Social Media for Non-Profits: Engaging Stakeholders vis Social Media

26 Apr
Here is a presentation I created for a social media training session for non-profits interested in learning how to better engage their stakeholders via social media!
View more PowerPoint from rmlaflam

The Award for Best Blog Goes To….

15 Apr

At the end of semester, after visiting many blogs this year, it was a tough decision to decide which blogs I thought were the best of all the ones I read. However, after much thought, I decided that these two blogs stood above the rest for their own reasons.

My favorite professional blog would have to be the blog from Ragan’s PR Daily. PR Daily is a daily news site that delivers news, advice and opinions on the public relations, marketing, social media, and media worlds. I love articles on PR Daily because there are a wide variety of articles and they are written by many various contributors. The articles are also short, easy to read and have great information. You can also subscribe to PR Daily and you will receive email notifications with a list of popular articles and links. Each post is also easily shareable via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or accessible to print or email. Many of the posts I have commented on or that have inspired me for my blog posts have been from Ragan’s PR Daily. I would recommend PR Daily for anyone in the field of public relations or marketing or aspiring to take this career path.

One of the student blogs from my class that I would like to commend is Taylor Flumerfelt’s PRestigious blog. I felt like her blog always had great information for the field of Public Relations which is obviously what I’m studying and very interested in. As the President of our student chapter of Florida Public Relations Association, she always has a variety of topics in her blog, whether it is connecting to a local PR contact or writing tips for the PR world. What I like is that her posts never drag on, they are straight to the point and usually have pretty pictures to accompany them!

How to take a Vacay from Technolog-ay

14 Apr

First of all, I apologize for the terrible title. It was my attempt to think of a clever and witty title that rhymed, and I think I failed. Anyways, how to take a vacation from technology when your job is social media is a question I’ve wondered about. Don’t misunderstand me, I love public relations and social media, which is why I am willing to work odd hours and more hours than a normal, however, everyone needs a vacation even if you are lucky enough to have an awesome job in PR!

Here are some tips from Kary Delaria’s article “How to take a vacation in the age of social media“:

 

Share access
Vacation or not, no one person should be the keeper of all logins and passwords for your agency or client’s social properties. Keep a spreadsheet of all of the pertinent information, and make sure others in the office know where it is, and how to access it. (This should already be part of your crisis communications plan.)

Set expectations
We operate in a transparent world. If you’re planning to go on vacation, it’s not unheard of to say so. You don’t need to share pertinent details of your family trip, but a message on your agency accounts telling people specifically when they can expect to hear from you can work well for you. Consider something like:

“I’m on vacation through the end of the week and will be back on Monday. I am checking email and Twitter DMs daily, but not responding until my return. For immediate needs, please contact Julie in the office.”
Find a backup
Whether you have the luxury of taking time off from your agency’s posts, your clients’ businesses are going to keep running. To fill the void in either location, consider lining up some guest bloggers or pre-writing some posts to go live while you’re gone. Assign a backup community manager to engage on your other properties (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) where you have an active community. (This might be a nice time to encourage more community-generated content to lighten your load.)

Have a plan for monitoring
You can head out of the office, but that won’t stop people from talking about you or your clients online while you are away. You can not afford to take a vacation from monitoring these conversations. Crises hit when we least expect them, and you don’t want to be caught unaware. In his guest post on the Radian6 blog, Aaron Friedman offers advice for prioritizing mentions and assigning someone to respond in a timely manner. Again, you’re going to need to rely on your team (unless you plan to be tethered to your smartphone), but some realistic planning can go a long way to ensure that things are being covered while you’re away.

Thank you Kary for these awesome tips! Check out the original article here.

Event Planning 101: Building Your Team

14 Apr

One aspect of public relations I haven’t hit on much at all in this blog is event planning. Events can be a major part of your obligation working in the public relations department of an organization. So I will be including some more posts throughout my blog on this topic.

I’ve had a lot of experience planning and executing events during my college career. Whether it’s events my hall while I was a Resident Assistant, events for the entire campus while I was working with Student Life, events for my youth group while as an Assistant of Student Life, or events on a national level while working with Red Bull, there are some things that I’ve learned about events that pretty much work for almost any event you put on!

First off, it is very important to have a solid team for putting on your event. Each team needs include these four key people:

 1. Point person- the person who delegates responsibilities and is basically the keeper of all information for the event and details. This person must be extremely organized and also will be the point person the night of the event.

 2. Worker Bee- this is pretty self-explanatory. This person basically just needs to have a great work ethic and be willing to help anyone with anything!

 3. Creative Person– this is the person in the beginning stages of the planning process who comes up with the crazy, creative ideas for the events.

 4. Marketer- the marketer is very important because many times people put on amazing events, but they overlook the important detail of letting people know about the event! You may have a great event, but if people don’t show, it will be a flop!

