Posts Tagged ‘universities’

Why Are Marketing and PR Professionals Using Geo-Location or Location-Based Social Media?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

foursquare2This past April, I asked if geo-location social media is the next big thing for PR? Five months later, some are still trying to figure it out. At a panel I recently moderated for the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-NCC) I found some in the audience were very knowledgeable and just looking for additional tips, while others wanted to know how to login.

To summarize the panel: location apps (e.g., Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt) serve as another way to enhance a consumer or stakeholder’s experience and interaction with your company, brand, or client. 

Tara Dunion, Consumer Electronics Association, looks to enhance the attendee experience at the International Consumer Electronics Show each January by creating an official location page on Foursquare and aggregating all the social media coverage on the website. (And they even plan to add additional locations for 2011). She commented that many exhibitors have multiple locations available for check-in, which also buys-into the game aspect of Foursquare.

Danielle Brigida says, The National Wildlife Federation wants to get you outside enjoying nature, so they employ Whrrl and Foursquare to help people share their experiences with others.  Whrrl works well for their needs because it allows the user to upload a picture to help tell their story.

A recent story on Mashable by Dan Klamm highlighted how universities and colleges can use location-based tools to promote the school, foster school spirit, drive revenue and promote the community. One idea included offering special badges for exploring places on campus.

However, not all location-based tools are gaining momentum. When Facebook Places premiered, Foursquare had a record number of new sign-ins because it connects with the new Facebook app. A few weeks later, few people are using Facebook Places. Dan Frommer explored the possible reasons on Business Insider, commenting, “Only 2% of My Friends Are Using Facebook Places…”

After the panel ended, I enjoyed brainstorming with others on how they might use these tools to help their organizations. How could you add geo-location social media into your PR toolbox? What questions do you have about the tools? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

MySpace vs. Facebook: Which Site is the Current Cool Kid?

Friday, June 4th, 2010

by Lauren Shapiro*

In high school, you have the “cool” kids, the “cool” new song, or the “cool” thing to do. As adults, you have the “cool” office, the “cool” gadget, the “cool” place to have lunch, or the “cool” car.

It seems like such a clear distinction: this jacket is “cool,” but these jeans are not. But who dictates what is “cool” and what is not? I don’t recall how we first learned to determine the cool factor. They were more like a set of unwritten rules that everyone just seems to know and agree upon.

Even though we have left high school far behind us, every organization and professional still wants/needs to be with the “in crowd.” And when it comes to social media, the cool social networking site, theoretically, will provide the greatest reach. So, it is imperative for companies utilizing social networking sites to be conscious and ahead of changing trends. But in the great debate, MySpace vs. Facebook, which site is currently the coolest?

Both sites launched within one month of each other, spearheading a cyber revolution of connectivity and networking that would change the way we communicate on both a personal and professional level.

As shown in the chart below (compiled by me from various sources), MySpace officially launched in January 2004 and grew from a start-up to having 1 million users in only one month’s time. Before year’s end, MySpace reached 5 million users. Facebook started just one month later, but had a much slower growth – reaching 1 million users 10 months after launch and 5.5 million users 1 year later.

MySpace vs Facebook: Who is the current cool kid? (A BurrellesLuce Image)

However, Facebook was first released exclusively to universities who requested to be added to the application, starting with Harvard and expanding to Stanford, Columbia, Yale, and later all colleges and universities, high schools, and eventually to anyone with a valid email address. MySpace, on the other hand, launched as a site open to everyone who cared to join. Perhaps, this could be one explanation for Facebook’s slow but steady rise to the top.

Yet, on paper, Facebook is still the perceived cool site – despite the recent fallout over dubious privacy settings – with almost double the U.S. users. But, just as in high school, there is no clear divide between cool and un-cool. Mimicking the lesson we learn post high school, no one thing is the standard cool for everyone. Rather as marketing and public relations professionals we must recognize that different mediums exist for different preferences and thus attract different users.  Although Facebook trumps MySpace with their overall number of users, organizations debating on which site to use should research the demographics and lifestyles of the key user they wish to target and then focus their message and branding appropriately. Then they can be sure that both their company and clients are “cool” because they resonate with the preferred target audience.

When it comes to Facebook or MySpace, tell us which site you’re using and why. Which is the cool place to reach your target audience and clients? What are some tools for leveraging these mediums? How have these sites helped your client service initiatives? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.


*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now work as the supervisor of BurrellesLuce Express client services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce