Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Shift Happens: Viral Videos

April 11, 2010

“Just what is it that makes a simple little video like “David After Dentist” become a Viral Video? Also, share links to (or embed) at least two of your favorite videos that went viral.”

People learn in different ways. Some people have to visually see the information to retrieve information while others can only hear it once while the other people only have to read the information to comprehend the information. Thus, is why we as public relation practitioners have to  be able to create podcasts, embed our podcasts and videos in our blog posts. 

Social media is dependent upon people communicating and participating throughout various social media websites. The most exciting part about social media is that people are able to communicate through blogs, Twitter, and other sites. One of the social mediums that is forgotten that people can communicate through is viral videos. 

YouTube allows their viewers to search videos by most popular and by categories in addition to searching trending topics. Videos similar to blogs, have to gain a mass audience in order for it to gain popularity.  Anyone can post a video on YouTube, but only a few videos go viral or in other words, become popular and gain a mass audience.  Like a movie, videos have to be unique, creative, and in a sense, have a good sense of humor. Watch  Evolution of dance, for example:

Evolution of dance has more than 138 million views. Jud Laipply, a comedian is discussed on Time.com.  He became popular because he captures his audience through his personality by imitating various dance moves from Vanilla Ice to the chicken dance to different “Grease” dance moves.  This video made the top 50 best YouTube video list. 

However, on a serious note, I have watched this video in different classes. This Did You Know? video and ,  has inspired me to think more deeply on an intellectual level about technology, intelligence, and other ethnic diversities.  Compare these two videos:

with

What amazes me is that the Evolution of dance video has more views than the  Did You Know? video. Why is that? Why is it that I’ve only seen the Did You Know?only in two classes and has less views than the Evolution of dance? Both videos have a point.  Why do you think Evolution of Dance is more viral than Did You Know? 

 This post is dedicated to all of my professors, colleagues, and Twitter followers who have helped me throughout my public relations career including @Mgroover, @Barbaranixon, @rdfrench, @paullyoung, @chrisbrogan, @kmatthews, @missrogue (The Whuffie Factor author), @GingerCM, among many others and to the creators of Twitter. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t know what a podcast, wiki, or a blog is.

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Lessons social media websites have taught me

April 11, 2010

I’m an active LinkedIn user, Twitter user, along with other websites before I enrolled in Social Media & Public Relations online class with Nixon.  What I didn’t understand was the power of a background on twitter, twitter usernames, and what information is on certain social media websites can be extremely powerful.  For example, I chose my username Leh1185 from my e-mail account because I was not comfortable using my first and last name on all these websites. In a way, it is my trademark name since my username is used throughout all the websites I am on.  Of course, some people might disagree or criticize my username, but it works for me and makes me stand out throughout social media. LinkedIn is similar to having a resumé online. I didn’t understand why we had to get a LinkedIn account until I began to use it to my advantage.  For example,  I was in the hotel business room lobby finishing up some schoolwork which is when I met the vice president of Ameristeels in Florida while I was out-of-town for my sister’s soccer game. The first question he asked me was do you have a LinkedIn account? Of course I said yes, which was then I thanked my professor for requiring us to have a LinkedIn account.

Another lesson I’ve learned utilizing and being active in the “social media world” is that you have to understand why you’re using various social media tools and websites, what the purpose is, and how you can relate to people who follow you or read your blogs. In other words, not just having followers for “follower statistics for bragging rights,” you have to understand why do you follow those users and know their professional background.  I use Twitter to ask other professionals, professors, and fellow colleague  questions about various topics from resume tips to assignment questions, to general questions such as should you have a ring back on your cell phone when you are job searching or job hunting? .  LinkedIn however, is beneficial to me because it allows me to have various widgets and applications which my friends or connections can look at along with my resumé.”  One application I have on Linked In is amazon reading book list so that my connections can see how I am staying up to date and current within social media trends. PROpenMic was the first website I used in researching for internships.  It allowed me to discover what general public relation agencies and companies are looking for in potential interns, who’s hiring, and what skills I need to have or improve to market myself for that particular internship or job.

