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So Tory Burch came out with this photo today which I happened to catch on Instagram.

It looks awfully familiar to something I created for a Tory Burch mock strategy final project last year (below).
Coincidence? You be the judge.

I’ll take that check now Tory… or a job—I’m open.

Holy Tweet!

His holiness will be learning a new language, he announced today. This new language? Twitter.

Pope Benedict XVI announced his official personal twitter account today, under the name @Pontifex.

“It’s going to be a challenge to find the appropriate language to produce a sweet, short message and to learn the fluency of the language,” said Monsignor Paul Tighe, an Irish priest who is the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications according to the Christian Science Monitor.

San Francisco-based Twitter wrote an excited blog post about acquiring a holy member to their dance card called “Welcome, Pope Benedict XVI!”  Twitter’s Manager of Social Innovation Diaz-Ortiz wrote,

“Perhaps not surprisingly, we see a very high level of engagement with religious and spiritual content.”

According to Twitter’s website, The Vatican will give people a a chance to ask questions using the hashtag #AskPontifex while the Vatican staff will answer in a live  tweet starting Dec. 12.

Cool with me. I have a lot of questions for the big guy upstairs.

According to Bloomberg News, the Pope is not estranged from new technology.

His holiness used an iPad to tweet a non-personal Vatican account message: “Dear Friends, I just launched Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.”

The 85-year-old already surpassed 200,000 followers in his first several hours of existence, but no holy tweets yet. Probs still talking to God.

SVTweetup Takeaways


Content consistency was the key theme (and sweet music to my ears) at last night’s Silicon Valley Tweetup at the Women’s Club of Palo Alto. 

Hosted by One Medical Group, the panel discussion included Jennifer Leggio (Sourcefire, Forbes), Lasandra Brill (Cisco Systems), Ted Sapountzis (SAP) and Michael Brito (Edelman). Ideals were discussed, arguments were made, but one theme remained the same: relevant, non-gimmick content is key in social (business).

1. Consistency and Repetition. Jennifer Leggio consistently repeated in our minds throughout the night. The Sourcefire firecracker said she doesn’t have marketing people write on the blog, supporting her ideals that content should not be a direct promotional tool and blogging just for SEO’s sake is stupid.

2. Behavioral Change. Edelman Digital’s Michael Brito (my former social media professor, holla!) said he thinks the biggest push must be made internally with behavioral change being the priority when it comes to a consistent voice in content. It’s something Cisco’s Lasandra Brill knows a thing or two about managing several hundred channels and departments in a robust corporate business. Brito added an example of Barack Obama’s “Change” message from the last election and how this year’s election lacks a clear message for either party.

3. Quality, not quantity. Commenting on the current state of social in business, SAP’s Ted Sapountzis said that businesses are understanding this content concept more today but that we still have a ways to go. “People are asking better questions and not just paying attention to vanity metrics.” Sapountzis concluded the panel saying “Good content is the only good way to grow a community.”

Formula: content – marketing + consistent voice = quality community growth.

Props to this panel for preaching valuable points on this concept, now let’s go make some good content.


The Choir


Big Fish In A Small Pond

The coincidentally refined 29-year-old Katie Hintz-Zambrano @MrsZambrano

Spearheading one of fashion’s biggest hit site’s Refinery 29‘s latest and most-successful locale, Katherine Zambroza sat on the other side of the interviewing table with us SJSU media students.

Originally from Nebraska, this soft-spoken, intelligentsia grew up obsessing over periodicals and glossy magazines. “I’d study back issues from the library and then quiz myself on looks and designers.” The fashion-ravenous female made it her goal to go to New York where her passion would come to life.
Upon getting into NYU, she successfully made contacts that led to big-name by-lines that boasted an impressive resume. She immersed herself into the journalism world of sports, music and eventually fashion. Even before graduating, Zambrano landed her breakout role pitching stories for ESPN the Magazine to the likes of her passion for the NBA. She’s since gained headway at,’s The Cut, Elle, teen Vogue, Marie Claire and Nylon just to name a few. The diverse writer’s also contributed to more unlikely pubs such as XXL, Vibe and KING magazine as a hip-hop expert. She then worked for Marie Claire as a writer when all her assignments and clips snowballed into an impressive portfolio.
The 29-year-old also has a fascination with bathrooms. Well, design- in general, but bathrooms specifically for the meeting place at San Francisco’s oober-hip Four Barrel Coffee. Always in search of unique places in the city, she pays close attention to detail and invariously jots down potential story ideas as they come up in conversation. And, a chat with young Bay Area natives last Friday proved no different.
Working in tech, her husband inevitably moved to Cisco headquarters in the Silicon Valley almost a year ago which brought on Refinery’s latest Spawn: the San Francisco edition. Among Chicago, New York, Miami, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, why is San Francisco the most successful locale? Zambrano thinks it’s the unique variables that attract people to San Francisco “Girls here have to worry bout the elements so that adds a different factor that the other cities don’t have to. There’s hills, wind, fog and everything in between,” she says.”People have unique style that you have to find and aren’t necessaryily surrounding you. Makes it more interesting.”

