Archive for the ‘ Social Media ’ Category

As an account executive and social media specialist at AGP, social media has become an integral aspect of my career. In between working on marketing communication plans and writing copy, I am tweeting and posting Facebook updates.

Distractions are imminent. As soon as I log onto Facebook to do research, I come across a slew of updates from friends and family. My Twitter feed is non-stop.

I manage to avoid some distraction by:

  1. Having specific links to client Facebook pages, helping me to avoid my personal feed.
  2. Using Twitter lists to categorize tweets. My Tweet Elite list keeps me connected to people I tweet with on a regular basis. I also have several lists for PR professionals, PR students and marketing professionals.
  3. Avoiding things not related to my job (except during lunch, when I will sometimes write blog posts such as this one).

So, how do you manage social media distractions at work? And, do you think it’s appropriate to read/tweet about things not related to your job during the day?

I recently founded Social Media Club – Great Lakes Bay, a new SMC chapter for Michigan’s Bay, Gladwin, Isabella, Midland & Saginaw counties. And, I’m excited to announce our first event! We will be hosting a seminar about the ROI of social media with Speaker Charlie Kondek from MS&L Digital. Go here to learn more (and to register). After the seminar, we’ll move onto our Afterglow Cocktail Party at Bar Oxygen.

I really want to thank Kristen Pelkki (who, did I mention, is a young PR pro seeking a job?) and Ryan Battishill (who designs everything for us) for helping me get this chapter off the ground.

Additionally, thank you to Dave Murray and the rest of iDetroit (including Brandon Chesnutt). Dave encouraged me to start this chapter after we met at Future Midwest, and later at (PR)Evolution.

I’m sure after the event, I’ll have a blog post with tips for other people looking to start a local chapter.

If you have started a chapter, or currently are in one, what would your tips be for me and others starting one?

This is my second post about Future Midwest. It’s a fantastic event I plan to attend this year (unforunately I have a concert on Saturday night, so I won’t get to network that night).

Hubert Sawyers III (@HubertGAM) sent me his thoughts on last year’s event and why you should attend this year’s Future Midwest:

“The Module conference was a really cool experience, because it marked a moment in time where the region was beginning to recognize the power of the ever-developing social web.  I had been only months into embracing social networking sites as something more than just a place to connect with friends.  The Module conference sent my interest and understanding into hyperdrive, because my hunches had been fortified listening to well-known practitioners in the space like Chris Brogan and Scott Monty.  It was even cooler to be able to actually meet them in person.

To put it simply, Module set the stage for the Future in more ways than one.

FutureMidwest is a must-attend, because it truly stands up to live up to its name.  The list of esteemed speakers features interesting people from internationally-recognized brands; some of the speakers/brands are actually based in Michigan.  Obviously, this will bring out a respectable crowd, but then you have the confidence that comes from being backed by companies like Ford Motor Co and General Motors.

The principal conference organizers are looking at the big picture.  It is easy to see that it will take this kind of effort to attract the kind of attention we need for our burgeoning enterprises to grow here in Michigan.  Think of what can built with that kind of forward thinking!

This conference proves to be unlike anything ever witnessed in the state of Michigan and surrounding areas, let alone Metro Detroit…It gives me great faith for the Future.”

Will you attend Future Midwest this year?

About Hubert: As co-host and chief organizer for #tweetea and writing at FryinginVein.com, Hubert knows the value of building relationships organically – both offline and online.   His passion for music and all things creative motivates him share his understanding of business principles to help artists go pro.  Hubert has just started his own marketing agency, SorSaw, and currently does digital media and marketing strategy work in partnership with A-Side Worldwide (www.asideworldwide.biz).

Unsuccessfully on CNN…

March 16, 2010 7:43 pm | No Comments

Today, I was unsuccessfully on CNN. Even in 2010, you really can’t trust technology!

Via Skype, the producer and I were able to set things up. But when I was on air and tried to talk, something went terribly wrong. They never did figure out the problem. My name was mentioned and there was a bit of information about me noted before they moved on.

I was incredibly nervous. I swear you could see my heart beating out of my chest. But, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I couldn’t turn down. I also got to know a great producer and my name was mentioned on a TV station available across the US.

Despite all the problems, I really appreciated the opportunity and the support from all my friends and contacts.

Still not sure that social media is powerful?

Through social media, I was offered a job with Come Recommended. I also used my blog and Twitter to support my application for the internship and Founder’s Award with Fahlgren Mortine.

And, CNN wants to talk to me about it on Newsroom AM with Tony Harris. It relates to a story about finding jobs through Twitter.

