Social Media Trends for 2020

By: Sophia Darmelio


Social media has influenced the way the world communicates throughout the last decade, which is why businesses believe that it is an effective tool. With new social media trends on the rise, businesses need to stay up to date with them for 2020 and beyond. 

One of the most popular trends in social media that is not going anywhere are influencers. In the past few years, influencers have taken over social media by posting videos that go viral. Influencers are people who have a considerable following and are knowledgeable in their niche market. Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that influencers use to endorse products and services. Instagram is the most successful platform for influencer marketing, but the presence of influencers is growing on other platforms including TikTok. According to Adweek, “the industry is set to reach $10 billion in worth by 2020” (Contestabile, 2018). Snapchat and TikTok have their own influencers that have a younger target audience. Influencer marketing has proven to be beneficial to marketers because of the amount of reach and endorsement in fitness, fashion, beauty products, and more. Influencer marketing is not just about the individuals with the most followers. There are micro-influencers, too. Micro-influencers are the same as influencer marketers but on a smaller scale. Brands can partner with micro-influencers that have a smaller following to promote a product. I personally follow several influencers and I think more brands will utilize influencers to promote their products or services. 

Another social media trend that public relations professionals have seen is the growing popularity of TikTok, which originated in China. TikTok is an app where users can create and share short videos. The goal is to gain followers and engagement for one’s videos. Hootsuite writes, “the app has 800 million monthly active users and the average user opens TikTok more than eight times a day” (Sehl, 2020). The main demographic for users in the United States are 18-24 year olds, but there are many older individuals that use the app, too. Influencers are an important element of the app’s popularity because many brands have partnered with them to promote products. TikTok is a great platform for businesses because accounts with very few followers can receive millions of views on a single video, which is a great opportunity for reach. If a business’ values match up with the app’s target audience, it should consider using TikTok as part of its campaign strategy. 

One more social media trend that professionals in the field have seen is the use of videos. Posting videos on social media is a very useful way to get a message across to target audiences in an engaging way. Video content is often seen as live videos, vlogs, testimonials, and webinars. “According to a survey, 68% of users prefer to learn about a product or service through short videos” (Nidhi, 2020). Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn are platforms where one can post video content for an increased reach. Users come across video content on every social media platform – there is no escaping it. 

Influencers, TikTok, and video content are trends that are very popular this year, and I see these trends becoming more popular within the next several years which will increase reach and awareness for brands. 


Sources

Contestabile, G. (2018, January 15). Influencer Marketing in 2018: Becoming an Efficient Marketplace. Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.adweek.com/digital/giordano-contestabile-activate-by-bloglovin-guest-post-influencer-marketing-in-2018/

Nidhi,D. (2020, September 12). 📈 42 Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2020. Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.singlegrain.com/digital-marketing/digital-marketing-trends-2020/ 

Sehl, K. (2020, July 18). Everything Brands Need to Know About TikTok in 2020. Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://blog.hootsuite.com/what-is-tiktok/

By: Daylin Strange


Coming into college, I didn’t know what I wanted to major in or the career I wanted to work towards. Like many other students, I came in being undecided and changed my major a couple of times. Completing my core education classes helped me with making decisions about my future and my life. Two years went by and I decided to major in public relations with a minor in sport communication. I chose public relations from the simple fact that I am a people person, and sport communication was chosen since sports are my passion.

I always envisioned myself in front of the camera and having great relationships with my peers. Meeting new people and forming friendships was something I excelled in throughout my life. I have always been passionate about sports and it is hard to imagine a world without them.

Since I enjoy sports and forming relationships with others, it only makes sense that I like sports broadcasting, too. From watching sports my whole life, I’ve seen tons of different sports broadcasters and the different personalities that they demonstrate. A few inspirations that pop up in my head are Doris Burke, Skip Bayless, Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith. It is inspiring to know that these broadcasters are doing what they love, and maybe one day, I could be doing what they’re doing. It doesn’t get better than reporting on the sport that you love, being around superstar athletes, all while being in front of the camera. 

