There is Always Room for Improvement

The most influential class I’ve ever taken is “The Agency,” at the College of St. Rose. In this class, the teacher, Rosemary Sheridan brings is various PR Professionals as guest speakers. Before they leave, Professor Sheridan asks each speaker to give us one piece of advice before they leave. We have had probably 4 speakers this semester, and each speaker parts with the same words of wisdom; “Always work on improving your writing, I cannot tell you how invaluable it is to have solid writing skills in this field.” 

Now obviously I was aware that writing is a major factor in the communications field, which is one of the main reasons I chose this field. However, the concept that my writing can constantly be improved is something I haven’t really considered. But since these speakers all seem to think that my best shot at landing a job is to improve my writing, I look all around the internet for ways to become a better writer. 

PR Daily posted an article called, “Examining ‘smart’ habits for better writing, which naturally caught my attention. This article focused on one area of writing which I believe to be a prevalent part of most people’s lives; email writing! “An example of a “smart habit” is to avoid multitasking. It seems we do not function optimally when we multitask; the brain is better at time sharing.” I am the number one offender of thinking I can multitask a million different things. Answer an email from my mom, revise my resume, oh and work on my blog due for my online class. I cannot. I instead, spend an unnecessary amount of time trying to accomplish a little work and hardly accomplishing anything. 

“Because email is one of the biggest distractions in the modern workplace, one of Markman’s “smart habits” is not answering emails immediately.” This article suggests that when we immediately pound out a response back to message received, we are not giving to response the time or attention it deserves. The article recommends you wait until your “optimal work time” to respond. By this the website means at what point during the day are you at your most productive. Some people are morning people and are fresh right away. I on the other hand am more of an afternoon person. By noon my brain is functioning at a much more productive pace. So maybe I read my emails in the morning, but respond before lunch. When possible of course, some emails require an immediate response. 

There are so many ways one could improve their writing ability Its a process to become a better writer, and one that really never ends. However I think as long as we are always writing, always reading, and always trying; then we can be the best possible writers. Image

 

Here is an example of my own personal Email inbox. It shows how easy it is to get sidetracked when checking and responding to emails. 

 

Works Cited

http://www.prdaily.com/writingandediting/Articles/15576.aspx

 

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Bet You Didn’t Know…

An article I read on PRDaily.com described 7 features on Facebook that are fairly unknown, but can make you a more effective Facebook user. Although all the features were interesting and can be useful, there were a few that stood out to me in particular. 

The first feature is, “Text to Like.” Most people have the Facebook app on their phone, but you can also text “like cnn” to 32665 (FBOOK) and receive automatic updates from the CNN Facebook page. This is a simple way to get news on your phone (for free), or updates from any other Facebook page. I could text “like St. Rose Communications” and get status updates from the The College of St. Rose Comm page. 

The next feature that stood out to me is the ability to schedule posts. This can be useful for several ways. With this feature you can plan out posts for social media campaigns, and not have to rush on the day to have them posted by a certain time. This feature can also prevent the possibility of forgetting to posts. You can send out the status right when you think of it, but it won’t be published until the day and time you request. This feature really makes running a Facebook page much simpler. 

The last feature that stood out to me was the option to change links to a sentence or word you desire. For example many times when you post a picture on your Facebook page, it comes with a whole slew of words and .coms behind it. Facebook gives you the option to change all that junk to a caption that is much shorter and more aesthetically pleasing. Plus the changed link may also describe the source better. 

Many people in our generation think they know all there is to know about social media. And realistically we are the people who spend the most time on it. But what we don’t realize is the various ways to use social media intelligently and strategically. Articles like this teach us how to make the most out of social media. 

 

 

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Works Cited

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/15432.aspx# 

Facebook Knows What You Like

Have you ever noticed the ads on the side of your Facebook page? Did it ever seem like they were there just because you would like them? Yeah, well thats exactly why they’re there. According to http://www.facebook.com/about/ads, “The ads you see are selected for you based on the things you do on Facebook, such as liking a Page or commenting on a story, and the information you share, such as your current city or birthday.” The website also says that ads may be based on how you personally used the advertisers website or apps. 

