Posts Tagged ‘education’

If I Had Known Then What I know Now..

May 18, 2010

I’ve always told myself I would’ve graduated on time two years ago. If I did, I would not have the knowledge that I have now. “Things I Wish I’d Known in College” by culpwrit posted by @Uandrews  caught my eye because there are certain lessons that can be passed on to college students so that they are aware that college isn’t about going to class. College inspired me to not give up on myself nor my education after being told I was not college bound. In addition, here are my tips below. Feel free to add to the list!

 If I Had Known Then What I Know Now(In addition to  “Things I Wish I’d Known in College” by culpwrit):

  • take electives that interest you and that you could minor in
  • Always understand and double-check behind your advisors
  • Make sure all paper work is completed
  • Know the consequences if you have to transfer
  • Begin writing your resumé before sophomore year
  • how important your GPA is even in your first year
  • ALWAYS read the syllabus (it will haunt you if you don’t)!!
  • Try to understand the reasons why professors need certain assignments to be completed
  • Lastly: Make a list of your talents by your sophomore year to narrow down what major you want to declare

 

I would not change how long it took me to earn my college degree  because it taught me life lessons and skills that are needed in the professional work force. What would you add to the list? What have you learned outside the classroom during your college career?

Building a WordPress Powered Website (Ch.4)

April 12, 2010

CMS is “an application that’s used to create, edit, manage, and publish content in an organized way” ( A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization).  Some CMS applications that WordPress offers are sidebars, sidebar widgets, and plug-ins.

Before installing applications, a person should plan their site. In other words, it is helpful if a blogger makes a list of what they want to have on their site.  Bloggers can search WordPress for available plugins giving them ideas of what to add to their blog site. Here’s a list of what most entrepreneurs, small businesses, authors, and publishers are looking for:

  • image galleries
  • Amazon widgets
  • streaming video
  • podcasts/videocasts
  • RSS feeds
  • social media newsrooms

Plugins “are what give WordPress tremendous power and flexibility” (A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization).  For example, if you’re looking for a plugin for a photo gallery, search WordPress for available photo gallery and decide what plugin meets your standards for your blog site. It is easy as that! Some plugins a blogger should start with are:

  • Askimet: (I use this) the purpose of this plug-in is to delete spam and works as a spam filter for blog comments
  • WordPress Stats: Tracks your blog statistics, your top posts and pages
  • All in one SEO pack: this optimizes your site for a search engine.

To see examples of WordPress powered websites, see websites such as:

  1. Social Media Power
  2. WordPress SEO Pack

The new resume today: Social Media Resumes

April 12, 2010

According to the dictionary, a resumé is “a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for a job.”  Today, especially with the hardships of today’s economic times, it is important for a person to have different resumes and formats of resumes.  So how can a person be creative but also have a simple resume with key words in their resumé? Companies today are asking for resumes to be submitted via online either on the company’s website or e-mailed to the company address, which is why social media resumes are being popular due to  the social media web 2.0.

Social media is defined in different ways, which I’ve discussed in earlier posts. The goal of having a social media resume is so that potential employers are able to have an easy access to your resumé.  Having a resumé online via social media, the resumé is permanently online, giving other people a chance to view  your resumé.  In other words, a social media resume allows a person to embed a video resume, blogs, articles they have written, networks they are a member of, and other social media assignments a person has accomplished successfully. 

Websites including Weebly allow users to create their own themes, design, and content. I began my social media resume using Weebly because it is easy to use even though it took me about three to four hours to complete my site.  Social media resume is beneficial to students because it is another social media tool that allows students to embed their social media skills into their resumé such as podcasting, video casting, and blogs.

Some social media tools that we have to embed into our social media resume are podcasts, slide share presentations, blog posts, and most of all, the resumé gives students an opportunity to explain how they are keeping current on the social trends.

For our assignment in Social Media & Public Relations online, we are to create a social media resume  including presentations we have on slideshare, podcasts, any publications for a client we have created, and other portfolio materials online.  I really like this assignment because to other social media users, it shows that future public relation practitioners aren’t afraid of new technology and the ability to adapt to change concerning  technology. Companies do look for a characteristic or skill that stands out among other potential employers. Thus, having this assignment does make students stand out and learn new social media skills that we need to have when working with companies in the future. 

what do you think a social media resume consists of?

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.

Social Media Tools Summary

April 11, 2010

From conducting a social media monitoring report to creating a social media resume to creating a podcast, I have learned more about different social media tools than being an active participant throughout the social media world. First I will discuss the lessons I’ve learned in conducting a social media monitoring report to an explanation of the benefits of having a social media resume to how important it is to know how to create a podcast.

For our Social Media & Public Relations Online class, we were required to conduct a social media monitoring report. I had many thoughts running through my head such as how am I going to do this, what is a social media monitoring report, and of course why do we have to do this.  We had the option to pick a Fortune 500 company, which I chose Verizon and Att&T. The goal of this assignment was to understand how people and consumers are talking about organizations and companies and how they were talking about the organizations or companies.  As I was completing this assignment, I used various social media tools and advice including Addcitomatic, IceRocket, Samepoint, Social Mention,  tweetgrid, Twazzup, along with Google Alerts and Twitter Search.  I got these social media sources from Professor Kaye D. Sweetser, PHD, APR.  To my surprise, I got an A on this assignment because I took the time to become familiar with all these social media tools and what each one had to offer.  Having to a social media monitoring report shows that I’m not afraid of new assignments or technology and it is a project that can be in my portfolio.  I wasn’t aware of how many social media tools there are even though I’m a social media junkie.

