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Indecisive Nation Unite! Yelp Helps Save the Day.

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media, Uncategorized, Words of Advice | No Comments

When it comes to making decisions, I’m the absolute worst. I mean, on any given day it can take me 2 hours to decide what TV show I want to watch. So it’s no surprise that last Friday night my boyfriend and I found ourselves aimlessly wandering the streets of Lakeview looking for somewhere to eat. Being the picky eaters that we are, finding somewhere that we can agree on is an especially painful process. This is exactly why I love Yelp so much.

Yelp is a crowd-sourced local business review and social networking site. The site has pages devoted to individual locations, such as restaurants or salons, where users can submit a review on their products or services using a one to five star rating system. In addition to writing reviews, users can react to reviews, plan events or discuss their personal lives. As of 2015, Yelp.com has 142 million monthly visitors and 77 million reviews.*

If you didn’t catch that, Yelp is perfect for anyone who has a hard time committing to well, pretty much anything. Don’t know which nail salon has better service? Yelp it. Want to find the best pizza in town? Yelp it. Trying to find a new doctor? Yelp it. Yelp’s slogan, “Real People. Real Reviews.” basically tells you all that you need to know. With that slogan in mind, I think it’s important to remember that because these are humans, like you and I, sharing their reviews – their opinions are just that, opinions. People aren’t always going to like the same things or experience the same kind of service. However, if a business is plagued with 1 star reviews, in my opinion, it’s best to assume that they’re pretty accurate.

Glaz
Glaze Teriyaki – Photo courtesy of @cnsherman

Aside from viewing other Yelp user’s reviews, Yelp gives business owners a chance to respond to reviews, either publicly or privately. I currently oversee a Yelp account for one of my clients and find that a company’s responses, to both good and bad reviews, can help shape the way other Yelp users view your business. If a person gives you a good review, thanking them is more likely to keep them coming back for more of whatever you’ve got. If they give a bad review, it’s important to acknowledge their concerns publicly to let them, and others, know that the issue isn’t being brushed under the table.

For the basic Yelp user, it showcases features such as connecting with your friends (or others whose reviews you find useful), sharing photos, marking others reviews as “funny, cool or useful,” responding to other users reviews, making reservations, checking in at a location, ordering and having food delivered, scheduling appointments, ordering flowers, you get the gist. On top of all of that, you’re also able to connect to Facebook and Twitter so you can share your reviews there as well. Did I mention that Yelp has an app for iOS and Android too?

You’re probably wondering what food I ended up using Yelp to find on Friday night. We had our heart (halfway) set on a little Mediterranean spot on Broadway but I ended up running into an old coworker who had just come from Glaze Teriyaki Grill. She recommended we try it out but I was still persistent about the other place, thanks to their 4.5 star Yelp review. After Yelping Glaze, I instantly changed my mind, we decided on Glaze and I couldn’t be happier that we did (thanks, Carina!). Cute interior, great food and the most amazing staff to boot! It’s safe to say that we’ve found our new regular spot. Which reminds me, I still have to go give them the 5 stars they so fabulously deserve.

Next time you’re in a bind about which business is better, from bars, to drive-thrus, to law offices (yes, you can review those too!), just follow the stars, they’ll (hardly) lead you astray. Don’t forget to help your fellow indecisive Yelpers out either, leave those reviews like it’s your job.

*Info taken straight from the source – Yelp.com.

New Updates to Facebook Video

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Recently, Facebook has focused on establishing its video platform to compete with YouTube. It now boasts more than 4 billion video views per day as of April 2015, up from 1 billion in September 2014.

Videos also lead in organic reach on Facebook with 11.86% of page likes seeing a video post. Links reach 9%, photos reach 7.86% and status updates 6.12% of the total audience. Videos on Facebook are also right behind photos in terms of engagement. (Source: Locowise)

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Facebook video is obviously a great marketing tool for business pages. So, what’s coming next?

