Archive | October, 2010

Fireworks in October

28 Oct

While we all know that social media has the power to persuade the minds of millions, it is always inspiring to see it used for a worthy cause. In honor of the recent suicides by bullied gay teens, hundreds of thousands of people pledged to wear purple on October 20. Purple was chosen because it represents spirit from the rainbow LGBTQ flag, thus Spirit Day was created. The event was created by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan, who wanted to bring attention to the struggles gay teens face everyday with bullying. She started the event on her Facebook page, which quickly gained huge attention and sparked other pages that vowed to wear purple.

This viral message led other organizations to join the cause. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) created a Spirit Day application on Facebook and Twitter that changed the color of your profile picture purple and encouraged users to change their status and/or tweet the tagline “I’m wearing purple to end anti-LGBT bullying – make your profile pic purple today #SpiritDay’m wearing purple to end anti-LGBT bullying – make your profile pic purple today #SpiritDay” This definitely grabbed the attention of many. After changing both my Facebook and Twitter pictures, I received comments in support of the cause and was happy to see friends’ pictures sporting a purple tint after.

It is also heartening to see celebrities use their fame to support serious issues. Singer Katy Perry just released the video for her song “Firework” on Thursday, which is an uplifting anthem about “what it means to be an underdog and have the courage, if you’re on the outskirts of society, to be your own person,” as described by video director, Dave Meyers.

The music video features several different young people that get picked on by society more often than not, including the geek, the chubby girl, and the gay teen. The premise of the video is that fireworks start erupting from these kids’ hearts when they find the strength to publicly be proud of whom they are. Aside from it awkwardly looking like there are sparklers igniting from Katy Perry’s breasts, the concept of the video is heart-felt and encouraging. The premier of the video also launched with a contest to win a trip to London to meet Katy Perry. The rules to enter? Upload a video to YouTube describing what the firework in your life is. If that isn’t effective social media public relations than I don’t know what is.

The best part is that Perry announced on her heavily followed Twitter account that she dedicated the video to the It Gets Better Project, a website where LGBTQ teens can share their stories and experiences and support each other. And for a social media cherry on top, Perry added a hashtag with the word “firework” to her Twitter post asking followers to Tweet the fireworks in their lives. Mine is my favorite person in the whole world, my Mom #firework.


Zombie Monday

25 Oct

Due to work obligations and an empty gas tank, I wasn’t able to attend the Zombie Walk this past Saturday in Portland. But to keep in spirit and in excitement for the weekend festivities, I have “zombified” myself.

It scares me how similar this is to what I actually look like on some days. If only every day was Zombie day.

Try out the Zombie creator yourself and together we can start the Zombie revolution!

Facebook for President

21 Oct

It’s official. Facebook is taking over the world. Not really, but seriously. Reaching 500 million friends, it’s safe to say that the social networking site would be considered the popular kid at school, or at any school. Every school combined. If you just take a look at the people on Facebook, you will notice it is no longer just college students, which is how it started out. Does anyone even remember those days anymore? It’s hard to remember the simplistic idea it started out as—a website for students to communicate with each other among their college networks. But the requirements for an account have loosened up with the years and now anyone from household pets to fictitious movie characters are free to friend, message, wall-post and poke other users.

With this vastly growing site, it is no surprise that businesses have begun to capitalize on this extremely popular and widely used network. Business can guide customers to their Facebook page for updates, deals, and ultimately a two-way relationship where people can comment with their thoughts.

Take note also to almost every article you read online. Somewhere either at the top, bottom, or right in your face is the option to “like” a story. This will link to your page and Facebook will do you the favor of compiling everything you’ve clicked and generating lists of things that you will probably want to “like” button as well. Thanks for helping me realize things I am interested in, Facebook! The non-affiliated website, The Like Button in Real Life, even has tiny stickers that you can buy with the “like” logo for you to slap on everything your heart desires. Yet another company jumping on the Facebook bandwagon to make a profit.

However, one of the most genius ideas yet has come from the collaboration between Target and Kodak. On Tuesday, Target announced that customers can now print their Facebook pictures from the Kodak Kiosks in almost all of their stores nationwide. The kiosks, enabled with Social Network Connectivity, gives users access to all of their albums, photos, etc. and they have the option to not only print out pictures, but create photo books, calendars, greeting cards, DVDs and other photo memorabilia. This is smart move for Target since it gives customers even more incentive to come in and kill two birds with one stone: get your shopping done while print out your pictures hassle-free.

