Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Forget Bieber, we've got Royal Wedding Fever.

By Sarah Kennedy, Business and Alumni Relations Director

It wasn’t something that I was proud of. It was a Monday night and while I had a full day of class and work on Tuesday, I spent the night curled up on the couch watching the premiere of Lifetime’s newest movie “William & Kate.”
The viewing of this movie has led to a guilty pleasure that probably won’t end until April 29…or at least I can hope. Girls’ hearts around the world will be breaking at 3 a.m. Pacific time April 29 as the world’s most eligible bachelor ties the knot to his longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton.
Their wedding has become a media spectacle. Websites, rings, cupcakes, collectible coins, you name it, and I guarantee you, you can find it Royal themed.
So if the movie just didn’t fill that Royal Wedding void, then tune into Lifetime’s six-part series about all things having to do with the Royal Wedding, from the flowers to the celebrity-lined guest list. Still not getting enough? Then turn on TLC, it’s going to be Royal themed for the whole week leading up to the event.
And if TV isn’t your thing then jump onto your computer where you can follow all the wedding hoopla on Yahoo’s “the Royal Wedding” page or CNN’s “The Royal Wedding” Facbeook page. Still don’t like any of those platforms? Well jump on Twitter where you can follow a variety of different Royal Wedding sources from BBC, E!, ABC and about 100 other fan pages for the event.
Here in the office we’re all talking it pretty seriously too. Our Social Media Director has vowed to speak in an English accent all week to celebrate and since the movie came out less than a week ago, I’ve already watched it three times (I’m sure this amount will increase, but what’s a girl to do when it’s always on TV) and this is not even counting the countless documentaries I’ve been watching in addition to the movie. I might even pull out my fourth grade paper on Princess Diana to truly set the mood.
The Royal Wedding is yet again, another screaming example of the power of the media. And also a great example of the various public relations strategies that can be used. And in case you want to jump on the Royal Wedding bandwagon, may I suggest these cupcakes and your own personal Royal Wedding ring to get in the spirit for the big day.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Caught in a lie?

By Danielle Maglione, Online Communications Director
OK, we all know that social media has made our lives completely available to the public. We also know that we need to monitor what we say on our statuses, tweets and blogs so we don’t word vomit all over the web.

However, how many times have you caught a friend, family member or even a coworker in a lie due to what they have posted?

(Billy calls his friend Molly at 4 p.m.)

Billy:  “Hey Molly. I can’t go to the Thursday Night Market with you. I’m feeling under the weather and need to sleep.”

Molly: “Billy, get lots of rest, drink fluids and Nyquil-up!”

A 9:30 p.m., Molly checks her Twitter to post a TwitPic she took at the market. When she opened her Twitter app, she noticed an interesting tweet from Billy on her Twitter feed.

@BillyLies OMG! So much fun at Red Lobster tonight with my best friend!!!! Food was dee-lish.  Can’t wait to go to see Soul Surfer.

Incidents like this lead to unfortunate outcomes such as paralyzing a relationship or decreasing your credibility. Professional conduct doesn't end when you leave the office.

Statuses, tweets and blogs are all being read by people who are smart and pay attention to detail, and they expect you to be the same.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Only $14.99 to upgrade to iMovie ’11? Yes, please.

By Kristina Richmann, Lead Photographer

As an avid user of the iMovie software, I’m always up for learning new video editing tricks. I know I downloaded the updated version a little late (it released late October 2010), but once I found out what “personal movie trailers” meant, I could barely reach for my credit card fast enough.

Despite iMovie ’11’s mediocre reviews, I decided to test out the program for myself. Needless to say, I’m totally thrilled.

The biggest addition to the software is the high definition movie trailer options. While I would never use this feature for professional purposes, it is fun to play around with. iMovie now offers 15 different movie trailers with genres ranging from adventure to romance and everything in between.

Even though I’m not planning on using the template trailers—they are uneditable which is a downside to the new version—it did generate a feature that I will definitely utilize in future video planning. Now instead of creating my storyboard in a word document, I can put placeholders in iMovie and just add the film segments when I’m ready.

It has everything I need including a scene-setting landscape shot, action, closeup, group shots and more. I can even preset how many seconds I need for each type of shot. This new feature is going to expedite the video making process and I can say “goodbye!” to hours of stringing video segments together.

My favorite new addition: background noise reducer.