So, if you get a chance, tune in to CNN tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. on Newsroom AM. I will be interviewed via Skype.

I hope I can share my story and help others!!

This is a guest post by Kristina Allen (@allenkristina)

In the short time since I graduated with my BA in public communication, I’ve been lucky enough to have worked in three very different social media environments.

Local, Niche Market

My first position, post-graduation in May of 2009, was with Comcast Cable, Inc., heading up the south Florida Local On Demand online promotions.  We were a test market for “Get Local” programming, and my job was to build awareness from the ground-up in the Broward and Miami-Dade counties. (I left Comcast in January of this year).

Challenges:

  • Building awareness out of nothing
  • Having a hyper-targeted market to work with (only people in Broward and Miami-Dade counties and only those who have a Comcast digital package)
  • Getting the producers to understand the importance of keeping me in the loop so I could keep our fans in the loop

Fun Successes:

  • Seeing immediate results
  • Running ticket giveaways for promotional events and meeting fans in person
  • Working on a project with no precedence for a large corporation

Start-up, Online Market

In August of 2009 I was lucky enough to join the Come Recommended team as a post-graduate, public affairs intern. After the completion of my internship, I assumed my new role in external affairs for GoodieRecruit (a brand new service of Come Recommended).

Although I don’t engage in the day-to-day social media initiatives of GoodieRecruit (credit there goes to @GregBarrette), I have overseen the growth of our online networks from bottom-up.

Challenges:

  • Building awareness out of nothing
  • Positioning the start-up brand as an expert source
  • Making sure our branding is always cohesive with our parent company, Come Recommended

Fun Successes

  • Watching the GoodieRecruit twitter account quickly amass a following well over 700
  • Speaking with entry-level job candidates excited about the project
  • Speaking with non-profits and businesses who found us through our online networks, and are excited to work with us

Established Corporate Brand

In January 2010, I left Comcast to pursue new opportunities with ion interactive. At ion I work with our online marketing manager to maintain and grow ion’s already established presence in the social media sphere.

Challenges:

  • Learning the dynamics of already established online relationships
  • Finding ways to grow the already successful online presence
  • Finding time to keep up with the many interactions along with my other PR duties

Fun Successes:

  • Always having people to engage in conversations with
  • Starting a Twitter chat (#CROchat – Thursdays, 1-2pm EST – focused on Conversion Rate Optimization and online marketing measurement. First chat is scheduled for March 4th.)
  • Being an important contributor to the online marketing discussion
    • On a personal note:  observing what marketers find important to measure versus what PR people find important

I’m sure I could come up with 10 more challenges and successes for each of the above environments, but hope what I’ve offered will help other young PR pros know what to expect when entering the digital workforce.

Every company, no matter the size or level of awareness, will run their social media efforts differently.  The important thing is to jump in and positively engage users as fast as possible. You know what they say: whether you join the conversation or not, people will be talking.

About the author: Kristina Allen is 23 years old, and a new public relations professional. She blogs at http://www.kristinaallenpr.com about the relationship between Gen Y journalists and PR pros, and tweets all day long at @allenkristina.

Enter the contest to win a PR/social media book by commenting on this post. Information here.

Drunk GroupI recently shared suggestions on managing and enhancing your professional image online. But, I found this post interesting: “Recruiters shouldn’t care about that Facebook picture of your beer pong game in college” by Shel Holtz.

My opinion is that even though they probably shouldn’t care, and while we would hope that they wouldn’t care, some of them probably do. What you post on Facebook and other social networks helps create your image online. How do you want to be perceived by recruiters?

First impressions are very important.

Heather Huhman, a hiring manager and founder of Come Recommended, said poor first impressions through social media can negatively affect her opinion on candidates.

“For me personally, I dislike foul language more than drunk photos. I think that’s far more unprofessional than crazy photos because I realize that college kids do party,” Huhman said.

In a field such as public relations, how you communicate is key in your career. Huhman also warns of sharing extremely private information, such as information about your sex life.

“Again, it goes to the professionalism of the candidate. First impressions are one-shot deals,” she said.

Huhman mentors students and recent grads about many things, including build a professional image online. I work with Huhman and her company Come Recommended. Come Recommended is an exclusive online community, connecting intern and entry-level job candidates to employers. Both the employers and the candidates must “come recommended” by having at least three recommendations before they can access the community. Sites like these can help build your image positively.

Filter for the sake of your career.

Some people won’t care about what you say and do online. But, do you want to take that chance?

