A Google Game-Changer

Post by @AlanaGolob


Over the past couple of years technology has continued to shape how students process information and learn about new subject matters. It’s even impacted our business model with the evolution of our online education platform, Digital Royalty University, which has allowed us to scale our content to brands and individuals around the world.

Today marks the 21st anniversary of “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” – but today, it was much different than the previous 20 years. For the first-time ever, Google partnered with Forbes and a variety of companies to take the experience online. Using Google Hangouts, Google delivered 18-virtual field trips for students around the country to “visit” inspiring workplaces. Field trips included a session from the NASDAQ floor to an inside look at the career of a filmmaker. Our partners from the Chicago White Sox (Nicole Saunches) and LPGA (Tina Barnes-Budd) were amongst the participants in a session on a career in sports marketing.

These virtual field trips bridged the barriers for students who may never have the opportunity to visit the inside of a Bulls locker room or travel to the LPGA Corporate Headquarters in Daytona. Students were able to ask these experts questions and gain valuable insight and inspiration for their future careers. Classrooms outside of the main participants could also tune-in and ask questions through the Q&A feature within the Hangout. It was really special to see the students get excited about participating. Not to mention, the professionals loved it just as much as the students. Equal value exchange.


Imagine if this technology existed when we were in school? Would you have been inspired to explore another profession? Today made me even more excited to see where technology takes us and shapes the future of education. Thank you, Google for inspiring us all.



Help My Mom!


We love our moms and we know you do too. BUT, don’t you sometimes wish you could put your mom’s social media usage on timeout? Us too. We’ve seen everything from accidental Facebook shares, to tweets that should be @replies. Hashtags? Don’t even bother! So, in honor of Mother’s Day and to show how much we care about all the wonderful mothers in our lives, Digital Royalty University is offering a helping hand through our “Help My Mom!” campaign.

We’re awarding three lucky moms a personal online session with a Digital Royalty University instructor to help them get their social media presence dialed in. Additionally, we will be selecting 30 additional moms to participate in an upcoming Digital Royalty University live social communications webinar and thanks to our friends at FlowerShop.com, those 30 mom’s will also receive a $30 gift voucher to FlowerShop.com.

So, how can you nominate your mom? Use our hashtag, #RoyalHelp on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and include an example, a quick sentence, or if you’re really brave, a screenshot of a funny social media blunder your mom has made or you can nominate through the following form:

Whether it’s to help with understanding the difference between a public tweet or an @Reply, how to use Google Hangouts or FaceTime, or just some best practices on what to post and what not to post on Facebook (emphasis on what NOT to post), your mom will go through the same social communication training exercises that we’ve put Digital Royalty University graduates through for the past five years. Included with the one-on-one session is a Team Renegades toolkit: a Digital Royalty t-shirt, an autographed copy of The New York Times Bestseller Renegades Write The Rulescomplimentary access to the suite of our online social communication classes and a $100 gift voucher for a flower arrangement from FlowerShop.com. 

Incase you’re looking for some examples of social media blunders, here’s a few for you:

Help My Mom Learn Social Media

The winners will be selected and announced on Thursday, May 8. Lastly, we’re hooking you all up with a 50%-off promotion code for our Digital Royalty University classes and a $15 gift voucher to FlowerShop.com so that you can give the gift of education (and pretty flowers) to your mom this Mother’s Day. Use the code “HelpMyMom” at checkout on Digital Royalty University and FlowerShop.com to redeem. Offer expires on May 11.

Together we can turn your mom from a social newbie into a social rockstar.


Social Good Makes Our Renegade Hearts Melt

Post by Meredith McCaskill

A friend recently told me a story about his coworker that touched my heart, and I have a feeling it’ll touch yours too. I couldn’t help but share another example of how powerful social communications can be when effectively used for a good cause. 140 characters can go a heck of a long way.

My friend Mike had a colleague who’s teenage son was very sick. She worried herself sick and would tell Mike about her fears and heartache for her boy, who was in agonizing pain because of an arteriovenous malformation. (More simply put, his veins were tangled). He needed extensive surgery and had a date booked with UCLA Health.

Not so fast.

Due to health insurance protocols and a staff mixup, something didn’t process. The boy’s appointment was canceled. Mike’s coworker was devastated, and she felt the pressure only a mother could feel when her son repeatedly asked her when his surgery would be rescheduled.

