Thursday, December 2, 2010

Event Recap: Building a Brand Through Sustainability

When the Holiday Season approaches, retailers get their chance for a second birth: stores get crowded with holiday shoppers, USPS and Fedex deliveries triple in size, and monthly sales of clothes skyrocket. Nordstrom, Macys, Saks Fifth Avenue, and other big department stores bring thousands of new inventory items that will be sold during Black Friday only. Then the Holidays come to an end, stores get new inventories, and in two months it all goes on seasonal clearance again…and the cycle goes on…

The question is: after being sold, where do all of these clothes end up? It turns out they either pile up in closets or end up in landfills. Poor quality clothing that wears out after the fist hand-wash become abandoned by the owners since it's no longer considered valuable. The numbers behind the scene of retails are completely devastating: the amount of clothes used by individuals increases by 21% each year and majority of these clothes are made from fabrics that are not biodegradable.

This is when the sustainable fashion steps up. Connie Ulasewicz, the keynote speaker of EFACTOR's event Building a Brand Through Sustainability, described sustainable fashion as the one that meets the needs of present without compromising the needs of the future generations. Sustainable fashion is more than just using recyclable, organic fabrics for clothing: it's about creating social change on a global scale. Connie's model is built upon 3 interconnected elements: people, process, and environment.

San Francisco, as a center of green movement and a pioneer of sustainable practices, is home to many local organizations that have started embracing sustainability as a part of the global change (PeopleWearSF, Global Action Through Fashion, SFFAMA, Fashion Group International Inc, The Innovative Fashion Council). These organizations and alliances support change on the local level and inspire the movement of sustainable fashion in economical, social, and environmental levels.

Creativity is a must for a sustainable fashion. That's why individual designers inspired by new ideas also step up to support the change. Have you ever thought that the leather from your old car's interior can be transformed into a fashionable vintage jacket? Guess what, Dustin Page turned this dream into reality with his Platinum Dirt jacket collection.

Never imagined that you could be wearing a designer hat from the real fish skin? Well, Jasmin Zorlu employed a variety of innovative materials that include fish skin, abalone shells, and crinoline with fruit gas to create her futuristic headwear.
Another great example of local sustainable brand is EcoCitizen, owned by Joslin Van Arsdale, and exclusive boutique on Polk Street in San Francisco. Joslin's business philosophy is to keep it simple, keep it clean, keep it green.

All of these young and extremely talented designers shared their thoughts on how to build the brand through sustainable practice of making a high-quality non-toxic recyclable clothes.

So if you're in love with fashion, live in San Francisco, or just planning to visit it someday - make sure to stop by and see what other creative and sustainable solutions these designers came up with!

To learn more about this event please go to

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Event Recap - "Recruiters' Guide to Getting A Job"

We all can use a little help on getting a job, and what better way to do so than by getting tips from recruiters! In case you missed Office of Career Services' "Recruiters' Guide to Getting A Job" event last Monday, here's a summary of the event and some job-hunting tips!

  • For job-seekers, Recruiters spend between 10-30 seconds on each resume. That's it. They get hundreds, sometimes thousands of resume a day. If you don't impress them within the first 10 seconds, your resume will go directly to the "toss" pile.
  • Recruiters rely on the top half of the resume to determine whether they want to continue reading. This means you better make sure everything at the top is very important as recruiters might not get through the whole resume.
  • Cover letters are important, so you should always include one regardless of whether it is required or not.
  • Recruiters know you're trying to get a job. Therefore, having an "Objective" section is not always necessary. If you run out of room on your resume, cut the "Objective" and use that space for
    qualifications instead.
  • Resume style is industry-dependent.
  • After seeing thousands and thousands of resumes, recruiters can tell generic resumes from tailored resumes. Take the time to think about what each job wants!

  • Go for it - even if you feel like you might not be the exact fit.
  • Let people know that you are looking. Anyone from your professors to church members. You never know when someone might have a connection somewhere.
  • Make assumptions that:
    • The actual hiring manager is the person who looks at your resume. Hiring managers sometimes use computer programs, or even unqualified subordinates, to screen through incoming resumes.

