Churches accept new technology to keep members connected

November 25, 2008 at 1:25 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

cross_sun-burst2In the past churches have been known to be traditional and holding onto past cultures. However, over the last 10 or so years, many more non-denominational churches have been built and grown to be big parts of local communities. My church, on the other hand, has continued to maintain its older conservativeness and traditions. However, thankfully it’s realized that some advances in technology actually can help the church grow more.

For example, I live in a suburb of Washington, DC. Between busy work schedules, high traffic volume, and person committments many members can not make it to our mid week service (held on Wednesdays) . So, to cater to these members, this past summer our Youth Minister created a podcat that lauches through the web and allows members and anyone on the Internet to access our live broadcast of our service. We sing a few songs, have a prayer and announcements then our pulpit minister shares a lesson with us. People on the web are able to type questions in during the hour and our Youth Minister moniters the podcasts asking those questions when appropriate it.

My finance was traveling for work in September in Hong Kong. Even with the time difference he was able to get onto the Internet and access the podcast at the current time our service was held. He said it was really neat to see people he knew so well while we was so far away. He really helped him stay connected with his faith and family.

Our church is adding additional technologies to help keep members informed quickly. Just last night it was announced that if you wanted to recieve a text message to your cell phone from our church secretary about whether or not any of our services would happen due to inclement weather, lose of power, etc. we now have the capability to do that. Between all our members, young and old, we can receive phone calls, e-mails, or text messages as well as access our webpage (which contains blogs, RSS Feed,  photos, graphics, embedded links, etc.) to get updates.

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To .tel or not to .tel

November 18, 2008 at 2:00 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I was in a meeting yesterday at work. Before hand we were to read an article titled, How Telnic will revolutionize dialing. The gist of this article was that a new startup company, Telnic, will allow companies and individuals buy .tel domain names (instead of .com or .edu), record contact information and make it accessible to whomever they choose. It would allow consumers and companies alike keep their contact information located in one place and either offer that information to the public (for a company) or private (just for family and friends). One would only have to update this one domain to keep information updated.

 

The example the article provides is for a pizza place. Say, Papa Johns buys PapaJohns.tel. Instead of going to a search engine or directly to Papa John’s site to filter through information to find the closest location, when a consumer goes to PapaJohns.tel, the contact details would pop directly into their phones.

 

This would directly compete with yellow pages and white pages. Telnic speakers say they are striving to become the “Google of online address books” (Schenker, 2008). Below is the link for complete details.

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27338706/from/ET/

 

What does this mean for IMC? I don’t really know. I have yet to completely grasp this concept, but I know that with increasing mobile-to-mobile advertising and enhancements to cell phones that this concept makes sense. How many times do you struggle searching through a company’s website to find the store nearest you just to call for hours or availability of products? Going to a .tel domain eliminates extra steps.

 

It also helps you as an individual. You can keep your personal information updated in one stop and share your .tel domain with family and friends or keep in touch (or get in touch) with old college friends, family and co-workers.

 

My company is seriously considering buying a few domain names (if the price is right) after the public launch in Feb. Who knows if I’ll continue this blog, but should you find this next year and I have not provided an update, fill free to contact me.

 

-Schenker, J. (2008) How Telnic will revolutionize dialing, BusinessWeek.com, retrieved November 14, 2008

Buzz builder

November 13, 2008 at 11:55 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Last week we wrote in our paper 3 options that may increase buzz to our blog.

 

The first idea to generate buzz for Unknown Advertising is to conduct a viral marketing campaign.  To do this, I’d create a message in an e-mail describing the purpose of the blog, offering example posts and asking them to post a comment to the blog. Then I’d send that message along with the link to the blog to all my regular contacts. I’d make a simple request to them asking to forward this message and link to 3 additional people in their contacts. Then those 3 people would receive the same message and instructions to forward to 3 of their contacts and so on. Based on how many comments appear on my blog will determine the success of the viral marketing campaign.

 

A second idea to create buzz to my blog, Unknown Advertising, is to simply link my blog link to social networking sites I’m a member of. They include Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. I’d write a few short sentences describing the purpose of the blog and asking to read and reply to posts that interest the viewer. I could add a few fun and entertaining applications such as a poll to entice people to read the blog and response. Offering personal pictures is another way to drive traffic to the blog.

 

The final buzz building idea is to conduct crowdsourcing. By making a semi-anonymous link to my blog via media platforms such as YouTube or Flickr, I can see how many comments come back to the blog.

 

I decided to go the viral marketing option. Right before the email went out, I put a poll up as you can see below to help stem an interactive part of the blog. Throughout the remainder of the course, I’ll be evaluating how many comments and poll responses I receive. So far I’ve gotten quite a bit.

May I have your hand in e-mail marriage?

