Women in TV and Film MiniDoc and New Media Project – 2019 NMP Showcase at Rowan University

Official Poster – Women in TV and Film – New Media Project and Mini Documentary. Designed by Briana M. Andrews.

The official screening for Women in TV and Film, the mini-documentary and new media practicum project will be presented at the 2019 New Media Showcase at Rowan University.  This event is taking place on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 from 10AM-1PM in the Chamberlain Student Center.  Admission is free and open to the general public.  If you can attend, please come out and support.   

This event is an interactive, personal, meet-and-greet style setting where you can check out this semester-long multimedia body of work at my designated workstation and discuss the project directly with me.  The mini-documentary hasn’t been published anywhere and I’ll have a display with the artifacts, supporting documents and the poster for this project.  Don’t miss out!

[MAPR Book Review] New Rules of Marketing and Public Relations for Filmmakers and Content Creators

I recently finished reading the sixth edition of The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile, Applications, Blogs, News Releases / News Jacking & Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott.  In my MAPR blog posts, I detailed various sections of this book (and others) while extracting useful information for filmmakers and content creators.  Here I am now with the full book review *drum-roll please*.  The New Rules of Marketing and PR is amazing for informational purposes and historical context.  There are many examples, real stories, case-studies and accounts from the author and his colleagues.  This book has no shortage of details on Meerman Scott’s experiences and business dealings.  On the flip-side, this book is only lukewarm with providing practical applications for readers. 


Graphic for social media, online video, mobile and going viral

New Rules is a notoriously successful guide and continues to evolve since it was first published in 2007.  The book is overly long and contains a lot of filler and fluff, but is otherwise well-written.  The title of the book is: The New Rules of Marketing and PR.  The sub-title of the book is: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile, Applications, Blogs, News Releases / News Jacking & Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly.  This says a mouthful, and as I read the book, it became increasingly apparent that the main title and sub-title warranted the creation of two separate books.  I understand having all items in one title can make buyers feel like there is increased value, however, it created organizational challenges and made the book feel like a maze.  It isn’t discombobulated, but it didn’t feel concise.  I can appreciate Meerman Scott’s attempt to compartmentalize the content, but I feel like this should be TWO SEPARATE BOOKS.  Part I contains the overview and how the web has changed the rules of marketing and PR.  Part II introduces and provides details about various media.  Part III contains how-to information and an action plan for usage of the rules.  After finishing the book, Part I is the strongest and where the author shines the most.  Part III is the weakest (based on what is available in the market for how-to guides).  Part II is unnecessary since the content is already scattered throughout Part I and III making the section more redundant than enlightening. 

Book Cover for David Meerman Scott’s New Rules

I am very happy about having the digital, Kindle version of the book because it contains hyperlinks where you can jump from one area of the book to another.  I felt like I had to do that an awful lot.  For example, buyer personas is introduced and discussed at length in chapter 3, but implementation, usage and associated links for buyer personas were placed in chapter 10.  Chapter 3 references (and links) chapter 10, and vice versa … when you get to chapter 10 you are pointed back to vital associated information in chapter 3.  There was a lot of back and forth, and the content was somewhat repetitious.  In short, I am not a fan of the zig-zagging.  I read this book for my graduate-level Online Public Relations class and initially didn’t understand our jumping around in the text for our lectures (chapter 6 paired with chapter 16, chapter 7 paired with chapter 17) etc.   As I read the book, it became increasingly apparent why this was necessary.

Key Takeaways:

  • The web has made public relations PUBLIC again.  Before, emphasis was almost exclusively placed on the media, but now, organizations communicate directly with their audience.
  • The web is about INTERACTION, INFORMATION EDUCATION and CHOICE

In conclusion, I WOULD recommend this book to businesses and non-profit organizations with a dedicated budget who seek to increase online presence, communicate directly with customers, and enhance sales conversions.  I WOULD NOT recommend this book to individuals and freelancers since it isn’t really geared toward DIYers.  I also wouldn’t recommend it to people who are already experienced in online marketing since they don’t stand to benefit from all of the primer; much of the content would appear to be common sense.  For future editions of this book, I would love to see some content reorganization or a breakout title dedicated to “how-to” and applications.

