View Comments

Go Ahead HR, Creep My Facebook

Posted by 40deuce on 11:41 AM in , , ,
So, a lot of people may not agree with my thoughts on this subject (I know because I've read a lot of blogs, articles and books that don't) but this is my opinion anyways.

I'm fine with prospective employers looking at my facebook.

I thought about this because last year a friend of mine in law school was applying for his summer articling student position and while doing so he completely changed around his facebook. He made the security extra secure on it and even removed his wall altogether. When I asked him why he did this, he said, "because I'm trying to get a job right now." This made no sense to me.

I'm fine with prospective employers looking at my facebook.

I'm not going to completely change around the way I live my life just because I'm looking for a job right now. I've even thought about why I wouldn't change my facebook.

For starters, I have a certain level of security on my facebook already. Most things on my facebook can only be viewed by people I've accepted as friends. To that, I also know that most of my friends on facebook are or were real friends of mine anyways. I'm not one of those people who will just add everyone and anyone. For me, facebook is a place for me to stay connected with actual friends. Any other social network I'm open to adding anyone that may grab my interest. I may even add you to facebook after we've bonded on another social network. But, if we're not really friends, we probably won't be facebook friends.

Second, I'm not ashamed of my life. In fact, I'm quite proud of it. Yes, I sometimes have stupid status updates, but that's my personal brand of humor. I'll probably say dumb stuff like that in real life too. I don't (really) do anything that would be considered evil or against the law, so there'll be no pictures of me doing such things. Sure, they might be some pictures of me with a drink or cigarette in my hand, but I do drink alcohol sometimes and I do smoke (although I'm trying to quit, but that's a completely different story) and I'm not ashamed about either. I'm not going to pretend like I don't do those things just because I want a job. Chances are if I did pretend I didn't, my new employer will be disappointed when they find out that I do.

Lastly, I do have some friends who can sometimes write dumb things on my wall. Truthfully, I do the same to them. That's what friends do, they joke around with one another. Chances are my future employer will have friends that do the same to them, so they should be just as ashamed of their friends as I am of mine.

So go ahead prospective employer - creep my facebook. I have nothing to hide from you. I am who I am, and I'm proud of who I am.

Now some may argue with my logic, and I invite you to do so.
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on the subject of facebook while looking for a job, I'd love to hear what others think.

View Comments

I May Have Been On Vacation, But My Mind Wasn't

Posted by 40deuce on 8:21 AM in , , , , ,

To bring people up to speed, I just spent the last month in Thailand and Laos after completing my masters down in Australia. Now I'm back in my home town of Toronto and ready to get my life going again.

While I was travelling though, I couldn't help but wonder (and maybe worry a bit) about my future. I just spent the last year and half learning for my new profession, public relations. Now it's time that I need to put all that learning to good use and get myself a job. The problem is, I have so many questions about this new life of mine.

When you decide that you want to do something like PR there are many subsequent questions that come up that I now have to weigh options on and make some serious decisions.

  • What kind of PR do I want to do?
  • Do I want to work for a specific company?
  • Do I want to work for a government agency?
  • Do I want to work for a large PR firm or a small boutique agency?
  • Do I want to specialize in social media (which I do seem to favour) or do I want to try and encompass many faculties of the industry?
  • If I do want to specialize in social media, how can I put my expertise onto a resume despite my lack of actual social media work experience? (a full blog post on this subject will follow soon)
  • Because I got my masters, should I still be looking for internships or can I just try to find a real job out the starting gate?
  • What's the best way to go about finding myself a PR job?

And those are just a few of the questions I have racing through my mind right now.

Lucky for me though, I'm not currently unemployed while I try to answer these questions. I was very fortunate that my father's company needed some help, so I'm working, but it is not in my chosen profession. I will however be trying to answer these questions and find a job in my chosen profession while I still make a little bit of money.

I'd like to hear what other people may think about some of my questions here. Especially if you're a seasoned PR vet, I'd love to know what you think about some of these things. So please leave a comment here because any form of guidance I can get would make my day.

Also, keep your eyes here and watch for this blog to become much more active as I settle back into real life.

View Comments

That''s All Folks... Or Is It?

Posted by 40deuce on 5:43 AM in , ,

Well, it's that time. School is done. Which means the reason why I started this blog is no longer a driving factor to maintain it.

