Friday, April 22nd is Earth Day! There are more than 341.6 million mobile connections in the U.S. and our population stands at about 322.9 million people. There are now more cell phones than people. And, it’s growing! We must ask ourselves some really tough questions about what to do with all of the electronic trash created.
This Earth Day, I encourage you to e-cycle your old cell phones and used electronics on Earth Day. Attend a local e-cycling event. Take Action to communicate the need to protect Mother Earth.
What will you do for the Earth on Earth Day? I encourage you to paste the following message on your social media pages in support of Earth Day:
New technologies are emerging all the time which give public relations and media agencies many headaches trying to keep up, but also greater control over how and when consumers are exposed to brand messages. There still are huge challenges on how to connect across media “storehouses” and how to reduce and or make sense of digital data labyrinth.
Creative professionals have many more exciting tool boxes these days with nearly as many advertising formats as sand in the sea….but telling a coherent, consistent, and connected multi-screen and multimedia story across a thousand seas of different platforms to a very diverse audience across generations is a challenge and an art.
Additionally, consumers ( and young kids) navigate so easily between media platforms and the entire mobile Internet, all while watching TV, playing a video game and another tablet is open somewhere close-by. And, MarComm professionals must build strategies around this intricate set of Millenial and Generation Z behaviors. Brands and businesses need to understand the synchronized impact of these behaviors to justify continued (and increased) media investment.
And, then there are a bunch of new digital brands out there worthy of further discussion- but I will save that for another post. The key mountain to climb for 2015 into 2016 is how to intelligently integrate the fast-growing Internet of so many things with social media. In short, smart devices need to improve their social intelligence capabilities.
And, finally, the whole wide world is always trying to play catch up technological changes going on, so if you are not formatted for mobile media then you are behind the power curve, so to speak in the hyper-cycle of “Internet Time”
SOCIAL MEDIA IS GOING TO BE IN YOUR WALLET 24-7/365
As previously reported by Time, “Hacks released in October (2014) a hidden payment feature deep inside Facebook’s popular Messenger app. If activated by the company, it will allow the app’s 200 million users to send money to each other using just debit card information, free of charge. Meanwhile, the network has also already rolled out a new Autofill feature (a kind of Facebook Connect for credit cards), which allows users who save their credit card info on Facebook to check out with 450,000 e-commerce merchants across the web. So why does Facebook want to handle your money in 2015? Right now, some of tech’s biggest players are battling it out in the mobile payments space, including Apple with its new Apple Pay app, upstarts like Square and Stripe and even online payments veterans like PayPal. The endgame at this stage isn’t exactly clear. Facebook may eventually charge for its money transfer services, leverage customer purchasing data to pull in more advertisers or even try to rival traditional credit cards like Visa and Mastercard (which make billions on fees). One thing’s for sure: You can expect to see major social networks jockeying more aggressively to handle your transactions in 2015.
SOCIAL MEDIA WILL BE YOUR SHOPPING POINT OF SALE NOT BRICK & MORTAR STORES
With the frenzy of Holiday shopping coming down the pike for 2015, both Twitter and Facebook began beta-testing “buy” buttons, which appear alongside certain tweets and posts and allows users to make purchases with just a click or two, without ever leaving the network. Expect e-commerce and social media integration efforts to deepen throughout 2015 into 2016. It’s taken quite a long time, when you think about it.
And, despite all the technical media changes and trends there’s a lot going on out there with all things Hand Made, a Retro-Vintage resurgence, Made In America Movement and Small Business Enterprises popping up everywhere. It can be tough to straddle both worlds. But at the end of the day, I think people are looking for value with a great sense of genuine purpose, instead of always operating at hyper-speed business life cycles.
Want to know more about social media trends? Here is a detailed report put out by MillwardBrown that you can download.
The recent events in Baltimore and other cities have brought about more communication questions than answers, and these questions often do not produce the results or signigicant changes that citizens need.
I believe we can start a dialog for change through collaborative community projects.
Therefore, I and my colleaques at Flatlands Avenue LLC though their Patriot Made Audio project are offering free garden seeds for spring planting, as part of our celebration of Mother’s Day and spring.
Therefore would like to inspire some of our own “seeds of hope and seeds of change” through a spring garden essay contest about how you would propose to help create hope and change.
Send your essay to firstname.lastname@example.org and please put Spring Garden Contest in the subject line. The deadline is Sunday, May 10th on Mother’s Day (before midnight). We look forward to awarding three individual seed boxes filled with a variety of seeds, to three lucky winners.
All you need to do is send us an original short essay proposing how you would best use the seeds by growing food for yourself and for others, and how you’ll further save and share new seeds with other family members, an organization. or as a joint collaborative project in your community.
The best ideas or most creative plans win!
Potentially, in time, hundreds of people could be fed, at little to no cost through our seeds of hope and seeds of change spring contest. Such a project could feed change and better communication in communities.
The essay must be 500 words, or less.
