10 Ways to be More Creative

by Jessica Mitchell

Ketchum’s blog had a very cool infographic on ways to be more creative. As journalists, we want to keep our creativity and keep our writing fresh, so this was a good thing to read.

1. Start a “good idea” file to save cool ideas and articles. I do this somewhat on Twitter: I’ll favorite a tweet and look at it when I have time.

2. Change your POV – literally – by rearranging your workspace for a fresh new perspective. I do this every school year: I rearrange my bedroom to refresh my mind so this definitely works!

3. take a different route home. Soak in the newness and new scenery. I don’t often do this (35 drains me!), but I was told to take a different way home for safety reasons (if someone if following you), but this would be cool to try on a good day.

4. Get outside. Do a walking meeting or host a meeting outside of a conference room. This seems interesting! At The Power Group we have “lunch and learns” where we may get some food and talk about new updates, or we have a meeting at a local restaurant.

5. Be a local tourist. Visit local landmarks, museums, or art for creative inspiration. I haven’t done this yet, but I love art and museums so this probably would work!

6. Read creativity Inc: overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration. Haven’t heard of this book, but I’ll have to check it out.

7. Host a ‘blue sky’ brainstorm. This could be good! I remember watching the clouds with my younger cousins a few years ago and I didn’t see anything they were seeing at first! After a while I started to see shapes in the clouds. This should work but it takes a while for the creativity of childhood to kick in.

8. Color your world. Grab markers, bright post-its, and folders to jazz up your desk. This sounds like it would work-bright colors can break up the lighting in the office, and the glare from your computer.

9. Eat somewhere new. This works for me because I like to people watch, and that makes me more creative than eating in the break room.

10. Get classy. Sign up for cooking, painting, or acting classes. This can get you out of your comfort zone and get those creative juices flowing.

How many of these will you try this week?

7 Deadly Job Search Sins of Recent College Grads

by Jessica Denise Mitchell

useful-tips-when-looking-for-graduate-jobs-in-kenya

Graduation is near and many of us will be (or hopefully already have been) looking for jobs. Here are the top seven sins that most post college graduates will commit while searching for a job. Hopefully you will not make these mistakes, and if you have already, you can stop and find that perfect job (yay no moving back at home)!

1. Using the internet ONLY. Go to meet-ups, industry and trade associations and conventions, and local events. Reach out to your alumni network and find some mentors. Forbes states that less than 30% of students use their college’s career office and a job searching resource.

2. Using the internet INCORRECTLY. Millions of dollars go into recruitment services for business. Most companies rely on social media and talent networks like LinkedIn and Monster to find candidates. Dust off that online profile and get found by these resruiters!

3. Not customizing your resume. There are applicant tracking systems and resume keyword scanners that choose the best applicants based on how compatible their resume is to the job description. Use the keywords that are in the description, and use Jobscan to compare your resume to the job description and see how you match up.

4. Using the wrong resume format. Chronological? Functional? Hybrid/Combination? Some are best for different situations. If you plan on staying in the same field, use the Chronological. If you have gaps in your career us the Functional resume if you want to highlight specific skills gained from a variety of positions or unrelated employment. If you want to do a mixture of both or are looking for contract, freelance, or temporary work.

5. Not following up. Two weeks is the average time to follow-up after sending in a resume. Find the best person to call or email, keep it short and to the point, and always follow directions in the job description (if it says don’t call or email, DO NOT DO IT).

The minute you get home if the length of time for following up for an interview. Make it paragraph max, mention something memorable from the interview, and make sure to address it to the hiring manager.

6. Being unwilling to pay dues. The job you get as a 20-year old will suck. That’s why they gave it to you! Pay your dues and show that you are willing to lean about and from the company.

7. Failing to create a brand for yourself. You have to show hiring managers what makes you different. Look for patterns. Do you have any business and environments that you have gravitated towards (local, small, family-owned or fast-paced and large)? Do you have skills that you had to apply most frequently, and have they matured?

Thanks to Youtern for the article, and maisha.gradstate.com for the image!

Groupon’s Banana Bunker

By Jessica Denise Mitchell

I saw a friend post this article link to Facebook, and I thought it would be a cool thing to talk about for social media and a blog for this class. So there’s this product called a “Banana Bunker,” and it basically looks like a sex toy.

Courtesy of Adweek.com
Courtesy of Adweek.com

Groupon posted an image of the Banana Bunker and the comments were very funny! Groupon replied to every comment that was posted–cheeky, funny, complaints, all of it. This was a win for the social media managers at Groupon–they posted a picture, and instead of hiding in shame after they realized what the banana bunker looked like, they accepted it and went with the comments. They answered it all in a humorous way that played along but also played it safe. I think this is a good note for all social media managers to take to their teams: embrace the jokes and puns and cheeky comments, find a way to play along without being degrading or too uptight. This is a way to let things blow over, because if Groupon had ignored the comments, then people would have probably kept commenting.

