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Why young professionals getting work-related tattoos isn’t idiotic

(EDITORIAL) Some young professionals are now getting work-related tattoos done even if that job isn’t permanent – why?

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A brief history

In 1954, famed Chicago advertiser Leo Burnett had a client with a problem. Marlboro cigarettes were a staple of the market for decades, but they were losing ground with men. Their previous advertising campaigns focused on the notion that Marlboro cigarettes were safer because they were filtered. In the mindset of the times, a safer cigarette was considered to be a woman’s cigarette. Market research indicated men would consider a filtered cigarette, but were ashamed to be seen smoking what they considered to be a “woman’s cigarette.”

bar
Burnett’s group decided to give the brand a masculine image. They avoided all claims about health, instead focusing the public’s attention on what they perceived to be the bastions of masculinity. A variety of masculine images were paraded in front of the public: construction workers, businessmen, sailors, and soldiers, among others. All were featured with a very visible tattoo on the backs of their hands, thus sublimating the image of the tattoo with masculinity.

Rough ‘n’ tumble

The tattoo was the center of subsequent campaigns until marketers noticed an overwhelming positive response to the images containing a cowboy. The tattoo was dropped from sight, the cowboy moved front and center, and the “Marlboro Man” was born.

If it hadn’t been for the cowboy, though, we’d continue the association of the tattoo with its perception in the 1950’s: masculine, rough and tumble, and not for the faint of heart.

And now: the work tat

Times have indeed changed, though. Flash forward 60 years and the tattoo is not considered the image of the outlaw, but a mainstream accessory for both men and women alike. Having a visible tattoo in many professions is no longer considered taboo or an automatic bar to employment in many professional fields.

In fact, some young professionals are now getting work-related tattoos.

As Anna Davies notes, the pieces are significant to the individual. The tattoos are a marker of a surprising success, or of where they spent the formative years of their professional career.

“I know I want to get a tattoo, and I’m absolutely thinking of getting a logo of my company,” says Leanne Weekes, a Miami-based publicist, speaking to Davies.

“It would be a private reminder of all of the times I could have or should have given up. To remember always the community of people who took a chance on a humble graduate with big dreams.”

This isn’t just a solo decision. Many work groups are getting inked together to celebrate or commemorate as a team.

Help or hinder

So, a good idea or not? As with any permanent modification to one’s body, it’s something that you should do for you. What you do with your body is your choice, and your choice alone. Reflect on which images and placements are meaningful to you. Once you’ve made certain that you’re totally comfortable with the idea, make sure that your employer and/or your profession are as well, especially if the location of the tattoo is visible when you’re in professional dress.

While many employers and professions have relaxed prohibitive rules against visible tattoos, many are stricter.

Even if the rules might be off the books, there may be lingering unspoken ones that could quietly derail your career.

You don’t want a celebration of your work today to prevent you from continued advancement in days ahead.

If you’re gonna do it…

Don’t be afraid to take your design to several tattoo shops to make certain the artist is comfortable with your ideas and can execute them to your satisfaction in an attractive and sanitary fashion.

You don’t want to turn what’s meant to be an eternal reminder of a crowning professional achievement into an Internet meme due to poor artisanship, or worse, live with an infected mess.

Be proud of yourself and your achievements, and wear your tattoo with pride. In darker moments that may be ahead, it’s always good to have a reminder of the amazing work that you’ve done in the past with or without colleagues, and know that you’re going to do the same again in the future. You’ve worked hard, had fun, and want to remember the wins and the people who earned them with you forever. Inking up is a fantastic way to keep those memories close at hand.

#WorkTats

Roger is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds two Master's degrees, one in Education Leadership and another in Leadership Studies. In his spare time away from researching leadership retention and communication styles, he loves to watch baseball, especially the Red Sox!

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Publishers anticipate price hikes after Facebook’s purge

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Changes to the Facebook News Feed algorithm may lead to price hikes for publishers trying to remain relevant.

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Facebook is changing the way News Feed filters content, putting more focus on posts from friends and family. This will effectively reduce the amount of paid content users see from publishers and brands.

Some agencies think this may increase how much advertisers will need to spend on paid ads to keep the same number of views. Just since last quarter, ad rates increased by thirty five percent.

Facebook’s VP of product management, John Hegeman said advertising will be “unaffected,” but agencies aren’t so sure.

Doug Baker, director of strategic services at AnalogFolk, stated this is the “final nail in the existing coffin” for organic reach.

For years, organic reach has been declining since more content is being shared. Smartphones and tablets lowered the threshold for ease of posting, and users can now share content without being tied to a desktop.

News Feeds are super saturated with content, and it has become increasingly difficult for content creators to organically reach users in the midst of posts from family and friends.

