Do Creative Hashtags Earn More Engagement?

Imagine having the task of choosing your organization’s main hashtag to be used on all promotional materials. Sounds pretty easy, right?

An article by Sports Blog Nation ranked all of the NFL team’s new Twitter hashtags that are all-purpose, representations of each team. Twitter has deemed these the official team hashtags by adding an emoji of the appropriate team’s logo whenever their tag is used. Although the article ranks each in creativity, by using Social Mention, a media monitoring platform, we’ll really see if innovation in hashtag creation effects engagement and reach.

#RiseUp – Ranked one of the highest in SBNation’s article, the Atlanta Falcons hashtag has been the team’s slogan since 2010. It receives an immensely positive sentiment of 11:0, however only has a reach of 10 percent and strength of 7 percent. The team’s official Twitter account doesn’t consistently use the hashtag and focuses more on short term campaign hashtags. Since this is the team’s long-lasting slogan, it isn’t the most popular among social media, but is regularly used by loyal fans.

#FlyEaglesFly – Although there are outside influences that can cause these hashtags to fluctuate in popularity, the Philadelphia Eagles hashtag currently has a strength of 100 percent, meaning the team is definitely being talked about across social media. It’s sentiment is 16:1, greatly more positive than negative, and has a reach of 65 percent. It has a passion of 35 percent, meaning more people are likely to talk about it more than once. This hashtag is both creative yet identifiable as to which team is belongs to, which can make all the difference. Fans and non fans alike are likely to use the tag, giving it a much higher ranking when it comes to exposure.

#Chargers – These basic hashtags are categorized under mundane yet identifiable – boring, but straight to the point. Almost every NFL team has a hashtag like this, however, it stands as some teams’ official tag on Twitter. It’s easy-to-use when spreading news about teams instead of using their witty, fun and sometimes long slogan hashtags. The Los Angeles Chargers hashtag receives 100 percent strength, a 2:1 sentiment, 40 percent reach and 79 percent passion. This basically means that most uses of the tag are neutral and are somewhat equal when swaying positive or negative. The team’s recent relocation is definitely getting it some attention with its strong passion and strength, however even similar hashtags receive the same awareness. #Chiefs (Kansas City Chiefs) also has 100 percent strength and 124 percent reach, also likely due to the tags simple nature.

So, to answer the age-old question: Does Twitter hashtag-naming creativity effect engagement? Through this investigation, it doesn’t seem like it – the simpler, the better. Something that’s recognizable and short receives far more engagement than the slogan-like tags that seem to only be used by fans of those teams. Even if the hashtags sentiment sways closer to neutral, simpler tags greatly receive more exposure.

Alumni Spotlight: Sara Pimentel


Photo’s by Sara Pimentel.

With May approaching, many of our graduating staffers have begun job hunting and looking to alumni and recent graduates for guidance and direction on what is wanted in a public relations agency. We hear in classes or from internships the importance in making connections. Creating connections is valuable in any field of work but especially in public relations.

Networking is Key

Networking is a valuable skill because it opens opportunities with future clients, PR pros, news outlets and journalists. In TGC we create personal relations with our clients, but it can be easy to forget that the most important relationships we make are with our fellow interns. A great way to network is through the connections that we make with alumni in our agency. Our alumni provided our agency with guidance and growth and it is valuable to stay connected with their lives.

Sara Pimentel, alumna of TGC, graduated from California State University, Chico in Spring 2016. She served TGC for two semesters as an Account Executive and Editorial Director for eight different clients. Since graduation she moved to San Francisco and worked for two different PR companies. She interned for SHIFT Communications and was recently employed as an Assistant Account Executive at Finn Partners. She faced some difficulty transitioning from the small town of Chico to the Bay Area because she had to start from scratch, but was is also exciting for that same reason. She got to recreate herself and build new relations with those surrounding her.

Enjoy what you do

Sara emphasized that when choosing a job, it is important to keep in mind that you need to enjoy going to work every day. On her job search the core culture values she looked for was a company that was understanding, fun, supportive, spontaneous and open. These core values are what led to the beginning of her career at SHIFT Communications.

Sara was thankful for her experience interning with TGC and working on multiple accounts because it prepared her for an unusual experience interning with SHIFT. She worked on 7 to 9 different client accounts simultaneously.

“My team knew it was a lot,” Pimentel said. “But they trusted me, and I was able to do it.”

A company’s culture is everything


Moving away can be tough you are given a clean slate, starting a new job can be challenging. Sara said the most important lesson she learned from working at SHIFT is the value of being honest.

“If you have too much on your plate, tell someone,” she said. Pimentel chose SHIFT because of their supportive culture. Finding a supportive agency was valuable to her, she emphasizes how important it is to not be afraid to tell someone you are feeling overwhelmed, you are a team and they are there to help.

