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.
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Ginny Pitcher | Tuesday, December 30, 2014 30 Comments
My Facebook Relationship Through the Good & the Bad
I am in a relationship on Facebook. Oh no, no, apologies, I misspoke; I am in a relationship with Facebook.
I spend all my time on him and we never get bored.
We’ve been through a lot together, he and I. A few things come to mind right off the bat:
• Who was there to help stalk my exes during bad breakups? It was FB.
• Who doesn’t mind that I talk too much about my cats? That would be FB.
• Who always knows when to ask me “what’s on my mind” and never ever lets me forget a friend’s birthday? It has always been FB.
He’s a good guy, that Facebook, and I’ve been there for him through a lot of his changes and adversities, as well. He’s come a long way, let me tell you that.
We’ve been together since 2004. Back when we were in college, he all of a sudden decided he’d let high schoolers hang out with us. Oh, our college friends were pissed. “What are these twerps with braces doing sending me friend requests?” they would ask. “Get at me when you have a college email,” they would say. “Friend request me when you’re at least 18,” they’d say.
Ugh. Then there was that awkward time period when he gave the worst gifts ever.
Well, they weren’t so much gifts as they were poorly drawn illustrations of gifts. The type of gifts you wouldn’t want even if they were real.
“Here, I spent actual money on this illustration of sexy lingerie for you for Valentine’s Day instead of purchasing a tangible set that would be a lot more fun for the both of us.”
Aw, you shouldn’t have.
“Here, I spent a dollar on this virtual PB&J sandwich when a real one would cost me 30 cents to make.”
Why would you do that?!
As I said, he’s come along way. NOW take a look at the gifts he has to offer these days:
THAT’s what I’m talking about. Some real tangible gifts. Happy Birthday to ME.
In 2011, he developed this strange disorder where he could only give the thumbs up. To this day he cannot give the thumbs down and it drives me and my friends mad. Sometimes you just want to dislike something, y’know! I think I speak for a lot of people when I say it would be nice to see a thumbs down on Facebook sometime in the near future.
There’s this other annoying habit of his. If you’ve ever received a Facebook poke you know how creepy and random they are. Why does he still insist on them? Enough with the pokes. Pokes are so 2009, Facebook.
Ugh, but who am I kidding? Strange pokes aside, he’s so good to me.
You know one of the things I love most about? If somebody is bugging me or saying annoying things, he’s got my back. He’ll hide them from me. Post a status update with bigoted remarks? Post too many selfies? Play too much ? I’m gon’ hide you. I’m gon’ hide you. Betta run and tell that.
Now he’s a big shot with 200 billion connections (that’s no exaggeration). Brands and celebrities use him to engage with common people. Vice versa. I’ve never met anybody so connected.
You know, a lot of people are saying he is dying. I refuse to believe so. I mean, one year ago he bought up Instagram. Just snatched it up for one billion dollars because he’s Facebook and Facebook can do that. Facebook isn’t dying, the trends are just shifting. He’ll always be able to keep up with the changes, I have no doubt.
I love Facebook. I’m on him 18 hours a day and that’s still not enough.
Are you in love or in hate with Facebook? Is he the man for you? If he’s not what could he change to make him worthy of your love and appreciation?
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Ginny Pitcher | Tuesday, December 30, 2014 2 Comments
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 won, 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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Alosha O'Brien | Tuesday, October 15, 2013 23 Comments
My Trip to Washington DC
My Dad and I Visited Washington DC for To days With hundreds of other people frome special Olympics (SO) and Best Buddies (BB). We Invited By The Massachusetts director of Best Buddies, Craig Welton, To Speack WIth Members of The US government about funding These great Programs.
we got Together With other So and BB representatives frome All around The Country So That We Could ALl Visit The Senat and The House of Representatives TO ask Legislatores to Support The Euncie Kennedy SHriver Act, which proves Funding for SO And BB.
SO was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver (EKS) to provide Sports and Social activities for Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled (IDD) People. Best Buddies was founded by her Son, Anthony, to provide one-to-one Mentoring relationships With IDD people. Along with Help in true, So I like to Help Theam whenever I Can. In addition to Scott Brown in the Senate, we visited The offices of All The Massachusetts Representatives, including Mike Capuano, Nicki Tsongas, John Oliver, William Keating, and John Tierney. Washington D.C. 2012 Is The Best Time Aver
To See All of The Monument’s It is gust So Nice. The Wheather was gust So Very warm on Tuesday. It felt like spring, I like How Their Is police On Hourses In The park Riding & Seeing people. In joying The day, I Like how I get To Spend Time With My Dad. He Is So Very Funny, Going places. with My Dad Is So Cool He All ways, Has Somthing Funny To Say To Make All us Criss & Craig Smile. I Like flying On in Airoplain It is Nice & cool, I Like Looking out THe Window & Seeing Houses.
We also Saw Some of The great Sites in Washington D.C Like The Washington Monument, The Capital Building, The Capital Mall The Supreme Court, The Smithsonian and many other cool Sites. We ate Lunch in The cafeteria of The House of Representatives, Which was cool because Lots of reps and other important people were eating Lunch All around us The Washington Monument, I was interviewed By National public Radio (NPR) about visiting The Washington Monument , which was Closed Because it was Damaged in a recent Earthquake.
