prepare for an internship

internship blog pic

 

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1. Sit down, relax and soul search. Find a productive workspace, brew some coffee and start to think about what career path you want to take. Ask yourself questions about what you are looking for. If you’re in college, but still unsure of what career path you want to take, think about what classes you’re most passionate about and go from there.

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2. Research. Once you have decided on a career that might interest you, use as many resources as you can to learn about that industry. It’s important even if you’re entering in as an intern to know a lot about the field that you are trying to break in to.

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3. Make a resume/cover letter. Make sure that your resume is up-to-date and that you have a good template for your cover letter. Depending on each internship you apply for, your cover letter could change based on the skill set the company requires. Also, make sure to have references handy and to contact them in enough time if a letter of recommendation is required.

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4. Clean up your social media presence. Google yourself and make sure there’s nothing online that could potentially be deemed inappropriate by your future employer. Delete everything that you would have trouble explaining to your conservative grandmother. Always keep in mind the difference between tweeting for professional reasons and for pleasure.

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5. Prepare for interviews. Learn interview etiquette, look up tips online and have your questions prepared. Look up the proper dress code in order to dress for success and utilize sites like Pinterest to organize your resources. Always wear something that is professional, but fits your personality too.

Now that you’re prepared and have done your research, go out and start applying. Stay confident and remember what you’ve learned along the way. Good luck!

YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn Drive The Most Engaged Social Referrals Danny Wong • Content Marketing, Shareaholic Reports 

The fact is, many of us spend an egregious amount of time using social media (sharing tweets, commenting on FB posts, etc.). We lose ourselves in our ever updating feeds. The more curious among us even try to quantify the hours and minutes spent on social networking each day. But I’ve often wondered: What is our behavior post-click, when we actually interact with a link one of our friends shared socially?

To answer that question, we looked at the average visit duration, pages per visit, and bounce rate for visitors referred to our network of sites from each of the top 8 social media platforms.

Welcome to the first edition of Shareaholic’s ”Social Referrals That Matter” Report.

In this study, we looked at 6 months of data (Sept’13 – Feb’14) across our network of 200,000+ sites reaching more than 250 million unique monthly visitors to get a sense of which social network drives the most engaged visitors.

Social Referrals That Matter March 2014

The above findings are represented as average values over the last 6 months for their respective categories: Time on Site, Pages / Visit and Bounce Rate.

Here are six noteworthy findings:

  1. YouTube is the undisputed champion. YT drives the most engaged traffic. These referrals have the lowest average bounce rate (43.19%), the highest pages per visit (2.99) and the longest visit duration (227.82 seconds). Why are visitors from YouTube so engaged? …because video itself is so engaging and viewers are likely to maintain a similar level of engagement with related content. Therefore, video watchers are especially receptive to links within video descriptions which complement the audio+visual content they just consumed. Another reason YouTube takes home the crown is because viewers are simply used to spending minutes — perhaps, hours — educating and entertaining themselves with awesome video and may have fewer qualms about taking extra time to discover more great content post-click.
  2. Although Google+ and LinkedIn drive the fewest social referrals, they bring in some of the best visitors. Google+ users, on average, find themselves spending north of 3 minutes diving into things shared by connections in their circles. They also visit 2.45 pages during each visit, and bounce only 50.63% of the time. LinkedIn users generally spend 2 minutes and 13 seconds on each link they click, viewing 2.23 pages with each visit and bouncing 51.28% of the time. Although many sites see minimal traffic from both Google+ and LinkedIn, now may be the time to invest in building communities within those networks if engagement really matters to your business.
  3. A referral from Twitter is as good as a referral from Facebook — at least, in terms of bounce rate, pages per visit and time on site. Tied in 4th place are Twitter and Facebook. Both types of visitors bounce the same (56.35% of the time), while Twitter wins the pages per visit category (2.15 vs 2.03) and Facebook users tend to spend more time on a site post-click than Twitter users do (127.44 seconds vs. 123.10).
  4. Pinterest isn’t exactly the social media golden child we all play it up to be.Coming in 6th, Pinners bounce as often as FB users and Tweeps do, but view fewer pages per visit (1.71) and spend considerably less time on site (64.67 seconds) than almost all of its counterparts, with the exception of StumbleUpon.
  5. Reddit users are the most fickle. Redditors are the most likely to abandon sites — on average, 70.16% bounce. For marketers, Reddit is a tough nut to crack. Its uber-loyal users are increasingly selective about the content that gets upvoted and are eager to downvote things they disagree with. Effectively, Reddit hates marketing. In the past, I’ve even encouraged site owners to quit Reddit. Naturally, I applaud (and envy) brands and businesses that do it right. An excellent example that comes to mind is Newegg’s involvement on /r/buildapc (h/tAGeezus).
  6. StumbleUpon drives the least engaged referrals. Post-click, users view a meager 1.5 pages per visit and spend 54.09 seconds on site. It would appear that StumbleUpon’s click-heavy — to “stumble,” “like” or “dislike” — focus makes users trigger happy to a fault. Users stumble onto the next thing rather than immerse themselves in the webpage SU recommends. Of course, not every recommendation SU serves will be spot on. Yet, in the instance that a user stumbles upon something that directly resonates with her/him, (s)he may even earn the title of “most engaged visitor of the day”.

Source: https://blog.shareaholic.com/social-media-traffic-engagement-03-2014/

8 tips for getting your press releases read and shared

By Russell Working

Editor’s note: This story is taken from Ragan Communications’ new distance-learning portalRaganTraining.com. The site contains more than 200 hours of case studies, video presentations, and interactive courses. For membership information, please click here. 

The press release is dead—or so we keep hearing.

But somebody forgot to tell Sarah Skerik, vice president of content marketing for PR Newswire.

“No one reads press releases?” she says. “I’m sorry, I have data otherwise. People read them by the millions.”

The thing is, press releases can be written well or handled badly. In a session titled “Proving the Value of PR Across the Organization,” she explains that press releases are content that can be widely shared—if you make it interesting and shareable.

“People are tweeting the daylights out of press releases,” she says.

Her comments come as many in public relations express doubt about the value of the press release. In a recent piece for the HubSpot blog, a former Newsweek reporter states that he deleted nearly every press release he received.

He quotes one industry pro who says: “The simple press release should have died years ago. In my mind, they’re dead already.”

Skerik, however, says press releases keep pulling in readers. Ten years ago, she would have told you that most of the people who will read your press release do so within 72 hours.

Today, press releases accrue only half their reads over the first four days. The rest of the readers continue to find the press release over the next four months and beyond.

Here are some tips from Skerik:

1. Write the way you talk.

Search engines prefer natural language, not jargon or marketing-speak. So do readers. Write naturally and use good grammar, Skerik says.

2. Cut back on links.

Skerik analyzed the worst-performing 500 out of a set of 20,000 press releases to figure out why these were the bottom feeders.

“I did find that the duds almost to an item had a preponderance of links within the release,” she says. “Every other word it seems has links, and it’s really annoying to the reader. And search engines saw it as spam.”

3. Avoid the use of Unnecessary Capitalization.

Copy littered with capital letters “in weird places … are a turnoff for a lot of readers and really will make your press release underperform,” Skerik says.

4. Recognize that content recirculates.

Ever puzzle why a friend on Facebook posted that same damned cat video you saw a year ago? That’s because content now is available to people on their own time frame, enabling them to recirculate it, Skerik says.

What’s old hat to you is new and interesting to the person who Googled it five minutes ago. Treat your press releases as part of your permanent content archive.

5. Always include something tweetable in your pitches.

Fans, bloggers, and even journalists can be willing to your press releases—but not if you make them work at it. Always include something they can tweet or share. Make it easy for them.

“They just hate it when you send a text-only pitch and attach a press release, and that’s it,” Skerik says.

6. How about issuing a press release in tweets?

In September, @AmazonKindle issued a press release in a series of 14 tweets. This allowed followers to retweet the parts that most interested them, such as the music or extended battery life, Skerik says.

She adds that a tweet about music might not have elicited a reaction from her, but because she provides tech support for an out-of-town parent, the tweet about a new “mayday button” for such support caught her eye.

7. Feed your influencers.

These hungry critters require regular doses of information to survive. They thrive on attention, and multimedia content is their favorite snack food. Exclusives make them purr.

“Give them the star treatment-give them the media treatment-and you will win an enthusiast for life,” Skerik says.

8. Interaction matters.

The Google algorithm has moved beyond merely scanning pages for words, Skerik says. Google now places a high value on people interacting with your content, and this can include old press releases.

