Welcome to the Ampersand Blog
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, Web 2.0 and 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 December, 2011
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Jayne Seward | Tuesday, December 27, 2011 1 Comment
A fun reminder of the clothes I ill never afford/fit into, the home décor I will never afford/fit into our small home, the recipes and crafts I am too lazy to ever make, the saying I wasn’t clever enough to think of on my own, the photos I wish I had taken but didn’t.
If you haven’t yet heard of Pinterest, the virtual bulletin board phenomenon taking the Internet by storm, you soon will. The food… the party planning… the crafts… Pinterest is slowly taking over my life (but I love it). And I’m not alone in my obsession.
The site, which launched in March 2010, is still invite-only and yet has managed to rack up over 4 million active users according to its Facebook page. If that’s not proof of an emerging social network, I don’t know what is.
For those of you who have yet to discover the addictive power of Pinterest, here’s the 411:
- Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows you to organize and share all the inspriational things you find on the web.
- You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
- People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favorite recipes.
- A pin is an image added to Pinterest.
- A pin can be added from a website using the Pin It button, or you can upload images from your computer.
- Each pin added using the Pin It button links back to the site it came from.
- A board is a set of pins.
- A board can be created on any topic, such as My Style, Recipes For Dinner, or Wishlist.
- You can add as many pins to a board as you want.
My personal Pinterest repertoire ranges from places/countries I want to visit, sassy manicure designs, and even a board of inspiration for my future tattoo (if I’m ever ballsy enough to get one).
So whether you want to create a board on crafty DIY projects you find online, or you want to plan your imaginary wedding, I highly recommend checking out Pinterest and requesting an invite ASAP…. Or ask me for an invite! I’m more than happy to help out a future pin-oholic!
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JFinn | Tuesday, December 20, 2011 1 Comment
Sometimes people have weird holiday traditions, but you cherish them because they are traditions. One of the traditions in my family is to have a ham at Hanukkah time.
I know what you are thinking, “I thought Jews don’t eat ham?” and you would be correct. Kosher-eating Jews do not consume ham. My family, on the other hand, definitely does not keep kosher, hence the Hanukkah Ham.
A few years ago, my father decided he wanted to have a ham at our family Hanukkah party and so we did. Out of that strange (and oh-so-not-kosher) craving, a tradition was created. Obviously, ham wasn’t the only delicacy on the menu. We also had the more traditional and kosher potato latkes (my favorite!), and some delicious Kugel, as well as other munchies and lots of wine! And the desserts! Yummmm!
But this ham thing, it has garnered some pretty interesting controversy among those who hear about our little tradition. My family has never pretended to be hard-core celebrates of the Jewish faith. We have all had Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s and (some of us) go to Synagogue on the High Holy Days, but other than that, we’re pretty agnostic. But on Jewish tradition alone, are we not allowed to indulge in non-kosher foods during holidays?
A look at the Finn Family Hanukkah Party Menu.
What are your thoughts? Would you indulge in some Hanukkah Ham if you had the opportunity? Do you have any strange Holiday traditions?Read more
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Kendyll Messina | Thursday, December 15, 2011 No Comments »
Santa Has Elves, You Have Social Media
With the holiday season upon us, it is crunch time for most when it comes to holiday shopping. When you consider the amount of time you spend on Facebook, Twitter, and foursquare why not use your favorite social media sites to help cross everyone off your holiday shopping list?
It can be as easy as following the brand names you know your best friend likes on Twitter to see what is hot and new for the holiday season, to get some “giftspiration”, or getting a gift card to the bar your brother is the mayor of on foursquare. A lot of stores are also giving great coupons and discounts once you “like”,” follow”, or “check in” at a particular spot!
It’s super easy to “like” a page on Facebook, but did you know that a lot of pages give exclusive savings and giveaways to their Facebook fans? Check the home pages of your favorite stores /brands and look for a link to their Facebook page. “Like” them, and you could get your brand name gifts for less!
Not sure how to find the best deals on Twitter? A quick search on popular hashtags such as #deals and #coupons will show you what discounts other people are sharing and talking about. For more, just follow the professional deal seekers! A few of my favorites are @CouponTweet, @retailmenot, and @FabulousSavings.
When it comes to foursquare, all you have to do is look up the specials near your location, check in, and reap the rewards! You will find anything from a discount off your purchase to freebies!
By using these social media sites you can save time and money (which we all know is the goal throughout the holiday season!). With the help of social media there is no need to get involved with the masses of people doing their last minute holiday shopping, you can get everything done right from home ( you are more than likely going to be on these sites throughout the day anyway, right? )
When it is time to open gifts you can sit back and relax while everyone receives exactly what they wanted! Santa may have elves, but you have social media ☺Read more
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redheadmeag | Monday, December 12, 2011 6 Comments
In the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of negative backlash directed at Klout, based on an algorithm change that caused a lot of people’s scores to plummet. As for me, I’ve been a skeptic since I got my first Klout score. Now, I’m no Ashton Kutcher (gratefully) but I’ve been on Twitter for nearly 4 years and consider myself something of a Twitterholic. Imagine my surprise when I got my Klout score -– a meager 30- – and learned that I’m considered “influential” about…real estate?