Facebook marketers use extremely logical techniques. Advertisers pay Facebook to only show adds to people who they will be relevant too. Facebook monitors a user’s actions on Facebook and from there posts relevant adds on their page. This way Facebook users may actually click on the links and not just dismiss the adds as random and useless noise. 

For example, on the side of my Facebook page, the adds are one for Zappos (where I recently ordered boots from), an add for a fooseball table (because one of my interests are soccer), and an add for a travel agency (because I blew up all social media about my trip to Cancun last year). All of these adds are relevant to me, and frequently catch my attention. In my opinion, it is useful for all companies to consider adds on Facebook. They are simple to create and easy access to a specific target audience.

 

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Works Cited

https://www.facebook.com/about/ads/

https://www.facebook.com/joanna.clark.336

Forbes Nailing the Social Media Game

It’s no secret that most companies these days want a piece of the social media action. And why wouldn’t they? It is the simplest way to reach an audience; because lets face it everyone is a member of some sort of social media. So, Forbes went about finding the best way to conduct a social media campaign. 

Not unlike the information provided in our class text, “Share It,” Forbes published steps for effective social media usage. Social media is only effective if a company’s consumers are aware of its existence. Forbes suggests sending out an email to consumers about updates that will take place on Facebook or LinkedIn or whichever social media you so choose. Give your consumers a heads up that there is action taking place on your social media and that its something to take a glance at. 

As almost everyone knows, social media such a Twitter has character limits. Seems like an obstacle? It’s not really; just post a link in your tweet to an outside blog where you can type for days and days and add as many pictures as you think does the job. 

It’s not easy to know what to write about for a social media outlet. It’s not always simple to know what the audience wants to read about. Assigning topics to your social media contributors is a way to stay relevant. Along with interesting topics to write about, should come guidelines. Teach your contributors some social media etiquette as to offend your audience and to stay on point. 

Not only is social media a way for an audience to get information from a company, but it’s a great opportunity for companies to get information they need from the audience the social media reaches. When a company delivers a clear and concise message, they get positive results in return. For example when they give a clear message about what they want in an employee, they get candidates that reflect these skills and abilities. 

Running a social media site is no small feet. It takes time, attention, and leg work. Everyone in a company should have some knowledge and background about how to effectively contribute to their social media site. Image 

Not only is the Forbes Twitter page visually appealing, but their content is relevant to their organization. The information is timely and interesting. 

 

Works Cited

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericbasu/2013/07/21/how-to-create-a-successful-social-media-campaign-for-a-startup/

https://twitter.com/Forbes

 

Oreo Daily Twist

To Celebrate Oreo’s 100th birthday, the company came up with a Pinterest social media campaign called “The Daily Twist.” With the help of 360i, Oreo took a look at their online audience and found that not only mothers made up this demographic but also Millennial. Obviously social media is a very effective way to reach this demographic considering they spend a great deal of time on their online communities.

            The Oreo Company and 360i created a strategy. “The strategy was to become more relevant with the Millennial crowd by re-imagining pop culture through the eyes of Oreo. (360i website).” Oreo created a newsroom and hired people to create social media content daily, for 100 days on significant and relevant headlines. The interesting part was the content was various images created with Oreos. Oreo paid tribute to days such as “talk like a pirate day,” or the anniversary of the high five. The images were mostly lighthearted and amusing.

            At the end of the campaign, Oreo set up a finale in Time Square. People in Time Square voted on what the final Oreo image should be. The votes were tallied and an Oreo image was created in real time in a glass newsroom where people outside could look in and see the image being created.

            The Daily Twist Campaign was a successful one. The 360i website concluded, “We saw a 280 percent increase in Facebook shares and 510 percent increase in re-tweets on Twitter. The content series garnered more than 1 million Likes on Facebook – or 10,000 Likes per post, on average (360i website).” The campaign received 13 awards, but most importantly increased awareness of the brand to online and social media users.

            This campaign is a prime example of a successful social media campaign; it is interesting, culturally relevant, and engaging with it’s audience. The campaign results were measurable so 360i was able to show evidence of the campaigns accomplishments.

