Monday, November 29, 2010

Digital Marketing 101

In my research of the social media marketing is that there are no true "experts" so I am trying to learn from those who have done what I am about to do.  Our company works with non profits to promote their online career centers, and I had the pleasure of working with one of the leading career coaching professionals in the Washington, DC area last week.  Marshall Brown came by and recorded teasers and a full podcast for our company to distribute to our clients. 

The subject matter is timely and relevant "Take Charge of Your Career," which many people both in work and out of work have to do.  We were talking about my employment history and something he said was, you were not unemployed... you were "in between successes." I found this to be much more empowering and wish that I would have talked to him during the job search way back when.  But he also provided many other tips.  Once it is complete, I may post it here to document this part of my portfolio. 

Everything is an adventure and a learning experience, and for that I am extremely grateful. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The thin line of synergy

Fox and Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp has become an expert at synergistic marketing. Why? They are genius at implanting cross promotional opportunities. They are one of the "Media Giant Oligopolies" who maintain control over the media.

What does this mean for you? When you turn on one or more the following television stations there is a high degree of chance that you will see a promotion for a program on one of the other stations. This allows for low cost promotion of their programming, while filling their adverstising space.

Something that I have been noticiing is that there is more and more product placement on numerous paid cable television channels. The first example comes from Cablevision's AMC. Their slogan is "Stories Matter." However, they have been increasingly blurring the line between their programming and their commercial advertisements. They have had a number of ads for that mirror the program "Mad Men." This show details the lives of powerful advertising executives when advertising was born. It makes the viewer question as to whether or not AMC is trying to reinvent the way that advertisers gear their commercials.

The second example, is HBO's Entourage that follows the "superstar" Vinnie Chase and his posse's lives around. In the most recent season, Turtle gets a gig for promoting Avion tequilla and he gets his superstar friend to tweet about it, and also give it a soft endorsement. In this plot arc, the owner of the company is afraid that he will lose his company to Mark Cuban a wealthy business man. After the episodes aired, it came out that the creator of the show had this company written into the storyline to help out a friend's company. The company did not pay a dime for the promotion, and the story. Benevolence? You decide.

As a marketer, I appreciate the new and innovative ways that people are utilizing television programming to promote products and services. However, as a consumer, I am mildly irriated that I can't escape the messages, even when I want to shut down my brain. If I shut down my brain, I may just fall victim to the product placement....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A year later.. some reflection

So it's been nearly a year in my current position and I have to say it's been quite the learning experience. The technology business that serves the non-profit professional is an interesting and challenging one. We provide our technology to the non-profits to help them generate non-dues revenue through their online career centers. Now this could be through an employer posting a position or even a job seeker asking for a resume critique.

Overall, online job postings are up year over year. However, it's not back to the glory days when employers were having difficulties finding candidates for their positions. Instead the job seeker market is flooded and it can be a challenge to sort through the best and most qualified candidates. That's where I come into play, I provide our clients with marketing support to boost their non-dues revenue. In addition to this, I am responsible for writing a weekly e-newsletter and all other corporate communications.

We're hoping that we're in the throws of the recovery on a personal and professional level. It's good for all of us if the employers are hiring and boosting the economy.

The Great Working Man's Hero???

Steven Slater, Flight Attendant for Jet Blue did what many people have wanted to do. He pulled the escape hatch and went down the emergency slide. While many people are touting him as a working man's hero, I have to disagree.

Here is why I don't think Steven Slater is a hero:

  1. Everyone has a bad day, whether your an employee or a customer. If you're in the buisness of customer service you should have the customer in mind first.
  2. Yes you were assulted, but people who work in daycare, educational and healthcare system experience much worse.
  3. Instead of bringing any concerns up to management, he ran away.

So this gent is now overwhelmed by media attention.... Do you know what I say? Why don't you run away Mr. Slater?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Purebreds vs Mutts

My boyfriend and I are in the process of searching for our next dog. We have agreed to adopt through a local rescue a lab mix puppy. As a lifelong pet owner, I have had the experience of owning both purebred and mutt dogs.

I was at a social function this weekend when the topic came up, I was discussing my desire to foster or adopt a mutt. The party that I was discussing this with told me emphatically "I paid a ridiculous amount of money for my dog, but it was worth it." I stared at her in disbelief, as she went on to tell me she's a huge dog person. Every person has experience that shapes who they are and who they are going to be. The ironic thing that if you think about the concept of being a purebred, it is royalty for dogs.

Since we're not in England and we have no royalty, I think we should embrace and celebrate the mutts more. Why? Benefits of rescuing a dog include but are not limited to:
  • Helping out a dog who was bred by accident or is in a rural area will surely get you into heaven.
  • Your health will improve. Recent studies have proven that petting a dog can reduce your heart rate, among other benefits.
  • Purebreds are expensive and overbred.
  • Purebreds are expensive because they are riddled with health problems.
  • Mutts live longer and have less health issues.

This is a short list, but as a former owner of both Purebreds and Mutts, I have to tell you. Mutts are where it's at. I don't need an accessory, I want a companion.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bonuses & Additional Compensation

It's strange that in a "down-economy" we would be reading stories like this one. Oprah gave out $10,000 checks and Ipads to her Magazine staff to celebrate the 10th anniversary. The current gig that I have going has stopped doing additional compensation because of the down economy, and they have no intention of re-instating this policy at the end of the year.

