Transending Industries

By. Antonio Nichols

Social media as a marketing and communication strategy is one of the most effective tools that PR practitioners have access to at this point in time. The most astonishing thing about this tool however is that it is still being improved as time goes on and professionals in multiple industries continue to come up with innovative ways of incorporating social media into their plans. With all of the uses that companies and organizations have found for social media the one that is most impressive is how they can almost instantly enhance the quality of their brand through maintaining an active social media presence. One of the key uses of social media is the establishment of a brand and promoting said brand though engagement among peers and the community.

LSA, a popular restaurant on the Denton square is a company that is slowly realizing the potential that social media interaction can have when it comes to establishing brand loyalty and generating new business. Though the company itself has not launched any social media campaigns to further its business goals it it’s becoming aware of the effect the posts of its employees have on their tips. For instance, one of the bartenders posts a picture of the featured drink of the day with a message to all of her Facebook followers asking them to come try the drink and reminding them that tipping is encouraged. This particular employee leaves her shift with more tips than most of the staff daily because of her use of social media to promote her personal brand. Currently due to this level of success the management of LSA is gradually opening up to the idea of taking their promotions to the web and allowing the community to experience their values and brand before they even open the door.

Zuckerberg’s bot-crazy faith in artificial intelligence

Matt Payne


The founder of Facebook and, debatably, the most influential figure in the social media sphere announced April 12 at Facebook’s F8 Conference a software platform built into Facebook Messenger allowing third parties to code “bot” messengers – any Facebook user is now able to chat with Domino’s Pizza to customize a pie and the Weather Channel for minute-by-minute storm updates.

It’s a niche utilization of a messaging platform, but it also expresses Mark Zuckerberg’s unshakeable faith in artificial intelligence.

The social media mogul has even expressed his belief that thought fueled by computer processing will outpace that of the human mind in less than 10 years. He attributes this inherently startling claim to the characterization of human, “natural” thought to “unsupervised learning.” The stock within obstacles that have yet to present themselves in the next big breakthrough in artificial intelligence merits paramount consideration for somebody who’s managed to build an empire out of a peer-to-peer communication site that’s ravaged platform after platform’s audiences.

It isn’t the first instance such wild faith has been placed in the work of man-made computers. Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has even expressed not mere interest but concern toward the oncoming success in designing intelligent systems focused on achieving some specialized purpose. He describes the progress as “inevitable,” and warns future generations to stay wary of the oncoming advancements as titans like Zuckerberg heavily invest in.

What’s more to consider is the dawn of mainstream virtual reality with the launch of the Facebook-owned Oculus VR headset. Zuckerberg has even expressed in implementing the headset beyond the current market of personal computer gaming and into an integral Facebook experience.

Artificial, virtual and engineered realities are aligning with the true meaning of “reality” each year: television, to smartphone, to human sight, to all senses. Only time will reveal the mysteries that grasp even the imagination of Hawking and Zuckerberg.


Featured photo: Courtesy – TechCrunch

A New Look For an Old Treat

By: Maritza Vega

The sweet and crunchy caramel corn and peanuts, Cracker Jacks, is transforming and becoming part of the digital age. No longer will digging towards the bottom for a small prize that consisted of stickers and small toys be a thing. Instead a QR sticker with a code “that can be scanned to play one of four mobile games..” will replace them (Masunaga 1). Customers will have to download an app to scan the sticker.

The app known as Blippar, will be used to “enjoy bringing the ballpark to life”to any customers on any iOS and Android device (Pomranz 1). People will be able to play a variety of four mobile games that come with the code. The director of marketing for Frito-Lay, Haston Lewis, mentions that with integrating a mobile experience, the Cracker Jack brand will be able to embrace a “modernized, young-at-heart attitude”(Masunaga). At the same time, the company wants to still keep the nostalgic essence of the snack.

The toys aren’t the only things changing with the popular baseball snack. The brand all together will be upgrading their logo and packaging.


Photo Credit: Cracker Jack Facebook Page

What some may not know is that this isn’t the first time Cracker Jack has changed their prizes. Since 1912, different prizes for each box varied over the years. Anything from “tiny books to decoder rings, temporary tattoos and baseball cards” (Masunaga 1). Organizations such as the Cracker Jack Collectors Assn., have even dedicated themselves to collect the specific prizes from the boxes over time.

