Gossip Genie Blog

Top 5 Best Client Connections

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When you are running a start-up, you have to view everything as an opportunity. I try to stress that to my coworkers as well. Many of our clients come from referrals, website inquiries and traditional outreach methods but here are a few that came from unique situations.

Top 5 Best Client Connections

1. I met a client at a baby shower. We were decorating onesies for the unborn baby and I struck up a conversation with the woman sitting next to me. It turned out that this woman was the marketing director at Vogue Knitting Live. Next thing I knew, we were contracted for our virtual publicist services to capture a “yarn bombing” event at a school in Chicago. Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 10.16.36 AM









2. & 3. Elizabeth, our newly appointed Director of Social Media, plays a different sport just about every night of the week. Dodgeball, volleyball and softball have been a fruitful source of clients for Gossip Genie. Based on the increase in clients, you would think Elizabeth was attending networking events. No, she just treats every situation like a networking event. Dodgeball brought us our beloved TUBC client and volleyball brought us the challenge of getting this Kickstarter campaign funded for BikeSpike.

4. In January, we decided to get professional photos taken of our team. We ended up using the same photographer that shot my engagement photos. After a session in our office, with our team, we had new head shots and a new clientGGCover






5. Through the grapevine. Jayme Joyce is someone that I used to work with and we have stayed in touch since we both left our previous jobs and started our own ventures. Jayme stared Joone Studios  and she is an amazingly talented producer/videographer. Jayme is also a power connector, always sending me introductory emails to great connections. Last summer Jayme introduced me to someone that worked at an ad agency. Upon connecting with this person, he told me that it was his last day at the firm. He connected me with his boss and after a brief meeting, there were no apparent opportunities. Eight months later, out of the blue, the agency threw a big project our way.

Lollapalooza 2013: One for the Books

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“You really have been one of the most gracious crowds we’ve ever played to,” Mumford professed Saturday during his live performance at Lollapalooza. A sea of fans swarmed the oversized field in front of the Red Bull Sound Select stage to watch the Mumford & Sons do what they do best, rock out.

They weren’t the only ones who gave a spectacular performance to the tens of thousands of attendees. They were among Ellie Goulding, The Lumineers, Icona Pop, The Killers, Band of Horses, The Cure, and The Postal Service, to name a few. With crowds roaring, fists pumping, fans crowd surfing and every single person singing along, it was pretty clear how big of a success Lolla was this year.

According to NBC, officials reported a crowd of 100,000 people at Grant Park each day, setting a new record. And a whopping 50,000 people crowded around to hear Ellie Goulding’s performance, according to her marketing manager. People came from all over to take part in this three-day extravaganza.

Here are some snapshots highlighting the performances, the endless amount of fans and the hustle and bustle of Lollapalooza.


Fans for days

Fans for days

The Vaccines

The Vaccines

Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara

Emeli Sandé

Emeli Sandé

Crowd surfing at a whole new level



The Lumineers

The Lumineers



Lolla lights

Lolla lights

Icona Pop

Icona Pop

Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding

Eric Church

Eric Church

Lolla Crowd

Lolla Crowd


The true definition of Lollapalooza, according to the dictionary, means “one that is extraordinarily impressive.” Although Perry Farrell titled the notorious event 20 years ago, I think it’s safe to say that its meaning still rings true.

Do you have any snapshots from Lollapalooza that you want to share? Tweet your photos to @GossipGenie.

Social Media, a Playground for Students

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Whether you’re posting a video of illegal shenanigans, talking smack about a teacher or posting social security numbers for the whole world to see, there are some things you should never do on social media. Here are five things students should stray away from doing on any social sphere they play on.

Posting About Illegal Activities

It’s inevitable, through your high school and college years you’ll be thrown into many situations, both good and bad. Bottom line, once that video or photograph surfaces on social media of last weekend’s drunken debacles, you become vulnerable to very negative consequences – Expulsion, criminal prosecution, life changing costs. And like what Sweet Brown always says, “Ain’t nobody got time for dat.”

Bullying, Posting Threats

Bullying is an ongoing issue that many students unfortunately face. Harsh treatment both physically and mentally can lead to depression, suicide and severe violence. Posting hurtful speech on social media can lead to serious consequences. So not only are you hurting another human being, but you’re hurting yourself.

Posting a threat on social media raises a huge red flag as well. The authorities do monitor social media and if they locate a threat, whether it’s a true threat or someone simply venting, an investigation will follow. In fact, many police departments are including tips received via social media in their investigations. Believe it or not, social media has become a major tool for many police departments. Keep this tidbit in mind next time you’re thinking about posting threatening words from your social accounts.

Publishing Questionable Photographs

Whether you’ve just graduated college and are applying for your dream career, or trying to score a summer job after high school, employers will get the scoop on you from your social media profiles. flip

Don’t get me wrong, your profile can show off the fun-loving, free-spirited individual you may be, but it should also accentuate your sense of responsibility, professionalism and maturity.

Although privacy settings exist, they can only do so much. Try to go through your photos and snapshots you’ve been tagged in and get rid of any photo you wouldn’t want a future employer to see – like that beer bong “selfie” from freshman year, that’s got to go, at least from the social media sphere.

