Facebook’s new algorithm: what’s next for PR

Another Facebook update is here. And the PR game is changing…yet again.

With frustrations high, let’s hash this out and see how to still come out on top with strong PR game.

What’s going on
Mark Zuckerberg announced in January a new algorithm where Facebook users will start seeing more posts from friends and family and fewer posts from companies and brands.

According to Facebook, the update is supposed to encourage more engagement on Facebook because we’ll be seeing more posts and content from the ones you love.

“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Thursday. It’s true.

My Facebook feed is full of video after video. It’s to the point I don’t even want to get on Facebook anymore. However, Facebook is a primary outlet for businesses trying to reach their consumers and clients.

“I want to be clear; by making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” Zuckerberg said. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”

Businesses depend on Facebook as a social media outlet to share their brand, motives and goals. With the algorithm changing, PR professionals working in social media will need to find alternatives to the algorithm change.

What’s next
Adam Durfee is an SEO and public relations guru and said, “Facebook has made it very clear that what matters most for businesses is brands and pages starting conversations. Facebook will be giving edge-rank boost to those starting conversation among followers.”

“Your job as a PR professional running business pages now is to start conversations among followers. If you can’t, your reach will disappear. If you can, you’ll have better reach than ever before. Don’t just tell stories, get people to engage in them,” Durfee concluded.

There is a way to rise on top. We just have to know what we’re dealing with and then act. We have the chance to have a larger reach than ever before if we adapt to the new system.

Advice moving forward 
If you’re sitting at your desk thinking, “great, time to make an entire new strategy,” I’m happy because it means you get it.

But, think of it like this: Instead of writing stories and experiences to tell to your audience, you can start writing posts to talk with your audience. Start your new strategy now. Find creative ways to engage.

I think one of the most engaging tactics in social media right now is Instagram Story polls. How can we incorporate these on Facebook?

How can we start conversations that people actually want to respond to? As PR professionals, these are the kinds of questions we need to start asking. When you and your team begin crafting your new strategy and launch your first posts with conversations, your reach will be like Durfee said, greater than ever before.

We came into the PR industry knowing that it is ever changing. We have to be flexible. Creative. Adaptable. Innovative.

If we embody these traits, there is no social media update that will get us down.

Don’t try to fight Facebook, beat ‘em.

Written by Genny Hickman

Newsjacking: The what, why, and how

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I think we can all agree that we get asked about the news more often than not. Current events are one of the most talked about topics in our day to day lives because people naturally want to know what’s going on in the world around them.

As communicators, our job is to help our company be noticed and heard. We want to write stories that make our company seem appealing and exciting. But how do we do that when there is not constant breaking news every day at work? The answer is newsjacking.

Newsjacking (v): The process of inserting your brand into current events to create media attention.

The news is even more instant with the constant movement of technology. The news can be accessed in many different ways and that is why newsjacking can be so beneficial. Whether that be opinions of industry leaders, a funny meme, or lending public support to a crisis happening around, there is always a way to place your brand’s name in a place where it can be seen.

How can it help my company?
Newsjacking can help any company at any time. It doesn’t matter how big or small a company is, there is always an opportunity for it because of the technological world we live in. Technology allows instant communication at the touch of a button. Newsjacking will allow content to be produced, websites and social media to drive more traffic, and can give people something to talk about. There doesn’t need to be a large budget, just a team of individuals who can be quick on their feet and more creative and strategic than competitors.

The most exciting part about this is that you can write about something that is unrelated to your company but because it is relevant to the news it will benefit you. It shows consumers that your company is up to date and has an idea of what’s happening in the world.

Remember the Super Bowl of 2013? Yes, the one where Beyoncé performed at halftime and the Ravens and the 49ers had to wait over half of an hour before the power turned back on. Well, turns out that the majority of people didn’t remember those things too much but they did remember Oreo. During the power outage, Oreo’s team thought fast. They produced some of the most influential newsjacking examples we have today.

Oreo’s tweet in the 2013 Super Bowl during the blackout. Photo courtesy of Oreo’s twitter.

For that Super Bowl most advertisers paid about $4 million dollars for a 30-second commercial spot.  During the blackout, Oreo tweeted one tweet (which obviously wasn’t planned) but they got more attention from that tweet than many other companies that spent $4 million dollars! 

“The only reason I remember the Super Bowl in 2013 was because of the power outage. It was unfortunate but I do remember seeing Oreo’s tweet and thinking how that was good,” says university student, Bailey Bunch.

