Watch out advertisers: this is what your audience is thinking.

I had a conversation with my roommate on ads. For unbiased purposes, roommate and I are randomly assigned as A & B throughout this post.

 

A & B were initially discussing about tweeting at brands on positive experiences.

A expressed that she would tweet about positive experiences, but B disagreed. B felt that she was not attached to any certain brands, and therefore would not tweet about them in the first place. Thought B would subscribe to notifications for brands that she already liked, she would disregard the rest.

 

A continued the conversation with how she voluntarily rejected ads. She felt stupid when a purchase was made because of an ad.

Then, A showed B a recent ad that worked on her and lead to a purchase.

 

A felt connected with the guy in the ad. She would go out of the way to buy her favorite food item, just like that guy would do jury duty so he had an excuse to go to the pub next to the court for his favorite pretzel bacon cheeseburger.

B thought that the ad was selling an idea of convenience, not selling Wendy’s pretzel bacon cheeseburger. She felt that the product could easily be replaced by another brand’s product using the same ad.

A explained that she had a good previous expectation for Wendy’s bacon cheeseburger, and that the quality of a Wendy’s bacon cheeseburger was not in question. Therefore, it doesn’t matter to her that the ad is not communicating why is Wendy’s bacon cheeseburger better. She also had a soft spot for pretzel. Combining all these factors, she would try a Wendy’s pretzel bacon cheeseburger.

B was concern about the ad not communicating what it is selling. She did not see the ad selling Wendy’s pretzel bacon cheeseburger until the last ten seconds of the ad when it explicitly said “Wendy’s pretzel bacon cheeseburger.” She felt as if 20 seconds of her life was wasted.

A concluded that ads were for her entertainment purposes, while B thought ads should be informational.

 

It was a refreshing perspective for both of us in terms of understanding how each other view ads and what we look for in ads. Though we both have ad blocks on our browsers, it was for very different reasons.

Research Participant A: Mildred Shao @superbmil

Research Participant B: Laura Thurman @laurathur (because ‘I don’t need no “man”‘)

On Time Management

Question is: how to make the most out of these 86,400 seconds?

得閒死唔得閒病

Reads: “Dak Han Sei Ng Dak Han Beng”

A Cantonese phrase that describes one’s level of business.

Literally, it means “have time to die, no time to be sick.” Theoretically, it means that one would rather die than to be sick and not be productive.

 

Over this past month of October, I have experienced 得閒死唔得閒病. Conferences, travels, meetings, school’s starting, friends coming back, etc. Looking back, I still can’t believe it has only been a little over a month since I last complained about how boring summer was. With responsibilities in two national/international student organizations, a full time almost-all upper level classes and a start up business soon-to-be launched, I need to be managing time more effective than ever.

 

Mildred Shao’s 4 Steps to Effective Time Management

STEP 1: Use a calendar

Ideally one that allows you to fill time slots and highly portable and easily accessible you can bring AND use it everywhere, for example iCal on Mac/iPhone and Google Calendar.

STEP 2: Put in scheduled routines and planned events

For example class, work, scheduled weekly meeting times and work schedule. And I mean EVERY single event you can think of: your boyfriend’s mom’s birthday you know you need to attend, the back-to-school party you have been looking forward to all summer long, the big assignment that is due in 3 months, the conference weekend next year you need to fly to etc.

STEP 3: Keep a to-do list

From catching up with that friend that you said you would catch up with months ago to buying books for classes, keep track of the things you need to do but not necessarily important enough to cut the “planned events” list.

STEP 4: Fill in the gaps

Go back to the calendar you have put your scheduled routines and planned events. Fill in the breaks with the items on the to-do list.

Instead of sitting there thinking about what you can do every time – usually ending up doing nothing or wasting your time on Facebook – following the above four steps will enable you to utilize your breaks wisely and more effectively.

 

4 Tips on Using the 4 Steps

1. COMMIT to your timetable

Your calendar exists for a reason. Treat it as a promise. Once scheduled, unless under emergency circumstances, FOLLOW IT.

2. Break down big projects into small tasks

A 15-page paper does not write itself. Break it down to smaller, achievable steps. Assessing the progress will help motivate you and lower the chance of frustration. Sectioning the big project and planning ahead on the to-do list can also help lift the stress ball up from your schedule.

3. Prioritize to-do list items

Calculate the opportunity cost of each activity and make the most profitable priority. Just kidding! (But really, in more advanced effective time management.)

Simply put deadlines to the items that have deadlines. If the deadlines are approaching, consider scheduling a time for them, and FOLLOW IT.