The company took their announcement to social media and instantly received feedback on their decision to change. According to an article on NPR some of “the Cracker Jack Facebook Page, commenters were not impressed” with the new changes (Farrington 1). Some actually expressed their disagreement with the new products upgrade, commenting “The backbone of Cracker Jack has always been a young child’s treasure hunt…SHAME ON YOU,” (Farrington 1).  A Facebook page titled “Put the PRIZE back in Cracker Jack” was also created as a result and after asking for a certain number of Facebook likes, called Frito-Lay to let them know the social page existed and that a certain number of people disagreed with the products decision. But not all disagree with the new changes. In a visit NPR did at the mall, an individual expressed their excitement when finding the QR code in the new bag. Others saw no difference. “I think I got a non-paper Cracker Jack prize like twice in my lifetime anyway.” a twitter user responds (Masunaga 1).


Photo Credit: Put the PRIZE back in Cracker Jack Facebook Page

There is no announcement of when the product will hit the stores shelves under their new look and how successful it will be for Frito Lay, but the concept here is to understand that things change with the digital age. Agreeing with Dana Farrington, she successfully sums up the new change by writing, “Like so many other aspects of our lives, the prize will be digitized.”


Work Cited

Masunaga, Samantha. “Cracker Jack Ditches Toys, Offering Mobile Games Instead.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2016. Web. 01 May 2016.

Farrington, Dana. “Cracker Jack’s Prize In The Box Will Now Be Digitized.” NPR. NPR, 29 Apr. 2016. Web. 01 May 2016.

Pomranz, Mike. “Cracker Jack Officially Ditches Actual Prizes.” FWx. FWx, 27 Apr. 2016. Web. 01 May 2016.

Game of Thrones Grips Social Media Users

Patrick Smith

JOUR 4270

May 1, 2016

Blog Post

Game of Thrones Grips Social Media Users


Game of Thrones Season Six premiered last Sunday. Millions watch the show for the most highly anticipated season. On social media, fans flock to post on Twitter and Facebook about everything happening on the show. Fan recaps and reviews can usually be found almost immediately after the episodes’ conclusion.

With show like Game of Thrones, there comes the problem of spoilers. The people posting about things that happen in the episode are inevitably seen by someone who has not completed their viewing of the certain episode. People cannot watch the episode live as it airs because of various premeditated circumstances. The spoilers for a show cause for someone that missed it to have distress because they miss the intense experience because they already know the outcome of a certain scene. It will be hard to do but it would be best for anyone who hasn’t seen the episode yet to stay off social media to avoid any potential spoilers.
On twitter, three hours after the premiere of tonight’s episode two, Game of Thrones was the number one trending topic on Twitter in the United States with over 400k tweets. People like to live tweet during the show about what is going on instead of actively watching the episode. After the episode is over, particularly if it includes a big scene, people will post videos of themselves watching the show and reacting to that particular scene. Needless to say, Game of Thrones has captivated audiences around the world.

Game of Thrones will still continue to have a massive presence on social media until its final episode airs. Until then, millions of social media users will be bounded together by a similar interest in the show and will continue to be a major social media topic.





  2. Shot 2016-05-01 at 11.37.39 PM.png

Something From Nothing?

UNTJ4270 By: Alexa Wilder

“I’m a creep, i’m a weirdo…” While logging onto twitter earlier today, there seemed to me a massive hype around the band Radiohead. Multiple people’s timelines were filled with confusion and chatter over the eight album band. When going to search their twitter, I was shocked at it being completely blank. At first I thought it was a bad internet connection so I tried to refresh the page again, and nothing.

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 11.17.29 PM.png

While it appeared that nothing was going on with Radiohead on Twitter, it appears as if that was not the case. Along with Radiohead having a blank and void Twitter, to day their Facebook went bank as well. Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 11.23.54 PM.png

Just by looking at these two social media platforms, it is easy to see why there is mass confusion and talk taking place over the band. It appears that the bands official website began to disappear today until it was officially blank as well. This began to pave a picture for some sort of story behind the blank emptiness of their pages. It has been a couple of years since Radiohead has hit the road and toured with some new music and it looks like the hype of the silence could be surrounding their comeback.

Further evidence points to this theory in the fact that Radiohead fans and fan club members took to twitter with a mysterious surprise from the band. A post came in through mailboxes to fans from the band with these words written across them.

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 11.30.49 PM.png

Along with the post cards, fans received emails from the band the same day along with the same words… “Sing the song of sixpence that goes “Burn The Witch: We Know Where You Live”

It would appear that Radiohead is making a comeback and hopefully has some new music in store for their still dedicated fans. Whether that is the news or not, Radiohead is creating some major hype around their band. Being that Radiohead is an older band, they are doing a great job of promoting their brand through several platforms of media. By reaching across several platforms such as: email, mail, and several social media platforms Radiohead has done a great job of appealing to all demographics of fans.