Looking back, we can see that Oreo definitely made its mark.

How can I do it?
The idea sounds great right? But how do you go about Newsjacking? Below is a simple formula from Search Engine Watch that will change everything for you.

  1. Data: It is important to keep up to date with the news around you. It will allow you to be a step ahead of your competitors. Timeliness is the key to newsjacking. This diagram shows the phases that a news story goes through. It is essential to newsjack within the first 2-3 phases in order to capture the attention that is needed.

Newsjacking is more beneficial in the first 2-3 phases. Photo courtesy of newsjacking.com.

  1. Creative: Being creative and clever in this industry is always a must! But when a company can take everyday news and turn it into something special, now that’s what will be remembered. Just think, everyone will see this news story, but how will you make this one different?
  1. An Opinion: Putting in a short and simple quote that voices an opinion can always be enough to for someone to pay more attention to you. An opinion allows consumers to see where your company stands on certain issues as well.

By being aware of the news, creating content to stand out, and adding opinions, companies will be able to use newsjacking as a strong tool. Along with that, technology will continue to grow which will allow more opportunities for newsjacking in the day to day workplace.

Keep your eyes open!

Written by Oliva Oldroyd

150 years of the best holiday campaigns

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he most wonderful time of the year is here. Lights twinkle at every street corner, fresh snow starts to blanket the ground, and the spirit of giving warms the hearts of all. But perhaps the most obvious sign that this joyous season is here, is the start of holiday marketing campaigns.

For over a century, companies have kept the public guessing what creative tricks they will pull out of their sleeves during the month of December. The advertisements, the jingles, the iconic characters, have all helped trademark the magic this time of the year brings.

Here is a list of the nine most iconic and beloved holiday marketing campaigns over the last 150 years.

 1874: Macy’s holiday window display

The grand Macy’s department store in New York City was the first brand to create a major holiday window display. The boom of the industrial revolution made glass in rich supply, allowing R.H Macy to bring to life his vision of creating an elaborate storefront to fascinate his customers.

In 1874, Macy’s debuted its first window display, featuring collections of hand-painted, porcelain dolls from around the world, as well as scenes from the novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

To this day, people from all over the world visit the department store in New York, to witness the beautiful artistry captured behind the glass of Macy’s windows.

 1924: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade

in 1924, Macy’s expanded to cover an entire city block in New York City. The newly acquired 1 million square feet of retail space was enough reason to celebrate, and thus the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade was born. Macy’s employees scattered the streets in bright costumes, as floats and animals borrowed from central park zoo entertained an audience of over 250,000 people.

For many, the annual parade marks the start of the holiday season. Still to this day, the elaborate production draws extensive national attention, making Macy’s a brand name that is strongly connected with the holidays.

 1931: Coca-Cola’s father of Christmas

Years ago, the image of Santa Clause as a jolly, grandfather-like figure, did not exist. Every artist had a different interpretation of the holiday icon, until Coke created an image that would stick for years to come.

In 1931, Coca-Cola hired artist Haddon Sundblom, to create an image of Santa the company could use in its Christmas advertisements. Sundblom developed the character America knows and loves today, conveniently wearing the same classic red that is associated with Coca-Cola.

1939: Montgomery Ward’s Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

Each year, the department store Montgomery Ward created Christmas coloring books for children as promotional items. In 1939, the company hired copywriter Robert L. May, with the task of creating its annual book.

Montgomery Ward’s Christmas coloring book in 1939, introducing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for the first time. 2.4 million copies of the book were sold that season.

In his youth, May was bullied for being small in size and extremely shy. These past experiences inspired the writer to create Rudolph, a misfit reindeer that was mocked for his shiny red nose.

During the 1939 Christmas season, May’s coloring book sold over 2.4 million copies. To this day, the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is one of the most popular holiday children’s stories.

1955: Norad’s tracking Santa’s journey

In 1955, a local newspaper ran a Sears advertisement that invited kids to call Santa Clause. However, a problem arose when the newspaper accidentally changed a single digit in Santa’s phone number, leading all the children to call the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) center.

Each year, members of NORAD and dozens of volunteers, take phone calls from children about Santa’s location on Christmas Eve.

To avoid acting like scrooges on Christmas, the military leaders at NORAD gave a few men the special assignment to answer all Santa related calls.

From that night on, NORAD became an integral part of Christmas Eve, as the command center started to “track” Santa’s journey across the globe. Children continue to use NORAD’s tracking website each year to see how close Santa is to their house.

