Sole Tan

Any business can benefit from social media

By Alyssa Lajoie and Shay Sweet

Sole Tan, a local tanning salon just minutes away from Lasell College campus, is a thriving and booming company.  Being such a prime company for the young adult and teenage community, social media is a vital way for this organization to reach their key audience.  For the two of us, being tanners ourselves, this company caught our interest because we are included as key customers to this business.  After learning more about social media in our class and looking at the way that Sole Tan handled their social media, we thought this would be a company we could help improve.  Before talking to the owner, Andrea Mancini, we did a little background research on what kind of social media they did have.

We found that Sole Tan did have a Facebook page as well as their own website.  We also found that their website was lacking in energy, as well as updates.  Looking further we saw that the specials that they offered hadn’t been updated since early 2011.  After contacting Sole Tan we gathered more information about the company itself and how it began.

Sole Tan was established in 2005 and has been growing since then.  Current owner, Andrea, bought the business in April of 2010.  Since she’s taken over the company, she has made many changes which have resulted in an increase in customer traffic, as well as a monthly pick up.  Andrea credits the expansion to the variety of their product lines and the new friendly staff, making customers eager to come back.  Knowing that she is so close to Lasell and many other schools like Brandeis, Regis, BC, and Mount Ida,  Andrea can see an increase in her business when school is in session. Different promotions that Sole Tan offers are also accredited to the increase in customers.

We then asked a little bit about the difficulties a company like a tanning salon comes into contact with.  After stating that going tanning is a luxury, Andrea talked about the fact that being in the tanning business is very challenging with the economy the way it is.  When Andrea took over the company,  she stated that she immediately lowered the prices.  She talked about how she would much rather see her business busy than slow because of prices being too high for people.  Another difficulty that Andrea and the staff of Sole Tan came into contact with was the 10% tan tax on all services, which started in July of 2010 shortly after Andrea had taken over.  This not only upset Sole Tan as a business but also upset its customers.  Andrea, however, was very happy to say that it didn’t slow down their business all too much.  The final difficulty that Andrea mentioned was that Sole Tan did not have their own parking lot, just street metered parking.

There were some benefits for the company, however.  Sole Tan offers events such as “free tan day” or “$5 tan day.”  Andrea said that both of these events are very successful for the company and bring in a lot of new customers, as well as returning clients.  Two other offers that they have are for new customers to tan free on their first visit and if an existing customer refers a friend, they get a free upgrade to stronger equipment.  Andrea stated that they get the word out about these types of events by passing out flyers and using their Facebook page.   After mentioning Facebook, we took the time to jump on social media in general and ask Andrea more about how it works for the company.

After taking over the company, there was already a Facebook profile established for Sole Tan.  Andrea then went in and made a business page for customers to like, but she has said that the personal page has gotten more feedback and has seen more grown than the business page.  The Sole Tan Facebook profile is used to update customers on upcoming promotions and deals that the salon is offering.  Andrea was very happy with having Facebook since she knows that her key customers are within the ages of 18 and 30.  And by association, they use Facebook a lot. While she has paid for creative marketing, nothing has worked as well as in-person promoting, word-of-mouth, and posting on Facebook.  Andrea’s goals are to get customers excited about events and upcoming specials.  Bringing in as many new members as possible as well is always a goal for Sole Tan.

Andrea is the social media “expert” for Sole, although she says that it would definitely be helpful if they had someone other than herself or an actual expert to help with the social media of her company.  She updates the Facebook herself and also uses the help of her current employees to promote on their two pages.  Andrea admits she has had some problems with social media because she doesn’t know the ins-and-outs of each outlet, but she is very confident in the way social media works.  She says that social media has been a great tool for her small business because it is free, but reaches a bigger market.

After having our interview with Andrea we got a better grasp of knowledge on what exactly Sole Tan is doing with the social media technologies and how they are contacting their key audience.  There were some great things that Sole Tan is doing and then there were many others that we found they could do a lot better.  One of the first things that we wanted to recommend to the company was to keep on track with their website.  We found that it hadn’t been updated in over a year and that was something we definitely wanted to see change.  Another thing that we wanted to change was the Facebook page, but only a little.  The first thing that we saw was that the pictures on the Facebook did not pertain to the company at all.  We would recommend that the company put pictures of the actual tanning salon itself, the products that they sell and even pictures of the employees to show the friendly staff.

