Posts Tagged ‘Denise Giacin’


What Does Your Profile Picture Say About You?

Monday, January 9th, 2012

What does your profile picture say about you? Do you have different pictures for different social media platforms? Some people like to look very professional. Some try to show they are fun. Others like to show an aspect of their personality or their interests.

I find it fun to look at a profile picture and wonder what the person looks like or how they act in real life (IRL). When I met Brian Solis, I wondered if he would really have the monocle or if it was just a prop. (It was just a prop and a borrowed one.) Also, I often wonder why some people use their children as their profile pictures, because it doesn’t give me any reference as to what they look like or insight into their personality. Some people using a cartoon drawing or Avatar for their profiles can make me wonder if the drawing is better than real life or if they are using one because they think it’s more fun or humorous

Recently a few women have mentioned they do not use their own picture because of security reasons. Raegan Weber, a PR consultant, mentioned, “I had people using my picture for their own blogs or online news stories. So, I chose a picture of my beautiful German shepherd instead of my own headshot.”

Other people like to show support for a cause, school or sports team with Twibbons. They are small icons you can put on your picture. When it’s October, I feel compelled to add a pink ribbon to my profile picture and I still have to have my college mascot Twibbon. Sports fans tend to include their favorite team in their pictures. My BurrellesLuce colleague Denise Giacin makes a point of wearing her favorite baseball team’s hat in her picture.

For me, I just want a nice picture. When I lived in Hawaii, I had a fabulous driver’s license picture. I was skinny, tan and my hair was bleached from the sun. I was so sad when I had to give it up. I know a lot of people who will do anything to keep a good driver’s license picture for as long as humanly possible. I might be that way about my current profile picture. A few years ago, several BurrellesLuce colleagues and I had our head shots taken. Fellow bloggers Johna Burke and Tressa Robbins kept me laughing and smiling, so the picture turned-out great. I use it for all my social media profile pictures, presentations. Well, pretty much anywhere I can use it, I will. Over dinner with friends recently, my husband said I will probably use it for my obituary. Yes, I’ll probably have one of those obituaries where it says I died at 95, but I don’t look a day over 30 in the picture!

What are some of your favorite profile pictures? What does your picture say about you? Do you use the same picture for all mediums or do you have different one based on the platform? 

PR Week Measurement Roundtable Q&A Takeaways

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Valerie Simon

Questions And AnswersOn Wednesday, May 4th, I had the opportunity to attend the PR Week Measurement Roundtable, along with some of my BurrellesLuce colleagues.

The roundtable focused on the constantly evolving role of measurement in the PR industry. Bernadette Casey, senior editor at PR Week, and Johna Burke, SVP of marketing here at BurrellesLuce, hosted the event. The breakfast provided attendees the opportunity to network with more than 25 senior leaders in measurement and featured a Q&A with Jason Forget, corporate reputation manager for GE Energy, among BurrellesLuce clients and friends.

In a quest to become a “gold standard communicator,” measurement is a key component of PR and marketing activity. In fact, 70 percent of the day at GE Energy is spent doing media monitoring and analysis.

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Barcodes and The Media

Monday, February 28th, 2011
Flickr Image: The American Library Association (ALA)

Flickr Image: The American Library Association (ALA)

Barcodes have been used in the retail, logistics, inventory/warehousing and governmental environments since the 1970’s. There are numerous types of 2D barcodes, but for this post, I’ll be referring primarily to Quick Response (QR) codes – which didn’t come into existence until 1994. QR codes have been popular in Japan for quite some time and even have been used in some European countries but have struggled to gain acceptance here in North America.

About a year ago, my BurrellesLuce colleague, Lauren Shapiro, wrote about the world being a giant barcode and how this might affect the public relations and marketing realm. In September 2010, I attended a PRSA professional development day (hosted by SWMO PRSA) where Ben Smith, Social: IRL agency, talked about PR and media uses for QR codes – that’s when it started to “click” for me. Then, a few months ago, another colleague, Denise Giacin, wrote about a book by a New York Times reporter and his perceptions of the changing media landscape – each chapter beginning with a QR code. 

So, if this is not new, why am I just now writing about this? Because it seems to me that it’s no longer just speculation by the thought leaders, but it’s actually catching on. (I’m a wait and see kinda gal, after all Missouri is the “Show Me State.”) With the popularity of smart phones, QR codes are now more practical than in the past and are probably destined to become even more so in the future. Google Places began using QR codes, issuing window decals, in December 2009 as a quick way to see reviews and coupons for local businesses. There’s a myriad of uses in the communications field and I’ll talk more about that in my next post. 

A number of print media outlets are now using barcodes to connect the reader’s print and online experiences. Mobile barcodes offer publishers an easy way to bridge the gap between traditional print mediums and digital media. The barcodes allow them to offer a more personalized and interactive experience – like linking from an advertisement to a coupon or recipe. But it’s going beyond advertising now.

The Washington Post recently began including QR codes to offer “digital jumps” to additional content. Lucky Magazine uses QR codes to link to hair and makeup instructional videos. South Florida Sun Sentinel uses QR codes to link to digital content. USA Today announced last week that they are making a commitment to use at least one Microsoft Tag (a proprietary 2D barcode) in each daily section that will provide mobile access to photos, videos and other online content.  Even some college papers, Cal State Fullerton for one, have begun using these barcodes in the print edition.

The naysayers are convinced of the demise of print media; however, new technologies like QR codes offer the ability to make their content more interrelated. It provides readers with a more interactive and productive experience. 

Is this just what print media needs or is this a stop-gap measure on the downhill slide? I look forward to you sharing your thoughts with our readers.