Do people like the content? Do they link to it? Are they interacting with it? Do they continue to share it over time? That’s how you gain visibility in searches.

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/15630.aspx

5 PR and social media trends for 2014

By Jessica Lawlor | Posted: November 26, 2013

 

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Want a glimpse into the future of what’s hot in PR, marketing, and social media for 2014? I’ll let you in on a little secret: The future is already here, and brands must get on board now.

In the past few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of attending two fantastic conferences that left me feeling inspired, engaged, and ready to take action. First, I attended the Public Relations Society of America International Conference in Philadelphia. Then I traveled to Huntsville, Ala., for the Social Media Tourism Symposium (#SoMeT13US).

At these conferences, I heard from big-name speakers including Brian Solis, Jay Baer, and Mack Collier, along with PR and social media professionals down in the trenches at agencies and tourism offices.

A few major themes emerged from both conferences. Here’s what you must know about the top five PR and social media trends for 2014:

1. Let your brand’s superfans help do your marketing/selling for you. Who better to promote your product/service/destination than the people who are already head over heels in love with it? A brand’s superfans — the people who talk about them online, advocate for their products, and spread the word however they can — are a powerful marketing and selling tool.

As Mack Collier, the founder of #BlogChat and author of “Think Like A Rockstar,” said in his Social Media Tourism Symposium keynote, “You’re marketing to the wrong people…the real money is in connecting with your biggest fans. Your fans will go out and acquire new customers for you.”

Collier encouraged the brands at the conference to love those fans right back. Connecting with your superfans, giving them the tools to best help you, and treating them like gold go a long way.

There are a few brands I am completely loyal to that I write about often on my blog. (Dunkin’ Donuts, Temple University, and FatCow immediately come to mind.) I genuinely love all three of these brands and am happy to spread the word about them on my blog and social media accounts because I love their products, am a fan of their online and offline strategy, and appreciate the ways they connect with me as a consumer.

2. Give up control of your brand. Mack Collier went on to explain that brands must give up control to get control. Kind of scary, right? As communication professionals, our job is to protect the brands we represent, so the idea of giving up control can make a marketer feel a little uneasy.

It’s an important concept and one we must accept and embrace if we want our brands and companies to succeed. A trending topic at both conferences was the idea that your fans and community own your brand just as much as you do.

Fans now have the ability to create their own content (videos, tweets, posts, etc.) about your brand. The key here is to really take a hard look at your strategy for working with your brand’s superfans (see point No. 1 above). If you create content geared specifically toward those fans (key word: fans, not customers) and give them the tools to promote you, they will do it in a way that reflects on your brand positively. Remember, it’s all about trust and giving up a little bit of control.

Coincidentally, Mack wrote a post about this very topic after attending the Social Media Tourism Symposium, so head over to his blog to learn more about this idea.

3. Think about content more strategically, and plan for the long term. After attending a session on how content is developed, curated, and promoted at #SoMeT13US, I was inspired by two tourism organizations that have an incredible content strategy. Presenters from Travel Oregonand Miles, on behalf of the Louisiana Office of Tourism, showcased their incredibly organized content calendars, all the way from big themes for the year down to the nitty-gritty daily Facebook posts and tweets.

What I took away from this session was the idea that in order to make the most impact, we must be more strategic and think ahead for the long term. We must have a content plan. But more than having a plan for what content we want our brand to share, we must have a plan for which platforms the content will be posted and shared on. One of the presenters, Theresa Overby, shared her smart “rule of three”: If you create a piece of content, you must use it on at least three different platforms/channels.

In terms of how to create all that content especially if your team is not big enough to be churn out tons of original content on a daily basis? The presenters suggested finding a balance between original and curated content. Again, we go back to No. 1 and No. 2 above about using those superfans or brand ambassadors and allowing them to create content for your brand.

4. We have to be smarter about using data. There’s a running joke among PR pros that we got into communication because we’re bad at math. In general, many of us are fonder of words than of numbers — but that’s changing.

A major theme at the PRSA Conference this year was that as PR pros, we must learn to love numbers and understand how and why using data can be an extremely powerful tool. As my friend, author of The Future Buzz and Googler Adam Singer said during the session, “Data is sexy…because data equals more money.”

Numbers can help tell a story when working with the media, and numbers can justify a larger budget and more staff/resources at an organization. Instead of shying away from analytics, statistics, and numbers, we must insert ourselves into those conversations and gain access to the tools to help us better understand the data driving the success of our organizations.

5. Just be useful. This tip is simple and timeless. In boosting our brands, we must just be useful to our customers and fans.

Jay Baer delivered the opening keynote at #SoMeT13US and explained the concept behind his book YoutilityHe said, “Youtility is marketing so useful, people would pay for it.” He gave an awesome example of Youtility by showing us his Facebook newsfeed.

As he scrolled, he showed the audience a message from a company, followed by a status update from a friend, followed by another company, then an update from his wife, another friend, and another company. His point here was that everything is blended now. Messages from brands we love are mixed in with messages from our family and friends.

If you’re useful and provide information that your customers are looking for, they will respect you and, ideally, purchase from you. He urged marketers to use their online tools to provide utility first and to promote themselves second.

 

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/15667.aspx#

20 captivating marketing statistics that will drive 2014

By Kevin Allen | Posted: November 12, 2013

Because 2013 is winding down, we can start to look forward to the trends that will drive 2014.

Kudos to WebDAM for leading the look-aheads with its new infographic that looks toward next year. Here are a few prognosticative highlights:

  • 78 percent of CMOs think custom content is the future of marketing
  • Social marketing budgets will double over the next five years
  • A third of traffic from Google’s organic search results go to the first item listed

Check out the full infographic below:

marketing-strategies-2014_infographic

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/15564.aspx#

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10 things you should never share on social media

By Kevin Magee | Posted: November 12, 2013

Social media is all about transparency. It’s about sharing and being your authentic self. Uh-huh.Well, there are some things you should probably keep to yourself.

Here are 10 of them:

1. Your phone number.

There are creepy, disturbed people on the Internet with ill intentions and bad manners. They are called telemarketers. Don’t feed them—especially after midnight. It’s sort of like “Gremlins.”

2. Pictures of your credit card.

Yes, people actually do this. I know you’re proud of your new VISA card branded with the Toronto Maple Leafs logo, but showing it off on Instagram is like asking for identity theft.

3. Pictures of any bodily function.

I know where you think I’m going with this, but I’m not. I’m talking about potty training. This is one instance where “take a picture or it didn’t happen” doesn’t apply.

4. This video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ

5. An invitation for someone to rob you.

Letting the one-sixth of the human population that is on Facebook know you’re in Mexico this week while that brand new 60-inch TV you posted about last week is home alone is an invitation for someone to rob you.

6. Vague posts.

“Wondering why …”

Me too. Unfollow.

7. Your password.

This should be at the top of the no-brainer pile. If your password is the name of your cat who has a Facebook account with 1,632 friends, you either need to change your password or the name of your cat.

8. Anything that happened in Vegas.

This is a rule for a reason.

9. Your Klout score, or any other social media statistic.

If you post your Klout score, you’re clearly over compensating for something.

This leads to the final thing you should never share on social media:

10. A naked photo.

If you’re an A-list celebrity taking nude pictures of yourself with your iPhone for your PR firm to leak to the media, that’s fine. Otherwise, not cool.

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/15522.aspx

Not a bad way to start a Friday…Starbucks and a webinar with Guy Kawasaki!

 

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4 secrets to standing out on LinkedIn

By Samantha Collier | November 5, 2013

What separates the great LinkedIn profiles from the average ones is how people use all of the various features on LinkedIn. Of course, it’s also important to have a fully optimized profile.

But it’s not good enough to just fill out your profile anymore. You must do that pesky act we all talk about so often—engage.

The LinkedIn blog recently published an article about four ways to stand out on LinkedIn. Here’s the distilled version:

1. Status updates 

LinkedIn users who share content with their LinkedIn networks at least once per week are nearly 10 times more likely to be contacted by a recruiter for new opportunities. News feeds are prominently displayed on home pages due to the recent LinkedIn upgrades. Take advantage of this by sharing articles, blog posts, third-party content, newsletters, etc. Remember, quality is key. And don’t over post either.

2. Schedule, schedule, schedule 

Many professionals (including the attorneys with whom I work) don’t think they have the time to be active on LinkedIn. Because LinkedIn has a variety of smartphone and iPad apps, this can’t be your excuse anymore.

