Tag Archives: social media

Pinterest: Making it Work for your Brand

Pinterest. Everyone who uses Pinterest is addicted. Everyone who gets introduced to Pinterest quickly becomes obsessed.

What’s Pinterest? Well… In short, Pinterest is a site where users save images and categorize them into “boards.” Basically a visual bookmarking service. People have boards for recipes, cool photography, places to visit, crafts to make, wedding inspiration, etc. etc.

I follow a few brands on Pinterst – including Nordstrom, Real Simple and MagnetStreet Weddings. The most prominent brands on the site are those that work in the areas of fashion, food, photography, crafts and weddings.


Today, I came across a University using Pinterest. And using it damn well. Drake University.

Run by interns in the Marketing & Communications department of the University, the account demonstrates a genius way to utilize one of the most buzzed about social networking sites of the moment, in a way that still makes sense.

Through 11 boards, these students share recipes that can be made in one’s dorm room, dorm decorating ideas, gear for the ultimate fan and alumni, and sites in and around Des Moines (where the school is located).

One of my major annoyances when it comes to social media (and I have many) is when brands jump onto the latest social network “because everyone else is doing it” and it’s really popular. However, if you don’t use it to the correct purpose or in a way that is meaningful for your potential fans/followers, what’s the point? Well, the students and staff over at Drake University have figured Pinterest out.

Now, I wonder how long it takes for other Schools to get the same idea.
Update: According to the Drake University Twitter account, the students do the vast majority of the work on the Pinterest account, with staff oversight. What awesome experience for the students as well!


What the Kell?

So, I’m sure many of you do not religiously watch Bravo like I do… but stay with me on this one. Bravo’s newest TV show “Kell on Earth” follows Kelly Cutrone and her minions at People’s Revolution in the fast-paced world of fashion public relations.

Cutrone is cut-throat and intimidating as hell, and infamous for the line, “If you have to cry, go outside.” (Note: I would never work at a place where employees bursting into tears happened enough times for that rule to be in place). Yikes.

A recent episode, however, let loose another strange rule at People’s Revolution: employees are not allowed to use social media.

**Update: I was informed by Katy Smith that, in fact, employees of People’s Revolution are using social media. However, given the recent episode where a new hire was terminated for tweeting about being hired, I am leaving up this post. I’m still interested to hear your thoughts about social media policies.

Huh? What?

Staff (and thus, actors) on Kell on Earth are not allowed to use social media – in fact, one poor girl was fired for tweeting about recently being hired to the agency. To be fair, she did tweet something to the effect of: “It’s official. I’m joining the cast!” Which doesn’t scream good intentions. However, the reason given for her termination was the general idea of her using social media.

While I understand that the general population catches on to new forms of communication slower than the industry, I can’t imagine doing my job without social media. Not only for the sake of my clients and their activities online, but to learn from peers and experts.

I learn something every day from my friends and those I follow on Twitter, whether it’s industry-related or other interesting, useful information. I am fortunate to work for an organization that not only sees the value of social media, but encourages employees to become trail blazers in the field. We are constantly pushed to try something new, discover new applications and teach each other.

What do you think? Do you find that social media helps you do your job? Or is it a distraction?

Does your company encourage your behavior online? Or prefer you do it on your own time?

Sharing News in the 21st Century

Well, as many people know… I am recently (very recently) engaged. The past 24 hours have been exciting, happy, busy and overwhelming. Wisely, I waited until the next morning to start sharing the news with family and friends. This is, by far, the biggest news I have ever had to share with so many people and I wasn’t entirely prepared for the process.

Naturally, the first form of communication was a phone call to my parents and sister, followed by a picture text of the ring. Following a phone call to my grandma, I resorted to text message to share the news en masse. All of this, plus the phone calls that followed were completely expected. However, the announcement via social media was quite a task.

Congratulations tweets from Madeline Koch and Paul DeBettignies were the beginning, followed by congratulations and excitement from all of the great people I know online and in real life. The official changing of the Facebook status and obligatory photos unleashed even more.

I am so very grateful to have so many people who care about me and love me. And that isn’t the point of this post. I am truly amazed at how differently information is shared, especially huge life-changing information. The utter speed of communication and response is exciting, and alarming! I am still working to catch up, say thank you and update everyone on the news. This entire process has truly opened my eyes to communication of the future, and at the same time, how traditional communication – over the phone and in person – is still necessary, and important.

Well, I’m off to make more phone calls to family, but this is definitely a moment and a day that I never want to forget. Thank you to all of you for being my support, sounding boards, friends and mentors.

Journalism AND Social Media

If anyone is keeping track, this is BY FAR the fastest blog post I have ever put together – so please keep that in mind as you read.

After returning to my desk from a delicious lunch, which included Davanni’s pizza, it was pointed out to me by @ellejam that I was quoted in a tech story on CNN in a tweet that included a link. To be honest, my first thought was spam – but curiosity got the best of me. So I checked and it was true! Sort of…

In case you didn’t see the story, here is a link and a screen capture:

Unfriend on CNN

As you can see by my stellar editing, my tweet was used in a CNN story – sans my name.

To provide the proper evidence, I give you – my tweet:


My feeling of complete surprise and excitement from being on CNN.com (I mean, how cool is that?) is slightly diminished with the absence of my name. I know it’s my tweet, my followers know it’s my tweet, so why couldn’t CNN properly quote me?

So my question is this: What are the journalistic standards for attribution when referencing a quote/update/post from a user on social media? I am sure I am not the first social media user to experience this, so what are the expectations? Should journalists be including user names into stories when they quote a source, even if that source was found on Twitter?