Becoming One with the Web Through Twitter!

•October 1, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Recently I was given the task of signing up with Twitter for two weeks and writing 10 “tweets” (updates) about myself, what I was doing, or thinking. So with reluctance I signed up with the Twitter website, which didn’t take me long, but soon became confusing. I had trouble adding people to follow and setting up my home page for Twitter. After some help from my professor Dr. Barbara Nixon, I soon was able to add people and set up my Twitter home page the way I wanted.

Soon afterward I found that the people I was “following” were not only informative in the field that they were in, they were helpful in ways I didn’t think would be possible. One person that I am following actually sends me e-mails on a regular basis and we converse about marketing topics and the like. He introduced me to people in my field on Twitter when I had no idea how to even start looking! My two weeks of Twitter has been a huge learning experience and I look forward to keeping up with the website and interesting people through college and into my career. A presence on this website, along with other social networking sites, has the potential to become a huge asset in many careers.

Others in my corporate PR class have become just as interested as I have and we are following each other and making new connections everyday! I have even heard just having a large presence on the Twitter website can even result in job offers! This is exciting and I hope I can help others with the website and connections as others have helped me.

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My Social Media Policy

•December 6, 2008 • Leave a Comment

[a work in progress]

1. Connecting: William Foster and how I connect through the web

I like to blog and contribute to items I find of particular interest. I am currently looking for a marketing or pr internship and am about to be fresh out of college.

2. Follow, add, friend: williammfoster

Follow me on my blog at williammfoster, or simply google my name. I will friend you on Facebook or the like if I can verify who you are over the web at least.

3. Privacy, boundaries, and saftey: [The golden rule applies here]

Please don’t write any nasty comments on my blog, Facebook wall, etc. You won’t ever see me use vulgar language and I would expect you to do the same. Lets keep it classy people. Please be mindful that I am looking for job opportunities and something writen about me in an untrue or negative light might affect my career!

4. Signal to noise: [Some times enough is enough]

Please don’t be repetative on any comments about my blog or such. And please don’t update your status every five minutes, its not really necessary.

5. Personal data and sharing: [Play it close to the chest]

I’d like to connect more with people in the marketing and pr field, I’d like to keep my name pretty professional on the web.

6. My network needs and uses: [Basically blogs and Facebook]

Currently my only presence through social media is Facebook and my blog posts, but I do occasionally use Twitter if you ever wish to follow me or are someone of interest let me know and I’ll follow you!

A Critique of Apple’s Online Newsroom

•December 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Through Apple’s sitemap, one can visit a list of news related items regarding Apple and its products. Links include RSS feeds, Hot News, Seminars and Events, and User Groups. In the Hot News section you can see the the top music, TV shows, and movies on iTunes. You can also see the main part, the Latest News section. This is a list of upcoming products, specials, coming attractions, app of the week, tips, software update information, and much much more. Toward the bottom of this same page a list of their most recent press releases is listed along with access to older ones. Very informative.

In the RSS Feeds link you can see a list of different RSS’s that you can subscribe to and view at your liesure. These range from movie trailers, to Mac OS X downloads, to news, developers, and you can even customize your own RSS feed through iTunes to give you just what you want. In the seminar section, you have to have an account set up to use the main feature of the site, but you can search for seminars coming near you. I think this should be available to everyone though. In the user groups section you can link up with different groups that have one thing in common, Apple. You can learn to become a member or leader in your area and access group news.

Overall I would say that Apple has a very good on-line newsroom, although you have to access it though the site map, which can be difficult if you don’t know where to look (its a the bottom right of the main site). I do believe they give all the information that mainstream people are looking for, and even the techies. I think that the seminars section should be fully accessible to everyone and not have to go through an account process.

Apples’s Awards

•December 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Honestly, this information is a lot harder to come by than one might think, no where is it listed on the Apple website, or many other popular firm analyst websites. I could go on and on about the mutiple acheivements that Apples products have won for the iPod, iPhone, Mac OS, its graphics software, and its multitude of computers available, but that is not really in reference to the company itself, just the produts it produces. I did however find out that Apple won an Emmy for its famous Mac commercials and it has also won an Effie award. I do remeber hearing something about Apple being one of the best places to work for a certain year, but I cannot find any data on the web to support it.