Create a schedule and stick to it. Remember, you have to repeat a new action a hundred times to create a new habit. Post updates to LinkedIn on the train to work in the morning, or when you have your morning coffee. When you do it is up to you but you need to stick with it.

3. Upgrade your profile picture 

The LinkedIn blog said it best: People always dress for the job they want.

People with photos on LinkedIn are seven times more likely to have their profiles viewed. This is a no-brainer in my books. It makes me uncharacteristically angry when I find a profile without a picture.

Take this a step further by making sure your picture is up-to-date and engaging. There’s almost no excuse to not have a picture. Many professionals are prominently displayed in website bios. Take this picture and add it to LinkedIn. Or invest a few dollars and have a professional picture taken. It’s worth every penny.

4. Don’t be a Debbie Downer 

We all know this personality type from Facebook, the people who complain about relationships, bad weather, and anything negative that has crossed their paths. Your LinkedIn network doesn’t care, save it for Facebook.

Keep it professional and update on LinkedIn. Jot down your top 10 dream companies on LinkedIn and follow them. Follow your own company, too. Share unique content your network will benefit from. Whatever you do, don’t be a Debbie Downer.

LinkedIn has more than 175 million members and a new member joins approximately every two seconds. Make sure you stand out from the crowd by sharing status updates, scheduling LinkedIn into your calendar, upgrading your profile picture, and by not being a Debbie Downer. It’s easy to stand out from the crowd on LinkedIn if you take advantage of all the features that are available to you.

http://www.prdaily.com/socialmedia/Articles/15521.aspx

#68 Write brief tip sheets related to your expertise and use them in your email blasts, your blog, Tweets, etc. You can have them available as free PDF downloads on your site or, if you have a book to sell, give one away as bonus with purchase or as an incentive for signing up for your eNewsletter. Here is an example of one of our tip sheets:

Tips on How to Write a News Release

  • Use the inverted pyramid style: most important facts first
  • Make sure it’s newsworthy, not fluff
  • Write as though you were a journalist (be informative, to the point, avoid flowery language.) Read the local papers and try to emulate journalists’ style of writing.
  • Use a strong lead (opening paragraph)
  • Think of the target audience
  • Use a strong headline (one that makes the reporter want to read on)
  • Double check the details (never give the media information you’re not certain about)
  • Be interesting! Make sure your story is unique and notable. If it’s not, don’t send it!
  • Be sure to include the four basic elements: Who? What? Where? When?
  • Include your contact info (name, phone number, email, etc.)
  • Include the current date
  • Use your company letterhead or logo on top
  • Include a quote from you or client spokesperson (if appropriate)
  • Use research- it plays well with news media
  • Include other experts; they add credibility
  • Include appropriate visuals
  • Label any photos and CDs
  • Proof and triple proof it before you send it out!

Coffee Drinking Statistics

Statistic Verification
Source: Live Sciene, Coffee 4 Dummies, Coffee Research
Date Verified: 5.6.2013
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a strong flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffea plant. The beans are found in coffee “cherries”, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. Green (unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Coffee is slightly acidic and can have a stimulating effect on humans due to its caffeine content. It is one of the most-consumed beverages in the world. Many studies have examined the health effects of coffee, and whether the overall effects of coffee consumption are positive or negative has been widely disputed.

 

Coffee Drinking Statistics
Total percentage of Americans over the age of 18 that drink coffee everyday 54%
Average size of coffee cup 9 ounces
Average price of an espresso-based drink $2.45
Average price for cup of brewed coffee $1.38
Total percentage of coffee drinkers who prefer their coffee black 35%
Total percentage of coffee consumption that takes place during breakfast hours 65%
Total amount of money spent by importing coffee to U.S. each year $4 billion
Total percentage of coffee Brazil produces of entire worlds output 30%
Total amount of cups of coffee (9 ounces) a coffee drinker consumes daily 3.1
Total average of money spent on coffee each year by coffee drinker $164.71
Total number of U.S. daily coffee drinkers 100 million
Total number of U.S. daily coffee drinkers who drink specialty beverages (lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, etc.) 30 million
Total percentage of coffee drinkers who drink 13 or more cups of coffee each week 24%
Total percentage of coffee drinkers who go to premium places (Starbucks, Coffeebean, etc.) when they get coffee out 34%
Total percentage of people who go to lower-price outlets (Mcdonalds, Dunkin Donuts, etc.) when out 29%
Total percentage of coffee consumed between meals 30%
Total percentage of coffee drinkers who add cream and/or sugar 65%
Total amount of U.S. coffee drinkers who claim to need a cup of coffee to start their day 60%
Total percentage of coffee drinkers who say coffee makes them feel more like their self 54%
Total percentage of coffee drinkers who have a a cup within the first hour of waking up 68%
Total amount of yearly money spent on specialty coffee in the U.S. 18 billion

How to Survive an Advertising or Public Relations Internship

by Kelsey on June 18, 2013 in Advertising

internship-survival-guide You hear your professors and peers say over and over again how important it is in the marketing, advertising, public relations and communications industries to get internships while attending college.

Internships not only put you ahead of your competition for the post-grad job search, but they also provide valuable insight into the industry in which you plan to dedicate your future career.

Taking you out of the classroom and placing you in real-life settings where your studies are brought to life, internships put you in action and let you see what roles are right for you.

Getting your feet wet at an advertising agency can really show you what your future career may be like.

So, taking this all to heart, you got an internship. Now what? As a seasoned intern, I have gained countless nuggets of wisdom practicing advertising and public relations for a variety of companies. Here, in this internship survival guide, I have collected some of my top tips acquired from my own personal interning experiences.

Observe Before You Act

In the first week of your internship, hang back to get a feel of the office culture. As a new intern, you are going to be very eager to please. Often times, this eagerness can lead to interns coming on too strong and accidentally becoming annoyances. Test the waters of your new work environment first before you throw yourself in.

Every company is different, as are the people who work within each one. While some businesses love fun, friendship and exuberance, others may enjoy a toned-down atmosphere. By using the beginning of your internship to absorb your office surroundings, you will soon learn how to best handle yourself and your position.

Advertise Yourself Through Your Wardrobe

This phrase is so overused that it pains me to write it, but always dress to impress. In some offices people dress very casually, and it will be tempting to follow suit. However, you never know when a special opportunity comes up that requires professional attire.

Once during a past internship, my boss invited some of my fellow interns to attend a client meeting with her. Seeing that they were dressed casually in shorts and tank tops, like a usual day at the office, she quickly retracted her offer.

You never want to miss out on a valuable learning experience, so always dress in a way that represents yourself and the business in the best way possible. Never be an intern that the company feels like they need to hide.

Be an Independent Thinker

Something that you will discover quickly is that your supervisors are very busy people. They will not always be available to give you projects to work on.

Know how to busy yourself, but in a productive way. When you find times that you don’t have anything to do, never resort to checking Facebook or goofing off. I promise you that the one time you let yourself browse your social media pages, it will be the one time your supervisor comes over to check on you.

Instead, think of ways to improve the projects you have already done. If you finished your goals for the day, don’t be afraid to begin tomorrow’s. Impress your superiors by using your free time to better the company. Look at their social media presence (their pages, not yours) and think of ideas of how it can be improved. No one gets mad at an intern for doing too much.

Remember an Internship is an Apprenticeship

Yes, companies often use interns as free labor, but remember that first and foremost your internship is meant to be a learning opportunity for you. Because you are still learning, don’t freak out if you mess up. It happens to the best of us, and you will probably learn more from that mistake than you will from doing everything correctly. Everyone in the office has been in your shoes before and made a few flubs.

In times of need or general curiosity, don’t feel like you are being a burden by asking questions. Your supervisors are here to help you and have a lot of knowledge to share. Show that your mind is pliable and jot down the things you learn in a notebook (that you should have on you at all times!) so that nothing goes to waste.

Also keep in mind that you have a lot to offer as well. Take on extra projects and volunteer special skills that you have outside of advertising or public relations. In another past internship of mine, I volunteered my photography skills to capture company events, instead of paying money to hire a photographer. My boss loved my photos and was both impressed and very grateful for my help.

Go Get ‘Em, Tiger!

Internships are amazing. The more you do, the more you learn. You will gain a lot of long-lasting professional and personal relationships that will help you navigate through your future career.

 

 

http://thedsmgroup.com/advertising-and-public-relations-internship-survival-guide/

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http://www.pinterest.com/pin/67483694389320921/

The McRae Agency’s Jessica Pate featured in the July issue of Arizona Foothills Magazine for tweeting for Arizona nonprofits, Ivy Foundation and T.W. Lewis Foundation!

