Category Archives: Politics

Marketing to Millennials.. why we’re different.

Yesterday, I came across a (satirical) article on Buzzfeed titled, ‘Things Millennial Girls Love‘. While the article was hilarious and kind of true, the wheels in my head started turning about how reaching my generation of millennials via marketing (especially social media). It’s no secret that we are more plugged in than any generation before us, and that making us engaged brand ambassadors is important. We are on track to be the most educated generation in history, and make up almost 36 percent of the work force.

So then, what should we remember when trying to reach millennials?

1. We are constantly plugged in. We are so plugged in that some of us even use our phones to track our sleep (guilty as charged). We know about new technology and platforms before any other generation because we search for it to simplify our lives. These platforms have to be capitalized on within a timely manner, or it won’t have much effect.

2. We consume media in a new way. Because we are constantly connected, we’re consuming media from multiple platforms, oftentimes simultaneously. 63 percent of millennials stay up-to-date with the brands they love on social media and we are significantly more engaged in activities like reviewing and rating products than previous generations. Timely, concise information in crucial.

3. We don’t just consume content, we create it. More people than ever are blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking. We are sharing with our friends and followers the products we are using, who we are voting for and what we’re eating. This has created a unique way for everyone from brands to politicians to find out what the public is saying about them. This unique dialogue allows the immediate, personal response that millennials crave in order to become engaged advocates.

So, what about millennials in politics? By 2020, we will be 40 percent of the electorate. Over half of us gathered information about the 2012 election from social media. As discussed above, we crave unique, personal engagement from brands. This translates to our politicians. We millennials are looking to what others are saying about brands before they make a purchase, this translates to politics. Politicians and campaigns have a unique opportunity to create brand ambassadors using social networks, and we can definitely do a better job of capitalizing on it.

“The sun doesn’t always shine in West Virginia but the people always do..” West Virginia’s 150th Birthday

Happy 150th Birthday, West Virginia! A state that I have been proud to call home for (almost) 23 years.

It’s hard to explain the pride that West Virginians have for our state. We are a people who can name our state bird, state food, state insect, state flower, etc. on command (like Jennifer Garner did here), and who will never let those who aren’t from here talk crap about where we’re from. It was always different being the out-of-stater while I was in college in Ohio. I got  teased a lot because I knew so much about my home state.

In 1963, for our Centennial celebration, then President John F. Kennedy stood on the state capitol steps and said this about our state:

“The sun does not always shine in West Virginia, but the people always do, and I am delighted to be here. In many other places this crowd would long ago have gone home, but this State was born in a period of difficulty and tension. 1863 was marked by three extraordinary events–the birth of this State, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Battle of Gettysburg.

This State was born to turmoil. It has known sunshine and rain in a hundred years, but I know of no State, and I know this State well, whose people feel more strongly, who have a greater sense of pride in themselves, in their State and in their country, than the people of West Virginia. And I am proud to be here today.”

The West Virginia state capitol. The most beautiful building in our state.

The West Virginia state capitol. The most beautiful building in our state.

Today, I pay tribute to the beautiful scenes, the mountains, the valleys, the pepperoni rolls, Tudor’s Biscuits, its’ natural resources, the Appalachian Trail, the hard-working people, the state parks, the strong heritage and the rich history of our state. West Virginians are the friendliest, most helpful people you will ever meet, I guarantee it. No matter where a West Virginian goes, we carry the pride of our state with us.

I have never been prouder to call this place my home.

PS- In honor of WV’s Sesquicentennial, this blue and gold (our state colors!) ensemble was fun to put together:

Cardi: NY&Co, Skirt: F21, Necklace: Charlotte Russe

Cardi: NY&Co, Skirt: F21, Necklace: Charlotte Russe

6/29 Weekend in Photos

This weekend was eventful to say the least. Friday night, we hosted a fundraising event that was attended by the Speaker of the House. The event went really well, despite the fact that the storm-polcolypse hit directly after the Speaker left. Trees fell down, power went out (and is still out in the majority of the state). Thankfully, there was power in downtown Charleston, and we were able to move the fun to somewhere with air conditioning when it was over.

