Monday, October 29, 2012

The future of PR

Yet again, it is time to choose classes for the upcoming semester. As I read through the descriptions of classes in the catalog, I find myself wondering which skills I have obtained that will have the biggest impact on my job seeking process and future career. An article by Youtern, one of my favorite websites to seek career advice from, recently emphasized particular college skills that they claim really make a difference when it comes to acquiring your first job:

  • Communication Skills
    • All types of communication are important. Whether it be face to face, over e-mail, or via texting, communication with peers, teachers, and parents are all beneficial to your future career. The art of communicating with others is an invaluable skill which you will utilize each and every day in the workplace. It is important to understand which type of language is needed in a particular situation, such as informal communication with co-workers or formal communication with a potential employer. On your resume, this skill should be evident through the layout and the wording on your document.
  • Writing Skills
    • Every college paper that you write is beneficial to your future. These writing skills can be acquired through the composition of papers, resumes, press releases, blog posts, and even e-mails. Your resume has the ability to be the epitome of your writing skill, so make sure it is perfectly executed and all in the same tense.
  • Time Management
    • This skill is essential in the Public Relations industry. Juggling extracurricular activities, leadership positions, part-time jobs, internships, and classes will most definitely come in handy when you are in the workplace. Often, you will be assigned many different projects at once and organization, as well as adequate usage of time are essential. Emphasize activities and positions which required you to use your time management skills on your resume and explain them in detail.
  • Networking
    • You may be surprised to know that your networking skills at this point in your life are already top-notch. You have already built rewarding relationships with peers in your major, professors, and internship supervisors. These relationships will undoubtedly play some role in your future and may even get you your first career. 
  • Software Skills
    • The technological skills you have acquired since high school are important. However, college is the first time that the technology you use will be more specific to your future career path. On your resume, list the technologies specific to your career and make sure that you are actually proficient in them.
  • Integrity
    • Remaining true to yourself, accepting your faults, and being transparent will get you very far in life. College is a place to grow up and become the person you have always wanted to be. Although you may have stumbled once or twice, whether it be a bad grade or bad decision, everything you experience makes you stronger and will allow you to prosper both in the workplace and as an adult.
To complement this list of skills, I wanted to include an infographic regarding the "Future of Public Relations". I found this Press Index post especially interesting and hope that you will also!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Man jumps from space

As many of you probably know, a man jumped from space on Sunday and broke many world records. As I am leaving for a ten day adventure to Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Paris tonight, I wanted to do a less serious post regarding Felix Baumgartner's "24 mile skydive boon". First of all, do you guys think that it was legitimate or was it a well executed project by photoshop and other media video technologies? Whatever the case, Baumgartner caused quite a stir on the social media front:

  • His jump was watched by approximately 8 million Youtube viewers. Many tuned in to watch the live stream of his video. My housemates and I were among the many because I saw a few people's tweets and Facebook statuses about it.
  • The picture of Baumgartner on his knees when he finally reached earth was shared by over 29,000 people and liked by about 216,000 people. Additionally, Red Bull promised to ask Baumgartner three questions created by Facebook and Twitter users.
  • Half the worldwide trending topics on Twitter were regarding Baumgartner's jump. Athletes and celebrities weighed in on the event and gave their two cents. 
All in all, history was made and anyone who tuned into it was apart of it. Whether or not the jump was legitimate, it will go down in social media history.

To read the full article, click here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Twitter's effect on television series

If I told you that Twitter users had an effect on television show's scripts, would you believe me? Although it is hard to imagine, the answer is yes, they do. A limited number of shows have actually edited or added to their later episodes because of tweets posted by fans. According to Bluefin Labs, the increase in comments posted on various social media platforms has skyrocketed from 8.8 million in July 2011 to 75.5 million this past July. This is a monumental increase, indicating that television producers will have no choice but to adapt to the ever growing influence of social media.

"Covert Affairs", a USA Network drama, adapted its finale episode in order to respond to fans' somewhat romantic desire for a main character to get his eyesight back. Although the character was told he would not be eligible for surgery, producers still recorded the scene and added it into the episode even after the episode was already finalized. Many shows, including "Vampire Diaries", continue to use Twitter solely to gauge reactions and responses of their fans. However, the producers of "Vampire Diaries" were forced to respond to Twitter when they created somewhat of a blunder in one of their episodes. In the series, it is known that vampires are not to enter into a human's house unless they are given permission to do so, but in May 2011, a vampire named Katherine broke the rule. Twitter users were so adamant with their tweets that the producers of the show finally explained the phenomenon in a later episode, indicating that the house was once under the ownership of vampires. 

The reason so many television series are hesitant to respond is because only about 8 million people were responsible for the 75 million social media comments Bluefin calculated last July. This indicates that it is only coming from a small percentage of the entire population of viewers. Whether the producers decide to adapt their shows to what is being discussed on social media or not, there is no denying the influence social media has acquired in the world of television. It is a powerful tool and people are learning to utilize it successfully to get what they want.

To read the full Wall Street Journal article, click here.

Photo Taken From: Wall Street Journal

Monday, October 8, 2012

Social media and the presidential debate

When I awoke Thursday morning in Florence, both my Twitter and Facebook feeds were filled with posts and tweets regarding the presidential debate. Despite the final outcome of the debate, one thing was blatantly evident and that was the fact that all political events will never be the same due to the rise of social media. 

Before the current popularity of social media platforms, people would simply watch the debate and then listen to their favorite newscasters comment and analyze it afterwards. Now, however, people can comment on the debate in real time, allowing for others to respond and share their opinions as well. The entire communication surrounding presidential debates has changed- people watch the debates in old media and respond to it on new forms of media. Now, unlike ever before, normal people have a voice in something that they never had a say in. 

Another interesting aspect to consider is the fact that television analysts now use user's tweets and posts as a guideline to topics they will discuss in their commentaries. Wednesday's debate was the most tweeted about political event to date. The event mustered up over 10.3 million tweets. The tweets also indicated that most people felt that Romney had been the "winner" of the debate. Additionally, it has been determined that Wednesday's debate was the fourth most tweeted about telecast of all time, falling only behind the Grammy's, MTV's Video Music Awards, and the Super Bowl. It will be interesting to see how social media affects the remainder of the election, especially after Obama's successful utilization of it in the past.

To read the full article, click here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The "new" and improved Myspace.. Seriously

Recently, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the launch of a completely new Myspace. As a past Myspace enthusiast and an avid user of social media, this story immediately caught my attention. Apparently, Justin Timberlake is behind the new site, and has been heavily promoting it. He tweeted: "THIS IS MYSPACE #thenewmyspace" with a link to the following video:

This is, of course, not the first time Myspace has attempted to make a comeback. However, after watching the teaser video equipped with a clever song entitled Heartbeat by JJAMZ, I have to admit that my interest is there and I am willing to give it a try. If you go to Myspace's main page, you can submit your e-mail in order to receive an invitation to join the site once it is complete.

The new Myspace allows users to scroll horizontally rather than vertically in a layout similar to that of Pinterest's. New features also allow users to post on Facebook and Twitter from the site, as well as transfer their photos and videos onto their new Myspace page. This indicates that Myspace does not intend to compete with these networks and will instead remain with its focus on music and artists. Myspace desires to be a platform where users are able to listen to music and connect with artists who share posts and songs with their fans. 

Although Specific Media and Timberlake have worked very hard to transform the outdated website into something catchy and entertaining since the purchase of it back in 2011, a successful comeback is still questionable. The answer will come when the site is officially launched and people decide whether or not to embrace it. To read the full ABC News article, click here.