Credit Cards

A recent NY Times article revealed that starting soon, rewards that you get when using your Citi credit card will be available with the normal use of your credit card at participating retailers.  What a fancy-pants idea, Citi!

With the new credit cards, customers will be able to push a button on their card to choose whether the transaction they are about to complete will be on their credit card or from their rewards account.  This makes the rewards redemption process much easier for everyone.  Although most people don’t have a massive amount of rewards, it would be nice for them to be able to use them on small items consistently or to save them up for larger items.

Whatever the case, it is a big step in technology for these cards to even exist because they have so much technology packed into a normal-sized credit card.  Whatever the case may be, Citi has a great new product on its hands and should, after a little more research and development, jump on the PR train to get ahead of their customers.  I have noticed that Bank of America is advertising that you can deposit checks in ATMs directly now, something that Chase has been doing for awhile.  However, Bank of America looks like the cool kid because they actually advertised it and people now think they are the first to do so.

Regardless, Citi’s at the forefront of new banking technology, and hopefully they’ll promote this cool new product well.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!

This week in class we talk about Bennett’s coffee shop in York, UK.  We talked about the different ways other coffee shops and companies try to angle their way of serving and brewing the delicious drink.  Through a few classes I have taken (and am in the middle of right now) I know how important it is to gain a secure and full background of your company, client, or product you will be working with in order to find out the many ways you can angle and PR of advertising.

Completing a major research step is so helpful in looking at what the client has already done, what their competitors are doing, and discovering who they are truly serving and what their needs are as a public.  Looking at the many different aspects of one client makes you think of lots of different things and helps in the creative problem solving process.  I think that it was good for us to look at so many different coffees and brainstorm the different takes other places have on coffee in order to make sure we are ready to problem solve for Bennett’s.

ESPN and Women

ESPN is finally not just a man’s world.

ESPN has finally decided to pay attention to their female fans and athletes–by attempting to begin a brand just for women.  ESPN W will be launched in the spring online with a future on television dependent on how the online material is received.  The ESPN family has done its share of research on how many women are actually fans of sports, how many watch games and their network channels, and what they are looking for.

I think this is a great idea as long as women aren’t the only thing that the station talks about.  ESPN W will be a great way for women athletes to gain exposure and respect in the community, but ESPN should also report on male sports to keep it balanced and fair.  As a personal ESPN fanatic ( I’m actually watching right now ), I like ESPN because I can get all the latest sports news in one spot.  It would be great to also hear about women sports, as they are often looked past on ESPN’s main channels.

I hope ESPN gains more steam with this endeavor, because right now it does not seem as if they’re promoting it much.  It also goes along with the NFL’s new aim towards women, with its line of NFL team-colored nail polish, jewelry, and of course–pink NFL jerseys.

I love sports, I’m a girl, and I watch ESPN.  Let’s hope ESPN W reminds everyone that women like (and play) sports too.

Press Kits

This week, we talked about Press Kits.  They are packages filled with everything you might want to know about a product, person, company, or organization.  A press kit helps everyone understand what your product/whatever is and can be very helpful in trying to get yourself some coverage.

I think that press kits, when actually looked through, are very helpful in making sure all of the informaiton you want to get across is seen.  We learned about the different types of press kits used today for musical acts/bands and other specialty press kits.  Technology in the form of digital pictures, music files, and direct links to sites have made press kits even more detailed.

I think it would be a good idea to make a press kit about myself for an upcoming award I’m applying to.  Oh and I need a few recommendations as well.   I should probably get started!

Class Notes

This week in class we had a great speaker, Josie Duckett.  She gave us some advice about the PR world and op-eds.

A few things that really stood out to me about what she told us:

1. Work on your writing.

I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated more all the writing St. Ed’s makes us do.  They work hard to prepare us for when our job may ask us to bust out a letter, some research, or a press release.  Taking this class is really showing us how important writing is, especially in the field that some of us are looking into.

2. Make relationships and take advantage of opportunities.

Josie told us to get internships and start meeting people as soon as possible to start to form relationships.  These relationships not only can lead to jobs, but can also help you get published for op-eds and get press releases picked up.  I think this is a really important thing for people to learn especially because it’s called public relations.

3. Be strategic and adaptable.

When Josie told us that it was important to have the skill set of being calm, adaptable, and able to think strategic.  I think this is a valuable skill that a lot of people don’t think about.  Being the calm person in a chaotic situation can definitely be something that sets you apart and a job or internship.  I don’t think it’s a skill that people think of when they are preparing themselves for a job.

Josie was a great speaker and I appreciated everything she had to offer us.  She was knowledgeable, interesting, and a great role model for us to strive to be.

What would you do without Facebook for a week?

What would you do without Facebook for a week?

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is banning Facebook and twitter on their school servers for a week in order to challenge students to think about their social media habits.  I think this is a really interesting idea to do this to students because social media is so rampant today, especially among college students.  Personally, I don’t use Facebook nearly as much as twitter, and it is mostly to get news and updates about what is going on.  I could probably survive with just actually going to news sites, but it would be interesting.

What’s also interesting is that I personally get twitter and Facebook on my cell phone–and so do many other students.  Also, many students use their laptops in classes to take notes and surf the web.  So, while placing a ban on these sites for a week may prevent students from using them in class (which could be a good thing), students still have access to these sites in many other ways.

I hope that many students at the university come away from the week without Facebook with different thoughts about their social media habits.  It should hopefully also make them think about their technological habits.  Some students interviewed said that as long as text messaging wasn’t banned, they were okay, and  I agree.  I’m not really sure what I would do without being able to text my friends and family about what was going on, however insignificant the detail may be–maybe I should ban myself from it for a week.

Research

This week in class, we talked a lot about what you should research when you are looking to create something for an organization.  If you are going to write copy for an ad, a sales letter, or anything for PR and advertising related, there’s a lot that needs to be considered.

I thought it was important when Bly said to look up any and all material that has been published by the organization about yoru product or related products.  I think this is a good tip because it’s something I would probably forget to consider because I would want to jump right into the project.

Also, I thought the “Technique for Producing Profitable Advertising Ideas” was so helpful.  The fact that Bly literally provides a step-by-step process in order to help you come up with a good idea is great.  The steps are clear and mention things that once again, I wouldn’t think of.  I enjoyed the part about teaming up with others, looking for combinations, and seeking feedback because I think others are so helpful in crafting your initial proposal, then final product.  I am excited to put these notes to work in real life products.