Agency Competitive

Happy Friday COB!! Hope everyone had a great week after that incredible win against the Tar Heels! Watching that win will absolutely go down as one of my favorite memories at East Carolina and as a Pirate! Last week in the blog I talked about my first experience helping put together a social media campaign. This week the discussion continues with more projects within the agency world.

As I stated previously, the majority of my time was spent on extensive projects for clients and for the agency itself. One of the largest assignments that I took pride in was a full competitive analysis for a select number of clients. A competitive analysis is an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors.

In order to do this I had to research every competitor’s website, digital advertisements, social media accounts, creative and other properties. After I completed my research, I then had to analyze all of the information. I examined each competitor’s brand message, taglines, website tone and look, claims they made, and the tools they use for their campaigns. Finally, I put all this information into a presentation and it was sent off to the client. This was lengthy process because each of the three clients I analyzed, Harris Waste Management, NYCM Insurance, and Med Solutions, has a very large number of competitors.

Dalton Agency Workspace

Dalton Agency Workspace

These projects were very valuable both to me and to the agency. I gained firsthand experience in forming this type of presentation and completed something tangible that I can take with me when interviewing for a full time position after graduation. I also contributed to the Dalton agency in a big way, they also look at this presentation to see if the brands they are shaping can stand up to the competition.

Stay tuned for next week when I talk about my first commercial video shoot!

Rescue Family

Happy Wednesday everyone. As usually a fun packed and busy week ahead of me with school work and house chores. Glad to report the newly purchased house is slowly taking shape and developing well. Once we get closer to the end result I’ll be sure to share some pictures with everyone so you can see how far we’ve come. Currently I am still trying to catch up with some school work, the move and the loss of internet for about a week to a large den out of any momentum previously gained.

On a lighter note, you’ll be happy to hear that the Pulido’s family rescued another dog. If you didn’t already know, our first dog (Scarlet) was a rescue dog that we obtained from the animal shelter in 2007. When we moved to our new house last week, there was a dog that had been living under the house. She was in desperate need of love, care, and medical attention. We decided we would wait about a week and see if she took off, or if anyone claimed her, before we took her to the vet. Yesterday marked the week and we took her for a check up.

Penny

The vet said she was healthy and after a few medications to fix a skin rash, she should be able to come inside and be around other dogs. If you don’t know much about the Pulido’s, you should at least know we are animals lovers. Feels good to take care of a dog in need. After rescuing Scarlet we realized how lucky we were and have come to realize that sometimes the animal you rescued, actually is the one rescuing you. We look forward to the future at our new house, with our new family member.

Day One & Social Media Advertising

Happy Friday COB! I know all of you are ready for the weekend but more importantly ready to watch our ECU Pirates beat Carolina!

Like I said last Monday, I want to use my blog to in the next few weeks to further explain my experiences this summer working at the Dalton Agency, a full service-advertising agency in Atlanta, GA. So, why not start with day one?

On the first day of my internship I was given four different clients to work with during the summer – NYCM Insurance, Med Solutions Healthcare, Lonza Chemicals, and Harris Waste Management.  My internship duties consisted of multiple tasks that I was responsible for; however, because all of these clients are so different I never had the same type of day twice. I was given large and extensive projects and smaller daily tasks to keep with up regularly.

One large project that I spent an extended amount of time on was a full social media audit for our client NYCM Insurance. I was able to see the entire process of how an agency plans a social media strategy for the client and how they begin to execute it. The process started with multiple conference calls with NYCM so that way we could gain an understanding of what they hoped to achieve with social media properties.  Through these meetings our social media director and myself came up with a number of goals for NYCM’s social media platform and the client approved them.  The next step in the strategy was my responsibility; I needed to perform my first social media audit on all of NYCM’s competitors.

The purpose of this audit was too assist our social media director when forming the final social strategy to be presented and later approved by NYCM’s director of marketing. In order to complete this I had to fully audit a list of competitors such as State farm and Allstate Insurance. I researched their social media properties to see how they were using them and how well it was working. I included observations such as how many followers each account had, how often they post, whether or not people ‘like’ or ‘share’ their posts, among other remarks.

Sample tweet from the NYCM social campaign.

Sample tweet from the NYCM social campaign.

I complied all of this information into a presentation and presented it to our director of social media. I was then able to see how he formed their entire social strategy in a way that would help NYCM grow and expand their business and market them as a more talk-able brand. Prior to this assignment I had no idea what a full social strategy entailed, or what a social media audit was.  I enjoyed doing this because I was able to learn from someone that has been incredibly successful in the business and I was able to complete something that I will be able to take with me that show my experience level.

