Gossip Genie’s Office Depot Small Business Makeover Part 2 of 5

I have been working  at Gossip Genie for about a year and 2 months now and this is by far the most exciting thing that has happened to our company! After Jacqui entered into the Office Depot Small Business Makeover contest,  I started thinking back to last year at this time and how much has changed. In a very short period of time, Gossip Genie has grown from a handful of clients and 2 employees to 11 amazing clients and as of next week, 5 employees! We used to meet at Jacqui’s previous condo and work from her couch for a few hours (or until our laptops got too hot for our legs).  Flash forward a year and Office Depot comes in and supplies us with beautiful glass top desks, leather executive chairs, a laptop, and a plethora of cute office supplies (luckily they took note that we were an office of all girls).  After we got all our new jazz set up, Jacqui was kind enough to purchase a monitor for my desk. Switching back and forth between tabs and documents on a 13 inch screen is no easy task- take note small businesses out there..it is an easy and low cost fix to speed up work efficiency!  Along with the office supplies, Jacqui was able to have a one on one hour long session with the financial editor of The Today Show, Jean Chatzky. They discussed everything from financials, to client relationships, and even ways in which we can grow Gossip Genie.

2012 is going to be a big year for Gossip Genie! We just launched a new website and with the excitement around our Office Depot win, the genies are feeling motivated as ever!  We love staying busy so feel free to mention our name to anyone in need of some social media marketing assistance!

 

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Office Depot Small Business Makeover Part I of 5

This has been a major week for Gossip Genie – each Genie will be writing about the experience from her perspective this coming week. 

Office Depot Selects Small Business Makeover Finalists

BOCA RATON, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar. 29, 2012– It seems like we could all use someone to come to our rescue every once in a while. Luckily for three small businesses, Office Depot is here for them in their time of need as they have been chosen as the finalists of the nationwide Small Business Makeover contest.Small businesses entered the contest by submitting, in 100 words or less, why their small business is in need of a makeover. The three Small Business Makeover finalists come from Chicago, Atlanta and South Florida. The winners are:

  • GossipGenie.com, a social media marketing firm that was started by Jacqueline Liberman two years ago in Chicago, IL.Since opening its doors, GossipGenie.com has hired three employees and has seen its client list grow from one to fifteen different clients. Because of its rapid growth and need to invest in the business, GossipGenie.com is in desperate need of new office furniture and is eager to provide employees with the work spaces they deserve.
  • All Around Roofing and Gutters, a small roofing and gutter business in Metro Atlanta is owned and operated by Shayne and Susie Ray and has been in business since 2002. With the current state of the economy, the Rays have found it difficult to make a profit and are looking for ways to better manage money and reduce costs so they can stay in business.
  • ioTechie, a technology-focused news publication site, was founded by Joseph De Caso in 2010. Joseph has recently moved his small business into a new office location and is looking forward to having Office Depot help give the office more personality with new office supplies.

“We received hundreds of entries from small business owners, and we’re proud that we can provide help to them on their journey to success,” said Bob Moore, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Office Depot.The Small Business Makeover contest was designed to help small business owners with their businesses in 2012 and beyond. The three finalists will receive a makeover from Office Depot, which includes a one-on-one financial coaching session with Jean Chatzky, Realspace® office furniture, HP laptop and office supplies featuring Jean Chatzky’s line of Mead financial organization products, available exclusively at Office Depot.“I’m a strong believer that a little guidance and support goes a long way, and I’m excited to provide small businesses with the right tools to help them make this a very successful year,” said Jean Chatzky, financial expert, journalist and motivational speaker.To learn more about the products and services available at Office Depot, please visit your local Office Depot retail store location or www.officedepot.com. To follow Office Depot on Twitter, please visit www.twitter.com/officedepot.About Office DepotOffice Depot, dedicated to helping customers save time and money, provides office supplies and services through 1,677 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales force, top-rated catalogs and global e-commerce operations. Office Depot has annual sales of approximately $11.5 billion, and employs about 39,000 associates in 60 countries around the world.Office Depot’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP. Additional press information can be found at: http://mediarelations.officedepot.com and http://socialpress.officedepot.com/.About Jean ChatzkyJean Chatzky, an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, is the author of seven books, including the recent New York Times best-seller Money 911: Your Most Pressing Money Questions Answered, Your Money Emergencies Solved. In March 2012, Jean will release her highly anticipated new book Money Rules. Jean is a sought-after motivational speaker, as well as a respected consultant to businesses and company executives. She also regularly shares her advice and opinions as a guest on popular television shows. For more information, please visit www.jeanchatzky.com.  Source: Office DepotOffice Depot

Owen Torres, 561-438-7059

owen.torres@officedepot.com


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Shahs of Sunset: Bravo – What Were You Thinking?

