Posted in Human Interest, Social Media

News anchor apologizes to anti-bullying activist after his insensitive post on her Instagram


Philadelphia anchorman  Jason Martinez has learned a lesson. Think before you post on social media. What he did a couple of days ago has gone viral.

Martinez posted, “God. That’s scary” on the Instagram page of Lizzy Velasquez. She is a motivational speaker, author and anti-bullying activist. Lizzy has been bullied her entire life because of her appearance. She has a rare disease that does not allow her to gain weight and it has effected her eyes. I did a story on her in 2013.

When Lizzie saw Martinez’ post on Instagram, she is gave him the benefit of the doubt. She replied,

Dear @jasonmartineztv, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say you didn’t mean to say this directly to me. Since October is national anti bullying awareness month, let’s take this as a learning moment and remember even “joking” like this to a friend can always end up hurting someone else. Shortly after posting this he did reach out to apologize which I will always accept and offer forgiveness. Let’s do better next time. #daretonekind FOX 29

Right away her more than 600-thousand followers on social media slammed Martinez for his insensitive post. Martinez who is the main anchor at Fox 29 in Philadelphia apologized with a post on his own Instagram page. He called it “a mistake”, but he had already angered Lizzie’s supporters.

Screenshot: Instagram

The Martinez post even made it into the Philadelphia newspaper within hours.

Screenshot: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Lizzie’s friends and followers did not let up. Some turned into bullies themselves and that’s when Lizzie stepped in. She posted a video Monday afternoon on her social media and said, “You know my style is always  kindness and forgiveness above everything and anything.” She encouraged her supporters to stop sending hate to Fox 29, Jason Martinez and his family.

Maybe Martinez should take some advice from some of the kinder people who posted on his Facebook page and use this as a teachable moment on Fox 29.  He should do a story for October anti-bullying month and use his bad post as an example and interview Lizzie for the story since she has become the voice for anti-bullying online. It’s a good way to make up for a “mistake” that will live forever on the internet.



Posted in Breaking News, News Now, Social Media, Twitter

USA Today takes down tweet comparing United Passenger to Rosa Parks after backlash

The USA Today tweet got my attention. It read “Is United Airlines passenger Dr. Dao an “Asian version of Rosa Parks?”


As a reporter, I knew they were quoting someone who made that statement.  My relatives who are not journalists thought USA Today was making the comparison between Dr. Dao and civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

It appears they were not the only ones, because USA Today immediately faced backlash on Twitter.  One tweet read “Point out the lady or gentleman who gave the thumbs up on this article.” Another tweet posted “Congratulations, this by far, the most ignorant headline of the week.”




The USA TODAY headline on its website read “United passenger’s lawyer says he’s gotten emails comparing client to Rosa Parks.”  Now that should have been the tweet. 


USA Today chose not to use the same headline that was on their website, a decision that does not make sense. It could have been shortened, made the story crystal clear and avoided criticism.


Today we want everyone to click into our stories because competition is tough. And I know that writing interesting and sometimes bizarre headlines can attract readers.

Let us not forget that many people make up their minds and quickly over one tweet without ever clicking into the story.  That’s why it is important to be clear and informative in 140 characters.

A reader will give you one chance and you can blow it in one tweet.

USA Today corrected its mistake. As I was writing this blog, I noticed it took down the original tweet and replaced it with a new tweet that makes more sense ” United passenger’s lawyer says he’s gotten emails comparing his client to Rosa Parks:”


As I say over and over “Think before you tweet.”

Posted in Social Media

Who is using what social media in 2016

Social media is part of our lives and for many of us it is part of lives at work. Can you afford not to be on social media?

These 2016 infographics by Global Media Insight  give you an update on who is using what, which platform rules, and how males and females have their favorites. It is smart to be on one or many social media platforms if you run your own business, operate a nonprofit or want to build your personal brand and reputation. Check out these statistics.














Now after looking at all the people using social media can you afford not to be on one or all of these platforms?

Visit for more information on other social media networks.


Posted in Social Media

What was Yelp thinking? Slams former employee on Twitter




When I teach social media I remind clients:

  1. Think before you tweet.
  2. A negative post will have ramifications.
  3. One tweet can make you or break you.
  4. Never get into a war of words. Someone will always lose.

Now let’s talk about Yelp, the company that lets people give their opinions on everything from bars to restaurants.

A former employee, Jaymee Senigaglia criticized Yelp because she said the company fired her after she asked for a 3-day unpaid leave to care for her boyfriend who was recovering from a serious biking accident.  In her blog “Yelp Fired A Single Mother Today: Me” Senigaglia talked about the challenges she faced at Yelp as a single mother.

