Friday, April 5, 2013

Issues and Crises: A Look at Crisis Communications

Let's talk about Crisis Communications. This past week, my social media class had the chance to listen to two great guest lecturers specializing in crisis communications. The first, Melissa Agnes, discussed the differences between issues and crises with negative situations. Melissa taught me that issues can range from negative tweets or comments directed toward a particular brand, but issues never truly threaten the reputation of the brand. True crises are much more serious than issues, often involve high emotions, and can affect major stakeholders.

The next guest speaker was Jonathan Bernstein, who gave us great advice about being successful in crisis communications. Jonathan told us in order to be a successful crisis communicator, you need to be a swift thinker, skilled writer, and able to speak in front of all kinds of different audiences for different situations.

An example of a large company forced to succeed in crisis communications is Walt Disney Company. In June 2009, Disney faced the crisis of a fatal monorail crash in Walt Disney World. Two monorails ran into each other, killing the pilot of one of them. This traumatic event required serious professionals in crisis communication. Disney's spokespeople stated the facts, continually released information, offered sincere sympathies for the family affected, and never withheld information. These are just a few best practices when it comes to dealing with crisis communications.

Stalking Vampires and Internships!

This past week, I had the opportunity to travel to Covington, Georgia with Marketing Media Management, who I just finished interning with as a Content Strategist. On this trip, we presented a social media campaign for the city of Covington’s tourism, while gaining new ideas for content from local business owners. While on this business trip, I met many business people, learned how to present a social media campaign to a client, and even had the chance to speak during our company presentation. Though I enjoyed the meetings and presentations and gained valuable experience from participating in them, I have to admit my favorite part of the trip was getting to know local business owner Jessica Lowery and going on her Mystic Falls Tour.
Covington, Georgia is known as Mystic Falls, Virginia to fans of the hit CW show, The Vampire Diaries, as it is the primary filming location for the television show.  Jessica Lowery, a Covington citizen and super fan of The Vampire Diaries, took her knowledge of her hometown and her passion for the show and turned them into Mystic Falls Tours. Jessica shows groups of “vampire stalkers” around main filming locations in Covington, while giving insight into which scenes were filmed at each location and providing great photo ops (See pics below!).
Kiley and me at The Lockwood Mansion! Beautiful!
Me being a diva in front of the Mystic Grill! :)
As a Vampire Diaries fanatic, I absolutely loved being a part of the tour. Jessica knew every scene that took place in every location we visited, and even gave us hints about upcoming episodes. From the Gilbert household, to the Mystic Grill, to the Lockwood Mansion (actually called Worthington Manor), Jessica showed us every filming location and gave us a detailed description of important scenes. She even has a wooden stake signed by the cast for tour members to “stake” each other and take pictures with. This stake includes Ian Somerhalder’s signature…fangirls UNITE! Click here to go to Jessica's Mystic Falls Tours website for more information! 
Kiley staking me with the stake signed by the cast!
Marketing Media Management has taught me how to successfully run a social media campaign for one of our clients, how to present in front of a room full of people, and simply how to manage and present myself as a business person. I’ve learned much from my internship, and made great friends along the way.  My advice to any young professional waiting for their first real job is to get out there and start an internship. Participate in as many internships as you can. You never know what connections and networking opportunities may become available to you during your experience, and you’ll receive invaluable working and hands on experience as well as have opportunities to do great things and go to great places.
Kiley and me with Ian Somerhalder's Star on the Walk of Stars!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Magical Gamification

Let's talk about gamification. What's that, you ask? Gamification is "the use of video game elements in non-gaming systems to improve user experience and engagement." Brands are using gamification for several reasons, including to create brand awareness and drive user engagement. As I learned in my social media class, more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application by 2014. This statistic proves the importance of gamification in keeping up with competitors.

When using gamification, you should keep a few things in mind. Create rewards for effort, such as exclusive offers, status levels, and access to more levels/information. You should also have short and long term goals for gamification, as well as quick and frequent feedback which will boost sustainability. Also, allow a community to build around your gamification app, so people can share their achievements and recruit others to join.

