PR Campaigns – The blog

April 6, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand clients

Filed under: The Fifth Firm — tmpace @ 7:24 pm
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I was reading through a few PR blogs when I ran across Seth Godin’s ( a marketing expert and author) blog entitled The Power of a Tiny Picture. In this blog he discusses how you picture can either make or break  your first impression you leave on people.  He says after browsing through many photos he developed suggestions for how to make you photograph into a great first impression. He has a few suggestions for what your picture should look like.

Here are a few:

  • Use a professional looking photo
  • Have normal background
  • Don’t wear a hat (and if you do make it a good hat)
  • Avoid having significant others in the photo. People are looking for you and not for them.
  • Look Happy
  • Don’t have a weird picture that is not of you (like a cartoon or object)
  • Cropping makes a photo look professional

Since this class I have been really focusing on my social media knowledge because the importance of the knowledge is growing. I was interviewing for internships last week, and all the potential employers wanted to hear about my social media skills.

This whole facebook picture idea shocked me. My first reaction was, “who cares.” But then I thought about how some of the pretty weird facebook profile pictures I  have seen.  I laugh at some of them because they are clever, but others I am confused or shocked. Imagine you are a potential client. You are thinking about hiring a new PR agent and you google their name and their facebook picture shows up. What if their picture is weird, unprofessional or risque? Would you second guess your decision of hiring them? I think I might.

I must be honest my profile picture on both facebook and twitter do not fit some Seth’s points. (I don’t think I will change it any time soon.)

I posted this blog to see what you guys think. How important do you think a facebook picture is? Would your opinion change if you owned your own PR firm, or knew your potential employers and clients were checking out your page?


March 30, 2009

Facebook University: Enroll Now!

Filed under: Mission Public Relations — kbergeron44 @ 6:52 pm
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Social media is taking over the world.

Twitter and Facebook have forged an unholy alliance to slowly take over the lives of everyone on the earth in an effort to create a race of pod people to enlist into an online army hell bent on global conquest.

The first bullet has been fired and it is aimed at graduating college students.

In his blog on Mashable, Stan Schroeder reveals Birmingham City University‘s plan to incorporate a masters program dedicated strictly to social media.

“The one year course will earn you a master’s degree at the cost of 4,400 pounds (6,239 dollars). “During the course we will consider what people can do on Facebook and Twitter, and how they can be used for communication and marketing purposes,” says the course convener Jon Hickman, adding that “There has been significant interest in the course already, and it will definitely appeal to students looking to go into professions including journalism and PR.”

When I first read this I thought it was a good idea.  I am constantly told in my public relations classes that knowledge of social media is going to be one of my best assets when I graduate and enter the work force.  Furthering my education in this phenomenon would make me even more appealing to potential employers.  But wait a minute…

Do I really need formal education to learn how to tag a picture of my friend’s drunken escapades?  or create a group to get friends to attend my Graduation party?  or even how to describe to the world “what I am doing?”

I’m aware the course will go a lot deeper than that, but at their base, Facebook and Twitter are just tools for people to interact with others; and if the telegraph, the two-way pager, smoke signals and pay phones taught us anything, tools change.

Twitter and Facebook could be obsolete in a matter of years and at that time what will this degree be worth?  It seems to me like this university is just trying to milk this social media cow for some extra cheese by offering a course in a popular social phenomenon.

Am I alone in this?  Or do those of you already recruited by the Facebook/Twitter army see more value in this?  If this becomes a trend and other colleges pick up this program, what should be included in the teachings?

March 29, 2009

Skittles, a leader in social media??

Filed under: LAM Creative — allund @ 2:57 pm
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Skittles everyones favorite candy has been the topic of talk lately on Twitter, Facebook, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, FOXnews and Adage…in fact last week they were the top trending subject on Twitter!

