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Review: The Science of Facebook Marketing

July 1, 2010

A had the pleasure to listen to the webinar “The Science of Facebook Marketing,” by Dan Zarella, who works for Hubspot. The webinar started a bit late due to some technical issues, but with the twitter hastag #FBsci everyone was able to follow along with what was going on.

What I took away from the webinar was this:

1) People click on things without being aware of what it is. Help your users look cool.

2) Websites such as or can help you analyze who comes to your page, and help you market to that niche more appropriately.

3) Women have more wall posts then men, but men typically have more friends.

4) Avoid “buzz words” in your posts such as:

organization, SEO, consulting, productivity, leverage, and implement

You do not use these words in everyday conversations, why would you use them on Facebook?

5) Do some research about what your followers want to hear about. Things such as food, movies, TV shows, and books are most popular among Facebook users. LEAST liked topics were financial services and religious organizations, they had the fewest fans on average.

6) Zarella’s Hierarchy of Needs (based off of Maslow’s model)




7) Social Proof: Behavior is based on what we see others doing.

8 ) Putting numbers (in numerical form) in front of a post makes it more appealing to read.

(Ex. 5 ways social media can help your business)

9) Besides sex, POSITIVITY and LEARNING were the most read types of pages and what people were looking for on Facebook.

10) On Facebook you must call to action. People need to be told to do something most of the time if you want any result.

**The full presentation can be viewed here.**


Post Grad Life : Where to go from here… Situation #2

June 28, 2010

Mackenzie has an internship. It is paid and in the area where she is currently living for the summer. It is a social media internship, not exactly what she wants to do, but interesting to say the least.

In August her lease in the seaside town where she resides is up, and she has a big choice to make. Mackenzie’s dream has always been to move to California where her family is now living. Of course that all changed when she learned her new boyfriend has a major that requires him to be in school for two more years.

Should she stay at the job in Rhode Island where they are offering her full time and a good salary, with her boyfriend close? Or should she travel to California to pursue her dreams and receive a likely mediocre salary to start off?

Many people have this issue, whether to stay for love or to move on. The saying if you let something go free if it comes back it is meant to be, really does not seem cheesy anymore. Is this true? As much as it is possible for long distance relationships to work, what is the probability that they really will? Let’s help Mackenzie out with some advice from those who have been there or are in the same situation.

Post Grad Life: Where to go from Here…

June 22, 2010

One of my friends texted me the other day and said, ” I feel lost, like I do not know where to go when summer is over.”

It got me thinking. We are graduated from college and now expected to go out into the real world and get a job. Some go back and live with their parents, but for most the real world is calling. I decided to look at a few different stories of millennial’s who are on some different paths. The first person is my friend Melanie.

Melanie is from a middle class family has always excelled in sports and worked hard in school. She has the type of parents that want her to go into a career right after college. She currently is living in the town of our college for the summer and working for a popular energy drink and waitressing. She is making decent money, but spending most of it as soon as it comes in on the lifestyle she loves of shopping, eating out, and going out.

Her family is from CT and Florida, but she does not want to move alone. She is looking for jobs but cannot pinpoint what exactly she wants to do. She always says she doesn’t know where she belongs.

Should we feel a sense of belonging this early in life? Everyone always says we will not have our dream job right away, and maybe never. She wants to work in communications in some aspect but does not know where to start. So it bridges the question, is it important to feel needed and happy before settling for a permanent position?

Melanie is that go get ’em type, can be impatient at times, but likes to get things done in an organized fashion. I am going to follow her path in the job search and see where she comes out.

Tomorrow I am going to look at Alyssa. Her family is on the west coast, her boyfriend and job are on the east coast, but her heart is in Europe. Hmm…

(Image: Film “Post Grad” 2009)


June 21, 2010

I always see the hastag #entrylevelpr. Now a college graduate I have immeresed myself into the real world culture. Though I am interning it is basically a real job. I work 9-5 and have tasks that I would in a normal job. I never knew what I wanted to do, but as of now I am working in social media.

