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Snapchat Madness

Snapchat averages 158 million users every day as reported by Biz Carson of Business Insider.

From what I consider an unorthodox way of marketing, Snapchat is missed opportunity for SO many businesses.

I have had the extreme pleasure of working with the Misericordia University Cheerleading team on creating filters for events they have participated in. This amazing team has brought community awareness such as raising nearly $1,000 for Saint Jude Children’s Hospital and hosting a Go Pink game to benefit the American Cancer Society. I would go on to talk about the many things that they do, but that could be saved for a full blog post within itself.

Here’s what the cheerleading team does well besides tick-tocks and tumbling: They are present both physically and in the digital world.

Getting back to the unorthodox style of Snapchat, a filter is one way you can get your name or event out. Call-to-actions with Snapchat are very rare, but are possible. Take for example the Moonlight Madness filter. This was an event organized by the team to celebrate the kick-off of the winter season.

By having this filter, they are accomplishing two things.

  1. They are able to brand snapchats from multiple people. This brings awareness to the actual event. Since this is held on a yearly basis, it is able to bring more attendance possibly to the next Moonlight Madness.
  2. They’re branding themselves. “Sponsored by Misericordia Cheer” gives more opportunity to entice the viewer to find out more about the team.

Did I tell you it is not that expensive to put a filter up? The Madness filter in a gym-sized area for two hours came at about five dollars.

With the smart thinking of the team, they had approximately 1,085 people viewed snapchats with the filter applied. There were only 44 people that used the filter. Imagine if the team encouraged to use the filter more, or had a longer duration of the filter to be used? Endless possibilities are here, even though Snapchat posts are able to be viewed for 24-hours.

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The Trend of August

Deserve me at my best Tweet

I have been a fan of trends ever since I had a passion for digital media. Seeing trends is critical in engaging with new fans that can like, share, or comment on a certain item you are presenting.

 

My favorite example of a trend we fortunately caught in my job was the, “If you don’t love me at my worst, then you don’t love me at my best” tweet.  This had no relevance to our campaigns, but we took the leap of faith. It became the most retweeted and liked post of 2018 to date.

 

Life can bring you trends as well. I went back and forth about writing this piece, but this is to prove a point, not a “go me” type of post. August has been a trendy time for me these past couple of years.

 

2015: Winning the Globetrotters Fan-Draft Contest

Popular to contrary belief, I don’t talk about this as much as people think I do. Unless you bring it up, I will never talk about it. It’s on my bios of social media, but it’s never an icebreaker for me.

Globetrotter Team Photo

 However, this was probably one of the best experiences I have ever had with marketing and the experience itself. If you have lived under a rock (sorry, had to put it that way) and have no idea what I am talking about, here’s a video, an article, and photos.

 

2016: Getting my First “Big Boy Job”

I had the pleasure of experiencing my first “academic-related major” job during my junior year of college at our local NBC affiliate, WBRE/WYOU as a temporary producer. Although news was not for me, I learned a lot about myself and what I wanted to do. That’s why I always encourage everyone to get internships and experience no matter what you study before you graduate. It’ll help make your decisions clearer.

 

2017: Securing my Graduate Assistant Position

Here we are today. Never thought I would ever be continuing my education for my Master’s, but the benefits and the experiences I am getting working in the Alumni Relations department has been nothing but positive.

 

2018: ???

I wrote this to make a point to never assume anything. Yes, I had the pleasure of experiencing and gaining things I am super thankful for, but I can’t expect anything is going to be handed to me. Recently, I have personally been working on patience and going with the flow of things. It is possible to make things happen. Set goals for yourself, but don’t sell yourself short with them. Give it you’re all.

 

I forgot to mentioned that trends sometimes do not work. Anyone remember the social media Vero? Trended for a good week on the App Store’s top social media app. It now ceases to exist.

 

Do I have high hopes for August? Of course I do. However, I will consider August still trending whether the successes are small or big.

 

Best of luck to you all in August!