November 10, 2008 at 6:48 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

The lesson for this week in my New Media class discusses online direct marketing; specifically e-mail marketing and spam.  Though e-mail has become the main form of communication between B2B and B2C, it’s also a high form of communication between C2C. Permission-based e-mail marketing, which is a type of e-mail that the consumer has elected to receive (the opposite of spam), allows businesses to create and collect information using several databases: comprehensive web site date capture, forward-to-a-friend technology and off-line contacts.

 

Below are the descriptions directly from Lesson 4 of the West Virginia University’s Integrated Marketing Communications IMC 619 class:

Comprehensive Web Site Data Capture
Special data collection tools can capture names, e-mail addresses and other profile and interest data on customers and prospects. These tools typically allow for complete management of subscriber “opt-in”, and “unsubscribe,” as well as HTML and text selection.

Forward-to-a-Friend (FTAF)
When placed in e-mail, forward-to-a-friend technology enables an end-user to easily forward e-mail on to one or several e-mail addresses and attach a small note that says something to the effect of “Thought you might be interested in this site…” or “Look what I found…”. The number of forwards can be tracked, as well as the number of resulting subscribers originating from the FTAF recipients. This gold mine of data can then be captured in an online tracking system for marketing purposes.

Off-line Contacts
Some communications companies provide marketers with the tools to capture permission-based consumer names during off-line marketing and sales events (e.g., at trade shows, through salespersons, over the phone, from direct mail promotions). These more traditionally-obtained leads are often overlooked by those new to the online marketing environment.

While reading about this I started to think about all the e-mail accounts I have (or had) and how I continue to “purge” my e-mails to remove spam; I even have an e-mail account strictly for the purpose of signing up for stuff that I don’t really want e-mails to come through later on. Then I thought how many people actually have multiple e-mail accounts for these types of spam e-mail marketing campaigns? It’s hard to think that most people have only 1 e-mail account. I think it’s safe to assume that the average number would be around 3, including 1 work address, 1 personal address, and 1 old but active or “for spam only” address.

 

Fill out this poll to see what the numbers actually are:

Who’s line is it anyways?

November 7, 2008 at 8:22 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This isn’t meant to have any political undertone nor does it express my views one way or the other, but I thought it was a funny comment from an ordinary women (obviously excited her candidate won). Could policitians marketing campaigns become so “new wave” that people actually believe in a person so much to make this bold claim? I guess we will have to see over the next 4….or 8 years.

Democracy and Digital Media

November 7, 2008 at 5:42 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Has politics gone too far or going where it needs to go? This election seems to have more people in a frenzy and caused marketers to develop catchy phrases, logos, and slogans. Is it all necessary to run a successful campaign or do candidates need to advertise themselves like Apple, Yahoo! and Coca-Cola?

The digital age has come and is here to stay. So everyone must get tuned into it and that goes for politics – even if we hear and see if every 2 or 4 years.  I found an interactive policital marketing website “PoliticalMedia.com“. The homepage even describes how beneficial this website is today:

“Digital Media is changing politics. The Internet has added another dimension to the public’s access to information. It has profoundly affected the way political campaigns are implemented, the behavior of voters and efforts by activists to circulate their messages” (PoliticalMedia.com).

This gives the public insight into the government, facts about campaigns, and powerful messages about voting and citizenship.

Ambassadors for Companies

November 6, 2008 at 10:03 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I started a new job this week for an online higher educational company called American Public University System. (www.APUS.edu). They offer Bachelor and Master degrees (and some Certificates) 100% online to 2 different groups of people – military and civilians. Without going into much detail about the company and getting off-track of this post, they have 2 ‘branches’ – American Military University and American Public University.

 

I’m the new Senior Marketing Coordinator and one of my responsibilities will be to work with the Marketing Manager on the University Ambassador program. This new program consists of about 40 students and graduates who have a real passion for the school and wants to continue to be advocates for APUS and their local communities. When reading this week’s lesson the section on crowdsourcing got me thinking about a connection with this program.

 

Crowdsourcing – “act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call” (Howe, 2006).  What this basically means is that a company attempts to get their customers to market them for little to no cost. This, essentially, is how I view our Ambassadors program. We either select people or they seek us out through referrals and in turn they blog for us, attend speaking engagements (or even do that speaking), provide us testimonials, be included in our print ads or radio commercials, etc. Basically the sky’s the limit.

 

I think this program will really get going once all the Ambassadors understand the recourses we also can provide them. In addition to them helping us market APUS, they are increasing their social network. This can increase changes of finding new career opportunities, meeting new friends and finding lost colleagues. With many of our students and graduates having a military background it’s important that APUS can serve them in a similar capacity that they serve us.

 

Check us out at http://www.apus.edu

 

–Howe, J. (2006) WIRED Magazine, Lesson 3 IMC 619, West Virginia University

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