[MAPR Blog Post] Digital Video in a Viral World: Filmmaker Turns the Lens

The internet is built on video! Video has changed the way we capture, create and consume content from websites, blogs and social media. Fun fact: One of my first personal video cameras was a Flip Ultra HD when I was in middle school. The device allowed two hours of HD video, came with proprietary editing software, was battery-operated and cost less than $200. It was quite innovative at the time since smartphones weren’t equipped with HD video capabilities (or the space / speed required). Times have since changed and video capabilities are accessible by everyone. The fact that online video is a great way to connect with your audience and develop a following is undeniable.

Video in a Viral World Graphic

We all turn to images where numbers or words can’t get the job done. The concept of storytelling through photographs is nothing new. Photographs are compelling content, and this basically explains the popularity behind image sharing services like Pinterest and Instagram. There is a saying, “A picture is worth 1000 words.” In contrast, I would imagine a video is worth 100,000 words *snickers*. Funny enough as a content creator and filmmaker, my emphasis was never on personal videos, being a vlogger or YouTuber per se. I used visual storytelling to promote companies and causes, but me? Meh. Not so much. I spend much more time behind the camera than in front of it. I named this post “filmmaker turns the lens,” because I literally had to shoot myself … with the camera, what did you think I was talking about?

Screen-grab from Briana M. Andrews – Television Academy Foundation internship finalist video interview

Okay, story-time … recently, I was selected as a finalist for the Television Academy Foundation internship in Interactive Media (New Media / Social). This category blends my talents and interests because it’s a hybrid of photo, video, text, mobile, audio, social, animated-GIFs and EVERYTHING THAT SPARKLES. From what I hear, the candidates are selected by the same panel that pick Emmy winners. Nonetheless, I was super excited to even make the final round. Here’s the catch, one of the final requirements in request of consideration for the position is the completion of a web interview. When I tell you I had HireVue flashbacks … OMG. I hate it.

I learned something from the experience, though.  I am never the subject of my own videos!  I need to address this head-on and get as comfortable in front of the camera as I am behind it. In this week’s lecture, Professor Dunnington played a video clip from Amy Schmittauer.  Her book, Vlog like a Boss is next up on my reading list.

Let’s get away from me being a deer-in-headlights while in front the camera for a moment and revisit the importance of video content.  Below are a few highlights from two Dunnington lectures (on Digital Video and Vlogs, and Communicating with Images and Video in a Mobile and Viral World) and from David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Photos and videos resonate with your audience MUCH MORE than text
  • People who write good captions and headlines improve SEO and capture good readership
  • Use photos that support the text … and write text that support the photo.
  • If you create an interesting story, others will share it for you.
  • When an idea takes off online, it can catapult your brand.
  • Find topics that interest you and pick subjects organically; don’t script things.
  • Videos WILL HELP introduce people to your business.
  • Use descriptive words (keywords) in file names. 

I recently finished reading the David Meerman Scott book and wrote a review.  Be on the lookout for that.  I am also attending the screening for our film, Daughters of Solanas tonight at the Museum of Moving Image in New York.  Bookmark my page and be on the lookout for updates.  Take care.

[MAPR Book Review] Social PR Secrets for Filmmakers and Content Creators

CONTENT IS KING! I enjoy reading titles with actionable, real-world tactics and extracting elements for creatives occupying digital space, particularly filmmakers. I’d like to share my review on the fourth edition of Lisa Buyers’ Social PR Secrets: How to Optimize, Socialize and Publicize Your Brand. I recently devoured the Kindle edition of this field guide on public relations, social media and digital marketing. I recommend checking out, it’s an easy read with strategies for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn.

Public Relations Impact Graphic – Social Media and Digital Marketing.

Social PR Secrets packs 32 chapters, yet remains a relatively simple and quick read with short, easily-digestible chapters.  Buyers personalizes each chapter and often details her experience while offering examples and leaning on associated subject matter experts.  She provides historical context, the current state and best practices.  She also outlines tools such as Xtensio.com and Hubspot to create free persona profiles, tools like Paper.Li and Scoop.It for content curation tailored to your audience and ScribeContent.com for content optimization, search engine visibility and social sharing.

From the standpoint of a creative filmmaker who blends art with digital media, below are several excerpts from Social PR Secrets that are poised to assist with the development of an online strategy:

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Awesome content lasts forever
  • Stay fresh, find inspiration
  • Create materials and content that addresses the needs of your audience
  • Think like your audience, create a persona profile for your audience

Another key takeaway that I felt was important to point out for creatives is to “Skip self-promotion and find your passion points.”  For instance, Red Bull rarely talks about their drink, rather, it details the passion that connects the brand to their audience and living life to the extreme.  For another example, I recall a recent ad slot by Bumble app starring Serena Williams.  The commercial never referenced what the product is, rather, it details an ideology – one that supports women taking the first move in work, love and life.  The message resonated with me, and prompted me to research the company.  It is important not to get so caught up in the act of promoting your services and accomplishments that you overshadow what the brand represents.

