Monday, February 21, 2011

Toyota Tweets Truth

This past week, an interesting story began to circulate involving what are known as "mommy bloggers", Toyota, and Amazon gift cards. A popular blogger by the name of Crissy claimed that she recieved an offer via her blogs host site,, to tweet positive comments about the car brand in exchange for $10 dollar Amazon gift cards. This bribary attempt angered many mothers out there, as it should have. Blogger Crissy's response was anything but subtle and encouarges Toyota that if it truly wanted the promotion of its product by this particular demographic it needed to do much more than insulting them with a $10 dollar gift card. She included the hashtag #toyotafail, which started a storm of other comments to the company. Toyota quickly responded by making it clear that the company had nothing to do with this promotional "strategy" by tweeting “Have found no contract with affiliation with w/ mommynetworks. We don’t support this type of outreach. Getting to the bottom of this.”and cleverly included the #toyotafail hashtag. This quick and smart reaction shows that the company is commited to true and honest outreach to it's consumers and puts Toyota owners, like myself, and others at ease. I think they are sincere in showing that they are on top of the situation and have the consumers best interest in mind.

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Taco Bell: Real trouble with unreal meat

I cannot speak for everyone, but being a college student, to me, means that at some point in time you have taken advantage of the extremely low prices of the Taco Bell menu. The "value"menu is really not far from the prices of the regular menu and everything is of the same quality, which I admit is not THAT bad. And the saying "you get what you pay for" definitely does apply. But in a way that's why we love it.

Recently, Taco Bell has been accused of not meeting the USDA's minimum requirement of actual beef content. Which is, disgustingly, only 40 percent! This accusation sparked a lawsuit and PR extravaganza. This video was quickly released by the President of Taco Bell:

It has been shown recently that instead of admitting a mistake any mistakes, taking responsibility, and fixing the problem. Taco Bell went on to place the blame on the beef supplier, even though in the video above they still admit they, themselves, do not use 100 percent beef. Rather 88 percent and "other ingredients". As this brand controversy continues, the companies PR department definitely has their work cut out for them.

Groundswell Part 1

I found the first part of Groundswell to be a great learning tool for social media. If i had to classify myself I would definitely say I am a Spectator. I have never really shared my own thoughts and opinions about things or causes that interest me, but I do find myself taking a decent amount time to see what others are talking about. The fact is that social media of all kinds have allowed anyone and everyone to speak their mind about anything and everything. That kind of power is something that can highly benefit a company or organization. Social media allows consumers to easily speak their minds about a service or product. It also allows that company or organization to keep a close eye on their targets in order to better serve the consumer and themselves. 

In order to fully optimize the power of social media such as twitter, facebook, and forums, you must be aware of the rapid pace in which these technologies change everyday. Also you must be able to fully understand how it works. Without at least a basic knowledge of the media source or outlet you will not be able to use to to your full advantage. Another major question you need to ask yourself is, who are you? What do I hope to get out of this? Or who am I trying to reach? The answers to these questions hold the key to what is the Groundswell. Which is basically cutting out the middle man. Once people realized that the want and need to be proactive was a common goal to others as much as to them, they began sharing and acquiring information directly from others who share the same interests and aspirations. And with that, the groundswell will continue to flourish.