The next thing that we would want to see happen is have Sole create a Twitter page.  They could use the page the same way that they use their Facebook page; to promote offers and specials that the tanning salon is offering.  We thought that this would be a great idea for them because of the target audience that they are aimed at.  Not only could they use the Twitter to reach current consumers, those consumers could help open new doors for Sole by retweeting them and getting the word out about them with just an easy click.

Another form of social media that we would recommend for Sole is to create a Pinterest.   With Pinterest becoming such a popular social media we feel that Sole could benefit from having a page on this website.  We could picture the company having multiple themed boards with pictures of products they sell, spray tans, or sun-friendly destinations.  We could also see the employees having their own boards to help contribute towards the overall Pinterest.

Lastly, we would recommend that Sole create a FourSquare account.  FourSquare is a social media where people can check into the places that they go to.  By creating this account, again this is a great way for customers to promote for the company, but it could also open doors for other offers that Sole could give.  If a customer checks in a certain number of times, Sole could reward them with a free tan, etc. 

We were very happy to work with Sole Tan and are looking forward to seeing them grow in the social media world.


Full Contact Advertising

Social media advertising, for an advertising company


By Justyn Loguidice and Anthony Liberatore

When looking into social media and its outreach in this country, it is truly phenomenal what power it holds. For this project, we were given the opportunity to act as social media consultants. Through an external interview, we were able to derive valuable information from a company based on its current social media catalog. The company that we chose to look into for this project is a small advertising firm in Boston, MA by the name of Full Contact Advertising.

Full Contact specializes in creating brands to the fullest through a variety of platforms including digital, television, radio and print advertising. Of course, being an advertising agency, Full Contact has spent time in the social media aspect of business as well. Currently, Full Contact operates a fully-functional website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, LinkedIn, and Vimeo account. While fully operational in these facets of social media, the amount of focused attention to their social media outlets isn’t on par with many of its competitors.

We had the opportunity to speak with one of the founding partners of Full Contact, John Young.  John has the title of Chief Strategist at Full Contact, and therefore, was the perfect person to provide us some vital information in regards to their social media usage. John has been working in marketing and advertising for his entire working career, holding various creative positions and starting multiple successful marketing communication firms. His catalog of works includes worldwide brands such as Pepsi, McDonald’s, Disney, Sony and Budweiser. Overall John has been a very successful businessman and it was truly an honor for us to be given the opportunity to speak to him.

Founder & Chief Strategist - John Young

After getting the personal background of John and the company, we wanted to get a feel for how the company feels about social media and using it to self-promote your business.  John mentioned to us that, “Social Media is a valuable tool, but takes time away from our customers”. John felt that while there are tremendous benefits to establishing oneself online through social media, their time is solely focused on their cliental.  He then went into more detail on how Full Contact feels social media is effective to an extent, and is tremendously valuable when used for their clients. Internally, however, they are like “the shoemaker’s children” and have “no time to worry about themselves”.

Justyn Loguidice speaking with John Young.

John was able to provide us with some Google analytics in regards to their website activity.  Of the company’s web traffic, 51 percent comes through Google, 17 percent is self-directed, and the rest come from referrals (blogs, press, directories).  Full Contact averages around 400 unique visitors a month, 30 percent existing as return visitors.  About 30 of those customers access their website through a mobile device.  Visitors spend an average of 5 minutes on their site, reading an average of about 5 pages.

Full Contact's home page

Their Facebook page has 312 likes.  John mentioned that the agency only occasionally posts new content on Facebook and there often isn’t much sharing.  A vast majority of the likes are from employees, vendors, and clients.

Their Twitter feed has very little activity.  Currently @FullContact is following 29 individuals and has 265 followers.  John’s personal feed, which he uses mainly to connect with friends and former co-workers, has 1973 followers.

Although these are healthy numbers, John feels that they can certainly improve their social media catalog; believing that by successfully communicating themselves online they can generate more brand recognition. However, John also believes that “There will always be a human approach to what we do”. With this being said, we then began to converse with John about how they want their social media activity to evolve and what they ultimately hope to get out of it.

First we discussed what things need to be changed in terms of their current social media channels.  John stated, “We need to clean it out; some stuff has been around for a while”.  That being said, he felt that their Facebook page is probably maintained the most out of all their other channels and stated, “If you want to get a feel for Full Contact, go to Facebook”.

