Public Relations For Peaceful People

The wild ramblings of an aspiring betterer of the world

SETTLING INTO PARADISE

WP_20140701_16_41_08_Pro (1)

I just finished week two of my internship a few days ago, arriving about 10 minutes early every morning.

Punctuality is fairly important to me.

If you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, be there. I understand that car accidents happen, babies are born, and emergencies occur but I’m pretty sure that’s not what’s causing the majority of people to be late. I think that most of the time, tardiness is simply the result of laziness, disorganization, and a diminished understanding of professional behavior. Getting to a party a half-hour late is one thing, but in the professional world I have little tolerance for that kind of behavior and find it fairly disrespectful.

Everyone gets a mulligan of course, but that’s beside the point.

So, last weekend was pretty awesome. On Sunday I decided to have a few friends up to the pad in Topanga for an afternoon of grilling and relaxing. People are busy out here. Like, everybody. I’ll admit I was nervous that people would cancel or get lost or what-have-you.

That was not an issue.

My friend and former Ace-Deucer Brian Robinson showed up right on time around 3 o’clock. With him was his buddy John Boonin who also transplanted from The Deuce a few years ago. Brian is a computer genius for a living and John is an up-and-coming actor, both all-around cool dudes. My neighbor Vinda found her way over shortly thereafter so I made the introductions and we sat and talked for a while.

Very appreciative to be from here. Photo courtesy of http://www.med.umich.edu

Very appreciative to be from here. Photo courtesy of http://www.med.umich.edu

I’d also invited my friend Kolin Bernard (another Ann-Arborite who lives here), and he invited his buddy Mike Lynch (ALSO from Ann Arbor) and wife Krissie as well as their close friend Sara. They’d been visiting Malibu earlier in the day and brought their friend whose beach they were visiting, actor and film producer Cristo Dimassis, up to Topanga with them as well as fellow producer Kamron Saraye and friend Conor Sutton.

The networking was glorious.

I couldn’t have asked for a more positive, intelligent, and enjoyable group of people to spend an afternoon in Topanga with. Everyone was happy, friendly, and genuine. Of course there were the obligatory, slightly awkward “Hello, my name is _____”’s, but within a few beers we were all good friends. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that alcohol maintains a continuous potential to be a highly detrimental concoction, but with the right people and circumstances, its reputation of being an effective social lubricant holds true.

The shindig was very enjoyable for me and if my intuition is as on-point as I believe it to be, everyone else had as fabulous a time as I.

Anyway, in addition to having a really fun weekend, I had some cool weekday stuff happen as well. While settling into my internship over the past week I’ve been continuously impressed with the work environment at Jane Owen PR. All throughout the day people are smiling, laughing, and joking with one another. Don’t get me wrong, these people WORK. Efficiency, motivation, enthusiasm, organization. I’m seeing perfect examples of these qualities every day. It also doesn’t hurt that everyone there seems cool as F.

Did some hard labor at Balinese art importing company Jalan Jalan Imports on Wednesday which resulted in me getting the opportunity to hang out with Mike Campbell, lead guitarist for Tom Petty. So cool! Nice guy. Friendly, unassuming, and all-around normal.

This whole “California thing” seems to be working out really well so far. I’m staying enthusiastic, motivated, and dedicated to achieving what I came out here to do, and if what’s happened up till now is any indication, I’m gonna be alright.
I do miss my Michigan people, I’m occasionally a tad lonely, and things aren’t perfect but perfection is not the goal. Success (as defined by inner-happiness and personal satisfaction) is, and I’m on my way.

Thank you all for the love and support. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.

Talk soon.

 

 

 

 

 

I GOT AN INTERNSHIP IN BEVERLY HILLS!

As if simply living in the Santa Monica Mountains all summer wasn’t good enough, starting last week I’ve been interning at Jane Owen Public Relations, “a boutique PR and Event Planning firm located in Los Angeles, California, with Satellite offices in New York and London.” Soooooo stoked! The story behind how I got it is a pretty good one too.

My new commute

My new commute

THE STORY

So, I arrived in paradise and got settled (read: cleaned house and relaxed for a week or so).

