Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’


Networking: Keeping Contacts as a New Professional

Monday, February 24th, 2014
flickr user klynslis under CC BY license

flickr user klynslis under CC BY license

You studied hard, joined PRSSA, did multiple internships, networked, graduated, networked some more and got a job. Phew! Now, you no longer have to worry about your LinkedIn activity, participate in that Twitter chat or attend local industry events, right? Wrong!

In case you haven’t already figured it out, the PR industry is like a big small-town. There aren’t six degrees of separation, in many cases there are barely three. It seems everyone knows everyone (or knows someone who knows someone). This tight-knittedness is capable of swinging the pendulum in your favor–or not. The choice, really, is yours.

How do you hold on to that network you’ve worked so hard to build? How do you continue to build that network, and make it work for you?

1. My first suggestion is to not just attend your PRSA chapter meetings, but volunteer and get involved. As current president of the PRSA-St. Louis Chapter, I can tell you that having new pros on our committees are just as important as having senior pros. You provide a different perspective, and we need all viewpoints represented. In addition, You will work side-by-side with seasoned pros, who will get to know your solid work ethic first-hand and meet people you may have not have had access to otherwise. Volunteering is work, and creates work experience.

2. Participate in Twitter chats. Not just #NPPRSA, but other industry-related chats, such as #PRprochat started by Carrie Morgan, or the #SoloPR chat spearheaded by Kellye Crane. Not only may you meet your next recruit, but many senior pros participate in those chats as well. Doing this keeps you in front of your network, expands your network, and may even provide informational content you can later expand into a blog post!

3. Join applicable LinkedIn groups and participate in the discussions. Don’t feel like you can’t contribute if you don’t know the answers–ask questions, there may be others with the same question.

4. I’m sure you have certain industry-leading blogs to which you subscribe. Don’t just read those posts, comment and reply to other comments. Add value to the community. Warning: be careful to not over-do it; you don’t want to comes across as a stalker.

5. Finally, swinging back to #1 – involvement in your local PR organization. You should at least set a goal of attending one event per quarter (4 per year).  And don’t just attend; make a point of introducing yourself to at least three new people at each event. Then, within a couple days of the event, connect with them on LinkedIn—reminding them where you met and thanking them for the conversation, then follow-up. The follow-up doesn’t have to be often but does need to be pertinent and professional.

A case in point: a while back I wrote a post on mentoring for BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog. In it, I mentioned that Lori George Billingsley, director of issues communications at The Coca-Cola Company and past PRSA Multicultural Communications Section chair, claims her mentor has been instrumental in helping her secure all of the PR jobs she’s held.  That’s a pretty powerful testament to her networking, diligence and professionalism!

There’s no doubt that social media makes it much easier to keep in touch with people. However, no matter how much you keep in touch electronically, nothing beats face-to-face conversations to build your network!

Share what you’re doing to build and strengthen your network in the comments below.

This post originally appeared on the blog PRNewPros.

PR Job Hunting Skills: Tips from the Recruiters

Monday, February 17th, 2014
flickr user photologue_np under CC BY license

flickr user photologue_np under CC BY license

Professional skills are important for landing a job interview, but Kathryn Duncan of CLICK Talent says when it comes down to it, you need to be a good fit for the organization’s culture. Agencies are looking for people who are professionally smart, not just people with a long list of skills.

Last month, Minnesota PRSA sponsored a panel of recruiters to demystify the recruiter/PR professional relationship. The panel, which also included Gillian Gabriel of Gillian Gabriel & Associates, Elizabeth Laukka of Elizabeth Laukka Recruiting, and was moderated by Rebecca Martin of Beehive PR, emphasized that job hunters need not be afraid to engage a recruiter. Recruiters are paid by the employer, and are always looking to increase the pool of recruits. It is best to engage a recruiter before you actually need one.