When it came to future plans, John was earnest in his response, saying that he constantly asks himself, “How will social media benefit our brand?” John wants to create an aura surrounding his company’s work and ultimately get the social media community to start socializing about it. This can be difficult though as they don’t have an employee whose job includes updating their internal social media channels.  The reason for this, as John stated, “it’s hard to fund…we need to see that it can generate results”.

John then went on to mention that social media itself, “doesn’t drive people in the door”, and that it’s ultimately their work that helps them to stay successful as an agency.  That being said, the agency does have interest in improving their social media handles, as John stated, “We’re doing it heavily for our clients, we need to show that we can do it for ourselves.”

To end this section of our project, we want to include something that John said to us that really struck home, and was something that in summation represented his overall thoughts when it came to social media. At a point in the interview John stated, “social media is prevalent, but the most important thing to remember is that people are the ones who will always be social”. With this statement it was clear that the company isn’t looking to use social media just to be social online; they want to utilize it to generate content that will break through the clutter and connect online users.

Upon analyzing all of these elements, we think needs to become the agency’s social media hub.  The agency’s Facebook and Vimeo accounts have links on the site, but their Twitter account has not yet been added. Twitter can be a useful tool when used correctly, so a link to their Twitter handle should be placed on their website.

The agency’s website is the first online channel that needs to be updated. As of right now a majority of their online connections start at their website, so it’s critical that all the information on the website is updated appropriately, especially the news section. Information hasn’t been added to the news section since October of 2011. The agency has a lot of exciting things going on, so they should update their news feed at least twice a month.

Beyond simply updating their news feed, Full Contact has to update their “Our Agency” page, specifically the “Our Clients” tab. The agency is working with some great clients that are not being represented as part of their client portfolio. There are also some former clients that are listed, which the company hasn’t worked with in a while. Full Contact creates great work for their clients and that work should be represented on their website. The agency should strive to gain permission from their clients, so that they can place more of their recent creative work on their website. The agency should also strive to make the work representative of all the different content that they can create. For example, the agency should add some examples of mobile creative content that they’ve generated for clients, as that’s where companies are really putting a lot of their marketing attention. When it comes to their Facebook and Twitter pages, more updates are needed.

Full Contact’s Facebook page already acts as the social media channel which gives individuals an idea of the company’s workplace culture. Due to personal experience, I know that the agency has a great workplace culture and this is something clients like to know as well. Happy employees are productive employees and Full Contact is full of happy employees, so they should try to illustrate that happiness even more on their Facebook page. This could be done in various ways, adding some new funny agency photos/videos, or sharing interesting and humorous agency/industry related news. The company’s Twitter feed is highly underutilized, as it hasn’t been updated since August.

That being said, Full Contact should not approach Twitter with the mindset that it has to be updated every day. Most advertising agencies update their Twitter multiple times throughout the course of the day, but that can just tend to generate a lot of clutter and wasted payroll. Full Contact should have the mindset of utilizing Twitter to capitalize on a really interesting piece of work that they have just created.

For example, during my time spent at the agency, the one piece of work that stood out the most was the video filmed for Safety 1st’s air protect car seat “Success Story”. This video featured a real family whose new baby girl, Ella, was involved in a terrible car accident, but was left unharmed because she was in a Safety 1st air protect car seat. This video is highly emotional and is still viewable on Safety 1st’s website. This video, even though it’s a bit outdated, is the kind of content that Full Contact needs to get the most out of, because it’s an attention grabber and something people actually want to talk about. It’s work like this that can go viral and attract new potential clients.

As the agency strives to better utilize their website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed to showcase their creative abilities and positive workplace culture, they should make sure that all video content is derived from Vimeo and continues to exist on the website for future views. The agency’s Vimeo account has about eight videos on it, but needs to be updated to show more recent content.

To organize and measure their social media efforts, Full Contact should think about using the social media analytics platform, Klout, which will ultimately help them to measure the amount of influence they have on their overall social media network.

The agency may also want to utilize HootSuite, which exists as a social media organization tool that allows brands and individuals to manage all of their social media activity in one place. This program might make it easier for Full Contact to have more consistency when it comes to updating their social media material.

If the agency does increase their social media activity, then they should keep an even closer eye on their analytics, stemming from platforms such as Google and Facebook. It’s through analytics that Full Contact will have a better idea if their social media efforts are actually paying off, because at the end of the day, they hope that the material they’re posting will generate more awareness for their brand, which translates into increased business.

