Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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5 sites that are making travel more social

November 10, 2014

By: Lindsey Zimmerman @lindseyzim716

travel personGood news for everyone suffering from an incurable case of wanderlust: it’s easier now to see the world than ever before! In the past, would-be explorers usually had to book their adventures through a travel agent, but now travelers can plan and personalize every aspect of their trips in ways that wouldn’t have been possible even a decade ago. And with our society becoming more and more connected every single day, travel planning is becoming a social experience as well.

Here are just a few of the many apps and websites that make travel planning a breeze, no matter where you are in the world. How many have you tried?

  • Planely is a relatively new site that helps passengers connect with others on their flights. Their mission is pretty simple: why sit at the airport bored by yourself when you could be making a new friend? Once passengers register and enter their trip details into Planely, they can begin connecting online with fellow travelers even before arriving at the airport.
  • Globetrooper takes Planely one step further by allowing users to plan trips and invite other users from around the world to join them on their adventures. It allows travelers to meet like-minded people who want to share the same kinds of adventures. So if you’ve always wanted to hike the Himalayas but none of your friends are up for it, don’t worry – there’s a Globetrooper trip for that.
  • Couchsurfing is probably one of the most well known sites for finding free accommodation just about anywhere in the world. This site allows travelers to stay with a local resident for free in their destination city. Ratings and reviews are available for all Couchsurfing hosts so you know what you’re getting into. Even if you’re not looking for a place to crash, Couchsurfing holds free events and meet-ups in cities all over the world, making it easy to meet and connect with fellow adventurers.
  • Yelp probably isn’t new to most people, but it can be incredibly useful while traveling. With reviews on everything from food to nightlife to shopping, it’s incredibly easy to see what other people’s experiences in your city have been like, and plan accordingly to avoid potential problems. You can also check out different events that will take place in your destination city in case you need something else to fill you itinerary.
  • Airbnb is the place to go if you’re looking for somewhere to stay long term – or if you’re not into hostels. Locals who are willing to let travelers stay in their homes will create a listing on the site, often with a very reasonable price per night. Accommodations can range from a spare bedroom in an apartment to an entire house. Just like with Couchsurfing, you can check out reviews of potential hosts written by other travelers who have stayed with them.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are hundreds (if not thousands) more sites and apps that are socializing travel in similar ways. Exploring the world is getting easier one click at a time.

Athens Boutiques Get Social With Their Media

November 6, 2014

By: Corina Rolko @corinarolko 

Athens is widely known for being home to Ohio University and its popular annual festivals, but many are finding that the gorgeous brick streets also boast modern and unique fashion boutiques. Uptown Athens has a wide array of shops, but a few have boosted their popularity through a strong social media presence.

kismetFigleaf Boutique, a women’s clothing store on North Court Street, has a fan base of almost 4,500 people who view their daily posts. The shop mixes media with photos, look books and simple sale announcements to entice customers to stop in and shop their regularly changing selection. To engage with customers, they also host giveaway contests on their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – creating a fun and fashionable environment online.

Just up the street from Figleaf, Artifacts Gallery uses colorful graphics, enthusiastic tones and infuses humor into their social media. Their Facebook page has over 600 fans and their photo-driven approach engages customers and brings them into the story. They also have a Twitter account where they showcase photos and important sale information.

Screenshot_2014-11-06-14-28-54Kismet, a newcomer to the Athens fashion scene, is a women’s and men’s clothing, accessory and home goods boutique located on West Union Street. Kismet has taken off on social media with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram accounts that are constantly engaged with customers. Their Twitter page has a following of almost 500, and they consistently post links to their blog where readers can learn about the newest trends and see new pieces in the store. Their Instagram account shows pictures of pieces to draw in customers and promotes contests that give followers chances to win gift cards or unique items from the store. The different platforms could easily become overwhelming, but instead of posting the same information and photos, they work together to promote events and sales in different and innovative ways. For a sidewalk sale in April, their Facebook account ran an announcement in the morning, while their Twitter account posted a photo of the set up and the Instagram account posted a photo of new bracelets that were available for purchase.

In a town where the target market is college students attached to their smart phones, fashion boutiques have to be smart in using social media if they want a free and effective way to bring in new and returning customers. While the fashion selection in Athens continues to grow and expand, its certain that the social media presence of each business will become more and more important in marketing efforts.