This reminds me of watching how students comment on UNT’s Facebook page after an ice storm–the comments are so rude! UNT does a good job of trying to respond to questions and stay positive, so they do what Groupon did in this example by trying to keep the responses positive and informative. People are more invested in their education than protecting their bananas, so the comments by UNT do not always yield a positive response like Groupon. UNT could have more social media wins if people were more lighthearted about cancellations and let the positive comments ride instead of having more negative things to say, but I hope that one day UNT’s social media team can have some viral social media wins. Check out the comments in the article.

5 Tips for Marketing to People 45 and Up

By Jessica Denise Mitchell

I ran across a great article on PR Daily that gave 5 tips for marketing to people aged 45 and up. While this is a social media class, we may be at an agency or working for a corporate company where, at least once, we have to market to an older audience that uses social media differently. I know I have not thought about how marketing to certain ages of people is different, so these may be helpful to you all as well.

IMG courtesy of gelleryhip.com
IMG courtesy of gelleryhip.com

The article states that adults 45 and older are less likely to believe what they see or hear in the media, and can be harder to convince than adults 18 to 35. So here are 5 tips for marketing to adults 45 and up:

  1. Understand who you’re speaking to. Get inside the mind of your target audience-do your research. If you don’t take the time to define your audience closely, this can keep your campaign from failing.
  2. Avoid Stereotypes. There has been a sharp rise in adults 50 and older who use the internet in the past year (due to tablet computers), and stereotypes about people above a certain age can be misleading and offensive.
  3. Mix it up. Older adults are more likely to be skeptical of media, so you have to use different communications platforms (social media, direct-to-audience tactics, etc) in order for the message to be effective.
  4. Use media relations, but in the right places. In addition to social media, get placement in credible media outlets. The 45 and up club are influenced by credible sources, so get placement in articles and on blogs that are quality content and address the real interests of your target audience.
  5. Killer content will open doors. Well-pitched content is critical when reaching out to older consumers. This goes from title to actual content that viewers would care about and speaks to them directly or gives a solution to a real issue they have.

I don’t know many adults 45 and older (besides my parents), but one thing I like is that they love information, if not more than my peers. They watch news, and my mom always shares articles or infographics with me (any type of information: safety, health, even recipes and fashion). I think a big underlying tip with this article is RESEARCH. Getting to know the audience is the most important thing, and without that how can we create content that they will like and engage with?

7 Social Media Trends in 2015 that Will Affect your Internet Marketing

by Jessica Denise Mitchell

Courtesy of Social Media Examiner-dot-com
Courtesy of Social Media Examiner-dot-com

I saw this on Twitter and thought I’d write a blog about it! It’s from TwelveSkip, and it’s just like the title says: 7 Social Media Trends in 2015 that Will Affect your Internet Marketing. As those on social media have seen, there have been multiple changes that affected marketing, such as video for internet, vine, and promoted posts. Brands can now boost and pay for their content to be seen on people’s timelines, and they can make creative videos that may go viral. Here are the 7 ways social media is evolving in 2015.

1. Mobile is becoming a priority. According to this post, 15% more people used Facebook on mobile. People are on the go, they want to experience apps faster and during times they may not be at a desk or on a laptop.

2. Promoted tweets and posts. Posts on Facebook that were ‘organic’ (unpaid for) dropped to under one-percent. This means that brands that do not make a budget for social media will not reach the same amount of people as their competitors who made budgets.

3. Social Commerce will increase. Twitter introduced a ‘buy’ button into tweets, so customers can buy the items they see on their timeline (maybe from promoted posts!). This seems better for those impulse buys after checks come, but it will help business–I wonder if it will drive traffic to or from their site if customers can just buy from twitter instead of from a companies’ website.

4. Vlogging is also on the rise. This will help with vlogger outreach, because people are more likely to buy from those vloggers whose opinons they trust. More Vloggers do reviews, and if companies get good reviews their sales may increase from that vloggers’ audience.

5. Social wallets. A Stanford student saw that there was a plan on the Facebook messenger app to transfer money from one person to another.  This can be used the same as Social commerce, and this can work for smaller business.

6. More Focused Platforms. These platforms will have specific audiences, and that can be a goldmine for marketers who want to reach a certain demographic. I foodie app or website where restaurants and beverage makers can promote their products!

7. A growing Focus on Internet Privacy. Similar to Facebook’s chatrooms, more platforms will have anonymous chatrooms to keep users identities’ private.

All of these changes seem to feed into major themes such as Niche platforms where marketers can push their products onto the direct audience they want, and if the audience wants to buy, they may have the freedom to do so (impulse buys–Yes!)

