Posted by brianawsngr
Facebook: Although Facebook has been around for more than a decade, the social networking site still graces the top of the charts. The site is constantly updated and revamped to meet the latest technology updates, social shifts, or business needs. Because of Facebook’s inventive improvements, PR professionals can dabble in various tools on Facebook to closely connect with their audience and effectively promote a product or event. For example, an in-house public relations department can create a “Page” for their business or organization. Using the page, the PR department can create posts and “promote” them if they want to reach a wider audience, choosing between locations and age ranges. The PR department can pay for advertisements to pop up on various feeds along the edge of the website. If the PR department has an event coming up, the team can “Create an event” outlining the location, time, and other important details, and invite their friends to the page.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn provides opportunities for professional individuals to network across a channel strictly for career purposes. Public relations professionals can use it to connect with other communication specialists and compare experiences within their fields. There is a plethora of groups for various professional areas where individuals can post and read articles about significant topics pertaining to their occupation. Additionally, individuals can join groups to read information on professions that may interest them. Public relations groups on LinkedIn cover topics from crisis management to effective social media sites. Public relations teams can use this site to scope out future clients and as a tool to meet other specific professional needs.
Twitter: The strictly 140-character streaming site has grown from being an outlet to share quick, nonchalant thoughts with friends to a media outlet used to communicate with publics around the world. PR professionals can use Twitter to gain perspective on clients and their current audiences, and it can help PR professionals determine audiences clients may be able to attract in the future. Public relations personnel can also use the site to provide quick information about an event or product to an audience that mainly uses Twitter. Another way that PR professionals can benefit from Twitter is by networking. There are millions of users that have diverse interests and occupations. Public relations teams can use twitter to “tweet” at other PR firms to learn new communication techniques or to connect with new clients to reveal that the team has an interest in them.
MySpace: Haven’t heard of this one in a while, huh? MySpace was previously known as the “it” social networking site, and for many it seemed to have disappeared off the face of the Earth; however, it has transformed into a popular networking tool for the entertainment industry. Hosting comedians, bands, and musicians, the site offers customizable pages and a bypass of tough streaming laws. If focusing on public relations in the entertainment industry, PR professionals can use the social media platform to promote their client through an interactive page or search for potential clients on the easily-accessible website. Public relations teams can also use MySpace to run a campaign for a product or client by accessing those interested in their focus area.
Instagram: Instagram is the social media application most used by individuals under the age of 35. Throughout the past five or so years, Instagram has grown into a super social media site forcing Facebook to put up its boxing gloves. No need to worry, though, the two are here to stay comfortably living side-by-side in the social media world. Compared to Facebook, Instagram is an entirely different form of communication. It uses pictures and captions as the sole sharing method. PR professionals can use Instagram accounts to post pictures of their company’s work in the office or the community, of an upcoming product or campaign, or of a client’s work or product. If a PR team is having trouble reaching a younger audience, they can use an ad promotion that shows up on users’ feeds or they can interact directly with potential audience’s posts to grab their attention.
Posted by Cassidy Bissell
Last semester, I interviewed Boston Globe sports reporter Amalie Benjamin. As an avid sports fan, I was eager to hear about the ins and outs of sports writing and media relations. Amalie spent many years covering baseball and the Red Sox. This season she traded in her sunny days at Fenway Park for chilly plastic seats at TD Garden. While Amalie welcomed the opportunity to cover the Boston Bruins, she dreaded the team’s heavy travel schedule to Canada and cities across the country. This change took a bit of adjusting, not only to the long distance traveling, but also to the media policies. The National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) enforce different media policies that players, coaches and journalists must follow. For instance, the NHL does not permit any media access to players and coaches before games. This rules changes Amalie’s routine and forces her to develop a story based off of less information. Yet, Amalie looks past the inconvenience and focuses on “doing it right” so she can “say I really did my job well today.” Plus, the less interviews, the less she has to transcribe, something she notes as “the worst thing [she] ha[s] to do, but it’s a necessary evil.”
The team of public relations professionals from the sports teams she covers always made sure she has every statistic, interview and resource she needs to write her story. Occasionally, during a breaking news story or crisis, the sports organization’s PR department tries to protect the team or certain players at all costs. This makes Amalie’s job a lot harder. Fortunately, Amalie understands the hesitation from an internal point of view and still appreciates the assistance of media relations professionals.
First and foremost, Amalie became a journalist because writing has always been her passion. She loves laying out all of the puzzle pieces and putting them together to form a complete picture for people to admire and discuss. “I got into the business to tell stories…that’s important to me,” says Benjamin. All she wants to do is write about the truth and “interesting things that [she] hope[s] people will respond to.” And although public relations practitioners can steer her in the wrong direction at times, everyday she relies on their coordinated interviews for vital information during training camp and the season. In the end, the struggle pays off because “the best thing in the world is finding a story and feeling like you go it right” says Benjamin. “It’s pitch perfect.”