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The ladies of The McRae Agency dined at Avanti for lunch!

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facebook-hashtag

BY CHRISTINA WARREN 

Hashtags are coming to Facebook to help users better surface conversations.Support for the all-but-ubiquitous topic organization system was rumored in March and will roll out to a small percentage of users Wednesday. Facebook will roll out hashtags to more users in the coming weeks.

The social network wants to make it easier for users to find content already on Facebook, and functional hashtags are the first step. According to Facebook, many users already post hashtags anyway, so why not make them work. Hashtags will be both clickable and searchable, so, for example, topics like #NSALeaks or #NBAFinals will now exist.

Hashtags from other services, such as Instagram, are clickable as well. Users will also be able to compose posts directly from a hashtag feed and search results. That could make adding real-time content to specific streams easier than before.

NBAFinals061113-copy

Twitter user Chris Messina created in 2007 the hashtag as we know it today. Twitter eventually adopted the system of organizing tweets around a certain subject into its API and its broader ecosystem. Since then, the hashtag has been adopted by other services, including Flickr, Tumblr, Google+ and even Facebook-owned Instagram.

http://mashable.com/2013/06/12/facebook-hashtag-support/

5 huge mistakes PR interns should never make

By Mickie Kennedy | Posted: May 6, 2013

worlds-biggest-mistake

An internship can be a great way to get your foot in the door in the PR industry, but if you don’t take the right approach, it can also be a sure-fire way to ruin your reputation and kill your career before it gets off the ground.

Make no mistake—you’re going to make mistakes along the way. That’s perfectly okay. That’s what being an intern is about. You’re learning; people expect you to screw things up now and again. No sweat. But honest mistakes coming from a hardworking intern are one thing; the following mistakes are ones you simply cannot afford to make.

Act like you’re above lowly tasks. As an intern, you’re going to have to do a lot of boring, lowly tasks. You’re not going to get the exciting projects right out of the gate. Your boss wants to see that you are dependable and have a good work ethic before he or she will hand you more interesting work.

Dress unprofessionally. Dress for the job you want to have, not the job you have. If you come in dressed like a casual student, no one will take you seriously. Pay attention to how the true professionals in the office dress and try to mirror that in your own dress.

Talk bad about others in the office. No one likes the office gossip, especially when he or she is an intern. Keep your mouth shut, and respect everyone around you. Not to be too harsh, but you’re the lowest person on the totem pole, and you’ll never gain respect by talking bad about others in the office.

Not thank the people who help you. A lot of people will take time to help you as an intern. It might be a co-worker showing you how to do something, your boss offering helpful feedback, or someone giving you a recommendation for a career opportunity. No matter the situation, always offer a heartfelt thank you. Show everyone just how appreciative you are for their help.

Not learn or improve. Internships are learning experiences, but you have to be committed to actually learning and refining your skills. I recommend always having a pen and notepad on you so that you can take notes and avoid asking the same questions or making the same mistakes over and over again. Write everything down. You never know when that information will come in handy. If you’re committed to bettering yourself every day, your skills will improve, and that’s all anyone can ask from an intern.

PR pros, what mistakes did you make during your internship?

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/14409.aspx

79% Of People 18-44 Have Their Smartphones With Them 22 Hours A Day

By Allison Stadd on April 2, 2013 12:00 PM

Quick: what’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Yawn? Hit the snooze button? Go to the bathroom? Brush your teeth?

If you’re like 80% of 18-44-year-olds, the answer is “check my smartphone.”

A new IDC Research report, conducted online with data from 7,446 Android and iPhone users ages 18 to 44 during a week in March, reveals some eye-opening mobile social media intel.

Facebook sponsored the report, so our sister site AllFacebook.com has the story from that angle, if you’re interested.

But here’s the lowdown from a less Facebook-specific perspective:

49% of the entire U.S. population uses a smartphone. By 2017, the percent of smartphone users is expected to reach 68%.

Four out of five smartphone users check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up. 80% of those say it’s the first thing they do in the morning.

79% of smartphone users have their phone on or near them for all but two hours of their waking day; 63% keep it with them for all but one hour. A full quarter of respondents couldn’t recall a single time of the day when their phone wasn’t in the same room as them.

Friday through Sunday, smartphone users spend 163 minutes communicating and using social media on their phones. Monday through Thursday, they spend 87 minutes.

So weekends are more social than ever, probably because social media is just that – social, connecting people in person and from afar online. And as Shea shared recently, another study showed that smartphone owners are considerably more social than their desktop counterparts.

The average number of social/communication apps that smartphone users have on their phones is 7.4.

The most common sentiment regarding smartphone is one of “connectedness,” far surpassing “overwhelmed,” “stressed out,” “burdened/anxious,” or “lonely.”

That connectedness engendered by smartphone use is followed closely by excitement, curiosity, and productivity.

Basically, smartphones have become pocketable personal computers rather than cell phones. And no matter the social networking you’re doing, chances are you’re doing it more deeply and often if you’re doing it on the go.

 

http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/smartphones_b39001

The Hidden Benefits of Social Media Marketing: Why Your Strategy May Be Working Better Than You Think

Stephanie Chandler, Contributor

Most businesses venture into social media expecting to see a big return on investment. The hope is that new customers will come in droves, and that the benefits and revenue generation will be huge. However, this is rarely the case. It takes time to build momentum with social media, and the benefits aren’t always as obvious as we would like.

If you’re feeling a bit skeptical about social media marketing and whether or not it’s worth the effort, following are some reasons why it may be working better than you realize.

1. Brand Recognition – One of the most powerful ways to use social media is as a brand-building tool. With social media, you get to decide how you want to position your company and what you want people to know about what you do. With consistent effort and great content, you can build a reputation for your brand around your company’s values, benefits, and advantages.

2. Community – There is nothing like social media when it comes to cultivating a community. When your followers become part of your community, you gain instant access to them. That means you can find out what challenges they are facing and what they like and don’t like about your offerings. You can engage in ongoing dialog that can be more valuable than any kind of paid market research.

3. Repeat Exposure – There is an old marketing adage that says it takes six to eight exposures to a product before a customer decides to buy. A clear benefit of social media is repeat exposure with your network. You have the opportunity to remind them over and over again about what you have to offer, which can shorten your sales cycles dramatically.

4. Authority – For coaches, consultants, authors, speakers, and other service-based businesses, social media can be very powerful in helping you establish authority in your field—making you the go-to resource for your target audience to seek out for help. Share great content, answer questions, and serve your audience, and you will inevitably build loyal fans.

5. Influence – As your following increases, your influence grows. Having a substantial social media audience creates a snowball effect that can attract new customers, media interviews, joint venture partnerships, and all kinds of other opportunities. It’s a bit like when you see a crowd hovered around something. You can’t help but want to see what all the fuss is about, so a large audience will only attract more interest.

6. Website Traffic – Many people don’t realize that social media can be a leading traffic generator. When you share blog posts, videos and other content from your website, you give your audience a reason to click through and visit your site. Once there, you have the opportunity to inspire those visitors to take action by inviting them to sign up for your mailing list, make a purchase, or call to schedule a free consultation. Install traffic monitoring service, such as Google Analytics, and if you are committed to your social media efforts, you will clearly see that social media brings traffic. Also, make sure that your visitors receive a clear call to action when they visit your site so that you can convert that extra traffic into business opportunities.

7. Ahead of the Curve – Whether you realize it or not, your prospects and clients are checking to see if you are engaging in social media. I always find it a bit odd when I’m investigating a potential service provider online and I can’t locate a social media presence or worse, I find Facebook pages that haven’t been updated in months, empty Twitter feeds, and a clear lack of interest in engaging. Social media isn’t a fad and it’s not going away. Even if it’s not your top priority, if you stay current with activity, your prospects will notice.

8. Mindshare with Lurkers – There may be days when you wonder if anyone is paying attention to your social media networks. But if your efforts are consistent, I guarantee that more people are paying attention than you realize. Give it time and you’ll start to understand what’s happening behind the anonymity of the internet. You will eventually hear from people who say, “I’ve been following you on Twitter for ages. I love your posts!”

9. Competitive Advantage – The reality is that most of your competitors aren’t likely doing a very good job with social media (most companies aren’t), which gives you the chance to stand out. Also consider the flip side. If you avoid social media, you leave a big opening that allows your competitors to capture your audience.