I suggest you filter some things online. Foul language and excessive personal information (example: sex life) should probably not be discussed. If you’re already well-known in your career, like Penelope Trunk, you might be able to get away with it.

But, if you aren’t famous and you’re just starting your career, you may want to be more careful. I’ve had potential employers e-mail me about my blog, supervisors read my blog and coworkers add me as a friend on Facebook.

You never know who is reading your posts or viewing your photos. Show your personality, but filter out the things that portray you negatively.

ProfessionalsWin a PR/social media book by commenting and tweeting about this blog post. Information here on rules and prizes.

With the many social networks that are available today, it is important to manage your professional image. How do you portray yourself? What does a potential employer or client see when they Google your name?

Here are three tips on managing your professional image professional:

  1. Facebook status. Don’t use your Facebook status updates to share information about the actions an employer doesn’t need to know about, censor your wall posts and patrol the posts written by others on your own wall. For example, “Getting trashed” is not an appropriate status update.
  2. Facebook photos. While you are not expected to be in a business suit in each photo, use caution when uploading or tagging yourself in pictures. Photos that portray you as immature, inappropriate or unprofessional will impact people’s perceptions on your professional image. Keep watch on the photos your friends upload of you as well.
  3. Facebook apps, fan pages and groups. Some of the applications available on Facebook might be fun, but watch which ones you publish on your wall. Informing people of your results on “What is your stripper name?” might not be the best idea. If you wouldn’t want to discuss it with your company’s CEO or your grandparents, don’t join the group or become a fan.

Some of you might believe that since your profile is set to private, that you will be OK. But, what if your friend works at the company you just applied to? The potential employer could go through your friend to see your profile. In conclusion, think twice before posting to social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.

Managing your image isn’t enough. The next step you should take is to use social networks to enhance your image online. Here are four tips to enhance how potential employers see you:

  1. Share ideas and information. Did you read an interesting article? Did you learn something new today? Write relevant and useful updates often. Also, consider bookmarking great links on Delicious to share with others.
  2. Go beyond just joining networks. The best example to use for this is LinkedIn. How many of you are on LinkedIn? And, how many actually use the features of it? Take full advantage of social networking sites. For example, on LinkedIn you can request recommendations, join groups and answer questions.
  3. Start and maintain a blog. Blogging can display to your leadership and knowledge in public relations. It can help others understand the field and inspire them to take a more active role in developing themselves professionally. Write posts that will showcase your skills, knowledge and ambition and comment on other people’s blogs.
  4. Create an online portfolio. If you are truly serious about your career, an online portfolio can help promote your personal brand to potential employers. In addition to work samples and your resume, your portfolio also could have recommendations.

First impressions are extremely important. Your social networks can have an affect on them, so be cautious and work hard to enhance your professional image online.

Win a PR/Social Media Book

October 13, 2009 11:10 pm | 11 Comments

International Communications StrategyI’d like to celebrate my new blog launch with a contest and you can win a book! I might add more prizes, but for now I have two books. Read on to find out more:

The Prize:
International Communications Strategy: Developments in Cross-Cultural PR and Social Media by Silvia Cambie and Yang–May Ooi (There will be two winners because I have two copies) - each worth close to $50 each

How to Win:
The two winners for this giveaway will have gained the most points by Nov. 1, 2009. Here is how you can get points:

  1. Comment on blog posts. You must leave insightful, good comments. “Good post” does not count. Add to the conversation. Tell me what you think. 1 point per blog post
  2. Tweet about blog posts. Send a tweet such as, “4 Ways Being A Reporter Can Help A Future PR Pro: (link here) by @RachelEsterline.” My Twitter handle has to be in the tweet to get points. 1 point per tweet (unless you tweet the same article so many times that you annoy people)
  3. Post the link to my blog and let people know they can win a book on your own blog (or other site). 2 points
  4. Write a great guest post about PR, writing, Gen Y, career, design, etc. Submit a guest post to me at EsterlinePublicRelations [at] Gmail.com to be posted in the future on this blog. 10 points

The Rules:

Don’t lie or cheat. If I think you did something wrong, I reserve the right to choose a different winner. If your blog post doesn’t make sense, is riddled with errors, etc., then I have the right to deny it and not give you points. If  you have any questions, comment or e-mail me.

About

Rachel M. Esterline works in public relations and marketing communications. Her blog, ExPRessions, contains her musings about PR, marketing, career and professional development, Gen Y issues, personal branding and more. Rachel also does freelance consulting and writing. She is originally from Genesee, Mich., and will graduate from Central Michigan University in May 2010.