Social Media: 4 Types of Bloggers

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I feel the need to explain the 4 Types of Bloggers/ online influencers. Essentially we [Bloggers] all cross pollinate, but each of us have our strengths and/or areas that we excel at more than others. You can work with bloggers that can easily transition, but in most cases bloggers will always have one or two platforms that they’re more dominate in than others and that is the platform you will want to hire said bloggers to promote your brand or service on.  Please keep in mind that no two bloggers are the same!  Since Bloggers are a force, I use the United States military as a metaphor to describe the different types (branches) of bloggers.

4 Types of Bloggers

1. Traditional Bloggers (Navy): We all for the most part started out as a traditional blogger which consist of writing blog post and producing written post weekly/ daily.

2. Micro Bloggers (Army): These are the Kings and Queens of Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram, etc.  With their authentic following, they can sway their audience within 140 characters, 24 hours a day.  Side Note: Photo bloggers are also considered Mirco Bloggers, as they either have a blog that is exclusively dedicated to posting pictures and captions (anything under 300 words), or services like Instagram to showcase their work.

2A. Black Twitter and White Twitter (Navy Seals): Yes, they are considered Social Influencers.  No one really knows who controls these two organizations but what we do know is that Beyonce sold her soul to them for protection, lolll. We also know that they take down celebrities and high ranking public figures online. They predict and alter the future, produce memes out of thin air, ockings, and hack into Social Media accounts (hello Burger King). They run surveillance, and pull Social Media transcripts from the beginning of your Social Media existence (which include your deleted updates). Do not piss them off! Lastly, Black & White Twitter operate separately, but in extreme cases come together like a nightmare turned reality. An example of this instance was the recent #myNYPD Public Relations Campaign that crashed and burned before it even took off due to everyone who had ever been arrested in the history of New York City decided to log on and take down the NYPD. White Twitter took this extra personal and stayed awake for 96 hours straight, posting pictures of times they had been arrested for various misdemeanor crimes, loll.

3. Podcastors (Airforce): They control the online airwaves by creating downloadable content. They fly in stealth mode. Not much is known about them except they are effective when it comes to reaching out to people who are not into Social Media, and generally don’t have/ or rarely use Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram. The podcast are live during initial taping, and also allow for people can call in like a radio show.

4. vBloggers (Marines): The face of the operation. In most cases, when media calls upon Bloggers to use them in commercials, print, TV, etc. they reach out to vBloggers. vBloggers bka video bloggers create video content that mostly consist of Tutorials, Tips, Tricks, Interviews, etc.  Of course they can do more, but these are the things that stand out.

So if you are a PR firm or brand looking to launch an upcoming campaign, your first order of business is to get rid of the notion that all bloggers are the same.  As I mentioned earlier, the 4 Types of Bloggers cross pollinate, and can do all things but you really should target specific skill sets for various aspects of your campaign. You can use Traditional Bloggers to plant the seed by sending them information, items and/or access to your service for them to try out and speak intelligently about on their blogs. You can then reach out to the Mircro Bloggers to generate instant buzz around your product or service. Micro bloggers are also excellent at attending live events and posting real time updates.  You can reach out to vBloggers, who will create a video showing consumers how to use your product or service.  vBloggers will also promote your product or service to the consumers that are visually stimulated and less likely to read blogs.  Podcasters also do reviews, but more specifically can do interviews with Brand Ambassadors and get more in depth information about your product, service, and non-profit. Something to keep in mind: Podcasters also are largely followed by industry leaders, CEOs, insiders, etc. as they can download podcast and listen while traveling.

I hope this helps :)

Fashion Week Critics Need Reality Check! #fashion #bloggers

Fashion Week Critics Need Reality Check

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I have been reading the articles and comments surrounding IMG deciding to decrease the number of invites allotted to Bloggers during Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week.  In my opinion, the Fashion Week Critics Need A Reality Check! There is a war on the blogging community based on jealousy and ignorance as to who we are, and what we do.  Insiders are complaining about bloggers taking seats during MBFW… but the people being associated as Bloggers are in fact NOT BLOGGERS!  Insiders ASSume anyone that is not a magazine editor or buyer is a Blogger… not true.  The people standing out in front “people watching”, are not bloggers either!  As a matter of fact, I wish that insiders would stop using the term “Fashion Blogger” as a catch all for anyone they don’t want to be associated with.

