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Old Glory waves at our Tennessee home

Old Glory waves at our Tennessee home

What could be more All-American than ice cream, apple pie and changing trends? Yes a fickle public is probably as common in the U.S. as watermelon on the 4th of July.

Recently WFHG Supertalk Radio Host Steve Hawkins called to ask me to discuss the latest trends in both social media and interpersonal communications. Just click on the top link next to Steve’s face and crank up your speakers a bit to hear the podcast of our interview since it took place from my mobile phone.

Steve and I cover the gamut,from what to post and what not to post online, what to watch in youth trends and what to wear on camera! Now that we’re officially at the half way point in the year let’s take a moment to reflect on our successes and enjoy. Have a wonderful 4th of July week friends!

 

 

 

 

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The following is a guest blog post from MarketingMel associate Sarah Kinsler. This is a follow up to our joint blog post about Vine created several weeks ago.

Sarah Kinsler using the new Instagram video feature.

Sarah Kinsler using the new Instagram video feature.

Just a few days ago, Facebook announced the release of Instagram’s new video feature. The new addition allows users to record videos up to 15 seconds (twice as long as Vine) and gives the option of editing the video with a filter.

During the first day of the new feature, over 5 million videos were created then uploaded using Instagram. Now, users across the world are shooting, editing, and sharing not only their pictures, but also their instant movies.

Here is my first attempt at an “Instagram Video Post”

Nothing worse than a rainy Monday.

(I’m complaining about a rainy Monday.)

While the upgrade seem like a great new way to share videos, some users argue that the new features are a negative for Instagram. The addition of the videos in the news feed slows the app down.  Many people say they “don’t care” about the videos and would rather see photos without having to rummage through the videos to find them.

What do you think? Is Instagram keeping up with the times by adding the video feature? Or should Instagram stick to its initial purpose of sharing cool and unique photos and leave the videos to other social media apps?

MarketingMel Associate Sarah Kinsler

MarketingMel Associate Sarah Kinsler

 

Sarah Kinsler is a member of the MarketingMel team. She creates marketing, public relations and social media strategies for Mel’s diverse group of business clients. 

 

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Happy National Small Business Week from the  MarketingMel team!

Happy National Small Business Week from the MarketingMel team!

Editor’s note: It’s National Small Business Week! If you are a small business person, take time to celebrate your success as the backbone of our country. The following is a guest blog with tips on books for small businesses from Strategic Priorities’ Consulting President (and avid reader) Rebecca Henderson. 

Marketing is the lifeblood of any business, especially small business.  Without effective marketing, the business withers and dies, like an plant without water.  Networking and superior customer service are the linchpins of effective marketing.

The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence by Robert Spector and Patrick McCarthy pretty much sets the standard for customer service.   Years ago, I read Susan RoAne’s How To Work a Room.  It’s is essential for honing conversational skills for effective networking.

Another book I read years ago is What They Didn’t Teach You at Harvard Business School  by Mark McCormack;  the advice is timeless,  and teaches all sorts of things you didn’t realize you didn’t know.  Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership is a must-read for any small business; pay close attention to the chapter devoted to marketing.

Word of mouth marketing is the most effective marketing.  The Anatomy of Buzz :  How to Create Word of Mouth Marketing by Emanuel  Rosen is a great book that tells you how to do just that. Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham is filled with examples that I love.

Harvey Mackay has many roles;  three of them are marketer,  networker,  and author.   One of Mackay’s books I particularly like is The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real World;  it’s fabulous, as are all of his books.  Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden is filled with gems of great wisdom, which can be applied to your personal and professional life.

We don’t usually think of management and marketing as hand-in-hand, but they do .  Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic by Leonard Berry and Kent Seltman is very informative.  Pay close attention to the last half of the book.

What are some of your favorite marketing books? Please add to our list!

Rebecca Henderson

Rebecca Henderson

Rebecca Henderson has an M.S. in Community Leadership from Duquesne University.  Rebecca loves strategic planning, organizational development, and “geeky things” like bylaws and parliamentary procedure.  Her company, Strategic Priorities Consulting, specializes in helping clients grow from where they are to where they want to go.  She is currently working on a book about being an effective leadership level community influencer. On a personal level, Rebecca is an active member of her church and Rotary Club, Vice Chair of the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians,  loves to read, and is “Mom” to her five Newfoundlands.

 

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Digital Strategist Crawford Miller shared great tips and free resources with Ad Club.

Digital Strategist Crawford Miller shared great tips and free resources with Ad Club.