    • Craft your resume to fit the desired job role.
    • Include buzzwords.
    • Be creative with how you describe your qualifications.
    • Use bullet points to summarize qualifications.
      • Use action-oriented words.
      • Describe achievements in quantitative figures.
      • Demonstrate results!
    • Stand out from the crowd!
    • Craft your resume in a way that highlights "intangible skills."
      • Management skills
      • Leadership
      • Advanced communication skills
    • Include relevant significant job experiences/qualifications at the top.
    • ALWAYS write a cover letter.
      • Use your cover letter to enhance your resume, but don't repeat the same information. 
    • SELL your experiences; write persuasively.
    • Tailor your resume to each job. Recruiters can spot a generic resume, and they don't want that.
    • Highlight hard skills and technical skills (language or program proficiencies, strong presentation skills).
    • Include everything you've done in your life. Only include relevant information, something applicable to the desired job position.
    • Send the same resume out to every employer. Tailor your resume, always!

    • Prepare before every interview. Go beyond just researching the company. Develop a good understanding of the professional environment you're trying to enter.
    • Know yourself (your skills) and be confident in what you can bring to the table.
    • Treat your interview like telling a story:
      • There's a beginning, middle, and end.
      • Get your point across in full sentences.
    • Beware of behavioral interview questions, which is when hiring managers ask if you've been in a particular situation and how you dealt with it.
    • Ramble during your interview.
    • Figit.
    • Come unprepared.
    • Try applying for internships or temporary positions. This is a great way of getting yourself through the door. Once you're in, it'll be your chance to show them what you're capable of. Impress them during your temp/internship and you might just land yourself a long-term job!
    • Scan through the job description and identify the qualifications desired by the company. If you're 80% qualified, GO FOR IT!
    • Look at job boards everyday to stay current on what's available out in the field.
    • Talk to someone with experience in the field.
    • Be proactive in targeting your network:
      1. Zoom in on the type of jobs you WANT.
      2. Determine the companies you want to work for.
      3. Network with people in these companies!
    • Utilize your "student status" and request for an informational interview with a professional within your desired field.
      • This shows your resourcefulness and willingness to stick your neck out on the line.
    • Use "STAR": Frame your answer into a "Situation - Task - Action - Result" format!
    • Ask yourself: "How can I add value to this organization?" and be sure to demonstrate this in your resume and during your interview.

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Recommended Book: Lead Generation for the Complex Sale

    Marketing graduates today claim that marketing is not sales. In fact, some alumnus admit that the reason they went to study marketing in college was because they didn’t want to work in sales. This tense attitude towards sales in the early stages of someone’s career translates into tense relationships between two major departments later: marketing and sales.

    Unlike small companies that treat marketing and sales as similar business activities, larger companies separate the two in separate departments – marketing to do marketing and sales to do sales. However, numerous stories have been told about sales people complaining about marketing people and vice versa.

    The most widespread disagreement is that sales agents complain about the quality of leads generated by marketing department, while marketing people complain about the ability of sales agents to seal the deal. Well, the truth is that both departments are responsible for developing an efficient lead generation strategy and boosting up the company’s ROI.

    Brian Carroll, in his book Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, points out that salespeople must be enabled to do what they do best – to sell, with leads that have been qualified as sales ready. Therefore, it’s marketer’s responsibility to generate leads that are sales ready and constantly monitor the campaign progress with sales department.

    The books points out some great tips on how to get qualified leads and develop an ongoing relationships among both departments:
    • Focus on collaboration
    • Target your ideal customer profile
    • Develop a universal lead definition that is specific to YOUR company
    • Maintain hygiene of the centralized database
    • Refine your value proposition
    • Build a lead generation plan
    This book is an excellent source for those who are planning to work in corporate or already deal with sales on a daily basis. It provides some great insights about how to structure your lead generation plan by using integrated marketing communications: phone, email marketing, PR, direct mail, web, event marketing, and much more.

    And remember, even though marketing is not sales and sales is not marketing, both of them are an essential part of a profit generating machine that keeps the company afloat.