No one complains about the countless amount of “stylist” with no real clientele who get to attend MBFW with no questions asked.  Is anyone talking about how designers were struggling to fill seats during the last few seasons? Right before the start of shows, I would see PR run out into the halls and pluck people to fill in the gaps.  These people asked to be seat fillers are the same people often seen drinking up the free champagne during the now defunct Fashion Night Out… but of course Bloggers were blamed for that too.  The seat fillers plucked from obscurity were anybody who just so happened to be standing in the vicinity of the media check-in desk.   Can I also make mention of the insiders who bring their children, assistants, nannies, friends, and family to attend shows?!  So IMG you would rather see PS156 fill their seats instead of a Blogger with an established following who can give designers additional buzz?!

Lets defunct another myth…. most Bloggers DO NOT receive free clothing!  If Fashion Bloggers sole reason for attending Fashion Week is to receive clothing, then I need to be pissed off for missing out on my swag.  Aside from the occasional gift bag left randomly at my seat, I have never been offered, promised, or received free clothing for covering shows. In all honesty, I would much rather visit a showroom and have the opportunity to ask questions directly than attend Fashion Week.  However in light of that, you can’t visit 30 showrooms all at once, in the same area…. this is where MBFW becomes a convenience.

Lastly, Bloggers are the ones assisting with keeping the lights on paying that $100 fee for press credentials because the insiders are too good to pay it.  The real bloggers take very seriously the opportunity to attend.  I am both grateful and respectful for all Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week invitations received. While attending, I try to not obstruct anyone’s view, and when invited back stage I make it a point to stay out of everyone’s way.  Even when I keep to myself, there are “insiders” who are resentful of my presence.  My process is taking photos, then finding a quiet corner to live blog to talk about the overall atmosphere and of course clothing.  That same process deems me as a nuisance because that quiet corner could have reserved for someone’s child to be looked after.

Regardless if you like Bloggers or not, we are the new voice in media.  Restricting us from attending events will only hurt you in the long run because we will find a way to maneuver around you, or just exclude you from the conversation completely. During Black Friday, at 2am the Fashion Bloggers you loathe were the ones online buzzing about their favorite brands and/ or retailers while pushing sales.  The insiders demanding seats were not apart of the conversation; they were deep in Turkey coma.

New York Event: Bloggers and Best Buy SoHo

Best Buy SoHo

This past Friday, I co-hosted an event alongside Angela Chambliss, Best Buy Director of Business Initiatives, and General Manager, Amy Adoniz. Forty bloggers from the #iBlogNYC MeetUp group came together to network and discuss all things blogging within the confines of the Best Buy store in SoHo.  Angela, was on hand to discuss the Best Buy Blogging Network, and talk about the benefits of joining. To give a little background.. I have been apart of the Best Buy Blogging Network for over a year now as one of eight Brand Ambassadors.  I have had the best experiences working with Best Buy, and highly encourage any blogger who talks about technology on their blog to consider joining the network as it brings great benefits. Also in attendance was another Brand Ambassador, Alison Wright of BeingAlison.com. Alison traveled from upstate New York just for the event to share her experiences as well and create a spark with a bubbly personality.

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Best Buy not only provided the space, they also had the event catered.  Bloggers dinned on sandwiches, crudité, gourmet meats and cheeses, and soft drinks.  We also had the pleasure of DJ Reckless, he served up one of his mixes to keep the environment festive and to help guest break the ice.  At one point I started moon walking when Michael Jackson came on, lolll.

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For those of you interested in joining the Best Buy Blogging Network, please apply here.  Or check them out on Twitter at Twitter.com/BestBuyWOLF.

Best Buy

For all your technology needs be sure to check out BestBuy.com or when in the city please be sure to stop by the Best Buy store in SoHo:

Best Buy SoHo

New York, NY 10012 ?

Twitter: @BestBuy

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Lastly if you are a blogger and interested in joining  a monthly Blogger’s Networking Group, check us out here on MeetUp at #iBlogNYC.

