Category Archives: Social Media

US National Parks Affected by Obama Administration’s Budget Cuts; Social Media Supporting Cause

According to the National Parks Conservation Association, every $1 invested in National Parks means $4 for the US economy. But the nonpartisan group said that the Obama Administration’s 2011 budget request for national parks will “barely cover costs to pay the bills, let alone restore the operational needs to serve park visitors and protect America’s wildlife and heritage for their second century.” That means not only are parks at risk, but economies that depend on them as well.

Here at Under Solen, we’re avid media consumers, and that includes newspapers, but often, some of news topics we find most interesting come to us via social networks, which is exactly how we were alerted to this budget shortfall.

Here were some of NPCA’s top retweeted posts.

Americans are visiting #nationalparks at rate not seen in years, stimulating local economies

Every $1 invested in #nationalparks means $4 for the US economy. Ask Congress to fund them

current budget reduces or eliminates nearly $100 million in #nationalparks programs

The NPCA is calling on President Obama to to keep his campaign commitment to restoring national parks, and to raise awareness about the budget shortfall, capitalizing on its social networks and spreading the word via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and beyond.

“We’re using social media to spread the word as quickly as possible with our community that the President’s budget request does not reflect his campaign promise to address the national parks’ funding shortfall. National parks mean green jobs and bring real revenue to local economies. We believe there has never been a better opportunity for Congress to invest in our parks and our people than now. Our goal is to create a groundswell of support to convince our leaders to invest in the national parks. Using the internet as part of a comprehensive strategy, we can reach more people faster than ever before,” said NPCA Media Relations Manager Lindsay Bartsh.

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If Our Grandfathers Had Talked About Social Media…

A little Wednesday social media humor for you!

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A Big Company Doing Something GOOD: Pepsi Refresh Project

Big corporations have the power to do big things, and Pepsi is the latest company to create an initiative that appears to be focused less on advertising and more on positive change. Teaming up with GOOD Magazine, on Monday, Pepsi launched the Pepsi Refresh Project, a grant program that will allot at least $20 million through the end of the year for donations to individuals, businesses and nonprofits working with everything from health to arts and culture to the environment.

Pepsi accepts 1000 new ideas for grants every month. Visitors to the site can vote daily on which ideas they think are best. There’s a lot up for grabs; grants will be made in $5,000 to $250,000 bundles. Anyone that has an idea that just might change the world, it looks like this project just might be what you were looking for.

In the past branding might have been about getting people to put a Pepsi in their hand and recommend it to their friends, but now it’s about engaging communities to raise awareness about great causes. Pepsi will be using the power of social media to spread the word. In fact, Pepsi has partnered with some of the biggest names in the online industry to promote the project including Hulu, AOL and MTV.

Some may question the intentions of a major brand like Pepsi, but the people at GOOD are convinced that the initiative a positive thing. “That a major brand like Pepsi is taking a stand and saying that purpose and progress are core to its identity is critical,” said GOOD Founder and CEO, Ben Goldhirsh in a recent blog post. The New York Times calls that cause-related marketing or pro-social marketing, “by which corporations seek to back up their talk about benefiting society.”

As for the social media side of things, this initiative emphasizes the increased role that consumers are having in today’s branding and advertising campaigns. In fact, they’re no longer just consumers, but an active and engaged audience that can turn a simple campaign into a movement.

Go take a look at some of the many projects that have been submitted for grants… there’s some REALLY good stuff in there — a multimedia Afghan photo exhibit, an interactive website to learn about human trafficking, a cross country bike trip to build affordable housing, and beyond! — which gives us great hope that although this is certainly getting Pepsi a lot of good PR, it’s about something bigger and better.

What do you think? Is the Pepsi Refresh Project a vehicle for positive change or just another advertising campaign?

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Filed under contest, Impact, Non-profits, Social Media

Friday Faves: Salmon + Decadent Yoga + Facebook Humor

Winter in the Snake River Basin in Central Idaho. Photo courtesy Save Our Wild Salmon

The week after Outdoor Retailer is always blurry, including lots of follow-up, sleep and getting back into the groove of life. Our treatment for post-OR is to hit the mat, take some deep breaths, a sip of wine on focus on causes that move us and inspire us to do the work that we do… And a little laughter always helps too!

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Filed under Friday Faves, Rivers, Salmon, Social Media

Big Brands Shifting Spending To Social Media

Soft drink powerhouses, Coca Cola and Pepsi are both shifting their spending to social media marketing campaigns in 2010.


When does a trend become mainstream? In the world of advertising and marketing there is a persistent undercurrent of one-ups-manshippping. A few weeks back Pepsi boldly proclaimed that they wouldn’t be buying a Superbowl ad and would be investing in social media driven campaigns

Just today a story was published on New Media Age citing Coke and Unilever will be shifting their digital microsite strategy to social communities like Facebook & YouTube. “We would like to place our activities and brands where people are, rather than dragging them to our platform…”

What’s this all leading to?

Investments in traditional digital media (if that isn’t an oxy-moron) is evolving at a rapid pace. Mega brands are now shifting their serious dollars toward social media. The trend of investing in social media is taking root in marketing mixes for the largest brands around the world and displacing traditional digital media, which is inline with Forrester’s report on 50% of marketers planning to increase their spend in social media. And where is that money coming from? They are taking the budgets away from broadcasting and microsites. The multi-million dollar allocations of Coke and Pepsi are the largest spends in social media to date and will propel the space into mainstream.

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Top 5 Twitter Greeting Cards

We can’t get enough of the dry humor employed by someecards, so we rounded up our top 5 favorite Twitter related ones. Perfect for those times “when you care enough to hit send.”

1. Sometimes acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step.

2. We do believe that social media has the power to make positive change, but that doesn’t mean we can’t poke fun at the idea.

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How Are Women Using Social Media?

Women are harnessing the power of social media, and in a big way. In a report published by SheSpeaks, 80% of female internet users said they had become a fan of either a brand or a product on a social network. That bodes well for retailers and companies as they try to hone their focus on responsive consumer markets.

How else are women using social media? Take a look at this graph:

With almost 3/4 of women reporting that they viewed an interesting piece of news via a social network, there’s no denying that females are truly active when it comes to social media.

But there is an interesting gap here between Facebook and Twitter, with women doing more when it comes to shopping and commenting on products in the Facebook world. Being a female, I would say that I lean towards Twitter simply because it often feels less “branded;” Facebook ads are a bit too much at times. But according to the results of this study, to continue to attract and engage female users, Twitter might have to up the ante, and brands will have to think about where they want to focus their social media strategy.

How do you use social media?

[Photo: moriza]

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