Personal Social Media Reflection

Reflecting back in the last 10 weeks, I feel that I have a better understanding and furthered my knowledge with my networking, blogging and social media skills.  At the start of this term, I was focused in on the community and promoting of local events here in Eugene.

I was hesitant about blogging for 10 weeks.  The reason is that I couldn’t imagine talking about various topics. I do not find myself to be that interesting.  Overtime, my blog “Fresh Out Of Eugene” focused in on local events in Eugene and how Public Relations played a significant role in creating success for each event.  I incorporated not only twitter but also Facebook as well to create and build awareness of each of my posts for all my friends and followers on each platform.  My original intention for my blog “Fresh Out Of Eugene” was to create an event blog for the Eugene community.

Over the last 10 weeks and 15 posts later, I am proud to see my blog have a mixture of not only local event information, but also my opinion and views about PR articles I found important. All the events that I blogged about were covered in depth and provided my own personal thoughts.  I feel that my posts covered a wide variety of content that referenced the importance of Public Relations.  Engaging with my audience was crucial for the success of my blog and I feel that was an important part of building a strong reputation for myself.

I have learn to not only use social media to stay connected with friends and family, but also as a great tool for building an online reputation and relationships through strong social media content.  My first strategy was to listen and learn. I want to know what people have to say. I am not sure how well I did achieve this strategy seeing how I didn’t receive much feedback from my audiences.

For my second and third strategy, I am happy to say that I was able to create great content. I feel that a lot of “stuff” out there is just noise and fillers and the content I provided was useful, helpful and interesting. Great content means establishing a reputation. With the use of these strategies listed above, I hope that my event blog posts will connect with the Eugene community.

Over the last 10 weeks, one of my other social media goals was to begin creating and networking on Twitter.  I successfully followed 10 new twitter accounts relating to PR.  I felt it was important to compose new tweets linking to my blog and others with strong content.  I measure my success through the content I found and the increase and gain for personal knowledge to community and PR relations.

After reflecting back to my entire social media plan, I feel that overall I was able to successfully accomplished my goals. I know that my content was strong and knowledgeable.  I am pleased to have the opportunity in learning about the importance of blogging and how social media can help play a role in building my reputation.

Destroying Your Twitter Reputation

Building a reputation as a PR professional on Twitter can have its benefits, but what if one tweet destroyed your image.  According to the article, 7 Ways to Destroy your Twitter Reputation, author Lauren Dugan explains how “you can spend weeks upon weeks carefully crafting your reputation on Twitter, only to see all your efforts demolished by a single tweet. It’s an uphill battle to make yourself into who you want to be 140-characters at a time, and all it takes is a single mistake to see all of that effort crumble.”  The single mistake can be made by these 4 reasons I feel to be crucial listed below.

1. Do not tweet while you’re drunk.

Tweeting while intoxicated creates a horrible image for you and perhaps the others around you.  You are more likely to to make embarrassing spelling errors, grammar mistakes, and get into heated twitter wars with your followers. These instances will not build your reputation.

2. Use an auto-responder

Do not spam people by sending robotic, generic messages to your followers. People will consider you a spammer.

3. Repeat your tweets and Sell, Sell, Sell

People do not care for seeing the same thing over and over, especially if they do not relate to it and doesn’t pertain any value.  Do not bombard people with noise.  Make sure as an online individual to provide quality in your posts. No one likes a pesky sales person at their front door or in their online social community.

4. Stealing other people’s tweet.

It is okay to retweet other posts you find interesting or valuable.  Though removing a RT from someone else’s tweet and claiming it as your own is a turn off for followers.  This is considered to be plagiarism.  Remember to provide attribution to any information that is not yours.

9 Ways Social Media Can Boost Your Career

The idea of social media was created for personal use but now has spiraled into a useful tool in connecting and networking with professionals.  Social media has shifted into a great way to develop your reputation as a PR professional.  As graduation approaches, there is a few thoughts to consider when students, like myself, start use social media professionally.

An article on mashable.com called 9 Ways Students Can Use Social Media to Boost Their Careers, written by Kate Brodock explains 9 essential tips that students can use social media for building their career.

1. Its Not The Same

Thinking about social media for professional purposes doesn’t mean you cannot use it for personal use.  It just allows you to be more personable and more approachable.  In my opinion, it allows your content to be more creditable and useful and creates less noise that all people are consumed with online.

2. Power In Connections

Networking through social media created endless ways to connect with a wide array of people.  Social media creates little effort to build circles and groups that are nurtured through interaction and conversations.

