Having roommates who will drop everything and bail you out when you need them most. (As evidenced most recently by locking keys in my car at the gas station before a 2 hour ride to a client meeting and Big Rick saving the day with a spare key in record time.)
Think about how much social media has changed since 2010. ….A lot. But one thing remains the same, if you manage a brand’s social channels, monitoring the conversation outside of @mentions and @replies is just as important as conversing directly with consumers. Listening to what is being said can shed light on the market as a whole and have implications on the future of your brand.
I started this blog as my culminating project for my liberal studies major at Bentley University during my senior year. I graduated.
And as I’ve updated on my career and random life tidbits and personal opinions, it’s on my Bentley-issued laptop. In my parents’ house. In my childhood bedroom.
That wonderful, and I really non-sarcastically mean wonderful, Bentley education has unfortunately left me with a boatload of student debt and unable to move out any time soon. Like, I can’t even really consider it. Bi-weekly paychecks, where one paycheck (in full, plus a little more) goes directly to my loans, doesn’t leave much rent money - or even much to save. Sure, the money I’m spending on gas commuting ~70 miles/day (+ $3 in tolls) adds up to a lot, but it’s better than rent in the city that half my friends are paying!
This post isn’t supposed to make you feel bad for me (of course, if you do, I’ll gladly take donations of any size) - it’s to fully admit and embrace that I love living at home. And I’m going to sprinkle some of the comical highs and lows of living with my parents, my grandmother, two psycho dogs and 3 cats on this blog (whenever I do remember to update).
Take a long and hard look at your public relations efforts during 2012. Have you gotten remarkable (and measurable) results for your organization/clients? Have you grown as a professional? Have you kept up with all of the latest trends and…
"Business as usual" is difficult in the wake of tragedy. Like this past Friday, 12/14 and the Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre.
First learning about it on Twitter around 10am, the school shooting had only injured one person - and then silence. When the news started pouring in, assumptions were made, but one thing was for sure: this was an act of evil.
I spent the afternoon texting my family… sending my love… and trying to keep a level head. But with constant updates it was hard not to read the headlines. And these incredible headlines filled my Twitter feed with new news. What bothered me most was that inbetween intense headlines and reactions from media outlets and individuals were typical Friday afternoon posts from companies and brands - “TGIF!”
In a tragedy like this - while I hope and pray would never and could never happen again - brands need to turn off their auto-posts and return to being human. A little compassion is underrated.
Can’t and won’t stop thinking about the people of Newtown, Connecticut. xo
Today was my first “official” new business pitch. I treated it like a job interview, like one of my many real-client presentations in college. The only difference is that this one is for keeps, and the ramp up process doesn’t follow a semester’s worth curriculum.
But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about the new business process - from generating the lead to drafting a response to the RFP to proposing the plan. The RFP is typically pretty traditional, but what got a lot of buzz this week on the Twitterverse was one brand’s atypical request.
Aloft Hotels, a brand out of Starwood Hotels, made public their search for a public relations firm through an RFTweet. With a microsite and hashtag dedicated to the cause, Aloft Hotels seeks a PR agency that will stand out from the crowd and win them over in 140 characters.
The whole platform really drives home the combination of traditional and social media, and emphasizes the importance of clear and concise messaging. Attention spans are getting smaller with the growth of clutter and distraction; if an agency can voice its chops in a succinct way - enough to sell itself - it is assumed that it will also be able to sell the brand.
The agency and PR pro participation in this unique review process is exciting to watch and be a part of. It’s hard to filter through and find some authentic, not forced tweets from agencies, but it’s fun nonetheless.
Brands taking power of the review process and casting a huge net in an effort to find the best fish: underrated. Agencies breaking through the fluff: also underrated.
Warby Parker has been on my radar for awhile, and I finally convinced myself I needed new glasses in August.
It didn’t take much personal persuasion, though — from cost to customer service, Warby was impeccable.
For $0 and 0 commitment, I picked my Try 5 trial glasses and they were shipped overnight. After virtually trying on tons of glasses and filling and emptying my shopping cart for weeks, I committed to my 5 and fell in love with a few pairs when I had them in person. After shipping the trial pairs back to Warby, I rustled up my prescription and placed my order.
One thing not on my prescription was my P.D. — pupillary distance. And apparently this is a very common problem, but Warby had a solution. An online measurement widget was effortless and accurate.
