Posted by: emilyhowardprincipato | January 24, 2011

The last year in one post…

I know, I know.  It’s been about a year.  My last post is about how I’m going to “get back into blogging” and then….crickets.  I realize the importance of sharing content through this forum so I’m really going to make an effort.  Not that I think people want or necessarily care to hear my thoughts, but it helps me to stay abreast this social media landscape.  This post will give you an update to what has happened in the past year, so you can get a baseline of where I’m coming from.

I graduated (YAY!) with my Master’s in Public Relations and Communications from Georgetown University this past May.  Although I love D.C. and the people there, I wanted a change and a new challenge.  Still with my company, I accepted another position in New York City!  Everything has worked out perfectly with a place to live, friends, job and all in a new city – which I love.

So now that I’m done with school, I recognize that I need to be more proactive in educating myself with the changes in the industry – hence getting back into the blogging.  Hopefully this will also pose as a great way to network and meet people in NYC and the Northeast.  While I am physically located in New York, I do a lot of business in Boston and the Northeast so I welcome anyone who wants to connect or share thoughts in those regions. 

In thinking about the future of this blog and what I want it to emerge into, I’m thinking it will be a mix of industry (social, digital, emerging media) knowledge but also just living in New York and traveling around the Northeast.  I will share experiences, restaurants/bars that I like and why…. Oh, and I also might not be able to help share my thoughts on The Bachelor and American Idol…my apologies in advance.


Posted by: emilyhowardprincipato | March 23, 2010

the madness that is march…go bucks!

Ok, so after a bit of a hiatus, I decided to start blogging again.  Things have been kind of crazy with school and work but I’m ready to share my thoughts with whoever wants to read them…especially when I have something critical to discuss.  Critical = march madness and THE Ohio State Buckeyes.

I must admit I am an obnoxious Ohio State fan and alumni and damn proud of it.  When I turned in my office pool, they just thought it was hysterical that I had Ohio State going all the way.  And yes, I mean winning the entire thing.  Well, #1, I think it is realistic and #2, I don’t enjoy people laughing at me.

I am in 4 different pools and have OSU winning in all of them and I hate to toot my own horn (honk, honk) but I am doing very very well in my pools thus far.  (I know, I know it’s still early….). 

With some upsets like Georgetown and Kansas, Ohio State has an open road (with a couple of potential bumps) to the Final Four.  But, let’s not get carried away and just focus on one at a time here folks.  Friday we play Tenn and it looks like our chances are pretty good.


Posted by: emilyhowardprincipato | December 7, 2009

social media and the 2012 election

In 2012, my predicition is that we will be at Web 3.0 and candidates will not be able to afford not to join the conversation and promote themselves through social media.  We all know that Barack Obama had success in the 2008 campaign with using these tools.  Lauren-Glenn Davitian gives a round-up and discusses what we have learned from that election. 

epolitics has some good tips and information for candidates and how they can use social media and networking to win an election.  This piece is focused on 2010, but it is applicable to the Presidential race in ’12.  Also, Edelman did a great analysis on the Obama Campaign, best practices, solutions and comparisons. 

Statistics show 93% of Internet users expect politicians to have a presence online and even a higher percentage expect them to be on several of the top 100 websites.  This is a great statistic and proves that people want to see the politicians online and promoting themselves.  By 2012, all of the candidates must be social media savvy.    My suggestion is to analyze the most important tools that are available at the time, come up with a social media strategy, monitor/measure your outreach and results and tweak what you are doing based on those results. 

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr.   They are all great solutions of how to promote yourself in 2009.  If I had to guess, I would say mobile, wikis and video will be important in 2012.  That being said, in 2012, I have no clue what the most important sites will be and noone can predict that but I am confident that the winner of the 2012 election will be active on those sites.

Posted by: emilyhowardprincipato | December 2, 2009

Social Media = a forum for venting

Oh, the public display of dissatisfaction.  How much easier it has been since the invention of the internet.  A fellow student of mine, Katie, wrote a perfect post about Airtran and the fact that they charge you now to check your bags and how they didn’t call her name at the gate when it was taking off.  She even uploaded a picture of them advertising free coffee which was not even provided. 

Overall, Airtran has received pretty negative feedback from consumers.  I just typed in “airtran sucks” into Google and the words auto-populated because it seems to be a pretty popular search query.  This is just a simple case study of consumers who use the internet to vent.  Everyone does it and companies need to realize that.

This guy (a frequent flyer) even uploaded a video of himself complaining about Airtran…..

A couple of years ago a colleague of mine was renting a car from a well-known car rental company and they were trying to give him a car seat for 4 year olds for his 3 month old – after he already reserved one for infants.  It took over an hour for them to service him and he finally put on Twitter that X company has horrible customer service, etc.  Later, he heard from the company and they offered him a free rental car next time.  This company was already monitoring Twitter a couple of years for them so kudos! to them.

