#OpportunityDetroit: A City’s Saving Grace


When a once-booming city is on the brink of extinction, what is the one thing that could bring it back to life? I bet “hashtag strategy” wasn’t on the tip of your tongue but a single integrated 360 degree campaign is what’s helping Detroit to become a Phoenix, of sorts.

Image#OpportunityDetroit speaks volumes to what this city is trying to achieve. First, to get back into the good graces of those who have been served only the negative stories and second, to provide a motto to those brave enough to live and work in the Motor City.

During the 2012 World Series, the Detroit Tigers and the San Francisco Giants were fighting for the title. Unfortunately, the series didn’t go in Detroit’s favor but the city did come out of it with a win; Quicken Loans produced an inspiring spot with an accompanying social strategy to a level that had never been seen before.

With an entire arsenal of social channels and a strong hashtag strategy, #OpportunityDetroit exploded not just within Detroit but nationwide. With a following of socially savvy millennials, ready and willing to support the revitalization and rejuvenation of Motown, #OpportunityDetroit has become a rallying cry.

The next time someone says to you “social media is pointless,” point them to #OpportunityDetroit and tell them to think again.

To learn more about #OpportunityDetroit, please visit the following links: Twitter, Facebook and OpportunityDetroit.com.

My Cyber-Living-Room During LOST


I’m sure I’ll get ridiculed for admitting this in a public forum but I did not watch the television phenomena of LOST when it first debuted in 2001. Even more disturbing? I did not watch it…ever. I’m not sure how I missed six entire seasons of one of the most critically acclaimed television series ever produced but I’m  making up for it now.

I’ve been watching LOST religiously for the past few weeks and I am enthralled. The plot twists, the Others and the moments that used to leave Americans breathless are all new to me and what is the first thing I want to do every single time something wild happens on the show? I want to turn to Twitter, use a branded hashtag and find fellow fans experiencing the same level of exasperation when Kate frolicked into a trap. Unfortunately for me, I am twelve years late and Twitter’s users no longer care about LOST. I am just “live” tweeting into a black hole.

Could you imagine the absolute internet implosion that would occur if LOST and Twitter both hit their prime at the same time? Twitter only experienced the final two seasons of LOST, when social television was barely a thought. In 2009, Twitter had only 18M users and LOST’s season finale was seen by nearly 10M. At the end of 2012, Twitter passed 500M users; we haven’t yet been presented with a television show of LOST’s caliber to perform on Twitter.

All I’m saying is that during marathons of LOST, my Cyber-Living-Room is very lonely. If you feel like joining me, I’m on Season 2 and we can create a social strategy for the fans who showed up late to the party.

xxCandyLips2011xx Isn’t Acceptable Anymore


Twitter is known for the casual messages and fast paced updates, but this doesn’t mean you should throw discretion to the wind. While colleges are preparing to welcome back crazy, rambunctious and oh so studious groups of 20-somethings, I was busy developing a few unconventional words of social media wisdom that may have been missed at that 8:00 a.m. lecture last semester.

  1. Private Twitters = Shifty Eyes: Twitter is an undeniably fabulous asset for public relations students (Hell, I even had a few job interviews because of my Twitter presence) and when you hide your twitter feed, it looks like you’re hiding something bigger. When you limit your profile, you also limit your opportunities and connections. If you feel the need to privatize your twitter feed, create two accounts – one public and one private – to ensure you aren’t missing any great networking opportunities.
  2. Bios Are A First Impression: Your Twitter bio may be the first thing that potential employers view and when you proudly announce that you are a member of #TeamDropout or #TeamAlwaysHigh, things probably won’t work out in your favor. Try adding your Alma Mater, your course of study, a graduation year and a few of your personal interests. Avoid offensive language, politically incorrect slurs and try your best to shy away from using words like “expert” or “guru.” And finally, unless you truly are Nicki Minaj, please do not refer to yourself as “Barbie” — working at your local fast food establishment doesn’t mean you have the right to refer to yourself as an enviable starlet.
  3. Would Dad Be Shocked: Does the thought of your father reading your Twitter feed make you shudder? If you answered yes, then we have a problem. When you’re tweeting anything that you wouldn’t want your parents to see, odds are potential employers will be just as offended as dear old dad.  If you are serious about finding a job, think of Twitter as one big job interview with thousands of agencies and firms – you never know who is reading your feed and for what reason. Make sure that you are tweeting relevant industry articles, participating in tweet chats and accurately spotlighting your personality. Stay away from the play-by-play of last night’s frat party, at all costs. And to be honest, no one wants to know what happens behind closed doors.
  4. Don’t Be Shy — @ Reply: A Twitter feed that contains only self-generated ramblings with no follower interaction is defying the nature of the network. Grow your followers, meet new people and watch as the opportunities present themselves. Generate content that will welcome replies and retweets – you’ll be amazed as new industry contacts pop up.
  5. The Power of a Handle: Do not, for the love of all things holy, make your Twitter handle anything other than your name or a variation of it. Things like xoKittyKat690x…unacceptable. First, ew. Second, Myspace much? Third, you are 20 years old — act like it.  If a potential employer is trying to find you, do you honestly believe that “fastNhard09” will come up in a search? Of course not. So Sasha Fierce, if you seriously cannot pull yourself away from your secret identity, use your private profile for certain handles and your public profile for professional handles.