However, I like this blog. I've gotten semi-attached to it. That's why I've decided to keep it going. I've also decided to change it up a little though.

While I still plan on exploring the use of web 2.0 and beyond in the world of PR, I'm also going to use it to document my venture into the real world of PR.

For almost two years I've been studying PR and now that I have my Masters I'm going to be looking to apply all of my new knowledge in an actual working environment. I'm going to now be blogging here about things I'm doing to get a job, updates of how those things pan out and hopefully my experiences once I actually start in the field on top of my little analysis' of things I find interesting in relation to PR.

So please, continue to read, follow and comment on this blog.

I hope you enjoy the change.

View Comments

Bookmark This

Posted by 40deuce on 3:49 AM in , , , , ,

So far in this blog I've looked at a bunch of different popular forms of social media and web 2.0 tactics that companies are using and how they are using them. There's one that I've been holding off on though, because I just don't have much to say about it, but I thought I'd try anyways.

I'm talking about social bookmarking.

Social bookmarking is an online tool that acts just like a bookmarking tool in your browser, except it is online and can be shared with other people (if so desired).

Here's a video that explains social bookmarking a little bit better:

The video highlighted one social bookmarking site known as, but there are many more. Another two popular social bookmarking sites that I know a bit about are Digg and Stumble Upon.

I thought I'd start by explaining how I personally use the social bookmarking tools.

I personally use and Digg, but not very socially (at least I'm being honest). I usually use to bookmark sites or articles I find online that interest me, but that I just don't have enough time to read then, or things I want to save to share later with other people. I tag each page I save accordingly. For instance, the articles that I want to save to read later I tag "later" (go figure). Then (now this is a little trick you may want to try for yourself), I have my browsers homepage set to my page for the tag "later". This way, whenever I open my browser the first thing I see are articles I didn't have time to read at previous time, but I might have some time to read then. Now, I don't use this service in a social way, I more use it for me to remember things. I don't subscribe to anyone else on the service, but others may be subscribed to mine.

The other one I use is Digg. Digg is more of a news aggregation site where users decide on what are good and/or important things to read. It's a bit hard to explain, but this video does a fantastic (but not the most exciting) job of explaining exactly how the site works:

I use Digg for just finding interesting things to read. I have an account so I can a) give my opinion about things I think others should read by digging something, and b) because the upcoming diggs link shows me new articles that I may find interesting based on previous things I have dugg (that seems the appropriate past tense of the word).

But how are companies using these sites as communication tools?? That's a good question that I don't really have a good answer. This is one of the web 2.0 tools I can admit I know little about, but still have a basic understanding of how companies would use them.

First we'll look at Digg. Companies and organizations can add a digg button onto almost any web page they may have. This could be their homepage, a video (on or off of a site like youtube), a picture (on or off a site like flickr) or their blog. Companies can then submit their own material to digg or let someone else do it. The more diggs the page gets the higher it will rise on the digg chart. A company should hope that their page gets a lot of diggs because the more popular it gets the more people are likely to see it.

I tried to find an example of a large companies digg page to show you as an example but failed. I think you get the point though. I do have an example using though.

As you saw in the video people and companies can bookmark things on the site for others to see. People can subscribe to a companies feed and see what that company is putting up to share. What a company puts on their page is up to them. It could be any page of their own they want people to see, or it could be something related to their company or industry that they want to share.

Adobe is the maker of many computer products used in design. These include programs such as Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. These are all widely known and used programs. Because of this there is also a large community of people who share tips and tricks for doing things with Adobe's programs. Adobe has created a page where they book mark all the pages they find where others share their secrets to using the programs. Their page probably has a large following because it will be an easy place to find new and interesting info on using the Adobe programs. Check out the page here. This is a great way to use a tool like social bookmarking.

As I said, I know a bit about using these social bookmarking tools, but not too much. If you have something to add, I implore you leave a comment.
Let me know if and how you use social bookmarking sites, or if you have a good example of how a company is using one.

View Comments

Another Video With Social Media Info

Posted by 40deuce on 7:30 AM in ,
I started off this blog with a video that showed some numbers behind the power of social media, so I thought it only fitting to show a newer version that has recently come out (some of you may have heard me talk about it in class).

