Author Archives: mgflip

Bridging the Gap: Social Media Advice That Doesn’t Suck

This post is part of our PRSSA 2012 National Conference series, where members of our Executive Board will be sharing tips from various breakout sessions.

There are a lot of people who claim they’re social media experts these days. Spoiler alert : most who say they are geniuses or evangelists usually aren’t. So it was a breath of fresh air to hear from Michael Brito, a Senior Vice President in Edelman’s San Francisco office. Even the title of his presentation didn’t boast about social media directly.

Instead of providing a play-by-play commentary of the presentation, I’d like to share a few direct quotes that I thought really stuck out – and then briefly comment why they struck me.

“What’s the purpose of listening if you’re not going to do anything?” But seriously, the point here is that social media should be used for a end. Tweeting just for the hell of it isn’t really going to do anything for your business, organization or their respective brands – online or offline.

“Everyone is an influencer. Everyone has a voice. Klout doesn’t matter.” I was so excited about this line that I literally almost stood up and cheered. This is a realization that we all must come to because even Johnny Appleseed from halfway across the world can cause damage to your brand via social media. You cannot take chances with anyone. And just because someone has a Klout score of 78 doesn’t mean you should treat them differently.

“Core business objectives remain despite the external landscape.” The single thing so many people forget. At the end of the day, your boss or senior executives want to know if social media is helping out the bottom line. A core business objective is making more money than last year. Therefore ,social media must be used strategically to help your business make more money.

“How do you reach consumers through a high degree of noise?” The Internet is a non-stop fire hose of information. Brito gives good advice when he says that the way to get through this is deploying the same message at different touch points. This means unique content for each social network (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Foursquare) with occasional posts promoting blog content. Only then is your message omnipresent.

Finally, did you know that YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine? Forget Bing. And the most-searched video? How-Tos. I read a lot about social media, but that was something I didn’t really think about at all.

All in all, it was the best presentation on social media I’ve ever heard. If you’re interested in looking at some awesome charts, check out his slides right here.


Bridging the Gap: Social Media in the Presidential Election

This post is part of our PRSSA 2012 National Conference series, where members of our Executive Board will be sharing tips from various breakout sessions.

As a political communication junkie, I couldn’t have been more excited. The presenter’s credentials alone are impressive. I heard first from David Almacy, a Senior Vice President in Edelman’s Digital Public Affairs Practice in Washington, DC. Almacy served as White House Internet and E-Communications director under President George W. Bush. In that role, he managed online communications strategy and served as a spokesman and primary liaison for Internet press and bloggers.

He had some key takeaways. I found his perspective particularly interesting because many of the platforms today didn’t exist under his tenure in the Bush Administration – Instagram and Pinterest just to name a few.

Mr. Almacy began by detailing social media platforms unbelievable growth since his former boss left office. He pointed out that Foursquare, the location-based social media service, saw 3400% growth in 2010 alone and was the fastest platform to reach one million users. If that one statistic doesn’t symbolize the power of social media, I don’t know what does.

More important, Almacy said, is that we’re now living in a world of transmedia storytelling. Yes, mainstream media like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and ABC Nightly News are still important. However, those outlets now intersect with hybrid media, in his words, such as POLITICO, TechCrunch and BuzzFeed – and there are even more intersections with owned content channels like candidate websites and then with all kinds of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

At the center of these different media intersections are search and content. And that is what campaigns are thinking about and any communicator today should be thinking about when trying to communicate a message – whether it be for a political campaign or a corporate client. The strategy is the same.

If the 2012 election is seeing all of these dramatic changes, what will 2016 hold?

2012 PRSSA National Assembly

Having never been to a PRSSA National Event before,  you can imagine my excitement when I learned I would be representing our Chapter at National Assembly this year in Charlotte, North Carolina. While the gathering’s main purpose was to elect the new National Committee, we also had the opportunity to learn in different sessions and take part in an hour-long PR strategy competition.

