Posts Tagged ‘ social media ’

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.

Featured Professional:

Liz Presson (@elizabethcp), Brand Evangelist (Manager) for GOSO, a BOALT product in Washington, D.C.

How hard was it to find a position out of state?

liz-profilepic

Looking for a position in DC was stressful. My internship was coming to an end, and I knew that they wouldn’t be hiring due to the economy. I knew that I had to make something happen fast. For about a month I was doing five to seven interviews a week. Some were for paid internships, but most for full-time positions.

Any down time I had was completely dedicated to my job search. I went to every interview I was invited to. Even though I needed a job and was completely ready to start my career, I was not going to settle. I turned down a couple of second interviews for positions that weren’t going to fit for me.

Because I didn’t know much about the area I had to do a lot of research. I would drive around looking at names on buildings and go home and Google the names. I utilized every contact I had and just asked questions– where should I look, what companies they knew, etc.

What does your position entail?

My position requires that I head up all efforts in the promotion of GOSO,  a social media and marketing suite for automotive dealers. I not only tout the benefits of GOSO to the automotive community, but I also work hard to position the GOSO brand as a social media industry leader. This includes writing all promotional materials: web copy, commercials and blog posts. I present the GOSO product to automotive OEMs (Ford, Chrysler, etc.) and dealer principals. I utilize social media tools and I’m an advocate of the social media movement. I also help design our booth at automotive expos and conferences.

What has helped you develop your career and improve your skills?

I’m lucky enough to work closely with my superiors. The owner of the company, Adam Boalt (@boalt), gives me consistent feedback. He’s readily available and I can ask questions without hesitation. I think that finding someone knowledgeable within a company and using them as a resource is the most valuable way to learn. Honest feedback is priceless.

What has been the most difficult part the transition from full-time student to full-time professional?

As a full-time student and advertising manager at CMU, I was always busy– classes, work and homework. Any free time I had went to being a college kid, as it should. As a full-time employee, my free time is my own. It’s liberating to come home and feel free, but it’s important to decide who you want to be in addition to your 9 to 5. I love my field, and I want to be the best. So, I’ve made my job part of my life. I’m available to clients all the time, and because writing is a key aspect of my job I’m a food writer and I have a personal blog. That’s been the hardest part, deciding what my personal life is going to be like now that I have time for one.

What would you suggest to a young professional who is preparing to enter the workforce?

I suggest entering the workforce with an open mind. I had a very specific idea of what kind of public relations job I wanted, and if I wouldn’t have opened my mind I would not have the job I do today.

Be careful when applying for positions on Craigslist. I was asked to come in for an interview by email for a PR/marketing position posted on Craigslist. When I got to the place, which turned out to be a chiropractor’s office, there were at least 20 other people sitting in the room. The doctor came out and told us that he needed a PR person, but first we had to pass a test. He gave us 100 fliers and told us to go out on the street and hand them out to people who were willing to give their email addresses and phone numbers to us. Then, they would call the people the following week and whichever interviewee got the office the most business would win the position.

Did I mention that this was on an extremely hot DC summer day? I was in a full business suite with high-heals. I had my portfolio and briefcase in hand. The office was clearly getting free help by having interviewee’s work. Truly out of line, needless to say I left after about a half hour and never looked back.

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.

Suggested Reading

October 21, 2009 9:11 pm | No Comments

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

Social Media

Public Relations

Design

Career

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.

Suggested Reading

October 13, 2009 9:00 am | No Comments

Here are a few links to things I’ve found interesting recently:

Social Media

Public Relations

Writing

Career

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.