A perk of being a big fashionable fish in a small pond, is Zambrano gets the opportunity to hit hot fashion spots and events that she may not otherwise in a bigger city like New York. The night before our meeting she covered the Academy of Art University’s annual fashion show where she got a personal interview with Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton. So there she was—sitting and speaking with fashion’s most hailed designer who just a year ago boasted the most famous bridal gown on another Katherine. Kate Middleton (who goes without explanation). But this year, Zambrano had the pleasure of meeting Burton among other events such as Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young Museum.
Refinery29 SF Stats:
  • SF is most successful locale
  • Rate viewing by clicks on email newsletters
  • Stories hit NYC headquarters 48 hours before deadline
  • Have general social networks but hope to have location-based twitter handles.
So here we were—six girls swallowing each experienced word that leaves the egoless beauty’s bright pink lips. We sat as she shared with us advice for  young journalists and style-g0-getters:
  • When pitching story ideas, pitch to “fashion news” section.
  • It’s all about people you know. Make contacts on good terms with whoever you can no matter how big or small the publication.
  • Network with people a few years older because they are not threatened by youand can give you junior-level opportunities so your not competing.
Katie’s Coffee Fit:
Shoes: Tsubo (local brand)
Necklace from Argentina
Bag: A vintage tool bag from a friend
For more photos, follow me on Instagram @Jennyz63

Obsessed With Innovation

VentureBeat writers are obsessed with innovation. Healthy or not, it’s an obsession that rings relevant to the heart of the San Francisco and at bay with tech’s finest. How could we at SJSU’s Mag Club not visit?

Conceived by San Jose Mercury News reporter Matt Marshall, VentureBeat covers the tech, people and money that innovate our lives. On the forefront of the tech news cycle, Venturebeat’s tech-savvy journalists allowed us SJSU media students to join the obsessive conversation in their small, humble offices where we had the pleasure of speaking with Executive Editor Dylan Tweney and Senior Editor Heather Kelly .

An unlikely sight in tech, VB is comprised mostly of women writers and editors. Geek-chic staffers Heather Kelly and writer Jolie O’ Dell coined the term “Pink-collared”  when referring to the small staff. On the ball, VentureBeat’s Jennifer Van Grove was responsible for revealing Twitter’s secret offer for Instagram that made Facebook pay $1B.

Editors make a conscience effort  to make shareable headlines that will attract clicks. Following a story posting, they retreat headlines to make it twitter and google search-friendly. For instance, they will make a headline read “Facebook IPO Zuckerberg” as opposed to “Zuckerberg Earns Facebook’s IPO On A Grand Scale.” While it may seem awkward, it’s definitely an effective sneak tactic. But more than SEO, Tweney advocates readability as a must-have. “Readability always trumps SEO. You can’t go wrong with read-friendly material.”

As far as community management, Tweney admits they need more engagement. But, close-fetched dreams aside, the team is in good direction with eventual hopes of breaking into more lifestyle and entertainment-based content. “I’d like to show how we live better with technology.” And, I’d say they have a good chance since seeing exploding responses from stories such as SNL’s hilarious club-hopping character Stefon who now has a Yelp account. While it’s not hard news, the staff’s quirky writing voices make for a promising broader obsessing-spectrum.
Big thanks to the VentureBeat team for hosting us!

VB Quick Stats (Averages):

  • Staff of 20
  • 12-hour news day
  • 40 stories a day
  • 4 or 5 stories a person
  • Postings till about 7 or 8 p.m.

 Tweney’s advice for young, prospective obsessors:

  • Be aware that first impressions are important when communicating through initial emails.
  • Show reporting experience. Working on a school newspaper is a plus.
  • Don’t include too many links of your work, but just use between three and five of your most relevant work.
  • Always following up.
  • Show you can write things fast. “I push people really hard at first to gage what they can do best. I like timing people” Tweney says.


A Social Business Plan for Tory Burch Brand & Foundation

In this weeks Social Media class, us students presented our semester-long social business plans for the brand of choice. Seeing a deficit in fashion designer Tory Burch’s social business plan, our group chose to take on the challenge of improving her presence as well as that of her foundation The Tory Burch Foundation. With measurements and content, we built this model utilizing the various social business practices from that of the class and professor Michael Brito. Hope you enjoy viewing it as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Foot in door? Check.

