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 Jen Probst
When it comes to online writing, length is just as important as content. Learning how to craft the perfect blog post, tweet, or Facebook update is essential for reaching your audience. Check out these guidelines for perfecting your online writing abilities:
In terms of blog posts, length is dependent on the content. Therefore, length should reflect how long it takes to capture and convey a message. However, blog posts ranging from 300-400 words are more likely to result in readers finishing the entire post. It is important to keep readers engaged and intrigued throughout the entire body of writing.
While Twitter does enforce a 140 character limit on tweets, is this really an ideal length? Fast Company’s research has found that tweets made up of 100 characters gain the most retweets, overall. With this in mind, adhering to a short and concise style is key when attracting larger audiences on Twitter.
Facebook is another platform where readers generally do not expect to find or read full articles—with the exceptions of links to external pieces. Therefore, focusing on key words and points can help draw audiences into posts and articles, whether on the site or hosted elsewhere.
Ultimately, being straightforward in your writing is essential to developing engaging content. Focusing on the readers’ attention is important when gauging what will most likely be read versus what will be overlooked. And remember, be sure to take note of your length when it comes to your next online post.
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 Tianna Gallinaro
A few weeks ago, the White House announced that it had fired staff member, Jofi Joseph, after it was revealed that Joseph was tweeting sensitive government information and snarky insults about high profile political leaders under an anonymous account for two years.
Unabashedly candid with his disparaging and derogatory comments, Joseph has since apologized for his actions, but many speculate Joseph’s days on Capitol Hill are forever over.
Professionals should take this incident as a cautionary tale of how visible you truly are with online media. Once something is published on the Internet, it’s very difficult to permanently erase the content. The biggest concern is that the Internet allows users to easily copy, store, and publish content that isn’t even their own. Joseph’s Twitter account has been deleted, yet there are still websites that publish his entire history of tweets for users to view.
So how can you avoid all of this? Craft a positive online media presence by running a “New York Times Test” every time you tweet. Here are some tips:
- Ask yourself if you would want the content to be read on the front cover. If your answer is no, then you should definitely reevaluate before you click publish.
- Make sure your online content represents your brand. Your online media presence is vital to your overall reputation and brand.
- Remain authentic. You want to remain authentic with your content, but be conscious of what message and image you might convey.
- Think about who your content could be affecting. Your personal online media presence can affect the reputation of your professional employer or company. In Joseph’s case, many experts have speculated that he may have potentially harmed his wife’s political career as well.
As online media continues to expand, employers are starting to monitor the online media presence of their company, employees, clients, and even potential employees. Just as you would in person, always follow the golden rule: think before you act (or tweet or share or like or comment).
Posted by Phoebe Bowe
There has been a lot of talk in the wake of Twitter going public, meaning it will become a publicly traded and owned institution. Financial experts are asking questions about the company’s profitability, the level of disclosure in the company’s IPO and details about the company’s advertising sales. While these questions raise valid points and spur necessary discussions, they are usually only interesting to the Wall Street Journal crowd and financial types, as well as to me.
Public relations professionals and pre-professionals are already well aware of how Twitter can be used as a communication tool for building brands, and for disseminating information. Organizations, celebrities, and other public figures can build massive followings, which make it easy to share information quickly and efficiently with millions of people at a time. This social media activity can be easily analyzed and measured. Companies, individuals, and organizations can look at the activity of their Twitter accounts—how many followers they’ve gained and/or lost, as well as the number of retweets and favorites their tweets have received. This information can be useful in analyzing the effectiveness of a certain message or tactic. People are also taking the opportunity to compare Twitter to Facebook in terms of success, number of users, pervasiveness and popularity. Sorry Twitter fans, it can’t be avoided. If you look beyond Twitter as just a “Facebook competitor,” you will see that Twitter has many unexplored uses.
Twitter is no longer restricted to use by public relations representatives; Nielson uses Twitter to measure the online activity associated with television shows. Last year, the company began offering Nielson Twitter TV Ratings to television networks as an additional source of information about a shows’ ratings.
As more uses for Twitter are discovered, its popularity is sure to grow among professionals in the workforce. The future of Twitter maybe not be easy to predict at present, but it will certainly be interesting to see how it unfolds.
Posted by Phoebe Bowe
Recently, it became known that the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is a client of the global public relations firm Ketchum. Public relations students everywhere did a collective double take — a public relations agency can have a world leader as a client?
We expect Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian to hire publicists, and we know that companies hire public relations professionals to aid in reputation and crisis management. But when it is a president instead of a celebrity or CEO we are confused and even skeptical. Why? Maybe it’s time that has changed. What do celebrities, CEOs, and world leaders all have in common? They are public figures who often have to communicate with large audiences, albeit for different reasons.
The digital age has permanently redefined the way people communicate. Today, people get their news from Twitter feeds instead of newspapers. Organizations, businesses, individuals, publications, and news networks have adapted to the changes brought on by social media. World leaders have also begun to adapt: 66 heads of state have verified accounts on Twitter; President Obama has 36.9 million followers on Twitter; the leader of Syria has an Instagram account.
Communication is vital for world leaders. They make decisions that have the potential to alter the lives of millions of people, and therefore they need a way to communicate with these people. Why wouldn’t world leaders turn to the professionals whose job it is to stay up to date with communication technology and practices? Public relations firms specialize in connecting organizations and individuals with their audiences, whether those audiences are the media, fans, consumers, or the citizens of a nation.
The concept of public relations firms representing heads of state may signal a change in the role public relations plays in government and the way world leaders communicate with the people of the world. In the very least, it explains how Putin got an op-ed in the The New York Times.