Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Imagine a world where social media is the main channel of communication. You're upstairs in your room, and your mom asks you to come down for dinner via twitter. You communicate with your friends through written words (and not just normal written words, but internet jargon) rather than verbally. You may even hear people slip an "LOL" instead of actually laughing. You talk to people all over the world about a multitude of issues, simply by typing away on your keyboard.

At Humber PR, we've digested a lot of information about social media in a short span of time. We've gone from not knowing twitter, to being skeptical about twitter, to being regular twitterers, to being twitter connaisseurs. We've hosted an event all about the current war waged in our minds: is it more valuable to be online, or unplugged?

Online is convenient and fast, and importantly, current. Potential employers can find out whether or not they want to hire you through a quick Google search. What Humber PR has taught is that social media is rapidly evolving, there is a demand for it, and our generation is expected to the be connaisseurs and experts of social media. So what does that mean?

It means you shouldn't be afraid of social media, but should tackle the beast head on. It seems overwhelming, it seems huge and all-consuming, but in reality it can be very mangeable. Find the platforms and channels you feel most comfortable using, and master them. Don't use social media to talk about yourself and what you're doing and how your breakfast bagel from Tim Horton's was totally cold when you got it; but use it to generate discussion, add discussion and get yourself out there. According to Gossip Girl, in PR, you're only as valuable as your social network, so go out there, and make that network! Reach out to professionals, talk about what you're interested in, follow who you want to work with. It's a simple formula that seems to work for many people. But never, ever
ever forget the importance of being a personable person, sparkling outside of the internet... because unfortunately, you can delete a tweet and masterfully craft the perfect LinkedIn autobiography, but you can't delete a first impression.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The most wonderful time of the year?

That's what they say anyway. Some, myself included, think of it as the most STRESSFUL time of the year. On top of a bajillion projects, work, addicting TV shows,active social lives , etc. we have to add shopping for others to the list?? I, for one have a whopping 22 people on my list this year. It just keeps on growing every year. People keep popping out babies, I keep getting more popular.. what gives? Will it ever end?! I hope not.

Since I am a time and money starved student, I decided to try my luck at online shopping. Here are some of the best sites that I came across:

Urban Outfitters: this site has an awesome section- Cheap Thrills, gifts under $20. Lot's of HOT options for the fashionistas on your list too!
Chapters and Indigo: I LOVE this store. I love books, and I love all of the useless stuff that they keep by the checkout! This site also has gift ideas sorted by price.
Bath and Body Works: A fail proof option for anybody's mom. Check out the editor's pick section.
Lou Lou Magazine gift guide: This. is. the. best. It has stuff for everyone on your list! Most of it is pretty affordable too.
Hotwire: Feeling really generous? Buy that special someone a trip. I have had amazing luck with booking CHEAP yet GLAMOROUS trips on this site.

If all else fails, there's always The Human Fund

Whatever you end up getting that special someone, I sincerely hope it makes them almost this happy:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jumping on the Gaga bandwagon

With lyrics such as: "Let's have some fun, this beat is sick, I wanna take a ride on your disco stick," my first impression of this woman was "Holy hell, What a SLUT!" It's been months since I drew this conclusion, and while it may still hold true, I also have come to another one: I LOVE THAT SLUT.

It took a lot of convincing, but I'd say the defining moment of me crossing over to the Gaga side was when I witnessed her epic performance at the MTV Video Awards. Not only was it frigging crazy (really), I found out she actually possesses talent. Odd, in our current culture littered with talentless pop tarts.

While at the record store this past weekend (they do still exist.. however, I don't think they're actually called record stores. Anyway, they can thank me later) I saw how awesome Lady Gaga looked on her Fame Monster album, so I bought it! Upon reading the insert, I noticed she actually writes her own music. Plus another 100 points!

Monday night she performed for Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, England. Look how cute she is!

The point of this is, she's awesome, while I love her avante-garde style, I was also surprised to find out she's actually gorgeous underneath the feathers/spikes/maskes/etc.

