BEST OF 09
Every year, I go back and read Zapwater Blog entries from the past 12 months. Without further adieu, here are my five favorite entries of 2009.
Interns Michael and Diana have their very own The Hills moment.
The now Mrs. Block searches for inspirations for her Mexican wedding.
Trend #8: I Do's
In lieu of me recently becoming the new Mrs. Block and spending the last
year planning the wedding of my dreams, I’ve thought a lot about weddings
and marriage in general. With a new year on the horizon and the world in a
place where basic values are on people’s minds again, I think marriage is on
Family values and core ideals have taken center stage as the days of
materialism and designer labels have gone out the window with the economy.
With that, younger generations are wanting to get married again and putting
the days of the single life behind them. This trend will continue through
2010 with the wedding industry on the rise. Just look at the amount of
wedding shows on TV these days – even Hollywood has jumped on this
Trend #7: Social Media’s Impact Continues
Whether you’re connecting with old high school students, sharing pictures of what happened last weekend with friends or are one of these crazy people who are addicted to something called Farmville, everyone in the world has encountered social media in 2009. The popularity and addiction will continue, but we should all expect new developments in the world of social media.
Companies will leverage social media to new levels: Here at Zapwater, we’ve always been ahead of the curve with social media. We’ve managed our clients’ involvement and help them monitor and leverage social media to their advantage. Whether it’s a Barton Healthcare electronic newsletter, RA Sushi successfully promoting new menu items/ specials /events (TWITTER or FB page) or our client who’s filming the upcoming Dear Mr. Gacy movie here in Chicago (www.dearmrgacy.com), more and more companies and institutions are realizing the value and reach of social media. It totally levels the playing field and allows small to mid-size companies to compete with the big boys in their space. As users, we should anticipate receiving more specials offers and virtual coupons from vendors and retailers. If you’re looking for a job, you better also update your Linkedin account because it holds more ground than a resume with recruiters and hiring managers these days, at any level.
Social Media policies implemented: If they haven’t already, companies will also develop social media policies for their employees, governing or even blocking when they can access their social media fixes, just like how instant messengers and YouTube were blocked years ago. Employers may also start to restrict and enforce what content can be shared, as to not disclose sensitive information or leaks to company performance or happenings. Zapwater has helped some companies develop their own customized policies, but you can Google Sun Microsystems’ and IBM’s for some good examples.
Social media becomes even more mobile: Since companies are banning more social media tools at work, employee smoke-breaks and lunchbreaks may now turn to social media breaks. Smartphone companies are loving this, as bandwidth on iphones skyrocket and droidphones start jumping off shelves this holiday season, to handle all the video sharing that’s going to increase in 2010. We’ve said bye to the bag phone, the Zack Morris brickphone, the flip, the Razr and does anyone remember the Chocolate? BlackBerry seems to be hanging on, keeping up with new products every year (droid and Storm). Heck, when I represented RIM it had an orange screen. Maybe if they listen to our intern Michael, they should bring it back.
Social Media will become global: Studies are showing Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and MySpace (is anyone even on that anymore?) are working on breaking down the language barriers with translation capabilities. This will open up the sea of leveraging social media to market global brands to overseas consumers, so looking forward to how that plays out.
Less email, more personal?: Phone calls turned to faxes. Faxes turned to emails, and emails turned to texts. Well, texts are still around, but ‘Tweeting’ and ‘Facebooking’ seem to be becoming the communication choice of many. I’d like to leave you with one thought though….people complain that conversations and interactions, whether personal or business, over time have become less personal (phone call to a email, now “I’ll send you a text”) With social media, somehow people feel the technology brings some personalization back? What do you think?
Trend #6: 2010 is the Year of the Tiger
Get Ready for More Attention Mr. Woods…2010 is the Year of the Tiger
In the wake of all the attention a certain celebrity golfer has been receiving lately, perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising that 2010 marks the “Year of the Tiger” on the Chinese Zodiac calendar. According to Chinese tradition, the tiger symbolizes a number of admirable qualities, including bravery, stubbornness – and interestingly enough – loyalty.
Instead of saying “I’m sorry” with the purchase of the Kobe special – a ridiculously expensive combination of platinum and diamonds – perhaps Tiger should invest in something wife Elin could really benefit from: a luxurious second home at CA23, an exclusive, new development located in Chicago’s booming West Loop neighborhood.
Featuring more than 4,000 square feet of single floor living space, the CA23 penthouse unit takes up its own floor, so all noise, including music, laughter and even fighting remains private from the ears of nosey neighbors. In addition, the home’s private elevator entrance will help guarantee security from paparazzi, ex-mistresses and all others Elin may want to avoid. Best of all, CA23 is perfectly situated merely blocks from Oprah’s studios, making Dr. Phil therapy sessions more convenient than ever.
In deed, what better place to let all the controversy blow over than in the heart of Windy City? Coming from the Eye of the Tiger, a new home may not be a bad deal, after all.