An example of gamification is Disney's new My Magic + app, called MyDisneyExperience. This app allows users to explore attractions, park hours, make dining/hotel reservations, and even plan out your day in an organized schedule. This app allows you to connect with your friends and family, and choose a Disney character to use to represent each one of your connections. This ability to share is crucial to the growth of the app.  Users can also schedule fastpasses with this app, which gives users a great benefit and motivation to use the app. 

Click here to check out more on Disney's My Magic + and here to sign up for MyDisneyExperience and learn more. 

Thanks for reading and have a magical day!  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Magic Kingdom Adventures!

Over my spring break, I had the chance to visit Magic Kingdom with my roommates. While there, we were able to check out all the new areas and attractions in New Fantasyland as well as get a sneak peak into the construction of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction coming in 2014. I have a lot of photos to share, so I thought I would dedicate this blog post to my adventures at Magic Kingdom!

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot (we parked in the Heroes section-Aladdin) we made our way to buy our one day tickets, and from there, we climbed aboard the Monorail to take us to the happiest place on Earth! When we first walked into the park, I went straight for the statue of Goofy on the bench next to the Town Square Theatre to take a picture (seen below).
As I was taking this picture, I noticed a small group of people standing in line next to the hat store on Main Street. When I focused in on the group of people, I realized they were waiting to meet none other than Mary Poppins and two penguins! Mary Poppins is probably one of my top ten favorite Disney characters, so I couldn't go without taking a picture with her! She was practically perfect, in every way!
After posing for a picture with Mary, we went straight back to New Fantasyland where we got in line for Enchanted Tales with Belle (we only waited about 15 minutes!). This attraction allows guests to reenact the day Belle and the Beast fell in love. Once we got into the actual room where the roles are given out, I was chosen to play the Wardrobe!
After reenacting the story of Beauty and the Beast, all of the guest actors got to take a picture with Belle! Enchanted Tales was super cute, I highly recommend this for young mouseketeers!
After meeting Belle, we went to eat at the new Be Our Guest restaurant for lunch. We got in line around 10:15am (they open at 10:30) and we made it inside to eat around 10:45. This dining experience was amazing. I felt like I was in the Beast's castle the moment I stepped inside. Disney really hit the target with Be Our Guest. We ordered our food, received our "roses," and chose to eat our lunch in the grand ballroom. Guests can also dine in the West Wing or the Rose Garden. The ballroom was simply stunning, with intricate chandeliers hanging from beautifully painted ceilings, just like in the movie. The next time you're in Magic Kingdom, make sure to go to Be Our Guest. You won't regret it!

The rest of the day was full of character meet and greets, classic attractions, and delicious snacks!  
Ariel sporting her feet :)

Dole Whip-the best snack EVER!
My favorite part of the day was meeting Merida from Disney/Pixar's Brave. Her accent was great!

We ended the day with the Main Street Electrical parade and Wishes Nighttime Spectacular, making our day truly magical!

Take a peek at all the new Disney goodies I bought while there!
I LOVE the Orange Bird! :)

When was your last trip to Disney? Feel free to share your own Disney experiences or ask any questions you have about Disney by leaving a comment below! 

Thanks for reading about my Magic Kingdom adventures and have a magical day!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Mobile: The Great and Powerful!

Mobile marketing, or marketing through the use of a mobile device, is an increasingly important way to market for businesses and companies everywhere. Mobile devices have become a huge part of our society, with most adults having their smartphones at arm's reach 24/7. Mobile phones have transformed through the years from being primarily a mobile telephone to being a device to create knowledge and find information.

Mobile applications are software applications that run on handheld devices such as smartphones. There is a large variety of types of mobile apps, from games, to photo and video sharing, to social networking. Mobile apps have many characteristics, including the following:

  • Personal- Mobile is personal, and allows information to go to a single person, which is critical for personal interaction.
  • Unity- Mobile allows businesses to reach a huge mass of individuals with the press of a single button, creating a sense of unity.
  • Immediacy- Mobile allows information and entertainment to be delivered to individuals immediately and directly.  
  • Community- Mobile creates a local community and allows people to get local information wherever they go.
I'm sure you have your own favorite apps that you can't live without. For me, I couldn't live without my Weather Channel app, Twitter app, Instagram app, and "Brave" Temple Run app. Which apps can you not live without?