10. Big Wins – While many businesses large and small are trying to justify the cost and time investment for managing social media marketing, an important benefit often gets overlooked: Big Wins. For example, if someone from LinkedIn connects you with a significant government contract, then that would certainly qualify as a Big Win. If a major media outlet finds you on Twitter and interviews you for a national article, then that is also a Big Win—one that you can’t measure based on revenues directly generated.

Big Wins don’t happen often, but when they do, they make it all worthwhile. It’s easy to forget results like these six months down the road you’re trying to assess whether your social media efforts are paying off. But that one contract you landed could cover your social media marketing costs for years. And that major media interview could lead to subsequent interviews and a line item on your resume that impresses a corporate sponsor three years from now. Never forget to factor in the Big Wins in social media.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/03/12/the-hidden-benefits-of-social-media-marketing-why-your-strategy-may-be-working-better-than-you-think/

The Hidden Benefits of Social Media Marketing: Why Your Strategy May Be Working Better Than You Think

Stephanie Chandler, Contributor

Most businesses venture into social media expecting to see a big return on investment. The hope is that new customers

54257v1-max-250x2501
will come in droves, and that the benefits and revenue generation will be huge. However, this is rarely the case. It takes time to build momentum with social media, and the benefits aren’t always as obvious as we would like.

If you’re feeling a bit skeptical about social media marketing and whether or not it’s worth the effort, following are some reasons why it may be working better than you realize.

1. Brand Recognition – One of the most powerful ways to use social media is as a brand-building tool. With social media, you get to decide how you want to position your company and what you want people to know about what you do. With consistent effort and great content, you can build a reputation for your brand around your company’s values, benefits, and advantages.

2. Community – There is nothing like social media when it comes to cultivating a community. When your followers become part of your community, you gain instant access to them. That means you can find out what challenges they are facing and what they like and don’t like about your offerings. You can engage in ongoing dialog that can be more valuable than any kind of paid market research.

3. Repeat Exposure – There is an old marketing adage that says it takes six to eight exposures to a product before a customer decides to buy. A clear benefit of social media is repeat exposure with your network. You have the opportunity to remind them over and over again about what you have to offer, which can shorten your sales cycles dramatically.

4. Authority – For coaches, consultants, authors, speakers, and other service-based businesses, social media can be very powerful in helping you establish authority in your field—making you the go-to resource for your target audience to seek out for help. Share great content, answer questions, andserve your audience, and you will inevitably build loyal fans.

5. Influence – As your following increases, your influence grows. Having a substantial social media audience creates a snowball effect that can attract new customers, media interviews, joint venture partnerships, and all kinds of other opportunities. It’s a bit like when you see a crowd hovered around something. You can’t help but want to see what all the fuss is about, so a large audience will only attract more interest.

6. Website Traffic – Many people don’t realize that social media can be a leading traffic generator. When you share blog posts, videos and other content from your website, you give your audience a reason to click through and visit your site. Once there, you have the opportunity to inspire those visitors to take action by inviting them to sign up for your mailing list, make a purchase, or call to schedule a free consultation. Install traffic monitoring service, such asGoogle Analytics, and if you are committed to your social media efforts, you will clearly see that social media brings traffic. Also, make sure that your visitors receive a clear call to action when they visit your site so that you can convert that extra traffic into business opportunities.

7. Ahead of the Curve – Whether you realize it or not, your prospects and clients are checking to see if you are engaging in social media. I always find it a bit odd when I’m investigating a potential service provider online and I can’t locate a social media presence or worse, I find Facebook pages that haven’t been updated in months, empty Twitter feeds, and a clear lack of interest in engaging. Social media isn’t a fad and it’s not going away. Even if it’s not your top priority, if you stay current with activity, your prospects will notice.

8. Mindshare with Lurkers – There may be days when you wonder if anyone is paying attention to your social media networks. But if your efforts are consistent, I guarantee that more people are paying attention than you realize. Give it time and you’ll start to understand what’s happening behind the anonymity of the internet. You will eventually hear from people who say, “I’ve been following you on Twitter for ages. I love your posts!”

9. Competitive Advantage – The reality is that most of your competitors aren’t likely doing a very good job with social media (most companies aren’t), which gives you the chance to stand out. Also consider the flip side. If you avoid social media, you leave a big opening that allows your competitors to capture your audience.

10. Big Wins – While many businesses large and small are trying to justify the cost and time investment for managing social media marketing, an important benefit often gets overlooked: Big Wins. For example, if someone from LinkedIn connects you with a significant government contract, then that would certainly qualify as a Big Win. If a major media outlet finds you on Twitter and interviews you for a national article, then that is also a Big Win—one that you can’t measure based on revenues directly generated.

Big Wins don’t happen often, but when they do, they make it all worthwhile. It’s easy to forget results like these six months down the road you’re trying to assess whether your social media efforts are paying off. But that one contract you landed could cover your social media marketing costs for years. And that major media interview could lead to subsequent interviews and a line item on your resume that impresses a corporate sponsor three years from now. Never forget to factor in the Big Wins in social media.

http://onforb.es/12KGcVv

 

 

 

 

12 things to expect from a PR firm

By Beth Monaghan | Posted: January 25, 2013

snowman-expectations-vs-reality

How should I choose a PR firm?

Each time someone asks me this, dozens of answers flutter to the forefront of my mind, but I always choose two fairly tangible criteria: fit and experience.

On the surface, it can be easy for all agencies to sound similar, which makes fit and experience crucial. You need an agency that understands your audience and your market, and the reporters you need to reach. Fit is equally important. You’ll be working closely with the PR agency every single day (and many evenings), so you’ll need to be able to work well with the assigned account team.

However, fit and experience alone will not make your agency successful on your behalf. Here are some important qualities you should expect form an agency that is committed to your success. You need an agency that:

1. Owns the process. You want an agency that will never say, “Well, we sent you the guidelines for the Forbes contributed article three months ago and never heard back.” Your agency should be a professional nagger—they should never let you be the reason for a missed deadline.

2. Pushes back. You are hiring a PR firm for its expertise, so find one that provides firm recommendations. If your account team is constantly nodding their heads and yessing you, there is a problem. The success of your PR program requires a team leader who can adamantly say no in the face of tough scrutiny when something just won’t work.

3. Knows when to give in. There are times when other company goals, such as sales campaigns, take priority over PR (for example, when a sales team is under the gun to meet quarterly goals and needs to push out a direct email campaign in advance of the press release). Your PR firm should tell you the optimal plan for getting great media coverage, but should also accept it when PR is not at the top of the list.

4. Makes it happen. Only clients should have the luxury of asking big questions without offering solutions, such as, “How can we maximize our attendance at an upcoming trade show?” Good PR firms know that the right response is a list of viable options, not more questions.

5. Surprises you with unexpected and creative ideas. Your PR firm should march to the beat of the PR plan, but they should also bring you unexpected and creative ideas. This demonstrates that they are paying active attention. Only intellectually hungry people will tie the right pieces together to make you relevant in a way that matters to the press.

6. Owns mistakes. If your agency needs to be right all of the time, it’s a problem. You need an agency that abides by the rules of crisis PR (even when the crisis is a very small one): tell it all, truthfully, and tell it now. This takes confidence and humility, but it is the sign of a great communicator.

7. Hustles. Look for an agency that is pushing you, not the other way around.

8. Writes well. Content marketing has changed PR forever. Adequate press release writing skills are no longer enough. You need an agency that can sift through mountains of information, zero in on the interesting angle, and ghost author an article for your spokesperson. Ask for samples, and look at the agency’s blog.

9. Listens intently. PR people are renowned great talkers. We need to be. However, we need to know how to listen, too. You need a PR agency full of the kind of analytical and open minds that can scan the conversation for points of interest, drive the discussion toward them and relate them to your broader industry.

10. Empathizes. You need a PR agency team that can imagine what it’s like to be you. What pressures do you face internally, from your board, from competitors, others? Is PR central to your role or tangential? Coincidentally, this skill also makes PR people great at media relations—we must imagine what it’s like to be each reporter if we have a prayer of selling a story.

11. Navigates options and contingencies like an attorney. There are many decisions we must make along the winding route between the pitch and the placement. You need an agency that understands the media landscape—which outlets (and journalists) compete, which reporters require exclusives, which ones care about embargoes, and which angles will compel coverage.

Sifting through these and responding appropriately when an embargo is broken or an exclusive falls through tests the skills of the best PR professionals, so make sure you have a team that can bend gracefully when a critical relationship is at stake, and hold firm when your company goals require it.

