Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Social Media News Release

Cassandra Franceschini
St. Edwards University
Email: case1200@aol.com
Blog: http://www.cfran.blogpsot.com

Recently graduated student in the Communication field seeking to gain exposure and experience in the area of public relations, marketing, and event planning


* Proficient in MS Office, Windows, XP, and the Internet
* Familiar with the application of social media in the public relations field
* Graduated Summa Cum Laude
* Member of Alpha Chi National Honor Society
* Member of Pi Eta Honor Society for the National Communication Association
* Member of the National Communication Association
* Held an internship at the Austin Children's Museum in event planning for Special
* Served as a Teacher's Research Assistant in a research over successful fundraising techniques for non-proft organizations


I am a recently graduated student from St. Edwards University who is looking to expand her career into the public relations, marketing, and event planning field. I am interested in pursuing my passion of the market by working in a company that specializes in one of those fields. I am responsible, professional, organized, creative, a self-starter, as well as a team player. My internship as a Special Events planner enable me to gain some exposure to marketing, advertising, budgeting, planning, and research. My future entails attending graduate school at St. Edwards Univeristy to get my master's in Project Management. I consider myself to be a dependent employer with exceptionally well people skills. I am looking for a career that is in-line with my interest in the communication field. I enjoy communicating with people and consider it to be one of the most valuable resources that companies can utilize in their connection with the consumers.


Cassandra's Blog

Blogs reflect the use and application of social media to public relations

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Xo Laptop backfire

In a previous blog of mine I had mentioned the $100 Xo Laptop that was being created to give to third world children as a way of educating them and providing them with the same resources as the rest of the world. It initially sounded like such a great idea to me and I couldn't wait to see this plan of action actually get implemented. However, just the other day I came across this article that pointed out a lot of flaws that the Xo laptop was facing. I thought it would only be fair to present you with both sides of the argument on whether or not these laptops are in fact a good idea and if they are in fact beneficiary to the children. You decide.
So the article raised a good point. The fact that the Nigerian Prime Minister was raising concern over the necessity of the laptops is something that I think most people are overlooking. He stated the following: "What is the sense of introducing One Laptop per Child when they don't have seats to sit down and learn; when they don't have uniforms to go to school, where they don't have facilities?"
I think he raises an important issue that needs to be considered. I think most people are so wrapped up in the PR that giving third-world countries laptops is helping to educate the children, that people are forgetting the bigger issue at hand. Although technology and internet access would be beneficial to any child, I think that a proper educating facility is far more important. In addition, the $100 laptops are no longer a cheap $100. They have raised the price to $188, which is almost double of the original cost. I think the increase in the cost is a really bad PR move and I think that is puts the third-world countries in a compromising position. They were probably able to afford the $100 laptops and I am sure that it created a buzz over there, but how would the children react if all of a sudden their country was unable to afford the computers? It will be really interesting to see how this turns out. There are already a few countries who are on board and have alreay purchased the $100 laptops in the bulk of one million (which is the amount needed to complete an order). So the governments are basically paying hundreds of millions (sorry my math is a little off today) to get these laptops to the children. I am just wondering if the money should be spent on other things that would be more beneficial to the education of the children, such as building new schools, hiring new teachers, uniforms, etc. So in the end, are the laptops really benefiting these third world countries and their education system?

What is the sense of introducing One Laptop per Child when they don't have seats to sit down and learn; when they don't have uniforms to go to school in, where they don't have facilities?"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Project Beacon

