Author Archives: Sarah Ryan

What Boo Can Teach Us About Personal Branding

booIf you aren’t a fan of oddly cut pomeranians, then I might encourage you to skip this post. However, if you find them cute, adorable and perfect in every way, you’ve stumbled onto the right page. I’m talking about Boo, the self-proclaimed “World’s Cutest Dog”.

My obsession with Boo began a little earlier this year and has been growing with each mobile upload by his owner, who he warmly refers to as “human”. Boo has his own public figure account on Facebook which is where I found him. His about me says it all: “My name is Boo. I am a dog. Life is good.” However, Boo can fool you. He’s quite the busy puppy making appearances left and right, releasing books and modeling products. After a more in-depth analysis I’ve found that Boo can teach us a lot about personal branding and how to keep that momentum rolling. I’ve found that Boo stays true to his unique personalityexpands into various industries and networks like crazy. Maybe you can’t teach an old dog a new trick, but this young puppy has a lot to teach about personal branding.

In regards to his unique personality, Boo is not the perfect puppy. He is lazy, vain and somewhat superficial not to mention his crazy haircut! Boo prefers nothing more than to sleep, cuddle and occasionally play, but mostly sleep. He loves to be the center of attention even if he tries to deny it. On Wednesdays he celebrates “Naked Wednesdays” which are days when he shaves his entire body except for his head. Even if he does resemble a fluffy basketball, Boo owns it. Boo teaches us all how important it is to embrace what makes you quirky, memorable and unique. His characteristics are not necessarily positive or admirable, but at the same time he’s hard to forget. It’s easier to for other people to become more interested or involved in your efforts if they feel like they know the real you, not just some robot in the social media world. So take Boo’s lead! Embrace all your characteristics, good and bad. It’s what makes you, you.

When Boo hit it big on Facebook, he knew it was time to venture into other areas so his fans could adore him in new ways. Published on August 3, 2011, “Boo: The Life of the World’s Cutest Dog” became the world’s cutest book. Even puppy with a love for sleeping can tell you it is no easy task to enter other industries. After his successful book release, Boo partnered with GUND to create an 8″ stuffed animal identical twin.

Throughout this entire process, Boo has also managed to network his tail off. Everyone from George Stephanopoulos (as seen on Good Morning America!) to Doctor Dre seems to want a piece of Boo and he’s been working hard to maintain those good relationships. He’s also entered the retail market with American Apparel and Tory Burch. American Apparel has created “Dog Hoodies” which are basically sweatshirts for puppies (best idea ever) and Boo is their number 1 model. When Boo isn’t modeling for American Apparel, he’s modeling for the ultimate fashionista, Tory Burch and he also models for Beats by Dre. No wonder this little puppy’s favorite activity is sleeping!

Who knew that a cute pomeranian with a weird haircut could create such a buzz? Although Boo likes to pretend that all he does is sleep and pose for pictures a lot of hardwork goes into maintaining his image and personal brand. Boo can teach us all that in order to develop a successful personal brand you have to be true to yourself, explore other areas to enter and network your tail off. Of course, being cute doesn’t hurt either.

A Review of PRAdvanced

If you had to miss PRAdvanced last Saturday, you truly missed out. It was an amazing day filled with honest advice and newurl perspectives all surrounding the theme of “Embrace the Possibilities”. This post is a quick wrap up of the event, a mix of what I learned from the conference and what the speakers said which really inspired me. However, you don’t even have to read this post to know what happened because almost every person that attended the conference was live tweeting, using #PRAdvanced.

The day began with a riveting talk from the keynote speaker, Rob Flaherty, CEO of Ketchum PR. With giant props, pictures from his own PRSSA days and videos showcasing examples of great marketing, Mr. Flaherty’s address was fun, but still incredibly informative. Here are a few of his great quotes that I had to live tweet:

– “Think of the new definition of news as something important enough to find me.”
– “We’re increasingly in the content creation business.”
– “Our business is about helping our client do the right thing.”
– “Perspective is one of the most important things in business and in life.”