I, like many, will be exiting my college institution in just a few short weeks and hope to hit the ground running toward this whole “being an adult” thing. Luckily, our social media class had a virtual visit from Spredfast Social Media Director @Jordanv. She hit some key points for the next generation of new-grads on getting into this simple gone robust industry.


Getting Your Foot in the Door:
1.  Follow favorite brands. Observe what they are doing well or what they could improve.
2.  Embrace cool data. Try to find one new quality a month.
3.  Use the platforms you have. Nothing’s worse than a vacant WordPress or outdated posts.
4.  Show that you have an opinion. Blog about the latest trends and topics of whatever industry you are pursuing and express your opinion.
5.  Find  a community. Join clubs or associations to network and learn more. Get connected to relevant groups on LinkedIn.
6.  Embrace the “social” in social media. Reach out to those in your channels, even if you don’t know them.
7.  Be a jack of all trades. It is great to specialize in a particular Employers are now expecting people to be able to write, market and have technical knowledge.
8.  Intern, intern, intern! And take initiative in whatever tasks you’re assigned to do.
Interview Questions to expect for a job in social biz:
1. What’s working in social business?
2.  What could you do to make social business better?
3.  What are your favorite brands using social media and why?
4.  In social media marketing, what’s successful, declining and of importance?
Answering these questions will show that you are paying attention to what’s going on in the world and have an opinion!


Search. Measure. Succeed.

Graced with the Skype presence of Hootsuite University Director Kristen Bailey (@6oz), our Social Business class learned from her the various uses this social media platform. Furthermore, we went over ways to not only attract customers but also measuring it.

Hootsuite is a social media-multitasker’s dream. With tools like geocode searching, Klout score measurement and list management, I saw first-hand how Hootsuite is more than just a multi-viewing network deck. One tool I found interesting was the ability to find local tweeters. Bailey used the example for the upcoming SXSW Festival. With so many #SXSW hashtags, it’s hard to narrow down the search to those relevant to a particular purpose. So, Bailey displayed a way to filter through the discussion and find people on the ground. Using the geocode tool, just copy your coordinates from Google Maps’ land marker and paste them into Hootsuite’s geocode. This is a good way to find people who are near you to find out what’s going on around you geographically. It also presents potential networking opportunities by tweeting those local to you to schedule meet-ups.

Google Search Terms. Two search tools I found most interesting came from Google and Hootsuite. A valuable way to find detailed measurements in by going to Google keyword tools and entering relevant search terms. This will display what people are looking for so that a brand can know what to include in their SEO and which content should be expanded or avoided.

Social Omnipresence. Professor and Author Michael Brito stressed the necessary capability to utilize each vertical with unique presence. “Do not recycle the same content,” Brito said. Instead of spamming with marketing messages, each vertical should contain one-to-one conversations that are appropriate for each social network. Likewise, his book Smart Business Social Business‘ fourth chapters notes the importance of having multiple people hold leverage to each vertical as a mechanism to accomplish social omnipresence.




In this week’s Social Media course, I learned about brands that have succeeded in reaching their customer base with both affirmation and promptness. Standout brands including the Brooks Brothers took time to personalize tweets and responses. One student shared his positive experience with a full-on dialogue with the Brooks Brothers brand over his purchase and his Valentine’s plans. They even referred to him by his personal name and included brand-relative terms and adjectives such as “daper.” This brand proved affective in going above and beyond the generic responses. Without knowing him, the impression proved so lasting that there has been a positive chain of reactions across twitter which can only benefit the brand. More brands should definitely use this as a model to create successful dialogue with their consumers and think about the domino affect it has on perspective customers.

This Week’s Takeaways: Youtube and the Superbowl

After last Wednesday’s social media class, here’s what  I’ve found to be most important:
Youtube is the second biggest search engine. We don’t tend to think of any search engines other than google, let alone a video web site. And, I think Youtube its one of the most overlooked social networks out there. Brands who acknowledge this experience an exponential growth in their views. Brands such as Honda previewed their Superbowl commercial on their Youtube channels which were rapidly shared reaching millions of hits even before actual showtime.
– A quick response is the best response. In class, we learned about controversial twitter responses between brands and their communities. In the case of McDonald’s, they tweeted generic responses to their follower’s negative feedback. By using this example, it’s important to realize that anyone dealing with any type of controversy surrounding their brand, to personalize the responses for better engagement with their community as to not loose their users.

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