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Jennifer Hallowes Portfolio


Blog Writing


SXSW: The Human Component – Purpose Behind the Excitement Posted March 9, 2011 | blog. Astutesolutions.com

Say the words South by Southwest in front of an audience of social media enthusiasts, and they‟ll likely start drooling. Seriously – you should try it sometime. What you‟ll come to know is that South by Southwest or SxSW as it‟s become known, is one of the most well known and highly attended Music, Film and Interactive Conferences in the world. It‟s held every year in Austin, Texas and its mission is to foster creative and professional growth and provide an outlet for emerging technologies. And it certainly lives up to its mission. I mean, which other festival can claim the credit for the launch and introduction of Twitter? Yeah – we‟re talking big time. Internet influencers from all over the country flock to attend this conference, so the innovative folks at SxSW saw an opportunity to begin a roadtrip challenge which this year, includes 10 teams from all over the country. These competing teams will document their roadtrip (from the inside of the incredible Chevy Tahoe Hybrid provided by the great folks at GM) and they‟ll make stops along the way to help schools participating in the Adopt-a-Classroom program, which is a nationwide program that provides necessary supplies to schools in need. Check out this video posted last night by Team Cbus, who we‟re proud to sponsor here at Astute Solutions. On the first day of their roadtrip, they visited Ms. Sauceda‟s Kindergarten class at Trotwood Prepatory & Fitness Academy and made a donation. They also made an impact. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCepjRQ9ee0 Pretty fantastic, isn‟t it? And there‟s more where that came from. All 10 teams competing in the 2011 #Chevy SxSW Roadtrip Challenge will make multiple stops in communities with schools in the Adopta-Classroom program. And our very own Team Cbus plans to take it one step further. (Here‟s where Columbus natives will get all warm and fuzzy) Team Cbus captain Nate Riggs said on his blog:

I’ve always felt like we Columbus folk needed a chance to turn the spotlight toward our innovative city. We’ve needed a chance to show off how cool our interactive, technology and startup scenes really are. We’ve needed an opportunity to show off our local entrepreneurs and community advocates on a national level. We’ve needed a chance to show that Columbus is way more than just cows and buckeyes. We also want to do more…That’s why we will be raising additional dollars via


sponsorships to allow us to make a donation in the name of the city of Columbus to the charity you will help us choose. So, whether you‟re a social media enthusiast, musician, filmmaker or none of the above, there‟s plenty to be excited about surrounding this year‟s SxSW conference. There‟s purpose behind all the excitement which will have an incredible impact on many communities across the country. This is feel good stuff – the kind of stuff that makes people proud to be members of our incredible communities, inspires us to connect and engage with others and propels us to put purpose behind our actions. Youcan start by getting on the bus. Congratulations to all the teams in this year‟s challenge. And to you 5 amazing folks that make up Team Cbus, well – we couldn‟t be more proud to support you. Now, go on and make a difference, have a blast and don‟t do anything we wouldn‟t do. We‟ll see you back home soon.


Brand Mashup after the Super Bowl™ Posted February 10, 2011 | blog. Astutesolutions.com

Who came and who conquered? Social media is the conversational agent that allows enterprises the opportunity to gather instant feedback from consumers. And that was certainly the case for the brands advertising in the Super Bowl™ this past Sunday, February 6th. Understanding the ROI of such an investment is critical to continued brand development, and for the purpose of driving company-wide initiatives. Using our very own Astute SRM tool, we captured insightful information from over 150 million social websites surrounding the brands participating in the highly competitive Super Bowl™ advertisement arena. Some of the most interesting insights we were able to capture involved much more than likability and recall. Using our tool, we‟ve been able to sift through the hype and water cooler conversation to determine valuable impact on the brands that advertised. Here are a few: Groupon Groupon‟s ad rubbed many people the wrong way and interestingly, it appears that 3 primary areas within the US were most “talkative” following their ads running in the Super Bowl™. The Pacific Northwest as well as northern Midwestern regions of the US served up the most chatter about the brand, but not all of this conversation was negative.

Groupon had a raving fan base in existence before the Super Bowl™ ads, and as seen in the graph below, many raving fans came to the defense of their most favorite daily coupon site. In an interesting interplay, as disdainful sentiment skyrocketed after the Groupon ads ran during the Super


Bowl™, affectionate sentiment skyrocketed as well, and as captured in the graph below, affectionate mentions about Groupon have doubled the amount of disdainful mentions.

So where does the Groupon brand stand today? Now 4 days after the Super Bowl™, the ground isn‟t nearly as shaky as some might think. As indicated in the following graph, mentions of the brand have trended to mirror pre- Super Bowl™ levels.

