Archive for April, 2010

Sticking with a Routine

April 28, 2010

I’m a creature of habit. In fact, some might say I’m a little weird about it. For example, when I go to a restaurant, I usually find one thing on the menu that I like and then I stick with that every time I go. When I go shopping, I mostly just stick to the few stores I like, and I rarely go anywhere else. Granted, I’m probably missing out on some yummy food and some great deals, but my routines work for me, so I don’t care. I learned last weekend that the same can be said about homework routines.

I’ve settled into a fairly good routine for my two classes this semester, and my weekends generally go something like this: I write my assignment for one class on Friday/Saturday and then write the next one on Saturday/Sunday (I know, I know—go ahead and call me “Stacy-No-Fun” or “Debbie Downer”—my husband does). I’m really not sure why, but for the entire semester I’ve been writing my Brand Equity Management paper first—maybe because it requires a little more research and it usually takes me longer to write. Well, this weekend I was having trouble getting started on my paper, so I decided to switch things up and write my Applied PR paper first. BIG mistake! I spent so much time writing the first paper that I got really behind in starting the second one (and my dinner/movie date with Mark didn’t help me out, either). It’s a good thing we have until Monday night to turn in our assignments because I really needed that extra time this week!

My friend Nicole coaches cheerleading. I will admit, I know pretty much nothing about cheerleading, but Nicole has mentioned several times the problems that can arise when changing a cheer routine right in the middle of competition season. After last weekend’s homework debacle, I completely get it. For these last few weeks, I’ll be sticking to my old homework routine. Lesson learned.

On a side note, I want to thank everyone who helped put together Hailey’s swingset. It’s a big hit. 🙂

A group effort

Do you think she's excited?

Life Savers Soda? FAIL!

April 22, 2010

 So we’re discussing brand extension this week in my Brand Equity Management class, particularly the reasons why some brand extensions fail. My classmates have come up with some funny/weird/crazy products that have failed over the years, and I thought I’d share a few of them with you, as well as some others I’ve found …

I ended up writing about Life Savers Soda. Yes, there was such a thing as Life Savers Soda in the 1980s. I don’t remember this, but I have a photo to prove that it did in fact exist. Liquid Life Savers—great idea!



Here’s another one: Gerber Singles—adult baby food. According to my classmate, Stephanie, Gerber decided to target college students and adults living on their own with a line of pureed food. Now, there are many reasons why this is just bizarre, but Stephanie made a great point that I hadn’t initially thought of—the name. “Gerber Singles” marketed to single people? Depressing!  Gerber, stick to feeding tots.



Harley Davidson Perfume. Imagine it – riding down a curvy, country road on your motorcycle, just you and nature. You catch the scent of fresh-cut grass, spring flowers …and roadkill. Um, bottle that up, please! My classmate Beth had an even better description: “next day bar smell: Marlboro reds, beer sludge, grease, rotten roasted peanut shells, and a distinct scent of ink from a fresh tattoo.”



My classmate Julie wrote about Google’s Buzz. Remember when Google Buzz came out a few months ago? I was really excited about it. For a day. Does anyone even use it? If so, please tell me why.


 Hooters Air. Sadly, Hooters Air ceased operations in 2006. Now, they claim it was because of fuel prices. Whatever. Personally, when I think of air travel, the first thing that comes to mind is safety—not Hooters. Then again, I’m not a guy. Either way, FAIL!

Can you guys think of some other product failures that you’d like to share?

Bad Ben

April 16, 2010

We’ve been discussing crisis communications in my Applied PR class this week, particularly how organizations handle scandals involving celebrity spokespersons. One of my classmates brought up Ben Roethlisberger in her discussion.  I have to agree that with everything that’s gone down these last few weeks, it seems like my Pittsburgh Steelers are nearly in crisis mode as an organization. In just two years, I’ve watched my dreamy team go from being Super Bowl champs to the subject of many jokes among my Cowboy-loving friends and family (I’m still trying to convince my sister-in-law that the Cowboys are gross, and my friend Christina is hopelessly in love with Tony Romo, so I think she’s beyond help).

