Should Colleges/Employers have access to your facebook account?

Bob Sullivan wrote a great post a few days ago about Facebook and student athlete. The department of corrections facilities as well as division I athletic programs are demanding access to the employees and students Facebook accounts respectively.

To make a long story short, many people, particularly the ACLU are outraged. The arguments range from, “it is the university’s job to educate-not spy” to “we still have a Constitution to protect us. It’s not a far leap from reading people’s Facebook posts to reading their e-mail” according to Bradley Shear, a lawyer.

On the other hand, these athletes are now representing their University, their family and their coaches. I mean, self-expression is important in this country but, why can’t some of the athlete’s potential employees just be more careful about what they post on social media? Is it asking too much for people to refrain from posting anything questionable?

From a law standpoint, this is a classic example of Prior Restraint or the prevention of material being disseminated. However, I cannot stress how important it is that employees and athletes, no matter what level of skill should not be posting information that casts the institution into a negative light.

I will agree that asking for the password and username data from the student-athlete and the employee might be a too far, but I don’t see any issue with requiring a “friend request” from the coach as a means of monitoring inappropriate online activity. I think is a good way to teach these young men and women a valuable life lesson.

Playing athletics at the collegiate level is absolutely a privilege. According to Bob Sullivan, “There have been many high-profile embarrassing moments born of the toxic combination of student-athletes and Twitter” According to Bob Sullivan.

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My Plans for the future

In my time spent blogging, I have learned so much about the sports marketing industry that its hard to pick a starting point. Overall, I have found sports marketing is constantly becoming more and more user driven. The future of sports marketing seems to lie in the world of social media and the smartphone. Until the smartphone has been referred to as the “third screen.” Now companies are referring to the mobile devices as the “first screen” in an effort to catch customers on-the-go.

ESPN’s mobile strategy can be compared to a  “bridge” in the sense that it connects people to broader forms of media. Mobile is now the gateway to other screens and formats. Mobile apps and marketing are now common on the social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

I have also learned the new face of marketing calls for more and more user interaction. For example, in last week’s blog post I mention how Taylormade has implemented the “driver love” contest into their online advertisements. This contest requires participants to submit pictures of their Taylormade products. The contest also has a sizable Twitter following.

The end of my time spent in college is about 3 months away. I have enjoyed my time spent in my public relations class and my desire to learn more about the marketing industry. I am excited at the opportunities that lie ahead. I am in process of applying to several sports marketing internships and positions.

If given the opportunity, I will use the skills and knowledge I have picked up from my research over the past few months. I plan to continue blogging after my class is finished.

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Nike’s Marketing Strategy

Nike has been long-established as the elite athletic wear company on the planet. Some reports indicate they own 47 percent of the market share for athletic shoes. The Beaverton, Ore based company was established in 1978.

 Target Market

In an effort to maximize profit, Nike has a huge range for their target market. Nike has products that appeal to people of all age groups. Today, Nike relies on their brand image and reputation to capture customers and the market share.


Nike, along with rival companies like Adidas and Under Amour, have the ability to attract a huge customer base because companies associate success with the product. For example, when an elite  athlete sponsors a specific brand of athletic shoes, the brand instantly becomes associated with success.

The list of athletes Nike endorses is mind-boggling. I mean, how could you not gravitate towards a brand that has names like Rafael Nadal, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods to name a few. With an effective market strategy and the world’s best athletes endorsing the products the Nike “swoosh” has become one of the most recognizable logos in the world.

Customer Base

Nike has developed an incredible sense of brand loyalty among the customers. The company commitment to designing innovative footwear for  athletes and consumers to help it build a cult following. As a student at the University of Oregon the Nike brand is visible on everything from athletic facilities to merchandise.

The key factor for Nike was that they have been able to create strong brand preferences among the customers. Nike embedded their brand image into consumers mind by using celebrity athletes in advertisements worldwide. The company’s commitment to designing innovative footwear for athletes and consumers helped build a cult following.

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Diversity in Public Relations

The public relations field is in the process of becoming more and more diverse in the racial make-up of the employees.

Unfortunately, African-Americans are still in the “trenches of public relations according to a recent article by  Natalie Tindall. In the 2010 census data, the PRSA reported “only 14 percent of the membership identified as black or Hispanic. That percentage has doubled since 2005.”

