Friday, August 12, 2011

Please Pack Your Knives and Go

Yesterday I was indulging in one of my favorite guilty pleasures on Bravo-Top Chef and couldn't help but notice how many plugs there were all throughout the show. Some were subtle, with just a mention of a store, brand, or restaurant or others felt like Padma was starting an infomercial.
(Padma, why does everything you do have to look so pretty & graceful-even holding a measuring cup of yellow mush? )

For example, when it is time for the chefs to grab their ingredients they always show them frantically running around under the ever-present green Whole Foods sign. It really is PR at it's finest. Love this article about the two's partnership:

"The cost to Whole Foods? Nothing beyond the food the contestants use for their dishes and the inconvenience of having a camera crew shooting inside a store."

"No money is exchanged, and the agreement is "pretty loose."

"For example, there's no agreement that Whole Foods must be mentioned a certain number of times. But it's been a "win-win" partnership for both sides. Their viewers are our shoppers, and vice versa."

This is great public relations for Whole Foods because if the top chefs are shopping at their store, it must be the best. The advantage of earning media and promoting from a different source (like Bravo) is that viewers find it way more believable than an ad. And not to mention, Whole Foods isn't giving up a dime:

"We do a lot of collective brainstorming with the Bravo team, because you want to be unique, be relevant, and still be interesting. It's not easy coming up with the challenge idea." -Clorox's Media Director

This is so smart. Top Chef smothley integrates brands and products in the show's challenges. Now, how fun would it be to be part of the team that daydreams up food challenges for chef's to sweat over in the kitchen. Dream job.

Not to mention the perks from it:
  • Nielsen research found Bravo to be the highest-ranked network on all of broadcast and cable TV for the first half of 2008.
  • Top Chef Chicago had top honors for brand recall. Sponsors such as Toyota had 67% vs the cable average of 49%, Glad had 77% vs a 73% average, & Food & Wine 77% vs the 70% cable average.

And they just announced season 9 is in Texas with Emeril as a judge. Can't wait!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Favorite Ad Campaign Right Now

I don't know what other camping/outdoorsy companies are doing with their branding but I love this! Way to go Coleman, a girl who has never done anything but "car camping" (where you drive to the site, have your car right next to your tent, as well as indoor plumbing and showers) is paying attention to you and your products. A pop up tent? Maybe I'll try real camping...someday.

The tagline 'the original social networking site" puts a spin on something most everyone uses every day. Even my mom has Facebook.

Coleman is reminding (and challenging) a society that is surrounded by technology and media 24/7. It's funny that we have to be reminded just how much better it is to interact with people face to face rather than over text, pokes, tweets, comments, emails, calls, chats...

This reminds me of another campaign that toyed with the same idea of tying their brand in with social networking and reminding people that there is life outside of the computer screen. Bacardi Together's billboards are below.

My sophomore year, one of my journalism teachers challenged our class to disengage from using media or gadgets that weren't around before 1984. No Facebook, cell phones, Twitter....I lasted about one day. Check out the article done by Star Trib here.

Alright, all this talk about getting offline and the "old way" of social networking...time to girl talk with the roommate :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Market Day Pictures!

Clan of kids playing with a vendor's finger puppets.
Peonies and more. If you try hard enough, you can smell them through the picture.
Helped at the food demo-serving the samples and stirring the sauce. The whole time I was terrified that I wouldn't stir the chutney enough and it'd burn and I would ruin the demo.
Discover You Can kickoff event and demo's rhubarb sauce. Later this week I'll be writing a press release for our Discover You Can series!
Snap peas!

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and soaking in the laziness that is Sunday before heading back to the work week!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bruins Win!! And so does the NHL

Of course after watching game seven of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I immediately got distracted by the ads they played after, looked up the history of the Stanley Cup, and opened my laptop to research the NHL's marketing/PR campaigns.

First, the video that the NHL made started off the commercial break after the cup was brought on to the ice. Nice placement. And I got the chills.

