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Posts Tagged ‘Columbia University’

‘Brand Advocates’ at Work: Columbia Students Are Stealing Nutella

NutellaHazelnut…chocolate…spread…mmm. Did three words ever go so well together? Who cares that it’s “not a real breakfast” or that it’s not healthy at all–it’s delicious! In fact, Nutella–the famous Italian stuff that takes any bread product from dry to amazing with a couple of well-placed smears–may be a little too delicious for Columbia University students.

Ever since New York’s Ivy League institution began serving Nutella in its cafeteria, these hungry scholars have been eating as much as 100 pounds of it every day–according to the Columbia Spectator, their hazelnut addiction costs the school an estimated $5000 per week!

But that’s not all. Nutella is so popular that quite a few students have been breaking the school’s sacred honor code by stealing it from the cafeteria and storing it in their dorm rooms or even–gasp–letting it go to waste. We smell a crackdown coming on!

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Mediabistro Course

Mobile Content Strategy

Mobile Content StrategyStarting September 24, learn how to write content for smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices! In this online course, students will learn how to publish across multiple channels and manage the workflow, optimize content for mobile devices, and  engage with their audience across screens. Register now!

5 Different Ways to Approach Social Media Branding

Columbia University’s chief digital officer Sree Sreenivasan advocates the “ABC approach”: “Always be collecting”. He didn’t mean artwork or other nicknacks–he was referring to a collection of digital tools and content. Here’s an example: Speaking at the Brite ‘13 conference hosted by Columbia Business School’s Center for Global Brand Leadership in New York on Monday, he recalled that at last year’s event he highlighted Tout, a video tool that streams fifteen second videos. The recent buzz is about Vine, which streams six second videos. And so it goes.

Social media’s array of shiny objects may ebb and flow, but as a category it’s gained so much traction that more companies now actively monitor platforms’ metrics–and consultants have developed social media models. Speaker Ric Dragon, CEO of Dragon Search and author of Social Marketology, presented an interesting framework outlining five different social media strategies companies may use.

Dragon’s “big five” approaches represent a way for brands to think about their social media goals, and they’re not mutually exclusive. Below are his five options, along with selected brand examples.

1.Brand Maintenance: With this reactive approach, brands play a limited role in social media just for the sake of having a presence. They monitor the social space and reply to those who mention them. This passive method is more the domain of brands late to adopt social media, as well as companies in highly regulated industries like healthcare and financial services.

2.Community Building: In this case the brand is involved in creating communities of like-minded customers or groups who share a passion for the category. The forums foster interaction between these brand ambassadors. Harley Davidson exemplifies this activity, as it mobilizes its hardcore motorcycle enthusiast fanbase. Tribeca Film Festival is another brand that keeps film buffs informed all year long.

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Crowdfunding via Kickstarter: A New Kind of PR?

Chances are you’ve heard the name Kickstarter, the fundraising startup that calls itself “the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.”

The site looks like the leader in crowdsourced funding right now, and we don’t think we’re going too far out on a limb in saying that it has revolutionized the blunt and often ugly art of raising money for artisans and organizers who don’t have much.

The site has helped fund everything from graphic novels to “comeback” albums for troubled jazz veterans to full-length films featured in some of the world’s biggest festivals. We were particularly drawn, via Fast Company, to the tale of a team looking to build an underground park in an abandoned warehouse on New York’s Lower East Side. The video and photos of the “LowLine” project are impressive and, dare we say it, a little inspiring:

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Columbia Offering Free PR Classes

Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education is offering two free classes on May 5 and May 19.

On May 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Professor Jane Praeger will host “Master Class: The Persuasive Presenter” focused on the “inner architecture of great presentations.” And on May 19 at the same time, Professor Praeger will teach “Master Class: The Strategic Storyteller.” Advanced registration is required.