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Archive for April, 2008

eBay Blog Reivew

This is a bit off topic, but I had to review a Fortune 500 blog as an assignment for my Advanced PR Writing class.

The eBay Developers Program blog lacks the interactivity that makes a blog truly successful. There is no space for readers to comment making it simply a place for the company to publish news on its latest developments.

The layout of the blog is simply unimpressive. It is visually boring, and the only pictures present are simple clipart images. The blog also fails to describe its mission, its audience and its authors making it lack credibility.

I rate this blog: Poor.

On a scale of 1-10:

Ease of Finding: 5 – I typed “eBay blog” into Google and the developer’s blog did not come up. I checked on a bunch of other “eBay blogs,” but could not find a link to the developer program blog. Finally, after typing eBay company blog I came across eBay’s “The Chatter”—its blog about the company and the community. There, I found a link to the eBay Developers Program Blog.

Frequency: 6 – The eBay Developers Program Blog posts pretty inconsistently. Certain days, there may be three posts and then there will be a four-day pause where there are no new blog posts.

Engaging Writing: 7 – The style of writing changes from post to post. Some posts are purely informational with links to other sites. Others are well-written with more of a personal voice. I like the blog’s use of bullet points.

Relevant: 4 – It is unclear whom the blog is trying to reach. There is no information about the blog or who writes it.

Focused: 7 – It is to my understanding that the eBay Developers Program Blog is tech-focused. The blog updates readers on new advancements within the company’s technical realm and changes within the infrastructure of the system.

Honest: 9 – To the best of my knowledge, the blog presents accurate information.

Interactive: 1 – There is no ability to interact with the authors of this blog because there is no commenting section.

Responsive: 1 – There is nothing for the company to respond to because there is no way for people to have a dialogue within the blog.

The eBay Developers Program Blog received a total of 40 out of 80 possible points. I think it would be wise for eBay to reevaluate this blog from a public relations standpoint.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute dazzles museum goers with its annual exhibit. Over the past few years, the Costume Institute has honored fashions greatest from Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld to Paul Poiret. Along with the Chanel exhibit, I was also lucky enough to see AngloMania. The creativity presented by the curators never fails to impress drawing inspiration from the modern day and the theme itself. 

          

The annual exhibit always commences with a lavish gala that brings together New York’s richest, most prominent members, celebrities and of course, fashion designers, models and editors from the country’s best fashion magazines. The Costume Institute’s annual gala is the epitome of a fabulous event. Last year, guests arrived via a red carpet that lead to a great room where peacocks sat surrounded by red roses in a giant, gold birdcage. 

 


Guests enjoyed a formal cocktail hour followed by a seated dinner in the courtyard of the MET. Event planners designed everything from the table settings and lanterns to the food selections around Poiret’s Art-Deco style. 

On May 7, the Costume Institute unveils its annual exhibit: Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy. According to the Costume Institute website, “this exhibition will explore the symbolic and metaphorical associations between fashion and the superhero.” Style.com posted an interesting preview of the exhibit (here) that I recommend checking out. I am hoping to make it to New York to see the exhibit, but I am most excited to see what the incredible event planners come up with this year for the gala. 

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Customers shopping at Gap this week will find the 2008 Design Edition collections by some of today’s hottest new designers. Phillip Lim (3.1 Phillip Lim), Band of Outsiders’ Scott Sternberg, Michael Bastian, Philip Crangi and threeASFOUR’s Gabi Asfour, Adi Gil & Angela Donhauser all contributed to the simple, yet chic designs that hit Gap’s displays this month. All the talented designers were nominees for this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund–created to support emerging American fashion designers through monetary help as well as mentorship.

The designs all draw inspiration from the Gap’s classic white shirt. In addition to the fresh spin on the classic white Gap shirt, Phillip Crangi designed a line of jewelry. Michael Bastian created looks for Gap’s male customer. The collection ranges in price from $35 to $88.

