Grammar is Everything

June 23, 2015

by Connie Gonzalez

We’ve all been to school and learned grammar.  From this learning experience, some of us take pride in the way we write.  Some … could use a little extra help.

When I began working for Curley & Pynn, I realized just how important grammar is.  And 13 years later I still feel the same way.  People do not take pride in their writing anymore and social media is no exception.  I cringe when I see misspelled words or misuse of a common word that was taught in elementary school.  Grammerly has a great page on Facebook that posts funny, but helpful, ways to teach/remind people how to properly write, post or express what they are trying to say.

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Even punctuation and phrases are a problem.  I often wonder why people don’t take the time to learn the correct usage.

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I’ve learned a lot from working at C&P.  My job consists of a variety of things, but proofreading is a main requirement.  On a daily basis, I can be tasked to proofread news releases, letters and magazines to name a few.  But it doesn’t stop there.  I take that proofreading skill into my personal life.  I wish more people could have that same learning experience.

I have definitely made my mistakes, but the good thing about mistakes is we learn from them.  I’m thankful for my learning experience as it continues to grow.


Is it Gold? Is it Blue? Does it Matter?

February 27, 2015

by Heather Keroes

In non-news news, while perusing Facebook last night I watched a number of friends argue over a black and white  … no, a white and gold … no, a black and blue issue.  The Internet is debating the color of this dress.  And by Internet, I mean the majority of my friends on Facebook, their friends, most blogs, Taylor Swift and actual news websites – including our local paper, the Orlando Sentinel.

I have seen the dress.  I have researched the history of the dress.  I have no idea why I have spent time doing any of this, but does this dedication of valuable time mean that this dress is news?

CNN Money posted a story about the debate.  CNN Money.  Perhaps I’m a hypocrite by writing this blog post, further feeding the frenzy.  It’s hard to say what should be categorized as news these days and what truly matters.  Instead of writing a worthier post about net neutrality, I’m still stuck on this dress.  And now, I’m taking the time to reflect.

As a public relations professional, I have had the opportunity to work with media on a wide range of stories, from theme parks to technology.  But I have always felt strongly about the value of the news I was sharing.  Unfortunately, as the dress story proves, news isn’t always about sharing valuable information, but about what draws the most attention.  In this case, the dress is click bait, and you can count me among the hooked.


Too Busy to Socialize

February 25, 2015

by Kim Taylor

I’ll admit, I never thought it would happen.  I didn’t even see it coming.  And, then it hit me.  I haven’t blogged in weeks, I rarely find time to tweet during the day and I even scheduled a Facebook update a week in advance knowing what my upcoming schedule looked like.

I used to shake my head in dismay when people said they “didn’t have time for Twitter.”  I’d argue it only takes a few minutes here and there.  That’s the truth, unless you really want to contribute something valuable to keep your followers engaged and attract new ones.  When I look through the tweet stream at my last 30 tweets, I’m not exactly providing earth-shattering value.  And, no, live-tweeting the Oscars Sunday night doesn’t count.

So, what do you do when you’re too busy to “socialize”?  Am I the only one who feels a twinge of guilt for being absent on social media channels?  Or, is it natural to shelve it when “real work” takes precedence?


Are You a Celebrity? There’s an App for that.

July 21, 2014

by Heather Keroes

With hundreds of friends connected with us on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, we may feel like quasi-celebrities at times.  But while our status updates may spark conversations and my mother may continue to “like” every picture I post, the reality is we are still small fish swimming around in our social spheres.

For those of you who actually are celebrities, Facebook has news for you.  Facebook has released Mentions, an app for actors, athletes, musicians and other influencers, so they (or, more likely, their social media teams) can more easily track and join relevant fan conversations, beyond their official Facebook pages.  For example, I might attend a concert and post a photo of it on my personal Facebook page.  If I mention the music artist in my post, there’s now a greater chance they may see it and use it as an opportunity to connect with me.  Can you imagine the sort of impact that might have, having one of my favorite musicians single me out in that way?

According to Facebook, nearly 800 million people are connected to public figures on Facebook.  When you consider that fact, Mentions has some great potential for fostering additional connections.  I’m curious how this will work given privacy settings.  All of my posts on Facebook are set to “private” and can only be read by friends.  That said, I genuinely wouldn’t mind if Adam Levine decided to share his adoration and appreciation of me, on my Facebook page (are you listening, Adam?).


Why Teens are Leaving Facebook

January 24, 2014

hkeroes by Heather Keroes

Before Facebook and MySpace, there was CollegeClub.  CollegeClub was my first foray into using social media.  It predated MySpace by at least seven years and, as I recall, had a very similar formula.  I, like millions of other kids in their late teens, registered with CollegeClub right before going to college.  It was a great way to keep in touch with friends and meet new people at your school.

While there’s a lot of speculation as to why CollegeClub failed – from poor management to the high cost of running such a website at that time – it was easy to take the leap to MySpace and then later to Facebook as the next “new things.”  While shiny new objects aren’t the leading factor for changing social media allegiances (just look at Google+), when combined with teen angst, you have a powerful formula.

It was recently reported that there are 25 percent fewer teens using Facebook than there were in 2011.  While I may have started using social media in my late teens, I can’t imagine having it play a role in my life since birth.  Baby photos, graduations, prom dates … almost nothing is sacred when your parents are hanging out in the same place.  And the last thing most teens want is to hang out with their parents.

So, should we stop using Facebook to target teens?  A study shared in this Business Insider article suggests otherwise, reporting that most millennials prefer that brands communicate with them on Facebook over other platforms.  But as teens leap elsewhere, I suppose that marketers will take their own leap and follow.


Facebook Trumps Faces

January 22, 2013

by Heather Keroes

Are you good at remembering faces, but perhaps not so good at remembering names?  You may eventually change your tune to “I’m good at remembering Facebook posts, but not so great with faces.”

According to research recently reported in the journal Memory and Cognition, Facebook status updates are two-and-a-half times more memorable than the faces of strangers.  The experiments conducted suggested that memory of Facebook posts is enhanced due to Facebook’s “social elaboration.”  Facebook posts were also found to be more memorable than lines from books.

Read more here.  Hopefully, you’ll remember it.


Social Media for Social Good

May 1, 2012

by Kim Taylor

Did you feel that?  It’s the tide shifting.  There’s been so much negative talk about how bad social media is … everything from privacy concerns to productivity zappers and a gamut of reasons in between.  Fair enough.  There’s a degree of legitimacy to each concern.

But, perhaps we can silence the critics for a moment.  Facebook today announced a plan to encourage users to add their organ donation status to their timeline—hoping that in doing so others will be encouraged to become organ donors, too.

Imagine for a moment your own experience with organ donation.  Maybe you’ve never given it much thought.  You’re at the DMV (of all places!) and you’re asked to check the box … nobody’s around to encourage or discourage you … so maybe you do, but maybe you don’t.  End of story, right?

Now, imagine you’re scrolling through your Facebook page where friend after friend has updated their status to “Organ Donor.”  That’s bound to seep into your psyche.  The goal isn’t Facebook status, though; supporters hope to ultimately drive users to the national Organ Donor registry.

Of all places, I actually learned of a friend’s heart attack and subsequent transplant several months ago on Facebook.  I watched as friends of friends rallied around (virtually) posting their support with ‘likes’ and inspiring messages.   His survival was enough to solidify my organ donation status; will this move by Facebook change yours?


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