Emojis: Use in Moderation

Emojis: Use in Moderation
Using emojis is fun, but they can quickly escalate into an addiction.

It starts out as an emoji here and there in texts. Then you add them to your Facebook posts. And then emails. One smiley face turns into the “laughing so hard I’m crying” face. Then it’s the dancing girls and the dog face and the snowflake. Fire. Airplane. Wine glass.

Have we gone overboard on emojis?

Did you know there’s an emoji documentary?

Or a map that shows what the most used emoji is in every state?

Here’s a website that tracks emoji use in real-time.

You can order a pizza with the pizza emoji.

I get it. Emojis add a quirky,  whimsical feeling to your written communication. But be careful when using emojis in your marketing and public relations efforts.

Is your target audience high schoolers? Then this anti-drug, emoji-only billboard works.

Emoji billboard

Issuing a press release about a new product? Not so much. A well-known car brand did just that. Wrote a press release…using only emojis.

Chevy Cruze emoji press release
Come on, now. That’s just a publicity stunt. Or their PR department has too much time on their hands.

I’m not totally poo poo-ing emoji use. How can you when 74% of adults use emojis every day? But just because a lot of people of all ages use emojis in casual conversation does not mean it’s appropriate for public relations and marketing purposes. Use them intermittently and in moderation, unless your audience is too young to vote.

3.5 Tools for Busy Communicators

A version of this first appeared on CUinsight.com.

I’m always on the lookout for useful tools. As a department of one, I’m short on time, but have plenty to do. Here are three (plus a half more) of my favorite tools:

Wordmark.it: For finding the ideal typeface.
Don’t let anyone tell you fonts aren’t important. A great typeface is what holds your marketing materials together. Wordmark.it allows you to see how a word looks in all the fonts that are installed on your computer. See them on a white background, black background, all lowercase or all caps. This is a great way to find a new font, or isolate a word that you want to stand out in your materials. Here’s one I did using “credit union.”

Wordmark.it

  1. Canva: For designing simple graphics.
    I am not trained as a graphic designer, so I don’t know all the tricks of the trade. I don’t use Canva all the time, because it does have limitations. I use it for quick social media graphics, flyers or simple invitations. Upload your own photo or choose from free backgrounds, photos and tons of graphical elements. Here’s a quick graphic I did with one of my photos.Canva
    3. Colorhex.com: For finding the “right” colors.
    Starting a design from scratch? Find hex colors, RGB, tints, complementary and monochromatic colors, plus more.

    3.5 Feed.ly: For managing information overload.
    It’s not really a tool…but a way to wrestle your your crowded inbox. Feed.ly is a news aggregate that allows you to quickly glance at all the news important to you. Use the RSS feed to customize what you want to see, without jamming your inbox with a ton of emails.And these tools are all free…what are some your favorite tools or websites?

Moms Who Work: No More Guilt

IMG_4785 I always feel guilty for working outside the home, but the summer guilt is especially harsh. I feel like my two boys (above) don’t get to have a “real” summer…sleeping in, pool days, doing whatever you want, whenever you want…

I’ve written about it before, but this year seems even worse. My 12-year-old has “aged out” of many camps, but isn’t old enough for others. For the last three weeks, he has basically been on his own. He does have some activities like Lego Robotics Camp, a stop motion video camp and a couple of soccer camps, but that’s it. My 11-year-old is still able to attend the all day camp at our school district’s rec center, but this is the last year for him.

They say they are fine, and like hanging out by themselves.  Of course, who doesn’t when you get to play Minecraft and eat Cheez-its all day?

Then I read this Forbe’s article: Kids Benefit From Having a Working Mom. The article says girls who grew up with a working mother are more apt to hold a supervisory position and earn higher wages. But I was more interested in what it said about boys of working moms:

“As for men whose moms ever worked outside the home, they were more likely to contribute to household chores and spent more time caring for family members.”

My husband is the best. He does A LOT of household chores, and did a lot of caring for the boys when they were younger. Although I was a stay-at-home mom,, we would switch off who got up at night with the baby, even though he had to go to work in the morning, and I didn’t. And believe me, he still does his fair share of chores like laundry, vacuum, and cleaning bathrooms. He also chips in with the “childcare” situation, picking the boys up from camps and driving them around.

Guess what? He grew up with a working mom.