Search engines have swept the nation. “Google” has become a verb used in daily conversation. Do you want to know which celebrities are making the most money now-a-days? “Google” it. Need the name of an author for a school project? Go ahead and “google” that too. Are you lost and need directions? Google has you covered there also. It seems like there is no question that Google can’t answer.

Ironically, as I did my research before writing this article, I “googled” the history of Google. The search engine was created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin back in 1996. I truly doubt that either of these two men had any clue the craze that Google would soon become. As the site quickly grew in popularity, outside businesses realized that it was prime space for advertisements. From there, Google continued to grow and profit like never before.

Both Page and Brin deserve a major pat on the back for their achievements both in the technology world and in the business world. Google truly has taken over the world. However, there is a new search engine that could possibly become competition for this monster of a search engine.

Good Search has taken the rising search engine obsession and decided to make some good of it. Ken Ramberg and J.J. Ramberg created Good Search in 2005 after learning that search engine advertisements generated $8 billion annually. On Good Search, fifty percent of all sponsored search revenue is donated to various charities and causes around the world. One of the best parts is that every time you make a search on the site, YOU get to choose which cause or organization you want the money from your search to go to. Good Search is powered by Yahoo! so you don’t have to worry about losing the quality of your search results either!

I wrote an earlier post about Blake Mycoskie and his passion behind TOMS Shoes. The reason why TOMS became such a fad was not because of some new fashion fad, but because people connected with the idea of “giving while receiving.” People buy shoes every day, but why wouldn’t you help a child in need at the same time when it’s an option?

Practically everyone uses a search engine multiple times a day. Why wouldn’t you want to support a cause you believe in while doing it? We can finally “raise money for our favorite charities and schools by doing something we do every day – using the internet.”

So, the next time you can’t remember all of the words to that song that’s been stuck in your day, go ahead and “GoodSearch” it.

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August 13, 2011. SPC 4350 01. Leave a comment.

True Love or Publicity Stunt?

In today’s society, in order for celebrities to stay popular, they have to be entertaining to the public at all times, both on and off the set or stage. This means that their every day life has to be exciting enough for tabloids, magazines, and paparazzi to talk about. For some celebrities, it seems like they are constantly in the news. In some cases, it is rarely positive publicity. Other cases are the complete opposite; they seem to be constantly overcoming heartbreak or falling in love or other happy and romantic things.

Celebrity couples  are always a hot topic for the press. Some of these couples are absolutely precious, end up getting married and then live happily ever after. The news and magazines don’t seem to have as much fun with these couples. They’ll make the front page of a magazine for an issue or two of a magazine, but after that, they’re old news.

Other couples almost seem to be too perfect for words. Singers who record a song together and notice a spark while recording (normally right before the song is released). Actors filming a new romantic movie who fall madly for one another while shooting (again, right before the movie is released). Romantic songs seem so much more meaningful if we believe the feelings portrayed in the song to be real. The same goes for a couple in a movie. America really is full of a bunch of hopeless romantics.

We never really know how real these “relationships” are though. In many cases, these quick flings are arrangements made by the two celebrities’ publicists who are looking for an extra way to get their clients’ names in the press. The “couple” arrives to premieres together, smiles together for pictures, maybe a quick peck for a camera or two, and then they move on their merry way.

Tabloids say that a major pro at this dating scam is Taylor Swift. How on earth would the blonde teeny-bopper singer ever be able to grab rebel artist John Mayer? Coincidentally, their relationship first hit the news right when their duet, “Half of My Heart,” was released. Their relationship fizzled out almost immediately after their song became a hit. As a huge John Mayer fan, I refuse to believe that he would ever date  a country pop-star like Taylor Swift. I have nothing against Taylor Swift and I actually enjoy some of her songs, but in no way could I ever believe she and John Mayer ever truly had a relationship.

While it’s impossible to really know how real any celebrity relationship is, it is definitely a topic that’s always of interest to the public. In no way do I believe that a couple’s personal life is any of my business, which is why this subject frustrates me somewhat. I believe that relationships should be a personal thing between a couple. This is one of the major reasons why I have so much respect for celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman who don’t air their dirty laundry to the public.

The idea of a celebrity posing in a fake relationship for publicity alone is sad to me. It shows how nosy society is today, and it also makes me think that celebrities do not respect themselves enough as professionals to think that they’re talent alone will get their name out there enough. But what do I know?

Here’s the video of Taylor Swift and John Mayer’s “Half of my Heart.” You can decide how real you believe this relationship is yourself.