Mike wanted to help. He didn’t have a large Twitter following – about 150 followers, but he sent this tweet and got a response from @UCLAHealth:


The conversation continued via email between Mike and UCLA Health, and shortly after, his colleague was contacted by the hospital and informed that the appointment had been rescheduled for a week later in Los Angeles. Queue the applause!

UCLA Health’s vision is to heal humankind, one patient at a time, by improving health, alleviating suffering and delivering acts of kindness. In this instance, UCLA Health’s reply – an act of kindness – made it right. There’s usually something that can be done.

Key takeaway here is that those brands that listen and act – regardless of the size of their reach – are the real game changers.

P.S. Everyone is happy and healthy!

#HudsonRules and So Does Social Media

Post by @AlanaGolob

Last week I witnessed first hand the true force of social media when people come together for a single cause. I was in Vegas at the dR corporate headquarters and received a call from my husband in Scottsdale telling me that Hudson got out of the house and his collar wasn’t on. Being miles away, I felt extremely helpless and feared the worst as my husband and my friend searched the entire neighborhood for hours looking for Hudson.

Fortunate for me I work with an incredible team of people who dropped everything they were doing to help me track down Hudson using the best tool at our disposal, the internet. Thanks to Amy Jo’s suggestion, I started posting photos of Hudson on my personal accounts as well as the Digital Royalty accounts – encouraging people to help spread the word. Amy Jo took to Twitter using the hashtag #FindHudson, while tweeting every Arizona shelter, news station, anchor, oh – and even encouraging Arizona Cardinals pro football star, Larry Fitzgerald, to help us spread the word. This is a perfect example of how influence can be scaled for good.

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I was completely humbled by the overwhelming support of past co-workers, old high school friends and hundreds of complete strangers on each social channel. People genuinely wanted to help find Hudson and I couldn’t be more grateful of their support.

Below is a graph to illustrate the social impact. On the day Hudson went missing there was a significant spike in online conversation. More than 70% of the total conversation surrounded keywords associated with Hudson and the highest amount of mentions originated from Arizona and Nevada.

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While my co-worker/friend, Erinn Ray, searched the internet to find the most useful resources to find lost pets, she came across the site, Lost Dogs Arizona and joined. Within minutes they posted a Facebook post on their page with a photo of Hudson. Then a complete stranger (thank you, Susan!) stumbled across the post of Hudson, searched Craigslist and found a lost/found ad with an exact description of Hudson. As I boarded my flight home to Phoenix, I received a call from Susan telling me about the listing and giving me a phone number to contact the people who had Hudson the whole day. (Helpful tip for pet owners, always look on Craigslist first to see if anyone found your pet. Who would have thought?! Not me.) 

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Thankfully this story had a very happy ending thanks to the internet and the kindness of each person who played a helpful role. All of us at Digital Royalty had a bit of an “ah-ha” moment from this experience and were further reassured of why we’re in the business that we are in. Social communication is a scalable, unstoppable force without limits when we work together to combine our influence for a good cause. If we can find a lost dog using social media, just think if we used that influence to help find missing children? Food for thought.

My key takeaway from this experience is first and foremost that there are still tons of really, really great people in the world. Secondly, the internet can be a beautiful thing when it’s used to help people. And lastly, it sometimes pays to be that obnoxious dog owner that constantly posts photos of their dog on the internet…#HudsonRules. Hey, even dogs need personal branding (wink-wink).

A big THANK YOU to everyone was involved and supported. Watch the news segment on 12 News by anchor, Bryan West. If you’re a pet owner, there’s some helpful tips about how to use social media to find a lost pet.


Social Media Spring Cleaning


Post by @ChelseaHartling

Spring cleaning sounds like a serious drag. It’s that time of year when we’re supposed to clean out our closets to make room for warm-weather clothes, dust off our winter hibernation spaces, and get ready for the warmth of summer to make us feel human again. But while we’re all procrastinating the inevitable act of digging our homes out from the metaphorical winter snow (or maybe actual snow if you live anywhere other than sunny Las Vegas), we forget about a few other important spaces that need some sprucing up. For example, when was the last time you cleaned up your social media accounts?

Here’s a couple tips for doing a little social spring cleaning.

1. Change your passwords.
This is the perfect time to solidify your online privacy by changing your passwords. Check out this article from TIME for a quick trick for setting a strong password that you won’t forget.

2. Change your avatar.
If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t change your avatar all that often. That photo you have up is probably no longer an accurate representation of what you actually look like since it was taken 4 years ago. Clean it up by swapping it out with a more recent selfie. And it doesn’t hurt to make your avatars consistent across all your social sites either.