My biggest inspiration in the journalist world is a sports analyst named Stephen A. Smith. I grew up watching and playing mostly basketball, which allowed for me to come across Stephen A. Smith. Whether it be hosting halftime shows, arguing about sports with his coworkers or even his Twitter rants, I could never get away from Smith. Because of my dream to work in sports broadcasting, I gained an interest in learning more about Smith’s life. While researching Smith, I realized that the world of sports broadcasting isn’t easy, and he came a long way to get to where he is now. From Smith, I learned to never be afraid to voice your opinion as a person, especially being a young Black man aspiring to be a reporter and broadcaster. Not only is he not afraid to say his opinion but he does it with such confidence. Confidence comes a long way in this world, without it then how could you be what you want to be in life? “Whatever your gifts are you have an obligation to diligently pursue and explore what that gift is and then go from there,” said Smith to young minds of this generation. “And then after that you’ve got to get on your grind and be about the business of understanding that nobody owes you anything,” (Peebles, 2020).


References

Peebles, Maurice. “Stephen A. Smith’s Career Advice: ‘You Can Be Anything You Want to Be’  Is a Lie.” Complex, Complex, 20 Apr. 2020, www.complex.com/sports/2016/12/stephena-smith-advice-interview

 ESPN. “Stephen A. Smith.” ESPN Press Room U.S., ESPN, 2 June 2016, espnpressroom.com/us/bios/stephen-a-smith/

 Culp, Katie. “Marketing Agencies: Here Are 100 Ideas to Develop Your Blog.” BenchmarkONE,            5 Dec. 2018, www.hatchbuck.com/blog/marketing-agencies-blog/.

By: Farrah Frattaroli


Social media plays a highly important role in today’s society and it allows you to connect with others to voice your own opinion on certain topics. I think to be successful on social media platforms you should figure out what your specific niche is when creating social media content. A niche is something that sticks out about you that is different from everyone else. A niche regarding social media is a vertical social networks, which is a way for audience members to get information that is valuable to cater to their specific needs. There are many different examples of niches on social media platforms, for example, a new network called NextDoor that focuses on connecting neighbors making it a more personal experience that reaches a smaller target audience. This is important in the world of PR agencies because it makes you stand out from the competition by catering to a smaller specific audience. By catering to a specific niche you will automatically stand out from the competition and having one client will help you continue to grow in the industry.

Vertical social networks allow you to join platforms that are catered to a specific audience that allows them to not get lost in major social media platforms like Facebook when the content is irrelevant. There are many advantages to using these vertical social networks because it allows the audience member to get information that has value and a purpose to themselves. For example, “People can receive specific and targeted content on a daily basis and, more importantly, connect with people who share the same interests,” (Koksal, 2019). This quote shows that the content they are getting on these vertical social networks gives the audience a purpose for them, which is to create relationships and maybe business partnerships. There are many examples of different social networking sites that would be considered a vertical social network.

Instead of advertising on a large social media channel like Facebook there are many other smaller networks that allow you to connect to a more niche audience. An example of this smaller social media platform would be NextDoor. This is a website where you are able to plug in your address and find people that live in your neighborhood. This is considered to be a niche platform because it reaches a smaller target audience instead of using a larger platform. One article states, “ These networks offer powerful advertising platforms and highly target campaigns,” (Ramirez, 2020). This shows that networks like NextDoor have an advertising advantage because they have unique opportunities that stand out from the competition and do something for a specific market. The service specializes in a hyperlocal networking service that allows you to connect with your neighbors and the people that live around you. This allows you to connect with local individuals that have similar interests. In the world of advertising and public relations (PR) agencies, it is important to know your client’s niche in order to help them remain true to their brand and cater to their direct target audience.

There are many challenges in today’s society that make it difficult for PR agencies to stand out from the competition. However, to differentiate yourself from the competition you must have a specialization that your agency does differently from others to cater to an underserved market. For example, “The only way to grow quickly is to strategically identify a underserved market and focusing all your efforts on positioning yourself to full that need,” (Rafii, 2016). This quote shows that if you master one of these underserved markets you are able to build your client base and provide a space for other markets to come. This information is beneficial for myself because I am able to think strategically and come up with creative ways on social media to target to a specific niche in order to help an underserved market be categorized into a specialization. Underserved markets can be a problem because they are in every industry however, if you think strategically it will allow you to stand out from your competition and increase brand awareness. 

Overall, I think that is highly necessary in the vast world of PR agencies to understand what a niche is and how it is one of the most important aspects when dealing with a client’s brand. This is important because some agencies can be too broad with their capabilities instead of finding their own niche in the market. A niche is something that sticks out about you that is different from what the competition is doing. A niche can also be considered a vertical social network because it is where you can join networks that have a specific audience. Smaller social media platforms like NextDoor allows you to do something different from everyone else; here they cater to people in surrounding neighborhoods. It is beneficial to understand what a niche is in PR agencies because it will help when working with clients that needs to stand out in order to help an underserved market that needs representation. In a world where PR agencies are mostly focused on lifestyle and beauty by creating a specific niche will allow your agency to stick out from competitors that deal with larger market platforms.


