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 ‘Twitter’ Category

  • Facebook

    Alexis Eliopoulos | Thursday, June 23, 2011 21 Comments

    #Bruins

    The past week in Boston can be described in one word – #winning. Along with “black and yellow black and yellow” on constant repeat. After 39 years, the Bruins finally won the Stanley cup and Boston could not have been more alive.

    Now, I have to admit, I am not the most loyal Bruins fan and I may be considered as “jumping on the bandwagon”. But, I don’t care, I waited in line for almost two hours to watch game 5, stayed awake until 2 a.m. after they won, and woke up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday to make it to the parade. Points for trying? I think so. Throughout the games and celebrations, I could not help but notice the #Bruins as a trending topic. I mean, let’s face it, this was a huge win for Boston so being a trending topic was expected.

    Twitter was my number one source for all my information before and after the big win. When were the bars closing? Twitter answered. What bars were already packed before I even left worked? Twitter answered. Where were the Bruins celebrating on Friday night? Twitter answered. Did I stalk them? Maybe. Twitter ’s hash tag has completely changed the ways of communication and was the ultimate resource guide for all #Bruinsnews. The Twitter /social geek in me could not help but notice how everyone took to his or her phones instantly after the win and throughout the parade. I was able to track the parade due to Facebook and Twitter. It truly incredible how much Twitter impacts events, sports, TV shows, etc.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Twitter has truly changed the ways of communication. Now, heads will turn to the Red Sox in hopes of another World Series. After all, they don’t call us title town for nothin’.

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  • Facebook

    redheadmeag | Thursday, April 28, 2011 22 Comments

    Let’s get it on…line

    As a PR person, I am a rabid consumer of media. I subscribe to 12+ magazines and get giddy the days they arrive in my mailbox. My day always begins by flipping between Today, The Early Show and the local news stations. On my drive in to work, I listen the radio every day, flipping between local stations and NPR.

    But the biggest rock of crack in my pipe (to borrow a phrase from Kel Kelly) comes from the internet. I subscribe to dozens of newsletters from media sites and bloggers to have news delivered to my inbox, all fresh and ready for me when I get in to work. My Google RSS feed should have it’s own internet zip code. And Twitter….ah, Twitter. I follow every mass media outlet known to (wo)man, use TweetDeck to separate news sources by topic so at a glance I can consume dozens of pieces of information to stay on top of what is going on. My friends share tons of news via Facebook, and Facebook Connect enables me to communicate with them about the stories they read across the internet. What a wonderful world!

    My dependence on the internet to stay up-to-date becomes most apparent on those oh-so-busy days when I find myself with several out of office client meetings, on location for news segments and knee deep in pitching. If I go a day without checking Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Business Insider, CNN, Slate (and many more) – the next day, I am shocked to realize how much has happened without me even knowing it. I can’t imagine my life without internet news to stay informed.

    What about you? Is the internet your primary news source? What is your favorite media format?

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  • Facebook

    Ginny Pitcher | Monday, March 28, 2011 28 Comments

    Is An 8-year-old Tweeting Too Young? One Mother’s Confession.

    A recent exchange between my eight-year-old son, Trey, and me went something like this:

    Trey: “Can I get a cell phone?”
    Me: “No.”

    Trey: “Can I take the money from my bank account to buy a Nerf gun?”
    Me: “No.”

    Trey: “Can I watch Dawn of the Waking Dead?”
    Me: “No.”

    Trey:  “Can I Tweet?”
    Me: “Yes!”

    For better or worse, Trey has grown up in a social media-obsessed household. We’ve spent countless hours pouring over Facebook friends’ photo albums, as I exhaustively explain who each person is and how I know them. I’ve heard him gasp in horror as I take one hand off the wheel to check in on Foursquare at the I-90/Weston tolls (of which I proudly can claim Mayorship). And, I’ve been on the receiving end of several lectures from Trey on what I can or can’t share on Twitter about his quirky “take on life” or jaw-dropping, and sometimes just plain wrong, quotes and phrases.

