Social Media Revolution

This is some pretty powerful stuff, and the numbers are changing daily. If you aren’t yet harnessing the power of social media for your business, what are you waiting for? Contact me today for a complimentary social media audit. If video is what you need, Media Melanie can help with that too.

Post Something REAL

Do you compare your life to friends and celebrities who post perfectly polished (read: often contrived, filtered, edited) photos on Facebook or Instagram? In today’s day and age, social media can play a big part in self esteem. We see those “perfect” digital lives cross our newsfeeds and sometimes put them on a pedestal. “Facebook — when used as a surveillance device — leads to a greater risk of feelings of envy. And the more those feelings of envy increase, the more likely it is for a person to start feeling depressed.” —PsychCentral.

When we start feeling these moments of envy, it’s important to remind ourselves that not everything is as it seems. Just because it might look like it on Facebook, life isn’t all unicorns and butterflies for everyone else. The grass ain’t always greener. There’s always more behind the scenes. Life is real, it’s messy. It’s a sink full of dirty dishes from the night before, a toddler temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store, spilling an entire cup of coffee all over yourself while driving, a broken dryer and piles of laundry around the house, or dropping your iPhone into the toilet or a glass of water.

Social media has the unique power to teach us things that we didn’t even know we wanted to learn about, so don’t waste your time focusing on other people. Focus on yourself! Learn something. Grow. Connect. Most importantly: KEEP IT REAL. It’s great to put your best face (selfie) forward, but try to unleash your inner self once in awhile. It feels good to let it out.

Here is my challenge to you: #PostSomethingREAL. Be creative…go beyond a #nofilter #nomakeup selfie. Really dig deep. Don’t be embarrassed. Let people know that you’re not perfect. What’s the worst that can happen? I’ll be posting mine this week…

#postsomethingreal media melanie

Production Crewing in San Diego

I love what I do. There is definitely truth to Confucius’ saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to see my name in “the words” as I used to call them before I knew they were actually called credits.

My wish finally came true. After spending a few years as Production Manager for a San Diego ad agency, I earned my first two official TV show credits on ESPN’s Homecoming with Rick Reilly featuring Tony Hawk, and from 4 episodes of What Not to Wear, TLC’s longest running primetime series and one of the longest running makeover shows in television history.

One of my production credits from Season 8 of "What Not to Wear." The show's final episode airs in October 2013.

One of my production credits from Season 8 of “What Not to Wear.” The show’s final episode airs in October 2013.

Since then, I’ve started my own Social Media & Web Marketing business and have worked as a freelancer on a number of TV commercials, promos, web videos, a documentary, and am currently part of an Effie Award-Winning campaign as the Field Producer (and Casting) for Walmart’s TV commercials in San Diego (The Effies are the advertising equivalent of the Oscars to motion pictures). Click here to watch one of the compilation videos on Walmart’s YouTube channel.

Click on the photo to watch these compilation videos on Walmart's YouTube channel.

Earlier this summer, the San Diego Film Commission closed its doors. While I am by no means equipped to offer anywhere near the scope of services that the 38-year old organization (who will be dearly missed) did, I can still alleviate some of the burden on productions coming to shoot in San Diego. When you hire Media Melanie to crew a production, you’re getting the piece of mind that comes with the knowledge of an experienced producer with extensive local contacts for equipment rentals, crew services, casting, and more.

I’ve worn many hats in the production arena:

  • Media Traffic Coordinator
  • Production Assistant (PA)
  • Wardrobe Assistant
  • Office PA
  • Production Coordinator
  • Production Manager
  • Casting Producer
  • Field Producer
  • Producer

One of the things that all of these roles have in common is knowing who to call for what. Need a jib? I’ve got you covered! What about a camera package? Exceptional DP? Editor? Hair & Make-up Artist? Wardrobe? Eager PAs? Craft Services? You name it, I will make it happen.

Interested in learning more? Contact me today!

Shopping for Flooring in a Sequin Dress

While watching daytime TV today waiting to see the commercial I just produced, I couldn’t help but notice what the talent was wearing on a local business’ ad. If you look closely at the photo below, you’ll see a handful of young people adorned in some very interesting outfits. It made me wonder who was behind the choice of wardrobe. If I had to guess, I’d say the client.

A good TV producer should always provide input on wardrobe when shooting a commercial.

Shopping for flooring in a sequin dress.

