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, 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 the ‘Current Events’ Category
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Caitlin Gribbons | Monday, December 2, 2013 No Comments »
Giving Back: The Reason for the Season
With the holiday season in full-swing, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of shopping, decorating, and party planning. Don’t lose sight of the true meaning of the holidays, an opportunity to give back to those less fortunate in Boston. Read the rest of this entry »Read more
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redheadmeag | Wednesday, August 28, 2013 No Comments »
Heyo! Facebook announces major changes to how contests can run on YOUR Facebook page
Our social media Peeps could barely sleep last night. We know you’re asking “why?” In the “new changes announced every minute” world of social media, it takes a lot to get us THIS excited. But this is pretty huge!
Late last night, Heyo broke some EPIC news: Facebook announced a loosing of restrictions on how contests can be administered on the site. We’d like to take a moment to give solid props to Heyo on this one. When we received the late-night email blast, we checked our fav in-the-know media sites (Mashable, TechCrunch, Business Insider) and couldn’t find the news anywhere else. But a quick check of Facebook’s Page Guidelines confirms the news, and our world will never be the same.
So, what’s changed, and what’s the big deal?
Historically, in order to host a contest on Facebook, page managers were required to utilize a third-party platform. With a bevvy of affordable and easy-to-use tools out there, this one wasn’t hard to manage (unless you weren’t familiar with the rules and were penalized for hosting a contest without this important step – yikes!). By opening up this restriction, Facebook is enabling the less “socially savvy” business owners to engage with their fans in a new and exciting way on Facebook, and eliminating the need for well-designed tabs to host a cool giveaway.
The biggest change is that no longer are page managers’ hands tied in using “Facebook functionality” as a method of contest entry. Want people to “like” a post to enter to win? Now you can! Want people to comment with feedback in order to enter your giveaway? Do it to it! And want to announce your winner on Facebook so all of your fans can see that you do in fact choose winners? THE FACEBOOK WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER!
While you cannot use “timeline activities” for contest entry (such as ”share this post to enter”), Facebook has given page admins a great new tool in providing meaningful, engaging content to your fans.
We’ve already got our wheels turning on how we’ll roll out contests for clients with these new changes in place. What do the changes mean to you?Read more
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AClinkman | Friday, June 1, 2012 3 Comments
Can you imagine a world without Facebook?
My eyes were glued to the TV as I watched Mark Zuckerberg ring the NASDAQ opening bell and expose his company to further public scrutiny. For many looking to make a quick buck off of the IPO, Facebook has thus far looked like a dud. With stocks plummeting, critics of Facebook are proclaiming “I told you so” and quickly writing off this American success story. I can’t wait to tell the speculators “I told you so.”
See, I’m a child of the social generation. I’m not a financial advisor, nor am I an expert on everything tech. However, when Google went public in 2004, I could have told you it would be a great investment. When Apple was on the brink of collapse, I could have mentioned that they had the capability of really kicking butt. And with Facebook going public now, I’m telling you that Facebook will be around for the next 50 years.
The main critique of Facebook is that it’s just a social networking platform that won’t be able to deliver real value. It’s an understandable stance. After GM ended its agreement with Facebook for paid ads, the very prospect of Facebook ads being worthwhile for businesses came into question. If a large company can’t profit off of its advertisements, how can a small business?
With 85% of Facebook’s revenues coming from advertisements, weakness in the system is undoubtedly a bit scary. The roughly 1 billion unique users inhabiting the Facebook-world are still hard to monetize.
With news of Facebook’s overvaluation, investors are reasonably skeptical towards Facebook’s exact worth. But should they bet against the 800-pound gorilla?
The Future (my fearless forecast)
If we take a moment to remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” then we appreciate that Facebook is still gaining its legs. Facebook has already shifted the world.
After all, it was Facebook that piqued my interest in Public Relations and later Social Media. It was Facebook that filled my college days with event invitations to parties. It was Facebook that started revolutions and unified people against tyrannical governments. When a government completely forbids their populace from using a social networking site, there is definitely something special.
It is Facebook that is working to determine presidential elections. It is Facebook that connects family members worldwide. It is Facebook that allows users to actively participate in conversations around the World Wide Web. It is Facebook that will continue to change the social landscape for years to come. And it is Facebook that does not yet know its own potential.
And how will Facebook do it?
The potential of f-commerce (Facebook Commerce) to track data and optimize it for individual users is mind-blowing. Businesses will be able to reach ~1B users and sell merchandise directly through Facebook. Slowly, users are accepting that Facebook caters advertisements to interest and search history. Once Facebook finds a way to remove the taboo of being a social media site and harnesses its mobile potential, it will explode financially.
With all the comparisons to Myspace’s gigantic fall from grace, there is one big reason that Facebook won’t fail. It has time.
Facebook has what all businesses seek: a user base that is incredibly loyal. As much as people dislike the changes that Facebook makes to its platform, they always stay. The prospect of a gigantic user-base and technological advancements prepare Facebook for future progress.