Facebook also one-upped their competitors once again by upgrading the photo features on the site. New features including high-resolution photos, bulk tagging options and easier downloads entices users to ditch their regular photo sharing sites in lieu of having every great feature on one website. This works in favor of not only Facebook but Target and Kodak as well. Talk

And with the Facebook movie, The Social Network, grossing more than 64 billion dollars and securing the number one spot two weeks in a row only 19 days after its release date, it is obvious what a social phenomena the company has become. There is no doubt that more companies will be teaming up with and integrating Facebook into their marketing agendas. Who knows, maybe we will eventually start paying our bills on Facebook. Or school curriculums will be taught via Facebook. There doesn’t seem to be an idea too absurd for Facebook.

For now, I will just keep using it as a distraction from schoolwork and time-filler when I am avoiding my lengthy to-do lists. But I can’t promise that is all I will use it for in the future.


Portland Zombie Walk 2010

20 Oct

Kelsey Gerber (Spokesperson)
Public Relations Officer
503.807.5171 (cell)
kelseylynngerber (skype)

Portland Zombie Walk 2010

Join fellow zombies for the 6th annual event in dowtown Portland, where all are invited to lurch, slither, and crawl through the streets in zombie fashion.

Portland, OR–October 20, 2010


In spirit of Halloween approaching, the Zombie Walk has arrived for all to come dressed in character as the walking dead! Throw on your most tattered clothing, unleash your rotting flesh and summon that lifeless stare along with hundreds of other creatures. This informal event has succeeded in the past thanks to friends sharing with friends via facebook, twitter, youtube, etc. So tell your fellow cronies because the more zombies wandering the streets the better.
  • The walk will take place Saturday, October 23rd at 4:00 PM at Pioneer Courthouse Square
  • All ages are welcome
  • The event is FREE!
  • Donation areas for the Oregon Food Bank will be on site
  • No weapons, drugs, or alcohol are permitted

Zombie Walk Forum
A forum for organizing zombie walks in different areas of the country

Portland Zombie Walk on Facebook
The facebook page for Portland Zombie Walk with information and updates on the event




Kelsey Gerber on last year’s event:

“Portland’s zombies were a reflection of the city they love: bizarre, original, and comfortably self-conscious. I encountered the Zombie Parade and found that every participant was so immersed in their role as an animated corpse that I began to believe they were real.”

“The rules of the event state that you should stay in “zombie character” so long as it is appropriate, but should “break character” and walk normal speed while crossing intersections. These zombies are thoughtful in another way too: the event is a fundraiser for the Oregon Food Bank.”

Post-Its is a blog focusing on viral social media and what makes it stick to consumers.

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**UPDATE: Check out the Facebook official event page for further details!

The Smell of Success

14 Oct

How do you make a viral video? Lately it seems as if anyone and everyone is capable, as long as you can get enough people to like it, tweet it, or repost it. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be extremely entertaining. The recipe just calls for word of mouth through social media. Each year, the number of one-hit-wonder internet sensations continues to grow and create all sorts of buzz to keep consumers amused. Yet the trend of viral videos is already starting to take a back seat to a new form of entertainment: the videos made from the viral videos. It may seem obvious that a parody of a parody would be comical enough to deter viewers from the original content, but this is an idea that individuals, companies and industry professionals have taken advantage of.

Some viral videos, such as the Antoine Dodson Bed Intruder interview, quickly became a song thanks to the help of two guys and an auto-tune processor. A little over a month after the video aired on youtube, the song had sold 100,000 copies on iTunes and had made the Billboard Top 100.  The video now has over 30 million views in less than three months.

That success however, was unintentional. On the other hand, some companies have started strategically remaking popular videos, with what seems to be hopes of gaining some recognition. Sesame Street just recently parodied the popular Old Spice deodorant commercial, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” with the show’s blue monster, Grover. The spoof, “Smell Like a Monster,” received several million hits within the first few days. But what is interesting is that this was aired on Sesame Street, a childrens television show. Here you see an attempt to connect with not only the generation playing with stuffed animals, but also the parents and older family members that understand the hidden joke in the skit. I think that using viral videos can be an excellent tool for public relations because it has the power to connect to many different audiences. The toddlers are laughing and the grown-ups are laughing. But the adults have the power to share that laughter with others, which they are very likely to do.

I am curious to see what is to come with the next big viral sensations, because people are quickly catching on that there is a lot of potential power with popular videos. If used effectively to connect and communicate with people, great change could possibly evolve from a silly little youtube video, especially when you have 30 million people watching.