5 Things Ad Students Should Do Over Break

Most college students spend their spring break partying in Cancun and soaking up the sun. But some students may chose to take a bit of a different route… like me! Boston University’s College of Communication sponsors a yearly Spring Break trip for Advertising students in the Big Apple! We’ll be visiting some of the top advertising agencies in the country like (R/GA, Publicis Kaplan Thaler, Grey, Giant Spoon, Firstborn and even Google!
I’m SOO excited!

But, for aspiring advertisers who are taking it easy this Spring Break at home, fear not! You can do so much more than binge-watch TV shows on Netflix and take every quiz on BuzzFeed.

1. Update your resume

Make some edits to your resume. Add what you completed last semester and delete what is either irrelevant or unimportant. Here’s a list of 6 changes you can make that will make a huge difference! While you’re at it, also, order some business cards! I used VistaPrint to order mine, and they turned out great. It’s useful to carry them around in case you ever run into someone important!

2. Create a website and start a blog

When potential employers Google search you, you want them to find only professional, interesting information. That’s why having your own website and brand is really important. Sites likes WordPress, Weebly, Squarespace allow you to show off your resume and any presentations or work that you’ve done! If you already have one, spruce it up a little to make sure it’s in tip-top shape.

Aspiring social media professionals, strategists and copywriters should also take the time to hone in on their skills by writing a blog. It can be about anything, but it should be authentic and should show off your writing style and voice. WordPress is a great platform to use, but other sites work too. Try to post somewhat frequently (I have a schedule for what I’ll be writing about, but I also post about current campaigns sporadically as well!)

3. Work on your portfolio

Haven’t started yet? I suggest CargoCollective because it has some clean, interesting designs and it’s very easy to use. Heads up though, you have to “apply” for an account, so you’ll be contacted shortly once you put in your information.

If you already have one, use this time to touch it up. Add an element to any of your campaigns to show you can think across multiple platforms (maybe social, experiential or out of home). Make sure you make it cohesive though. When you get back to school, show it to on of your professors or intern coordinators so they can take a look at it and make suggestions.

4. Network, Network, Network

I’ve participated in many Tweetchats Tweetchats, and they’re a great time/place to network with other people (it’s basically live-chatting through Twitter). Here’s a schedule of all the Tweetchats out there (I suggest #LikeableChat, #InternPro, #PinChat, #PRSSAchat, etc.)

Also, use this time to connect with professionals. If you’re applying for a summer internship or a job, send out some emails, tweet at companies that you like, message people on LinkedIn and make an effort to get your name out there. Share a link to your website with them to show off your work! Don’t be shy!

5. Learn a new skill
Just because you’re not sitting in a classroom doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Take this time to gain more knowledge. Learn HTML (CodeAcademy is a great resource!) Photoshop, Final CutPro, After Effects, etc. Now’s the time to do it!

Will you be doing any of these things over break? Let me know! I’ll try and write about my experiences checking out the awesome ad agencies in NYC, so keep an eye out for that!

How Ellen Broke Twitter

When Ellen tweeted a selfie taken at the Academy Awards on Sunday, it broke a major record and became the most retweeted tweet EVER.

Pretty big deal, right?

She beat out President Obama’s “Four More Years” tweet, that held the previous record with over 700,000 retweets.

But, what was it about this picture that caused it to be such a success?  And what can brands learn from this moving forward with their social media efforts?

Well, here’s 5 reasons why it went totally viral.

1.The Tweet was Hilarious

There’s no denying it- Ellen is really really funny.  Her comedic chops are top-notch, and she isn’t afraid to push boundaries (she ordered pizza at the Oscars, I mean, COME ON!)
Her tweet “If only Bradley’s arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars” was silly but filled with the perfect amount of humor (we all know the struggle of taking group selfies and not having long enough arms!). It made people laugh and smile.

Brands- take note! When humor is used (tastefully), it can help your content become Internet gold.

2. Visual content is key

Consumers LOVE seeing visual content . Hubspot reports that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. (Sources: 3M Corporation and Zabisco)  And research shows that 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. (Source: Zabisco)
Pictures and videos make for a more entertaining and enjoyable experience, and help consumers feel a closer relationship with the brand. That’s why infographics and branded content are usually have high number of retweets.
They say a picture’s worth a thousand words: well it’s also worth tons of retweets.

3. The Picture Played Off a Current Trend

With the creation of Snapchat, selfies have been all the rage. Celebrities, politicians and people all across the world take selfies to share on the Internet. Ellen played off this huge trend, which was both smart and pretty hilarious.

4. Timing is everything

Live tweeting and real-time marketing.  Tons of brands have been doing it on Twitter, and, when the content is just right, it works. People are in that mindset when an event is happening, and they’re looking to see what other people are saying. Again, though, it’s all about having the right content and sharing it at the right time. Ellen did just that.

5. Celebrities (and personalities) have power

Celebrities have the power to influence others! People listen to what they have to say, and they care about what they think. Real-life people have the 2-most retweeted tweets of all time, more than any of the biggest international brands on Twitter.

Besides the amount of attention they get from the media, celebrities have something that many brands don’t: an authentic personality. To get consumsers more engaged, brands should create their own “voice” and “personality.” (here are some great tips on how to do that: Make it authentic and real and relatable.)

Did you retweet Ellen’s selfie? Why do YOU think it was such a phenomena?