The 1,000 dollar little black dress

Gone are the glory days of exclusive galas that cost thousands to produce and hundreds to attend. These days so much can be accomplished with social media. In fact I embarked on such a journey this past month when I participated in the Little Black Dress Initiative through the Junior League of Charleston.

The goal of the campaign was to raise funds and awareness to end hunger and homelessness in Charleston. All I needed to do was wear the same black dress all week (no washing!) and a button that said “ask me about my little black dress.”Along with 50 other people I decided to launch a social campaign. I didn’t have a donor list, no email marketing, and no gala planned. But what I did have was social media.

Without actually asking a single person for a donation I raised a little over $1,000 in 5 days and our league raised $15,000. 100% of the donations went straight to the cause with no overhead and no expenses to be paid. The campaign was a roaring success and something that I hope we continue for years to come.

Here’s what I did to raise money:

1.) Snapchat became my best friend. I started to use the stories feature for the first time and updated my followers on all of the things I was doing around the city in my little black dress: attending meetings, working, homework, lunch etc. I also personally thanked each individual via the social tool

2.) I posted daily updates with fun photos on my progress

3.) I used Facebook to tell my story, encouraged people to follow my journey on snapchat, thanked friends on their walls for donations, and posted statuses with alarming facts surrounding hunger and homelessness in Charleston.

I think people want to help, donate their time, or in this case a few dollars to show that they support missions like the Junior League but are never really asked in this sort of personal way. My fundraising page provided by Bidr allowed people to donate directly to my personal page, share a comment as to why they are donating and allow them to be a part of the mission with even just a one dollar donation.

I’m really excited about expanding this mission on social media and look forward to doing it again next year.

What about you, have you ever contributed to a cause that you saw on social media?sykKVf5b.jpeg


How Starbucks got it right

A classmate of mine had a great post on mobile apps vs. mobile optimized sites. I tend to prefer mobile sites because I HATE having to download a new app each time I want to make a purchase.

There are very few brands that I have actually taken the leap with and downloaded their branded app. I really want to get a sense of added value if I am letting a brand take up real estate on my phone. Starbucks recently became one when I was sick of waiting in the long line a few times a week (first world problems, I know). I kept seeing this little sign that said something like “skip the line, and order ahead,” why on earth I hadn’t done this the first time is beyond me.


Finally this past week I decided to bite the bullet and download the Starbucks app. here are 3 ways in which it has immediately provided me with value:

1.) I can now automatically fill up my virtual gift card when it gets below a certain dollar amount.

2.) I can order ahead and pick up my order from the kiosk and avoid lines.

3.) It automatically pops up on my payment when I am near my “home store,” which reminds me to use the payment option and earn stars for their loyalty program

Because I am new to the Starbucks app the whole loyalty issue that happened this week hasn’t really had an influence on me, except that the current promotion has allowed me to be a “gold star” patron for the next year. Apparently they have changed their reward earning system to dollars spent vs. transaction numbers. The internet is buzzed with people mad about the new system but I wonder if it will really have a negative impact int he long run.

What about you? Which brand apps do you have on your phone?



Augmented Reality

Next week the company that I work for, Nexton, will participate in Dig South. Dig South is “The South’s Interactive Festival,” in which companies can set-up trade show style booths in order to interact and engage with attendees. We really wanted to find a way to stand out, get someone to engage, and leave them with a piece of information that would encourage recall. We really don’t want to be another booth handing out yet another tchatchke.

In our search to find a way to incorporate tech into our giveaways (after all, we are the first giagbit community in South Carolina) we enlisted the help of a promotions company. They presented a few options for us to choose from but this one really stood out; lay ar.

Lay ar is a new app and company that helps brands create augmented reality experiences. Unlike those super annoying QR codes (do people really use them?) this augmented reality allows the customer the opportunity to use their own images without altering them to the human eye. Yes, the user will have to use an app to engage in the content but we hope that the value of the content engages the customer in a way that creates an even bigger bond to the product, in our case a new housing community.


Lay ar, allows the customer the ability to “drag-and-drop interactive digital elements, including video messages, music clips, interactive photo slideshows,
Web and social network links, and much more!” which in turns allows for a much more engaged and long term relationship with the consumer. It also has built in analytics so that we will be able to track our results.

In application the user will download the Lay ar app, which will scan an image and allow the user to see augmented reality which includes videos, animations, sales tools, and much more.


I am really looking forward to seeing how the crowds engage with our product as we have decided to embed a logo/picture on a tervis tumbler.

What do you think of this idea? Would you download the app and see what we had to show as far as interactivity?

The Purple Goldfish

I am a member of the American Marketing Association, Charleston Chapter and recently attended a luncheon on the topic of the “Purple Goldfish.”

What is a purple goldfish exactly? It’s the idea of the unexpected, the concept of a twist in a consumer experience. Because I work in a hospitality industry (rather than a sales industry)purpfish I know we are constantly trying to figure out ways in which we can enhance the customer experience and the purple goldfish is a symbol for the continuous search to provide EXCEPTIONAL customer service.