April 18, 2011. PR Connections, SPC 4350 01. Leave a comment.

Be My Guest!

Emily Leinweber has discussed a variety of topics on her blog throughout this semester. She is also great at keeping her blog up-to-date and posting blogs on a regular basis. One of the most interesting blogs that she has written is posted below.

Would you donate a kidney because of Facebook?

When I think of Facebook, I think of social networking, advertising, and a public relations forum for businesses. Who knew that a simple status update could persuade someone to donate an organ!

According to Ragan’s PR Daily, a few months ago a woman posted a status about her husband needing a kidney transplant and that they needed a kidney with O blood type. She wasnt necessarily asking as in putting an AD in the paper, but was just hoping that somehow her prayer would be answered.

Luckily, a man saw the message and notified her that he would be willing to donate and had the correct blood type. The transplant was successful and both men alright.

Who knew that Facebook could be used for more than talking to your friends, and keeping up to date with local businesses and celebs. Today, social media and the internet can be used for just about anything, even finding an organ donor faster than ever before.

I wonder if this will change the way the waiting list for organs will work?! Could it be the newest and upcoming trend?

April 18, 2011. Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

Guest Blogger: Alexis Merante

One of my favorite parts of my Social Medias class this past semester has been the opportunity to read blogs written by my classmates. Some of my favorite blogs to read were written by Alexis Merante. One of her most recent blogs discusses her recent internship at a local radio station. This post definitely got me excited about my internship next year!

An Eye Opening Experience

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I was fortunate enough to have interned with an absolutely amazing company, and to add to it I was working under an amazing supervisor.

I interned for Hall Communications Radio Group. It is located in downtown Lakeland and runs the Big 4 Radio stations for the area; WLKF, WONN, WPCV, WPCV.

The radio industry was totally new for me, and I really didn’t know what to expect. I was curious to see how much I could learn from an industry thats popularity is dwindling due to XM radio and Sirius Radio. As I get ready to graduate my mind is open to any industry where I could use my PR and advertising skills. I interned for the promotions department, and could not have had a more hands on experience.

The first thing I learned is that radio is not going anywhere!! There are still tons and tons of listeners, and very loyal listeners at that. Another very important thing I learned is that loyalty is everything in a business like radio. When you gain a client you have to make sure you keep a client, especially in an economy like we are in now.

Radio is a great tool for PR professionals to use when they are trying to hit a direct market. Each radio station has very distinct demographic and businesses can use that to their advantage.

My jobs varied from completing weekly affidavits, to dealing with contest winners. I was able to attend remote broadcasts, a concert, and help facilitate with a radiothon.

The internship taught me that radio is something I could really enjoy and that there are so many aspects of the radio industry that people don’t even know about.

This is a funny Radio Industry Parody Youtube that I found.

Alexis is one of the most ambitious people I have ever met and that definitely shows in her blog. Check it out to see what else she is talking about!

April 18, 2011. SPC 4350 01, Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

Going Viral

There are plenty of videos on YouTube today that practically everyone has viewed or at least heard of. It is crazy to me how a silly video can gain millions of views. I have definitely spent my fair share of time on YouTube watching these hilarious videos multiple times in a row. My friends and I quote YouTube videos in everyday conversations on a regular basis. The question is, how on earth do these random (sometimes completely stupid) videos gain the attention of millions of people around the country and/or world?

For me, I love anything funny. I am pretty easily entertained, so it does not take much to give me a good laugh. The videos that really stand out to me are the ones that are easily quotable. I am a proud southern girl who is highly involved in Greek life on my college campus, so anything mocking that stereotype is hilarious to me.

and…

These two videos are two of my favorites. I die laughing every time I see them. They pick fun but in a funny way and you can talk about these videos with friends anytime and it will always be hilarious.

Another thing that will always make me fall in love with a video is if it has cute kids in it. Everyone has seen the video of the laughing baby and the “Buhlood” video is always a classic. Everyone has also fallen in love with David After the Dentist. There is just something about children that makes a video almost impossible not to become attached to.

Cute kids are already practically irresistible, but a cute kid with a British accent almost isn’t fair.

This video’s 9 million+ views just shows how much of a hit it has become! Here is a more recent video that has begun to spread like wildfire.

How can you not love this little girl?

Overall, the main factors that have shown to make a video viral are humor and a “cute factor.” Videos need to be decently short, because viewers really don’t have that long of an attention span. They also need to be somewhat relatable . Lastly, it has to be quotable. That is how videos spread so quickly. People hear others constantly saying all of these funny quotes and they want to go see the video that started it all.