 

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I Blog Because… -Kitty Bradshaw

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New York Blogger: I Blog Because…

I Blog Because this is my purpose driven destiny. I love to write. I am not the best writer; I make mistakes. The industry dictates that those who are not strong writers, should not have a voice in journalism or commentary. Despite the opposition, I have continued on pursuing what I love to do.  Blogging gives opportunities that mere mortals such as myself wouldn’t ordinarily have. My Blog is my voice, and I am true to it. I have been Blogging for 16 years…. before it was a term. In the beginning, I moderated groups, chat rooms, personal journals, message boards…. basically anywhere people were willing to read what I had to say. My readers identified with my stories.  I spent the first 10 years learning how to keep people engaged. I quickly learned that people wanted something different, something that was the opposite of politically correct…. someone who had the courage to voice their quiet thoughts. This is where Blogging was conceived. 

Back when I first started, my grammar was HORRIBLE! I am sure while reading this essay, you will come across a typo or two. Over the years I have gotten a lot better and am still a work in progress. My loyal readers have been with me from the beginning, and have grown with me.  They treat my successes as their own.  I refer to my readers as family and/ or my House Cats.  They truly believe in me, and I would never want to let them down.

Cynics often volunteer their unwarranted advice and state that I should tone done, or not reveal so much about my life. One thing I have learned through Blogging that I can apply to every day life is… every time I changed myself to please someone else, I FAILED. Every instance of someone dismissing me as a Blogger was a green light for SUCCESS. Every time someone presented a roadblock, they got LEFT BEHIND. I was born to Blog…. it’s as simple as that.  Either get with it, or get out of the way.

KB Cookies

When I first started out, I had no clue that my hobby would take me as far as it did. Growing up, I was often stifled by the person who was supposed to encourage me the most. I had someone who was very verbally abusive; discouraging me from following my dreams. Thank God… he presented people in my life who lead a life that inspired me to rise out of the crab barrel. I was so unhappy growing up… extremely depressed.  Looking back, I now know that not only was I depressed, I didn’t know I was depressed which is way worse. Writing, as bad as I was at it…. saved me. I used to write poems, short stories, and create greeting cards. Writing was my escape. I spent a great deal of my life being depressed and would sleep a lot. When I slept, I would dream in words and would wake up and write them down. I know what it is to cry while typing.  I know what it is to be frustrated, depressed, hoarding, and miserable… without a lifeline.  This is where Blogging was conceived. I am a rose that grew from concrete.  I am not good enough to work for the New York Times, but I am a writer no less. Every word that I put out into the universe has emotion, it tells a very genuine story.  I don’t have to get permission from an editor to publish my work. Where others dismissed me, Blogging embraced me.

So I had been Blogging for a while when I started to see people purchasing their own websites.  I was slow to jump on board… it took me about 2-3 years to fully embrace Blogging independently.  I belong to an online secret society (yes, when you have been online as long as me you tend to know the skull and bone types loll), and some of the members wrote a tutorial on how to make money through Blogging.  I read it and took a leap of faith.  Early on, I credit Necole Bitchie for being a mentor or “Fairy Blog Mom”.  She ran this site called, “The Urban Blogger” that gave newbies like me a forum to get started in Blogging.  She gave us tips, and taught us how to play it forward.  Playing it Forward is one of the best lessons that Necole Bitchie could have ever taught us; it would go on to be one of the important keys to my success.

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I launched my website soon after I moved to New York.  I didn’t know it at the time, but New York is the Blogging capitol of the world.  It is extremely competitive here.  If you can mange to get recognized and make a name for yourself in NYC, you have arrived…. doors open up for you everywhere.  My Blog started out being a personal journal filled with random thoughts and stories of me navigating around New York.  I am very business minded, so prior to me launching my website I created a business plan to guide my steps.  I moved to New York not knowing many people.  Two weeks after I moved here, I fell in love with a man.  This man shared my love of the internet and both fueled and encouraged my blog.  Although, originally I didn’t speak about him on my Blog… I used Twitter as a place to chart our ups and downs.  He was my very first “Social-novella” that kept my House Cats engaged.  Over the years, I have given very honest accounts of my life.  Additionally, I have given the supporting characters nicknames.  Whenever I get the opportunity to meet one of my House Cats… they often ask about their favorite characters.  For example I once had a summer fling with this man, a thug who had 6 kids…. his nickname was, “Thug Love”.  He is probably the most asked about person that I have talked about online.  For some reason everyone identifies with dating a thug or bad boy type, lolll.  Since the name of the site is Kitty Bradshaw, I mostly talk about me…. it takes a really “unique” person to warrant a Blog post or tweet.  Those unique individuals go on to be online celebrities in my world, lolll.

