Lights, Camera, ACTION!

App Challenge- Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Alamo Drafthouse was founded in 1997 by movie fans for movie fans. Since then, this grassroots company has grown to become a world recognized movie theater. Their zero-tolerance policy for cell phones, and their commitment to providing the best customer service possible has stolen the hearts of moviegoers everywhere. Their mission statement states that they “remain dedicated to keeping the movie-watching experience safe for movie fans, serving quality food and drinks, and upholding high presentation standards.”

From an outsider’s perspective, they are doing just that. A quick look into their top social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and their website makes it is clear that Alamo Drafthouse delivers a consistent and brand conscious message to all of their sites. Their app is no different.

This free download allows you to purchase tickets, and connect with their rewards program, Victory. While there is no visible CTA’s on the first level of app, there are many once you join Victory. Free screenings, free meals and drinks, and priority access are all used to draw the new member in. Once you are a loyal fan, they keep you coming back for more with new and exciting offers.

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Content Analysis

The people behind Alamo Drafthouse know what they want from their app and they are succeeding in their goals. The app allows you to easily access their ticketing system and your bonus information if you are on the rewards program. While their website is mobile-friendly, it is much easier to access the app once it is downloaded, making it profitable for Alamo Drafthouse. However, currently the app holds no unique content that cannot be found on their website.

I had the opportunity to secret-shop at my local Alamo Drafthouse multiples times. Every time I attended a screening I ask the employees I came across a few questions about their experience with the app. Below are my findings from asking if they personally have the app downloaded:

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As you can see, the majority does! On top of those findings I would say all but one employee had something nice to say about app. If I was Alamo Drafthouse, I would be very proud of how they answered my questions. All the employees I spoke with, whether they had the app or not, were very willing to answer my questions. Most of them even offered me additional information on the rewards program.

Recommendations/ Conclusion

I have to admit, I enjoy going to Alamo Drafthouse more than any other theater. Their customer service is superb, their food is to die for and don’t get me started on how funny their custom preshow is. Still, I would do a few more things to get people really engaged.

Alamo Drafthouse is all about creating a disruption free zone, but they also personalize the brand as rebellious, quirky and cool. Cell phone use in a theater? That’s about as rebellious as you can get. Since most of their target audience, middle class adults, use Twitter, Alamo Drafthouse should too! Preshow live tweeting could enhance the engagement inside the theatre. Of course, the no cellphone rule would still apply during the duration of the actual movie screening.

They could also pay a sort of “Where’s Waldo” with their audience. Like I mentioned before, Alamo Drafthouse is very quirky. Something fun, but old-school, would be a perfect way to get their target audience to do more than just watch a movie. This, of course, is just one example. My recommendation is that Alamo Drafthouse engage off the screen with their customers.

From what I can tell, this company does not wish to capitalize on having their customer’s email addresses. Again, Alamo Drafthouse states that they want to cause as little disruption as possible, this seems to include their emailing habits. The main screen of their website also exhibits this. While there is movement of advertisements, there are no popup ads or unruly CTA’s.

Overall, Alamo Drafthouse has a clear and consistent message on all platforms. They have appropriate CTA’s, and have all of their social media icons visible at all times. Their app is easy and effective, but not too flashy. Alamo Drafthouse truly is an amazing company, one that all movie fanatics can enjoy.

Now, if you will excuse me I have to head over to my local Alamo Drafthouse for a midnight premier! I’ll eat some popcorn for you!

 

Seeing IS Believing

There is an old saying that I think about from time to time. Perhaps you’ve heard of it, it goes, “Seeing is believing.”

My grandparents always scoffed at the idea and my little cousins rightfully used Santa Claus as an argument against it. To them the idea that you have to physically witness something to give it absolute value was madness. I’ll admit the whole concept is quite disenchanting.

Here is what I discovered in my musings. Sometimes that old saying is perfectly justified, especially in the professional world. Anytime we write a paper or create a presentation, we have verify our information. We have to make the audience see it to believe it.

That is why visualization is imperative. Let’s forget about the fact that humans process visual representations faster than words on a blank piece of paper, and lets forget that most of the information our brains process is based off of what our eyes see. The truth is, if you want your audience to believe something then you must prove it to them and the only way to do that is to show it to them.

Let’s use the number of followers that I have as an example. I can very easily say that I have 258 followers on Pinterest, 179 on Twitter, 333 on Instagram and 850 friends on Facebook. What does that mean though? From just reading those numbers can you really make sense of it?