Trend #5: Orange You Glad You Wear Orange
Men of Chicago brace yourself, orange will be the hot color for us once spring comes around. Often seen as unpopular or a taboo color, orange will finally get the payoff its deserves once the temperature starts to climb. Featured in many notable collections for Spring 2010 the color added a dash of zest and excitement, whether added to a sophisticated suit or making an already fun jacket a statement piece.
Critics will be silenced when they realize that the color is much more versatile than it appears. While donning an all-orange look would be a little much for the average Divo, adding an orange tie to a suit or pairing your favorite jeans with an orange sweater will be a great way to add this trend to your daily wardrobe.
*note. If you have been by Zapwater’s offices, you’ll know why an “In” Orange is a big deal.
Trend #4: Ensuring Job Security Through Education
Most of us in the business community have at least a handful of friends who are currently enrolled in graduate school seeking traditional master’s degrees to increase their professional value in common fields such as communications or business administration.
It is interesting to note, though, that as many industries have evolved to adapt to the changing business climate due to the seemingly never-ending recession, so have students in their pursuit of post-college education. Zapwater client Rasmussen College offers opportunities to students beyond the Bachelor’s level through its partnerships with leading universities. Through the Rasmussen Partner Network, students can earn Master’s and Doctoral degrees completely online, at their own convenience, from leading universities around the country.
Michelle Keyser, Marketing Manager for Rasmussen College, says she is seeing students choosing degree tracks in more resilient employment areas, such as ISM, Digital Design, and Criminal Justice. In the same vein, online degrees and classes are becoming attractive options for students who are trying to balance work, family and community responsibilities in an increasingly demanding economy.
Concurrently, many laid-off workers are returning to school to earn additional degrees in hopes of increasing their marketability in time for an eventual upturn.
The following are unique programs offered through Rasmussen College Online.
Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security Specialization
Online Bachelor’s in Game & Simulation Production
Online Master of Public Health (MPH) – Disaster Management Degree
Online MBA in Entrepreneurship and Managing Innovation
What does your future hold? Earning an online degree may make the next season brighter for you.
ZAPWATER OFFICES WILL BE CLOSED JUNE 18
The World Cup draw was announced today and the USA ended up with an amazing draw.
USA Opens Group C Against England, Algeria and Slovenia. After we beat the Brits in game one, it should be smooth sailing into the second round.
In celebration of World Cup 2010, Zapwater will close the office June 18 for the USA v. Slovenia game. Come join us at Fado’s Irish Pub as the entire Zapwater team roots for Team USA over Bangers and Mash.
Trend #3 – Couture Snuggies
Ah yes, the blanket with sleeves, such an interesting concept, yet so not fashionable. Until recently, I had been an anti-snuggie advocate (even the free reading light with purchase wasn’t seducing me). The colors, patterns, fabrics, all of it just doesn’t work for me, and while I not technically a newlywed anymore, something about my husband seeing me lounge on the couch in an oversized nap sack just seems wrong.
Recently, with the introduction of college team snuggies, I have started to slightly re-evaluate my position on these notorious eyesores (don’t worry, I already asked for an Ohio State one for Christmas, at least then I can blame my ownership of one as a result of being gifted with one). How does this fit into a trend for 2010 you ask?
I think it is inevitable that someone will be smart enough to create a couture snuggie in 2010. Available in beautiful colors (pastels, golds, silvers) and patterns like cashmere or pashmina (maybe even accents like jewels), a couture snuggie could revolutionize the way people perceive the blanket with sleeves. Maybe even work on the design and have an exposed zipper on the back, incorporate a variety of neckline choices (scoop, v-neck, etc.), the options are truly endless. It is really aggravating when the blanket slips of you and you can’t reach your glass (or bottle) of wine, so hopefully someone will pick up on this untapped market.
Trend #2: The Hoodie and the Tie
My staff often questions my style choices. See an earlier Blog entry by Holly. However, I am a firm believer that today’s fashion faux pas is tomorrow’s fashion trend. While my sister-in-laws are often amused by my fashion choices, in my heart I know I am a trendsetter.
Last year at a Shean family soiree, I sported a shirt and tie ensemble with my favorite hoodie. I am a big fan of the multi-functional “dress-up” hoodie. After much snickering from the old-men in the Muppets’ balcony (also known as my brother-in-laws), I predicted that they were looking at a future trend.
Let me preface my next statement by saying I know that I am no David Beckham. With that said, we do apparently have similar likes because the global soccer star has been sporting the hoodie and tie look quite a bit lately.
So along with fashion Blog Stylezilla, my trend prediction for 2010 is the very stylish hoodie and tie.
ONLY CHICAGO AGENCY ON THE LIST
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) has announced the 2009 Gold Adrian Award winners, representing the year’s best advertising, public relations and web marketing campaigns. The recipients will be honored at HSMAI’s annual Adrian Awards Gala on Feb. 1, 2010, at the New York Marriott Marquis.
We’re proud to represent the “Third Coast” as the only Chicago PR agency on the list.
Check out the winners here.