How to Take Your Education Beyond the Classroom

This post was originally written for Bostinnovation.  This is only an excerpt of that post.  For the full article, please click here.

As a digital marketing student, I’ve discovered that I can’t only learn about the industry from what my professors teach me in the classroom.  There’s only so much you can be taught from a whiteboard and textbook.  I’ve found that the best way to learn about marketing is by pushing myself to work beyond the homework assigned in class.

Over the past two years at Boston University, I’ve come up with a few ways, both on campus and within the city itself, to supplement my classroom experience.  In no particular order, here are a few of the ways students can enhance their education while in the city of Boston: Continue reading

The Five F’s of Checking-In

I recently read a blog post that I thought was really interesting regarding Location Based Services (Check-ins, Location Based Marketing and the F’ Word by Claudio Schapsis).  According to the writer, there are five reasons people use location based services: Fun, Friends, Fancying, Freebies and Following.  All five F’s were framed underneath a larger, more vague ‘F:’ Find.

I actually contributed three of them when Claudio posted the question to Quora as a way to come up with the motivations for checking-in (Friends, Fancying, and Freebies).  The other two hadn’t been on my mind, but I’d like to elaborate on all of them now.

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#TVNext and 2 Solutions to Enhance Current Online TV Ads

This past Friday, advertising agency Hill Holliday held an event called #TVNext for their clients as well as the press on emerging trends in television consumption (how I fit into either of those groups is a mystery to me too).

The event featured panels called TV Gets Social, TV Gets Connected, and TV Gets Portable. Representatives from companies like CNN, GoogleTV, XBox, and Hulu were on hand to discuss the future of television and television programming (a more comprehensive list of speakers and the event schedule can be found here).

As exciting as the event was, I wish there was more talk about advertisements for online programming.  Advertising on sites like Hulu is boring right now.

The main problem is that these advertisements don’t take advantage of the medium they’re on.  Online video ads are treated like television video ads and don’t embrace the single greatest benefit of the Internet: interactivity.  I don’t know if the problem with these ads basically being ported from their television counterparts is the fault of the agencies producing them or the Hulu website not allowing a new style of advertising.  Regardless, advertising for online video is still ripe for a revolution. Continue reading

Interview with Deb Trevino, Director of Corporate Communications at Starbucks (Part II)

I recently had the opportunity to interview Deb Trevino, the Director of Corporate Communications for Starbucks.  In this position, Ms. Trevino covers a breadth of roles: she handles financial communication, business and brand communication, corporate social responsibility, and crisis communication.

This is Part II of my interview with Ms. Trevino.  Topics discussed here include Starbucks in the global market and the coffee chain’s integration of corporate social responsibility within company policy. (Part I, found here, discusses branding, the new Starbucks logo design, and digital media.)

Starbucks Around The Globe

Maurice Rahmey: From a global perspective, how does the branding of Starbucks differ in other countries?  From a PR standpoint, what are the differences between the US market and other markets?

Deb Trevino: There are a lot of differences.  From a PR standpoint, I would say that, just the way that the trade works in every market is very different.  We always have to alter our approach depending on the market that we’re in.

More broadly, from a business standpoint, you will see a lot of differences in Starbucks around the globe – a lot of consistency, but also differences based on really making those stores relevant for the customers.  It may mean different product offerings. It may mean different hours.  For example, whereas in the US people will come to Starbucks primarily in the morning, in China we have very light business in the morning.  We have more traffic in the afternoons and evenings.  Business is very different depending on where we are, as is our PR approach.

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Interview with Deb Trevino, Director of Corporate Communications at Starbucks (Part I)

I guess I have Starbucks on the brain. Besides my soon to be post on what happens when you conduct the “$20 Starbucks Test,” I’ve also had the opportunity to interview Deb Trevino, the Director of Corporate Communications for the company.

In this position, Ms. Trevino covers a breadth of roles: she handles financial communication, business and brand communication, corporate social responsibility, and crisis communication.

Ms. Trevino was a pleasure to talk to and I really appreciated her insight. I only regret that I forgot to ask her what she thought about the “$20 Starbucks Test” I’ve been so interested in attempting.

Below is Part I of my interview with Ms. Trevino. Topics included in this post include branding, the new Starbucks logo design, and digital media.

Update: Part II is now posted. Click here to read about Starbucks in the global market and the coffee chain’s integration of corporate social responsibility within company policy.

The Path to Starbucks

Maurice Rahmey: How did you get to where you are at Starbucks?

Deb Trevino: I joined Starbucks about two and a half years ago and I came to this role from a similar one at a company called Getty Images, which is also based here in Seattle. Throughout my career, I’ve really worked in public relations, communications and marketing communications – some combination of those things. It’s really just a culmination of the experience that I dealt with throughout my career that got me hear.

The Starbucks Culture and Brand

MR: Before I get into my own questions, my professor (Prof. Steve Quigley) wanted to actually know how your internal communication within the company fosters a strong and consistent customer centric culture within the stores. Would you be able to help me out with that?

DT: One of the most important things we do is communicate to our employees (we call them “partners”). We really consider them our advocates and our evangelists and they need to be engaged in what the company is doing – everything as simple as the products we’re offering to the story behind those products and how they’re sourced. They need to understand what we do from an environmental standpoint. All of those things are really critical so that when they interact with a customer on a daily basis they’re really representing the best of what Starbucks is all about.

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