Let’s see it visually now.

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Put things into perspective? I mean, look how many friends I have on Facebook! I swear I’ve at least met them all at least once.

Looking at numbers on a blank piece of paper can be impressive but showing it in a graph, chart, infographic or illustration can really bring it all to life. In cases such as these, seeing IS believing.

*My* Online Reputation

When we assess brand’s digital personas, it is all very simple. There is a list of boxes that are left checked or unchecked. We take their statements for face value and see if they execute those in their activity.

A personal online reputation is much harder to judge. Individuals are much more complex than brands are. We have quirky sides, sassy sides, conservative sides and opinionated sides. If we were all characters in a book, brands would be considered flat characters and individuals would be round.

Trying to assess a personal reputation like a Fortune 500’s is nearly impossible. Yet, we are asked to do it anyway. Our digital world, while vast and endless, limits us to tiny screens. We are so much more than that.

That has always been my overall goal for my online reputation. I want to be more than a tiny screen: I want to be a round character in the book of life. I don’t want to have a simple mission statement and only post according to that. I want to be present! I want to live and be engaging. I don’t want to be all business, nor all pleasure. Life is a mixture of both, and I want my online persona to express that.

That is why I post. I post to prove I’m a real person, with real feelings, real memories and real opinions. I also post to keep my family updated. Living so far away from home has its perks but having to call everyone to tell them the 411 can get tiring. Social media keeps me connected.

From the outside, I think my digital reputation matches my real one. I definitely have more opinions and experiences than my news feeds show but I think that when I do post, they are a reflection of me. Eventually, I will have to post more and post better. I’m learning, though! With age comes wisdom right?

Right! That’s another thing I pride myself on. I try to be as smart as I can be when it comes to what I post. I often go through my timeline and get shocked by what my peers post. Don’t they know that our real life reputation can be based on our digital one? I figure you can’t control who sees what online, so you might as well post appropriately.

Eventually I want to work at a respectable company, but that won’t ever happen if they can’t respect me first.

Of course, there is always a need for improvement! Here are some goals and tactics that that will propel my digital future.

  • Goal: Become a trusted source for Public Relation news.
    • Tactic: Follow and repost from PR professionals.
    • Tactic: Start blogging on my own! I don’t need an assignment sheet to generate valid content; I can do that anytime and anywhere.
  • Goal: Create a social media network.
    • Tactic: At least twice, tweet a question, complement or comment at a respectable PR professional.
    • Tactic: Go beyond the first tactic. Email or private message with those persons to have a more in-depth conversation.
    • Tactic: Go to more PR related events and introduce myself to the people involved. Put a face to a name.
  • Goal: Cross promote my media channels.
    • Tactic: Add icons and CTAs to all social media platforms to promote my other profiles.
    • Tactic: Update my LinkedIn profile with those platforms.
    • Tactic: Link my blog to my Facebook and Twitter so that whenever I post, there is an update on those profiles.
  • Goal: Be an early adopter of emerging social media platforms
    • Tactic: Follow technology news sources and try out any new social media platforms that are covered.
    • Tactic: Review my favorites on Facebook or my blog.
  • Goal: Line up a field related internship for the summer
    • Tactic: Network with PR professionals and discuss options.
    • Tactic: Specifically contact Alessa Ross and Melanie Cornell.
  • Goal: Plan ahead and organize social media content.
    • Tactic: Utilize Hootsuite and pre-plan content (original or curated). Create a social media calendar.
    • Tactic: Since my Hootsuite account will eventually end with this class, research other alternatives and experiment with them so that when Hootsuite is gone, I will have another option.

Sounds easy enough, right? From a simple search of my name on Google, I found that these goals and tactics would be perfect for my personal brand. Most of my content that comes up in my search was either from my Pinterest account or my YouTube account. All of my other social media accounts, including my blog, are apart of the top 10 results.

As of right now, I do not have a Google alert programmed. In the future, I believe it could be a useful tool for my personal brand promotion. Right now, however, it is not on my top list of priorities. I’m in the middle of transitioning email accounts and I do not think it would be useful at this date in time. Maybe when my online reputation expands, I will reconsider.

I also noticed in my search that all of my platforms are in need of cross-channel promotions and CTAs. Those connections could really improve my digital presence. Having visible icons on my blog and social media accounts could help me direct traffic to my lesser-known sites. As of right now, I have a few set up but not to the extent I need them to be.