Here are some recruiter tips for creating a resume:

  • Demonstrate how you moved the business forward.
  • Articulate how you are a thought leader and a strategic thinker; don’t just say you can do strategy.
  • Show what impact you made; don’t just create list of tactics.
  • Remember to include your clients’ names.
  • Be sure to emphasize and illustrate high-demand skills like measurement and SEO.

Remember to be nice and build relationships with hiring managers and recruiters. It is still important to write thank you notes.

All the recruiters use LinkedIn extensively, so be sure to have a profile and keep it fresh and complete. If you list your LinkedIn and Twitter pages on your resume or business card, be sure to post professionally. All panelists agreed Facebook is not a professional recruiting tool.

Use common sense and don’t:

  • Chew gum at an interview
  • Counter a job offer with a text – call!
  • Use your phone at the interview
  • Wear flip flops – wear a suit and professional shoes

Have patience. Employers are cautious with hiring and will tend to wait until they find the perfect person, says Gabriel. As with all of PR, finding a new position and networking is about relationship building, so to the best of your ability, remain patient, optimistic, and don’t neglect your networking.

Debbie Friez BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Blog Debbie Friez serves as tech editor for the Capitol Communicator and is also a consultant. Previously, she worked as Vice President, Major Accounts for BurrellesLuce. She originally joined BurrellesLuce at their Minnesota Clipping Service affiliate.

Friez was a senior account director for West Glen Communications, a broadcast PR services company. While at West Glen Communications, she was a frequent contributor to the DC Communicator newsletter.

She has a broad understanding of the technologies that are transforming the marketing and communications profession. She serves on the advisory board for the Capitol Communicator, the membership committee for the Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the national marketing committee for the Association of Women in Communications, and is a member and past president of Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR).

Friez is a graduate of the University of North Dakota. She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband Paul Croteau, their two cats, Smokey and the Bandit, and Gus, the dog.

LinkedIn: dfriez Twitter: @dfriez

PRSA-NCC Members Told Social Media is ‘Where We Live Today’

Friday, May 11th, 2012

This post first appeared on Capitol Communicator 5.11.12 and is cross-posted with permission. 

PRSA-NCC session on Social Media

Shown in the picture, (l to r) Chris Brooks, Julie A. Weckerlein, Cappy Surette, Jennifer Mitchell and Gloria Huang. The session was moderated by Debbie Friez, vice president, BurrellesLuce.)

Five communicators made the case that social media is “where we live today” during a May 10 professional development session conducted by the Public Relations Society of America’s National Capital Chapter (PRSA-NCC).

The session at the Navy Memorial, “Social Media Tips and Success Stories for PR Pros,” featured Cappy Surette, director of public relations at U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery; Chris Brooks, manager of social engagement at Hilton Worldwide; Julie A. Weckerlein, public affairs specialist at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Gloria Huang, senior social engagement specialist at the American Red Cross; and, Jennifer Mitchell, director of social media at BRG Communications. The session was moderated by Debbie Friez, vice president, BurrellesLuce.

Social media allows you to reach “a wider and more diverse audience than we can through the use of traditional media alone,” said Surrette. He and the other panelists said social media provides a great opportunity to attract advocates you may never have considered. These advocates, it was noted, can come to your aid when your organization is being challenged.

Brooks, who said his job at Hilton Worldwide is to put “heads in beds,” added social media allows you to build up a “community of supporters” in advance of a problem. He added , to be successful, you should consider multiple channels – such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Flickr. During his presentation, Brooks also offered these two observations: Approach social media in an organized manner and remember that “measurement is key.”

Regarding social media, Weckerlein told seminar attendees, “don’t be afraid to take calculated risks,” but use the “same voice” and present the “same message.” She also presented a case history from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showinghow cost effective social media can be for an organization. The real cost of the CDC campaign based on the Zombie Apocalypse preparedness relating it to hurricane preparedness was $87.00, but the campaign generated more than three million dollars in estimated marketing value.

