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Lovers, Friends or Neither: Where to Go This Valentine’s Day

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Like it or not, February 14 is the one day of the year when love gets put on life’s center stage. Whether thankful for a wonderful relationship, bitter about an old love, or simply down to have a fun night out on the town, these restaurants and bars are catering to all crowds: Abby Park, Biltmore Bar & Grille, Catalyst, Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen, Deuxave, Ducali, Il Casale, L’Espalier, Local 149, Posto, Puritan & Company, Prime Nightclub, Restaurant dante, The Painted Burro and Turner Fisheries.

For the Lovers

While every woman wouldn’t mind receiving flowers or a box of chocolate, it’s a real pleasure to be treated to a truly romantic evening at one of the area’s finest dining establishments. Some of these restaurants have been known to offer the perfect scenery for an engagement or just an evening full of pure romance and bliss.

Abby Park: As both an established modern American restaurant and a non-traditional wedding venue situated in the heart of East Milton Square, Abby Park offers local lovers the perfect location for a romantic Valentine’s Day outing.  With an impressive creativeness for modern American comfort food with infusions of Mediterranean and Asian cuisine, Chef Tony DeRienzo has crafted a drink and dinner menu just for the occasion. Cheers with a flirty love potion for just $12 a pop. The “Cupid’s Arrow” is the perfect cocktail made with pomegranate liqueur, Cointreau, cranberry juice and prosecco. Some of the delicious dishes to be enjoyed include plates such as prosciutto wrapped scallops, soy glazed tuna tataki, butter poached lobster and Angus steak Au Poivre.

Abby Park is located at 550 Adams Street, Milton, MA. For reservations please call: 617.696.8700

For more information, visit: http://www.abbypark.com

Biltmore Bar & Grille: Couples don’t have to travel into the city for the best in quality cuisine. Get the full romantic dining experience in Newton at the Biltmore Bar & Grille. The three-course Valentine’s Day pre fixe menu is a steal for just $45 per person. Known for some of the best cocktails and beers on draft in town, toast to love, sit back, relax and enjoy Foie Gras or oysters mignonette to start the night off right.

Biltmore Bar & Grill is located at 1205 Chestnut Street., Newton Upper Falls, MA.

For reservations please call: 617.527.2550. For more information, visit: http://www.thebiltmoregrill.com

Catalyst: Commence with bubbly and enjoy one of the most romantic dining experiences Cambridge has to offer lovers this Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s in the fireplace room, with the soft glow of firelight on your date’s face, or at the bar toasting to an amazing three months together, the top of the line cuisine prepared by Chef William Kovel, will surely add to the feeling of love in the air. Some of the pre fixe menu offerings include decadent dishes such as bacon wrapped veal and wild mushroom risotto. End the meal with something sweet like Nutella ice cream with toasted marshmallow and hazelnut brittle.

Catalyst is located at 300 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA. For reservations please call: 617.576.3000. For more information, visit: http://www.catalystrestaurant.com

Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen: While this corner bar is most known for being the intersection of friends, food and music, the weekend of February 14 is all about the lovers. On Valentine’s Day, R&B and jazz artist, Daniel McClain will perform romantic hits all night long. Other romantic guest vocalists will rock the house Friday and Saturday. Sweet slow jams, a complimentary flute of champagne and an elegant three course prix fixe menu will create an evening not to be forgotten. $60 per person goes a long way with quality sweet and savory menu options such as roasted pork shoulder with a bourbon glaze and fish stew with Atlantic Haddock, roasted chilies, sweet sausage, and corn. A mile high chocolate cake will leave lovers wanting more. The chef’s prix fixe menu will be available Thursday, February 14 through Saturday, February 16. Guests may make reservations starting at 5:00 p.m.