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Works Cited

http://www.360i.com/work/oreo-daily-twist/

Chapter 9 LinkedIn: Social Networking for Professionals

           LinkedIn is a website I learned about as a Freshman at the College of St. Rose. At a meeting I attended where I learned about networking, the Speaker went on and on about this page. He even went so far as to bring a girl to the front of the room who had just that day gotten a job that she learned about on the professional website.

            “LinkedIn sells itself as a platform to connect/reconnect, boost your career and find answers; simple really—just an online extension of our offline networks (p.81).” This quote from the book, “Share This,” is precisely how I would describe my experience on LinkedIn. Just today I had my own real life example of this. A friend of mine has a client who was looking for a new employee. This employee needed to have certain skills and education. My friend recommended me for the job and when I got home my LinkedIn page showed that the man had already looked at my profile to see my experience.

            Our online footprints really are a legitimate way for employers to get a sense of us, and these profiles are being taken into consideration. As young professionals, I believe that it is important for students in this class or in similar positions to take their professional online networks seriously.  LinkedIn is essentially a virtual resume and should be updated as regularly as a hard copy resume.

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Works Cited 

http://www.linkedin.com/wvmx/profile?trk=hb_ntf_VIEWED_YOUR_PROFILE

Chapter 7

There are many companies today who use Facebook as a means of marketing and communicating with their audience. Chapter 7 discusses using Facebook as a tool for your organization. Facebook is free and easy to use. Anyone can create a group page and interactions for their audience. Many PR professionals feel that the interaction between the Facebook page and it’s followers, which is in turn seen by each of the followers friends, is the most valuable kind of exposure.

When it comes to marketing, the most important tool is open two-way communication between the marketer and the audience. The best way to engage conversation is to first engage the audience. A company who I think does a good job with managing it’s Facebook page is Oreo. Oreo has 34,407,450 likes and 78,826 talking about it’s page.  Oreo consistently posts pictures on the Facebook wall that are relevant to different events, special days, or just funny Oreo pictures. Thousands of people comment on each picture.

Oreo tags people in each picture that the company posts (creating another opportunity for interaction), uses hashtags, and even posts different recipes. I would highly recommend scrolling down the Oreo Facebook page, and challenge you not to be amused by at least one of the posts. It is clear that the team in charge of this Facebook page, dedicates a great deal of time and effort into making this page successful. The content is always relevant and entertaining. The content is fresh and new. Lastly, the content is that of which has the capability to appeal to a large group of people.  Its honestly just a fun page. Image

Here is just a quick glimpse of the material posted on the Facebook page. This shows the pictures, hashtags, and tags to bring people into a conversation. 

 

Works Cited

https://www.facebook.com/oreo

Chapter 5 & 6: Social Media Guidelines

            Chapters 5 and 6 touched on guidelines organizations should consider and implement on their social media sites. While reading these chapters, I was reminded of a class that I took last year called, “The Agency.” My group’s client was the Alumni Office here at the college of St. Rose. The office wanted to increase their connections with graduates and in turn increase the amount of annual donations. The office had  a Facebook page but there was  not sort of consistency or any real effort being put forth into the social media at hand. So part of our mission as their PR team was to put together a guidelines for tweets, Facebook posts, etc. We compiled sample tweets and posts for the office to use and to base their future posts off of. My PR team informed the office that the tweets had to be relevant and timely, eye catching, and invoke two-way communication.

            Before my class’s council, the office had no real direction with their social media. It was just about useless for the office to even have a Facebook page. I think without guidelines the same problem could easily happen to any organization. It is my opinion that many organizations simply trust that their employees know right from wrong. And realistically, they generally probably do. But sometimes its not that black and white. Yes, probably most employees know not to use foul language or to make racial slurs on social media sites. However maybe they don’t understand the tone the company is trying to portray, or that they cannot treat this social media site like their personal account.

            “For the most part, employers are responsible for creating and communication social media guidelines (Griffiths p.44).” It is not enough for organizations to create guidelines, they need to make sure to communicate these guidelines to all its employees. As discussed yesterday in our Twitter chat, there are various ways to do this. The guidelines can be taught at a meeting, printed in newsletters and various other ways. Image

The tweets attached are some of the tweets my class and I suggested/made guidelines for.