With the limited capabilities of the Flip video camera, the recorder picks up everything. The slightest wind sounds like a tornado. I’m constantly trying to find ways to reduce background noise, and it becomes extremely frustrating when the elements are out of my control. Thanks to this update and the introduction of an equalizer, I’m worry-free about background noise. 

iMovie has long offered a stabilization option for shaky videos. While the stabilization button worked great in iMovie ’09, ’11 added a rolling shutter button which reduces motion distortion and added a maximum zoom to the stabilization feature. Now when I’m caught without my tripod, I don’t have to worry about my hands shaking during filming.

Although these are just a few of the additions to iMovie ’11, these are the ones that are going to improve the videos I make for Tehama Group. The only complaint I have about the new version thus far is that the program is a little slow and I’ve seen that colorful spinning wheel one too many times.

Other than that, iMovie ’11 is definitely worth the $14.99 upgrade.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

OMG, did you see the latest Oxford English Dictionary update?

By Emmalee Kremer, Editorial Director

I did, and it made my word-loving heart break a little.

LOL, ♥ and OMG are among the latest additions to the book that calls itself “the definitive record of the English language.”

WTF, one of those doesn’t even contain any letters, it’s a symbol.

I’m guilty of using some of these abbreviations in my life on a rare occasion, and I know their use is growing, but I would never consider them to be “real” words.

Perhaps some folks don’t know what these terms mean, but that’s what Urban Dictionary is for. The OED doesn’t need to legitimize their use and let people think it’s OK to use these “words” outside of casual settings.

I understand that language evolves and changes over time, but at what point is it considered growth and at what point is it considered getting caught up in a trend? Just because Michael Jackson and Roxy Music did it doesn’t mean everyone else is cool enough to pull it off, too.

Personally, I like the idea of preserving language. Colloquialisms might be commonly used, but it doesn’t mean they’re right. Don’t just take my word for it, listen to David Mitchell (the actor, not the author, but a lover of language all the same):

The Associated Press thankfully tries to keep things logical. In the latest update, the word “email” ditched the old hyphen. And it makes sense—AP generally says to get rid of unnecessary punctuation, and this change falls in line with that mode of thinking.

But when these changes occur, the next issue is to address when to start adopting the changes. Immediately? No, it doesn’t make sense to change usage halfway through a project just because AP dictates it should be so. The whole point of preservation of language is to maintain consistency.

So for a little while longer, I’ll might still use e-mail instead of email, and I’m not going to feel guilty about it. And despite what the dictionary says, I can’t use OMG without a hint of irony.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Our New York City Adventure

By Melissa Duralia, Senior Account Executive

“Which metro stop do we get off at again?”

“Are you sure we are walking in the right direction?”

The preceding questions could be heard coming from the mouths of the eager TGCers that took on the big apple this past spring break.

High heels, long walks, blustery winds, and not-so-keen senses of direction definitely made our trek around New York City a challenge at times, but the knowledge we gained made all of our wrong turns well worth the trouble.

Speaking on behalf of my fellow TGCers, I couldn’t be more appreciative of our TGC alumnae who took time out of their busy schedules to talk to us. 

From stories of following big city dreams, to moving to New York without knowing a soul, to adjusting to life so different from Chico, we soaked up every word our alumnae spoke.

It was a truly unique experience to be able to see where women who had been in our shoes—as recently as a year ago—had moved on to, and to be able to ask many of the questions that invade our minds as graduation approaches.

I found it particularly interesting to observe the similarities and differences in the post-college paths of our alumnae, whose lives have all led them to companies in New York. Hearing about all of the different paths they took made me realize that I truly cannot predict where I will be five or 10 years, or even just a year from now. 

In my early college years I would stress about making all the “right” decisions and going in the “right” direction, but recently my outlook has changed significantly. I have realized that while it is smart to make well thought out decisions about my future, I shouldn’t stress about never making a wrong turn. It is surprising how often people realize that what they thought was a wrong turn actually pointed them in a wonderful direction.  

For our alumnae, their current jobs may be their first, third or fourth, but they have all taken a variety of routes to now find themselves working for companies such as Tiffany & Co., ABC, W Hotels Worldwide, Hearst Corp., Edelman and Access Communications.  

Taking our alumnae’s advice and career paths into consideration, I feel even less pressure to always make the right turns. Our trip to New York reaffirmed my realization that there is not a perfect or correct career path that I need to make sure I take. Life is full of decisions, jobs and job changes. I know that as long as I work hard, am proactive and maintain my ambition, I will be successful. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that studies show the job market is improving! 