New Updates to Facebook Video:

1. Pay Per View

Right now, Facebook counts a view as “3 seconds of view time.” With most of my clients, the average duration of a video view is anywhere between 10 and 15 seconds. Now, Facebook is introducing a new video ad buying format that lets you choose to pay only when viewers stick around for at least 10 seconds, versus any time a video plays for a mere 3 seconds in someone’s newsfeed. This is beneficial because it will prioritize those that are really engaging with your content and are more likely to create a conversion on your video ad or watch the video in its entirety.

2. Floating Video

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Facebook is testing a new floating video feature with some users that lets you scroll through your newsfeed while you watch. The option, available only for some Facebook users currently, is accessible via an icon in the lower-right hand portion of the video. When you click the icon, the video becomes movable. The feature is only available on desktop, not mobile. For marketers worrying that their videos will get lost in the newsfeed, this is the perfect solution.

3. Priortizing Videos in Newsfeed

In a recent Facebok newsroom article, Facebook said that they will know show more videos to people who are taking action on videos similar, such as turning up the volume, making a video full screen, or pressing play, instead of just prioritizing videos in your newsfeed based on your likes, comments, and shares on videos.

Here’s what they had to say:

“Many people have told us that they enjoy watching videos in News Feed but don’t always feel inclined to like, comment or share them. For example, you may have found a video from a nonprofit you follow on Facebook to be really informative and you’re glad you saw it but it’s not something you felt inclined to like, comment on or share more broadly.

We are now taking into account more interactions with videos that we have learned indicate whether someone found that video interesting, such as choosing to turn on sound, making the video full screen, and enabling high definition. So if you turn the volume up or make the video full screen, we have updated News Feed to infer you liked the video and will show you similar videos higher up in your News Feed.”

4. GIFs

Facebook is this close to allowing business pages to post GIFs. GIFs are already able to be shared from your personal Facbeook account- just copy and paste a link to your favorite GIF in your status update and plays right in your newsfeed. Brand pages, however, are not able to share GIFs at this time. But a Facebook spokespersons recently told Adweek this:

“We built support for animated GIFs to help people express themselves in fun new ways on Facebook. Like many features that we release on Facebook, we want to ensure that this drives a great experience for people first before rolling it out more widely. While Pages cannot currently post GIFs, we are exploring ways to enable this in the future.”

Soon your marketing plan can include GIFs!

Social Media Gives Shelter Dogs a New Leash on Life

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, Uncategorized | No Comments

If you have a TV, you’ve probably seen Sarah Mclachlan’s ASPCA commercial at least 14 times (minimum). I’ve been told multiple times by multiple people that my Facebook profile is comparable to those commercials. Some might take that as an insult but I like to think of it as a compliment. I mean, we can pretty much do just about anything with social media these days so if you have the chance to help do something good, why wouldn’t you?!

In recent years, laws have been put into place in many states not only to regulate the commercial breeding industry but also to completely ban puppy mills. Due to laws of this nature, the popularity of adopting/rescuing dogs has grown tremendously. Shelters are full to the brim, many times having to turn animals away because there’s no room. So where does social media come into play and how does it help?

Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram have proven to be great outlets for animal shelters and organizations seeking help with dog rescue, fostering, adoption and medical funding. These social media platforms allow them to reach a high volume of people, not only in the direct vicinity, but all over the world with just a few clicks of a mouse. Shelters are able to share photos and videos of the dogs that they have available for adoption or use hashtags such as #adoptdontshop, which helps decrease the time that animals are stuck in the shelter.

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My rescue dog, Delilah

Being the dog lover that I am, two of my all-time favorite organizations have to do with dog rescue/awareness (duh). Check them out below and see a few ways that they’re using social media to garner attention and support their individual causes on a constant, and almost overwhelming, basis.
 
Trio Animal Foundation (TAF) is a charitable organization that assists shelters, rescues and individuals by paying the medical bills of homeless pets. TAF also promotes adoption and responsible pet ownership, including spay and neutering.