CONTENT CREATION CHECKLIST

  • Make sure your message is REAL and AUTHENTIC
  • Use VISUALS to illustrate your message
  • Ensure the content has a CLEAR VALUE PROPOSITION
  • Offer a clear next step or CALL TO ACTION

TYPES OF CONTENT TO DRIVE MORE TRAFFIC (50 different types listed in Ch. 4)
Video, How-To, Email Campaigns, Events, Promotions, Live Chats, Guides, Infographics, Blog Posts, Interactive Content, Interviews, Tweets, Photo Galleries

Personally, I love that Social PR Secrets offers a comprehensive list of free graphic and image sources.  I also like that Buyers’ chapters are broken down by subject and platform.  The book has a list of bullets in almost every chapter making the material visually scannable, which makes for great reference document.  I finished reading the book, but will definitely revisit.  In short, I recommend this book (especially the digital version for search-ability and hyperlinks) and encourage you to check it out.

[MAPR Blog Post] The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How the Web Changed the Rules

Social Media Bullseye Graphic: PR Spam, Marketing Activities

One of my latest Kindle readings include, The New Rules of Marketing & PR – 6th Edition by David Meerman Scott.  In coming weeks, I’ll post more of a comprehensive book review, however, for this blog post I’ll highlight some of the gems highlighted in Chapter 20, New Rules for Reaching the Media. 

For a long time, public relations professionals viewed coverage as a numbers game … full-on blitz, reach out to as many journalists and outlets as you can.  The process was literally, “throwing crap against the wall to see what sticks.”  The non-targeted e-blasts and sleezy methods to lure people to open the messages are partially why strategic communicators received a reputation as spammers. 

The web changed the rules and traditional PR techniques are becoming less effective.  To provide an example and illustrate using layman’s terms; there are parallels between a PR rep securing coverage, and an individual securing a job.  I say this because in one point in time, people were able to blast resumes and play the numbers game, with hopes of landing some interviews.  Now-a-days, attempting the same wouldn’t be effective, in fact, you’d be agitating people.  The process takes time, and personalization.  You have to KNOW the company, understand what comes along with the role, research the applicants they are likely to hire, understand expectations etc.  Letters and resumes need to be customized and even then, it needs to be keyword heavy since pretty much every company has software to scan and eliminate who they deem to be unqualified.   Your resume may never even reach a human. 

Networking is key, because nothing trumps personal relationships.  You’d be surprised how many companies post positions as a formality when they already know who they want.  In both the PR example and the  individual finding a job example, it is very much a “Don’t call me … I’ll find you.”  Correspondence must be personalized, pay attention to the stories a journalist is likely to cover, develop personal relationships; send individualized pitches and target one reporter at a time.  Do what you can to build your audience and showcase your own brand in the best possible light.  This includes having a comprehensive online media room including photos and videos.  “To get noticed, you need to be smart about how you tell your story on the web – and about how you tell your own story to journalists.”

Some key takeaways are as follows:

  • Refrain from sending non-targeted broadcast pitches
  • Develop personal relationships and send an individualized pitch, tailored to the needs of the journalist
  • Target one reporter at a time and pay attention to the types of stories they cover
  • Content drives marketing … make sure your information is up to date, define your niche and use hashtags

[MAPR Blog Post] Gen Z Usage Evaluation | Social Media Strategy: Return of the MAC

There are many factors to contend with when developing an online presence, whether personally, professionally or on a client’s behalf.  Basic PR 101 prompts us to revisit the good ‘ole MAC Triad … MESSAGE, AUDIENCE and CHANNEL.  The first step in your social media strategy should be to determine your MESSAGE  Essentially, this is the WHAT and WHY of your page.  What is your page about?  What is your call-to-action or desired outcome?  Why would a visitor be interested in your content?  Next, you determine your AUDIENCE.  This represents WHO and HOW of targeted company messages.  Who are you trying to connect with?  How would they benefit from your product of service?  Last you have the channel, which represents WHERE and WHEN of message dissemination.  Where are you posting? Twitter? Instagram? Facebook? When are you posting?  Research should be conducted to determine optimal time for engagement and post frequency for each platform.