Blogging has been a challenge for me due to my writing since it is a weakness of mine. I didn’t know how to blog, what to blog about, and not knowing what to put into a blog. But, since blogging is a requirement for my Social Media & Public Relations class, I became better at blogging. I am coming to understand that blogging does improve writing skills along with understanding that blogging can consist of videos, various media tools, and widgets. Blogging gives me an opportunity to express myself through my unique writing and to discuss what I’ve learned throughout my college career.  I am now able to link my blog post to my Twitter, LinkedIn, and Weebly account so that others can see my personality and challenges that have helped me grow and become more professional and not just being portrayed as a “college student.

Below is a summary of what I’ve learned:

  • Usernames and backgrounds can impact your professional background
  • Understand your followers, who they are, and what their professional background consists of
  • Blogging is an opportunity for anyone to express themselves and improving their writing skills
  • Blogging allows anyone to discuss their topics using various media tools such as videos and widgets
  • Being active on different social media websites has increased my professional skills, confidence, and to show others that I’m not afraid of new social media or technology tools.

Learning From Our Blindside: we all have one

April 4, 2010

After finally being able to watch the film “The Blindside,” (yes starring Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw) I couldn’t help but to think about this: we all have a blindside, which is not understanding what it’s like in walking in a different person’s shoes.We are so preoccupied with our daily routines that we tend to forget or don’t want to see what is going on around us. In other words, we don’t want to visually see for ourselves others’ difficult life struggles. This theory goes back to what I’ve learned throughout my public relations practicum class  interview discussion. Our professor further explained how companies will react to how other potential interns or employees interact with other company employees.  

Why is it important to interact with other employees within the company?  The answer goes back to the saying “you don’t know what it’s like until you walk in their shoes.”  If potential employees interact with other  various departments within the company, then maybe those future employees will have a better understanding of their internal office environment creating a positive atmosphere within the company as well as being able to express appreciation and not taking the full credit of the company. For example, if a potential intern/employee is waiting to be interviewed and is rude to the secretary, the secretary will report the  inappropriate behavior  which could lead to disqualification for the job as a result.

For example, in “The Blindside,” Michael has a different lifestyle than his legal guardians.  But, throughout the film, Sandra Bullock’s character is persistent in trying to understand Michael by asking tough questions about his childhood so that she can become a better person and to connect with Michael more on a personal level as if he was her own son.   If we take the time to learn from one another and communicate on a personal level with each other, then we are creating a positive work environment and being appreciative of other employees’ hard work and creative skills. The public relations field encounters various duties and difficult responsibilities, but the most important to me is to be able to understand and communicate effectively with other people who have various backgrounds or lifestyles that may not seem normal (depends on how you define normal). 

So I leave you with this to think about: What is a bad day to you compared to those who have it worse than you?

Behind the Scenes of Social Media

March 30, 2010

    Being able to collaborate social media and traditional  public relation skills  is one task  that public relations students need to carry out and bring to the table since that is what public relation agencies, companies, and organizations are looking for today, according to Co-Founder and President of Palette Public Relations Inc., Martin Waxman. Throughout the interview ( an-interview-with-martin-waxman), Waxman discusses the importance of traditional PR, life in the PR agency, and the digital footprints that are taking place.

      Integrating social media strategies is the biggest challenge Waxman faces with his clients because clients have to know their target audience ( who they want to reach) and what type of community are they part of, which are all traditional public relation strategies. Understanding how to use social  media tools is just as important as the company has to understand their target audience. For example, just because your target audience is using Twitter, doesn’t mean the company has a deep understanding of their target audience and are able to use Twitter in one day effectively to reach their target audience. With various social media tools that are available, you (the client/company) have to understand what social media sites stand for, the purpose of the site, and most importantly,   how people are utilizing the social media tools and are communicating to each other.

      Not only do you have to knowledgeable of how to use various social media tools, but students and future public relation practitioners must  have   a general understanding of the major communication bloggers, who  the top communication people are, and stay current in what’s happening within the social media world.  For example, even though I follow @paullyoung, @Peter Shankman, @chrisbrogan (just to name a few), I must know what they are discussing, how they communicate/”tweet”, and what  type of professional work they do or have accomplished and not having them just as followers.  Also, after completing a social media monitoring report, I am now aware of what types of social monitoring sites are available. However, just knowing and having a general knowledge of those sites won’t effectively help me know how to use the sites. I have to explain which site to use and why, which has been an interview question.

