Between You and Me, There's PR

Exploring, learning and using social media, public relations and marketing.

Politics, religion and sex November 4, 2010

In my personal selling class we have been talking about how to use small talk when networking with people as well as when approaching a prospect customer. Small  talk means you can talk about random topics, but everyone knows to avoid politics and religion.

This is the same for nearly every aspect of conversation at work, online and when meeting someone for the first time.

Christina Khoury, author of the PRBreakfastClub, wrote about trying to find the fine line between being yourself and “word vomit” or as she defines it, “the act of putting one’s foot in thy mouth.” A few ways to avoid this, according to Christina, is by not discussing politics and religion for their tendency to lead to debate and why you hate your job, because the wrong person (boss or client) might see it.

#PRStudChat aired their first podcast on Monday and featured Brandi Boatner (@brandiboatner) from IBM for more great discussion on online transparency.

Brandi’s best tip was to “treat your online relationships like your offline relationships.” She presented the scenario that if you walked into a party where you did not know anyone and yelled ‘I am here’ it would be considered rude and awkward. In a normal situation, you would talk to people and get to know their background a little and earn their trust before getting deep into a conversation. Brandi says the same thing applies online, listen and gradually add to the conversation instead of being the loud obnoxious new person.

Brandi also mentions three key topics to avoid in conversation: politics, religion and sex.

It is all about our online image. We are branding ourselves out there in the gigantic world of online networking and just as people are forming opinions  about our company whether we like it or not, they are being formed about us as individuals as well. As a student looking for a job or even someone currently employed by a company, filtering your online presence is very important to building your credibility.

Hopeful parting words:

Brandi mentions in the podcast that human resource people don’t necessarily have all the time in the world to dig up your history in photos. That is not to say they will not look, therefore, becoming more conscious of how your online presence looks currently is definitely a step in the right direction.

Our guest speaker in class last night, John Scroggins from Noble and Associates, mentions that he understands being in college and utilizing privacy settings. He considers that a judgement call rather than hiding a deep dark secret.

That said, not everyone will be as generous as these two professionals and we should dfinitely still use discretion. If you wouldn”t want mom to see it, don’t post it.

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Foursquare in space? Really? October 27, 2010

I realize my mind was focused on homecoming preparations a lot the past weekend, but I am wondering how I missed the fact that astronaut, Douglas H. Wheelock, unlocked a new badge on Foursquare from space.

First of all, though these astronauts have been traveling in space all summer, I had no idea they were able to use their phones and tweet along their journey! According to Mashable, astronauts have been tweeting since 2009, so clearly my social media knowledge is not as great as I had hoped.

While I understand there are satellites in the sky, I still find it amazing that they are even able to do anything with his cell phone. The important question is, who will become the next mayor of space? According to an article on Mashable, soon non-astronauts can unlock the badge as well by visiting and checking in at NASSA related locations listed at their Foursquare page.

Wheelock and his team of astronauts are continuing to tweet about what they are doing and what they see. A couple of other astronauts have chosen to share their experience via social media as well. Shannon Walker keeps a blog and Scott Kelly tweets about their mission and daily tasks (@stationcdrkelly).

In times past, information about what our astronauts were doing up in space wasn’t streamed to us as quickly as it is today and we definitely were never able to see photos in real time. Here is one of my favorite photos from Douglas (@Astro_Wheels):

Douglas has also created a game with his pictures as he uploads a new picture every so often and has viewers guess what city or landmark the shuttle is orbiting above. Viewers have a lot of fun trying to guess where he is and watching the pictures. There were 37 comments on the photo above and they trickle in long after the initial post.

This seems like an extremely effective use of social media for NASSA. Most likely these astronauts were trained before entering space as to how to utilize social media. The instant communication we have with someone in outer space is a genius way to promote the space program.

I learned so much more from this discovery than I ever would have if I had relied on traditional media outlets.

Did you know that astronauts were tweeting from space? Thanks for your thougths!

 

Is this real life? October 22, 2010

This week at Campus Crusade for Christ’s Fusion, I was definitely distracted by the fact that I needed to write a blog before the night was over and then out of no where, as though a sign from God, the Fusion team used Animoto to create a publicity video and this blog was born.

This week in class, we discussed video sharing, and though I am familiar with the programs used to post them on websites, I had never worked with any video editing software before. As I watched this video in Fusion I thought to myself, “I wish I was that talented,” but as it turns out, I can be!

Free software, such as Animoto, makes it really easy to download your images or video and give it minimal guidance and it will create a professional looking video to share. Another really easy way to create a simple but professional video in 30 minutes is by using a flip camera. Our professor, Melinda Arnold, created a video ready for upload in a five-minute demonstration during class because the camera comes with its own software. Videos can become viral instantly regardless of how much time or money you spend, or hire someone to spend, creating a video.

