Archive | January, 2012

Social Media Monitoring: Okay, or not?

29 Jan

TOW #3

Social media has changed our culture and is still growing at lightening speed. With multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Flickr, Google+, Youtube, Tumblr, Myspace, and on and on, it becomes extremely difficult to keep track of the multiple conversations taking place.

Social media monitoring companies helps to regulate and monitor what is going on out there in social media and many brands are implementing it to keep track of what is being said in the numerous areas about their brand.

photo credit: kimba

Some individuals believe this may be unethical because it is an invasion of their personal space- if their conversations are being tagged and watched. But for companies and brands, it is truly the only sane way to keep tabs on what is being said about them.

I don’t believe social media monitoring is unethical because if people are saying their opinions online, they should expect that they would be heard and watched. It is no invasion of privacy. If you really don’t want something to get out that you put online—then DON’T PUT IT ONLINE! Social media monitoring is a wonderful tool for brands and it allows them to improve on their brand and take advantage of what is being said among their audiences to build on and improve their brand.

Although I don’t think social media monitoring is unethical, as of now, I believe that there is always a tendency for things to get out of hand. We need to be aware of being monitored in certain ways and be watchdogs ourselves to keep companies using social media monitoring in check. But for now, don’t worry about it!

How to stay stress(free) in a stress(ful) career

29 Jan

For years, PR executives have been listed high among the most-stressful occupations! This year, PR dropped to the seventh-most stressful job in America (It was No. 2 in 2011). However, appearing stressed is not positive for our image (and yes, PR is the business of image). And very few clients want to work with someone who is running around, flapping their arms about being stressed out. So here are some ways to work in the PR industry, without having a stress-attack!

1. Disconnect. As a PR person, this is a scary word! We are attached to our iPhones and laptops like they are extensions of our body. But get into the practice of maybe once a week, or even 15 minutes a day, walking away from your electronic devices.

2. Discover a physical outlet. Exercise releases endorphins. So whether it is going for a run outside, or just punching your pillow for 45 minutes. Release your tension by doing some sort of physical activity.

3. Plan out your day. Every morning, make a to-do list of what you need to accomplish that day. Prioritize the list in what you must get down that day, and then in descending order of greatness. This isn’t meant to overwhelm you by all you need to accomplish, but to keep your head clear and focused.

4. Set goals and reward yourself. Set simple goals like “I will work for one hour more, totally focused, and then reward myself with a latte!”

5. Vent to a good friend. Have someone in your life (like your significant other, mom, or old friend) who you feel completely safe with and they know you and love you through and through. In PR, you need to always keep up the positive spirit, but having that one friend you can just be yourself with is truly a comfort!

PR Professional Blog Comments

29 Jan

1. 7 Things PR Pros should know about the shifting media landscape by Michael Sebastian

Date: 1/29/12

Comment: Clear, concise, compelling. Three great key words for media pitches! Also, following a reporter or editor’s tweets is a great nugget of advice. Seeing what they are sharing is seeing what they are actually interested in and what they find compelling. Making sure your story appeals a bit to their interest will make them more likely to place it.

2. 13 annoying communication habits that must end by David Spark

Date: 1/29/12

Comment: These are some good just social etiquette rules. I also need to work on not forgetting someone’s name RIGHT after being introduced. So embarrassing! Another good trick to remembering a person’s name is to say use it many times when addressing them right after being introduced. It may sound silly saying their name over and over like, “Nice to meet you, Martha. What are your interests, Martha?” But people like the sound of their own name and they’ll be impressed that you are going the extra mile to remember.

3. Five things you should know about dating a PR

Date: 1/29/12

Comment: I absolutely LOVE this post! I definitely agree on each of these matters and it was cracking me up! I emailed this to my boyfriend, so I’ll have to see how he feels after reading it, I’m sure he’ll agree 😉 He does get annoyed sometimes, but these are things that a significant other just has to accept! Can’t wait to read more from you.

4. Three Ways to Network the Right Way by Justin Lathrop

Date: 2/22/12

Comment: I love point #2! It’s so true that it’s really annoying when people who try to network with you are always asking more and more, but don’t give any. I definitely don’t want to be one of those networkers. Good stuff though! I’m a PR student, a brand manager, and an Assistant Youth Pastor. So seeing how my PR skills work into my job at the church is quite interesting. I think networking really does carry a negative connotation many times, but it is vital and useful for the church!

