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Why Twitter Is Great & Six Hashtags for PR Students/Professionals

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Feb 23, 2009 in Social Media, Twitter

Tweet what?

I thought Twitter was the most ridiculous tool before I started using it. Even as I started to build my Twitter network, I didn’t quite get it. How was this such a great tool? What is the point?

Why I think it’s great

Months later, I think Twitter is great. It is a great tool for networking with other PR students and professionals, sharing interesting information, asking for advice and even promoting my blog. Since Jan. 1, more than 200 visits to this blog were via Twitter. I also met Julie Bonn Heath, who has offered me the opportunity to work with her virtually for her PR firm starting this spring.

Useful PR Hashtags

I’ve also discovered hashtags, which help organize posts. Here are some of the most useful hashtags for PR students and professionals I have found:

Why do you like Twitter? Do you have any great Twitter stories, like finding a job? What’s your favorite hashtag?

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Negative feedback from non-bloggers? Too bad.

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Feb 19, 2009 in Blogging, Career, Social Media

All Things Workplace says you should work on being likeable to be successful. I thought this was interesting. Recently I had a conversation with Jessica Lawlor from PRowl Public Relations about negative blog comments, which obviously mean there are a few people who don’t like you.

According to All Things Workplace, “your like-ability impacts your credibility and your credibility impacts how influential you become.”

I think this is interesting. I don’t work too hard at trying to make people like me. I think you learn in elementary school that you can’t be everyone’s best friend. I’ve been very focused on being driven, credible and ambitious. I am always willing to help people out, so I thought that made me likeable enough.

But, I’ve found that some people find it strange that I spend so much time blogging. Some have even reacted negatively.

In a reply to a Twitter post by Penelope Trunk, I said, “I’ve found that people think I’m not normal because I have a blog…I tell them that I’m just ‘driven’ and ‘ambitious’

A PR professional I follow replied, saying “That’s ridiculous…

It is. But this is how I replied: “If they only knew the doors my blog has opened for me in my career…they would be starting one too!

And it’s true. This blog has opened countless doors and windows. I’m pretty sure the roof is about to blow off.

I’ve met a lot of great PR students and professionals through this blog. I’ve also attracted the attention of those who are offering internships. I’ve been blogging for almost a year now. It has helped me develop my own style in writing, has improved my skills overall and has taught me a lot about PR and social media. It also has given me confidence-I would never have written such a personal post six months ago.

Maybe these people are just jealous (link from Guy Kawasaki). But they could have a blog too. It’s not very hard to start one. Maybe they simply don’t understand.

How do people outside of the blogosphere react to your blog?

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Advertising 2.Oh! – Part 1

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Dec 12, 2008 in Advertising, Blogging, Branding, PRSSA, Public Relations, Social Media

Over the next several weeks, I will be posting some content from my previous other PR blog. This was originally posted on March 20, 2008. Advertising 2.Oh! is a three-part series.

Today I attended an event hosted by the White Pines Chapter of PRSA. It was called Advertising 2.Oh! Blogging, Vlogging, and Slogging Your Way Through The New Media Jungle presented by Steve Lance. He made a lot of great points and I learned a lot, even though I felt much of it was targeted more so to people in advertising rather than public relations. Click here to find out more out this Emmy Award winning speaker. I managed to take three pages of notes, which I will break up into three different blog posts.

Advertising 2.Oh! Recap #1

Lance said that television is no longer the dominant form of entertainment. He proved this point by asking how many people spent more time on the Internet than they did watching TV. The great majority of attendees did.

Another great point Lance made was if you manage your content, you control your brand’s destiny. His example of this was how Walt Disney had a two-hour premiere when Disneyland was first opening. Eventually, Disney “swallowed” the network (and bought it).

Another example that is more current would be Home Depot. They offer workshops, such as how to put in your own bathroom floor. These workshops are taped and offered to networks. The networks like these because they don’t have to pay for the workshops. Home Depot gets promoted so it’s great for business.

From what I understood, Home Depot also offered advertising time to their product’s companies (for example, if they did a workshop on flooring, Pergo could advertise its floor products). They also have the information on the Web site in the form of five minute vignettes (in print only). From these, they build cross-promotional platforms. One example given by Lance was having links to the vignettes on magazine Web sites in which they advertise in, such as home and garden sites.