I like to think I’m a kind and positive person, and I guess it shows because within a few days I’d met like six of my neighbors, more than my aunt knows and she’s lived in L.A. her entire life. The woman who lives directly behind me, Vinda, is exceptionally friendly and chill. Within a few short conversations I knew she was going to be a wonderful neighbor and she knew I was attempting to get into public relations. “You know, one of my friends owns a PR firm in Beverly Hills,” she said. “I’ll see if you can get in touch with her.”

A few texts later I had Jane Owen’s email address.

I composed a well thought out message explaining who I was, my aspirations while in California, and my interest in meeting with her. I clicked send and the next day began communicating with the Jane Owen Public Relations Office Manager. I sent her some samples of my work and within a few emails we hammered out a time and date for me to come to the JOPR offices. With a meeting set, I pounded the air with my fist then drove to the beach.

The beach

The beach

The other beach

The other beach

Fast forward a week or so and I found myself driving to Beverly Hills wearing a new suit and a big smile. Arriving at the JOPR offices I walked inside, unsure of how things would progress.

I’ve only been there a week but I can already tell that while many of the fundamentals of public relations remain the same, it’s very different from my previous internship. High paced is an understatement. The clients are much different than, say, a Community College or a non-profit street newspaper.

However, I think that I’m doing well. While I’m definitely still getting into the swing of it in terms of how things are done here and what’s expected of me, the reception has been very warm. The office seems very well integrated in terms of communication and teamwork. Synergy is a fun thing to watch occur.

Well, that’s where I’m at. I’ve been doing my best and I hope that my work is of the caliber necessary to succeed out here. I’m very excited to be doing real public relations work in a place where the opportunity for upward movement in my career is so very present. Now I just need to find a menial weekend job so I can afford to keep trying.

I’ll keep you posted,

Joe

 

Across The Country In Two Weeks

So first off, I apologize for not writing a single blog post from Chicago to Los Angeles. I am not one to fall short of goals I set for myself.

However, I made an executive decision shortly after leaving Chicago. I decided that ensuring I have an amazing experience during my journey far surpassed my need to keep a daily blog about it. This trip was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing and I wasn’t about to allow myself to be tied to technology the entire time.

So here I am in California, Made It! I’m currently sitting outside Café Mimosa across from a very talented, uniquely interesting, and strikingly beautiful young woman named Misty Lawrence. She was one of the first people I met upon arriving in Topanga, and has so far proven to be one of the coolest characters in the canyon. I am very appreciative to have her as a friend.

The Trip:

Awesome. Exciting. Breathtaking. I could write 10,000 words about it purely off the top of my head, but that might be a bit much. Instead, I will break the trip down and explain some of the highlights. Hope you enjoy!

Chicago to Omaha.

Drove and drove and drove. Got to Omaha, Nebraska. While definitely beautiful in its own right, but not necessarily my cup of tea.

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park.

After parking to stretch my legs in Omaha I hopped online and found myself a place to stay, a cozy little campsite for 20 bucks at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park. This gorgeous wooded spot was just around the corner from a small, picturesque pond and was flanked on both sides by neighbors.

Image

About 50 yards to my left, a polite older couple staying in what looked to be a well-appointed RV. About 100 yards to my right, four grey haired women staying in a chrome trailer being pulled by a large SUV were drinking cocktails and telling what surely were phenomenal stories. I made camp, had a beer, cooked dinner, and went to sleep. Woke up the next morning, packed up and headed to Colorado.

Denver, Colorado Is Freaking Awesome.

Yea, Denver is freaking awesome. I arrived in the early evening and arranged to meet with an old friend of mine from Ann Arbor, Elin Neat. We had a drink at a friendly neighborhood bar, caught up for a bit and then parted ways. I think the bartender had a crush on me.

Image

I then met up with another Ann Arbor pal, Evan Feezel, at his place of business. We had a few drinks and laughs and then crashed at his place for the night. I woke up the next morning and accompanied Evan and a few of his friends to a secret outdoor basketball court on the roof of a parking structure located smack-dab in the middle of downtown Denver. It was so cool to watch an outdoor basketball game surrounded by skyscrapers in a city I’ve never been.

Image

After the BBall I went and met up with ANOTHER friend from high school, Jason Gouin. He’s got a great pad in a wonderful chunk of the city where he has a good career and is doing a wonderful job raising his awesome son.