 

Antiques Roadshow is Surprisingly Social Media Savvy

November 5, 2014 2 Comments

By: Elaine Carey @snakesona_laine

My love for Antiques Roadshow is no secret. The appraisers are all so insanely knowledgeable, and finding out what an ugly vase is worth gets my adrenaline pumping more that a cat fight on Real Housewives any day.

However, I didn’t expect Antiques Roadshow to have/want/need any significant social media presence – I kind of associate it with grandmothers and hoarders (What does that say about me? I don’t know). But the show’s executive producer, Marsha Bemko, told Collectors Weekly this about their target audience:

On Monday nights at 8:00, we want every television set in America to be tuned to “Antiques Roadshow.” That’s what all producers want: Everything and everybody. In reality, we know that half of our audience is over 50 and we skew slightly female, probably 55-45. Not a huge amount but a little bit more female. The exciting thing is we have almost 10 million viewers a week. So with that amount of people watching us every week, with maybe half of them under 50, that gives us an audience of roughly half-a-million viewers under 18.

We PR Folks know how important knowing your target audience is. So that half-a-million viewers under 18 and some of the under 50 crowd was presumably their motivation for getting on Twitter and Instagram.

Their 23.2K followers on Twitter and 2,797 on Instagram seem to indicate that they are doing a darn good job!

They Tweet regularly. They participate in popular memes:

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They get people excited about the hidden gems that have been hiding in peoples’ attics!

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They use hashtags to their advantage (and America’s obsession with cats).

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What to take away from this? Social media can be a powerful tool, even when you least expect it.

My personal recommendation: Start tuning in to PBS and enjoying the show or at least get some inspiration from Antiques Roadshow’s unexpected social media prowess. In the changing face of entertainment, Antiques Roadshow stayed relevant through creativity. They did their research and found a way to engage all audience members.

PR in the Publishing World

November 4, 2014

By: Austin Ambrose @tex_ambrose7

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The next, greatest novel is completed. The publishing company knows it, the author is proud of the work, but no one else knows about it. The publishing house is moving on to the next title, and the author is entering an area vastly different from his or her domain. The logical step to take: hire a PR professional.

As PR For Books, a United Kingdom PR firm said, “authors are not supposed to know how to promote their books, they are the brilliant minds that created it.” The job of promoting the book should come from a professional firm.

The increase of PR professionals is prevalent across many different disciplines. Actors, athletes, non-profits and corporations all need the skills of PR professionals, and authors are no different.

Why authors need publicists

Authors need someone who knows how to receive media exposure for their new book, whether it’s advertisements in magazines, a feature story, interviews, etc. It is also the job of the PR professional to arrange a book tour for the author including signings and readings in various locations to promote the book and the author.

This type of PR is no different than any other. The job of the PR professional is to promote a service/product and make the creator look good. In this scenario, the product is a new book and the creator is the author.

According to Career and Employability Services of University of Kent in the United Kingdoms, a person looking to enter the PR realm of publicizing needs to have four characteristics: be a strong communicator, be organized, handles pressure well, and has time management skills.

The publicity world is faced paced, so the PR professional needs to be on top of their game. They have to have connections, and fight for that publicity. Some publishing companies have their own promotional staff, but they are not always used to their fullest extent. Finding a PR professional that will be with you through the entire process of book promotion is crucial.

According to a blog written by Rachelle Gardner, an advocate for writers, there is a lack of commitment these promotional staffs have in promoting a new novel. Authors have to take an active role in the promotion if they want their book to be seen. One person commented on the post, stating that he was a published author and found through his story and some of his writing friends, and that publishing houses stay through the launch of a book, and then they are out.

Overall, this creates a large burden for the authors because they now have to self promote their book from here on out. Publishing houses either need to increase the value of their PR staff, or authors need to look to external sources for more assistance.

The publishing world can be brutal, as numerous authors fight for that interview slot, feature story or book signing. This is why PR professionals are vital to the success of a novel. They posses the skills that authors are looking for to get their words heard in the concert of literature.

Cleveland Cavaliers rebrand for 2014-15 season

November 3, 2014

By: Allison Zullo @allisonzullo

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If you follow sports at all, or are from Cleveland, you may have heard about a certain NBA superstar deciding to bring his talents back to Northeast Ohio. Yes LeBron James, four-time NBA MVP and the Cavs’ all-time leading scorer, is back in Cleveland, and brought a new branding strategy for the Cavaliers with him,.. among other things (hi, Kevin Love).