My family is lucky because we have a generator, so we were able to keep our fridge on and power fans to keep us ‘cool’. We’re also fortunate because our power came back on last night, so we didn’t have to suffer too long.

Here are a few photos from the weekend:

Pre-event outfit shot.

Myself and Speaker Boehner.

Hard to see, but this is a photo of Delegate Snuffer rolling up his sleeves and cutting through the tree that fell in the yard.

Beautiful post-storm sunset.

Daisy and I went on a caffeine run.

Daisy and her personal cooling fan pre-power coming back on. Most spoiled dog in America.

Role models.

The other night while writing my final literature review for one of my classes, I watched Diane Sawyer’s interview with Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly. Seeing how far she’s come from an injury that should have killed her is remarkable. Her bravery, courage ad strength definitely inspired me, as I’m sure it does people on both sides of the aisle.

The interview got me to thinking about my role models and the influence they’ve had on my life.

1. Coco Chanel – Not only did was she an innovator for women’s fashion starting in the 1920s, but she build her business from the ground up on her own. In a time when women married at a young age to be supported by men their whole lives, Chanel built her own life. She was fiercely independent which is a quality I admire.

2. Gabby Giffords – she showed what bravery really is by not only surviving but by pushing herself each day to get better. Her story is inspiring. It makes me feel as though I should never complain about anything, because it could be so, so much worse.

3. Audrey Hepburn – Audrey proved that a woman can have major class and still be successful. Whenever I see women accepting less than they deserve or acting without class, I think of her and am reminded that having class is always the way to go.

4. Queen Elizabeth I“Anne Boleyn thought only with her heart and she got her head chopped off. So her daughter, Elizabeth, made a vow to never marry a man. She married a country. Forget boys. Keep your eye on the prize. You can’t make people love you, but you can make them fear you.” – Blair Waldorf

Elizabeth was never able to fully be with the great love of her life, but she moved on and dedicated her life to her kingdom. I really admire her dedication, determination (no allowing the throne taken from her) and strength.

5. Hilary Clinton & Condaleeza Rice – Say what you want, but politics is a male-dominated field and a lot of the time women who participate are ripped to shreds by fellow politicians and news media. These two have been able to assert their capability to serve. As a female who hopes to go into politics, I can’t help but look up to them.

I think it’s obvious after reading this that I’m drawn to strong females. It’s important to me that I know who I am and am comfortable enough in my passions and beliefs so that I can hopefully one day fall into the ranks with these women. Until then, they inspire me to be myself, be independent, have my own thoughts, know what I stand for and me powerful.

Social media and politics – a match made in heaven?

As I lay home in bed today due to a stomach virus (I never thought I’d say it but I just wish I could be at work! I love my job!) I have read several article about the president’s Twitter Town Hall yesterday (like this one from Mashable). It seems reviews are mixed – some think it’s a good idea, while others don’t think it was effective.

This brought one question to my mind: Do social media and politics go together?

There are several ways to use social media in this sector, some of which are effective, some of which are not. In the Town Hall yesterday, those with questions were encouraged to submit questions. Over 70,000 questions were submitted. How likely was it that your question would be asked? Not very likely. However, it was slightly different than the type of Town Hall meetings Americans are used to – but in a good way? Does social media really have a place in every sector? I don’t think the use of Twitter was really a way to make these meetings seem more accessible to the American people.

If you look at social media use in other areas of politics, i.e. by members of Congress, it has a more useful purpose. People can feel that they can connect with their representative on a more personal level than calling their offices. It also provides a new channel of two-way communication.

In my opinion, the Twitter Town Hall was not the most effective use of social media. While there ARE effective uses of social media in politics, this was not one of them.

Colin Powell, on the House floor.

“American is not a ship sailing from point A to point B. We’re more like a blow-up raft. We’re cold and wet, and we don’t always know where we’re going, but the winds always blow us to a destination and we make it work, and those winds are quite often the will of the people.” -Colin Powell

Today I had the privilege of listening to Colin Powell speak to the Congressional interns on the House floor today (I was 20ft. from Collin Powell!)