     Three vital characteristics that his company were founded  upon are simplicity, energy, and integrity.  In other words, simplicity meaning to make it easier for both his clients and for his agency. He won’t give up on his clients until he or his clients get results, which defines energy.  Out of all these qualities that Waxman founded his agency upon, I believe that the last one “integrity’ is the most important quality, especially today.  According to Waxman, “integrity” is being up front and honest with your clients. Having integrity is essential in becoming more transparent in social media.  ” When we started agency, media relations at our core” said Waxman.

Students’ Benefit Utilizing PROpenMic

March 21, 2010

   PROpenMic’s demographic is  public relation students, faculty, and practitioners where all can take part through various applications such as blog list, forums, upload/post videos, and add photos. Once someone becomes a member, that person can update their statuses, add music application, and invite their friends to become members. What is so unique about this site is that it allows its members to engage in various ways than just blogging or adding photos. However, I believe that this site is similar Twitter and LinkedIn in the sense that this site is a potential networking site. In other words, it isn’t a place to not be professional.

I became a PROpenMic member  (LaurenHopkins) last year for a class requirement thinking to myself “great another site I have to keep up with in addition to my class projects.”). Last summer, PROpenMic came to my rescue by having the  intern-search that lists various public relation jobs along with the job description and location. For example, I am a member of the jobsinternships which was created by Robert French (@rdfrench). The purpose of the group is to see what jobs or internships are available and to send an internship/job seek request. This group is also automatically shared via Twitter so that members are able to view it in two different sites.

In addition to all the great applications this site offers, I was able to send Robert French a personal message with questions thinking I wasn’t going to get a response. However, I was in for a surprise when Mr. French responded to me in that same day.  Just by asking him questions without hesitating, I’m able to follow him on Twitter and he follows me in return. Thus, creating network connections and just by him following me, I have other professionals like him following me as well.  This site has benefited me so much that it was hard to list just a few benefits I have experienced utilizing PROpenMic and in using social websites in general.  With that being said, I can update my status on PROpenMic which will then be automatically generated on Twitter. Thus, participating one on social networking site can lead to other numerous connections on other sites such as Twitter.

Word-Of Mouth Marketing to Podcasts

March 21, 2010

       We have all heard of downloading podcasts from iTunes..but exactly what is podcasting? Podcasting is a downloadable audio from iTunes on cell phones, computers, and iPods that people can listen to on their own time. As I have studied and researched this topic for my Social media & Pr online class to create my podcast, I am having a better understanding to why  podcasting is an essential feature that is becoming a phenomenon that’s taking over the communication field. Companies can now create their own podcasts so that their customers and employees can access the podcast through Twitter or email, which people can receive via cell phones.  Furthermore, podcasts are another way of being informed in real-time and engaging with customers. 

     It is not uncommon today that companies are implementing social tools such as blogging and viral videos for their company purposes along with social monitoring and tweeting. With that being said, podcasts can be uploaded to the company’s website or blogging website which then can be automatically linked to Twitter. In other words, once a company creates a podcast, the company can then upload the podcast link to their company website or blogging website. Why would a company want to upload the podcast to their blog? Well, we all know the benefits of blogging, but customers and the company’s employees can respond by leaving comments to the podcast blog giving the company instant feedback.  Linking the podcast into the blog and having it automatically generated to Twitter increases blog traffic and online visibility. What does this all mean?  For example, if I see Coca Cola’s blog link with check out this new podcast about our product launch on twitter, I can not only give feedback, but “retweet” the link to my “followers” giving the site more online visibility similar to the traditional word of mouth marketing. If I share the link with one follower, the word will spread rapidly.