In her presentation, Huang said, “you don’t have a choice on whether to do social media, the question is how well you do it.” She offered the followed social media principles employed by the American Red Cross: Be accurate, be relevant, be considerate, be transparent, be human and be compassionate.

Mitchell stated organizations do well in social media when they look beyond their own organization. As an example, she said that social media allows you to ask questions to your target audience to get them involved with your organization. In short, she said, personal relationships are more important than ever, so encourage your target audiences to interact with you. Content is king, and she reminded the audience, “People spread (share) awesome content. They don’t spread mediocre content. However, Mitchel also offered an observation that put social media into perspective: It’s an addition to, not a replacement for, “old” communications platforms.

The bottom line, according to Surrette, is that “You can’t control the sea of public opinion, but (using social media) you can at least navigate it.”

***

Phil Rabin has covered trends in communications for more than two decades for a number of media outlets. Currently, he is editor of Capitol Communicator, www.capitolcommunicator.com, an online resource working to bringing together communications professionals who influence and educate the Mid-Atlantic region by providing news, trends, education and opportunities for networking. Phil also is Vice President of West Glen Communications, www.westglen.com, and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

The ‘You’ Brand: Planning and Executing Your Job Search (Pro-Am Day At Saint Louis University)

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
I am proud to be PRSSA chapter professional advisor for Southeast Missouri State University (my alma mater). SEMO had a whopping 14 students (the most for any one school) in attendance, despite being nearly two hours away from St. Louis!

I am proud to be PRSSA chapter professional advisor for Southeast Missouri State University (my alma mater). Despite being nearly two hours away from St. Louis, SEMO had a whopping 14 students, the most for any one school, in attendance at the PRSA St. Louis chapter’s Pro-Am Day!

 

On Friday, March 23, 2012, I participated in the PRSA St. Louis chapter’s Pro-Am Day. PRSSA chapters and communications students were invited to join public relations practitioners for a special professional development and networking event. Students from nine different universities, spanning both sides of the Mississippi River, were represented.

In addition to industry section roundtables and resume reviews, the event featured keynote speaker Carrie Muehlemann from The Creative Group, a specialized staffing firm and division of Robert Half International. Muehlemann shared strategies for developing and sustaining a personal brand that grabs potential employers’ attention, as well as statistics to support how implementing these tactics can aid in your search.

To land a job in today’s competitive public relations industry, PR professionals must view themselves as “brands,” and ensure all of their job-search materials evoke a compelling and cohesive message. Muehlemann recommended approaching the job search with a “lean forward” attitude, exuding positivity, energy, and individuality. But, she cautioned to be authentic.

Thirty-nine percent of marketing executives surveyed said they would not respond to gimmicky tactics (e.g., Sending a shoe with a note that you want to get your foot in the door.) Instead, Muehlemann suggested that you write a creative brief on yourself, whittling it down to 5-10 core attributes. Also, set goals, write them down and map a path to get there. For example, attend at least one networking event per month and post at least one industry article per week on LinkedIn. Be sure to practice your elevator speech. She also advised that your business cards, resume, online portfolios, etc. should all match your “brand.”

Using Social Media to Create Your Personal Brand
As for social media, you don’t need to be everywhere.

  • Pick two or three platforms to focus on and keep them up-to-date.
  • Listen as much as you talk. Comment on industry blogs and actively participate. “Quality over quantity is key here,” Muehlemann stated.
  • Google yourself. Do the first page results represent who you are? If not, immediately begin doing digital damage control.

72 percent of advertising and marketing executives said they will “Google” an applicant and review his/her digital footprint, cites a February 2010 survey by The Creative Group.

Résumé Writing Tips
Muehlemann offered a few résumé writing tips:

  • Make your résumé easy to understand and follow.
  • Make it keyword rich, complete and thorough.
  • Include points that are relevant to the job, as well as ROI statements.
  • And above all, be sure your résumé is error free!