The picture above is a shot (some random person took, thank you Google images) of guerrilla marketing the league did. I've seen it for the past couple of weeks all around MPLS and St. Paul. This news release states that after their "History will be made tonight" campaign debuted last year and brought in "more than 302 million TV viewers-which was the most watched Stanley Cup Playoffs in 36 years" they (obviously) decided to bring it back and make it bigger than ever.

Love this Adage article with an interview with NHL's COO, John Collins. Please check out these impressive stats.
  • NHL is on pace for their fifth consecutive year of record total revenue
  • Sponsorship sales is at an all time record high (including a $400 million sponsorship with Coors)
  • The Winter Classic was the most watched regular season game in 36 years
  • Viewership of regular season games on Versus were up 17%
  • Unique visitors on are up 30%
  • Facebook fans increased by 1.46 million (a 436% increase)
  • NHL twitter followers are up by 54%
  • Largest TV deal in the league's history with a 10 year, $2 billion agreement with NBC
Finally, with the discussion of a NFL lockout, it is interesting to see how this could effect NHL's ratings and fans.

Will fans start to watch guys run around, hit each other, and chase someone to get a ball on ice instead of watching huge guys run around, hit each other, and chase someone to get a larger ball on a field?!

This article on BleacherReport is spot on. This fiasco between players and the league is awful PR for the league.

The NHL bounced back with vengeance from their lockout in 2004. I'll be paying attention to how the NFL will up their PR and connect back with fans, as well as the NHL did.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happiness is an Organized Inbox

Confession: Balancing being an orientation leader and having the marketing internship is tough.

See Gmail currently...

Just pitiful. Google alerts. So many labels.

It's hard especially with the internship because as the cliche goes, "you get out of it what you put into it." I want to put my time and energy into it because I love the market's sustainable mission but it's hard when I am not held to specific responsibilities/duties. I make my own rules.

This is completely different from being an orientation leader at the U. They have orienteering down to an art. I was creeping on their website and found their annual report. Did you know there is a National Orientation Directors Association? Yep me neither. We're kind of a big deal. But my duties, down to the minute are scheduled-when to mingle with nervous parents, when to tell first years about the joys of residence halls, and when to bring up serious issues like sex, drugs, & rock and roll.

This weekend I met with the other market intern, Stephanie, who is also a student at the U and is the Education/Outreach intern. Our role is to collab on an event geared for college kids to learn about how to be sustainable, why you should be, and why the market is awesome. SO pumped for this.

And last update, check out MCFM's Facebook album of the pic's I took during the GrazeFest. All on my iPhone impulse purchase.

SO crowded.

Loved these smart girls-great location during the busy market.
Reminded me of my orchestra fundraising days.

Well, going to enjoy my night off and prepare for my 12 hour + day tomorrow. Fingers crossed my CFANS students are just as enjoyable & talkative as my first group was!


Monday, June 6, 2011

The Most Intensive Training I've Ever Done

After working two weeks of 14 hour days for orientation leader training, I am exhausted and so ready to actually get a group of freshmen. This week we have been practicing facilitation conversations, going over logistics of how a day works, memorizing all of the info we need to know, and practicing for the play.

My part in the play is the sexual assult monologue. I have never done any acting in my life. So I have the first step of memorizing the two page script down pat. Now I just have to remember it when I get on stage...

I also got the one of the parts for a huge lecture that all students living in the residence halls must go to, Navigating the U. I have to meet with my partner and start getting all of the facts and corny jokes down this week. It's a little bit intimidating because departments that have their info in the presentation will come to the theater spoardically to ensure the info that they want covered is.

Then we finally, get our first group of 20-30 incoming freshmen this week! I am so ready for it-for the nervous little guy whose too afraid to talk, to the annoying overly talkative cheerleader, and the too cool for school jock.

Here's a summary of what I learned over training:
  • I like the people I work with. Yea, it can be hard working with 27 other type a, over achievers, but it's also a blast to have everyone push each other to be better.
  • The U is huge. Even as a tour guide, I failed the OFYP standards of the tour. I blame it on the fact that I got CSE row...
  • I've learned the meaning of time management, commitment, and tiredness.
  • St. Paul is actually pretty cool. We toured the campus and inside of the dairy barn where they make their own ice cream and cheese. The Dairy Club is one of the richest on campus. I want to join. They get an all expenses paid trip to Cali. SIGN ME UP!