Yelp prides itself on posting the opinions of people who have visited spas and coffee shops. But the company didn’t care much for Senigaglia’s opinion on her blog that went viral. Yelp fought back with a tweet that definitely broke (in my opinion) many Human Resource rules and can probably get them in legal problems.




OK we don’t know all the details on why Yelp terminated Senigaglia.  I would think they can’t talk about it because its a Human Resource issue.  But what was Yelp thinking when it posted the tweet giving many details of Senigaglia’s work record at the company?

I am shocked this tweet was approved by HR. I am hoping someone on Yelp’s social media team tried to stop the madness and went up the food chain and said  “Hey CEO Jeremy Stoppelman do you really want us to post this? It’s very unprofessional. We need to take the high road.”



People on Twitter are not the type to sit back and take it or watch someone like a single mother out of a job get trampled. Yelp hurt its image and business when it decided to get even with Senigaglia. Here are only a few of the tweets in response.





If I was on Yelp’s media relations team I would have the CEO address this issue in a short video right away. It’s never too late to apologize to Senigaglia. I’m not saying apologize for firing her, but apologize for putting her private business out in the Twitter world. That tweet could hurt her future job prospects which means future earnings, and you know this single mom needs a paycheck to raise her child.

Something is going on at Yelp, because this is the second employee who has made her misery public about working at the company. In mid-February,  Talia Jane another Yelp employee also harshly criticized the company in her blog “An Open Letter to My CEO.” That blog went viral too and within hours Yelp fired Talia Jane.

Yelp has chosen not to respond to those who have criticized the company on Twitter. A big no-no in social media. That’s like saying “We’re not listening and we don’t care.” But Yelp should care because each person on Twitter has followers they can influence. And if they are encouraged not to support Yelp those numbers add up. Today no company can afford to lose business.

Here’s hoping Yelp makes this right.









Posted in Journalist, Social Media

2015 will be the year to declutter my life at home, work and on the web

I don’t have a long list of New Year’s resolutions. A list has never worked for me.  I keep it simple and it’ll be that way in 2015.  My aim is to declutter my life at home, at work and on the web. Along the way I hope to get more organized and make my life more simple.

Jerry Seinfeld on the Tonight Show inspired me to get on this declutter project. He recently told the audience that his wife likes to collect everything and he’s the opposite. I’m like his wife. I collect a lot of stuff and am afraid to throw anything away because “I may need it in the future.”

I’m not a hoarder, but its time to get down to the basics and get rid of a bunch of “stuff.”  And I’m not wasting anytime.  I got up early on this first day of 2015, and got to work.

I started by going through more than 100 books on my shelves at home. I got down to about 30 books worth keeping, the rest I plan to donate. I’m not done with my books, but it’s a start.  I have to admit it was rather liberating. I figure if I do a little bit every day, by next year my life should be leaner.



If you’re like me you have hundreds of emails, lots of Facebook friends, and files all over the place on your computer. That’s another place where I plan to declutter my life, which is also connected not only to my personal side but my career as well.

Today I got rid of more than 1,000 emails that I had held on to for a long time. No idea why, but it just happened. I still have more than 3,000 to go and that’s just on one email account.  There was a sense of freedom when I trashed all those email.

It’s time to clean house on my Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts. I need to surround myself in the virtual world with  people who really engage with me, and are not just observing my life as I put it out there on social media. I know some people love to have thousands of followers and friends, but I want more than “numbers.”  So if for some reason you find yourself off my social media, I hope you understand. I probably didn’t hear from you in a while, and I’m sure you won’t miss me.

I will make progress every day as I work to simplify my life. Wish me luck!


Posted in Social Media, Uncategorized

Give us a reason to “like” your Facebook Like page

Everyday someone on Facebook asks me to “like” their Facebook Like page, but the biggest mistake they make is they never tell me why.

Right now there are 672 requests waiting on my Facebook to be “liked.”  They are businesses, reporters, nonprofit organizations, different causes, but not one person who invited me over –told me why I should “like” the page.

What’s in it for me if I “like” the page? A simple reason can help me make a decision.

And once I “like” your page, you need to make sure it’s a two-way conversation. Social media is not just about what you post, but what your followers post on your page is also important.  Many people with “like” pages make the mistake of not engaging with their followers.


If a follower posts a comment on your “like” page, you should respond with at least a thank you for the contribution.  A reaction is a good thing. If a follower stops by your “like” page and asks a question–they deserve a response from you.  Remember they took the time to come to your page.

