“You can find anything on the internet, can’t you?”

I like being the go-to person if a friend is having trouble with their Google skillz:

Jackie: omg
i was just about to email you this
http://www.artsusa.org/public_awareness/news_room/psa_coverage/2002/004.asp
im looking EVERYWHERE for the video
me: ?
Jackie: do you rememebr
at sps
we saw that commercial on tv
where that kid looks at the guy playing a violin on the street and just goes GET A JOB and the other one is watching a guy make a balloon giraffe
and goes, “i dont see it.”
me: i do not remember…
but I think I found it?

PSA – Ad Council & Americans for the Arts – Art. Ask for More.

Jackie: YES
me: mhm
you’re welcome
Jackie: you can find anything on the internet cant you..

🙂

How Dunkin’ Donuts Got Me A Job [Offer]

If you’ve ever Googled “what do I blog about” there are pretty consistent advice articles stating to “write about what you know” and “write about what you love.” It is in this vein that I’m not at all embarrassed that my 8th blog post is the 3rd (consecutive) post about Dunkin’ Donuts.

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Since last writing I’ve made the cross-country move. Twice. After a brief stint in Boston, I decided Los Angeles really is the city I want to be in for an extended amount of time, so Kasey and I packed up the car and, once again, subsisted off of iced coffee and Twizzlers for another whirlwind trip.

After 10 days of driving we arrived in L.A., and after 2 days of blissfully staring at palm trees, I dove head first into the job search. It was exhausting, exhilarating, and a few other things, and after 18 days of making finding my job a full time job, I had sent out 120+ resumes, landed 16 interviews, and had 4 offers to choose from. (Not too shabby.) This is the story of how one of those offers came to be, and how I whole-heartedly credit Dunkin’ Donuts for its inception:

2 weeks into the search I got a call from the creative director (from this point on known as ‘Interviewer’) at a creative digital agency who specialized in online interactivity for a wide variety of brands. They were looking for a receptionist, I had submitted my resume, and they liked how it looked. I went in for an interview later that day.

I waited for Interviewer in their concrete lobby and was then escorted to their intimidating glass-enclosed conference room. To be completely frank, 40 minutes into the interview, I felt like I was drowning. Questions like, “why do you hate me??” and, “how do I get out of here??” kept cycling through my brain. Walking into the interview, I had known that the majority of their employees would undoubtedly be the awkward tech nerds I had buddied up with in college. No problem, I had thought, I know how to relate, but also how to converse like a normal human, this will be great! I’m their perfect happy medium! Apparently the guys working here were so beyond the “nerd” spectrum, though. I had absolutely no pulse on Interviewer’s thought process and for the life of me couldn’t read his reactions. I tried desperately to stay my chipper self and ask intriguing questions. I was pulling every interview trick I had ever read or heard about out of my back pocket and am pretty sure he hadn’t smiled (or changed facial expressions at all) the entire time. I wanted to leave.

At one point, Interviewer asked if I had looked up any of their digital presence. As my resume showed that I am an obvious social media nerd coupled with the fact that the open position was at a digital agency, I was a little baffled that he would even think of that as a question. I saw it as a foregone conclusion; Of course I had looked them up. And I had critiques. To me, the interview couldn’t get much worse, so I was bluntly honest about where I thought they could improve (talking within their community/industry more, using a more genuine and colloquial tone, citing specific client case studies rather than broad aspirational topics). Again, Interviewer did not seem all that impressed.

As the interview was (finally) coming to an end, my interviewer sat back and said, “Well, I guess I just have one more question for you.” Breathing a sigh of relief I eagerly answered, “Yes, of course!”

“Tell me about Dunkin’ Donuts.”

I think my exact reaction was, “Um…they make the best coffee in the history of the world…?” I laughed at myself and stumbled over some more words: “They have a really great digital presence…and, um…their brand is definitely strong. On the east coast.” Followed by, “I’m sorry, I don’t know that I’m understanding your question. Do you want me to talk about how they’re succeeding in the digital space…or…?”