GoDaddy GoDaddy‟s newest “go girl” was introduced as a plastic mannequin body with the face of Joan Rivers. Having long been accused of objectifying women in their ads, they played on that and sparked a great deal of conversation about the brand. As displayed in the graph collected from our Astute SRM tool below, the sentiment of social commentary surrounding the brand prior to the Super Bowl was essentially flat-lined, with very little


variance. That all changed the day after, as social commentary reflected a tremendous spike in many different sentiments. Each reached their peak at virtually the same time, and while ultimately affection was the most displayed sentiment, antipathy came in a close second.

Here‟s an interesting view inside the antipathy surrounding GoDaddy. The graphs below indicate just how that sentiment measures up to other feelings about the brand. In addition, we can see the antipathy time line, understanding when viewers were expressing it most, and where in the world that was taking place.

As was the case with Groupon, GoDaddy‟s spike in mentions and comments has now returned to pre-Super Bowl™ levels.


E-trade E-trade aired another one of their baby commercials, which has become a growing staple of their brand. And while they generated less mentions than Groupon and Go Daddy, E-trade experienced a spike in affection with very little increase in all other sentiments. They did see a slight increase in anger, which I thought was interesting.

Who is angered by babies? I wanted to know. Hereâ€&#x;s what we discovered using our Astute SRM tool:


There‟s a piece missing from the image above that I can‟t show you. Our tool pulled comments and conversations from social websites which reflect that very angered sentiment and as it turns out, people use a variety of words I wouldn‟t want my mother to see. So I‟ve left those comments out and ask that you please, just take my word on this one. An interesting comparison was seeing how E-trade‟s social commentary stacked up to their biggest competitors. Based on the data pulled and compiled in the chart below, E-trade consumed the social space, generating all of the buzz within that market.

So who came and who conquered at the Super Bowl™‟s advertising match? That, I believe, is still to be determined. Likability is great, but having the opportunity to dig deeper into the wealth of data in the social space is what will lead to the ultimate win. What do you think?


7 Social Media Policy Must-Do’s (and why Cbus rocks!) Posted March 3, 2011 | blog. Astutesolutions.com

I had the pleasure of attending the Columbus AMA Social Media SIG yesterday, facilitated by the great Erika Pryor and led by panelists Chris Groves, Amy Ita and Dan Harris. The experience among the panelists was varied, comprised of an e-communications manager for a local non-profit, a Labor & Employment Law attorney and a web/interactive/social media strategist for b2b and b2c environments, respectively. Such variety provided an incredibly comprehensive perspective for creating, implementing and managing a social media policy. A few weeks ago, the team here at Astute Solutions discussed a recently published article from Gartner, Seven Critical Questions to Ask Before Developing a Social Media Policy, and knowing that the folks at Gartner are recognized for providing objective insight and best practices from research in virtually any area of IT, I was curious to compare the insights shared in the article with that which was presented by the panel at the Social Media SIG. As a proud member of the social media community in Columbus, I had no doubt that the panelists would cover the 7 critical questions. What I didn‟t expect, however, were the additional insights shared which even the most seasoned social media professional may not have considered. There‟s far more to share than room to put in this post (and honestly, this post is a bit long for my liking as it is!) but with their permission, I‟ve paraphrased their key points below as a complement to the 7 critical questions Gartner recommends asking before developing a social media policy.

1. What is our organization’s strategy for social media? In the words of Dan Harris, “strategy first.” Determine why you want to be in the social space and define your purpose. Remembering always that social media players must bring value to the online community, determine your goal. Is your organization responding to your customers‟ growing expectation to receive service in online channels? Perhaps then, your goal is to provide personalized service responses on twitter and facebook. Define your purpose and value and then plan a strategy of execution to support those fundamentals.

2. Who will write and revise the policy? This all depends on your organization. HR may own the writing and revision of the policy or in smaller companies, the department that “owns” social may be tasked with that responsibility. But as Amy Ita shared, companies have legal obligations based on their state‟s governances around social media.


It‟s important to consult with legal counsel to determine your company‟s obligations and in particular, make sure you have a solid understanding of your obligations surrounding the following issues: 1. Discrimination and harassment among employees in the social web 2. Using the social web for employee recruitment and ensuring protected characteristics aren‟t being discovered 3. The use of social networks among employees for the purpose of collective bargaining

3. How will we vet the policy? It‟s important to gather high-level executives from each department within your company to vet your social media policy. Legal, IT, HR, Marketing, Customer Service, Investor Relations, Sales, Corporate Communications – and any other department you might have within your organization -- should all be represented when you discuss your plan. Doing so will ensure consistency in understanding organization-wide and provides collective buy-in on the purpose and goals of social media interactions.

