Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hardworking Communication Student Seeks Career That Will Allow Her to Use Social Media Skills


Christina Castro
Communication Student
St. Edward's University

Hardworking Communication Student Seeks Career That Allows Her to Use Social Media Skills

Working in a challenging PR or Advertising environment, using social media and technological skills is anticipated after college graduation.

Austin, TX - May 2008


• Christina has been described by classmates, co-workers and supervisors as a hardworking and easy to get along with person who is organized, diligent, passionate about her work and constantly seeks projects.

• The past semester Christina has worked with Erebelle, an Austin-based women's clothing company, as a social media director with Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell, co-authors of Citizen Marketers. She has researched fashion blogs and social networking sites to pitch Erebelle stories and created an online advertisement and other social media content on a Facebook page that circulated company awareness and revenue.

• Since June 2007, Christina has worked at the St. Edward's University Media Services office as a student worker supervisor where she troubleshoots classroom instructional technology, i.e. computers, projectors, online programs, digital cameras, etc. for helps students, faculty and staff. As a supervisor, she is also responsible for training new student workers.

• In the Spring of 2007 she provided advertising work for LifeWorks, a non-profit family and youth shelter. She organized a creative campaign for LifeWorks and designed a logo, banner, and magazine advertisement to assist with re-branding the LifeWorks Relationship Recovery program.

• Activities Christina is involved with include the Public Relations Student Society Association, St. Edward's Communication Society, SEU Roteract, Meals On Wheels and More, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

• She received the Dean’s List award in the Fall and Spring of 2007, and Fall and Spring of 2008.

• Computer skills include proficiency in PC and Mac use, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro. She also has experience in blogging and is social media literate.


Podcast Project:Social Media in Politics

Web Video Project: "Starving Africa"


Christina is a recent graduate with a B.A. in Communication after attending St. Edward's University for 2 years and 1 year at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Christina has been on the Dean's List for the past two years. She likes to work with non-profit organizations and travel the world, exploring new experiences everyday. Christina hopes to gain knowledge in PR and Advertising and is enthusiastic about beginning her professional career.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Facebook Ad

The internship that I have this semester is with a women’s clothing company Erebelle. The fun thing about is I work on a social media campaign for Erebelle with Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell…you know the co-authors of Citizen Marketers. It’s really an experience working with them. One of my projects has been to create a Facebook Page for Erebelle (which looks excellent I might add) with pictures, notes, events, and video. Facebook began working towards implementation of these pages so that organizations, clubs, bands, companies, etc. don’t create profiles. Pages allow users to become “fans” of certain things. Once you’re in the fan club you can receive updates and exclusive info from that page. It’s really about the same thing as a profile. You can use most of the same applications and even create your own. I didn’t create an application, but I did experiment with the Facebook Ads option. Jackie, Ben and I were curious to see the workings on an ad and how successful an ad would be. So using my advertising skills, I created a well-structured ad with a headline and a 125-word body. You can’t get too crazy with these ads, there’s a limited amount you can change or ad. Most of the ads look the same on Facebook for this reason. What I found kind of confusing was that you choose to set a spending amount between cost per clicks (CPC) or cost per impression (CPM). At first, Facebook advised me to use a CPC of $.50- $.64 so naturally I chose in the middle: $.57. Then I set the maximum spending amount per day to $10. For four days this ad was running and I never saw it. Apparently nobody else was because I would check at the end of each day and $0, zip, nada had been spent. Facebook then advised me to raise the CPC. So I uped the bid to $1.62. The next day my $10 were spent, and the day after that and the day after that. I was getting 10, 000 impressions everyday and I guess about 10 clicks per day. So I raised my bid again to $2.00 and the maximum daily spending amount to $15.00. I spent all of that the last four days my ad was running. I guess what I really need is some insight from anybody who has played around with Facebook ads and knows what their talking about. What I see know is that my ad wasn’t all that effective. I was getting traffic to the Erebelle page but I don’t know how much that actually did. Any suggestions or secrets to creating a successful Facebook Ad?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Starving Africa Web Video

Here's a web video I created for a class assignment
Starving Africa

I went with the idea of America's obsession with overconsumption. We have food eating contests and world's largest burger contests...the U.S. throws away over 50 billion dollars worth of food every year. Maybe we should put some of this effort to better use because in Africa $7 can feed feed one person for a month, educate 2 children for a school term, save one person's life from malaria, or provide clean water to seven Africans for a year Here's an organizations I find is really worth checking out:

The Mocha Club

Thursday, April 10, 2008

forget advertising huh?

Everyone knows about that ridiculous jingle that plays on your favorite radio station(s) a zillion times a day. That jingle that plays over and over and over in your head and refuses to leave no matter how hard you try...and like everyone, I've always thought that advertising, like this that annoys people, doesn't work. Although my advertising classes have put up a good fight to teach me otherwise, I made up my mind that if any ad is that annoying, I'll swear NOT to buy or support them! Sure I'll recognize that company's name and services and be able to sing along with it, but I won't be happy about it. It's like I blame these horrible creative people in these ad departments for coming up with such a lame jingle that stays in my head all day, so I refuse to buy things from them. So yesterday, as I hate to admit it, the annoying jingle DID work.

