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!

5 top spots

For when you want a quick, but healthy lunch: MAD Greens

MAD Greens is the perfect lunch choice. Between the fun menu item names (come on, aren’t you curious as to what the Edgar Allan Poe salad is all about?) and their quick service, it’s hard to beat this place. MAD Greens saw the lack of healthy fast food and pioneered the fast-casual salad restaurant, showing that it is possible to get healthy and flavorful food at the same speed as a burger and fries. Along with salads, MAD Greens has a variety of paninis, wraps, juices and even hummus plates.

We suggest: the Doc Holliday salad—it’s an Arizona exclusive!

For when you’re really craving a burger: Rehab Burger Therapy

Rehab Burger Therapy is a fun, beach-themed burger joint in Scottsdale that is just waiting to take you on a trip down to flavor town! It is definitely the place to take a group of your coworkers for lunch to add some fun to the workday. While they have classic burgers like the Bacon Cheeseburger, they also have options for those who want to take a flavor adventure like the PBJ & Bacon Burger (a burger with peanut butter, grape jelly, bacon and sriracha sauce). Rehab Burger Therapy’s Veggie Burger will have both vegetarians and vegans rejoicing!

We suggest: embrace the beach theme with the Hawaiian Burger

For when you can’t decide if you want Mexican or Asian food: SumoMaya

SumoMaya uses fresh ingredients and the bold flavors of both Latin American and Far East cuisine to create an exciting tapas-inspired experience. Your taste palate is going to expand when you go here for lunch. This is a restaurant that you’re going to want to bring some coworkers along with, as they recommend choosing three to five dishes to really grasp the entirety of their Mexican-Asian fusion concept. From sushi to tacos to noodle dishes, SumoMaya is going to have you wanting to try everything on the menu and will easily become one of your favorite lunch destinations.

We suggest: the Coconut Ahi Tuna Tartar

For when you’re wanting a change of scenery: Zinc Bistro

We know it’s scorching outside, but you’re going to want to keep this one in the back of your mind for when it starts cooling down. Complete with an oyster bar and a cozy garden patio, Zinc Bistro is a Parisian-inspired bistro in Kierland Commons that will transport you straight to the French countryside. You will want to start out with their cheese platter for an appetizer before you dive into their mouth-watering, crispy duck confit—but don’t forget to order a side of truffle and parmesan frites to share with your table!

We suggest: the Crispy Duck Confit sandwich

For when you want some sophisticated bar food: The Vig

If it’s Monday and you’re dreaming of Friday, then the Vig is where you want to go. The Vig is an upscale tavern that makes it perfectly acceptable to indulge in some Friday fun on a Monday afternoon. You’re going to want to dive into their appetizers where they refine the concept of classic bar food for your sophisticated palate. We don’t blame you for wanting to fill up on those appetizers, but don’t forget to browse the rest of their menu which features a fan favorite of grilled fish tacos, a variety of burgers and mouth-watering desserts served in mason jars.

We suggest: the Hot Vings

– Bri Arreguin-Malloy

 

By: Ashton Meisner

For a college student, an internship can sound intimidating, time-consuming and basically like giving away free labor. While that might sound scary, being an intern can be really helpful to network in your preferred field, learn important tricks of the trade and get in the direction that is best for your career. However, nothing worthwhile comes easy and it’s important to remember to work so hard that your supervisors can’t help but praise you.

 

No Money, No ProblemMoney

An internship is a crucial time to NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. Although you might not be making those big bucks just yet, you shouldn’t be slacking on your share of work. Your supervisors could be watching you as a potential, future employee or you might need their help with a good letter of recommendation down the road. Make your time spent at your internship worthwhile. If you’re constantly on your Facebook page or working on your favorite Pinterest board, your boss might not be thinking you’d fit the mold as a future PAID employee.

 

Happy Little Worker Beebee

Let’s face it, no one wants to be around a “Negative Nancy” all day. True, being assigned a big task like working with a client’s entire media list might not sound like the best time of your life but it has to be done! Take on the challenge and make it a time to show your boss your work ethic. Complainers and negative people usually aren’t tolerated and are totally replaceable. Remind your supervisor why they hired you in the first place.

 

 

SmileyI Get By With a Little Help From My Co-workers

If you get the opportunity, get to know who you’re working with. You might find out one of your co-workers is originally from your hometown or another works at your favorite restaurant. It’s amazing how little connections like these can end up being big networking tools later on or even friendships outside of work. Also, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a supervisor that wants to get to know you. Talk to that person, learn from him/her and ask questions. This could really be beneficial to your learning experience and it could make it a little more enjoyable.