We’ve all heard the case studies about poor service from  Comcast, DellDomino’s – and the list goes on.  Some of these companies have embraced social media and some have fallen short. 

Short lesson that everyone knows right now.  Monitor the conversation online.  It’s happening even if you aren’t.  I hope Katie hears from Airtran.

Posted by: emilyhowardprincipato | December 2, 2009

the world IS talking….

It’s funny that everyone gets so consumed with social media and managing their reputation online, but how many people are really focused on their reputation or building relationships overseas?  My professor recently shared with us a website – Global Voices – that was very eye-opening to me.  “Global Voices aggregates, curates, and amplifies the global conversation online – shining light on places and people other media often ignore.”  It is a great site that develops tools so that everyone can make their voices heard and share their opinions.

So we were asked to pick a country that starts with our name.  I picked Egypt because in the topic cloud, Egypt was the biggest so naturally, I thought it would have the most content.  The country of Egypt has a lot of content on Nidal Hasan and asks people if he is a psychiatrist or a psychotic?  It is interesting to see how the responses vary and the differences are visible from which country someone is from.

It is also interesting because some of the news on the sites is not necessarily news I have heard of, but would be a top story in other areas.  For example, news that two trains collided with each other because of a buffalo, killing at least 25 people and injuring 55.  Egyptians wanted the Minister of Transportation to resign.  I have never heard of this news and since it happened a couple of months ago, I most likely wouldn’t have heard it had I not been on  this site.

The Egypt page on the site is updated regularly, at least a couple of times a week, so we know the content is relevant and timely.  I am impressed with how they utilize social media by incorporating it in all of the sites and making it easy to share the conversation.  Some embed video in the releases and they also reference Twitter in some posts and responders use their Twitter handle as a username. 

It is also helpful that at the top of every post, they include Countries, Topics and Languages that are included in each article.  It makes the content easy to sort.

Overall, my two main points are:

  • When thinking of your social media outreach/relationship building/reputation management through digital strategies, remember it is a Global space.
  • You can learn a lot by expanding your horizons and researching/listening to  bloggers in other countries.
Posted by: emilyhowardprincipato | December 1, 2009

I have information that I want you to know.

I recently edited my first Wikipedia article and while it was a simple process, it proved more difficult than I thought it was going to be.  Maybe because I had to figure out what subject I was an expert on and what information I wanted to share with the world.  What knowledge do I have that isn’t provided on Wikipedia and should be?

As a former varsity tennis player at Ohio State, I naturally plugged in “Ohio State Tennis” to the search field.  I realized that Wikipedia had no search results that related to Ohio State Tennis.  They had pages for Ohio State University, the Big Ten Conference and multiple sports listed on the Ohio State Buckeyes page.  I thought tennis would be a great addition to the sports that are currently listed in the site.  Regardless, I sourced my information and thankfully it hasn’t been deleted yet.

Seeing the inside of Wikipedia was very surprising because I was unaware of all of the coding that went into each entry.  But, they make it easy to actually read the codes and convert them.  This site shows a lot of good stats on how many people edit Wikipedia.  Many people think it is a great source of information.  If these millions of people are editing articles, Wikipedia is doing something right.

There have been some issues and changes to policies but that is why Wikipedia makes it easy for everyone to edit the content.  They try to delete content that is invalid and cite sources so Wikipedia can still be a useful resource for people.  They have easy instructions on how to edit and source pages but it does take some time to read through it.  Since it was my first time to edit a Wikipedia page, it took some reading and practicing, but overall it was a fairly simple process.  One I will do again should I think my knowledge of a subject be published.

Posted by: emilyhowardprincipato | November 22, 2009

Tough to be a Browns fan….

I have been a Browns fan since I was a kid.  There was a hiatus for awhile when Baltimore stole our team, but that is a whole post in itself.  I’m still bitter.

Clearly the Browns fans are frustrated.  This year, the Browns have hit a new low.  We just faced the Detroit Lions and we were both 1-8 going into the game and some have tagged the game Bad Bowl 2009.  Two of the worst teams in the NFL right now were playing head to head to see if one of the teams can salvage their reputation.  I was nervous to see the this game.  The first quarter started great and The Browns were winning 24 -3 at one point.  I thought to myself, “wow, maybe we aren’t such a mess of a team.”  Boy was I wrong.  The Lions came back slowly but surely and with 8 seconds left in the game, we were up by 6 points.  No way.  We aren’t going to lose this game.  We can’t lose to the LIONS!  Oh yes we can.  The Lions scored a touchdown and got the extra point.  Detroit Lions 38 – Cleveland Browns 37.

Thank you Browns.  We are now an embarrassment and Sundays are getting more and more depressing.  I HATE losing and I’m very frustrated.  I am and will always still be a Browns fan, but wow, it is difficult. 