Talking Smack About Teachers

If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t tweet or post it either. By posting negative, incriminating comments or false accusations about an educator you’re sacrificing people’s feelings and ultimately hurting yourself. A teacher or professor can help you further your education, jumpstart your future after college – so why burn that bridge?

Releasing Confidential Information

Don’t rely on privacy settings 100%, especially when it comes to confidential information. Whether we like it or not, Internet predators and identity thieves exist. Don’t let yourself be vulnerable to those types of people. Protect personal information – your social security number, home address, cell phone number are a few pieces of information that shouldn’t be added to you profile to ensure your safety.

Social media is an amazing tool, but it’s important to know the do’s and don’ts. Sharing the news about your wedding engagement – do. Tweeting about how you and some friends snuck into the school gym to give it an “interior makeover” – don’t

7 Instagram Wedding Tips

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This summer, I have been invited to 7 weddings and I wanted to provide some wedding Instagram tips based on my experience.

1. Create a hashtag for your wedding. Forget about the signature drinks, it’s all about the Instagram hashtag today. It is a variation of both names, a celebrity style mashup for the bride and groom to have their own stream of wedding attendee taken photos. The candid ones are always the best.



2. Make sure you choose a unique hashtag. #Smithwedding has nearly 1,500 posts on Instagram and unfortunately, that’s not all from one wedding.

3. If you are in the wedding and you get to see the bride before her groom does, DO NOT post a picture without her consent. Social media savvy grooms would prefer to see their bride for the first time walking down the aisle, not in their Instagram feed.

4. Don’t focus on Instagram so much that you miss out on the wedding. You can take as many pictures as you want but the hashtag #latergram is used for a reason.

5. Don’t go overboard with the hashtags. #want? #need? #buy? #sell?



6. Do tag the bride and groom in the photos you post of them. This should not be in place of using their unique hashtag.

7. Don’t post any pictures of anyone at the wedding that you wouldn’t want posted of you.


Photographs of the Single Best Moments in a Person’s Life

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Last week, Sports Illustrated writer Richard Deitsch tweeted, “How many of you have a photograph of the single best moment of your life? If so, what a gift.” People  tweeted back at him heart-warming and emotional photos of them at their happiest. Deitsch’s question elicited a range of responses from people and included everything from proposals, weddings, the birth of children, beating illnesses, and a host of other moments that have brought them happiness and joy.

Here a few of my favorite responses:

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Do you have a picture of the single happiest moment in your life? Tweet it to @GossipGenie! We’d love to spread the joy!

Social media, a digital diary after Zimmerman verdict

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The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting and death of Trayvon Martin set the Twittersphere ablaze this weekend. The jury accepted the argument that Mr. Zimmerman acted in self-defense, or used necessary force to prevent serious harm to himself. Mr. Martin was unarmed during the unfortunate event, and was walking through a residential neighborhood in Sanford, Fla. The verdict prompted a social media debate, which was a mix of support and outrage.

According to a New York Times blog post, on Twitter alone, “more than a million posts about the verdict went up in the 12 hours after it was announced Saturday night.” From expressing deep relief to voicing injustice and utter confusion – It’s safe to say there was quite a variety of responses.

While sifting through the many tweets about the trial, many saw that the family members from both parties took to social media as well.

Tweets from the parents of Mr. Martin:

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As well as posts from Mr. Zimmerman’s brother:

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Many celebrities posted on social media as well, commenting about the acquittal:

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According to NPR, officials and leaders were prepared for potential rioting and race wars after the trial. However, since social media acted as a digital diary to vent or celebrate, people released all of their emotions by tweeting, posting rather than displaying social unrest.

RIP My Digital Friend

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There are two times in life when people are very eager to share a story about their relationship to you – if you become famous and when you die. It’s sad that fame and death bring about a sudden urge to claim a connection to someone. Unfortunately, this post is about someone that has recently passed away. I want to share this story because not only is it about a successful, brave, inspirational and admirable young woman, it’s also the story of someone I never met but have conversed with through every possible digital medium.

Three years ago, I was introduced to Lillian Davenport because she sent an inquiry via my website based on a mutual connection that referred her to me. After about 10 emails back and forth and half a dozen realized common connections, Lillian and I finally found a time to talk on the phone about how we could work together. She was a graphic designer which I was always looking to partner up with because I could refer a lot of business to them and vice versa. Our conversation was great and we agreed to find a time to meet but we kept trying and one of us always had a conflict. Lillian and I connected on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc and a few short months after we spoke on the phone, Lillian posted this on Facebook.

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This was an incredibly brave woman to open up to everyone like this. I followed her journey over the next two years and prayed for her.

I checked Lillian’s page frequently to see how she was doing.  Finally, it seemed as though she was starting to recover based on her posts. However, that was not the case and a few days before Christmas, she posted this devastating update. Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 10.10.39 AM


She fought so hard all throughout 2012. I watched, rooting for her and all unbeknownst to her. Just shy of a year later, Lillian posted this update:

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It seemed so unfair and cruel that this young woman was fighting for her life each day and she just kept receiving more bad news. I didn’t feel like it was my place to contact her but I regret not doing so, now that she has passed. I barely knew this person but was deeply saddened by the announcement of her death late last week. Lillian was only 32 years old.