The Steelers made a pretty bold statement by trading Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes to the Jets earlier this week, indicating that the organization’s tolerance for bad behavior off the field is pretty low—which has usually been the case. And from the statements I’ve read today from Steelers president Art Rooney, it looks like Ben is skating on really thin ice, too. I don’t think he’ll be getting by without some sort of punishment.

Everyone who knows me will tell you what a fanatical Big Ben fan I am. But, I’m a Steelers fan first and foremost, so whatever Ben’s punishment is, I will support it. Even though Ben hasn’t been convicted of a crime and no charges will be filed in this latest incident, it’s unquestionable that he’s displayed some pretty horrible behavior in the last year. At least for now, I’m retiring my daughter’s Roethlisberger jersey, and my own as well. We’ll be wearing Polamalu instead next season 😉

So, how do you guys feel the Steelers handled this PR nightmare? Do you think they’ve been too harsh? Not harsh enough?

On a totally unrelated subject, I want to share a cool story with you. We’ve talked a lot in my classes about how organizations and companies are using social media to communicate with consumers, and I’ve even talked about it some in this blog. My friend, Kevin, is a current IMC student enrolled in IMC 619 (Emerging Media and the Market). For that class, Kevin has to write a blog (which I check out regularly). Kevin talks a lot about new technology in his blog, and the other day he wrote about a new scheduling service called Tungle. Soon after Kevin posted his blog, he got a very nice response from the CEO of Tungle himself!  Kevin was very impressed with the CEO’s hands-on approach to social media, and I can only agree.  Tungle is a great example of a company that effectively uses social media to connect with consumers. And, I think Kevin should get an A+ for his blog this week— just sayin’ … 😉

A Love Affair

April 12, 2010

I think everyone who has had class with me is aware of my love affair … with my iPhone. Well, I want to formally come clean, and announce to all of you that I have cheated. I have strayed. I have moved on to bigger and better things. I’m talking about the iPad.

I will be the first to admit, I was very skeptical of the iPad. When we discussed new product launches a few months ago in my IMC 610 class, the iPad came up. Most people agreed that Apple didn’t really do a great job of explaining what the heck an iPad is and, more importantly, what you’d need one for. Even my husband Mark, who is a computer geek, couldn’t really convince me why we would ever need one.

Clearly, that didn’t stop him from bringing an iPad home one day last week – out of the blue. I think he intended the iPad to be for him, but as the old saying goes, “what’s mine is mine and what’s his is mine,” so I felt compelled to go ahead and check it out.

In many ways, it really is a giant iPhone, minus the phone part. At this point I was still skeptical because after Mark’s “iPad demo” I still couldn’t figure out what the point of it was. Check e-mail? I do that on my phone or my laptop. Watch a movie? Um, thanks, but I have a TV. Then, Mark suggested that I download a book from iBooks and to try out iPad’s e-reader. Now, a little disclaimer: I’m a freak about my books. Call me old-school, but I like books with actual pages in them that I can flip through. I like to go to the bookstore and creep through the paranormal romance section (yes, I like vampire books). My bookcases at home are carefully organized, with each series in its correct order. It has to be this way because I like to go back and re-read them. I realize this is probably a little OCD. I don’t care.

I had my doubts about iBooks. But, my friend Chris, who is “technologically proficient” (translate computer geek) recently explained it to me like this. She said, “There is snail mail and there is e-mail. There are tree-books and there are e-books.” My other friend, Elise, recently bought a Kindle and is completely in love. Elise and I are on the same page with our OCD book habits, so I figured if she could make the switch to an e-reader, I had to at least give it a shot with the iPad.