Should You (or I) Work at Apple?

•December 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

In a word, Yes. If I had the opportunity, even at a base level, I would like to work for Apple, and you might too. Employees have flexible benefits because everyone is different and doesn’t want the same thing. They let you choose the program that best fits your life. They use a unique program that allows you to have what is called “FlexDollars” that allow you to purchase certain benefits like additional life insurance or help you save money on day care. Apple, like many others, offer a 401(k) savings and investment plan which if you don’t know already is a program designed to save money that you earn and invest it so that it grows over time, so that when you need it, you can retrieve it.

Apple has recently introduced a health and finess program for its employees, which is becoming more and more popular these days. It basically helps encourage a postitive and healthy lifestyle by providing incentives for its employees if they want to stay healthy like fitness plans, health education, and preventive care. Their website also boasts a generous holiday vacation time, but I doubt that’s really the case if you are working one of the lower level jobs. Aside from all those benefits, they offer discounts on Apple products, financial education, and stock purchase plans. Doesn’t sound too bad if you can get in at a position you like.

Career Opportunities at Apple

•December 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Well, if you’re looking for a PR job at Apple, you better know somebody because they handle thier PR out-of-house and it is an elite PR firm. Instead, you can look at the Apple website and look at this handy little page entitled “Job Opportunities.” Through this website you can see where you’d fit in with Apple. You can search globally or locally. They have areas for people who just graduated college too! I don’t know exactly what it takes to meet their criteria, but I’m sure the standards are pretty high, unless you’re going to work at an Apple store, but even then I bet experience is required. If you are a seasoned computer pro, they have an area for you too. The cool thing about getting a job at an Apple store is that they are opening up new ones all the time, so if you could speak Japanese and you really wanted to go work in Japan, you might have that opportunity!

Apple’s Involvement with the Community

•December 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Apple tries to stay very involved with the community on many different levels. On an environmental level, Apple strives to conserve natural resources and they understand that a big company like them can have a global effect on the environment. Minimization on Apple’s carbon foot-print and restricted use of harmful materials actually all go into effect when the company designs its products. They also go through great pains to make sure that they are as energy efficient as possible to reduce greenhouse gasses and they recycle everything that they can and use as little packaging materials as possible when shipping their goods.

On a global level, Apple continues to work with the communities that their stores are apart of. They often do different special events to increase public awareness about issues in the area and even try to keep in contact with its consumers through the internet, mail, and phone.

On an much more micro-scale, Apple is very involved with its community at its headquarters in Cupertino, California. In 2000 Apple was asked by the Mayor of Cupertino, John Statton, to increase community involvement. The company encourages all its home-based employees to get involved and they provide fairs and festivals for the community as well. It has also been known to place oversized statues in the city for the enjoyment of the public, but they have been doing that since the 1990’s. You can learn more if you go to The Cupertino Courier site about Apple’s local community involvement.

A Crisis at Apple and How it Reacted

•December 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

One of the most recent crises Apple has faced over the past few years was the iPhone price drop incident that happened in the Summer of 2007. Apple had just released the first iPhone’s to consumers that waited hours and hours outside of Apple retail stores waiting for the doors to open so they could get their hands on the new technology. For two months, the iPhone was sold in stores for around $600 along with an AT&T 2-year all Internet access plan. But then, in an effort to boost sales before the holidays and after much criticism for the high cost of the phone, Apple dropped the price to $400. Original purchasers of the iPhone were furious. They believed it was very unfair to drop the price by $200 dollars just two months after they had paid the original full amount. The e-mails started to pour in with complaints and Apple was accused of abandoning the loyal early adopters of their products. Bad PR to say the least.

Steve Jobs recognized this and after reading hundreds of e-mails he placed an apologetic letter to iPhone owners all over the Apple website, and even had a few press releases about it. The apology on the website explained that Apple was not blind to anger of their loyal customers and offered a $100 credit toward a future Apple purchase for anyone that bought the iPhone at its full $600 price tag as long as they didn’t use a rebate or other consideration when they purchased the phone.

Now Apple should have known better than to upset its loyal customers, but this news story appeared quickly and disappeared just as quickly. The hype probably lasted a month or two, so you can imagine the work their PR firm was doing for them at the time. But overall, I’d say they handled this crisis pretty well.