I wholeheartedly believe in the power of social networking and, with some discretion, social media is capable of changing lives and career paths. If you follow these four simple guidelines, your trip into the PR industry could be smooth sailing – it definitely worked for me.

If I forgot anything, please feel free to add it!

Back to the Nest


I have always been proud of my independence and ambition. I never thought for one minute that I’d ever consider moving home. Senior year of high school was the last time I lived with my parents for more than a few days at a time – recently, however, I’ve made a guest appearance.

There is a nasty stigma surrounding the notion of grown children living with parents, or at least there used to be.  After college, it seemed most of my friends flew right back to that comfy, cheap nest when the job field didn’t extend an offer with the exact firm in the exact field with the exact salary that they wanted.  I, on the other less frugal hand, took an internship that didn’t pay me nearly enough to afford my studio apartment in West Philadelphia (or life, in general).  I was technically living under the poverty line, but I saw stars -both literally and figuratively- during my stint with the Philadelphia Eagles and the brand recognition was too impressive to pass up.

After the honeymoon phase wore off, I realized that student loans were steadily pouring in and I was making less than a cashier at Burger King. Something didn’t add up. I started the stressful and totally disheartening task of finding a new job. Finally, as if the stars had aligned perfectly, a contact I had met through Twitter had an opening with an agency – bada bing, bada boom – new job.

Unfortunately, after three unpaid internships throughout college and countless loans, the damage was done. Even with my new salary and benefits, there wasn’t a way for me to save and continue with my lifestyle, which was already less than extravagant.  Calling my parents for help was the absolute last thing I wanted to do. As I said, my independence has long been what drove my ambition. Fortunately, they both recognized my struggle with poverty-ridden pride and offered for me to move home temporarily – I added “temporarily.”

I have given myself a hard deadline of June 1, 2012. I will have a little nest egg saved and I will be back on my own. Giving myself a timeline is the only way I can mentally prepare myself for my independence being taken from me. I wanted to do it all on my own, but as GenYers, we need to realize when a battle is lost. With the economy in distress, our debt, the country’s debt, our parents’ debt – all forces are pushing back on us.

My advice is not to become discouraged if you must move home for a few months. Of course, the hardest thing for me is taking my own advice.

Weiners, Boehners and Johnsons — OH MY!


Hey — hey you! Yeah, you — in your tighty-whiteys holding your Blackberry, about to snag a pic of your Great Googly Moogly. Don’t do it! For the love of all things holy, please do not take a photo of your man parts.

I’m not too sure what is in the water nowadays, but it seems that every man has gone coo coo for Coco Puffs. Penises, to be frank (no pun intended) are not attractive parts of the human body. I know you men have been fascinated with “it” for as long as you can remember — heck, it was even cooler than a new box of LEGOs — but if we haven’t uttered a single vow to you, we don’t want to see what you’re packing. Period.

And for Pete’s sake, if you do insist on taking a picture and sending it to a woman half your age, do NOT deny. We will find out, you will be embarrassed, your wife will kick you in the face, and you’ll cry on national television. It is painful for everyone involved.

Finally — if your name carries a funny meaning, then you are at an exceptionally high risk. All of you Weiners, Boehners, Woodcoxes, and Dicks, PLEASE refrain from snapping a pic. It will only make me want to spoon my eyes out.

Thanks in advance.