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Smart Email Communication

    Every day when we open our inboxes, we encounter different types of emails: messages from friends, family, coworkers as well as promotional discounts and coupons from our favorite retailers or service providers.

    Upcoming sales? New cross-selling suggestions? Reminders to visit a dentist or local bank? All of these messages end up piling up in your inbox with one purpose – to provide you with an incentive to buy something. Relevancy and visual attractiveness of the email will eventually determine whether it results in action or ends up in junk mail.

    Thinking about how to make your email campaign successful? Nicole Birdsall, Group Product Manager of Communications at eBay, reveals several factors that happen behind the scenes of email marketing:
    • 58% of consumers start their online day by reading their emails. Meanwhile, 20 percent begin on search engines and 11 percent check their Facebook pages. Email popularity is growing and almost 2.85 million emails are sent out in the cyberspace per second;
    • Email marketing has the highest ROI comparing to other media channels. Per $1 spent in US email generates approximately $43 in return comparing to $21 from other non-email Internet marketing channels and $7 from print catalogs;
    • With growing popularity of smartphones, email marketing is projected to transform the way we read our emails. Special attention should be paid to phones where users can "interact" with emails through the touchscreens. Therefore, most important mobile platforms for testing today are Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and Palm;
    • As a marketer you should know that it's important to keep all of your important information above the fold since many of those users who open your email will never scroll down;
    • Even though we may think that Microsoft Outlook 2003 is outdated, we will be surprised to find out that it is being used by 28% of all B2B clients and 18% of B2C. Therefore, prior to launching your email campaign that features high resolution pictures or Adobe flash, keep in mind that your recipients may only see black boxes with small dots instead of all the fancy graphics;
    • Keeping up with new technology may be extremely useful for your company, but it's worth to note that testing different platforms is a key to your success. Are you sending your email from Yahoo? Do you know how it will look like in MSN inbox? The graphs below may help out during your testing process

    • Lastly, as ethical marketers, we all have to comply with regulations of CAN SPAM Act 2003 and always use permission marketing to opt-in and opt-out our customers. To find out more about the act please follow the link

    Hope that these hints will help you to improve the effectiveness of your email campaign. Please feel free to share any thoughts or comments you may have.

    P.S. Special thanks to Nicole Birdsall for graphics and data.

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    New Marketing Tool: Yahoo! Clues

    ... and apparently that's what Yahoo! Clues is all about.

    In a nutshell, Yahoo! Clues (still in Beta) is a keyword research tool that allows the public to analyze "trends" of a particular search word. Based on historical search activities, Yahoo! Clues compiles a report that indicates the popularity of any given word in their search engine. Data provided by the site is categorized by search over time, demographics, location, search flow, related searches, etc.

    For example, if you click on the Yahoo! Clues link, you will be directed to a Yahoo! Clues page with the word "fantasy football" already selected for analysis. (It is possible that you may be directed to a different search keyword, but that's probably because Yahoo is trying to guess what word you might want to analyze. Such prediction is based on your past search history and other personal information you may not have voluntarily divulged.) Scroll down the page and you will learn that the keyword "fantasy footbal" is most commonly searched by men between the age of 25 to 34 (37% of search), which is fitting considering the appeal of fantasy football.

    How is this a marketing tool, you ask?

    Yahoo! Clue can help marketers conduct consumer research. It helps marketers gain a better understanding of the consumers that they are trying to reach and narrow the pool down to the ones with the most potential.

    Lets take "fantasy football" for example...

    Pretend that you are an application developer with an app for fantasy football to be released in three months. First thing you would do as part of your marketing strategy is to identify search words that will lead potential customers to your product. Once you identify those words, you would want to know the type of people who search for those words in search engines. That way you can craft appropriate campaigns that target those specific people.

    Best part of all of this is that the data is accessible free and without any subscription.

    In case you are still curious about Yahoo! Clues, Business Review USA wrote a pretty short article that gets right to the point. ReelSEO also wrote a pretty lengthy article on it. If you're still curious, try typing "Yahoo! Clues" into your Google search box. Let's hope that your computer doesn't blow up in the process.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Fun Challenge: Defining Marketing Buzzwords

    Ah, buzzwords.

