Monday, November 30, 2009

Social Media Society’s Twitter 101 Session

The Social Media Society's first Twitter 101 course took place on Thursday, November 19th, and presented a wealth of information about Twitter, the ever-popular social microblogging platform. The course’s attendees ranged from small business owners to Newsweek employees. The workshop included the basics of Twitter, but focused mainly on the how Twitter can help businesses to connect with their customers and advertise their products. Below are a few case studies that were analyzed during the session:

  • In March of 2009, Skittles changed its homepage into a live Twitter feed of tweets containing the word “Skittles.” This brave experiment created a lot of publicity for Skittles. However, after two days the site became flooded with negative tweets and had to be taken down. What Skittles lacked, however, was an effort to reach out and engage their customers. You can still see a modified Skittles Twitter feed here
  • The Ford Fiesta Brand Ambassador Program is another example of Twitter being used by a business. Instead of using cliché auto commercials, Ford has chosen 100 Brand Ambassadors to promote their new car, the Fiesta, through Twitter. The Brand Ambassador’s job is to highlight their experiences with the Fiesta by posting pictures and videos on Twitter and adding in their own perspective as they complete “missions” given by the website. It’s a neat idea where you aren’t being sold a product through traditional advertising. Instead you’re engaging with it socially.
  • Best Buy is utilizing Twitter as a customer service outlet. Their main twitter page @bestbuy tweets about news while @twelpforce displays many different employees directly addressing customers who are seeking help in real time. This is definitely an effective way to demonstrate a company’s commitment to customer service.
The important thing to keep in mind here is that there is no proven way to use Twitter to market a brand. Twitter is still in a growth stage and brands are experimenting with Twitter to find what works best for them. With that said, the workshop provided us with a lot of tools to measure the traffic of your Twitter. Here’s a few: offers a standard search API to allow you to search key words, also with advanced options. will search and notify you whenever anyone tweets a specific keyword is a tool that measures and analyzes your brand’s impact on twitter

Special thanks to Persia Tatar, Founder, Social Media Society and Benjamin Weisman, Vice President, Creative Director, MRM Worldwide – Princeton for leading the course and inviting us.

Written by Jeremiah Malina

Edited by Sara Saldi

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bi-Weekly Interview: Professor Jay Rubin

Paper after paper, college teaches us how to write. But out in the real world, how you deliver your pitch is almost more important than how you write it. Here with some expert advice on giving a successful presentation is one of my Stern communications professors, Professor Jay Rubin. Professor Rubin currently teaches Organizational Communication, an undergraduate management communications course at the Stern School of Business, and Public Relations Writing, a graduate course at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. He splits his time between the NYU classroom and his consulting firm, Jay Rubin & Associates. Over the years, his clients have been in the media and communication business, such as ABC, CNBC and Scholastic.

What are some basic techniques everyone should master when presenting?

The first thing is to realize that very few people are "natural" presenters, and you have to practice -- and keep practicing -- your content and delivery skills. If you're disciplined enough to put in the time, you'll usually be fine. Most often, the individual or the team making the presentation is far more critical about the performance than the audience. When developing your strategy and content, always apply the watchwords that go all the way back to Aristotle and remain timely as ever: ethos (credibility), logos (logic) and pathos (emotional appeal).

What makes an effective introduction?

You have to grab the audience's attention, preview what's ahead, and make sure your audience knows WIIFM (what's in it for me).

What are some misconceptions about visual aids? How do we create effective visuals?

Visual aids are intended to help the presenter do his or her job, not take it over. That's why simpler is usually better. Unless you're intentionally giving a highly technical or numbers-heavy presentation, a visual should be able to tell its story in a couple of quick seconds so focus can immediately return to the presenter.

What to do when you draw a blank?

Always keep smiling (unless you're dealing with an especially somber event, which isn't often the case). The audience generally takes its cues from the presenter. If you appear confident enough as a presenter to accept a momentary lapse, the audience will usually be forgiving. However, if you show you're squirming, the audience is more likely to remember those unfortunate moments because you've made them uncomfortable watching you.

Who is the best presenter out there today?

There's a lot of great presenters out there. But the one who comes quickest to mind is Steve Jobs. He has natural charisma and is a master at blending both WIIFM features (e.g. here's the latest innovation) and benefits (e.g. here's why it's so cool).