View Comments

Best Buy Gets "IT"

In my last post I talked about Best Buy's newest social media campaign called "Twelpforce", but while I was doing some research on it, I was given some great info on the company's entire social media strategy. So, for this post I'd like to show you why I think Best Buy is a company that is at the forefront of using the 2,0 web. A special thanks to Kelly Groehler for providing me with the info.

Best Buy knows that in order for them to be a successful company they have to be able to best serve and connect with their customers. They've done so by launching a few different initiatives which allow their publics to interact directly with their company thereby building that ever important relationship with their customers.

For one, the company's CMO, Barry Judge, has a blog where he writes about Best Buy but also looks for advice on how the public thinks they can make Best Buy better (see image bellow). I think that having a major player in a large company online and talking to its people is a big must-do for all companies in the social media game.

Another interesting thing Best Buy has done is set up a site they call Best Buy Remix. The jist of this site is that they give access to their catalogue of almost all the products Best Buy currently or has previously sold for others to use. This means that people can take product pictures, descriptions, specs and other info for their own use. The best part is they make it available to anyone to use with only three minor and understandable limitations:

  • Don't claim to be Best Buy
  • Acknowledge that the data came from us when you use it
  • If you offer commerce, we need to be one of the options

Not only is Best Buy listening to their public through Barry's blog and their numerous Twitter accounts, but they've actually set up a full website where people can make suggestions directly to the company called IdeaXChange. On this site people are invited to make suggestions on how Best Buy can be a better company. They can also vote for other peoples suggestions if they think someone else had a good idea (see image bellow). That way Best Buy will know which ideas customers think are most important by their rankings. If that isn't a creative way to listen to your customers, I don't know what is.

Best Buy has a few more initiatives in place as well (see my last post for Twelpforce as an example of one) but the ones I highlighted here are some of my personal favorites that I think highlight the company's great efforts.

If you still don't believe me that Best Buy knows what they're doing, watch this video:

View Comments

Tweeting With The Best of Them

Posted by 40deuce on 9:07 PM in , , , , , , ,

Twitter is on the lips of every company right now. A lot of companies already have a presence on the micro-blogging site. Of course some have a larger presence than others. This week I want to take a look at a few companies that I think are doing well by integrating Twitter into their overall company communications.

The idea for the post came around because I've recently been hearing a lot on a Twitter campaign being run by Best Buy, a North American electronics company, called "Twelpforce" (more on this in a min). I also knew that the company had a large presence on the site with other Twitter profiles because I've been in contact with and following @KeithBurtis, who used to be a head part of the team that lead Best Buy's social media efforts. Keith no longer works there, but kindly enough, when I asked him for a little more info, he pointed me to @KellyGroehler, who sent me a ton of great info. So I decided to not delve too much into all the Best Buy twitter accounts today, and instead do a whole post on them next week. I will however use their "Twepforce" in this post.

So without further adieu, here's a couple of examples of companies that I think are doing a great job of using this new medium to their advantage:

Of course, I'll start with Best Buy's Twelpforce. This was a great and interesting idea. Best Buy has set up a single account where customers can ask questions to Best Buy ranging from help on making product decisions, tips, to technical support and all sorts of things in-between. This is where it gets interesting. While a lot of companies may have one to a few people monitoring their companies Twitter account who could probiby answer those questions adequatly, Best Buy has inlisted their entire staff. That's right, your question could be answered by any employee at Best Buy that feels they have an answer for you.

Best Buy's Twelpforce is done on an employee volunteer basis. Any employee of Best Buy that wants to help can be part of the Twelpforce. All they need to do is sign up using both their Twitter and Best Buy logins, and from there they can monitor the Twelpforce stream to see questions customers ask. If they think they have an answer, they simply reply from their account and use the hashtag #twelpforce and the Twelpforce page will agrigate their messages and display them on the main page. The best part is that they are told not to be pushy and try to sell things, but to rather just be real, friendly and helpful. Click here to see a short page that briefly explains the program to their employees (I also recommend clicking on the "tips and expectations" link on that page as well).