Crawford Miller, Digital Strategist for Centro in Birmingham, recently spoke to our Northeast Tennessee Ad Club luncheon. Crawford has worked with high-profile clients such as FedEx, Regions Bank, State Farm, and Indiana Tourism. Not only did I enjoy his presentation and learn a lot from Crawford, but I corresponded with him afterward to glean “the best of” from his talk in order to share those resources with you.

  1. Here are some of his favorite sites for advertising content and marketing. One of the most interesting concepts is that of  “native advertising,” a term used to describe content that behaves more like what we public relations pro’s once called “advertorials.” It is generally the content that is selected for us (based on our profiles) and fed to us in our news feeds, etc. (Anyone on Facebook or twitter is familiar with this concept, perhaps without knowing the exact terminology.) You can learn more at this great advertising related podcast resource: http://www.thebeancast.com/
  2. A terrifically fun web site for looking up advertising on any major brand is moat.com. Just plug in your favorite big brand and a plethora of advertising appears. http://www.moat.com/  The best part is it shows you where and when the ad was last displayed. (Frankly a search on “Starbucks” made me crave a passion tea!) Three other of Crawford’s favorite resources are: (quotes are his descriptions):
  3. http://www.ghostery.com/ – Who’s tracking your online data and why? (Aside from the NSA of course!) Crawford says this site “allows you to see tracking pixels on web pages.”
  4. http://www.digiday.com/ – Crawford calls this the “best natural digital new resource – covers all sides.”
  5. http://www.lumapartners.com/resource-center/- A great “big picture” resource for consumer, advertising and media landscape. According to Luma, they map “the digital media ecosystem — how it works and where it’s going.” Nice graphic displays.

What are some of your favorite free resources and tools for advertising and marketing? Please share them with us here.

 

 

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Editor’s note: This is a guest blog post written by MarketingMel associate and recent ETSU public relations graduate Sarah Kinsler. 

College graduates: MarketingMel's 2012-2013 intern Kristen Pierce with MarketingMel associate Sarah Kinsler.

College graduates: MarketingMel’s 2012-2013 intern Kristen Pierce with MarketingMel associate Sarah Kinsler.

As a recent public relations graduate, I entered the workforce excited and eager to take on the PR world by storm. However I soon realized there is much more to Public Relations than what is taught in the classroom.  During one of my first official client meetings I found myself at a rush to write an on the spot release and pitch it to the local media. I remember thinking, “Wait, this isn’t how I learned PR.” I soon came to the realization that the “due dates” for a release and planned timelines, were no longer part of my PR ways.

While I do think I learned some valuable skills during my college career, I feel you cannot fully comprehend applied public relations without being thrown into the real deal. I have narrowed down my top three tips in adapting to the “real” world of PR.

1.   Sharpen your Writing:

Train yourself to write quickly, yet effectively and clearly.  Many times you will be caught in situations that forces you to write on the spot. Make sure you have the ability to provide sufficient details in a timely manner.

2.   Stay Calm in Stressful Circumstances

PR can be very stressful, don’t allow yourself to get frazzled. Use your youth as a positive and keep your cool.

 3.   Be Open to Learning New Things and Getting Advice

Lets face it, you are a newbie, but the good news is there are lots of people that want to help you succeed! Be open to their advice and ask questions. Some of your best resources are closer than you think!

4.   Network Network Network

Being in the PR world means meeting lots of people. Between events, meetings, and clients you will have a plethora of opportunities to establish new professional relationships. Take advantage of this and be sure to follow up with new contacts! You never know who can help you in the future.

5.   Always Present your Best Work

You will often find yourself working on unsupervised projects. Don’t freak, you can do this! Just remember that you should always present quality work because it’s a reflection on you and your company. If your boss assigns you to a solo project, they trust that you can do it. Make sure to put forth your best effort and meet deadline!

Sarah Kinsler is a member of the MarketingMel team and creates marketing, public relations and social media strategies for clients. She is a December 2012 graduate of ETSU where she studied public relations. Her dream job would be to work in Nashville in country music PR.

Sarah Kinsler

Sarah Kinsler

 

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MarketingMel's article is featured in PRNews Media Training Guidebook.

MarketingMel’s article is featured in PRNews Media Training Guidebook.

It was truly a privilege to be invited to write for the was 2013 PRNews Media Training Guidebook. Being selected as a featured author, along with other top media trainers to provide ideas, tactics and tips to guide those who deal with the media for their clients, was an honor. The guidebook covers topics ranging from social media to building relationships with journalists.

My  article, “10 Tips to Help Clients Feel Comfortable in Front of a Camera” focused on camera readiness. Everything from what to wear (skip the loud patterns), to how to act, (hint: consider all microphones live!) was covered in the featured article.