What really struck me, was what a positive attitude he had about the greatness of our country, and faith in our country’s ability to come back from any hardship.

Powell touched on what a great country the United States is, and how we should pride ourselves in the fact that people want to come here to start a new life.

What did I take from this? Instead of being so ‘doom and gloom’ about everything going on in our country, we should keep an open mind and faith that we will bounce back – that’s what our country is known for.

Something to think about.

Curbside Cupcake + Bipartisan Congressional Women’s Softball Game

This week was absolutely an amazing one on the Hill!

Yesterday, two of my office-mates introduced me to Curbside Cupcake (I’m beginning to realize how much this city likes its’ cupcakes!). If you follow @curbsidecupcake on Twitter, they will send updates as to the location of their different cupcake trucks around the city.

Curbside Cupcake's Twitter page!

Yesterday, the were on the Hill,so we ventured out! I got a DELICIOUS carrot cake cupcake:

My delicious carrot cake cupcake!

Then, last night was the charity softball game of Congresswomen v. Female Press Corps in D.C.. Myself and the other staffers attended to cheer on our boss (who kicked booty might I add; the Congresswomen won 5-4!)

The other staffers and myself with Congresswoman Capito aka Queen Coal!


The staffers at the game.

Us with Shelley's signs!

This morning I went to an intern session with Dana Bash, the senior white house correspondent for the White House of CNN. I was with approximately 20 other interns and got to ask her questions about her job, etc. She gave some amazing perspective about journalistic ethics.

This weekend should be great, I’m visiting my Uncle John in MD, going to the Holocaust Museum and Ford’s Theater, oh and TURNING 21!!!

Next week I get to hear from John Ashcroft, Colin Powell and Joe Manchin!

What does Osama’s death really mean for America and journalism?

Sunday, across the country, American’s took to the streets to wave flags, set off fireworks and sing songs like “Party in the USA” and “The Star Spangled Banner”. But as the dust settles, we must ask ourselves if a great triumph has really been accomplished. Is terrorism less of a threat to us now?

I would say no:

1. In the years following 9/11, Osama Bin Laden went into hiding as one of the largest manhunts in history took place. Al Qaeda began decentralizing their power after this and Bin Laden seemed to have become more a figurehead than a mastermind or leader. In conjunction with this – can you actually kill a figure as powerful as Osama? My best guess is that his legacy will live on, and that he will make others like him want to create more terror.

2. Will we withdraw our troops now? In the past few days, I’ve seen several dare I saw ignorant Facebook statuses happily stating that we can bring our troops home now. I wouldn’t be so sure. While talk has been optimistic in the days leading up to Sunday, pulling mass amount of troops out immediately would send the wrong message. However, this development does give Obama an opportunity in the near future to make a decision about our troops.

3. Pakistan and the Unites States seem to be unlikely allies – will it last? Obama’s speech hinted at the idea that there could be a forming Pakistan-U.S. alliance but in reality, the U.S. didn’t alert the Pakistani government of their attack in advance – maybe not the best way to start an alliance?

In my online journalism class on Monday, we discussed what the news of Osama’s death means for us as journalists. Whether we realize it or not (and hopefully as a journalist you’re on Twitter and saw it) the news of Osama’s death was broken on Twitter before it was released on television or any other outlet. This is huge. In class, we discussed where we were when 9/11 happened – every single person remembered where they were. Next, our professor asked us to try to wrap our minds around what 9/11 would have been like had Twitter and Facebook been around – assuredly it would have been completely different.

As journalists, we must ask the questions that the general public don’t know or forget to ask.  Journalism will never be the same as it was at the time of 9/11 – today is a day of instant news and to me, this makes journalism even more important. “The morning after” as I have affectionately termed May 2, 2011, journalists had to remind the American people to ask questions like I asked above. This is why I belive print news and ‘traditional’ journalism will never die.

Highlights of Obama’s memorial speech

“At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”  -President Obama

President Obama gave a moving speech last night, that called for unity as opposed to blame.  One of his better speeches in my opinion.