During this process Full Contact Advertising was a pleasure to work with and as student researchers, we were able to gain a lot from the experience. The main message that we’ve taken from this project and working with Full Contact Advertising is this: social media is so effective because it gets people talking. It’s one of the best ways to start interactions between brands and individuals and can ultimately lead to generating strong and potentially profitable relationships.

Full Contact Advertising is a very successful business, full of highly talented and genuine individuals. If the agency is able to utilize social media to further self-promote themselves and get the most out of all their creative content, then it will only benefit them in the end.

Buffalo Exchange and Tiny Hanger

Retail Social Media: Small Business vs. National Chain

By Alicia Deily and Lindsey Jones

Social media is imperative to the success of a business. When companies interact with consumers through these websites, they are more likely to attract new customers and develop stronger loyalty with current ones. We wanted to compare a local retail business with a national retail chain to see the differences and similarities in their social media usage.

Buffalo Exchange
Buffalo Exchange is a clothing store that buys and sells gently worn clothing and accessories. The store was first established in 1974 in Tucson, Arizona. After the initial success, the business was franchised and now can be found in 15 states. There are 42 stores and 3 franchises which collectively create $72.9 million a year in revenue (as of Dec 2011). Buffalo Exchange is an independent and privately held company. They have Boston-area locations on Harvard Avenue in Allston and in Davis Square in Somerville.

We got in touch with Michelle Livingston, Marketing Director, to learn more about how they manage their social media. The first few search engine results of the store are: the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and blog. Their website is extremely user friendly and engaging. It features information about the history of the business, locations, current events, customer reviews and publicity.

The company has a very healthy Twitter feed. They have over 5,000 followers and almost 2,000 tweets. Their tweets are very useful and interactive that appeal to their target customers.

Buffalo Exchange has a very strong Facebook presence. They have over 30,000 likes. The company uses Facebook to promote deals and upcoming events. They are active on other websites like Tumblr, Myspace, Pinterest, Flickr, and Youtube.

This company jumped on the social media bandwagon early. By 2003, Buffalo Exchange had been updating their bulletins on their website more frequently.  Then, in 2004, Buffalo Exchange began their Myspace account. In 2007, the company joined Youtube and Facebook. Their Flickr and Twitter accounts were established in 2007. In 2010 they began their blog. Most recently, in 2011 the company established an Iphone application for their customers.

Buffalo Exchange believes that social media is a fun yet powerful way that they can interact with their customers. They recognize and take full advantage of the fact that social media acts as free advertising for their business. Buffalo Exchange uses Hootsuite in order to manage their social media presence. They have a schedule for posting blog posts and bulletins on their website. Buffalo Exchange uses Google analytics to measure the effectiveness of their online presence. They have noticed that their Facebook page is by far the most successful for reaching their customers.

Buffalo Exchange is a prime example of a company using social media effectively. They started gaining a following early and it has strengthened over the years. Although the company is  a national chain, their stores often have the feeling of a local boutique. Our suggestion to them would be to further emphasize this feeling through their use social media. Their online presence could be even more connected to the communities  where their stores are located. For example, they could promote local bands and local events. Focusing on the ‘small boutique’ feeling of their stores will drive more traffic and help them gain an even stronger following.

Buffalo Exchange realizes that their online presence has a large impact on their success, and that their target market responds effectively to social media. Michelle said it best with this summary:“Our target audience is the driver for our decisions”. As long as the company continues to cater to their customer’s interests and needs, they will be successful. We were very impressed with their extensive use of social media.

Tiny Hanger
Tiny Hanger is a local boutique located on Coolidge Corner in Brookline. They offer fun clothing and accessories to children ages 6 and under. They also offer exclusive designer goods and handmade crafts. Currently they have a Twitter feed  a Facebook page and a Blogspot blog. They also have a website.

We interviewed its owner, Lucia Berman-Rossi. Tiny Hanger opened in October of 2011; this is when they began using Facebook and Twitter. Lucia said that it was obvious Tiny Hanger needed a social media presence. She said that everyone is on Facebook and it has become essential for businesses to connect with their customers there.

They currently update their website using Dreamweaver but due to the fact that it is so complicated, they do not update as frequently as they would like to. They end up using Facebook more. Lucia feels that the website is not where she wants it to be so they are switching their website to WordPress. She hopes that this will make frequent updates easier and less time consuming.

“Facebook by far is the most successful social media site. People will come into the store and specifically ask for clothing items they have seen highlighted on the Facebook page” said Lucia.