Image

Jason showed me some really cool parts of Denver including the REI store, several interesting neighborhoods, a bunch of radical nature, and a legal pot store (had to do it!).

Image

ImageImageImageImage

This is how cool Denver is: I planned out my trip to include two days in Colorado, spent four days exploring Denver alone, and would have stayed longer if California wasn’t calling my name. I left Denver and headed west.

Over the Rockies!

I had my phone hooked up to record video through my front windshield and within a half-hour I’d exhausted my phone’s entire internal memory. I had to pull over and delete a bunch of awesome stuff to make room for more awesome-er stuff. Don’t worry, I drove safely through the Rockies and stopped for the night in Grand Junction. Everyone should drive through the Rocky Mountains at least once in their life, it is an experience I will never forget. I can’t figure out how to get video on the blog yet, but as soon as I do there’s a whole blog post waiting to be written about the Rockies.

Grand Junction…

Is boring.

Utah is secretly beautiful.

I never knew it, but Utah is amazing! After descending out of the Rockies I drove towards Zion National Park and when I got close I went inside a random grocery store and searched out the tannest employee there. It was getting dark outside so I asked him where I should go to camp where I would wake up to beautiful scenery. He pointed me in the direction of a dirt road and said “Go that way about two miles and turn off onto a side road and you’ll find a spot.” Off I went. I drove in the dark till I was in the middle of nowhere, parked, and hiked about a ¼ mile. I set up my tent in the dark, cooked dinner on a portable stove and went to bed. This is what I woke up to:

Image

I did the same thing the next afternoon after driving about 40 miles north to escape the heat. I found a road winding up into the mountains and took it for about twenty minutes. Pulling off the road I discovered an amazing place with one of the most glorious views I’ve ever seen. I went to bed that night listening to coyotes barking and what sounded like a decently large stream which was gushing and bubbling just out of view about 500 yards below me. The next morning I woke up to this:

Image

I decided to spend the morning hiking down to the creek I’d heard the night before. It was wonderful.

Image

Image

Image

I finished my hike and left early that afternoon for Las Vegas.

Vegas with Silas and Mahalia.

Got to Las Vegas and called my cousin Silas. He was out to eat and told me to drive around for an hour. I drove through the Vegas Strip and saw all the fancy stuff, then decided to cruise around the city for a while.

I made the mistake (or was it?) of driving into North Las Vegas. Seriously, it looks like a post-apocalyptic wasteland. People lying on public sidewalks and leaning hopelessly on chain-link fences, the looks on their unwashed faces so full of sorrow and helplessness. All the yards were brown and unkempt and covered in junk, more windows boarded up than not. It wasn’t even scary or intimidating or anything like that, just really, really sad. Seeing these people with absolutely NOTHING who, every day, are forced to view the billions of dollars of excess, extravagance, and indulgence that is downtown Las Vegas. Seriously, you can look south and see all the shiny hotels from this place, one of the most visibly impoverished areas I have ever seen. And I’ve explored a fair amount of Detroit so that’s saying a lot. As sad as it was, I am glad I saw North Las Vegas.

I met up with Silas and his girlfriend Mahalia. They showed me a nice time that evening, going down to Fremont Street for a drink and the sights.

Image

Spent the night at their place. The next day Silas and I went disc golfing, had a beer, met a few fellow frolfers and had an all-around good time. Mahalia and my cousin were wonderfully gracious hosts. They gave me my own bedroom and the use of their shower which was a nice change from the tent and outdoor bathtubs (lakes and streams) I’d been making good use of. I slept well and left for Los Angeles the next day.

Best First Day In Los Angeles Story EVER.

Ok, I made it from Michigan to California and my car performed perfectly the whole way. At about 11 o’clock at night, 30 miles from my final destination, my car died on the highway. The power totally shut off and I was forced to pull off to the side of the 101 freeway with no idea where exactly I was. I sat there for a half-hour intensely pondering this new situation. I took this photograph of downtown Los Angeles from the side of the highway:

InstagramCapture_8f68531b-ef0e-4007-8327-2e49208a2cc6_jpg

An LAPD police cruiser saw me and pulled in behind my car. After determining I was not a gang member or other despicable individual, they put their front bumper against mine and slowly pushed my car off the highway into a spot on a surface street. “Don’t get out of your car and call AAA right now.” Was the police officer’s advice. I heeded it.