4. How will we inform employees about their responsibilities? At The United Way of Central Ohio, Chris Groves provides quarterly training to employees on the social channels twitter and facebook. It‟s important to the culture of their organization that all staff members feel comfortable engaging with community members in the social space, and as representatives of their organization 24 hours a day, training helps ensure staff alignment with organization principles in the social networks. Adding social media training as part of employee orientation was recommended by Dan Harris, particularly if your organization is a large and highly visible enterprise.

5. Who will be responsible for monitoring social media employee activities? Determining who within your organization owns this responsibility will depend in large part to your company‟s structure and internal management policy. It‟s important to monitor from the perspective of many different areas, so this responsibility may end up being shared among several key individuals within your company.


6. How will we train managers to coach employees on social media use? It‟s best to become a social company internally first. Dan Harris has seen success by setting up a company intranet or utilizing a company social network like Yammer. Doing so ensures proper adoption of strategy objectives and provides managers the opportunity to learn what and how they‟ll likely need to coach their employees. And remember that a social media policy is only viable if it‟s enforced – managers will need to have a clear understanding of how that impacts their role as leaders.

7. How will we use missteps to redefine our policy and training? They‟re going to happen - you can guarantee it. Missteps should be expected, and Dan Harris suggests that such occurrences become a fantastic opportunity for your organization to build a resourceful knowledge base. How will you handle irate community members? How will you address improper employee conduct in the social web? Maintain a collection of interactions to gain further understanding of ways to revise and redefine your policy and training. You might find that developing a crisis communication plan will help in these situations as well. Curious what a crisis communication plan and social media policy looks like? Chris Groves shared a great one from the United States Airforce. In Columbus, we‟re fortunate to have an incredible community packed with technological innovation and social media engagement. The panelists represented us well, and in true social media fashion, shared their knowledge and wisdom from differing areas of expertise in an effort to support the growth of their fellow community members. As for this blog post, well, I‟m just trying to keep that cycle going and pay it forward. What are your thoughts? Is there anything you‟d add to the list?


Caught on Camera: Talking Social Media with Team Cbus Posted March 15, 2011 | blog. Astutesolutions.com

Before Team Cbus departed on their roadtrip challenge to SxSW, they paid us a visit. It was great to see them, and as a proud sponsor of their efforts, it only felt right to send them off with a good „ole Astute Solutions farewell. To our surprise, they brought a video camera and a microphone, and before we could say “How do I look?” Eric Leslie and Nate Riggs were capturing our story. The result? This 2:43 video, brilliantly created by Team Cbus' very own - Columbus‟ finest digital storyteller and videographer, Eric Leslie of OnScene Productions. His ability to transform seemingly isolated occurrences, conversations and objects to tell a story that encapsulates the true nature and essence of his subject is nothing short of visionary. See why we love Columbus, what we do, and how we‟re helping companies use social media to impact their brand, service, products and business operations. Check out the video below. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE0xFmpYQjM

Oh - and can you lend a hand? We're trying to figure out which type of plant is in our lobby and featured in the video. Do you have a guess which type it is? (We‟re hoping to rely on our friends at Miracle Gro to validate this!)


5 Reasons McDonald’s is Winning at Being Social Posted March 22, 2011 | blog. Astutesolutions.com

More and more consumers are moving into social channels to engage with the brands of their choice, and this demand has created a shift from customer service dialogue across phone lines and service counters to conversations on Twitter, blogs and review sites. Creating a superior social customer experience is a key way companies are gaining an edge, and winning new customers. The great folks at McDonald‟s know that, and since 2009, they‟ve known “social.” They applied their successful existing CRM strategies to help in the development of a social CRM strategy, and the results? Tremendous success. The team successfully developed and implemented a social CRM strategy, and they're sharing their successes in an upcoming webinar. If you're looking to develop and implement a CRM strategy, here are the 5 components to their strategy which you can adopt in the creation of your own. 1. Implement a process for identifying and archiving customer communications. Using your existing CRM strategy as a basis, identify the ways in which you currently identify customer complaints and determine if those are applicable to social channels. In addition, it‟s important to develop a process for archiving customer complaints to better improve the customer experience and make improvements to products and services. 2. Determine the allocation of internal resources. Once customer communications have been appropriately tagged and identified, which of your internal resources will handle them? How many resources will you dedicate to customer complaints? What will the process of escalation look like? 3. Execute a follow-up strategy that wows social customers. Social channels provide an incredible opportunity to build communities and a raving fan base. Ensure that each communication with customers and members of your online community aligns with a solid strategy which provides helpful information and wows consumers beyond their expectations. 4. Review the process of response. Consumers are thrilled to interact with their brands in social channels, and providing sincere, timely responses often makes for very happy customers. But it‟s important to monitor your process just as we record calls for quality assurance. How has fallout from unresolved customer service issues lead to negative branding? Review your process, and make adjustments when necessary in order to proactively mitigate branding or service issues. 5. Be transparent and act with purpose. The great thing about social media is that good sentiments spread rapidly among consumers. But then again, so does the bad. When situations arise with a customer that is displeased for whatever reason, a large majority of customers will focus more on