3. Update your bio.
On that note, if you’ve recently changed career paths, discovered a new affinity for burritos, or even thought of a random fun fact that everyone should know about you, update that bio! Keep it fresh. With all the new friends & followers you’re bound to gain this year, you need to give the people what they want: recent & relevant information about you. Make sure all your links are up to date and your bio is optimized with hashtags and handles. Most of all, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.

4. Clean up your friends & followers.
If you’ve ever though to yourself, “why am I still Facebook friends with this person?” then now is the perfect time to cut them loose. At one point it was cool to see how many friends you could rack up on Facebook, but as the social space matures, we must mature with it. It’s all about the quality of friends and followers, not the quantity. If someone spams your notifications with Candy Crush invites or clogs your newsfeed with an unreasonable amount of selfies and inspirational-yet-cryptic quotes, social spring cleaning could become your new best friend. I also recently discovered this app called “JustUnfollow.” It shows you information like who you’re following that isn’t following you back and who has recently unfollowed you. It’s a great way to monitor your Twitter and Instagram followers and make sure you’re not following anyone who doesn’t care to follow you back. Clean it up and treat yo-self to a healthy social ecosystem.

Got any other social spring cleaning tips? Share them with me on Twitter @ChelseaHartling.

Click, Tweet and Share

Post by Kathy Banez

For anyone who loves social media and taking a lot of pictures, ex. me, Twitter is expanding its photo options, making it easier to click, tweet, and share.

Twitter announced that they will be updating their photo options by allowing users to tag up to 10 people in a photo without using any of their 140 characters and letting users to upload up to 4 photos in a tweet.

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How will this new update help brands market themselves on Twitter:

  • With adding up to four photos in a tweet, brands can feature more photos of new property openings or renovations that attract followers to click to the brand’s site.
  • Being able to tag people/properties without losing characters allows more special content.
  • Photo tagging also allows brands to respond to/tag followers AND have the photo shared to everyone.
  • With an update like this, brands are in the loop with growing technology and attracting new potential consumers for example, millennials.

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This update brings joy to my life for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s already hard to add a caption AND tag people to a photo with less than 140 characters. The photo tagging ability will make content easier to share without trying to figure out what to shorten or what to delete to make everything fit.
  • With the capability to add up to four photos in one tweet, followers will be grateful that they aren’t getting “spammed” with photo from one user.
  • Even though I am a huge fan of Instagram, Twitter’s photo sharing option is great at displaying the photo instead of having a link in a tweet.

The new photo options are available by downloading Twitter app or downloading the update on Android and iPhone and will later be implemented onto web soon.

Why it’s Important for Amateur Athletes to Use Social Media

Post by Stanford University Senior and Royal Intern, Danielle Frasier

If you are as sports crazed as I am, you probably already follow your favorite athletes on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Not only because they are good at what they do, but by following them on these social media platforms you can gain insight into their lives away from their sport. We not only benefit from this exposure as fans, but the athletes profit in more ways than one. Through social media, athletes have the opportunity to humanize their brand, engage with their fans, and influence the popularity of their sport.

As a professional athlete, one accepts the responsibility of being a role model to fans. “With great power comes great responsibility,” a wise man once said…or was that Spiderman’s uncle? This power that Uncle Ben was referring to, comes from being good at something and using that influence to inspire others. It is important for athletes to tell a good story through engaging tweets and visually captivating photos to allow their fans to get to know them on a professional and personal level.

Having a strong social presence doesn’t happen overnight. Especially in this generation, personal branding is becoming even more important starting at the collegiate level. Collegiate athletes have the chance to build relationships with their fans while they are affiliated with their university. They’re betting (wisely, I think) that these fans will carry over to their professional careers. Having a loyal and supportive fan base can be a super powerful tool, especially once one is able to make money off of their personal brand. Companies are much more attracted to athletes that have higher marketability and can be used to promote a specific product. Although college athletes have to comply with NCAA regulations, they still have the power to become huge influencers of their sport. The following are just a few of my favorite collegiate athletes who recognized that creating good branding on social media would not only help them in college, but as they are now transitioning to the professional level.