Change is good

She has just begun working for Finn Partners, and so far she loves it because it allows her to be more creative. Finn works with consumer technology clients, so she is familiar with the space and the products, but it’s still a new world.

San Francisco has become her home and she does not see herself moving away for a long time. She hopes to become even more confident in her abilities and eventually have people looking to her for advice.

Work with what you have

Her advice to graduating students is: “Know what you want, but be flexible. You have to go with the flow. Some things will happen just like you dreamed they would, but a lot won’t, and you have to make that work.”

Written by, Hope Lumbley.

Social Media Audit: NBA Players

Following professional athletes on social media can be quite the experience. It provides the opportunity for fans to get a closer look at their favorite players’ personalities, day-to-day lives and even political views. There are many players in the NBA that use Twitter to connect with fans and Joel Embiid, Damian Lillard and Chandler Parsons are ones who stand out on the site.

The NBA recently released a memo cautioning official team accounts from “mocking and/or ridiculing” other players and teams in order to prevent social media feuds. This statement was released after Parsons and C.J. McCollum got into an argument on Twitter.

Will this stifle players from being active on the site or will they continue to entertain fans both on and off the court? We’ll have to wait and see, but I, for one, hope the Twitter antics never stop.

Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid): Philadelphia 76ers

Followers: +612K

Ask any NBA fan who they enjoy following the most on Twitter and Embiid is sure to be their top choice. The 76ers center uses his account to push the team motto to #TrustTheProcess and shows that he’s like any other sports fan when he sends out tweets during NFL and other NBA games. Give his account a look and I’m sure you’ll become a fan of “The Process” yourself.


Joel Embiid on Twitter

Wow I’m sorry but this is rigged…. Atlanta didn’t burn the clock down, didn’t run the ball at all. #Rigged


Joel Embiid on Twitter

We’ve had a fun ride ha.. This is the last day to vote so RETWEET this for the culture Joel Embiid #NBAVote


Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard): Portland Trail Blazers

Followers: +1.21M

Lillard has the largest following of the three with over one million people tuned into his tweets daily. This is because he’s hilarious and isn’t afraid to respond to the trolls who constantly message him. His ability to joke around makes him more personable and scrolling through his tweets is sure to provide some laughs.


Damian Lillard on Twitter

Did you know I’m talking about a documentary on him?


Damian Lillard on Twitter

What do you stick to?


Chandler Parsons (@ChandlerParsons): Memphis Grizzlies

Followers: +297K


This list wouldn’t be complete without Parsons–the catalyst to the NBA’s cautionary statement. It all started when the Trail Blazers joked and tweeted out a gif of Parsons missing a 3-pointer during a game. Parsons didn’t let that one go and replied telling them “Good luck in the lottery show this year,” implying that the team’s losing record would have them trying for a high draft pick rather than a playoff spot. Both parties seemed intent on keeping the light banter but the NBA’s response shows that they’re worried about these conversations getting out of hand.


Parsons uses his account to answer fan questions and laugh at jokes about himself and I’m sure he’ll continue to do so.


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Written by Gabriella Miller

Visit Sacramento: An Instagram that makes me want to do just that

It’s not every day that an Instagram account makes you want to become a tourist in a city you’ve lived an hour away from for the majority of your life. Yet,
Visit Sacramento’s page has convinced me to do just that.  

This account is for the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau, whose main focus is to attract tourism. Their Instagram account is curated by Faithmari who also welcomes guest Instagrammers to share their favorite spots in Sacramento.   

As a California girl born and raised, I can say that Visit Sacramento has done a superb job at showcasing not only Sacramento as a lively city, but showcasing parts of northern California that don’t receive the attention they deserve. Some of these places include the Yuba River, Grass Valley, Foresthill and Yankee Jims.  

With Sacramento as the main focus, the wide range of photos and subjects gives off a feeling that this city has much more to offer than just a place to watch the Kings play. Restaurants and the art scene are among the featured themes on the account. .

Visit Sacramento’s Instagram page has 73 thousand followers and almost 4 thousand posts. Each photograph attracts and receives ample attention through comments and likes.

Personally, I hope to move to Sacramento after graduation in May, and Visit Sacramento has helped sell me on this city. If you haven’t checked out this page, do it! It’s a social media win in my opinion, and will give you an excuse to visit the state’s capital and a city that is only growing in popularity.  

Written by: Taylor Sinclair

Chipotle, Where Are You Now?

Chipotle Sales Chart

It has been about a year since Chipotle Mexican Grill’s first E. Coli outbreak surfaced and it is safe to say it has been a PR nightmare for the locally sourced food restaurant. On Oct. 31, 2015, 22 total E. Coli illness cases from Washington and Oregon were being investigated for their connection to Chipotle.