 Let’s recap why podcasting is an essential social  tool companies can benefit from:

  1. Podcasts can be uploaded on a company’s website or blog post
  2. Podcasts can be shared via social websites, especially Twitter creating instant feedback and blog comments
  3. Podcasts are  the traditional “word-of mouth marketing”

Foursquare: The New Social Network App

February 25, 2010

Foursquare is a social network game that allows users to meet up with their friends in a specific city to explore the city more than they have before. “Foursquare” users sign up using their cell phone number. Each time you “ping” or update your status you get points for bragging rights by going to a place that you haven’t been before such as a new restaurant or a theater play and actually meeting up with friends.  Foursquare now has apps for the Iphone, Droid, and soon for blackberry’s.  However, “Foursquare” is only in the big metropolitan cities such as London, Atlanta, New York City, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, San Francisco along with other cities. So, not everyone can use this app. This trend is great and probably become more popular in the next couple months because it allows people to “advertise” new restaurants, shops, and the “hot spots” in local cities. In a way, “Foursquare” is a word-of-mouth app.  For example, if I’m in Atlanta asking my friends in that area the best restaurant to go to, they will be able to “ping” me using this app. Then, I update my response with a negative or positive review of the restaurant. As a result, companies can look at what people are saying and doing to find what are the “hot spots” in a certain city to either sell their product in the same geographic area or to connect with its customers. Also, restaurant companies  along with others can use “Foursquare” to research what people are saying and doing about their company or product. 

 On the other hand, “Foursquare” is a controversial network site because users specifically tell their friends where they are in that particular city, which that users’ friends can see.  I think it’s a great way to connect with friends in the same area because it gives someone something to do. However, it’s dangerous because like i said above, users are telling their friends where they are in real-time where  other “Foursquare'” users can see.  On the positive side, “Foursquare” is like Twitter. Twitter users tell their locations and “what they are doing” to their followers. I think it’s dangerous if you let it be and are not cautious of what you are saying throughout these social media networks. Like any social media network, “Foursquare” is going to have its pros and cons.  There are dangers in every social media network site. I believe that as long as participants are cautious in who they follow, who follows them, and who is able to view their profile.  My Facebook profile for example, has my e-mail address and not my mailing address or cell phone number. Also, I have certain privacy settings where people who want to be my friend has to ask me meaning that I have to approve and know who they are before I confirm we are “Facebook friends.”

  It will be interesting to see how popular “Foursquare” and other local services become among Internet users and to see what type of demographics will be using these devices. Another interest I have in watching “Foursquare” in its beginning stage and how companies will utilize “Foursquare” along with discovering if “Foursquare” will be able to implement Twitter and Facebook updates. What prediction do you have for “Foursquare” in the future?

Communication is Powerful

February 20, 2010

Language is communication. Communication is engaging writing. Writing delivers strategic messages. The better the communication, the more effective written publications will be delivering strategic messages that others can simply understand.  I know this is an understatement, but it is so important to know: mean what you say, say what you mean. Communication is powerful because it influences and drives people to buy your product, brand, and influences the company’s reputation. Communication is a big deal becoming more prevalent in social media through blog posts, Facebook updates, and in 140 characters on Twitter that anyone can see. These communication methods can influence a company which is why improving writing skills is very essential. The more your writing skills improve, the more effective blog posts will be, the more followers you will have on Twitter because of what you say in 140 characters, the more you can drive  people via Facebook status updates.

News releases are the most powerful thing today. Public Relations practitioners need to understand that by having smart quotes and getting inside the heads for whom they’re writing for will make their news releases more effective. For example, one of the speakers  this session told us that one of his friends writing samples  was in the State of the Union Address speech. The point is that you never know how important news releases are and who may read them, so it is not something to take lightly and think “oh that’s just a news release, I can write that in five minutes before I leave today.” One way to improve your writing skills is to become a good reader. In other words, read novels that pertain to your field of study or something that is interesting to you and not reading “Seventeen magazines.” To be a good writer, you have to be a good reader.