I watched Shahs of Sunset two nights ago and am still kicking myself for making such a poor life decision. As a loyal Bravo viewer, I trust their judgment when it comes to producing a hit reality TV series. I’ll even watch Tabatha Takes Over if it’s the only thing on TV – but Shahs of Sunset? Never again. It’s just not entertaining to me.

Let’s play a quick elementary style game: Shahs of Sunset is to Persians what Jersey Shore is to Italians.

Snooki and Deena might not get this analogy, but I’m assuming most of you will. Laymens terms = it does not depict Iranian-Americans in the best light. See minute 1:07 in the video below. GG, the most annoying person on the show actually says, “Two things I don’t like: I don’t like ants and I don’t like ugly people.” Really, those are the two things you don’t like? I’m sure the editors had a ball with this footage.

Quite honestly, I find it painful to hear GG speak. She is 30 years old and her only job thus far in life has been to “spend her daddy’s money.” The other characters on the show are a little less intrusive, but still over the top. Shahs of Sunset, produced by Ryan Seacrest, has been receiving multiple forms of criticism in the media. According to Fox News, Iranian-Americans are up in arms over the stereotypes they claim it perpetuates. So much so, in fact, that petitions are circulating in Iranian communities to have the show yanked off the air.

Perusing Twitter, one will find the general public is mixed. A simple #ShahsOfSunset hashtag search on Twitter resulted in:

And even one from the Persian Princess herself:

As for me, no more time will be wasted on Shahs of Sunset. You?

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ABC Announces “Duets”, Yet ANOTHER Signing Competition on TV to Keep Up With

Apparently, TV execs think there is an unlimited amount of undiscovered talent in America.  ABC just announced they are jumping on the bandwagon of TV singing competitions with Duets, featuring celebrity judges Kelly Clarkson, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Nettles, Robin Thicke, set to air this summer. Is this necessary? Are we tapped out on these shows? The answer currently: not according to the ratings.

American Idol, now in it’s 11th year, finished up the 2011 season as the #1 show week after week topping the charts with almost 31 million viewers for the season finale. NBC’s The Voice premiered their first season with 12 million viewers, increasing it to 17 million for the 2012 premiere. Simon Cowell’s new show The X Factor was neck and neck with The Voice, as 12.5 million tuned in to the first show on September 11, 2011.

And you know where these millions of viewers turn to share their thoughts – straight to Facebook to Twitter? And I’m one of them! Anyone remember this guy from American Idol? I uploaded this picture of Scott McIntyre to Facebook in March of 2009 – I couldn’t believe he kept making it through each week.

Scott McIntyre

And thanks to DVR, #TheVoice has been trending all week as the judges are in the process of choosing who will be on their final team.
The Voice

We’ll see if Duets can garner as many viewers as newcomers The Voice and The X Factor. My prediction: with ratings this high – these shows aren’t going anywhere. Hey Oprah: maybe you should think about putting a singing competition up on OWN!😉

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Social Media Changing the World: Kony 2012

*Update! The Kony 2012 video just became the most viral video in history with 100 million views in 6 days. Read more here: http://mashable.com/2012/03/12/kony-most-viral/

If you have ever doubted the power of social media to help change the world, then this blog post serves to change your opinion.

On Monday, March 5th, Invisible Children, a nonprofit organization that stands against the use of child soldiers in Africa, uploaded a moving and powerful video on the Lord’s Resistance Army Leader, Joseph Kony. The purpose of this video as stated by Invisible Children “aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.”  Today, March 8th, the video now has nearly 37 million views, and counting…

I don’t want to give too much away, because the video is meant to be watched and not summarized. Invisible Children proves that with the power of young people, social media, and a need to help make a better world, a simple click of the button “share” on Facebook can assist in creating an absolute revolution against the number one worst war criminal in the world.  In 2011, Invisible Children used the power of social media and the efforts of supporters world wide to make the problems in Africa known and it resulted in President Obama agreeing to send troops to Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony.  The Kony 2012 campaign serves to demonstrate to the U.S. government that the people care, and if we do not show that we care, the mission in Uganda will be cancelled. Kony abducts children, forces boys to murder their parents, forces young girls into being sex slaves, teaches these children how to mutilate people, and worst of all, brainwashes them into thinking this is the correct way to live. Just this month so far, Kony as abducted 53 children. If 53 children were abducted in the U.S. in the last 8 days, the story would be front page news on every magazine and newspaper.