References

Finding Your Niche: Who’s Your Audience And What’s Your Social Strategy. (2020, May 25). Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://blog.issuu.com/finding-your-niche-whos-your-audience-and-whats-your-social-strategy/

Koksal, I. (2019, December 23). The Rise Of Niche And Vertical Social Networks. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ilkerkoksal/2019/12/21/the-rise-of-niche-and-vertical-social-networks/

Rafii, T. (2016, March 21). Find Your Niche: Building a Specialized PR Agency. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://www.prnewsonline.com/find-your-niche-building-a-specialized-pr-agency/

By: Ian Ridgway


With COVID-19 affecting everyone in different ways in the past few months, it’s easy to say that most of us are ready for things to return to normal. The virus has impacted a large portion of the global population and how work is conducted, causing companies such as Google to keep most of their employees out of the office until 2021 (Gartenberg, YEAR). This left many industries having to adapt so they could continue during the COVID-19 crisis. Advertising and other industries were forced to evolve quickly, in a way they had never done before. 

However, not every agency has faced the dark clouds of COVID-19 to its full extent. Digital agencies have increased their remote hiring since the beginning of the outbreak (Morgan, 2020). One major reason for this hiring increase is due to these agencies being unable to find the right people for the job within their city. Thankfully, due to the increase in remote-hiring, people are more willing to work from home. 

Sadly, the industry has not been all sunshine and rainbows, it still has woes to face. A major way advertising was affected was financially, causing layoffs across many agencies (Staff, 2020). Overall, ad spending in the United States is down 10% (Cathy Li, 2020). The only exception thus far in spending is digital video which is currently up 4%. Unfortunately, this is not enough to save the advertising job market during this time. Through the Covid-19 pandemic agencies have dropped about 50,000 jobs within the industry (Weisbrot, 2020). 

From an optimist’s perspective, the increased remote hiring within digital agencies can be viewed as a wonderful thing for the agency job market. With more people working from home, agencies can save their money on office operations costs, and boost the moods and productivity of remote workers (Morgan, 2020).

Sadly, it does not seem we can definitively answer the title of this blog, “Working Remotely in Advertising: Will it Stay?” But, let’s address the elephant in the room: Is working remotely the “new normal”? The agency market certainly seems to show some tough years ahead due to COVID. However, it does not mean creatives need to stop being creative. Even in a worst-case scenario of losing a job during the pandemic, this moment in time allows even a burnt-out creative to decompress and let their creative juices flow once again while they get to work on the outstanding craft of honing in their creative ability. What else should a creative do when they are stuck at home?


Works Cited

Weissbrot, Alison // Wednesday, J. (2020, June 03). Forrester: US Agencies Will Shed More Than 50,000 Jobs By 2021. Retrieved November 09, 2020, from https://www.adexchanger.com/agencies/forrester-us-agencies-will-shed-more-than-50000-jobs-by-2021/

Gartenberg, Chaim. Google Says That the Majority of Its Employees Will Work from Home until 2021. 8 May 2020, www.theverge.com/2020/5/8/21252240/google-employees-essential-staff-remote-work-from-home-2021

Morgan, Tonya. “Winning with Remote Employees.” HiveDesk, Tonya Morgan Https://Www.hivedesk.com/Wp-Content/Uploads/2020/05/HiveDeskLogo_Home-3.Png, 6 Aug. 2020, www.hivedesk.com/blog/digital-marketing-agencies-using-remote-employees/

Staff, Ad Age. “A Regularly Updated List of How Agencies Are Responding to Coronavirus.” Ad Age, 28 May 2020, adage.com/article/agencies/regularly-updated-list-how-agencies-are-responding-coronavirus/2244711

Written by Cathy Li, Head of Media. “This Is How COVID-19 Is Affecting the Advertising Industry.” World Economic Forum, 8 June 2020, www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/coronavirus-advertising-marketing-covid19-pandemic-business/.

By: Skyler Fleisher


Social media occupies a large part of our lives. Even if you want to hate it, you can’t really escape it. Much of our lives are published online either by ourselves or someone else.  How many times have you had a family member share an unflattering photo of you on Facebook or seen friends post brunch pictures on Instagram?  More often than not, the content that’s being shared doesn’t involve one person.  