Interviewer SMILED and said, “No, honestly I’m just wondering what your relationship is with them, because, similarly to you looking us up online, I looked at your accounts, too. And I have to know… Does Dunkin’ Donuts pay you??”

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed that freely in an interview before. I was astounded. And then, after explaining that yes, I was the one who had blogged about them, taken photos of every store I’d been in across 38 states, and mentioned them on Twitter over 500 times, I told him, “No, they don’t pay me. But I guess they should!”

Things returned to normal after that and Interviewer’s stone cold face said goodbye to me at their front door. And a little less than a week later I got a call from the agency offering me the job. I turned it down and have been at a different organization for a month now (LOVING IT) but that has got to be one of the best interview stories I’ll ever have.

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So, thanks, Dunks, for getting me SO addicted to your product that even strangers notice my inability to shut up about it!!

Keepin’ It Up: The Third Roadtrip

Ok. At this point, Kasey and I might have to professionally take on the title of “Roadtripper.” 10 days with nothing but road, and this time we went international!

Round Two

Well. We did it again. Across the country in less than a week this time, and a whole lot less to show for it.

My Letter to Dunkin’ Donuts Inviting Them into The Roadtrip: The Sequel

To Whom It May Concern:

In August of 2010, I drove across the country with my best friend, Kasey Fielding. We started in Boston, and trekked our way to Los Angeles stopping at a Dunkin’ Donuts at least once a day. In Las Vegas, when we knew it was our last DD stop before California, we loaded up a 64-ounce cooler full of iced coffee to supply us and some other east coast transplants with a taste of home. The trip was unforgettable and Dunkin played a large part in it.

It’s time for round two.

We’re planning a trip for December 18th to the 24th. We’ll drive from Los Angeles, CA to Phoenix, AZ to Roswell, NM to Dallas, TX to New Orleans, LA to Atlanta, GA to Washington DC to Boston, MA. And our plan is still to stop at Dunkin Donuts as much as possible.

I should also tell you that the two of us are very connected when it comes to social media. We’re both avid tweeters, we update our Facebook accounts religiously, I check in on Foursquare wherever I go, and we chronicled our last trip in a photo- and video-heavy blog: http://bit.ly/crosscountrywifeys.

I’d love to give Dunkin Donuts a chance to be an integral part in our trip from the corporate side of things. Up front and honestly, we’re both just out of college and tight on cash, so we were hoping to pitch a pay-for-play idea to you. Front our gas money and you effectively have the rights to Cross Country Wifeys–The Roadtrip: THE SEQUEL.

What you want to do with this is completely up to you. As a Dunkin enthusiast coupled with a social media nerd I know your company is heavily involved in your online culture, and I think this could be an opportunity to develop that even more.

Please forward on to the appropriate department/manager.

We’d LOVE to hear back from you!
A true fan,
Laura Kinson

30 Days Without Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee

Today marks my 1-month anniversary in Los Angeles (LA-versary, perhaps?). Since driving out here some days have been amazing, some have been overwhelming, and some are too silly to recount. Overall I’m still basking in the decision I made last November to trek out here.

However, there is one (blaringly obvious) void in my life: Dunks.

Born and raised on the East Coast, Dunkin’ Donuts was a vital presence throughout my childhood. They sponsored the hot chocolate hut at our local skating rink. The Dunks on the Epsom Traffic Circle in New Hampshire (locals shoutout) was always the first stop on the way to the beach, my step-dad fueling up with an extra sugary iced coffee and treating us to munchkins as a first-day-of-vacation celebratory kick-off. As soon as I got home on the day I (finally) got my license, the first place I drove on my own was to the Dunkin’ Donuts Drive-through.

Attending Emerson College in downtown Boston, MA provided an endless Dunks parade at my disposal. I lived on a street in Beacon Hill sandwiched between two DD shops and frequented the two locations on Emerson’s campus daily (and more, if it was winter, a stressful day, or I was heading to work…basically every day).

