Sunday, January 30, 2011


During the interview process with my current internship position, I was asked a question I never would've prepared for even if I had thought out all of the possible questions that would've been asked. It was one that I shared during a #PRSSA Tweet Chat Wednesday night that got a lot of Retweets saying "good question." It really was a good question. "Can you give me an example of a company or organization that does a good job with their social media efforts?" I honestly couldn't come up with an answer after being put on the spot. I regurgitated a response that I wish I would've taken more time to think about (because I had so many good examples post-interview). But that's neither here nor there.

I wish I had experienced Abby pre-interview because I would've been able to give a sound, very good example. Abby works in the communications department at Charter Cable. Who would've thought that a company like Charter (who I personally think has very poor service) would be so social media sound? Not I. You see, I called Charter one day to disconnect two of my three services. Days later, they disconnected all three. I called to complain and asked to be reconnected and I was told that I had to wait until later in the week due to their mistake. Well, like most consumers do in the heat of poor customer service, I took to Twitter (not realizing they had any social media presence). Within minutes, I got a response asking what the problem was. I aggressively stated my dissatisfaction. She then asked for my account information. Reluctantly, I complied though I thought there'd be nothing she could do. To my avail, she DM'ed me minutes later telling me my new reconnection time which was THAT day!

I later learned that Abby doesn't act alone. There's a whole gang of them! They're even available on the weekends. My social sedia award goes to Charter Communications. Kudos.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Integrated Strategic Communications.

I think this picture sums it up in the simplest, easy-to-understand cartoon ever. I never realized exactly how integrated, yet completely different Public Relations, Advertising, Branding and Marketing were until I jumped in head-first with the acquisition of my first internship. A lot of my non-journalistic friends (and parents for that matter) have a difficult time truly understanding the concept of PR, even after my somewhat redundant attempts to explain (with examples).

At my first internship, I worked on a beauty account at a very small PR agency nestled in the heart of downtown Dallas. I remember one my first assignments being to look through beauty magazines for coverage of our client, a hair product line. And they called this work? I do this for fun. During my search however, I got extremely excited as I saw nearly 5 mentions of the brand and dog-eared the pages. When I took the magazines to my supervisor, she kind of gave me a look like, “uh no! Negative. Didn’t I ask for coverage?” To my surprise, magazines that I thought were loaded with “coverage” had absolutely none. Yeah, I dog-eared the advertisements. It was then that I realized that the job isn’t that easy. Advertisements are virtually, easily placed. Heck, they’re paid for. The real work is getting someone to take a product and find enough interest in it to place it in their publication. For free. So in essence, I “advertised” this product to these writers so they can, in essence, “advertise” it to readers, but with a news value? Oh, okay. So I’m pretty much “marketing” or attempting to promote/sell this product for the client as well? Got it. I understand the stale faces that result from my explanations now.  It’s actually a somewhat complicated, all inclusive sort of business. And frankly, it’ll remain one that puts stale faces on non-journalistic people’s faces.

I currently intern in the fairly new, Moroch|PR department of Moroch Partners, a very well known, established advertising firm. My first impression: This place is huge! Moroch is the epitome of integrated communications. The company is all encompassing. The ads are done there; the PR is done there; the marketing, done there. Work for each client is passed around the company like a hot potato. Each department adds their expertise. It’s really quite astounding. I’d like to take this time to tip my hat (as though I were really wearing one) to all of the company’s who are able to successfully integrate all of these various aspects of product promotion, while keeping the jobs totally unrelated. Kudos.