What was your most memorable presentation? What did you learn from it?

Years ago, when I was fresh out of college and starting my career, I attended a journalism seminar sponsored by The Washington Post. Some of the country's most respected reporters were there. The journalists were asked tough questions, and their answers were sometimes surprising and controversial. But no one doubted their credibility. It was a great lesson about how the impact of any message depends on who's delivering it.

What’s the best advice you've received on how to give a presentation?

Practice and be your best self. Don't just try to mimic someone else's style; find your own.

Written by Jessica Ye

Edited by Sara Saldi

My Experience at Bernaise Source’s PR Camp – Go Red Team!

Written by Natan Edelsburg, Communications Club Vice President

Thanks to Danielle Culmone, a former supervisor from Quinn & Co. Public Relations I was invited by Bernaise Source’s principal, Dan Greenfield to be a “Gen-Yer” for PR Camp’s “Talking About the ‘Y’ Generation,” session. When I first read about PR Camp and how it was going to be an “unconference” fueled by a camp-like, marshmallows and bonfire atmosphere I had a social media wet dream. My fondest memories are from my ten consecutive summers being a camper and then counselor at Camp Young Judaea in New Hampshire. Click here for one of my favorite social media blog posts, by David Berkowitz (from MediaPost’s Social Media Insider) describing how being a camp counselor prepares you for social marketing.

I had the pleasure of meeting some extremely impressive professionals throughout the day. Separating into teams (go red team!) really gave us the chance to get to know each other as we discussed, ROI, Gen-Y and new versus old agencies relating to PR and social media. During each session (especially Howard Greenstein’s “Delivering Strategies for Effective ROI”), different ways of using metrics to show results from social media campaigns were brought up. After I got home from PR Camp I was extremely excited to study the conversations that took place during the day. I typed in the official hashtag, “#prcamp,” and copy and pasted the ten-plus pages of tweets just from Friday, into Wordle, the word cloud creator. After removing most of the clutter from my “copy and paste” here is what Wordle designed:

For those unfamiliar with word/tag clouds and Wordle, you can simply copy and paste text into their form and it will show you what words/terms were most prevalent by designing a “beautiful” and customized cloud of words. This word cloud taught me some cool facts about PR Camp – some obvious, some not at all. Here are my top-5:

1. PR Camp, Social Media and Twitter were the biggest most prevalent words, which makes sense since each tweet I copy and pasted contained PR Camp. Also, it’s no surprise that the topics that were most discussed were Social Media and Twitter (plus I probably should have deleted Twitter from the word cloud but couldn’t bring myself to).

2. Ishkahbibel (Donald Schwartz, Imagelink Productions), @Journalistics (a blog about journalism and PR), @MattHurst (Communications Professional and Social Media Savant), and @TonyBerkman (Serial Entreprenuer) appeared to have tweeted the most, simply because their names were most prevalent.

3. UberTwitter has a big shout-out in the cloud leading me to assume that most people (including myself) were tweeting from Uber.

4.Not surprisingly, the word “porn” is pretty noticeable. For everyone who was at PR Camp or watching the conversation we all know it is in reference to JetBlue’s Morgan Johnston’s comment that when he showed TweetDeck to an exec at JetBlue, he exclaimed that it was like “marketing porn.”

5. Smaller, but still noticeable – the word “mobile” dictates the importance of how technology is moving more to our fingertips and less to our desktops – this subject was brought up several times during the Red Team’s discussions.

While my word cloud is far from perfect, it gave me a fun and pretty way to put into context the #prcamp conversations and everything I had taken in from a very fun day at camp. I’ve been waiting for a good excuse to create my first list on Twitter. I created one for the red team in the hope that we could all stay connected and continue to converse. I added everyone I could think of but am obviously still missing people. Here’s a link to the list on where you can recommend anyone to the list that I left off.

