Tag Archives: social media

From Business Suits to Casual Dress: What Should Business Professionals Be Wearing?

Decades ago when you thought of a businessman, what were the first thoughts that popped into your head? If you thought business suits, that is not the case anymore!

 

Business professionals in formal business attire.

 

Over the past decade, some well-known companies have made casual Fridays into an everyday event where employees are allowed to choose their work attire, whether it is jeans and a t-shirt or a business suit. An astonishing 43% of workers who were interviewed stated that they wore casual business attire to work on a regular basis, which is up 32% since 2002 (Spitznagel). What does this mean for business executives and how are they responding?

Companies are hiring image consultants and fashion experts to teach their employees how to dress fashionably and appropriately. “American society has become so ridiculously casual,” says Clinton Kelly, co-host of the Learning Channel’s What Not to Wear.

On the hit CBS network show NCIS, a character named Abby works in a professional environment but always wears gothic-like clothes to work. She also consistently cracks cases and goes above and beyond what she is assigned. Is it appropriate for her to wear these outfits in such an office setting? Should young adults today have this option?

 

Abby from CBS's hit show NCIS.

 

Recent college graduates are entering the workplace not knowing the difference between formal business attire, business casual or just casual. In the workforce today, 90% of employees do not know the difference or distinction between the different kinds of dress. By putting dress codes into employees’ hands, General Electric tries to be distinct in the different levels of dress allowed in the workplace. “Companies such as General Electric (GE) force them to make these distinctions every day by asking that they ‘use good, professional judgment,’ as GE puts it” (Spitznagel).

When it comes down to it, businessmen don power suits to “look the part” of a businessman, in addition to being an actual businessman. For businesswomen, the business attire options are much greater, from the female version of the power suit to skirts and sweater sets. Of course, this leaves room for many fashion faux pas at work and blurs the line of appropriate dress for women.

Social media guru Kris Ruby recently sat down with Ivanka Trump, daughter of real estate mogul Donald Trump, to discuss the topic of women in the workplace. Ruby poses the question, “How do you deal with people who may underestimate you because you are a young, attractive woman?” to which Ivanka replies, “I never mind when somebody underestimates me. It often means they are not well prepared.” She goes on to say, “If somebody has a meeting with Donald Trump, they will come in fully armed and fully prepared, whereas if they have a meeting with me, they are less likely to be prepared, which is an advantage for me. It is always better to know more than the person you are speaking with.”

 

Ivanka Trump on the cover of her new book The Trump Card

 

Ivanka holds her own in the male-dominated corporate world and manages to dress both fashionably and appropriately. When asked about her style tips for women at work, the top three are context, modesty and femininity. Ivanka advises women to understand what is appropriate for their industry; an example she gives is dressing for the law firm versus dressing for an ad agency. She addresses the issue of women dressing a certain way in hope of being treated as equals. Ivanka says, “The instinct is to suppress our femininity, which is rooted in a concept that we should blend. But how you get there is not through shoulder-pads or pinstripes. You gain the respect of your colleagues. If you have their respect, they will not criticize you for dressing like a woman.”

The answer to the question of how one should dress in the workplace is different for everyone. In order to determine what is appropriate dress, employees should consider the workplace culture.

Still confused about what to wear? Take a look around the office. What is everyone else wearing? If all else fails, ask the boss. Knowing how to dress appropriately, comfortably, and fashionably is important in today’s working environment. The most important thing to keep in mind is that how you look says a lot; people will judge you based on your appearance. Also important is dressing to fit the culture of your clients. If you understand the circumstances of how business works, you understand that perception is reality.

Many people still wonder if it really matters what someone is wearing if they are doing their jobs. Ideally, no. In reality, yes, it does. Our advice? Dress for the job or position that you want. Like the old saying goes, “When in Rome… dress for success!”

Written by Adriana Mirra & Vicki Truong

Social Media: A Revolution – How to Embrace It

I used to perceive business conferences as a gathering of uptight professionals with their pens and paper scattered all over the table, conversing about falling stocks or bad mouthing competitors’ initiatives. All of my pre-conceived notions were proven wrong when I suited up and attended the Marketing conference, TS2 2010, yesterday, July 15th,  at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

I was baffled by the variety of workshops offered throughout the day…a buffet of selections for you to choose from to satisfy your taste! Everything from up-and-coming lifestyle trends to how to generate ideas that will help boost your business, I was definitely ready to devour some of these great sessions that would feed my business-hungry mind.

Since we live in a world that is so connected through the Internet where social media has become a world-wide phenomenon, no one can go a single day without clicking through the “every day essentials:” Facebook and Twitter. So what does this mean for businesses out there?