Client Meetings: Know Your Role

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

by Denise Giacin*

client meetingYou finally confirmed a meeting with the client you have been trying to schedule with for weeks. Your boss is watching closely and you know this opportunity is too important to fly by the seat of your pants. Sometimes being face-to-face with a client is cause for momentary lapses in judgment. Sitting across the table from someone you lose the comfort of writing carefully worded emails or the ability to hide your hair twirling habit a client never sees on a conference call. Everyone has quirks; however, it’s important to know how to keep yourself in check during client meetings. 

These six tips will help you stay focused and reassure your clients they are in the best hands and can serve as an important reminder for both new and seasoned professionals alike.

Be Prepared.
Know who you are meeting with and have enough materials for everyone attending. (Bring extra just in case there is a last minute sit-in.) Make sure you understand the reason for the meeting as well as how you are going to contribute. If you are demonstrating a new product or service, make arrangements for everything you need (such as a laptop, Internet connection, conference room, etc). The more prepared you are, the more comfortable you will be and the more confident your clients will be in your abilities to provide them with the services they need. 

Communicate.
Fully understand the product or service you are presenting and provide accurate and intelligible information to your client. Speak clearly, intellectually and choose your words wisely. Remember: you will need to adjust your approach depending on who you are meeting with, their familiarity with your product or service, and their position in the company. 

Never Say Never.
While it is important to manage client expectations, try to avoid saying “no” or “impossible” during your meeting. If a situation arises, communicate how you will make an effort to look into any concerns or requests and that you will get back to them with a solution or appropriate alternatives. And give them a timeline of when you plan to follow up.

No Complaining.
Clients do not want to hear how bad your day is going or how much work you have at the office. Pointing out negativity is only going to lead the conversation in that direction. Focus on positive, energetic conversation points to keep your client interested in what you have to say.

Dress Professionally.
This should be a no-brainer; after all, you are a representation of your company. You do not want to show up at a meeting looking like you just rolled out of bed. Depending on your corporate culture, your dress may vary. Most companies make it quite clear how they would like you to dress and if there is any confusion you should inquire with your supervisor.

Mind Your Manners.
Always be polite and respectful. Never swear or use derogatory language, even if your client speaks freely. If you are having a meal, use proper etiquette. If alcohol is involved, know your limits and do not cross the line. Your maturity in these situations is reflective of how you will handle the account and, again, reflects on your company or brand.

If you are new to the area of client services, what do you find to be the most challenging aspect of client-facing meetings? If you are a seasoned PR, marketing, or client service pro – what tips can you give for weathering client meetings? What have been some of the challenges you have faced at client meetings and how have you handled them? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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*Bio: Prior to joining the BurrellesLuce Client Service team in 2008, Denise worked in the marketing industry for three years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Connecticut, where she gained experience interning in PR and working for student organizations. By engaging readers on the Fresh Ideas blog Denise hopes to further her understanding of client needs. In her spare time, she is passionate about Team in Training (The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s charity sports training program) and baking cupcakes. Her claim to fame: red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. LinkedIn: dgiacin Twitter: @denise10283 Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Crowdtap: A New Platform in the Social Media World

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

by Denise Giacin*

CrowdtapI’m always up for checking out new things in cyberspace so when I came across Crowdtap I figured I’d give it a try. Still in beta, Crowdtap is a way for consumers to “tap in and ideate, engage and promote with leading brands, entertainment properties, non-profits and startups,” according to its website. The basic idea is to participate in what you want to and you will be given status and rewards for your time.

Let’s take a look at my profile, for example. I sign in using my Facebook account and immediately see my avatar, status level, total cash earned and total points at the top of the page. Any actions available for my participation are located below my status bar. “Quick Hits” are generally poll questions (multiple choice or short answers). “New Actions” are opportunities posted since I last signed in, and “My Actions” are discussions I am already taking part in. I can comment and engage my peers as we actively participate.

By clicking on the “Stats” tab at the top of the page I can look at all my data for my actions, cash, and points. Your “Quality Score” is on this page, as well, and is important because the site asserts that participants need to maintain a good reputation in order to receive new actions. Participation, solid answers with details and photos, and sharing content are ways to keep your Quality Score up.

Similar to other social media platforms (Foursquare comes to mind) Crowdtap rewards participants with badges for their participation. You have the opportunity to earn “brand badges” or “action badges.” For example, I performed three actions for Mr Youth, an agency in New York City, and received the “Mr Youth” brand badge. I also responded to three moderated discussions and received the “Ideator” badge.   

In addition to badges, I’ve also been earning points, which have promoted me to higher levels of status. I’ve gone from “cardboard” to “plastic” to “oak” and now I’m “bronze.” Each new level gives the participant more opportunities, such as sampling products when you reach level three and receiving advanced notification when you reach level four. The advanced notification part is key for opportunities that give cash rewards. When you earn over $10.00 you can redeem all of it to charity, or you can redeem 5 percent and take the rest on an Amazon gift card.

I signed in as a participant, but you can also sign in on the Crowdtap Client Site, where you can be the one asking all the questions. There are options for polls, feedback questions, discussion boards, sampling opportunities, sharing  (such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), or even hosting a party.

Will you check out Crowdtap as a consumer or a client? Do you think this is an innovative social media site? Do you feel Crowdtap will “empower influential crowds to drive measurable peer-to-peer marketing results” like the website claims? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas. 

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*Bio: Prior to joining the BurrellesLuce Client Service team in 2008, Denise worked in the marketing industry for three years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Connecticut, where she gained experience interning in PR and working for student organizations. By engaging readers on the Fresh Ideas blog Denise hopes to further her understanding of client needs. In her spare time, she is passionate about Team in Training (The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s charity sports training program) and baking cupcakes. Her claim to fame: red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. LinkedIn: dgiacin Twitter: @denise10283 Facebook: BurrellesLuce