She is still getting used to Twitter but she tries to tweet several times a day. Eventually, she would like to tweet more interesting and useful articles along with style advice. She feels that the Blogspot blog is probably the least effective medium so far but they still feel it is important to maintain for the store to have a complete online presence.

Currently it is just Lucia and her husband managing Tiny Hanger’s social media. She is planning on having Christa Tuon, the store’s Visual Merchandiser, take on some of the responsibilities. Christa said “I think Tiny Hanger is taking advantage of social media and headed in the right direction however, more needs to be done in the acquisition of ‘followers’ and ‘friends’. Tiny Hanger is still a young company and if it stays on the right path, it will really take off.”

Tiny Hanger does have a Hootsuite account but Lucia has not had time to fully figure out how to effectively use it. With Christa’s help, Lucia would eventually like to get on a social media calendar to streamline all of their outlets. As for analytics, Lucia explained that they do use Google Analytics but since they have been so busy with the store, she barely has had time to look at it. She is aware of the benefits and would like to utilize it more when she recieves more help.

The business uses social media to promote special events and offers. They are involved locally and they have held events like “Story-Time” and “How to Make Your Own Baby Food.”  For the baby-food event, she brought in an outside source to teach customers how to make their own baby food. She promoted it through Facebook and Twitter and so did the outside source. People came to the event specifically because they saw it promoted heavily online. This shows how effective social media can be locally.

However, Lucia says that she will often run sales that last only a day and promote them through Facebook or Twitter. She does not feel that this is effective because the sales are too short and does not give customers sufficient time to make it into the store. If she ran a longer sale, she believes she would better be able to better drive traffic through online promotion.

Social media is important to Tiny Hanger because it creates customer loyalty. Fans can follow events and promotions more easily. It also drives traffic especially when new shipments arrive, people see specific items they want and come to the store looking for them. Customers lead busy lives and they do not have a lot of time to spend online. Tiny Hanger has to keep this in mind when posting.

Lucia feels that social media is great because it is “free, easy and people use it.” But the downside is that it is a limited audience and that it is easy for a business to “rely on it too much”. She guesses that only about 25% of her customer base followers her on Twitter or Facebook. She said that she has posted information about upcoming events online and then realize that she forgot to put up posters in the physical store. In this case she estimates that she missed 75% of her customers or potential customers by relying too heavily on social media.

One suggestion for Tiny Hanger is that they create a mobile application for busy parents on the go. Creating an Iphone-friendly application would be yet another way to effectively reach their target market. For being such a new business, Tiny Hanger has done an excellent job of maintaining an online presence. If they keep up their momentum, we are sure that they will continue to grow and gain followers.

Whether a business is a national chain or a local boutique, social media is essential to connect with current and future customers. Buffalo Exchange and Tiny Hanger are two examples of businesses that know how to effectively reach their target market with social media. Both businesses recognize that having a heavy online presence is essentially free advertising and they take advantage of this.


New Management, Same Goals

By Ryan Scerra and Anthony Carnevale

In 2004, Lasell College Radio (LCR) opened up and created a new playground for communications majors to get creative with. LCR has expanded tremendously from when it was just a small unknown college organization. The growth of this group has taken much time and effort from the staff, and it finally seems to be reaching new heights in publicity.

Much of this publicity is coming from the revival of their social media networks and constant on campus events from rappers, metal bands, dances, and contests. However, with time comes change, and LCR has some big changes coming as new station manager, Justin Miller, preps to take control of the club next semester.

Current station manager, Jay Gildea, has already been working tirelessly to create a larger online brand for LCR.

“Our whole social media profiles do need to be updated” stated Gildea, when interviewed by Rebecca Gooch and Kevin Paul last year for the same course Expanding with social media

Now with only a couple weeks left as station manager, Gildea must prep Miller with all of his last advice to help LCR retain its growing legacy. The biggest issue with LCR as of recently is they aren’t using their social media networks effectively. We recently sat down with Justin Miller for an interview to hear his opinion on LCR’s social media profiles.

“I am probably about 50% satisfied and 50% needs improvement. I don’t think the word has gotten out enough in the past about LCR,” Miller said.

Fortunately for LCR, the word has increased tremendously about their organization. Just recently a poll was put up on the LCR  facebook page for who the fans wanted to see open for rapper, Mason, at the annual LCR marathon Monday concert series. In a matter of four days the poll received 1,323 votes.

“We expected like 200 votes at the most for this poll” said Gildea, “When we saw the results we were blown away.”