An hour later the friendliest tow-truck driver ever, Shawn from Inner-City Towing, pulled up with a flatbed. After explaining my situation to him he mentioned that at least it didn’t happen in Nebraska or Utah or something. I felt much better after thinking about that for a moment. Shawn towed my car to a gas station parking lot in South Central Los Angeles that his company patrols. He parked the car for me and told me to call someone for a ride and that the car would be safe till tomorrow. It was past midnight by that time so I decided to just sleep there.

I put my camping blankets up in my windows forming a nice curtain which prevented anyone from seeing in and dozed off. At about 3:30 that morning I was jolted awake by a “POP, POP POP POP!” Gunshots going off literally not more than a few hundred feet down the street. I did not look out the window. Somehow I got back to sleep and woke up around 8am to the sound of LA rush hour. I got the car towed to a mechanic close by, and they had it fixed by that afternoon. Stupid crankshaft sensor. At least it was fairly inexpensive. I thanked the mechanic profusely then hopped in my car and took off, determined to get to the coast.

InstagramCapture_27767109-d989-46b7-8bb2-f1a9fe501ab3_jpg

When I made it to the coastline I stopped for a few minutes, the smile on my face growing wider by the moment. After taking it all in for a while I drove up the Pacific Coast Highway towards Malibu and made the familiar right turn into Topanga Canyon. Arriving at my new summer home I got out and immediately laid on the front porch while looking up at the majestic stand of old-growth California Live Oaks that inhabit this magical piece of land. “This is worth a week behind a gas station in South Central,” I thought to myself.

InstagramCapture_236cab8a-d7b0-4dd6-8de3-9d493353d8cd_jpg

So now I’m here. A lot has happened since then, but I’ll save it for the next post. Life is beautiful.

 

Into The Wild Blue Yonder I go!

I woke up this morning and looked out the window like I always do. However, instead of the usual tree-lined Ann Arbor I’m so accustomed to seeing, today I find myself peering out over Chicago and Lake Michigan.

Let me back up for a moment.

So, I graduated from Eastern Michigan University this spring with a degree in PR and have come up with what I think is a glorious idea.

This past Saturday I packed up all my worldly belongings, stuffed what I could in my Saab, and set off on a cross-country trip in search of a challenging and fulfilling career in the world of public relations, with stop #1 being Chicago.

Before I left, I hopped on Facebook and searched for friends and family who live in the places I have chosen to visit during my trip. I sent messages to everyone I know along the route, telling them of my plan and asking for help finding shelter while their city. This worked really, really well. As of now I have a place to stay in almost every city I will be visiting on my way from Ann Arbor to Topanga Canyon, CA.

So, back to Chicago.

I had a wonderful time visiting my cousin Rocky this past weekend. Rocky has lived in Chicago for several years while working for Trunk Club, a company that uses personal stylists to deck their clients out in fashionable, high-end clothing. He graciously opened his home to me, a very nice apartment on the 9th floor of a building that overlooks downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan.

Rocky's place in Chicago

Rocky’s place in Chicago

Saturday night we went out for dinner and drinks and let me tell you, Chicago is a blast! So there I am in some random bar in Chicago and within about a half-hour I notice someone who looks really familiar. I take a closer look and sure enough, it was Elliot Bancel. I’ve known this guy for YEARS! Smiles and hugs quickly followed. What a small world, I love it!

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field

On Sunday, Rocky and I hit the town to see the sights. I saw the big silver jelly bean, the huge fountain from the intro of the T.V. Show Married With Children, Wrigley Field, The Magnificent Mile, and tons of other fun Chicago stuff. My hamstrings are killing me. In the evening I met up with my wonderful and beautiful friend Sarah Marlow who just recently moved here. Sarah, Rocky, and I went to the roof to relax for awhile, then Sarah and I went out and got pizza at a quaint little place, the name of which I forget.

The Jelly Bean Thing

The Jelly Bean Thing

Well, it’s time to head off. My next stop was going to be Kansas City, but in discussing my route with Sarah last night I decided on a more straight-shot west, passing through Omaha on my way to Denver.

