of underground viral videos. The Watchmen, District 9, and countless others may begin with short clips or trailers around the web, with little or no other information creating buzz (and often questions) about the content.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

How do you watch your sports?

I think it is fair to say that the advances of social media has really changed many aspects of our lives. Not only do we have the ability to notify everyone (who subscribes) on Twitter, what we are doing at any particular moment, we cam share images via Flickr, or share our opinions on a blog, recently, social media has recently made its way on to my television during sporting events - NASCAR specifically.

I've always been biased towards the NASCAR on FOX coverage, because I grew up a fan of Darrell Waltrip. Also, I can't get enough of the veteran commentator, Mike Joy, lead pit reporter, Dr. Dick Berggren, and number crunching-guru of the garage-tech Larry McReynolds.

However, Kyle Petty, since stepping out of the car and into the booth, he has proved he is all about the fans. Using his Twitter account, before, during, and after the race, Kyle is always tweeting something unique going on. He also responds to questions from fans during races.

One particular moment I recall during the July race at Daytona, there were a number of wrecks. Television viewers are accustomed to getting interviews with drivers after they fall out of contention. Petty stated that he was getting lots of questions about why no drivers were being interviewed after falling out. His response was that all the teams/drivers/crews were busy repairing cars or were back out on the track, and unavailble for comments.

I can recall a number of times during races I've watched where the commentator fail to connect to the fans parts of the current storylines. Twitter, and Kyle Petty have helped bridge that gap.

In addition to the race itself, Michael Waltrip, a driver/panelist, on weekly re-cap show, This Week In NASCAR (TWIN), occasionally invites viewers to Twitter along with him during the broadcast of the show on the SPEED Channel.

It only makes me think that it won't be long before more sports commentators will take the time to learn Twitter, and utilize it during broadcasts for a more interactive experience. More-so than any single "mailbag" or trivia question has ever done.

How do you feel about making televised sporting events more interactive? I think there will be an increased quality of coverage, by letting fans ask pertinent questions, but also, not let it consume the commentators task at hand calling the game.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Heard on the Tundra: Career Search

For the Class of 2010, this week marked the beginning of so many "lasts" as a student here at ONU.
Final first day of class; final campus move-in day; final first weekend of nothing to do, etc. etc.

While bittersweet, I've approached this with an excited, and retrospective attitude. My advice to all those "Sen10rs" (if I borrow that spelling from my younger brother), is absorb the little things around you, because sometimes, its the minute details that help us create so many lasting memories with our friends and around our little village of Ada.

It's almost strange to think, that this time next year (hopefully/thankfully) we'll all be contributing members of society, in our own special ways. Getting to that point is going to require hard work on our part to get there. Finding the right position, is without question, difficult in these times. Start early and search constantly.

Here are some of the thing I've been doing lately, to start my career search:

1. Sign-up for Career Kaleidescope, through Simplicity on the Career Services website. Even though my preference would be to live and work in the South where my family is now living, I'd consider any position. Hopefully the career fair on Monday will bring about some new employment possibilities.

2. Get LinkedIn. I love this site! Find a group, make it something that your interested in, like Communications, Marketing, PR, and find one in the area you're looking to find a job. I'm personally a part of a Nashville Communicators group, and also the Motorsports Professionals Group. These are great ways to stay up on the information in your geographic regions and topics of interest. Start a discussion by asking a question, there are plenty of professionals willing to help and answer questions.

3. Do not get overwhelmed by school work. This one may be tough to do, but it's at least good advice to offer. It is early in the school year, but don't get sidetracked. Keep your eye on what will be most important. Finding the right job for you.

What do you think, PR-Social Media-COMM 390 class? What do you think? (By the way, we should nickname this course, unless there is one I'm not aware of?)  

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wow

I'm going to work on my writing skills. A few of my prior blogs are in need of some edits.

Dismiss those blogs, and I'll have some better posts in the future.

And yes, welcome back to my blog - for the third time.