Mass-reach media buys end up seeming like borderline spam, and clog up an already extremely populated stream of content in your feed.

In December, Facebook announced plans to deprioritize “engagement bait” posts that urge users to share, like, or vote to artificially gain greater reach.

Using a machine learning model to detect different forms of engagement, Facebook rolled out Page-level demotion to curb frequency of advertisers using engagement bait.

Facebook noted it will still favor content from reputable publishers while reducing clickbait, spam, and misleading stories.

While engagement is only a small part of ad ranking, advertisers may see serious price hikes to keep the same level of performance.

It looks like Facebook is trying to go back to its roots as a social site, like how Snapchat recently announced a plan to keep news and social more separated on their platform.

To reach users with these new changes, advertisers must optimize and more carefully plan media strategies to make content relevant to target markets.

However, brands may find loopholes in the algorithm, continuing practices that drive artificial engagement. CEO of digital agency TMW Unlimited pointed out that brands may “be tempted to be increasingly controversial or polarizing in order to stimulate conversation.”

Even as Facebook insists it’s not a media company and its advertisers are actually “partners,” it’s likely brands will see significant price increases to remain in the News Feed instead of relegated to side ads.

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Facebook’s news feed changes will impact how you reach consumers

(TECH NEWS) Facebook is changing how you see the news feed, but it will also impact how your business reaches consumers.

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Once again, Facebook is making some significant changes to the News Feed (you probably know this because people are freaking out). This time, the changes revolve around improving user experience by cutting down on sponsored content — but what does that mean for advertisers and Facebook businesses?

As it turns out, not a ton – just a higher content standard and the accompanying challenge of creating positive, enjoyable content. Maybe.

Anyone who’s spent any time on Facebook in the past few years knows that it’s as much an advertising business as it is a social network. It’s impossible to make it more than a few posts into your News Feed without seeing a “Suggested Post”-type ad, and unless you use an ad-blocker, your sidebar is full of even more blatant attempts to sell or promote products only loosely related to your likes and interests.

It appears that no one is less happy about this than the man himself. Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to dial back advertising posts in favor of user-created content, conversation-inspiring posts, and other non-public items of interest. The goal is to connect you more consistently with the content that you love rather than the content that you tolerate; as you can probably guess, advertisers aren’t thrilled about this notion — some are even considering it an ad-pocalypse.

That’s a little dramatic.

The road to creating engaging, profitable ads for this new Facebook is relatively simple, if not easy. Facebook will be prioritizing posts that objectively bring happiness and positive experiences to users, meaning that your ads will need to be intrinsically fulfilling for your target demographic. While relying on “traditional” marketing strategies like clickbait titles and high initial engagement numbers won’t get you there, retaining people with your content will.

In fact, this move is fundamentally similar to YouTube’s policy wherein creators are paid more for longer audience view times than if their audiences flake out after a few seconds. One might argue that such a policy was put into place to safeguard against meaningless content with catchy titles, and that’s exactly what Facebook appears to be doing here.

With this return to their roots, Facebook is making steps toward bringing positivity back into social media — something we all could benefit from right about now.

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Walmart may have just solved the biggest snag in online grocery shopping

(TECH NEWS) Walmart submits a patent for technology that could fix the crack in online grocery shopping.

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When online shopping became increasingly popular, it made total sense as it is a huge time saver. However, not being a frequent user of the services, I have questioned how people go about selecting exactly what they want as what will be sent to them, isn’t what’s pictured online.

Apparently, this is a major challenge for services that offer online grocery shopping, as people tend to be particular about their cuts of meats and selection of produce (we’ve all had those moments where we’ve examined each apple in the bunch, admit it).

Walmart, a leading competitor in grocery sales, is looking to eradicate this challenge with a newly submitted patent for their developments. The new system they’re proposing will give online shoppers a look at their actual potential purchase via 3D technology.

The system, dubbed the “Fresh Online Experience” (FOE), will use three-dimensional scanning to show online shoppers images of the products.

First, they will select from a stock image (say they’re looking for an orange). A human worker at the location they’re shopping/delivering from will be notified and will then select an orange and send the shopper a photo.

The image would be sent from a store associate interface and will appear in a communications module where the customer can view it. They are then given the chance to approve or deny, based on the image.

The customer will have a fixed amount of time to approve or deny the item/image. To combat too much back and forth, the customer is only given so many vetoes until they have to choose an orange that’s been previously selected or remove it from the order altogether.

When the orange is approved, it will be stamped with an edible watermark and will be included with the finalized order. While this seems like a lot of work on the associate’s end, Walmart has stated that some of the FOE will include automated aspects, which could save human workers from having to continuously scan fresh items.

This idea comes on the heels of Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods, making them a giant competitor for Walmart.

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