Another innovative way to incorporate video into an organization or company is through live streaming. For instance, Mizzou has developed its own channel on USTREAM to stream video of different homecoming activities.

Having the ability to include people outside of the actual event promotes the school, homecoming, the organizations involved and even lets me  watch my best friends dance despite the fact that they are three hours away. USTREAM preserves these files so people who missed the live stream can view them at a later date, and even gives the option to embed or download the live stream.

I find it amazing how anyone can create a video and regardless of its quality, it can become viral instantly.  “David After Dentist” is not any less funny because it was shot in a car on a simple home video recorder. A man simply videotaped his son doing something, uploaded it, and the world found it to be funny enough that poor David is now as well-known as a celebrity.

If you are looking for a way to publicize an event or organization, grab a camera and within 30 minutes, the world will see whatever it is you would like them to see. It is a fantastic publicity tool that takes little effort and time and definitely worth utilizing because it is free!

Spoiler alert: I am going to end this conversation here because our next class assignment is a learning assigment when I will attempt to learn a new form of social media.  Therefore, you can be sure to find a blog update on how my personal experience goes with these tools. Perhaps it is not as easy as it seems? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I leave you with YouTube sensation, David.

 

Join the Purple People October 19, 2010

I began noticing earlier this week that several of my friends on Facebook were posting about wearing purple. It was all over Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the news. Oct. 20, 2010 has been named Spirit Day as dedication to the recent suicides caused by bullying kids about their sexuality.

A Canadian teen, Brittany McMillan, used Tumblr to create an unofficial remembrance day for the recent suicides caused by sexual bullying. She stated that everyone should wear purple to make the it is OK to be GLBTQ and that the world will support them no matter what.

The Eastern Echo stated, “Tumblr is like the Twitter of the blogging world where users are able to post text, photos, quotes, audio, and video with speed and ease. Using her account, McMillan was able to spread her request with chain-letter like speed.” The beauty of social media.

As of October 19th at 10 p.m. 76,793 Facebook users were “attending” this event and 13,954 were “maybe” going to attend. People have posted it as their status on Twitter, Facebook and reposted the original blog.This is the power of social media. How amazing is it that people from across the world can unite under one cause and create an unofficial holiday?

Not only is this an excellent remembrance for those who took their own lives because of the hateful environment they lived in, but it lets others in the same situation know that there is hope. As the recently common phrase goes, “it gets better.”

Many celebrities have joined this campaign to end bullying through the Trevor Project which specifically fights GLBTQ bullying. “Trevor” was a film in 1994 that portrayed a 13-year-old boy who attempted to take his life because he was being bullied for his sexual orientation. Upon the film’s television debut, it was discovered that there was no helpline to accompany the film incase others were feeling suicidal like the film but there was none. The Trevor Project was the first helpline established in 1998.

A few of many celebrities that have joined The Trevor Project’s mission include Daniel Radcliffe, the cast of Glee, the cast of Modern Family, The Kardashians, Tim Gunn, Kathy Griffin. These videos are posted on YouTube, another example of how social media is helping this cause.

Ironically, the world of social media and specifically social networking was the cause for some of the situational suicides because of videos leaked online, yet the online world has also become a safe haven for conversation and support.

Social media allows every person to have a voice and for every voice to find a niche that supports their voice. Hopefully, with all of this publicity related to Spirit Day and the world uniting against GLBT bullying, the taboo has been lifted on this topic and victims can find help. No one is alone. It gets better, and that goes for everyone regardless of sexual orientation.

Will you wear purple tomorrow? I will. No one should die because of a bully. (#spiritday)

 

Careers in social media October 9, 2010

Did you ever think you could make money by updating Twitter or Facebook accounts? Simply Hired has 6,063 current job listings related to social media and Indeed has 26,624 listings. Something many people use as a social tool or, simply something to pass the time, is introducing a new and very important job opportunity.

Social media’s ability for instant communication and allowance of anyone to post comments about a company or product anywhere on the Internet presents the need for someone to monitor conversations at all times. This allows businesses to not only appreciate and thank consumers for the positive comments, but also to react to negative attention when needed.

This past summer, my best friend had a paid internship that was dedicated to creating and implementing a social media plan. I felt a little jealous that she was getting paid to use Facebook, but there was a lot more research and intention to what she posted than I imagined. After my own internship supervisor left me in charge of our Facebook and Twitter accounts while she was on vacation, I began to realize how much work and consideration actually went into a career in social media and understood why this job deserves to be a paid.

This 2009 podcast from the Ottawa news, “Social Media Jobs on CBC News,” aired during the pioneering stages of social media jobs. Now, in 2010, these jobs are everywhere.

As students, the idea that we could be making money for our knowledge in something we use everyday is pretty exciting. Though it is used differently than when I update my friends that I am going to the movies, the concepts are still familiar. Here are a few tips taken from a Mashable article for people looking for internships or future careers in social media.