Disney has recently created a new Temple Run app tied into their new movie, "Oz the Great and Powerful." This new app by Disney has topped Apple's App Store, currently at the number one spot for paid apps. Watch the trailer here! Disney is a leader in the mobile realm, and I'm sure Disney's mobile magicians will continue creating and developing new and exciting apps for users like you and me!

Gold Statues and Poison Apples

This year's Academy Awards were a golden event for Disney. In case you missed them, the Oscars were packed full of fun and entertaining song and dance numbers, jokes from first time host Seth McFarlane, and even some acceptance speeches cut off by the classic "Jaws" theme. This year, Disney won the Best Animated Feature Film award with Pixar's "Brave," and Best Animated Short Film with "Paperman."

Now let's rewind a couple decades...

In 1932, Walt Disney won his first Oscar for the Silly Symphonies cartoon, "Flowers and Trees." Throughout Walt's career as an animator and director, he won 21 more competitive Oscars. Currently, Walt holds the record for receiving the most amount of Academy Awards competitively (22) and non-competitively (26). In 1938, Walt Disney was awarded a special Academy Award for his achievement of his first animated feature film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." This statue was presented to Walt by Shirley Temple and had seven smaller "dwarf" statues attached to the regular Oscar statue, shown below.
Disney's legacy and quality film making continues today with Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar has won 11 Academy Awards, including the very first Best Animated Feature Film category's award for "Monster's Inc." in 2001. Walt Disney Animation Studios has produced Oscar nominated films, "Sleeping Beauty," "The Lion King," The Princess and the Frog," and "Wreck-it-Ralph." In 1992, Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, making it the first ever animated film to be nominated in this category. "Beauty and the Beast" held that honor until 2009 when Pixar's "Up" was nominated for Best Picture as well.

Walt Disney's 26 Academy Award statues are on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, California. There, you can see a special exhibit called "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic" and learn how Walt's first animated feature was made into the successful film remains to be today. {Just don't take any apples from strangers while your there}.

Check out the to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum's page on their Snow White exhibit.

Thanks for reading and have a magical day!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Star Command: Social Media Style

Social media is continually growing as a key element of successful marketing and advertising. Because of this, businesses and professionals who do use social media need a strategy to keep up with all of their profiles, posts, mentions, comments, etc. Without a strategy for your social media management, you won't get far. One way companies are managing their online presence is through social media command centers. Yes, social media command centers. Sounds pretty cool, right? If you're like me, when you heard the words command center, you probably thought of the Space Mountain Command Center (seen below) from Magic Kingdom Park. Anyways...

Companies today are continually building and using social media command centers to help monitor all of their sites at once. Social media monitoring is important for the following reasons:
  • Allows you to discover conversations happening in real time. This way, you can reply to comments or questions immediately, creating a strong connection with your audience.
  • Allows you to understand your audience better.
  • Helps you determine what content works best and doesn't work at all with your audience.
  • Helps you discover which content your audience is most engaged with.
  • Makes a connection with strategies and objectives of a social media campaign.
These social media command centers are a great investment for businesses wanting to have a better way to control all of their social media sites. All a social media command center really requires is a few TV screens, computers, and the wires needed to hook them together. The American Red Cross, Dell, and even the 2012 Presidential campaigns use social media command centers to manage their social media sites and receive the benefits of having them.

So, if your business isn't quite keeping up with all of its social media, think about building a social media command center. You'll only benefit from it if you do! And, you'll be able to pretend like you're Buzz Lightyear when you talk to your coworkers by saying things like "We have a new comment, Space Ranger!" or "This is *insert your name* of Social Media Star Command, do you read me?" Or at least I would. :)

Thanks for reading and have a magical day!

