12 Most Tweetable Quotes from Mark Schaefer’s Campus Takeover

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This week, my director got to see the Intern in her natural habitat. Mark was coming to speak to a class of seniors here at UTK, and was kind enough to let me tag along. I’m just a junior, so in my attempt to seem as cool as possible for the big kids – I live tweeted the whole thing!

In case you missed it, Here are some Mark‘s most tweetable quotes from the lecture. You can find them all on Twitter #schaefergoestoschool (or of course you could follow me at @Vivalaphoebz)

  1. Content has zero economic value unless people see it and share it.
  2. People share content because they want to look relevant.
  3. A Like is a wave at your content, like a pat on the head. Sharing is standing up and announcing that you believe in it.
  4. The 4th Epoch will be the Epoch of Fun. #immersion 
  5. Who is your alpha audience? Do you know who is sharing your content? Who is advocating your brand in this crowd?
  6. Are you doing everything you can to eliminate obstacles to having your content shared?
  7. Coschedule is a great resource for measuring the success of your blog headlines.
  8. Klout score is a relative measure of your ability to move content.
  9. How to stand out in the crowd? Be more human  
  10. Twitter is not about mentions and hashtags. There’s an underlying human pulse. Its about connections
  11. Don’t wait for someone to pick you. Pick yourself.

(And My Personal Favorite)

12. How do you win in this world of information density? A badass strategy.  

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Thank you to Dr. Childers for letting me sit in on the class! It was great to meet everyone! And a special shout out to the only student in class who participated in my first attempt at a live tweet.

Courtesy of @JulzCesar


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Don’t Judge A Post by its Share Count


My internship director shared the most intriguing article with the team last week.

The article by The Verge discussed a recent concept brought up by Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat on Twitter.



You mean to tell me that the number of shares isn’t a valid measure of how badass your content is? From young bloggers like me to industry opinion leaders like my internship director, this really shakes things up. The way The Verge article described it, “To suddenly say that a story is just as likely to have been read by a million people and tweeted by none of them, as it is to have been tweeted a million times and yet never read, seems impossible.”

“We’ve found effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading.” – Haile

There’s without a doubt a relationship between number of shares and total volume of traffic. In fact, this relationship is a major driving force in effective content ignition, as discussed in the Content Code, the book written by my director. Helping measure shares is 50% of my role in my internship. Imagine my shock right now.

But should we be surprised? How often do you retweet a story without reading it, on a scale from 1-10? I’m as guilty as the next guy. In fact, I’ve shared my director’s blog content before hitting the second paragraph.

The Verge article shared a great quote on this… “I skim hundreds of stories on a daily basis for my job, and yes a portion of those I definitely tweet without actually reading,” says Taylor Lorenz, who runs social media for The Daily Mail. “I think anyone who says they fully read and ponder every article before tweeting is lying through their teeth.”

Chartbeat, like many other websites, measures things like scroll depth, clicks, video playback, and other metrics in order to determine whether people are actually reading. The good news is, a website might notice a burst of tweets from skimmers, but they see a much higher burst of shares from readers who took down the whole article.

Whew, so I’m not out of a job.

According to the Verge article, “BuzzFeed’s data-science team had similar findings: the majority of social media shares happen after people have been on a page for over three and a half minutes on desktop, or over two minutes on a mobile device.” More good news reminding us that shares are still a powerful tool in measuring content success.

As a blogger going into her second year, my blog jedis like Christina and Rosie have always reminded me that page views are just a number, and not a measure of your success as a blogger (especially as a new blogger). The same goes for businesses of all ages. The focus needs to turn to the attention and engagement coming from your readers.  We should never stop improving our shareability, it’s all about engagement.

Any thoughts? Drop a line in the comments below!

The Unskippable: Geico Dominates YouTube Advertising.

You don’t come to come to YouTube to watch Ads. You come to listen to the new Adele songs. And anyone who says they don’t hover over that “Skip in __ Seconds” button is lying through their teeth. Myself included. The truth is that those first five seconds are your hook, and if they don’t do the job, you just wasted your money. What’s better is, most marketers simply run their TV spots, untouched, untailored to that precious preroll time.

But for Geico, a commercial legend since I first considered a career in advertising, it finally clicked. They just released quite possibly the most brilliant line of ads I’ve seen so far – in strategy and creativity. You get the hook, line, and sinker in the first 5 seconds. If you make it past there, you’re probably laughing…

Hats off to Martin Agency and Geico for another glorious campaign. See for yourself

Well, She Dared To: Caitlin Shu

I specifically remember the conversation I had with a coworker almost 4 years ago, back when we both worked in retail.

She was graduating with a degree in English, and I was just a freshman with my sights firmly set on Advertising. In the most casual conversation, she mentioned how advertising looked fun, and she was considering pursuing it.