Darryl’s is located at 604 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA. For reservations please call: 617.536.1110

For more information, visit: http://www.darrylscornerbarboston.com

Deuxave: Celebrity Chef Chris Coombs has crafted a February 14 menu that will sweep any woman off of her feet. Deuxave is the prime dining destination for any man trying to impress his date with the perfect Valentine’s Day meal. Think upscale chic style with the finest cuisine Boston has to offer. Four courses, for $99 a person, will have couples wishing the night won’t end. Additional wine pairings carefully selected by Sommelier Jason Irving will cost $69. Some of the delectable menu options include:  the “Honey Bunny” –house made bacon wrapped roulade of rabbit, honey braised fennel jam horseradish, apple and rabbit jus, the “Love Bird”—duo of duck, spiced breast & housemade sausage, baby beets, snchokes, kale, cara cara orange & charred onion jam with sauce Robert, and “Rib Eye Love You” –roasted rib eye, braised short rib potato, crispy mushrooms, brussels sprouts with sauce bordelaise.

Deuxave is located at 371 Commonwealth Ave Boston, MA. For reservations please call: 617.517.5915

For more information, visit: http://deuxave.com/

Il Casale: For an authentic Italian-inspired romance this Valentine’s Day, Il Casale’s authentic menu rates at the top of the list. The rustic ambience coupled with an intimate feel makes for the ultimate dining experience. For just $59 per person, the options are plentiful. With a thoughtfully crafted drink and food menu, couples will leave the restaurant fully satisfied.

Il Casale is located at 50 Leonard St., Belmont, MA. For reservations please call: 617.209.4942

For more information, visit: http://www.ilcasalebelmont.com

L’Espalier: Spend this Valentine’s Day at Boston’s premier dining destination. Known for being one of the most romantic spaces in the city, home to many engagements and special anniversaries, Chef Frank McClelland has put together a decadent Valentine’s Day fete. L’Espalier is serving a deluxe eight-course dinner menu for $195 per person. Menus throughout the weekend will also feature the chef’s Valentine’s dishes.

L’Espalier is located at 774 Boylston Street, Boston, MA. For reservations please call: 617.262.3023

For more information, visit: http://www.lespalier.com

Local 149: Local 149 offers lovers a causal and romantic Valentine’s Day dining destination where quality and comfort make for the most enjoyable date. And for the busy couple who can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14—have no fear. Thursday night menu additions will carry into weekend and can be enjoyed Friday and Saturday as well. Chef Leah Dubois offers some add-ons to her already delectable menu including a duck breast with sunchoke and purple potato, hearts of palm and port grape glace, along with some lovely starters and mouthwatering desserts.

Local 149 is located at 149 P Street, South Boston, MA. For reservations please call: 617.269.0900

For more information, visit: http://www.local149.com

Puritan & Company: The new Inman Square hotspot brings Bostonians New England tradition with modern American style. Chef Will Gilson exhibits his culinary talent with seasonal, fresh cuisine crafted for a special Valentine’s Day four course menu. The $75 prix fixe menu includes dishes sure to sweep lovers off their feet. With choices including Nantucket bay scallop crudo and beet tartare to start, the experience will already have couples confessing their love. Lobster bisque topped with savory granola will set the mood for the entrée course with options including herb-roasted pork chop and seared bass with ragout of heirloom beans. The dessert, yet to be announced, will certainly have guests leaving with a sweet taste in their mouth.

Puritan & Company is located at 1166 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA. For reservations please call: 617.615.6195. For more information, visit: http://puritancambridge.com/

Restaurant dante: Amore is in the air at Restaurant dante as Chef Dante de Magistris rolls out his Valentine’s Day menu inspired by “The Perfect Date.”  On Thursday, lovers can enjoy an Italian meal fit for Cupid himself with a four-course tasting that guides the senses through each phase of the Perfect Date. Flirt with aphrodisiac cocktails, enact foreplay with canoodling noodles—a choice of lemon tagliatelle or heart shaped vanilla parsnip ravioli, climax with juicy beef tenderloin or tender chicken scaloppini, and spoon with a sweet cake for two. End dinner with a prosecco and strawberry bubble bath. Go on this perfect date for just $75 per person or $110 with wine pairings.