Three Socially-Savvy Amateur Athletes to Watch:

shayne skov

@ShayneSkov – The former Stanford University linebacker knew that building up his personal brand in college would one day pay off. He has over 10,000 followers on Twitter and has proven he knows how to handle this social media platform. Shayne Skov spent four years in Guadalajara, Mexico and greatly identifies with his Mexican heritage. Shayne caters to both his American and Hispanic fans by tweeting daily in English and Spanish about football, as well as random things that happen in his life. He interacts with fans and other athletes by providing his opinions and participating in light banter. He continues to support his alma mater to maintain his affiliation with the place where it all began. He will use this network as he embarks on his professional journey and prepares to enter the NFL.

aaron murray

@AaronMurray11 – Aaron Murray has an impressive number of followers on Twitter, with over 127,000 supporting him as he heads into the draft. He had quite the college career at University of Georgia becoming one of the most sought after QBs. On Twitter, he posts pictures of his family, girlfriend, and life on and off the field. He ensures engagement by tweeting regularly and promptly responding to comments from fans. He is quite charming and has definitely attracted a large female fan base. He shouldn’t have a problem as he takes the next steps in his career.


@NicoleGibbs – Nicole Gibbs, also known as Gibbsy, has recently graced the women’s professional tennis circuit with her presence. She was a two time NCAA singles champion and decided to graduate from Stanford University after only 3 years. She has racked up sponsors such as New Balance from her firery passion on the court and her spunky personality off. She is no rookie when it comes to social media as she frequently tweets and posts insightful pictures. Her experience will be one to follow as she makes the transition to playing professional tennis.

SPECIAL OFFER: Are you an amateur athlete looking to “go pro” with your social media presence? May we recommend this Digital Royalty University course on Personal Branding? Use Promotional Code “GOING PRO” when you check out to get 50% off this class until April 10, 2014.

What You Need To Know About Banjo App

Post by Sara Farr (@Rebel_702)

Remember the days before DVRs? I do, and now it seems like a barbaric experience. I recall having to insert a VHS tape, rewinding or fast-forwarding it, while trying not to record over an episode of a show I previously taped. Much like our television habits have evolved, social media is evolving the way we consume information. Look for new players to start delivering different feature sets, streamlining information while customizing and de-cluttering users’ news feeds. A Las Vegas company called Banjo is doing to the Internet what TiVo did for television – that’s right: no more missing out.

Banjo is seeking to be your one-stop place for user-generated and featured promoted top new origination stories from around the world. So what do you need to know? How does it work?

Getting Started

First, download the app (iOS; Android) and sign in with your preferred channel of social media. Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Foursquare, LinkedIn and Facebook are currently supported.

A Las Vegas company called Banjo is doing to the Internet what TiVo did for television.

What Banjo delivers

Banjo app searches the top sites (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, etc.) for events that people are talking about publicly.

Explore & Experience Banjo

So, for example, the next time you’re running late to a concert, it’s no problem! Just look for that concert on Banjo and it will show you up-to-the-minute posts by fellow attendees. Are you in love with Beyonce (like me) and want to know what her tour looks like around the world? By using the search feature you are able to see what other fans in different countries are experiencing, even if it isn’t currently a trending topic under the music category.

Banjo also allows you to share on your social media platform of choice something that was posted about an event.

Banjo social sharing

While it looks closely at which content people are talking about most, Banjo operates in categories: trending events, news, sports, music, more events, and even allows you to suggest an event. It filters out content that would be useless to many users (…ahem, selfies?).

Banjo uses geo-location technology

Banjo shared trending events, news & more.

You can be sitting anywhere and by allowing Banjo access to your location you can see what people are talking about near you.

What about privacy?

Even though you can search for content posted based on location this site doesn’t share your location, unless you have given Banjo consent.

According to the app’s privacy settings:

“any post that appears on Banjo appears because the user has chosen to include location in the post. Depending on the privacy setting and network used to publish, posts may be visible to the public generally or select individuals.

Banjo maintains the privacy settings of its members’ networks so that posts are shared with the intended audience only.”

Why use Banjo?

In my case, I was tired of looking at “trending topics” on multiple social media sites. I felt as though I didn’t have enough time to spend looking on every platform just to stay up to date. Some of the “trends” I found were not something newsworthy that I’m specifically interested in knowing about. Banjo is a different kind of experience and I’m addicted.

Cheers to this easy to use app with a sleek interface coming straight out of our Vegas neighborhood. I think it’s revolutionary! Welcome to the new era of how we consume social media.