This includes my blog. I know I talked about using my blog quite a bit in my tactics and that is because I feel that it can be an extremely important tool if I use it right. Here, there is no 140-character limit and I can express myself the way I see fit.

Looking at my blog metrics, I can see that cross channel promotion can do it good. I have minimum traffic, with only a handful of views for each blog post. Mentions are positive but, again, are low in numbers.

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Overall, even though I need to cross promote and I have many goals to improve on, I’ve been doing something right. With a Klout score of 47, I’m not as in the dark as I would have expected.

Molding your online persona to be a version of your physical one can be hard but when you track it, connect it and work with it, anything is possible. Sometimes I fear that someone looking at my platforms won’t be able to see the real me. Today, I’m here to say that that is not the case. The Jordyn you see online is the same Jordyn that is behind the screen. My digital reputation is my reputation, and I couldn’t be more proud of what I can accomplish with it.

Kate Spade and Templates and Sales, Oh My!

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Quick announcement: Kate Spade is hosting a 75% off sale right now!

Why is that important? Well, for starters, their purses are adorable and even cuter when they are cheaper. Secondly, it gives us a chance to look at something “new” on their website. At this point you are probably scratching your head and wondering how a sale would be considered new. Stay with me, I’ll explain.

Kate Spade is a luxury item. It is very rare that luxury items go on such a substantial discount. I mean Louboutin doesn’t even allow their shoes to be put on sale, rather it is rumored they burn them. Ouch right?

So, this means this discount section is new! Which is interesting because this section looks the exact same as all of their other section. That is what I want to talk about today. I want to discuss Kate Spade’s template.

A template is defined as “anything that determines or serves as a pattern; a model.” Kate Spade’s flowing cursive handwriting and strategic pops of color are part of their template. Do you think every time their editor wants to run a new print ad they start totally from scratch? Nope.

Instead, they pre-create their fonts, logo and layout. That way they can use them over and over. It also cuts down on time. It is kind of like starting a race halfway through instead of at the beginning.

This new discount section the literal example of this race. Here they are introducing something amazing without having to stress out over the specifics. They are able to focus on the merchandise and customers, like myself, instead of spending all their time trying to re-create their effortlessly classy web template.

I told you I would explain didn’t I? This new sale exhibits their existing template. Just because the sale is revolutionary doesn’t mean Kate Spade would go against their branding. They have an image that represents who they are as a company and worked very hard to perfect it.

Their template ensures that they keep that brand uniform. It also makes it easier and faster to post new pages and ads. Almost all major brands have and use templates. Why wouldn’t they? They are almost as fabulous as the products they showcase.

Notes: The 75% off sale ends October 28th. Go to their website and check it out! http://surprise.katespade.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-KateSale-Site/en_US/Search-Show?cgid=ks-view-all&010=All

Barnes and Noble Content Strategy

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From doing our Social Media Audit on Barnes & Noble, we found that they do a great job with their top three social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), website and blogs. Their journey is getting an “A+” from us; however, with a little more updating and research, they will be at the top of their class.

Barnes & Noble is a longstanding marketing titan in the book-selling world. You need a book about hair bows? Their website is just the place for you. You want more information and articles about newly released books? Go check out their Facebook and Twitter accounts. You need to watch an informative video? You might need to go somewhere else.

That is where Barnes & Noble is lacking. Their smaller, less followed accounts, such as YouTube, Vine and Google +, all need to be developed and cross channel promoted.

However, the content that they do post is gold. They successfully keep readers updated with book releases, author interviews and appearances, and fun “fluff” articles. They crowd source on Facebook and curate from author’s Twitter pages. Barnes & Noble publishes at least once a day and almost always include a CTA to assist the reader back to their main website.

Our only recommendation for them in this aspect would be to interact with their audience and post more on their less popular accounts! Between the two of us, we both “tweeted” them and never heard back. The same thing happens on their Facebook channel. Yes they crowd source on their page but they almost never reply to any of the comments left by their consumers.

So overall, we found that Barnes & Noble knows what they are doing. This Fortune 500 Company has been the top selling bookstore in the nation and hopefully will continue this legacy. They aren’t perfect though and that is why they need to listen to more social media experts.

Talk to you later~ Jordyn and Brianna

You better watch that Tone!

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Years ago, when I rocked braces and actually tried to dress up for school, I sat in the back of my high school English class pouring a textbook entry about “Tone”. From that point on I’ll admit I never fully understood it. Last week I found myself in the same exact boat while learning about Social Media Audits.