    In spite of the painful ambiguity that each word carries, marketing buzzwords have infiltrated your academic and professional vocabulary. Worse, they may have also worked their way into your casual conversations.

    Regardless of your status in this love-hate relationship, they are everywhere and Marketing Jive will attest to this fact. In fact, Marketing Jive painstakingly listed out the top 100 marketing buzzwords of 2010 and have been doing so since 2007. Just to test your familiarity with these buzzwords, let's see how many you can actually define.

    Cartoon from ShearCreativity
    Go ahead and read through this condensed 2010 list (full list can be found here, but don't become too tempted to look at lists from previous years). Use your fingers to keep track of how many words you actually know and use, and pray that you won't have to count with your toes too.

    Just for kicks, the bolded words are some of my favorites. Defnitions will follow in a few days.

    1. Value Justification
    2. Real-Time
    3. Attribution
    4. Personalization
    5. Value Proposition
    6. Benchmarking
    7. Social Media
    8. Blended Search
    9. Reassurance
    10. Optimization
    11. Incremental
    12. Impact Analysis
    13. Economic Assurance
    14. ROI
    15. Recession Proofing
    16. Nexus One
    17. Work in Progress
    18. Relevance
    19. Short Term Solution
    20. Maturity Models
    21. Transparency
    22. Long-tail
    23. Visibility
    24. Content Optimization
    25. Usability
    26. Value Stream
    27. Twitter
    28. Best Practices
    29. ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend)
    30. iPhone App
    31. Business Objectives
    32. Online Budget
    33. Value Add
    34. Alignment
    35. Loyalty
    36. Online Budget
    37. Universal Search
    38. Consumer Appeal
    39. Leveraging Relationships
    40. Demand Creation
    41. Incremental Improvement
    42. Lifelong Value
    43. Consumer Retention
    44. Cutbacks
    45. Low-hanging fruit
    46. Bounce Rate
    47. Accountability Management
    48. Search Maturation
    49. Simplification
    50. Viral Marketing
    51. Emotional Ecomomy
    52. Greenlining
    53. Brandstorming
    54. Unbanked
    55. Exit Strategy
    56. Cost-conscious
    57. Deferred Success
    58. Paradigm Shifts
    59. BuyerSphere
    60. Reputation Management
    61. Consumer Initiated Marketing
    62. Hulu
    63. Microblogging
    64. Re-skilling
    65. Dollarization
    66. Semantic Mapping
    67. Organic Search
    68. Segmentation
    69. The Obama Effect
    70. Prime Placement
    71. Trended Analysis
    72. Digital Native
    73. Success Metrics
    74. Chimerica
    75. Critical Timing
    76. Redeploying Assets
    77. Downsizing
    78. Online Evangelism
    79. Mobilization
    80.  Share of Voice

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Event Recap - Social Media Marketing Career Panel (Part 1)

    Another successful event has come and gone, and GGU AMA Marketing Club would like to thank all of you for attending! A big thank you also goes to our wonderful panelists: Michael Brito, Jenna Jantsch, Julia Joslyn, and Kathryn Ross. They were very informative and engaging!

    For those of you who missed the panel, here's a detail recap of the event and some key takeaways:

    Panelists' thoughts on social media and its role in marketing
    • Social media is a growing field, not just a trend.
    • Social media is about conversations, in real-time. Successful brands know how to hone in on key conversations, even if there's a million entries per minute.
    • Social media is the portal through which brands can connect and interact directly with their customers. It is imperative that brands listen to their customers and take action based on those conversations.
    • They key to utilizing social media is learning how to operationalize it. More explanation for this term will follow shortly.
    • Lots of companies get what social media is all about. However, some companies don't understand how to leverage the tools made available through social media.
    • The old 3F's (friends, fans, and followers) rule isn't applicable anymore. Brands' networks are rapidly expanding due to social media; everyone and anyone can be talking about your brand, not just the 3F's.
    • Social media is about advocacy. In order to drive sales of products/services, you need to first  create advocacy. This means getting people to say positive things about your brand.
    Issues in social media
    • There is a disconnect between consumers and the reality behind the brand's engagement.
    • There is a disconnect between departments when it comes to taking ownership of social media. Conflicts over the operationalization of social media often arises when different departments don't communicate with each other about their respective social media campaigns.
    • Companies cannot successfully engage in external conversations (social media) until internal conflicts are solved.
    • Lots of brands listen to conversations, but few take that insight to the next level and improve products.
    Starbucks, Dell, and GM are some of the very few companies who went beyond just listening to "conversations." They actually made changes to their products to better accommodate their customers' needs.