Real estate? A happy renter that’s never even been to an open-house, I can’t imagine in what universe I’d be considered knowledgeable on the subject, let alone influential. (Editorial side note – a recent check of my Klout score now has me influential about PR, family and Massachusetts…perhaps thanks to those recent algorithm changes? More info in this article from Adweek: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/klout-faces-foes-136721)
As our collective consciousness has evolved past the “my follower/friend count defines my SM self worth” stage of evolution (see posts from Ginny Pitcher and Chris Brogan for more on that), I think we all look for some metrics that will define our status as “rock star.” (I’ve always been a fan of HubSpot’s continuously evolving Twitter Grader –- perhaps because it gives me an A+?) Tools like Klout can either be validation, or useful for those starting out to figure out if they’re “doing it right.” I’m not so sure that Klout is an effective tool for either of those situations.
A recent post by Hollis Tibbetts on SocialMediaToday has a nice little case study on “gaming” Klout that I think is a pretty clear illustration of what (IMO) is wrong with the service: http://socialmediatoday.com/softwarehollis/385964/exposed-klout-scores-still-garbage-after-all-these-days.
Maybe my 30 isn’t so bad? Some interesting insights in this piece: “Why I deleted my Klout profile,” (check out the insights under #6), http://socialmediatoday.com/pammoore/389381/why-i-deleted-my-klout-profile
With the advent of +Ks, I think there’s a chance that Klout’s “influencer” metrics may be improved by some user-generated control. While the site is still technically in beta, I’ll look to see continued improvement that makes what they’re measuring more meaningful. I wonder if by the time they get there, though, anyone will consider it so.
What’s your Klout score? Are you a fan of the service?Read more
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amandeville | Thursday, December 8, 2011 1 Comment
How to use social media to get a job
Hey everyone, I’m Adam, the latest addition to the Kel & Partners team! For my first blog post, I thought I would share the social media fairytale that got me my internship, and later my job, at K&P. While the story involves a little bit of luck, I hope I can offer some good advice for anyone trying to land a job in the modern era.
When I started my job search, the first social media outlet I used was LinkedIn, the site best known for networking in the professional world. It is also a great resource for connecting with alumni from your schools. LinkedIn repeatedly sent me offers to try their premium services for a month, which included the ability to send “inMails” to people I wouldn’t otherwise be able to contact. I was a member of the Vassar Alumni group, where I went to school, so I sent out inMails to those in the PR industry. Not everyone was responsive, and one was extremely bitter about her career choice, but two turned out to be really helpful. (Don’t forget to get the email addresses of those you “Link” with so that you can contact them without a premium LinkedIn account, which can be upwards of $60 a month!)
The first alum to respond was a local who told me about Kel & Partners. He didn’t know anyone at the company, but simply knew it was a firm that didn’t give its account coordinators “scut work.” Thanks to his advice, I researched the Kel & Partners website and liked what I saw. At the time, internships were not posted on the website, but using another social media tool, Twitter, I started following the CEO, Kel Kelly. By this time it was August and I thought that I would have to wait until January before looking for an internship, but one day Kel tweeted that internship opportunities were still available! I used another LinkedIn connection, a fellow alumna and public relations consultant, who gave me some advice on what to highlight in my cover letter and resume. The most helpful advice, however, came straight from the source: Kel Kelly. Her blog has great advice about what she looks for in cover letters, resumes and interviews (go here to see it: http://www.kelandpartners.com/kelkellyblog/2011/05/). I hated writing canned cover letters for my other job applications, but on a website where the phrase “smoking [insert social media] in a crack pipe” appears multiple times, I knew some originality would pay off and was rewarded with an interview! (Note: I do not recommend hard-core drug use metaphors for all cover letters.)
My least sparkling moment was definitely the interview; no social media could save me by that point. I showed up barely on time, sweating through a wool suit in late summer heat because, for the life of me, I could not find K&P’s offices on Drydock Avenue. I told myself to remain confident, because otherwise, I would never know if I missed an opportunity because I wasn’t qualified or if it was because I couldn’t stop sweating. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long to find out that I got the internship, though one of my interviewers has not yet forgotten about my profuse sweating.
What’s great about the job I have now is that I really feel like I earned it. After two months of interning I was offered a position. It’s good to know that hard work is recognized, although using your connections in the current Age of Social Media definitely pays off. Networking is no longer about nepotism, which was how I got my first job. Nor is it about kissing ass (or maybe it is, though most of my supervisors seem to prefer sass over smooch, a phrase I will now try to copyright). When networking with LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, anyone can be a connection, so you can always introduce yourself to someone working at the company where you want to work!Read more