Secret

Secret time: I am never happy with the header of my blog. I change it about 4,354,454,537,828,439,485 times per week. Do you like this one? Do ya? Dooo ya? Yes? Yeah. Alright, cool.

I’ll probably change it tomorrow anyways.

For touch points, creativity is the most important factor

As originally seen on http://www.weidert.com

I recently attended the Public Relations Student Society of America’s National Conference in Orlando, Fla. where I had the opportunity to hear from Geno Church, word-of-mouth expert and author of the new book Brains on FireI was lucky enough to be able to hear him speak again at the Northeast Wisconsin PRSA’s annual meeting last Tuesday. During his presentation on social media strategy, he briefly talked about ‘touch points’.

It seems that touch points have been a popular topic on marketing strategy blogs lately. In a world that is becoming more and more automated everyday, companies who get personal with their customers stand out in the crowd. Tangibles like business cards, newsletters, packaging and personalized emails are all considered to be touch points, and if they are executed strategically, their simplicity will enhance and strengthen your brand.

On the book’s blogBrains on Fire colleague Amy Taylor wrote about a recent experience she had with the company MOO. Not to steal her example, but I also had a similar experience with the company that I’d like to share with you. I came across MOO a few months ago when I was looking to make new and creative business cards. A quick Google search brought me to their website where I found several creative options to add to my personal brand. I chose a design, placed my order and waited for my cards to arrive.

Normally, I receive a basic email after an online purchase saying that my order has been processed and I am provided with a tracking number. Boring, plain, nothing special. Much to my surprise, MOO was different. Shortly after ordering, I received an email from “Little MOO”, the company’s automated email service. Not only did Little MOO give me a tracking number, but he also assured me that he would be there to answer any questions I had along the way. Below is the opening paragraph from the email:

Hi Jessica,

I’m Little MOO – the bit of software that will be managing your order with moo.com. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it for you in the next few days. I’ll let you know when it’s done and on its way to you.

Letter from Little MOO

Not only did the company keep me updated on the order process, they also built anticipation for the arrival of my business cards. Most importantly, though, they made me remember them. By adding a little bit of creativity to their automated emails, I was entertained and left anxiously awaiting the next email from Little MOO. Geno also makes the point in his blog that not all touch points have to be extravagant or even expensive. The simple wording of this email is what put their name in my head.

But not all touch points have to be digital. I recently booked a weekend at the Sand Bay Beach Resort in Door County in hopes of catching the last of the fall colors. In addition to sending me a pamphlet about their hotel, I also received several pamphlets about attractions in Door County, as well as the featured events that were happening when I would be there. The hotel also contacted me to see if they could help me book any scenic tours or wine tastings. Although this is something that they probably do for all of their customers, it was personalized for the time that I would be there and it made me feel like they valued my business. Again, this was something simple and inexpensive, but it went a long way in making an impression on me.

Now, more than ever, it is important to stand out from the crowd. Are your automated messages blending in? Be creative, think differently and make those personal connections. Not only will you stick in your customers’ minds, but you will build your company’s brand loyalty.

Read Amy Taylor’s blog posting about touch points for more insight.

<3

I am loving this quote I came across at work today. It puts life into perspective 🙂

UWO PRSSA grips success at 2011 National Conference

On Tuesday, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) returned home from the society’s national conference that was held in Orlando, Fla. I am the president of the organization and attended the conference along with eight other students.

We started off our week in Orlando by giving a Chapter Development Session to about 400 PRSSA students from across the country. We were selected as one of only eight chapters in the nation to do so at the 2011 conference. Our challenge was to select a topic that we were considered “experts” on and to create a presentation on the topic that would inspire conversation among session attendees.

As a group, we decided to create a presentation based on the success that our chapter has had in the past with PRSSA’s various national competitions. For the past 17 years, UW Oshkosh PRSSA has either received a 1st, 2nd, 3rd place or honorable mention in the National Organ Donor Awareness Campaign (NODAC) competition and had consistently received top titles over the years in the National Bateman Case Study Completion. We wanted our presentation to help other small chapters who are currently competing in these competitions. A video of our presentation will soon be available online. Keep checking our blog for a link!

Traditionally, the last night of conference is the Awards Dinner. This is something that we always look forward to. We were up for several awards this year, including the Tehan award for best developing chapter as well as our placing in last year’s NODAC competition. For NODAC 2011, UWO PRSSA chose to plan an event based on the hit TV show “Minute to Win It”. The campaign was called “Minute to Give It” and was designed to encourage people to tell their families about their decision to be an organ donor. The tagline “Minute to Give It: It only takes a minute to tell your family your wishes” was used throughout the campaign. We also hosted a nightlong event on campus that resembled the NBC game show. During the awards dinner, we were awarded 2nd place in the nation for our campaign, keeping our winning streak for the past 17 years alive.