After a year of solid Blogging, I signed a one year contract with the GAP.  This was back in 2009, when not many companies were signing Bloggers.  The GAP was one of the first brands to fully embrace Social Media and Blogger engagement.  They appreciated my feisty spirit and saw me as the new “Girl Next Door”, loll.  My contract ended up lasting for 2 years, and I am so appreciative of them.  I did this without the help of “Media Networks and Collectives”.  The GAP really put me on the map in the New York social media scene.  They made me visible to a larger audience which led me to working with brands like Johnson & Johnson, TJ Maxx, and McDonalds to name a few.

Flavor Battle Launch

As time went on I began to get more and more contracts.  Not only was I being contracted by brands, I was being approached to host events.  My original business plan didn’t list contacts, Brand Ambassadorships, or event hosting.  When I started the Blog, my goal was just to get into a few events and make a little chump change.  I guess I wasn’t dreaming big enough.  Five years later this site has taken on a life of it’s own; I currently have a contract with Best Buy.

From the beginning, I have always been clear on my motives with this site.  Kitty Bradshaw is a brand, and KittyBradshaw.com is a business.  Everything that I do for the site is a calculated move to generate income.  There is a thin line between commercial and personal blogging and I ride it well. I write about brands that I love, and in turn they approach me to work with them on a larger scale.  The main objective for my site is to report on New York Lifestyle.  Any brand that I work with, or product that I endorse has to be able to fit into my website’s overall theme.  I haven’t always stuck to that… all Bloggers at some point stray from their format.  I have since learned that when we allow ourselves to stray, we lose passion in the process.  I never want to look at Blogging as a job.  I need to feel passionate about this website in order to continue on.

Kitty bradshaw Fashion Week Fall 2010

In my opinion, mainstream media no longer represents the voice of the people.  Most photographers are so fat from success, they no longer capture art.  Art is supposed to challenge people.  When you challenge people, they will get to thinking.  Thinking is what keeps people engaged.  Mainstream media no longer challenges.  Mainstream media no longer pushes the envelope to get people thinking.  I guess there are too many people and advertisers to report to.  The more printed publications lose subscriptions, and popular news shows lose ratings… the more those advertisers will reach out to Bloggers.  We give unfiltered commentary and get people thinking.  It doesn’t matter if our photos are slightly blurry, or if we have a Masters in English Literature.  The only thing a Blogger needs to do is present a clear thought and support it with an engaging story.  I can cover fashion shows, and talk about the trends that I saw on the runway.  I can mention the colors, textures, and inspiration behind the collection.  At the end of the  day my readers want to know if I liked the clothes…. yes or no.  They want me to give it to them straight without all of the fluff.  I challenge them by breaking down the information and giving them the opportunity to decide if it is something they like or is this something someone told them to like.  Most people don’t like neon colors or animal prints!!!! lollll

I Blog because this is a career field that encourages me to be true to myself.  The more original, the more honest, the more human (flaws and all) I am…. the further I advance.

 

Kitty Bradshaw Headed to the “Get Radical Conference”

Get Radical Conference

I am excited to announce that Best Buy is sponsoring me to attend the Get Radical Conference in DC next month.  Best Buy is the premier sponsor for the conference, and you can follow the action at  #getradical2013, #bbyspringforward, and @BestBuyWOLF and me and the other Brand Ambassadors maneuver our way through the interactive sessions.  The conference is being held during the course of 3 days, and will be sure to make an impact on all those who attend.

The Get Radical Conference is about promoting and developing personal and professional growth.  If you are you a woman seeking a powerful, transformational and educational experience, all in one value-packed event…then this event if for you! The Get Radical Conference offers a unique mix of learning from inspirational keynote and breakout speakers, mingling with other like-minded leaders, and participating in exclusive VIP opportunities only available at this conference, once a year.