Chapters 3 & 4

What Has Google Ever Done for PR?

Chapter three discusses basically how PR specialist misuse Google; or lack to use the free features that Google provides. PR people are all about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). However they do not necessarily go about achieving it the right way. However I did feel that the chapter was a little unfair towards some PR tactics. “In terms of measurement, PR has generally relied upon vanity metrics such as Advertising Value Equivalence, Reach and Opportunities To See (Smith p. 24).” I wouldn’t say that PR relies on these methods, however I do feel that they are beneficial added extras. What could possibly be wrong with getting a company a bit of free exposure? 

An article on the PRSA website discusses AVE. (http://comprehension.prsa.org/?p=4600) The link provided brings up an article that discusses how PRs measure AVE. PRs do not just simply say, “hey I got you free exposure and saved you loads of money.”  PRs measure the value of the advertising and the quality of it. The “Google Analytics” Provided are particularly useful for any PR person trying to increase their company’s presence online or to be more searchable. 

Integrating Traditional and Social Media

It is a common thought now that traditional media is on the verge of extinction. While definitely on the decline, traditional media is still in existence. I agree with the chapter that most PRs focus mostly on social media to disperse information about a company, and to advertise. Traditional media should be used as a gateway for companies to call attention to their product or service. From there, social media can give more specific information. 

A company that gives specific information on their Twitter page about the services they off is American Airlines. The Twitter page provides information about various contests, information about the planes, and different specials. This is not the kind of information that would be used in traditional media, but its perfect for social media. 

Do you think social media is still important to PR professionals?

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Works Cited

https://twitter.com/AmericanAir

http://comprehension.prsa.org/?p=4600

 

Chapter 2 Kick-Start Your Social Media Strategy

The focus of this chapter was the necessary steps any organization (big or small) should take when starting up any kind of social media. The chapter really breaks down the different paths an organization can take in 6 steps. 

Step 1

The first step discussed was “Select Your Squad.” Needless to say, any social media site needs a manager or managers. To maintain relevance in the social media world, social media sites need constant attention and updates. Social Media is so popular because of the ways it can be used for communication. Customers can get information about organizations that they are interested in, and organizations can get invaluable feedback from their customers about what is working well for them or perhaps what they need to change. 

Step 2

The second step discussed is “Choose a goal.” The chapter presents three “Business Drivers,” that social media can address. The three include Brand awareness, Finance sales, and customer loyalty. To start by trying to address and an ambitious and not to mention unrealistic goal. But to choose one which is the most important to your organization and then go from there is a good way to start. 

Step 3

The third step discussed is “Start Listening.” This step discusses all the ways an organization can tune into what audiences are saying about them. Various websites can search key words of the organization’s choice and see how they are being used. This can be extremely helpful to an organization to, again, see what is working well or not so popular. 

Step 4

The fourth step discussed is “Think Character and Content.” This means to portray the social media site as “human.” Consumers want to talk to someone who they can relate to, and someone who will communicate with them. The most effective way to conduct a social media site is through two-way-communcation. An organization cannot just preach their brand, because the audience will soon lose interest. 

Step 5

The fifth step discussed is to “Integrate your outposts.” Every post should have a purpose, and there are two main purposes that should be achieved with every post. To “direct traffic from the inside>>> outward..” and to direct traffic from the outside>>inward… (p. 20).” This means to create a connection so visitors can see content without having to subscribe to anything and to make content intriguing and attention grabbing so whatever viewer may see it may be interested enough to search for further information. 

Step 6 

The sixth step discussed is “Measure what you treasure.” “The most important thing to focus on will be simply whatever shows you have achieved your goal(s) (p.21).” Measuring your results is important, especially as a PR person. Companies want proof that you achieved the goals set forth. So as long as you can prove that your efforts have brought more viewers to your social media site (or whatever else), than you are accurately measuring. 

A Facebook page I can think of as an example, is Cosmopolitan. The page is constantly posting pictures of street fashion they like, risque celebrity looks, or events the staff has been attending such as fashion week. It is amusing, interactive and informative. Plenty of material to keep viewers attention. 

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Works Cited

https://www.facebook.com/Cosmopolitan