MySpace laid the foundation for what social media would become today (Our World in Data). While Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are among the apps that occupy storage space on smart devices still, there is a new app making its way to the top. 

TikTok is here and it is taking over. In January of 2020, TikTok was the most downloaded app worldwide, even beating out Instagram and Facebook (SensorTower). A scholarly article states that our attention span has shrunk from 15 seconds to eight seconds (Bradbury).  This means that on average people are only engaged for nearly half the amount of time they were in the past. Something unique about TikTok is that everyone’s “For You Page” is designed specifically for them. TikTok gets the reputation of being a lip-syncing platform, but in reality, my “For You Page” does not have anyone singing and dancing to popular songs. When someone likes a video or interacts with a video, you are shown more videos of similar things. This is similar to how YouTube and Netflix give you recommendations on things to watch next. Videos range from “humor, hobbies, fitness, travel, music, photography and dance; every category is open and gaining huge attention” (Brandtastic).  Since TikTok generates targeted content for the user, people spend a longer amount of time on the app interacting with content they enjoy.  When you add content a user actually wants to see with the user’s shortened attention span, people are more likely to interact and engage with content.

TikTok is not just for kids. Celebrities, news sources, big brands, doctors, teachers, regular people, and even some pets have TikTok pages. Practically anyone has the ability to go viral on TikTok and there’s no “standard” for the quality of the content. Some videos are shot on smartphones in a poorly lit room while some are in full production studios with high quality set-ups. Regardless of the quality of the equipment, almost everyone has a chance of going viral.

I personally love TikTok, but I have friends who say, “it’s a waste of time” and refuse to download the app. TikTok is everywhere though. On Instagram, many of the videos on the “Explore” page have the TikTok watermark on them, meaning that the video was created on TikTok and reshared to Instagram. So, in reality the people who refuse to download the app are still watching the videos that were made on TikTok. As meme culture is very prevalent today, TikTok has lots of ‘meme-able’ moments and lots of jokes have come out of it. People without the TikTok app or active on TikTok usually do not understand a lot of sayings or even dance moves that became popular on TikTok.

Some people like Charli D’amelio, 16, and Addison Rae, 19, have made careers off of the platform. Their content is lip-syncing dances, which isn’t necessarily my cup of tea, but people seem to really like them considering Charli has almost 90 million followers and Addison has over 62 million. Charli has a drink at Dunkin’ Donuts named after her and brand partnerships with Hollister and Morphe. Addison is the second most popular creator on TikTok and there’s even a song by The Kid Laroi called “Addison Rae.”

I think TikTok is the perfect example of how times are changing in regards to social media, marketing, advertising, and influencer/celebrity brand deals. Not only by our shrinking attention span, but also in how people consume information and who they trust. In my opinion, regular people aren’t as envious of Hollywood celebrities anymore.  People enjoy watching everyday people create their own success stories.  Many big organizations and companies have created TikTok accounts to better engage with their younger audiences (Forbes). Companies like Chipotle, The NBA, Red Bull, The Washington Post, United Nations IFAD, Nickelodeon, Crocs, Mucinex, Kool-Aid, Hp, and many more have large followings on the app (nogood.io).

Social media platforms over the years have created different spaces for advertisers and marketers to reach a variety of audiences. Omnicore Agency has a section of their blog dedicated to social media platform statistics.  Some key statistics that stood out about generational use of social media platforms are: 25-34 year olds make up the largest demographic group on Facebook, 67% of 18-29 year olds use Instagram in the United States, and 41% of TikTok users are 16-24 years old.  If a company is looking to expand their engagement with younger generations, TikTok is a great place to do it.


References

Aslam, S. (2020, October 28). • Facebook by the Numbers (2020): Stats, Demographics & Fun Facts Retrieved November 15, 2020, from  https://www.omnicoreagency.com/facebook-statistics/

Aslam, S. (2020, October 28). • Instagram by the Numbers (2020): Stats, Demographics  & Fun Facts Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://www.omnicoreagency.com/instagram-statistics/

Aslam, S. (2020, October 28). • TikTok by the Numbers (2020): Stats, Demographics & Fun Facts Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://www.omnicoreagency.com/tiktok-statistics/

Arpaia, M. (2020, October 10). 15 Brands That Are Killing It On TikTok In 2020. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://nogood.io/2020/04/18/brands-killing-it-on-tiktok-2020/ 

Bradbury, N., Biophysics, D., LT, B., DA, B., JA, B., DM, B., . . . Petzold, A. M. (2016, November 08). Attention span during lectures: 8 seconds, 10 minutes, or more? Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/advan.00109.2016 