Best Buy’s own Liz Haesler will also be a main stage guest as she shares powerful leadership qualities needed to excel in today’s business world. Another person that I will be excited to see is Judy Smith, America’s number one crisis management expert.  Show is so awesome, they made a show based on her life, “SCANDAL”.  I hope that I get the chance to introduce myself to her and talk about my crazy love life!!!!! lollll *shrugs* If she can handle political crisis, she can certainly handle my love life.

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During the month of March, I will be offering exclusive offers during Women’s History Month that will come in handy for you and your family in Spring.  In addition, I will be tweeting and live blogging during the conference so please be sure to follow my Blog, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. I will keep you posted on all of the key events an activities leading up to the conference such as the RADICAL Woman Awards and the RADICAL Makeover contest. Also on the day of the Get Radical Conference I will be there to give you all of the behind the scenes action from the media and press room. Additionally, I’ll be sharing with you key messages and take-a-ways from all of the expert speakers and content providers over the weekend.

 

#ToyotaWomen: California Dreams Pt 2

Previous article: #ToyotaWomen: Charting my Journey

 

On Sunday, September 30th, Twenty-Four women descended upon Santa Monica, California to meet one last time for a Toyota “Glamping Trip” at El Capitan Lodge 20 miles outside of Santa Barbara.  The first leg of our trip started off in Santa Monica at the Lowes Hotel, where we checked in, freshened up, and set off for dinner at the posh Penthouse Restaurant in the Huntley Hotel.  Members from Team Toyota and Clever Girls dinned with us, and gave clues as to what lied ahead for our “Glamping Adventures”.  There, with the harvest moon as our backdrop… we dined on brochette, shrimp cocktail, salmon, steak, chicken, and some sort of chocolate confection.  My cocktail for the evening was a “Blueberry Lemonade”.

Later we were shuttled back to the Loews where we enjoyed a view of the poolside and ocean waves from our hotel suite.  I was so exhausted from my travels, I forgot to take pictures of the room.  The interior of the room reminded me of old Hollywood.  It’s retro interior design could have been a scene straight from the movie “Key Largo”, with Bogart and Becall staying in the room right next to mine.  After research, I learned that the hotel was built in 1989, and boast 342 rooms.  The hotel was recently remodeled in the last few years, and as a guest I can honestly say I enjoyed the best night’s sleep ever!!!

Upon our return from our Glamping Trip, we were shuttled directly back to the Loews, then dispatched out to LAX as our individual planes arrived.  While waiting, Team Toyota treated us to lunch at the Ocean & Vine Restaurant located inside of the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.  The food there was pretty damn tasty!  I had the Scallop Salad, Fish Tacos, and Peaches n’ Crème Brulee.  My drink of choice was a glass of Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2011 w/ a screw top, loll.  I learned from one of the Bloggers that most wines from Australia have a screw tops?!  In any event, I rather enjoyed this wine and will look into acquiring a case of it.

Below are pictures from my experience at the Lowes… I hope that you all enjoy :)

 

#ToyotaWomen: Charting my Journey

Hey House Cats-

As you all know I was one of 50 women selected to become a Brand Ambassador for ToyotaToyota gave me the unique opportunity to go up under the proverbial hood, and get an exclusive view at how the engine runs.   During the course of 6 months, I have had the opportunity to test drive vehicles, attend exclusive learning sessions, take part in brand sponsored events, and contribute in charitable endeavors that helped the greater good of mankind and the environment.  I learned about Toyota’s “5 Main Principles”, commitment to reducing omissions in the environment, and a balanced work/life ethic for their employees.

  • Always be faithful to your duties, thereby contributing to the company and to the overall good.
  • Always be studious and creative, striving to stay ahead of the times.
  • Always be practical and avoid frivolousness.
  • Always strive to build a homelike atmosphere at work that is warm and friendly.
  • Always have respect for spiritual matters, and remember to be grateful at all times.

 

I know this may sound repetitive from earlier Toyota articles… but I truly have a better understanding and appreciation for Toyota.  During my 6 months with the car brand, I got to meet with various key players from the Toyota team which included everyone from financing and PR on up to the VP.  With every new person that I met, they each were able to express why they are faithful in their roles, and how they in turn contributed to the overall good of the company.  Everyone that I met had been with Toyota for at least 10 years.  Each person was able to plainly explain what they do, why they enjoyed doing it, and what makes them unique in their individual roles.  There was not one time where I felt like any member of Team Toyota was assigned the task of “putting on airs” for the Bloggers.  It was the most natural setting I have ever been a part of.