Then I moved to California. Driving across the country, my road companion, Kasey Fielding (a fellow Dunks enthusiast), and I made sure to stop at every accessible Dunkin’ Donuts (some highlights: the only Dunks in Missouri, a 24-hour Dunks in Santa Fe, NM that welcomed us at 4 am, and our last stop before LA: Las Vegas, NV where we procured, and then traveled with, over 150 fluid ounces of iced coffee for some Dunks-deprived friends). And it’s now been 30 days without my energy-inducing, smile-supplying friend.

And yet, the love is still there.

As a social media addict, I also can’t help but appreciate the presence Dunks has so carefully and skillfully crafted. Their Twitter feed is both informative and fun while interacting with real customers every day. On Facebook, Dunks sports a Fan of the Week as their profile picture, a Dunkin’ Perks section touting their loyalty card, limited and local news/promos, and an extensive fan-uploaded photo gallery. With their own YouTube channel, Dunkin’ Donuts seems like one of those companies that “just gets it” when it comes to social media (a big win, in my book). As FastCompany shows us, Dunkin may not be ahead in followers, but their social currency comes from advocates, who are 35% more likely to recommend their favorite coffee brand to a friend than Starbucks consumers are.

They’re engaging, consistent, and trustworthy. As a brand that’s visibly jumping to join the conversation, I’m never not impressed with their corporate input. On Monday, September 27, Dunkin’ Donuts released a survey that, paired with CareerBuilder, explored coffee’s affect on corporate America. Proving their “America runs on Dunkin'” slogan, the poll reported 32% of workers “needing coffee to get through the workday” and 43% thinking that they were “less productive if they don’t drink coffee on the job.”

[Side note: The report also listed the professions with the highest inclination towards coffee intake. Listed at #9 were Marketing/PR Professionals… good to know I’m in the right field!]

So, really, there’s only one question left in my mind: WHEN will Dunkin’ Donuts get its act together and establish some franchises in L.A.??

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In line with my LA-versary, look out for my guest blog entry on Westwordly–East to West: A Chronicle. Their blog has definitely helped me realize I’m not the only East-to-West transplant going through Dunks-withdrawal and other, similarly harsh, changes. And besides that, they’re a fun bunch who keep me laughing. This weekend will mark their first guest entry, so I’m hoping I set the bar sufficiently high for future guest posts!

Smithsonian Media — Museum Day, September 25, 2010

This Saturday, September 25, 2010, is Museum Day, an annual event hosted by Smithsonian Media aimed at promoting museum visits by offering free admission to museums all over the country. [Find what’s closest to you here!]

As an RA for Emerson College‘s Los Angeles program, I’ve found myself constantly on the lookout for things to do in the LA area, especially on the CHEAP! Museum Day is a perfect example of what scouring Twitter, Yelp, Craigslist, and Google can produce.

For all my residents, here’s a list of some close-by museums offering free admission on Saturday (Important Tip: be sure to print your ticket!)

California Science Center — interactive and fun venue with 3D and IMAX movies

FIDM Museum & Galleriespermanent collections of costumes, accessories, and textiles from the 18th century to present day; designer holdings by Chanel, YSL, Dior, and Lacroix

Hammer Museum — cultural center housed by UCLA connecting classics to the current cutting-edge

Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum — beach-front exhibits chronicling wave culture complete with “that atmosphere of aloha” (*tip: surf bands play at the museum for free most Sunday afternoons)

Los Angeles Art Association — a West Hollywood hot spot for emerging artists of all media

Museum of Neon Art (MONA) — vibrant displays of fine art neon, glass, electric, and kinetic works

Skirball Cultural Centervenue dedicated to exploring the intersections between 4,000 years of Jewish heritage and democratic ideals

The GRAMMY Museum at LA LIVE — an interactive music experience exploring nearly 200 musical genres that houses over 25 original music films and 400 industry artifacts

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)3 locations housing a permanent collection of nearly 6,000 postwar works that survey the art of our time

Now the only hard part is deciding where to visit!

Also…I love palm trees.
Also, I love palm trees.