    So, naturally, I should have expected Trey to eventually want to jump in the social media pool. More importantly, his argument to be on Twitter was pretty sound. He wanted to follow and Tweet at his favorite athletes so he could learn how to become a better football player.

    The first step was to secure a handle. After trying every incarnation of his name only to find it was taken, we settled on a name I called him anyway: @troublebrown. With that, we set up his bio and picked his picture. We talked long and hard about making sure that he clearly presented himself as a kid. First of all, as a marketer, I knew that if he was going to be reaching out to athletes, he would be more likely to get responses if he identified himself as a young fan. And, as a parent, I wanted to make sure that any communication to and from his account was age appropriate.

    The next step was letting Trey follow his heroes. Thankfully, this bought me a whole afternoon of “me” time as he scoured Twitter. While he mostly picked football players, like Troy Polamalu (@tpolamalu) and Patrick Willis (@PatrickWillis52), he also picked some interesting ones. Who knew he liked Pink (@Pink)? And, proving that he really was paying attention in school, he patriotically followed President Obama (@BarackObama).

    With his follows in order, it was time for Trey to drop his first Tweet.

    “@PatrickWillis52 How does it feel when you get an interception or a fumble recovery?”

    With a few more Tweets sent, he headed off to bed that night — obsessing on all things Twitter.

    And then around 1 a.m. that night, a little chirp went out that would make one boy a Twitterholic for life.

    “@troublebrown awesome man”

    And so it goes. Patrick Willis, linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, lived up to one boy’s dream and found a fan for life in me. Amazingly enough, they actually exchanged a few Tweets back and forth the next day. Patrick even gave Trey some sage advice about Pop Warner, “…just keep it fun lil man. That’s one of the most important things u can do.”

    Allowing Trey to go on Twitter was a gamble. Having sat in the stands of countless sporting events listening to mothers and fathers gripe about the dangers of social media, I knew I might be setting myself up for criticism. But when it comes down to it, I really can’t think of a more accessible or content-rich platform than Twitter. In one steady stream he can follow and interact with things that interest him – sports, music, friends, whatever.

    And, quite frankly, it’s not such a bad thing for Trey to understand and harness the power of social media at such a young age. If anything, he’s learning to say it succinctly and thoughtfully in 140 characters or less.

    What do you think? Is eight too young to be on Twitter?

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  • Facebook

    redheadmeag | Thursday, March 17, 2011 34 Comments

    Twitter’s Turning 5 – A Twitterholic’s Musings on Why Twitter Matters

    In early celebration of Twitter’s 5th birthday, I’m ready to admit it – my name is RedHeadMeag, and I am a Twitterholic. I cannot imagine a day without it. Twitter is, for me, an essential part of my existence – a part of my morning routine, my every day work here at Kel & Partners, and even the last thing I do before washing up for bedtime. I view Twitter as a media outlet that I customize to my widely varied interests – from recipes to Boston sports to literature, music, gossip and more. Twitter lets me stay on top of a huge amount of information that is relevant to all of the many hats I wear in my life as a woman, a wife, a puppy mommy, a marketer and a human being.

    In PR and Marketing, we’re tasked with staying on top of all of the news in our clients’ industries. I can remember the early days of my career, when I read at least 4 newspapers a day and 35+ magazines each month – all cover to cover (imagine that, younglings). Now, I pop over to TweetDeck a couple of times an hour and scan the columns I have set up for each client. I monitor analysts, reporters, media and bloggers in my clients’ industries – and even their competitors – in small doses 7 days a week. How did I get it all done before Twitter?

    When I come across breaking news, I head to Twitter before anywhere else. Last week’s incredibly tragic #tsunami in Japan is a fantastic example of why – news from hundreds of sources is at my finger tips, resources of perspective and how to help – Twitter pulls in all aspects of a story in an instantaneous format that leaves me the room to digest what is going on at my own speed, while giving me a platform for sharing my own thoughts and feelings. At times like these, it is amazingly comforting to be able to connect with my fellow humans and see the outpouring of care and concern being felt across the world.