Thanks to Rocky, Sarah, and the city of Chicago, my trip has started off wonderfully. On to the next one.

PR in the age of flying cars

So I just cracked open chapter 20 in Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals which is titled “Skilling Up For The Future.”

I was expecting laser guns, flying cars, and Philip K. Dick-esque ninja cyborg women and whatnot. (You can thank the Writing about Literature course I took a few years ago for that).

What I got from the chapter was, while maybe a bit less exciting than watching Indiana Jones battle a robot clown woman, something much more valuable. Knowledge.

43065513

A point is made in the book that (in the author’s opinion) in today’s world the ‘ideal’ PR professional, while being unique (like a beautiful snowflake), will also exhibit a “commonality of structure” (like beautiful snowflakes) that should be instantly recognizable. This commonality of structure includes a few things and is referred to as the “Y-Shaped PR Professional.”

Why Y?

Well, this is Why:

According to the book I keep mentioning, this second-to-last-letter-of-the-alphabet-shaped PR professional will have “breadth and depth across three broad areas of expertize,” those areas being:

1. Storytelling- The “Trunk” of the Y-shaped tree. Totally super-important to be good at it if you want to succeed in PR. No longer a one-way street, it is important to recognize that “getting your audiences to co-create your story is the future,” and that this is made quite easy (compared to years past) through social media.

2. Content- After the stories have been created we need to then ask “what will be the best ways to bring them to life, have them shared and allow audiences to shape how they develop?” Good question which I’m not going to answer, buy the book if you’re interested. However, I will say this: Make sure your writing skills are as good or better than mine and you shouldn’t have problems creating good content. Good writing skills never go out of style, Imho. lol, rotflmao <– (It’s ok, this is a blog.)

3. Technology platforms- I like how the book says “Now, don’t panic. This doesn’t mean we all need to rush out and get a degree in IT to continue working in PR, but it does mean investing time in using and understanding key online platforms.” Good thing I check my Facebook before I get out of bed in the morning I guess. The book mentions learning about Real-time tools such as Radian6, TweetDeck, and Conversocial, understanding the data and analytics portion of social media (shudder!), as well as being insatiably-skeptically-curious when it comes to staying informed about social media and what things happening on the forefront of internet technology.

So that’s the rundown, in a proverbial nutshell, of a few ways that PR professionals can “skill up” for the future. I hope that you all found some worth in this post, if only because of my creative linking practices and mentions of the author of Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep.

Like always, here’s a bit of awesome for ya. One of my favorites:

 

 

Can social media be a full time job?

I sure hope so because I friggin’ love it.

I wouldn’t call myself an expert in social media just yet (key word: yet), but then again who can really say something like that? I’m aware that some people are way ahead of the curve in terms of the vast wealth of social media knowledge they possess, but we’re talking about being an “expert” in Facebook, a master Tweeter, or a humorously eloquent  blogger, not to mention knowing this-and-that about all the other emerging and changing social media platforms. Keep in mind that’s not a complete list.

This is just a tad different than being a doctor or an accountant or something more respectable like  “Professor of Thermodynamics” or some other lofty-sounding title. I may be highly proficient in “#StraightFlexin” on Instagram,” but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Whatever.

Actually, scratch that. I AM an expert.

peel8

Maybe not to a person like Brian Solis but hey gimme a break, I’m working on it. I guess what I’m saying is that while I might not be an expert when compared to the likes of Solis, if you ask my dad I’m a freaking computer genius! In fact, I even write a blog about social media. BAM, expert.

Perspective is everything.

I think that one of the most important ways to get considered an expert in social media is pretty straightforward: You have to use social media well. When people check you out online they should finish the experience thinking “Wow, they really have a handle on all of this social media stuff.” When people talk to you about social media, what do you have to say about it? Is it insightful? Is it interesting? Is it helpful? These are all good questions to ask yourself. Social media questions come up in job interviews all the time nowadays.

When online, don’t just post. Strategize. Think. Listen. Consider as many different perspectives that exist out there in the virtual world as you can. Think about what is likely best for the people you communicate with on the internet just as much (if not more) as you do for yourself.

