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The peeps at Kel & Partners have a lot to say. After all we are public relations and social media zealots who thrive on sharing interesting news and great stories with the public. The Ampersand Blog is really the voice of our Peeps – the kick-ass team of people that work at K&P. Whether it’s a story about the way PR works NOW, the social media universe, our families, beloved pets or quirky travel experiences, you’ll find it all right here. You may laugh, you may cry, but the best part is you’ll leave feeling “wicked smaht” as we like to say here in Boston.
Archive for February, 2014
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Jenna Finn | Wednesday, February 26, 2014 14 Comments
The Past, the Present, and the Future Walked Into a Bar. It Was Tense
Welcome to 2014 – the year of the Horse, Radiant Orchid, and constant communication. Although we are talking to others all the time, they way we are communicating has drastically changed. Why write letters when you can send an email, a tweet, or a text? Why take the time to write words out when you can abbreviate them as LOL, BRB, or WTF? Will grammar and punctuation stay relevant or will commas be replaced by hashtags and emojis?
In public relations, grammar and punctuation are more important than ever. In the PR field, our job is to communicate effectively and efficiently – and that’s hard to do with spelling errors, misplaced punctuation, and incorrect grammar. A pitch filled with glaring mistakes is also a fast way to land your e-mail right into a reporter’s trash folder. In 2014, let’s all channel our inner “grammar nerd” and remember some very important rules that every PR practitioner should know:
- There, they’re, and there are not interchangeable. Not now, not ever.
- An apostrophe does not make something plural. Rather, it makes something possessive.
- There are set rules for comma usage. For 13 rules for using commas without looking like an idiot, check out this great Business Insider article – and remember, commas save lives…
If you’re ever in need of a quick grammar check, here are some great resources I often use as a guide:
I’ll confess, I’m a big grammar nerd. Are you? Feel free to share your grammar pet peeves, your favorite grammar rules, and your go-to grammar resources here.
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Alexis Eliopoulos | Friday, February 21, 2014 16 Comments
Beyoncé Changing The Way of Music?
Each morning I stroll through my emails and check social media for any overnight excitement. One particular Friday morning while strolling through Instagram, I saw Beyoncé’s name in pink with the caption, “Surprise” and proceeded to watch the video announcing her latest album including 14 songs and 17 videos. I’m sorry – is this real?
It was real, and Queen B decided to launch her album on social media without any advance warning. According to Mashable, the surprise album generated 5,300 tweets per minute and spiked more than 1,300% mentions on Facebook. As a PR professional, my immediate thought was, “Beyonce just took traditional PR and Social promotion to the next level…and killed it. Typically before an album release, artists drop their single on the radio and begin media tours for at least 2-3 months prior to the release. They hit the national TV circuit, appear on magazine covers, and try to maximize publicity for their upcoming album with tactics including highly-visible PR stunts. For example, Miley Cyrus gave a memorable VMA performance in preparation for her “Bangerz” album release. However, Beyoncé wanted to do something different.
In the only press release issued after the album went on sale, Beyoncé said the following, “I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it, I am bored with that.” Beyoncé – and her genius team – took control of the power of social media and made a direct connection with her audience. The album sold 80,000 copies in the first three hours and continues to dominate sales. While the initial shock of this “surprise” release has subsided, it has earned its spot in history. It will not be soon forgotten, and should serve to inspire others brands to “kick it up” when it comes to how they approach product promotions and leverage social media as much as possible.
Do you think social media will change the entertainment industry?Read more
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Alyssa Taliaferro | Friday, February 14, 2014 14 Comments
Who Are You On Valentine’s Day?
So today is Valentine’s Day, or as some people out there like to call it, just a regular, good old Friday. This holiday has turned into a commercial overkill of a day that can largely be attributed to marketing, and most recently, the art of social media. With mixed messages streaming through your Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds from the Valentine’s Day lovers, haters, and those in between, let’s all take a moment and be honest with ourselves. The most successful and mutual relationship we’ve ever held onto long enough (though not always beneficial for us) has been between us and that jar of Nutella.
So are you a Valentine’s Day hater – or a lover? Well, let’s see here.
Will you be channeling your inner Jessica Biel tonight with a group of friends for an I Hate Valentine’s Day extravaganza? Or maybe you’ll join in the fun on Twitter while you include #LonelyHeartsClub to the end of each Tweet you send from now until whenever you feel less bitter about your current situation. If so, here is a list of the top anti-Valentine’s day hashtags through the years (pulled from both Twitter and Instagram):
- #Selfie #Me #I #Love #Myself #NoFilter #WithFilter
…Or just maybe, you need some full-on Tweets to inspire you:
- “This candy will probably last longer than any love you’ll share.”