 Half of communication is about being friendly and available, which is part of developing media relations.  Building media relations means that you being the “PR” person is a resource for the media (journalists) such as directing the media to other organizations or people who can help them out with a story.   It is also important for you to make others understand the importance of quick response because not everyone works the hours that “pr” practitioners work. With that being said, future  public relations professionals  must have writing skills, poise, a team-player,innovative, detail oriented,  confident, and have revenue forward thinking for the companies. In other words, bring something to the table that will benefit companies, agencies, or non-profit organizations in 5 or so years down the road.

 One of the speakers told us that working hard is not going to get you the job, talent is.  I disagree  because talent comes from working hard. I’m  becoming more well-rounded reading novels from “A Thousand Splendid Suns” to “Groundswell.” I have learned and still learning skills and various ways of thinking from these novels, which can improve my writing skills. Another example of being a good reader is being a good writer is to blog. Blogging is helping me develop tight, cohesive thoughts which is essential in writing.  My point is that my work ethic improves my public relations skills and hopefully shines through.   I didn’t realize how powerful writing is until I attended the PR Real World Conference.  Even though I have publications from newsletters to news releases  to three articles  in the Georgia Southern University newspaper, and blog posts,  I am still learning and improving not only my writing skills, but  my poise, confidence, and  being a team-player.

Search Engines: What They Are Good For

February 15, 2010

“Search Engines are the new homepages,(Edelman Digital).” Eighty-nine percent of U.S. adults use search engines and the top users are Gen. X&Y.  With that being said, companies are utilizing social search, which is “brands build out embassies in all relevant networks (places where employees work to serve the interests of their community, as well with their company.” In other words, social search is becoming more prevalent in usage combining social networks and search engines. Today, search engines are based on  relationships  with social content connection. So, how do companies embed search engines for monitoring their company’s content?  There are various methods to searches.

One method is reputational search in action, according to Edelman Digital. The goal of the reputational  search in action is to generate social media coverage to influence search engines. Reputational Search in Action’s tactics include press releases, media relations, and most importantly, blogger engagement. PR pros can create the messages do that those messages are based on reach or relevance. For example, a person who’s  searching  for “headache remedies, and not necessarily aspirin.PR pros and others can carefully adapt the messages to have a more well designed message.

Public Relations Professionals, Marketers, and other Company management can use free tools such as Wordtracker, GoogleInsights, the Google Adwords Keyword tool, and Yahoo Site Explorer. These tools help PR pros have a better understanding of what and how people search and use search engines.  Another way to become engaged in search engines is to  blog, post viral videos, microblogging, and social networking.  From there, there are websites (Technorati, Facebook Lexicon, Radian6, Twitter Search) that social monitor what’s being said in real-time format about a specific topic or company. All of these social media tools can help anyone “demonstrate an increase in searches around a given phrase or group of phrases,”(Edelman Digital).

JetBlue engaged in social networking by activating a Twitter account to react to customers in a real-time format.  They were very responsive to their customers’ complaints. For example, JetBlue customer posted a Twitter message “I need a wheelchair!” and before she contacted their customer service, a JetBlue Representative responded to her by referring to her to someone who could help her with her flight arrangements. Not only was JetBlue ranked in the top 10 results in an airline Google Search, but they also enhanced their reputation.

Search Engines aren’t just search engines today, they are becoming vital tool to use for social monitoring, marketing/advertising, and engaging in the conversations between companies’ and its customers. Search Engines are good only if you do not want to be lost in the digital media revolution. Edelman Digital provides tips to become more visible online, which are:

  1. Research- know how people search, converse, and work online
  2. Teamwork
  3. Planning-Reputational and Social Search takes time and effort to develop quality content & networked relationships
  4. Experimentation- While SEM and SEO are managed by others, there isn’t a reason why they couldn’t be used in a public relations context
  5. Benevolence- Google knows if you’ve been bad or good. So, the more you create value online and others recognize, the more you will be able to build a sustainable and online visibility presence

The REAL Meaning of “Social Media”

February 11, 2010

At http://publicrelationsmatters.com/2010/01/15/t-o-w-prca-3030-topics-of-the-week/, we are to blog about  the list of definitions that were provided to Adam Vincenzini on Twitter and discuss our interpretation of social media. Before I begin, here are a few that stood out to me:

@anna8988 (Part A) Allows you to socially and professionally communicate online with those otherwise out of your reach in the real world*

@hermioneway ”Media that’s social …it’s about everyone taking part and having a voice.”