This preparation for the future will work well as Facebook emerges as much more than a website. Think once again of the two tech companies that come to mind first, Apple and Google. Apple is now much more than a computer company (iPad, iPhone, iPod, iMac) and Google is much more than a search engine (Android operating system, Google+, Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Glasses).
Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, told investors that ‘the one company closest to being like Apple is Facebook. And just today, Apple announced a partnership to build Facebook into their iOS 6 software.
So why are we betting against Facebook?
If you are a business owner, you probably would love the ability to do these things at a fraction of the cost
- Cater ads by interest and location
- Sell items to interested parties
- Create promotions
- Find new customers
- Interact with happy and disgruntled users
- Send messages to followers
However, Facebook does not just help businesses; it also educates the user on new products and allows for feedback that traditional media do not allow. After all, we trust our peers much more than we trust advertisements.
In the end
I’m putting my eggs in the Facebook basket. I’m no financial advisor, but I do see the potential of Facebook to continue to drastically change the worldwide business environment. Does this mean that Facebook will transfer into immediate justification of the $38.00 per share? Absolutely not, but I’ll leave it at this: I’m not betting against the social giant.
It may be a hunch, but can you see a world without Facebook?Read more
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Jenna Finn | Thursday, February 9, 2012 2 Comments
Stay classy, New England
This past week has been hard – not just for me, but for all New England sports fans. Sunday’s Super Bowl loss was a hard hit to take – and it was to NY, which only makes it hurt more. But we have to take it in stride. It’s all part of being a true Boston sports fan. You win some, you lose some. You win big, you lose bigger.
To make matters worse, a company (who will not be named) decided to pull a PR stunt making fun of Wes Welker. On Tuesday, a mere two days after the event, 900 pounds of Butterfinger candy bars were dumped in Copley Square. A women standing next to the candy was holding a sign. The sign read: “Thank you Wes Welker”.
Now, here is my problem with this whole thing. That is just too mean. It wasn’t only Wes Welker’s fault that the Pats lost. Isn’t the motto “you win as a team and lose as a team?” Also, there is no way that is funny. Maybe I’m taking it personally because I am still getting over the loss (yes, a week later!), but I don’t see how this PR stunt can be seen positively.
Also not funny- “Bradying”. Don’t do it. It won’t make you look cool.
If I were from New York I would think differently about this whole situation, but since I am from the great city of Boston, I say back off and let us grieve in peace – no more not funny PR stunts please.
What do you think? Do you think the Butterfingers stunt was appropriate?Read more
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alosha | Thursday, January 5, 2012 88 Comments
This Is going To Be The Best year Aver.
Hi My friend’s This Is Alosha I Work Ate Kel&partners. I Came to Work here thru Best Buddies. I Want To Shear My Axperians Ate New years. My faverit Is The fiyear Works I Like To play game’s With My family New year’s Is very dafrient Holiday It Is Wear We Look for Wood To The New year & We Hope It Is going To Be The Best One & It Is All way’s Is The Best I Hope We geat Some More Of The Nice Weather Sow Far It Been The Best Winter Aver With out Snow & I Like That My favorit Is Summer Wear I go Swimming & going On My friend’s Bowt & going fishing With My friend’s from NEPVA. I Love going To Plasis & going out To Danner It Is The Best Time I Like To Se Band’s That Come To The Cape It Is Sow Mach fun. New year’s Is The Best Time To Make New Rasalushions On What you Want To Do In your Life & What your Dreame’s Are Like geating A New Job That Is Rite To you & What you Love To Do. I Love Music & I AM going To Se if I Cane Take Music Lasing’s Ate The Shcool I Weant Wear I Took Band Clasiss. I Love Music It Is My faverit I Payd Drume’s Wean I Was In The Band I Love’d going To Plasis I Naver Been. I Did go To Orlando florida A capole of Time’s With Avery One That I AM friend’s With. This New year Is going To Be The Best One Aver I AM going To Play My Music & going In To Work Wear I Love To Be Avery day I AM So very Lucky To Have This Job Thank’s To Best Buddi’s & Kel. This Is going To Be The Best year Aver.
Alosha O’BrienRead more
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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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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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redheadmeag | Thursday, September 1, 2011 4 Comments
Facebook announcing music streaming through facebook.com at F8
Madonna said it best – music makes the people come together.
I’m something of an early adopter of “online music”. Sean Fanning went to my High School (sure, he was a freshman when I graduated and is now a millionaire…sigh…) and my addiction to LimeWire crashed my family’s computer at least a dozen times. I was the type that updated the song on my MySpace profile with great frequency, even. All told, the rise of music streaming marks one of the most significant impacts the internet has had on my life.
