Category Archives: Social Media



Over the course of two weeks, Paula Deen has gone from Domestic Queen to Dropped Diva.  Food Network, Walmart, Smithfield and Target are a few included companies in the dozen that have severed ties with Deen and her product lines.  These dismals stem from a  lawsuit from a former employee, citing racial and sexual discrimination.  Deen has admitted to using the “N” word and her reaction to the backlash created a media storm and PR nightmare.

Thoughts around the office:

“Social judgment aside, Paula Deen worked herself into a major PR crisis that only experts could work her out of.”

“Only if she were to grab the bull by the horns and fess up in public, showing true compunction and behavior change would public opinion give her a chance at redemption.”
“I don’t think her brand has really been hurt. She’s losing endorsements because her endorsers don’t want to be associated with this negative situation. Her core supporters will still support her. No love will be lost there.

“Her key supporters think and act exactly as she does. From what I know of this whole incident, my concern is no whether or not she’s racist or should endorse certain products, more about the level of respect, or lack thereof, that she has shown in her workplace. No one should be subject to a hostile work environment.”
“I feel she should be judged on how she has carried herself in the past years,  when we have all become more sensitive to the meaning and sting of the word and less accepting of it’s use by anyone, should count not what she did umpteenth years ago especially since she has apologized.”

“I find myself not having warm and fuzzy feelings for the companies who have dropped her.  They don’t have to condone the use of the word and maybe some kind of action was necessary but could they have not reviewed the situation, made a suspension then come back with a decision when some time has passed.”

“I do think her brand is redeemable….it might not be as strong as it once was, but I think it will come back.”
“I say yes.  I think her reputation and her brand are definitely redeemable.  It won’t happen overnight and it will take quite a bit of work.  She will have to prove to the AA community that she is truly remorseful and that she has been enlightened as to how hurtful that word can be to others.”

“I think Paula’s downfall was the fact that she used the phase “of course” when referring to the use of the “N” word.  That told us that she felt it was ok and a pretty common occurrence in the parts where she’s from.  I think that we can all be educated as to how our actions affect others and how to become more sensitive to other’s feelings and experiences.”
“On top of everything else, how can we say that we’re so offended when a white person uses the “N” word when we don’t get all bent out of shape when we hear other black persons using the word as if it was going out of style or something?”

At the end of the day it’s a word.  A word that we have allowed others to define and label us with.  It’s a word people.  If you take the power away from it, take the power out of it, then what……..”

Do you think Paula’s reputation is reDEENable?


Millennials Want Something New

What are you doing to reach the millennials?

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I’ll admit it.  I never had a MySpace page and I was hesitant to get on
Facebook.  Twitter…me?  Insta…who?  But I quickly learned that if I
wanted to keep up with the changing times, I needed to try something new.
Facebook is my best friend and popular restaurants now follow me on
Twitter.  Social media has become a way of life for me and I have the Apps
to prove it!

As a company, when you’re trying to reach your target market, keep their
form of communication in mind.  Good luck sending Millenials a letter in
the mail and expecting them to reply.  Or, tweet my 77 year-old grandma
and think she’ll re-tweet.  Although there may be exceptions to the rule,
let’s look at current trends.

African American Millennials (16%) are significantly more likely than
Hispanic Millennials (10%) to regularly use social networking sites to
make sure they purchase the best product at the best price.*  If your
company is stuck in 1999, it’s time to fast forward.  Millennials are the
driving force behind social media.  One good idea will be shared, liked,
re-tweeted and copied.  Just look at the new “Harlem Shake” phenomenon.
Everyone from members of the Army to the Miami Heat have jumped on the
band wagon.

It’s okay to try something new.  Just make sure you’re using the right
platform to reach your target market or you could be missing out on an
entire generation of customers.  Adapt, change and grow.  Your target
customer is!

MIL ­ TS2. Which, if any, of the following websites do you belong to, and
which one do you use most often?
MIL ­ SH2. Which of the following resources do you regularly use to make
sure you purchase the best product at the best price?
Base: 16-30 year olds  (African American = 339, Hispanic = 464, White =


All-Star Weekend.  In my opinion, the best weekend all year.  Athletes, celebrities and of course, basketball.  This weekend is filled with color commentary, flashbacks and a show of the best of the best NBA players.  This past weekend in Houston … Continue reading

Feeling Richer Through Social Media

Advertising is no longer a one-way street.  Advertisers have always been the ones doing the talking, but now consumers have platforms to talk back.  And just like the housing situation, it is now a buyer’s (consumer’s) market.   Social media has exploded the world into a ‘right here, right now’ state of mind and advertisers had better get on board!

The Boston Consulting Group recently put together a study, “the Millennial Consumer: Debunking Stereotypes”.  The research touched on several key points, including instant gratification, friends vs corporate mouthpieces and the use of social platforms.

They found that 79% of millenials and 59% of non-millenials use social media, 46% have 200 or more Facebook “friends”, 53% explore brands on social networks and 50% use a mobile device to read user reviews and research products while shopping.  Almost half of millenials stated that their lives feel richer when they’re connected to people through social media.

What does this mean?  People are sharing their opinions on everything from  the big games to social hangouts and yes, YOUR products and services.  If I want to go to a new restaurant, of course I’ll look at their website but there are other avenues I’ll take before deciding to spend my money.  What’s being said on their Facebook and Twitter?  How many of my friends have liked this place, their food, service and prices?