Lance showed two models about advertising, content and messages. In the “old” model, the content is separate from the advertising. Now, in the “new” model, the message is the content. This means “total consumer engagement.”

He also emphasized that the consumer is at the center (this was shown in another model, in which ‘consumer’ was in the center circled and at each quarter outside of the circle was ‘positioning,’ ‘execution,’ ‘brand’ and ‘idea’). The brand is no longer at the center as it was before, according to Lance.

Check back soon for Advertising 2.Oh! Recap #2

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Using social media can negatively affect your career

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Dec 2, 2008 in Branding, Public Relations, Social Media

On the Tough Sledding blog, I read a post about the Consequences of Free Speech.

When I began blogging last February, I decided to keep my personal life entirely out of my blog. Bill stated it best in his blog: “You cannot separate your personal and your business life.”

All a potential employer has to do is Google my name to find out everything about me. If I supported a certain proposal or political candidate that they opposed, it could negatively affect my career.

Bill said, “You must assume that all we say and do will be recorded for public inspection.”

So do yourself a favor: Google your name and work on creating a clean, professional image.

Kasey Anderson, a CMU alumna and PR professional, spoke in my public relations writing class not long ago. She said that it’s OK–even good–for you to look like you have a social life. You can have pictures of you and your friends having cocktails (if you are old enough). But don’t post pictures of you passed out on the lawn at a party.

So it’s OK for you to have political and religious opinions. But you might want to keep them to yourself for the sake of your career and your personal brand.

Related Posts:
Social Media Improves Your Brand and Influences Your Career
What Makes a Blog Successful?

Your Brand, Your Business Card

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Social media improves your personal brand and influences your career

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Nov 26, 2008 in Blogging, Public Relations, Social Media, Writing

Some people are saying social media is the future of public relations and it is changing the field of communication. But, I’ve noticed a lot of students are still not involved in social media.

Through Karen Russel’s blog, I came across 13 Ways Social Media Can Improve Your Career by Dave Fleet. I thought it was a really great post about how you can use social media to your advantage. The following post is a real look at how social media is helping me stay “a step ahead.”

First of all, according to Fleet, social media expands your network. I’ve met several students and professionals through Twitter and this blog. Kasey Anderson, a CMU alumna, introduced herself through Twitter. I met her in person several months later when she spoke in my public relations writing class. Dave Baker introduced himself to me at the 2008 PRSSA Conference. He was following me on Twitter and reading my blog before we met in person. There are many other professionals I’ve met through blogging, including Allie Osmar at Edelman PR. Social media expands your social network beyond what was even imaginable B.S.M. (Before Social Media).

Through sites like LinkedIn, you can get references. I got my first reference earlier this month. It’s like a virtual resume…potential employers can read testimonials about your work ethic and skills before they even interview you.

There is another Rachel Esterline out there, so I always go by Rachel M. Esterline when online. It helps distinguish me from the other Rachel. Owning your online brand is important. Google yourself and see how you stand. Of the first 10 results of “Rachel Esterline,” seven are mine. Sixteen of the first 20 results for “Rachel M. Esterline” are mine also. You also should consider building your brand using a blog, personal Web site, Twitter and other methods. I also use a universal image on my Web site and business card.

Social media also can be used to find jobs. I am following the Human Resources Coordinator from Edelman’s Washington, D.C. office on Twitter. I also have talked with an agency through Twitter about internships.

Social media can help you stay current with the latest trends. I subscribe to more than 100 different blogs with Google Reader. Readers save a lot of time. If you do not use a reader yet, I suggest you try Google Reader. There are many new trends I have first heard about through Twitter. Actually, the first time I heard about Google Chrome was through Twitter.

Current events also carry into the social media atmosphere. During the presidential election, all I had to do is check my Twitter to know if either candidate had said anything interesting (or stupid).

Social media shows that you are interested in the latest trends and participating. Fleet described is as being on the “leading edge.” It also helps you learn from others (from their experiences and from what they read, enjoy and then post for you).

Lastly, social media can improve your writing skills. My skills have improved immensely. I also am a better editor and better at clarifying my thoughts clearly and concisely. Blogging makes you find something interesting and write your point of view. Twitter makes you write tighter because you only have 140 characters to get your point across.

Overall, if you are a future PR professional, social media is something you need to know about and understand or else you will be left behind in the dust.