    For example, here's an article on what Starbucks is doing to improve customer experience. Critics speculate that these changes are Starbucks' response to overwhelming complaints about its "factory assembly line" approach to making coffee.

    How to get into the field of social media
    First step: get a Twitter account.
    Second step: brand yourself.
    • Personal branding: Personal branding is key when entering the field of social media. Employers will ask, "Do you have a blog? Are you active on Twitter?" A great way to get your foot in the door is to immerse yourself in social media. Start talking; develop a voice that is distinctly you. As Jenna points out: the person who gets the most attention is the one who can "make the loudest noise." If your voice is unique and your contributions add value to the conversation, someone will notice you. Twitter is a great place to test your "voice" online. Once you feel more comfortable with multiple platforms, you can really start developing your personal brand.
    • Utilizing social media: Beyond the ability to brand yourself, you must also demonstrate the ability to effectively utilize social media tools. Michael's example of a recent hire who knew her way around Twitter and search engines shows how your knowledge of these tools can easily impress potential employers.
    • Introducing social media to new companies: Jenna believes that companies across the board are in different stages of social media. Most companies understand social media. Some however, are just starting out and they need experts! You can join these companies and bring social media into their marketing strategy.
    • Making connections, using social media. Another way to get your foot in the door is to connect to experts on LinkedIn and Twitter. Most experts have connections throughout the field (and most importantly, connections to recruiters). If you play your cards right, you might even get recommendations from them!
    • Drinking from the fire hose: Social media might seem overwhelming, but the best way to get over this is simply to immerse yourself. Soak up the technology, learn about new platforms, surround yourself with seasoned professionals. Jump in and absorb as much as you can.
    • Putting in the time: Julia's natural curiosity and dedication to learning landed her the job of her life. Her main advice is to lend yourself to any open projects and become an integral component to the company. She states, "If they like working with you, they'll keep you on board!"
    • Taking ownership, and feeling confident in what you are presenting: A level of professional risk comes with being a social media marketer. Still, the fear of a bad outcome shouldn't stop you from taking ownership of new campaigns. 
    • Social media isn't always on the fast lane: There's a fast lane as well as a slow track, and you can choose the path with which you are most comfortable. You won't become overwhelmed if you choose the company that is on the same pace.
    About our panelists

    Michael Brito
    Michael brings over 12 years of experience in digital marketing to his role as VP of Social Media where he provides strategic counsel to one of Edelman Digital’s top accounts. His principal areas of expertise include digital marketing, social media, and integrated brand marketing communications through the social web. Prior to joining Edelman, Michael served as a global social media strategist for Intel Corporation. Michael has also worked for Yahoo!, HP and Sony. Michael earned his MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from GGU. Check out his blog on social media at

    Jenna Jantsch
    As a social business consultant at Ant’s Eye View, Jenna is responsible for helping mid to large-size companies use social media to transform their customers’ engagement with the brand.  Prior to joining Ant’s Eye View, Jenna was the Social Media Marketing Manager at Vertical Response.  There, her work with social platforms increased the company’s NetPromoter score 4 points and contributed 200 new customers per month.  Jenna graduated from Colorado State University.

     Julia Joslyn
    Described as a “search and display advocate,” Julia is the Senior Director of Sales at Technorati Media. Best known for its blog search engine and blogging platform, the company also owns an ad network and two other websites, and Prior to Technorati, Julia worked for the ad agency AKQA in search engine marketing. She holds an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications degree from GGU.