Happy Monday! Wish me luck with my first orientation!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

First Mill City Press Release

ER Grazefest Press Release

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy National Vegetarian Week

So it just so happens to be National Vegetarian Week and one of my blog friend's Health & Wellness Week (check her out here and you should participate too!)

Molly invited bloggers to give input and blog about what "inspires you to be a better you." My take and personable philosophy is about healthy eating. Like I mentioned in my about me page, I have been a vegetarian for my whole life.

I truly believe that a vegetarian diet not only provides a healthier life and a more energized me-but also helps issues I support-such as animal welfare and sustainability solutions.

Above is the Prezi I made for my PR writing and tactics class for an in class speech. Check it out!

Some of the interesting sources I found were this NYTimes article about meat industry's impact on the environment. This site has a ton of info of the health benefits.

If you have any questions about vegetarianism, feel free to contact me!

And thanks Molly for the great idea of sharing individuals' health and wellness philosophies!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rainy Farmers Market

(One of the first pictures I sniped of my favorite, CARBS)
This morning I headed out to Mill City decked out in my raincoat, yoga capris, and my watermelon colored crocs (did my dreams come true and I found a work place where it is socially acceptable to wear my favorite outifit?! I think so!)

My job today was to manage the day of event twitter (first time @mcfarmersmkt tweeted pictures! check 'em out), take photos of the market, and help out where needed.

(Best raincoat award goes to this cutie)
(One of my favorite pictures of the mom and daughter watching our food demo. Just epitomizes what the market is all about)

Who would of thought that "helping out wherever needed" would have meant the craziness that was a huge rain and thunderstorm that swept through MPLS. I helped the volunteers, managers, vendors pack up everything, break down tents, and high tail it out of the monsoon. I have never been so soaked.

Before the torrential downpour I really did have a great time getting to know vendors, find out about their newest product, why they love the market, and even exchanged some twitter tips!
(WANT this dress. Workers get a discount...)
(Here's me cheesing! The balloon art guy comes every week right outside the Guthrie and gave me this beautiful piece of art)


First Social Media Breakfast

(And yes I do still take notes on this thing called "paper")
Yesterday morning I bused out to Concordia for my first ever Social Media Breakfast. The topic was Education & Social Media. Just wanted to share some takeaways I got from it!
  • The first thing I noticed was the whole audience with their smartphones out, tweeting away. The twitter back story from the audience was entertaining. Everything from quoting speakers, adding comments, and even complaining-"get a move on" and "I'm tired of this topic!" were pretty popular at one point.
Glad I had my snazzy phone to keep up. Click here to find the dialogue on the twitter feed.
  • One member of the panel was the MKTG guy for an online college. We discussed whether secondary education would move more online rather than traditional "brick and mortar" universities.
Personally, I see positives and negatives from both sides. As I said on twitter, online classes require participation-I've had JOUR classes where I was required to use chat rooms on Blackboard. On the other hand, another huge part about going to an actual university are some experiences that have to be done in person, such as networking, relationships, growing up, and independence.
  • I loved what the panel said about connecting with their students on where they want to engage. The PR people from Augsburg and St. Catherine's really emphsized the importance of retweeting and showing the students work. The ROI from universities using social media is to measure students interactions and tone, help students enter the university, and eventually graduate.
  • An audience member came up to the mike and said that when he taught he implemented required blogs. He said that the writing quality improved and students' personal lives were incorporated with their education-which I'm guessing, they actually took pride in their work and cared about it. I totally see this and why it works. I am writing this blog for my own use and I never will know who might see it so I want to represent myself well!
  • Twitter in the classroom? My boyfriend took a new media class at the U where students tweeted with the class numbers hashtag and the professor and students were encouraged to discuss and post interesting news stories. I think this is a great idea. Especially as a journalism major graduating in a field that utilizes social media so much, I feel that if classes are not utilizing these tools, we will be unprepared. This article from NYTimes was mentioned. I don't know how I feel if students were to use twitter in class instead of actually discussing in class out loud...It was hard enough to pay attention to both the panel and the twitter feed at the same time, I don't know how I could do it in class. But I do think that discussions facilitated outside of class and incorporating blogs, twitter, or other social media into a journalism major is essential. I do wish a panelist from a social media communications post from the U or the School of Journalism and Mass Comm was there so I could pick their brains of how they create a media connection with over thousands of students!
Click here for my twitter and insights or just check out the screen shot below.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A in Strategic Comm. Cases