Wardrobe Matters

I’ve worked in the TV production industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I’ve had quite a bit of experience with wardrobe. When I worked as Production Manager at a San Diego ad agency, one of my duties was purchasing wardrobe for talent. A couple of years later, I was a freelance Wardrobe Assistant on a McDonald’s commercial, and have since dealt with wardrobe on various spots I’ve produced. While I may not be the most stylish person in my own wardrobe choices, I know what looks good on camera. The strapless striped dress, sequin dress, formal dress with a big pink bow, and the other outfits pictured above are the opposite of what I would have chosen. I wonder if other people watching the same ad had a similar reaction, because my first and immediate thought when the commercial came on TV was, “Seriously? They are really wearing that?”

Image vs. Authenticity

When making a TV commercial, it’s important to tell an authentic story while also maintaining the right image, whether that image is classy, casual, family oriented, value driven, or whatever. I have a few theories as to why the business chose the talent and wardrobe they did for this particular commercial.

Perhaps they wanted to reach a high-end demographic. If that was the case, they should have used older talent who potential customers can relate to, and then in turn dressed them in clothing that they would actually wear when shopping for flooring (MAYBE a notch above that). That being said, they should also consider a different media buy because this commercial aired during a pretty trashy daytime talk show that I wouldn’t normally watch.

Maybe the business wanted to showcase family in the commercial to promote family values. I get that! But putting them in clothing more appropriate in church or at a school dance doesn’t really make sense. Dressing up is always fun and it has its place, but not in this particular TV commercial.

A Keen Eye

This commercial wasn’t very high-budget, so there was probably no wardrobe supervisor or stylist to purchase wardrobe options ahead of time. I’m wondering who gave the talent wardrobe guidelines (my guess is the client) and who was responsible for letting them go on camera this way (ultimately everyone on set). I would think that the hair and make-up person would have said something to someone, or at least the Director and/or Producer could have suggested a quick trip home to change clothes or to Target to buy some casual options. Or perhaps everybody thought it was just fine, which is the most alarming scenario.

When I work on a commercial, I always ask the talent to bring options with them. It never hurts. Or, on higher-budget jobs, there’s a wardrobe person or stylist who is responsible for purchasing plenty of appropriate options. Either way, there should always be at least one set of eyes on every little detail, ESPECIALLY wardrobe, before saying ACTION! A good TV producer should always provide input on wardrobe when shooting a commercial. There is a way to find compromise with what the client wants and what will produce a quality finished product. It’s all about how you say it!

Speaking of wardrobe picks, there’s the whole “Wardrobe Malfunction” category with TV in general…YIKES! I’m not even going there…but you can read about it here. Have you noticed any commercials with a ridiculous choice of wardrobe? Or am I the only one paying attention to things like this? Tell me!

Need professional video production services for your business, please contact Media Melanie today!

Social Media Contests and Giveaways

I’ve Been Feeling Lucky!

I’m a sucker for contests and giveaways, especially when they involve social media. When I was a kid I used to win grocery store raffles, event prizes and all kinds of random things – bikes, TVs, a video camera, savings bonds… For awhile I thought I had “used up” my lucky streak, but now I’m feeling it again and am just waiting for my next big win.

Not only do I enter to win a number of different online contests, but also I manage and promote them for my clients as part of my social media consulting services. Facebook giveaways and Pinterest contests are great way to grow “likes” and engage fans online. With the right tools and marketing strategy, a social media contest can work wonders for a company or brand!

I recently created a “Contests & Giveaways” Pinterest board to share some of these giveaways with my friends/followers. It’s a great way to put all of my entries into one spot for easy access, especially since many contests allow for daily entry by somehow engaging with the website or blog sponsoring the giveaway. For instance, if you tweet about a contest each day you can sometimes earn extra entries. Being a new mom (check out my Mama Melanie blog), the majority of the contests and giveaways that I enter are baby-related.

My Pinterest Board

My Chance to Win $1 Million?

But then there are the “big dogs.” I heard about the Lay’s Potato Chips “Do Us A Flavor” contest on a TV commercial in July and then saw it gain momentum online.

This contest is the ultimate crowd-sourcing activity, a method of turning consumers into brand advocates. In this case, Lay’s is inviting America to craft their own original potato chip flavors for a chance to win $1,000,000 OR 1% of the potato chip sales generated from the winning flavor over the period of one year. Entrants will be judged on (a) 30% Original and creative; (b) 30% Simple, straightforward and fun; (c) 40% Potential for delicious flavor for LAY’S potato chips. 