    Kathryn Ross
    Kathryn has worked for Delta Dental for eight years in a variety of marketing roles. As the Integrated Marketing Manager, she is responsible for developing B2B marketing programs, communications, and campaigns. Within the last year, social media has been added to the marketing mix and Kathryn drives the company’s social marketing strategy and execution.  She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA with a B.A. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.

      Monday, November 15, 2010

      Facebook's New Messaging Service - "It's Not Email"

      This morning experts were still speculating what Facebook's new feature would be and now the secret is unveiled!

      Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg presented Facebook's "Messages" this morning in San Francisco. Email will not be the main part of it, as many were expecting. According to Facebook's blog post this new messaging system allows users to choose how they would like to communicate with others. The options are via SMS, chat, email or Messages and users will receive messages through whatever medium or device most convenient for them.

      Messages will integrate three different parts:
      - Seamless Messaging
      - Conversation history
      - The Social Inbox

      The latter one filters incoming emails so that users only see emails from friends and family in their inbox and all other emails will initially land in the "Other Folder". This new feature allows the user to be in control and lets them decide by whom they want to be contacted. Facebook will provide an email address to every user, but it is still up to them whether they want to use it or not.

      On the blog, Facebook specifically mentions that Messages will not be email, but can rather be seen as a convenient chat or conversation tool. Messages is not yet available for users, but will be rolled out over the next few months.

      Now that the word is out and Facebook will not directly compete with Google or Yahoo email, what do you think about the new Message? Do you think it will be successful? - Could This Be The Future?

      The situation before the Facebook announcement

      I came across Pete Cashmore's (CEO of Mashable) latest weekly column on CNN, where he speculates whether the social networking giant Facebook is planning to upgrade its message product so that users would be able to send emails, too. Apparently Facebook invited for a special event this Monday to introduce a new feature. Why is Cashmore speculating? The invitation for the event featured an Inbox logo!

      Let's assume Facebook will burst the bubble today and its new feature would be email. The next question would be, whether I would want to switch and use an email for all my future correspondence? I guess several aspects would influence a decision. Personally, I am pretty happy and satisfied with my current email provider, Google. Its services are good, convenient and simple. Thus far, I cannot find a good and compelling reason to switch my provider anytime soon.

      Additionally, Facebook is known for its fun social networking services, which Cashmore describes as services reaching from photo sharing to FarmVille. Thus, the question would be how well a Facebook email address would be associated with serious business correspondence? Maybe this again depends on different factors. In what industry you work in for example might influence the acceptance of an address. It might be less appropriate in a law firm, but maybe more acceptable at a tech company or company involved in new media.

      For many an email might just be a secondary email address that they can use to interact especially with Facebook friends. A yahoo or gmail address on the other hand could still be used for all other correspondence.

      Today is the day! I am sure we will hear about the big Facebook news soon. You can be sure to read about it here at the GGU AMA Marketing Club blog. Until then, let us know what you think about an email? Would you use it?

      Friday, November 12, 2010

      Marketing Terms - Email Marketing

      In case you plan to go to a email marketing seminar any time soon, here are some commonly used terms you may want to brush up on. In fact, sprinkle some of these throughout your sentences and you'll convince anyone that you are a seasoned marketing professional!
      Graphic obtained from VerticalResponse

      ROI (Return on Investment) - The measure of the profit you make and/or costs saved at your business.

      Open Rate - The number recipients who opened your marketing material, typically measured as a percentage of the number of total recipients. It's a useful metric for judging response to a particular campaign, with a few restrictions.

      Above the Fold - First, you have to know what the "fold" is - it's the last area of your browser or email right before you have to start scrolling. Any area that requires some scrolling in order to see the content is "below the fold." Rule of Thumb: Your most important information should be located above the fold, since it's the first thing your customers will see!

      Copy - Any body of text on your marketing material.

      Phishing - It's a bad term, and you never want your brand to be affiliated with anything phishing-related. VerticalResponse describes a phishing scam as "a spammer, posing as a trusted party such as a bank or reputable online vendor, sends email messages directing recipients to Web sites that appear to be official but are in reality fraudulent. Visitors to these Web sites are asked to disclose personal information, such as credit card numbers, or to purchase counterfeit or pirated products." Sounds like "sketchy-quervos" to me!

