Where Has Meghan Been?

I know, I know… It’s been forever… Don’t get me wrong, I thought about my blog often and always – constantly saying to myself, “I should blog about that”, but never getting to it. Furthermore, I got to a point where I would ponder for hours about what my first post would be after this long sabbatical. Do I apologize? Would anyone care? Do I blame the economy or a new job or just the nature of social media as a trend for participation? There have been so many of these conversations in my head and the answer is this: I was busy.

  • Yes – I DO apologize for those who subscribe to my feed because my occasional witty posts and thought-through analysis of society and social media’s impact on it are missed opportunities to have had my voice heard and quite frankly, my SEO improved…
  • Yes – I DO think people would care because of the aforementioned!
  • Yes – I blame the economy… I definitely was laid off from my position at GolinHarris. Don’t cry for me yet or play me that violin though- it worked in my favor as I was interviewing in California weeks previously with the intention of moving back to the Bay Area late July. I may actually be the only person who says that getting laid off was the best thing to happen to me in 2009. But, I didn’t have a lot of time to ponder, analyze and remain consistent to my audience on this blog. That said, it fell by the wayside.
  • And finally – hell YES do I believe it is the nature of social media and our generation to follow blogs, viral videos, twitter and other social media engines like a trend: cool one minute, bored and “over it” the next. It’s hard to remain consistent because it’s impossible to remain engaged and stimulated. I actually fear that some vaccine our parents all took in the 60’s may have left my generation with a slight or major case of ADD. It’s become a blessing and a curse as we are the best at multitasking… but ask us to focus on one thing for a long period of time and you will find us squirming and refusing to complete the task at hand. As with my blog falling temporarily into the abyss, so did Twitter. I almost actually synched my Twitter to my Facebook account (THE AUDACITY!)… but alas – I use them for separate intentions and could not allow my Twitter feed to change course to my personal life.

So what have I been doing?!!?

Since I last blogged:

Moved to California – ahhhh San Fran – nothing better…

Got a new, fantastic job with a medical start-up as Manager of Marketing and Business Development – handling all market research, advertising, media outreach, community outreach, donations, radio and endorsement deals, corporate sales (for integrating the program into current wellness programs), and more. It’s a BEAST of a job but I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much in such a short time. I also don’t know a lot of people my age who are being exposed to this type of experience. It’s completely expanded my skill set. We are in the works of bringing on a marketing firm as well which will allow me more time to work on other projects as well as provide me with the experience of being an in-house point of contact with a firm. I’m looking forward being in this role with the tables turned! Haha.

Reconnected with fabulous friends of the past

Lost a significant amount of weight after both working out, eating healthy and living the program I promote. It has changed my life which is why I love what I do. I know the impact that weight loss can have for someone and the overall quality of life that goes up

Broke my leg (tib/fib fracture) in a freak co-ed soccer accident!!! This wasn’t a “highlight” of my year but I’ve been working through it. I try to do physical therapy and I’m learning to move more with it. Titanium rod and four screws later (permanent) – I want to get back to running but it isn’t looking like that is in my nearest future!! Oops.

AND SO MUCH MORE!

So all in all – I’ve been busy… but all of those moments where I had wished I blogged or thought to myself that it would make a great piece to analyze and post – to those moments – I will make a vow to try harder to post. Call it a New Years Resolution or something – but I’ll put more effort into this because I still truly love social media and appreciate the influence it has had on me and all societies in all fields. It has literally revolutionized the way we communicate. And, whether you choose to participate or not, you are always participating because social media has seeped into all aspects of news, politics and government, social interactions, LIFE, etc… it’s impossible to avoid.

Oh…. there I go again… better stop myself… but STAY TUNED! 🙂

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February 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Citizen Journalists Shouldn’t Surprise A Company

Dave Carroll and His Guitar

Dave Carroll is just one more case of citizen journalists taking to the social media sphere to share injustices and be heard when companies lack the customer service necessary to resolve problems.