Restaurant Dante is located at 40 Edwin H Land Blvd., Cambridge, MA. For reservations please call: 617.497.4200. For more information, visit: http://www.restaurantdante.com

Turner Fisheries: At Turner Fisheries, couples can maintain their eco-friendly lifestyles while enjoying some of the best seafood in the area. At Back Bay’s premier seafood restaurant, Chef Armand Toutaint expertly prepares fresh, sustainable seafood with the finest ingredients and purest flavors. In addition to select favorites from the regular menu, Turners is offering a handful of special dishes during dinner service on February 14, 15 and 16. Whether couples desire taylor bay scallops baked to perfection in the shell, seared arctic char with fried brussels sprouts, or jonah crab crusted tenderloin topped with a grain mustard demi glace, a meal at Turner Fisheries will turn significant others into kissing fish by dessert.

Turner Fisheries is located at 10 Huntington Ave Boston, MA. For reservations please call: 617.424.7425 For more information, visit: http://www.turnersboston.com/

 

For a fun night out on the town

Whether it’s a group of girlfriends celebrating being single, a newly introduced pair looking to keep it causal, or a couple of dudes that just don’t care, Ducali, Posto, Prime Nightclub and The Painted Burro each offer Bostonians a low-key option for a fun Thursday night out on the town.

Ducali Pizzeria & Bar: Not interested in participating in the mushy lovers’ holiday hype?

Ducali gets that there are some guys-guys out there that are more interested in everyday “guy things” on February 14 than spending lots of money on roses, wine and extravagant meals.  Not everyone wants to be prim and proper just because Hallmark says to.  So, this North End pizzeria and bar is pulling down its big screen projector and playing “Dumb and Dumber,” encouraging that guests enjoy a “Spinaci” (heavy on the garlic) or a “Broken (artichoke) Heart” pie, and drink some filling beer. The beers on draft won’t disappoint even the manliest of men.

Ducali is located at 289 Causeway Street, Boston, MA. For reservations please call: 617.742.4144

For more information, visit: http://www.ducalipizza.com

Posto: At Posto, couples and friends are invited to feast on authentic wood-fired Neapolitan style pizza, grilled meats and fish and handmade pasta. Make the already scrumptious meal that much better with a glass of wine from the extensive selection. Spend Valentine’s Day at a venue that is sure to make it a great evening whether taken or solo.

Posto is located at 187 Elm Street Somerville, MA. For reservations please call: 617.625.0600.

For more information, visit: http://www.pizzeriaposto.com

Prime: Every weekend night beginning at 10 p.m., Umbria Prime’s third, fourth and fifth floors transform into PRIME the Nightclub, a world class club catering to 25+ clientele, featuring an ultra-lounge with vodka bar, two spacious dance floors, table service, VIP lounge, plush couches, and some of Boston’s best nightlife events. Valentine’s Day weekend will be no exception. International Phenomenon, Eric Prydz, comes to Prime to rock out a slated to be sold out crowd. Best known for his 2004 hit single “Call On Me,” Prydz will leave nothing behind in Boston Saturday, February 16.

Prime is located at 295 Franklin St. Boston, MA. For reservations please call: 617.338.1000.

For more information, visit: http://www.umbriaprime.com/nightlife/

The Painted Burro: Shake up this Valentine’s Day with a hint of flavor at the Painted Burro! This Somerville hot spot features a menu that highlights the delicious and diverse flavors of Latin America. And for those who want to deviate from the usual champagne toast, the Painted Burro features over 100 craft tequilas to choose from. Cheers to a meal that you can fall in love with.

The Painted Burro is located at 219 Elm Street, Somerville, MA. For reservations please call: 617.776.0005. For more information, visit: http://www.thepaintedburro.com

With this large selection you are bound to find the right place to celebrate tomorrow. Let us know where you end up and tweet us pictures of your favorite dishes/drinks at #451Heat! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Panera Cares Opens in Boston

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Panera recently opened up its fifth Panera Cares location at 3 Center Plaza near Government Center. With four other locations, Panera Cares is a non-profit community café that offers food at a pay what you can price. The goal of all Panera Cares cafés are to ensure that no one has to go a day without a meal, with hopes of raising food insecurity awareness.