A few years ago, Pandora was my jam. For the uninitiated, Pandora lets you create “stations” based on a specific artist/song. It will then serve up “similar” songs based on that selection. What a fantastic tool for discovering new music! (I owe my awareness of/love for the Black Keys to Pandora). It applied intelligence to these selections by enabling you to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” the songs it played. I managed that ish like Joe Jackson – I was on it, and if any of my stations served up something I didn’t like, those songs were dealt with in the harshest way possible (that’s right, thumbs down to YOU Pussycat Dolls!) The problem is, when I gave a thumbs up to an artist, say, I don’t know, Justin Timberlake, those songs began to permeate my other channels. When you’re in the mood for Slipknot, JT mixing in just does not work.
Craving more control, I jumped on the GrooveShark bandwagon. Now, let me say this plainly – Grooveshark has changed my life. You have access to the music collections of the estimated 35,000,000 users!! I’ve yet to search for a song/artist and not get something back – even my beloved Josh Homme’s Dessert Sessions are on there, and you should hear the Chieftans/Dropkick/assorted bagpipe/12 versions of “toura loura” mix I made for Saint Patrick’s Day. You choose your songs, add them to a list, and that list lives forever. The only problem – no mobile app?! (Give that a big ol’ #WTF. Come on, Grooveshark.) Of course, this left me stranded at a party a few weekends ago that needed DJ RedHeadMeag’s touch.
Enter Spotify. Like the rest of the Twitterverse, I used Klout to gain access to this much buzzed about service. But I got there and….meh. Where was the selection? That’s a bandwagon with a personal best high bounce rate – 2 tries, and I was out. Did I walk away too quickly? (comments and thoughts are welcome!)
Now, I’m reading that Facebook is going to announce at F8 later this month that they’re partnering with Spotify (and others) to stream music through FB.com. Check out the Mashable story: http://mashable.com/2011/08/31/facebook-music-platform/
Adding reco’s based on what my friends like? Hmmm. I’m friends with a pretty musically diverse group of individuals – I’m not sure that this is really going to do it for me. Also – I like free.
Are you excited about this launch? What is your favorite music service?
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Ginny Pitcher | Thursday, July 28, 2011 14 Comments
Martini or another Facebook friend?
Tell me to purge my life of sugar, caffeine, um…alcohol, and I’ll start listing reasons why these vices are so very critical to my every day life, and I may even throw in that they are very much part of my every day charm. I mean I know they are bad for me. They don’t care whether I’m up or down, happy or sad, funny or dull, but I’m okay with that. They give me something and for that I am eternally grateful and they willingly have a friend for life.
The funny thing is that there are very few things that I would tolerate in my life that treat me with such disregard. After all, who needs apathy? And, yet, for years I have carried the burden and weight of a very draining vice that I truly can no longer tolerate – the passive Facebook friend.
You know whom I’m talking about. We’ve all got them. You get a friend request from an old high school friend. Yeah, maybe you weren’t that close, but she always seemed cool and didn’t she date that really hot football player? Or, maybe it’s an old co-worker whom you always thought was going to go places and now he’s friending you! Or, maybe it’s just a random friending. You know the kind that you would never do: the spouse of a current friend, a friend of a friend, a non-friend of a friend.
But, for years, I didn’t care. I accepted friend requests like I might accept a Grey Goose very dry martini, straight up with a twist (I’m just saying, in case you were thinking of buying me a drink sometime). Anyway, I accepted these friends and never looked back. Never noticing if they ever shared something with me on my wall, commented on my posts, LOL’d at a picture, whatever.
And then, a few weeks ago, I thought to myself. Why am I doing this? I get tremendous joy from Facebook. I have reconnected with old friends, sparking new conversations and moments to share. I have been able to lament about my bad days and rejoice in my great days, and have found true friends who care about my state – happy or sad. So, why would I open my world to someone who had absolutely no interest in it…other than stalking?
For some, I suppose, the number of Facebook friends you have legitimizes your very being. We are often judged by what others perceive as success – the car you drive, the house you own, the job you hold, the number of connections you have. Facebook lets everyone see this, especially that elusive “number of connections” you have. And so I’m sure for some that’s a good thing. But, for me at least, I like to get something in return. If you’re going to see a picture of my latest feast at my favorite summer haunt or read a “he said what?” quote from my sometimes funny and often cringe-worthy 9-year-old son, I’m going to want to hear from you. Facebook is my conversation with my world, a two-way conversation. And, if you’re going to be my friend I would expect the occasional thumbs up, “eww…gross” comment, a shared ridiculous video, or some other touch base. Isn’t that what friends do?
So, I did the unthinkable. I took my almost 750 friends (I might be embellishing here) and purged them down to 300. And let me tell you…it felt great. I looked at each person and asked myself: When was the last time he or she reached out? Has he or she ever written on my wall after friending me? Honestly, if you really cared about staying connected to me why not check in now and again? Say hello, comment on a post, “like” my photo.
For some, it may have been a bit of shock when they couldn’t see my wall or follow my conversations, but my guess is that for most, they didn’t even notice. And, with that, I raise my martini in one hand, Tangy Taffy in another and bid adieu to one vice that I can happily quit.
How about you? Have you ever thought about purging your friends on Facebook?Read more