Looks like we are going in the right direction. #Win

Monday, April 11, 2011

Twitter & The Kardashians

By Elizabeth Ghiorso, Account Executive

I openly admit my former hatred of Twitter. Before I got into public relations, my sentiments toward Twitter were similar to my sentiments toward Twilight moms: perplexity mixed with a dash of snobbish disdain. 
While I still shamelessly scoff at tweets that include more than one “j/k” or “ROFL,” my education has helped me gain a healthy respect for Twitter as a means of information dissemination and networking.  Plus, I’ve got to confess: I really enjoy reading celebrity Twitter feeds. 
Guess what. I’m not alone.
As of this post, Kim Kardashian had nearly 7 million followers on twitter, roughly the same number of followers as the number of people who live in the state of Washington. Those kinds of figures can’t be ignored. It’s definitely safe to say that Twitter has earned a spot in the social networking hall of fame. 
According to an article on cbsnews.com, the Kardashians are now putting Twitter clauses into their endorsement contracts. In short, they’re charging money to tweet about things. While it’s more than slightly disturbing for me to think that anyone would pay upward of $25,000 to have Kim mention their company or product in a tweet, it is even more awe-inspiring to think about what this means on a grander scale.
Since its launch in July 2006, Twitter has been struggling to find a way to make money and only started turning a profit in the last year. Unlike Facebook, which capitalizes off the plethora of user information it access through profiles and voluntarily submitted data, Twitter has virtually no way to generate revenue for itself and it has even been rumored that the site could (gulp) disappear if attempts to turn a profit are unsuccessful. 
The inherent mind-bender in this situation is that people like Kim Kardashian are making bucket loads of cash because of Twitter’s staggering field of influence while Twitter itself has only just started to pull itself out of the fiscal sick ward. 
A report released March 28 from the research company GreenCrest Capital announced positive projections for Twitter’s economic future but, like most things in the financial sector, speculation is just that until the money actually starts to roll in. 
So what would happen if Twitter went under? I have to say that I would be really sad to see it go. As I’ve become more educated about the site I’ve come appreciate it more and more. While I couldn’t care less about what you ate for breakfast or whether you had a successful trip to Forever 21, I do care if you have information about an internship that could benefit me or if you can provide live, first-person reporting from an ongoing news event.
Twitter definitely has value, just not the kind that keeps investors interested. 
As for Kim and her crew, even if Twitter disappears I’m sure they’ll find a way to make due without their tweet money. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The French Alt-ernative

By Naubil Oropeza, Account Executive

Shock waves went through the fashion industry in December when Carine Roitfeld, beloved editor-in-chief and creator of the sexy chic movement that French Vogue has been know for, stepped down from her position at the magazine.
Patricia Goldman, the public relations agency that manages the Condé Nast magazine, said the mogul wanted to pursue personal projects and would be handing over her position. 
Roitfeld brought rigid structure and sex appeal to the magazine during her 10-year reign and increased circulation from roughly 100,000 to 140,000. 
So who would take over? All signs pointed to Roitfeld’s right-hand woman and fashion director, Emmanuelle Alt. 
Wearing the skinniest pants with a laid-back flair, Alt’s rocker style and contemporary views differ from Roitfeld, and her skills were put to the test Feb. 1 when she was announced as editor-in-chief. 
The April issue hit newsstands March 25. A glimpse at the new cover showed Gisele Bündchen wearing a white dress, reflecting a romanticism movement.
Alt hopes to transform the magazine’s image by cutting back on some of the risqué poses and nudity and bringing the fashion to focus. 
“It’s simple fashion,” Alt said. “You can see the clothes perfectly.”
The success of Alt’s first issue will say a lot about the future of the most provocative Vogue and will foreshadow Alt’s new style and direction.
“I want to show in French Vogue more and more a lot of clothes” Alt told WWD Media. However, she conceded, “One boob—otherwise you don’t recognize it's French Vogue.”
Another thing Alt wants to incorporate are more in-depth stories to accompany the fashion spreads. Alt’s team thinks it is vital that readers have something substantial to read and is looking for new faces to contribute to the magazine.
“I will try to surprise the reader month after month,” Alt said.
While some think this makes the magazine more tangible, accessible and relatable, others think French Vogue may lose its dominance and edge.
Is this first issue a promising step for the new direction? Will the public agree with Alt’s new style and ride the wave?
From here, it looks like the Patricia Goldman agency will have to keep an eye on consumer behavior and their reactions to this trend. It is crucial for the “most influential fashion magazine” to have their main demographic, women ages 18 to 35, to accept these changes. 
Her preference in using models on her covers as compared to celebrities separates her magazine from the American version and also speaks volumes about the French, showing Alt has done her research. 
As the minimalist movement creeps into spring runway shows, I can see Alt’s vision will prove to be a sure-fire hit. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Remember Me Please