LeBron Returns

Immediately after James announced his return via a letter published on SI.com on July 11, the Cavs began the process of rebranding with owner Dan Gilbert’s business mantra in mind, “numbers and money follow, but they don’t lead.”

Hours after the announcement went public, the Cavs capped their season ticket sales at 12,000 – and instead of raising prices to ridiculously expensive amounts they opted to keep prices the same. However, the team created a lottery system to make single-game tickets available to all fans, and the prices of these tickets did increase.

The Cavs also added staff members in the sponsorship and PR departments to focus on creating new partnerships with outside companies and to help increase national media coverage. In addition, they also hired more staff to focus on digital content, particularly for restructuring their website (which has been visited nearly 20 times more than this time last year) and to create a mobile app for the arena – which they recently released before the team’s first home game on Oct. 30.

With the influx of revenue from ticket sales and sponsorship deals, in addition to Cleveland hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention, the Cavs were able to invest in Quicken Loans Arena. The “Q” is scheduled to receive nearly $23 million in upgrades over the next 10 months with the most noticeable new addition being the 5,550 square foot scoreboard that sits on the middle of the ceiling in the arena, and is the largest of its kind in the NBA.

Though the Cavs’ rebranding strategies are not noticeable by the average fan (besides the gigantic scoreboard), they have been extremely successful. With their new strategy for ticket sales, and adding staff to their PR and digital content teams, the Cavs are armed and ready for whatever this season holds – which could be some major opportunities ahead thanks to the return of James. Be on the lookout not only for the big things that the Cavs do on the court, but also what their publicity teams are doing off the court.

*Great article to learn more HERE. And Nike Also released a new commercial with LeBron and it gave us chills!

Why Interning for OU is Awesome

October 31, 2014

By: Hannah Tobin @HanTobes

hannahI remember feeling right at home as soon as my feet touched the brick-paved streets during my first visit to Athens, and from there college has been a whirlwind adventure. My first week of classes as a freshman seem like they were only yesterday, but were three years ago. Guess it’s true what they say, “time flies when you’re having fun,” but they always fail to mention time also flies when you’re busy as hell.

My home stretch is the furthest thing from what I thought it would be. Senior year is not a breeze. It is full of classes, meetings, homework, projects, extra curricular activities, and in my case an internship. I’m a little too lucky because I intern for the greatest college in the whole United States! Yup, I intern for The Ohio University Alumni Association (OUAA) right here in Athens, Ohio, and I’m here to tell you why it is AWESOME!

  1. I get to learn more about OU: Working with the OUAA has given me the opportunity to learn more about the university I know and love. For instance, did you know Ohio U’s original colors were blue and white? Or that the Wolfe Garden right outside of the 4th floor of Alden is in the shape of Ohio? (It’s true, check it out sometime). Interning at OU has helped me appreciate going to school here, and has made me excited to be an active alumna when I graduate.

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  1. I feel closer to my OU community: Ohio University creates long lasting relationships with their students and staff, and the OUAA has opened my eyes to how strong the Bobcat Family is. Having the opportunity to contribute to the Bobcat Family Reunion Homecoming 2014 success made me feel like I mattered on campus, and helped me see all the efforts OU makes to create such a close campus environment!
  1. I understand how lucky I am to be a Bobcat: My internship has made me fall in love with Ohio University all over again. It gives me giddy butterflies when I see college green in the fall. I smile every time I walk by The Konneker Alumni Center. Most of all, I’ve realized I need to cherish and savor my time.

Interning at OU couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. As a senior with 6 weeks and a semester until I leave Athens, I needed a reminder of how much OU is apart of who I am and who I will become. I will never forget my co-interns, staff in the office, skills I have learned and love I have for my job. I hope to bring the passion I have for OU and translate it into a career I am equally as passionate about. That is why interning for OU is AWESOME!

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The Taco Bell Blackout

October 30, 2014

By: Kelly Hayes @kmshayes

If you haven’t heard already, Taco Bell is on a blackout. Yes, a blackout. If you try to check any of their social media pages you’ll get this:

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Now I’m sure you’re wondering why Taco Bell, one of the best brands on social, would purge their followers. The answer: a genius ploy to promote their new app.

Is it genius?

Taco Bell has always been one of the funniest brands to follow on social media, especially Twitter and Snapchat. While they may have just purged all of their following this past week, people are still going back to follow. The reason: it’s Taco Bell.