12. Thick skin. PR people sit in the middle of two constituents whose goals are not always aligned: the media and our clients. Finding the common ground that creates successful outcomes for both requires an ability to handle discord well.

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/13658.aspx

12 things to expect from a PR firm

By Beth Monaghan | Posted: January 25, 2013
How should I choose a PR firm?

Each time someone asks me this, dozens of answers flutter to the forefront of my mind, but I always choose two fairly tangible criteria: fit and experience.

On the surface, it can be easy for all agencies to sound similar, which makes fit and experience crucial. You need an agency that understands your audience and your market, and the reporters you need to reach. Fit is equally important. You’ll be working closely with the PR agency every single day (and many evenings), so you’ll need to be able to work well with the assigned account team.

However, fit and experience alone will not make your agency successful on your behalf. Here are some important qualities you should expect form an agency that is committed to your success. You need an agency that:

1. Owns the process. You want an agency that will never say, “Well, we sent you the guidelines for the Forbes contributed article three months ago and never heard back.” Your agency should be a professional nagger—they should never let you be the reason for a missed deadline.

2. Pushes back. You are hiring a PR firm for its expertise, so find one that provides firm recommendations. If your account team is constantly nodding their heads and yessing you, there is a problem. The success of your PR program requires a team leader who can adamantly say no in the face of tough scrutiny when something just won’t work.

3. Knows when to give in. There are times when other company goals, such as sales campaigns, take priority over PR (for example, when a sales team is under the gun to meet quarterly goals and needs to push out a direct email campaign in advance of the press release). Your PR firm should tell you the optimal plan for getting great media coverage, but should also accept it when PR is not at the top of the list.

4. Makes it happen. Only clients should have the luxury of asking big questions without offering solutions, such as, “How can we maximize our attendance at an upcoming trade show?” Good PR firms know that the right response is a list of viable options, not more questions.

5. Surprises you with unexpected and creative ideas. Your PR firm should march to the beat of the PR plan, but they should also bring you unexpected and creative ideas. This demonstrates that they are paying active attention. Only intellectually hungry people will tie the right pieces together to make you relevant in a way that matters to the press.

6. Owns mistakes. If your agency needs to be right all of the time, it’s a problem. You need an agency that abides by the rules of crisis PR (even when the crisis is a very small one): tell it all, truthfully, and tell it now. This takes confidence and humility, but it is the sign of a great communicator.

7. Hustles. Look for an agency that is pushing you, not the other way around.

8. Writes well. Content marketing has changed PR forever. Adequate press release writing skills are no longer enough. You need an agency that can sift through mountains of information, zero in on the interesting angle, and ghost author an article for your spokesperson. Ask for samples, and look at the agency’s blog.

9. Listens intently. PR people are renowned great talkers. We need to be. However, we need to know how to listen, too. You need a PR agency full of the kind of analytical and open minds that can scan the conversation for points of interest, drive the discussion toward them and relate them to your broader industry.

10. Empathizes. You need a PR agency team that can imagine what it’s like to be you. What pressures do you face internally, from your board, from competitors, others? Is PR central to your role or tangential? Coincidentally, this skill also makes PR people great at media relations—we must imagine what it’s like to be each reporter if we have a prayer of selling a story.

11. Navigates options and contingencies like an attorney. There are many decisions we must make along the winding route between the pitch and the placement. You need an agency that understands the media landscape—which outlets (and journalists) compete, which reporters require exclusives, which ones care about embargoes, and which angles will compel coverage.

Sifting through these and responding appropriately when an embargo is broken or an exclusive falls through tests the skills of the best PR professionals, so make sure you have a team that can bend gracefully when a critical relationship is at stake, and hold firm when your company goals require it.

12. Thick skin. PR people sit in the middle of two constituents whose goals are not always aligned: the media and our clients. Finding the common ground that creates successful outcomes for both requires an ability to handle discord well.

Anything you would add?

Of course, success is a two-way street. Stay tuned for my next post on what clients should bring to the relationship for success.

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/13658.aspx#

Journalists identify the worst PR jargon

By Gini Dietrich | Posted: January 17, 2013

wolf-cry-hipster-pocahontas

My colleagues and I used to write down the dumb corporate language we’d hear, putting the words and phrases on a six-foot whiteboard in the office kitchen.

In little time, terms such as “at the end of the day,” “with all due respect,” “frankly,” and “win win” became the top culprits.

In fact, we filled up that whiteboard and added big sheets of poster paper on either side to keep the game going.

MBAs and wannabe executives were often the ones uttering these mind-numbing words, but they’re not the only professionals who speak this language.

According to a report by twelve thirty eight, PR professionals are the worst at using buzzwords that have no real meaning. Each year, the firm surveys 500 journalists to find out which buzzwords, jargon, and terms PR pros use when working with them.

The survey taps British reporters and editors from media outlets such as the BBC, The Telegraph, the Financial Times, the Daily Mail, and more.

The results of the survey revealed what twelve thirty eight calls the “hipsterization” of PR terminology, exemplified by the rise of words such as “awesome” and “super excited.” I have a journalist friend who shares this feeling; she’s fed up with “amazing” (which, of course, makes me use it every other word when I email her).

Journalists in the U.K. also bemoaned the influx of American terminology, including “circle back” or “reach out.”

Twelve thirty eight compiled this list of the top 20 buzzwords identified in the survey. The words and phrases in parenthesis are an attempt to define the meaning.

1. Issues (problems)
2. Dynamic (likely not to be)
3. Paradigm (a “silk purse” word)
4. Elite (you wouldn’t normally get to attend)
5. Hotly anticipated (never heard of it)
6. End-user (customer)
7. Influencer (a person who probably doesn’t have influence)
8. Evangelist (a tendency to tweet with loads of hashtags)
9. Deliverables (tasks)
10. Icon/iconic (use before 01.01.01 or never)
11. Rocketed (made modest progress)
12. “An astonishing x per cent” (it rarely is astonishing)
13. Marquee event/marquee client (probably “very local”)
14. Going forward (in the future)
15. Ongoing (a bit behind schedule)
16. Optimized (changed by consultants then changed back)
17. Horizontal, vertical, etc. (two words in lieu of a strategy)
18. Phygital (easy to press or swipe, we guess)
19. SoLoMo (no idea)
20. Well-positioned (hopeful but a bit scared)

And one of my very favorites: I loathe it when a business is described as “providing solutions.” We see this time and again and it tells us nothing.

4 myths about PR agencies spreading across college campuses

By Ryan McShane | Posted: January 15, 2013

throne-of-lies
I’ve had many opportunities recently to work with members of the Public Relations Students Society of America nationwide as part of my industry service.

During mentor sessions, students often describe their job-hunting progress and feelings toward different areas of public relations. It is evident that many myths are still looming across campuses, and I’m here to teach from my experience.

MYTH: An agency is always the best career starter 

I have several arguments why most students should start their careers with an agency. Agencies help young professionals to discover their talents, broaden their knowledge, and develop relationships across the industry.

That said, several of my friends and colleagues have started their careers in-house and have achieved great success in doing so. Ultimately, agency public relations should be on your radar, but evaluate each job opportunity independently to find the right fit for you and your growth.

MYTH: Any agency will do 

Again, I’ll concede that having agency experience on your résumé will help you gain future employment. As an internship director, it’s comforting to find candidates with prior agency internships under their belts, because it shows these folks likely have experienced (and survived) the fast-paced environment that faced them.

Pace aside, many agencies do not observe ethics and best practices, and some of those flaws may follow you in the form of bad habits or a “what not to do” case study. Don’t be that case study.

MYTH: Agencies are short-term jobs 

This is a myth that I often hear when working with students and young professionals. It’s true that agency turnover is generally more volatile than in-house. Because of some of the things I mentioned above, agency practitioners often find opportunities to specialize in particular fields of interest.

However, many practitioners are cut out for a long-term career in agency public relations. Senior management often rewards this loyalty, as it sends a positive message to clients and the rest of the staff. A long-term agency path also enables you to maintain the fast-paced environment and diversified workload that many practitioners need to remain professionally hungry.

MYTH: Serving multiple clients will broaden my skills 

Benefits of working on multiple client accounts include learning different sectors and honing time management skills. Conversely, young professionals who are staffed across too many accounts are unable to completely immerse themselves into their clients’ businesses and needs.

In addition, working with too many clients will likely limit growth opportunities. Imagine being staffed across four to five clients. After monitoring for coverage, clipping placements, and building media lists, you’d likely need to repeat the same process for your next client to keep up with the workload.