 1989: Hershey’s holiday bells

The iconic advertisement personifying Hershey kisses as bells has run every December since 1989. However, what most people don’t know is that the beloved commercial was not supposed to exist.

Hershey’s creative team had already decided to go in a different direction when an employee came up with a simpler idea he thought would be better. Without financial support, the employee ran with his own advertising concept.

After showing his boss the finished product, Hershey scrapped its more elaborate animation and released the now famous Hershey Holiday Bells commercial.

1993: Coca-Cola’s sledding polar bears

Coca-Cola’s signature polar bears made their sledding debt during the 1993 holiday season with a commercial titled, “Northern Lights.”

Coca-Cola debuted its iconic polar bears for the first time with a holiday advertisement titled, “Northern Lights.” The creator of the commercial was Ken Stewart.

The creator of the commercial, Ken Stewart, chose to feature polar bears because they reminded him of his late Labrador retriever. Coca-Cola used the most advanced computer graphics at the time to bring Stewarts vision onto the screen for the holidays.

 1997: Starbuck’s red holiday cups

In 1977, Starbucks released its first holiday cup. A festive red cup adorned with seasonal designs made for a beverage holder every customer wanted to drink out of.

Starbuck’s holiday cup campaign is still going strong today, as the cup serves as a perfect complement to the company’s seasonal drinks, such as peppermint mocha and gingerbread latte.

 2007: Macy’s Believe campaign

In 2007, Macy’s launched its first “Believe” campaign, calling all believers in Santa Clause to put their faith to good use. For every letter written to Santa and sent through a Macy’s department store, the company would donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Over the course of nine years, the campaign has raised $15 million for the charity.

Written by Brittain Steiner

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Reach the 100K-Instagram-Follower Milestone

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o you ever feel like your Instagram account is stagnant -every few followers you gain you lose another? There is nothing more frustrating than feeling like you are never going to keep growing. We have all been there, we can all relate. Growing a social media following can be an exhausting process. And with so many “quick and easy” methods out there that never seem to work, how can you possibly find real advice.

Theming your Instagram feed will be a valuable asset in growing your followers. Be consistent and follow your theme with every post.
Photo of @Cremedelacrumb1 feed.

Here are some sure ways to get your Instagram growing like wildfire.

  • Post on your Instagram every single day. While this may sound time consuming and exhausting, it is vital for success. Your followers want to see new content and if you are consistent in providing it, you will continue to grow in followers.
  • Like at least 100 photos a day. Even better, it really only takes about 5 minutes to do that. But by interacting with other accounts, you will become a more prominent account and get your name out there. Be sure to do this in your niche first and then begin expanding to new areas once you see consistent growth. Forbes interviewed Instagrammer Elliot Tebele and he said he would like thousands of photos a day when starting out.
  • Follow people! When beginning (an Instagram account), supporting other accounts will help your cause. Most people will follow you back once you give them a follow. Once you feel secure in your growth, you can slow this process down. But never stop following people, it humanizes your account.
  • Interact with other accounts. Whether it is a comment, a like or a share onto your Instagram story, do it. It helps people get to know you and your brand.
  • Brand your account. Find your niche and stick to it. If you have a consistent look and feel to your account, it makes it more appealing to the eye and you will see people gravitate towards your content. For more tips on branding, check out this article.
  • Pick a feed theme. Once you decide, stick with it unless you are going to completely change it.
  • Set yourself apart from others in your niche. Maybe you only use circle photos, maybe you have a color theme; try and find something to make your Instagram unique.

Tips can only go so far, but learning from someone who has experience can help you further. Raven, @TheDisneyDorm, has worked hard to gain a large following within the Disney Community. With currently 21K followers and 511 posts, she has some great advice to provide. She had her own personal reasons to begin down this path; her inspiration came from a 17-year-old girl who came into the bank she was working at to purchase her very own house. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing! The girl had a successful makeup channel on YouTube and was making a living already. That is when Raven decided she wanted to take a leap of faith and try doing this for herself.

Raven (@thedisneydorm) has grown an impressive 21K followers since beginning her Disney themed Instagram.

“I had zero clue what I was doing, I just knew I loved positivity and Disney and believed really hard in myself,” she said. “The biggest advice I can give is to not look at other accounts and think, oh I wish my account looked like theirs, I want my photos like that, or I want followers like that. I learned really quickly that it’s not about being as successful or savvy as others, it’s about finding your own niche and what makes you YOU! People will love you no matter what.”

