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FINALLY. THE SEM IS OVER.

It felt like we were stuck in this semester since forever! I guess we’re still getting used to being seniors and all that–I mean, juggling thesis with 5 other demanding subjects! That’s hard work. And a whole lot of dedication, patience, and let’s not forget… SLEEPLESS NIGHTS. Oh yes… for the past weeks, you can rightfully call us LIVING ZOMBIES.

Anyway, last meeting, I made a comment in class… “Remember my first blog post? When I said that Barry’s Hell this sem isn’t going to be so hellish after all? I WAS DEAD WRONG. We thought that this was going to be sooooo easy for us since, if not all, but most of us our techno and Internet savvy. But there really is more to knowing how to blog, or upload videos in You Tube, or make a podcast… THOUGHT has to come with it. What really got me this sem was the emphasis of writing, making, and creating FOR THE PEOPLE, which we believe most marketers forget. I guess, for me, this was of utmost important since I plan to get in the field of advertising. To create something, the first thing, really, that we have to consider are your stakeholders. We won’t even call them “audience” because people now are not mere audience; they have opinions, they have comments, and they have preferences. For this whole sem, I not only learned how to blog, or make a video viral, or make a podcast and a media release, I learned to consider and prioritize my key brand drivers, my key stakeholders, and my key channels.

To a more informal note… the sem that was… Β The highlight of this sem was of course, for me, the creating and presenting of the final project.

our campaign

PASSION. ACTION. I PASS ON. I ACT ON.

We just had our defense yesterday, and I’d really say that it was a success (minus the few misses like the overtime and stutters). WE ALL REALLY WORKED HARD ON IT. We made sure we wore our “orcom hats” this time because we wanted to prove that our batch wasn’t “slipping away” (just really tired and burned-out). But you know, despite the sleep-deprived, crazy, sabaw, nights, we had fun… I’m not just speaking for my group, but I feel that all the groups had so much fun bonding and debating about how the campaign should be. Plus sir made us choose our groups, so that made it even more fun–Vianne, Alex, Sam, Bianci, and our adopted groupmate KC, you guys are all love. πŸ™‚

3 in 1 + 1

The birthday girls, Alex and KC! πŸ™‚

1

Sam, don't give us the chicken pox!

2

The early birds πŸ™‚

3

The Pixie Chicks :):):)

Lastly, I would really like to say that I AM SO PROUD OF OUR BATCH Β for pulling through despite the stress and THANK YOU, SIR BARRY. You Β really pushed us hard and gave us all the reinforcement we needed for the past three sems you had with us. Even if we sometimes hate you for giving us SO MUCH THINGS to do, we still thank you for it because you made us better, stronger, and more “ORCOM.” You really tried to push us to the edge, and no professor has done that to us! But we do thank you for that because we know that whatever stress and “BARRY TIMES TWO” bosses we’ll have, we know we can handle it. And make sure that we do a DAMN GOOD JOB. Orcom na Orcom di ba? πŸ™‚

So guys, see you around.. Jesschika, signing out. πŸ™‚

Last Saturday was the long awaited celebration of the 25th anniversary of UP Manila’s Organizational Communication. Silver screen was postponed TWICE because of the two storms that hit the metro. Finally!

Since Sir Barry wasn’t able to attend (we wonder why..), he can only see how GREAT and AWESOME the event was through our… *dandananan* Facebook! Oh yes, Facebook the Great Distraction.

Here are some of the photos taken from my camera and those that I grabbed from Marie and Ayessa. πŸ™‚

Lao, Vianne, Alex the gorgeous host, and moi :)

Lao, Vianne, Alex the gorgeous host, and moi πŸ™‚

Table 2! Hahaha!

Table 2! Hahaha!

The Models

The Models

OrCom batch 2010 with Sir Burn

OrCom batch 2010 with Sir Burn

That’s one of the biggest reasons why I love Facebook is because I get to grab pictures of myself that I don’t have. (My camera died on me in the middle of the party. Sad.) But yes, thanks to the internet, and of course the ever so eager uploaders (Ayessa, Marie, Ren, and myself), the block can easily view the pictures taken the night before. πŸ™‚

We had so much fun at the event! Orcom truly has become our FAMILY. πŸ™‚

No, my Facebook hasn’t been deactivated… YET.

But why even consider deactivation?

BECAUSE IT’S SUCH A DISTRACTION!

