Saturday, June 30, 2012

LinkedIn 101

There is no denying that our generation is extremely knowledgeable in terms of social media. However, I feel that I am still not completely positive how to best utilize LinkedIn and all of its features. Being that this social network is so incredibly valuable in regards to the future and possible job opportunities, it comes as no surprise that it is somewhat of a trickier platform to effectively utilize.

Undoubtedly, potential employers will one day glance at your LinkedIn accounts from time to time which is why I felt that everyone could use somewhat of a crash course in how to use it to its full advantage.

I have compiled information from various blogs and websites regarding LinkedIn and have came up with the following tips that I see to be most useful:

  • Make your profile image a picture of just you.
    • Using a picture in which you are in either a casual environment or surrounded by others makes you appear unprofessional.
  • Your headline should be meaningful and say whatever it is that you want a potential employer to know about you.
    • LinkedIn will automatically use your most recent employment. However, you have the ability to change it to say whatever you would like it to say.
  • Make your summary go deeper than you normally would.
    • Your entire profile puts your past experiences and expertise in black and white. Speak of a lifetime goal or an interesting skill you possess to make your page memorable.
  • Become familiar with technical skills you possess.
    • These key words are essential to have on your profile because it shows off your industry knowledge.
  • Update your status periodically.
    • Doing this makes others notice you, as well as shows your passion for staying up-to-date with current events.
  • Change your URL from the default one given to a personalized one of your name.
    • It looks more professional and you can easily include it in a resume or e-mail signature this way.
  • Make your profile public.
    • You want people to know when you have viewed their page and being completely visible allows potential employers to find you with no problem. 
  • Get recommendations.
    • Give to get. Write a recommendation for someone you truly admire in the workplace and hopefully they will return the favor.
  • Join groups that pertain to your major of study.
    • Just joining is not enough. Be sure to participate in discussions in order to get both your voice and presence out there.
  • Finally, if you want to show up in searches done by potential employers, headhunters, or recruiters, you need connections (and lots of them)
    • When a person like a potential employer does a search, people in their network show up first no matter what. This can be by either a group or direct connection. Therefore, unless you have a decent amount of connections, you are less likely to show up in searches and get noticed for hire.
    • Basically, connect with as many people as you can! However, be cautious if you decide to add people that you do not actually know. If a person expresses that they do not know you, LinkedIn will then make you enter a person's e-mail every time you go to connect with them.
To read Hannah Morgan's full Youtern article, click here.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Being professional on social networks

Photo Credits via
Marist grads are armed with education and experience to enter the professional world, diploma finally in hand. But do their online profiles look as presentable as their commencement gowns?

These days, employers are looking past resumes to make employment decisions. I'm sure everyone has heard about the controversy surrounding interviews in which candidates are asked to open their social media sites, including Facebook. Even if they're not asking, they are looking. It is just as easy, if not easier, to type in a candidate's name into a Google search to see what comes up. A few clicks later, judgement might have passed. And your chance was short lived and shot down by your online profiles.

My boss at my first internship, who happened to be the CIO, admitted that he had Googled my name even before my interview. A wave a relief ran through me when I realized I passed the I-Googled-your-name-and-you-still-got-the-position test. Even still, knowing he did Google me was nerve wracking; knowing someone is surfing the Internet to find out about you is, well, creepy. But the blatant fact is, I've put everything out there as fair game to be searched by future employers.

So what can you do? Use your online profiles to stand out in the sea of applicants and give employers a reason to take the next step and schedule an interview to meet you. The Savvy Intern offers a blog post by Brandon Manson including advice for not only recent college graduates, but also future grads in developing a professional social media persona.

Be sure to look presentable. Every social media profile has a picture of you: make sure it is a good one. And be sure to fill your profiles out completely especially your biographies. On Twitter, you have 140 characters to describe yourself professionally and uniquely.

Use social media sites to network in a professional manner to brand yourself.

Become an industry expert by knowing everything there is to know about one or two areas of interest with your industry.

Become a reliable source of content by sharing content in your industry--retweet, shares and +1s--daily. Engage users in your network and participate in conversations. Build your network by reaching out to industry experts and influencers. They'll realize that you share industry news and appreciate the content you post or tweet.

Write a blog to share your thoughts on the latest industry news and any knowledge you acquire through experience, courses and internships. You could even send along a link to it to PR professionals; then they see your name and might possibly even share it in their network.

A valuable piece of advice by Manson resonates within his contradiction to the popular phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know." In opposition, he says this statement is false because you have to know things to get to know people. And if you've read this entire post, that is the most important lesson you should take away.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

World's First "Social Games"

Often, there is much excitement leading up to the Olympics, and this year's games are in no way an exception. I personally am a big fan of the summer olympics in particular, so I am very excited that it will be occurring next month. With the financial crisis in Europe, coupled with the growing popularity of social media, the world is in for quite a spectacular event.