An 8-Bit Day in London Town

Earlier this year, Disney transformed London's Brick Lane into "8 Bit Lane," inspired by Disney's latest animated classic, "Wreck-It-Ralph." 8 Bit Lane, the world's first pixelated street, ran from January 11-13 last month at Truman Brewery on London's Brick Lane. Disney had artists build 8-bit sculptures and then scattered those sculptures all around for people to see and talk about.

This guerrilla marketing technique by Disney didn't allow for much interaction between people and the exhibit, but it definitely got people to talk. Disney hung a large banner (seen above) with a picture of Wreck-It-Ralph himself, along with the #8BITLANE hashtag to encourage people to talk about the 8-bit street on social media sites such as Twitter.  Disney definitely created a buzz about the movie in the U.K. where the release date was February 8, a month after the street campaign launched. 

I think this street campaign was a great idea for Disney. The sculptures ranged from things like a dog, birds, and even clouds, creating a truly 8-bit street for people to walk through. Take a look at the video below to see the street exhibit for yourself! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Get It Before It's Gone!: "Limited Time Magic"

Disney's limited time ice castle in Time's Square

On October 17, 2012, Disney announced “Limited Time Magic” for Disney Parks by creating a giant ice castle, much like Cinderella’s, and placing it in front of The Disney Store in Time’s Square. This ice castle, made of 45,000 pounds of ice, kick started Disney’s “Limited Time Magic” by showing magic, but only for a limited time (ice melts, ya know?).  

So what is this “Limited Time Magic” thing all about? Well, each week, Disney will surprise guests at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort in unexpected ways. 52 weeks in the year, with 52 limited time surprises! For example, from Jan. 21-27, Disney delighted guests with “Long Lost Friends Week” at Walt Disney World. During this week, guests had the opportunity to meet and greet with characters from the olden Disney days, such as Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, The Three Little Pigs, Robin Hood, and even Friar Tuck! Amazing! I would have LOVED to meet Clarabelle Cow. How about you?!

This week, Disney is celebrating “True Love Week,” with special romantic dinners for two, a blushing pink and red Cinderella Castle, and even meet and greets with all your favorite Disney princesses…joined by their princes! Swoon!

Here are some of the “Limited Time Magic” events that Disney has announced but haven’t happened yet:    
·         President’s Day-A Weeklong Celebration
·         Independence Week
·         Pirate Week
·         Dapper Dans Sing Boy Bands (...I'm especially looking forward to this!)
·         Unleash the Villains

So if you’re traveling to Disney World or Disneyland this year, be sure to click this link to check back with Disney's Limited Time Magic  page for updates on new and exciting events happening! I’ll be going to The Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World in March, so I can’t wait to find out what event will be going on during my visit! Whatever Disney may do, I’m positive it will make my trip much more magical! 

Thanks for reading and have a magical day!

Infographics: Think Visually!

If you love Pinterest as much as I do, you’veprobably encountered a few infographics during those long (wasted) hours spentpinning to your heart’s content. Infographics are emerging as a more popularway for businesses and individuals to present information in a visual andinteresting way. Mark Smiciklas, author of “The Power of Infographics,” definesan infographic as “a visualization ofdata or ideas that tries to convey complex information to an audience in amanner that can be quickly consumed and easily understood.”  
 Infographics should combine both art and science, and can bethought of as ‘idea art.’ They need to create a mixture of visuals and data toshare information that is relevant, interesting, and unique to the brand,topic, or industry the infographic should be representing.  If done successfully, infographics can help toextend your personal brand or company presence. Another awesome benefit frominfographics is that they’re easily shareable on social media platforms.  
There are several characteristics of infographics thatrepresent different kinds of data. These characteristics are as follows:
  •  Statistics       
  • Cartoons
  •  Concepts
  •  Models
  •  Information
  • Timeline
The infographic (to the left) called  6 Reasons to Visualize Your Data is a great example of avisual and captivating representation of data. Also, it shares wonderful reasons why you shouldshare information visually! 

Another fabulous example of an infographic done right isthis one (to the right), done by the Disney Parks Blog. This infographic is atimeline called 40 Years at Walt Disney World Resort, so check it out to see some of the amazing milestones Disney World has experienced since its opening in 1971!  
Thanks for reading and have a magical day! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Bibbidi Bobbidi Blog!