your response to the issue than the issue itself. Use the feedback from the unhappy customer to make positive changes, and use those customer service success stories to preempt potential complaints and encourage customer confidence. If you‟re in the process of developing and implementing a social CRM strategy, use these five steps and you‟ll be well on your way. But if you‟re like me, all this talk is making me hungry for more. Enter Kim Musgrave, Customer Satisfaction and Social Media Manager at McDonald‟s. Kim collaborates with McDonalds‟ Marketing, PR and Communications teams to formulate the social media strategy and customer engagement tactics for Twitter. She has over 20 years experience working with larges brands on CRM and loyalty programs, and she’s sharing her knowledge in a free webinar as part of the Customer Management IQ’s Social Media Customer Management Summit. If you‟re interested in really digging in to each of these five steps and seeing specific examples of successful social strategies, do yourself a favor and register for this webinar today.


article Writing


J.Bentley Studio & Spa: Bringing the Future of Beauty Published May 2008 | Columbus Living Magazine

For an artist, there is one basic necessity: creative inspiration. It‟s the muse, the spark, the essential ingredient that motivates. In the beauty and fashion industry, there is often no better place to find inspiration than in cities around the world. Each city has its own personality and style of artistic energy. Paris may inspire looks of polished detail and classic embellishments, while Milan exudes excitement and youthfulness in fresh new looks and ever-changing trends. Meanwhile in New York, inspiration may be one of purpose and function, inspiring streamlined styles uncluttered by detail or fuss. Columbus Ohio may not come to mind as a center for fashion trends and creative inspiration; however, the folks at J.Bentley Studio & Spa are working to change that perception. At J.Bentley Studio & Spa, artistry is paramount in all areas of service, and inspiration is drawn from wide-ranging sources including international fashion, local styles, world-class products, industry trends, and advanced education. Comprised of a team with exceptional artistic talent, J.Bentley is a creative synthesis of fashion, beauty, style, and photography. The goal from J.Bentley‟s very beginning was to change the industry for the employees and their clients. Through innovative training, compensation and benefit programs for the staff, J.Bentley offers an environment that values the employee both personally and professionally, stimulating quality and creativity, and allowing the freedom to perfect their craft. Clients are the primary beneficiaries of this unique approach, of course, but it is also establishing a new standard for the beauty industry of Columbus and beyond. J.Bentley is pioneering this evolution with a new facility dedicated to staging fashion shows and educational seminars. For the development of these shows and seminars, the J.Bentley team will partner with local fashion designers to build a creative atmosphere among artists in Columbus which can rival that of the major international fashion centers. This artistic collaboration in makeup, hair, clothing, photography, jewelry and fashion design will spark new inspiration and energy, creating trends unique to the Columbus fashion community. J.Bentley Studio & Spa is committed to bringing together the fashion and beauty industries in Columbus. They are proud to be the presenting sponsor for Columbus Fashion Week 2008, developed by renowned fashion photographer Ed Kavishe. Ed has worked with some of the world‟s most popular and iconic fashion designers, supermodels, and celebrities. He debuted Columbus Fashion Week in 2007, which proved to be a tremendous success, earning rave reviews and extensive press coverage. Columbus Fashion Week provides a forum for growing, established and emerging designers to showcase their collections to international buyers, media, celebrities and select style makers. Kavishe selected J.Bentley Studio & Spa as the exclusive provider of hair and makeup artistry for the show. “J.Bentley does superior work and I know they‟ll be a great addition to Columbus Fashion Week. But beyond their skill, I like how they think and how they do business,” he said. “We share a common goal of making this industry the best it can be and providing a real opportunity to shine for those who have chosen it as a career.” The services offered at J.Bentley are among the most innovative and extensive in Columbus and utilize world-class products from Italy, New York and Paris. In addition, they offer an array of specialty services including a dry hydrotherapy bed with a ceiling projection screen, Vichy Shower treatments, Hair and Eye Lash Extensions, Botox treatments, and more. Also included are photography services in the fully equipped studio. Clients receive a complimentary photo at the completion of their service, and the image is stored in their client record for future reference.


The whole experience at J.Bentley sets a new standard, definitely outside the box when it comes to salon and spa services, with extraordinary attention to detail. In fact, their slogan really epitomizes the ultra-special, ultra-personal style: leave the ordinary -- discover yourself. J.Bentley Studio & Spa is located at 8882 Moreland Street at the corner of Sawmill Parkway and Seldom Seen Road in Powell, Ohio. Online appointment scheduling, gift certificates, and product shopping is available at www.jbentley.com. Or call 614-790-8828 to schedule a J.Bentley experience.

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