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Archive for the ‘Marketing and Social Media’ Category

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 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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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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Trucker hat challenge

What makes Detroit so special?  Well I think the fact the new media and traditional media are getting along in promotion of this special event.   David Murray, Brandon Chesnutt, Audrey Walker, and Henry Balanon as they make their journey to South by South West.

Over the past couple of days since this challenge started they have been featured on WXYZ television by a champion of social media in the traditional space Stephen Clark and by Mark W. Smith from the Detroit Free Press have embraced this challenge.

This is not only good for Detroit but it proves that even though New Media is an emerging space the traditional still applies.  People are more aware by using different forms and in the end to win you have to blog, retweet and mention #DETChevySXSW in almost everything you do.  So the points can be tracked and tallied.

But this challenge makes us all realize no matter what industry you are in.  That engagement is important, brand awareness is something which is going to be happening and even if you are NOT a car buff but you enjoy seeing the antics of people on a road trip to a Spring Break for Nerds.  Than you can appreciate this journey.

So  tweet, retweet, follow the hash tag  #DetChevySXSW because they are in the home stretch.  So this is basically a better late than never type post.  They are leading the pack and should be putting Detroit on the map for the digital community.  Become a fan and comment like crazy on Facebook.

Detroit has its challenges.  The city does not get favorable mentions from outside of its borders but as a whole if we work together we can change the way we think of Detroit.  Technology and community is a small step towards the betterment of our city.  So take the chance and help four social media influencers win the tweet up of EPIC proportions.

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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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This is the final installment from Matt Rietz over at Viewfrommyseats.  Sorry this took so long but I was going through some job hunting issues and needed a break.  I hope you enjoy Matt’s take on Social Media and the NHL and you learned a lot about what the NHL is doing correctly.

People that are active in the online hockey community know where the most up-to-the-second information is available: Twitter. Big websites are dependent on their writers and the bloggers may hear about the information quickly—but it still takes time to put together even a 2 paragraph article. Even when it’s done, it’s not like everyone in the world will see it. But Twitter, that’s a different story. How long does it take for someone with a breaking story to knock out 140 characters? But that’s only the first part of the story…

The true power of Twitter is the speed at which information can spread from a single Tweet to across a community. If someone tweets that Jay Bouwmeester signed a contract with the Calgary Flames a day before free agency opens, they’re reaching all of their followers with the press of a button. But when I hear that news, I’ll be quick to re-tweet the information to all of my followers. Some of them, will in-turn share with all of their readers. When a story goes viral—THAT’S the power of Twitter.

From a news point of view, blogging and Twitter go hand and hand. But that’s only a single area that social media helps the NHL. Another area that is just as important is how Social Media can promote the sense of community between fans—whether the fans are in different cities, different states or even different countries. Bloggers and fans alike are increasingly using places like Facebook to strengthen friendships with people that they’ve interacted with in other venues. Maybe the met at a team function. Maybe they met at an NHL TweetUp. Whatever the case may be, Facebook and the like give them a place to keep in contact and share their ideas.

Specifically for hockey fans, it gives them a place to talk to other hockey fans about the sport they love. They can share articles they’ve read. They can share videos that they saw on YouTube (or NHL.com). They can vote on polls they saw on Twitter or even share Fan Pages to their favorite hockey blogs. Whatever the reason for communication, it provides a venue that hockey fans can interact with one another as much as they’d like. It’s like an electronic self-help group for puck crazed addicts (minus the 12 steps).

The NHL and individual teams have jumped head first into the New Media arena as well. During the playoffs, the Blackhawks and Penguins were serving up contests via Twitter for fans to win prizes—up to and including game tickets. Teams like the Los Angeles Kings will have contests on both Twitter and Facebook for their fans to win prizes as well. They’ve learned that they have a huge opportunity through the social media channels—they can either take advantage of the channels or watch another team do it for them.

Twitter and Facebook also serve as the newest way for bloggers to promote their articles. The high-end hockey blogs are rapidly becoming the backbone of hockey media for information for a huge percentage of the fan base. Unfortunately, bloggers often times can get lost in the huge sea of the World Wide Web. They need to get the word out—and they need to get the word out to the right people. Again: Enter Social Media.

Follow the right people on Twitter and you’ll have a never ending stream of quality information at your fingertips. Some might be from sources that have been around for decades, some might be up-and-comers that have always been good but have never had the chance. The genius of social media is that YOU get to decide who YOU want to give your attention to. If you find someone that you really enjoy, you can further engage the conversation on their blog or a Facebook page. It’s a two-way conversation—and it’s up to YOU how involved you want to be. You don’t have to, but at least now the choice is yours.

Geoff Livingston

Geoff Livingston

At the end of the day, I have to give a ton of credit to the NHL for being so accepting of the new media world. The old way of thinking was that online content was GIVING the product away for free. The NHL has realized that this isn’t giving hockey away for free—it’s PROMOTING it for free. The league could either acknowledge or shun it. They’ve acknowledged it and embraced it with open arms! They’ve certainly been through some rough times (and they’re still dealing with the hard times), but this is the way that they’ll save their league.

For the first time in a while, I can say this: The NHL is doing something right! Thank God, there’s hope for them yet.

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