@fruchter: Social media consists of the five C’s. Conversation, community, commenting, collaboration and contribution. Social media is story telling.

@juliebodart Social media is a new way to interact and share. It’s (new)conversations taking place. It’s a revolution!

I have learned so much using, engaging, and interacting in the “social media” world.  My first social media engagement was using Facebook to re-connect with old highschool friends.  Then, I was required to take part in Twitter, LinkedIn, and PROpenMic along with blogging. PROpenMic’s founder, Robert French  surprised me by responding to mehimself. This applies to all the others I’ve interacted with through social media.  For example, on Twitter, I’ve had responses not only from my professors, but other public relations practitioners. From there, I’m able to connect with them through blogs and Facebook. As this was happening to me, I said to myself : Now, I know why my professor Barbara Nixon required us to do all of this. 

  I am nervous transitioning from the “student life” to professional student. Of course, I have lots of questions that needed to be answered, which is why@anna8988 (Part A) Allows you to socially and professionally communicate online with those otherwise out of your reach in the real world*stood out to me.  Being active throughout  social media, I’ve been able to network with various professionals in all different fields, teaching me something new every day, every moment, and every time I have something to say within the community, which leads to me the next comment.

@hermioneway ”Media that’s social …it’s about everyone taking part and having a voice.”  At first, I didn’t think I was “qualified or smart enough” to blog or to be active on Twitter. I was very intimidated (and still am to an extent) by others who have a more impressive Twitter Bio or who are more technological savvy than me.When I had a serious conversation with my professor and thanked her for requiring us to be a part of social media, she told me  “you present yourself very professionally throughout social media.” When I heard that, I was shocked and I gained more self-confidence in my professionalism along with always telling myself now that I will be successful one day (maybe not today or tomorrow). My point is that the more you take part and express yourself, the more knowledge you gain despite how new “social media” is or any other technological advancement.

I’ve learned that by utilizing social media beyond class requirements shows that I’m not afraid of technology to others. Social media is only beneficial if you engage, participate, and express your opinions with all the topics being discussed.

Social media only exists if people interact, collaborate, and communicate to each other like what this person says: @fruchter: Social media consists of the five C’s. Conversation, community, commenting, collaboration and contribution. Social media is story telling.” In order for social media to even exist is for social media users contribute to the topics by commenting to various social media communities developing a conversation. If all social media users would use social media using the 5C’s mentioned,  social media will become more collaborative more than what it is today. 

How does this pertain to me? Well, I joined various social media communities without participating in the conversations to get a feel of what people were/are saying. Then, I began to converse with others and contribute to the conversations. Once I did this, I began to notice that my Twitter followers increased (that doesn’t matter to me) along with my blog posts increasing traffic. The point that I’m trying to make is this: If it wasn’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t be networking and receiving advice from people who have been in my shoes. From there, I was able to link my blog posts directly to Twitter so my followers are able to see it. As a result, those followers are able to see what I’m all about due to my “About Me Page.”  One social media conversation can lead to readership, which can lead to friendships, then leads to endless opportunities. The more you interact and use social media,the more knowledge you gain.

@juliebodart Social media is a new way to interact and share. It’s (new)conversations taking place. It’s a revolution! This I totally agree with because it is a revolutionary change that is exponentially growing and changing how businesses,corporations, and non-profit organizations “do business.” Interacting is key to social media. Another example of how I benefited using social media is when I was on Twitter explaining I was working on a social monitoring report. I had many responses asking me “what tools are you using right now?” from people whom I’ve never engaged with.  Also, a University of Georgia Professor commented on my “how ethical social monitoring is, which led me to view her page where I found other tools to use for my report. Social media is all about interacting and helping each other out. For that, I’m thankful for using social media. So if you’re not using it now, what are you waiting for?

With all of this being said, my definition of social media is this: 

@Leh1185Social Media: a way to participate & interact with others on a professional and personal level leading to friendships and connections.

 I would love to know what you think, so let me know what  your “social media” definition is.