The Voice of the People

Post by @AlanaGolob

The strength of social media is that it gives everyone and anyone the platform to have a voice and make it heard. It’s scalable, it’s impressionable and it’s impactful. Social media doesn’t discriminate, you don’t have to be a celebrity or a congressman to be heard. We all have the ability to own our voice if we chose to do so.

For those of you not aware of the recent controversy in Arizona, the SB 1062 Bill was proposed that would have allowed individuals/business owners to refuse to serve customers based on religious grounds, i.e. the right to discriminate based on sexual preference or marriage views.

What did the people do when they heard about the new bill? They turned to the internet to express their opinions on the bill. Floods of tweets and Facebook posts poured in and people updated their avatars with statements expressing support for equality. I think we can all agree that Arizona took a slight PR hit this week.

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#SB1062, “Jan Brewer” and “Arizona” were all trending on Twitter and Facebook for most of the afternoon. There are more than 63,000 posts including the hashtag #SB1062. 

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Amongst those posts included official statements from the MLB and the NFL even went as far as to threaten to pull the Super Bowl out of Arizona next year.

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Influencer and regular activist, Sophia Bush rallied her more than 1.5 million combined followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to help spread the message of equality.
Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 6.19.51 PMCorporate America also stood up to Arizona lawmakers and joined the fight against the bill via statements including Apple, Delta, Petsmart and others – which also sparked conversation on Twitter and was covered on several major media outlets.

Gov. Jan Brewer also turned to Twitter to share the outcome of the bill minutes after she publicly announced the veto through a televised press conference.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 6.34.25 PMWhen the veto was announced, what did the people do again? They turned to social media and this time around their posts had a slightly different sentiment.

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We’ve seen this time and time again with social communication channels. When controversy arises, people turn to the internet to express their opinions, whether to spark a revolution in Egypt or lobby to bring back their favorite latte.

What does this new way of communicating suggest? That perhaps the government should evolve it’s procedures and practices. Yes, I realize it’s not a new concept to suggest that the government is operating with an outdated model – but what if the government turned to the internet (the people) to crowdsource bills and collect votes vs. the senate? It seems to be an effective practice for the people and brands around the world that are turning to the social space to improve their value offering and build lasting relationships.

Power to the people!



What’s So Special About Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Joining Twitter?

Post by Nate Ludens

Sunday’s rain-soaked Daytona 500 was doomed from the time race officials checked the forecast. Since we’ve seen some creative social media usage at Daytona before, I was curious to see how the delayed race would extend to the so-called second screen – 2 years after Brad Keselowski famously tweeted from the race track during a rain delay.

The race was delayed for over six hours, which stinks for everyone – the fans at home, especially. When the race resumed late Sunday night, the race finished in thrilling fashion – with fan favorite, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. taking the checkered flag. As a casual fan, I know Dale, Jr. has had a roller coaster of a decade since winning his first Daytona 500 in 2004. I also noticed that the guy is amped up right now – understandably so after winning the first race of the year, and at a track that claimed his legendary father years ago. Dale Jr. is fired up – sporting a glowing, positive attitude evident in dozens of interviews and on his new Twitter handle, @DaleJr.



So, what’s so special about Dale Earnhardt, Jr finally joining Twitter? Lots of NASCAR racers are on Twitter. 138 to be exact, at the time I’m writing this post. (NASCAR’s Twitter List of drivers). @DaleJr opened the account early Monday morning, after he won the Daytona 500 on Sunday. Spirits were high, but here’s precisely why he’s getting about 125,000 new followers a day since:

1. Showing Some Skin – a.k.a. he’s using real photos of himself, not advertisements or insincere messages pushed from “management.”
2. VIP Access for fans – Jr. is taking us along for the ride. It’s not 200 mph, but so far it’s been an entertaining ride for 500,000 of us.
3. Reciprocation - of the first 80 or so posts he’s sent, more than 60 have been responses to fans. That’s called caring about your community.
4. Lessons Learned – in this era, social media users have a keen sense for who’s legit on Twitter and who isn’t. Celebrities and athletes have years of messing up chronicled on Google for Dale Jr. and his team to learn from. That’s a huge advantage for high-profile people considering boosting their profile via social communication platforms.

Athletes and celebrities everywhere know that what will remain to be seen is how his fans will respond after a bad day at the races, and how “Junior” will respond to twitter trolls and the haters passionate, competitive NASCAR fans of other racers/sports. As long as he continues on this path, however, we’re confident that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and his fans are in for a fantastic ride – together.