The video urges people to take make Joesph Kony known. Not because it will help America, and not because it will help any of us personally but because, as human beings, we can’t let one person destroy a country’s entire population of children. One part of the video I find most interesting is when the narrator of the video and Invisibile Children co-founder, Jason Russel, interviews his own son on the issue. To see this issue from an American child’s point of view puts things into such a simple perspective. Take a look for yourself and help spread the message!

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Bad last name? Watch out for Facebook!

For as long as I can remember, I have always had comments made about my last name. You wouldn’t know it from my blog name but my last name is Slutsky and for obvious reasons, you can probably understand why these comments have been instilled throughout my life. It never caused any serious issues for me or my family, if anything it allows me to close a bar tab as fast as possible and I seem to get a large number of friend requests followed by marriage proposals on Facebook from people I do not know.  Until yesterday…. when my sister received this e-mail from Facebook Headquarters.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

From: The Facebook Team <info+mpzoup2.aeazonthda@support.facebook.com>
Date: Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: Disabled – Fake Name
To: *******.*******@gmail.com

Hi,

Facebook is a community where people use their real identities. We require everyone to provide their real first and last names and real birthday so you always know who you’re connecting with.

Your account is temporarily suspended because your profile doesn’t list your real name. Before we can reopen this account, we need to verify your identity.

Please reply to this email and attach a digital image of one of the acceptable documents outlined below so we can verify your account information. We will permanently delete our record of this digital image from our servers after we use it to confirm your identity.

If you have a government-issued ID (ex: passport or driver’s license) please attach that.

If you do not have a government-issued ID, please attach copies of at least TWO documents that:

– Are from a respected institution (ex: business, school, university)
– Combined show your full name, birthday, and picture

Some examples of acceptable documents include:

– School or work ID
– Utility bill
– Marriage license
– Legal name change paperwork
– Credit card (with the number blacked out)
– Birth certificate

Once we receive your response with the proper identification attached, we can assist you further. In the meantime, don’t create a new account because this could make it more difficult to resolve your issue.

Note that we will not be able to take any action on this account unless we receive the proper documents. Sorry for the inconvenience.

For more information on our name policies, please visit:

https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=258984010787183

Thanks,
The Facebook Team
_________________________________________________________________________

Yes. This is real-not a scam. At first, I thought it was some kind of Facebook hack but after further investigation, it appears my last name is part of a “blacklist” of names that Facebook does not allow because they appear to be ‘fake’…for obvious reasons. I found another young woman who had this same thing happen to her with the last name “Istanbul.”  This is absolute discrimination by Facebook! You can’t choose your last name and a company that relies heavily on names to connect people to one another  should not have the right to kick people off Facebook at their command without warning.

She got it sorted out last night and Facebook officially apologized for the “mistake.”- Take that Mark Zuckerburg. Thankfully, they are now aware of our name and hopefully I will not run into this issue as  my  job relies on Facebook to keep the Gossip Genie clients afloat! Consider this post as a warning to all you bad last namers out there, stay strong!

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Mini Meatball…Snooki’s Pregnant!

This morning, I think we are all witnessing the first signs of the Apocalypse, Jersey Shore’s Snooki is PREGNANT. As I scrolled through my Facebook news feed, I felt like I was experiencing morning sickness when reading about the expecting guidette. The father is Jionni LaValle, so Snooki claims…

To most, expecting a child is one of life’s greatest joys, to Snooki it means money. Hollywood has not only changed the ideology behind marriage, but also motherhood.  Beyonce’s collapsing bump is reason number one that Hollywood is to blame for pregnancy being more about the effect on a personal brand than about the gift of life. I personally believe that Beyonce used a surrogate to carry her baby but that argument is for another post.

Back to America’s ‘now’ pregnant train-wreck, Snooki. She is the last person on earth that is fit to be a mother, I wouldn’t be surprised if child services has already contacted her to arrange the confiscation of her mini meatball.

Snooki has high hopes, she wants to be the next Kourtney Kardashian. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Kourtney Kardashian but if that’s the person you’re striving to be, you’re pretty pathetic.

It’s sad to say but I think we are witnessing the birth of America’s poster child for fetal alcohol syndrome. Can you imagine anything worse than having Snooki as your mom?

Snooki’s positive pregnancy test landed her a Jersey Shore spin-off show with JWow, which will document her even more intense craving for pickles and sex…can’t wait…

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