April 15, 2011. Topic of the Week. 2 comments.

Million Dollar Mommies-To-Be

I have a slight obsession with Bravo television shows. I watch almost all the Real Housewives, anything about Bethenny Frankel, and all of the Top Chef shows religiously. Bravo’s new show, Pregnant in Heels, has become the highlight of my Tuesday nights.

Pregnant in Heels centers around Rosie Pope, a young and stylish mom living in New York City. When she was pregnant with her son in 2008, Rosie realized that there were very few options for maternity clothes. For upscale women living in Manhattan, Target and Old Navy just don’t cut it. Rosie saw an opportunity and ran with it. Her success story began when she started up Rosie Pope Maternity, a high-end maternity clothing and accessory line. Rosie Pope Maternity was an instant hit, attracting the rich pregnant of New York.

Through her clothing line, Rosie discovered a new need for these million dollar mommies-to-be; a majority of them knew NOTHING about child birth or parenting. They don’t know what they are supposed to buy (or they don’t want to purchase “tacky baby items that don’t go with the feel of their modern homes”). They don’t know how to do basic tasks like buckling in car seats or opening and closing a stroller. From there, Rosie expanded her business by starting Mommy Prep classes and prenatal and postpartum fitness classes. These classes go over all the basics that any future mother needs to know: CPR for babies, how to baby-proof a house, and other safety notes and helpful tips. Rosie also does home visits for special cases.

Rosie became famous nationally when Bethenny Frankel took one of her mommy-prep classes on her show Bethenny Getting Married. Bravo saw how much of a hit Rosie was on the show and ran with it. This led to Rosie’s new Bravo show, Pregnant in Heels.

Rosie Pope is a prime example of ingenious entrepreneurship. She saw an open market and jumped at the chance for success. One of the major reasons why she has been such a successful business woman is because she chose her client base, stuck to it, and was able to reach out to and appeal to that audience. Every business owner should take tips because this factor is something that can make or break a company or business.

April 13, 2011. Tags: . PR Connections, SPC 4350 01. 2 comments.

Bookmarks Wherever I Go!

When I first heard the concept of Diigo, I did not understand the point of it at all. I have about four websites that I generally go on regularly and obviously I have those sites memorized. Why on earth would I need bookmarks that I can pull up anywhere? I learned that I was completely wrong with this assumption when I began following various blogs and joining different pre-professional sites. There is no possible way that I could ever memorize all of these sites. My Diigo account definitely centers around my various Public Relations blogs and articles.

Another reason why Diigo is so convenient, is that it is extremely helpful when it comes to group assignments and class projects. I learned this fact this past semester in my Communications Research class. We had a group project requiring each group to develop a research question about a specific topic, and then find various articles to help us build on that question. This required each of us to look up and find multiple articles individually and then come together in order to develop a literature review. It was very difficult to save every article and website found and send those to the other group members to review.

When we learned of Diigo and what exactly it entailed, we realized that this could make our lives so much easier! Our group created a joint Diigo account. We all had access to it, which allowed us all to bookmark each of our articles and also view everyone else’s articles as well. It was the perfect solution.

Diigo really is helpful when building connections and resources. Having various blogs, articles, and other sites available to you no matter what computer you may be using is extremely beneficial. It is also nice to be able to share these links with others by simply linking your Diigo site. You are able to avoid sending links individually, which is very nice. I definitely believe that Diigo is a useful resource for any person today no matter what field they may be working or studying!

April 4, 2011. SPC 4350 01, Topic of the Week. 1 comment.

Bring the Public Back into Public Relations

I recently finished Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakridge’s book, Putting the Public Back into Public Relations.  I was definitely impressed by how helpful it was and how knowledgeable both authors were on the topics.

Brian Solis is no stranger to social medias. He was named one of the top influential leaders of the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) by CRM magazine. He was also the co-founder of the social media club, the co-creator of the conversation prism, and he was the main organizer of San Francisco’s Social Media Week.

Deirdre Breakridge is another expert in the social media field. She has both her BA and Masters in Communications and Marketing. She served as the Vice President and Director of Communications of PFS New Media immediately after receiving her BA and then became the President of PFS Marketwyse after receiving her MBA. Breakridge is the current President of Mango! Marketing and is also a 4 time published author.

This book was extremely insightful and educational regarding the social media field. Solis made an interesting point when he discussed how social medias are the next step from Bernays and Ivy Lee. Bernays and Lee created PR 1.0, but social medias allow for PR 2.0.