Social media has recently blown up where everyone has a twitter, and everyone is on facebook. Once realizing how great a networking tool each of these could be, I met a lot of great people and learned a lot.

I feel that because I was a PR major I decided to make a twitter in the first place because everyone who is anyone has a twitter account in the communications world. Many of my friends do not have twitter, so I stuck to using it for networking.

The “tweetchats” are awesome. Speaking with PR pros and pr enthusiasts during #prstudchat is alwasy great for a insight. Last chat I even won a free book by Jeffrey Hayzlett for participating. Job opportunities are always posted and everyone is very helpful in helping you get started.

So the 9-5 thing is not too bad. I am getting use to waking up early, but more so I am learning so much by immersing myself into the culture of social media. I encourage everyone no matter what industry to check it out.

Social Media Day 2010

June 17, 2010

June 30th has been named ‘Social Media Appreciation Day’ for people around the world to discuss and celebrate the use of social media. Mashable has teamed up with to set up meeting places around the world for social media users to meet IN PERSON.

At first this sounds a little creepy, isn’t social media for computer use? To network with people you could not meet?

But the more I thought about it the cooler it sounds. One day where we do it the old fashion way. Go to to find out where your local meeting will be and who will be attending. LA Social Media Day is having a meetup in Culver City and raising money for Hollywood Arts, a school for homeless and foster care children in Hollywood to experience the arts.  If you participate do not forget to blog/tweet/post how it goes!

An interview with a documentary film director

May 28, 2010

I interviewed Kim Nelson the director of Berliner, a documentary film following the lives of muslim women living in Berlin and their everyday struggles and her task as a new documentary film maker.

1. What was the inspiration for this film?

I was interested in this topic because of the general interest in Muslims post 9/11 and the feminist issues that are so often central to discussions around Islam in the West.  I am Canadian and in my country, particularly in the French-speaking province of Quebec, there is a raging feminist debate over accommodation and religious freedoms for immigrants, or minority cultures, particularly around issues of veiling, versus protecting the codes and values of the majority culture, or Leitkultur (A German word and part of the German debate). The impetus for this particular film came from an NPR interview I heard one morning. I live in Windsor, 15 minutes from Detroit and divide my radio listening between CBC (Canadian public broadcasting) and NPR.  I listened to a compelling interview with a woman of Turkish descent living in Berlin who had been subject to incredible violence because of her assimilation into “German” culture. This was the inspiration, and four months later I was sitting at a café having lunch with her, discussing her role in my documentary. She agreed to be in the film but I could not work within the conditions she subsequently set about the tone and other characters I could include in the film. So weeks before filming began I abandoned her as a character and followed another story that became Berliner.

For more detail about this transformative shift in focus you can read my director’s note at the Berliner website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

2. What was the most difficult thing about filming this documentary?

The most difficult thing about this documentary was raising the funds. I think the most difficult thing about making any film as an independent filmmaker is finding a balance between artistic integrity, autonomy and personal (fiscal) bankruptcy. (And the issues for non-independent filmmakers can often be more profoundly difficult if they do not have absolute creative control…).

3. What was the most interesting thing about filming this documentary?

The most interesting thing about filming the documentary was learning in detail about these women’s lives. I was particularly interested to learn about the Turkish community’s ambivalence, or fear, at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. I was equally astounded by the level of class distinction that still exists in Germany particularly in relation to the stratification of the school system. Although I admire many aspects of contemporary German society, their school system seems somewhat Victorian.

Another thing that I found fascinating, but is not in the film because it did not fit the trajectory and structure of the cut as it was unfolding in the editing process, came in an interview with a group of women in their 50s and 60s who were taking adult German language lessons because of new German language laws passed by the state. Many of the people I talked to in the film found these laws to be racist and draconian but to the women in the class, who had all raised their children in Germany and had been in Germany for decades, this law was completely positive. The women described the fact that they never would have taken the language lessons if not for the new laws and now they were finally learning the language around them, they could read street signs, they could understand what was being announced in the subway, and it was very freeing and liberating. It was just another example of the complexities of every issue, a perspective I really tried to explore in the film.