I’ve only had my Facebook since the early week of August this year. I never thought it’d distract me this much. BUT IT DID AND IS STILL IS! I’m sure I share the same sentiment with most people. Once in a while I’d see wall posts ranting about not being able to do anything because their eyes are glued to Facebook. I TRY not to look at it everyday.. but I can’t help but wonder if someone commented on my wall post or my picture.. or if someone tagged me a photo.. or if there’s any interesting wall posts and videos of my friends.. it’s crazy!!

When I open my internet, the first page I look at is Facebook.. either that or my mail–to check if I have new updates and notifications in Facebook. UGHHHH! Seriously, this is turning into an addiction.. and it shouldn’t be because I should be concentrating on other things (like making this blog, which by the way is a week delayed FOR THE FIRST TIME).

But Facebooking is fun… 😦 But it’s such a distraction… Problem of priority. Oh dear.

To deactivate or not... that is the question.

Last Saturday was probably one of the worst days every Filipino could have ever had. Who knew that typhoon Ondoy could leave that much damage to so many people? When I left the house for school, I was thinking twice of whether to continue my way or to go back home. These past days, the rain usually poured in the mornings or in the evenings and almost always stopped in the afternoon. I assumed it would be the same for Saturday, but I was wrong. When we were inside the Little Theater, we could barely hear what’s happening outside. It was only when I went out to the comfort room did I realize that the situation outside was really bad. We couldn’t even step outside LT because it was already flooded! The janitors had to move the benches to create a makeshift bridge to the stairs leading to GAB.

As I looked around the LT, I saw faces of worried students. All of us were already considering of staying in because there was no way we can all go home. I immediately called my parents to ask if they could pick me up, but unfortunately, our whole village was already flooded, making it impassable to cars. Then I called my brother who was in the office. Even he can’t go out because Pasong Tamo was flooded until the waist! “We’re stranded,” I thought. And worse, because when I went to the cafeteria, the food available were being consumed fast! When I got back to the LT, my classmates were already rolling up their pants, frantically pissed off because they’d have to cross the flood with their leather shoes on. After they have cancelled the conference’s afternoon session, so many students hoarded around the lobby, deciding whether to stay in school or go to Rob. And because we were hungry, we courageously dipped our feet in muddy water just to get out of school. It was so gross. REALLY GROSS. (We even took pictures to document the horror we had to go through!)

Braving the flood water of Padre Faura. Gross.

It was such a relief when we got to Rob because we knew we’d all be safer there. Those who walked in shoes immediately looked for a slipper stall to replace their soaked leathers, and some of us went ahead to KFC to order lunch, and to disinfect (I finished a whole small bottle of alcohol just for my feet!). After eating lunch, we decided to stay in until the rain stops.. but it didn’t! It even got worse because the winds were already blowing like crazy! To ease the stress, we went to Gbox to sing (oo, nagawa pa namin magvideoke!). At around 4PM, my cousin who lives near called me to say that she was going to pick me up. ALLELUIA! She was going to do all she could to cross the flooded streets of Manila because it was getting late and my mom was already frantic and hysterical. I left Rob praying that my blockmates were going to be alright.

When we got to the house, everyone was glued to the television and Β in shock to see images and videos flashed before us. I immediately called my mom to check up on them and to let her know that I was safe. Wow. SIGH. I cried when I saw so many people stranded on their roofs, and some struggling to get to a safer place. It was such a pity especially to those with little children! I wanted to do something but I knew I couldn’t at that moment.

Rich and poor–everyone was intensely affected by the typhoon. I tuned in to the news the whole day and checked my Facebook for updates. So many pictures and videos have surfaced in the internet depicting the damages brought by Ondoy. Cars floating, Refrigerators in electricity cables, dead bodies shoved in mud… Sigh…

This is the time for teamwork, for cooperation, for initiative, not merely for sympathy and pity. Let’s try do all we can to help out. Watch the news, stay updated on the latest news on the Internet, and check on ways to lend a hand.

*Donations are received and repacked in most schools like UP Manila and Assumption College San Lorenzo. You can also give donations to major TV networks like ABSCBN and GMA. Check their websites for more details.

Play the video to find out. πŸ™‚

This was one of the videos shown in our class last Saturday where we had a talk with Mr. Paolo Pangan of Yehey Philippines. Amazing, huh? Imagine, in just a span of a few years, the world has totally revolutionized into a world that was then unthinkable. We’ve learned a lot about how so many things have changed since the advent of the Internet. For instance, going back to last week’s discussion, traditional PR has now evolved into a more a accessible and flexible type and practice of PR with the use of the Internet.

Let me share to you some of the things I’ve noticed changed through the years..