Inside of Panera Cares Community Cafés, there are no cash registers at the ordering stations, just donation boxes. When a customer is done ordering, the cashier gives a suggested donation price. The customer then has the option to pay that, less or more. Panera Cares asks those who are unable to pay anything for their meal for their time. An hour of table washing or floor sweeping will result in a café meal voucher. Some people may question whether or not people will do the right thing when dining at a Panera Cares location, but the Boston Globe reported that the Government Center location had a strong opening, “pulling in 109 percent of the retail value of the food it sold”.

With such a great organization and mission, one would think that Panera Cares would be excessively shown through social media. This is not the case. Currently, Panera is not running designated social media platforms for Panera Cares. They are marketing directly from the Panera platforms. I don’t think that Panera has done enough advertising to get the word out about this non-profit organization. I wouldn’t have known about it if I wasn’t watching the news one evening, and a lot of people in my classes have never heard anything about it.

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Going through their timeline in January on Facebook, I only came across two posts about Panera Cares. On their twitter, there was only one tweet about the location for the whole month of January. However, Panera does an excellent job portraying everything about Panera Cares on its website. The Panera Cares website features their mission, locations and even stories of people that Panera Cares has helped. With this specific location being in a heavily populated college area, Panera should create its own platforms for Panera Cares. Most college students, and even high school students turn to social media for their news. I believe it would be a great benefit for Panera to do this, because it would increase their brand awareness as well as increase their volunteers and donations.

This specific location currently employs about 40 people including managers, but is always looking for helpful volunteers. Visit the café to find out how you can help.

http://paneracares.org

www.facebook.com/panera

@panerabread

 

Written by marketing intern Lisa Cabral, public relations major at Suffolk University

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Is Google’s Search Product Growth Inversely Proportional to Customer Service?

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What is Google Thinking?

As Google continues to expand its reach into new product lines (e.g. Google Glass, Chrome Books. Google TV, Chromium, Etc), search marketers may be feeling a bit slighted when it comes to Google’s search offering – especially the paid search offering. Now that many of the Google products that were originally free to use are showing up when you log into Adwords (local, feeds, etc), search marketing professionals are not seeing the customer service level grow in proportion with the service line growth. With all this new opportunity for revenue, one would think that Google would really ramp up the customer (and especially agency) support to drive the most revenue possible for not only the new products, but PPC in general. The verdict: Not so much…

 

Ever since the launch of Google AdWords in October of 2000, the program has gone through many changes and upgrades, such as the availability of CPC pricing in 2002, the launch of AdSense and content-targeted advertising in 2003, the launch of Google Analytics in 2005, and the introduction of Quality Score in 2008. While these and other changes have increased the potential reach of advertisers while increasing the relevancy of their ads to consumers’ searches and/or interests, not all of the changes that have occurred over the years have been positive.

 

The concept of assigning a Quality Score in determining Ad Rank was probably the biggest change of all since it allows searchers to decide what is or isn’t relevant to their queries given how Quality Score is heavily impacted by click-through rate, all while also directly impacting what is paid for each click. It removed the possibility of an advertiser bidding high enough to be in the desired ad position without also being relevant to a searcher’s query. It has also resulted in many marketing agencies claiming to have their own proprietary ways to increase clients’ Quality Scores, and it’s been treated by some as the most important metric for measuring improvement within an AdWords account.

 

Ultimately, an advertiser’s ROI or CPL (and overall amount of revenue or leads) is the most important metric to be optimizing against, and this can be done by focusing on the basics: keywords relevant to the queries your target audience is using, ad copy that is compelling enough to bring someone to your site, and landing pages designed to convert. All the other ways AdWords can help attract customers, whether via the use of ad extensions, Product Listing Ads, Promoted Videos on YouTube, the variety of ways to target and re-target to customers on the Display Network, and so on, have made Google AdWords an even more powerful advertising program, but these have all added to the complexity of using AdWords and have steered some away from maintaining their focus on the basics. They have made AdWords more technically complex as well, requiring more knowledge of how it interacts with Google Analytics, how to set up Google Shopping feeds, how to implement remarketing, all the ways traffic and results can or should be tracked, etc.