4. What is your background in documentary making?

This is my first documentary film. My background is in short fiction and screenwriting. I tried to bring the screenwriter’s sense of narrative structure and character to the film and also tried to create meaning through character, subtext, and nuance rather than through plot or observation.

5. Was it difficult filming about such a controversial topic?

The only thing that was difficult about addressing this topic is that I felt that some interviewees worried about how I might portray them and their culture on screen. I think that it is a healthy concern however and every documentary subject should be wary about how a filmmaker will edit their comments. On the other hand because I purposely avoided focusing on the most controversial aspects of this conflict: honour killings, extreme nationalism, religious fundamentalism, in favour of what I considered the untold story of real people’s everyday lives, their personal struggles with their own sense of self and belonging. I think that this made the filming more comfortable for everyone.

6. Did anything unexpected happen while filming?

No. I approached the filming process as a discovery and I did not have a thesis that I set out to prove. I let the film’s content come from the women’s (and Mutlu’s) own perspectives as drawn out through our conversations. I am a pretty big believer in Murphy’s Law, “What can go wrong will” in life in general and especially on film sets, so I try to never prejudge people or situations. In this way I protect myself from thwarted expectations that could become a setback in filming. The only thing that really surprised me was the openness of Berlin. We did not have any permits to film in the city at all. It was all very guerilla that way. We were questioned a few times about what we were doing with our big camera, but never were we stopped from filming. I think this makes Berlin an incredible city. Berlin was such an interesting backdrop for these issues because of its incredibly loaded past, as a center for arts and creativity, especially in the late 20s and early 30s, as immortalized by Christopher Isherwood in his book Goodbye to Berlin (which became the film Cabaret with Liza Minelli), and of course the city is probably most associated with traumas of the twentieth century: the Berlin Wall, and as the political center of the Third Reich, mission control for so many atrocities of the Second World War. Part of Berliner is a love letter to the Berlin of today from the perspective of its Turkish minority.

Actually, come to think of it we were kicked out of a couple of Turkish weddings (one that we crashed by accident, looking for a wedding we were allowed to film at… and then we were kicked out of the one we had been invited to…) but we played the clueless foreigner card and got off fine.

7. What is the most rewarding thing about film making?

I love the editing process. I feel that editing is an essential part of authoring a film although many directors do not edit their own work. I understand the benefits of having another editor cut the film, someone not beholden to the issues around the production phase, but for me editing is too crucial to the creation of the film to hand off. As a director I really come to understand what I have, and what I can do with it, through the process of watching all of the footage and being the person who makes all the painstaking decisions about how to structure the film, what to include, what to cut, and what order to put it in. For me having another person edit my film would be like writing a rough draft of a novel, turning in 5000 pages and then having someone else produce a 200 page manuscript. Editing is so crucial to the whole process and it is so creative. Editors really are unheralded as their creative imprint on a film, particularly a documentary, is huge.

And of course showing your film to other people who appreciate it is what it is all about. That is incredibly rewarding and when I show the film to someone who really loves it I feel wonderful. Putting your work in front of an audience is after all the whole point. I know that some people who have seen Berliner have told me that they will not look at a woman in a supermarket wearing a headscarf in the same way again and that makes me feel very happy because I think that is evidence of the profound and meaningful impact of the film.

8. How was it meeting with the women that have been subject to many difficult cultural issues?

I really enjoyed speaking with all of the characters/people in the film. There were tense moments with some of them when they became wary about the direction of my questions. I think many of them were unsure about my motives for speaking with them, nonetheless I found them all to be open, thoughtful and charismatic.

9. How did you gain access to film such a controversial topic?

I gained access to the interviewees in Berliner in different ways. I met Emi at the market near my apartment in Berlin, the same market we see her at in the first scene of the film, and I asked her to participate. I heard about DJ Ipek through Dr. Yasemin Yildaz, a professor I met at a conference about Europe and Islam held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I got into contact with Emel Zeynelabidin, Özcan Mutlu,  Ülku Sinak and Gülden Kesci through a “fixer”/journalist in Berlin and I met the rest through the filming process.   I made a conscious effort not to seek out voices from the extremes. I feel that documentaries often reflect extreme perspectives because of the inherent drama in extremes, or quirky characters on the fringes, but I wanted to make a film that was about understanding within the norms of society. Making a film about the reality of the “clash of civilizations” on the streets, in everyday life, between Islam and Western society, in a way that deals with issues and avoids caricature, melodrama and the maudlin was a challenge to explore in film but also very important.