Whether promoting a band or a brand, it appears that nothing can mean something… Creating hype around a brand and making sure to appeal to all demographics and audiences is very important and I think notes can be taken from Radiohead. Hopefully we will find out the exciting news and explanation about the blank void soon.




2016 Election Predictions

(Graph from

By David Urbanik

For my last blog, I can’t help but stray a bit from the topic of social media. Over the course of the class, I think it has been obvious that my preferred area of journalism is politics. I have tried to focus my previous blog posts on the social media aspects of the current presidential election and I think I have covered most of the big stories whether it was Trump’s obnoxious Twitter presence or Sanders’ Bernie Bros. So I would like to cap the class off with a blog about my personal predictions for the 2016 elections.

Clinton vs Sanders

Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. At this point that fact is obvious to everyone except Sanders and his most hardcore supporters but after the hard losses in New York and Pennsylvania, Sanders has fallen too far behind for it to be mathematically possible for him to win the nomination on pledged delegates alone. In recent days, Sanders has remained defiant pledging to stay in the race until the convention. He even hopes to somehow persuade superdelegates to switch to his camp despite losing the popular vote and the delegate math. Despite all this the outcome has been apparent for some time. According to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog, Hillary Clinton has consistently maintained a delegate lead over Sanders. For most of the race, she has won more than her required quota of delegates needed to guarantee that she will reach the goal of 2,383 for the nomination. While Sanders has consistently finished behind his delegate quotas. By this point, Sanders, who has run as an outsider candidate, will not be able to convince party insiders to switch to him.

Trump vs Cruz

Trump will be the Republican nominee. As baffling as that fact may be to people it has been the likelihood throughout the campaign. Despite not riding the same delegate success as Hillary Clinton, Trump’s current delegate count is almost double Cruz’s and with convention day closing in Cruz has little hope to close that gap.

Clinton vs Trump

Clinton will win the election. Neither Clinton nor Trump is enormously popular with voters. Both have higher levels of public disapproval than public approval but Trump’s numbers are far worse than Clinton’s. Trump has an unfavorable rating of more than 65 percent of voters polled while Clinton hovers around 54 percent unfavorable. The real divide becomes obvious when polling data for a Clinton/Trump matchup is examined. According to Real Clear Politics, Clinton currently holds an 8 point lead over Trump in national polls. While this number may seem small it is important to note that Trump has never held an average lead over Clinton since polling began in 2015. Nate Silver has written about Trumps unpopularity with general election voters extensively and I tend to agree with his analysis. I doubt Trump will hit even 40 percent of the popular vote.


P., & Silver, N. (2016). Donald Trump Is Really Unpopular With General Election Voters. Retrieved May 02, 2016, from
RealClearPolitics – Election Other – Clinton: Favorable/Unfavorable. (n.d.). Retrieved May 02, 2016, from
RealClearPolitics – Election Other – Trump: Favorable/Unfavorable. (n.d.). Retrieved May 02, 2016, from
Who’s On Track For The Nomination? (2016). Retrieved May 02, 2016, from

The Transgender and Us

Political seasons always seem to bring out some odd topics of debate but the new bathroom laws coming out have started outrage on both sides of the debate. Pandering to one side or the other only deepens the issues at hand. For those who understand what a transgender person is then this tweet from @JayShef to North Carolina governor Pat McCrory should sum up the entire article on why these bills are hateful and based on false bias. Bathroom-Access

Transgenders as of late have been the target of some pretty harsh rhetoric. Words like pedophiles, perverts, confused, etc. I am writing this in the hope that I can bring to light who transgender people are to at least one person with a few different perspectives as well as some FACTS.

The principle that your gender identity is based on what does or doesn’t dangle between your legs has been proven to be false. Similar to being gay, schizophrenic, or even having an outgoing personality, being transgender is how your brain perceives you as a person. It is not an illness, it is just who these people are.

It’s not wrong to fear that your child could be raped in a bathroom by some man in a dress. What determines what is right or wrong is how to respond to this fear. There are a few steps you can take to prevent these things from happening. Educate your children about bathroom safety and how to respond to ANY sort of person trying to harm them and not just one specific group. Every race and gender has had someone commit this heinous act at some point or another. You should also ALWAYS accompany your children when they are using a public restroom.

In the United States transgender people make up .3% of the adult population. One of the smallest group of people in the United States and they are being discriminated against based on ill informed views. Our constitution says “We the people” not “We the straight people” or “We the majority of people”, all people deserve the same rights. Period.

Also for those of you boycotting Target for their inclusive bathroom policy, thought I’d help you out by providing this list of businesses that support transgender people. Enjoy your boycotting and Wal-Mart experience and I will be the enjoying shorter lines with much more tolerant people.