Each of the offices of The Senators And The representatives Have An American flag and A State flag Outside Their office Door. Some Legislators Also Had A flag Remembering Soldiers That Are Still missing in action, And Some Had pictures in Their offices of The Soldiers That Have Been protecting America around The world.
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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?Read more
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Deirdre Carey | Thursday, January 13, 2011 16 Comments
When is email enough?
I have a question to ask you all, and would very much love to hear your honest opinion – do you think it is okay to send a “thank you email” in lieu of a handwritten “thank you note?”
Here is my dilemma: I have two sons, ages 11 & 13. Each year their very thoughtful and generous grandparents send them bonds for birthday & Christmas gifts. Since their grandparents live in Florida, I usually have the boys call them to say thank you. Why the phone call? Because I think it is nice for the boys to have a conversation with their grandparents, and yes, okay – it’s the quick and easy way out! Terrible, I know. But like everyone else on the planet, my life is overloaded with work, kids’ schoolwork and sports, miscellaneous obligations and commitments…and the list goes on and on.
Now I know what you’re thinking, ‘isn’t it the responsibility of the child to write the thank you note?’ And the answer is yes, well sort of. I don’t have a stack of blank thank you notes in the house, so I’ll need to go buy them. Also, this would require a stamp, and since I do all of my banking etc. online, I haven’t seen the inside of a post office in about a year. And not for nothing, but my youngest child is special needs, and God bless his little heart, his handwriting is completely illegible, and I would have to write his out anyway!
So, you may ask, why am I suddenly reconsidering my phone call thank you? Because in the corner of my brain, every time I think about this, my mom, God rest her soul, is telling me to make sure I send personalized, handwritten thank you notes! She was obsessed with thank you notes – I’m not kidding!
Now here I am teetering with the idea that I’ll have the boys send a thank you email. But, terrified by how it will be received! Let’s face it, I don’t care how many exclamation points and smiley faces you can include in an email, I’m always concerned that the tone, or lack thereof, when writing an email is completely void, leaving the recipient wondering if you really loved the gift.
I think it is safe to say we’ve all become accustomed to the quickest way out. Sending texts rather than talking face-to-face to work out problems, sending emails to make plans rather than picking up the phone, letting our friends know how we are doing by updating our Facebook status rather than sitting down for coffee. I do whole-heartedly agree that we’ve lost the personal, human touch and interaction that is needed to sustain most relationships, and the issue I’m having with the thank you note is no different.
So, what did I do to help me make this decision? What every true red blooded American would do, I Googled “is email an acceptable way to send a thank you note!”
And, as luck would have it, I was not alone in asking this question! I found some sound advice from The Emily Post Institute – “we first must consider the nature of our regular correspondence and relationship with the person before deciding what the type of thank you note to send. And, if you chat regularly via email, and both parties have always been comfortable with this method of communicating, then it is fine to use email to show one’s gratitude.”
Okay so that’s cool, right? I do communicate with my ex-in-laws via email frequently, and my oldest son has as well on occasion…..
BUT….Then Emily Post goes on to say “However, a handwritten note can mean much more to someone than a note that pops into his inbox. This is particularly true of some people from an older generation, like your grandmother, who may consider a letter in your handwriting as a gesture of respect.”
DANG it woman!
Well, I guess I won’t be able to shake my mom’s voice in my head, or ignore Emily Post’s advice, and I’ll more than likely have the boys write thank you notes.
What do you think? Would LOVE to hear your thoughts!Read more
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Jennifer Brogan | Monday, November 8, 2010 9 Comments
A Boston Startup I’m Loving
Let’s set the scene here. You just survived a long day at work, and you climb up the stairs of your city apartment building with high hopes for an evening of relaxation. But what’s that on your front door? Oh man, it’s the dreaded InfoNotice from UPS that reads, “No one was available when we tried to deliver your shipment.” Let me tell you a little something, Brown. I, like many Americans, work from 8-6pm and will never, as long as my career shall last, be available when you attempt to drop off my shipment.
So, like routine, you log onto website to have the package held at the local warehouse for pick-up. And this is my favorite part. Is the warehouse open on weekends? No sir! Much too convenient that way. Instead, you must retrieve your package prior to 7:30pm on a weeknight. Sounds reasonable. Sure – until you arrive, and every other person in the city of Boston with a job (I exaggerate – but not by much) is also standing in line with their respective InfoNotices. Average amount of time wasted standing in line? I usually clock in at about 25 minutes.
(Note: Thankfully, I have a car in the city. This warehouse retrieval process is virtually impossible if you don’t. Take it from someone who has walked 2.5 miles with an 8×10 Pottery Barn rug in tow. Not fun.)
Now all of this griping brings me to a new startup based here in Boston that has come to save day: PickupZone. I was beyond thrilled when I heard about this company at a recent event at Babson College. Finally, someone gets it!
PickupZone has teamed up with local retailers like Walgreens, True Value, and Ace Hardware in your city, where you can have your packages delivered. And there are no InfoNotices here. You get a friendly e-mail when your package has arrived at your local PickUpZone Pickup Point, which you can grab at your convenience within 10 days. So, you can just pick it up when you’re out running your evening errands, and probably had one of these shops on the “To Do” list anyhow.
And get this – even if you’ve already received an InfoNotice, you can have that package forwarded to your PickupZone Pickup Point and avoid the warehouse line. Genius!!
I can’t wait to test this out with my next online purchase. Has anyone else given it a try?Read more