Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Verizon Wireless, Customer Service call

Verizon Wireless, Customer Service call

I recently called Verizon Wireless customer service to ask some questions regarding my plan and the new iphone. After being on hold for about a half hour, a representative picked up the phone. First I asked about my own plan, " When is my next available upgrade?" She replied as if I was wasting her time, " Not for another year, you do know you can view all this online." I ignored her and asked " so there is no way I could upgrade my phone to get the Iphone?" She replies " Not until your next available upgrade, anything else I can help you with?" I started to get the impression she was trying to rush me off the phone. In the end, I hung up the phone with her. It was not the first time I called customer service but it was the first time I ever had an experience like this one. Usually the representatives are always willing to help you and try to answer all of your questions.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Disney Company and Social Media

The Walt Disney Corporation has been a household name for over eight decades in family entertainment. Today, it has become a global enterprise, reaching people across the world through television, Internet, and movies. Over the past years, social networking has become a critical element in the expansion of businesses and Disney has incorporated a vast amount of Internet-based networking objectives to attract and engage even more consumers then ever before.
For example, besides the obvious social networking channels like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and Youtube, they've added an interactive component to their main site Disney.com, titled "Disney Xtreme Digital." Through this, Disney lovers can create personal profiles where they can post pictures, music, and interact with others through games and chats. At the same time, employing strict parental controls. This site was created with solely Disney fans in mind.
Another more recent example stems from within the Disney blog. Blog readers are now encouraged to attend the theme parks with an objective in mind--find the object that was posted in a photo from the blog and submit where you located it in the park. This encourages potential consumers to not only be interactive but to visit the parks with a goal.
The most recent example stems off Disney' motto "Let the Memories Begin," where people are encouraged to place their own personal videos and pictures on Disney's website. Disney parks will then possibly use and create commercials for national television as part of their new campaign "Let the Memories Begin." Another part of this campaign includes candid photos of people at the parks displayed nightly at the Walt Disney World Resort's Cinderella Castle in Orlando, Flordia and It's a Small World at Disneyland Resort in California.
Not only has the Walt Disney Corporation involved itself in social networking, its continued to captivate its audience by generating consumer's experiences into genuine campaigns directed at future costumers.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Walmart Social Media

Walmart has truly taken advantage of its enormous market in its use of social media. On the companies website, thousands of reviews and ratings are listed for products, allowing customers to read the positives and negatives of almost anything the store has to offer. An even more innovative walmart media outlet is its checkout blog. The blog allows for more in depth conversation, and walmart representatives contribute as well. Yet another innovation is the use of niches as we see with elevenmoms.com. The succesful blog targets mommy bloggers, who discuss everything form halloween costumes, to cheap meal ideas. An important aspect of this social media is that walmart does not interrupt or challenge critics, they foster an open environment which runs for the benefit of the customers.

Ranger Joe's Customer Service Call

It took me a while to decide which company to call for a customer service experience, but I ultimately decided to choose a company I use at least once a month. Ranger Joe's is a Georgia based company which offers military and law enforcement equipment. As an army cadet, I order from the company a lot. When I called Ranger Joe's I got through to a representative fairly quickly. I decided to let them know I really appreciate their quick deliveries and great products. I doubt many people do this because the lady on the phone sounded a little confused, but she thanked me and asked me if I wanted another catalog sent to me. The company has great customer service, and efficiency especially as a smaller company based in one state.

Hofstra Communications Article

Hofstra Communication: an Edge Above the Rest

Knowing the right people always helps in the quest for an ideal internship. This need for networking is more than satisfied at the Hofstra School of Communications. With a dedicated staff of professors experienced in a myriad of fields, that dream internship isn’t too far out of reach. Maggie Doherty, Jamie Atkinson, and Jenn Picard are just three of many students that obtained top-notch internships because of the Hofstra School of Communications.

Maggie Doherty, 21, of Saratoga New York is currently majoring in print journalism. She obtained a prestigious internship with OK magazine. “My professor informed me of the internship and encouraged me to pursue the opportunity.” In her brief time at OK, she has already composed and conducted an interview on Chris Medina from American idol. “My interview was published on the online magazine, and I’m preparing an interview with Lo Bosworth from the hills now.” Doherty is gaining experience many college students don’t have the access to. “It’s fast paced, vibrant, and a professional setting, now that I have gotten this internship I have the confidence to move on to bigger and better ones.”

Jamie Atkinson, 22, of Little Rock Arkansas is majoring in print journalism and archeology. This unique pairing limited her internship field to a small pool of opportunities, and many of which wouldn’t combine her two fields of study. Through her advisors and Professor Goodman, Atkinson was able to network with curators at the Museum of Natural History in New York. Ultimately her successful studies at the Hofstra School of Communication allowed for her to achieve this dream internship. Atkinson currently works in cataloging artifacts, and conducting back checks on items. Her research on ancient textiles has been so successful she has been offered a grant in order to publish her work. “I have been emailing an art history scholar I read about in textbooks, it’s an amazing opportunity for me and I’m grateful of the guidance I got at Hofstra.”

