Make LinkedIn Actually Pay Off

LinkedIn is an amazing social media platform for the business world. With 277 million users and growing, LinkedIn is the strongest business-networking site. But sometimes it is underutilized; I am one of those people who don’t use LinkedIn to its potential.

Yes LinkedIn can connect you with professionals and assist you in finding job postings, but you have to put some effort as well. It is not a social media site like Facebook, its not meant for the passive user. LinkedIn will reward those who are active.

Business Insider came out with an article with 11 things you should be doing on LinkedIn but probably aren’t.

A big tip I recently partook in was following companies and people I would aspire to work for. I began following magazine publication and fashion department stores. This way I am kept up to date on job openings and anything related to the brands. Business Insider mentioned following your greatest “influencers” on the sites Pulse page. It collects posts from handpicked “Influencers.” This feature is like getting a free education of some of the best advice applicable to your career path.

Every user also has a LinkedIn blog where you can share details about your job and showcase projects. It takes some exploring and research but many social media platforms offer great features that are beneficial and underused.



American Airlines Rash Announcement

Dear American Airlines,

I believe you should have announced that you would no longer be offering emergency or bereavement fares in a more organized manner. This is a big change for a hospitality brand to be making and it would have benefited you to ease into the news. You have generated a lot of negative press due to the news that was posted on your website.

Comments on Facebook such as “You should rename yourselves to ‘We Don’t Care Airlines,” hurt your brand. There should have been press releases explaining the change a few month prior. The public needs time to adjust to major changes that affect their lives.

I do think that Americans spokesman Matt Miller gave a reasonable statement to CNN. It was good that he mentioned “customers now have more opportunities to find affordable fares at the last minute.” This backs up the reasoning behind Americans decision to cut out emergency and bereavement fares.

The Airline industry is competitive and it is important to highlight what competitors are doing in regards to bereavement fares. Southwest and Virgin have never offered it, yet Delta and United continue to offer bereavement to customers.

No one likes change; it’s hard to deal with and especially doesn’t go well with the public when it comes as a surprise. The approach to announcing this change in American Airlines should have been more thought out and approached with greater sensitivity.


Even Celebrities Have Trouble Presenting

This year at the Academy Awards a few of the ever so graceful actors and actresses of Hollywood made some mistakes on stage. We always see A-list celebrities looking beautiful, composed and put together. But some of the biggest names in Hollywood embarrassed themselves and made their publicists jobs a little bit harder. In an article from the Telegraph I read a breakdown of the worst mistakes made of the night. 

 Zac Efron is a young actor who is trying to breakaway from his High School Musical years. He proved to still be a little young and niece when he described best song nominee Karen O as an “aspiration,” instead of saying an inspiration. The misuse of words won’t help him achieve the grown up image that he aspires for. 

 History has proven Kim Novak has been a wild card during the Oscars, yet she returns. Previously she has accused the makers of The Artist of “rape.” While presenting with Matthew McConaughey she struggled to use the microphone and had a creepy smile across her face. Once McConaughey assisted her with finding the microphone she preceded to talk over him and seemed completely out of it. Maybe this should be her last Oscar’s appearance.

 12 Years a Slave won best motion picture this year. This was a movie that moved people and was described by many as “difficult to watch” due to its intense content. When Goldie Hawn announced the title she was very chipper and enthusiastic, which was perceived as odd by many. While Harrison Ford was the opposite, his tone was subdued and quit grim. We only saw him perk up when Ellen DeGeneres was handing out pizza to the audience.  

 My favorite mishap of the night was John Travolta mispronunciation of Idina Menzel’s name. To be fair her name isn’t the easiest to pronounce but there is a teleprompter and rehearsals that should have enabled him to pronounce her name properly. This is on live television viewed by millions; Travolta should have been able to say her name flawlessly. Instead he said her name as “Adele Dazeem.” Buzzfeed even generated a joke where you can type your name in and see how John Travolta would have pronounced it at the Oscars.

A Culture Shift

Since I am interested in public relations, starts-ups have always been on my radar. Silicon Valley is one of the premier locations for some of the most influential and successful start-ups, like Twitter, Instagram and Google.

Recently tech start-ups have migrated north from traditional offices in Palo Alto to Mid-Market in San Francisco. According to Inc. last year the city experienced a 30% annual growth in technology jobs, which now number some 32,000 positions at 1,600 tech or start-up companies.