Let's talk about blogging. Today, blogging is becoming more and more mainstream. Employers expect possible future employees to know how to blog, how to write on a blog, and how to represent themselves or their company on the blog while being creative and innovative. So, blogging is an important skill for young professionals to have.

Here are a couple reasons why you should blog:
  • Blogging humanizes your brand. Make sure your audience knows you aren't a soulless robot. Connect with them through comments to build relationships.
  • Blogging separates yourself from the rest of your competitors! Be creative and unique so you stand out.
  • Blogging on a regular basis helps tremendously with your writing skills. Practice makes perfect!
  • Blogging helps promote your personal or professional brand. It also creates interest and drives traffic to your personal or professional brand! Woohoo! 
Now that you know why blogging is so important, I'll give you an example of one of my favorite professional blogs...The Disney Parks Blog! I think Disney does a great job with this blog. Each post is something exciting and engaging, which is what any blog should aim to be. The Disney Parks Blog shares relevant information about Disney Parks news, and keeps readers interested by using great photos and creating engagement among readers. 
Here's the link to the Disney Parks Blog so you can enjoy some exciting Disney Parks news!  

Have a magical day, everyone!

Monsters University and Rainy City Tales

If you haven't heard already, Pixar Animation Studios is releasing their fourteenth feature film this summer..."Monster's University". As a prequel to the 'monstrously hilarious' "Monster's Inc.", I'm expecting to laugh enough times while watching "Monster's University" to fill at least fifty laugh canisters. (If you're unsure of what a laugh canister is, stop reading this right now and go watch "Monster's Inc." because your life is incomplete. Then come back and finish reading of course!)

Anywho...Pixar is famous for not only their feature films, but also their much-loved and adored short films. Some of my favorite Pixar shorts are "Geri's Game" (where the old man plays chess with funny!) and the quirky "For the Birds" (the one with the judgmental birds who face the unfortunate, but funny consequences of bullying a larger silly bird).

Pixar has been working on a new short film to place in front of "Monster's University" in theaters this summer. The creative people at Pixar created a viral marketing campaign to create hype for the upcoming short by creating an code-named tumblr page documenting the work being done on the film, giving away subtle pictures and hints to what the film will be about, without revealing that they were even Pixar. How dare those Pixarians be so sneaky! Even with the stealthiness, Pixar fanatics who had been keeping a close eye on this blog saw the picture below on the tumblr and made their assumptions about the man behind the curtain, if you will. Pixar followers found that the "MU" in the picture below stands for "Monster's University", giving away the identity of the masterminds behind the Rainy City Tales tumblr!

Here's the link to the Rainy City Tales tumblr page:

Here's a close up of "MU"

Earlier this month, Pixar shared their first sneak peak at the film and gave its official title: "The Blue Umbrella." The short is going to center around a blue umbrella who fancies a red umbrella. In his attempts to get close to this red umbrella, the blue umbrella gets a little beaten up by the weather. I think that sounds adorable enough, so when Pixar released their first clip of the film, I fell in love with the cutest little umbrella you'll ever see. The animation looks great and very realistic which is a bit of a change for Pixar shorts. Will the blue and red umbrella fall in love and have a happy ever after? I can't wait to find out. Can you? : )

Watch the sneek peak clip here:

Have a magical day!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Transmedia and Magical Sorcery

     Transmedia is a growing way in which people are telling stories. For those of you who aren’t quite sure what transmedia is, I’ll explain a bit. Transmedia is telling stories across multiple platforms. While the platforms in which storytellers use are important in getting the message out to the masses, the real key to transmedia is the stories.

     I’m currently a Content Strategist Intern for a social media marketing company, and the first thing I learned on the job was this: you can use the hippest, fanciest, rootin-tootinest social media tools available, but if your content isn't engaging, then you’re S.O.L. (Stuck On a Log).
     People love to hear good stories. So that’s what you should give them when trying to be a successful transmedia storyteller. Especially in this age of information overload we live in. Stories allow for the “experience” mentality, so instead of simply telling information, we can actually show what happened, when, where, and why, etc. Stories also create emotional and personal connections which in turn create continuing bonds from hearing about the experience in the story.

