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Social media education is very important especially when dealing with two different staffs and vast ways of creating brand ambassadors.  In my previous employment, they are directed to NOT include the place they are working for in employment sections on Facebook and Linked In.

This is the part time staff who solves problems, bonds with season ticket holders, and does a great deal of other stuff depending on the level of love they have for the sport they are working in.

Brand Ambassadors are your biggest fans and hardest working free marketing your company or organization can have.  Why you discriminate against these folks is beyond me?  Image

Without the part time staff, your season ticket holders won’t have the memorable game day experiences, they won’t appreciate the trouble they go through to make that game or event the best one EVER, and they could wind up going to your competition with the money they could have used at your venue.

No matter what business you are in, if you are at the top of the corporate ladder or if you are at the bottom there is a reason why you are there.  You love the game, the people you work with but NOT wanting your employees to network is just silly.

Marketing doesn’t have a clue what is going on with the information the part time staffs are obtaining.  You need one cohesive team to represent your brand and NOT two completely different ones.  Everyone deserves RESPECT no matter what function you serve in the company.

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Word of mouth happens no matter what part of the company you are in, if you are a corporate executive or game day staff.  It does not discriminate based on education or corporate level and is based on your love of the game and how you represent it!

Educating everyone on the proper information to share on these channels is important and to give everyone an equal opportunity to share the information even if you think it is marketing’s job.

Is it really? When your part time staff outnumbers your full time staff, has the ability to connect with season ticket holders outside of the arena, and knows personally more about them than a survey or a question to your season ticket holder representative.  They may not be able to score them tickets or be on the sales floor but by the end of the day they may know your clients better than you do.

So give them the ability to be social, share their stories, and pictures.  Let them be your added arm in your season ticket holder acquisition file by letting them into the whole picture of your organization. It might be the best money you never had to spend!

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The NHL lockout will be over soon and I have mixed emotions about it.  I am an arena staff worker who dreamed of working for the NHL one day, preferably the Detroit Red Wings full time in marketing/social media.  The collateral damage this lockout has done is too much to ignore.

How can you alienate 100,000+ fans plus sponsors for a big event like the Winter Classic?  How does this affect the NHL and how do they just ignore what they have done to the industry they love?

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When this is said and done, how is the NHL going to recover as a brand?  Your best employees are your biggest cheerleaders and largest assets you have in a business.  But when you ignore them, trim down their hours and if they live based on a commission, how are they supposed be to happy?

The little people struggled, the everyday Joe’s who depend on this job for a living.  They chose to go into sports knowing there is long hours with little pay.  They do this for the love of the game, but when the game doesn’t respect you or give you a reason to stand by them.  Is it enough?

Business partners have been burned and from the looks of it Kraft might have backed out of their sponsorship in Canada. To most Americans who don’t get CBC and Hockey Night in Canada they might see this as a small thing.  The truth is Kraft brought together old rickety ice rinks and gave them funding to the community who deserved it the most by voting.  I wish Americans could have had this kind of promotion.  The kids in the community benefited by having their hockey heroes come and play a pre-season game there, they got funding to fix the rink, and the community got recognized nationally.  It just hurts me to see this go by way side because the league burned the bridge.  Kraft Hockeyville was one of the things I looked forward to seeing during Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts.

Leadership has to change for change to really happen in the NHL.  If every eight to ten years there will be a work stoppage will the full time employees and some of the part time staffers look for other places to work?  I love the game and I had a different view of this lockout which was really frustrating me.

The brand is damaged and I am sure sponsors and television networks are just as frustrated as the fans.  They should have been working this hard months ago before the Winter Classic was trashed for the year.   You have a product where there is a large chain of businesses that depend on your product to survive.    It is when you think of them and solve the problem before it gets to this huge level that you have a better understanding.

If employees have suffered and they are your greatest brand ambassadors, die hard fans are ticked, then who will bring your brand back from the dead?

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The shootings in CT made me think a lot about my mom and the state of mental heath care in America.  My mother was never a violent paranoid schizophrenic but at the same time if we had better education and knew what was going on in her brain, maybe she would be here today.