The article states that:

  • The top four qualities employers look for are good communication, writing and social skills as well as enthusiasm.
  • Recruiters claim that utilizing social networking websites on their own is an important skill for their intern or employee to acquire because it shows they know how to use them as well as determines their own personality and brand.
  • Interns should be creative, flexible, a team player and willing to learn. They also would like to see their applicant show their social media work rather than simply talking about it.

For more tips and job postings, please read the full article: “What Companies Want in a Social Media Intern,” by Amy Mae Elliot.

So what are you waiting for? Get paid to be social! Did you notice the video from 2009 said social media jobs pay $50,000? That could be you!

 

If you don’t talk, someone else will. October 7, 2010

 

Creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.

 

At only 26, Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, is worth billions.

We all wish we were the genius billionaire behind this social networking site, however, there is but one. On Oct. 5, 2010, The Social Network, a dramatic portrayal of the life of Mark Zuckerberg, hit theatres. The film leaves viewers feeling either angry or sympathetic towards Zuckerberg as he is blamed for stealing the idea for Facebook.

I am not here to analyze the movie because I have not seen it, but I am going to talk about the  potential consequences this movie could have from a public relations view for both Facebook and Zuckerberg, something Zuckerberg was reportedly fearful of. If movie-goers leave the theatre feeling angry towards him, perhaps Facebook itself would see a negative response. Let’s be honest though, it is Facebook and it is addictive. Zuckerberg said this, according to an interview he gave to mashable’s co-editor, Ben Parr:

““We build products that 500 million people see… If 5 million people see a movie, it doesn’t really matter that much.”

This is great for Zuckerberg, who does not have to worry about the impact of negative publicity since his website changed the world, but what about us average folks?  Those of us who are promoting a business or building a personal brand for ourselves as we look for future careers have a little more to worry about when it comes to negative publicity.

As we begin utilizing social media for personal use and businesses, it is important to be aware of the content you post, as well as what other’s post about you. As Lon Safko writes in “The Social Media Bible,” everyone is a publisher and anyone can write positive or negative content about you.

From a business or organizational standpoint, having consistent information on each social media website is vital. This ensures that people searching for your organization find the correct website rather than a random one with fake information on it. This also sends an uniformed message to consumers to distinguish a brand.

Businesses also must be aware of what people are posting about their business or organization. Actively searching for any mention of your company allows the ability to react to problematic content and ensure that all information posted is correct.

Lastly businesses have begun monitoring their employees’ social network content to regulate its appropriateness in relation to the company’s values. We discussed in class that many companies have employees sign a social media contract when hired that holds them responsible for the content they post on their personal websites.

From a personal standpoint, it is important that the image you portray online is the same image you want employers to see. Are you tweeting informative content or about a party you attended last night? This is your image and despite all privacy settings you might use, big company’s can still find you.

How in control do you feel about what people see on your page or what they say and read about you or your business?

 

Anytime TV October 2, 2010

Thursday is one of my favorite nights of television, however, I am forced to give my heart to either Grey’s Anatomy or The Office because they both air at the same time. Thankfully, Hulu has been streaming free episodes from network television since 2007.

Each network features full-length episodes of shows as well, but the one-stop-shop benefit Hulu offers by makes catching up easier. The best part about watching television online is that there are only about three or four commercials that are short and simple.


According to a poll conducted by mashable.com, most people still rely on their traditional television to watch their favorite shows, but person to person mediums and Hulu were the second and third most popular.

This poll did not consider how many people who watch traditional television use DVR and skip over advertisements. Because of how many people use Hulu, buying advertising space on this website could result in a high return on investment because they are short enough that people will sit through them.

Hulu serves as a common place for collecting television and movie clips and placing them online, but they are not the only service available. YouTube is another addictive site that most people are very familiar with, unless somehow they have managed to unplug their life and all connections to the online world.

Youtube was created in 2005 (Safko) as an online haven for literally anything and everything related to videos. This website features TV show clips, seminars, how to tips, music videos, pranks, and more! There is really no end to the variety of videos found on this website.

YouTube even paired with Vevo this past August to stream a live concert. According to an article on mashable.com, YouTube has begun a trial period of allowing users to stream live videos onto their site. If this trend picks up, people will never miss a concert or television show again and it will be easier for users and businesses to create conference style videos.

So what does this have to do with your business or organization? According to YouTube’s website: “People are watching 2 billion videos a day on YouTube and uploading hundreds of thousands of videos daily. In fact, every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.” This is a viral website so create something people want to watch or learn more about and upload it for others to forward. This is free advertisement to anyone who might see it and pass it along. YouTube also found that 52 percent of 18-34 year-old users repost videos to friends and family.

People will spend hours looking at random videos or television shows simply because they are available to them. Take advantage of this opportunity and get them interested in a video from your organization or company. There are plenty of other similar sites that I did not mention, so find one that fits your organization’s need best!

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think about videos and television online!

 

 
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