 

HeartIt’s All In The Fine Print

Ever heard the saying, “The little things in life end up being the big things”? This is true at work too. If your supervisor assigns a task, take notes, remember exactly how he/she wants the project completed and pay attention to details. They will be impressed by your effort to do exactly what they had asked. This will establish trust and make you feel more comfortable in the workplace. Give it 110%.

 

Impossible

It’s Not Personal

When getting corrected at your internship, it can be hard to not take offense and take the corrections personally. As an intern you must be thick-skinned and realize your supervisors aren’t trying to attack you, they want to help you improve. Focus on what is being asked of you and do your best until you get it right.

 

 

Thank you

Thanksgiving Isn’t Just a Holiday

At the end of your time with your internship, it is crucial to be thankful and make sure your supervisors are aware of it. Every internship you encounter could open doors to new jobs, connections and future opportunities. Do something special for your supervisors to let them know what a pleasure it was learning under them and how thankful you are for their patience, efforts and knowledge. Who knows, maybe if you’re lucky you could score yourself a future job with that company.

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/

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Jacob and Brenda

PR over tea

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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Introducing the 2013 Annual Phoenician Awards debuting on October 2nd at the Arizona Historical Society Museum. This magical event will benefit the Banner Health Foundation/ Cardon Children’s Medical Center. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this amazing event! Check out more info on our blog!  http://bit.ly/14gjXWo

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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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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

7 traits of a solid PR professional

By Scott Signore | Posted: April 30, 2013

 

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Having been around the block a few times, I have a good understanding of the traits of a successful PR professional. At a minimum, these are the traits we seek when filling key positions at our firm. In my humble opinion, PR people need to be…

1. Business-minded 

What’s the end goal? That’s what PR people need to consider more often than they do typically. The PR activities we execute daily put a company on the map or contribute to a larger initiative designed to help it do more business. While vague, that’s appropriately described. Before acting, a PR person needs to determine how the desired result contributes to the bigger picture of business success.

2. Flexible 

I can’t think of a career that requires as much flexibility as public relations and social media. Plans, particularly those of clients, change with nutty regularity. The successful PR pro needs to adapt and, throughout any transition, help clients achieve communications and business success no matter the direction.

Social media channels present the very obvious need to be nimble: One Facebook post can change the tone of a day. In addition to being reactive and responsive, PR pros need to have the ability to deal with whatever comes their way in a professional manner.

3. Strong writers 

To be great at PR, one needs to have writing skills. While content development has taken on a more expansive meaning of late, the foundation of the PR agency job is still in keystrokes. The ability to articulate, think creatively, and maintain a positive personality are all obvious characteristics for any profession, but in PR above average writing skills are imperative, with colleagues and clients demanding everything from compelling blog posts to finely-crafted press releases and everything in between.

4. Sponges (early in their careers, at least) 

Becoming a well rounded, consistently reliable and savvy PR person takes work. The ramp-up to achieving such a standard varies greatly depending on the individual, but no entry-level professional punches into a new job and immediately begins counseling the world’s biggest brands on high-profile communications issues.

Most newbies make an impact, but there’s a difference between that impact and the decision making of other more senior staff members. There’s so much to learn in PR on a daily basis, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve loved being a PR guy since I first interned in the field.

The best young professionals understand that experience can be gained from closely watching co-workers, carefully noting their accomplishments, and learning from their challenges.

5. Unafraid of learning more (later in their careers) 

Learning is endless and that’s so true when it comes to the ever-evolving PR field. There’s so much to gain in every interaction with a colleague or a client, and in every first-hand experience—from a methodical, well laid out plan to a crisis situation. The best PR pros know to embrace all that is happening around them and best leverage that data to improve as professionals.

6. News junkies 

PR people need to care about what is happening in the news in both their core sector and in the broader world. They need to be on top of news and trends, so that they can harness what they know to craft story ideas that best position their client, topic, etc., within the most timely, topical conversations in the media and on the street.

7. Thick-skinned 

PR people get shot-down often. It’s a common occurrence and there’s nothing wrong with that. Amid great editorial success, we get turned away pitching more than our fair share of story ideas, bylined articles, and profile pieces. While we enjoy much strategic and tactical success when working with clients, we also get shot-down presenting ideas for new programs or programmatic approaches.

It’s part of the business, and you need to roll with the circumstance. Critique and criticism are common, and it is something that needs to be embraced and learned from to survive happily at any PR firm.

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/14347.aspx

Arizona is the 6th largest state in the nation!

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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/

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.

6 PR and social media predictions for 2013

By Sandra Fathi | Posted: January 2, 2013

Although 2012 was filled with exciting PR and social media developments, including London’s 2012 Olympic extravaganzaPrince 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.