So whats the deal? Did they introduce a new flavor or something? No, they introduced a new website that is one of the first of its kind. The new interactive Skittles website incorporates all facets of social media. I suggest you check it out

In short Skittles took their website and turned it into one big Social Media site. The homepage has a navigation bar which includes a combination of social media sites.  The most popular so far is the Twitter feed which shows anyone who uses the word Skittles in their tweets.  One of the most interesting things about the site is that it has no filters. As far as I can see you can say anything you want and view anything that you want about the Skittles brand. They are not censoring what people are saying. You can write something positive or negative about the Skittles brand and Skittles is just letting you put it out there. The new site is getting people to talk about theirproduct whether it is good or bad.

The web site also includes a Facebook Fan page with 585,000 fans, Youtube page with over 26,000 views, Flickr page with 16,500 items and of course a information based Wikipedia page. All you have to do is click on the navagation box and it will lead you to each site.

The large number of views, items and fans are all positive numbers for the Skittles brand and has made Skittles the buzz word in the web and media world.   As I listed above this new type of interactive site has already been blogged about in the blogosphere and has caught attention from nationwide media outlets.

This site is not only innovative but daring as well. The risk is paying off for the Skittles brand.  They are reaching out to their consumers and engaging them with the tools that they have provided but in the same way they are not controlling what they are saying.

Do you think this new type of site would work for most companies? Or does it just work with Skittles because they are a candy brand?

One of the annoying things about the site is that they require you enter your age before you enter the site. Do you think this is a good or bad thing? I personally don’t care and I think it is kind of smart on their part to see what age groups are viewing their site. However some people have a problem giving up their age.

Do you think that this interactive social media based website will be the future template for company/brand websites?

One thing that we know for sure is that Skittles has created a large social media forum with this site that has caught fire! This can become a revolutionary way to interact with your consumers in a positive and non threating way. Only time will tell if it will be effective for a prolonged period and if this type of model will become a website standard for companies but for now lets just enjoy the revolutionary idea of tasting the rainbow from all angles.

March 28, 2009

Bite your tongue online

Filed under: Fidelis — jsaxarra @ 12:17 pm
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So we’re always told to watch what we put on any and all of our social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) because of the potential consequences. In fact, the last discussion we had in Business & Future of Journalism covered this specifically. Opinions flew all over the board as this is a pretty touchy subject, and rightfully so.

A little over two weeks ago, an example of basically a worst case scenario occurred. Some of you are probably familiar with this story. Six years after die-hard Philadelphia Eagles‘ fan Dan Leone was hired as the security chief for the team’s west gate, he was fired over a Facebook status.

The Eagles were unable to sign safety Brian Dawkins, who then signed with the Denver Broncos. Leone’s status soon after read, “Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver. . .Dam Eagles R Retarted!!” Okay, so this status is a little over the top if it’s about your current employer. Yet on the other hand, it really is freedom of speech as a loyal fan.

I’m not taking one side over the other but I do think it was pretty heavy to fire a guy that’s been working six years for you without at least telling him to take it down first. ESPN featured a live chat with Leone where users were able to ask him questions about the matter…and one, in particular, stood out to me the most:

Farhan (Milpitas, CA): Has Brian Dawkins contacted you? He should offer you a job. You clearly got his back.

Dan Leone: Actually, I did here for one of his representatives and he said that once he gets back in the Philadelphia area in April, he would like to sit down and talk to me. Maybe help me out with some things.

This doesn’t mean Leone is going to get a better job with his favorite player, but it does mean that someone of significance didn’t think it was a justified action/reaction.

Nowadays, not landing an interview or job offer (or getting fired, I suppose) over something of this nature is becoming more and more of a reality. We’re told to watch what we say and do for a reason, but honestly, where do you draw the line? I know we all have our personal barriers, some extending WAY past others, but do you make everything of yours professional and private? How do these sites maintain the personal life appeal? In Leone’s case, the choice of language wasn’t too smart. However, if you would have explained the story to me and not the outcome, I wouldn’t have guessed that he was fired.