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A Balancing Act – Other Duties As Assigned

Before accepting my current job, I was handed the job description. Reading through my objectives and tasks, I reached an odd phrase at the end: “..and other duties as assigned.” Jokingly, I asked my fellow colleague about what that entails and he laughed saying, “Welcome to the job!” In this blog series, I will describe to you some of the weirdest tasks I was assigned to in, “Other Duties As Assigned”

 

I had the opportunity to be the event photographer for our alumni weekend at our university that I work at. We were celebrating the 50th reunion of the class of 1968.

 

One of the things in particular that I was assigned to do was to take a class photo of the class of 1968, It was the biggest class that has ever attended in the span of five years of our alumni weekends.

 

One of the things I had in mind was I wanted to make sure I got their clock that they fundraised enough money for it to be put on campus in dedication to one of their fellow classmates who passed away.

 

So, I was thinking, “How do I get to the clock? How do I get everyone in the shot?” At the end of the class’s lunch they all came outside towards the clock and I said, “Okay, here’s what we’re

going to do…stand in front of the clock, and I’ll think of something.”

 

As the class of 1968 was lining up, I remember there was a bench far enough to hopefully get the shot, but would elevate me enough to get the entire class in.

 

I first stood on the part of the bench you sat, no luck. Flipped my camera to live-view and held my hands up, still not enough. I knew I had to go higher. The only way to go higher was the back-rest.

 

I went for it. My vice-president luckily was there to initially help me up without falling, but my balance was lacking. I had two colleagues support my left and right leg. An alumna’s husband from the class of ’68 took initiative to hold the back of my belt to prevent me from falling backwards. The ladies of the class were laughing and hopefully scared for my safety when I was attempting to get the shot.

 

Overall, I knew it was crazy, some classmates you could not see their faces, but it turned out to be a nice photo to commemorate the weekend.

 

Next time, I’m getting a drone. No exceptions.

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The Importance of Social Media Engagement

People like conversations (when they want to engage in one). This can be applied to social media.

Too many times I see businesses and organizations not capitalize on engagement with their customers or followers. This builds a good relationship with their brand to their customer. Of course being able to communicate a message and your tone is sometimes

difficult, but there are some great examples on social media tat you can follow and see how they engage.

I know Wendy’s is all about the roasting of their followers on Twitter. The roasting caused so much buzz within the community, that people followed and tweeted at them in the hopes for a fine roast. The best part was,

Wendy’s did not try and sell any of their products during that time. This engagement caused a massive increase in their followers and were able to secure more appearances in someone’s Twitter feed that may entice them to stop by and pick up a Baconator on their way back home.

As being a part of higher education in my current job, I see the value in responding to constituents or even fans of the school. I have been following Purdue University for a little over five months now and I am so impressed with their engagement as part of higher education.

Purdue is a college located in West Lafayette, Indiana. It has had quite a substantial history as it’s first classes were held back in 1874. I also see that how old they are does not stop them from being innovative with technology and engaging in news ways with digital media.

But back to my first sentence of my blog post: Purdue engages in conversation with their followers.

Below I added a photo slide show from a recent posting about being careful about the icy conditions at Purdue. It cracks me up.

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All Purdue did was had fun with responding to individuals who tweeted at them. They even made it a point that the social media team has no part in making decisions of cancelling class in which they tweeted about it!

Purdue kept a playful voice throughout the entire storm of tweets at them where some individuals were visibly upset at the fact that classes were not cancelled because of the ice. I think too many times the conversations become so real to people that they will take it out on the university’s twitter account. As understanding, Twitter is not going to make the decision in cancelling class. The Twitter took full advantage of this and thought it was a perfect opportunity to engage with people who are tweeting at them.

Even with all jokes thrown left and right, Purdue did make it a point to know that it is important to rely on safety precautions. Purdue linked an article explaining winter walking tips to avoid slipping and falling injuries.