Dave Carroll is a Canadian musician in the band, the Sons of Maxwell. In 2008 while connecting through O’Hare on a United flight from Halifax, Nova Scotia to a gig in Nebraska, he saw out the window his guitar being thrown amongst the ground crew while they were unloading the plane. He spoke with employees of the airline but no one had an answer for him. This was his experience:

On March 31, 2008 Sons of Maxwell began our week-long-tour of Nebraska by flying United Airlines from Halifax to Omaha, by way of Chicago. On that first leg of the flight were seated at the rear of the aircraft and upon landing and waiting to deplane in order to make our connection a woman sitting behind me, not aware that we were musicians cried out: “My God, they’re throwing guitars out there.”  Our bass player Mike looked out the window in time to see his bass being heaved without regard by the United baggage handlers. My $3500 710 Taylor had been thrown before his.

I immediately tried to communicate this to the flight attendant who cut me off saying: “Don’t talk to me. Talk to the lead agent outside”. I found the person she pointed to and that lady was an “acting” lead agent but refused to talk to me and disappeared into the crowd saying “I’m not the lead agent”. I spoke to a third employee at the gate and when I told her the baggage handlers were throwing expensive instruments outside she dismissed me saying “but hun, that’s why we make you sign the waiver”. I explained that I didn’t sign a waiver and that no waiver would excuse what was happening outside. She said to take it up with the ground crew in Omaha.”

Carroll Takes Action

Well better than taking it up with Omaha, Carroll took it up with the people of the world. He took his band’s music and the situation they were in and complained using what, should be soon, a series of videos that spoke of the guitar-breaking experience he had.

Since the first of a few videos posted on July 6, the view count continues to rise from its current count of over 3 million! From this blogpost, to many other placements in top publications, broadcast news and Twitter a-buzz with the stories and video-sharing, this band has DEFINITELY received its share of PR and publicity. 

They’ve also revamped their website with their story and their video posted. Soak it up boys!

United’s Response

According to a report by the Chicago Sun Times, the airline, headquartered in Chicago, is saying it’s learned its lesson, thanks in no small part to Dave Carroll and his video tale of travel woe. So much so, in fact, that they want him to let them use his work as an in-house training guide for their customer service employees on how not to handle a “my bad” situation.

The Chicago Tribune reports: 

Rob Bradford, managing director of customer solutions at United, called Carroll Wednesday to apologize for the foul-up and to ask if the carrier could use the video internally to help change its culture. 

“It could be used to improve the way passengers are treated around the world,” Carroll said.

Carroll has also posted a “statement” based on the popularity of the video and his discussions with United. United has offered him compensation and he’s offering it to a charity of their choice (because he doesn’t want compensation – he wants FAME)… this is starting to sound like he’s abusing the power. Just my opinion. You have to give United a little break here, Carroll. They are trying.

Effect on PR/Consultants and My Recommendations

Won’t be too bad for his band’s visibility either, huh? Well Carroll’s case was just one example of citizen journalists using their voice on the web to get through the corporate runaround we sometimes get from customer service. But why is this important to us as PR professionals and consultants? This is a clear case of crisis PR but MORE than that, there are two lessons from this example.

First of all, this should not have happened in the first place. Every agent, every employee, every person in a company should be aware of a consumer’s VOICE on the internet and the power it may have. In this case, you should automatically assume they will blog about their experience, good or bad. Usually the bad gets more press than the good, but the good and the bad are all measureables that United or whichever company can be using to change their processes, change their consumer experience and change their overall presence as a product, service, etc. That doesn’t mean do whatever the customer says or you’ll get in trouble. But, it does mean that approaches to complaints and customer experiences can be handled better. My recommendation would be to assign one customer service rep to a customer. If that customer rep doesn’t have an answer for that customer, let the customer service rep do the back-end work to resolve the issue without handing them off to another person who may not fully understand the situation. There is nothing worse than an angry customer who does NOT want to tell you the story AGAIN for the 10th time.