  • TAF uses social media to connect with fellow animal lovers on a raw, real and emotional level. They use photos and tell stories without holding back, allowing the audience to feel connected to the animal and their journey. The use of visuals (photo and video) has proven to have higher levels of engagement than posts with plain text.
  • TAF is quick to respond to follower’s questions and comments which is critical in not only gaining followers but also maintaining the ones that they already have. This level of rapport creates a unique bond, creating lifelong supporters of the organization and their mission.
  • Although TAF is Chicago based, they’ve been able to use Facebook and Twitter to reach animal lovers all over the country. Because medical funding is such a large part of their organization, this is extremely important. They have been able to raise more money for the animals in shorter periods of time due to the large reach.

 
Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc. (PFOB) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to educate people about the history, temperament, and plight of the pit bull-type dog; raising awareness to rally against Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) and Breed Discriminatory Laws (BDL).

  • Not only does PFPB use social media to educate on pit-bull-type dogs, they also use their platform to share posts about dogs who are in urgent need of a home. Because their following is so large (462k Facebook fans!), they have a high success rate of finding help for the dogs that they post about.
  • Like TAF, Pinups for Pitbulls is very active with their fan-base, making it easier for followers to feel a connection with the organization. This increases the amount of shares that their posts receive, making their organization noticeably more visible across the web and the country.

 
Its easy to look back even 10 years and see the impact that social media has made in the world. I bet no one ever thought that they’d be able to help save dogs just by sitting on their computer. Crazy, right? The next time you see someone sharing a post about an animal that needs help, instead of scrolling past it, take a minute and think about hitting the ‘share’ button instead. Who knows, your share just might help that dog find his furrever home.

Instagram launches new features, including “Search for Places”

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This week, [my personal favorite social media network] Instagram, launched several new features to further enhance its platform. What I love most about the update is there is now a feature that allows users to search for photos tagged at certain places. Many of our clients have brick and mortar locations and it proved difficult and time consuming to manually search for tags at specific stores and locations. With the addition of this feature, the same work can be done much more efficiently.

Here is a breakdown of what’s new on Instagram:

  1. Trending Places – A compilation of photos from users posting photos at locations near you. For me, this happened to be the United Center and Summerfest in Milwaukee.FullSizeRender-2 
  2. Trending Tags – Much like Twitter Trends, this is a list of the most-recent, most-used hashtags on Instagram. Trending Tags - Instagram
  3. Search for Places – Find photos geo-tagged in specific locations. This example shows a search for Oberweis, which has over 60 locations. FullSizeRender
  4. Top Posts – Now, when you search for a hashtag, it includes ‘Top Posts’ as well as ‘Most Recent.’ ‘Top Posts’ are the photos with the most likes. FullSizeRender-3

Something else of note that happened this week, Sprout Social added Instagram to their dashboard, so we now have reporting capabilities and access to individual post engagement rates. You can even directly respond to users without having to login to the app or online. Cheers to this one, Sprout, you guys rock!

Sprout Adds Instagram

 

Four Tips: How to be More Creative

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I saw Blue Man Group at the theater recently. I didn’t know what to expect because I had little prior knowledge, but it was one of the most creative things I’ve ever experienced. It’s hard to put it into words but if you haven’t seen the show, it’s led by three bald, ‘Blue Men’ and is an eclectic mix of art, music, drumming, comedy and technology. There’s a lot of audience interaction, too (which always gives me minor anxiety but thankfully they didn’t pick me out of the audience).

I left inspired that its creators were imaginative enough to dream up and develop such a unique concept. It reminded me of the importance of creativity which, of course, plays a key role in our social media and PR work at Gossip Genie.

Sometimes we use creativity subconsciously but it’s required for many of our daily tasks, including thinking of contest ideas, creating eye-catching branded graphics, wording an attention-grabbing call-to-action social media post, framing a beautiful photograph for Instagram and responding to Facebook comments in a quick yet savvy way. Or with our PR for clients, there might not be a genuinely newsworthy story so creativity is required to identify or create one.