 

Google hasn’t done much to help marketers learn how to excel at any of these features, and in fact has never tried hard to help anyone become efficient at using AdWords. They do have a help section, have had different types of learning guides and videos available online, offer a series of exams that allow people to become “certified” in the program, maintain a blog for agencies to get tips and info on new tools (which also exists to promote DoubleClick Search), and an AdWords community help forum as well. But none of these come in the form of direct help from Google. You have to find the information on your own, not knowing if the information is even accurate (in the help forum), and it’s caused almost the entire knowledge base of paid search marketing to exist on blogs written by people who are suggesting what they think is the best way to handle any situation, but no one really knows for sure. And Google isn’t saying.

 

One thing to notice is the way Google has created all of its educational resources. Becoming an AdWords Qualified Individual means passing exams that test your knowledge of AdWords, not your knowledge of paid search marketing. And this is the premier certification paid search marketers can get to exhibit their expertise to clients, prospects, and colleagues. Passing these exams, however, does not mean that a person knows how to help a company achieve its goals via paid search marketing. It’s like testing a plumber based on his ability to use a wrench and not on his ability to fix a pipe.

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Another thing to notice is the direct help that is available. It isn’t really help. Google reps are made available to advertisers and agencies above a certain spend threshold, and by “rep”, that really means salesperson who can set you up with free campaign building and ad writing. However, free help getting campaigns that may or may not contain the right keywords, all set to broad match, and ads that may or may not attract qualified site visitors, isn’t really help. In business, you always get what you pay for, and Google wouldn’t offer this service if it wasn’t done to benefit Google first and advertisers second.

 

What about technical assistance, help with billing options beyond the use of a credit card or bank transfer, or looking into why ads haven’t been approved? You have to call an 866-number for those questions, or request help within the AdWords interface, which leads to an email being sent to a customer service center halfway across the globe. If you do get a team of reps because your clients’ combined spend is above an even bigger threshold, it’ll be because companies that large have advertising budgets that are more like municipal budgets where it’s all meant to be spent once it’s been approved. The agency’s Google reps primary job in this situation is to ensure that all of that money is spent and none of it is returned. None of this “help” is focused on spending a client’s money efficiently; it’s focused on making sure as much money as possible is spent, period. Again, this is to benefit Google first and an advertiser second, if at all.

 

The biggest thing to notice is that in the 12+ years since Google AdWords launched, the level of confusion about how it can help companies reach their customers is still high. In January of 2012, when P&G CEO Robert McDonald referenced the 1.2 billion free impressions received as part of an Old Spice campaign, how was he allowed to ever believe that those impressions were actually free given that P&G has a large CPG team dedicated to Procter & Gamble? (True, impressions are free in a CPC model, but get too many impressions without any clicks and the impressions will stop.) P&G spends millions on CPM campaigns anyway, which means non-free impressions, and the creation of the ads themselves as well as the management of those campaigns isn’t free either. Did someone internally tell him those impressions are free? Did Google tell him this, which made him confident enough to make this errant claim?

 

If the business community at all scales is still hesitant to advertise online because it seems too confusing or too dissimilar to offline channels, only one company can be blamed at this point since only one company has a monopolistic grasp of the revenues generated by online marketing, and that’s Google. They offer just enough “assistance” to get small businesses to dabble in AdWords, dedicate entire teams to the massive corporations that advertise online, but at neither level is expertise or efficiency considered. And to everyone else in between, namely the agencies or in-house marketers dedicated to paid search, Google has provided enough resources to get people started, but experience alone is the only way to improve. Given that having access to actual budgets is the only way to get experience, and that there’s no single right way to manage an account (but plenty of wrong ways), Google is making way too much money from people having no idea what they are doing and way too little money from those who are professional marketers.