While there is not one specific answer for the lack of minorities in the field of public relations, some practitioners believe it is because they do not understand the economic viability of the profession. The PRSA ha been credited with an initiative to recruit practitioners from diverse ethnic backgrounds into public relations.

Also, I believe that some minorities are not familiar with the field in general.

The goal is not to integrate a variety of ethnic backgrounds into the industry in an effort to make the career a starting point for people of ethnicity. More importantly, Natalie Tindall points out  the goal is to, “promote a workforce that closely mirrors the community in which we live and work in.”

A more diverse workforce within the industry will ultimately make it easier to address a diverse audience across the country.

The outlook for public relations practitioners is bright. However, much work remains for the African Americans that have entered the industry. While, they remain relatively new it is important they make the same progress as the rest of the African Americans CEOs in different industries.

Tindall’s article was a call to action in terms of bringing a sense of diversity to the field of public relations.

Flickr Image by Chris Penn

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Social Media and Sports Marketing

Sports and athletics have evolved in every aspect. We have seen changes in rules, performance, and of course the marketing side of athletics. Much of this change is a result of the need for interaction among the sports fans and the brand itself.

Social media networks became popular in 2004 and did not really catch on in  professional sports until 2008. Social media in sports has evolved to advertisements that refer to Twitter and Facebook pages as a means of generating more buzz about their product. Of course, many athletes manage his or her own Twitter pages. These official Twitter pages allow the consumers to connect with their favorite athlete on a personal level.

The reason for the late adoption of social media and advertising was the inability to see a need for innovation in the field of sports. Sports has long-established a loyal fanbase. Therefore, it was not vital for maintaining an audience-until social media caught on in popularity.

Marketing has adopted two goals for their social media.

The first role is the reactive approach. Marketing agencies often use this approach to learning about the fan and brand interaction. Sports companies will monitor social media trends regarding their products on Twitter.

On the other hand, the proactive approach is equally as important. Sports companies must constantly develop content that grabs the public eye and “creates a buzz.” Content development with a proactive approach has become especially popular with sports teams.

An example of the proactive approach is Taylormade’s new Driver Love contest. The Contest requires contestants to submit photographs of his or her dedication to Taylormade products. Taylormade has quickly become one of the most popular golf brands in the world over the past several years. The Driver Love contest has sparked a major twitter following.

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Perceived Authenticity among CEOs

In a recent post by Marketingprofs suggests there are 5 phrases that CEOs use that signify  “BS.” the post goes at length to discuss how some CEOs are perceived as inauthentic. I find it hard to believe that any CEO for that matter can be inauthentic with their publics. If so, I can’t image they have much job security.

If a CEO is viewed as inauthentic, the public also believes they are incapable of developing a sense of trust among the public. In the corporate world, trust among the organizations publics is the single most important factor in organizational survival. The CEO serves as the face of the company and it is vital for them to maintain a positive public image.

The study results show the respondents believe CEOs and corporate executives are the least likely to be authentic were often viewed as “tone deaf.” All too often people look at CEOs as high-ranking corporate officials that are stuck in the “ivory tower.” These officials are often seen as out of touch with their publics.

Some of the more “authentic” CEOS included Ray Kroc, founder of Mcdonald’s and Steve Jobs.

The article also provided a list of phrases that are often associated with a lack of authenticity. This list included:

“This deal is a win-win.” When I heard this, I asked myself if there was such a thing as a “win-win” situation with the current economy

“Thinking/working/planning outside the box.” According to the poll, many bloggers feel this is standard corporate lingo and lacks creativity.

The survey also found there’s “something more authentic and relatable about a leader who can admit that mistakes were made.”- Jeff Levine, founder Gotham Research group.

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How to tweet your favorite athlete

Flickr Image by Jon Gosier

Rules for Tweeting your favorite athlete.

Twitter is a form of social media that allows us to seamlessly connect with professional athletes, fans and sports journalism professionals. I believe that many fans are not challenged with reaching out to his or her favorite athlete. They are challenged with eliciting a response. I chose to discuss a few of the rules I believe are the most helpful.

Rule #1 Do not ask the athlete a question that can be answered with basic internet research. Instead, you should ask a question that is more specific. For example, “do you have any pre-game rituals?” This is a question that is unique and you can only get the answer from that individual.

