Author Archives: Carissa McCabe, APR

When it Comes to Social Media, Age is Just a Number

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It’s official: more than half (55 percent) of Americans over age 50 are now getting their news from social networks. What’s more, 74 percent of non-whites claim social networks as their source for news, too. Facebook earned the top spot among platforms – in part due to its sizable user base – with YouTube taking silver and Twitter earning bronze. Chances are you’re using these platforms to grow your business and interested in reaching at least some of these audiences, so take a minute to dig into the latest Pew Research for more! In the meantime, here are a few updates to get you off on the right foot.

The Verge: Facebook Launches Crisis Response Hub to Help Users During Disasters and Attacks
Meet Facebook’s newest site feature, Crisis Response. This new hub houses all of the platform’s safety-related tools including Safety Check and Community Help – so whether you’re involved in the crisis, tracking the news or hoping to help those impacted, Facebook has now centralized communication options during a crisis situation. Read more after the jump…

It’s All About Instagram

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When we say “Instagram” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Pretty pictures of far-off destinations? Mouth-watering food photos? Sweet shots of your favorite kiddos? This week we’re expanding our horizons by peeking into Instagram feeds that feature shrunken heads and goats – yep, goats. And surprisingly, both are basking in followers and engagement. Wondering how? Join us on a little Instagram journey…

CBS News: TSA Gains Popular Following on Instagram

Believe it or not, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) – yep, the folks running security at the airport – hold the No. 4 spot (ahead of Beyoncé!) on Rolling Stone’s “must follow” list. From frightening, confiscated items to tips on traveling by plane with live lobster, this article explores why there’s something for everyone on this unexpectedly awesome channel. Read more after the jump…

Hot Platforms Offer Cool New Features, Just in Time for Summer

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It may not be official, but summer is in full swing and everything feels fresh and new again. While some of the hotter social platforms are offering their fans cool new features, some of the classics are making a comeback, too. So, grab a cold drink, find a comfy spot under a shady tree and read up on the latest news in the world of social media.

TechCrunch: Facebook Inserts Itself Into Politics With New Tools That Help Elected Officials Reach Constituents
To improve interactions between elected officials and constituents, Facebook has introduced three new features: constituent badges, constituent insights and district targeting. The features ladder up to Mark Zuckerberg’s ambition to increase civic engagement on the platform and we can’t wait to test them! Read more after the jump…

Top Presentation Tips From SXSW

It’s been just over a week since I returned from South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) where – in addition to learning about the latest in social media strategies – I had the opportunity to attend dozens of presentations in a variety of formats. I learned a few new presentation tips and enjoyed some effective presentations that inspired me to share some helpful pointers.

Stories Beat PowerPoints Every Time

The Science of Storytelling | Leo Widrich via Flickr

The Science of Storytelling | Leo Widrich via Flickr

In a panel focused on the power of storytelling, neuroscientist Shonté Taylor noted that storytelling engages the right side (aka, the more creative side) of the brain. Specifically, she described how the body releases reward hormones such as dopamine when the right side of the brain is positively engaged, as can happen when a person is enjoying a great story. She went on to describe those reward hormones as “lighting up” the brain in a positive way, and left me with the point that if you light up the brains of your colleagues and customers, they’re going to remember you.

Reflecting on the various presentations I attended during SXSWi, the most memorable really did include great storytelling elements. Speakers from National Geographic and Outdoor Afro shared compelling stories and – often – images that took me beyond bullets on the screen. One week later and I can describe in detail the stories they told and the lessons they shared in a way that I cannot for other speakers who didn’t weave personal stories, images or testimonials into their presentations. Read more after the jump…

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Tuesday Sessions

Believe it or not – we’ve reached the end of another amazing SXSW! We had a busy day of packing, automobiles and planes to begin our journey back home – but couldn’t help but squeeze in a few more sessions to take with us on the road.

SXSW may be over - but we leave you with Jim & Carissa squeezing in one last blog post from the Yeti flagship store in Austin!

SXSW may be over – but we worked hard on squeezing in a few more sessions and a final blog post!

Jim’s Take:

  • I tried to work some variety into my schedule on the final day of SXSW, and in the session titled “Investing to Change the World,” a panel of bankers, investors and financial planners talked about how many individuals today are working to align their investments with their values. There are several individual stocks and mutual funds that fit the bill (humanitarian companies, environmental-friendly companies, etc.), and surprisingly, many are outperforming the market itself. The key is just like any other investment – look for companies who are investing in their own long-term success and are inherently resilient. Who wouldn’t want to invest in companies that produce returns AND are making a difference in our world?