Warby’s social customer service is killer. Aside from standard product promotion, its Facebook and Twitter pages are dedicated to assisting typical e-commerce issues and goes above and beyond in giving personalized feedback and advice. Warby also provides video feedback and hosts a dialog on YouTube.
I’m so infatuated with Warby I can hardly put my thoughts into words! I feel like a 6th grader with a crush. The brand is so ahead of the game and in tune with its consumers. Warby’s commitment is unparalleled and underrated.
I’m not the only person with mixed emotions surrounding Bentley’s new branding. In fact, with so much backlash over the weekend, my alma mater is hosting a Twitter chat this afternoon with CMO David Perry and other marketing team members.
Will they be able to answer questions regarding the juvenile feel and the compromise it brings to Bentley’s education?
I will definitely be following along at #BentleyBrand this afternoon… after that I’ll decide how over- or underrated the platform for Q&A is for the University. It’s good to know that they’re listening, though I’m sure with the $$$ spent nothing is going to change.
Bentley’s new “brand" feels so forced and contradictory to its classic roots. I am all for changing and adapting to the times and technology, but this does not embrace the University’s rich history like it claims to.
It looks juvenile.
What I do like? Prepared. And I will fully admit that Bentley prepared me for where I am today, and where I am going in the future with my career. I also like Bentley’s Brand Book and the implied understanding of the importance of consistency.
Bentley’s desire to define itself: sure. Bentley’s choice of rebranding: overrated.
PS - the new shield logo has been compared to that of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft. …Lightning bolts.
I’ve heard of writing samples and assignments as part of the interview process, but I’ve never had to actually do one on the spot. On my last job interview, I did. After an hour and a half of meeting 1:1 with my future co-workers, my assignment was to write a pitch.
And that was it. So, I sat in the empty conference room for a couple of seconds deciding what to write about. I knew I didn’t have much time to write and edit a great response so I wanted to get going right away. I’ve written pitches about shoes, events, stories, software, and models/actors. But to write about those things at that moment just didn’t feel right for the situation and I wouldn’t give in to that instant thought. So I thought some more.
For 3 weeks I actively networked, emailed, and interviewed after being blindsided by my former employer. The more I introduced myself to someone, both online and in person, the more I caught on to a recurring theme.
All that time, I was pitching myself.
It wasn’t a novel idea by any means, but it made things *click* for me. And just like that, I pitched Brittany Topham to the agency that I hoped so badly to work for. It made perfect sense, too. Why would I write a pitch about shoes that I know the agency’s hiring manager is going to read, not an editor? I simply put into written words why the agency needed me on its team.
And it worked.
Apparently I was the first candidate, ever, to take that approach. And people noticed.
I now work at this agency and couldn’t be happier. Aside from a better commute… :)
High fashion brands - I’m talkingreallyhigh fashion - are for the elite. They are aspirational names that people like me would love to have sitting on a pedestal in a massive walk in closet (obviously never used, just looked at). And it’s just that - a dream.
While this Brittany will likely never have a Berkin - I can still fascinate about it. And while it may never be in my hands, being able to connect with it personally could be the next best thing. Some brands, like Burberry, Oscar de la Renta, Hermes, etc. connect with fans in the same places that Walmart and Forever21 do - online - to create an even-leveled space for communication.
And they do it pretty well! Burberry is most known for its live streaming video from NYFW last fall. It was their way of involving fans unable to attend the show in person (read: most) to see it go down - and even see it behind the scenes. Burberry has done it again in the digital sphere by personalizing GIF cards for their fans after they reached 1,000,000 followers on the Twitter. While nothing astounding, it’s a small sentiment to say that brand’s appreciate their fans even if they aren’t the ones paying the big bucks… ….yet.
High fashion brands are also breaking grounds on digital platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr. Both Badgley Mischka and Jason Wu previewed their Resort 2013 collections digitally, respectively on the aforementioned sites.
A lot has happened since my last post on May 7th. I turned 22, I went to the Bahamas with 570 of my closest Bentley friends, and I graduated.
Needless to say, May was an exciting month full of celebrations. But that all came to a crashing halt on the 22nd. That’s the morning that I learned that my full-time post-graduate job, which I worked so hard to secure, had fallen through.
Onwards and upwards. Bigger and better. I’m searching for the career of my dreams and I won’t settle for anything less.
The Mmofra Trom Bead Project is looking for summer interns for a 10 week summer internship program. This will be a virtual internship and therefore communication will be through technology (phone, emails, Skype).