Sure, I can tell you the definition of tone no problem but what does it really mean? Lucky for you, I’ve researched it a bit; I found that tone is one of the easiest concepts to understand. I’m going to blame my confusion on the fact that we were looking for the tone in old English poetry. As beautiful as it is, nobody really KNOWS what is going on.

Anyway, tone is how you say something; not necessarily what you say. For example, remember when you would say something to your mom and she would tell you to change your attitude? That was tone! Whatever message you were trying to convey could have been said in a different way. Your tone made her think you were getting sassy, even though you might not have been.

To a company, the tone they exude can make or break their relationship with customers. Let’s say Company A wants to appeal to the middle class housewife. Their tone should probably be more conversational and trendy in nature.

Now, let’s say Company B wants clients who are very “hipster” and are 18 to 24. Company B should not use a professional tone. Instead, they should be more informal and maybe even use some slang.

The tone a company uses should be consistent on all their platforms. Everything from their Facebook account to their emails they send out should have that tone. They can’t expect to gain loyalty if they aren’t loyal to what they are presenting.

Lets pretend Company B suddenly decides make a huge campaign to market the launch of their new coffee product. Unfortunately for them, they also decide to go against their uniform tone. This new campaign is strict business and its personality is all off. The CEO is surprised to find that all their hard work is failing. We, the PR practitioners, are not. After all, we know how important a company’s tone really is.

It amazes me now how difficult I found this simple concept all those years ago. I guess poetry can do that to you because as it turns out, tone is so easy to understand.

Paul Walker and Measurement

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Can we take a moment to talk about Paul Walker? Perhaps you know him best as Brian O’Conner, the loveable speed demon who raced onto the big screen for the Fast and Furious franchise. The same Paul Walker that stole Dominic Toretto’s heart and became the #1 crush of all teenage girls anywhere. Now, to some, this might be all they know about this hunk of a man but what they don’t realize is that there is so much more.

Before his untimely death in 2013, Paul Walker started a successful non-profit organization called Reach Out WorldWide. Reach Out WorldWide, or ROWW for short, was created to bring relief to disaster struck areas. The aspect that makes this organization so special is that it only accepts medical professionals into its first response ranks.

I first found out about ROWW during my PR strategies class. Since then, I’ve kept up with the company and felt a sense of pride for what it stands for. I’m not going to lie, part of that comes from my love of Paul Walker.

Anyway, I did my final project over ROWW so I had to learn the ins and outs of his company. I also had to come up with strategies and tactics for how it could improve. My project was pretty cut and dry (you can still find it on YouTube if you are interested). Even though I talked quiet a bit about what they could do in the future, I didn’t exactly add how they could measure the impact of what I suggested online.

Today I’m here to right that wrong.

As noted in earlier blog posts, this world we live in is a digital one. Everything we do revolves around our digital footprint. It is only appropriate that companies and organizations, including ROWW, should be concerned about theirs. KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, can help them measure just that.

Need to know how many people clicked on your website? Want to see who is watching your promotional videos and for how long? Curious about how effective your marketing campaigns are? KPI’s can tell you!

If Reach Out WorldWide would simply take the time to look into their KPIs they could find a whole treasure chest of specialized information! For example, one of my goals was to gain awareness. Lets say ROWW was to create a nation wide digital campaign with an emphasis on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Their KPIs could tell them how many visitors they received after the campaign started. They would also be able to tell which links the audience used to get to their website or social media account.

It is crazy to think that EVERYTHING we do online can be tracked and with that information, organizations like ROWW can do amazing things. With measurement like these, Paul Walker’s dream can be a reality that keeps growing year after year.

Have a second to spare? Go check out ROWW website! Just click here.

Lets Toss a Coin

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The Internet is a funny thing. It makes everything seem so vast yet it fits in the palm of our hand. It allows us to connect with people around the world but can also isolates us from the people sitting right across the room. It opens doors while also shutting us out.

Our generation views access to the Internet as a right. We associate it with creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The funny thing is, our generation also has a way of finding the short cuts in life. Now this is a generalization, of course, but it allows us to see both sides of the same coin. On one side we have creation; on the other side, we have falsification.

The discussion about how this coin turns has been around since the Internet first became available to the public. The question of whether “borrowing” something is just as bad a stealing something has been at the forefront of those conversations. Everybody seems to have an opinion on this subject. Some agree, like myself. Others believe that there is no harm in it.