Of course, fast-paced working lives can sometimes stifle creativity. Countless emails, admin tasks, deadlines, reports and pitches can make unleashing your creativity a challenge at times, whatever industry you’re in. Here are four tips to get your creative juices flowing:

1) Stand up. Sitting at a desk all day is one of the worst things you can do if you want to be creative. A Stanford study in 2014 found that creative thinking significantly improves while a person is walking and shortly thereafter. Other studies have shown that just standing can boost creativity too. It’s perhaps one of the reasons that great ideas often come to us in the shower or why standing desks – and even fitness treadmill desks (no thanks) – have become a trend in the workplace.

2) Drink water. Dehydration can prevent creativity. The coffee snob in me is not going to discourage you from drinking caffeine, but be sure to drink enough water throughout the day too, otherwise you’ll suffer from sluggishness and creativity levels will plummet.

3) Be inspired. Broaden your mind and other perspectives by soaking up as many creative, artistic experiences as possible. Whether it’s watching shows like Blue Man Group, viewing independent movies, visiting galleries, photography exhibitions and museums, or traveling to a different culture; there’s a world of creativity out there just waiting to stimulate your senses and influence your own creativity.

4) Be child-like. Children are the most creative people in the world. I think back to the imaginary games my sisters and I would play and I’m in awe of what we’d be capable of dreaming up. As we grow older and take on the ‘adult’ role, many of us lose the ability to let our imaginations run wild. In the PR and social media world, I have regularly had to brainstorm ideas for pitches and clients – at first it was daunting, I was afraid my ideas might be laughed at – but I soon learned that there was no such thing as a bad idea. The only thing bad was not coming up with an idea.

 

 

 

The Bridesmaid Bylaws

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Uncategorized, Words of Advice | One Comment

This coming weekend will mark the 5th wedding that I’ve been lucky enough to take part in, 6th if you count my brief stint as a flower girl when I was 4. Throughout the course of these weddings, I’ve learned a few things about what it takes to be a bridesmaid. You might be thinking, “What is she talking about? All you have to do is put on a dress and walk down the aisle.” If this is your thought process, I’m going to take this moment to let you know that you are sorely mistaken.

Planning a wedding can be an incredibly stressful event for a bride (and groom!), so as a friend and bridesmaid, it is your duty to love, and more importantly, support your friend throughout this time. Check out my top 5 tips on how to be an above average bridesmaid.

  1. This is not, I repeat NOT, your wedding.
  • This one’s a shocker, I know, but try to keep in mind that this isn’t about you. Your time will come – but for now, your opinions, tastes and interests don’t matter. Put yourself in the bride’s shoes and imagine how you’d want your bridesmaids to treat you. She surely won’t be an angel throughout the entire process but it’s your job to grin and bear it.
  1. Ask how you can help.
  • Don’t wait until a week before the big day to extend a helping hand. From the color scheme, to invitations, to the bridal shower, to seating arrangements – the bride is guaranteed to need your help with something. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help lighten her load, I promise that she’ll appreciate it.
  1. You’ll (probably) only wear the dress once.
  • If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. A-line isn’t your style? Chartreuse isn’t your favorite color? You’d never wear ruffles if your life depended on it? Too bad! It’s time to be a good friend, suck it up and wear whatever the bride-to-be wants you to wear.*
  1. 99 problems & the bride ain’t one
  • Your friend has asked you to partake in one of the most special events in her life, treat this as an honor. Whether you’re having trouble planning the bachelorette party, can’t seem to find somewhere to get your dress hemmed or the other bridesmaids are being difficult, don’t let these predicaments fall onto the bride’s plate. She already has enough going on without hearing about how Becky and Susie don’t agree on the center pieces for the bridal shower. Work it out by yourself, or among the bridesmaids, and move on.
  1. Make memories & take photos
  • Engagement party, bridal shower(s), bachelorette party, ceremony, wedding reception – my head is spinning and I’m only a bridesmaid! With so many things going on, the bride can get wrapped up in the moment and completely forget to take photos of her own. It doesn’t matter if you’re an Instagram photographer or a professional one, whip out that smart phone and get to snapping! When she realizes that she didn’t get any photos, you’ll be her saving grace.
  • Read More

Something to Nibble On

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It’s no secret that I love food. I mean, I’m eating while I type this blog post. With last Friday marking National Donut Day (possibly my new favorite holiday), I started thinking about what food holidays we celebrate in the good old USofA. There are days, weeks, even entire months dedicated to specific foods and food groups, some of which are more popular than others. If the holiday is big enough, there are stores that even give away food freebies for the corresponding holiday (thanks Dunkin Donuts!). Now is the perfect time to explore the wonderful world of food holidays so I’ve compiled a list of what I consider to be some of the best (and weirdest) food holidays that are celebrated in America. You can thank me later.