Now with thousands and thousands of followers, Raven is very aware of the influence she has. She tries to be a positive influence within the community because that is what is important to her.

So whether you are brand new to Instagram or have been trying to grow a following for several years, have patience. You can easily get a large following with a little bit of work. Be consistent, be authentic, and show people who you are. Take these tools and start your journey to 100K followers today!

Written by Jaycee Brown

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How to conquer the writing process, as told by Taylor Swift

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he phrase “writing process” often fosters many eye rolls and the feeling of dread among writers. The journey from pre-writing to publishing can seem like an uphill battle with no end in sight. Thus, it goes without saying that the writing process has a rough #reputation.

Taylor Swift will release her sixth album, Reputation, on November 10 of this year. The first single from the album, “Look What You Made Me Do,” broke chart and streaming records within days of release.

Pop icon Taylor swift can also sympathize with a bad reputation, or at least that’s what her new music says. On November 10 of this year, T-Swifts highly anticipated album will drop, exciting millions of fans around the world.

In the spirit of Taylor’s new album, here’s six tips to conquer the writing process, complete with some throwback lyrics from the artist herself.

  1. Overcoming writers block: “I’ve got a blank space, baby”

There it is. The dreaded blank page. The cursor blinks, and the anxiety of starting from scratch begins to set in. Ideas encompass your every thought, but the quest to create the perfect formation of words is debilitating.

The best way to overcome the paralyzing effect of writer’s block, is to free your mind from lockdown. An article titled, “How to Overcome Writer’s Block: 14 Tips that Work,” author Jeff Goins advises going for a walk, baking some cookies, or calling an old friend to get the juices flowing. Do whatever you must do to relax, and the words will come.

  1. Prewriting: “Jump, then fall”

Even after overcoming writers block, starting from nothing can still seem overwhelming. However, Swift says it best when she advises, “jump then fall.”

In order to tackle the writing task at hand, Stephanie Wong Ken, author of the article, “How to Free write,” offers wisdom about how to tackle a fresh piece of writing. The best piece of advice she includes, is to take a deep breath, then jump into prewriting. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be organized, just write, and begin to fall into your story.

To help gather your thoughts, use bullet points, make lists, or even write out sentences that come to mind.

Just like diving into a cold pool of water, the best way to start the writing process is to go in headfirst. It may seem scary to begin with, however once you emerge to the surface, the direction of your paper will become clearer and clearer.

  1. Drafting: “The story of us”

The first draft is always a diamond in the rough, however it is up to the writer to figure out how to make it shine. The best way to do this is to tell a story that sticks.

Sticky stories are those that are relatable and that captivate an audience’s attention. Swift epitomizes this writing technique.

“You connect with an audience by showing them you’re just like them. That’s what brings them back,” said pop culture expert and BYU professor, Scott Church, “Taylor Swift connects with her audiences because she writes about basic emotions that are associated with everyday relationships. She is more authentic and less manufactured.”

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Swift has engaged millions of fans around the world and has kept them coming back for more through her relatable lyrics. She is singing about your love story, your heartbreak, and your best friends.

To keep your readers reading, find what makes your story stick to the audience you are trying to reach. Chances are if the story is meaningful to you, it will be meaningful to one of your readers as well.

  1. Revising: “Why you gotta be so mean?”

After completing what seems to be the perfect first draft, get ready for the twist of fate that comes next.

Cue the revision process, where the story you wrote “looks a lot like a tragedy now.”

Revision can be the hardest step in the writing process, as your beloved first draft is picked a part with red ink and an iron fist. However, the people editing your paper are not trying to be mean.

Yes, there are haters out there that are gonna hate on your writing, but peer revisers are not those people. Revisers are put in place to offer fresh insights and outside perspectives. With their help, your piece can reach its fullest potential.

The best thing to remember about this step in the writing process, is to not take anything personally. “Shake it off,” and take the criticism in stride.

  1. Editing: “Are we out of the woods yet?”

Finally, after many re-writes, a beautiful piece of writing has emerged. However, you are not out of the woods quite yet. Editing is the final step of the writing process.

Editing is like the final wardrobe and makeup check before your writing goes out to shine on stage. All the hard work has been done, except for the last bit of polishing. It is essential to go through any piece of writing with a fine-toothed comb to proofread, and to look for any errors in spelling, words usage, grammar, or punctuation.

One misspelled word or writing the wrong kind of “there” can instantly taint your credibility as a writer. No one wants a bad reputation for lazy editing, so be sure to be meticulous in this final stage of the writing process.

