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Apple… A Lunch Snack or the Newest Gadget?

April 11, 2011 3 comments

Apple is making itself a name.  The company, in this respect.  A few years back, Apple was a little known company offing alternatives to the usual Windows computers.  These days, when someone mentions Apple, the first thing most people think of is the iPhone.  Apple’s marketing strategy is aggressive.  They attack their competitors, sometimes making fun of them, but for the most part, it has succeeded.  Maybe.

Although the iPhone and iOS has gained a great deal of the smartphone market in the past few years since its introduction, Android, Google’s smartphone operating system has since overtaken iOS.

Apple only allows itself to develop and release phones with its iOS operating system running on them whereas Google has multiple manufacturers who each have a few phones that run Android.  Because of this, it would be expected that Google would beat out Apple in the smartphone market, but it is projected that Android, released in 2008 will soon overtake Nokia to become the largest phone operating system in the world.

The battle between Google and Apple is reaching epic proportions and unless Apple is devising a genius plan, it seems that Google is going to prevail!

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Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo… What Do We Do?

April 11, 2011 1 comment

A good percentage of people play video games on a regular basis.  Anyone who has had to decide on a new gaming system has seen, whether they knew it or not, the tactics and prospective audiences of each company with its system.  Each company is aimed at a different age group and they tailor their systems towards those groups.

Sony, with its Playstation 3, the latest console in the family, tailors to more seasoned gamers but offers different accessories and games to appeal to more families and younger people.  Early on, the price of the console kept it from becoming a big hit outside of those who were already set on getting it.  Now, prices have dropped and made it applicable to younger and older alike.

Microsoft has the Xbox 360 as its latest console.  This, like the Playstation, is meant first  for seasoned gamers and has similar accessories to make it more family friendly.

Nintendo, with its Wii and DS handhelds, caters to younger gamers with more cartoon-like games and handhelds with kid-friendly games.

With each company comes its own marketing strategy in order to market to the right section of the population that their system is aimed at.

TEPCO’s Troubles

March 29, 2011 1 comment

Nobody in the world has a bigger job to do than those at Tokyo Electric Power Company.  The disaster that has unfolded over the past two weeks has put millions of people in danger and has yet to come under control.  Scientists have predicted that the situation is growing more and more out of control as the days go by.

TEPCO’s reputation and future is on the line.  If the radiation from the downed plant spreads much more, there are likely going to be officials who protest against the use of nuclear power in the future.  From Chernobyl now to Fukushima, disasters with these plants are eminent and those living in the remote proximity of them are at risk.

Following this disaster, like any tragedy, the PR workers with TEPCO have their work cut out for them in order to salvage the reputation of not only TEPCO, but also nuclear power in general.

Starbucks… The thing to do?

March 29, 2011 2 comments

What is it about Starbucks that makes it stand out from the rest?  What is it about it that makes people go back multiple times a day and some not able to even start their day without a cup?  Is it the soft ambient music, the low lighting, the plush chairs, or just the legacy?

Everyone has been to Starbucks and most people know someone who is addicted to it.  The marketing team behind Starbucks is doing a great job at creating customers who come back again and again.  Loyalty is the key behind a successful business.  If you can get someone to come back again and again, you can build a thriving business.  Please one person and they share their experience with their friends.  This is what we have seen with Starbucks in the past few years.  It went from a small coffee shop to a worldwide attraction!

Everyone has their own place for Starbucks, whether it be the stop on the way to work every morning or the treat for every once in a while or the place to study overnight.  All of these people got there because of a solid marketing strategy.

The Dominion of Facebook

March 28, 2011 1 comment

We’ve all heard about, and probably experienced the grasp of Facebook on the lives of people today.  Just 7 years ago, the site was launched by the infamous Mark Zuckerberg and since then it has made giant leaps towards taking over our lives.  As of January 2011, Facebook claimed to have over 600 million active users.

