Social Media

Gossip Genie’s Office Depot Small Business Makeover Part 2 of 5

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I have been working at Gossip Genie for about a year and 2 months now and this is by far the most exciting thing that has happened to our company! After Jacqui entered into the Office Depot Small Business Makeover contest, I started thinking back to last year at this time and how much has changed. In a very short period of time, Gossip Genie has grown from a handful of clients and 2 employees to 11 amazing clients and as of next week, 5 employees! We used to meet at Jacqui’s previous condo and work from her couch for a few hours (or until our laptops got too hot for our legs). Flash forward a year and Office Depot comes in and supplies us with beautiful glass top desks, leather executive chairs, a laptop, and a plethora of cute office supplies (luckily they took note that we were an office of all girls). After we got all our new jazz set up, Jacqui was kind enough to purchase a monitor for my desk. Switching back and forth between tabs and documents on a 13 inch screen is no easy task- take note small businesses out is an easy and low cost fix to speed up work efficiency! Along with the office supplies, Jacqui was able to have a one on one hour long session with the financial editor of The Today Show, Jean Chatzky. They discussed everything from financials, to client relationships, and even ways in which we can grow Gossip Genie.

2012 is going to be a big year for Gossip Genie! We just launched this new website and with the excitement around our Office Depot win, the genies are feeling motivated as ever! We love staying busy so feel free to mention our name to anyone in need of some social media marketing assistance!

The Genies of Gossip Genie

Office Depot Small Business Makeover Part I of 5

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This has been a major week for Gossip Genie – each Genie will be writing about the experience from her perspective this coming week. 

Office Depot Selects Small Business Makeover Finalists
BOCA RATON, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar. 29, 2012– It seems like we could all use someone to come to our rescue every once in a while. Luckily for three small businesses, Office Depot is here for them in their time of need as they have been chosen as the finalists of the nationwide Small Business Makeover contest.Small businesses entered the contest by submitting, in 100 words or less, why their small business is in need of a makeover. The three Small Business Makeover finalists come from Chicago, Atlanta and South Florida. The winners are:

  •, a social media marketing firm that was started by Jacqueline Liberman two years ago in Chicago, IL.Since opening its doors, has hired three employees and has seen its client list grow from one to fifteen different clients. Because of its rapid growth and need to invest in the business, is in desperate need of new office furniture and is eager to provide employees with the work spaces they deserve.
  • All Around Roofing and Gutters, a small roofing and gutter business in Metro Atlanta is owned and operated by Shayne and Susie Ray and has been in business since 2002. With the current state of the economy, the Rays have found it difficult to make a profit and are looking for ways to better manage money and reduce costs so they can stay in business.
  • ioTechie, a technology-focused news publication site, was founded by Joseph De Caso in 2010. Joseph has recently moved his small business into a new office location and is looking forward to having Office Depot help give the office more personality with new office supplies.

“We received hundreds of entries from small business owners, and we’re proud that we can provide help to them on their journey to success,” said Bob Moore, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Office Depot.

The Small Business Makeover contest was designed to help small business owners with their businesses in 2012 and beyond. The three finalists will receive a makeover from Office Depot, which includes a one-on-one financial coaching session with Jean Chatzky, Realspace® office furniture, HP laptop and office supplies featuring Jean Chatzky’s line of Mead financial organization products, available exclusively at Office Depot.

“I’m a strong believer that a little guidance and support goes a long way, and I’m excited to provide small businesses with the right tools to help them make this a very successful year,” said Jean Chatzky, financial expert, journalist and motivational speaker.

To learn more about the products and services available at Office Depot, please visit your local Office Depot retail store location or To follow Office Depot on Twitter, please visit

About Office Depot

Office Depot, dedicated to helping customers save time and money, provides office supplies and services through 1,677 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales force, top-rated catalogs and global e-commerce operations. Office Depot has annual sales of approximately $11.5 billion, and employs about 39,000 associates in 60 countries around the world.