Edited by Sara Saldi

Dean’s Roundtable with Adina Pitt

Thanks to the Dean’s Roundtable I had the chance to hear Adina Pitt, a Steinhardt alumna, speak about her career in television and her position as a VP at Cartoon Network and Boomerang (and, as an extra bonus, they had some great cookies there, too). Ms. Pitt is the VP of Content Acquisitions & Co-Productions and Cartoon Network & Boomerang. She spoke with a diverse group of undergrad and post-grad students who wanted to hear all about the television industry and what steps she took in her career path to get to where she was. I walked away from the roundtable with a lot more knowledge about children’s cable television and how concepts and ideas are now traded globally. Here are the top-five things I took away:

  1. The most valuable lesson I learned from Ms. Pitt was how she moved her career forward by essentially creating her own job. When she was an assistant and contracts would pass through her desk she made sure to read and study each one. When her superiors would get ready to go on business trips in markets around the world she would prepare spec sheets of projects to check out.
  2. Ms. Pitt was describing to us how the simplest of pitches are the ones that Cartoon Network decides to invest in. The funniest one she mentioned was “a babysitter who happens to be a vampire.” Right after she heard those words, she was sold. The comeback of the vampire continues!
  3. She reminded us that “kids are really simple,” they “feel like adults,” but don’t think like them. They want “mindless fun,” which is what you need to think about when you are developing programming for children.
  4. “Kids love commercials” – This was a cool and really interesting point she made. She told us that when she offers to fast-forward commercials with her own children they usually tell her not to because they love the commercials. I wonder if this will change as kids start using computers at younger ages.
  5. If you are trying to create a concept for a children’s show make sure you’re thinking about your story in 52, 11 minute parts. Cartoon Network mostly needs 26, 22-minute episodes with two 11-minute stories in each (I think we can all vaguely remember that format from our Rugrats days).

Written by Natan Edelsburg

Edited by Sara Saldi

Our New Layout!

Hey everyone, hope you like our new blog layout. Our old layout was a standard Blogger template that was a bit too bland for our taste – we wanted something more readable and aesthetically pleasing. We’re hoping to switch to WordPress for the spring semester, but for now we are still here. Special thanks to Jeremiah Malina who helped us with the new blog design. If you have any comments about how it looks let us know at

Jeremiah Malina is a freshman Media, Culture, & Communication major. He is also the Social Media Chairperson for Steinhardt’s Undergraduate Student Government. Feel free to tweet your comments @JJmalina and check out the Steinhardt USG blog at

Written by Jeremiah Malina

Edited by Sara Saldi

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Social Media Society’s Facebook 101 Session

Social Media Society’s first course took place Wednesday, November 11th at the Yale Club, and Comm Club was really happy to be able to attend. We were able to learn how professionals in the advertising/marketing/communications industry were using Facebook to connect customers to their brands and provide a fun and interactive way to create conversations between them. Here are some of the key takeaways we learned that we thought most college-age Facebook users would not be aware of:

  • Have a plan – whether your creating a group or fan page for your student organization think about maximizing your fans engagement by creating a content calendar when you know how often you’ll post and update and what it will be about.

  • Utilize FBML to customize your fan page - FBML is Facebook’s simple HTML like code that lets you bold, link, tag and add video/pictures to the page layout. It’s very easy to learn and will make a big difference in what your page looks like

  • Use custom tabs – These will allow you to add content specific to what works for your club or organization.

  • Ads – Facebook ads are becoming more and more popular. When you create your next event for your student club, notice that there is an option to click “Promote This Event.” You can easily spend a small amount of money to have an ad for your event appear on user’s pages based on age, location and even university.

Special thanks to Persia Tatar, Founder, Social Media Society and Benjamin Weisman, Vice President, Creative Director, MRM Worldwide – Princeton for leading the course and inviting Comm Club to be a part of it.

Twitter 101 is this Thursday and student tickets are only $25!

Interested in learning more about the Social Media Society? Email us at

Written by Natan Edelsburg

Edited by Sara Saldi

Monday, November 16, 2009

Comm Club's Graduate School Panel

Last Wednesday, November 11, Comm Club hosted a panel at Kimmel featuring graduate students in NYU's Media, Culture, and Communication department.