January

National Hot Tea Month – What better month to cuddle up with a cup of hot tea and a good book?

January 1 – National Bloody Mary Day – The day after NYE we all need a little hair of the dog, right?

January 2 – National Buffet Day – Do I really need to say anything about this?

January 14 – National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day – One grilled Rueben sandwich, please.

January 19 – National Popcorn DayGarrett Popcorn anyone?!

January 20 – National Cheese Lover’s Day – This is my own personal slice of heaven.

January 23 – National Pie Day – Apple? Pumpkin? Blueberry? Pick your poison!

January 25 – National Irish Coffee Day – Stop by Mrs. Murphy & Sons to get the real stuff!

January 27 – National Chocolate Cake Day – One word – yes.

February

National Snack Food Month – Potato chips, candy bars, beef jerky, oh my!

February 1 – National Cake Pop Day – Check out Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique, they have some of the best in Chicago!

February 4 – National Stuffed Mushroom Day – I know this day isn’t for everyone but if you like mushrooms, it’s your time to shine.

February 5 – World Nutella Day – I haven’t quite caught onto the Nutella craze but for those who have, go nuts!

February 5 – National Frozen Yogurt Day – Nutella AND froyo in the same day?! Tummy ache central.

February 10 – National “Have a Brownie Day” – You don’t have to tell me twice.

February 18 – National Drink Wine Day – As if we needed a designated day for this.

February 22 – National Margarita Day – Fiesta time! Be sure to look for specials at your local watering hole.

February 29 – National Frog Legs Day – Wait, what?! I think I’ll pass on this one!

March

National Frozen Food Month – Time to stock up on those Hot Pockets!

March 3 – National Cold Cuts Day – Pastrami, Salami, Turkey – the options are endless!

March 5 – National Cheese Doodle Day – Channel your inner Honey Boo Boo and go elbow deep into a bucket of cheese doodles.

March 6 – National Oreo Day – Double stuffed, red velvet or birthday cake? Have all 3, you deserve it.

March 9 – National Crab Meat Day – Seafood lovers rejoice!

March 18 – National Sloppy Joe Day – Get out the wet wipes, this one’s going to be messy!

March 23 – National Chips and Dip Day Dean’s French Onion dip is calling my name.

April

National Grilled Cheese Month – All day. Every day.

April 6 – New Beer’s Eve – Celebrate the day that marks the end of prohibition with a cold one, it’s only right.

April 16 – National Eggs Benedict Day – Breakfast is served.

April 24 – National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day – This little piggy isn’t going to make it all the way home.

April 30 – National Raisin Day – If you’re one of those health conscious people, this one’s for you.

May

National Hamburger Month – Fire up your grills, it’s patty time!

May 3 – National Chocolate Custard Day – Chocolate is great any day but if you’re looking for an excuse to eat it, here it is.

May 5 – National Enchilada Day – Happy Cinco de Mayo!

May 11 – National “Eat What You Want” Day – And for me is also known as “every day of the week.”

May 15 – National Chocolate Chip Day – Eat those suckers straight out of the bag if you want to.

May 24 – National Escargot Day – You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

June

National Dairy Month – Get your share of calcium, vitamin D and protein this month.

June 5 – National Ketchup Day – I don’t think we celebrate this holiday in Chicago.

June 7 – National Chocolate Ice Cream Day – Stop by the nearest ice cream shop and treat yoself.

June 10 – National Iced Tea Day – Check out tea shops near you for possible freebies.

June 19 – National Martini Day – Shaken or stirred?

June 20 – National Vanilla Milkshake Day – You have to stop by Oberweis for this one. Heaven on earth.