Office Depot’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP. Additional press information can be found at: and

About Jean Chatzky

Jean Chatzky, an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, is the author of seven books, including the recent New York Times best-seller Money 911: Your Most Pressing Money Questions Answered, Your Money Emergencies Solved. In March 2012, Jean will release her highly anticipated new book Money Rules. Jean is a sought-after motivational speaker, as well as a respected consultant to businesses and company executives. She also regularly shares her advice and opinions as a guest on popular television shows. For more information, please visit



Source: Office Depot

Office Depot
Owen Torres, 561-438-7059

Shahs of Sunset: Bravo – What Were You Thinking?

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I watched Shahs of Sunset two nights ago and am still kicking myself for making such a poor life decision. As a loyal Bravo viewer, I trust their judgment when it comes to producing a hit reality TV series. I’ll even watch Tabatha Takes Over if it’s the only thing on TV – but Shahs of Sunset? Never again. It’s just not entertaining to me.

Let’s play a quick elementary style game: Shahs of Sunset is to Persians what Jersey Shore is to Italians.

Snooki and Deena might not get this analogy, but I’m assuming most of you will. Laymens terms = it does not depict Iranian-Americans in the best light. See minute 1:07 in the video below. GG, the most annoying person on the show actually says, “Two things I don’t like: I don’t like ants and I don’t like ugly people.” Really, those are the two things you don’t like? I’m sure the editors had a ball with this footage.


Quite honestly, I find it painful to hear GG speak. She is 30 years old and her only job thus far in life has been to “spend her daddy’s money.” The other characters on the show are a little less intrusive, but still over the top. Shahs of Sunset, produced by Ryan Seacrest, has been receiving multiple forms of criticism in the media. According to Fox News, Iranian-Americans are up in arms over the stereotypes they claim it perpetuates. So much so, in fact, that petitions are circulating in Iranian communities to have the show yanked off the air.

Perusing Twitter, one will find the general public is mixed. A simple #ShahsOfSunset hashtag search on Twitter resulted in:

And even one from the Persian Princess herself:

As for me, no more time will be wasted on Shahs of Sunset. You?

ABC Announces “Duets”, Yet ANOTHER Signing Competition on TV to Keep Up With

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Apparently, TV execs think there is an unlimited amount of undiscovered talent in America.  ABC just announced they are jumping on the bandwagon of TV singing competitions with Duets, featuring celebrity judges Kelly Clarkson, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Nettles, Robin Thicke, set to air this summer. Is this necessary? Are we tapped out on these shows? The answer currently: not according to the ratings.

American Idol, now in it’s 11th year, finished up the 2011 season as the #1 show week after week topping the charts with almost 31 million viewers for the season finale. NBC’s The Voice premiered their first season with 12 million viewers, increasing it to 17 million for the 2012 premiere. Simon Cowell’s new show The X Factor was neck and neck with The Voice, as 12.5 million tuned in to the first show on September 11, 2011.

And you know where these millions of viewers turn to share their thoughts – straight to Facebook to Twitter? And I’m one of them! Anyone remember this guy from American Idol? I uploaded this picture of Scott McIntyre to Facebook in March of 2009 – I couldn’t believe he kept making it through each week.

Scott McIntyre

And thanks to DVR, #TheVoice has been trending all week as the judges are in the process of choosing who will be on their final team.
The Voice

We’ll see if Duets can garner as many viewers as newcomers The Voice and The X Factor. My prediction: with ratings this high – these shows aren’t going anywhere. Hey Oprah: maybe you should think about putting a singing competition up on OWN! 😉

Bad last name? Watch out for Facebook!

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For as long as I can remember, I have always had comments made about my last name. You wouldn’t know it from my blog name but my last name is Slutsky and for obvious reasons, you can probably understand why these comments have been instilled throughout my life. It never caused any serious issues for me or my family, if anything it allows me to close a bar tab as fast as possible and I seem to get a large number of friend requests followed by marriage proposals on Facebook from people I do not know.  Until yesterday…. when my sister received this e-mail from Facebook Headquarters.



