PR Campaigns – The blog

April 13, 2009

Congrats You’re Graduating! Now What?

Filed under: Step Up Communications — Mickey Siegel @ 11:24 pm
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To all of the PR students graduating this semester and to those past graduates, congratulations. This is a time to celebrate that you will never have to write another term paper again or take another mid-term exam (except for you grad school overachievers). For the rest of us, we now have to get our lives in order and start on the 2nd act in our lives (the 1st act being childhood and the 3rd act being retirement/senility/adult diapers).  In this 2nd act, we must now become dependent on ourselves to provide food and shelter. I know it sounds like a daunting task, but do not fret because it is much easier than it sounds to cook something other than a hot pocket.

Katherine Strate is a soon to be PR graduate from the University of Georgia and she collected Five Pieces of Advice that should help make it a little easier to transition from a student to a PR professional. Strate writes about many matters plaguing graduates, but her most important point focuses on being proactive in job hunting and while at the first job/internship.

At PR Channel, a site that features thousands of agency listings, the site solicited comments from many of its agencies concerning Advice for the PR Grad. The most interesting comment that I found involved the use of social media in finding a PR job. Here is what Heather Huhman, founder of entrylevel-pr.com had to say:

sign up for Twitter, start following thought leaders in public relations (specifically, the area of public relations that interests you most, such as health care), and get engaged via the various PR hashtags: #PRadvice for asking pros questions, #EntryPR for entry-level jobs and #PRintern for internships.

This is great advice and I can attest to twitter being a valuable tool for networking purposes. I met up with Brian Stelter, current NY Times columnist and creator of TVNewser, through him asking on twitter if there were any ASU Cronkite students that tweeted. I naturally responded and ended up having a lunch interview with him and other Cronkite students. It just goes to show that Twitter and other social media sites have a profound effect on marketing, and in an economy where employers are looking to hire 22% less jobs than last year, it is important to get as many legs up as possible.

Before going, I want to leave everyone with a youtube video of a British PR/Marketing professional giving some advice on how to best deal with finding a job in this economy. Besides us having a better army than the Brits, we are pretty similar in most everything else:

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The Twitter Game

Filed under: Spirals — lindsaylynch @ 7:27 pm
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First of all the most crazy thing I read in the post about Gaming Twitter on Communication Overtones was that Twitter originated in April 2006, I guarantee half the people in our class did not know this!

I didn’t know that people “gamed twitter”.  What it means to game twitter is when you create tons of followers by telling them you will follow them back, neither party has any interest in the contest either is posting.  I find it fascinating that people even care if 1. They have followers and 2. That other people “game twitter”.  If someone is using Twitter for proffesional means, shouldn’t they be professional and not act like a 7 year old and fight over who has more friends?  This seems funny to me.

These are the Twitter rules to Game Twitter:

Four Steps To Game Twitter

1. Sign up for a Twitter account, creative name gets you extra credit but isn’t necessary

2. Automatically follow people with similar interests by searching for specific keywords and autofollowing people. One of the most well-known services for this is Twollo

3. Sign up for all of the services that help you manage your followers: SocialToo, TweetLater, My Tweeple,  Friend or Follow, Mr. Tweet, TweetSum and others. Use them to unfollow anyone who doesn’t follow you, preferably leaving only those that autofollow. Rinse and repeat this step daily.

5. Be sure that you auto follow people so others like you will add you.

I did not know that there were services that manage your followers, it is like a vaccum that goes through your account daily.  This seems like far too much work to claim you have followers, when really do you care about any of them. 

On an additional note, did this article REALLY post something reminding people not to pay people to follow them on Twitter…what is our world coming to, this is ridiculous!

In this post there are links to people’s opinions on what it was like before Twitter became a huge trend, for personal use.  There is also a link to ways that a business can use Twitter affectively, which is a good idea for all of us in this class launching a social media campaign, to make sure we are selling Twitter the correct way!

April 6, 2009

Blending social media and CSR

Filed under: Spirals — Patty Lepkowski @ 10:55 pm
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I have to be honest, I normally skip over any blog that even mentions Twitter, as I feel it has become an over-talked about topic recently. However, when the blog titled Social Media Provides the Tools to Make Positive Change popped up on my Google Reader last week, I had to take note.

The blog posted on the Communications Overtones blog page discusses how Michelle Greer, a web marketing strategist and blogger from Austin, recently won a social media award for a Twestival she organized to coordinate blood drives for Burmese refugees.