I don’t think she knew what a rage she sparked in me. My thoughts were buzzing…But… this is a big industry! You don’t just get to waltz into it. Otherwise, why would I be busting my butt in school? No. This industry is for those who devote time, tears, and design smears. No Way, Jose.

The funny thing is, promptly after graduating, that co-worker of mine, moved to New York City where she proceeded to excel in everything she put her mind to. And hauled some ass. She set her roots and grew and grew. And crazily enough, I saw her post today that she was hired by none other than Kay and Black. 

Hot Damn.

She did it. She actually did it. And you know what? It’s perfect for her.

Now here I am, a junior, sweating it out just like she was a few years ago.  And I can’t help but feel not only proud, but highly motivated by this girl. How dare she think she can walk in here… into my industry… and make herself at home. WELL, SHE DARED TO.  That’s what happens when you set your mind to something. Who does she think she is? WELL, She thinks she’s Caitlin Shu… and sure as hell, she’s right.

I’ll see you in the big leagues darling. Who knows, maybe your team will be scouting my talent next year.


An Open Letter to Friends During College:

Dear Friends,
If I don’t make time to be a decent friend this semester – please understand that I had a choice to make between a full friendship circle, and everything else on my plate. I’m working on the career of my dreams, working a job that depends on me, and living in (and affording) wonderful safe apartment of my own. I was invited to extend my internship though next summer to allow myself another year worth of growth and networking 
And I intend on doing it all without crying.
That means making some choices – and sparing no feelings in order to stay on top. I recognize the value of the gesture, a lunch date, or coffee, or really any increment of your precious free time. I know it’s hard to come by and you’d like to spend some of it with me. And when I can make it happen, I’d love to join you – but please don’t be upset or offended should I decline. It’s not that I don’t love you. I just really love keeping my head above water first.
Thanks for loving me through the next two years. One day into my Junior year, I’m already confident that I’ve spread myself too thin. It’s only going to get worse. I’m really looking forward to inviting you all to my pied-de-terre on the other side of the world when I take over my industry. In the mean time, your patience means so much to me. Thank you for understanding.

Thought of the Day: Be a Fountain.

be a fountain

“BE a fountain, not a drain. It’s a choice! A choice to: BE positive not negative. BE a giver not a taker. BE a creator not a destroyer. BE hopeful not hopeless. BE love not hate. BE grateful not thankless. BE selfless not selfish. BE a light not a shadow. BE a beginning not an ending.

-T Harv Ekert

Image: One Lucky Day

Spread Too Thin? Here’s the Secret:


August is upon us. Do you know what that means? No more procrastinating.  Hopefully your classes are scheduled and your term bill is squared away. Your laundry is clean and folded because if it’s not yet – you’re probably hopeless. And Oh Man. I really hope you have your internet access enabled soon because your Netflix misses you.

I unfortunately, have not, they are not, it is not.

I can however tell you,  I moved into an apartment last week and I finally have groceries AND a pot to cook it in. AND I just launched a big campaign for my internship. At least I know where my classes should be located, and that’s good enough for me. I’m surviving a major management change while keeping my hotel guests very happy.

Oh, and this week I’m watching 3 dogs, 2 cats, and a giant house. And hosting a yardsale  #HUSTLE

How have I not drowned yet?  Here’s the only reasonable conclusion I’ve come up.

Don’t half ass it. Dive in.  Any other time in my life, I would have skimmed the surface of all these responsibilities. Surely, there’s no way you could give 110% to all these overwhelming tasks. You just don’t have it in you.

But actually, you do.

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It turns out, your determination doesn’t stop at 100%. You set the bar. You dive into every task on your plate. So what if you only have an inch, go deep. If you set your goal to “just get it done, even if that means doing a crap job”, that’s exactly what you’ll do. If you set your goal to “dominate everything. No retreat. No surrender. Take no prisoners. Show no mercy.” Guess what will happen.

Are you going to set yourself up for success? Or are you going to set your self up for halfassery? You may be spread thin, but you won’t run out. 

8 Ways Your Pet (and You) Can and Will Survive Being Separated During College.


Maybe it’s just me, but my pet is my soulmate. She’s my spirit animal and my totem. I swear if she could speak, my voice would come out. She’s a sassy little sh*t, but I love her more than anything in the world. And for that reason, I knew bringing her to a tiny apartment on the corner of a busy intersection would be a bad idea. I know it would be torture never getting to play outside. Plus she would get lonely (and destructive) if I left her alone for a full school day, followed by a full work night. The hardest part about being a pet parent is deciding what’s best for your furry angels. Sneaking forbidden pets into a dorm, for instance, might not be ideal for your buddy. Here’s a few tips to keep pets’ (and your) spirits up while you’re away at school.