Love that girl. There, I said it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just shop at Winners like the rest of us

Last week, my mother Facebooked me (that deserves a hot topic blog post of it's own) from NYC to ask: "Hypothetically, if you were to receive a bag, which would you prefer? Chanel, Prada, Louis, or Kate Spade?" My initial reaction was to jump for joy, and I thought "finally, my mom got cool AND perhaps rich!" But then common sense kicked in, and I realized that my mother was neither of those things, and sadly, never will be. So I came to the conclusion that she meant a FAKE!

I responded politely with: "No need to purchase one, those are sold on the black market and support terrorism, and that's just not my bag (awful pun intended) But thanks Mom :) !" While I wasn't too sure about this dramatic statement, it got me thinking: Are we hurting more than the (super rich) designers when we purchase counterfeit designer goods?

Women tend to think when they buy fake designer bags that it is a victimless crime. Well there's a few. I think we're all familiar with sweatshops? There's a few victims there.

To buy these counterfeit items is not a crime, but to be the shady guy selling them from your trunk in a dark alley? That is.

Fakes have come a long way. In some cases, it is near impossible to tell the difference between a really good fake and the real thing. Further prompting women to buy the phonies.

These purses are all bought and sold on the black market. The crime ring involved get the purses manufactured at base price, and sells them for around $40-$150. Peanuts compared to the price it costs for the real thing. It's a lucrative market that they tapped into, as hoards of women want the status that goes along with designer bags, without paying designer prices.

Even more frightening than supporting big city thugs, is the evidence developed by the FBI's joint terrorism task force that the sale of counterfeit goods financed the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The U.S. Customs Service continues to warn that counterfeit designer bags may finance terror.

So what do you think? While you may be the only one that knows you're sporting a fake, is it worth the heavy conscience that will ensue knowing you helped finance terrorism?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The beginning of drafting my personal brand

My personal brand is related to my two passions: fashion and art. Check it out, and feel free to provide me with feedback!

Check out my awesome personal brand slides!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Radian6 - a Brand Managers Dream

With literally zillions of social media applications out there (okay, well maybe not literally, considering 'zillions' isn't even a word) do you ever wonder which is the master of them all? Radian6 is the big brother of the social media world- it is a social media monitoring program for marketing, communications and customer support professionals.

Think when you blog about how your new high top sneakers are the raddest, that the Nike execs will never see it? Or how about when you tweet about how your new Dell laptop is the biggest disappointment ever, and you are seconds away from chucking it out the window? Even when you put your two cents on a Facebook group titled "I Heart Marc Jacobs" these companies can all potentially see how you feel with the help of Radian6.

This innovative application was founded in Fredericton, New Brunswick by Chris Newton. It now spans globally and helps hundreds of majour corporations monitor their brand. It is also backed by some solid investors. Check out a list of some of the top companies using Radian6, as well as some case studies.

Radian6 is a business to business social media application. It requires a monthly subscription, but is well worth the companies dollars, because it tells you exactly where you stand with consumers, therefore giving you a higher return. Communications and marketing professionals within corporations subscribe to Radian6, and in turn Radian6 provides them with all the dirt on where their brand is currently positioned on the web. With the use of various widgets within the site you can also compare your brand to your top competitor.
Examples of Radian6 widgets (clockwise from left): How many online posts are about you? Includes what they said about you, and what platform they used; Then there's the "Conversation Cloud," similar to, which essentially is a key word builder with your brand; Next is the "Topic Analysis", which is a pie chart comparing what percentage of people are talking about you versus a competitor; My personal favourite is the "Influencer" widget. It shows who is talking about you the most. This gives companies an opportunity to sell ads in the most effective space; The last widget shown on the dashboard example is the "Topic Trends" widget. This one shows on a time line when there is a spike in conversations about your brand.

As their company overview states: "The impact of social media on public relations and advertising is fundamentally changing the profession. Brand ownership is no longer solely the domain of the institution. A brand is now defined as the sum of all conversations taking place amongst users and it's happening regardless of whether you are part of these conversations or not."

Radian6 is a very useful tool for research and development and brand managing. It helps you get the right information pertaining to your image, and helps you strengthen it, and ensure that you continue to get talked about. Make sure to view the top ten reasons to explore Radian6.

Also, if you're like me and this new-fangled concept of social media confuses you, be sure to check out their extensive views on Social Media.