Résumé Follow Up Best Practices
What about after you’ve sent your résumé? Eighty-two percent of hiring executives surveyed said they DO want to hear from job candidates within the first two weeks of sending the résumé. Muehlemann suggested to first follow up via email. Include the job title in the email subject line, attach the résumé (again), and close with a call to action at the end of the message . If you have still not received a response, she suggested a phone call – but only after you’ve practiced your 30-second elevator speech ALOUD. Remember, be professional; there’s a line between assertive follow-up and harassment. 

Interview Tips
So, you’ve secured an interview. What should you do? Research the company (or clients that they represent, if it’s an agency) and the person(s) who will be conducting your interview and be ready with questions of your own. Also, when it comes time for the interview, be prepared to answer the standard questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • How did you overcome a difficult situation or issue?
  • What is your value / why should I hire you? *Be ready with ROI statements

Finally, what do you do when you don’t get the job. Don’t take it personally. Ask for constructive feedback, as well as other positions. And, don’t forget to thank them for their time.

What would you add? What have you found helpful in your job search? Please share our thoughts here, with me, and the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers.

Discovery – Using Social Media to Drive Social TV Experiences

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Today’s TV now needs to be “social TV,” where the online experience allows viewers to share their experiences with other viewers and the world. Fans no longer have to wait to discuss the latest episode at the water cooler the next day; they are doing it in real-time and all the time.  

Discovery Communications’ main social media strategy is engagement says Gayle Weiswasser, vice president, social media communications, during an American Marketing Association’s Washington, DC (AMADC) chapter program in January. Additionally, Discovery looks to build community, drive fans to tune-in, increase website page-views, and gather insights.

Most social media strategies contain the big three platforms, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but not all platforms are right for every organization. For Discovery, YouTube and GetGlue are also essential platforms. It even started a Pinterest page for TLC because TLC shows are very visual and tend to attract a lot of female fans. As quoted from this Desert News article, “If you’re an American and you know about Pinterest, chances are you’re either female or someone who heard about Pinterest from a female – because no fewer than 83 percent of Americans using Pinterest are female.”   

(For tips on adding Pinterest to your integrative communications efforts, check out this BurrellesLuce newsletter: Understanding Pinterest and Your Audience and my BurrellesLuce colleague Tressa Robbins recent post about Pinterest and how companies and the media are using the site.)

Tips for Creating Social Experiences to Enhance TV Fan Bases

  1. Give fans exclusive content. This is a great way to drive engagement, Weiswasser says. Discovery offers additional scenes and other insights as rewards for comments and sharing. The content is usually only available for a limited time and is not available during the broadcast time for the show it promotes.
  2. Use multiple platforms to interact with your audiences. Weiswasser suggested making “co-viewing” apps available on multiple platforms to promote a linear TV experience for user who following the conversation on a number of different social networks.
  3. Think before you post. Weiswasser tells her team to ask, “If I were a viewer/fan, would I really like this post?” If the post is mediocre, she says it’s best not to post.
  4. Be aware of trends and hot topics. A great way to gain some momentum for your organization is to embrace the culture at the moment.  Animal Planet, for its show “Hillbilly Handfishin’” tweeted, “@OldSpice & @FabioOldSpices – Are Either of You Brave Enough to Try Noodlin’? We Triple Dog Dare You!” Both of Old Spice’s spokespeople, Isaiah Masufa and Fabio took the dare for a couple of fun April Fool’s Day jokes on YouTube.
  5. Increase outreach success by having (celebrity) spokespeople interact with your communities. When Clinton Kelly of “What Not to Wear” took over the show’s Facebook page, they had the most activity in eight years.

Some other great takeaways from Weiswasser:

  • Give the social media team authority to make real decisions.
  • Listen and talk to fans.
  • Build on the engagement you’ve made.
  • Accept that not all audiences are alike.

What lessons have you learned from your social media fans? How do you encourage more engagement? Which new social networks are you adding to the mix?