Second of all, from a PR perspective, if you are a business in this situation, you must act fast. United must have some sort of monitoring service covering this issue. If I was United, the minute that video was posted, we would have been acting quickly to resolve the issue. It is mid-July and the video is still being discussed. Although I applaud the effort of United to request the band’s video for training their employees, another creative method would have been a video with United employees apologizing for the way his complaint and guitar was handled. I’m imagining the ground crew and the airline staff in a sing-song that is both fun, funny and apologetic. This would only turn bad PR into positive PR showing that they recognize the creativity Carroll has as well as their social media savvy business model.

Here’s a great post on the impact of monitoring and calls to action for businesses:

http://searchenginewatch.com/3634290

July 18, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Twitter Lied for 60 Minutes Today

Twitter lied to me today. They claimed maintenance would be happening tomorrow at 1 pm eastern and I just received THIS troubling image:

anarchy

ANARCHY!!!!!!

Well, it’s only an hour… I will survive… but you do get a #FAIL from me.

This does bring up an interesting point… Where will people turn? Already Twitter is over capacity from people going to the site to see if the news is true. Will they turn to Facebook for a hug and a status update? Probably. I guess Facebook will finally receive a little more attention from audiences for at least 60 minutes. I’d love to see the page view information over the next hour at Facebook… would be interesting stuff.

May 8, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Prediction: LinkedIn the Next Twitter?

Black is the new pink, green is the new black, Facebook is the new email, Twitter is the new Facebook – but is LinkedIn the new Twitter?

@patrickRevans Tweeted asking what would be the next BIG thing in social media – and I think I have the answer. OK, this is just a prediction – maybe something will come out of nowhere (most likely).

LinkedIn has expanded beyond the realm of job hunters and seekers… It’s now a forum for networking and discussion – a place to share ideas and join groups with similar interests. I see it as the beginning of a merge between Facebook and Twitter. I created this chart to compare the features of each tool (without the need to add extra applications or use sources outside the site):

twittervsfbvslinkedin
*This is just an example of some of the main features and is not a complete picture of the offerings

LinkedIn takes the multiple applications and file sharing capabilities of Facebook and combines with Twitter’s strength in networking. It might be too much to take it – but it’s manageable. 

Two sides to the argument:

I will admit that Twitter is popular because there isn’t an overload of additional applications or text overwhelming you when you log-in. Facebook is fun and communication is around much more lighthearted issues from my experience which is a nice break from the more “topic-oriented” conversations happening on Twitter. I see the strengths in each individual option.

It all comes down to WHAT you want when you log-in to your social media engine.

Personally, I like seeing my news feed and networking is important to me. Participating in forums is therapeutic. I would use LinkedIn to quickly create discussion around topics I’m interested in, finding “connections” almost immediately interested in those same topics (much like Twitter) but then choose who participates… and – I’m not limited to characters. Haha.

LinkedIn isn’t there yet… But my prediction is out there – LinkedIn has a lot of potential if they clean up some of the options a bit and market it right. If it’s not going to replace Twitter or Facebook, I think it will grow in this space as a strong competitor over the next year.

WHAT’S YOUR PREDICTION?

Some neat features I didn’t know LinkedIn possessed until recently:

Status Updates (this can be synched with your Twitter feed):

 statusfeed_linkedin1

Q&A: 140 characters say what? Not here!

 qa_linkedin1

 Auto-Blog Feed Application:

blogfeed_linkedin1

Share Your Presentation:

fileshare_linkedin1

Groups and Associations:

groups_linkedin1

March 19, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Social Media, the Oxymoron?

I’ve been thinking a lot about our/my dependence on technology. The other day, I couldn’t remember a phone number that 8 years ago I would have memorized because I used a landline – AND back then it MEANT something if someone “memorized” your number. It was a sign you were in love with someone, you were best friends or you cared. But besides maybe the 5 most important people in my life, I can’t remember numbers or dates. 

mrforgetful

I think this carries into a lot of different aspects in life. My co-worker noted that she can only remember birthdays because they are on Facebook… pop-ups in Outlook remind me of a meeting in 15 minutes -> 5 minutes -> 1 minute overdue… Engagements and marriages are reflected in status changes… Twitter is a constant feed on what my friends are doing… I’M TOTALLY DEPENDENT.