     Effective transmedia storytelling is driven by the following:
·         Creativity- use that noodle and be unique!
·         Cultural Attractors- these draw together a highly involved audience.
·         Cultural Activators- these are motivators to initiate behavior.
·         Strategy-any successful story needs a well thought out plan to maximize its impact.
·         Sustained Engagement- getting people to stay engaged with the story is important in keeping the story relevant to its viewers.

     This brings me to Interactivity and Engagement. One of the most important things for transmedia storytelling is engaging your viewer. Without engagement, your story really won’t be able to soar in success. You have to get your audience to care in order to create engagement. This can lead to interactivity, creating an even deeper engagement throughout your audience. In order to keep your audience interested, you have to create an environment with your story that will keep them coming back for more.

     A good example of transmedia storytelling from a large company is Walt Disney World’s “Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.” This interactive game allows Magic Kingdom visitors to become sorcerers who travel across the theme park fighting Disney villains by using collectible cards like the ones shown in the picture. This attraction takes classic Disney characters from their own stories and creates a unique and changing interactive experience among guests. This experience seems to be pretty popular among kids visiting the parks, and keeps them coming back for more villain-fighting, sorcery-fun!
‘Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom’ set to debut Feb. 22 in Walt Disney World, Imagineer offers closer look at role-playing game
  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about transmedia storytelling. Thanks for reading and have a magical day!

A New Way to Game: "Disney Infinity"

Last week, Disney unveiled their newest venture in the gaming world at the El Capitan theatre in Hollywood. This highly anticipated upcoming video game is called “Disney Infinity.” The game will give players the chance to interact with the game’s characters and worlds in new and creative ways. For example, players will have the power to choose some of their favorite Disney and Pixar characters and explore many different worlds in the game with each other. "Disney Infinity" will be able to be played on gaming consoles, online, and even on mobile devices, keeping the possibilities of how to play wide open.

There are a few aspects of "Disney Infinity" that differentiate it from most typical top selling games. Here’s a list of some of the cool details included in the game:
  • Figurines-players will have a character such as the ones in the picture below and control that character in the game. This is similar to the popular video game “Skylanders.”      

  • Play sets-there will be three virtual worlds in the game: Monsters University, The Incredibles, and Pirates of the Caribbean. In this “Play set” mode, gamers will only be able to interact with the characters from that specific world. Each world will remain true to its story. However…
  •  Toy Box mode will give players complete control over how they play, allowing them to truly “play” and be in control of the game. For example, players will be able to create a game in which Dash Incredible races Lightning McQueen. This will allow players to be extremely creative while playing their own individual game. This is where Disney has really hit the target in my opinion. Bringing characters such as Lightning McQueen, Jack Sparrow, and Wreck-it-Ralph together in a single game sounds like a heap of fun to me!
  • Power discs will also be available to gamers who wish for more virtual toys, which will upgrade each world’s abilities.

Sounds pretty cool, right? I’m not much of a gamer myself other than the occasional “Brave” themed Temple Run app on my iPhone, but this "Disney Infinity" thing seems kind of awesome to me! What do you think? Are you so excited for the new game to come out that you just can’t keep your Mickey ears on? Let me know by leaving a comment below! And for more information on "Disney Infinity", follow the link below to 'Inside the Magic’s' full article on the Disney Infinity unveiling in Hollywood last week. There you’ll find the full video of the presentation along with further explanations of the game. 

Also, here's the link to Disney Infinity's official website. Feel free to check it out as well!!/game

Thanks for visiting and have a magical day!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Privacy, Ethics, and Legalities

Social media has changed the ways in which we communicate with people everywhere. What used to be a telephone conversation has turned into commenting on a status update on Facebook or replying to a tweet. Information can be easily shared with just the click of a button. The only problem is once you click that button, whatever you've posted is now open for all those in the web-o-sphere to see…for good.