NO LOAD?

  • Before: “Uy, patext naman…”
  • Now: “Kainis naman. Chikka ko na nga lang!”

GM

  • Before: passing of notes during class, word of mouth
  • Now: Texting (kawawang Nikki hehe), tagging of notes in Facebook, shout-outs in Twitter, links in Multiply, status in YM

DIFFICULT BREAK-UPS?

  • Before: face-to-face (dapat lang!)
  • Now: text (not even call!), YM (Especially when your boyfriend goes, “I have to tell you something.” Then you reply, “what dear?” Then he replies extremely slow, but you know he’s typing because you see it in the window, then you get really impatient, but only to find out he wants to break up.)

WANT TO PUT UP A BUSINESS?

  • Before: Either you work for your capital or you ask daddy dearest πŸ™‚
  • Now: Online store–Multiply, free pa!

DEAR DIARY…

  • Before: There was actually a diary! With a lock!
  • Now: Blogspot, WordPress, Multiply, etc.

NO ONE TO TALK TO?

  • Before: When the landline was still in, we’d have “telebabad sessions.” Three-way calling even!
  • Now: Go online in YM and all your SNS–now take a pick. “Si Alex? Nako, busy yan kakaSkype sa daddy niya. Hmm, si Vianne? Malamang busy sa Korean forum. Si Lao? Busy sa papa! Hmm.. who else is online..?

I have so much more in mind.. How about you? Want to share more? πŸ™‚

*Relating to my blog post last week: Two Saturdays ago, I had lunch with my friend. After eating he brought out his laptop and asked if I could help him out with his report. I didn’t want to, but he paid for lunch, so fine.. Hehe. Anyway, it was such a coincidence because his report was on the 4Ps of marketing! Cool! We just discussed it in class! I was insisting that he make an impression by discussing the 5th P, but he was such a stuck-up he refused to because “their lesson is by the book.” Come on! I told him that I was sure his professor wouldn’t mind, and would in fact thank him for sharing to the class something new. Being the close-minded person that he is, he didn’t add the 5th P. HMPH. I even showed him my notes to prove to him I wasn’t making it up! It’s true what sir Barry said about marketing students.. so by the book! (He’s a UPD Business Administration and Accounting student by the way. Psh.)

Although yesterday was such a lazy, lazy Saturday (all we wanted to do was stay in bed and cuddle up in our blankets), we had get up and go to class. As expected, when I got to school, there were only a few people who made it on time. The rains were pouring like crazy, so we weren’t surprised at all. A lot of us who were there were preparing for the status report of the viral video we made and presented last week.

I was extremely proud of our group because we did so much promotion for it, hence the 1000 plus hits on YouTube. Our topic was interesting as it is so we didn’t find it difficult to convince people to click on the link. We just had to play with our words and used catchy phrases and sentences to entice our audience to watch it. I for one had to make sexed up comments to catch the possible viewer’s attention. For example, “I know you like SEX.. So click on it.” Or “Want to go on a SEX TRIP with me?” Daring, huh? Even if I wasn’t so much comfortable saying those, it was worth it because the people who clicked on the link had so much fun watching the video. It was all in plain text, but every fact presented interested them. I had comments from my guy friends saying that they wanted to move to Guam (because men there have jobs of having sex with virgins). And what I’m most proud of my group was that we didn’t really use our grades as emotional blackmail. Well, maybe in the first day, but after that we just had so much fun thinking of catchy phrases, which definitely worked out very well for us. Just like what was said in class, a video is truly viral when you don’t have to be desperate when promoting it. People will just watch it if they want to, but of course given the right kind of description, tags, and ways of promotion. Despite what was said about our group, I felt really proud because we, as in the whole batch, were passionate and oftentimes aggressive in making our videos viral.

After the reports, we talked about social media PR, and how it is different from the traditional PR. What really hit me in the discussion was that yes, traditional marketing practitioners often forget the the 5th P of the 4Ps of marketing–Price, Product, Placement, Promotion AND People. Companies are often too stuck up with the benefits of their products and how its so much better from its competitors. They often forget us, their consumers. Yes, they make it for us, but you know, we want to know that the product is indeed for us, and that you care so much about us that you spent millions and billions to come up with that product to satisfy our needs. People, like I said in my other post, are emotional beings; therefore, it’s easier to get to them and their loyalty to your brand by pressing on their emotional buttons. Know who they are. Know what they want.