      Preview Pane - If you have Outlook, Entourage, or Mac Mail, you should be familiar with the preview pane, which allows users to view the email through a preview pane before opening it. If you want to grab your recipient's attention fast, use the preview pane to your advantage and insert attention-grabbing opening lines to entice recipients to actually open the email.

      Targeting - This is an easy one, especially if you have taken Michael Savod's MKT 300 class. "Target marketSSSSSS," he emphasized. As aggravating as those extra S's may sound, his intended message holds true. Use geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioral information to narrow down the group of people who will most likely respond to your marketing campaign. Do so, and you might just hit the gold.

      Web Friendly fonts - Times, Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana, and other "standard fonts". These universal fonts can be read by 99.99% of all browsers. If you want to get creative and stray from these fonts, however, you might run  into some compatibility problems. Most browsers will automatically convert your pretty fonts into something uglier, more standard fonts. You wouldn't want recipients' browsers to hinder your creativity now, do you?

      Fun Challenge: Awesome Logos with Hidden Messages

      Theroxor, a website dedicated to design, posted an awesome article on some famous logos that have hidden messages. Scroll through the pictures and see if you can spot the hidden messages. Answers and explanations for the hidden messages can be found on the original Theroxor posting here.

      Big Ten Conference
      Baskin Robins
       Sony Vaio

       Northwest Airlines

      Sun Microsystems

      100 Free Themes for WordPress

      For those of you that are about to join the blogosphere, you should consider using WordPress as your platform (no offence, Blogger, you know we love you). If you are using WordPress and are in need of a good page theme, check out this awesome 100 free themes list that was published by Smashing Magazine. Scroll through the long list and you may find a theme that fits your personality, like this one:
      For those of you that are interested in web design trends and techniques, definitely check out Smashing Magazine's website. You might find some cool designs and find some inspiration in the process.

      Wednesday, November 10, 2010

      Recommended Book - Ferguson Career Launcher

      Ferguson Career Launcher: Advertising & Public Relations by Stan Tymorek
      Call No: HF 5828.4 T96 2010
      Available at the GGU Main Library

      Reason to Read: This 150-page book should be a sidekick to newbies entering advertising and Public Relations fields. From interviewing tips, to exclusive insights, to industry jargon, this book is full of awesome industry-specific knowledge that is definitely on your need-to-know basis. And with pretentiously titled sub-sections like "Everyone Knows...", how can you not trust the author to be an expert in the field?

      Favorite Chapters:
      Ch. 4 - Tips for Success: Because, obviously, we can never get enough of those tips.
      Ch. 5 - Talk Like A Pro: Do you know how marketing professionals convince clients they are experts in the field? By using ambiguous, industry-specific jargon when they talk, write, or even sleep. So if you want people to believe that you are a marketing professional, talk like one.

      Tutorial - Creating Text on a Path in Illustrator

      This article by gives basic instructions on how to create text on a path in Illustrator.. check it out!

      Industry Trend - Cause Marketing

      As I browsed through VerticalResponse's marketing blog, I stumbled across a blog post on cause marketing (original blog entry can be found here). The entry starts off describing an event where the writer was instantaneously motivated to purchase something from the store she was in just because the clerk told her that the store supported the (Red) campaign. Then she later goes on to promote cause marketing and how small companies can support various non-profit organizations.

      If you look around your local shopping mall today, you will indeed see that cause marketing is a popular trend, and it is pretty ubiquitous. Big companies are pairing up with small non-profits to support various causes - and gain goodwill from their customers in the process.

      The following paragraph pulled from the original blog post on VerticalResponse proves my point. Here, the writer encourages companies who partake in cause marketing to talk about their success!

      "Make sure once you get to a place that seems significant, get loud and proud. Talk about the amount of money your cause received because of the profits you were able to give. Tell stories about lives that may have been saved, or successes of the cause because of businesses like yours. People love to do business with a winner and you and your staff will feel great about the work you do.
      Ingrain cause marketing in your company and it could be a boost to business, a boost for your cause and a boost for employee morale for years to come."