Charli d’amelio (@charlidamelio, charli damelio) Official TikTok: Watch charli d’amelio’s Newest TikTok Videos. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://www.tiktok.com/@charlidamelio?lang=en 

D. (2020, November 06). What is Tik Tok? Why is it so Popular? Retrieved September 25, 2020, from http://brandastic.com/blog/what-is-tiktok-and-why-is-it-so-popular/ 

Dunkin’ Brands Media Relations. (2020, August 19). “The Charli” Dances Onto The Dunkin’ Menu. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://news.dunkindonuts.com/news/the-charli-dances-onto-the-dunkin-menu 

Morphe 2: Morphe. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://www.morphe.com/collections/morphe-2 

Ortiz-Ospina, E. (2019, September 18). The rise of social media. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://ourworldindata.org/rise-of-social-media 

Turner, M. L. (2020, April 01). Using TikTok To Build Your Business. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/marciaturner/2020/03/31/using-tiktok-to-build-your-business/?sh=28397dfe5846 

Williams, K. (2020, February 21). Top Social Media Apps Worldwide for January 2020 by Downloads. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://sensortower.com/blog/top-social-media-apps-worldwide-january-2020 

(n.d.). Addison rae (@addisonre) Official TikTok: Watch addison rae’s Newest TikTok Videos. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://www.tiktok.com/@addisonre?lang=en

(n.d.). YouTube Music. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=kC9PKLjLPlo&list=PLwaroiKB0Ml4m8lJkcp_NsWg5hIL0S8_z

(2020). Hollister Co.. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://www.hollisterco.com/shop/us/girls-charli-and-dixie-edit 

(2020). Omnicore Agency. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from  https://www.omnicoreagency.com/

(2020). Statistics Archives – Omnicore Agency. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://www.omnicoreagency.com/category/statistics/

By: Brittany James


In the age of the internet, all things travel related come from a screen instead of the pages in a magazine. The use of social media has transformed the travel industry. Instead of traditional vacation advertisements in travel magazines and pamphlets, advertising and public relations specialists are turning their attention to social media. Nowadays, 75 percent of leisure travelers use online travel agencies (Ku, 2018).

The overwhelming amount of research that travelers are doing before taking a trip means that companies need to be credible and have a good brand image. In 2018, more than 140 million U.S. adults did extensive research online before a trip (Ku, 2018). The value of a positive brand image is extremely important. One of the best ways for travel companies to promote their services is by staying active on social media. A study shows that nearly 87% of millennials utilize social media platforms when researching destinations and making travel plans (How Social Media Has Transformed Tourism, 2020).  

The use of social media for travel marketing comes as no surprise, since many platforms revolve around sharing experiences. We’ve all seen the incredibly beautiful travel posts on social media platforms, whether it’s by a travel blogger or a family member. When we see those pictures of beautiful scenery or unique cultures, we are inspired to travel there ourselves.  According to a study, 30% to 40% of travelers under the age of 30, make their travel plans based on how Instagram-able the potential destination is (How Social Media Has Transformed Tourism, 2020).  Advertising and public relations specialists utilize social media to target the wanderlust inside their target audiences through beautiful and interesting imagery.   

In addition to having an active presence on social media, through campaigns and posted content, user-generated content has a significant role in bringing in more travelers. In a study, 84% of millennials cited user generated content as having more influence than paid ads on their travel decisions (How Social Media Has Transformed Tourism, 2020). This is an extremely important fact for travel companies. Positive customer reviews make a new client more likely to buy into your company. While social media is a perfect platform for customers to share their positive experiences with a travel company it can also be a company’s downfall. If there is enough negative buzz surrounding a company, then the even most inspiring visuals can fail to bring in new customers.

A great example of a successful travel company that adapted and excelled in the digital aspect of public relations is Airbnb. They developed an easy way for all users to communicate and share listings across all social media platforms. Airbnb was a pioneer in engaging customers with interactive promotions that even skeptics had to try (Torossian, 2020). 

In my own personal experience, I have been to 20 different countries, without ever stepping inside a travel agency. I started all my independent travels by stumbling across an online travel company that utilized their social media along with promotional videos by travel bloggers. Between the amazing content from influencers and the loads of positive feedback I found on the company on social media, I was completely comfortable taking a chance to fly to a foreign country alone at 18.  