Well, event will not be strictly dedicated to “Katie’s Bachelorette Party” nor will status updates be “ “Just had the best day of my life!” You will notice a lot of your favorite stores, restaurants, bands and other companies posting contests or daily updates for highlights within their industry.  This new practice is the result of businesses slowly integrating social media into their daily operations and tapping into a market where more people will look to for their favorite company’s promotions and news(in comparison to “old-school” methods like handing out fliers!)

Here’s the big question…how????

How do businessmen and women know what will grasp their customer’s attention? Is there some type of special lingo that people speak? Will posting traditional advertisements on social media websites work?

You might think so! Well…at least I thought that once you start to digitally post things on the Internet, people would read it regardless!

But I was DEFINITELY wrong! Having used my fair share of social media websites and tools as a means of posting advertisements and promoting events, I have been getting increasingly more frustrated when the responses were not what I had wanted or intended.

Instead of hoping for things to improve  by relying on people to just “stumble” onto the page, I learned some pretty decent tricks of the trade from the workshops that I attended at the TS2 conference. Here are some highlights:

  • Social media is so attractive because it plays off the emotions of the audience, but at the same time it exposes them to different things, giving them entertainment but at the same time there is an educational aspect to it
  • The most astonishing quality that makes people constantly checking status updates, reading blogs or viewing videos is that there is a humanizing element to the content that is posted. When people go on Facebook or Twitter, they’re not looking for formal updates like “X company announces merger with Y company”, there is CNN and BBC news for those kind of headlines! People go on social media to get a break from their hectic lives, giving them a sense of relief from stresses at school or work when you come across one of your friends posting an embarrassing picture of someone else! People feel more personally connected with each other through these websites; with that said, it is important to reinforce this fact and keep these websites personal and relaxing when you start using social media as a way to reach out to your target audience.
  • Another tool to engage your audience is to create valuable content and collaboration. You don’t want to post a blog about how miserable your life is with your monster-in-law criticizing your lack of commitment to the family or issues that you are having with your friends. Well, to a certain extent, if you were a celebrity, I guess that might be okay… But then again, the paparazzi and tabloids will catch you, leading to bad press… Regardless, you would always want to post something that is interesting for people to read, which in turn helps create strong bonds with the audiences as you leave them wanting to revisit your site again for more updates.

The conference also gave insight to some very interesting social media applications outside the main 3 giants of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube…here are a few that I liked:

  • Four Square: A tool on your phone and iTouch that gives you a new way of exploring your city. This application is a great way for people to promote their venues as when people “check-in” to the place they’re at, they can get inside tips of anything interesting that is happening at the venue. For example, when I “checked-in” to a small family-owned Italian restaurant out in Framingham, there was a tip that I could get a free appetizer if I showed them I was a first time customer on Four Square.
  • SlideShare: A great file-sharing place where you can post presentations, documents and portfolios for digital conferences or just for sharing’s sake!

It’s no joke when people say, “social media is changing the world!” Just look at the vast amount of new applications that have been popping up by the seconds! There is definitely a lot to learn about this universal occurrence, and just attending these workshop sessions at the TS2 conference has sparked my interest to research it more and use it to its full potential.

Written by: Venisse Wu

TS2 2010 Now in Session!

TS2, Total Solutions Marketing for the Event and Exhibit Professional, officially began yesterday, July 13th, and will continue until through Thursday, July 15th at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

For over 37 years, this three-day conference has brought together exhibitors, event marketers, suppliers, show organizers and other professionals to network and spread the most current knowledge and information about the marketplace. In the exhibition hall, every topic from promotion, transportation and construction to event technology is represented through products, services and solutions to cover all the responsibilities that marketers face. Throughout the years, TS2 has expanded to provide a great number of important resources to those in the constantly changing marketing industry.

Many professionals include TS2 in their event schedules every year; the valuable experience people gain has greatly improved their marketing strategies and thus play a vital role in his or her career.

With more than 40 high-level educational sessions, hundreds of exhibiting companies and over 1,000 attendees, marketing professionals will craft new skills and broaden their expertise, allowing them to only benefit from attending TS2.

At TS2, many esteemed professionals from all over the country will present the differing perspectives on the most effective strategies to use in order to reach a company’s goals. Some of the topics featured at this year’s expo will be the best way to utilize social media as well as how to blend traditional and modern marketing practices.

Nickerson team members Ally Quinby, Venisse Wu, and Jenn Kearney all attended sessions yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed their experience. In addition to meeting new people, they were introduced to innovative marketing tools and learned about how to grab someone’s attention by using social media such as using the right wording on Facebook statuses/updates and the pros and cons of social media. They also gained more knowledge about event and exhibition planning and what strategies should be used in order to attract more attendees to see a booth.

Keep checking our blog for more updates on the exciting events going on at TS2 2010!

Written by Michelle Babai