As many of you know, I manage the socials for BibbyFame Digital, LLC.  However, aside from my personal and professional usage, I was also elected to the e-Board for the Theta Mu Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.  As Epistoleus, I serve as the Chapter Historian, as well as the Social Media and Public Relations Chair.  I manage our social media accounts, with large premium placed on our Instagram and Rowan University ProfLink.  I write captions, design flyers, take photographs, produce social video etc.  In addition, I monitor engagement, use appropriate hashtags and respond to inquiries.  Since assuming the role in July 2018, I developed and implemented a strategy to foster organic growth.  Content is centered on the following objectives:

  • To promote events and programs
  • To visually document our sisterhood and the overall experience of being a Soror in Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
  • To highlight chapter member achievements
  • To demonstrate chapter participation in volunteer and community-serving activities
  • To raise awareness for select causes

As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  All Theta Mu posts are planned in accordance with the Chapter events calendar.  Some of the accounts followed include @SGRhoUpdates @SGRhoNER for our organization headquarters and region. Last summer, when working as a Photo & Video Intern for Jill Lotenberg, I filmed and edited an interview with Ryan Serhant from Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing.  During the interview, he summarized their social media strategy and explained the importance planning out company posts in advance for each week.  He also shared how he uses analytics to steer activity.  For instance, based on statistics for his company and industry, posts are primed for the most impressions and engagement during the workday.  He mentioned aiming to post around 2pm EST. 

An important takeaway from my Epistoleus work and internship experiences which include socials / digital / interactive is to maintain professionalism in the online space.  Something as simple as a spelling error can negatively impact company credibility.  If the company uses specific styling, colors and fonts, it is imperative that consistency is maintained without deviation.  The logo, crest and artwork must have the correct sizing and proportion.  We’ve all observed images that are stretched and can agree that isn’t the company impression you’d like to leave.  Social media revolutionized the way we share and distribute information; proper usage can provide tremendous value. 

Women In TV & Film – New Media Practicum Proposal [Submitted]

We need film more than ever!  Film connects people through the art of storytelling.  Much of what we see in film has roots in our backgrounds, upbringing, demographic area, socioeconomic status, cultural norms and gender.  The film industry cannot be a monolithic arena and expect to be relevant with diverse communities.  Film has to serve our communities, and reflect it.  For my New Media Practicum project, I will create a forum for diversity and inclusion in film.  Read my full submitted proposal here, and view the associated presentation here.

There is value in each of our experiences; women need to find our own voices, control the narrative and take ownership of our portrayal in film.

DRAFT – Runna Boy Subway Jamal Unity 3D Game – Unpublished

Please note, the game “Runna Boy Jamal Subway” is no longer being submitted as my final project.  Rather, this is a display of my progress in creating the game.  This process is very time consuming and I couldn’t complete within the time confines of the semester.  My final, an interactive HTML narrative created on Wix along with partner, Chris Rivera is here.

This video shows me playing the game on the backend.  Initially, I thought I’d be able to use a standalone player or export for play and publishing through Google Drive or DropBox.  However, I recently learned they discontinued that functionality.  I registered for an account on Wooglie, a Unity 3D game portal.  However, you have to complete a process of being accepted as a developer before you can publish.  Ultimately, the semester is ending and I am running out of time to complete the Unity game.  You won’t be able to see it in final form, but through this screen grab video, you can see my progress.

 

 

Final Project – Reflection & Conclusion

Working on the final project was a tremendous learning experience.  Ultimately, I wasn’t able to get the Unity game to my satisfaction (good thing I had a contingency plan).  I am not sure how to post the game because DropBox no longer lets users render HTML content.  I would like to share so my peers can view my progress and provide feedback, however, I feel like it is somewhat glitchy as a standalone export.  I worked on this roughly 2 weeks and worked solo on it.   With additional time I can make a solid mobile game using the Unity engine.

I worked on an Interactive HTML Narrative with partner Chris Rivera and we developed “Last Call.”  The most important factor was ensuring functionality, appropriate images, and a story line that is easy to follow, and relatable to our target audience.  In this HTML story, the user makes selections to help the character Ariel Combs get to class on time.  It was hard figuring out what things did at first, but once I got in the pattern and learned how to navigate using the Wix platform, it was easy and straight-forward.