June 22 – National Onion Ring Day – Make your own blooming onion with the help of the Food Network.

July

National Ice Cream Month – They couldn’t have picked a better month to celebrate this cold treat.

July 4 – National Caesar Salad Day – Uhh… what? To each their own, I guess.

July 6 – National Fried Chicken Day – The ultimate comfort food holiday.

July 7 – National Macaroni Day – Chicken & Macaroni two days in a row? Hello KFC!

July 13 – National French Fry Day – Because who doesn’t like french fries?

July 24 – National Tequila Day – This holiday smells like trouble.

August

National Catfish Month – Here’s a month for all you freshwater fanatics. Bon appétit!

August 3 – National Watermelon Day – Did you know that the heaviest watermelon was 268 pounds? Yes, you read that right. 268 pounds.

August 6 – National Root Beer Float Day – Stop into an A&W Restaurant anytime between 2 p.m. and store closing and grab a free root beer float!

August 8 – National Frozen Custard Day – Check Culver’s Facebook for free frozen custard contests.

August 13 – National Filet Mignon Day – Instead of dropping a ton of money, use Pinterest to celebrate and make your own!

September

National Chicken Month – You can fry it, you can grill it, you can bake it… you can do pretty much anything with it.

September 1 – National Gyros DayKronos Foods has been known to give out free gyros all across the Chicagoland area.

September 5 – National Cheese Pizza Day – Check out some of the best places in Chicago to celebrate this cheesy holiday.

September 9 – National “I Love Food” Day – I’m not saying that they picked this holiday specifically because it’s my birthday but….

September 18 – National Cheeseburger DayCheck out all your local burger places, find some offers and then eat at ALL of them!

September 27 – National Chocolate Milk Day – There’s no age limit on this holiday.

October

National Pizza Month – Pizza lovers unite!

October 1 – National Kale Day – Don’t knock it until you try it.

October 4 – National Taco Day – Whether you’re celebrating at Taco Bell, Taco Burrito King or in your own kitchen, this is one food holiday that everyone will love.

October 14 – National Dessert Day – Pick your top 5 desserts and eat them all.

October 25 – National Greasy Foods Day – This day is hangover heaven. Grab all the greasy foods you can and indulge!

October 30 – National Candy Corn Day – This food holiday goes hand-in-hand with Halloween.

November

National Stuffing Month – I now have an excuse to eat my favorite Turkey Day side dish all month long.

November 6 – National Nachos Day – Pile up your nachos with your favorite toppings and don’t look back.

November 14 – National Pickle Appreciation Day – You either love them or hate them, there’s no in between.

November 16 – National Fast Food Day – Drive-thrus were invented for a reason. Check out the fast-food restaurants near you for special deals.

November 23 – National Espresso Day – Need an extra boost? National Espresso Day is the day for you!

November 24 – National Sardines Day – No, thank you.

December

National Egg Nog Month – My favorite holiday drink – get it while you can!

December 4 – National Cookie Day – Ever heard of a cookie hangover?

December 17 – National Maple Syrup Day – Pile all the syrup you want on some steaming hot pancakes or go all out and substitute syrup for the J in your PB&J.

December 25 – National Kiss the Cook Day – What better way to show your appreciation for all those wonderful holiday feasts?

December 29 – National Get on the Scales Day – I’m warning you, don’t do it!

December 31 – National Champagne Day – There’s no other way to ring in the New Year.

If you’re still reading this post, you’re either really hungry or you love food as much as I do. Either way, you’re going to want to check out a full list of food holidays via Foodimentary and mark down your favorites so you can celebrate them the only way you should – by shoving your face.

Stress and the City

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Uncategorized, Words of Advice | One Comment

I’m writing to you from my couch – currently unsure of if I’m actually becoming fused to the cushions after how long I’ve been here. The tail-end of a holiday weekend can be tough, especially when you’ve used it to do everything except relax. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Chicago and everything it has to offer but we owe it to ourselves to take some time, get away and relax in a way that’s just not possible living in the city.