After three nights of cozying up with my first iBook, (First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost) I am convinced that I will probably never buy another tree-book (except to complete my Sookie Stackhouse series, of course). My iPad has replaced my iPhone on my nightstand (oh, who am I kidding — it’s on my pillow), and I’m never looking back.  If Mark is nice, I might let him borrow it once in a while 😉

Nike and Tiger

April 9, 2010

Happy Friday everyone!

I know that I’ve complained a lot about the workload of taking two classes at once this term, but I’ve learned this week that taking two classes at once also has its benefits. It’s fun when a topic you’ve been discussing in one class comes up in another class—especially during the same week. It really shows me how all these different areas that I’m studying work together (in this case brand equity and public relations). This week, in my brand equity class, we’ve been studying two companies: DuPont for our class discussion and Nike for our case study assignment. The Nike case study mentions several of the celebrities who have endorsed Nike products, among them Tiger Woods. In my PR class, we’ve been talking about the pros and cons of using celebrity spokespersons, and Tiger Woods has come up in that class, too. It was interesting for me to be able to examine through my classmates’ discussions how a celebrity scandal can impact an organization from both a public relations and brand equity standpoint. Nike’s new ad featuring Tiger Woods has gotten mixed reactions. What do you guys think of it?


One final note—please, everyone continue to pray for our missing coal miners and all the families who have lost or are missing their loved ones. As a coal miner’s daughter, tragedies like this one hit really close to home. I know that I was giving my Dad a hard time about going fishing without me last week, but I can’t tell you how thankful I am that he’s retired now, and is able to go fishing on that stream and never has to go underground again. Love you, Dad!

Dad enjoying retirement with the resident deer

Basketball, homework and trout

April 6, 2010

First, congratulations to the WVU basketball team and Coach Huggins for an amazing season, and thoughts, prayers, and wishes for a fast recovery for Da’Sean Butler.

Earlier this morning, I turned in my homework assignment for this week.  I always have mixed feelings when I submit an assignment—it’s always a cross between feeling relieved that I got it done and feeling panicked that I forgot something. After you hit that submit button and your assignment goes into cyberspace, it’s basically the point of no return, and the thought of that kind of makes me sick to my stomach.  Does anyone else ever feel that way, or am I just a weirdo? When I was an undergrad student, I would always make my Mom proofread my papers (and I still do this whenever I can). But, for the most part, my husband Mark has now inherited that duty, and honestly, he’s less than enthusiastic about it. Thank goodness for spell-check. I guess there are worse things than a misspelled word in a paper, though …

I only had an assignment due for one class this week, IMC 628 (Applied Public Relations). Luckily, I didn’t have anything due for IMC 613 (Brand Equity Management). I’m not sure if Professor Girardi planned it that way to give us a break for Easter weekend or if that’s just the way the cookie crumbled. Either way, I was thankful to have some extra time this weekend. Taking two classes at once has really been hard on us these last few weeks, and personally it’s not something I’d recommend doing unless you really have to. My daughter, at 2 years old, is very demanding, and me being in school has definitely been a huge shock for her—especially since I’ve stayed at home with her for the last two years. On one hand, I’m glad that she’s getting to spend some more quality time with her Daddy, but yesterday when I was busy doing homework and she told me that I “didn’t love her” it pretty much broke my heart. After this semester is over and I have a break, I plan on doing some major sucking up. I might even take her fishing. 🙂

Speaking of fishing, it’s that glorious time of the year again. I’m talking about trout season. My Dad spent the better part of last week on a stream in Franklin, WV, and brought home a cooler full of trout. Unfortunately, a cooler full of fish isn’t the only thing he brought back with him—he also brought back a nasty cold. That’s what he gets for not taking me with him! Now, he will take me catfishing, but he says I’m way too high-maintenance to take trout fishing. I don’t know why he’d say that. Just because I won’t bait my own hook or touch anything slimy doesn’t mean I’m completely useless, does it? (don’t answer that)