They talk about how Public Relations today is about dialogue, not about monologue. PR is about communicating with people, not at them. Businesses should use these medias to build relationships. Breakridge also stated that it is very important to approach marketing more as a consumer and less as a “PR person.” This allows you to really understand what your customers want and are looking for and allows you to build better relationships with them.

A couple of things that surprised me when reading this book had to do with old school press releases. They talked about how ineffective they are today unless you utilize SEA. Solis stated that businesses biggest problem today is that they don’t understand SEO. The internet is the main way that people hear about anything today, so businesses have to know how to use it.

This book definitely taught me that social medias are a must for any business in todays society. I would love to learn more tips on how to keep up with the constantly updating and changing social medias. It seems like a new one is popping up every other day!

I would definitely recommend this book to any Public Relations student, worker, or even to any business owner. It will definitely open your eyes to how important social medias are in today’s society and how to better utilize them in order to get your name out to more people!

March 30, 2011. Tags: . PR Connections, SPC 4350 01. Leave a comment.

March Madness

I have never considered myself athletic by any means. I competed in gymnastics and danced my entire life, but anything that required a ball or hand-eye coordination never seemed to work out for me. However, just because I can’t play the sports does not mean that I don’t love watching them. Ever since high school, March has been one of my favorite months solely because of the NCAA Basketball tournament. I am probably one of the most competitive people you will ever meet and get slightly obsessed when I have a team to cheer for.

I was born and raised in Tennessee so obviously my loyalty will always be with the Vols, but when it comes to March Madness, I’ve learned to think with my head and not with my heart. Sadly, I was right to not put very much faith in UT this year since they lost the first game of the tournament. I do not joke around when it comes to my bracket. I watch ESPN constantly leading up to the tournament because I love listening to what the reporters and commentators predict for each team. I also always double check on injured players before filling out my bracket. When I found out that Kyrie Irving would be back on the court for the tournament after being gone practically all season, I knew that Duke would become even more of a challenge and extremely hard to stop.

I am not the only one who takes these games so seriously. In fact, I’m nothing compared to some people. Millions of dollars are poured into bets and pools for the tournament every year. For many sports fanatics, the NCAA Basketball tournament is like Christmas in March. I even have friends who will skip class or work for a couple of days in order to watch big games. Sites have been created to compare statistics, playing styles, and other information about teams or players in order to help people create the perfect bracket. The NCAA tournament has pretty much become it’s own market. There are even sites like Over Under Sports that sell expert opinions and picks. There are plenty of other sites that will give tips and suggestions for your bracket for free, but the amount of sites that do charge for this information has been growing over the past couple of years.

I would never bet money or pay for statistics or picks, but I do love filling out my bracket every year. It amazes me how much the tournament continues to grow. I am just waiting for “After NCAA Tournament” sales to start popping up in stores around the country. ‘Tis the season for basketball! Happy March Madness everybody!

March 19, 2011. PR Connections. Leave a comment.

Taking Advantage of PROpenMic

With today’s job market the way it is, I am thankful for any helpful hints, possible connections, or available internship experiences that I can find.  PROpenMic is a new, innovative way to help prepare college students studying Public Relations for post-graduation life.

One of the most impressive aspects to this site is its Jobs/Interns page. The site gives direct links to job and internship postings across the country. Resources like this are extremely helpful to soon-t-be college graduates today. I have always been taught that getting a job is all about who you know. Sites like this help you “know” a lot more people than you normally would!

Another helpful feature that this site has is that it allows you to post your resume directly to the site. This is obviously a perfect resource for future employers to look to in order to find prospective employees. Having your resume posted for these employers to see wherever and whenever can open a lot of doors as well.

In addition to posting your resume, you can also post your PR Portfolio for employers to see as well! Most PR work is based on projects, prints, and news releases that you have written. A resume does not allow you to show your true talent or potential. By uploading your work to this site, you not only show your written qualifications through your resume, but you also get to show your skill and personal work which can go a long way in a hiring process.

There are numerous successful professionals in the Public Relations field who have connected to this site. Being able to connect with them personally and show them your work is an incredible resource that we are so lucky to have today. It is pretty nerve-wracking to think about trying to find a job in the near future, but sites like this definitely ease my stress a little bit. It is pretty ignorant for a PR student to ignore a site like this. I know that I will be taking advantage of any resource available for the next year before graduation!

March 14, 2011. Topic of the Week. Leave a comment.

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