Synacor’s Kate Wolcott Visit

On Monday, Kate Wolcott, paid a visit to our class to discuss the ins and outs of her job as a marketing communications coordinator at Synacor, a large marketing company based in Buffalo, NY.

According to Wolcott, Synacor works for large clients such as Time Warner Cable, Century Link, and Verizon Fios. The company does a majority of the work on its client’s websites although to customers it may seem as if the websites are all being done by the direct companies themselves.

Wolcott discussed the various challenges her team experiences when it comes to marketing for cable companies.

The large number of people dropping their cable service for online services like Netflix and Hulu is one of those issues. In order to combat this problem, Wolcott says her company’s clients (the cable companies) now offer live online television. Wolcott and her team’s job is to advertise this service to the cable services’ costumers. When doing so, Synacor must be sure to cover all of its costumers coming from different platforms. For example, some costumers will find the advertisements through Synacor’s client’s websites, where others may come through a national channel’s company such as HBO. Therefore, making sure all ads are targeted at the right audience is important.

Along with working for Synacor, Kate Wolcott also runs a creative marketing website, which she uses to draw other clients to consult.

Another issue for Synacor is targeting the older audience that cable companies attract on an online forum. According to Wolcott, many older people tend to think of the Internet as just a place to get email and news. Getting an older demographic onto their client’s websites often requires advertisements offline.

One thing I thought was particularly interesting was the per-pay-click issue Wolcott talked about. Every time someone clicks on a story or video, Google pays the website for that view. Synacor’s clients then split that money with Synacor. For that reason, hosting stories that will receive large web traffic is of utter importance for Synacor.

The entire presentation, Wolcott stressed simple and direct design on the web. She showed the class various examples of graphics on the web that had what she called “direct calls to action.” Often these graphics urged costumers or potential costumers to sign up for some service. Beyond having a direct call to action, Wolcott said such graphics should also be large, bright, and be very clear. By making graphics that follow these conditions, one can create a much more successful campaign.


Niagara University: A place to Learn

(By Marc Davies and Michael Ferraro)

A Vincentian Tradition At Niagara University, a Vincentian tradition runs deep with the students and the faculty alike. The school houses a chapel, which holds weekly services. Niagara also holds community service to be a key commitment, offering and allowing students to participate in countless programs to service the surrounding community.







A Comfortable Place to Relax Niagara University offers its students a variety of places to get out of the fray of college life. The Gallagher Center is one of these many places. The Gallagher Center features many places to grab some food, play games with friends, or just sit down and study. With all its amenities you’ll be sure to be spending a lot of time at the Gallagher Center.



Top Notch Sports Home of the Purple Eagles, Niagara University is home to 18 division 1 athletic teams including ice hockey, basketball, and soccer, all of who compete in the NCAA. With so many teams, there is always a game to attend.




A Rich History Niagara University boasts a deep history. Since 1856, the school has proudly sat atop Monteagle Ridge offering countless areas of studies.





The Right Location Located on the border between the US and Canada, Niagara University students have several activities to chose from. Take a walk though one of the many state parks in the area or head down to Niagara Falls, which is just a 5-minute drive. For the sports enthusiasts, go watch one of many sports teams in the area like the Buffalo Bills, Bandits, Sabres, and Bisons, or the Toronto Maple Leafs, Blue Jays and Raptors.


Tips for your March Madness Bracket

March Madness: Road to the Final Four

Get ready to research your teams, watch analysis, and fill out your bracket because it’s time for the NCAA tournament. Every year millions of people make their picks before the tournament only to tear up their brackets two rounds in. So how can you assure that your bracket won’t be a travesty this year? You can’t. But following these tips will give you a chance to make a better bracket, whether it be for an office pool or just for fun.


Last year, UConn won the national championship as a 3 seed.