But, here’s my argument: Is social media really social at all? I thought we called those nerds in parent’s basements playing World of Warcraft “anti-social” because they wouldn’t go play outside with their friends. Well, now I’m playing my own version of WoW called “Twitter” and “Facebook” and “Blogging”. What makes me more social than the guy in mom’s basement? Quite honestly, not a whole lot… He may play in a make-believe world but so do I in a way. I’m not interacting face-to-face and there are health benefits to that! Brad Hunter, Stanford student writes about the benefits in this short article (I liked it since it references a Sociologist – my other major and passion).

nerdalert

Adding another New Year’s resolution to the pile… 10 minutes a day I’m exercising my memory part of my brain through memory tests just to make sure I keep a healthy hippocampus.

hippocampus

**I know that there are social benefits specifically to social media like feeling more connected to those that you wouldn’t normally talk to face-to-face and social media encourages communication and communication paths that aren’t always an option in-person… But… I’m just pointing out something that I’ve noticed and I’m recommending everyone who can’t remember your ex-BF’s/GF’s number that you had ingrained in your brain in high school – may need to exercise their hippocampus as well. Hah.

March 12, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Advice to Office RE: Skittles Goes Viral

Here is an email I sent to my office regarding the recent Skittles website launch and re-launch – enjoy!

GH:

I wanted to bring to your attention a recent viral campaign that had all the right elements but was missing one thing: Good PR Advice.

 

The Situation:

Skittles was looking to take their social media prowess to the next level so they took a huge step and launched their website as a Twitter search page – using the field set to “#skittles”. The site automatically was refreshed as more and more people “Tweeted” using that “#skittles” language in their tweets.

 

The Pros:

Skittles took a bold move and received what I understand to have been millions of hits on the site that day (from a previously noted 15,000 a month). I know that myself and Leala both Tweeted for Skittles and saw our face on the website – I’m assuming more of us participated as well. Twitter conversations were BOOMING with people loving and people hating the change but good or bad, Skittles was the talk of the Twitter town. They wanted to claim that they listened to their audience and understood where they were communicating… One person stated: “What consumers say about the brand {Skittles} is more important than what the brand has to say to consumers.”

 

The Cons:

Just like how live TV can be unpredictable, the page had the same reaction. Although the tweets of praise were plenty, there were also people who used the face time on the Skittles website to promote themselves and speak very poorly about the Skittles brand. There were inappropriate comments left as well that Skittles was not prepared to face.

 

The End Result:

Skittles chose to take down the Twitter page and re-launch the page as the Skittles Facebook fan page. I think that they made a bold move in the first place and were probably in the right to take it down after a 24-hour stint but it begs the question: “Did no one prepare Skittles for the downsides of Twitter?”

 

Which brings me to my point: When you’re discussing social media avenues with your client, be sure to communicate clearly Twitter/Facebook/etc. is not about being involved just because everyone else is… it has to make sense for your client… and you have to be fully on-board for the commitment it takes and the positive AND negative effects it may have on your brand.

 

My two cents for what it’s worth: I think the Facebook page is smart since their target audience is younger kids… I think Twitter for a homepage was a gamble.

 

See below for some interesting links about the site and screen grabs:

Skittles Website: http://skittles.com/?mm=09&dd=09&yy=1984&terms=on&x=42&y=6

Skittles Twitter Page Article on Mashable: http://mashable.com/2009/03/02/skittles-social/

Skittles Post-Change to Facebook Article on Mashable: http://mashable.com/2009/03/03/skittles-switchesto-facebook/

MediaPost Article on WHY the website was killed: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=101402

 

 

Twitter Page Screen grab:

 

 skittles-on-twitter

Facebook Page Screen grab:

 

 skittles-on-facebook

March 3, 2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

What’s Your Google Profile?

I was watching the Academy Awards this weekend and during the Best Actor presentation, one of the presenters said, “If you were to Google X’s name, you’d see…” – Made me think… What is MY Google profile?

