Public Relations For Peaceful People

The wild ramblings of an aspiring betterer of the world

Month: October, 2013

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!

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

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.

Seriously though…

I was introduced to Tout a few months ago through a wonderful public relations-based internship…

View original post 699 more words

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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.

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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.

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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…

Facebook is gonna make me rich some day.

So I finally got my hands on a copy of Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals and let me tell you right now, I am totally diggin’ it. The book is so filled with useful social media and public relations information that can be used to further my career aspirations it’s almost unreal. That’s not to say that reading this book will automatically make me an expert compared to the likes of Zuckerberg or anything, but to the layperson (of which there are many) it will certainly help me to appear very knowledgeable. Simply put, it’s the best single resource I’ve seen in terms of beginning to develop solid knowledge of and insight into the professional side of social media. Go out an’ getchaself a copy, you’ll thank me later.

Not to jump the gun or anything but I’m definitely giving this whole Social Media Specialist/Associate/Representative idea some very serious consideration and after reading but a single chapter of this book I have redoubled my interest in pursuing a job in the PR field that incorporates a significant focus in social media. I mean why not, right? Take two things I enjoy and seem to show potential in, the world of social media and the field of public relations, whip ’em up together real good and voilà! Career.
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So that chapter I read? It was all about Facebook. Specifically, it focused on some of the basic ways in which Facebook can be used by organizations to engage with the public in different ways.

The book outlines several ways that a brand can use Facebook:

1. To build communities- People who “like” your page become part of the community.

2. To engage with fans- I think this is of high importance. Facebook makes it so easy to engage and also offers an efficient two-way communication model.

3. To amplify the brand message- It is possible to reach not only your fans, but their friends as well.

4. To socially enable your business- This involves that little blue “Connect with Facebook” button that appears on websites and allows people to connect third party websites to their Facebook account.

5. To sell products and services- Yup. Make that money.

Something that I found to be insightful and a potentially powerful bit of knowledge was that “Facebook often cites the fact that for every Fan engaged, 120 friends of that Fan can be reached (120 being the average number of friends a person has on Facebook). Therefore, a Brand Page with 10,000 Fans can theoretically reach 1.2 million people through engagement on its Page.”

That’s a big number.

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Sorry, I just love that meme.

I think that the most important tidbit of info that I gleaned during my reading was how necessary it is to create a well thought out strategy regarding the use of Facebook for professional purposes. Many people don’t give strategy enough consideration when they utilize Facebook, or social media in general for that matter, just posting whatever comes up. While being able to incorporate spontaneity in the use of Facebook is definitely a plus, I wouldn’t recommend relying on it exclusively. Kind of like running a fortune 500 company using a children’s lemonade stand business model as your guide; don’t do it.

The book also offers some tips on developing a strategy for your Facebook. There is no sure-fire formula to follow, but the guidelines given are:

– Know who your audience is and what they do on social media.

– Define goals for your Facebook presence.

– Be aware of the rules that govern your industry and make sure your social media presence is consistent with them.

– Strategize what your organization desires in the relationship they develop with the audience.

– Plan out the content you will be uploading in advance.

 – Specify details about who will operate of the page.

I think that as long as serious consideration is given to these general guidelines, the chances of your organization thriving on Facebook will increase drastically. I could keep telling you about all the wonderful insight contained in Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals, but then you wouldn’t buy the book and I would hate to do you that disservice so instead I will play us out with my favorite video EVER.


Until next time.