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/13444.aspx#

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

The fourth quarter of 2012 is nearly upon us, which means pundits, blogs, news sites, and more will soon ruminate on what it all meant.
Before the navel gazing begins, we can tell you that this is the year social media fully embraced the image.Meanwhile, Facebook also continued its social networking dominance (despite its nose dive on Wall Street).

And social media continues to benefit companies that use it as part an integrated marketing campaign.

All of that and more is represented in this snapshot of social media statistics from 2012 (curiously absent is mention of Pinterest):

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

We are all for new ways to use social media to promote your brand and it looks like T-Mobile hit the nail on the head with this one…

T-Mobile launches ‘Twitter race’ as part of rebranding effort

Last month, T-Mobile’s TV-ad spokeswoman ditched pink sundresses for a black-and-pink leather motorcycle suit, to wear while blasting down the highway on a roaring motorbike.

The TV spots are one component of a rebranding effort for the cellular carrier, one that aims to make the company’s service synonymous with blazing-fast mobile data speeds. In early May, T-Mobile launched another portion of that campaign, prompting some of Twitter’s most influential users to race for a free phone.

“We were really looking at transforming a brand,” says Peter DeLuca, senior vice president of brand, advertising, and communications for the company. “We were going to change the impression of what you thought about the brand.”

The brand’s Twitter race certainly had an impact, with about 24,000 tweets over a 15-day period containing the company’s hashtag, #4GTweets.

Influences and influencers

T-Mobile isn’t the first brand to attempt something called a “tweet race.” In early 2011, Mercedes-Benz offered four teams the opportunity to compete in an “Amazing Race”-style dash to Dallas for a free car and Super Bowl tickets. Tweeting was also a component of the competition. T-Mobile eliminated the road-race part of the challenge.

“We landed on Twitter, because we really wanted people’s social graph to decide the race here,’” says Andrew Vitellaro, senior manager of social media for T-Mobile.

In January, the company tested a Twitter race at the CES trade show, and by mid-April, it was preparing its full-on 4G race.

Teaming with social media agency Big Fuel, the company teamed with social-media-ranking firm Klout to contact thousands of Twitter users with high Klout scores.

“We cast a huge, wide net,” Vitellaro says.

About 2,500 high-influence tweeters—whose follower counts extended up into the millions and whose influence extended into some unexpected areas, such as relationship advice—agreed to reach out to their networks about the tweet race, he says.

And they’re off

In the last few days of April, T-Mobile sponsored several stories on Mashable and did some promotion via Thrillist for the race, but most of the interest was driven through Twitter, Vitellaro says. The company posted a tweet about the race in its Twitter feed, including a link to the contest rules and a short YouTube video showing off the hashtag. T-Mobile also paid to make it a promoted tweet.

The race kicked off May 1 and lasted until May 15, going through seven heats over that period. For Twitter users to participate, they had to sign up through a microsite. People who simply tweeted #4GTweets weren’t actually entering to participate in the race.

Using the monitoring tools Mass Relevance and Crimson Hexagon, Big Fuel monitored each entrant’s number of retweets to declare a winner for each heat. Whoever had the most retweets in a given heat got a free HTC One S phone. Tweeters were limited to one tweet during a three-hour heat.

T-Mobile offered users some suggested language for their tweets upon registration, but didn’t auto-tweet messages for them.

As the heats progressed, contestants got more and more acclimated to the competition, Vitellaro says. People who came in second or third one heat figured out ways to build up retweets the next time.

The winners of the seven heats competed for a grand prize of $4,000.

Checkered flag

T-Mobile racked up 91 million impressions with the race, DeLuca says. The brand’s name got 32,000 mentions, 395,000 people visited the microsite, and 3,340 people registered to compete in the race itself.

Over the 15 days, T-Mobile gained 3,100 new Twitter followers , he says.

Vitellaro says the company won 99 percent of the share of voice in the online discussion of the HTC One S; every carrier has its own version of that product. Likewise, the race helped the company’s Klout score shoot above every other mobile phone carrier’s, and it’s still holding strong a month later, he says.

By Matt Wilson | Posted: June 20, 2012

52 Cool Stats and Facts about Social Media (2012 Edition)

Social media has become a part of our everyday lives and continues to grow with new outlets popping up all the time and attracting instant popularity such as Instagram and Pinterest. This article highlights some interesting facts about social media and may just fascinate you!

Introducing the Free PR Power Hour

One-Hour Teleseminar Call Dedicated to

Solving Your Dilemmas About PR,

Marketing and Social Media

Whether you want to create buzz for an event, organization, product, service or even yourself, this is the call for you.  Don’t know even where to begin with social media to build your business?  Join our Free PR Power Hour call to get answers to your burning PR, marketing and social media questions.

Your PR Power Presenter is Beth McRae, MBA, owner of The McRae Agency since 1995 – clients have included Google, Red Bull, Nextel Communications, Discount Tire, Z Gallerie, Tiffany & Co., CB Commercial, KB Home and many others.