Keep your eye on the prize

Before you even pick up a pen this year, ask yourself what is the goal of the competition you’re in? All competitions have their own ways of deciding their winner. Some go with a basic point system where every game is worth the same. In others, games are worth more points as the tournament goes on. Your strategy should revolve around the way your competition is set up. If points are worth the same in every game, feel free to pick bigger upsets in the first and second rounds. However, if point values get larger as the tournament goes on, be more conservative. Many will be tempted to take some higher seeds into the Final Four. But if you do this and your teams don’t come through, you will just be throwing away points when it matters most. In other words, don’t lose the competition yourself- make the others in the pool win it.


Pick the occasional upset

If you aren’t in some sort of competition and just want to have fun and do your best, go for some upsets. The great thing about college basketball is that no team in the tournament can be counted out (need I remind you of George Mason or VCU). Only once in NCAA history (2008) have all number one seeds made it to the Final Four. Here’s a breakdown of the likelihood of all other seeds advancing to the Final Four: 

Don’t be afraid to take an 11 over a six or a seven over a ten. Remember, when it comes to NCAA basketball anything is possible and once the teams are on the court, rankings go out the window. That being said, don’t go too crazy with upsets. Also, no team higher than an eleven seed has ever made it to the Final Four. And of course, no 16 seed has ever defeated a one seed.

Pick Teams With Momentum

In all sports, teams with momentum and confidence tend to excel, no matter what seed or what odds they are given to win. College basketball is no different. Sometimes higher seeds that would normally have little chance in the tournament can ride momentum past the first few rounds. Take note of conference tournaments. Look at teams who won their conference. By going beyond the numbers, you can see how a team is feeling. For example, this year Duke, UNC, and Syracuse were all ousted in their respective conference tournaments. For this reason, I only have one of these number one seeds advancing to the Final Four. Furthermore, Florida State surprised many people and won arguably the most difficult conference in the country. This is why I look for them to go deep in the tournament.

The Cliché ‘Have Fun!’

Okay, okay, okay, it may be the cheesiest line out there. But seriously, don’t think of your bracket as a chore. Have fun with it. Making picks always seems to make games more interesting and more enjoyable. Cheer your teams on and good luck!

Local Accounting Firm Marketer Gives College Students Advice

On Monday Eric Majchrzak, Director of Marketing at accounting firm Freed Maxick, paid a visit to a Niagara University class, discussing the many challenges and benefits that surround his job.

Majchrzak started by giving students an overview of what he does for a living. His primary job in the marketing department, he says, is creating an image of a reliable and trustworthy company that people can trust.

Eric Majchrzak, Director of Marketing at accounting firm Freed Maxick, visited Niagara University students Monday to talk about what he does on a daily basis.

“When people chose an accounting firm, they have to really trust the firm because they are putting their lives in the firm’s hands,” said Majchrzak.

Other than creating a trustful company, Majchrzak says that there is much more to successful marketing in professional services. These services provide people with consultants who do work for a customer like accountants, public relations practitioners, and lawyers. There are also many challenges that come along with the territory of professional services.

“Marketing for such services often involves being strategic,” said Majchrzak. “It is difficult because it isn’t like marketing for a specific tangible product. Professional services are complex and very hard to communicate to customers.”

In the discussion, Majchrzak talked about the new age of technology and how it has made for marketing as a whole to completely change the way things are done. Rather than marketing being a one-way dialogue, it has turned into a back and fourth dialogue. Majchrzak used the term “pull” and “push” marketing to describe this difference.

As a marketing coordinator for an accounting firm, Majchrzak stressed the importance having a background in the category of marketing one is involved in. Majchrzak says that he uses basic accounting skills on a day-to-day basis. By monitoring conversations online, Majchrzak is able to intersperse information into these online conversations, which creates potential clients for his company.

Online forums and social media sites such as LinkedIn also help connect the client to the accountant.

“The Web bridges the gap between the two parties,” said Majchrzak. “A majority of clients fire their accountant not because they do anything wrong, but because they don’t hear from their accountants. By using social media, we can stop that problem.”