My class is required to have a social media resume, which I already have.  I created my social media resume using Weebly.  It took me about three to four hours to complete last summer.  Like any other resume, it can be improved and has work that needs to be done to my resumé. But, when I show or discuss my resumé online, it impresses other potential employees because I took the time to stand out and not just have a traditional hard copy resume, but I have an online resume as well. Today, most companies or organizations only take resumes via e-mail or through their website submissions. Therefore, it is vital for today’s job hunters to be comfortable using the Internet to market themselves by creating a resumé online.  I wasn’t told at the time that I needed to have an online resume. Instead,  I took it upon myself to use my knowledge and skills to create my page using  Weebly.  To be creative and determined and to use my knowledge my professors have provided me with, it is only in my best interest to do something without being told to better myself professionally and to further my student career.

Not only is it important to be able to be knowledgable of what a social media monitoring report is to creating a social media resume, it is also essential in understanding how to create a podcast along with posting it to blogs.  At first, I thought there’s nothing to creating a podcast. It’s just recording yourself, but in reality it’s not.  There are a lot of strategies into creating a podcast.  Similar to writing a paper, a podcast also has to have an introduction, some main points, and conclusion. In a podcast, you as the author have to tell your listeners when the next podcast will be published, where it is located, and how your readers can post comments about the podcast topic.  The benefits of a podcast are that listeners can subscribe via RSS feeds, and be able to listen to the podcast through their cell phones, Iphones, Ipods, and through blog posts.  Thus, podcasts give listeners and understanding of who you are, and gives you the author an opportunity to relate to your listeners. Futhermore, podcasts are a tool in which can enhance a person’s visibility within the social media world.

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”

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.

Social Media Impacting Higher Education

February 5, 2010

   The topic of this Ustream   is the “Future of  Social Media and how it impacts higher education now, today, and tomorrow’s work force.  The current social media tools is becoming a demand for distance learning. Social media is revolutionary and collaborating the current tools colleges use.There is a 70% increase in online student enrollment, which  means 1 in 4 students are taking online classes. 85% of college students are on Facebook, which makes sense to utilize social media tools  for academic purposes.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/4470423

There are 6 million non-traditional students with 25% of them being over thirty. Half of them will get their degree in 4-6 years or drop out because there is that lack of engagement. What does this mean? It means that there are students that learn in different ways and social media can be used to reach every student’s learning ability and give a platform to further their employment skills. People are returning to further their education due to the economy today. Therefore, open content allows these students to understand their classroom assignment using social media tools more than they would in the classroom.

 This points out a real issue on lack of engagement, which is why I decided to go to Middle Georgia College before transferring to a university. In a university, typically there are 200-300 students enrolled in one class and participation is 30% of your grade. How does that impact  your learning? If you don’t participate, you’re out of luck. With Facebook such as, every student can receive their participation points and interact with a class discussion or topic using a Facebook discussion board. For example, a professor can bookmark or create tags if they’re willing on a Facebook page  instead of the traditional way of posting study guides, notes, on the Blackboard learning system. However, playing a devil’s advocate, faculty have to learn not only how to use it, but how to” integrate grading using these other tools”, said Dr.Kathy King.

Faculty have to learn how to use blogs, skype, twitter,and podcasts for academic purposes. This transformation and trend allows students to go beyond the classroom to communicate in the “real world.” For example, I am very impressed with all of my professors at Georgia Southern University, but there’s one who I didn’t understand her method of madness if you will. Her name (all of you are familiar with I’m sure) is Barbara Nixon. Why do we have to use Twitter in our PR Writing class?, why do I have to blog when we have to learn how to write press releases and other traditional public relations writing?, why use PR Open Mic? and my last question was “how in the world am I going to keep up with all these various social media websites along with being required to have a LinkedIn account for her Practicum class?

Barbara B. Nixon is a prime example of how social media impacts higher education. She required us to do all of this so that we can interact with other professionals in our field, to learn how social media is impacting the way public relations is transitioning, and how companies are using these websites for interviews and background research on people. I wouldn’t have learned what I know now if she didn’t do this, which is why I believe this topic is very interesting and needs to be discussed. I use Twitter to interact with my professors and to ask them questions if need be because it’s in real-time and they can “retweet” my questions to their followers (who are other professors) to answer my questions more effectively. Blogging is showing me how to write professionally and interact with other college students around the globe. I use PROpen Mic for my internship and job search and to interact with other colleagues in my field of study who are in my shoes.  If it wasn’t for social media overlapping the present college tools like the blackboard system, I would be lost.

With all of this being said,  here are some questions to think about:

  • how will college tuition be affected with the adoption of using social media tools
  •  are colleges going to transition to using E-books?
  • if so, what does that mean for textbook companies such as McGrawHill?