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My Internship Experience at The BLU Group - Advertising and Marketing

Kayla Lenz, Intern Extraordinaire
Being a college student I always got asked the same questions. What's your major? Why did you choose that? What do you want to do with your degree? For me, I went into school as a declared marketing major and stayed on the same course and graduated with a degree in marketing. I always knew it was something I wanted to do, but what I didn't realize was how much there was to the field of marketing.

After taking multiple different marketing classes I had no idea what I wanted to do within the field. I could see myself doing so many different things; it was hard to focus in on just one aspect. That's when I decided I wanted to start looking for internships to see if I would actually enjoy working in the field I planned on starting my career in. I did a few different internships that I did learn a lot from, but couldn't see myself working there in the long term. That's when I heard about The BLU Group.

Joining the Right Social Networks: How Do You Decide?

Woman and Social Networks - Facebook, Twitter, and YouTubeWith new social media networks popping up at what seems like a daily basis, it's hard to figure out which networks you should be using as a business. Though there isn't an easy button to push, with a little advice and research, you'll be able to sort through the masses to find your perfect match(es).

1. Understand the network - Before signing up for a network, ask yourself how much you know about it. If the answer is very little, then it's time to do some research. If you join a social media network without having a strong idea of what it's about, the users' demographic information, or how it can help your business, you might as well just blindfold yourself and pick a network at random. Do your homework.

A Person's Name Is Their Favorite Word...Don't Mess It Up!

The importance of having accurate customer information.

I recently received an e-announcement from Ford – Owner Advantage Rewards. Usually, these contain coupons for $X amount off a car service or a free oil change for my vehicle. I like receiving these updates and the savings they offer will come in handy the next time I take my car into the dealership.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago my husband and I bought a new car, a Hyundai Sonata. We purchased a lot of add-ons / upgrades for it – the remote start being my favorite by the way. Five days after buying our car I received this in my inbox. It's a "Thank You" e-mail from Ford for joining their Owner Advantage Rewards at the dealership where we bought our car. It includes a confirmation link to "Say yes to receiving information via e-mail." Sweet, more special offers!

But there’s one thing wrong.

E-mail from Ford - Owner Advantage Rewards

It came to me at my e-mail address, but it's made out to my husband. What?! We gave the dealership both of our e-mails and contact information so why did I receive an e-mail that should have been sent to my husband? Overall it's not a big deal and I know that people make mistakes when entering information, but this small oversight highlights the importance of getting it right from the get go.

4 Tips for Creating Awesome Content on Facebook

Create awesome Facebook contentContent creation is one of the most important aspects of social media marketing. Facebook determines what posts get seen by which fans, so the content of the posts need to appeal to Facebook's algorithm. You need to post the content at the appropriate times, as well as develop content that will resonate with your fans. It's so important to focus on quality, and not as much on quantity.

So what should you post about? Well, the tricky answer is that it depends. It depends on your industry, your brand image, your company's vision, goals/objectives, your target market and their likes, interests, and characteristics, and the list goes on. No one wants to hear an open ended answer, so here are some tips to get you started on producing great content.

Six Quick E-Mail Marketing Design Tips

Free Shipping Notre Dame E-announcement designed for WinCraft.Lately I have been designing a lot of e-mail marketing materials and thought I would share some tips to designing an effective e-newsletter and/or e-announcement. I pared them down to six quick tips you can use right away.

Tip 1: Remember your audience. Always keep your audience in mind when designing and building your e-newsletter or e-announcement. For example: what colors and images should you use, how should the copy sound, how will this be mostly viewed (on a phone or on a computer).

Tip 2: Keep it clean. Keep your design clean and simple, you don't want to make it too busy and overwhelm the reader. Break up your information to make it easier to read and view. One way to do this is to divide the space, maybe use a multi-column layout over a one-column layout.

Tip 3: Pull your audience in with headlines and great copy. Write concise but attention grabbing headline(s) with to-the-point body copy. Guide your viewer with bolded, colored, or a different font for your headlines. In an e-announcement, pull out pieces of your body copy to be highlighted in some way by bolding, italicizing, colors, etc. 

7 Tips for a Successful Online Project

The BLU Group website in PhotoshopThe world of online design has so many aspects it can easily be overwhelming. File size, browser type, image format, monitor width, and device type, are just a few of the considerations. Due to the many variables, it can be a daunting task to successfully design and publish an online project so here are some guidelines to help you out in designing / building a website, e-newsletter, and banner ad:

1. Document size - Just like printed projects you need to know how big the finished piece will be. Sometimes you as the designer get to choose your projects dimensions, like when you are designing a website. Other times, for example when you are designing a banner ad, you need to get the dimensions from the site that the ad is to be published on. Here are a few different projects and some of their standard sizes:

4 Social Media Lessons to Take from the Jennifer Livingston Story

Jennifer Livingston, WKBTAll hail the great, all-mighty, Social Media Network! Ever since Jennifer Livingston stood up to her bully, the power of social media has been evident around the globe. Many of us knew how important it was to keep a watchful eye on our business social media pages, but after this event, the realization really hit home.

When Jennifer received an e-mail from the La Crosse man who called her obese and unfit as a role model to kids, she retaliated. Her husband posted the e-mail on his facebook page,then she reposted it onto her own, and it blew up. She then went on to further stand up for herself on local television, and the story spread even faster. Around the country, celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Lance Bass were applauding Jennifer on Twitter, and soon people from around the globe were tweeting, blogging, talking, and posting about Jennifer’s message to her bully. All of this happened within a day and originated from the small city of La Crosse, Wisconsin. 

So what can you, as business owners and professionals, take from this example? Besides some of the obvious things, like don’t mess with a journalist, there are 4 key social media lessons to take from this story.

5 Questions to Ask Your Client When Designing and Developing a New Website

Website design and development questionsAs an Account Executive I see many different projects come through the agency's doors, with website design and development being one of the most common. When beginning a new project, no matter what the scope, it’s important to ensure a smooth start by asking the right questions and gathering the appropriate information. That’s why I’ve put together a series of posts outlining questions to ask your clients when beginning a new project.

This post will focus on 5 important questions to ask your client to ensure a smooth start when beginning the design and development of a new website.

Eight Tips for a Successful Print Project

Printing - Press checkPrinted pieces are a lot of fun to design and plan out. There are so many different variables that you get to play with as a designer. Variables like photos and graphics, paper, printing process, finishes, die-cuts, etc. Due to the many variables, it can be a daunting task to successfully design and print a project so here are eight tips to help you out:

1. Document size - When starting a new project the most important thing you need to know is the document size - how big the finished piece (flat and/or folded) will be. A brochure for example could be 8.5 by 14 inches when it's laid out flat, but folded it could be 8.5 by 3.5.  

2. Templates - If you are printing a folded, die-cut, or bound piece be sure to talk with your printer and let them know what you want to do and how you want the finished piece to look/work. They should have a lot of insight about achieving what you want to design. Also, it never hurts to ask your printer if they have any templates that you could use to get your desired result.

Planning a Trip to Las Vegas from a Project Management Perspective

Welcome to Las VegasI recently went to Las Vegas to meet up with my college roommates and sorority sisters. Even though I turned off my work e-mail, my Account Executive brain is always turned on and I began to analyze my trip with a project management mindset.

As an Account Executive at The BLU Group Advertising and Marketing, I manage a variety of projects from website redesigns and social media campaigns to prospecting new business and managing interns. Four main elements I always keep in mind when managing my projects are scope, resources, time, and money. While spending a weekend in Las Vegas isn’t my typical project to manage, I still found myself referring back to these four key elements during my trip.