This was Lillian’s final post on Facebook about 6 weeks before she passed. You can read her pain. At least she is no longer suffering. Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 10.30.33 AM

1698636_20130629162033_000dn1photo.img_20130630RIP Lillian Julia Davenport-Partac 12.03.1980 – 06.26.2013


“Freebie” Strikes Again

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Earlier this afternoon, we attended yet another successful and beautiful event hosted by Freebie, a new app that’s destined to go viral. The Chicago venue, Allium at the Four Seasons, was stunning, to say the least. The staff brought out elegant food displays, showed enthusiasm and friendliness toward every guest, and, well, made an absolutely delicious Flash Lunch.

The catch, you ask? No catch, all you had to do was have fun, enjoy and play with social media. We kid you not. As you enjoyed your relaxing meal, they wanted you to post photos or comments tagging Allium’s various social media outlets and Freebie’s Twitter page, which were clearly printed on the menu. With easy access to their social presences, everyone was tweeting, posting away like there was no tomorrow.

At the end of the meal, the bill arrived. The total, drumroll please, was 1 social posting about the event. There was no need for a wallet because your social postings settled the bill. Talk about best bill ever, right?

After rummaging through the photos from this event, I thought it was only appropriate to share some. Here are a few great shots, from us and others:


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Brushes With Fame on Twitter

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Your palms are sweating; heart beating a million miles a minute; eyes super glued to your computer screen; and for a brief moment, you begin to feel like a mini celebrity. Does this best describe how you would react if you had a brush with someone famous on Twitter?

Twitter has become one of the biggest game changers in how we interact with each other. And in a world where real-time news and status updates can single-handedly take our emotions from doom and gloom to feeling like we’re on top of the world (and vice versa), ‘socially’ wearing our hearts on our 140-character laden sleeves is considered normal. And what happens when your favorite celebrity gets in touch with you and takes your emotions into overdrive? Answer: Revert to the opening line of this blog post.

Like many, I follow famous personalities with no intention of them ever reading my tweets. And depending on the celebrity, the odds of receiving some sort of interaction from them are slim to none. But within the past year, I’ve changed my stance from “Why won’t you tweet me? I hate you!” to “You acknowledge my existence? I love you!” after “interacting” with a few of my favorite celebrities. I’m also happy to say that I didn’t receive the Kayne West treatment. Hoping to add to my list in the future, here a few of my famous brushes with fame on Twitter:

LL Cool J:

Andrew Zimmern:

I’d love to hear your stories of famous followers and who you’ve interacted with. Comment below!

4 Lessons We Can Learn From These Epic Social Media Fails

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media, What Not to Post | No Comments

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Facebook launched for high school students in February of 2006, when I was a junior in high school.  Everyone was talking about it. You weren’t cool if you didn’t have a Facebook.  So naturally, I logged in and created an account. Eager to build my network of friends, I started poking everyone at my high school. I thought this was how you sent a friend request! Lets just say no one poked me back and I received some strange looks in the hallways at school the next day.

We’ve all had embarrassing things happen to us on social media, whether you’ve accidentally “liked” a picture of your crush or posted a picture you didn’t want anyone to see. It’s embarrassing, of course, but what happens when major brands experience a social media fail?

Here are some lessons we can learn from some of their biggest mistakes:

1.    Triple Check Your Post Before Sending

Before I send out a post for client (and from my personal account), I always triple check it to make sure that there are no spelling or punctuation errors and that the post makes sense grammatically and contextually.

Can you spot the grammatical error in Pampers’ post below?

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2.    Know Who You’re Posting As

Have you ever meant to post as the company you are managing but accidentally posted as yourself? You should always know who you’re posting as to avoid a mistake like the American Red Cross or KtichenAid.

An intern at the Red Cross meant to send this tweet from his personal Twitter account but accidentally sent it from the @RedCross account.

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When KitchedAid posted this, they issued an apology saying, “a member of our Twitter team mistakenly posted an offensive tweet from their KitchenAid handle instead of a personal handle.”

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3.    Don’t Hijack Hashtags

Some big brands have tried to capitalize on the popularity of a hashtag. This is never a good idea when that hashtag involves a serious or sensitive matter.

 Celeb Boutique sent out this tweet after the Aurora shootings because they saw #Aurora trending.

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Kenneth Cole received serious flak when they tried to hijack the #Cairo tag associated with the Egyptian Riots.

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4. Always Ask, “Is this a good idea?”

A good rule of thumb is to always ask yourself if posting this is a good idea. Does it make sense for the brand? Will it create a negative reaction? If you’re unsure, ask for advice. Always be thoughtful and take multiple considerations into account before posting.

American Apparel could have used this advice before they created an “In case you’re bored during the storm” campaign during Hurricane Sandy:

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What’s your biggest social media fail?