We are in a sharing society.  “Mum” is no longer the word.  It’s now “Tweet”, “Like” and “Tag”.  Companies and advertisers should take heed from the social media platforms and not gear their advertisements at consumers, but actively engage them.  If it’s not right trust me, you’ll hear about it and hopefully you’ll be able to get it right before the wrong goes viral.

If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…

Then a video is worth a million!

“A picture is worth a thousand words”.  This saying has been time tested, tried and true.  Companies use photos to sell their product or service.  How many billboards did you see on your way to work today?  Did you see the one for healthcare or the hospital with a photo of a doctor?  What about the one with the beautiful beaches with a couple sitting in lounge chairs.  Maybe you saw the one with a photo of a university, their school logo and students walking and smiling with backpacks on.

Each of these “pictures” tells a story.  It could be to have this particular facility as your healthcare provider or hospital of choice.  Or the beach billboard may show a great place for a relaxing getaway.  The university photo may scream “Attend to this school! It’s a great place for students to learn and have fun.”  Regardless, the company is hoping to get their message across to their target audience.

With technology changing so quickly and social media growing with every blink, there is yet another way to capture the attention of your audience…Video!  It is used to show everything from the winning field goal kick to fixing a leaky faucet.  Companies have now found using video as the new wave in their marketing effort.

Videos can be imprinted (or embedded) on the company website, posted on YouTube, or shared on Facebook and Twitter.  The great thing about videos, you’re able to clearly express your message.  There are also tracking tools to see how many views you get and how effective it is.

In order to not only grab your target’s attention but make them want to share/recommend/like the video, think outside the box and start getting comfortable being uncomfortable.  You can use a 30 second testimonial or “Here’s why you should choose us” ad.  Have fun and be creative.  Remember, you only have a short time frame to get the attention of your audience.  Make it memorable and make it count!


Watch what you post!

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While social media and it’s sophisticated, cutting-edge, ever evolving tools have given voice to this and future generations through the blogosphere, Proceed with Caution!  It’s Lives in Cyberspace! Once it’s out there, there’s no going back.   Many of us have our own personal blogs and are at liberty to express our thoughts and opinions on whatever subject matter comes to mind.  And, that’s cool.
But, when it comes to placing things on the company’s website, be careful.  Many an employee has lost   his or her job by posting personal opinions that do not reflect policies established by the company.  And, it’s important to understand, that when something appears on the company website, it becomes the opinion of the company.
It’s really easy to get caught up in the conversations.  Just recently, I wrote a blog for my company’s website.  It was a strong, partisan view of the upcoming election.  It was fraught with very little factual information, just my own partisan rambling thoughts.  Mostly, I was just venting and frustrated with Washington politics.  Needless to say, my boss vetoed the blog.  The company could possibly have been hit with a lawsuit had that blog been posted.
I got caught up in the conversation!  While I thought the article was brilliant, my boss was right and wasted very little time reeling me back to reality.  So I caution all bloggers, “Don’t Get Caught Up In the Conversation”.  Here are a few things to consider when blogging for your company:
1.      Proceed with caution
2.      Set and remember the boundaries
3.      Know the company policy regarding blogging
4.      Use common sense
5.      Learn to edit yourself
6.      Attribute controversial statements to a second party
7.      Use wisdom when re-tweeting
8.      Get management approval

It’s awesome having a blank canvas that allows us the freedom of expression, but let’s not get carried away on our company websites.  It is the property of the company!  Let’s make our companies shine in a positive light by posting information that is insightful and thoughtful, not confrontational and controversial.  Blogging is a form of marketing.  Protect your company’s image and reputation. In short, in cyberspace, there is no here today, gone tomorrow.  IT LIVES…..

Will Wall Street Influence Your Next Media Decisions?

How does Wall Street affect Social Media?

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Our last blog on social media focused on emerging Facebook competition. News on Facebook, the third largest community in the world, has centered on disappointing news and suggestions of “problems” ahead.  Articles touting “several” millions of duplicate memberships on Facebook and counting are an issue to some business oriented media.  First, “several” is an undefined amount, and secondly, a few millions in a billion are not going to affect the value of this medium of unprecedented size.

Never in my many years of studying and planning media buys did I think that a potential “billion” reach could ever be possible.  Can we even imagine the value to advertisers – the ability to target massive consumer segments of all ethnicities and lifestyles globally!  As soon as we marketers learn how to talk to these social media participants without turning them off, both brand building and direct response will be exponentially more effective.

Going back to the headline, why is the value of Facebook stock 54% lower today than its IPO launch date?  We have heard the book entitled Irrational Exuberance being mentioned during the peak value of Facebook.  Will we as marketers and media professionals be influenced by dismal stock market numbers when making media decisions?  Well, General Motors was quoted to be leaving Facebook because of a lack of results, seriously? This is similar to passing on the opportunity to advertise in the “Super Bowl” when given the chance to market directly to your core consumer segment in this the most valuable media property in television!  Was this decision influenced by Wall Street?

The evidence says that the smartest people in the room are “NOT” from Wall Street but from marketing departments and ad agencies.  While the news from “the street” points to Facebook (and competitors) “inability” to monetize mobile and some of their key properties, there is news that Facebook revenues are up by 32% this year. This speaks to the savvy of marketers and Wall Street’s lack thereof.

Jafet M Ramírez

Marketing Director