I honestly decided to write this post out of appreciation for Toyota hand picking me.  I was one of 50 Bloggers selected to participate in this program, and I am so very thankful for having the opportunity.  I am not required to write about Toyota, but I am going to do so anyway.  I take my role as Brand Ambassador very seriously, and I don’t sign on to represent brands that I don’t feel passionate about.  To conclude my role as Brand Ambassador, I will write a series of post covering my travels with Toyota which will include “A Call with Nature” and “A Ride to NASCAR”.  I will talk about the 10 Awesome Bloggers that I met, the food I ate, the Hotels that I stayed at, and the Toyota Vehicles that I rode in.

I hope that you all follow along as I post about my Toyota Journey…

 

SPONSORED POST: Hawaiian Tropic Things We Love Cruise


 
 
 

Yesterday in New York, several of the Glam Network Bloggers and myself went on a day cruise sponsored by Hawaiian Tropic.  We sailed the Hudson on the Atlantica from Chelsea Piers.  Guest sipped on cocktails and ate a light lunch as reps from the Glam Network and Hawaiian Tropic walked around and mingled with guest.  The Atlantica sailed past tourist hotpots Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

 

Upon boarding the ship, guest were treated to cocktails, and an assortment of crackers, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. During the cruise (between mingling with familiar Bloggers), we also got to meet with the representatives from Hawaiian Tropic and try out their Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration™ lotion sunscreen.  The lotion/ sunscreen can be used on an everyday basis without clogging your pores with heavy residues.  I had the opportunity to try it out, and I can honestly say my hands felt extremely soft and supple.  Most of the time when I apply sunscreen, it feels thick and heavy.  By the time your day is over, you end up feeling sticky and gross.  I didn’t have that feeling at all with Hawaiian Tropic.  I liked the Silk Hydration product so much that I took home a few extra bottles, lolll.

 

  • New Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration™ lotion sunscreen is the only sun protection with extra luxurious hydrating ribbons to pamper your skin with 12 hour moisturization.
  • With hydrating ribbons infused with luxurious silk protein and rich shea butter, Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration™ sunscreen pampers and protects skin.
  • Available in SPF 12, 30 and 50, Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration™ lotion sunscreen provides safe and effective broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection that won’t break down in the sun, along with nourishing antioxidants, exotic island botanicals, a warm tropical fragrance and a lightweight, non-greasy feel.

 

 

On top of being able to attend this wonderful boat ride, guest were able to take home these amazing ‘Things we Love’ gift bags filled with the greatest summer style, beauty & travel products, including Hawaiian Tropic’s newest products.

 

List provided by Tineey.com

After lunch was over Bloggers were trated tot hese wonderful ice cream sandwiches provided by Cool Haus.  Cool Haus is a California based company that recently expanded to New York.  I tried the Red Velvet and Sugar Cookie ice cream sandwich which was soooo tasty!

 

Below are the rest of the photos provided by Glam Media.

 

 

 

 

Disclosure of compensation:

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Hawaiian Tropic® Sun Care via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Hawaiian Tropic.


Hawaiian Tropic is a trademark of Tanning Research Laboratories, LLC.

The New Yorker and her McDonald’s

 

 

Last week McDonald’s hosted 2 events last week: (1) A private event with a few handpicked Bloggers flown in from across the country, and (2) A launch event for the new Cherry Berry Blast and Blue Berry and Banana Oatmeal.  During the course of this two-day event, I listened to reps from the brand speak about their commitment to providing healthy selections for their customers.  In all honesty, the majority of Americans are not complaining about McDonald’s… but there are certain groups that blame McDonald’s for being a big factor in the obesity problem in America.  Now there are tons of fast food choices out on the market, but since this particular brand is #1, it has to take the fall… or as they say, “Heavy is the head, that wears the crown”.  