The panelists:

  • Yue Li
  • Caitlin Jean Hamilton
  • Elisa Verna
  • Isabel Restrepo
  • Jan Gasparic

For anyone who might be interested in pursuing graduate study, here are some of the most helpful tips we learned from the panelists at this event:

  • When asked what pushed them to go to graduate school, many said they enjoyed school and "missed thinking." Others said they knew graduate school would be helpful in a job search. The panelists stressed that the degrees they were perusing at NYU were theory based, not practical. Therefore, their degrees will be helpful for more academic careers. If you're interested in a more corporate job such as public relations or advertising you might find internships more useful than graduate school.
  • Juggling a job and school might be hard for some, but most of our panelists said that having a job actually helped them with time management. They found the strict schedule that a job provides helpful in organizing their lives and school work. They did say, however, that it may be a good idea to wait until you settle in to graduate school before getting a job.
  • Some of our panelists came from smaller undergraduate schools in rural and suburban areas. We were curious whether moving to New York City for graduate school was hard for them. Many said that they found living in the big city quite a shock. New York may have a lot to offer but, as a graduate student, you may not find enough time to experience it all. Make sure to keep in mind the town, city, and country you in which attend school play a huge role in your graduate experience. Remember, there won’t be any freshman organizations or peer advisors to usher you through this time around.
  • It might be a good idea to take a year off after graduating before going to graduate school. There is nothing worse than being stuck in school again if you didn't like it much in the first place. You also might find something out there in the real world that interests you--something you never saw in the confines of the university. You might even find that having a real job isn't as bad as you thought. You could find you like it. Not all 9-5's are the 9-5 you had summer of sophomore year. You might consider traveling, working a little, living a little, getting a little money, and expanding your horizons. It might make you a better grad student!
  • If you decide you do want to go to graduate school, make sure you're studying something that interests you. Don't get a degree because you think it's the natural progression of things. There is a lot of work involved in grad school so don't read more Marshall McLuhan for another two years unless you can really commit to it. And when we say a lot of work we mean A LOT OF WORK.
  • Don't focus on rank. It's more important to make sure you enjoy your program than to be in the top 10. Not all masters programs in communications are the same, so study them carefully.

If you’re interested in learning more about graduate school and have any questions, contact us at

Written Lynn Burke

Edited by Sara Saldi

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bi-Weekly Interview: James Polulach

James Polulach is a relationship manager for Kaplan, the well-know test prep company that has “helped millions of students achieve their educational and career goals.” James has become a good friend and partner of the Communications Club, helping to sponsor events and provide us with test-prep course giveaways. We sat down with James to discuss how he’s built relationships with students and clubs across NYU and how Kaplan has created unique and custom sponsorship programs at universities. The interview has been edited and condensed.

How did you gain the position of relationship manager at Kaplan?

I play football (the Australian kind) and one of the people I played with worked for Kaplan. He recommended me for a position in Brooklyn that I didn’t end up getting. Then the position to work with universities in Manhattan came up and I got it. I’ve been with Kaplan for about 2.5-3 years.

What schools do you work with?

NYU, Columbia and Yeshiva

What different kinds of student clubs at NYU have you worked with?

All different kinds. Pre-professional, cultural, ethnic. I’ve found great ways to work with all different kinds of clubs.

Which clubs have you built the best relationships with (besides Comm Club of course)?

I’ve worked very closely with AMSA (The American Medical Student Association) and Beta Alpha Psi (the business fraternity). Those organizations naturally have many students who are interested in graduate school and test preparation. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with clubs like Psychology and Applied Psychology (another Steinhardt club).

What’s the ROI (return on investment) that you see from your partnerships with student organizations?

Helping host events is a great way to tap into our market and also help each club get their point-of-view across and showcase their club. Kaplan created the industry so I’m not necessarily worried about direct ROI but continuing to invest in our brand by helping other clubs.

What are the best forms of communication that worked with reaching out to clubs?

Email campaigns are definitely the best. Making sure that people are sending out emails, reaching out via Facebook, and updating their members about upcoming events is really important.

What events does Kaplan have coming up?

We will start running more events again in the spring, when it’s not cold out. There will be large practice tests for clubs and we will be working with Wasserman for some events. There will be a big pre-law event in April.

What’s going in Kaplan’s corporate world?

On a corporate level we’ve acquired other test companies that have similar preparation styles and that work well with the Kaplan brand. We’re always making sure Kaplan’s messages are being communicated effectively and that we continue to run events and build relationships with students.

You can follow Kaplan on Twitter here:

Edited by Sara Saldi