I’m more curious than anything as to what you all do with your personal accounts. Do you have separate personal and work accounts? Do you make everything private? Do you refrain from allowing any potentially risky content go up? Personally, my Facebook is ‘private’ to those I’m not friends with and my pictures are ‘hidden’. Yes, I know that doesn’t mean things can’t be accessed and I do allow my ‘wall’ to be viewed by friends. Also, how do your boss or professional colleagues think your sites should be maintained?

March 26, 2009

Twitter vs. Facebook

Filed under: Spirals — kmmorten @ 9:00 am
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Everywhere I go it seems like I can’t get away from this social media frenzy- it’s haunting me. I have a Myspace account. I have a Twitter account. I have a Facebook account. Although there are hundreds of other social media sites, these three are just about the only ones that I can keep up with on a daily basis. Each of them has their own unique features, which is why I use them for different reasons.

Bill Sledzik’s blog, How do you use Facebook? And does it really Matter? discusses how he uses Facebook. He has fun with it and doesn’t over think it, which is exactly my outtake on it as well. I use mine as a personal space where I can talk to my friends that I know personally. I don’t accept random strangers or professors because I think school and work should be separate from your personal life.

I started my Facebook account when I was in high school so mine is mostly a collaboration of my crazy college years. I must admit my page isn’t exactly what you would call squeaky clean and isn’t something that I would want future employers looking at. Luckily, Facebook has the option of setting your profile to private or a limited view.

Now that the older generation is flocking to Facebook, I’m starting to debate whether or not I should clean my account up. Just last week I had a friend request from my aunt and uncle. Weird? Yes. However, whether I like it or not, the older generation is jumping on the social media bandwagon.

On the other end of the social media spectrum, I use my Twitter account as a professional tool…well, kind of. I do post personal tweets, but I make sure they are always clean and won’t come back to bite me in the butt. I don’t post tweets about how hungover I am, how much I hate work/school or how drunk I got last night. I follow my professors on Twitter, and they follow me. It’s interesting to see what mentors like your professors are thinking or doing outside of class.

So there you have it. This is how I manage two social media sites for two very different reasons. I get to talk to my friends on a personal level on Facebook, and talk to everyone on a professional level on Twitter. I get the best of both worlds.

February 23, 2009

Bringing the PR basics to the digital world

Filed under: Spirals — Patty Lepkowski @ 9:26 pm
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I think it is safe to say that we, as future public relations professionals, are obsessed with social media. With Facebook, Blogger, YouTube – and our new favorite Twitter – it seems social media is PR’s latest buzz word.

It is clear that social media is changing our profession, but is there such a thing as too much social media? Could it be possible that we have become so consumed with employing social media, that we have become lost in the Twitterverse, the Twitter online community? Have we forgotten the basics of public relations?

Arik Hanson, a communications professional at a health care system in Minnesota, brought up an interesting discussion on about not forgetting the basics of public relations in this evolving digital market. He reminds us to focus on three core competencies: professional skills, client skills and team-building skills. These are skills that we have all been working to develop and hone throughout our public relations classes. And these skills apply to all aspects of public relations – agency work, corporate communications, digital communications, etc.

In the end, if we are going to demonstrate ourselves as public relations professionals, we have to employ the necessary skills to devise successful campaigns that will advance our organizations.

Social media can be a successful communication tool, but without these core public relations skills, what makes our blogs any better than my grandma’s?

October 24, 2008

Facebooking and PR!

Filed under: Sparkle Media — ksorensen19 @ 7:09 pm
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Today on the PR Squared blog there was a post talking about Canadian Club Whisky’s Movember event. The event itself centers around a moustache growing contest which takes place in November and is done to raise awareness towards men health. The interesting thing about the post was how SHIFT communications chose to implement a promotional campaign. Using Facebook, the team created an application that allows you to, in short, draw moustaches all over your friends’ profile pics.