LinkedIn can also create an important link from accountants to the media, according to Majchrzak. When reporters ask questions online, marketing coordinators like Majchrzak can answer these questions, which in tern, gets the firm publicity.

Majchrzak ended his discussion by talking about his firms rebranding strategy. Through the use of social media websites and other offline mediums, Majchrzak and his partners are trying to put a face on their accountants.

By using a more personal marketing strategy and giving life to their accountants, Freed Maxick hopes to attract more clients.

“By showing our accounts are people with other hobbies and interests like their clients, our company becomes more than the average, dry accounting firm.”

SJ Velasquez Visit

SJ Velasquez, the Multimedia Content Coordinator at, came in to talk to us on Monday. She was a great speaker and seemed very interested in what she was talking about.


The first thing SJ talked about was voice and how a writer’s voice can and should change depending on what website he or she is writing for. She gave us examples of different websites with completely different voices. For example, on, writers are striving to be informative and very trustworthy. Therefore, the voice is extremely straightforward and uses a serious tone. On the other hand, her website ( is completely different. This site focuses on attracting a younger crowd and rather than just being a news site, it has a strong emphasis on entertainment and events. For that reason, has a much more fun and laid-back atmosphere (as evidenced in their homepage with monsters all over it).

SJ Velasquez is the Multimedia Content Coordinator at which focuses on things such as entertainment and food.

SJ went on to give us examples of things that attract readers online and things that make articles more interesting. She mentioned things like the use of links with in the story and embedding videos in on the page. By doing these things, readers are able to interact on your site rather than just read, which can be boring.


One of the most interesting parts of the presentation was the Irish-dancing flash mob in Australia that SJ showed us. What was particularly interesting about it was the fact that it was created rather easily. Despite the fact that the video had rather good production values, the cameras were not all too high-tech and expensive and someone did the editing with just basic knowledge on how to edit video clips. Nonetheless, the video had over a million views online and had many comments. I found it fascinating that even with so little resources, a video could get so much attention. One of the reasons the video had so many views, according to SJ, was because of good search engine optimization. By having good keywords and many links to it, the video could be found by millions with little struggle, whether they were looking for it or not.


The final thing SJ discussed was websites such as Read-it and BuzzFeed that put out stories and videos that usually become viral. It was interesting that I, like most others in the class, had never heard of most of the sites that SJ talked about. As SJ talked about BuzzFeed, I couldn’t help to wonder whether the sites simply predicted what stories and videos would become viral, or if the videos and stories became viral because of the websites. Nonetheless, I learned the importance of sites that distribute content for others to see and how important it is to be on these sites as a someone who runs or manages their own blog or website.

SJ Velasquez is the Multimedia Content Coordinator at and a freelance writer for Irish dance and culture publications.

Amy Moritz Visit

On Monday we were honored to meet Amy Moritz, a sports writer for the Buffalo News. She gave us insight on what it is like to be a sports writer for a big newspaper, as well as information about her background.

The first thing Moritz discussed was how journalists use Twitter in the 21st century and how it changes many aspects of the world of journalism. She talked about Joe Paterno’s death and how some news agencies broke the news before Paterno had actually passed away. I thought it was rather interesting that news agencies were so eager to break the story first that they actually misinformed the public of the death. Had Paterno recovered and lived a few more weeks, I think this story would have been much more publicized and gotten much more attention.

Moritz is a local sports writer for The Buffalo News who covers regional collegiate sports, particularly women's athletics.

Moritz talked also about the way Twitter and the Internet is changing the way she does her job on a day-to-day basis. In the past, Moritz would watch games and begin writing her story before the game was over. After the game was over she would send in her story to The Buffalo News. Now, with the advent of blogging, Moritz has a much more difficult job. She must watch the game, write the story, and also update her blog. By updating her blog at a live event, Moritz gives fans who can’t be there or watch the game, an opportunity to find out what’s happening.