Normally over a long summer(ish) weekend, I would look forward to cooking out, consuming one too many adult beverages (sorry mom), soaking up some sun, and so on and so forth but this weekend I found solace in the bridesmaid duties I had to tend to in my hometown. I’m originally from a small suburb about 45 minutes north of the city and now live smack dab in the middle of Wrigleyville. Seriously, I couldn’t get any closer to the field if I tried. On a daily basis, 24/7 – 365, I get all the good (Cubs, close to the CTA, close to the lake) and downright awful (bar crawls, bros, noise) that Wrigley has to offer.

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I typically don’t go to the suburbs unless I need to but I used this weekend as an excuse to go and just simply relax. People don’t realize how nice, and almost therapeutic, it can be to get away from the city and all of its little quirks, even if it’s only for a day or two. Don’t get me wrong – my heart beats to the buzz of a busy city, but there’s something about grass (real grass!) under your feet and a wide open sky (what’s a skyscraper?!) overhead that allows you to clear your mind in a way you wouldn’t be able to with car horns honking and drunk people screaming outside your window at 3am.

Next time you have a free weekend, I highly recommend spending time somewhere where you can completely shake off the city weight, even if it’s just the suburbs. It’s my not-so-expert opinion that you’ll come back feeling more refreshed, revitalized and ready to take on another week in the city of dreams. You can thank me later. 😉

Staying Paw-sitive in the Workplace

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.”

―M.K. Clinton

In a dream world, my dream world anyway, I would be surrounded by dogs all day every day. When I first received the opportunity to interview at Gossip Genie and was informed that the office was dog friendly, I couldn’t believe my luck. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will calm your nerves during an interview like having the head of a sweet pup in your lap.

When I walked through the door on my first day, I learned that not only was the office dog friendly but that there would be two little fur babies gracing me with their presence from 9-5. Best office ever? I think so. During lunch one day, the Genies got to talking about how just petting one of the dogs could instantly relieve stress, if even for only a minute. This got me thinking about other offices and their pet policies and what the benefits might be.

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Among the thousands of dog-friendly workplaces across the United States are companies such as Google, Ben & Jerry’s, Amazon, and Clif Bar & Company. These types of companies are generally known for their above average workplace environments and policies that cater to the employees. So what made companies like these decide to allow dogs in the office? A survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association showed that between 70 and 75 million Americans believe that having a pet in the office reduces stress and makes people happier and around 46 million agreed that it also leads to a more productive and creative working environment. Another experiment out of Central Michigan University showed that employees were more likely to communicate with and trust one another.

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Because I’m not completely naïve, I know there are a group of people that exist on this planet who don’t like, or are allergic to, dogs. Oh, and cat people. That being said, dogs might not be perfect for every office. However, for the short time that I’ve worked at Gossip Genie, it’s obvious to see that everyone is more productive and generally happier with two furry bundles of joy hanging out. When you open the door and are greeted with wagging tails and lots of kisses, it’s impossible to be anything but ecstatic. So thank you, Gossip Genie, for the most awesome work environment and two best office dogs a girl could ask for!

The New Way to Announce a Presidential Bid

By | Social Media, Uncategorized, What's Trending | No Comments

How can anyone say social media is not important when politicians are announcing their presidential bid through Twitter? That’s right, Hillary Clinton officially declared her run for the Democratic candidacy by tweeting a link to the announcement video on Sunday afternoon. Clinton took the angle of focusing on the people instead of herself by showcasing actual voters.

Watch full video here:  http://bit.ly/1GDrkLu 

Hil2016

HilClinton

Because social media is one of the most prominent ways to increase brand awareness, it would only make sense for politicians to take the route of social media outlets. Her tweet reached over three million views in just one hour which caused quite the response. Trending hashtag that emerged because of Clinton include #Hillary2016 and #WhyImNotVotingforHillary. Here are some of the posts below after her announcement:

 

Ferguson

 

 

no to hillary

 

 

AmericaFerrera


Ariana Grande

 

YoungJeezy

 

 

Chelsea Clinton

 

Which hashtag will you be using?