By Nicole Landini, Art Director
Pretty basic stuff: you tried to portray your personality in your cover letter and your resume has a chronological list of what has defined your life for the last four years. 
And just like that, you get a call for an interview. Guess you did pretty well. You pick out your outfit (see Megan’s post for help with this), you download the “101 Most Asked Interview Questions,” and put your portfolio in one extra plastic bag and then the box so you’re sure it won’t get ruined by the cat. You also remembered to pre-write a thank you card to send as soon as you get home, made sure your car is full of gas and saved the office location to your iPhone map app. In fact, you even drove by it yesterday. 
We all prepare for the “before.” But what about the “after?”
Enter self-promotion gifts. These little goodies are mini-sized portfolios you can leave behind. They might get stuck in a desk drawer, put in your file or they might simply sit on that guy’s desk while he goes round and round on deciding who to hire. That is, until he sees your name again on something other than your resume. 
As a design major, I continually think about these little things and what they could look like. But working with public relations job seekers, I have found that these little goodies can be used for anything. 
Here are some of my ideas:
Postcards. Use of some of the amazing sentences you created on the front in a cool typeface, and mix and match the colors. This way, they know you are fabulous with words. 
Note cards. Take some cool pictures of some of the publications you were published in and put them on the front. When they open them up, the inside could give a brief about the project. Or better yet, create sayings that could actually be used in a card. Include envelopes. 
Flip book. Pick out some of your favorite words, possibly ones that describe you or your work. Use one word per page and run your thumb along the edges to get a cool and quick summary of you.
Bookmarks. Literally take some pictures of your words. Put them on some bookmarks. Maybe make the bookmarks suitable for whatever the publication type is on it. One long enough for a newsletter, one with an attached paper clip for a newspaper, have some strings attached to one for those super long plan books that need to be marked in multiple places. 
Sticky notes. Again, use your talent with words. Make cute sticky notes they can use anytime. These are easy to get printed at any print shop. 
Have fun with it. No one is ever offended by a little gift. Why not promote yourself at the same time?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Been unfriended lately? So have I.

 By Kelsey Eidbo, Editorial Assistant

Social media has opened a hundred doors for many aspects of our life, but a very important other aspect is being slowly shut down in the process—people skills.
As current job seekers, Facebook, Twitter and other sites such as LinkedIn allow for almost effortless networking.

After ridding your account of any unfavorable posts or pictures, the right friend requests can make Facebook an ideal professional networking tool. Employers can see a list of past employers, contact information, personal information, as well as a sliver of your personality. LinkedIn can pretty much serve the same purposes without the risk of being tagged in a less-than-professional photo. Following the right employers on Twitter can keep you updated on their business, up to 140 characters at a time.

While these features of the social networking world seem to simplify the networking and job hunting process, there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned sit down interview to really get your personality across to a future employer—something that could be written off simply because they weren’t impressed enough by your latest tweet.
In the realm of networking, walking up to a reporter at Journalism Day, holding a conversation, expressing interest in his or her newspaper and asking for a card gives much more of an impact than suddenly becoming one of 300 “followers.”
Social networking has wreaked its fair share of havoc on personal relationships, as well.
When a guy my friend met this weekend “friended” her on Facebook, she said to me, “I feel like I should write ‘Well helloooo there’ on his wall or something. I mean I should acknowledge that we’re friends now, right?”
She settled with “liking” his profile picture.
That got me to thinking—what was the point of his add? He wasn’t even from town. They chatted for 10 minutes at a mutual friend’s party, she has a memorable last name so he found her. She doesn’t care where his life is going, and I would guess that he feels the same way. Before Facebook, if they had wanted to continue their friendship, he would have called her on the phone and she wouldn’t have thought twice about how to “acknowledge” their friendship. Before Facebook, they wouldn’t have considered each other friends, but now, Facebook-officially, they are.
This works the opposite way too. A close friend and I got in a fight around Valentine’s Day. Small things were blown out of proportion on both ends, and I figured it would blow over in a couple of days. No—in a couple of days, we were no longer friends on Facebook. That unfriending was suddenly loud and clear—virtually and in real-life.
I’m certainly guilty of getting caught up in the Facebook phenomenon, and about 10 minutes ago I started to vamp up my Twitter page. I would much rather write a wall post to a friend than talk to them on the phone. Recently though, my pre-Facebook self is itching for some human interaction.