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You see my Mom was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in her early twenties at college so I am told.  My great grandma also was blessed with this disease as well and I fear if I were to have a daughter that it would be her turn.  I was lucky enough to make it through my twenties with it skipping me.

When I was eight years old, I was at a private school in Warren, MI and I was left there because no one had picked me up.  My mom was no where to be found and I was the last person to leave the school that day.  This was my first taste of what this disease is.

Up until I was able to drive my mom had disappeared at least twice.  When I was born, she was actually in another hospital because they had hospitalized her and then I guess I was in a different one.  I am not sure what happened there but that was what I was told.

When I was able to drive and being a teen who happened to get into a few accidents.  My Dad must have decided to not let my mother drive because soon after I was able to take care of myself my mom stopped driving.  She was a stay at home mom and she was always there for me and my events but I never really told anyone about her disease.

She hated Mt Clemens General because of their psych ward I remember.  She had been in and out of there and Crittenton throughout my childhood.  I remember her taking off to Pontiac once to escape home for whatever reason.  I also remember the week before she died and was sick and because she had been relapsing we didn’t give her the credit she deserved.

Do I blame myself for not listening to her?  It is hard to phantom what you are thinking.  She wound up dying of a Sepsis Infection probably from the cocktails of drugs she was on for decades, and other things on July 3, 2007.

I am a child of a person who had a mental illness and so much is not known.  We didn’t have great health care growing up and we still don’t understand the disease.  We don’t have the education to make better choices when dealing with people who have such a serious illness.

There isn’t anything to teach you on how to react or how to treat everyone as human as possible.  When they are having a good day it is great but when the psychotic episodes happen you are very unsure what to do or how to react.

This caused a lot of tension growing up.  The shootings and the holidays have brought up all these questions about the mentally ill in our country.  Being a child of a person who was mentally ill and knowing the episodes.  No one knows how to treat this and education is the key so more kids who become adults can have a better understanding of their childhood and of their parents.

I don’t think I ever told any of my friends about her disease growing up and I was always an outsider.  I am not sure what combination of my childhood made me be the outsider I was.  I had friends growing up and I sat at the table and everything but when they went places I was NOT invited.

I do know I had a chance to date someone who was clinically manic depressed and I chose not too because I knew I could not handle another person being mentally ill.  Growing up around it was enough education and I know that sounds bad but there is only so much a person can handle.

This country needs a better understanding of the mentally ill and really a better health care system in general.  But the mentally ill have been put to the side for decades and they really do need a voice.

2012, we have had too many suicides happen around the NFL and last year with the NHL.  These are probably due to head injuries and whatever other conditions.  I have had an acquaintance wind up killing his son (about five years old) and himself because of a divorce.

These people have problems and they need help.  We as a country need to find a way to teach everyone about these illnesses before someone gets hurt.  Some are hereditary and some are conditional but everyone needs a proper education and children of parents with mental illness need a way to learn how to deal with the person so the family is more sound.

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The No HOCKEY LEAGUE lockout is in its second month and needless to say the fans are beyond frustrated.  The combination of lack of movement and the stubbornness of NHL and the NHLPA is not winning anyone over.  The league makes more revenue than most industries could dream of and yet they struggle to sign a CBA without whining or crying bankrupt.

If they were any other industry the teams who were not successful would be contracted or moved.  This is not the NHL way and does not seem to be happening soon enough.  The players don’t want to fight over less jobs so they would probably be against contraction but it is needed.

What both sides do not understand is what they are doing to the ecosystem around their precious game and all the die hard fans like me who are really disgusted.  I am a die hard fan who attends all the Red Wings events, met my boyfriend via a Facebook Red Wings group and have very many good friends that I have known for a very long time because of the team.

I am also an ARENA staff worker who has only had two events in the month of November instead of 11.  I used to have this job as my only source of income.   There are a lot of people who are being left out of this equation and I often wonder why I stay.

I stay for the love of the game and the season ticket holders I have met and the community surrounding the game.  But if I were to get a full time job with health care benefits and other perks I would rethink my job.