  1. Ask Family to Play Bigger Role. Having family members take on more responsibility with your pet will help him/her adjust to you being gone. For instance, if you always walked Fido and all of a sudden your brother is the one with the leash and you are nowhere to be found, this can cause some anxiety for pets. It will also provide you some comfort knowing your family is playing in active role in maintaining Fido’s happiness.
  2. Video chat – As goofy as it sounds, seeing your baby alert and aware can provide so much more than a picture. Plus, if your pet can recognize you in the screen, you both can interact and feel reconnected.
  3. Don’t Make a Big Deal of Goodbyes. At least in front of your buddy. If you’re expecting a tearful goodbye, have a distraction prepared for your pet. Animals can feel the emotion of their owners. If you don’t make a big deal of the goodbye in front of her, it will help prevent depression once you’re gone. You don’t want to start a semester with the distraction of concern for your buddy’s depressive state.
  4. Speaker Phone – If your pet is attached to your voice, speaker phone can be surprisingly comforting. Even if you’re just catching up with your family, being on speakerphone where your pet can hear might ease some of the discomfort of being separated.
  5. Frame and Display Pictures. This one is all for you, students. When you used to spend every night cuddled with your baby, a new home just doesn’t feel like home without their presence. Sometimes, just looking at the photo on the nightstand is enough.
  6. Video of Cuddles. Maybe it’s just me, but on my last night at home, I recorded a video of my kitten crawling into my lap for our nightly cuddle sesh. I knew it would possibly be my last chance to cuddle with her before bed.
  7. Visits, and more Visits. Remember that time you wanted a college as far away from Mom and Dad as possible? Now you’re wondering how many trips home you can afford until the next holiday. Go spend time with the only ones who have truly never judged you for your pajama weekend Netflix binges. Fortunately, I live close enough to home for my kitten to visit the apartment for the day. However, every situation is different. And I took the only spare bed with me, so the only night time cuddles I’ll ever get again will be in the apartment – and you know how long it takes cats to adjust and relax in new surroundings.
  8. Watch for Health Concerns. It’s not unheard of for pet to develop depression and anxiety during bouts of change. In fact, some pets tend to act out when you change the furniture placement. When their humans move away, especially their favorite human, it can create some trauma in their lives. Make sure your family watches eating habits, behavioral changes, and potential illness. Alert your Vet if you see any significant concerns. Sometimes the cure is as simple as a good belly rub from their one true best friend. But other times, some professional intervention may be best for your pet’s health and safety.

Leaving your best friend its hard. I know. I actually made a trip back home so I could prepare this post with her on my lap. But if you’re as in love with your pet as she is with you, you’ll find ways to make it work. Just communicate, keep your eyes out for warnings, and cuddle every chance you get.

13 Things You Should Know About Anderson Design Group


I have always wanted to know who was responsible for those gorgeous destination/travel posters you see hanging everywhere. I never dug any deeper assuming “colorful city poster” wouldn’t get me very far. However, I recently found a place in my home seriously dying for a piece of art – so I hopped online. I had NO idea the masterminds behind my favorite posters were so close to home – and that they are such an amazing company!

Here’s 13 Things You Need To Know About Anderson Design Group! 

(While you’re busy reading, I’ll be ordering about 6 prints for my kitchen!)


1) They call Nashville, Tennessee home, which is known for it’s passionate artists and craftspeople.

2) Many prints get donated to local charities to be sold at silent auctions. This raises funds and awareness for their ongoing work with at-risk members of their community.

3)They donate 10% of our annual profits to a number of non-profit organizations. Your purchases help battered women, under-priveleged students, homeless people, parks & greenways, and young people who want to pursue a career in the visual arts.

4) They’re passionate about training the new generation. They support young artists by regularly hosting tours for college design and illustration classes to see our studio, meet the artists, ask questions, or apply for internships.

5) The company was founded in 1993, originally to focus on CD Packaging. At the time, it was called Anderson Thomas Design. Inc.

6) The first few companies on the client list included Universal Studios, MCA Records, DreamWorks Pictures, Golden Books, Hasbro and more.

7) In 2007, the company reorganized the design firm as Anderson Design Group, Inc., narrowing the studio’s focus to specialize in illustrative design, branding, product development and poster design.

8) The team produces 4-6 new posters every month.

9) They have over 500+ illustrations!

10) The team is inspired by the graphic design and illustration from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s and creates as much as possible by hand.

11) After the sketch up, they draw, paint, and hand-letter the poster concepts before we move to the computer for some minor finishing touches.

12) Once a design is complete, the team produces a small number of prints, working closely with local printers who are dedicated to creating the highest quality and most affordable art possible.

13) They do MUCH more than destination/travel themes prints. That’s just one collection of many including Southern Delight, The Man Cave Collection, Vintage Ad Follies, and National Parks. Check them out! 


p.s. They’re not paying me to say they’re awesome. The advertiser/branding/designer in me just had to fangirl a little.