The best part about both the Wendy’s and Purdue engagement is that it really was not based on their “product or service.” Purdue was talking about icy road conditions and Wendy’s just wanted to add a few more to the roast column. I am a firm believer that selling your “brand” is more than just selling what you have to offer such as education or a burger. It is really engaging in conversation and being able to have people follow you and your content so that they will autonomously complete the purchase when they want to.

So the next time someone tweets at you, be sure to respond to them. Some businesses or companies have canned responses so it is easier for them to respond quickly. The most important rule of thumb is to make sure you think before you send. There is times in my work where I will check with one or maybe two people and it helps tremendously with our engagement to our fellow followers.

See Mike’s Social Media Portfolio.

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LIFE IS A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION

See full story here.

If you told me my first-year in college that I was going to graduate school, I would have laughed at you and say, “Oh sure!” Fast forward three-and-a-half years later, I’m laughing at myself.

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Never would I see myself getting my bachelor’s and now my master’s. It was not the path I had in mind. Now that I see the benefits and working as a graduate assistant, I am very happy with the path I am taking.

A wise-man by the name of Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” This can be applied to my college experience. The journey I have taken is far beyond what I have imagined. My “journey” can be separated into four categories:

My Major

You go to college to study an area of your interest. I chose Misericordia University as my top choice because of the program I was interested in which was communications.

Producing.jpgI always tell our Department Chair that she sold me at an Open House that I attended. She spoke about how you can immediately get involved as soon as you step foot on campus. She was not kidding when she said that. I immediately dove into working with the TV and radio station. It led to me being hired as our television station MCN87’s producer right out of my first-year. As allegedly being the youngest producer hired, I learned a lot from the experiences I had working with clients, students, and other leadership opportunities.

The one aspect I can appreciate the most is the fact that I found out I did not want to produce or want to do news. This happened after an internship with our local television station. My professors encouraged me that it was okay to change your mind during college. If it wasn’t for my internship, I do not think I would be where I am at right now. I always encourage underclassmen to get into an internship to learn your likes and dislikes. The earlier you do it, the more time you have to change your mind or finalize decisions.

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Generally, I can say the communications department has helped me transition from high school to college and has prepared me to be the best of the best in the professional world. With the experiences I have had, it has lead me to my Digital Media position in Alumni Relations as a graduate assistant.

Getting Involved

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The first piece of advice you’ll get at a first-year orientation is to get involved. Am I right? What if I told you that this was the first piece of

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advice I have given as an orientation coordinator?

The window of opportunity that has opened up to me since being an orientation coordinator my sophomore year has been amazing. With the many aspects of, leadership, and internal networking of the university, and all around fun, I guess you can say it was “sweet,” or “super?” You know what, it was a “grand slam!” The reason I used those words, in particular, is because of the orientation themes I have partaken in. First-year students no matter if they are in their sophomore or senior year, they will always remember their orientation theme (mine was ‘The Future’s so Bright, I gotta Wear my Shades’).

It didn’t hit me until my last year as an orientation coordinator how much of an impact you make with students and the campus. In my three

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years, I have welcomed approximately 1,295 students, participated in 15 one-day orientations, trained 194 orientation leaders, and have made countless videos of our marketing plans. Orientation has such as a special place in my heart (as well as my orientation boss, Darcy Brodmerkel). The networking as a whole has lead me to opportunities like being a Peer Advocate, Co-Host for the annual Talent Show, an internship with Student Activities, an Admissions Ambassador, and much, much

more.

The Culture

Washington D.C.jpgWe often keep our wits about what surrounds us and the culture that we live in. Misericordia has an outstanding, safe culture in which students live every day. The cliché of holding a door open for someone is laughed at because almost everyone on campus does it. We help a person who is in need of picking up papers they have dropped, volunteering at a local soup kitchen or even going on a service trip like the one I did to Washington D.C to assist the homeless. The safe culture provides strength into the opportunities in which every student has on this campus. My huge culture experience is when I won a contest to play with the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters. The support from the university was one of the many reasons why I won.