On the Wednesday that the poll went up, the LCR facebook page had only 137 likes. Four days later it reached a new staggering amount of 363 likes. While most don’t find 363 likes a staggering amount, this is an enormous boost in motivation and publicity for the LCR organization.

“Never did we think that this poll would draw in the amount of people that it did” added Miller, “it’s giving us an idea of how we should start changing up our methods of promoting through social networking sites”.

This poll even brought some money in for  charity. A random poll voter, Yoseph Elfakahany, stated on the LCR page, “Vote for interstate Flamez. For every vote that Flamez gets, $1 will be donated to the American Cancer Society”. Sure enough Elfakahany posted a picture and he donated $375 to the American Cancer Society.

While the LCR Facebook page seems to be flourishing, the rest of their social media seems to be dying. LCR has a, a blog, a myspaceand a twitter handle. All of these get a minimal amount of attention and use.

We spoke with LCR’s social media manager, Bruce Martin, on the minimal amount of attraction. “It’s hard getting a new Twitter account off the ground and noticed. When we created this account we weren’t sure about how successful it would be.”

Unfortunately, the newly created account only has 74 followers and 86 tweets. How can the Facebook page be so successful and the Twitter account be so unsuccessful?

Perhaps it’s the lack of tweets. Martin thinks it’s the lack of LCR staff involvement as well. “A lot of the DJs get lazy and tend not to promote LCR’s social media pages. Everybody has Facebook which makes sense that the Facebook page is doing so well. Not everybody has a Twitter account though. Even if they do, not all of our DJs go out of their way to tell people to follow us on Twitter.”

Miller agrees with this as well. “I would really like to see more posts on the Facebook page by staff members. It gets neglected quite a bit by a lot of the staff.”

Maybe the reason for the lack of social media success is due to minimal staff promotion. However, things may change when next semester comes around. A brand new, state of the art, radio station is being built in the new renovated cafeteria, slated to open next semester.

“There will be three glass windows and four speakers outside the station in the cafe. People are going to recognize us more. People will be seeing what were doing. People don’t want to take the time now to see what’s happening” said Miller.

This new radio station may open up new windows of promotion for the LCR organization. People will like the new fancy radio station and will be curious of how it works and what it’s all about. They may even be tempted to check out the LCR website. This could be a pivotal moving point in making LCR widely noticed by more than just Lasell students. According to Miller, LCR is also planning on collaborating with the newly created organization, Lasell College TV (LCTV). LCTV and LCR working together effectively could create great opportunities for more promotion and bigger events.

The future is looking quite bright for the expanding LCR. When asked about the use of all LCR’s social media websites in the future, Miller explained, “I would definitely like to utilize the YouTube channel more. We only have one video on there. I  want to revive the blog and myspace page but they are a dying media. People wouldn’t check them, it isn’t appealing to people anymore. I don’t really see them being a big part of our promotions in the future. However, I see big things happening with the Facebook page and we’ll definitely work on making the Twitter page more interactive with DJ’s and fans.”

LCR’s mission statement states, “Our programming is chosen and produced by the students and is aimed to serve Lasell College students, employees, families and friends with relevant information and entertainment that reflects the needs of academia and community.”

At the end of the day, this is an organization of extremely talented and hard-working students trying to make a name for themselves through their passion of radio production. While work is still needed with their social media networks, take into consideration that this is still a very young organization.

With time comes change and with change comes improvement. Each year LCR learns more and more about what they can do in order to be successful.  Gildea has left a great legacy FOR LCR and is hoping that Miller can take the stage and make things just as good, if not better.

LCR just has to learn from their mistakes and learn utilize their social networking sites to their full potential. Once one can conquer social media, then one can conquer the world… Almost.

You can contact LCR or the manager of the station, Brian Wardyga, at their contact page



A new kind of TV

By Zachary Gray and Will Henry

New TV is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the Newton community with a base to communicate news, opinions, and information through a local platform. Located on 23 Needham St., in Newton, MA, New TV also provides the community training with the latest media technologies.

New TV was established in 1991 to provide Newton with independent public access television. With the station’s growth in size, popularity, and demand, New TV expanded its channels to its current lineup of community, education, and government. In 2006, the station moved from its original location on Lincoln Street to its current, modern facility on Needham Street.