Rule #2 Always use “ hashtags” Twitter is extremely helpful because you can log on an any given time and see what people around the world are talking about. This is also known as “trending.” When you attach a hashtag to the tweet it basically giving the tweet a topic. Once the tweet is related to a popular topic it will become more visible in the world of Twitter.

Rule #3 Do not limit yourself to athletes.  All too often people will limit themselves to one athlete. If you want to genuinely engage in conversation on Twitter you must make yourself more visible.  When a professional sports team sets up a Twitter account the purpose is to interact with the fans. On the other hand, professional athletes have Twitter accounts for their own personal use and to interact. If you can generate a conversation on Twitter with a professional sports organization it will become more visible to the athletes.

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Dutch Airline allows people to choose Seatmates

The Dutch Airline, KLM has introduced a social media service. This social media website allows passengers to choose the people in which they will be sitting next to based off of their Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. This is an excellent example of how social media has been integrated into buying decisions based off the consumers needs. This program is called, “Meet&Seat” and the goal is to assist contact with fellow passengers based on personal interests. According to Judy Koehler, KLM is the first airline to integrate social media into the regular flight operation.

In my opinion, I think this takes the hassle out of flying. For example, there will come a time, if it hasn’t already when you will be on an airplane and you will be sitting next to someone who has done nothing but irritate you. I think this is a big step in an effort to make traveling more comfortable for people. The Meet&Seat program has the potential to take these experiences out of air travel.

I believe this social media program is something that will gain popularity as more airlines offer their own formats. In fact, I believe this form of social media has the potential to change air travel as we know it. Think about the all of the travelers that utilize air ravel each and every day to conduct business in different parts of the world. There is always the outside chance of making a connection that will grow into a business relationship. Now, with the Meet and Seat program business travelers will now have the opportunity to make networking a reality while traveling.

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Benefits of using social media internally

In a recent article, Kristin Piombino points out that when a company that employs the use of internal social media tools the employees are, “more likely to refer others for employment and give the company the benefit of the doubt in a crisis.” Trends also show that people are more likely to work at the company that uses social media. Employees likely to feel reassured their employer is doing everything they can with respect to communication and rapid response purposes. Also, Many younger employees feel the company is innovative by using social media.

I would agree that some form of contact with the top management is helpful. However, I think the goal here is to obtain a higher level of transparency within the organization and it’s employees through communication not to appeal to a younger workforce. As a result, the employees of a company that uses social media as an internal form of communication, “are 78% more likely to purchase stock” according to a study by APCO Worldwide and Gagen McDonald.

I think there is a growing demand for transpercncy among people in my generation. I believe all of this is part of the changing urban landscape of the workforce. The study shows the employees want quality content and prefer to have dialogue with the executive management team more than ever.

If the employees are confident in the transperancy with the leadership team they will be more likely to invest in something they believe in. Many of the social media tools in place are similar to Facebook and a standard blog.





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Super Bowl Advertisements

Flickr image by Cliff Baise

Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most popular television events watched in the world every year. The devoted NFL fans watch their teams play all year-long and win or lose, they will always watch the Super Bowl game. Parties have been planned, people invite friends over and there is plenty of food to go around.

Typically the advertisements are produced to entertain the audience without the intention of selling the product. I think this is where the advertisements have lost sight of their goals. This “Super Bowl” is more of a television event than a football game.

However, this year I did not find them to be spectacular. On the other hand, I believe there were some advertisements that were well received.

Lets take a look at one of the more popular super bowl advertisements. The Chrysler, “Halftime in America” ad received great reviews. Clint Eastwood delivers a great speech and the closing lines at the end are inspiring. “It’s halftime America, and our second half is about to begin.”

This is a great advertisement that also serves as a form of motivation for Americans. At the same time when I saw this advertisement I said, “Finally, someone has developed a commercial that is actually selling a product.”

On the other hand there was an abundance of advertisements that did not sell a product or service. The Audi commercial made a feeble attempt to capitalize on the popular culture vampire craze. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was watching an episode of the popular HBO series True Blood or the Twilight saga. The new line of Audi automobiles has “daylight in the headlight.” As a result, even if you aren’t a fan of vampires then it should be at the forefront of the commercial.

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