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And Finally, Professional Development

Although it is important to do well in your classes, I have found the one thing that has prepared me most for the real world is professional development. At one point, I didn’t place as much value on education because with a major like mine, many people are very good at photography or graphic design without a degree. I now think that the certifications or degrees you earn brings more validity to the skills that you can perform. Already obtaining 2 certifications in digital marketing and google analytics, I look to further pursue my professional development and applying work to them.

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All these had some part in my decision to continue my education, but as for Misericordia, I proudly call myself an alumnus of the university. My passion and drive towards this makes working in the alumni relations department much easier.

If you are looking for amazing content, please feel free to follow our Misericordia Alumni FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Trust me, if you love Misericordia, you’ll love the content we’ll bring.

 

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About the author: Mike Gombita ‘17 ’19 is a graduate of the communications program. He currently serves as a digital media graduate assistant in alumni relations while pursuing his Master of Science in Organizational Management. You can follow him on Twitter at @MikeGombita or connect with him on Linkedin.


The best way to experience Misericordia is in person. Schedule a personal visit or come to an upcoming Open House. You will see that your best opportunities will Start at the Arch.

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Does The Price of a Camera Really Matter?

A camera is a powerful tool. It can tell a story, capture a moment, or is just put in your closet in a box.

What’s crazy to me is a camera has become so advanced that sometimes, you don’t need the most expensive camera to get great photos. I put a poll below for those who are interested in participating.

Which photo do you like more? Photo 1 or Photo 2?

[poll id=”2″]

It’s now time for the big reveal. . .

Photo 1:

Camera: 2017 iPhone 8 Plus 12MP Camera; ƒ/1.8 aperture; Portrait mode.

Photo 2:

Canon 80D EOS 80D 24MP Camera; 45-point AF system with all cross-type points. / Lens: Canon EF 50mm ƒ/1.8 STM

Are you surprised?

Now wouldn’t an iPhone that has half the megapixels not even be comparable to a Canon 80D? I would argue that the iPhone is competitive to the Canon.

Some people are always under the impression that to take the best pictures, you need to buy the most expensive camera. Yes, if you looked up the price of the Canon 80D you would complain saying that it is not a cheap camera. I understand that. What cringes me the most is when people have a Canon 5D Mark iv‘s around their neck or having a Sony Alpha a7R III taking photos of their kid at their little league baseball game. I know I sound very harsh when I am stating my case, but it is almost like driving a Bugatti 35 mph on a highway. Bugatti’s are meant to be used to their fullest potential (yet I do not condone speeding)!

Anyone has the freedom to purchase a camera, but I would suggest finding ways to get the most out of your camera. Even if it is just an iPhone, be able to use it to it’s fullest potential. Did you know if you have portrait mode you are able to toggle it on and off? What about if you push to focus and see a “sun” you can swipe up or down to adjust the exposure? Get your money’s worth when investing in something of this price.


See Mike’s Photography Portfolio

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The “Wink”

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“A wink takes less than a second to do, but will benefit someone for the rest of their life.”

I will play a podcast or two for some white noise when I am extensively working at my computer. There are times where I am working and my ears will perk up and send this shock straight to my brain to focus on the podcast.

For this podcast, it was none other than Gary Vaynerchuck. Gary (as explained on garyvaynerchuck.com), is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia, a full-service digital agency servicing Fortune 500 clients across the company’s 4 locations. I highly recommend if you are trying to market your business or just need advice on crushing daily work life, he’s the man to listen to.

Gary’s podcast was on “5 Tips To Help Teachers and Professors.” He emphasizes the fact of putting passion and caring into the idea of teaching their students to the best of their ability. He dislikes when teachers become “robotic” and giving a checkmark to the student that pass an exam because he or she regurgitated information on an exam because it is required by the higher up thereof.

The idea of not following the playbook of the curriculum of the public high school is not practical for students of the generation. Gary suggested to a teacher that called in during a live Q&A to grab a student that is willing to learn more than just reading a book and be able to grow their own experiences by giving them the “wink.” He put it in a way where the “wink” made by the teacher gives the student the knowledge that the teacher understands the student’s situation of being required to complete the said class. The teacher does know however the student has much more potential than the grade he or she received during the class and wants to reach that untapped potential he or she would not be able to in the classroom.