Just got my grades for last semester up! And got an A on this Punch Pizza project! Check it out. Also, if you guys haven't used Prezi before, definitely look into it-makes those boring powerpoint presentations way better.

Bittersweet Goodbye to K102 and Clear Channel

I just finished my first semester long internship with Clear Channel where I was the promotions intern for K102 and KOOL108.

For our last day, all eight interns and our bosses went out to Rojo-where the atmosphere, margs, and vegetarian tacos were to die for.

My semester working with my favorite country radio station had some ups and downs but I learned so much about myself and the radio industry as a whole.
(Gretchen, another intern, made us all personalized cookies!)

  • Bragging rights to all my fellow country music lovers.
  • Worked with one of the largest media companies out there-CLEAR CHANNEL.
  • Had informational interviews with the Public Affairs guy for Clear Channel, sat in on a Marketing Mash/social media discussion, and my boss set me up to get coffee with her aunt-who is the PR person for MOA.
  • I loved driving the huge Tahoe around that had Taylor's face 10x bigger than normal on the side.
  • Saw The Band Perry, Luke Bryan, and Tim McGraw for FREE!
(The boy and I before Tim came on stage)
  • I organized all of the prize packages-mailed, called winners, etc.
  • A big part of my job was to represent the station at events with clients across the Twin Cities. One of my favorite events was the Snobowl at Hamlake-I was by myself with all my KOOL108 gear and witnessed people being pulled by sleddogs, a vintage snowmobile contest, and did I mention the whole event was on a frozen lake? Oh, how I love Minnesotans.
  • Responsible for taking pictures of our onsight set up to show to clients.
  • Worked with other interns where you quickly find out to if you clash or work together seamlessly.

  • Interacting & engaging with people in person. You had to be stellar at this to rock this job. Sometimes it was a blast to randomly bond with a stranger about the newest Lady Antebellum song (listen here and thank me later) and sometimes it was just a pain to force people over to our beautiful K102 table at events. WHAT?! Who wouldn't want to register to win tickets to WeFest?!
  • Learning to work with whatever is thrown at me. During office hours, I experienced a lot of ambiguity (aka random) tasks that had to be done fast and efficiently. I learned what it meant when people said interns must "wear many hats." I helped create a comprehensive list of karaoke bars in the MPLS area (my personal favorite is still good ol Blarns), updated the "Midwest Family Fun" events for the website, and organized applications and due dates for parades around the cities this summer.
  • Working well with others is a must. My personal mantra is that you can make anything fun. As Honest Abe once said, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." I try to make any job, event, office cubicle as fun as possible. If you are going to be sitting with someone for an hour to drive out to Watertown or walk in the St. Paul Parade together-just share random stories, laugh, and have fun.
(Annie, me, and Gretchen working a promotional event for Winstock)

I overhead this at the station during office hours once and it really stuck with me-
K102 needs to have a consistent image-whether you are listening to it on your radio on your commute to work, blasting it out of a boom box at a backyard BBQ, or while talking with some interns at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar.

I am so happy I had the opportunity to help build relationships with listeners with a great station like K102 and help maintain their image to what a great country radio station should be-happy, fun, and all about the listeners :)

(Only the cutest little cowboy ever)


Oh, Hi Again Blogger World!

I decided to create two separate blogospheres to interact with. I have a Tumblr account that I will repost my favorite pictures (usually of cute dogs and kids) and other random inspiration.

On this blog, I will post musings on being a PR major (and almost graduate eek!), observations of current PR stories, stories I find interesting, things I'm learning in my senior year at the U, and try to keep track of all the fun stories (and hopefully skills!) I'm learning at my internships.