In the article I urge other P.R. and Marketing professionals to “Remind your clients that a personal brand is portable; it is what makes them unique and what differentiates them from everyone else.”

The media guidebook is available for purchase online at PRNewsonline.com and also by phone at (888)707-5814. (Note: I did not earn any income on this although I wish I had. I wrote it truly for the pleasure of writing and helping others.)

 

 

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Editor’s note: The following blog post was written by MarketingMel Associate Sarah Kinsler. (Sarah and Mel tried out the Vine app in the lobby of  WJCW Radio last month before going on the air to talk about social media trends.)

Mary Ellen Miller and Sarah Kinsler at the Tri-Cities PRSA awards.

Mary Ellen Miller and Sarah Kinsler at the Tri-Cities TN/VA PRSA awards.

You can break a bull riding record, cross three state lines or experience an amazing “he’s the one” kiss. You can also post your adorable toddler’s toe-tapping hoe-down to international acclaim.

Now Twitter founders have introduced a way to capture these six second memories and share them! Vine, an app that allows users to shoot, combine and loop video is now the #1 app on iTunes. This app is quickly becoming the preferred outlet of social interaction amongst young adults and teens. However, large corporations and brands are jumping on the bandwagon as well.

But here’s the real question: Can brands tell their full story in six seconds? Maybe not the full narrative, but it is a  definite way to get a person intrigued. Including Vine in your marketing plan can increase brand awareness and add some personality to your updates and news. While a Vine video is only one-fifth of a typical commercial, it can generate buzz to a specific audience that would otherwise ignore alternative media outlets.

Which brings me to my next question: With apps such as Vine, Snapchat and Twitter, delivering information in a such a quick and effortless way is becoming the norm. What does that mean for the future of print media? Are our short attention spans going to change the process of how we get our news? What do you  think?

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MarketingMel joined Nancy Williams' Milligan College P.R. class for mock job interviews.

MarketingMel joined Nancy Williams’ Milligan College P.R. class for mock job interviews.

With graduation just around the corner (my present intern Kristen Pierce will graduate May 11 from ETSU) many recent college graduates will be looking for that first job.  I had the opportunity to “mock interview” Milligan College upperclassmen, including one graduating senior, this week. The setting was Nancy Williams’ Public Relations class. I commend Nancy for providing these students with some fantastic real world experience. The students are fortunate to have Nancy, a veteran of FedEx P.R., who even brought the small class home-made chicken salad on their last day!

Here are a few questions you can expect from any interviewer and some that I asked these students:

  1. Tell me about yourself. This one is generally the opener of most all interviews so be prepared to show the interviewer some of your personality and goals.
  2. Tell me about your strengths? Your weaknesses? (Your strengths should be easy. If not be sure to read Now Discover Your Strengths and take the Strengths Finder internet quiz by Buckingham and Clifton. As to your weaknesses, be sure to phrase them in such a way that they can be turned into strengths. Nancy gave a great example: “I am challenged by giving out grades (and then how she works to overcome that.)
  3. Why do you want this position? This gives you an opportunity to exhibit some knowledge about the company.
  4. Why should we hire you? This is a classic. I recall one of my first boss’s pointing to a stack of other videos (our TV resumes were on videotapes back then!) and saying “All these other people want this same job. Why should I hire you?” I must have been convincing because I got the job!
  5. What do you do for fun? This is a slight inroad into your personal life without being too nosy. Be sure you have some “fun” answers ready. (You’re national shot-put champion for example. One of these capable students really was!)
  6. Why  did you leave your last job? (This may not be as applicable to college students but it will come up from your first job on. Be sure you never burn any bridges and treat your last boss/job with respect.)
  7. Do you have any questions of me? Be prepared for this one to come at the end of your interview. This is an opportunity to ask intelligent questions of your potentially future employer and show your knowledge of the business. It’s also your chance to learn about company training opportunities, etc.

MarketingMel Bonus tips:

Writing is right: Be sure you have a cover letter, resume and list of references ready for the interviewer. Customize the cover letter to the person and to the specific job (skip the “to whom this may concern.”) One of the students provided an excellent online portfolio that gave me great insights into her blog writing, video and journalism work before I met her in person.

Say thanks! Be sure to thank your interviewer afterward. Even a simple thank you email is appreciated and a hand written note will absolutely make you stand out from the crowd.

Final thought: Like many of you reading this, I graduated college during a down economy. One of the best pieces of career advice I got was “Just take a job in your field, even if it’s part time. It will become full time.” Sage words for today’s graduates as well!

 

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