Jenn Picard, 20, of Red Hook New York also has had the opportunity to combine her unique studies at Hofstra in a dream internship working on a Campaign for Anthony Weiner in Congress. Picard has a double major in public relations and political science and without guidance from Hofstra she wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity. At the internship Picard learned to canvas audiences, run public events, and work alongside campaign managers to successfully re-elect Weiner. “I was able to combine my two fields of study, and get hands on experience that will benefit me in the future.”

Students in the Hofstra School of communication have the support and encouragement of a dedicated staff, and the opportunities to succeed in their fields. These opportunities are the building blocks to successful careers, and an edge for Hofstra students that many other schools do not offer.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Apple, Inc. Social Media and Customer Service

As a leader in consumer electronics, Apple Inc. is one of the few large corporations not exercising social media. Apple heavily relies on user-generated buzz with all of the feedback Apple consumers provide via their own blog, Twitter, video and podcasts. While it is only speculation why Apple does not use social media, Apple has gained a widespread online presence with out it. Many companies use social media to interact with their customers. Apple uses Steve Job's highly anticipated annual keynotes at Macworld to speak to his audience. With the new release of the iPad 2, the Internet was buzzing with lives feeds from the unveiling conference. It is through social media that customers respond and interact to his announcement. While Apple has not used a social media campaign driven solely at the corporate name, they have begun using Twitter for their popular music sharing software, iTunes.

Customer Service Call
Recently, I called Apple's customer service number in regards to my MacBook. When I was first connected I was given an estimated waiting time of 20 minutes. After about 25 minutes of being on hold, a customer service rep picked up. Unfortunately our call was disconnected and I was forced to revisit the waiting process. When I got through again the rep immediately asked me for a contact name and number should we get disconnected. The rep was very friendly and able to answer all of my questions and concerns. At the end of the phone call he recited our conversation back to me. While the representative I worked with was very helpful I found the customer service process to be very complicated and long.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Apple Customer Service

I regularly never like having to call and speak to people on a company's 1-800 number regarding a product of theirs, it is a horrible ordeal. You can't just call and speak to one person you have to get transferred to about 3 different departments first. I had to call Apple to get in touch with them about my laptop so i called the number on the back of the box after going through the instructions, and spoke to them. I had a problem with it being stuck in sleep mode and had to reboot it somehow. I actually didn't have a problem with the gentlemen except for his accent. He was pretty helpful my estimated wait time was 20 minutes, someone got back to me in about 8, really great compared to DirectTv and Verizon. However, i normally don't have a problem with accents but that was the only downfall.

Newman's Own and VolunteerMatch team Up

Newman's Own and Volunteer match have teamed up for a year long partnership which
rewards volunteers with coupons for Newmans own products. The alliance "Nourish the Good"also has a website of its own. National Volunteer week runs in April from the 10th to the 16th. Newman's Own will provide a free product voucher for each new volunteer who commits to making a difference in 2011. The program encourages volunteers to pass it along to five friends. Then those in turn are asked to pass it along to five other friends or acquaintces. The goal of the program is to make it easier for active volunteers to engage in their social networks and hopefully inspire more people. The marketing for the campaign is based all on social media, public relations, and word of mouth. Volunteermatch is reaching out to possible volunteers through e-mail, newsletters, and basing their audiences on nonprofits, and volunteers. Newman's Own has also realized it's consumers also involve young people these days, and have started to connect with them on ideas that Paul Newman himself believed in "giving back is key." The foundation reached the $300 million mark in November 2010, as well as the company is partneering this year with USA Today's "Make a Difference day."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Stubhub Customer Service

For this assignment, I chose Stubhub because I actually needed to talk to the company in terms of a customer service issue. I am a frequent user of Stubhub and bought tickets for an event like I always do. However, this time after the 48 hour wait for my confirmation, the seller never confirmed. I had to call the 1800 number.

I waited for about 15 minutes after pressing 0 to speak to a representative. The experience was fantastic. I was asked relevant questions regarding my purchase. The rep was apologetic and even offered me a $30 "fan code" for my next purchase. The total conversation was about 10 minutes and the rep gave my his name and information.

If I have another issue with Stubhub, I wouldn't mind calling back again because the issue was resolved in a very timely manner.