You have your LinkedIn profile, your Facebook profile, your Twitter profile, your blog profile, etc… But what happens when someone meets you and decides the first thing to look up is your Google profile?

meghan-beattie-google-profile

I decided to check out my Google profile and here’s what I came up with:
The Good:
– My Facebook profile and some other Meghan Beattie’s profile link (mine was above hers so I must be more important than her).
– My Qik profile which I just signed up for two weeks ago and haven’t visited lately because they don’t support my BBM yet.
– My Amazon profile from when I was in college and thought commenting on reviews of classroom sociology books was cool… Was that ever cool?
– Many other crazy social media site profiles I’ve created… Including my “late” blog entries – I’m still bitter Blogger. Still bitter.

meghan-on-blogger

The Not as Good:
– “Meghan Beattie” from Canada – can be very confusing since I am also Canadian but left when I was 5… Therefore, no, I’m not  living in Ontario and no, I don’t have multiple children… At least none I know of…
– An article  from my college paper from when I studied abroad. My friends and I were threatened the night before the London bombings on a bus by a guy who screamed “You’re going to die on this bus tomorrow” – very eery.
– This other crazy college article about how I convinced our favorite local bar to “up” their security at the door because I didn’t want the youngsters hanging out there – I wasn’t popular after that one hit the wire. Haha.

Overall, I’m pleased with my Google profile because a) It’s mostly ME and not other “Meghan Beattie”s – and b) I feel like my Google profile holds up pretty accurately to who I am and the things I broadcast as MY passions.

thumbs-up

Here’s another fun game that is being passed around Facebook right now: Google search –  “(your name) needs”

Meghan needs:
Meghan needs a savage beating
Meghan needs a cup of vodka
Meghan needs a boyfriend
Meghan needs to rag on granny some more
Meghan needs help as she has been caught in the middle of a conspiracy.

False, True, True, False, True

February 25, 2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

My Mom is Stealing My Facebook Friends!

My mom and I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye. From my early days growing up in Canada where I snuck a quarter out of her purse for a gumball to high school where it seemed like we couldn’t agree on ANYTHING – butting heads was common. Then, as I grew up and “matured” (ok, I admit, I wasn’t an EASY child!), we started to notice that there is a good chance we butt heads because we’re too similar. You can’t put two very opinionated, creative (did I mention gorgeous?) talkers in one room and not expect the roof to fly off! 🙂

Because of our similarities and my enthusiasm with social media in the past 2+ years, Barb has also developed a similar enthusiasm. Starting with her own blog for her book club and moving to a Facebook page – she picked up quickly on the how-to’s of social media. She even held her own “Facebook for Mom’s” during her book club meeting (so proud)! And… I appreciate our conversations on generational differences between communicating and a great topic: privacy on Facebook. It has been educational for both of us to share our experiences in this space.

But… recently, Barb has been “friending” my co-workers and practically anyone I talk about — not that there is anything wrong with that… BUT, I did hear that she’s also “poking” and writing direct messages to my friends about me! Tisk, tisk Barb.

What did I tell you about social media?? TRANSPARENCY… and I see all….

Here’s a funny website about parents who are on Facebook… It’s a good one – I might be submitting Barb for it. http://myparentsjoinedfacebook.com/

WATCH OUT MOM! Love you. And Happy Birthday – btw – a good indication of your saturation on Facebook is how many birthday wishes you get on your wall! Haha. Just kidding. Sorta.

my-awesome-parents1

 

Other articles re: Parents on Facebook:
Stanford’s Facebook for Parents Class
Washington Post: Parents on Facebook

 

 

 

February 24, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Part 1: Relationship Statuses on Facebook: The Pros

I was first granted access to Facebook my freshman year of college (remember those days where you had to petition to get your college access on Facebook?). Facebook distracted me from HOURS of studying in a single day. At first, you had to build your community – which was mostly friends from high school, new friends and your roommate. Then, as time would pass and more schools had access, you would start searching for those long lost friends from elementary school… Suddenly you found yourself at 1 am talking to your kindergarten juice box buddy.

find_us_on_facebook_badge

And as your network grows, so do the “randoms” you befriend.  Just like those saved numbers in your cell phone like: “Guy with brown hair from bar” or “Weirdo don’t answer” – Facebook took those first-time meets to the next degree. Now “Guy with brown hair” has a name, a favorite book, hobbies, pictures with friends and ex-girlfriends, a hometown and high school and places of previous employment. Even worse… you can virally POKE him if you are interested. Stalking is “the norm” if you’re going to pursue.