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If you’re a downer online, change that REAL quick. It feels nice to vent, yes. But the whole world is seeing this stuff and nobody likes a party pooper. I strongly recommend finding a healthy outlet for anger, depression, frustration, angst, sadness, and the like but trust me, if you ever want to have someone look at you as a social media pro/expert/amazingmagicalgenius, don’t post all that stuff about your personal life online.

There are so many other ways you can portray yourself as an expert on social media but if I wrote everything I know in one post, no one would read to the end.

A few parting tips:

Be kind, it goes farther than you think.

Be honest because nobody likes a liar.

Be helpful. It pays off.

Learn as much as you can.

Explore and be creative.

And most of all, have fun! people can usually tell when you are enjoying yourself and personally speaking, I want to be around fun people, both online and off.

Social media is a great big brilliant and expansive communication playground, open for anyone to become an expert in. Your learning starts here.

Enjoy the week everyone! Here’s some awesome for ya:

I’m ‘bout to go all-out touting the clout of Tout: A video-sharing site that no doubt, I’m all about. You Heard it Here First!

joesloanie:

Check it out. Not to brag buuuut…. I wrote this. Yup.

Originally posted on Gina Luttrell:

Editor’s note: This blog is part of a series of guest posts from my social media students at Eastern Michigan University. Follow the conversations at #sm379 and @ginaluttrell.

By Joe Sloan

Besides being easy to understand, fun, and a quite useful video-sharing social media website, the word tout is also super easy to rhyme.

I could go on for days:

Tout is about shout outs, reaching out, and developing your professional clout. If you’re a lout you might not have figured out why Tout is the coolest thing since Bell’s Stout.  But don’t pout ‘cause you’re not out and about like a social media scout. You will no doubt soon become a devout Tout standout by reading this free knockout virtual handout about the new video-sharing route known simply as “Tout.”

Sauerkraut.

Source: Joe Sloan

Source: Joe Sloan

Seriously though…

I was introduced to Tout a few months…

View original 711 more words

Which blogging techniques get my motor runnin’?

What makes a good blog? Well if you’re asking me, a good blog is made up of a few things.

First off, it can’t be fake. I think I’m pretty perceptive and if I get the sense that the person writing the blog isn’t invested in what they’re writing about then I’m gonna be hitting that little X on the top of my screen.

Ya gotta have a voice. Don’t focus too much on grammar and overly technical wording. I want you to write to me like we would talk after two drinks.

I’d say that lastly, for me at least, you have to be positive. I don’t want to hear about how the world sucks, what’s wrong with this or that, or how your bff did that thing that pissed you off. Not to say there isn’t a place for all that, but I’m not gonna be reading it.

Just my thoughts. Enjoy the week y’all.

As if there weren’t enough blog posts out there about Twitter already…

Here’s another one.

To quote this book for the umpteenth time since I began my quest to gain knowledge about social media and its utilization in the world of public relations, “the majority of Twitter members are pure consumers of information, not participants. According to GigaOM, ’80 per cent of Twitter users have Tweeted fewer than 10 times and 40 per cent of users have never sent a single Tweet.’”

Phew!

I was starting to think that I was way under the average in terms of content creation and outward engagement on Twitter. Looks like I’m doing ok even though I’ve only sent 441 Tweets since I signed up for Twitter a few years back and sent this gem:

Joe's famous first Tweet.

Joe’s famous first Tweet.

My Tweeting has up till now not focused that much on engagement seeing as I have basically used my Twitter as a sporadic information retrieval source. If I hear about something I may take to Twitter to learn more, or if I find something overly interesting I may share it on Twitter but for the most part my Twitter has been a series of in-the-moment statements, random attempts at communicating with celebrities, and the occasional sharing of what I feel to be useful and/or interesting information.

This all will be changing soon as I work on further developing my professional online presence. I do see Twitter being a very useful component of a good PR pro’s tool-belt, specifically the potential it shows for “listening” to the publics that you are attempting to communicate and develop relationships with.