In the world of real estate marketing people expect to answer the following questions when sold a house: bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage. What we do at Nexton is challenge this mindset by asking our customer relationship and qualitative questions, “what are you looking for in a neighborhood, where do you and your family spend the most time in your home, etc.” We train our staff to put customers first allowing for genuine conversations that may not even be about the homes we’re selling but instead, focus on relationship building.

I consider myself pretty lucky to work for a company that wants to pursue the idea of a purple goldfish but to remain at the top of our game we must constantly reinvent our plus one, we must consistently challenge ourselves to provide service that is unexpected.

What things does your company do to improve the customer relationship?



A FitBit for Cows?

I must admit I have owned a FitBit for the past year and have never used it! My company basically gives them away to new employees but I just haven’t been able to pull it together enough to try mine out.

When it comes to wearable technology I’m on the fence. But I did find some really great things that this sort of technology is fostering:

  • Recently a FitBit was used to determine a treatment course for a patient who arrived to the ER after having a seizure.
  • Schools in the U.S. may begin to use the Adidas tracker in k-12 gym classes
  • A FitBit placed on cows via a startup called CowlarCowlar wants to help farmers increase their milk production by up to 15%

All three of the above were really interesting ways in which we could take this technology to the next level. What bout you? What ways do you think we could use this technology to improve the world we live in?62f30d70689b4c44b306d7873b3df476

Tesla’s Internet of Things

Today Tesla announced that their new car, named “Model 3” will be available for reservations. I know my husband and I have been interested in buying a Tesla for quite some time and have anxiously been awaiting this announcement since there is NO way we could afford any of the current models.

My husband works in mechanical engineering and is hoping to transition into the alternative energy sector when he leaves the Navy next year. Clean energy is important to him and is what has us both so interested in Tesla. If you’re not familiar with the company I suggest checking out their website:

This week our discussion focuses on the internet of the things and I believe that Tesla is leading the way when it comes to automation, environmental impact and energy efficiency within the automobile industry.


Tesla’s features include: automatic steering, speed, lane changing and parking all through the use of sensors. “Model X continually scans the surrounding roadway with camera, radar and sonar systems, providing the driver with real-time feedback to help avoid collisions. Even at highway speeds, Model X is designed to automatically apply brakes in an emergency.” And, because the car is electric it requires zero fuel. It is also connected to the internet and can improve it’s function with updates much like the updates you download to your smart phone.

  • Regular over-the-air updates add safety and navigation features, enhance performance and improve the driver experience
  • Free long distance travel on Tesla’s expanding Supercharger network
  • Maps and navigation with real time traffic information
  • Center console with a quick connection phone dock
  • GPS enabled Homelink

“In October of last year we started equipping Model S with hardware to allow for the incremental introduction of self-driving technology: a forward radar, a forward-looking camera, 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors positioned to sense 16 feet around the car in every direction at all speeds, and a high-precision digitally-controlled electric assist braking system.”

Have I piqued your interests? Here’s where you can sign up to get on the list:


1:1 Technology

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Because I am not currently a mom (except to my fur baby, a black lab named Charlie) I haven’t been exposed to how technology is being taught and embraced in schools. Tomorrow I get to participate in “Principal for a Day,” an annual campaign put on through the Chamber of Commerce. I was chosen by my company to shadow the principal at the Nexton Elementary school, the first 1:1 technology school in the County and one of the firsts in the state of South Carolina.

1:1 technology means that every student is assigned a personal learning device, much like issuing a textbook. The technology is supposed to enhance learning, and not to be used as a substitute.

Knowing that elementary age students would have access to the internet made me cautious and I found myself teetering on my stance between an amazing initiative and a pretty scary one. Here were some of the thoughts I have running around in my head:

Does access to this technology give the student a leg up in the world? Will they be better able to advance in the digital age because they have been exposed to this at such a young age? Is there such thing as too much screen time? Will the child prefer the screen over face-to-face interaction with their teacher? What about online safety measures?

I wonder how far behind someone falls in future career opportunities if they are not equipped to handle the technologies of the present and of the current? I think about my mom who is nearing retirement and couldn’t imagine her using an iPad to run her business and worry that her lack of education on technology will make it very hard for her to even find part-time volunteer work because everything is so connected these days!

I’m really looking forward to my day tomorrow so that I can get some of these questions answered by educators who are clearly in support of this initiative. I look forward to checking back in here and letting you all know how it goes.

Thanks for stopping by,







Emerging Media: communications – of all types – based on digital technologies, and increasingly with interactive components.

Musings: (n) a period of reflection or thought.

Welcome to my blog! I look forward to creating a lively discussion on all things emerging media. What’s new? What’s working? What’s not? All of those questions + so many more musings on the fascinating world of emerging media.

Thanks for stopping by,