Another thing I learned yesterday was that there was actually such a thing called an online press release! Alex and I were discussing at the back that we’d oftentimes see those online but we never really knew that it was a press release. We thought it was just an article of some sort. Now we know. πŸ™‚ We’re tasked to do one for next week. Kindda uncertain, but I’m sure it won’t be that hard. I hope. 😐

Please check out my group’s viral video. You may learn something interesting. πŸ™‚ I know I did.

PS: Please don’t mind the minor typos πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

Honestly, I still find it difficult to blog. Not because I’m lazy, but because I find it hard to infuse interest in such serious topics (this is after all an academic blog). Not that all discussions in class are sleep-inducing and straight-face serious, It’s just that I’m worried that I might not attract readers and keep those kind souls who opened my blog to read further on. That’s why when we had our lesson on corporate blogging, I became interested to know how companies (of great seriousness) attract readers, or attract people from actually finish reading the post (and not just scanning through it, like most people do).

To blog is not an easy thing to do. You have to find topics that can arouse readership and loyalty to your blog, but it’s not just about writing about the “right” topic. One thing I’ve learned is that a blog is more personal as compared to reading something from a printed article. Through my manner of writing and the way I describe things and events, you can somehow see my personality. As much as possible, I try to blog using my own voice; much like the same way I talk to someone in person. You give the reader a sense of who you are as a person. You give them bits and pieces of how you think and why you react in a certain way. A blog that has a more personal touch, for me, is better than reading something that is too overplayed with words, too highfaluting, and just too much for my brain capacity.

A corporate blog should be just as much as your own blog. A company with an effective corporate blog knows how to write to an audience as if he’s writing to a single person. When you say “corporate” it somehow automatically gives a serious tone, which can oftentimes be a turn-off (especially to young readers like myself). I’m not suggesting that a corporate blogger totally diminishes the “seriousness” of its purpose, If he does, he might be the blame to losing the company’s credibility. A corporate blog must be informational, and factual as well. It must sound smart, but not to the point of alienating your audience. It must be formal, but with a hint of entertainment (just a dash, not too much). It has to be Β less stiff and more personal. And lastly, it has to be sincere. You audience are, after all, people. They have emotions too, and most of the time, emotions over ride reason.

A way to capture your audience’s heart, loyalty, and attention is to show them your company’s heart, loyalty, and attention.

We thought that Sir Barry was going to cancel class last meeting because of the flood in Taft. That was, by the way, my first ever experience of crossing the flooded streets of Taft and Padre Faura. It was like the beach, only that the water was black, stinky, and full of garbage. Anyway, since two groups were able to come on time, our prof decided to hold classes.

Our group managed to interview four companies for the report. (The report is on a company/organization’s use of new social media) I got to interview Ms. Anj Mirasol, who handles the marketing of BPI‘s 24/7 Banking brands–Express Online, Express Phone, and Express Mobile. One of the campaigns that was recently wrapped up was that of Express Your Freedom. I’ve been seeing their advertisements in Multiply but I never bothered click on it. It was only during the interview when I knew what it was.

Basically, a microsite was put up just for the campaign. When I opened it, I was surprised to see a youthful interface (is that what you call it?) because banks are usually conservative, and when you say conservative, it usually screams “BORING.” Anyway, it was unexpectedly interactive. There were videos uploaded, and the story continues and ends depending on which icon you click next. It was cool actually. πŸ™‚ They also had a contest in which you create a video that answers the question, “What do you do on your free time?” and then it has to be uploaded on YouTube. The video with the most number of views wins a laptop or a camera. Successful campaign? In a way.. Here are my pros and cons:

PROS:

  • Interactive
  • Not the usual thing you expect from a bank. Unexpected, but in a good way.
  • Very informative (I never knew you could handle bills through your mobile phones!)
  • The contest encourages creativity from its audience.
  • Prizes were enticing πŸ™‚
  • Great use of Parkour as its metaphor

CONS:

  • uh.. not so great acting from the actors of the video? My opinion haha.
  • Mechanics of the contest is faulty, since one can just create multiple accounts and view the video over and over again.
  • Not so many people joined the contest.
  • I don’t think it was well advertised because there were still customers who didn’t know about the campaign (Sir Barry included hehe)
  • After the contest, that’s it?

According to Ms. Anj, the campaign was a success but its success can’t be attributed solely on the digital campaign. I believe they should use evaluative measures specifically for the digital part of the campaign because through that they’ll be able to see whether new social media works for their company or not. But kudos to them for coming up with this very creative campaign. Again, it was unexpected, but in a good way. πŸ™‚