While I was unemployed, I did take a significant pay cut to work at this joint. Last month we had our highest month ever, and the trend looks like it's going to continue to go up. This is a good thing, so you'd think they would want to reward their employees by offering them perks for sticking with them during the tough times.

What's your thoughts on this subject?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


It's strange how integrity can come into play in the workplace. One day your sitting across the table from a person in power and they tell you that you are going to be held accountable for something. This is nothing new and doesn't even require a college dipolma to figure out.

I think that many employers are feeling good because they are in a position of power. People need their jobs in this economy and many think that they can get away with using and abusing their employees. However, did you know in March that more workers quit their job because of disatisfaction? This is according to Bureau of Labor & Statistics and I hope that the tide is changing.

Everyone is trying to work harder and smarter. However, when does it start becoming a hostile environment?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Technology Updates & Team Work

Often times throughout my professional career at the various places that I have worked at there have been some silos. I prefer to work in tandem with my co-workers on various projects, because typically more heads are better than one.

My current role is to help our clients market their online job boards to employers and job seekers. This helps the non-profits drive non-dues revenue by gaining employers who post jobs. The job seekers bring the employers because they are highly skilled and educated. Often times when employers post on the big sites like Career Builder, they recieve a flood of resumes who are not qualified for the position.

We are releasing an update to our technology, which was completed by our other office. The new update is really cool and I am charged with communicating it accurately to our clients. It's an interesting challenge and I like learning about various products and services that we offer.

My team works closely together to help each other out during busy times, and it's nice to have the support of your co-workers. They are pretty awesome and I feel lucky to be part of such a great team.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

One Year Anniversary

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my unemployment. I am very lucky to be one of the one's who is now employed. I can't help but reflect on the things that I have learned from the experience of being unemployed and losing my longtime pet Spike.

1) Even the most dependable things can be unpredictible.

I never imagined that I would have to put my dog down in September. I got to spend three great months with him while I wasn't working. I am greatful for having him in my life, and I am better for it.

2) Always trust your gut instinct

I suspected that I was going to be laid off for more than a month. It was because of this paranoia, which turned out to be true that I saved and saved my money. I was in a much better position than those that didn't expect it and I was able to collect unemployment to help stem the tide while I searched for a job.

3) A job search is a full time job.

I spent my days of being unemployed soley focused on achieving the goal of finding a job that I would like. I am happy with the results of my many hours of searching for a position. I did this by spending time on, Career Builder, and ASAE. In addition to this, I worked my network contacts via email, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

4) Unemployment can be funemployment.

If it's brief and you have an awesome support system. Without the support and love of my family and friends I feel I would not be where I am today. I was able to do things that I hadn't been able to in a long time, go to the pool, workout, hike, enjoy long lunches with friends, visit my family for a week. All of these are good things, and helped me throughout the stress of being unemployed.

5) Love can happen even in the most unexpected circumstances.

I am approaching my one year anniversary of unemployment, as well as, the one with my current partner. I never expected to meet someone while being unemployed. I also never expected this person to stick around when they found out about my situation. This person is very special and wonderful in so many ways and I can't thank the higher powers enough for alligning our paths. Today we share a beautiful, full, rich life that is plentiful in laughs and love. I couldn't ask for a greater guy!

This concludes the reflection on the year in review. Hope you enjoyed it!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Managing Work/Life Balance

The job has gotten to be a bit more intense, and each day the client load continues to grow. With more and more non-profits laying off their own personell they are looking to their vendors to do things that their former employees used. One of these things is to create advertisements, this is an exciting challenge that I do embrace. However, it's hard to devote time to being creative when you're trying to accomdate the multitude of client requests.

Customers right now are hard to please in this economy. They have pressures of their own to generate revenue in the quickest and most efficient way, and the job board industry is one of the last ones to rebound.

Last night we went to dinner with good friends and some new friends. The conversation turned to one of the dinner attendees search for a job, and we discussed some strategies to determine what her best plan of attack would be. I told her that I could help her in her quest because of my new role, and our relationship with various non-profits within her industry.

It's nice to be able to offer assistance, and yet then I have conversations with other friends who are complaining about the lack of "raises." In this economy, for the last several years, many of the places that I have worked for are on hiring freezes, and have not given merit or cost of living raises. The cost of living continues to rise, and we continue to not be rewarded for the work that we are doing. It begs the question, how long can this go on?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Moving Horror Stories

I am currently embroiled in a massive feud with the moving company that I used for moving myself back in November.

The company's name is All About Moving, LLC. 400 S Whitting Street, Alexandria, VA 22304-3559 and their phone number is 703.567.6683. The owner of the company seems like a genial guy when you call for services. He will even pretend to cut you a "break" on services because he wants your business.

After you book your service, the movers he selects for your job will show up a half hour late. They will not know what the heck they are doing. They will require 24/7 babysitting. A move that should be quick and easy will take FOREVER. It took us 7.5 hours to combine two houses into one. Ridiculous to say the least.

I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the Fairfax County Consumer Complaint division. I was only hoping for a semi-partial refund, but now I am asking for half of my move to be refunded.

Anymore, it seems like you have to fight everyone for your very last dollars. Its a bit ridiculous and I am not a fan...