Online privacy is a controversial issue these days, especially dealing with advertising companies gaining access to different websites’ databases. Advertisers then use the information from the databases to strategize and focus their ads toward a specific target audience.Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is, but there are some people out there who think this sort of practice is positively blasphemous. For this reason, it is important to know that once you place information online, that information automatically has a chance of being taken and used by someone else for some kind of purpose such as advertising.

Another issue we face with social media is ethics. More people who are actively involved with social media believe questionable behaviors, such as commenting negatively about their company on social media sites, are acceptable. As social media becomes more and more important in our culture, it is necessary to be aware of ethical pitfalls and how to avoid them. Here are a few tips to help you stay as ethical as possible:
·        Always be honest and transparent. If you are hiding any kind of information, it reflects poorly on your character.
·        Know exactly how to portray yourself or your company through social media. Your online personality is often viewed as your physical personality, so make sure not to post anything questionable.
·        Make sure all of the information you present online is accurate and correct. Be careful of potential legal issues such as defamation.

Legal issues are also important to note when discussing social media. There are hundreds of social media lawsuits settled in court yearly. And let’s not forget about the out of court settlements. MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter are a few social media companies who have gotten into legal trouble repeatedly. Here are a few things to do in order to stay aware of social media legal issues:
·        Draw a bold and distinct line between personal and professional accounts. Don’t mix the two.
·        Know the social media policies and keep up with them if/when they change.
·        Be privy to the knowledge of legal issues and how to use technologies. Knowing what you’re up against is imperative in being social media savvy.

I hope these tips will help you understand social media better and allow you to become more knowledgeable on social media privacy and ethics. Thanks for reading and have a great day! 

Blog Beginnings and Gorgeous George

     Hello blog-o-sphere! Allow me to introduce myself… My name is Caitlin Brooks and I’m currently a sophomore student at the University of Louisville. I am majoring in Communications and focusing my classes around public relations and social media in the hopes of becoming a strategic communicator for a large company in the future.  I grew up in the small town of Maysville, KY, so living in Louisville is a drastic change for me. Although many of my high school classmates (and even myself at times) complain about our hometown being the most boring, Mayberry-esque place on this side of the Mason-Dixon line, Maysville is actually a pretty neat and historic place. In fact, Maysville is the hometown of the following people:
  1.  Rosemary Clooney (her debut film “The Stars Are Singing” premiered at the Russell Theatre in downtown Maysville)
  2.   Darius Miller (former UK basketball player and currently playing for the Iowa Energy)
  3. Chris Lofton (former University of Tennessee basketball player and current professional basketball player)
  4. Heather French Henry (Miss America 2000).
  Sure, the only thing to do in Maysville is to stay home or go to the run-down four cinema movie theater. But, Maysville is an important part of me and has shaped my personality and who I am today. And did I mention George Clooney (Rosemary’s nephew) and RenĂ©e Zellweger came to Maysville to premiere their movie “Leatherheads”? Yep, that happened.
Click the following link to check out’s article on the Leatherheads premiere.
 Being raised in a small town has made me thirst for knowledge from bigger places…like Hollywood and New York. I love popular culture, and I credit that to my hometown. My love for popular culture is what got me interested in communications in particular. Remember earlier when I said I hoped to work for a large company as a strategic communicator? Well, the company I have in mind is The Walt Disney Company. You guessed it; my ultimate dream and goal in life is to work for “The Mouse” himself. Disney has always been a big part of my life and has given my family and me so many happy and magical memories; I hope to be a part of the company who creates happiness for people all over the world like it’s nobody’s business.
 Since this is my first blog, I should set a few goals to help myself stay focused and organized. My goals for this blog are pretty simple:
1.       Write about topics such as social media and public relations as well as other interesting topics like Disney, animation, theme parks, etc.    
2.       Keep up with the blog throughout the remainder of my college experience and beyond! (Buzz Lightyear voice).
3.       Keep my readers interested!
 So now that you know a little bit about me and what this blog will be like, I’d like to hear from you! Feel free to post comments and ask me questions about social media, UofL, Disney, etc. I hope you’ve enjoyed your stay here at my blog!
 Have a magical day!