4. Establish a system that works best for you

Note: I hate driving because I could have been using the travel time on something meaningful than sitting there doing nothing but driving. The 4 steps in the above model may not suit your lifestyle given I am such a workaholic that needs to be constantly doing something. If this does not work for you, make some mistakes, learn some lessons, fake that you know time management, until you know how to manage time.

 

 

“As any seasoned PR pro will tell you, time management is key to staying on deadline while anticipating what’s coming next.” – Taylor Harruff on Ragan’s PR Daily

I think I am ready for the PR life.

What does PR do? II: Event Planning

Everyone have different conceptions of public relations, fanciful or foul.

Growing up, the entertainment industry has shaped my perception of PR as: PR=walking around in pretty dresses at events, elegantly sipping glasses of wine while talking to rich people.

Something like this.

I thought PR looked something like this. (via tw.myblog.yahoo.com/dorian-dorian)

 

Truth be told, PR is nothing like that.

(I fell into PR because of an Intro to Communications class I took to fulfill general education requirements, learned that communication was using audience’s psychology to my advantage, and thought it was the coolest thing ever.)

 

It is long hours of emails, fishing for replies, building relationships, planning, meetings. Though there are still times where PRs get to dress pretty and elegantly sip glasses of wine, most of the time, it is mad chaotic.

 

Nonetheless, event planning is still part of the PR job description. Here are a list of questions you should think about when planning an event:

 

1. What is your end game?

Understand why you are organizing this event will give you a direction across the planning process, which is sometimes brutal. Ask who is going to be at the event when thinking about the goal you want to achieve through the event.

2. What is your budget?

A lower budget does not mean goal of event cannot be achieved. It just means you will need be a little more creative with it.

3. Who is involved in the planning process?

How involved is your client expecting? Which department in the company are you planning the event for? It is good to know who you should go to if you run into questions in the planning process.

4. How is the event logistically carried out?

Develop a day-of-event playbook. From how will guests move from the entrance to the venue space, to designating staff to direct catering, include every little detail of the event and make sure all involved parties know of it.

 

Keep in mind everything that you plan for the event should tie back to the end game that you have decided at step 1, and most importantly, enjoy the event.🙂

What does PR do? I: Branding Step-by-step

“What do you do?” has been a question of struggles.

The standard textbook answer would be “getting out the right message, at the right time, to the right audience, using the right channel.”

Public relations manager made #7 on LinkedIn’s survey of top 10 most misunderstood jobs. Then Business Insider came up with this easy one-liner to help you explain to your mom:

You make your clients look good by coordinating interviews and providing information about them to the media.

I usually answer with “We maintain positive brand image and increase exposure of brand.” But public relations really is a lot of things. So now, this series of “What does PR do?” will be my extended answer to the question.



How much work has been done to endue brand images onto these logos?






I am by no means expert in branding, but being the Communications Team Leader at AIESEC Ohio State, a recent reactivated entity of an international student/non-profit organization, I have had the chance to rethink our brand.

(And remind me: AIESEC is another great story to tell.)

Step 1: Know your brand

What is the purpose of your brand? Who is your audience? What does your brand offer to the audience? Who are your competitors? How are you different from your competitors?

Step 2: Know EVERYTHING about your audience

And I mean EVERYTHING. What’s their age? What is their career? What do they like and dislike? Where do they live? Where do they hang out? How do they view the world? How do they present themselves? Why do they do what they do?

Step 3: Create/Maintain brand image

From step 2, design your medium to speak your brand to them. Medium meaning: writing style, visual design, events, collaborations etc. – anywhere your brand is present and represented.

Step 4: Increase brand awareness

Where can you find more of your audience? How can you get to them?

Here is the fine line between advertising and public relations. If you pay for a commercial to get to the audience, it is advertising; if you do not directly pay for it, it is public relations.

Extra degree: Engage audience to share the word

With well-planned user experience that generates positive feelings in them, it is proven that they will be more likely to share your message to their circle. Like a ripple, the message, and ultimately your brand, will be spread in no time through word of mouth.

What other questions do you have about PR? Let me know!

Your question may be answered in the upcoming posts!

My German Obsessions

Confession: I am obsessed with everything Germany.

As much as German language confuses me, I find German culture intriguing.

Oktoberfest is not exactly where Germans hang out. But it has a German name, so I must go! *Insert judging eyes from readers here*

 

Columbus Oktoberfest 9/27-29

DSC_0142

A double bass casually sitting outside of the bier halle

A double bass casually sitting outside of the bier halle

German flags & 32 oz. beer is pretty much as German as it can get.

German flags & 32 oz. beer is pretty much as German as it can get.

