Author Archives: ellaclausen
People tend to trust the government with matters of their health rather than big business. Makes sense, right? Government is driven to pursue the goals and interests of the people. Businesses are driven by profit margins, as well as investors, shareholders and a whole slew of factors that does not revolve around consumer health. The Gallup “Trust in Institutions” Poll from June 2013 has big business far down on the list, only slightly more trusted than congress, HMO’s and organized labor.
In a modern, internet-centric age, this is should no longer be the case. Big business is now-more than ever-accountable to the people in a faster, more efficient way than government.
Food Babe is an investigative food blogger who discovered that Subway was using a harmful chemical in their bread . This ingredient, Azodicarbonamide, is also commonly used in shoe rubber and yoga mats. Although approved by the FDA, Azodicarbonamide is illegal in many countries in Europe as well as Australia due to its proven health dangers.
Within 24 hours of Food Babe releasing her petition against this ingredient, 57,000 people had signed her online petition. Within three days Subway issued an announcement that they were “already in the process of removing Azodicarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts” and that “the complete conversion to have this product out of the bread will be done soon.”
Meanwhile, the FDA says there is “a reasonable certainty of no harm” when an additive is used and has made no significant actions.
Subway, while maybe reacting swiftly just to save their image, is creating a beneficial change that may take Congress and years of lobbying to do. With the power of her blog, Food Babe was able to exact change with a corporation as large, and a supply chain as long as Subway’s within days. A little blog was able to take on a big corporation and win, which teaches us a lot about how communication can be effective if you use the right channels. The little guy won, because they knew exactly how to attack the problem.
Everyone is branded: the swoosh on your sneakers, the logo on your coffee cup, even the white headphones through which you listen to your music- they brand you. The same goes for our homes, our clothing, and even our social presence.
Through a strange turn of events, branding has quickly turned from a businesses tool to a personal practice. The emergence of the “personal brand” is where people seek to build the key aspects of their identity into a business.
Personal branding is about building a presence. It is about differentiating what is unique and talented about you from a loud sea of communicators. Through tools like Youtube, Linkedin, Twitter, WordPress, and many others, it’s simple to define yourself in cyberspace.
Does EllaClausen.com have a nice flow? Communicators are increasingly urged to build websites in their own namesakes and write their own blogs. Is it necessary for every PR professional to have their own website? Does this mean I should trademark my name before another Ella Clausen is born?
Some may argue yes.
In a world where giant companies like Comcast and Google eat up any promising start up and spit them into a massive conglomerate, new media has given the individual unheard of opportunity. We as individuals have, for the first time, the chance to make a global name for ourselves with no connections or resources besides the use of a computer.
In a tough job market, the ability to sell yourself online is quickly becoming one of the most important tools an applicant can have.
Young PR Professionals need to keep ideas like the personal brand in mind whilst moving forward into the world of career professionals. Although building your domain may not be necessary today, start by building content with your personal brand in mind. For some tips on how to get started, read one of our older posts here:
It’s a brand new world. Take part in it.
Thursday, November 29th, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Boston University PRSSA’s Young Alumni Panel to learn from the experiences of recent BU graduates working in the PR industry. The panel was an easy-going conversation between Allison Morris, Mark Nolan, Ginny Soskey, Rachel Sprung, and Chris Wilcox. While there was so much great advice tossed around, here are some highlights that could be of value for current students to know:
- You go to a school that prepares you really well. “BU is really good at stimulating interest in the field,” Allison Morris shared. “And that is something that’s really important to have outside of college.” Morris also said that the passion that BU instilled in her for the public relations field, technology, and social media was a lasting advantage that she had over peers who became disillusioned with their jobs.
- Don’t put blinders on COM. Take advantage of those liberal arts credits to get experiences and gain knowledge about other fields. Ginny Soskey shared that her psychology background helped her to have a more insightful look at content strategy, and recommended a social psychology class for burgeoning PR students. Rachel Sprung agreed, adding that her SMG classes were useful in understanding the business side of her current work. Take advantage of being required to take classes in other subject fields, rather than taking all COM electives.
- Utilize your peers. The people you are surrounded by now will be your connections in the real world. They will be useful to you when you all are in separate places and you need a favor, or need help obtaining information. Build connections and friendships, and maintain them. Not so coincidentally, the entire panel noted that they did not get the current job they had by traditionally applying, but by knowing someone who was hiring.
- Use Twitter to join the conversation. Twitter is one of the most important tools you can use to get a job. The alumni stressed the importance of getting into “the conversation,” meaning it is important to tweet your educated opinions about topics of interest to you or a company you want to work at. The importance of creating original content, whether that’s developed through thoughtful tweets or blog posts, is universally agreed upon.
- Don’t forget about the importance of culture. “I love those comfortable meetings where you can have a big belly laugh,” Chris Wilcox, marketing associate at Communispace, chimed in. The panelists felt that when applying for jobs many people get too caught up in the job itself and forget to look at the culture of the company they are looking into. This is important to do, because as an employee if you feel that the culture, or media policy, of your company is stifling, it will inhibit your work.
Are you successful alumni and have tips for communications students still in college? Share them here by leaving a comment below!