Thanks for letting me vent.  Good thing I’m also a Buckeyes fan!

Weber Shandwick did a recent study on Fortune 100 companies and their need for a Twittervention.  The study contains a lot of good stats about brands and their lack of presence on Twitter.

The results of the study have been in PR Week, BizReport and Social Media Insider.  There are over 20 million people on Twitter in the U.S. and 50 million world-wide.  I think everyone agrees that there is no excuse for Fortune 100 companies not to have an engaged profile and presence on Twitter.



Interesting statistics from the study:

  • 73% of Fortune 100 companies have registered accounts
  • 76% of those don’t post tweets very often
  • 52% of those were not actively engaged
  • 50% of Fortune 100 companies have less than 500 followers

With the amount of pressure  companies have now to engage with audiences, show ROI and monitor and measure their brand, I’m not sure why they aren’t using this useful (and free) tool to help.  It is a great place to do case studies, launch products and create a presence in the social media world.

A couple of good suggestions/take-aways from the study of how companies can engage on Twitter:

  • Listen to conversations
  • Participate in conversations
  • Update frequently with valuable information
  • Reply to people who talk about issues that are important to your company
  • Retweet relevant conversations

There is a ton of valuable information in this study and I encourage everyone take a quick look.  If you are in a Fortune 500 company or not, there is a valuable lesson to be learned.  The conversation is happening, you need to be listening.  Kudos to you companies that have been taking advantage of it!


Posted by: emilyhowardprincipato | November 18, 2009

Response #8 – Can we trust Wikipedia?

Obviously there is some controversy and skepticism when you give “common folk” full control of vetting information that other people are consuming.  While there are tons of sources of how to add content the “white-hat” way and who adds that content, there is still little control of who actually edits/adds content on Wikipedia.

Personally, I think Jimbo Wales had a great idea when he launched this tool for people to use.  It makes it easy to find mundane facts about celebrities , find stats about what town you were born in or learning about what happened on todays date in history.  But, as far as taking the information to the grave, I would be hesitant.  It shouldn’t be used as a reference for work or school because the content is hit or miss.  There have been too many cases where Wikipedia has been wrong for me to trust the content. 

On a positive/side note, Wikipedia has many good sources to get content and have started many other projects.  You can find any species in the Wikispecies, get news at Wikinews or even get textbooks and manuals at Wikibooks.

Should we trust Wikipedia or an expert-led encyclopedia more?  Right now, I think an expert-led encyclopedia would be a better option.  Not because it has as much content, but because it is more reliable.

How could Wikipedia be better set-up to better provide accuracy?  Wikipedia should set up a team of people who go through every update and before approving it, make sure it is correct.  I know this sounds like a daunting task, however it is the only way that people are going to trust the material that is stored in the system.  There is no other way to make sure the content is completely credible.

Should it be open to everyone or just verified “experts”?  I think Wikipedia should still be open to everyone because that is what is so unique about it and how the system gets so much content.  As long as the powers that be monitor all of the posts to make sure they are true – Wikipedia would be perfect!

Overall, Wikipedia in theory is great, but there needs to be a better process to vet the information so it can be considered a credible source.

Posted by: emilyhowardprincipato | November 11, 2009

Let’s source some crowds!

I recently learned about the whole “crowdsourcing” model and in my novice opinion, it is going to continue to get more popular.  Companies are going to realize they can pick between a lot of options instead of issuing an RFP to a couple of large agencies.  But the big question is – is the quality of the work still going to be there?

Peperami Ad

Recently, Unilever and their Peperami and has dropped their ad agency, Lowe, a relationship of 16 years.  Unilever has decided to turn to a different route and is using Idea Bounty, a social think tank,  for their new ad campaign.  This is a great example of crowdsourcing and where some companies are going.  So, the client, Peperami, will give a brief to Idea Bounty, who will post it on their site, and then everyone who wants to, and has a decently creative mind, will be able to post ideas for a new high-profile ad.  I wonder how much Idea Bounty  is getting from this?  Even though the Unilever/Peperami brief is worth $10,000, they are still saving a ton of money crowdsourcing. 

Other large clients that have worked with Idea Bounty have been BMW and the winner was Gary Willmont who won a bounty of $3,000 and BMW used his idea.  Kenneth Choong wins the WWF  brief and $1,500.  Talk about exposure!

There is a lot of controversy surrounding crowdsourcing.  Is it ethical?  Will it be the way of the future?  Are companies ready to take that risk?  Does it put companies in more control to their ad campaign?  Does it give the small fish in the big pond the opportunity to gain exposure for themselves and their agencies?

I am anxious to hear more case studies.  It will be interesting to see what the future of crowdsourcing holds and how it will impact successful Advertising Agencies. 

Oh yeah – that random stick in the picture is currently the Peperami animal that their building the campaign around.

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