This job is a supplemental income because it does not pay enough to live off of on its own.  There are a lot of seniors who work in these arenas who work there to supplement their fixed income and some people just need the extra money.

The camera crew and other people in the media are also suffering through this.  Some of them this is their main event to record and produce and if they lack events they lack income.  They might record and produce some basketball but with half the events per week.  It is hard to survive doing what you love.

We are NOT millionaires or billionaires and WE ARE NOT part of this fight.  We are the casualties of this WAR of GREED that is not talked about.

The league on social media is still making money off of sponsorship even though they have no season. So they are ignoring the elephant in the room.

Do I think they care? The Fan of the Day keeps trucking on the Red Wings Facebook page and now they have photo contests to keep fans entertained which are brought you by sponsors.

Both sides should  NOT talk to the press until something is signed. Seriously. NO one cares and the longer this goes on even less people will care. I am working really hard to eliminate the words NHL and NHLPA from my vocabulary.

You have a passionate fan base and you are abusing them by taking their season ticket holder money and holding it hostage as long as you can. That in itself should be illegal because they are pushing a product that doesn’t exist.

Until  the NHL and NHLPA  act like grown men who are willing to negotiate than they should just shut up. They are not considering the fans at all in this especially they are screwing with their loyal fan base.  Not to mention the sponsors who paid good money for a product that doesn’t exist.

In Detroit, they sold the Winter Classic tickets and are waiting a month to get everyone their money back? Really? They have been sitting on that money since July?

People have normal incomes and are not over the top with the money it isn’t like EVERYONE of those season ticket holders could afford the luxury of NOT selling some of their tickets to get their money back.

They need to stop thinking about themselves because they might NOT have a revenue stream they are fighting over this time. No one will want to watch.

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I wish I had a screen shot of my Facebook post but I complained to Verizon Wireless about my Incredible before I headed to the store and the community responded first by saying since I went through six phones I was entitled to a different phone.  I do not complain about customer service and I tend to give the companies the benefit of the doubt but this is different.  I mean six phones is a little bit extreme to keep replacing with the same refurbished problem especially since the one that was replaced was replaced less than a month ago.

I have tweeted to @VerizonWireless but things go to deaf ears over and over again.  I just wanted a new phone that does the same thing my old.   I was never looking to upgrade or get anything for free but just have a phone that works longer than three weeks.  There is something wrong with the phone I have and refurbishing them wasn’t solving the problem.

I did not get any kind of response and when I got home I went to see what was  happening with the post I asked questions on and it was deleted.  Not only did they not solve my questions but they deleted it and now there is only corporate content on there and nothing posted by people talking about their products.  Verizon never responded to my question on the Facebook page either the community only did.

I am not really wanting to go all United Breaks Guitars here or anything because I decided to visit a different Verizon store than the first one I was going to because I got sick of the same thing. The entire process took almost forty five minutes but I did finally get an Incredible 2.  Orignal Incredible has been nothing but a headache and the process of getting stuff done over and over again and not even acknowledging me online was ridiculous.

I get companies don’t like user generated content on their page but it is problem solving that builds trust and helps establish relationships.  I have seen this on other pages where they frown upon someone asking questions or posting content on fan pages.

You can not have an open relationship with a guest or customer if you ignore what they are feeling.  That is bad public relations and even worse customer service.  Yes my problem did get solved but this should have been fixed four phones ago and not on the sixth one.  The Incredible is a huge fail and even though I love it when it works but when you are replacing defective devices with more defective devices it does not make for good customer service.

Would I be writing this if I had been answered on the Facebook page or Tweeted to?  No, and I probably would have had more love for them but since I am being ignored which is not a good feeling I think it is time for companies to actually listen to the consumer.

You can be on social media all day and just push your holiday sales and your new products but when something breaks and breaks and breaks again you need to be strong enough to say, “Yes this is a problem and no this isn’t marketing but customer service, it fits into a different silo but we are all people.”