Chef Michael Simon and Eva Longoria are the faces of the contest

The three Finalist Flavors as selected by Lay’s judges will be developed and produced as a limited time offering on or around February 10, 2013. America will then vote for the winner using an “I’d Eat That” button instead of the traditional “Like” button on Facebook. In addition to the grand prize, 2 runners-up will win $50,000 each; there are also daily winners during the contest period who will receive $50 each.

I immediately took to Facebook to start creating my own original flavors

Lay’s (known as “Walker’s” in other countries), ran the same contest in other countries. Some of the past winning flavors include: Pickled Cucumber in Serbia, Caesar-salad-flavored chips in Australia and sausage-flavored chips in Poland.

“Builder’s Breakfast” was the winner in the UK version of the contest

The submission period ends on October 6th and the winner will be announced around January 15, 2013. For more information on the contest, read the official “Rules and Regulations” or visit the “Do Us A Flavor” App on Facebook.

What flavors have you created? Share them in the comments below!

Adding a Basic Twitter Feed to your Website

Establishing a full-circle social media presence is so important in today’s digital age.  One of the key elements in achieving this goal is to incorporate social media widgets and sharing tools directly onto your website.  Your website should be the hub of your online presence with your social media profiles acting as branches extending from this central location.

Image from: Social Media Vision

Why add a Twitter feed to your website?  

First, you get more bang for your social media buck.  Website visitors will see what your most recent tweets are about and then, in turn, will follow you on Twitter simply by clicking on the widget – this is a simple way to gain followers.  Second, the Twitter feed will keep your website content fresh even if you haven’t updated it recently.  Chances are that you’ve Tweeted more recently than you’ve updated your website, so this tactic will keep your website visitors up-to-date with your social media activity all in one place.  Finally, adding a Twitter feed to your website shows that you are up with the times.  When a current or perspective client is visiting your website, they will be confident that you are “with it” and utilizing tools to make it easier to interact with your company or brand.

To generate the code to embed a Twitter feed on your website, follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit http://twitter.com/about/resources while logged into your Twitter profile

  2. Click on “Widgets” and then on Widgets for “My Website”

  3. Click on “Profile Widget” to get a Twitter feed

  4. Click on each of the following to customize your new widget

    • Settings
    • Preferences
    • Appearance
    • Dimensions 
  5. “Test” the code to make sure you are happy with the appearance and then “Finish and Grab Code” to finalize the widget

  6. Embed the code into your website or Blogger profile (utilize your web designer if you run into any issues)

To see how a Twitter widget looks on a website, please visit MediaMelanie.com

If you have any questions, please contact me today!

My next blog will cover adding a Facebook Like Box to your website…stay tuned!

Social Media Fundraising

Social media is a wonderful tool for connecting with friends, sharing news and promoting businesses.  Social media has also proven to be a successful tool for online fundraising.  I recently read a post from  Socialbrite about the success of the Trail of Tails Pet Walk and Festival, who raised $41,000 for the Jacksonville, Fla., Humane Society using social media tools.  As both a dog enthusiast and a social media professional, I am truly inspired by their success.

The San Diego “Barking Beach Bash” Walk for Animals is coming up on May 7th; I participated last year and had a blast!  This year I decided to form my own team, Media Melanie Mutts.  Our team’s goal is to raise AT LEAST $1,000 in donations.  With the right mix of social media and in-person fundraising, I’m confident that we can achieve this task.  The next 51 days will consist of using Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and other social sites to gain the support of other animal advocates who can spare a few dollars to help a dedicated team of genuine animal lovers.

A big “thank you” is already in order to my teammate and co-captain, Fantastically Faith, who always encourages me to make my dreams a reality.  Media Melanie Mutts would like to thank Point Loma Pet Pantry for their generous donation.  If you’d like to support our team, please click here.

Our furry friends provide us with companionship and unconditional love, therefore reducing our stress levels. My goal is to “Pay it Forward” to adoptable dogs by finding them loving, forever homes so I can reduce the stress in their lives.  I’m about to organize a small dog adoption event in San Diego (thanks to Point Loma Pet Pantry) and I hope to roll-out bigger adoption events in 2011 and 2012 with the help of Brigitte Taylor Events and Pretties with Pitties.