The scandal quickly grew as more cases surfaced across the U.S. in 11 different states. By January 2016, the specific illness was pinpointed to a strain of STEC, shiga toxin producing E. coli and had infected 55 people.

Sorry Chipotle, but the crisis was definitely not averted.

To this day, Chipotle’s sales are still far below what they were before the outbreak. On Oct. 25, information released that third-quarter revenue dropped nearly 15 percent. But not all hope is lost, their sales do appear to be slightly rising with each passing month.

Food Safety

Sales are rising because Chipotle’s public relations team has created multiple efforts to show that their number one priorities are customer safety and serving “food with integrity.”

On the company website, there is a new page called “food safety” that goes in depth about what Chipotle has done since the E. Coli outbreak to ensure customers of their safety.

Here is what is shown on the page:

Screenshot of Chipotle's food safety web page


Chipotle has also created multiple promotions and offers to pull in more customers. For example, a matching game was recently released for users to play and win a buy-one-get-one free deal.

Chipotle's Real Foods Matching game

Over summer Chipotle also created their “Chiptopia” rewards program. The promotion rewarded customers who purchased food from July to September at least 4 times each month. The rewards included free food, merchandize and free catering depending on the status achieved.

On top of free promotions, Chipotle has continued to build their brand by releasing materials that connect back to their happy healthy food initiative. On the website there are countless videos showing how they make their food and they recently released a cartoon called “Ingredients Reign.”

The Verdict

All in all, I couldn’t be happier! As a loyal customer, all these changes and promotions have just reinforced the love I’ve always felt for Chipotle, and I’ve gotten multiple freebies! Who doesn’t love free food?!

Every step Chipotle has taken is helping them head back to the road of success. They are a great role model and learning opportunity for crisis management. It is clear now that they are probably one of the safest places to eat.


Written by Kasey Perez, Account Executive

Social Media Audit: Chicago Cubs

It’s possible to have no interest in the sport of baseball and still know a little bit about the Chicago Cubs. The professional team swinging out of the Windy City continuously made headlines this season for their play on the field, but their presence on social media channels keeps their brand going strong long after the final pitch.

For a team that hasn’t won a World Series title since 1908, their fan base is incredibly visible and a big reason for that is their social media presence.

From Twitter and Instagram, to Snapchat and Facebook their impact reaches millions through their carefully crafted content. Their graphically designed game recaps, GIF reactions and perfectly timed in-game responses, allow the Cubs to stay relevant and humorous in the fast-paced world of sports social media.

Breaking It Down

Twitter: @Cubs


What they do: On game days, the Cubs’ Twitter account is the best place to hit for their widest range of coverage. The two guys (Kevin and Travis) in charge of posting stay true to the Cubs long-standing brand while keeping up-to-date with the ever changing media.

In Sarah Spain’s “That’s What She Said” podcast, they talk about their strategy and goals to stay consistent and true to their voice.

The account interacts with fans, responding to tweets with witty comebacks and GIF replies relevant to the moment.

Chicago Cubs on Twitter

@TSabonis The first rule of Fight Club…

Chicago Cubs on Twitter

@javy23baez all about that hustle. 3-0 #Cubs! #LetsGo

Chicago Cubs on Twitter

@ManuclearBomb We love it when people offer us their opinions about things we don’t control.

Why it works: Twitter can be a hard place to navigate. With fans directing every emotion felt during the games at people whose job it is to respond on behalf of the team, humor is a great way to combat the more ridiculous responses sent their way.

Instagram: @Cubs

853K (and counting)

What they do: With visual content being crucial to brand building, the Cubs Instagram account is the perfect outlet to drive them home. Having an aesthetic look and theme is the goal for many companies, and the Cubs manage it by posting only the best moments. Oct. 15 brought game one of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers and their social media team was ready.


View this post on Instagram

Javy steals home!

A post shared by cubs (@cubs) on

View this post on Instagram

Javy "The Jet"

A post shared by cubs (@cubs) on

View this post on Instagram

@miguelmontero26 ships. #FlyTheW

A post shared by cubs (@cubs) on

View this post on Instagram

1-0. #NLCS #FlyTheW

A post shared by cubs (@cubs) on


Why it works: By highlighting Javier Baez’s steal at home and Miguel Montero’s grand slam that ensured the Cubs would #FlyTheW, they showcased everything fans want to see. Even if you didn’t watch the game, scrolling through their content would give you the best highlights of what you missed.

Snapchat: Cubs

What they do: Snapchat’s 10 second limit allows for quick updates during games, but also provides a behind-the-scenes look when there’s no baseball being played. Follow them for virtual tours of Wrigley Field and to experience a game-day atmosphere right in the palm of your hand.

Why it works: Many fans will never get the chance to see the team play in person. While Snapchat doesn’t offer two-way communication between the user and viewer in the same way Twitter does, if offers a more personal feel. Through each Snap, the excitement of the games can be felt even thousands of miles away.