The general purpose of New TV is to provide the town of Newton with news taking place inside and surrounding the town. Another purpose of New TV is to provide entertainment to the station’s viewers via station programming. New TV also films various sporting events taking place in Newton schools and colleges. Both paid staff and interns film the games and provide play-by-play. Other filmed events include Newton school plays and town hall meetings.

Robert Kelly is the executive director of New TV. He handles a majority of the business movements of the company and over sees the staff members that work under him. Andrew Eldridge has been the media specialist for New TV since August of 2007. Whether it’s behind the scenes on set, updating the website, or anything having to do with technology, Andrew is the guy. He’s also involved with some of the marketing for New TV.

Shelly Kamanitz is the marketing director for the Newton-based non-profit. She has been part of New TV for a little over a year. Shelly’s responsibilities include writing press releases, marketing the New TV brand, sending emails to those who subscribe, and putting together newsletters. She was also in charge of redesigning the logo for the company.

Andrew and Shelly work together on nearly every project, thus they share an office. A large amount of their work deals with the website, which was launched on August 3 of 2011. New TV’s previous website wasn’t very functional and was only accessible by one person. Andrew took a majority of the work in creating and updating the current website.

With a new and updated website, New TV looks to expand on its number of online viewers. “We are actually in the process of doing a ‘phase 2’ of our website, which will involve a mobile site,” said Shelly. “The server that currently supplies our video is going from Flash to HTML 5, which will allow us to put it on a mobile site. This would allow viewers to watch video content on their iPhones.”

New TV not only shares videos through its channels and website, but also through Vimeo. The organization’s Vimeo channel has 163 videos, ranging from pilot episodes of its new series “The Folklorist” to town meeting and interviews. New TV currently does not have a YouTube channel, but there are talks about creating one for the organization’s education channel.

The main forms of social media New TV uses are Facebook and Twitter. The Facebook page was created on April 28, 2010. The page has 270 likes, and features stories and videos related to the Newton community. Andrew’s strategy to gain more viewers is to tag businesses and places that are mentioned in different stories. Furthermore, New TV’s Facebook likes many local businesses and pages to keep up to date with current events. New TV’s Facebook is directly linked to its Twitter handle, which has 183 followers. Whatever is posted on the Facebook page is also tweeted. Andrew and Shelly try to limit the number of posts to one a day, so followers don’t feel spammed whenever they log on to their respective social media sites.

Although most of the focus for New TV is on the programming and website, Shelly and Andrew both agree that social media is a necessary tool when it comes to promotion and marketing. “Last year was kind of like a rebirth of New TV with the new equipment, new classes, and new shows,” said Shelly. “As we add all of these features to our organization, we’ll be using social media a lot more to broadcast it. I definitely think it’s important and its something we need to expand upon.” As for expanding New TV’s social media, Shelly and Andrew agree that branding can only go so far; there has to be interesting material to grab people’s attention.

One of New TV’s main goals is to increase viewers. Social media is a fantastic tool to gain the attention of potential followers, and Shelly wants the most possible for the organization. “I don’t want 100, 200 likes,” said Shelly. “I want hundreds of likes, maybe even thousands.”

If there were any suggestions concerning social media and promotion for Andrew, Shelly, and New TV, it would be a couple things. First, the Facebook and Twitter pages could be promoted within programming. For example, the credits after a program could feature the web-address for New TV’s pages with the phrase “Like us on Facebook” after it. This could bring more viewers to the social media pages, thus receiving more likes, followers, shares, etc. Secondly, the Twitter page could feature posts separate from those on Facebook. A person who uses both Facebook and Twitter may only follow one outlet because they both generate the same information. Furthermore, the use of hash-tags would make New TV appear in searches on Twitter, thus gaining more followers.

The suggestions are minor, but would be key in gaining more interest both online and on-air. For the past 20-plus years, New TV has provided a platform to the Newton community for opinions, news, and information. Perhaps in these next 20 years, it can gain many more viewers and followers who can enjoy the benefits of New TV.


More than Food at a College Cafeteria

By Bryan White, Stephen Brennan and Charlie Dilella

Sodexo was founded by Pierre Bellon in 1966 in Marseilles, France and is now the world leader in duality of life services. It is located in 80 countries, and employs 391,000 with consistent yearly growth. Sodexo provides services to schools, universities, hospitals, correctional facilities and other remote sites.

The mission of the company states they, “believe that the quality of daily life increases the satisfaction and motivation of individuals, and thus plays an important role in the organizational performance of our strategic partners.”