The social audit was just one of many projects I was given during the summer; however, it was one of my favorites! Stay tuned for next weeks post about my first commercial video shoot!

Moving on up

Happy Wednesday everyone! As promised, I’m back and here to report on school and a new house for the Pulido family! This past week, I took off from work (and slightly from school) to move in and begin renovations on the 1865 farm house my wife and I just purchased.

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I enjoy working on my house, and overall staying busy with my hands. However, it has been a bit difficult balancing these past few weeks and staying productive. Overwhelmed would be a slight understatement. BUT, I enjoy adversity and look forward to the other side of those difficult time. Because if it was easy, everyone would do it. And if it’s difficult, it’s probably worth fighting for.

I’m slowly beginning to catch up on school work (even though I don’t have Internet at my house yet). And I am grateful for the help of friends and family this past weekend which made moving in possible. Now the slow and tedious process of renovating a house we are currently living in… This should be fun!

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My friends and family have been great, but my teacher have been accommodating as well. They understand it has been difficult over the past few weeks and are bending over backwards and providing extensions until I’m fully up and running. I look forward to the comments and hope to give more positive news in the near future.

Welcome Back!

Welcome back College of Business! It feels great to be back in Greenville and I am ready to kick off my senior year as well as another semester! Although it is the third week of school it still does not feel quite right sitting in the classroom again; I am sure I’m not the only one that feels that way.

For me its not so much having obligations again but its more about adjusting to not having to get up and go to work everyday like I did for the past two months. This summer I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to intern with the account management team at the Dalton Agency in Atlanta, Georgia. The Dalton Agency is a full service-advertising agency that offers services varying from public relations, social media, video production, branding, media, and guerilla marketing to its clients. They are headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida but also have offices in Atlanta and Orlando. In the Atlanta office I worked directly under two Vice President Account Directors and their Account Executives assisting them each day on different clients. However, because the Atlanta location is a smaller agency I had the opportunity to wear many different hats throughout my time there. I was able to experience not only the account management sector but also the production, social media, creative, and media departments in the agency.

View of Midtown from the Dalton Agency

View of Midtown from the Dalton Agency

In a span of eleven short weeks I was able to experience and learn more than I ever thought possible. The people I worked with and what they taught me are both things that I will eternally grateful for. In the coming weeks my blog will highlight different experiences I had during my internship as well as assignments I worked on for the agency. Life inside the advertising world is a crazy ride so stay tuned everyone!

Exciting Adventure

Welcome back students! ECU Grad students, Undergrads, and new students especially. Man how life can be full of life changing adventures. Over the summer I took two classes and have now moved on to my 2014 Fall semester. I look forward to reporting in (almost) weekly and sharing my journey as I continue ECU’s MBA program.

This semester my classes seem to be getting off to a good start, so far. Currently I am enrolled in a Pilot class for Project management, Finance, and Operations Supply Chain Management. The work load seems fairly reasonable but of course there will be a lot of reading. Not my forte.

house photo

Recently, my wife and I have purchased a new country home 25 minutes away from campus. SO EXCITED! We will finally be leaving our apartment of 7 years and begin our own adventure on a quiet road with 9 acres of land. Outside of physical activity, which has been limited because of my focus on school work, I love working and renovating my house. Over the next semester I’ll be blogging and sharing a lot of my renovations as I document this new and exciting journey. I look forward to hearing comments and seeing old, and new faces.

I’m Back

Hey everyone. If you follow me regularly you’ll notice I haven’t been posting the past couple of weeks. You will notice the Study Abroad Program posted their blogs in my absence. We didn’t want to overload our readers so this gave me a break from writing and allowed me to edit and post ECO COB material. Now that I’m back, I’ll give you a brief update on my past week and how school has been going thus far.

dog

This past weekend (4th of July), I spent three days in New Bern on the river and was lucky enough to bring my dog to the hotel. My wife and I take vacations from time to time and our biggest gripe is having to leave our dog behind. This Fourth was extra special because she could join us.

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After a long weekend, and watching the sun go down followed by fireworks on the water; it’s time to get back to school and finish my second summer session. You’ll be glad to hear I did receive a B on my last class and so far this summer it looks promising I’ll receive an A. I could very well use this A to balance out my GPA and take some stress off my plate. I’ve been doing well prioritizing, spending less time at the gym and focusing more on school. It not my ideal day but I am definitely less stressed and completing assignments well before their due date.