 So, I live in New York… the epicenter… the hub… the beginning…. possibly the Garden of Eden, loll?!  Like it all starts here.  As New Yorkers, we are always on the run.  New Yorkers know nothing of the word, “patience”.  So when it comes to our Monday through Friday regimen, we try to cut down on time as much as possible.  How about a fast lunch in order to make time for an hour dinner?!  Some of us miss meals all together in order to meet some other demand.  So what it all boils down to is McDonald’s is not the enemy, time is our enemy.  No one person or organization will ever take down this giant. The point when McDonald’s should be concerned is when people start focusing on quality time, and/or a slower pace of life.

I am writing this article to say that as someone who has attended McDonald’s events, and has heard what the brand has to say; this company is not trying to fight, or trying to ignore people’s concerns.  McDonald’s is attempting to try and meet the critics halfway by adding healthy options to their menu.  Are they going to stop selling their signature burgers?  NO!  Are they going to give us healthy alternatives? YES!

At this point for every negative on the McDonald’s menu, there is also a positive.  Egg McMuffin or Oatmeal?  Big Mac or Grilled Chicken Salad?  Apple Pie or Yogurt? McDonald’s is what you make of it.  People can’t blame the brand for their own personal over-indulgent ways.  Currently, my only complaint with the brand is how when I go into a location a lot of times they are out of salads. Like it happens often enough to the point where it’s annoying.  I am not sure if the workers are being lazy, and do not want to make me a salad… or if the salads are so popular they sell out.  Either way, I enjoy their salads and it is hard to track one down.  The thing about McDonald’s is… if I were annoyed enough, I could easily reach out to one of their readily available team members online and get an immediate response.

So below are my Top 10 Things to Order From McDonalds:

  1. Chicken McNuggets- I don’t care where the chicken comes from… #teammcnugget
  2. Cherry Berry Blast- I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS!!!!
  3. Filet o’ Fish- I am a fan… but I wish they would update this.
  4. Southwest Chicken Salad- *sighs* Whenever it is available…
  5. Country Chicken Sandwich- This is quite tasty
  6. French Fries- I limit my fry servings… but there are so damn good!
  7. Strawberry Lemonade- It’s rare that I order this, but I occasionally buy it
  8. Cheese Burger- It’s rare that I order this, but I occasionally buy it
  9. Carmel Frappaccino- It’s rare that I order this, but I occasionally buy it
  10. Sweet Tea- I no longer order this… it is too addictive, loll

 Again, in full disclosure, I have worked with McDonald’s on a few campaigns. I promise you that my opinions are my own.  For those of you who follow my tweets, I am blatantly honest when it comes to the McDonald’s brand.  Instead of shying away from me and working with a more dormant type Blogger; McDonald’s invites me out to present their side.  In addition, unlike other brands… they NEVER force me to write, tweet, or mention their brand.  The process is they extend an invite, I attend, I listen to what they have to say, then I leave.  The only follow-up that I receive is, “Thank you for attending, let us know if you have any questions”. 

*thinkin* Maybe I should reach out to McDonald’s and ask them to consider “Grilled Chicken Bites” as an alternative to the McNuggets that are fried. *shrugs* It’s worth a try, loll.

New York Review: The @DuaneReade Experience

 

 

About a week and a half ago, I was invited to an exclusive event at Duane Reade’s for their Look Boutique.  It was held at their flagship store in the Financial District on 40 Wall Street.  Guest had the opportunity to try out spa like services such as manicures, salon services, eyebrows, and eyelashes.  The Kitty Bradshaw passed on trying out these services in order to speak with Brenda Darcy, operations manager for the Look Boutique/ Skin and Wellness for all of the Duane Reade stores. Kimmie of KittenLounge.com and myself got the rare opportunity to tour the Wall St. location with Ms. Darcy while getting a better understanding of what the brand’s vision is in regards to skin care and beauty.

First, let me give you some cool history on the Duane Reade (Store 254) Wall Street location. Store 254 was formerly the Bank of Manhattan. What is now known as the Duane Reade nail salon is what used to be David Rockefeller’s office, complete with the original fireplace and immensive mirror which gives the store a unique appeal.  I felt as if I had one foot planted in old money and the other planted in the mouth of a pharmacy/soon to be beauty mega store giant.  I very much enjoyed hearing about the history of the Wall Street location.