Works Cited

How Social Media Has Transformed Tourism: Apollo Digital Agency. (2020, January 29). Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://apollo.agency/blog/how-social-media-has-transformed-tourism/

Ku, D. (2018, October 18). Why Social Media Matters In The Travel Industry. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://www.postbeyond.com/blog/why-social-media-matters-in-the-travel-industry/

Torossian, R. (2020, March 2). Airbnb: Transforming Travel Industry using Digital PR. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://www.publicrelationstoday.com/travel/?open-article-id=13140739

By: Jacqueline F. Bonar


The media has always played a significant role in politics and it all started when the First Amendment established “freedom of the press.” According to Andra Brichacek, it is a journalist’s job to give the American voters unbiased and accessible information in an attempt to educate them about those running for office. Now, in 2020, a pandemic and election season is upon us, and social media will end up playing a key role in political campaigns throughout the upcoming months. 

Social Media and Its Effect on Democracy

Social media has given average American citizens a fast and easy way to interact with elected and potential officials. By allowing people to communicate freely, social media has amplified important voices by allowing individuals to signal issues they see as most important and engage in conversation easily, especially with elected and potential officials. As well as amplifying voices, social media can help show us diverse views and perspectives, as well as provide a place for informed debate between those with the same or opposing views. A study by political communication researcher, Kajsa Falasca, Ph.D., “Social media campaigning: who is working for whom? A conceptual exploration of digital political labor,” looked at the last general election in Sweden. During early research, the study showed that Facebook and Twitter were being used more as a billboard instead of an enabler of dialogue between politicians and citizens. The parties ended up using their social media platforms as a channel for advertising instead of as a way to meet potential voters and create meaningful discussion. Even though this study is based in Sweden, the same could be said for America.

Filter Bubbles in Social Media 

When talking about social media and politics as one, it is important to mention filter bubbles and echo chambers. Today, more people tend to gather political information and engage in political discussion through social media than in person (Boston University College of Communication 2018). With this being said, people tend to engage and consume content that aligns with their beliefs, rather than look at opposing views or consume all sides. The search engines and social networking sites we use are constantly personalizing content based on previous searches, likes and shares. This leads social media users down the “filter bubble” road. The filter bubble is where your timeline is filled with like-minded opinions, politics, hobbies or interests. Since social media tends to know all of this about us, they can “share” or “sell” your filter bubble to advertisers, hence those political ads during an election year. Since social media is rapidly evolving, technology and social media platforms have the power to make us more connected or isolated than ever (CNN Business 2016). The question on whether these filter bubbles are good or bad for us is all based on opinion and still remains unanswered. 

Social Media and Political Campaigns

For someone who wants work in politics and on all things digital, especially social media, a career to keep in mind is political media strategist. According to Study.com, someone in this position would be responsible for the public relations side of the candidates campaign. This job could include but is not limited to drafting speeches, creating and posting social media content, assisting the candidate with developing their campaign platform and creating and distributing advertisements for and on all forms of social media. A few more important tasks include, evaluating poll trends and contacting media agencies such as newspapers, websites or TV stations to obtain pricing for running campaign ads. A candidate’s political media strategist manages all things digital within the campaign. 

Conclusion

When I declared a major in strategic communication with an emphasis in public relations in Fall 2017 and two minors the following years in general business and strategic social media, I never thought that I’d link it with politics. Once I realized you could link the two, I decided that I would like to work in politics in the future. My dream job is to become the White House director of strategic communications. 


Sources:

Boston University College of Communication. (2018, December 2). Will social media usage lead to political polarization through filter bubbles? Retrieved Sept. 24, 2020, from https://sites.bu.edu/cmcs/2018/12/02/will-social-media-usage-lead-to-political-polarization-through-filter-bubbles?/.

Brichacek, A. Six ways the media influence elections. Retrieved Sept. 25, 2020, from https://journalism.uoregon.edu/news/six-ways-media-influences-elections.

CNN Business. (2016, December 19). How social media filter bubbles work. Retrieved Sept. 25, 2020, from https://youtu.be/doWZHFnVPQ8.

Mid Sweden University. How does the political parties use social media? Who is actually working for whom? Retrieved Sept. 24, 2020, from https://www.miun.se/en/Research/archive/how-do-the-parties-use-social-media-who-is-actually-working-for-whom/.

Study.com. (2020, May 30). Political media strategist: job description & salary. Retrieved Sept. 25, 2020, from https://study.com/articles/political_media_strategist_job_description_salary.html.