Although the blog never directly mentions anything public relations-related, I was immediately drawn to this topic as a potential tactic for a corporate social responsibly campaign (CSR), a campaign through which companies participate in activities related to public interests, while improving the company image. Corporations are constantly looking for ways to form mutually beneficial relationships with their communities, and what better way than through everyone’s new favorite medium – the Internet.

Using social media to power a CSR campaign is a strategically sound decision for a number of reasons. For one, social media is a quick and effective way for organizations to reach their publics. Currently, many companies discuss their CSR efforts on the company blog, but why not take that a step further and use the social media Web site as a platform for the campaign, rather than just a medium to discuss it? Also, social media Web sites are effective because they allow public relations professionals to disseminate controlled information that will reach target publics, those that are already loyal readers of the company’s blogs.

In my opinion, companies have a lot to gain by conducting CSR campaigns on social media Web sites. However, some may believe that social media Web sites would not be appropriate for some CSR efforts. What is your opinion? Do you think social media and CSR are mutually exclusive topics or that we can find a way to blend the two, so as to create communications results? If you disagree with using social media for CSR, what do you think is the best way for companies to conduct and report on CSR efforts?

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.

March 23, 2009

Social Media Netiquette

Filed under: Step Up Communications — Nancy Flores @ 10:19 pm
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With all the talk of Twitter and Facebook and being careful of what you post on the Internet, I figure why not blog about Social Media Netiquette.  Netiqutte is basically the way you should and should not behave on the Internet.  Social Media Netiquette takes it one step further and talks about what you should not do on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. 

I recently learned about Netiquette in a communication class I am taking but it never really brought up the idea of netiquette for social media, email yes, but Twitter no.  I did some searching on Google and come upon a post by Chris Brogan titled Etiquette in the Age of Social Media.  Now, his post was based strictly on his own opinion, but it got me thinking that my communication class needs updated course material. 

Some of his posts about Twitter Etiquette include: 

  • I’m personally not fond of long @ conversations. Not sure your take, but to me, something over 3 @ messages back and forth might be best suited in a DM or into email.
  • If you don’t have much to say, it’s okay not to say it.
  • An @ message at the beginning of a post shows up in replies. Further in, it doesn’t.
  • It’s okay to promote yourself. Just consider promoting some other folks, too. Mix it up a bit.
  • You’re not obligated to friend everyone back. Some people use Twitter differently.
  • Removing someone as a Twitter friend doesn’t (necessarily) reflect on how you feel on them as a person. It’s okay.

Again, these are just his opinion but some of it makes sense.  He has 28 trackback links from other bloggers who read his post and started thinking about other rules that could contribute to his.  One I would add to the list that we talked about in class this past week is do not set up your Twitter to automatically follow people as this could be considered creepy in the Twitter world.   

Take a peek at his blog and some of the trackback links he has at the bottom of the post.  Can you think of any other rules that might be a good addition to Social Media Netiquette?

Twitter all you want, but remember people can see you

Filed under: The Fifth Firm — tmpace @ 6:12 pm
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Twitter has really taken this nation by storm. It seems like ever since we learned about this “twitter” in PR class that is all people can talk about.  I find myself browsing people’s tweets constantly finding it entertaining and useful. Twitter is such a great place to market, network and research.

Two of my family members find twitter is creepy, and they are constantly sending me articles about why I should not Twitter.

So I was not surprised when I checked my email this morning and found:

Twitter gets you fired in 140 characters or less.

The email linked me to a MSNBC article written by Helen Popkin that described how one person’s tweet got him fired.

This got me thinking, “How can people be so silly?” Of course your employers are searching the web!

This guy in the article tweeted, “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” Of course the company found the tweet, and was not very happy.

Even though twitter is a great place to express how you feel it also a place where companies can see what you feel.

Then I was reading PR blogs for class, and I found PR Squared’s, a PR group who specializes in social media and marketing, blog posting “Twitter Rule #2 Remember that you are being watched.”

This blog brought up many great points. When we are working for clients, companies, etc. we have to keep in  mind what we post may come back to haunt us.  They discuss how if you are upset do not tweet something you will regret because what if a client sees it and reports it to your boss? Or what if a reporter sees? Do you really want something like that in an article?

Twitter is a fun social network site, but we have to keep in mind we are professionals. We take down our myspace and facebook photos that are not appropriate, and now we need to make sure we only tweet things our future bosses or clients would not be embrassed or angered to read.

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