    For all of these reasons and more, I am continuously amazed at the slow to no adoption of the platform by the Millennial generation. With stats on Twitter usage showing that less than 7% of the American public is actively using the service, and that only 22% of us are responsible for 90% of the content on the site, I’m left scratching my head. As a Twitter evangelist, I’ve heard all of the “Twatter” jokes (ok, ok – it is funny) and the “I don’t need to let people know what I had for breakfast” lines – how is it that these people and so many others don’t see what I see?

    So why are you – or why are you NOT – on Twitter?

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  • Facebook

    Deirdre Carey | Friday, October 22, 2010 27 Comments

    Social networking and fundraising – from door knocks to in box

    If you’re around my age – let’s just say 40-something – I bet you can remember your first fundraising efforts, soliciting money for a worthy cause. In the suburb of Boston I grew up in, the charity of choice in school was Unicef. And every Halloween during my grade-school years, my mom would slave over designing me a beautiful fairy, or princess, or ballet costume, only to then release me into the neighborhood bundled up in a down jacket and carrying a flashlight and a Unicef box. Mind you, I grew up in a huge neighborhood with about 50 other children who were all soliciting change on that one night during the year. No wonder when I dragged my tired, sweaty body home to dump out my pillowcase full of sugary treats and then, subsequently, my Unicef box, it was only filled with pennies and an occasional nickel! The obvious reason for the lack of larger monetary donations was simple – 50 kids were hitting up the same group of people! And then as we got older, we were hitting up the same neighbors, aunts and uncles with the school wrapping paper and Yankee candle fundraisers! It was such a tedious task, going door to door with the catalog, the sponsor sheet, having people give me checks, or cash, it got to be too much!

    Boy, how things have changed! Now kids today (and adults too) don’t even have to physically interact or have a verbal conversation with their potential donors since social media hit the scene. For kids with Facebook accounts, they simply write up a brief description on their profile, and send a link to where you can donate. As adults, the same is true, whether you’re walking to find a cure for breast cancer, or cycling across the state to bring awareness to domestic violence, you don’t have to “hit people up” face to face any longer. Zip them an email, send a message through Facebook, Tweet about what event you are partaking in, and then just wait and see who responds. In fact, you don’t even have to collect any cash or checks because the majority of nonprofits who are sponsoring these fundraising events are set up with PayPal – so no money exchange is necessary. They even have templates to send out “Thank You” notes via email once someone sponsors you. The good news is, you can post pictures of yourself participating in the event, and you can Tweet about it every set of the way.

    We are all busy, going 100 miles an hour everyday, so yes, the quick fix is to go online, and make a donation to support a friend or family member with their cause. And the plus side is you can reach a far wider audience when soliciting online, rather than going door to door. But lets face it, when it comes to my kids needing to fundraise for their school or sports program, the paperwork lands on my desk, and I then do the fundraising – all via social media outreach. I just don’t have time to call people, explain what the fundraising effort is for, chase people down for their donations, and then send thank you notes. And I’ll be honest, during these tough economic times, it is somewhat awkward and uncomfortable to have to ask people to hand over money, even when they know it is for a good cause. So I think it’s easy to hide behind the email or Facebook message. That way the rejection or “sorry I can’t help” is less uncomfortable for all involved. So from a timing, logistics and a comfort-level perspective, for me, social media outreach is the way to go!

    But I can’t help but think the lack of human contact deflates the purpose of doing something good for humankind. I can tell you this much, a chubby little cross-eyed Boy Scout, sporting white tubes socks with his Teva sandals, and huge coke bottle glasses shyly rang my door bell not that long ago and there was just no way humanly possible that I could not buy the $19.00 box of Kettle Corn popcorn from him. I had never met the child before, didn’t know where he lived, but to see that sweet innocent round face looking up at me, I raced for my checkbook. Now if that same child somehow got my email address and sent me an email, or a message through Facebook, I highly doubt I would have purchased what was surely the most expensive popcorn I’ll ever have in my life!

    How do you feel?

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