I think this is a strategic, innovative PR pairing for both the Gap and the CFDA. The Design Editions at the Gap enable up and coming designers to get their name out to a broader consumer-base. Instead of only selling to the upper-crest of society, these designers are able to market their creations to a more mainstream consumer-base. The collection also draws in a wider consumer-base for Gap by using the names of high-fashion designers in middle-market retail. Followers of fashion will read about these designers’ collections at the Gap and want to check out what they are offering. Not to mention, all the shirts (and the jewelry) are super cute!

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Happy Earth Day!

Tomorrow is Earth Day, and it’s time to celebrate! Some amazing brands have new products that are both stylish and environmentally and socially conscious. At least if we are going to consume, we can consume knowing the products we buy came about from environmentally friendly practices.

J Brand, the jean brand made famous by Kate Moss and Katie Holmes, introduces its Green Label. Made from organic cotton and low-impact dyes, the jeans come in two styles–the Monroe and the Love Story.

American Apparel promotes its organic line as part of the Earth Day celebration. The line features everything from men’s briefs to infant one-pieces. All the products are made from 100% organic cotton.

This last product supports a different cause. Inspired by an Argentine shoe, TOMS Shoes mission states that for every pair purchased the company will donate a pair of shoes to a child in need. As a TOMS Shoes owner, I vouch for the comfort of these shoes, and when I am wearing them I know a child somewhere in the world is walking around in comfort, too!

Love this earth; it is beautiful. Support worthy causes. Happy Earth Day!

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Last month’s cover of Vogue generated a lot of media coverage. Critics called the magazine’s cover, which featured basketball player Lebron James and supermodel Giselle Bundchen, controversial because they felt it fueled racial stereotypes. The cover, photographed by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz, was compared to the 1933 movie poster for King Kong.

Okay, so there is a definite resemblance. As a long-time Vogue subscriber, I am familiar with Leibovitz’s work. She often uses fictional stories as inspiration for her work, such as her Alice in Wonderland shoot for the December 2003 issue of Vogue. I strongly believe Leibovitz intentionally posed the two in these positions with them being fully aware of what they were doing.

In terms of public relations, Vogue did a good job in keeping its staff, under editor-in-cheif Anna Wintour, quiet. One of the only statements Vogue did release was by its spokesperson Patrick O’Connell.

“We think Lebron James and Gisele Bundchen look beautiful together and we are honored to have them on the cover.”

The magazine declined further comment. Vogue got the media buzzing about its cover and probably generated a lot of revenue at the same time. By declining to address the controversy, Vogue stands behind the cover while still maintaining a somewhat neutral ground. As for James whose picture critics say perpetuates the stereotype of the angry, black male, he is proud of the cover and says he could care less what other people are saying.

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Welcome!

Thanks for checking out my blog, everyone!

I will be blogging about fashion relating to the PR world.

I am a senior at the University of Oregon majoring in public relations with a minor in Women’s studies. I am especially interested in fashion. I hope to work in fashion pr, and my ultimately dream is to be a fashion editor for a major fashion magazine. I have studied fashion design during a summer session at the Art Institute of California – San Francisco. Last spring, I had the opportunity to intern in a fashion buying office in Florence, Italy. Currently, I am a member of PRSSA and Allen Hall Public Relations. This term, I am working as the Marketing Assistant for the UO Journalism School’s FLUX magazine.

I plan to move up to Portland, OR in the fall to look for my first job and start my “real” life. I hope to stay in Portland for a couple of years and then move to either, New York, or San Francisco.

Me and my Parisian cousin, Alyssa.

My passions and hobbies include: fashion, yoga, animals (particularly, my 5-month-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Tilly), living a healthy and active lifestyle, vegetarianism, reading Vogue, big cities (Paris, New York, Rome and San Francisco top my list), organic farming, going to outdoor markets, writing for the Emerald, styling, being with my friends, cooking and baking, and enjoying the beauty of this life!

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