Users of Facebook can do a variety of things through the site including plan events, chat with friends, play games, network, advertise, and many more.  Because users can do so many things on one platform, it makes itself a very useful, and addicting, service.

Although Facebook is very useful and good for staying up to date on the latest happenings, in my mind,  it can turn into a sort of addiction.  Lately, I have been trying to stay away from Facebook as much as possible because I realize how much of our time it can devour!  I have recently wondered what college life would be like without Facebook or social media.  Although we wouldn’t be able to plan events or network online, I think it would be much more stress-free because our schedules would be more open.  We wouldn’t have to fight the urge of checking our friends’ status updates every 3 1/2 seconds!

What would life be like without Facebook?

PR Professional Interview

March 20, 2011 Leave a comment
I recently conducted an interview of a PR practitioner.   Read on for the interview!
The person that I interviewed was Cari.  She has worked for two marketing and communications firms, Simantel and Landers & Partners.  She is involved in the marketing aspect of PR.  I found this person through extended networking with my friends.  We conducted the interview over the phone.
What’s a typical week like?

Everyday is filled with new deadlines and unforeseen challenges so it’s hard to say there is ever a typical week. However, if I had to pin point some consistency I would say following up with people and communicating with the client consumes the majority of my day/week.

Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.
I worked on a project for the Peoria Zoo in Illinois. The zoo was in desperate need for renovations and expansion. It was our job to get the awareness message out to the public. We created a logo and mascot (among other branding elements) and I got to be the mascot for an event. We were able to have fun with this campaign as well as exceed the fund raising goal. 

What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?
Our office keeps staff current by subscribing to several industry publications and always doing research on other companies in the same field. Of course, you can always do classroom training but there’s nothing like watching your competitors. 

What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
I wish I would have know that this is a 24/7 career field. You never stop thinking of new and innovative ways to do the same old thing. If you aren’t careful, things that used to be entertaining – radio, TV, movies, billboards, magazines etc – can become work so you never rest. 

How important is writing in your career?
Writing is paramount in my career! Whether you are communicating to the client or communicating about the client you have to be well spoken/written. Proposals, commercials, publication articles and press releases – almost everything I do can be linked back to writing. Learning to write in a variety of different styles can be the thing that makes your company unique and more desirable as a PR representative. 

What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?
Three tips –
Be flexible while still having structure. Things never go as planned but almost always work out. It’s important to put a plan in place but adjust the plan when needed without having a breakdown. 

Know about your client/project on a detailed level. Read up on the history of where they were, where they are and where they want to go. The more information you absorb, the better you can relate a genuine message from the voice of your client.

Always be teachable. Listen and watch the people and world around you. You never know where you will draw inspiration from for a current or future campaign!

After interviewing this person, I am more likely to be more involved in PR in my career.  I am a theology major, so I will have to do some PR in my career, and after speaking to this person, I am more inclined to take on more of the PR aspects.

The iPad 2 is Here!… Sort of…

March 2, 2011 2 comments

Apple released the  new 2nd generation iPad 2 today in a long awaited press conference this morning.  Surprisingly, Steve Jobs, who has been on sick leave for the past two months, still made the announcement and introduced the new gadget.  The new iPad is thinner, lighter, faster, and more capable than the previous one, but some people, myself included think it was too fast.

The first iPad was announced just over a year ago, which sounds like a long time, right?  In this case, it isn’t that long.  When they announced the first iPad, they were introducing a new area of personal devices, touchscreen tablets.  Although there had been devices like the iPad before it, they never caught on and were discontinued.

In my observations, the device took a while to catch on, finally beginning to get widespread adoption and usage a few months ago.  A lot of the people who bought the first generation now own an out of date device that they just got and some are probably still paying off!

I don’t think this was a wise choice on Apple’s part.  I think they could have extended the life of the first generation until this summer and released it with the rest of the devices instead of cutting its life short.  And, on top of that, it isn’t available for another week and a half!