The seed boxes are original pieces of art created by me (Alice Fisher). This past weekend, I refurbished a few cigar boxes (hand sanded, painted and varnished them) and then packaged up a selection of her own heirloom, non-genetically modified (NGMO) seeds which I grew, dried and hand saved by myself on my small farm in Frederick County, Maryland.
The essay deadline date is Sunday, May 10th at midnight, and if you need some ideas for your essay, try a quick visit to Garden.org for more information and inspiration about gardening.
Rita Rich at Flatlands Avenue would like to follow-up with the winners in about three or four months with a special podcast interview, once your seeds of hope seeds of change projects have been implemented, and with any pictures you’d like to share as well.
We have three handcrafted seed boxes, filled with 10 – 14 different seed varieties which we’ll send out FREE to our three winners.
These simple hand painted boxes would possibly make a great Mother’s Day garden gift, or some kind of project for all the senior moms in a community, city or for a school to feed children.
The seeds, will keep for up to 25 years, if they stored in a freezer, and can be used for many years to come.
Please share with us your gardening dreams and creative community ideas, and we’ll share with you our seeds of hope and change from my very own garden.
It’s our way of saying, Happy Mother’s Day and happy gardening to you and yours, as you build memories together.
Seeds hold the promise of hope and change, maybe even better communication. Email us your essay at email@example.com. Please write Spring Garden Contest in the subject line.
We live in a rapid news “now” world., What I am seeing, as we move away from traditional media outreach through the use of press releases is that people are forgetting AP style formatting. There is indeed a science and art behind writing a press release. Below is a list of AP Style State abbreviations. So, I am providing a reference for those who may be interested.
Note: AP Style state abbreviations differ from their corresponding US Postal Service abbreviations, are in parentheses.
- Ala. (AL) — for Alabama
- Alaska (AK) — this state is not abbreviated in text
- Ariz. (AZ) — for Arizona
- Ark. (AR) — for Arkansas
- Calif. (CA) — for California
- Colo. (CO) — for Colorado
- Conn. (CT) — for Connecticut
- Del. (DE) — for Delaware
- Fla. (FL) — for Florida
- Ga. (GA) — for Georgia
- Hawaii (HI) — this state is not abbreviated in text
- Idaho (ID) — this state is not abbreviated in text
- Ill. (IL) — for Illinois
- Ind. (IN) — for Indiana
- Iowa (IA) — this state is not abbreviated in text
- Kan. (KS) — for Kansas
- Ky. (KY) — for Kentucky
- La. (LA) — for Louisiana
- Maine (ME) — this state is not abbreviated in text
- Md. (MD) — for Maryland
- Mass. (MA) — for Massachusetts
- Mich (MI) — for Michigan
- Minn. (MN) — for Minnesota
- Miss. (MS) — for Mississippi
- Mo. (MO) — for Missouri
- Mont. (MT) — for Montana
- Neb. (NE) — for Nebraska
- Nev. (NV) — for Nevada
- N.H. (NH) — for New Hampshire
- N.J. (NJ) — for New Jersey
- N.M. (NM) — for New Mexico
- N.Y. (NY) — for New York
- N.C. (NC) — for North Carolina
- N.D. (ND) — for North Dakota
- Ohio (OH) — this state is not abbreviated in text
- Okla. (OK) — for Oklahoma
- Ore. (OR) — for Oregon
- Pa. (PA) — for Pennsylvania
- R.I. (RI) — for Rhode Island
- S.C. (SC) — for South Carolina
- S.D. (SD) — for South Dakota
- Tenn. (TN) — for Tennessee
- Texas (TX) — this state is not abbreviated in text
- Utah (UT) — this state is not abbreviated in text
- Vt. (VT) — for Vermont
- Va. (VA) — for Virginia
- Wash. (WA) — for Washington
- W. Va. (WV) — for West Virginia
- Wis. (WI) — for Wisconsin
- Wyo. (WY) — for Wyoming
- Also: District of Columbia (DC)
Here’s an example of how to abbreviate a state in a sentence using AP style:
In Detroit, Mich., the weather today is sunny and warm.
And, here is how to use a city (and state) in the dateline.
DETROIT, March 14, 2015 –
Remember that, in datelines, the city name is in all capital letters. If necessary, follow it with the state abbreviation –– not the U.S. postal code.(For example: KANSAS CITY, Kan. or KANSAS CITY, Mo.)
However, these states are always spelled out: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah.
The following list are US domestic cities that stand alone, with no state abbreviation.
ATLANTA, BALTIMORE, BOSTON, CHICAGO, CINCINNATI, CLEVELAND, DALLAS,
DENVER, DETROIT, HONOLULU, HOUSTON, INDIANAPOLIS, LAS VEGAS, LOS ANGELES
MIAMI, MILWAUKEE, MINNEAPOLIS, NEW ORLEANS, NEW YORK,
OKLAHOMA CITY, PHILADELPHIA, PHOENIX, PITTSBURGH,
ST. LOUIS, SALT LAKE CITY, SAN ANTONIO, SAN DIEGO, SAN FRANCISCO, SEATTLE,
*On a regional level, additional cities may stand alone should the newspaper staff decide so.