Now many are excited because now you can order Taco Bell from your phone! Instead of going through the drive through and waiting, you can order anything on the menu from your phone. Saving you time, and getting you to your tacos faster. While purging all of these followers is just a marketing trick to get you to download the app, because it’s #OnlyInTheApp, it’s working.

Looking at this from a PR standpoint, this could be considered a genius ploy to get people to download their app and ‘create buzz’. Because let’s face it, apps are starting to become annoying space hogs on our phone – especially if you have an iPhone and need to download an update. However, Taco Bell might have just figured out their way around it by making it so they aren’t available on social media anymore. Just look at their Tumblr page:

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While this may be making headlines for the brand there are some downsides to the blackout.

Blackout = no engagement

Taco Bell is one of those brands on Twitter that is constantly engaging with their customers, but with this blackout that engagement is no more. While many brands would kill to have an engagement level like Taco Bell’s, they just threw it away for an app. Because again, everything is #OnlyInTheApp.

However, is this app really worth it? Is this actual genius or did they just lose a big fan base all for an app? The answer: I’m not sure. If you look at this in the long run, Taco Bell will eventually have to go back online and try to gain all of their followers back. It could take them a pretty long time to regain their 1.4 million Twitter followers, but maybe the brand will bring their social media back with a story line. Who knows? It’s #OnlyInTheApp.

My Summer as a Snake-Wrangler

October 29, 2014

Summer Reflection Series: Rebecca Zook

By: Rebecca Zook @BeccaZook

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This past summer I spent my time interning as a writer and photographer for the Southern Ohio Copperheads. For any sports fanatic this is the best situation for a summer internship, it’s in a relaxed setting while still getting the full-fledged sports experience. After all it is summer, what more can you ask for other than sun, baseball and great coworkers?!

The Southern Ohio Copperheads is a summer collegiate baseball team stationed in Athens, Ohio. As a staff writer for the Copperheads, I covered community events, wrote game recaps, as well as feature stories on the team’s history and the players. On game days that I was not stationed in the press box covering the game, I spent the day as a staff photographer interacting with the crowd and capturing the moments that make Copperheads games special.

Although I did spend time dancing with fans on the dugouts and joking around with coworkers, I still learned a lot about sports communications this summer.

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  1. Always Be Willing to try New Things. Going into my internship this summer I was strictly a staff writer, but at the first game the staff photographer they originally chose was suddenly unavailable. I had my own DSLR camera and a little photography experience, so I volunteered to be the photographer for every game that I wasn’t writing – which was about 75% of games, since the recaps were split among the four staff writers. This was by far the best decision I made. Not only did I get great writing experience, but I also got to be a sports photographer for the first time. Granted I’m not an award-winning photographer by any means, but I definitely improved my skills. I also got to be a part of the communications staff that interacted with the fans, which was incredible.
  1. Become Friends with Your Coworkers. Your coworkers can be the best or worst part of your internship. They can either make you hate going to work or they can be the reason why you arrive to work early. In my case this summer, my coworkers were one of the many perks of working for the Copperheads. The general staff are all Ohio University Sports Administration Sports Management undergrads taking a summer course. For the course their assignment is to run the Copperheads organization throughout the season. My fellow “snake-wranglers” (as all the staff is affectionately named), were not only my coworkers at the field or classmates during the school year, they were also my friends. Having a good relationship with my coworkers made even the rain delays entertaining and fun.

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  1. Find Passion in What You’re Doing. This is the best piece of advice I can give to anyone. Loving what you do is something that affects your entire life. If you can find passion in some small thing about your job or internship, it just makes that experience a hundred times better and gives you motivation to excel at what you’re doing. Personally, I am a huge sports fan and baseball is by far my favorite sport. Getting to go to the ballpark everyday to work with people who were just as passionate about their work as I was, made this internship feel less like a job that I had to go to, but more like an event with friends. My internship with the Copperheads was an amazing experience and the work environment is something I can only hope to find in my career in the future.
  1. Take Me Out to the Ballgame is Actually Very Hard to Sing on Key. The last thing I learned through my internship with the Copperheads may not seem important to the majority of you, however I had to get up on the dugout of every home game with all the staff and sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Now it may not seem like it, but this “simple” song is actually really hard to sing on key. As much as we like to believe that we sound like a classic recording of this tune, I can promise you that the thirty of us standing on the dugout sounded more like a mix between a walrus and an injured moose.