Many agencies lose great young talent, because they limited their professional development. However, other agencies recognize the importance of challenging their staff on a daily basis—limiting their accounts plays a big part of that vision.

 

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/13568.aspx

 

6 PR and social media predictions for 2013

By Sandra Fathi | Posted: January 2, 2013

 

zoltar

Although 2012 was filled with exciting PR and social media developments, including London’s 2012 Olympic extravaganza, Prince Harry’s Las Vegas scandal, and a down-to-the-wire race for the U.S. presidency, the coming year is sure to see even further transformations of the media landscape.1. LinkedIn is the new Facebook. More brands will use LinkedIn to monitor conversations and connect with customers and influencers. New and enhanced features on the site, such as its “endorse” capability (which employs the one-click validation of a Facebook “like”) and new profileand company page designs are encouraging users to spend more time building their personal brands with LinkedIn’s tools. Companies, particularly in the B2B world, will increasingly recognize its marketing potential. Also, as adoption and activity on LinkedIn surge, journalists will spend more time using the platform for research, identifying sources and breaking stories.

2. Governments (and war) go social. The 2012 election generated record-breaking activity onTwitter, and more recently, the Israel Defense Force and Hamas military used the platform to communicate to international government officials and the public about the violent Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As citizens in the U.S. and around the world demand increased transparency from governments, officials at every level from local to national will turn increasingly to social media to stay connected with their constituents. Social media will see an increase of political conversations in 2013, driving its adoption as a news source for citizens, traditional media, and the government.

3. The reputable journalist is revived. The rise of blogging and social media has increased the volume of online news and the speed at which it’s available, often at the expense of responsible reporting. Misinformation and rumors can spread quickly and trigger considerable backlash, especially when a news organization compromises accuracy in the name of speed (as evidenced by CNN and Fox News’s memorable misreporting of the Supreme Court ruling on health care reform). The citizen journalist’s 15 minutes of fame are running out and information-overloaded consumers will demand a higher standard of reporting in 2013.

4. PR goes mobile. PR practitioners have learned to draft compelling email pitch subject lines and deliver a message in 140 characters. The next step will be crafting mobile-friendly content as millions of consumers (and journalists) reach for their phones as their primary news source. The Daily taught us that it’s not enough to format a publication with a mobile device in mind; rather, the key will be developing content that effectively reaches the right audience at the right time. Delivery is king—but brevity is still queen.

5. Pictures tell the story. The rise of infographics, photo sharing, and visual storytelling will push PR pros and their clients to deploy messages visually in order to compete in a crowded content market. All Things D reported that in August, smartphone users spent more time on Instagram than on Twitter for the first time since Instagram launched in 2010. This is indicative of a broader shift toward visual content in the digital space. As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”; more important, it might also be worth your customer’s attention.

6. PR wins the social media battle. The debate over which corporate discipline “owns” social media is practically as old as social media itself; PR, marketing, branding, advertising, and customer service (just to name a few) all have skin in the game. As more businesses recognize the opportunities (and threats) that social media present to their corporate reputation, and the demand from stakeholders for direct engagement, they are reaching out to PR agencies and practitioners for support. PR pros, who have long been responsible for managing the dialogue between an organization and the public, will emerge as trendsetters in the social space by providing valuable communications counsel and achieving results that directly impact clients’ bottom lines.

A field guide to social media zombies

By | Posted: November 1, 2012

As Zombie Preparedness Month draws to a close, it’s critical that we spotlight the brain-eaters lurking in our midst—the ones on social media.

The U.K.-based price comparison website Confused.com has bravely taken on this assignment, compiling various social media zombies into an infographic to make them easily identifiable.

For instance, there’s the “foodie zombie,” who you’ll find carefully snapping pictures of a plate of food, then cropping those images and applying the perfect Instagram filter so it earns as many “likes” as possible.

There’s also the check-in zombie, who, thankfully, is the easiest one to avoid, because he lets you know his exact location: “At Starbucks, ordering my usual blonde roast with braiiiiiiiins.”

Don’t get cornered by any of these monsters. Check out the full infographic:

social-media-zombies
By Carrie Peterson | Posted: October 24, 2012
Social media is the new public relations of the marketing industry. Newbies think it’s the “exciting” marketing discipline. It is a great field, but it’s more than tweeting around the clock.Saying you want to work in social media, so you can play on Facebook all day is like saying you want to work in PR because you like people. Good for you, but that’s just not what we do.

These are the requisite traits for success in social media. It’s not as easy as it looks. You must be:

1. Nimble

Social media is the fastest-changing industry ever. You have to religiously monitor the environment and adapt quickly to change.

2. Educated

You have to be committed to reading constantly about social media and measurement, and searching aggressively for the latest trends and best practices.

3. Dedicated

There is little to no off time in social media. It happens 24×7, so you have to be ready to respond at any time. If someone posts something negative on your Twitter stream and you don’t respond for 24 hours, good luck finding another job in social media.

4. Clever

Social media enthusiasts are quick and clever. You need to be, too, or you will come off looking like your grandma or, worse, like a corporate mouthpiece.

5. Strategic

Social media doesn’t exist in a universe by itself. It’s part of a larger, strategic marketing mix. You must see and understand the overall goals, strategies, and objectives before you can implement social media tactics.

6. Meticulously organized

You have to write, post, monitor, respond and measure for countless social media channels. You have to be organized, but not such a perfectionist that you can’t move quickly, and it’s so important to have great monitoring systems in place.

7. Playful 

Some of the most successful social media folks are funny, lighthearted and don’t takes themselves too seriously. Hello, “NOT COOL, COOKIE!”

8. Analytical

Yep, that’s right. We don’t just sit around and tweet all day. We have to measure our results just like anyone else. Having science and math skills is a big plus.

9. Well-rounded

Though it’s important to be an expert in this category, it’s not good to be too focused on one skill. To truly be a valuable contributor, you need to understand the big picture of marketing.

10. Social

Yeah, that’s right, I said it: You need to be social to work in social media. Get out from behind the computer and have a few face-to-face conversations. Enjoy the life that you’re posting about.

Do you have another trait that you’d add to this list?

 

http://www.prdaily.com/socialmedia/Articles/13002.aspx

10 (mostly) free social media tools you can’t live without

By Samantha Hosenkamp | Posted: October 12, 2012
free-stuff-good-home
Please excuse any typos. This is a live conference blog. Social media pros, you’re surrounded by tools. And no, I’m not talking about those Twitter trolls and aggressive Facebook commenters. New tools are created every day. How do you determine which are worth exploring?

Pete Codella, (@Codella on Twitter), VP of marketing and PR for Alexander’s, a Utah-based full-service traditional and digital marketing communications firm, has some suggestions.

He shared his top tools for social media success at our Social Media and Community Managers Summit in Chicago:

Monitor your brand

People are talking about your company. Are you listening?

SocialMention

  • Track and measure what people are saying about your company.
  • Monitor Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Digg, Google and many more.

Google Alerts

  • Receive email alerts about your brand, topics of interest and more.

SEO

HubSpot’s Marketing Grader

  • Measure your marketing activities.
  • Find out how your website ranks.
  • Find out how competing websites rank.

Track your tweets

Topsy

  • Get realtime insights from Twitter conversations.
  • Search links, tweets, photos, videos, what’s trending and more.

Twello

  • No, not the Dutch province of Gelderland.
  • Find users in a specific locations based on their Twitter bios.

Facebook

Involver (paid plans available, too)

  • Add branded applications to your Facebook fan page.
  • Has additional paid and free apps for other channels.

ShortStack (paid plans available, too)

  • Design Facebook Apps and contests.

Pinterest

Pingraphy

  • Schedule pins on Pinterest.
  • Analyze metrics.
  • Upload pins in bulk.

PinPuff

  • Calculate the measure of your popularity on Pinterest and value of each pin.

Video

Grovo (paid plans available, too)

  • Online video training site that teaches you social media tricks and tips through quick videos.
  • A great way to strengthen your team’s understanding of social media.

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/12897.aspx

10 intriguing facts and figures about social media

By Kevin Allen | Posted: October 10, 2012

 

People suffering from Internet Use Disorder should shy away from Facebook.

According to an infographic from creative agency Arrae (featuring statistics form Socialnomics.com), the social network is the most addicting of all social platforms.

Twitter, meanwhile, continues to grab new customers.