I could bore you by describing my routine each day, but I took back something more important. Reach out for help. Before you ask someone like a professional or your advisor for help, reach out to your PRSSA National Network with over 10,000 members. You will be amazed at the resources you find, because that’s exactly what I found at Assembly. The best things I learned didn’t come from formal session, but just by casually chatting with my fellow delegates about what works and what doesn’t.

Everyone had a lot of say about membership. Many suggested drawing from other student organizations. For example, a lot of students with communication minors may dedicate most of their time to their major of study, but PRSSA can give them more resources.

Talking to incoming freshmen over the summer is another tactic used by many Chapters to promote awareness before they step on campus. As a result, the newbies will be dying to get to the first meeting and will probably bring their new friends with them.

We all know that our first meetings of the year are packed, but often attendance drops off dramatically starting with the next meeting. To avoid this, my peers said to make the second meeting a big agency tour so that way everyone can look forward to something really exciting.

Every chapter also needs simple and effective fundraising ideas. Selling fun party clothes  and Rent-A-Puppy were by far the most popular among all the attendees. One of my roommates, Matt Hunnel, from the University of Nebraska, said he monetized his Chapter’s website and makes $400 a month in ad revenue. I’ll definitely be pushing that idea.

And for overall success, Outgoing National Committee members had some pointers. Remember, PRSSA is a pre-professional society, not a club. Don’t assume continuing membership — always reach out to members despite their level of involvement. Plan during the summer for continued success and an effective transition. Keep notes for every meeting and event so the next executive board can always improve.

On a more personal note, I had the wonderful pleasure of celebrating my 21st birthday at National Assembly and I seriously would not have asked for it any other way. It never ceases to amaze me how public relations students are always social and looking to meet someone and do something new. It really was amazing to meet so many students from across the country who share the same values and truly dedicate themselves to the society.

I seriously cannot wait for National Conference.

Check out the newly elected 2012-2013 National Committee.

PR Students and Steve Jobs

Last week, Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple, Inc. and arguably one of the greatest innovators of our lifetime, passed away.

Beyond technology, Jobs also left an impact on the PR industry. We all know of Apple’s notoriously secret PR machine as well as the revolutionary way Apple creates buzz around their products.

Most important, however, are the messages he left in his 2005 commencement address to Stanford University.

…the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. Read the rest of this entry

Obama State Department Spokesman Visits BU College of Communication

PJ Crowley, the Obama Administration Undersecretary of State and State Department Spokesman, will visit the Boston University College of Communication on Thursday, March 10th from 12-2pm. He will speak  about the Middle East and crisis management in the COM Student Lounge (Room 107). PR students are welcome to attend.

Please see Professor Donahue for details.

World Class Branding with Chris Brogan

Bridging the Gap between What You are Learning and What’s Live on the Ground

March 3, 2011 6:00 – 7:30 p.m, Boston University College of Arts and Sciences 522

Advanced registration is required for this event. To register, send email to

In this talk, best-selling author Chris Brogan shares insights into the last few years of social business and digital marketing, and then sets out potential roadmaps for what lies ahead. Chris will explore the rise of local and locationbased strategies, the continued push into mobile devices, content marketing, lead cultivation, real-time marketing, e-mail marketing enhancements, emerging trends in measurement and analytics, and the next “hot” marketing hire: the data/tech specialist. By all counts, 2011 is a big year for marketing. Are you ready for the change?

Chris Brogan is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Establish Trust. Chris consults and speaks professionally with Fortune 100 and 500 companies including PepsiCo, General Motors, and Microsoft on the future of business communications and social software technologies. He is a featured monthly columnist at Entrepreneur Magazine. Chris’s blog, [], ranks in the Top 5 of the Advertising Age Power150. Chris has over 11 years of experience in online community, social media, and related technologies.

Chris is also president of Human Business Works, an online education and community company for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. His first project, 501 Mission Place, helps non-profits and charities learn how to grow their capabilities. Chris is also Entrepreneur-in-Residence at CrossTech Ventures, where he is working to develop New Marketing Labs and The Pulse Network, among other projects.