If you are somewhat of a perfectionist, like me, it is easy to want to take complete control to make sure things go as planned. However, you need to learn to relinquish control to your team members and trust them. Especially if you have solid people to begin with.

Part of the Red Bull Flugtag 2011 Team

Tweeting for the greatest reach

14 Apr

Twitter is an endless stream of updates—and the updates are constantly changing, especially with the more and more people you follow.  We all want people to notice our tweets—read them and retweet them. How can we do this when there are so many others tweeting at the same time?

An article I found called “When should brands tweet for the greatest reach?” by Matthew Royse had some wonderful information I’d like to share!

Royse stated, “According to data compiled by the marketing firm Lemon.ly, the most traffic on Twitter occurs from 9 to 11 a.m. ET and 1 to 3 p.m. ET. Research from HubSpot’s Dan Zarrella found that the best time to tweet is 5 p.m. ET. “

Some great, free tools to help you when it comes to tweeting include:

  1. Tweriod looks at tweets that you and your followers have sent and provides times on when you should tweet.
  2. Tweue is basically a Twitter queue that will evenly space up to 10 tweets, from 15 minutes to eight hours apart.
  3. Hootsuite is a Web-based social media dashboard in which you queue up and post updates in a timely fashion.
  4. Buffer is an app that enables you to add articles, photos, and videos, and it automatically shares them throughout the day.
  5. TweetDeck enables you to schedule tweets and can help you manage your social media platforms.

Royse also said that to reach your wide array of followers, post at least five times a day, spaced throughout the day according to the analytics above, and your tweets will achieve their maximum impact.

As the social media manager for my church’s youth group and hoping to manage social media one day for a larger company, I found this information extremely beneficial!


Social Media and Building Community

12 Apr

Recently, I watched a webinar by Inbound Marketing University in which Chris Brogan spoke about Social Media and Building Community. Below is the webinar as well as my takeaway from the course.

I think Brogan did a great job with hitting key points for building community!

Here are just a few things I found most useful in the course:

  1. Community is never about you, your product, or anything else related to YOUR goals… except insofar as you serve to power theirs
  2. Community is a gift: if people form a community around your stuff, be pleased. Whether or not it’s on your site under your control, you have something to work with
  3. Be humble. Always: The moment you forget that you’re there as a participant and think you’re the owner, you’re on a fast ride down to nothing
  4. Listen. Acknowledge. Listening is point. 1. If you don’t listen, you fail. But acknowledging people’s participation is the most important part of community
  5. Equip instead of sell. Your community wants to succeed. They look to you (if you’re lucky) as part of that recipe. Give them more and more success, not more and more of the product you need to sell
  6. Celebrate them. If all you offer is a place to praise and talk about your products and services. Pack it in. Seek out your community’s personal and professional successes and praise those too.
  7. Greet newcomers. ALWAYS make sure to greet when come in door. If you do it on the site, do it online!

What Makes A Video Go Viral?

8 Apr

On Youtube, 48 hours of video are uploaded every minute, resulting in nearly 8 years of content uploaded every day. However, only a small percentage of these videos become viral. So what exactly are the components of a video that make it go viral? It’s hard to say exactly what the formula is for making a video something people want to watch and share with their friends, but Youtube’s trends manager, Kevin Allocca, discusses the reasons a video goes viral in this talk from TEDYouth.

As we can see, the three main reasons that Allocca says make a video are:

1. Tastemakers
2. Communities & Engagement
3. Unexpectedness

First of all, tastemakers are those opinion leaders such as celebrities or thought leaders who already have a community of followers who come across your video and share it.

Communities and engagement are the components of your video that target a certain community that is already established that would love to take your video and run with it.

“Charlie Bit My Finger” is one of the top viewed Youtube videos of all time. Something that makes this video so appealing is the small children and British accents. I’m sure a slew of parents and any one that loves adorable children (anyone with a heart) can appreciate the cuteness of this video. Perhaps also the reason this video is so popular is because of how “quotable” it is. Come on, admit it, if you have seen this video, you probably have quoted soon after in your best British accent, “Charlie bit my finga, and it weally hurts!”

Unexpectedness is the key ingredient that makes your video worth sharing! Something that is unique, unexpected, and different which will make your video stand out from the crowd.

Maybe Scarlett falling off this table wasn’t incredibly unexpected. We all kind of saw it coming… a girl getting on a table and singing, kind of the recipe for disaster. However, the tumble is just TOO good!

So as you can see, there really isn’t a formula, per se, that makes a viral video. But when making videos really think if it is unique and if it is something that people will want to spend their time watching and share with friends! And if you somehow have crazy connections with celebrities, get them to post it on their pages!

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