As a public relations major I have seen both sides of this coin. I have to see the effort and commitment on one side and I have to see how it affects those individuals when the coin flips over. To me, what we create online belongs to us just as much as something physical would. When an individual writes a book or creates a piece of art, it is considered undoubtedly theirs. Just because we can now do this in digital form doesn’t make it any different.

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Sure, people can share it; they can like it, comment on it and even screen shot it ,but they can never own it like you could. Congress has long debated over where ownership begins and ends. Perhaps this isn’t a strict black and white situation but it is one coin toss that can always land heads up as long as people do the right thing. Every day we choose what side of the coin we want to be on, I hope you always choose the right one.

MTV and the #VMAs

In today’s world, businesses must exist online in order to survive. Websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (to name a few) have become the meeting halls of our society. Everything from breaking news to 500 baby pictures are shared and disseminated to the World Wide Web in an instant. As of right now there is no better example of this power than MTV’s Video Music Awards or “VMAs”. I personally didn’t have the opportunity to watch them this year due my internet/cable provider but I still know everything that happened during the two-hour show. How is that possible you ask? That, my dear friend, is the power of social media. I wasn’t there; I didn’t watch it but because of my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds I might as well have.

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Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week you will know a lot when down during this year’s VMAs. Kanye announced he was running for president in the year 2020, Justin Bieber cried and the feud between Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus hit a climax. From my view from my computer screen, it was an entertaining show to say the least! That was partly because of MTV’s amazing job of monitoring their social media channels.

They had only a handful of hashtags that were both specific enough to guide their audience but broad enough that they didn’t limit the public’s interaction. MTV also did a great job with connecting with the participants because hashtags. For example, I primarily stayed on #VMA and no matter how long I scrolled I always found a reply or retweet by MTV’s account.

They also sought to be a news source rather than a news provider. What I mean by this is: MTV chose to put out all of their information immediately rather than hold on to it to create lengthy editorial articles later on. Fans were already posting the information anyway so they had to keep up by doing small information blasts instead of publishing the whole thing later on.

MTV also had their other social media channels being run by popular celebrities. For example, Vanessa Hudgens took over the company’s Periscope account and connected with all of her fans. Other celebrities joined in the fun as well by posting on their personal social media accounts using the hashtags.

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Overall, I was impressed by what MTV did on social media. They monitored and engaged in such a way that I knew exactly what was going on without tuning in. Before this year’s VMAs, MTV already had a reputation for being “hip and modern” in todays culture. Since they had such a positive and interactive social media presence this year I believe that reputation has only grown.

Five Things I learned in PR Strategy

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Public Relations Strategy is a class that every PR major will undoubtedly have to take during their time at Texas Tech, as well they should considering it can single-handily make or break their future career. I took it the spring of my first year of college and, for me, it served as a wakeup call. It was my first “big kid” class with “big kid” projects and the very real possibility of a “big kid” failure. With that being said, I loved this class.

The thing about PR Strategy, or PR in general, is that YOU have to decide if you succeed or fail. There isn’t some magic formula that can figure it out for you. Your guts and your brain have to critically think about the problem and come up with the best solution. You must decide how and when to move forward. That, within itself, is very powerful.

I have compiled a list of my top five things I learned from that class. Now, don’t judge me! Some of them are really rudimentary, but I am a firm believer that it’s the little things in life that have the greatest impact.

  1. In this class, I learned in very clear detail how to write PR objectives and tactics. Nothing can make or break a Public Relation campaign like these simple statements.
  2. We got to learned which strategies would work in relevant situations! Remember those Ocean Spray commercials with the two guys standing in a field of cranberries? Well, back in my PR Strategy days those were the bee’s knees! We spend half of the class one day coming up with all sorts of strategies for them to use to increase their awareness. It was a humorous learning environment.
  3. Speaking of commercials- I’ve always been fascinated by the thought process behind them. Like, why did they choose to use that actor and say that message? In this class we got to learn about all the different persuasion strategies that companies use to persuade us to buy their product or idea.
  4. We also learned how these strategies could backfire. There is something very comforting in knowing that things can go wrong at any point and being completely prepared for it. Part of Public Relations is planning for any outcome, even the one you least expect.
  5. Last but not least, I learned to trust my instinct. There are dozens of strategies that can be used at any time, but it is the PR practitioner’s job to decide which one fits best. It is true that each strategy comes with its own set of pros and cons yet there is no definite answer. I learned that I can make those decisions as long as I trust myself and pay attention to all t