But, how powerful is the “relationship status”? That FIRST thing you checked?

I’ve had girlfriends who are “in a relationship” with their girl best friend because they have “Interested in Men” on the profile. Or these days you can hear about a friend’s engagement via Facebook before they even have a chance to call you. What about that guy that hit on you last night? Oops, he’s “Married” according to Facebook… Yikes.

So you’ve started dating someone and the inevitable question comes up… No – not “Do you want to meet my parents?” – and it’s not saying “I love you” for the first time… it’s MUCH bigger.

Should you declare your relationship on Facebook???

 

Are they ready?  What is too soon? What’s the point?

 

Well, like meeting the parents, it can be nerve-racking. You’re announcing your relationship like you announce an engagement except you know exactly what your circulation is: 800+ and it’s smack there in the newsfeed. You’ve taken the FACEBOOK MEGAPHONE and you’ve announced, “HEY! I’M IN LOVE AND I WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW!”

 megaphone

This is a good feeling you’re experiencing. You’ve added an additional BASE to the traditional bases… (Rated-G of course)

1st Base: Ask the girl out

2nd Base: First Kiss

3rdBase: Declare it on Facebook

Homerun: Meet the parents!

 

Another pro to declaring your relationship on Facebook is you have the reassurance that any tramps who might meet your boyfriend at a bar will Facebook him and see that he’s not available. Same for guys that you can be sure her ex-boyfriend won’t come around anymore now that she’s “officially” dating someone.  Congratulations on declaring your relationship via Facebook. Now you’re ready to meet mom and dad. And these days, they are probably on Facebook too, so send his parents some nice applications, like “relative” or “zombie” and continue in your bliss of love…

 

Just don’t break up.

 

To be continued in Part 2: The Cons

January 22, 2009. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

BusinessWeek: Layoffs, Baby Boomers and a Battle Royale

Today I had a short back-and-forth between a certain “jimh” in the comment section of Joesph Weber’s BusinessWeek article, “Employers Avoid Axing Oldies but Goodies”. I may have seemed a bit insensitive to the 55+ group in regards to their 401(k) situations but – business is business. I think I made a good point that companies in an economy, like the one we face, should be concerned with what is BEST for the company and not taking things like “seniority” into account. I referenced that the younger generations can think outside the box, are tech savvy and social media literate… not something I can say for some of the 55+ I know… That said, seniority out of the picture, we are a better “bang for your buck”.

“jimh” debated that big ideas are “crap” without being able to implement them and that our generation can’t do math without a calculator… ouch…

Well first of all, thank GOD we can’t do math without a calculator, because one of our biggest clients is Texas Instruments and the calculator business is a lucrative one… Secondly, an abacus is WAYYYY too confusing.

Also, one ISSUE in management is that some of the big ideas young adults like myself have are impossible to implement because we need to pitch and sell the 55+ the idea… I agree but it’s only the unwillingness for change and the sometimes impossible ability to reach upper management that hinders our generation to implement our ideas! 

Anyways, the author, Joseph Weber, comments:
This is a fascinating debate. Forget the culture wars of the Bush era. It seems the age of Obama — and the tensions of bad times — may give us a battle of the ages. Lot of resentment among younger folks about a boomer sense of entitlement. A lot of resentment among boomers about the tech savvy of younger folks. Disturbing but maybe healthy debate.

Enjoy and join in if you’re interested! Thanks!
View Original Article and Comments Here
businessweek

January 21, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

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