Following Mr. Flaherty’s opening address, we broke into small groups for breakout sessions ranging from video skill featuring Steve Garfield, Author of Get Seen and Founder of Boston Media Makers, to Corporate Social Responsibility with Simon Bowers, Account Supervisor, Sustainable Business Practices, at Cone Communications. The breakout sessions are designed as a more intimate gathering with only about 20 people in the room so it gave listeners an opportunity to ask questions and really engage with the speaker.

We took a short lunch break after that where we had the pleasure of hearing Dean Elmore, the Dean of Students at Boston University, give a talk about networking, connecting to industry professionals and how it’s similar to flirting. Dean Elmore described, “We know good flirting when we see it” and when networking with the person that just might get you that dream job, you definitely want to be a good flirter.

Finally, we ended the day with the much anticipated career panel, let by moderator and BU professor, Dr. Edward Downes. The panel consisted of Susan Baba, a Male Grooming Communications manager for Procter and Gamble, Rachel Leamon, Client Executive, Technology Practice Burson-Marsteller, Lauren Reilly, professor at Simmons College and Laura Oggeri, Director of Communications for Senate President Therese Murray. Each woman gave a thoughtful response to the questions asked of her by Dr. Downes representing corporate, agency, non-profit and governmental public relations. Although their answers were not always similar they had a common theme: you never quite know where an opportunity will arise. The women all agreed that no two days are similar in their industry and that similar regret was that they did not follow up with contacts they should have prior to the job search. They didn’t quite expect to have the careers they have today, but urged students to keep an open mind and take advantage of what comes their way.

As the career panel finished up and we headed to the career fair, I felt very inspired by the amazing speakers I had heard throughout the day. Sometimes from a student’s perspective public relations can seem like an overwhelmingly large field with so many paths and directions to take that it’s hard to narrow down. I don’t think the theme could have been more appropriate to calm many students’ woes.

Although the conference is over, keep the conversation going using the hashtag #PRAdvanced.

Tom O’Keefe Talks Personal Online Branding

Even though he’s a native New Yorker and BC alum, we invited Tom O’Keefe to our last chapter meeting. We couldn’t have picked a better person to teach us about personal online branding. Tom, better known by his twitter handle, @BostonTweet, now has over 75,000 followers and is a major news source for the young Boston crowd. His tweets range from events in the city, to what he’s drinking at Eastern Standard that night. If you aren’t following him, you should probably take a moment to do that right now. bostontweet

When the recession began in 2008, Tom needed a new job and Twitter became the answer. He originally pitched the idea to a nearby Boston agency to which they laughed and said it was a waste of time. His intent was to help local businesses in the area that were suffering through the tough economic times. Just a few years later (without a single day off) @BostonTweet has become a major success.

When asked what he does Tom said, “I basically go out, eat and drink, and tweet about it.” Even though it seems like all fun and no work, he has persevered in narrowing down a target audience and building strong connections in the city. He described his target audience as 20-30 year old single persons (mostly female) with an expendable income that live along the red or green mbta lines. Knowing his target audience allows him to produce content that is more applicable to their interests. He also emphasized that Boston is a really small and connected city which was why he decided to stay after school, rather than move back to New York. “My whole business revolves around making connections,” Tom laughs.

When asked about his success, he said it was all about being human and being passionate. Tom said the best thing he did was use his own face rather than a logo to brand himself because it builds a personal connection. “Maybe it’s that everyday, common, average Joe. If I can’t get in with these, I don’t go,” Tom said pointing to his sneakers. He emphasized how photos and videos also help to build that human connection with his audience. Building your personal online brand is just that — remaining a human in 140 characters or less. Overall, his passion for the city is the main drive behind his success and he encouraged members to find something they’re passionate about.

Do you follow @BostonTweet? What do you believe is most important to create a successful personal online brand?