Related Posts:
BG: Before Google
Communication Tips from Bob Lutz of General Motors
Crossing Borders Through Communication: Global PR
Social Media, PR and What I’ve Been Up To

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BG: Before Google

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Nov 23, 2008 in Public Relations, Social Media
If you aren’t familiar with Twitter, or just interested in social media, I suggest the slide show below, which I came across on InfOpinions?.
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: microblogging pr2.0)

InfOpinions? also had the “Did You Know?” video. I was shown a similar version in my JRN 450: Public Relations Writing class. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it below. It’s mind-boggling.

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Communication Tips From Bob Lutz of General Motors

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Oct 31, 2008 in Blogging, National Conference, PRSSA, Social Media

2008 PRSSA National Conference

PRSA General Session
Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman of Global Products, General Motors

The PRSSA National Conference attendees were fortunate enough to be able to attend a PRSA session with Bob Lutz. During his presentation, Lutz gave several tips about communication:

  • Communication is about making a connection
  • Communications should say something
  • Communication has a value that paid advertising does not
  • Communications should view the media as an opportunity, not an obstacle
  • Communicators must evolve with communications

Lutz said communications should be done skillfully, directly, accurately, precisely and honestly. It should be effective and interesting. He also said writing should be balanced because self-praise can do a lot of damage.

I think one of the most important points he made was that communicators must evolve with communications. Lutz has demonstrated this himself with his own blog.

Lutz said blogs give the opportunity to have a real dialogue, to put out an unfiltered message and to have the message out immediately. Executives should write their own blogs, Lutz said, because blogs written by PR people come off as very corporate. People will feel like they are actually being talked to if it is written by the executive. But, Lutz said, an executive should submit their post to PR to make sure facts are confirmed and it is not off message.

Find out more, read his entire speech or read a recent article in PR Tactics and The Strategist Online about his speech.

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Crossing Borders Through Communication: Global PR

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Oct 29, 2008 in Global Communication, National Conference, PRSSA, Public Relations, Social Media

2008 PRSSA National Conference – Detroit

Crossing Borders Through Communication: Global PR
Janet Tabor, Senior Vice President, Weber Shandwick Worldwide

With six billion people and more than 6500 different languages, global campaigns are very complex, according to Janet Tabor, senior vice president of Weber Shandwick Worldwide.

Tabor offered the following advice on global communication at the PRSSA National Conference:

  • Know your audience. Understand cultures and backgrounds are essential to a successful campaign.
  • The key to a successful campaign is having people on the ground in the location of the campaign who understand the mindset of the people, the market and know where people get their information from.
  • Campaigns must be tailored to apply to specific audiences.
  • Digital media has become very important¬† because of the consumer’s lifestyle–it is where people are getting their information from. Therefore, companies need to expand to reach social media to have a dialogue and build relationships with their customers. They need to be engaging.
  • It’s about relationships, not transactions. It’s about listening, enabling discussions and communication back. Social media works best for listening, not selling.
  • Brand monitoring is important. You need to know what is being said. This will help you identify potential issues quickly before they become a crisis.
  • Advocacy has become the most powerful source of influence and communication.
  • Fan sites, watch blogs and detractor sites shape brands and affect reputations.
  • You need to be working across traditional media, niche media and social media, monitoring and acting in online conversations and exploring new communication platforms.
  • Remember the media is now multimedia. For example, Business Week now has a blog, debate area, podcast center and much more.

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My summer reading list

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Aug 29, 2008 in Public Relations, Social Media, Writing

Here are several posts I enjoyed over the summer. I’ve decided to take them off my “shared” list on Google to make room for this fall’s posts.

Five Ways to Make Pitching More Productive and Less Painful by Catching Flack

Nine Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts by Chris Brogan

A free eBook all PR newbies should download by Teaching PR

AP Style-Better Late Than Never by Word Wise

Online Videos-Social Media Releases by PR Squared

My Best Advice About Personal Branding by Chris Brogan

Free Whitepapers from PR Week by Catching Flack

20 Free eBooks About Social Media
by Chris Brogan

The Power of the Inforgraphic by Strategic Public Relations

A sort-of-unified definition of public relations without a single mention of ‘marketing’ and What public relations is not… by Tough Sledding

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Technorati Profile

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Aug 17, 2008 in Social Media

Technorati Profile

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