In class today we discussed Facebook's new application of 'Project Beacon.' For those who were not in class or are curious to learn more about it, the application is basically another attempt for Facebook to stalk their customers in the attempts of advertising to them. Anytime you make an online purchase, such as a DVD or a book, the company sends your purchase information as part of the news feed on Facebook. So forget doing your Christmas shopping online, because now all of your friends will be updated on all of the gifts that you buy for them and for yourself. You can read more about the story here. I think that this is yet again another bad PR move for Facebook. Facebook seems to be completely ignoring their consumers. I thought that by now they would understand that we don't like being marketed or advertised to and that we expect our privacy to be respected. I only post and submit things on Facebook that I want my friends to know about. I think that submitting information that I would not typically want to submit to Facebook is in fact violating my rights and privacy.
Facebook needs to re-evaluate their PR on this and make sure that they work out all the kinks before they attempt to turn-off all of their consumers. They need to work on promoting this application in a way where it is not so obvious that people's privacy rights are being taken away. They need to mention the pros of this application. Facebook is not really doing a good PR job in managing the interests of their customers. Inserting another advertising application only seems to reflect how poorly Facebook is taking the interests and wishes of their customers into mind. In my opinion, Project Beacon is not something Facebook needs to add on. I don't see why Facebook needs to do this because they are already making plenty of profit off of their current ads and investors. I think it is a selfish move for the creators of Facebook to add an application that has the potential to threaten the security and privacy of their consumers.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Crossing the line

During my visit home for Thanksgiving, I was shocked when I came across a story in the news about a young girl who committed suicide. Megan Meiers was a 13 year old girl who had committed suicide after a boy named 'Josh', someone she met through myspace, had turned against her and was bullying her. They had started a friendship on myspace that had progressed into a crush. She became depressed when shortly after he started bullying her and calling her a 'slut.' Well here is where the story gets interesting. It turns out that 'Josh' was actually a profile created by a mother whose daughter had been bullied by Megan. The mother, who actually lived down the street from Megan, created a fake myspace account so she could get to know Megan closely and figure out what she was saying about her daughter. It seems clear that the mother created this fake profile as a form of revenge so that she could let Megan experience the same bullying that her daughter had felt. It is evident that the mother was messing around with the young girls emotions by pretending to be a 'hot' 16-year old boy who was interested in her.
In my opinion, the mother clearly crossed the line. I think this is a good example of how dangerous social networking sites can be. There have been advances made in the security of these sites, but there is still no way to prevent someone from creating false information and using a fake profile. Granted, Megan was only 13 and a year below the legal age allowed on myspace, which makes me wonder how she was able to get on in the first place. I think that myspace needs to figure out a way to monitor people from creating fake profiles. Using a social networking site as a form of bullying is something that hasn't been addressed, but there is no doubt in my mind that it is going on. I think that cyber-bullying is something that needs to be taken seriously on the social networking sites because of the fact that it is a medium that actually allows people ot bully without their identity being known.
You can read the full story here.

Reaction to SXSW podcast

The SXSW podcast assignment discussed conversational marketing. It was moderated by Tony Conrad, and the guest panel included John Betell and Toni Schneider. They talked about why conversational marketing is important and how it is a good tool to manage your reputation online. The best ways to engage in conversational marketing was also a topic of discussion. One of the more interesting things that I learned from this podcast was how the interactive media has changed everything for marketers. Marketers are just now realizing how to manage the interactive media, because according to them, marketers have a tendency to be a little behind when it comes to adapting and coming up to speed on how to engage and utilize mediums. The main focus of this discussion panel was the importance of conversation between the consumers and the company. Conversational marketing is driven by 'conversation, not dictation.' It is important that the audience engages with each other and with the brand. The concept of conversational marketing is driven by the idea of dialog.
Another interesting thing that was mentioned in the podcast was the use of advertising in blogs. People are now starting to blog purely so they can put up ads and make money, which is taking away from the purpose of why blogs were created in the first place. Blogs were mentioned as an 'authentic and genuine' media, which is why it was appealing to so many people. For instance, Wordpress.com prevents people from using ads to make money in their blogs, even if they are getting a bunch of hits. In my opinion, it seem s understandable that if a person is getting a lot of visits on their blog, why would they not want to capitalize on it and make money. However, I also agree with Wordpress.com when they said that they are doing marketers a favor by not allowing them to control the ads on blogs because it is not always a cultural fit. In conversational marketing, it is important that marketers are invited into the dialog and that they don't just aggressively make their presence known.
Lastly, another interesting point mentioned is the use of blogvitorial (..not sure if that's how it is spelled). I never really knew that another way marketers and advertisers were contributing to conversational marketing is by contributing to the blog by actually writing one of the posts. The sponsor post is written by the advertisers and they pay to put their blog on the person's blog. I honestly did not really know that advertisers were doing this on blogs. I agree with the panel when they said that if advertisers are going to be doing this, then it is important that the same voice and tone is maintained.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Writer's Strike