From: The Facebook Team <>
Date: Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: Disabled – Fake Name
To: *******.*******


Facebook is a community where people use their real identities. We require everyone to provide their real first and last names and real birthday so you always know who you’re connecting with.

Your account is temporarily suspended because your profile doesn’t list your real name. Before we can reopen this account, we need to verify your identity.

Please reply to this email and attach a digital image of one of the acceptable documents outlined below so we can verify your account information. We will permanently delete our record of this digital image from our servers after we use it to confirm your identity.

If you have a government-issued ID (ex: passport or driver’s license) please attach that.

If you do not have a government-issued ID, please attach copies of at least TWO documents that:

– Are from a respected institution (ex: business, school, university)
– Combined show your full name, birthday, and picture

Some examples of acceptable documents include:

– School or work ID
– Utility bill
– Marriage license
– Legal name change paperwork
– Credit card (with the number blacked out)
– Birth certificate

Once we receive your response with the proper identification attached, we can assist you further. In the meantime, don’t create a new account because this could make it more difficult to resolve your issue.

Note that we will not be able to take any action on this account unless we receive the proper documents. Sorry for the inconvenience.

For more information on our name policies, please visit:

The Facebook Team

Yes. This is real-not a scam. At first, I thought it was some kind of Facebook hack but after further investigation, it appears my last name is part of a “blacklist” of names that Facebook does not allow because they appear to be ‘fake’…for obvious reasons. I found another young woman who had this same thing happen to her with the last name “Istanbul.”  This is absolute discrimination by Facebook! You can’t choose your last name and a company that relies heavily on names to connect people to one another  should not have the right to kick people off Facebook at their command without warning.

She got it sorted out last night and Facebook officially apologized for the “mistake.”- Take that Mark Zuckerburg. Thankfully, they are now aware of our name and hopefully I will not run into this issue as  my  job relies on Facebook to keep the Gossip Genie clients afloat! Consider this post as a warning to all you bad last namers out there, stay strong!

Millions Share Their Thoughts on Whitney Houston via Social Media

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I found out that Whitney Houston had died via Facebook. I confirmed the story was true after I checked Twitter. By 8 p.m. on February 10, 2012, just an hour after Ms. Houston’s death was first reported (on Twitter), 18 percent of all Twitter posts mentioned “Whitney.”

When someone dies, social media spreads the news like wildfire. On February 18, 2012, 1,500 people physically attended Whitney Houston’s Home Going (her family specifically requested it not be referred to as a funeral) at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ. A staggering 14 million others viewed it on various TV networks and live streams from the Internet.

I happened to be watching it on E! where they created the hashtag #WhitneyTributes to collectively allow viewers to share their thoughts on Twitter in real time. Throughout the entire service I found myself going back and forth between watching the ceremony and reading the tweets of other viewers. I even sent a few tweets myself.

I was humbled at how social media allowed millions of people to celebrate the life as well as mourn the loss of Whitney – arguably one of the greatest voices this generation has ever known. When Alicia Keys sang an emotional, “Send Me An Angel,” thousands of tweets went out to salute the performance.

The legacy of Whitney Houston will live on through her music and her films, and thanks to social media – through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest too.

How to get Amazing Karma

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Do you ever find yourself performing a good deed and wondering when some good karma is going to come back your way? Well with our newest client’s soon-to-launch website, you may be able to do that! acknowledges acts of kindness, honesty, and courtesy, while exposing acts of unkindness, dishonesty, and discourtesy. The more Karma points you collect, the more points you can redeem at over 18,000 vendors! OR, you can use the points toward a charitable donation. Before the big launch, Amazing Karma is looking for website testers in exchange for 100 Karma Points to use as a charitable donation or for yourself to get consumer goods. Watch the video below and then head on over to to register your e-mail. You’ve got nothing to lose and good karma to gain! 🙂


Smell Those Roses!