I’m also starting to post adoptable dogs in my Media Melanie Mutts Facebook album.  If you or someone you know is considering dog adoption in San Diego, please let me know what you’re looking for – I make an excellent dog-owner matchmaker.

As I continue to see success as a social media consultant, I hope to incorporate more dog-related businesses and organizations into my client mix.  Please contact me if you need professional assistance with web marketing, video production or social media profile set-up/management.

If you have a successful social media fundraising campaign that you’d like to share (dog-related or not), please leave a comment!  Sharing is caring.

#MediaMelanieMutts

Social Media and Dog Adoptions – My Pledge to Make a Difference

I love social media and have made it a big part of my life by starting my business, Media Melanie.  I also love dogs!  These are my two rescues, Paco and Maya:

Paco is almost 2 years old and was rescued from Second Chance Dog Rescue of San Diego; he was a Mexican street dog from Tijuana.  Maya is about 4 years old and was adopted from the San Diego Humane Society; I have no idea how she ended up there, but I’m glad she ended up with me.  They are both a huge part of my life and I wish I could adopt (a lot) more, but I don’t have the ability to do so at the moment.   Henceforth:

Love for Social Media + Love for Dogs = Promoting Adoptable Dogs (not adopting more dogs)

The past few weeks I’ve casually posted links to adoptable dogs on my Facebook and Twitter profiles.  My heart fluttered today when I noticed that a Shiba Inu I had grown fond of and longed to adopt myself finally found a home. It may or may not have had anything to do with my social media efforts, but either way I’m happy and overjoyed when adorable dogs like him are adopted.  Since I can’t adopt them myself, I’m promising to be a voice for them by promoting them on Facebook and Twitter as often as I can, in hopes that I can help them find a good home.  Here are links to successful social media/adoption campaigns:

http://social-media-optimization.com/2010/10/successful-pet-adoption-drive-campaign-on-facebook/

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2010-12-03/story/social-media-used-drive-pet-adoption-jacksonville

What Can You Do?

Please follow me on Twitter @mediamelanie, “Like” me on Facebook and subscribe to my blog on WordPress. When you  notice that I’m posting about a dog who needs a home, please RT (retweet) the post or share it with your friends.  It’s that simple.  A little bit of social media love goes a long way.  Sharing is caring!

A TV Show in my Future?  Let’s Make it Happen!

One of my role models is Shelly Bookwalter from the show “Last Chance Highway” on Animal Planet. Check out videos of Shelly here! Shelly works with Kyle Peterson, owner of P.E.T.S. Animal Rescue Road Trips.

Together they have allowed for tens of thousands of dogs (and cats) to be saved from high rate kill shelters.  Awesome. I wish I had the resources to do what they do.  BUT…

With my love of social media and dogs as well as my experience in TV production, I’m ultimately dreaming of getting my own TV show where I go down to the streets of Tijuana, rescue dogs and find them homes.  How amazing would that be?  All I need is a little bit of support:

  • Resources to provide a safe and loving location to house the dogs until I find them homes
  • A strategic partnership with an existing dog rescue, foster program or organization (think Cesar Millan)
  • An investor to fund a pilot episode
  • Some really awesome volunteers and animal enthusiasts

Please spread the word to help my dream come true and also to make a difference in the lives of dogs.  After all, dogs don’t have a voice of their own.  Feel free to add to the idea and comment on this blog, I’d love to hear what you think.

Melanie Kellogg

“Media Melanie”

Who is Media Melanie?

Media Melanie is a freelance Media & Marketing Specialist based out of San Diego, CA.  Areas of expertise include:

  • TV & Film Production
  • Media Buying
  • Social Media
  • Ad Sales
  • Copywriting
  • Email Blasts
  • Promotions
  • Event Planning

Media Melanie has years of experience in a variety of professional settings that include an ad agency, a corporate marketing office and on-set at multiple TV and video shoots including TLC’s “What Not to Wear.”  Media Melanie is also a published freelance writer who contributed to multiple issues of Modern Fix Magazine. 

The most recent educational milestone for Media Melanie was in 2008 when she received a “Media Marketing Specialist” certificate from San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies; she also earned a BA in Communications (cum laude) in 2002. 

For a full professional profile please visit Linked In and also keep up with Media Melanie updates on Facebook and Twitter!