What is so wrong with giving the consumer the reigns to talk about your product on your page even if it is bad?  I could have easily ended the day with “This is a crappy product but the manager at the 12 and Dequindre store in Warren did a really great job even if it did take almost an hour.”

Hiding behind a logo is fine and dandy but in the end we are all consumers and we all just want to be heard and NOT deleted.

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Steve Yzerman is the adoptive son of Detroit and he took a position as the General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning in May of 2010.  After 23 years as a Detroit Red Wing and four years as an apprentice to General Manager Ken Holland.   Stevie learned the ropes of the National Hockey League from the business stand point and took his team to one win from the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010.

There are quite a few things from a business stand point we can learn from Stevie.

1. Do not burn bridges

Stevie will always be remembered as a Red Wing.  He signed my puck at the team practice in Troy and even used his number 19 on it.  He will always be a member of the Red Wings family no matter how far he travels or whose team he is employed by.  He is adopted by the city of Detroit and by the Red Wings family for bringing hockey back and using his perseverance to win three Stanley Cups and be in the office for the fourth.  He has not burned bridges but he still has the connections he once had and probably uses them.  Just because you leave an employer that you have been with forever does not mean you lose the connections you once had.

2. Surround yourself with people who can help you

Stevie won a gold medal with Team Canada in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.  Canada, his  native country put him in a very pressure packed situation.  He had taken the time to surround himself with A players so his team can have success down the road.  I am pretty sure the Red Wings believe in this philosophy and this is how it was passed along to him.  He did not graduate from high school yet he has a Masters degree in the NHL.  You learn from the best and you can have long term goals.  He sees the future and I am pretty sure he believes this philosophy.

3. You can always come home

Detroit will always be home for Stevie Y.  He has done the right things for this city and always kept the windows of opportunity to success open.  Mike Illitch will probably always think of him as an adoptive son since he has been through every phase of hockey with the Red Wings.  He speaks highly of the Detroit area and has had many life experiences here.  So when his paths cross again or maybe not with Detroit he knows he can always come home because people will always respect him.  He never brought a scandal to Detroit but he brought grit,  determination and was a quiet leader.  He is doing the same thing with Tampa Bay and seems to be just as loyal.

This video is a really great  because it shows what he has learned about the business, his team, what he hopes to accomplish and everything great  Steve Yzerman brings to the table.


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Since Help a PR Pro Out day is today I thought I would write a brief description of what makes me a great hire.

I graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2008 in Communications Technology and have been working hard learning the field of Public Relations and communications since then.

My desire has always been to work in the communications industry.  I have found social media to be my niche.  I have worked for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society where I managed to form a partnership with Yelp. The time I spent there was constructive and I also had photos donated by General Motors and Wayne State University for invitations to the Leukemia Ball.

Since then I have built a community for FWIX, wrote proposals for projects which I bid on in my freelance work.  I have been an avid participant and volunteer in Detroit.  I have worked Module 09, Brand Camp U 09, TIE Midwest Conference and invited to Ted x Detroit and am going to be working Ignite Detroit and Future Midwest 10.  I was also the Champion for  Detroit in the live event for #journchat this past August.

Why should you hire me?

1. Relationships are key and I have excellent interpersonal skills.

2. Able to cultivate new ideas and fresh outlook on life.

3. I am social media savvy and realize an integrated communications strategy will help solve some of the current problems.

4. Loves hockey, Detroit Red Wings, Team USA and everything involved with it.

5. Believes in Detroit but am willing to relocate to New York, Chicago, D.C. or San Fransisco.

6. Loves research and bookmarking so I could save you money by having some research done already!

7. I am looking for more of an entry level marketing position but I believe PR and marketing go hand in hand.

8. Have worked with a start up and a non profit organization. So I am capable of working in any kind of environment.

9. Freelancing has taught me about deadlines, creating good content, selling your ideas and various other things which can transfer to a great public relations job.

10. Sports and Entertainment have been in my blood for the past years but technology is my passion. I am driven to work for a growing company which is technology or hockey based and can feed my passion for growth.

Thank you.

@jfavreau :Twitter ID
Jamie_Favreau@yahoo.com

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