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We have all heard the expression, “stop and smell the roses” but what does that really mean? Who has time to stop and smell anything when life is about trying to be as efficient as possible? My days, like many others are over before I realize they have even started. My post-it note to-do list grows longer on a daily basis and none of my tasks include, “stopping to smell the roses.” I guess, I never considered that kind of thing productive and sadly, I don’t condone being unproductive, even for a minute. If digital media had a smell, my nostrils would be coated but most days, the only thing I smell is ink from my printer.

However, after reading this story, I think I will take some time today and smell the roses because we all deserve a break to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us in the midst of chaos.

(Taken from Facebook) This is so amazing. Please take a moment to read:
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

Happy Valentine’s Day! – Love, Social Media

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Valentine’s Day is a day to spend with that special person, eat chocolate, and of course, post photos on your Facebook of those dozen roses delivered to your office. My news feed is currently filled with these photos. As I scroll through and admire these beautiful bouquets,  I recall a day when, on Valentine’s Day, no one would really know if you received flowers! We couldn’t tweet, Facebook, pin, or even send a picture text message-GASP! Nowadays, it keeps us ‘in the know’…. “Did you see Ashley’s mobile upload of her flowers? I wonder who she is dating now. She’s still single on Facebook?”….”O-M-G, Erica posted a photo of flowers today, I wonder if her and Joey are back together?” I am sure the photos on your newsfeed have you wondering and this is the brilliance behind social media. We willingly let people into our lives and then choose how much information to release.

For now, let’s sign out of Facebook, get off Twitter, and enjoy Valentine’s Day sans social media. If you’re single, don’t let those photos get you down, call up a friend, open a bottle of wine, and it will be February 15th before you know it.

One more thing: This is the most heart-warming Valentine’s Day related Facebook post I’ve seen all day! Enjoy.


"So today I was in Hallmark buying my mom a Happy Birthday card when I noticed this old man standing in front of the Valentine's Day card section contemplating which one to get. I decide to go over and I ask him “Are you getting a Valentine’s Day for your wife?” in which he replies 'No my wife died 3 years ago from breast cancer but I still buy her roses and a card and bring them to her grave to prove to her that she was the only one that will ever have my heart' "



Facebook is Not Free

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Old Spice Commerical As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of consumer goods, Procter & Gamble has earned the title of the world’s top marketer. This also means they have the highest annual ad budget ($10 billion), which I have to say, was well spent when those Old Spice ads began running a few years ago ;).  P&G received 1.8 billion in free impressions generated by this campaign – not too shabby!

A few days ago, current CEO Robert McDonald announced P&G is cutting marketing costs and focusing more on utilizing Facebook to reach their audiences. He told Wall Street analysts that he would have to “moderate” his ad budget because Facebook and Google can be “more efficient” than the traditional media that usually eats the lion’s share of P&G’s ad budget. Wow, he’s JUST coming to this realization? I’m not saying he’s wrong, but the headline from Business Insider that explained the story was a little misleading, “P&G To Lay Off 1,600 After Discovering It’s Free To Advertise On Facebook.”

People need to stop citing that it’s FREE to advertise on Facebook. It’s not. A business needs to budget for social media strategists, a social media plan, Facebook Ads, creation of content, etc. – there are a lot of moving parts to maintaining a fruitful social media presence.  However, I do think allocating more of their ad dollars to social branding is a step in the right direction for P&G. Facebook seems to agree as they favorably cited P&G in their IPO released yesterday:

“Procter & Gamble chose to advertise on Facebook to generate awareness for Secret deodorant’s “Mean Stinks” program and selected a female audience likely to be receptive to the campaign. The ad featured a confessional-style video of a girl admitting that she had bullied others, realizing the damage she had caused, and apologizing. In the 26 weeks after the Mean Stinks campaign launched, Secret experienced a 9% increase in U.S. sales and an increase in engagement with its Facebook Page.”FB Landing Page for P&G Brand Secret's

While our clients are all aware of the necessity and relevance of designating funds to social media in their marketing budgets, there are many who are just discovering and realizing the potential of these social streams. It’s time for an intervention: If you or someone you know would like to reach your target audience via the channels that they spend the majority of their time online, hire a social media team.