  1. Publishing: “You are the best thing that’s ever been mine”

In the words of Swift, “do you remember when you were sittin’ there” with writer’s block?

You put your palm to your forehead for the tenth time?

Well, you wrote a story out of cautious writers cumbered thoughts.

Now, the finished product is the best piece of writing that’s ever been yours.

After the writing process is complete, and your story is ready for publication, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. A publishable piece is a job well done.

Written by Brittain Steiner

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NBC’s “This is Us” sets the standard for successful storytelling

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ne of the most important skills in communications is being able to captivate an audience. With the mass amount of entertainment and content being published daily, cutting through the noise is challenging. NBC’s hit show “This is Us has become the storytelling sensation of the season with almost 13 million people tuning in weekly, exceeding viewership of any other season premier this year.

“This is Us” gives communications students some valuable lessons as to how they can be better storytellers. The show has captured America because of its impressive ability to get individuals invested in a story. If you haven’t watched “This is Us”, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. Grab a box of tissues and be ready for all the feels.

The show follows the life of the Pearson family, Jack and Rebecca and their triplets Kate, Kevin and Randall, through the different struggles of an average American family. The show flashes back and forth from the triplets birth and adolescence to the “present day” adulthood. With these heart-wrenching experiences at the core of the show, “This is Us” showcases three attributes communications students should apply in their storytelling endeavors.

This is Emotional

 There is a very fine line between high impact emotional content and cliché and sappy narratives when it comes to storytelling. Communications students must learn how to appeal to emotion without manipulating or coming across as overly dramatic. “This Is Us” takes the story of Jack and Rebecca and highlights the struggles and joys found in every marriage. It portrays the real pain Randall faces with perfectionism and the overwhelming disappointments of Kate’s weight loss journey. Viewers understand these issues all too well, because in these character’s struggles, they see themselves.

Actor Gerald McRaney, who plays the triplet’s doctor in season one said, “At their core, these (the Pearson’s) are good, decent people. I think a lot of people in the country want to be reminded of the goodness that’s in us.”

Watching “This is Us” can be an emotional roller coaster- but it’s also showcases the best storytelling of the year. Photo Credit: Sarah matheson

“This is Us”fills a deep emotional need in society today. It is reminding viewers that despite the emotional struggles we all face, we can rise up and conquer.

 This is Innovative

Many think that to break through the noise of hundreds of movies and TV shows, you have to reinvent the storytelling wheel. Innovation in storytelling is strongest when it is built on the successful tactics of the past, but with a little twist.

Star Tribune TV critic Neal Justin said, “‘This Is Us’ breaks many rules: Jumping back and forth in time, leaving major characters on the sidelines for entire episodes, making time for long, uninterrupted monologues that a short-attention-span audience isn’t supposed to sit still for.”

Show writers Dan Fogelman, Donald Todd and Kay Oyegun string together the classic stereotypes surrounding family drama, but package it in a way that few have been able to master. Viewers understand more about the Pearson’s lives than the characters themselves do because of the way past and present are brought together. Innovative story telling is identifying ideas and principles that have captivated audiences in the past, and making slight adjustments to create a new kind of story.

 This is Mystery

You never know what you’re going to get in a “This is Us” episode, except for a little teary eyed and a whole lot of questions. The pivotal question that is currently captivating fans is the question of what happened to Jack. Like a classic Sherlock Holmes mystery, characters are constantly on the brink of making life altering decisions, and right at the climax the scene changes, leaving viewers gasping for a resolution. New York Times chief TV critic James Poniewozik wrote, “‘This Is Us’ used storytelling twists as a hook from the first episode, whose ending unveiled the flashback structure in the closing seconds.” Adding a bit of mystery to a story will keep audiences hooked until the end. If there’s one thing human beings crave, it’s a resolution. “This is Us” is slowly bringing together the pieces of the Pearson family puzzle, and people just can’t get enough.

Written by Sarah Matheson

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BYU Students Takeover Social Media Feeds of NASCAR and Major League Baseball, Help Fortune 100 Company

Major League Baseball stadium

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ive of BYU’s brightest minds were recruited by a Fortune 100 company this spring for brand research among Major League Baseball and NASCAR fans.

BYU communication students used live social media engagement software right from their BYU campus lab, honing in on stadiums of the sporting events to gauge brand interest of the fans in attendance.

The School of Communications is under a firm non-disclosure agreement with the Fortune 100 company. The NDA prevents any mention of the sponsor’s brand and products and as such, the client and its products will not be mentioned in this story.