The Cubs social media will have to continue producing great content through the end of October as the team made their way to the World Series for the first time since 1945. The first two postseason series provided plenty of drama, suspense and elation to practice with, and if it ends up being the Cubs’ year, everyone will be ready.

Written by Gabriella Miller, Account Executive

A Public Relations Success:

Dutch Bros. Instagram

As a freshman in college I randomly applied to Dutch Bros. Coffee in the hopes of finding an “easy” job, I loved coffee and people and thought it would be a perfect fit. But little did I know that getting hired would change my previous plans for the future.

Espresso Machine and Tins


Coffee is what we do, but is not who we are

Everyone sees Dutch as a group of happy, unique, hipster kids who have been brought together by the love of coffee. But being a PR student, I see their company for much more. I never knew where I wanted to pursue my career until I got to witness how DB headquarters operates.

Dutch Bros. Instagram
Each Dutch location controls their own PR and marketing, with the guidance of HQ. The most difficult part about this is maintaining a consistent voice across all 256 locations’ accounts.

Then where is the content created for social?

There is a private Facebook group for all the PR teams to share content they curate themselves with one another that is available for use by any shop. However, many stands choose to create their own content while working.

What makes this company stand out from the rest?

Dutch is different because of how much freedom the owners give their employees to express themselves, while still holding true to the company’s tone and mission statement (or in Dutch’s case, our Dutch Creed).

Dutch Bros Facebook
Dutch Bros. has a Love Abounds program built around giving back to the community through various projects as far as El Salvador. The company’s PR comes so easily to them because they’re built around serving and improving the lives of others, and in return, it improves their image.So how has Dutch been able to give so much freedom while staying consistent? Every employee is in a probation period once they are out of training, where each employee is given a mentor that they work with on shift that does not only work on recipes but how to uphold Dutch’s Creed: Speed. Quality. Service.

Turning “kids” into PR pros

Few companies would entrust their college-aged employees to run the job of a PR agency, but somehow Dutch has successfully done so. This says a lot about how times are changing and how millennials are altering the conservative ways businesses’ once operated.

All photo credit to and DB Facebook social forum

Written by Hope Lumbley, Account Executive

Traditional vs. “No Ad” Sports Campaigns

LA Kings Jersey

Anniversary campaigns are a significant part of an organization’s growth and success, especially in professional sports. Anniversaries are a milestone that symbolize a time of achievement, seniority in a league, and, let’s face it, a really good time to celebrate.

Usually, sports organizations go the traditional route – a new color or design added to jerseys, an updated anniversary logo, extra fan events and the years-in-existence plastered all over the home stadium. But is this strategy reaching social security status, aka, is it getting kind of old?

Two National Hockey League (NHL) teams provide great examples. The Los Angeles Kings are beginning their 50th anniversary campaign. Updated, redesigned and highly-priced jerseys have been released, a new logo has been unveiled, an opening night ceremony has been planned, and the hashtag #LAKings50 is in full use on their social media accounts.

LA Kings Jersey

However, the Arizona Coyotes have a different strategy as they approach their 20th anniversary: it’s what the Phoenix Business Journal likes to call a “no ad campaign.” The Coyotes released this letter on their Twitter and Facebook pages, apologizing for their past campaigns and announcing they’d be eliminating the use of “cheesy” slogans. Instead, “Coyotes 2.0” wants their advertisements and overall marketing strategy to be player-focused. They are pushing towards a “show, not tell” approach by explaining that they don’t want to just say it’s “Hockey the Hard Way,” they’re going to show you.

“Maybe it’s because of the 20 years or the work we’ve done over the last three years, but we feel like it’s time to let the team do the talking,” said Arizona Coyotes’ CEO and team president Anthony LeBlanc.


Both the Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes are motivated by their team’s performance to produce their anniversary campaigns. For example, the Los Angeles Kings have won two Stanley Cups in the last six years and were in the playoffs last season. Their traditional, sales-focused campaign seems appropriate considering their current status in the league.

The Arizona Coyotes haven’t made the playoffs since 2010. For the Coyotes, there’s not much to lose, therefore anything to change up their current marketing and promotional strategies can potentially be beneficial.

The Coyotes “no campaign” campaign strategy doesn’t sound like such a bad idea after some explaining — but the real question is if it will work. And from their model, time will only tell as the season progresses towards playoffs next year.

Written by Ashley Ingber, Assistant Account Executive

Designing When You’re Uninspired

Designing When You're Uninspired Chart

Creating when you’re uninspired happens to the best of us. At times, it’s not easy to get out of that mundane funk and you either let it get the best of you, or you try your hardest to combat it. Here are four simple ways to get the creative juices flowing again.

Designing When You're Uninspired Chart

Written by Kaila Garcia, Graphic Designer