3. It can help you find a job

I have found social media to be a great way to find jobs or even internships.  In my past history, I was able to find out information from my advisor about a potential internship opportunity.  With a few simple tweets and follow ups, I was successfully able to receive all the necessary contact information and follow up with an interview.  Social media creates the ability to connect directly to the brands you love and keep your eyes peeled for potential jobs.

4.Learning is still good for you

By interacting with PR professionals, media outlets, or experts, you can deepen your own level of knowledge and be current with issues in your career field.

5. You Can’t Hide Behind The Curtain

Remember that having an online pressence means you can’t hide from the truth.  Make a mistake and it will be known by all.  Remember that you cannot be disrespectful towards people, or organizations.

6. Its Not Just About You

According to the author, “Constant self-promotion is always frowned upon in social media.  Keep most of your posts (I suggest at least 80%) to conversation, third-party, general comments and questions, and keep the sales pitches at a minimum. ” I couldn’t agree more with this statement because it is important to give your audiences the most value.

7.Strut your stuff

Showcase your knowledge and who you are.  Tweeting articles, blogging or commenting on others information will demonstrate your level of interest in the field.  Remember that online portfolios display your level of work and knowledge as well.

8. You will get the once-over

Its surprising to most people that others look at their social media to determine the type of person and attitudes they have about certain topics.  Employers can get a sneak peak of someone and determine if they are interested in what you bring to the table.  Clean up your Facebook posts, pictures and provide clean, streamlined content.

9. What you do now will pay off later

Think about what you want to accomplish with social media. Remember to position yourself in your industry, build strong credentials, and make yourself shine in the spotlight.

Avoid Social Media Overload

Making time for social media can be overwhelming.  This is due to the amount of information that is provided to us.  Social media doesn’t have to be a time suck though. I came across an article called Avoid social media overload: 4 steps to take today written by Ashley Zeckman.  Zeckman explains that there is 4 steps that someone can to to avoid social media overload.  The four steps are learning to avoid distractions, determining when you are the most productive, tips to stay focus and time-saving tools.

Avoid Distractions-“If you have three hours a day to dedicate to social media, what do you want to accomplish during that time? Proper planning will improve your productivity and efficiency. Also, determine what your top distractions are and eliminate them” (Zeckman) I couldn’t agree more with this statement.  Having a PR plan for how you want to accomplish social media is essential for any organizations success.

Determine When You Are Most Productive-It is important to remember when the best time of day is to be productive with your social media goals.  I would consider having a daily schedule to stay on track.

Tips to stay focused-We all know that we get a million distractions at all times of the day. But how to do figure out what is and isn’t a distraction? The author emphasizes that she does the following….

  • “Closing my email when I work on social media tasks.
  • Closing all Internet windows and tabs except for the one I need.
  • Disabling instant messaging to avoid distractions.
  • Taking 15 minutes a day to indulge in activities such as checking personal social media profiles, responding to texts, or chatting with friends.
  • Spending 30 minutes to an hour each morning and evening to review emails and respond.
  • Sticking to my schedule and working only on the tasks I scheduled in the time allotted.”

I have learned that social media does take a little time to make sure what content you post is not just noise.  The best advice that works for me is to make sure I am not distracted by my cell phone or engaging in conversations with people face to face.

Time Saving Tools-Most of us have to work to manage our time. Consider the following questions to determine what you can do to focus better:

  • What are your top three social media goals, and do you have a plan to reach them?
  • How much time can you dedicate each day to specific tasks?
  • What steps can you take to improve your focus?
  • Which type of tool—curator, aggregator or social bookmark—can you use to help save time?

The author makes these points clear.  Do not just dive into social media expecting immediate results.  Take a step back, do not get overwhelmed, and have a plan of attack.

Broadway in Eugene

On February 28th and 29th, the Hult Center for Performing Arts located here in Eugene hosted Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: Smash Hit Broadway Musical from New York City.  The Beauty and the Beast show grew popular in Eugene Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film.

This classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and amazing production numbers.  If you are not familiar with the story, Beauty and the Beast is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

The event grew to be a very successful with the two nights the play was shown.  How did a play do so well in attracting a sell out event?  This is how important Public Relations is in any type of campaign or event.  The website, Broadway in Eugene showcased and provided the necessary information to the public.  With the help of sponsorships through Wells Fargo, Bi-Mart and the Hilton Eugene, all the necessary media coverage was covered.  The only thing that did stand out to be is the fact that social media wasn’t emphasized as a PR tool to reach out to people.  I did see one tweet about the play but unsure why this wasn’t put to more use.  Articles and Ad’s appeared in the Register Guard as well at the Hult Center website.