This year, UWO PRSSA plans to compete in the Bateman competition as well as the NODAC competition. We are currently in the research stages for both campaigns and plan to start the implementation process during the spring semester.

How to work it at PRSSA National Conference

This post was originally written for internqueen.com. To view it on IQ.com, go here: http://www.internqueen.com/blog/2011/10/how-to-work-it-at-a-conference/ 
 

This week, I am so excited because I am leaving for the Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) National Conference on Thursday, October 13, 2011. If you are unaware, PRSSA is the largest pre-professional group for public relations students in the world. There are about 10,000 student members nationwide who belong to about 285 university chapters.

UWO PRSSA with PRSSA National President Nick Lucido at last year's conference in Washington, D.C.

My school, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, has a small chapter with about 25 members in it. This year, we have 10 students attending the conference that will be held in Orlando Fla. Before I leave, however, there are many things that I need to keep in mind. PRSSA National Conference is a great place to network, learn and grow as a pre-professional. Below are some tips that I learned after attending last year’s conference for those who are attending this year’s PRSSA conference or any other type of professional networking conference.

Make business cards. Even if you don’t have an internship or if you haven’t declared your major, it is still really important to make professional business cards and bring them with you. Make sure that they are generic. You don’t want to necessarily put your internship employer or current job on your business cards because you don’t want to brand yourself with a company that is considered temporary. My best advice is to put your name and basic contact info, along with your “title”, which in my case is “Public Relations Student”.

Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

Connect with people on social media. One of the easiest things to do when you meet people at a conference is to get their name and twitter handle. That being said, make sure you have yours on your business cards! Staying in contact with people via Twitter and LinkedIn will undoubtedly help you when you are looking for jobs down the road.

Bring copies of your resume. This is often the thing that most people forget to do. Although you may never take your resume out of it’s folder, it is a good idea to bring it because you never know if you’ll meet someone who is hiring or may be hiring in the near future. This is especially important to remember if you are a senior who will soon be graduating. Typically, I bring 5 copies and assume that the hotel I am staying at will have a copy machine if I need it.

At the awards banquet on the last night

Travel light. The thing that shocked me the most out of the conferences that I attended last year was the lack of free time that was provided during the few days that I was there.  Typically conferences are 2 to 5 days long, and the days normally start at 8 a.m. and often don’t end until 5 p.m. So, you won’t have a lot of time to sift through a huge bag for an outfit and you definitely won’t have much time to repack everything on the last day. Because of this, I usually just bring a carryon-sized bag and a small backpack. That way, I can control the amount of clothing that I pack!

Have you attended a professional conference in the past? If so, do you have any other tips that you think are important to remember? Are any of you planning to attend PRSSA National conference? Leave a comment below: I would love to meet up sometime when I am there!

Hilarious.

This is what happens when Cass and I Skype late at night.

140-Character Tributes to Steve Jobs

Without a doubt, Steve Jobs was one of the most inspirational people that I was able to watch from afar. I have always dreamed of doing something big in this world, and Steve Jobs did something that changed everything. He changed the way that we communicate and connect with each other. Obviously, I realize that Apple is the work of hundreds of thousands of people, but Steve Jobs undoubtedly was the glue that kept the organization together and the passionate force that made the rest of the world fall in love with it. Being on Twitter tonight is definitely not easy if you were a fan of Steve or just Apple in general.

I thought it would be an appropriate tribute to the Steve Jobs legacy to gather the thoughts (in 140 characters or less) of the fans who loved him. Below are some of the tweets that moved me:

@WritingSpirit: “Wow. Steve Jobs’ death hit me hard. Sweet dreams, Steve. Thank you for the passion, creativity & technology that so enriched our lives.”

@KevinSmith_: “Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

@UWOrat: “RIP Steve Jobs. Your drive & passion was an inspiration to us all. You were an absolute visionary prodigy that changed the world forever.”

@mtvnews: “Obama: “There may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that … the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”

@CNBC: “Warren Buffett on passing of Steve Jobs: “He was one of the most remarkable business managers and innovators in american business history.”

@JessDennis: “I am in shock & deeply saddened by the death of Steve Jobs. He will forever be missed, remembered & appreciated#wewillmissyou #ripstevejobs

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates

@DianeSawyer: “Some of the fire in the universe dimmed tonight. Steve Jobs, thank you for reminding us all what ambition+imagination can do#ThankYouSteve

@aplusk: “I never thought I could be so busted up about the loss of someone I never met.#stevejobs

@denisefulton: “J school prof said in 1984, “this new computer, the Macintosh, is going to change our whole profession.”#stevejobslegacy

@RamKasi: “#stevejobs is the Edison of this century”

I’m sure there are many more, but this was just my quick selection. Post your remarks in the comment box below.