 

Some of the changes Google has made to AdWords have been to intentionally make the job of the professional marketer harder. The Search Terms report has undergone improvements over time, with the Auction Insights feature that was added not long ago, and the ability to see the actual keyword that each query matched to. But this report used to be a very useful source of finding negative keywords in order to prevent unwanted impressions that drive down click-through rates and eventually increase clicks costs once Quality Scores are negatively impacted by this. But Google has decided that many of the impressions dragging down your CTRs aren’t worth telling you about and has lumped these under “Other search terms”. Google’s take on it this is: “Hey, impressions don’t cost you money, but clicks do, so don’t worry about queries that trigger your ads but don’t lead to clicks.” The problem with this is impressions do cost money because when they lead to lower CTRs, which lead to lower Quality Scores, higher CPCs are the result. So this is an intentional move to blind marketers to ways to keep their Quality Scores higher (and ultimately keep their click costs lower).

 

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Google has also made a change to how data is displayed in a graph within the AdWords interface. The highest and lowest values used to be the highest and lowest numbers on the vertical axis of the graph, and the legend used to be to the side of the graph instead of above, and that allowed the graph to be taller and display more detail in terms of any trends that can be seen and learned from. Is this a big deal? Maybe not to most people, but it’s still another change that makes things harder for professional marketers who do rely on these graphs to look for trends that may impact future decisions.

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So how should Google be helping those who fall in between the businesses too small to hire help and the advertisers who spend millions?

  • First, requiring that their own reps understand paid search marketing and be AdWords certified would help give them credibility beyond being salespeople, and more importantly make them truly helpful to others who actually Google AdWords (i.e., those who generate Google’s revenue).
  • Second, giving agencies access to such knowledgeable reps that can actually assist on matters from technical issues to following best practices would allow those agencies to prove the true value of paid search marketing to more clients, which would generate more revenue for Google instead of today’s attitude of nickel and diming advertisers indirectly by counting on continued inefficiencies.
  • Third, the exams should not only be more about paid search and less about Google, but the Google-specific parts of the exam should be updated and not include questions about AdWords functionality that doesn’t even exist anymore (such as Position Preference). And one more thing about these exams, anyone working at an agency should be eligible for exam vouchers at any time instead of paying $50 per exam annually (or semi-annually for the Fundamentals exam). These are currently handed out rarely and treated as if they are top secret codes that need to protected as much as Google’s organic ranking formula.
  • Fourth, Google should restore all functionality to any tools within AdWords that marketers found to be effective in the past for helping to make accounts as effective and efficient as possible. Any future changes should be done with the goal in mind as well.
  • Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Google needs to play a more active role in teaching business leaders the value of paid search marketing. Be more involved in MBA programs. Sponsor conferences for C-level executives. Stop trying to be so mysterious and making the anticipated confusion such an important source of revenue.

 

No one was surprised when Erno Rubik wasn’t the fastest at solving his cube, so it’s also not a surprise that the employees of Google aren’t the best at using AdWords. But making them all sales reps first and knowledgeable account reps a distant second, while tasking engineers to constantly develop ways to mask a marketer’s ability to bring the best possible return for a client, only prevents this form of advertising from reaching its full potential. It also negatively impacts those who do the work in addition to undercutting Google’s bottom line.

 

“How to make AdWords better” is one phrase Google isn’t ready for you to Google.

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Pre-Super Bowl Social Virality, Twitter Users to Follow for Super Bowl News, Facebook Card, & Places to Grub this Super Bowl

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Top Story: Brands Bank on Pre-Super Bowl Social Virality 

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In contrast to the decades-old tradition of building anticipation for much-venerated Super Bowl spots, the past few years have marked the new, digital tradition of advertisers releasing their commercials online long before the game airs in hopes of capitalizing on fans’ building excitement – and tendency to share on social media.

PepsiCo, Axe, and Doritos are among many brands jumping the gun before Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII in broadcast, releasing commercials on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Consumers are willingly watching these ads – shorter, extended, and original versions – and discussing them both on and offline offering up a rare opportunity for advertisers that is difficult to pass up. While these commercials are usually kept under wraps until the last second, each brand is hoping to garner as much attention as they can for their ads, and win the title of ‘most talked about Super Bowl spot’.