And what's happening on stage.

And what’s happening on stage.

 

Food

1. I’ve been wanting to make the trip down to German Village for Schmidt’s, but haven’t yet had the chance. I used this opportunity to try out the supposed-to-be best German food in Columbus.

DSC_0200

2. Still not sure what’s the difference between frankfurter sandwich & hot dog, but this was definitely one of the juiciest & tastiest hot dogs I have ever had.

DSC_0205

3. Didn’t get one, but man was that thing jumbo! Next time!

DSC_0209

4. Do beer the German’s way.

DSC_0210

 

Market Place

1. I am obsessed with balsamic. Just put balsamic in the dish, I will try it. And this brand that makes their own balsamic vinegar from an Italian barrel-aged artisanal producer definitely has an eye for good balsamic.

Untitled

2. As lazy as I am, I work to find the easiest, quickest recipes. Only to let it sit and marinate for 15 minutes, these tasty dips/rubs make my food taste extra flavorful.

DSC_0188

3. Aren’t these traditional German flower headbands lovely?

DSC_0181

4. And I met Tracy’s trip.

Untitled

Considering the frequency I crave for New York and my spontaneousness, this might actually come in handy sometime.

Anybody wants to experience New York with me? *wink*

 

People

What is Oktoberfest without some creepy pictures behind people's back? LOL

What is Oktoberfest without some creepy pictures behind people’s back? LOL

Miss Oktoberfest

Miss Oktoberfest

Miss Oktoberfest invited me to join in the picture :)

Miss Oktoberfest invited me to join in the picture🙂

I fit right in with these traditional German costumes!

I fit right in with these lovely people in traditional German costumes!

 

It is inevitable I am meant to be in Germany. Tsk tsk.

 

Columbus Oktoberfest

Friday, Sept 27 5pm-midnight

Saturday, Sept 28 noon-midnight

Sunday, Sept 29 noon-8pm

Ohio Expo Center/Ohio State Fairgrounds

Free admission

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find your next internship on Twitter

Press preview venue at the fashion intern I got when in NYC

View from the press preview venue for a client at my internship when in NYC

 

As some of you may have already known, I found both my internships through Twitter.

“How did you do that?” You may ask.

 

Twitter is a powerful business networking tool.

Successful corporate Twitter accounts engage their audience for a more immediate reply to concerns and appreciations as oppose to news release or press conferences.

Some of them may post job openings, some of them may reply to your tweets mentioning them, and if you are doing it right, you may just find your next intern through networking on Twitter!

Here are 5 tips on how I landed my internships on Twitter:

 

1. Expect Unpaid

Work for the experience. Next time around you will be competitive enough to find the paid ones.

 

2. Keep It Professional

Like my communication professor Mary Sterenberg said, it should be alright if you mom reads it. With that said, your account should be public.

 

3. Think Content

Be contributory to the society. You don’t want to have too many casual conversations among friends. Show that you are knowledgable on the topics related to the job you are looking for: link articles, YouTube videos, retweets, etc.

Read More on Content Marketing: Epic Content Marketing According To Joe Pulizzi

 

4. Follows & Hashtags

Depending on what kind of jobs you are looking for, find the accounts that post the jobs you want. Using the right hashtags help prospective employers find you too.

List of Employers Posting Jobs on Twitter

@marketjobsusa

And the account I usually find job postings on.

 

5. Be Proactive!

If there is a company you want to work for, don’t hesitate to make a shout out to them!

614mag

It’s that easy!

 

More on job search on Twitter: How to Effectively Use Twitter as a Job Search Resource

 

Good luck!

Easton Market Rack Grand Opening

I was walking down the streets in Chicago with my shopping mode on. The words “Nordstrom” in the corner caught my eye. I walked in. Without thinking about what the word “rack” under “Nordstrom” mean, little did I know about the world of bargain fashion.

 

Ever since my realization of Nordstrom Rack, I have shopped in the Racks in Chicago, Seattle, New York, DC and Cleveland – praying all those time for one here in Columbus.
My prayers are heard and answered! Nordstrom Rack was opened Thursday on 3736 Easton Market. And of course I would have to get my hands on it.

All those excitements build up to this moment!

All those anticipations built up to this moment!

 

Easton Market Rack Grand Opening – 9/12/2013

Check my Tumblr aka THE style blog for my outfit of the day.

 

1. Overview of the store. Sunglasses at the door. Registers & bags on the left. Perfumes, make up and other non-apparel items on the right.

DSC_0025

2. So cute of them to be handing out these water bottles!

DSC_0026

3. I love shopping shoes over clothes.

DSC_0028

In general, the shoe selection is standard. Nothing surprised me. Quite disappointed, in fact, that they do not have a designer’s shoes section.