      As a consumer, does cause marketing work on you?

      Tuesday, November 9, 2010

      Foursquare as a "Social Connections Manager"... Will People Buy It?

      Hot off the press! TechCrunch just reported that Foursquare has updated its website. You can find the original article on TechCrunch here.

      The social application, once reliant on its predominantly mobile platform, has made major improvements to its website. As TechCrunch reporter MG Siegler puts it, Foursquare website now "has utility: as a social connections manager."

      But wait a minute - isn't that Facebook's role in people's social network?

      IMO, Facebook is currently the most popular "social connections manager" out there - on both mobile and website platforms. Foursquare, in a small way, is also a social connections manager. It's mobile "check-in" feature is popular within the social networking realm because it allows your friends to know where you are currently located. It's an instant GPS locater, and you as the user are in control of the information posted. It's only downside - until now at least - is that it exists primarily on a mobile platform as an application. With the new "Find Friends" feature where you can find and follow your friends on Foursquare on your phone and via the website, Foursquare might just elevate its usefulness onto a whole different level.

      While keeping in mind my points below, I pose the following questions:
      1) If Foursquare is already a hit as a Facebook application (with a dominant mobile presence), why try to compete with Facebook as a social connections manager?
      2) With so many people's real-time updates (News Feed on Facebook, following people on Twitter, instantaneous informational updates via RSS) blowing up your phone, will Foursquare updates turn into yet another platform that induces informational overload?

      Monday, November 8, 2010

      Top 5 No-No's When Writing Your Resume

      I'm sure most of you have spent time researching resume writing tips and how to write a good resume. However, we often times forget that small resume blunders will overshadow even the best academic/professional accomplishments. With this in mind, I present to you the top 5 resume no-no's resume writers should avoid - at all costs!

      Blunder #5: Describing Job Duties Rather Than Accomplishments
      A lot of people often list out their job duties and responsibilities, but that doesn't tell employers your real capabilities.
      The Cure: Go beyond just listing your role. In this case, it's OK to brag that you brought in more clients than previous personnel in your position. Use specific examples and numbers to demonstrate how you excelled beyond the basic job requirement. Go ahead, brag about those awards and special recognitions you received. But be tactful in your bragging. Employers like accomplished candidates, but they don't like excessive braggers either.

      Blunder #4: Using "I" or "Me" on Your Resume
      Remember: There's no "I" in resume. Well, there's "me," but you shouldn't use that either. Reason for that is because resumes are a form of formal business communication. Just like writing a research paper. Professionals don't do this, so you shouldn't either.


      Blunder #3: Not Including a Career Summary or an Objective Section
      A career summary is a great way to package your skill level, past experience, and professional accomplishments into one tight little 3-sentences-or-less package. It's the first thing recruiters see, and it can make or break your resume. Not having one is like not being able to answer the question "Tell me about yourself" during an interview.
      The Cure: As part of your initial preparation, check out other job descriptions to determine what's important to employers. Make a list of those skills, experience, and education, and then see if you match any of those points. Include matching points into your summary and make sure that your statement reflects the qualifications directly related to the position.

      Blunder #2: Not Using Industry-Specific Keywords
      Your dream job may not be exclusive to those within your desired industry anymore, thanks to the Internet. Everyone can apply, which means that companies get hundreds, if not thousands of resumes for each job posting, even from people outside of the industry. For this reason, more companies are turning to resume programs that scan through the electronic copies of submitted resumes for desired keywords. If your resume doesn't contain a percentage of keywords, you are out.
      The Cure: Take the time to research your company and similar positions to the one you're interested in. Look at the job activities, qualifications, requirements, and see which words are popular within your desired industry. Then, sprinkle those industry-specific keywords throughout your resume and Voila! You got yourself a industry-relevant resume!

      Blunder #1: Typos
      The most underrated blunder one can commit. As carreer advisor would say, "One typo can land your resume in the garbage."
      The Cure: Proofread, proofread, proofread! Have others look over your resume as well. More eyes on the document means less chance of a typo getting through. Remember, recruiters judge your competency based on your resume and therefore it should be PERFECT!