5. An inside look at one impressive social media campaign by Matt Wilson

Date: 2/25/12

Comment: Very cool! A wonderful way that a store has utilized Social Media to drive sales and inspire customers. I’m surprised more stores haven’t followed suite. I have a feeling Four Square is going to get much bigger and many other companies will begin doing the same.

6. What is the ROI of Pinterest? by Geoff Livingston

Date: 2/25/12

Comment: I think there is some value for companies on Pinterest. You can drive companies to your companies site through your pinboards and external links. Interesting point how it’s building “shopping ideas” rather than “direct sales”. True, pinboards help inspire WHAT you buy. But if you don’t know WHERE to buy it, you click on the picture, hopefully taking you to a company website with the item. Happy pinning 🙂

7. 3 ways to score a job interview by Lorra Brown

Date: 4/12/12

Comment: Good points about posting your resume on your About page in your blog. And also about putting your blog on your resume that you give to potential employers. These are great ways for employers to see additional writing skills as well as that you know you to be engaged in social media. I am graduating in a few weeks and I will definitely take note of these tips! Thank you.

8. Are You Content Creation Impaired? Here’s Some Tips and Resources by Beth Kanter

Date: 4/12/12

Comment: Wonderful idea about the content calendar! Journalists create editorial calendars, so why not create a content calendar? I’m in charge of the social media for my youth program and I’m definitely going to implement some of these ideas! Thanks.

9. Nonprofit storytelling tips from pros. by Debra Askanase

Date: 4/12/12

Comment: “Use video for motion and emotion.” Wonderful point! Even just starting out, if a nonprofit needs to put out a little extra cash, it would probably be best to place it in quality videography and photographs for storytelling. This is how you are going to pull on the heart strings of people to join your cause.

10.Texts from Hillary: 3 lessons for social media managers by Kevin Allen

Date: 4/14/12

Comment: Wonderful! Good job for Hillary for showing her sense of humor. Social media is meant to be fun so if people are too serious on it, then others will alienate them. The third point about pictures being bold in social media is important for companies to know. Pictures are more shared because they are easy to share and add a strong effect.

Peer Blog Comments

29 Jan

1. Lessons for PR Students & Pro’s: Valentine’s Day Style by Taylor Flumerfelt

Date: 1/29/12

Comment: Cute post! I agree with all of your points, especially the third one of continuing to nurture the relationship. Once you build that relationship, you can’t just drop off the face of the earth! I think another thing that PR students and pros can learn from Valentine’s Day is to PLAN! You need to plan ahead your gift and night with that special someone (especially if you are going to be going out to dinner! God Bless you if you don’t have reservations). In the world of PR, we need to be planners so that we don’t get so overwhelmed and we can manage our time.

2. DIY: Melted Crayon Art by Liz Colburn

Date: 1/29/12

Comment: This is such a good idea! I love the drippy look and Jessica- great idea with picking certain crayon colors to match your decor. I am not a Pinterest addict… but I love the website when I’m need of inspiration or even just organizing all my random website “stuff” onto a pinboard. I’m glad you are such a die-hard fan :)

3. Social Media Monitoring– Ethical or Not? by Mikelle Liette

Date: 1/29/12

Comment: Really well written post, Mikelle! With the magnitude of all the different social media, it is definitely helpful to businesses and brands for it to be organized in SOME capacity. Especially for them to filter what is being said directly about them. This helps them help US by delivering to the customers what we want.

4. Coffee. Enough Said. by Jessica Winstead

Date: 2/25/12

Comment: Yay! I love coffee AND Starbucks! The homey atmosphere that Starbucks creates is a huge part of the “feeling” you get when getting a Venti Chai Latte or Granda Iced White Mocha. I think their mission to create a “A third place between work and home” (Starbucks) has been reached. Many people congregate at Starbucks for various reasons and the fact that it is opened for 24 hours makes it a hot-spot for those all-nighters during exam week or when big papers are due. Their growth astounds me and this global brand is definitely one to take note of! Great post!