At the end of the play, a reception was held for the cast and their families to partake in.  Sassy cupcake provided cupcakes for each person and the Hilton Eugene provided banquet space and food to eat.  Overall the entire event was spectacular. The program book featured each organization; showcasing a positive PR image for the Hult Center venue, Hilton Eugene as a place for a hotel room and party, and a special message from Wells Fargo thanking them for showing interest in arts and culture.

The Importance of Blogging

Online blogs have turned to be a known in both personal and professional uses.

At the start of my winter term, one of our assignments was to complete 14 blogs in the span of 10 weeks.  I thought to myself, where do I even start?  I havent been the type to write or even read blogs.  Over the last 7 weeks, I have grown accustom to the idea of blogging.  I am not sure how many people out there is the online world actually read what I write, but it feels nice to be able to sit down and create something from nothing.

I came across this online blog called GROW; Marketing, Social Media, Humanity explaining that your personal blog might actually help you get a job.  It is recommend in almost any career.  The article explains 7 different reasons why people should have a blog.

1. Show what you’re made of.   During any interview, telling can be more difficult.  With a blog, you can visually show an employer what you are explaining to them.

2. Build a professional network. Online blogging allows people to build connections in an online community. It allows you to network with people and gain followers.

3. Engaging versus advertising.  “No matter how creative you get, a resume is still an advertisement.”  This point made by the author.  I see this to be a true fact.  A blog can allow employers to read stories that may be compelling to your career field and gain further interest.

4. Point of differentiation. Employers want to see you standout in the spotlight.  Show them what you can do by being able to create content.

5. Sharpen your professional skills.  Know your subject and know what you what to say.  Define your message!

6. Expand your reach. Your blog is your personal brand.  Building yourself as a brand and allowing people the ability to communicate with you is a huge success.  LinkedIn is a great social media tool because it allows you the ability to present you.

7. Extend the interview. “Here is the last thing you say to your interviewer: “I’ve enjoyed our time together but there is so much more I could tell you about my abilities. I hope you’ll take a look at my blog (the web address is on my resume) so you can see for yourself the way I think about things.”  And you know what? They’ll do it.  You have just extended your interview by another 15-30 minutes and that may make all the difference!” the author makes this point clear and simple.  I couldn’t of said it better myself.

This is just another reason why social media is useful in the professional world.  A blog builds your personal PR as a brand and a person.  Define your message.  Define what you can do. Define what you are.

An Urban Oasis Unveiled!

The day has finally arrived.  The newest hotel to be built in the last 30 years opened February of 2012.  The Inn at the 5th is a luxury boutique hotel and features a level of service and style rare to the city, with design elements that include sound proofing against the nearby railroad, butler closets, lack of check-in lines and themed decor showcasing Eugene’s character.

The lack of lines allows hotel guests to be greeted at their cars.  From there, hotel staff check them into their rooms using an iPad and valet park their vehicle.  The process is to provide top level service without having to stand in long lines or carry your bags up the stairs to your suite.  Each room is designed to be different.  Some rooms either have a balcony over looking the the Eugene Skyline or a windowbench seat to relax on overlooking the market district.

One of the major noise complaints for some of other local hotels is the loud sounds of train at all hours of the day and night.  The Inn was designed to be 100% sound proof in the walls and windows.  Problem solved!

Throughout the course of this 14 million dollar project, many people within Eugene and from all around were anxiously waiting to see what the end result was.  Besides the ongoing construction process and setbacks, the hotel’s success relied on the marketing and PR.

The Inn at the 5th uses social media to help with the promoting and creating of the buzz for the hotel.  Facebook showcases construction updates with photos of the progress and the different tours provide to local citizens of Eugene.  Local news stations, The Register Guard, Portland Business Journal, VIA Magazine and even The Oregonian in Portland, OR provided news and the clear message of how special this boutique hotel is. TV airtime with 30 second spots are displayed during primetime on local channels as well.

The final product is scheduled to have a week long grand opening celebration.  Invitations to local businesses and organizations have been sent out.  The celebration will include entertainment, food and tours of the completed product.  The Inn at the 5th is just the beginning for projects occurring in downtown Eugene. It’s an investment that will create more investment, in the market, in services around the hotel, creating yet one more reason for folks to spend time downtown.