Target & Social Media Analysis

I really like the way that Target manages their facebook page. What’s intriguing to the viewer, or consumer, immediately is the way the company manages the tabs at the top. Target uses facebook to their advantage as they use each tab as a separate them – ideally to target a different demographic in each one. For example, the first tab that is featured is the “Gaga” tab. This is obviously for those who like Lady Gaga; the majority of her fans are young adults and teenagers. The next tab that caught my eye was the “Print to Take.” This is brilliant because Target knows their facebook followers love to post pictures, this advanced feature allows their “fans” to print pictures. I also like how fans are able to customize their own priorities in the face book page under the “My Target Weekly.”

Even though I liked Target’s approach on facebook, I’m not as keen to their approach on twitter. First of all, they don’t nearly put as much effort on twitter as they do compared to the former social media outlet. Target only has 111,000 followers on twitter compared to over 3 million on facebook. Also, the only tweets seem to be random current event questions or discount coupons. Target could be a lot more engaging with their twitter followers; they could create a concept or a even a theme that would get more people interested.

Friday, March 11, 2011


First of all I chose Motts because who doesn't love applesauce and apple juice. Motts is constantly creating new and fun product for their demographic and they always keep it fun. I also chose Motts because of their Social Responsibility projects. They aren't just giving back to any organization but they give back to the demographic in which they serve which are children. Motts is partnered with Kaboom whose initial goal is to keep PLAY alive. Activity in children is decreasing and Kaboom hosts play days in neighborhoods around the country as well as builds play grounds. I think Motts picked a good program to partner up with.

Also Motts utilizes social media widely. T hey have a facebook, twitter, and their own blog. Motts uses their twitter and facebook more for revealing products and interaction between consumers and themselves. Their main audience for social media are parents. Mostly mommy bloggers are commenting on these sites and we all know how influential those mommy bloggers are. Motts uses their blog to get information that may be beneficial to the parents and not just for marketing or selling purposes. They have useful information as far as child health and even fun ways for chirldren to get their nutrients.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Social Media - NBC Universal

NBC Universal owns Oxygen Network, which is where I am currently interning. At the Oxygen offices, they have a set, which they use to tape live chats with Oxygen celebrities. Today, while I was interning, Oxygen was setting up for a live web chat with one of the cast members from season 4 of Bad Girls Club. I asked my supervisor about this program. Emily told me that fans could log onto Oxygen Live and instantly video chat with their favorite star. She also explained to me that through viral web chats, ratings for Oxygen shows have gone up. A lot of Oxygen fans have expressed that this has made them feel more connected with their Oxygen stars. Oxygen has used the Internet to its advantage, fans have been impressed and ratings have increased. Viral web chats is an effective method for Oxygen because it’s a reality based network and being able to speak with the celebrity live is an exciting opportunity for fans.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Customer Relations- Complaint with Unileaver/ Hellmann's

The customer service/ complaint department with Unileaver products, provider of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, was extremely compassionate and apologetic when I called to complain that there was a 1x.25 inch piece of plastic within the mayonnaise. The customer service representative, Esther, listened to all of my concerns and answered my questions accordingly. After taking the UPC codes, she took the correct measures to answer my product questions and assured that she alerted the manufacturer. She kept apologizing on behalf of the brand and asked me if this affected my future interest in the product. I told her that I would remain loyal, but even prior to telling her that, she said that I would soon receive a coupon for a new jar of Hellman’s mayonnaise.

Customer Relations--Social Media with Nordstrom

On Nordstrom’s homepage, three tabs are featured, and there is a conversation tab farthest to the right. When you click on the Nordstrom conversation tab, the consumer of stakeholder will see a few different areas of the page that require interaction and contribution. For instance, at the top of the page, there are features where stakeholders can join a fashion forum or follow/ post the latest consumer trendsetting comments. For instance, a Nordstrom consumer said tweeted about their newest Marc Jacobs bag. In addition to this, there are interactive links that allow consumers to see what is in Nordstrom’s fashion week suitcases. The page is equipped with an area to see photographs and articles about consumer weddings, as one of the main functions of the corporations is a wedding registry. Also, the store sells designer wedding gowns although it is a department store. These blogs and and articles about Fashion Week, where to travel and what to pack give Nordstrom a multi-faceted blend in which the corporation is able to interweave customer, professional (style experts) and corporate evaluation, feedback, and opinions. The blogs and social media engagement obviously allows the company to be more transparent and to highly publicize their products while recommending them in a savvy manner. Included links feature how-to’s and fashion help links as well. At the bottom of the page, there is an interactive link that connects to Facebook to “like” Nordstrom.