‘Precious’ star Mo’Nique has been Blackballed from HollyWood

by Jessica Denise Mitchell

Today are the Oscars! So here’s some Oscar-related news:

After winning an Oscar in 2010, actress and comedian Monique hasn’t been in many movies. According to her IMDB profile, she was in four movies–all of which have been straight-to-DVD smaller movies. Even in these movies, she has had minor roles in all but ONE. According to Necole Bitchie, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Mo’Nique says that we was blackballed for ‘keeping it too real with Hollywood.”

Precious director Lee Daniels told Mo’Nique a few months ago why work has been super slow for her. She got a phone call from Lee Daniels and he told her she was blackballed because she didn’t play the game.

-Backstory-

During the Oscar campaign, Mo’Nique skipped most of the promotional events for her movie, and some reports said that she wanted hundreds of thousands of dollars for appearances. In addition to this, reports claimed that she wanted her glam squad to fly first class. In later interviews, she said that she was not going to miss days of work (from her talk show that lasted just two seasons) and lose money when she could be making it by filming her show.

Courtesy of ABCNews.go.com
Courtesy of ABCNews.go.com
courtesy of greatseats.com
courtesy of greatseats.com

The article that will come out states that most of the roles that Mo’Nique has wanted are now going to Oprah. Lee Daniels has tried to cast Mo’Nique roles in his projects such as the Butler, Empire, and Richard Pryor’s biopic that will come out next year, but the final casting decisions aren’t up to him.

In a field where African-Americans are hardly represented (and many movies are snubbed), this is saddening news. This is also a wake-up call for some people who may want to be successful in Hollywood. There are politics to every field – Hollywood is no different.

Some people are breaking Instagram’s “Terms of Use” policy

By Jessica Denise Mitchell

Like (almost) everyone that has apps on their phone, I didn’t even bother to read the Terms of Use when I finally got a new phone that was compatible with Instagram. I didn’t even try. I created my username and password, and was ready to follow friends and celebrities like Beyonce. When I got in this class, Professor Bufkins had links of the Terms of Use on blackboard and I made the time to sit down and read the terms of use for Instagram. I chose this and not twitter or Facebook because I use this app the most and I’ve heard so many stories of celebrities getting their accounts deleted after too many inappropriate posts or selfies. Reading these terms, I realized that between myself, the people I follow, and my friends, we all have broken at least two of these rules. Here are the funny and interesting ways that we all break Instagram’s Terms of Use policy.

Courtesy of imgarcade.com
Courtesy of imgarcade.com
  • “You also represent that all information you provide or provided to Instagram upon registration and at all other times will be true, accurate, current and complete.” Do you have those  friends that like to post pictures of a life they don’t fully live? I do. I have the type of friends (of friends) that are the type to post a picture behind the wheel of a BMW, but what’s past the picture (thanks Instagram crop?) is a 1987 BMW with a dented hood, hail damaged doors, and a loud engine. LIES! I also have the type of friends that post from certain angles to make it look like they look slimmer (or bigger) in some cases. Lies again.
  • “You must not defame, stalk, bully, abuse, harrass, threaten, impersonate, or intimidate people or entities.” Almost two-thirds of the people I follow are famous, and when I see their photos, there all all types of comments. From the supportive, to the questions about their clothes or hair, to the bullies, I see it all. It’s interesting how opinionated people are when they can hide behind social media. Another thing I see when I follow celebrities are the fake pages. These are the pages where someone takes that person’s avi, name, and makes a username that is very similar to the ‘real’ Instagram page, and follow’s people or tries to follow them–I’ve even seen people say in the bio “____’s ONLY backup page” but that doesn’t make it any better.
  • “You agree that you will not solicit, collect, or use the login credentials of other Instagram users.” I broke this rule when my friend lost her phone and someone was posting her personal pictures and ugly selfies (she was making faces for snapchat maybe?) to her Instagram and had very mean captions. I had to log in to her Instagram profile on the web and delete her account so the posts would stop. This was a necessity, so I don’t really count it as breaking this rule.
  • “You may not post violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos or other content via the Service.” This is also something I see with celebrities and the local wanna-be models that I follow. I often wonder what ‘partially nude’ nude really means? I’ve seen string bikinis, lingerie pictures from a photo shoot or just a towel wrapped around women in some of these posts, but they have not gotten taken down or in trouble. I hope one day Instagram can draw the line of this, because some people get flagged for this, while others are free to post.

Now I must admit, some of these I took too literally or out of context, but the message is still the same: read the terms of service! This is especially important for us that want to be reporters (or famous for acting or things like that), because we want to make sure that, no matter what they are, that we follow the rules of social media. Happy Valentine’s day!