 

She will share the secrets and best practices of the big brands and help you solve your trickiest marketing problems so you can grow your business and make more money!

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info@mcraeagency.com by 5 p.m ET on Monday, June 11.  Limited opportunities to ask questions so get on the list now!

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Call-in number:  218-548-9632, enter passcode 19962004

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Absolutely not! This is one of the biggest problems with social media, putting up with all of the nonsense that people insist on sharing, and not just on Twitter.

Another issue besides inane subject matter is frequency. We don’t need updates multiple times in an hour or even every hour or several times daily. Only when there is something either very interesting, entertaining or of value to share. Otherwise, I, for one, am totally tuning you out and then removing you from my world.

Some of us sensitive souls might feel bad “unfriending” or “unfollowing” annoying people on social media, but I look at it like this: Isn’t it a little like staying in an abusive relationship if yoI don’t? Verbally abusive, I mean.

Relationships are a privilege and a gift and if another person can’t be respectful of that, they don’t deserve to have one with you.

Yes, free PR.  It is an oxymoron in a way, because if you are not paying someone to spearhead PR efforts for you, you are spending time (which equals money) to do PR activities yourself.  However it is correct in the sense that the field of PR does refer to activities that do not include paid media, that is, advertising.

Most PR practitioners would probably bristle at something promising Free PR, but the book I just published does just that.  What I mean is that “121 Ways to Build Buzz and Make Big Bucks” (please see dedicated page on this blog for details) takes the best ideas from big brands and boils them down to ideas that are essentially no cost or low cost to implement.

That is the great thing about the world we live in today.  We have so much available to us that’s essentially free.  It’s like the democratization of marketing, in a sense.  It’s a wonderful time to be an entrepreneur.

At the McRae Agency, we are always looking for innovative ways to create buzz for our clients. Our newest buzz-worthy scheme: “Can you guess the event?” social media contest for our client, Solatube International.

We eat, breathe and love Solatube International and their products, and we think you should too. But, we also don’t live under a rock, nor do we want to force information down your throats. Instead, we encourage you to do the following:

  1. Interact with Solatube International and become involved in the “Can you guess the event?” social media contest. (P.S. follow the link for more contest information).
  2.  Check out Solatube International’s website.

Here is the most important factor of “Can you guess the event?” social media contest:

Daily hints will be sent out via our social media sites.

You never know what website will offer the best hint of the day, so be sure to follow us on all four pages and check back frequently!

Solatube’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Solatube

Solatube’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Solatube-International-Inc/54053847359

The McRae Agency’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/PR_Buzz

The McRae Agency’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/McRae-Agency/145765862154078

Good luck, fellow social media gurus!

Last week I attended a San Diego PRSA New Pros “Digital Communications” event at the Downtown Center (http://prsasdic.org/). The three panelists were: Amy Jones, managing supervisor at Fleishman-Hillard, Carrie Shields, PR manager at Bailey Gardiner and Mike Rose, vice president of Nuffer Smith Tucker. It was a very informative evening with great examples of digital campaigns from each of the agencies. The overall message of the night was, “Social media is a strategy not a tactic.” This is a great thing to remember when working with clients to create a successful social media “strategy.”

Yes, we all know our clients usually want one thing when starting a new campaign. Whether it’s an increased number of event attendees, more sales or a higher ROI, but creating a Facebook page or Twitter account with only one particular goal in mind, and no other systematic plan of action in place, is recipe for disaster. You can no longer rely on the “Build it and they will come” model because it’s not that easy and you will be left with a poor showing of 10 friends over a six month period. Now is that really getting your message across?

Things to keep in mind when creating an online strategy:

  • Do research: Find out where your target audience is, what they are responding to and how best to reach them.
  • Be transparent: Inform those who you are communicating with exactly who it is they are communicating with (If the CEO of the company is blogging, make sure it is, in fact, the CEO).
  • Create “Best Practices” information sheets: It is important for clients to know how to properly use each social media platform that you are implementing on their behalf.
  • Listen: Get onto message boards to see what people are saying. You do not have to address every issue that arises, choose the most important ones and work from there.
  • Monitor your efforts: Set up a way to monitor your social media efforts. Create internal documents your agency’s internal use as a means to help define success, or sign up for online monitoring services.
  • Use examples: When dealing with clients that are weary about social media, show them case studies of your past efforts (or even those of a competitor) and slowly ease them into the world of Web 2.0.
  • Finally – Don’t forget about traditional media. Reporter’s blog and use Twitter, too! (Twitter is also a great place to build personal relationships with reporters that was not possible in the past). (more…)

Building BUZZ Since 1995