10. What is your favorite thing about Berliner?

My favorite thing about Berliner is the characters. I find Emel’s story fascinating. For me she is a heroine from a Thomas Hardy novel, (a Thomas Hardy novel that doesn’t end in abject tragedy however). I love the way Emel takes a stand on the issue of the headscarf, religious organizations and integration but then reveals with complete frankness the details of her own story on both sides of these issues. I feel that Berliner is a film about people and personalities, about subtlety, compassion, empathy and I feel that anyone watching the film who lives in a society that confronts the merging of East and West will be changed through the experience of watching the film.

2010 RWU PRSSA Induction Gala

April 22, 2010

The time is winding down! This Saturday is our fourth annual PRSSA Induction Gala at the Hotel Viking in Newport. This year we chose the Newport Public Schools Fine Arts and Music Program to raise money and donate to. The gala starts at 5:30 p.m. for cocktails and dinner is at 7:00 p.m. There is a silent auction with items including a Boston Bruins signed hockey stick, an all inclusive trip for two to Antigua, a helicopter ride, a week in Wine Country (Sonoma Valley), and much more!

Thought the event starts at 5:30 p.m. the preparations have been in the works since the beginning of the fall semester. Our chapter presented  on our gala at the 2009 PRSSA National Conference in San Diego, CA (Watch the presentation here there are 4 parts! We are the only chapter that currently does a gala, and it is getting bigger and better every year! For those other chapters that are looking to do a similar event here are some guidelines!

1. Start Early! Nothing is worse than crunch time last minute before your event and things are still not in line!

2. Pick a charity. Last year we did the Fisher House in Rhode Island, a place where veterns of war can recover when they come home and our injured. This year we chose the Newport Schools Fine Arts and Music Programs because many schools in the nation are cutting funds for such programs and we wanted to make sure every child had a chance to express themselves! When picking a charity, keep it local!

3. Get your venue early. Since our event is always in the Spring on a weekend, venues fill up quicky. We have our yearly gala at the Hotel Viking in Newport. They have a room for us and our things, as well as a large banquet room down stairs with ample room for tables, silent auction items, and people!

4. Make a donation packet. A packet needs to be made that explains your charity and cause. So when you go out to get donations your have materials to show the legitimacy of the gala. Here is our donation letter: 2010 Donation Form (PRSSA) Here is an example of our donation form,

and the donation amounts 2010 Donation Levels (PRSSA). These are all presented in a folder coordinating our color theme. We chose Purple, Magenta, and Gold, as they are playful, and also chose an acting mask to represent the charity. 

5. Get your contacts. You will need to contact the correct people early so they can help you. Usually the head of the charity is more than happy to assist you in your needs. 

6. Get you tickets printed. This can be done online for a very cheap price.

7. Get a guest speaker. Usually someone who knows about the charity or PR is good. Offer them a free night stay in a local hotel and dinner, try and stay away from paying the speaker if you do not have to.

8. Decorations. Make sure you price out and gather all necessary decorations at least a week ahead of time. You will need to make sure you have everything.

9. Create a program for the night. With the time table of what is happening and names for special thanks. We have our gala be an induction gala for new members as well so their names are usually in the program along with E-Board.

10. Print certificates and gather PRSSA pins to induct the new members.

11. Create a video or powerpoint of what your chapter has accomplished that year, parents love to see that!

12. Right before the event double check everything is set, decorations, tickets, food, the speaker, and the SEATING CHART. It looks much more professional to have a seating chart rather than people sitting anywhere they want.

13. Get to the venue early. Make sure you have ample time to set up. Our venus lets us have an extra room to get ready in right before.

14. Lastly have fun! You have worked all year towards this all year!

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