It made me realize that I was given the “wink” back in high school. As I reflected for the short five minutes, I realized how much that has changed my life.

The teacher’s name is Shawn. Shawn was at the time a technology education teacher and manager of the theater at my high school. He would teach metal tech, drafting, graphic design, and television productions.

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Posing after being crowned semi-formal prince with Shawn and his wife, Becky.

For those of you who do not know, my love and interest for communications really lit on fire when I entered my freshmen year into high school. I was fortunate enough to get into his TV productions course my first semester. There, we learned the process of production, how to edit, how to script write, etc.. It was truly indeed a class I will not forget. Next semester, however, I was no longer in that class.

During the second semester one morning, my strict homeroom teacher told me that I needed to see Shawn during homeroom. It was a sigh of relief of the fact that I got out of homeroom. I went to Shawn and he pitched me the idea of doing an independent study for the next three years of high school. This way, I can sharpen my skills in video editing and also learn more about television productions and communications in general. I said yes without even hesitating.

Shawn gave me the opportunity to grow. He knew there was potential for growing the interest and honing my skill. Overall, he cared about my progress. It was more than just reading a bunch of chapters and seeing if I got all ten questions right on a quiz. He cared if I actually cared about what I learned.

Shawn and I developed a great relationship those next three years. I still keep the letter of recommendation with me for when he wrote it when I applied for colleges to this day. He was there for me for the good times such as getting the television studio named after me. Ironic how I was first timid in that room, to then bringing guests and people into the room and running the equipment without missing a beat. He also has been with me through the bad such as supporting me during an accident I had one morning commute to school. I didn’t even get a chance to find him, he was there waiting for me as soon as I got in the door.

A blurry yet important picture the last time Shawn and I worked together when I was still in high school

To this “wink” I have received, It’s important to advocate for those who surround you not just because you have to be with them every day, but that’s what I think people should do more often. I am not recommending all co-workers or teachers and students to gather around and sing Kumbaya. I think we need to steer off the beaten path and give the younger generation the opportunity to learn differently or strengthen what their true potential stands for.

I also think that it is important to not grade a student based on how well he or she does in the class. Maybe a student hates science but loves English. We indeed need both professions, but the student doesn’t need to be proficient in both of them.

A wink takes less than a second to do, but will benefit someone for the rest of their life.

Shawn is not just a teacher, he is a genuine person. He just doesn’t “do” his job to get the paycheck at the end of the week. Shawn is hoping to bring the new leaders and people who will make a difference in the world to the next level.

So if you’re reading this at all Shawn, thank you (and no, thank you).


Contact Mike Gombita

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Happy 2018!

Greetings fellow readers!

So, is 2018 the time where we are teleporting and engaging in hologram devices? No… Okay.

I know it has been quite a while since my last post, but there is always a new year’s resolution!

A lot has happened since my last blog post, but there is definitely great news to present!

  • Graduated with my Bachelor of the Arts in Communications.
  • Obtained a Graduate Assistant Position at Misericordia University working in digital media in University Advancement.
  • Certified in Google Analytics.
  • New Logo (as you can probably tell).

I can probably go on with the amount of greatness that has happened during my hiatus, but I am here to give you a loose promise! I hope to continue to add more content on this website (specifically blog posts) to entertain and bring value to those who read it.

My work/life schedule is adjusted slightly with less classes, but more work responsibilities, but I am going to try and bring to you content at least once a week. I believe I bit off more than I was able to chew in my last promise, so we are going to start with baby steps!

I am looking forward to this journey and I hope you tag along with me!

The Start of Something New!

Hello Everyone,

I have decided to start a blog of my own! This is in the hopes of me learning a few things while at the same time, you could learn a few things as well.

My main focus is going to be on marketing and social media. No matter where you work, there is always going to be a little marketing involved!

I am still unsure how much I am going to be posting, but feel free to follow me as I pick up a few things in the field!


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