Social Media- Coca Cola

The Coca Cola Company is doing a number of things online regarding the social media aspect, and one in particular is their Happiness expedition. For this online contest three winners were chosen and traveled to the 206 different countries where Coca-Cola is sold. The winners were to document their travels via social media such as twitter, facebook, and blogs and upload pictures about their trips. These winners set out to find out what makes people happy and to share that with the rest of the world. Online, others can participate and choose which team they want to watch and their journey through their expedition to the various countries. All of the stories from the “ambassadors” were to be put online, and from there everyone could participate and see each winner’s separate journey. By doing this, Coca Cola not only stressed how happiness can be found in all different parts of the world, but also through Coca Cola products. With the social media aspect, they were able to show this campaign to various different outlets and therefore became a large participant in social media. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011


  The Houston-based company used a social media platform that high school student sign up for a referral program called “Prom Reps”. The program allows a high school student to get a free tuxedo if they recruit ten friends. In 2009, the company felt the program was hindered because the student had to go into the local store. In 2010, the entire program went online and can be executed from the website MWTuxonline.com.

The prom reps can use a personal webpage or a PR Dashboard to keep track of their sales referrals. The website gives them a prom rep id number to give to their friends from more than 200 social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and text messaging.

They added additional incentives to participating in the program. Teens can enter to win a Chevy Camaro and up to $100 in cash. They ran paid adds for the program on websites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. They ran ads on teen sites like Gaia.com, myYearbook.com and other sites. They focused on many teen-oriented blogs as well to get a buzz around the launch of the campaign.

The campaign was overall successful and a great way to use social media for this program. I honestly believe that Men's Wearhouse needs to use social media on a more regular basis to create brand awareness.

American Broadcasting Company's Social Media Efforts

ABC is a company that relies heavily on their appearance on air and online. Because it is a broadcasting company, the website is frequently updated with news and weather. ABC.com also offers a large database of ABC programs that are available to visitors of the site. For a company that is advanced in online technology, ABC acts as a fore-runner in social media campaigns. As the site has a Facebook page, twitter account and a Youtube channel, they advance their optimization by linking each site within another. ABC takes social media one further step; they utilize a social media method, called GetGlue, to promote their television shows. GetGlue is a mobile application that functions much like the online site FourSquare. GetGlue allows viewers to “check-in” to the programs they are watching. As part of their campaign, ABC offers prizes to those who check in to their show Pretty Little Liars. This innovative tool brings results to both the company and the viewer. Through ABC’s collaboration with GetGlue, it is clear that they intend to use social media in order to progress their company and the programs their company produces.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Social Media-L'Oreal

L’Oreal has a presence on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Through their tweets, L’Oreal informs customers on special offers and contests such as the chance to win a trip to Paris or to win the ‘Ultimate Red Carpet Weekend.’ They also use Twitter to drive traffic to their other sites such as Facebook and their website. I like that they converge all of these media. For example, many of their links on Twitter lead to either their website or to their Facebook page, and on Facebook they have links to both YouTube and Twitter. Their Facebook page features videos including a look behind the scenes of their commercials and photo shoots, and videos teaching consumers how to apply makeup. I like this because not only are they informing potential customers on the benefits and offerings of L’Oreal, but they are giving them knowledge about make-up as a product category by giving ‘how to’ lessons. I think that their presence on social media is effective, as they have over 13,000 who are constantly tweeting about L’Oreal products.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Customer Service Review- Verizon Wireless

On February 24, 2011 I called Verizon Wireless customer service to inquire about the Iphone.  Before I even reached a service representative I was caught listening to an automated system that was promoting the Iphone.  Although they explained the product in great detail through the automated system, I wanted to speak to a representative in order to get my exact question answered; “When would the new generation be expected to come out?” After pressing “4” to speak to a representative a nice man names Keith answered.  He asked how he could help me today and I told him that I was calling to inquire about the Iphone and if Verizon has any plans to release an Iphone 5.  Keith was very nice and ensured me that there was an Iphone 5 but no set release date yet for Verizon.  He asked me if he could help me with anything else and I told him no that’s all.  He then repeated what I had enquired about by saying “Ok we’ve gone over the release of the Iphone 5, but is there anything further I can assist you with?” At that time I told him that I was “all set” and he responded, “Thank you for calling Verizon Wireless, if you have any further questions you can call us back here at customer service or refer to our website at www.verizonwireless.com.”  I think the overall call quality was a 10 and that Verizon’s customer service representatives are very knowledgeable about the company which is ideal.  Keith made sure to repeat what I had asked and to be certain that I was satisfied with the call as well.  I found my experience with Verizon Customer Service to be very enjoyable and reassuring. 

Social Media- Verizon Wireless

With Verizon Wireless being one of the leading telecommunications providers, their social media efforts expand to almost every outlet on the internet.  Verizon Wireless has a twitter account, facebook page, youtube account, as well as many blog accounts.  I believe that their social media efforts are widely recognized by their target consumers and it is an effective way to reach current and future customers.  I was especially pleased with their facebook page that encourages feedback from fans.  Their page currently has 1,245,486 fans, which is expected to increase with the recent release of the Iphone 4.  I find Verizon Wireless to be at the top of their public relations game when it comes to social media and reaching out to their consumers.