I think this is a great way to use the Twitter platform. It's on a voluntary basis, but if someone has any questions about electronics, they now possibly have the chance to get advice from over 15000 experts. Also, because it's voluntary (as well as linked into the employee's work login) you;d think that the employees wouldn't take advantage and say things they shouldn't. The company has even made commercials that never even mentions their main store website, it only directs them to the Twelpforce. Check them out:

One of the first companies to take a major advantage of Twitter was Zappos is an online retailer that started off with only shoes, but has since expanded into clothing. The company has always been known as a leader in customer service. They have an upbeat staff that really does love to interact with people and be friendly and helpful. In return, the company treats it's employees equaly well. Check out this profile done on the company:

As you can see from the video, employees seem to like working at Zappos and talking to customers. That's why CEO Tony decided to let them interact with customers even more by getting them on Twitter. Before Twitter even became mainstream the company had a Twitter microsite built which agrigated all of their employees on Twitter as well as anyone mentioning Zappos across Twitter so all could interact at Here the company could engage their public through it's individual employees about both company and non-company related things. I think this really gave the company a personal warm and welcome feel, which is what the public is looking for these days. The company is so into engaging people through Twitter that they even have a page that ranks which of their employees can get the most followers.

One thing a lot of companies are doing is running basic, but well done Twitter campaigns. One of my favorites to follow is Marvel (yes, the comic book people).

I was a comic book fan when I was kid, and although I don't read them anymore I'm still kind of interested. Marvel's Twitter account regularly updates with cool things going on at the company, updates about their movies and, my favorite, gives exclusive content to people following. I enjoy companies that do thing like this, because I wouldn't really ever surf over to the Marvel website to read about anything, but if something floats down my Twitter stream that sounds interesting, I'll click the link and see something from Marvel.

Like I said, lots of companies are doing things like that, I just chose Marvel as an example because I noticed them while I was checking Twitter while writing this.

Leave a comment and let me know of other companies that are doing well with Twitter, or even what some of your favorite companies are doing on Twitter.
If you want to see what some other companies are doing with Twitter here's a list I found with a lot (but mostly American) companies.

View Comments

Watching A Lot of Viral Videos (for Higher Education... I Swear)

Posted by 40deuce on 4:45 AM in ,
How many viral videos have you seen in your life?
Just this year?
How many have you forwarded to other people?
How many of those were made by a big company?
How many did you know were?

One of the best things about the internet is that we have the ability to share anything we think is cool/interesting/funny/though-provoking/sad/etc. with all of our friends with just the click of a button. One of the things we love to share are videos that we find. These are usually what are referred to as "viral videos".

Viral videos are videos that get spread around the internet at a very rapid rate. They spread like a virus, hence the name viral video. Here's a quick definition from Wikipedia:
"A viral video is a video clip that gains widespread popularity through the process of Internet sharing, typically through email or Instant messaging, blogs and other media sharing websites. Viral videos are often humorous in nature and include televised comedy sketches such as Saturday Night Live's Lazy Sunday and Dick in a Box; amateur video clips like Star Wars Kid, the Numa Numavideos, The Dancing Cadet, The Evolution of Dance, the "Benny Lava" video; and web-only productions such as I Got a Crush... on Obama. Some "eyewitness" events have also been caught on video and have "gone viral," including the Battle at Kruger."

As the definition states, there are many sources from which viral videos start, but today I want to look at ones that come from companies.

I got the idea when someone in class was talking about a bunch of roller-skating babies and told me to look it up on youtube. Turns out it's an online ad for Evian Water as part as their "Live Young" campaign. This is it:

Which then reminded me of all the other strange viral videos people have sent me. This is one of the latest ones, it's a clever campaign in the US:

These videos made me think of all the videos I've seen over time, and it's interesting to think of how many have come from a company. While the "Think Before You Speak" campaign clearly has a message in it, not all of them do. For instance, the roller-skating babies could have been anything until the Evian logo came up at the end. There are a ton of different ways that companies use the concept of a viral video, and today I want to look at some of them (with fun examples of course).

Some companies make ads for TV that are longer than the average 30 second commercial, so they show a shortened version on the tube and upload the full version to the internet to be passed around.

Here's a popular one from Cabury Chocolate:

This one is from Sprint (a US phone company):

Some companies make videos specifically as advertisements for the internet which could be due to constraints of mainstream media such as time or subject material.