Back in 2008, there were significantly less users on both Twitter and Facebook. Presently, there are 140 million users on Twitter and and 845 million users on Facebook. Undoubtedly, there will be both positive and negative buzz via social media, but many would argue that any coverage is good coverage.

Also noteworthy, is a campaign containing a series of original "webisodes" that allow people to follow numerous athletes' journeys. The series was designed to allow viewers to get better acquainted with the athletes that will be partaking in the games.  This is done through a social media platform called Bumebox, which allows people to stay up-to-date with various athletes' tweets and posts, respond to other's posts, and bring to light opinions of their own. There is no denying that this will make the games entirely more interactive and get people more involved.

To read the full Mashable article, click here.

Photo Credit: Mashable

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How do employers feel about social media?

We love infographics. They add visual aesthetics to statistics that we would glance over otherwise. The question the infographic below addresses one that is becoming more and more important for Generation Y: Are we allowed to use social media in the workplace?

Payscale completed research to create an infographic to answer this question: "Do employers "like" social media?" ComeRecommended elaborated on key takeaways, specifying that results revealed employers feel social media is for brand promotion, but are weary of employee use because a negative tweet can spread like virtual wildfire.

Pertaining to the field of public relations, the infographic states that "59% of media companies actively encourage their employees to use social media." Works for me. Not only does Payscale contribute evidence to social media policies in small, medium and large companies, especially within the media field, but it also shows us that employers love social recruiting, mainly on LinkedIn. Adding to the be-careful-but-smart-with-social-media debate (and recent blog post), this research provided in visual form tells future PR professionals what to expect in regards to social media in the workplace and hints that we should definitely use social networking to our career and job search advantage.

 Photo credit: ComeRecommended

Sunday, June 10, 2012

MyPRGenie: Turning buzz into leads

There's a platform that can do everything you need for online marketing. MyPRGenie. It has everything PR professionals need to track PR campaigns: social media tracking, email marketing and SEO. Turn buzz into leads, the platform's slogan, aptly captures the potential it provides for PR success.

The Genie platform offers social networking apps: Facebook Genie ans Tweet Genie. They help you maximize your social media presence and complimented with Genie Analytics, these apps can tell you who and how many users are actually viewing your content. MyPRGenie also provides a database of 540,000 media contacts who can then use your content to generate buzz in the media. The Lead Genie, another platform aspect, analyzes traffic generated by your content.

Basically, MyPRGenie is another social media platform, but unlike Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, it is one created for PR with the intention of creating PR buzz. For future PR pros, this platform offers an opportunity to familiarize yourself with a different kind of social media site, one that was designed for PR to publicize and market your business. Be ahead of the curve by knowing how to potentially use MyPRGenie.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Understanding PR Lingo

In many professions, there is a certain lingo that is to be adequately understood and frequently utilized by all members of a relevant field, and Public Relations is no different. Being that I am rather new to the PR world myself, I found this list of common terms to be extremely helpful and beneficial to take a look at.

Some of the terms I hear in every day conversations amongst both classmates and professors, but usually just nod in agreement despite my lack of understanding as to what they are trying to say.

It is not easy to admit that you are confused when it comes to something you are supposed to be so well-versed in so I have included the list of Ragan’s “18 Common PR Terms- Defined”.

Pubs – publications, as in “we need to get media coverage in 100 pubs.”

Hits – media coverage.

Opp – opportunity, as in an opportunity to get media coverage.

Journo – a reporter (journalist).

Pitch – note to inform/gauge interest.

Running/ran – article appeared.

Traction – interest/coverage.

Open the kimono – reveal more details.

Prezo – a PowerPoint presentation.

Release – a news announcement (as opposed to a product release).

Launch – the public marketing announcement of a G/A product (G/A = generally available).

B-roll – “highlights” video of something we want to promote (company, person, event), often used to show broadcast outlets the potential for a story and/or provide them with footage for the story.

Ed Cals – editorial calendars (predetermined story topics by media outlets).

Boilerplate – short description of a company, most often used at the end of a press release.

Evergreen – story/pitch angle that won’t fade over time, could be pitched/published at any time (as opposed to news that is only relevant during a certain period of time).

In-house – a “corporate” job in which one conducts PR inside a business, as opposed to an agency job in which one services several clients at once.

Flack - although defined as “a publicist or promoter,” it is also a derogatory reference—often used by journalists—to describe a bad PR executive.

Hack - PR’s response to “flack,” often used to describe a poor journalist or reporting job.

Hopefully you found this list beneficial. Personally, I don't see myself using the phrase "open the kimono" anytime soon, but I guess you never know!

To see the article regarding "PR Slang", click here.