While walking the marble halls of store 254, I felt the need to voice my honest opinion of the brand and/or get to the bottom of:

  1. Up until recently I was not a fan of the brand due to its high cost.
  2. I expressed my displeasure with the brand when they first announced the Brand Ambassador campaign.  I felt they were trying to pimp out the bloggers.
  3. Blah @ the sterile environment.

To put it plain and simple, I was one of many of  the brand’s biggest critics.  Note: I wasn’t the most vocal… that award goes to the team who created the “I Hate Duane Reade” blog, loll.

In line with the Blogger Full Disclosure Act … before I give my review/ honest opinions I must mention that they gave us free gift bags.  Don’t worry, the gift bags were so horrible they are hardly worth mentioning, loll.  Seriously… they were bad!  Possibly, the worst I have ever received…. so that puts them just below not receiving anything at all, loll.  The following opinions are untainted by swag.

First, let me commend Brenda Darcy… she is awesome!  I hit her with tough questions.  I hit her with random questions.  I hit her with everything under the sun.  Ms. Darcy fired back unfazed.  I am so thoroughly impressed with her brand, individual store, and product knowledge.  Yes, I am sure she makes the big bucks to hold this knowledge… but TRUST ME WHEN I SAY… I cannot count how many times I have encountered brand reps who were totally clueless about their brand history and products.  As Bloggers, we are often invited out to come and support a brand later to get our intelligence insulted when the brand sends out representatives who are just there for show.  Brenda was tested at an advanced level and passed with flying colors.  Her quick response time and educated answers were well received.

So let’s cover my original issues with the brand.  I had an actual discussion with Ms. Darcy… meaning not only was I bitching, I was giving supporting facts, loll.  I told her that I honestly felt like Duane Reade was expensive for no reason.  The stores immediate competitors sell the same items at a lower price.  Ms. Darcy took us around the store and showed us what the “Duane Reade Experience” entailed.  They sell a lot of items imported  from overseas, exclusive to the Duane Reade brand here in the states.  These items are of the highest quality and help to create a unique experience when visiting their location. 

I mentioned to Brenda how I liked how Duane Reade had an actual “Men’s Section” with items that men can buy for not just shaving, but skin care such as mask, scrubs, moisturizer, and also a variety of grooming tools.  During the tour we talked about how men have to secretly go into the women’s section for the above mentioned items to get quality choices.  A lot of men are too macho to admit they need a pumice stone to repel rough feet, or a facial mask to remove impurities and prevent outbreaks.  Apparently in Europe, they have more brands that are geared towards taming wild men, loll.  Brenda pointed out several items that give men what they have been missing, and why Duane Reade should be their store of choice when purchasing these items.

There was no need to discuss my next issue with Brenda because it had been resolved by the time I reached the event.  A few months back I was very vocal with Duane Reade, expressing my displeasure with the social media Brand Ambassador campaign.  I felt as if they were trying to prostitute the Bloggers out by having them do a lot of work for the brand, with little compensation.  So one of my favorite Bloggers in the whole world Christine of Tineey.com set me straight and stated that they changed the original guidelines and without going into detail stated that she is happy with the new arrangement.  So *shrugs* maybe my little rant made a difference, loll.

My last issue was the sterile and unfriendly environment in which based on what I saw at the media event, is slowly diminishing.  Honestly, walking around the store I felt as if Duane Reade always had a master plan, we (the customers) are the pawns, and everything is going according to what the brand originally envisioned.  I would love to sit in on one of their meetings to find out what the end game is, loll.  In my mind they are plotting to take over the world bka the Beauty Industry :) 

During the last leg of the tour, I asked Brenda was she allowed to tell us what master plan is because Duane Reade has clearly broke free of being just a pharmacy.  I explained that I am seriously questioning what is the current definition of a pharmacy at this point.  I said to Brenda that I see Duane Reade turning into a department store whose main competition would be Macy’s or Target even?!  Ok, so they don’t sell clothing… but who is to say that can’t create something unique.  They already have a spa going; what other pharmacy is doing that?!  *shrugs* In order to be #1, you have to think outside of the box.  On Friday, April 13th Duane Reade rose from shawdows of mere pharmacy, and stepped into Beauty Megastore (who just so happens to sell tampons on aisle 5) lolll.

My opinions have changed for the better.  Thank you, brand Duane Reade!