Read more after the jump…

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Monday Favorites

Day four at SXSW and if the decor at our dinner spot was any indication, things finally got weird in Austin…

Nomnom:

The food was delicious, but the ambiance was even better at Ranch 616.

Not an official member of the waitstaff, but an attentive host at Ranch 616 nonetheless!

Not an official member of the waitstaff, but an attentive host at Ranch 616 nonetheless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more after the jump…

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Sunday Favorites

From deviled eggs to celebrity sightings, the Old Fashioned tour of Austin continued with a flash of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Birds” in between. Keep Austin Weird, you guys!

Nomnom:

There’s nothing evil about a delicious deviled egg…

Deviled Eggs from 24 Diner

Deviled Eggs from 24 Diner

Read more after the jump…

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Sunday Sessions

We’re just wrapping up our third day of sessions at SXSWi and with the time change and cold weather it wasn’t easy to hop out of bed this morning. But – nothing gets you going like a strong, inspirational session and hearing from Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, fit the bill perfectly. He reinforced two themes we’ve heard throughout the conference: live your truth and do your best. With that – here’s our best at a recap on today’s sessions!

Jim’s Take:

  • Given our work with the City of Denver’s Denveright and Stay Legit Denver
    Smart Cities: defined

    Smart Cities: defined

    campaigns, I opted to check out a Smart Cities session to start the day. As Google’s second Fiber City, you’d think it would all be rainbows and roses in Austin. But when only 15% of residents who live in affordable housing have in-home internet, the challenges of truly becoming a Smart City – with a plethora of transportation and mobility options, well-connected to the internet and related devices, abundant affordable housing options, etc. – are multi-layered, and ever-changing.

  • In a panel that consisted of representatives from Vox Media, VICE, and The New York Times titled “Social Video and the Future of Consumption,” the focus (even for traditional media outlets) is swiftly turning to live video experiences. The challenge with live video, of course, is taking the live element and ensuring it’s adding value or more context to the story in some way – underscoring the extreme importance of being as creative as possible with videos, rather than just producing videos for video’s sake.
  • Summing a panel titled “Shopping and the Sacred Social Space” up in one line (with panelists from Facebook, Imagur, eBay and Flipboard), and one that’s been a common theme at SXSW 2017: Everything you do content-wise or digital-wise needs to have some kind of value for the end user – emphasize experience, and give more than you take.
  • At the end of the day I attended a session titled “Where we’re going, we don’t need cars” which featured the CEO of Car2Go, among others. Three important statistics for Denver as it grows:
    • By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will have moved back to urban centers
    • Personal vehicles sit idle 96 percent of the time, causing a huge issue with parking/space in already space-constrained urban centers
    • Every 1 Car2Go car (or other, related car sharing service) on the road removes 11 vehicles from our roads and parking structures

Read more after the jump…

From Beta to Bots, Teens to Tricks – What’s Happening in Social Media This Week

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It’s hard to believe, but we’re only weeks away from the end of the first quarter of 2017! Now that we’re well on our way into the “New Year”, how are your social media plans going? Have you tried something new? If so, how are you measuring for success? We might be early in the year, but if you’re hoping to track trends now is the time to capture metrics from January and February before the details slip away from you. And if you need help, your friends at CenterTable are at the ready! In the meantime, we’ve pulled together some highlights in social media news this week. Read more after the jump…

In The Mood: Creating The Perfect Climate for Creativity

Whether it’s dreaming up the perfect copy for a social media post, crafting a pitch for a key reporter, or strategizing how to report metrics to executives – the daily life of a communications professional requires a lot of widely-varied creative ideas and solutions!Rethinking the Creative Process | GroundFloor Media

Some days the creativity flows like a river and other days the creative process takes a little longer to get going, which is why I read two recent articles with great interest!

Creativity Isn’t About Talent, It’s a Mood

If you’re a fan of Monty Python, you’re a fan of co-founder John Cleese who – it turns out – is obsessed with creativity. This recent article describes some of Cleese’s best tips for setting the right mood for creativity which include:

  • Creating a space/time oasis where you can get away from daily distractions and disturbances
  • Sticking with problems just a little longer than when the “easy way out” appears… the alternative is almost always more creative
  • My personal favorite: making mistakes because “while you’re being creative, nothing is wrong”
  • Embracing humor, because it’s essential to spontaneity and playfulness, two key ingredients to creativity
  • Keeping a light hold of the problem you’re pondering, as you’re likely to be rewarded with a creative solution when you least expect it

Read more after the jump…