Posted by Jen Probst
Many of us look to large agencies or corporations when it comes to finding the perfect way to gain valuable experience in public relations. But what do you do when those large agencies and corporations are looking for experienced interns? It’s time to look to other outlets to gain some experience before applying to larger firms. Here are a few ideas that you may not have considered:
1. Student Run Agencies: Look to your PRSSA chapter’s student run agency (PRUnleashed here at Boston University). This is a great way to learn the skills needed to work for a legitimate client at your next internship. You not only gain first hand experience, but it is a great environment to test out new ideas and strategies for a client’s needs.
2. University Marketing: A university is just as much a business as any corporation. It is essential that it markets itself positively and effectively. Given all of the different departments on campus, inquire as to whether or not a department that you are interested in offers opportunities for you to help with communication needs. It’s a great way to learn while building your resume.
3. Non-Profit Organizations: Most non-profit organizations have a limited budget. Interning at a non-profit will not only help you gain PR and communication experience, but will also give you the chance to develop your leadership skills. You will also be assigned a number of important duties such as handling social media, helping plan events and campaigning.
Building your resumé early on will help you land larger internships later in your college and professional career due to the experience you will have gained from working for smaller outlets. Just remember that any chance to get experience is a valuable one in helping to grow your career.
Posted by ellaclausen
Pinterest’s new business model has been taking the social media world by storm. As Pinterest has grown in popularity and proved itself as more than just a fad, it’s usage and popularity has diversified. That’s right, Pinterest is no longer just for drooling over recipes with ‘avocado’ in them and new hairstyle ideas.
It’s also a great place to show off your resume.
Think of Pinterest as a way in which to visually garner and share information and ideas that appeal to you and show off your taste. It’s like a visual twitter. Think about it- there’s no better way to embody “show, don’t tell” regarding your new media skills and knowledge.
Some are using Pinterest to become thought leaders. Author of the CSR blog “Selfish Giving”, Joe Waters’ website directs you to his Pinterest board to learn about his experience. He has boards for several broad issues and pins links, stories, and ideas within each one that interested people can follow.
Others are using Pinterest to create digital resumes with pins that show off appearances, social media profiles, experiences, and not to mention Photoshop skills. Traditional resumes are a document on paper and unless you are a graphic designer, it can do little more than tell a potential employer about your past experiences and qualifications. Pinterest, on the other hand, uses pictures to show a story – your story.
Check out these awesome examples of Living Resumes to see more of what I mean:
Posted by Cassidy Bissell
The Sochi Winter Olympics is quickly becoming a game dominated by controversy. Allegations of corruption were thrown around even before the game. Russian officials managed to keep the information flow on official governmental activities to a minimum, but there is one medium they are unable to control. Not even Vladimir Putin can stop Twitter.
The trouble started when journalists started arriving a few weeks before the games. They arrived to their hotels to find poor conditions, unsafe drinking water, and even some cases where there rooms weren’t even ready. They quickly began tweeting their experiences, adding the hashtag #SochiProblems which eventually spawned a twitter account @SochiProblems. The account currently has over 300,00 followers, which is 50,000 more than the official Sochi Olympics Twitter account. In addition, the #CheersToSochi has been trending over the past week. The hashtag was started by McDonalds in an effort to show support for US athletes traveling to the Olympics. However, it was soon hijacked by opponents of Russia’s strict anti-gay propaganda laws. The backlash also brought to light the criticisms that big Olympic sponsors like McDonalds were hesitant to take a stand against the discriminatory policies.
All of these cases illustrate a point that must now be recognized as verifiable fact and not simply a passing trend. Social media is here to stay, and it is becoming increasingly powerful and influential, especially when it comes to world politics. Building networks and the spread of information is easier on Twitter, and organizations and world leaders are understanding that more and more. As a generation of PR professionals who grew up on social media and the internet, we students have a unique opportunity. Our understanding of the platforms is intuitive, and we can and should use that to our advantage in our future careers. We can be those individuals spreading change and making the world a better place. Granted, Twitter isn’t where it all happens, but it is becoming the one of the main places where the conversation gets started.
Posted by Phoebe Bowe
The semester is winding down and finals season is quickly approaching. Soon students everywhere will be pulling all-nighters and consuming Venti Starbucks lattes like their lives (and their grades) depend on it. After a long semester and a ruthless round of exams, it is tempting to disconnect from online media (and media in general) during winter break. Though students think of the three to four weeks between semesters as a reprieve, the professional world is still moving. Journalists are still writing. Bloggers are still blogging. Public relations professionals are still devising strategies, implementing tactics, worrying about brand recognition, and tackling crises.
Without the structure of classes, it can be easy to neglect your online presence. Here are some tips for staying engaged in between semesters:
Read, watch, or listen to the news.
Just because your 301 professor isn’t threatening you with pop quizzes, that doesn’t mean that you can stop paying attention to the news. Public relations professionals read the news constantly for relevant stories and trends—get in the habit now and it will make your media relations class in the spring that much easier.
Read PR blogs.
You’ve been busy all semester. The break is an opportunity to catch up on reading you wish you had time for when classes were in session. Public relations bloggers have some great advice, some of which you may not find in the classroom.
Create your own content.
Instagrams of apple pies and holiday cookies are fun but this an opportunity to devote time to more in-depth content creation. Plan the blog you meant to start this semester but never did or devote more time to the blog you already have.