Here's an example from Agent Provocateur:

This is a clever one from Honda that was too long for TV:

Trojan has a line of ads that were not meant for TV called "The Trojan Games". Here's one of them:

Here's one where Pepsi took an already popular internet phenomenon and built on it. Pepsi took the man behind the "Chocolate Rain" video and used him to make a remix for their new Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper:

Some companies make videos that are made to look like amateur videos that were uploaded to the net, but then stick their name at the end. There are a lot of examples of this.

Check out this one from Quicksilver:

Nike has a whole line of the amateur looking commercials that feature famous athletes putting on Nike apparel before doing something amazing:

There is also a series of videos called "Will It Blend" where it looks like home made videos of a guy throwing stuff in a blender, but really the man is the owner of the company that makes the blender and if you pay attention you see the name of that company all over the video:

Other companies will pay to have their products featured in other peoples online videos. One of the most talked about examples of this was with a vlogger named Lonely Girl 15 who was supposedly keeping a video diary of her life, which turned out to be completely scripted. The episode that wound up revealing this was because of the product placement. Watch for it in this video around the 3:30 time mark:

After she eats the gum, you can even hear her say, "Whoa! That's sour!" which was the slogan of the Ice Breakers Sour Gum.

Of course, companies favorites are the ones they don't even make themselves. The best example of this was done by two video makers who go by the name of Eepy Bird. This duo makes videos of cool and fun science experiments. They started doing some videos of them dropping Mentos into bottles of Diet Coke, which quickly became viral over the net. Copy cats started springing up everywhere. Both Coke and Mentos, whom had nothing to do with Eepy Bird at the time, caught the video and sent the guys a large quantity of their candy hoping they'd use them for more videos, because the more videos Eepy Bird made, the more copycats they'd having using the same product.

Here's the original video they made:

And, here's one they made once they had a little free product to play with:

These are just a few examples of how companies are using viral videos to get their products onto your computer. Surely there will be more to come, since this form of online advertising seems to work a lot better than giant flashy banners.

Leave some comments and tell me:
What do you think of big company made viral videos??
Do you think there should be any ethics behind it?
Or even, what's your favorite company made viral video? (leave a link too if you can)

View Comments

Is It Worth It To Become A Facebook Fan?

Posted by 40deuce on 5:53 AM in , , ,

A few days ago I had an idea for a post where I was going to comment negatively on a web 2.0 tactic being used by American broadcaster NBC. Thankfully I didn't write that post right away. After having a couple of days to think about it, I'm not as against the tactic as I once thought. I'm also not sure that I am for it. Let me tell you the story and you can tell me what you think...

I was reading an article on Ain't It Cool News about a new show for NBC's fall lineup called "Community". You can read the article here. The article was saying that this new show is going to be a hit and that NBC is giving audiences a chance to watch the premiere episode on their facebook fan page.

- A quick note on what a facebook fan page is for those that don't know. A facebook fan page is a page within the social community where users can join to show they like something such as a band, tv show, company, product, etc. On the fan page users can talk and interact with other fans of the same thing. The owners of the page can also share content with all their fans to create more interaction between the "whatever" and it's fans. -

In order to view the pilot episode of the show you would first have to become a "fan" of the show. Now here's my problem: How could anyone say they are a fan of the show if they've never seen it before???

I wanted to go on a whole rant about how a communication professional should use their skills to persuade someone to become a fan of something, not use a quick promise of something to get someone to sign on. I was going to relate it to the credit card companies that offer you a cheap shirt at a sporting event in exchange for you signing up for a card.

The more I stewed over it though, the more I started to think that if they offered the show to just anyone to view, the chance of someone become a fan after watching greatly dropped. Not because the show is bad, but just because you don't have to be a facebook fan of something to still like it. If people weren't going to become a fan of the show it would have defeated the purpose of NBC putting resources into creating the page.

Then, earlier today I came across an article entitled "10 Practical Tips for Facebook Fan Pages". If you read the article you will notice that tip #3 is "Give Your Audience A Reason To Become A Fan" which says, "A Facebook fan page is the perfect place to reward fans because they have specifically chosen to associate themselves with your brand in front of all their friends." It goes on to give an example of how companies can reward their fans. Rewards like exclusive content.

This again made me think that NBC did a proper job with their fan page. Although they were coercing people into becoming a fan of something they knew nothing about, they were offering something exclusive to the people that did.

In the end, I'm happy I didn't make this post right away, because I now have a completely different feeling towards the subject.