Toyota’s “Wish Granted” ad featuring Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco is thus far the most viewed Super Bowl ad, with over 6 million views on YouTube. The ad debut on Jan. 27, and isn’t the version of the ad that will run during the Super Bowl – this version runs 60 seconds long, but the original is only 30 seconds.


CBS is charging an estimated $3.7 to $3.8 million for 30 seconds of airtime, with certain ads even going for $4 million. Some are questioning whether pre-aired ads are throwing millions out the window, especially if consumers respond negatively to ads: Volkswagen of America has had to contend with a multitude of criticism since its ad aired on Monday. The ad, called “The Force,” features a white man in an office speaking in a Jamaican accent, encouraging drivers to take on a carefree, stereotypically Jamaican sensibility by driving a Volkswagen. The commercial has incited claims of cultural insensitivity and racism. A failure? Perhaps, but at least it wasn’t played out on the world’s biggest stage like Groupon’s 2011 commercial fiasco.

 

Tool: 6 Best Twitter Users to Follow for Super Bowl News and Fun

Are you not going to be able to watch the Super Bowl live? Or need up to date information all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday leading up to the game? Then you have come to the right place! Here is how you can keep up with all things Super Bowl!

Top 5 Twitter users to follow:

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A Vernon Davis Twitpic….awesome!

@VernonDavis85 – with over 2 million followers, the Niners tight end is a social media force to be reckoned with…plus he is raffling off tickers for $2!

@BillSimmons – maybe being a Boston guy helps him make my list, but he is a reporter who has more on his mind than just the game, like all the awesome prop bets you can make (can you guess the odds of what color the Gatorade that will be spilled on the winning coach? He can!)

@RandyMoss – Mainly because there is a great chance he says something crazy, offensive, outlandish or controversial.

@AdamSchefter – One of the, if not the most followed reporter on Twitter, Schefter will be in on every major news story and event leading up to and during the Super Bowl.

@SuperBowl – I think this last one is self-explanatory.

@RichEisen – Eisen is a long time ESPN anchor and reporter who tweets prolifically, will be in New Orleans, and regularly interacts with fans who ask questions, agree or disagree with him.

 

Under the Radar: Facebook Launches “Facebook Card”

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Facebook really wants to make this whole gifting thing work. Like really, really badly. They launched Facebook Gifts a few months ago, but haven’t experienced a very strong uptake. Because, um, why purchase a gift through Facebook (where privacy is a little sketchy) when you can purchase it through the retailer’s website? But still intent on making gifting a success, Facebook launched the Facebook Card this week.

In an effort to make it easier for people to gift their friends on Facebook, the social network has launched a reusable gift card that can be reloaded with balances from multiple stores, including Target, Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, and Sephora. And, of course, you can manage all of your balances from the Facebook platform.

Kind of cool, but Facebook seems to be seriously behind on the whole electronic gift card thing. Once a friend purchases a gift for you, Facebook mails you a plastic card. Um, aren’t we moving away from cards and toward being able to pay for gift card purchases with our phones? It’s nice the one card can manage multiple balances for different stores, but who wants to carry around cards anymore? And just how many balances do you think people will have on their Facebook Card at one time? This show Facebook obviously thinks their system is going to be a huge success. It would have been much smarter for Facebook to have developed an app that would act as an electronic gift card, allowing users to pay in-store with their phones. Maybe next year!

Do you think the Facebook Card will take off or is it just another silly attempt for Facebook to make money?

 

Around the Hub: Grub Like a Champion on Super Bowl Sunday

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All around Boston, NFL fans are kicking into high gear preparing to watch the ultimate showdown. Even though the Patriots aren’t up for the title, it’s still a day to kick back and celebrate the event. Whether you’re a football fan or just excited about the commercials, there’s no denying a big part of the day is what we’re munching on while watching.  Whatever style you choose for viewing the Super Bowl XLVII, there is a perfect place or way to make sure to grub like a champ.