So before I get into the topic at hand, I feel that I should give you a background on the events surrounding the topic. For those of you who are confused as to why you are catching re-runs of your favorite shows and confused about why some shows are in talks of ending their season shorter than expected, it is because of the recent strike going on in Los Angeles. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) had their contract expire on November 1st, and most producers and executives assumed that they would be continuing to work out of the kindness of their hearts until they were able to write up a new contract. They were hoping that they would finish out the series and then negotiating would begin. However, the WGA has put their foot down this time. The writers are still upset about the negotiations made in the last contract, in which they were receiving no benefits from DVD and ITunes sales. You can read more about the details of the writers strike here.
So with that said, the topic that I am going to be blogging about is something that I came across when watching TV Guide (I am currently at a funk with my cable so I have to tune in sometimes to see what will be on). On TV Guide they were discussing the strike for a brief minute, but then they mentioned how some shows are now showing 'webisodes' for their fans. For instance, Lost has created a 'webisode' that attempts to carry on where the writers left off. They want to keep their fan base strong by providing them with more information and not letting them down, which I think is a great PR move. The reason I chose to blog about this topic is because I think that it is a smart move for the production companies to try and make up for the strike by still staying connected with their viewers. The fans are at the mercy of the writers and it becomes really challenging for the networks, especially with February sweeps just around the corner. Creating the 'webisodes' is a good way to maintain good PR, but it also makes me wonder if networks will just start investing their time and money to the 'webisodes' instead of meeting the demands of the writers. The 'webisodes' are not full episodes but just provide viewers with a small taste, leaving them wanting more. It will be really interesting to see how the PR of television is handled and managed during this strike.

Everything is Miscellaneous

The podcast that was posted for our reading was featured on Tech Nation podcast and interviewed David Weinberger on his book Everything is Miscellaneous. The thing that I loved most about the podcast was how he states that we are living in the day in age where the miscellaneous stuff is now important. He first compared the miscellaneous to something I think we could all relate to, that one kitchen drawer we have that is full of random crap that we all swear will serve us some purpose. But not to worry, he states that the unorganization of all the miscellaneous stuff does in fact serve a purpose...well at least in the Internet world. He states that any order reduces the meaning of material. Everyone has their own different meanings so it is impossible to just put one classification or assign one meaning to all the materials floating on the Internet. It is limiting to reduce the amount of information by ordering it, and in his opinion, 'digital disorder' is good. Furthermore, he goes on by describing to the audience what a 'metabusiness' is and how they obtain value. Value is added to information through a series of aggregating information. He makes a really good comparison by relating it to finding a flight on line. For instance, why limit yourself to just one airline and all of their flights availability when you can go to a place like Orbitz and pick from a selection of airlines and flight schedules. The internet allows for companies to aggregate the aggregating information, which in turn adds informational value to the business.
In addition, Weinberger also discusses how the Wikipedia is in fact a reliable source of information because of the fact that it is current and it covers a wider range of topics than let's say a Britannica would. He states that the Wikipedia also gives a perspective insight as to the human interest because of all the millions of different categories and topics that are on there. What really seemed to grab my attention though was when Dr. Moira Gunn was talking about how she was able to find her name on Wikipedia one day and then the next day it was gone. She then did a search on her co-host and found that he had a more 'PR' professional looking page. That got me to thinking how people can actually put their names on Wikipedia as a PR tool. I always assumed that the Wikipedia just covered objects, events, history, etc. I didn't really think about how it could be used as a PR application for companies.