5. FPRA February Meeting: Jim DeGannaro by Emily Meade

Date: 2/25/12

Comment: Thanks for the tips! I like that your recap was succinct, to the point, and easy to read! One tip though that kind of is questionable is number 4 about gifts. How ethical is the giving of those kind of gifts in business? I guess as a previous psychology major, I learned in my Professional & Ethical Issues class that gifts were a big taboo! Granted, PR is very different than the work field of psychology where there is no socializing with clients outside of the workplace. Crazy how different they are!

6. photography. by Jordyn Roe

Date: 2/25/12

Comment: I like your photographs! Do you have an online portfolio or do you have them archived online somewhere? If not, you should really consider it. You can create a free one at JPEG.com. Also, I like how your PR Connections are posts specifically about you and your passions. Good work :)

7. Videos gone Viral! by Mikelle Liette

Date: 4/8/12

Comment: Awww I love all of these! “Sneaky MOM!!!” is hilarious! And of course, “Charlie Bit My Finger” is a CLASSIC. Great viral videos are ones that we don’t mind watching over and over again. I have seen each one of these before and they still make smile.

8. Leadership: A Mutz Perspective by Kyla White

Date:4/12/12

Comment: Love this post! I’ve seen Michael’s leadership skills first-hand on a missions trip I went with him this past Thanksgiving break to Japan. He truly is a humble leader. I love his quote about how humility helps the environment you work in to allow creativity and true honesty. Very true.

9. TOW #13: David After Dentist by Emily Meade

Date: 4/12/12

Comment:

I love your three attributes of viral videos. I would say that the majority of the videos I’ve come across which are viral are ones that are improv. People like to see people in their everyday environment, being funny.

And just a side note about the 5-year-old. I would love to know if someone is feeding her lines since it is so edited. Regardless though, it’s pretty funny!

10. Viral Videos by Ryan Shea

Date: 4/13/12

Comment: Oh my goodness, I was cracking up when watching this video! I love how videos can resurface after years and become viral. Although social media is constantly changing, funny stays consistent! I wonder if she’ll be getting lots of more job offers after this.

15 Tips for Content Marketing

29 Jan

What good is it for your brand to have social media if no one is reviewing your content? Creating and publishing useful content extends your business’s reach, makes you more visible, and connects people to your business.

Content marketing experts: Joe Chernov of Eloqua; Ann Handley of MarketingProfs; Scott Stratten of Unmarketing; and Adam Singer of TheFutureBuzz, give us some tips in the realm of content marketing.

1. Create content that helps people. –Joe Chernov

Create something that is interesting to people, help them do their jobs better, and help them become proficient in an area (preferably related to your business). Offer uncommon, yet practical advice that people will want to pass on to others.

One brand that I think does a tremendous job with this is Red Bull. Granted, I may be slightly bias 😉 But I rarely follow brands on Twitter, and @redbull doesn’t solely tweet about their brand, but also inspiring quotes that are very retweetable!

2. Make your content about customers. –Adam Singer

You may be thinking first about your brand. But your customers will want to know why what you are saying is relevant to them.

3. Write for your readers first; it builds trust –Joe Chernov

Write for the reader first and your marketing purposes second. Content that is too brand-centric will fade out because your audience won’t be interested.

4. Remember that pictures can be better than words. –Joe Chernov

Images are easy to share and the age-old saying still sticks, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

5. Give your whole team the freedom to get involved. –Scott Stratten

6. Get creative: You can make compelling content about anything. –Scott Stratten

Blendtec is a great example of creating great content from something as simple and mundane as a blender. The company started the “Will It Blend” video series in which they blend iPhones, iPads, brooms, and pretty much anything else under then sun! (Including Justin Beiber!)

7. Don’t shy away from being personal; it builds trust. –Ann Handley

Everyone loves a good love story! Express the heart of your brand and what makes you who you are.

8. Learn to find stories to tell.  –Ann Handley

There is always a story to be told. Search for it! Bring out the human interest by really getting to know your coworkers.

9. Learn to tell a story bit by bit. –Adam Singer

Being consistently interesting is your true challenge. The big news is important, but what is equally important is the stuff that happens in between the big stuff.

10. Use your blog as a hub. –Joe Chernov

If your content is housed at your blog, you give your content life, context and edginess

11. When choosing your channels, focus on the ‘why’ to determine the ‘where.’ –Ann Handley

Ask “Why are we doing this?” first before creating a Facebook, Twitter, blog, or any other social media channels and tools.