This continued growth and stickiness of social media should give businesses reason to be optimistic, but it’s not all sunshine and lollipops for brands in this space. The infographic says only a third of people follow brands online. That’s about twice what it was in 2010, but there’s still room for growth.

Recently, a Twitter exec said that 88 percent of his platform’s users follow at least one brand.

Oh, and speaking of Twitter, most of its Twitter users are Democrats, reports the infographic. So … there’s that.

Here’s the full infographic:

 

10-wowing-social-media-statistics

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/12854.aspx

7 deadly sins of PR

By Joe Cohen | Posted: September 17, 2012
Editor’s note: Last week, PR Daily hosted its PR Best Practices Conference at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. One of the presenters, MWW Senior Vice President Joe Cohen, shared with us his list of the public relations industry’s seven deadly sins: 

1. Thinking like a journalist, but not as a marketer 

PR practitioners need to understand both mindsets and strike a balance when delivering messages.

2. Hating math 

We must no longer utter phrases such as, “I went into PR because I’m bad at math.” Saying that hurts our credibility. In today’s business environment, measurement, analytics, and the ability to quantify results are essential.

3. Fearing to admit failure 

We must have the confidence to admit failure, but we can never accept it. We can’t be afraid to acknowledge internally when programs are failing and be ready to recalibrate when necessary.

4. Failing to measure 

Though it’s true that measuring public relations versus advertising is comparing apples and oranges, PR can be measured. For our industry to be viewed on par with the other disciplines, we must be able to quantify our work. Social media has made it possible to do so in a cost-effective manner. The Barcelona Principles’ metrics framework is a great resource for measurement approaches.

5. Chasing the shiny objects 

For every Pinterest and Twitter, there is a MySpace or Second Life—social networks that wither and die or fail to take flight. At times, we will need to take big bets, but we must make them smart wagers backed by research and analytics.

6. Suffering from an inferiority complex 

PR has a tendency to view itself as a second-tier discipline behind advertising and marketing. In today’s media environment, there is a unique opportunity for PR to lead. To do so, we must educate ourselves on the other disciplines and understand the larger landscape.

7. Getting a (cheap) thrill from deadline pressure 

Many PR pros pride themselves on their ability to pull last-minute miracles out of their hats. When working within a larger marketing framework this is untenable—we must plan ahead (as best we can) and align our efforts with the other disciplines so that PR doesn’t live in a silo.

According to The Weather Channel, Tropical Storm Isaac will make its landfall on the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico sometime Tuesday.
With Hurricane Katrina still fresh in the minds of many in that region, particularly residents of New Orleans, preparedness is the name of the game for big storms such as Isaac. That’s why the city has set up a NOLA Ready website and Twitter account to get information out as it becomes available.

“If the storm does something incredibly crazy, we will react to that, but at this moment there is no plan to evacuate the City of #NOLA,” one tweet announced Monday, followed by this quote from Mayor Mitch Landrieu:

“If you plan to leave, you feel comfortable leaving and you have a place to go, don’t wait. Now would be a good time to go.”

New Orleans officials were, quite understandably, unavailable Monday (a call to City Hall resulted in a busy signal), but local communications professionals mostly said city and state social media efforts in the face of the emergency have been handled well.

What they’re doing right

“The updates are engaging, informative, and timely,” says Sara Estes Cohen, an emergency response and social media strategist in New Orleans. “The profiles also respond to questions and statements easily and quickly.”

Some of the direct responses to citizens have come from the mayor’s Twitter account, often with the intent of correcting misinformation. The NOLA Ready account has mostly been answering questions about closings and transit changes.

Estes Cohen particularly says the state’s Twitter account for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has stayed on top of things well.

“I’ve also noticed that most parishes have mentioned their social media accounts on the news this morning and have been encouraging viewers to sign up for notifications, to check websites, etc.,” she says.

Tripp Frohlichstein of MediaMasters Training says the social media accounts are doing a really nice job of sharing links to information.

“This is great for a large percentage of people in the area,” he says. “However, it must be remembered that there are large numbers of people that don’t have access to social media, or simply don’t use it. So it is important they also use traditional electronic media to keep people updated.”

Jeff Zehnder of New Orleans-based Zehnder Communications says the mayor’s office has done “a stellar job” coordinating communications with parish and state officials to get information out through social media. He adds that the availability of social channels makes it much easier to spread word of what’s happening now, compared with when Katrina hit in 2005.

Potential missteps

Though the city’s social media efforts are thorough, Frohlichstein says they could be a little more personal.

“Perhaps it is implied, but I think it would enhance the efforts of the local and state governments to note that everything they are doing is to keep people safe,” he says.

For example, Frohlichstein points to a tweet from the governor’s emergency preparedness office:

“Gov @BobbyJindal: Authorized activation of up to 4,000 LA Nat’l Guardsmen if necessary for #Isaac; 700 fulltime Guardsmen working today.”

It should maybe read more like this:

“Gov @BobbyJindal: Authorized activation of up to 4,000 LA Nat’l Guardsmen if necessary for #Isaac to make sure we keep people safe and protect their property; 700 fulltime Guardsmen working today.” (That does exceed Twitter’s 140-character limit, but the point Frohlichstein raises is one of tone.)

Communications strategist and former CBS News correspondent David Henderson, who blogged about Isaac on Sunday, says he sees the NOLA Ready site and the Twitter accounts as mostly self-serving.

“The [NOLA Ready] website is too wordy, too generic, and too politically correct by presenting all the press releases of the various politicians,” he says. “It seems more about the local politicians than an emergency service for residents.”

Same goes for the Twitter accounts, Henderson opines. Most New Orleans residents will be getting their news by radio.

“Internet penetration in the region is considerably below the national norm, and social media, including Twitter, is even less effective for reaching people in the area,” he says.

Another problem? The NOLA Ready has some information available only in PDF form, which is a sure way no one will read it, Henderson asserts.

Internal emergency comms

What about how businesses in the storm’s path are communicating with employees? SAS doesn’t have any offices directly in Isaac’s immediate path, but it’s seen its share of big storms with offices in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas.

“As long as it is a life-safety event, all communications are handled by our safety and security team,” says Becky Graebe, SAS’s internal communications manager. “There are communication tools in place for them to automatically post alerts to our intranet home page as a top-of-screen banner. The security team also has an Emergency Notification System that can be used to notify employees in that specific location.”

After the storm, earthquake, or other event is over, communicators post regular updates to the company’s Employee Voices blog and invite employees to offer support, she says.

Matt Wilson is a staff writer for Ragan.com.

 

http://www.prdaily.com/crisiscommunications/Articles/12519.aspx

Here is a look at an interesting post by Seth Godin who lists 39 ways to succeed. We agree with #9 the most!

 

You don’t need all of these, and some are mutually exclusive (while others are not). And most don’t work, don’t scale or can’t be arranged:

  1. Be very focused on your goal and work on it daily
  2. Go to college with someone who makes it big and then hires you
  3. Be born with significant and unique talent
  4. Practice every day
  5. Network your way to the top by inviting yourself from one lunch to another, trading favors as you go
  6. Quietly do your job day in and day out until someone notices you and gives you the promotion you deserve
  7. Do the emotional labor of working on things that others fear
  8. Notice things, turn them into insights and then relentlessly turn those insights into projects that resonate
  9. Hire a great PR firm and get a lot of publicity
  10. Work the informational interview angle
  11. Perform outrageous acts and say obnoxious things
  12. Inherit
  13. Redefine your version of success as: whatever I have right now
  14. Flit from project to project until you alight on something that works out very quickly and well
  15. Be the best-looking person in the room
  16. Flirt
  17. Tell stories that people care about and spread
  18. Contribute more than is expected
  19. Give credit to others
  20. Take responsibility
  21. Aggrandize, preferably self
  22. Be a jerk and win through intimidation
  23. Be a doormat and refuse to speak up or stand up
  24. Never hesitate to share a kind word when it’s deserved
  25. Sue people
  26. Treat every gig as an opportunity to create art
  27. Cut corners
  28. Focus on defeating the competition
  29. When dealing with employees, act like Steve. It worked for him, apparently.
  30. Persist, always surviving to ship something tomorrow
  31. When in doubt, throw a tantrum
  32. Have the ability to work harder and more directly than anyone else when the situation demands it
  33. Don’t rock the boat
  34. Rock the boat
  35. Don’t rock the boat, baby
  36. Resort to black hat tactics to get more than your share
  37. Work to pay more taxes
  38. Work to evade taxes
  39. Find typos

Posted by  on June 11, 2012. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

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