With millions of people on the web and a billion on Facebook, you have a lot of competition.  Here are my tips on getting people to get through that first step–to “like”your page, and to get followers to stay with you.

  • When you send a request, give the person a real reason to like your page? For example: “Rebecca I hope you like my page, because I think as a reporter you’ll find some good ideas for stories.”
  • Find people to “like” your page who have something in common with you, the product or service you are pitching.  Let’s say you make organic cosmetics. Obviously you want women to know about your product.  Maybe you run a motorcycle shop. Find people who love motorcycles or love road trips on motorcycles. Find a personal connection because those followers will stay loyal and will stay with you.
  • Don’t make your “like” page just about “YOU.”  It’s not about you.  People especially strangers  don’t care how many products you sell. They don’t care to hear every day “Watch my story at 6pm.”  And they definitely don’t want to feel like you’re using them to make money.  No one likes to feel used.  Make it about them.  What’s in it for them? How will your “like” page empower them and better their lives.

So the next time you’re going to ask someone to “like” your page, think about it and tell them why they should join you on Facebook.  Give them  a reason to connect.  FYI, I don’t have a Facebook like page, but that doesn’t mean I won’t have one in the future.

Posted in Breaking News, Social Media

Thank you for your votes! 2013 LATISM Social Network Leader

It’s never too late to learn something new. In 2008 I took the plunge into social media.  I thought as a journalist I needed to learn everything about social media from blogging to starting a group on Facebook.

In 2009, I started “Wise Latinas Linked” on Facebook.  Two of my girlfriends helped me launch the group that would help empower and inspire Latinas around the world. Today we have close to 5,000 members on Facebook, and more than 600 on LinkedIn.

Friday (Sept. 20) my work paid off.  Latinos in Social Media better known as LATISM, recognized me with their national award for 2013 Social Network Leader.  It’s the second time I have won the award. I also won in 2011.

I couldn’t be in New York City to personally pick up the award, because of earlier plans, but when I got the text that I won—I was in shock.  I was up against tough competition–people with thousands ands thousands of followers.

A big thank you to everyone who voted for me for this award. I share the award with all the members of Wise Latinas Linked who have put us on the map and a few newspapers and online news sites.

What I hope you take away from this blog is to take the plunge–learn something new. Don’t be afraid to jump out there and conquer.  Don’t let age, doubters, or fear of the unknown stop you.

Today I am a proud reporter, proud Latina Leader and most of all a woman who is not afraid to just get out there and work it!

Posted in Multimedia, Social Media

Join a local social media group and expand you knowledge

Photo: Social Media Club of Dallas
Photo: Social Media Club of Dallas

I don’t know how many people ask me questions about social media: whether it’s how to start a “fan” page on Facebook to starting a blog on WordPress.  I have learned a lot about social media because, I do run some or all the social media pages for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Hispanic Communicators DFW and Society of Professional Journalists Fort Worth Chapter.

What I have learned is that everyday new social media experts pop up in the social media scene.  I’m not sure about some of “those experts.”  I’ll leave that topic for another blog.

Instead of hiring one, why not join a local social media club and meet a bunch of people with interests in different social media platforms. It’s a great way to grow your knowledge in social media and learn for free by networking.

Recently, a friend of mine asked me to be the moderator for a panel on online videos. The event was being  put on by The Social Media Club of Dallas. It was a week night and I wasn’t sure how many people to expect. Surprise! There had to be more than 100 people.

That night I met bloggers, video producers, social media managers, brand creators, and many other professionals. Each one is now a source for me when I have a question about a specific area in social media.

Tip #1-Find a social media club in your area by looking on Facebook or just “google” for one.

Tip #2-If there isn’t one, start a group on and find the people who have social media in common with you.

In the end, it’s about networking and learning more about social media.

Photo by Rebecca Aguilar
Photo by Rebecca Aguilar
Posted in Apps, Journalist, News reporter, Social Media

Vine App great for video storytellers

Yay! The Vine app finally came out for the Android, and I signed up right away. You can tell a quick story on video with the 6 second looping video application.

Here is one of my first Vine videos. Since you only get 6 seconds for the video, you have to make every shot count.

Vine: The making of a pretzel

I think this is a great tool to use when you’re on an assignment. Get some quick shots and send your Vine out on Twitter to promote your story that you’ll later have in the newspaper, on television, online or even the radio.

Whether it’s a feature or hard news story, Vine will come in handy for all storytellers. But to produce a good video from beginning to end, practice, practice, practice. Learn how to use the 6 seconds to tell a story.  Yes, it can be done.