The relocations have started due to the lack of space in the South Bay and the need to be in an innovative epicenter such as San Francisco. Co-founder of 42Floors says “There’s nothing in Palo Alto. It used to be that there was tons of space, and you could start a start-up there, and it was easy as people transitioned out of Stanford. But a big part of the movement is that they ran out of space. And San Francisco was there to collect them.”

The need to emphasis on design is also another factor. Now days design is a stronger focus at most consumer-facing start-ups. And most designers live in urban areas where they can feed off of artistic vibes. Since I’m a local I can tell you first hang how creative the city is, full of amazing restaurants, museums and other art scenes.



Coffee Talk

The Seattle Times recently published an article on the new single-serve coffee revolution. Today the sales of coffee made in single-serve brewing systems account for over a quarter of every dollar Americans spend on coffee to drink at home. My parents recently purchased a Nespresso machine that we abuse. My father treats it like his toy, which is great for me because I can snap my fingers and have delicious espressos and cappuccinos instantly in front of me

The coffee industry is constantly changing. It began with a classic cup of black coffee to the fancy nonfat vanilla lattes and pumpkin spice chais and now coffee pods you can make at home. Mintel says that in 2013, U.S. consumers bought $3.1 billion worth of coffee pods — versus $132 million in 2008. In a comparison I read on Airtight Interactive learned why people choose Nespresso espressos over Starbucks espressos. First off the price of a Nespresso is $0.52 verse a Starbucks espresso $1.55. In regards to flavor people find Nespresso to be intense and smooth while Starbucks makes espressos that are bitter and taste almost burnt. I can one hundred percent agree with these statements. The beauty of Nespresso over other machines is that there is almost no maintenance required and the convenience of having a cup of coffee at home within 30 seconds is great. But a big disadvantage for patrons is the restriction of only purchasing the capsules from Nespresso.

Author Mark Pendergrast of “Uncommon Grounds” a book about the coffee industry was quoted in the article saying no coffee specialist would have seen this coming. Corporations that produce single-serve pods such as Green Mountain have seen sales multiply “almost twentyfold since its 2006 takeover of Keurig.”

Even Starbucks jumped on the bandwagon; in late 2011 they partnered with Green Mountain to lunch the Starbucks K –cups. They claim roughly 15 percent of the premium single-serve market with its K-cups. Here in Eugene my roommate has a Keurig machine and I purchase Starbucks pods to make at home. Starbucks said its K-cup sales in December were up 65 percent from the previous year.

After reading the article I discovered the implications for consumers, the environment, farmers and cooperate giants. The capsules prove to be very difficult to recycle. And with the demand for coffee pods come an increase in taste for more high-quality coffee. Green Mountain a decade ago sourced from 14 regions and now has added 12 new regions from all around the world. This has allowed for them to widen their impact on the coffee industry. Nespresso is also known to pay 30 to 40 percent above market price for coffee beans.

 The K-cups aren’t done expanding, now introducing tea, apple cider and more. While other food and drink brands are taking advantage of the K-cup fad. Campbell soup is underway on producing their soups in K-cups. And Coca- Cola will make Coke an exclusive provider to Keurig’s forthcoming cold-beverage pod system. Coke purchased a 10 percent stake in the company, which increased Green Mountains stock value.

K-cups are the new big thing in the drink industry. Its innovation is expanding, I am intrigued to see what new projects and advances will be made in the future.

Photo credit: /


For my J452 Strategic PR Communication class we needed to create an infographic for an assignment. I knew I wanted my info graphic to focus on travel and according to Forbes Magazine in 2013 Bangkok was the most traveled to city in the world. International Travel is undervalued in America; only 30 percent of Americans have passports (CNN). To highlight the importance of travel I compared a flight to Bangkok with the cost of black coffee. The amount of money the average American spends on coffee annually is the same cost of a plane ticket to Bangkok.

I included the number of people who traveled to Bangkok in 2013. I also compared the price of a round trip plane ticket to the amount of money people spend on coffee on average annually. I showcased how much is spent on coffee in a few ways. I show how many cups of black coffee are equivalent to the plane ticket, how much Americans spend on coffee per week and annually.

Here are some tips I would find useful for anyone creating an infographic

  • Pick a color scheme that pops yet is simple. I went with a black background to make my text and images pop. I incorporated yellow and blue that looked well on the black backdrop.
  • Use only two fonts
  • Limit your text. Make sure the most important information is the biggest and only include text that is interesting and will keep the audience wanted to read more.
  • VISUALS, these are critical to any good infographic. Visuals help your audience better understand what you are trying to say.
  • Make sure your infographic flows. Remember your telling a story and their needs to be a call to action.
  • Be creative and have fun