If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party, Au Soleil Catering is the way to go. Boston’s Best Caterer allows fans to leave all worries of preparation, dirty dishes, and distraction from the game behind, offering the same dedication to excellence in cuisine and service as if the party were taking place at its sister restaurants (L’Espalier and Sel de la Terre). Some of the possible hors d’oeuvres options include: Lobster Mac and Cheese; Tuna Tartare; Braised Beef Arancini; Curry Roasted Chicken Wings with a Cilantro Lime Yogurt; House made Smoked Paprika Potato Chips with Chipotle and Avocado Dipping Sauce; Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese, and Caramelized Onion Flatbread. There is 20 person minimum and orders must be made at least 48 hours in advance, and can be customized upon request.

For those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to be heading to New Orleans, Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen will be offering a little piece of the South this Sunday. Darryl’s is giving guests the opportunity to enjoy some traditional New Orleans favorites. Darryl’s “Super Bowl, Super Deal” menu includes: Jumbo Wings (Country Fried, Buffalo, Bacon BBQ or Peach Sweet Chile),50 wings $60/100 wings $100; Jambalaya (half-pan), $85; Chili (half-pan), $85. A half pan serves 15 to 20 guests, and orders must be places by Thursday, January 31.

Last but not least, Ducali Pizzeria & Bar will also be serving Super Bowl specials this Sunday only, including: their famous Italian nachos, homemade soft pretzels and Italian style hot wings. Ducali’s Nachos Italiano are made with homemade pizza dough chips baked with mozzarella cheese, hot pepper, salami, and served with a spicy tomato sauce;  $8.The Italian wings are Ducali’s version of Boneless Fingers made with Italian spices and served with a parmesan gorgonzola dipping sauce; $8. To complete the line-up, the homemade soft pretzels are $5.These tailgate treats are all available all day Super Bowl Sunday (11:30 a.m. until midnight).

Whether you’re having a Super Bowl party or going out to celebrate this Sunday, Boston has great options to practice smart grubbing!

 

YOU

Internships Even More Important in 2013 [Infographic]

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Internship infographic here>>

In an effort to break into a career in today’s job market, students and recent college grads are looking to take on any job to gain access and experience to get started. It is that proverbial ‘foot in the door’ that is sought after by students as a chance to show employers through action, what they can bring to their business.

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The intern website Youtern.com recently published an infographic outlining the importance of internships and how popular they have become both with those seeking employment and those employing.

The website reports that 53% of companies plan to hire more interns in 2013 than 2012 and 83% would also consider applications from recent college grads. As jobs out of college become increasingly competitive, there is no greater opportunity for a recent graduate than an internship. The opportunity to apply your skills in a real-world work environment can not only give you the platform to display your strengths as an employee, but can also help to build confidence as you learn new things and work with colleagues, three skills that 86% of interns say contributed to their positive interning experience.

451 Marketing’s internship program offers interns the opportunity to work on any of its four departments; public relations, social media, search marketing and creative services, all while understanding how the departments can be interwoven with some brands. As interns are able to provide a supporting role to the team, they are able to gain experience learning the fundamentals of marketing and the many tasks that are involved with making a successful client campaign.

While internships are hardly lucrative, as 66% were unpaid in 2012, compensation is the least important factor as 72% of interns feel this is the least important criteria when searching for an internship. The exposure to a real work environment and your own personal gain, rather than financial, is the ultimate goal.

To be a successful intern, no job is too big or too small. With 69% of large companies saying they make full-time job offers to interns, it is up to you to make the most of it. The ‘roll-up your sleeves’ attitude, adaptability to new situations and skills, and work ethic are going to be crucial in showing your employer how potentially valuable you can be. In a creative company like 451 Marketing, the assignments for interns provide the opportunity to do just this. On the PR team specifically, each task has a reason. Thinking outside the box and understanding the place your job holds in a client’s success can empower you and your creativity to work hard and find solutions and purpose with each task.

As Youtern.com states in its article, the internship is the new interview. Employers are looking to hire dedicated and high quality employees to represent their business and their brand, so what better way to test a person’s ability then to put them to work in the environment for which they are applying? While all internships may not lead to the career of your dreams for one reason or another, the experience you’ve gained, the professional connections you’ve made, and the skills you’ve learned make interning today’s key to success.

View infographic here>>

 

Written by Katie Misata, intern for the consumer PR team.