The great part about this campaign was that they chose to avoid the mainstream media and use a social media tool. If this application is successful, there is no counting the number of people who become aware of Movember. I’m sure that most of us have Facebook profiles and understand how quickly new Facebook applications become popular. It is also highly possible that if the application reaches a huge number of people the mainstream media will become aware of its popularity and give Movember additional coverage.

Overall, I just think this is a great illustration of how we all have to think outside the box when it comes to brainstorming campaign ideas for our clients. I’m sure that most PR professionals turn to traditional media when they need to garner press coverage, however, with the evolution of the internet and with more technology savy individuals joining the professional ranks perhaps we will continue to see more innovative campaign ideas. What non-traditional media routes can we take to gain exposure for our clients? How can we use social media to create innovative campaign ideas?

Most importantly, let’s all go moustache our friends on facebook and support Movember!

October 12, 2008

Facebook, iPhones and Other New Avenues for Communications…

Filed under: The Agency — wackyzachy47 @ 10:06 pm
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As I have seen in my tenure here in college the use and necessity of cell phones and facebook has exploded. This past weekend, I went on a trip to California to ASU take on (and summarily get slaughtered by) the USC Trojans with the ASU Marching band. Upon reaching our hotel in Chino Hills, I realized that I had forgotten my phone charger cord. To make matters worse I had forgotten my MacBook Daphne’s (yes I have named my laptop) power cord. I was without my two main means to access my online, mobile life. It was a rough Friday Night/Saturday to say the least.

Upon returning home I plugged both of my dead pieces of technology in and turned them on to find my inboxes full of messages, my facebook lit up with new tags and updates. I literally felt “plugged in” in to what was going on again. Does anyone else ever feel like this? I feel as if the internet has become one of my senses, the new “sixth sense” so to speak, because it is definitely a conduit for which raw information enters into my system. But as a few bloggers have brought up, are these mediums taking hold and being exploited correct? Are mobile phones and facebook and email novelties that will soon wear off as I grow older?

As I was looking through the PR blogosphere for something to talk about for this week, I came across the Intake blog. The past few posts have been on communication with employees and topics relating to this–which struck me seeing as how I was cut off from my main avenues of communication for a whole day (a day I know, but I felt so disconnected).

In a blog on entitled Face It by Matt West, discusses how what once was a medium for college students has quickly become and is the new intranet that many workplaces are quickly exploiting for their own internal communications (and if they are not now, then they should do so.) The idea that has become this new way to learn more about your own company and employees when just a short time ago, it was seen as an unprofessional, youth oriented site. I find this very interesting, because I feel like I am always being told of the dangers of online sites like and–that people post too much information on there and that one should be careful of their online media foot print. It almost makes me afraid to participate in it and I have set my profile’s security settings to some of the highest they can be–blocking everyone except my friends from seeing my profile and not even allowing people from my networks to see my profile picture in a search for me unless they are already my friend.  I mean I guess I am not as protective as I should be with over 700 friends, but still, does any one else feel this protective of their online self?

In another post on this blog, Reaching Mobile Employees, by Allen Putman, the idea of the many avenues of communication that are used to reach employees in the company setting. To go back to my anecdote of this weekend, how out of touch would someone with a blackberry or iPhone connected to their email and such feel if they would have left home without their charger? As stated in the blog, email was not enough in the beginning because people get easily overwhelmed with all the spam out there that if it does not immediately capture the readers attention, no matter who it is from, they will just delete the message and move on (as we have discussed in class). But with the advent of the iPhone and the blackberry, people’s lives are now in their pocket and the internet is never further away than an arms reach. As Allen Putman states, with the advent of online boarding passes and electronic versions being set straight to your mobile phone, the new form of communication has finally been achieved…but I just want to ask has it? Because how long before the novelty has worn off? Interning in D.C. this summer in a Congressman’s office, I saw that the blackberry was viewed as a ball and chain and kept you in the office perpetually 24hrs a day (a sentiment that I do not yet share, not that I have a blackberry, iPhone or any other email capable phone for that matter)…how long before the effectiveness of this new form of communicating wears off?

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