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If you want to read my articles or learn more about the Southern Ohio Copperheads, check out the website at www.copperheadbaseball.com

 

How Fitness Apps Reshaped The Way We Workout

October 28, 2014

By: Emily Peterson @empeteee

appWe all know that it’s hard to stay fit in college. Between a full course load, a part-time job and a multitude of resume-building extra-curriculars, finding time to make it to the gym is next to impossible. However fitness is important, and there are now many options available to get in a quick 15-minute workout between classes. Nike is a front-runner when it comes to fitness apps, but there are many other apps that are not only helpful, but also free. After some researching, I found the three most user-friendly fitness apps for college students.

  1. Nike Running. If you love to be outside, this is the perfect app to keep track of your runs, routes and pace. Even if you only have 20 minutes, there is no excuse not to get outside and get your blood flowing. This app tracks your mileage and times, and bonus! lets you sign up and add friends. You can compare your runs to your friends’ to add some friendly competition that also makes you more motivated to go a little further on your next run.
  2. Nike Training Club. This app is full of 15-minute workouts that exercise different parts of your body. You can choose from cardio, strength training and circuit training. After each workout, you earn a certain number of points, and you can unlock different workouts once you have enough points. These workouts are usually based on the workout plans of famous athletes. They can be done anywhere, even in your dorm room, and they’re short enough to do between your 11:50 class and lunch.
  3. Lose It! This app is just as important as the other two, although it doesn’t offer workout tips. Instead, this app lets you monitor your daily calorie intake by logging your meals and workouts. This app is perfect for losing weight in a healthy way because it will put together a plan for you based on the amount you want to lose and how fast you want to lose it.

With so many different options available, there is no excuse to put off a workout. These apps have done much of the work for you, and are great at motivating you to stay healthy and on track with your exercises. Remember that as important as it is to get an A on that exam you’ve been cramming for, it’s just as important to stay healthy and take care of yourself.

What To Do To Prepare For A Study Abroad

October 27, 2014 1 Comment

By: Emma Perrin @emma_perrin17

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For as long as I can remember, it’s been a dream of mine to study abroad. By the time I began my journey at Ohio University last fall, my longing for adventure had already kicked in and I immediately began researching how I could make my dreams of international study a reality. I was recently accepted into a study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain for spring semester, and I couldn’t be more excited! But I’m quickly realizing that living abroad for 4 months is a big responsibility that requires a great deal of planning. Below are a few tips based on my own experience for anyone who is interested in taking the steps toward making their own travel dreams come true!

  • Getting Started. Your first step should be to meet with one of the advisers in the Office of Education Abroad. They can offer valuable guidance when it comes to building the experience that will be right for you. They’re always willing to answer questions about the study abroad process (which can at times be a little overwhelming), so don’t hesitate to utilize this valuable resource!
  • Funding. Studying abroad can be a huge financial investment, but it’s more doable than a lot of people think. Ohio University offers a large number of study abroad programs, which students can apply university financial aid, and they also offer other scholarships to help fund the costs of studying abroad. With a little extra research, students can find assistance from outside sources as well, such as national awards, blogging and photography scholarships, and help from local organizations like rotary clubs.
  • Passport/Visa. If you’ve never traveled abroad before, getting a passport should be very high on your to-do list. Generally, it takes 5-7 weeks upon application to receive a passport, so don’t delay! If you wait, you could run the risk of not getting a passport in time. Also, many countries require visas to live there for an entire semester, which also take about a month to process. In the case of Spain, visa applicants from Ohio must travel to the Spanish Consulate in Chicago to apply in person. While such processes vary from country to country, it’s worth checking out early so as not to run into any conflicts!
  • Classes. While the adventure of moving to another country for a few months is exciting, you have to remember that you are going to study! When you are deciding on a program, make sure that they offer classes that you will be able to put toward your degree. Plan to meet with a transfer adviser in your college who can help you determine which classes can transfer to Ohio University credits. Make their job easier by being prepared for that meeting: Print out the syllabi for the courses you plan to take abroad (which should be available online) and take them with you.
  • Research, research, research! Take some time to get to know the country and city that you will call home for a semester! Consider things like what immunizations you may need and the country’s currency exchange rate. However, also use the time before you depart to get excited about experiencing the food, music and history of another culture! Knowing what to expect will help you feel less nervous when it’s time to board your flight, and will help you feel more at home when you get there.

Traveling is a wonderful way to broaden your horizons and gain perspective on the world and your place in it. If it’s your dream to study abroad, it’s never too early to get started!

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