Breath of Funky Fresh Air, 05.03.2013

This month’s field trip was hard work. As the hectic month wore on, we found ourselves postponing it again, and again… and again. But, we buckled down, completed our work to our exacting standards and allowed ourselves to get some fresh air. As usual, we were glad we did – this time, under Patrick’s direction. Our first stop on this month’s field trip was the famously quirky Beer Can House, located at 222 Malone Street. A monument to longtime owner John Milkovisch’s passion for beer, the shimmering house is a sight to see on sunny days. Once we got over the initial “wow” factor, the sheer magnitude and detail of the project set in. Fences, awnings and spaces where grass would ordinarily grow are all occupied by meticulously trimmed and arranged beer cans.  When Ripley’s Believe It Or Not visited the house, they estimated that about 50,000 beer cans adorn the structure. John’s wife, Mary, had this to say about her unusual residence: read more »

Everyday is April Fool’s Day, 04.04.2013

Are the memories of the tricks and tomfoolery of April Fool's Day still fresh in your mind? All sorts of juicy tidbits, "facts" and stories filled your newsfeed. You wanted to believe and tell your friends and followers, but you knew most of what you saw were probably just April Fool's jokes. It was a day to be on the lookout for pranks and skeptical of information. In today's world of expedited sharing, that's the way you need to feel every day. The internet moves at warp speed. Users are creating and digesting an astounding amount of information, and social media has made sharing that information faster and easier than ever before. So how fast has it become? Twitter users are sending over 100,000 tweets every minute!

CNN Obamacare Mistake

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Get Visual, 03.15.2013

New-NewsFeed

Last week Facebook announced major changes to its news feed that leave brand communicators scrambling to find the best way to adjust. Apart from enhancing the aesthetics of the news feed, the most significant modification will allow users to choose from several streams: Top News, Friends, Pages (brands), Music, Games and Photos. The split of brand content and friend content could give businesses separation anxiety. How often will users seek out the new pages feed? How will organization keep their communities engaged with updates? Scaling up the ratio of visual and audible posts in the content strategy will likely be the most effective solution.

Get-Visual

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Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, 01.29.2013

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Are you a social media wiz? Media relations guru? Master of event planning? We all have perceptions of our own skill sets and strengths and weaknesses. But what do your peers see? It’s difficult to know exactly what others think about you, but LinkedIn’s endorsement tool may do just that by allowing you to take a look at yourself through another's lens. At one time you probably entered your "Skills and Expertise" on LinkedIn to highlight your specialties. Now, with the introduction of “endorsements,” there's a good chance your connections have supplemented that information by selecting the areas in which they think you excel. By looking into those endorsements you can begin to piece together others' perceptions of you. read more »

Spring 2013 Syllabus: 4 Tips for Universities to Shine on Facebook, 01.10.2013

Universities have the capacity to be Facebook juggernauts. They are in close contact with many of their stakeholders for years at a time (i.e. prospective students, current students and alumni), many of whom have built a substantial part of their network through association with school. Universities have enormous databases with a wealth of information about their stakeholders and, very often, have the sort of passionate, loyal advocates that major brands can only dream about. In reality, most universities seem to be failing social media class with just a fraction of the Facebook following that they could have. They may think just having a presence is enough, or "if we build it, they will come," and that may be good enough to pass, but it won’t get their Facebook page to the honor roll. So, take out your notebook; it’s time to study up on our top four tips for building university Facebook communities that earn a 4.0. read more »

Understanding Other People Through Social Media, 10.29.2012

I attended the HiMA 2012 Interactive Strategies Psych! Conference a few weeks ago, which focused on human psychology and how to it relates to communication. The session that really stood out to me was Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Persuasion by "The Confidence Coach" Beverly Flaxington. Just as the title indicates, the talk focused on how to understand other people and how to use that information to influence. For me though, the secrets really boiled down to one point: you must listen and understand your audience and their behavior to effectively communicate and inspire action. read more »

Behind the Music: 20K Group, 08.24.2012

A couple of weeks ago, NPR ran a story about a project by the Guardian's Eric Clarke to map "Six Songs of Me" playlists for as many people as possible. Clarke, a musicologist at Oxford, is studying why music plays a central role in cultures across the world and how personal music preferences define us. Music is certainly an important supporting character in our lives at 20K Group, so we thought we'd let you get to know our team a bit better by letting you sneak a peek into our "Six Songs of Me." We'd love to hear the soundtrack of your lives in the comments section, too! read more »

“Fans” & “Followers” to the Rescue!, 07.11.2012

Still wondering why it's important to have a loyal group of "fans" and "followers" online? Many people struggle to see the value in cultivating communities on Facebook and Twitter. Will it lead to more sales? How will this improve the bottom line? Well, here is an example of another way you could see ROI from your digital following.

On Monday, the Washington, D.C. City Council threatened to pass an amendment on a taxi modernization bill that would create a minimum cab fare in the city. The amendment would have negatively affected new kid on the block and industry disrupter, Uber, by making its minimum fare five times the price of a traditional cab’s fare. Uber brings luxury living to the masses with low-cost private drivers chauffeuring social Washingtonians around town in "sleek black cars." Launched last December, Uber quickly found an enthusiastic customer base eager to hail reliable and safe vehicles from the palm of their hand. The Uber mobile app allows monthly subscribers to find nearby and available drivers and request an immediate pick up. The dreaded haggling over credit card vs. cash payment is avoided with the app automatically deducting fare, which includes tip, from the subscriber’s card on file. The reliability and convenience of Uber gave many people in our nation’s capital the transportation solution that would suit their lifestyle. However, Uber hit a speed bump with the pending rollout of their new low-cost hybrid vehicle service, Uber X. The amendment proposed by the D.C. City Council would have dramatically increased the cost of Uber X, which is aimed at a more cost-conscious demographic. read more »

I’m Patrick Boylan, Nice to Meet You!, 06.25.2012

Hi, I'm Patrick Boylan, 20K Group's newest hire and the Director of Interactive Strategies. I'm here to bolster our digital communications capabilities and complement our existing offerings. The lines between online and offline continue to blur, and comprehensive communications strategies are crucial to achieving organizations’ financial and mission-related objectives. I come to 20K Group from the David All Group, a D.C.-based digital agency specializing in engaging, empowering, and activating brand advocates online. I spent three years there developing and executing marketing and advocacy campaigns for major brands. When I'm not at the office, I like spending time in the outdoors and following sports. As a VA/DC transplant in Houston, I maintain my loyalties to the Nationals, Capitals, and Redskins. One day, after the Nationals win the World Series, I will be able to say that I was a fan when the “Nats” bandwagon could have fit in a Fiat. As a proud Clemson alumnus, I bleed orange and white. Groomed from a very young age, I have been a super fan my entire life. Many fall Saturdays you will find me with 90,000 of my closest friends in Death Valley cheering on the Tigers. When I’m not watching my favorite teams, I’m usually in the outdoors. The Blue Ridge Mountains are far behind me now, and I'm on the lookout for new Texas terrain to conquer. I plan to explore the Gulf Coast, Hill Country, west Texas, prairies, pinewoods and Big Bend country. If you have a must-try outdoor experience in the region, please point me in that direction! 20K Group is an amazing team of smart, savvy communicators, and I am honored to be a part of it. I look forward to accomplishing great things together! If you'd like to find out more about me, connect with me on Twitter or Facebook.