I look forward to those comments and continue to follow us on social media. #ECUCOB

Live your Life

AH1

 

Written By

Andre Harness Jr.

COB Study Abroad Program China

 

Life is an adventure that you have to live, stop thinking about it and live it. I know what you are thinking, China? How much fun could one have in China? Isn’t it a communist country? Don’t they hate Americans? I think I’ll pass; Europe would be a better time. Let’s start with killing that stereotype. The Chinese have an amazing culture and have been more open and inviting to us then one could ever have dreamed. We have been, simply put, celebrities. China rolled out the red carpet and accepted us with open arms and in turn all seventeen of us dropped our guard from day one and dove into the culture headfirst. We have had to learn to eat with chopsticks which at first was a challenge, but one that we all concurred and honestly now it’s harder for us to eat with a fork. But what about the language barrier? Dr. Chen supplied us with a tour guide named, Cindy. Who has been an angel. honestly, she has made our China experience priceless. Anytime that we have wanted to catch a cab anywhere day or night she has made it happen and made sure that we were being safe every step of the way. Anytime that we have been out and needed to order food or if we are at the market buying things she has been there as our communication crutch; Cindy has simply been amazing. But I don’t know anybody going with me? Being thrown into a foreign country has bonded us like you could never imagine. We are from all over the country and all walks of life and we have all come together to be a family. We dropped our guards, we’ve had disagreements, we’ve loved hard, and in return we’ve formed friendships that will last a lifetime. We will always have China.

China has been, well words can’t even explain. We have been blessed to have Dr. Chen with us who is from China. He and his staff put together the most amazing life changing experience that one could ever dream of. Home is over 15,000 miles away and he has made it feel like we never left. The hotels that we have stayed in have felt like palaces and every step of the way he has gone above and beyond to make sure that every student has not just felt comfortable but welcomed. Being homesick has been out of the question. He has not just made us try new foods but he has taken us on once in life time company visits. We have had the opportunity to go to Lenovo and be the first student group to get to tour their testing facilities and their corporate campus. In addition we got to visit companies that helped us understand exactly how the Chinese live. Everything from how much it cost to live in China to how much it cost to start and operate a company. The relationships that we were able to form with Vice Presidents and owners of companies will go along way as we enter the work world and was a priceless experience that we will forever be grateful for.

AH2

We have also been fortunate to have Dr. Grubb’s youthful flavor added to our trip. He has been like a father to us, always there when things haven’t gone smoothly. Everything has its ups and downs and although we have been up for over 95% of the trip; when things have dipped south he was there to smooth them out, lend a Band-Aid, a hug, and a timely joke to keep us focused on the amazing experience that was in front of us. To say that we have been blessed doesn’t do our situation justice. ECU supplying us with both Dr. Chen and Dr. Chang was the perfect pairing and one can only be thankful that they took the time away from there families to take us on this adventure across the world. If you were thinking about studying abroad hopefully this helps you decide to go. It is truly a life changing experience.

Live your adventure.

The Hidden Treasures of China

BKHS

 

Written By

Ben Krisay

COB Study Abroad Program China

 

BK1I want to start off by mentioning how amazing this experience has been for me. I am sure the same goes for the rest of my friends on this trip. I knew that this trip could be a once in a lifetime experience, and provide the opportunity to understand a wonderful culture. Coming into the trip I was not completely sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly and understanding the people are in China. Now I would like to summarize the day, and highlight some of my favorite parts about the day.

We started our day by going to a business called North Star Company, which is a state operated real estate company, and is also publicly traded. They build apartments, malls, and even personal homes; which are extremely rare in China. Although they have built homes for single families, there are new policies in place that forbid this. The corporation even had a part in constructing the China Convention Center, which was the media hub for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as well as the center for all fencing events. After visiting the convention center, we walked over to the two main Olympic buildings: the Birds’ Nest and the Water Cube.

After visiting with North Star Company we went to lunch at an area called 798; I will explain what 798 is further into my blog post. When we first arrived at the 798, we all went to a food court in the area to find lunch on our own. Spicy food is not widely popular in Beijing and the northern part of China. Since I usually eat spicy food in the states, I was on a hunt for some HOT food. I went with my friend Tyler, and Dr. Chen to look for some of the hottest food I could get. We stumbled upon an entire area of the food court that had spicy food.