- “Are you into divorced lobbyists?”
- “February: It’s the only month you can compensate for your bitter Valentine’s Day disappointment by binging on pancakes.”
…Or you could turn to one of these celebrities who have been named the “Most Retweeted Celebs” on this holiday alone.
- Justin Bieber (feel free to skip this one)
- Emma Watson (I’m sure guys and girls alike will opt for this one)
- 50Cent (Oh?)
- Harry Styles (no explanation necessary)
If all this talk of the anti-Valentine is getting you down, you can choose to be one of those overly happy people in love and use a most-mentioned hashtag to back it up:
If both of these options don’t seem to sit quite right with you, you could be like this woman who, on Valentine’s Day last year in Brooklyn, gave out hundreds of Hello Kitty Valentine’s to people she saw on her commute to work. This woman’s name is Erika Anderson, and she is a freelancer based in Brooklyn, NY. When asked why she started the project, her response was rather inspiring.
“I think it can be such a terrible day, whether you’re single or with someone.”
So what will it be? Will you be wallowing in self-pity while sitting at a table for one with a cake for 50, surrounded by pink and white balloons and a heart-shaped piñata with a kazoo hanging from your mouth in the Indian restaurant around the corner? Will you be spending it with a loved one? (This doesn’t just mean a significant other, you know!) Or will you see the grander picture and do something for others whose suffering might go just a bit deeper than having no Valentine today?
No matter what your feelings are towards today or your hashtag preferences, reclaim Valentine’s Day as your own, and decide what you are going to do – or are not going to do, for that matter – to enjoy this day to celebrate you, and the love you have for yourself.Read more
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kandpeeps | Thursday, February 6, 2014 16 Comments
What Type of Commuter Are You?
What keeps you occupied on your public transportation commute?
Let’s be real. The commute to and from work takes up a good chunk of the day for a lot of us. Walking to the stop. Waiting for the train or bus. The physical commute itself. And godspeed if you need to make connections. How do you pass the time while you’re waiting to get from Point A to Point B?
The majority of us are lucky enough to own the holy grail of time wasting: a smartphone. With the ability to connect to the Internet, download fun apps, email, text, and you know…actually make and take phone calls, we literally have the world at our fingertips. The options are endless! Which of these things are you most likely doing?
The Candy Crusher
DAMNIT I NEEDED A RED JEWEL RIGHT NOW TO CLEAR THAT LEVEL. You know, like when Tetris was a thing and every piece could save your life except for that dreaded stick. Not only have I seen the Facebook notifications, but I’ve heard the whispers on the train: “What level of Candy Crush are you on?” I’ve never played, so I can’t speak from experience, but apparently it’s addicting. I’m a ‘Bewjewled Blitz’ girl myself. Apps are perfectly valid, brain-numbing activities to pass the time. Which ones keep you occupied every day?
The Internet Troll
Social media stalking is perfectly acceptable. Have at it! Mentally date that guy/girl you’ve had your eye on for the last couple months and picture yourself in their Facebook photos. Chuckle and think that all of their Tweets are extremely witty. Do it up! You can do this for the entire length of your commute. Social networks are perfect for creeping!
Texting pre- and post-work feels like a no-brainer. What better way to pass the time than to be engaged in conversation? Make or cancel plans. Chat about the person you mentally dated on your way into the office in the morning. Whatever topic tickles your fancy. If you have somebody to chat with, type as fast as your fingers will let you. It is the perfect transportation time-suck. (A personal request: if you’re not texting and have these conversations out loud, please, keep your voice down. As a fellow commuter, I don’t need to know how your night went – in graphic detail. Please and thank you.)
Ahh. This, my friends, is my commute bread and butter. Nine times out of 10, you will find me reading on my commute. It’s the only thing that really transports me from public transportation to, well, anywhere else. It’s as simple as that. I do pose a question though. Is there a specific genre of book that’s best to be read while commuting? Me? I’m a murder mystery fan, but I’m open to recommendations!
So who are you, my fellow commuters? If I saw you every day during the daily grind (who knows, maybe I do!), what would you be doing? Are you doing something else that’s so exciting it could switch me from a bookworm? Let me know!Read more