By: Olivia Burtrand


Without consumers there would be no advertising. As advertising professionals we must ask ourselves, “how does our work affect those who consume our product?” Which brings us to the big question of, “what are some of the effects advertising can have on emotions?” Over time, research has proven that emotions are a large factor in how consumers choose which products to purchase. Consumption is a coping mechanism for many when it comes to managing emotions. This makes being an advertising professional an ethical practice. It is important to consider those who our work is affecting. In fact, “prior research has demonstrated that advertising has the ability to elicit emotional responses from the consumer, and subsequently, emotion regulation propensities of individuals may be triggered” (Kemp, YEAR).

Studies show that products such as food, tobacco, and alcohol are all triggers for many consumers across the country. “Candy is often used as a reward for appropriate behavior in childhood, as well as a gift or positive “message” among adults for events such as Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, and birthdays” (Mizerski & White, YEAR). To most, this seems normal, however to others this can be a factor that plays into issues such as eating disorders and food-based anxiety. When advertisers use emotions to appeal to their audience they build a bond between negative and positive emotions which ties the consumer to the brand or product.

Luckily for advertising professionals across the world, research shows that the good work does outweigh the bad. Positive emotional responses from advertisements are shown to be tied to happy and positive advertisements. “Brands want to be associated with smiling, laughing, happy customers, and positivity has been shown to increase sharing and engagement” (Daume & Hüttl-Maack, YEAR). Studies have shown that emotional articles are shared more often. It also revealed that positive posts are shared more often than negative posts. Cute animal posts are the most shared, closely followed by the “Open Happiness” to “Taste the Feeling,” advertisement by Coca-Cola. This is because people are more likely to feel inclined to share posts what they think will make others feel the same happiness that the advertisement gave them. As human beings, people strive to please others which is why positive and happy advertising is so important. It is also why negative and manipulative advertising should be avoided.


Sources:

Mizerski, R. W., & White, J. D. (1986). Understanding and using emotions in advertising. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 3(4), pp. 57 – 69. 

Elyria Kemp, My Bui & Sindy Chapa (2012) The role of advertising in consumer emotion management, International Journal of Advertising, 31:2, 339-353, DOI: 10.2501/IJA-31-2-339-353. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2501/IJA-31-2-339-353

Jana Daume & Verena Hüttl-Maack (2020) Curiosity-inducing advertising: how positive emotions and expectations drive the effect of curiosity on consumer evaluations of products, International Journal of Advertising, 39:2, 307-328, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02650487.2019.1633163

By: Jeffrey Boggess


Video is not the medium of the future.

This is something you may hear from freelance videographers giving their pitch to the little fish. 

“Your business can no longer afford to function without some kind of video presence.”

Which is true. 

Cisco, in fact, predicted that 82 percent of internet traffic would be video by this year and that traffic would be 95 percent more rampant than it was 15 years ago (Boxer, 2015). This has also demonstrated significant accuracies, and it reinforces one truth:

Video is not the medium of the future.

It was, of course, at a certain point in time, but take a look at what many social justice groups have done in the past five years. Maximizing pathos, a Stanford University team developed a virtual reality empathy experience dubbed “Becoming Homeless: A Human Experience” (Shashkevich, 2018). This immersive “game” allows a viewer to watch their possessions slowly disappear before they’re forcibly evicted from their virtual home.

Similarly, a freelance computer artist designed an immersive VR experience simply titled “DeathTolls” to allow viewers to visualize the massive human fallout that accompanies international conflicts, particularly in the Middle East (Hayden, 2015).

On one level, these projects embody the same basic goal of agency video advertising. The key difference is that they utilize newer technologies to make stronger, mostly emotionally-driven points. They’re innovative, but they retain the fundamentals of video.

Because video is fundamental.

I worked for two years as the video producer for a grant-funded community branding initiative. Our job was to interview community members and produce content based around an identity crafted by a data-collecting strategy team. Early in September of 2018, a few of us journeyed to southern West Virginia to shoot basic footage of the town, edit it into a promotional video and premiere it at a brand launch to show the community members what our team could offer their town. 

They loved it.

They’d been skeptical at first of an outside team permeating their community barrier to tell their story for them. After all, another small West Virginia community Oceana had been the unflattering subject of an exploitive documentary that, according to Police Chief Jeff Barlow, “put out there that we don’t have a great community, and that’s just not true” (Neff, 2015).

But our team wasn’t there to spotlight the challenges faced by our selected town; it was there to contribute to a potential solution: rebranding. The community members had never seen their town portrayed in such a supportive, modern fashion. 