One thing I found particularly interesting is that sports leagues actually limit the amount of blog posts anyone can post during a game. Moritz said that although the NCAA has loose rules with regards to live blogging, other professional sports leagues such as the NHL have regulations on how many posts per minute, period, of game can be put on a blog site. This is meant to protect the content of the game for the leagues. They want fans to watch the game live or on a game tracker online so they can see the advertisements.

Amy runs her own personal blog. She blogs about her experiences running and working out and gives tips to her readers about how to get the most of your workouts.

Finally, Moritz discussed her life as a female sports reporter. Although nowadays sexism isn’t too common, Moritz says that she has, at times, experienced it in the workplace. The fact that she holds a job that is predominately filled with males will sometimes upset people, said Moritz. She gave the example that in some instances people will comment on her stories online and use a sexist tone. Nonetheless, Moritz says it doesn’t bother her too much and few times those things do happen, she just ignores them.

Response to Chapters 3 and 4

Chapters 3 and 4 for in Content Rules gave even more insight into the dos and don’t when publishing content on the web. Coming from a journalistic background, it helped to when Handley and Chapman laid out the dynamics of why, who, what, when and how, and where. Instead of using the “5 w’s” for traditional journalistic purposes, chapter 3 applied it to web writing.


The Why

The why focuses on what you intentions are when publishing content on the web. Basically, why is asking the question of what do you want to get out of your web page? Is it a place you want customers to buy or product, or is it simply a medium in which to advertise?


The Who

The who asks who are you targeting and who are you (the second question I’ll tackle later)? The who is all about getting to know your audience and what they like. If you know what that like and prefer, you will know how to market to them effectively and creatively.


The What

The what asks the publisher what the content itself is trying to achieve. It also ties into the who because it asks what are you doing for your audience?


The When and How

The when and how comes at your content in a different way. It’s the more technical aspects of your content. It focuses on things such as your resources and your budget. It is also interested in asking what the process is that will help you create interesting content.


The Where

The where is simple. It asks what mediums will be used to get the content out? The where asks what web pages will the content be posted to and how can it be found?


Now More on the Who

Chapter 4 focuses on the question of ‘who are you’? This question doesn’t necessarily just ask “who are you as a person,” (Although it can), it is more interested in asking what is your company image? Handley and Chapman make it clear that company image needs to integrate with your content. The company’s values and image should not just be shown in logos and advertisements, but it should also be demonstrated in much of the content you publish. In other words, you need to walk the walk, not simply just talk the talk. According to the book, image is one of the most important things to create when branding a company.

Amy Winehouse’s corner resigns; raises possibility of reinvestigation

The corner who presided over the death of Amy Winehouse in October has resigned after her qualifications were questioned, her boss said on Wednesday.

In October, Suzanne Greenaway, the corner in the case, pronounced the famous singer dead in her home in London from accident alcohol poisoning.

Andrew Reid, the coroner for inner north London and the wife of Greenaway, appointed her the job of assistant deputy coroner in London in 2009. Greenaway resigned in November after local officals learned she had not been a registered lawyer for five years as U.K. law requires.

Amy Winehouse was a popular media and tabliod target due to her shocking songs and constant public outbursts.

During her time as an assistant deputy corner, Greenaway resided over 12 inquests in Camden, a borough in north London. According to Reid, all inquests were handled correctly, but Reid offered the families of the deceased reinvestigations if they wanted them.

The Winehouse family has not yet decided if they will ask for a new inquest. If they desire, the family can challenge the inquest, which would declare the old inquest to be invalid.

Any reinvestigation would not likely yield new insight into Winehouse’s death. The first inquest in October included evidence from Winehouse’s doctor, a pathologists, and  the security guard who found her dead. Most importantly, a detective attended first inquest and said he saw three empty vodka bottles in the room that Winehouse was found in.

Winehouse was beloved by many and yet criticized by others. Her problems were constantly made public through headlines about her destructive relationships and erratic behavior. Winehouse’s famous songs such as “Rehab” and “Love Is a Losing Game” evidences that she wrote her songs from real life experiences.          