Found my favorite Jeffrey Campbell

Found my favorite Jeffrey Campbell

Some standard Michael Kors, Coach, Stuart Weitzman, Tory Burch.

The standard Michael Kors, Coach, Stuart Weitzman, Tory Burch.

Full collection of sneakers though.

Full collection of sneakers.

One thing I like - separate boots section in every size!

I do like their separate boots section in every size though!

4. As if their bargain prices are not enough – there are always only prices too high. Clearance made up a pretty good portion of the shop and the choices are decent.

DSC_0052

5. Next up: BAGS!! Standard Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Furla, Tory Burch, etc.

DSC_0060

Managed to find ONE Rebecca Minkoff's M.A.C. in brown.

Managed to find ONE Rebecca Minkoff’s M.A.C. in brown.

6. I will let you men explore on your own.

DSC_0087

7. The check-out-everywhere technology now incorporated in every Nordstrom Rack. Skipping long line = super cool.

DSC_0092

 

What did I get?

2013-09-14 10.19.43

These elegant low heels that are not giving me much height (since I am already tall). Just enough for me to be conscious of my posture! Inspired by my friend’s outfit to New York Fashion Week🙂 – 14th & Union $55

2013-09-14 10.23.10

Alongside with the low heels some mid-length pencil skirt. Prepared for the workforce! – Amanda+Chelsea $35

2013-09-14 10.25.18

WEEEEEE for new slouchy knit pullover for fall/winter! – Free Press $25

 

Happy shopping!

Nordstrom Rack Easton Market

3736 Easton Market
Columbus, OH 43219

Store Hours

Mon-Sat 10am-9pm
Sun 11am-6pm

Fashion of Columbus I: Gallery Hop August 2013

What goes on my mind on my way to NYU: “I am living in the city of dreams! Such an inspiring journey seeing all the passerby, the hipsters, the creatives, the chic, the bohos, the suited-ups, the dressed-downs……”

What goes on my mind on my way to class on OSU campus: “Stupid Freshmen! Get out of my way! And stop wearing running shorts – you are NOT working out!!!”

I believe I have made it pretty clear (if you are not clear) that Columbus isn’t quite the place for fashion. But there are 2 things I go to for my fashion fix in Columbus – Gallery Hop and Scarlett Magazine.

Gallery Hop August 2013

AKA my favorite time of the month in Columbus when walking down High Street all dressed up is encouraged. Whether they are going for the galleries or the sales or a fancy dinner or a bachelor’s party, Gallery Hop surely crowds Columbus together. And when there are people, there is fashion.

DSC_0064

Absolutely love how she is pairing her tshirt – be bold with your tshirts! They are not married to your jeans.

DSC_0083The navy blue collared polka dot shirt, marine green leather skirt and black strapped sandals surprised me with a red lip. Perfect.

And FYI, this shop, Brigade is my new favorite boutique in Columbus – only if I could afford it.

DSC_0109This reminds me of the time when I saw 3 cosplayers in San Francisco. Who knows Columbus can be culturally advanced too!

DSC_0134

Men, watch and learn. This is how you wear jeans/high-top shoes.

I am aware that this is a very belated post of Gallery Hop. Well. On the bright side September’s Gallery Hop is this Saturday!

See you there.

“What do you like about New York City?”

Brooklyn Bridge

It has probably been the most asked question since I came back to Ohio.

“Everything.”

Honestly, I love everything about New York City. I couldn’t quite put into words what’s so captivating about the city, but I know for a fact that I don’t see myself in another place besides New York.

I have already written a post on what I love about New York, but I feel the urge to reorganize my thoughts now that I have had all the time in Ohio to think about what I miss there.

Inspired by the 20 Best Cities in America to be Young, Broke and Single article on Money under 30, I have found the reason why I love New York.

As everybody knows, New York is a competitive hell. Like Jay-Z said, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Chances are, the people in the city have what it takes to “make it” here. In order for you to sustain yourself, you will find yourself constantly being challenged by talents and you just need to keep pushing your limits to keep up with it. Results? You will be striving for a better self – you might even discover something you never knew you could do!

I would have to agree that if you are the kind of people who loves an unchallenging lifestyle, always stick to the status quo and happy with just be stable, New York is not going to be for you. But as a career-oriented goal-driven woman, settling in Ohio won’t bring me anywhere.

I miss the passion that I had in the city.

As much as I will miss Oval Beach and the college town, I will have to say my farewells to Columbus once I graduate.

Days till graduation: 305.