My car brakes started sounding really bad a couple days ago and being the typical girl who doesn't know much about the inside workings of cars, (this isn't easy for me to admit so don't make fun) I reverted back to the first thing that popped into my head--"Just Brakes, we really do care." Yes, I started to hum that irritating jingle as I thought about what to do. I proceeded to look on their website to find the closest location. On the way, I passed four other "brake specialist" shops. Four shops that were all closer, all just as qualified, maybe even cheaper, but I continued to my destination of Just Brakes. I turned around twice because I missed the entrance to the garage, BUT I still had to have Just Brakes. So while reading the 95 theses, #74 caught my eye.

"We are immune to advertising. Just forget it."

Not only would my advertising teacher have a cow over this, but I can't agree with it ESPECIALLY after the events of yesterday. I couldn't help but tell the greasy mechanic boys there (who did a fine job btw. Thanks Just Brakes!) that the only reason I was giving them my business was because of their stupid advertisement on the radio...that and I was scared for my life due to the screeching noise of my brakes. They fully agreed that the ad is horrific, but I couldn't help but think how effective it was on me. Me, someone who is studying advertising, someone who thinks of herself as a "sensible consumer"...we've all taken those classes. But I chose Just Brakes not because my dad told me to, not because of friend suggested them, and not because they're the leading brake specialists...because a dumb jingle registered in my head the moment I decided my brakes were in dire need of some help. I actually thought to myself on the way over, "they have to be good if they have the sense to advertise, right?"

Radio: one of the worst mediums (in my opinion) to have good advertising...and absolutely the one with the most annoying commercials. Nonetheless, a place in which people will subconsciously, and sometimes defiantly, get advertising that works.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Death by Blogging

We all know how hectic keeping up with just two blogs a week can be...but the constant demand of streaming news and comment that prolific bloggers have everyday is hard for me to think about. It might sound silly...oh poor bloggers, working from home with a computer and iphone at their fingertips, looking for the next big thing to blog about. In coffee shops, at lunchtime, over a glass of hard it must be to write about whatever you so please wherever you so please. But really, when you get paid by the number of posts and your audience is a news-hungry crowd, things can get a little crazy. The non-stop action have bloggers complaining of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders and exhaustion. Two weeks ago Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects, died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. And Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December. Although this might be coincidental, Michael Arrington, the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch, a popular technology blog told NY Times "I haven't died yet. At some point, I’ll have a nervous breakdown and be admitted to the hospital, or something else will happen.” The site has brought in millions in advertising revenue, but there has been a hefty cost. Mr. Arrington says he has gained 30 pounds in the last three years, developed a severe sleeping disorder and turned his home into an office for him and four employees. One of the most competitive categories is supposedly technology blogs about developments and news. "They're in a vicious 24-hour competition to break company news, reveal new products and expose corporate gaffes," says the article. I guess since people now depend on blogging and it's become so popular, more and more jobs in home offices are present. More people depend on blogging and the pressure is on to meet the demands and deadlines.

BMW steps up to the Social Media plate

BMW comes out with its new sporty, and smaller coupe and is relying heavily on
Internet advertising for its introduction. Smart choice, since the market for this car will be younger and less affluent than the current BMW lover. Advertising like this is sure to attract the target market.

The campaign tries to reassure potential buyers that the 1-series model is still a “pure BMW” despite being smaller and less expensive. Collaborating agencies for these ads are Austin's own GSD&M, which is part of the Omnicom Group, and Dotglu in New York, part of the Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners division of MDC Partners.

What's so great about this campaign is that almost half the spending for the campaign is going to be devoted to online media comparing to the usual 1 percent to 15 percent of the total ad budgets of other BMW models. Just in case you're wondering, this campaigns budget is about $15 to $25 million.

Now you'll be able to send personally designed virtual cars to you friends on Facebook. You can also send cars on virtual road trip from one profile to another and send car keys to eachother. I know, a bit ridiculous but this will get the name out there, which ultimately shows to be effective. Since Facebookers aren't shy about expressing their angry opinions about overload of advertisements, BMW is really working to make this fun and entertaining. Other elements include buying dominant positions, known as take-overs, on the home pages of and and posting video clips on YouTube and developing a microsite devoted to the 1-Series.

NY Times reports that "The campaign is indicative of efforts by mainstream marketers to alter their media mixes as consumers change their media habits." A recent survey by PQ Media projected that by 2012, advertisers will increase spending by 82 percent from 2008 in areas like search-engine marketing, online video and e-mail messages.

The goal has become “to give people a reason to engage with or participate in your advertising,” said Patrick McKenna, manager for marketing communications at BMW of North America in Woodcliff Lake, N.J.

Basically, BMW is having fun with this and trying to experience new things for a new market. They realize that the 20-somethings and 30-somethings demand controlling their brand experience.

Monday, March 31, 2008

It's Olympic Time!

With the talk of the 2008 Olympics becoming more apparent in the months before, I wonder how social media can make its mark in the Olympic world. I had heard that an Olympic team of several competitors was getting together to learn how to blog and such. The point is to give people at home a version of what it's like for the Olympians during the exciting and high-stress time. I'm sure it's also planning on helping give the Olympics a new audience and better publicity. All of this gets me thinking about a friend I have who has been in China for the past year getting ready for the Olympics. How cool would it be to have someone like her blogging? A normal person who will be around all of these amazing athletes. I think blogging is making its print in so many aspects of our lives, why not the Olympics. For those of us not fortunate to ever be an Olympian or even travel to China, this can give us a better feel for real life situations than CNN or MSNBC. I'm so excited to pitch this idea to my friend, she doesn't blog currently, but hopefully I can convince her to find time to.