Response Blog: Is Twitter for Everybody?

In Schaefer’s article, he discusses the common belief among businesses that Twitter is simply not worth the hassle. Although espousing Twitter and all it’s many assets, Schaefer says, “I’ve come to realize the answer is no — it’s not for everyone.”

But then the question is begged, who is Twitter for and who should stay away from Twitter?  Schaefer never answers the latter question. However, he does say, “If your customers are not engaging in this platform you’re going to waste a big wad of time on Twitter and get frustrated.” He also mentions certain professions like doctors and lawyers, where confidentiality and protection of information is pivotal in their fields.

I do agree with Schaefer’s assertion that some professionals should stay away for legal reasons. I mean, I wouldn’t want my doctor Tweeting “just treated Marc for some major AIDs #ihatemyjob.” However, I do find it hard to believe that any business would do any harm by being on Twitter. In fact, I would even venture to say that just about every business would gain in some way by using the social media platform. Sure, some businesses would experience minuscule gains that they may not even be able to see, but other companies may prosper like they never thought possible.

Not only is the amount of people on Twitter growing daily, but also, so is the demographic. Every day, more and more people from different backgrounds join the Twitter community. This is key from a marketing standpoint. Rather than needing to waste effort by using countless mediums in order to reach each and every demographic you are attempting to target, Twitter is nearly one-stop shopping—but not completely (as I’ll explain later).

However important Twitter may be, there is one problem with Twitter that Schaefer overlooks. We live in a world where so many people (generally ages 30-40 and up) are unfamiliar with how to use computers. This creates a two-way problem. First, it limits who the communicator of a message may be. In other words, it limits many companies who are run by people who do not know much about computers, much less a web-site like Twitter. Granted, Twitter is a fairly user-friendly website. However, I would nearly guarantee that just about everyone that is using Twitter already had a background in computers before they started.

The other problem with Twitter is the users it targets. Not every company targets to a demographic that is on Twitter. Take AARP for instance. Would it be smart of AARP to use Twitter as their main marketing tool? Probably not. Although Twitter can still be used by AARP for reasons other than marketing and communicating with their costumers, it would not be wise of them to put too much focus on Twitter.

In the end Twitter can be an excellent tool. Nearly every company can use Twitter and experience some type of a gain. However, companies also need to be weary to not focus simply on Twitter or any other social media website for that matter, but to also use traditional marketing techniques in order to hit every demographic possible.

eBay Pulls Paterno Memorial Tickets

In just seven minutes, 10,00 free tickets for Joe Paterno’s memorial service, which were made available to the public, were quickly snatched.

The service was held on Thursday at the Penn State basketball arena, the Bryce Jordan Center. It will also be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network and streamed live on and

Paterno, the winningest coach in college football history, died of cancer on January 22, at the age of 85. He had been fired just two months prior due to allegations that Paterno knew about multiple cases of child sex abuse by his assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky.

Paterno was named head coach at Penn State prior to the start of the 1966 season.

Despite the solemn end to Joe Paterno’s reign at Penn State, he was still supported by much of the Penn State student body. The hype behind the memorial service, the long lines at the public visitation, and the controversy over memorial service tickets served as stark evidence that Paterno is still an icon at Penn State.

The memorial serivce tickets, meant to go to mourning fans of Paterno, ended up in the hands of some hoping to make a profit from the memorial service. Minutes after the tickets given out to the public, dozens of ads appeared on eBay, offering the sale of tickets to other eBay users.

Paterno was fired Nov. 9, 2011 in the wake of the child-sex scandal that rocked the Penn State Community.

Amanda Coffee, an eBay spokeswoman, said the site has controls to remove inappropriate advertisements and listings. “eBay doesn’t allow the sale of tickets to events in which all tickets are free to the public,” according to Coffee. All ads seeking money in exchange for the tickets were taken down.