Among those bright minds was Y Digital Lab account manager, Tassji Krupczynski. Reflecting on her experience she said, “Large brands are able to truly humanize their social when they talk to audiences, and we can help them do that.” The results Krupczynski’s team collected helped the client identify valuable sponsorship opportunities and move forward with data to back their business decisions.

Using HYP3R digital software, the students geo-fenced NASCAR tracks, then engaged fans on behalf of their client. Geofencing uses GPS or radio frequency identification (RFID) to outline geographic borders. After the virtual barrier is created, a generated trigger alerts the lab’s students of any mentions of the company coming from the selected space. The geo-fence allowed the BYU team to identify and initiate conversations with NASCAR fans attending the races who showed interest in the client’s brand.

BYU Y Digital students evaluate and respond to posts of fans attending NASCAR events
BYU Y Digital students evaluate and respond to posts of fans attending NASCAR events. (Adam Durfee/ Y Digital)

The BYU students tracked and analyzed posts that fans generated about the brand. They interacted with the fans by asking questions about both the brand and the races. During the 24 hour social media takeover, the Y Digital Lab increased the brand share voice of the client company by 48 percent – nearly half of the people within the geo-fence were talking or posting about the brand.

[/vc_column_text][mk_padding_divider size=”20″][mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” text_size=”18″ align=”left” font_family=”none”]It was pretty phenomenal,In the history of engagement software where they’re measuring this stuff on a regular basis, Y Digital achieved one of the highest return on engagement statistics for live social campaigns.[/mk_blockquote][mk_padding_divider size=”20″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

“It was pretty phenomenal,” said Director of Y Digital Adam Durfee. “In the history of engagement software where they’re measuring this stuff on a regular basis, Y Digital achieved one of the highest return on engagement statistics for live social campaigns.” The outcome then led the national brand to see the benefits of promoting their products at NASCAR races.

The members of the Y Digital Lab are changing the game of digital marketing. These students are testing the social presence of national brands at high-profile events and allowing them to hone in on lucrative target markets.  After major success with NASCAR, the students took the same research experiment and a different product of the Fortune 100 company to various Major League Baseball stadiums.

The lab conducted similar live social media monitoring and engaged with baseball fans. But this time around, MLB fans weren’t nearly as responsive. Baseball fans showed minimal interest and low social engagement during the brand’s presence at the major-league games.

Both the NASCAR and MLB research done by BYU’s communications students helped identify the venues where the client’s products would be most successful.

BYU’s Y Digital team continues to work with notable companies through live social projects, right from their lab at BYU. Keep up with them online at ydigital.co.

Written by: Kei Akoi Clark

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BYU Advertising Students Spend a Summer in Europe “Making Music”

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his summer, some of BYU’s advertising students had the opportunity to travel to Europe where they attended advertising award shows, visited well-known advertising agencies and learned the ins and outs from seasoned professionals. Many of the students agreed that the highlight of the trip was working with two major brands: Beats by Dre and Apple.

BYU Ad student Parker Hadley helped design and pitch campaigns to Apple and Best by Dre. Photo credit: Parker Hadley

It was thanks to a BYU alumni connection that the students were able to work with Beats. They worked long hours both day and night creating exciting ideas for the company. Not only did they create the ideas, but they also presented them to executives at their headquarters in London. They spent a few weeks in London working and visiting local sites, and even when they left to visit Amsterdam continued their work.

If working on creating ideas for a huge brand name wasn’t enough, they were up against another advertising agency who also created and pitched ideas to Beats.

“It was crazy. We were students competing against professionals,” said Parker Hadley, a BYU advertising student.

Presenting their ideas to the company was nerve-wracking, but their suggestions were received with positivity and excitement.

Being put up against a professional advertising agency may seem unfair as students, but they had lots of opportunity to prepare for this kind of project. Just weeks earlier, they attended the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. There they heard many industry professionals and prominent pop culture figures share insight, information and even encouragement. They learned what it takes to build personal brands from people like Demi Lovato, Halsey and Karlie Kloss. They also saw some of the work these companies produced and attend award shows where some that work received various awards.

“Seeing all of the award-winning work up close, prepared us more than anything else ever could.” said Wilsynn Wheats, a senior in the advertising program.

While they don’t know yet which ideas Beats will use, the experience was priceless. “We were personally mentored by the best of the best,” said Wilsynn. “We got to do so many things that people who’ve been in the advertising industry for years don’t even get to do.”

Written by Bekah Lundquist Peterson

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