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5 Social Media Tips for Professional Athletes

5 Social Media Tips for Professional Athletes. If you are in the spotlight, a positive PR image can change instantly with the online social media community. I came across this blog about Sports PR. Check it out!

Using QR Codes To Grow Your Business

QR codes are becoming more popular in the marketing and public relations fields.  QR codes were first designed for manufacturing inventory purposes, but lately have become useful in targeting the general publics.  According to the article, How Can QR Codes Build Your Business, written by Jeff Korhan, explains what QR Codes are and how useful they can be to grown your business.  If you’re not yet familiar with QR codes, they are defined by Korhan as, “QR codes are similar to the barcodes used by retailers to track inventory and price products at the point of sale. Though, the key difference between the two is the amount of data they can hold or share.”

The process of using a QR Code is simple.  You scan or read a QR code using either your iPhone, Android or other camera-enabled Smartphone.  You can download one of many free apps that are available in your smartphone app store. One you download the app, the process is simple.  Simply scan the QR code and it will bring you to a website displaying information.

Any of these desired functions are easily achieved by properly creating your QR code.  It’s a simple process of entering the appropriate data into the QR code generator it a matter of minuties.

There are 7 things to know about QR Codes….

1. Learning what it is

2. Understanding who is doing it

3. How it works

4. Why is it significant

5. The downsides

6. Where its going

7. What are the implications

QR codes are an essential part of building a community.  According to the author, “Sharing is how you build community, and one of the favorite arenas for doing this is Facebook.  You can use many different generators to create a QR code that links your mobile device to a fully functioning LIKE button for your Facebook page.”  This help brings the public to your fan page of your business or group. Thus, building a brand awareness.  The world of Public Relations is drastically changing as the increase and popularity of digital media changes.

Where Can you use QR Codes? The possibilities are endless in my opinion. Some places you have probably seen them is…

Business Cards

Brochures

Signs

T-Shirts

Merchandising

Receipts/Ticket Stubs

The author explains that you have to make the experience fun for someone to want to take part in scanning.  I would agree from experience.   From the article, the final question is “How you can you maximize your effectiveness with QR codes?”

  • Provide explanations about their use and benefits
  • Encourage actions that support your marketing plan
  • Assuage the fears of the technically challenged
  • Give reasons to come back
  • Experiment with the size, location, and color of your QR codes
  • Study your analytics
  • Make the process fun, such as a QR code scavenger hunt
  • Experiment

QR codes can store quite complex information in a small matrix. As awareness grows about how useful they are, we can expect to see them in more public venues and used in many PR and marketing tools.

The Affair of the Heart

Last Thursday, February 9th, 2012 was the 7th Annual Affair of the Heart held at the Lane County Events Center.  This a free event for all of Lane County to partake in.  All major companies and businesses flocked the hall at 10am that day.  Countless hours of preparation and setup to build a huge event took more than just word of mouth; it was all the PR that was received to make this day a success.  Each business created displays with signage, brochures, handouts, and free samples of products/prize giveaways.

The 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. event targets a woman based demographic.  Of course, men are welcome to come, but the businesses focuses an evening packed with health tips, fashion flair, giveaways, entertainment and flavorful food and drink to celebrate women’s health and well-being.

Last year, organizers say, the event drew more than 8,000 attendees — and attendance was expected to exceed with the increase of social media awareness.  Facebook and Twitter were the two major social media platforms used, as well as advertising and marketing on the radio, newspapers, and websites.

A new tactic that many businesses took part in was having people scan QR codes with their smartphones.  The goal of the QR code is to target a specific demographic of people. These individuals, who are willing to scan to learn more about your organization and purpose, are typically ones that show in interest in what you have to say.  QR codes allow people to interact with an organization by connecting people with online content.  This is very useful PR tool for businesses.

As an intern at the Fifth Street Public Market, this event was an essential process for reaching out to potential customers.  The goal was building our marketing and

brand awareness to the public.  The mission was to emphasize how truly unique the center is by branding the local aspect of it.  The displays showcase how remarkable each store is by showing their products, offering specials, and allowing people to scan with a chance to win one of 15 prizes simply by entering their name and email address.

The night was a success for all.  I decided to roam around the event center to see how other businesses showcased their booths. Many had extravagant displays, brochures, prizes, but only some used QR codes.  The popularity with QR codes from last year and this year have grown. It only a matter of time before more and more businesses take advantage of this free PR tool.

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