In terms of continental revenue North America holds the highest percentage with 37 percent, followed by Continental Europe, which holds 36 percent, and finishing up with the United Kingdom and Ireland which accrue about 8 percent. The rest of the world combines to equal 19 percent of Sodexo’s revenue.  Among its recent accolades Sodexo Inc. received are being placed both the 2012 Working Mother: Best Companies for Hourly Workers and was featured on 2012 Forbes Most Admired Companies List.

The two social media outlets that Sodexo currently uses at Lasell to get in touch with the community are a Facebook page and a website. The Sodexo at Lasell Facebook page is set up to promote upcoming events, special menu changes, general information regarding the college, as well as posting photographs from past events.

Since the page joined the Lasell college network, all students are invited to events such as the Midnight Breakfast, OXEDOS food truck, etc.  In an interview done with Christine Hubbard, whose job title is formally Food Service Manager but she is involved in many aspects of the Sodexo program, we learned that this is the first year that the Facebook page was established and updated daily.


“I receive a promotions kit from corporate in the spring and fall that has major events to choose from,” Christine explained about how she chooses and promotes special engagements. She recently yielded the responsibility of updating the Facebook page daily when a promotion coordinator was hired.

The second way that Sodexo at Lasell is connected to students is through its website. The website is very informative and useful to students. Among the many features are menu details, hours of operation,nutritional facts of the food, upcoming events, and ways to contact to the Sodexo at Lasell staff.

After looking at their existing social media and online accessibility, we had some suggestions that would benefit Sodexo at Lasell, as well as some praises to what has already been done.

Our first critique was to start a Sodexo at Lasell Twitter feed. This would be very useful in updating students about the daily menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It would also help promote upcoming events or the new design for the cafeterias. A Twitter account would be also used to answer questions that students may have regarding the meal or respond to a problem faster to give feedback.  Currently the best way they are answering quick questions or suggestions is on a napkin board. Though the answers are promptly responded, if done electronically this could enhance the experience of connecting students and the cafeteria staff. Twitter helps any business stay connected with its clientele within seconds.


We also thought that using the newer types of social media such as a Flickr or a Pinterest account would be effective. Having these newer forms of outreach would give students a lot more ways to connect to the program.  Especially services like these which are mainly for image sharing. Both students and staff could submit their photographs and contests could even take place for the best weekly photos, for example.

We had no problems with the Sodexo Lasell dining website and thought it was very effective and easy to use. In fact Christine said that, “several students this year have been hired because of the website employment section.”  Also the changing of the meal plan process has gone on seamlessly thanks to the extra communication online.

One new detail we got from our interview was that a second promotions coordinator was being brought on for the new academic year. With this second coordinator on board, proper analytics could be done to see if these new proposed social media ideas are being used effectively and to track how many people are engaging through them.

From this critique of a corporation we can see that no matter how established the company or business, social media is important to relating to a whole new type of audience.  Christine said it best, “I notice that students pay more attention to phones and computers than signs in the café.”

Calling all role models

By Lindsey Jones

The popular book series, that has now been adapted to a successful film, The Hunger Games, poses many important questions and points. One of these important points that makes people think is about the lead role. Since the premier, many fans and viewers have been wondering why there are a lack of strong female characters portrayed in movies? This question isn’t too outrageous to be asked, seeing as most of the time the lead in a movie is a man, not a woman. Katniss Everdeen clearly portrays a strong young woman, but where are the other strong women in Hollywood?

Jennifer Lawerence, who plays Katniss in The Hunger Games movie, portrays a strong independent woman. Her character Katniss is a fearless leader, and a great role model for young girls. Even though Katniss tries to empower young girls, there are many role models that do the opposite.

The media realizes that the young, pretty, and party girl type women is what people want to see. In result of the media and the influence that it has, many young girls have role models that are nothing to look up to. With reality television shows such as The Jersey Shore, portraying women partying and drinking, available to young girls, it is no wonder why so many girls are growing up too fast. Now, with the character of Katniss coming about, is it fair to say that the media must portray better role models for young girls?

Miss Representation, a website dedicated to promoting media literacy among women says that at age eight girls realize that they have the potential to be a leader. If a successful and responsible role model is not available to these young girls, that leadership quality will quickly be diminished. Hollywood now more than ever craves more strong women roles like Katniss Everdeen. She clearly shows young girls that they can be just as strong as fierce as boys are. She also promotes more desirable traits that young women should strive to achieve.