This one community demonstrated on a larger scale how a lack of video in its public identity left it behind its peers in both economic and community development. Without a strong identity, formulating growth became an unnecessarily difficult task. This fundamental remains the same for any business. 

Video cannot be the medium of the future while a necessity in the present. It is the key to evolution; without it, any enterprise is destined for failure. Whether in-house or out, the technological landscape has progressed beyond room for businesses unwilling to adapt. 

They are now the trades of the past. 


Citations

Boxer, B. (2016 August 15). “Video Is The Future Of Media On The Web.” Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/benjaminboxer/2016/08/15/video-is- the-future-of-media-on-the-web/#7cffb48bdecf

Hayden, S. (2015 October 5). “ ‘DeathTolls’ Experience Creates Chilling Visualizations of Human Loss from Disasters Worldwide.” Road to VR. Retrieved from https://www.roadtovr.com/deathtolls-vr-experience-visually-quantifies- human-loss-disasters-worldwide/

Neff, C. (2015 December 26). “Oceana still haunted by drug documentary.” Register- Herald. Retrieved from https://www.register-herald.com/news/oceana-still- haunted-by-drug-documentary/article_c4b3499e-434a-5493-b393- 81dd70fd3a72.html

Shashvevich, A. (2018 October 17). “Virtual reality can help make people more compassionate compared to other media, new Stanford study finds.” Stanford. Retrieved from https://news.stanford.edu/2018/10/17/virtual-reality-can-help- make-people-empathetic/

By: Yadara Luckett


Workplace diversity is a hot topic now more than ever before in our society. Today, employers are making it a priority to diversify the pool from which they hire, create inclusion initiatives, and even provide resources for their teams’ success. By definition, diversity is a point of difference. The common misconception about diversity is that it is synonymous with race, but it is not. Gender and socioeconomic status are included in the discussion about diversity. The LGBTQ+ community is also included because it is a community of all races and genders. Diversity is understanding individual differences. Diversity in the workplace is all about being open minded about who you hire and why you hire them. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “by the year 2021, the majority of the children in the United States are projected to be a race other than non-Hispanic white” (U.S. Census Bureau, 2019). This means the United States will be even more multicultural than what it is currently. Public relations (PR) and advertising professionals need to understand this. These professionals need to know how to work with people from a variety of cultures. Appreciating and accepting who they are and not trying to change them is also key. When a business lacks diversity, those who are not represented are left unheard, and that can damage a brand or the image of a business. Uplifting those voices will only be of benefit to all involved.

The world is so diverse and is constantly evolving. This means there should be different types of people in leadership positions as well as other positions all along the totem pole. As we all know, diversity in the workplace is already a problem of its own, but diversity in leadership is an even bigger problem. Even in the advertising and PR space, there is work that needs to be done. In most cases, the role or position of leadership goes to a male, and in the majority of the cases, white males. According to USA Today, “about 85% of leadership positions are held by white males” (AP, 2018). This needs to change. It has been proven that diversity in leadership can lead to financial gain. A study performed by the Boston Consulting Group found that increasing the diversity of leadership teams leads to improved financial performance (Abouzahr, n.d), therefore diversity indeed leads to success. 

Hiring people from all walks of life can widen the conversation and spark ideas. This can result in increased productivity and overall improved problem solving. Having those different perspectives is necessary for success. Having a diverse group involved in decision making is also beneficial. In fact, “Research shows that diverse teams see a 60% improvement in decision-making abilities,” (Lee, n.d). Putting some focus on diversity not only improves your business as a whole but also is bettering our sense of community. 

Growing up, I would have never thought I could be in a leadership role or work for an agency because I didn’t see people that look like me there. Now, it is up to me and the rest of my generation to be those examples for the upcoming generation so they can believe that they can be whatever they want to become. Recognizing that it is okay to be different and that it shouldn’t affect whether you get hired or not is important. Representation matters. Diversity matters.  


References

Lee, S. (2020, October 12). Benefits of diversity in the workplace. Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://www.cultureamp.com/blog/benefits-of-diversity-in-the-workplace/

O’Donoghue, Deirdre. (2020, October 12). The Importance of Diversity in Public Relations. Retrieved October 30, 2020, from learn.g2.com/diversity-in-public-relations

Srikant Ramaswami, (2020, May 31) Diversity and Inclusion in the PR Profession: The Case for Change. Retrieved October 30, 2020, from www.prweek.com/article/1494228/diversity-inclusion-pr-profession-case-change

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