BK2There were many types of food in this dish, and I will list a few. I had the pleasure of trying: lotus root, cow lung, 3 different types of tofu, bamboo shoots, frog legs, and duck blood. I know what you are thinking, that I am crazy for trying some of the foods like cow lung. The way that I look at it is, if I do not like it, I do not have to eat any more, but I will never know if I like it if I do not try. Surprisingly the cow long was very similar to calamari, and maybe I would not have liked it as much if it was not spicy. I know that some people on the trip were not as adventurous as me when it came to trying new foods. I hope that you take the same approach, and find out if something is good by tasting it, not by judging the looks of what is on your plate.

BK3After lunch, Tyler and I split up from Dr. Chen, and started to explore 798. Once we started exploring I started to understand what kind of place 798 was. This area was originally mostly manufacturing factories, but when the factories went out of business, this area turned into a local art scene. As we explored the area started to see street art everywhere, such as the graffiti, and sculpture in my pictures. I have always been fascinated with complex, and well put together graffiti, so this place was perfect for me.

There were plenty of local shops, presumably run by local artists. Walking into shops you could see art made by local artists, and there were even pieces that were not for sale. We walked into a shop that sold Ocarinas, which are flute like instruments made from clay, and used glaze that turn to glass when fired in a furnace. They had all kind of sizes and shapes that you could choose from. The guy working at the shop played a little tune on one of the Ocarinas. Tyler ended up buying one after this, I would have too if I had the extra Yuan to get one.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see the small amount of 798 that I did see. I wish that I would have more time here, and had not spent so much time eating. If you get to take a trip to Beijing I would highly recommend that you visit 798, especially if you are interested in art.

BK4

In summary, todays trip to 798 was a memorable one for me. I got to see some local artists representation of what art is for them. I think that art can be in many forms, and even the way that you live your life can be an art form. I am starting to realize that seeing the world can be an art in itself. Not every person takes the chance to leave the comfort of his or her home. This can be especially challenging in a country, where the majority speaks a completely different language. I have learned that stepping out of your comfort zone can provide incredible opportunities. There are hidden treasures in every country, but sometimes you have to go out and look for them. I can say that I have seen at least a small amount of the hidden treasures that China has to offer. I believe traveling is the perfect way to experience things you had no idea about, and may even offer opportunities that will change your life.

Bucket List

CBHS

 

Written By

Chelsea Boles

COB Study Abroad Program China

 

When I first found out that the COB study abroad trip was going to China, I knew that I had to visit the Great Wall of China. The Great Wall has been on my bucket list, and many of my classmates shared the same view. This was going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and we couldn’t be more excited.

After waking up in the morning, I could not believe that today was the day everyone had been looking forward to. We had to all get up very early and make sure we had plenty of food and water in our system before making the forty-minute drive to the Great Wall. As we were getting closer, the mountains started to look bigger and bigger. We could see parts of the Great Wall peaking over the hills. Everyone started getting very exited, knowing what was about to happen and what we were all going to accomplish today. We all started to strategize on the bus about which side of the Great Wall we wanted to climb and with whom we wanted to climb. The driver then parked the bus, and as we got off, we walked to where we could take a group picture before climbing the wall. Later, after climbing the stairs and trekking parts of the wall, we could take an after picture to see how worn we looked.

CB4

We split up into groups of at least three or more and picked which side of the wall we wanted to start. The side my group picked was the side that had better views and fewer tourists. We started climbing the wall and did not stop. When we were not climbing up the stairs, we were walking up pathways at forty-five degree angles. I did not realize the wall was going to be so challenging to climb. The steps were uneven and at some points we had to either run at an incline or hang onto the railing and pull ourselves up. We helped motivate each other whenever a person in our group was struggling. Some of the group members could not go any further and had to stop from exhaustion; while other group members went on to the peak.

CB2

After awhile of trekking, we finally reached the furthest point of our side of the wall.  It took us a minute to catch our breath from the walk, but afterwards we all looked around to see the once in a lifetime view. The first thought that I had was “Is this real?” I could not believe my eyes. All of our walking and climbing had been worth it. I had always wanted to visit the Great Wall but never knew it would actually happen. We stood there for about ten minutes in awe of everything around us. The group I was with made walking up the Great Wall much more memorable because we had all became much closer over the past three weeks. As we were looking at the majestic scenery, we were all looking at each other with smiles on our faces saying “we made it” and “we did it”. At this point in the trip we became more than classmates we became a family. I can finally say that the Great Wall is checked off of our bucket lists, and we could not be more enthusiastic.

CB5CROP