What do you think though about the whole situation? Should people become fans of things on facebook just to receive exclusives? Is it right for companies to make people sign up for something to receive something special? Do facebook fan pages even mean anything in the grand scheme of things?? Please comment and let me know.

View Comments

How Important Do You Think Social Media Is To A Communication Professional??

I know that I said this blog would look at how communication professionals are using web 2.0, but before I really start posting on the hows, I thought I'd start with a post about the why. Meaning, how important this new version of the internet is.

I actually decided to do this post before another one I had planned because of two interesting pieces of information I had passed along to me this week revolving around the importance of social media in the current world and to communication professionals. Both of these items take the "buzz" about web 2.0 and turn it into factual numbers.

First is a video called "The Social Media Revolution". This video has been making it's way around the internet this week and is extremely interesting. The video uses real numbers to show just how quickly web 2.0 has been adopted by people world-wide and how integrated it has become in our lives.

Check it out:

The second thing I saw this week was a study that a friend and (sort of) colleague passed my way that shows how US companies are adapting to the rise of web 2.0. This study shows that companies are starting to realize the potential that web 2.0 has at reaching their audiences and consumers.

Some of the interesting findings are:
  • Social networking is currently the second most employed tactic by companies after email marketing - especially in smaller sized companies
  • A majority of companies prioritize social networking higher than their own website content management
  • Social networking, blogging, podcasting, RSS and microblogging skills and knowledge are looked at as high priority items for job applicants to have in the communications field
  • Most aspects of web strategies are handled by public relations professionals

However, the study also points out that while web 2.0 and social medias have become very important, there is still a large problem with being able to actually evaluate the ROI (return on investment) that these mediums are yielding.

Feel free to view the entire study (it's not that long, I promise) here:

Now that you can hopefully see how important web 2.0 is to a current day communications professional, the subsequent entries in this blog will look at how they are currently using it.

View Comments

Welcome to My Blog

Posted by 40deuce on 3:41 AM
I'm a bit of a computer geek. I know it, and I'm fine with it.
I'm also in public relations.

That's why I'd like to combine the two for this blog on how people in public relations are using web 2.0 as strategies and tactics.

I find it really interesting to watch all the new ideas that are coming out from PR and marketing people as to how to engage their audiences through this new online world. Web 2.0 is very different than how the web was a few years ago, and organizations need to understand that and find ways to make it work for them.

Some of you may be scratching your head as to what exactly web 2.0 means. Here's the brief definition I've taken from Wikipedia as it's very simple:

"Web 2.0" refers to the second generation of web development and web design that facilitates information sharing and collaboration on the World Wide Web. The advent of Web 2.0 led to the development and evolution of web-based communities, hosted services, and web applications. Examples include social-networking sites, video-sharing sites,wikis, blogs, mashups and folksonomies."

In short, the web 1.0 was one way communication. Someone would put something up on the net and many people read/view it. In the case of web 2.0 someone can put something up on the net and other people can interact with it in one way or another. Some of the best examples that ordinary people would know are sites like YouTube, Facebook and Wikipedia. On sites like these one user will put something up for the world to see and other users can comment, share and in cases like Wikipedia, change. The best part of this movement is that most of it is free to anyone with internet access.

This was something I was interested in before I came down to Australia. I want to get into the PR field with a strong grasp on the subject of web 2.0 as I feel it's the future of public relations. Since I needed to create a blog for my Strategic Communications class, I figured why not do it on something I'm already interested in?

Thanks for coming and checking my new blog out, and feel free to comment on anything I say in any of my future posts.

I also have a few other blogs currently running (I told you I was a geek) if you'd care to check them out:

- A-D-D ON PAPER is my main blog. I write here about anything that's on my mind at the time. Sometimes it's of a professional nature, sometimes it's not.
- GET HEP TO THIS is a blog where I post stuff I find cool and want to share with other people. It could be music, funny videos, cool webpages, products, anything really.
- MY TRAVEL BLOG is a blog I set up before I came down to Australia so I could share my adventures with my friends and family back home.

Anyways, I'm going to finish this post up with a couple of videos that may help with your understanding of web 2.0 a little more:

Copyright © 2009 A Geek in PR All rights reserved. Theme by Laptop Geek. | Bloggerized by FalconHive.