I see a Twitter account (and the social media expert that runs it!) as the perfect tool to use as a kind of “global help and information desk” for whatever brand you represent. I suppose to be most effective you first have to do your research. Find out which hash tags the public uses when talking about your organization, or like many brands already do, create and promote your own hash tags to help direct people into channels you can easily follow and learn from. This offers those with questions and concerns an efficient and very direct line to the decision-makers who, by using the information provided by the public, can utilize Twitter to continually listen, learn, and revise in order to help their organization best serve it’s fans/public/consumers/what-have-you.

p6ti7

Lastly, as Keanu would do, engage, engage, engage! Once you know where your organization is being written about, become a useful part of the conversation. This is true not only on Twitter, but just about anywhere on social media. I don’t know about you but when I take to social media to talk about a product, company, celebrity, etc. and they actually respond to me it feels pretty good, and it’s something I don’t forget. It shows me that they care, that they are human, and they have my best interests at heart, which to a PR student seems like an absolute goldmine in terms of creating a brand reputation.

I’d keep writing, but I wouldn’t wanna wear out my sweet new keyboard. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I like to leave you all with a cool vid at the end of my posts, so on that note, watch this totally unrelated, yet undeniably awesome GoPro video:

Happy living y’all.

LinkedIn: it’s not just for fuddy-duddies and stuff-shirts anymore!

I mean seriously, it’s just a smart idea. Most everyone in the professional arena knows (or should know) about LinkedIn and what it’s for. The third sentence from the chapter on LinkedIn in that book I’m reading, Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals makes it pretty clear. “Could you benefit from expanding your professional network?” Ummm, yes.

p26zn

If you answer no to that then I guess you don’t need a LinkedIn. Enjoy the long, hard road of mediocrity. Unless you’re a celebrity or super-rich or something in which case, lemme get a job! Sorry for the deviation, but you never know, ya know? Maybe Warren Buffett or Bobby Brown is reading this. I guess to be fair, LinkedIn isn’t a perfect fit for everyone. That book does mention that there are people out there who’s job puts them in a position where being easily found online is not an advantage, although I can’t think of a good example of that right now so I’m moving on. I guess bank robbers don’t really need a LinkedIn, but that’s a different blog post altogether.

LinkedIn is a really awesome tool that professionals can use to bolster their professional network. I found it interesting that this book mentions how people in different positions within organizations tend to use LinkedIn for different purposes. It says that the higher-ups use it mostly for trade industry networking and promotional purposes, whereas middle management uses it to “keep in touch” and network within their industry while the newbies in the business world use it for finding jobs and networking with their co-workers. I could have come to a conclusion similar to that on my own but I trust these folks and their organization’s logo is on the front of this social media book.

To extrapolate on another point the book makes, LinkedIn seems to also function as a sort of social media channel for people who aren’t on social media. As found on pages 82-83, “If you do nothing else — No blogs, no Twitter, no podcasts or videos — LinkedIn gives you a platform to be found and to create a professional online presence. There is nothing (yea, I exaggerate) that I dislike more than trying to find someone online and there’s literally nada. Come on, it’s 2013. If, as a professional, you aren’t online in some way, shape, or form then people are likely to begin seriously questioning your capabilities and desire to succeed in the professional world because quite frankly, you just have to be online. I’m confident that folks reading this don’t fall into that category though. :)  So if nothing else, LinkedIn is kind of like an online curriculum vitae.

A function of LinkedIn that I have yet to personally delve into are the different tools that are offered such as Polls, Group management, Answers, and Alumni, all of which can help businesses that aren’t relatively huge to publicly display their expertise in areas relevant to their goals as a company.

Another good reason to get a LinkedIn (for my fellow almost-professionals) is that according to this book I keep referring to, a study was done (way back in June of ’11) that showed about 75% of companies in the U.S. will either always, or at least sometimes check the LinkedIn profiles of their potential employees. I’d bet by now it’s closer to 100%.

Something that seems to run the social media gamut that I often find weaved throughout different conversations I have had and things I have read is the term “human.” Social media allows companies to show their human side which is interesting seeing as social media is technology and machine-driven. It’s true though, even though it is through a digital channel, it’s a huge step towards humanity when compared to those automated phone messages, I friggin’ hate those things.

Ok, it’s getting late. All in all I’d say go out and get yourself a LinkedIn, you have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain so go out there and be a winner! Here’s some motivation:

Disclaimer: Joe Sloan has no professional affiliation with CIPR or “Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals,” yet…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.