12. Give yourself the first bite of your content. –Adam Singer

Facebook and Twitter are not your platforms; they are platforms run by other businesses. You should first publish your content on your own platform, and syndicate it to other channels and link back to yours.

13. Stop over-commercializing your content when you publish. –Scott Stratten

14. Ease off your readers. –Ann Handley

Build a relationship over time with your content, then ask for just a little bit of information, and then a little bit more over time.

15. Stay committed; it pays off. –Ann Handley

Check out a version of this story on Ragan’s PR Daily.

Using Images to Amp up your Blog Post

29 Jan

photo credit: Amber Hoadley Photography

TOW #2

Using images in your blog posts is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to grab and hold the attention of your readers. Why are images important?

photo credit:9220 Roby Benvenuti

1. They deliver the message of your written content with a bigger impact- Inserting a unique, creative, visually appealing image that correlates with the text just reinforces your point.

2. They make your post more memorable- You’ve heard it since you were little. We all learn differently! Some people are visual learners, and a picture will stick with them much better than text.

3. They break up the text visually- Reading a computer screen is necessarily the most comfortable thing in the world. Our eyes get easily tired. Images break up huge chunks of gray text into more easily read bodies of information.

Choosing the Right Image

There are some simple rules when picking the right image to put in your story…

photo credit: paulcoxphotography

1. Good resolution. Nothing is worse than a blurry picture! You feel like your eyes aren’t adjusting correctly.

2. Vibrant colors. Unless the color scheme of dull and boring goes along with the attitude and theme you are portraying in your writing, pick colors that are appealing to the eye and stand out.

3. Interesting. It’s okay if not every single picture matches perfectly with your content, but it must go somehow and draw some intrigue into your article.

Give Credit Where Credit is Due!

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to GIVE CREDIT!

There are basically 3 types of images you can use…

1. Your own images

2. Free images

3. Paid images

The first is the easiest because you own the rights to your own image! So you can use it any way you choose. But when using free images, you usually need to attribute the image to its author or creator. The best way to do this is to place a link to the original image in your post! Or credit the author in a caption of the image.

 

photo credit: kk+


Social Media Palooza!

28 Jan

TOW #1

Social media is all around us. It inundates our smart phones, guides our conversations, and surrounds our lives. Keeping up to date in the social media realm is now of such huge importance that companies have created positions for people to manage their social media. Currently, the social media I use is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress (of course) and Klout.

1. Facebook is a great tool for connecting with people on a more personal basis. I probably use my Facebook about 75% for my own personal use and 25% for my work. I work as an assistant youth director at my church and Facebook is perfect for staying in touch with my youth kids. Also, as a Student Brand Manager for Red Bull, I share lots of content about what is going on in the world of Red Bull!

 2. Twitter is one of my favorite social networking platforms. I use it about 60% for social reasons, and 40% for professional. Connecting and networking with professionals is so easy on Twitter because you can “follow” people without the obligation of them having to “accept” your follow. Twitter is a social media playground for PR professionals to share content, divulge information, give nuggets of advice—all in 140 characters or less!

3. LinkedInis a social media platform that is purely professional. A complete LinkedIn profile contains all your past experience, and you can upload your profile. It’s purpose is simply to connect you with professionals and for professionals to get connected with you! Although I have a LinkedIn profile, I definitely need to utilize it a lot more.

4. Blogging is a wonderful way to build up your credibility as a writer. In my case, I use WordPress because it’s a free and easy-to-use platform. Having a blog creates an online portfolio of your writing for potential employers. So you need to be sure that the content you put on your blog is edited and professional!

5. Klout.Recently, I have discovered a new tool called Klout. One of my friends who is an entrepreneur informed me about this website that takes into account all your social networks and measure your online influence. Your Klout score is your overall influence on the web! Not only does it tell you who you influence, but it tells you what topics you are most influential on. This is a great tool for anyone curious about their online presence in social media.

As a graduating senior, I plan on really utilizing my LinkedIn profile much more than I already have. Keeping it up-to-date and using it in the correct manner could perhaps lead to a potential job!

What social media platforms do you use? And any tips or tricks on getting the best out of them?