Posts Tagged ‘social networking’


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.

Facebook Study Reveals ‘Friends’ Can Be So Predictable

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

einsteinIt has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity. A quote attributed to Albert Einstein and something he might have actually said if the question was asked today, “How would you feel if a social networking site not only could predict who your closest friends were, but also have a say in the matter?”.

A research group from UC San Diego is claiming to be able to predict with great accuracy, who Facebook users closest friends are, by simply looking at their past site activity. In a controlled study led by researchers at UCSD, a survey group of Facebook users were asked to list their closest friends, the researchers would then try to guess who their closest friends were by looking merely at their Facebook activity. Using a model they developed, which takes into account the number of comments, messages, wall posts, likes, photo tags, etc. someone makes – the researchers claim that they predicted within 84 percent accuracy who were close friends. The study concluded, “The model’s success at discriminating closest friends from not-closest friends validates the use of online behavior data as a proxy measure for tie strength in real world relationships.”

But what I find to be more astonishing is that industry followers are taking this a step further. They claim a “prescribing of interaction” taking place at Facebook, one that may actually influence who you interact with more often on their site and, thus, making you closer “friends.” Some think a virtual or real life friendship or a blend of both may be strengthened between two people…. due to nothing more but “subtleties” on a web page. Benjamin Grosser, whose work has looked at Facebook’s role in our culture, says that the subtleties of its algorithms can shape which friends we interact with and how often we do so. “The question is whether the ways that Facebook prescribes interaction are changing how our friendships develop. This is not to say that the effect is strong enough to actually change who our closest friends are but a reminder that Facebook doesn’t merely capture a portrait of our social lives; it also contributes to what that portrait looks like.”

I am not a user of Facebook so I can’t comment whether I believe it is even possible for a web site to have an influence on who I determine to be my “closest friends” – but if this turned out to be the case, the only conclusion I would reach is that I needed to get out of the house more.

Celebrityism and the Next Wave of Social Networking

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Lauren Shapiro*

myspacelogo-BracketThere is no doubt that celebrities play a huge part in the advancement of brands, whether appearing in social media, TV and print ads, or generally endorsing a product or company.

Celebrities are written about everyday and provide us all with water cooler fodder and their involvement in any organization is shouted from the rooftops in hopes of seeing more articles and blog posts publicizing said organization. PR firms release press releases, photo-ops are staged and having a celebrity as the face of your company draws more attention than ever.

After purchasing MySpace for $35 million, Specific Media announced that singer, dancer, actor (and now business tycoon) Justin Timberlake would be both “part owner and creative force” for the newly purchased social network, according to an article on MTV.com. Although Timberlake’s role in the rebranding of MySpace is interesting news, how much authority will he truly have?  Will Timberlake be a true partner or merely a celebrity spokesman?

Timberlake has yet to make any official announcements about the rebirth of MySpace. (We’ll all have to wait until August 17, 2011 for that…) But if early buzz is any indication, he may well be on his way to revamping the one-time social media giant to “be what it should have been,” Timberlake remarks during a recent interview. Early reports suggest that he is “considering a talent competition as one way to breathe life into MySpace,” explains Johnny Wright, Timberlake’s manager, in this CBS News article.

“There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. Myspace has the potential to be that place,” says Timberlake in this press release. “Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment. I’m excited to help revitalize MySpace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.”

In some ways it makes sense to start the rebranding process with a part owner/celebrity who is highly regarded in the music industry, especially when a social media site such as MySpace has long been associated with music and entertainment. But let’s remember, as some comments (like those left on this Gothamist post) suggest, playing a role in The Social Network and actually leading one are two vastly different things.

Still, it will be interesting to see how much authority Specific Media really gives to Timberlake long term and whether this latest acquisition will spark a new trend of celebrity-partnered social media sites.

Do you think Timberlake will be able to help steer MySpace in a new (and hopefully successful) direction? And what features would you like to see on the site? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce

Give Us Something New Google!

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Valerie Simon

Can Google+ succeed where Google Buzz and Google Wave have failed? While it is probably too early to make predictions, I’ll go out on a limb and share my opinion… unless they unveil something groundbreaking, this latest attempt at social networking by Google will likewise falter.

Social networking is not really about the tools. It’s about the people. In order to succeed, the tools must be designed to innovate how people connect and relate. In order to persuade people to invest the time in a network, tools must offer something new and valuable… a unique selling proposition. Otherwise, why should users invest their time with a new tool when their relationships and communications are already being served by established networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter?

While the initial invite process – one that Google+ has since been shut down because of “insane demand” – makes the network seem promising enough, I have not found anything truly unique in Google+. Yes, it’s cool to drag and drop people into circles, but I am already extremely organized with my Facebook and Twitter lists. Why reinvent the wheel (list, or circle)? Especially if it means walking away from the networks I have already invested time building? Time is limited.

My friend Arik Hanson (who I initially met on Twitter and am now communicating with on Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype and more traditional platforms like the phone and even, gasp, in person), noted that the integration with current tools is the biggest advantage. I’m not convinced that integration is enough.

Opportunities for new networks must be based upon new concepts of how to bring people together in unique ways for distinct purposes. LinkedIn has established itself in the professional arena. Facebook has positioned itself in the more general/ all purpose area. For startups (and yes, I think Google counts as a start up in this area, albeit a start up with tremendous experience and resources), these mammoth social networks are hard to compete with. Because the ultimate reason people use these networks is not the service itself, but the other users.

Let’s get creative Google and utilize your greatest advantage… search. Why not create niche networks that allow people to connect with those searching for similar information. So if I am looking for “Berkeley Heights, NJ” I can (selectively, of course) choose to connect with others who have done the same search in the past 30 days. There’s your circle.

Have you had a chance to try Google+?  Please leave a comment and share your thoughts with BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers.

Facebook: 50 Billion Reasons to Smile

Friday, January 7th, 2011

by Lauren Shapiro*

Facebook logoMark Zuckerberg has come a long way from his college days at Harvard as he and his company are crowned the top-visited website of 2010. Adding further glory to this victory, Facebook beat out search engine titan Google for the top spot. Furthermore, according to LA Times.com, Facebook was the most searched term for two years in a row! With a Time Person of the Year running the show, would you expect anything less? But with Facebook riding a continual high into 2011, what can we expect in the coming year?

Mark Zuckerberg has 50 billion reasons, an estimated worth of Facebook Inc., to happily welcome in the New Year. Thanks to the recent funding by Goldman Sach’s Group and Digital Sky Technologies totaling $500 million, Facebook can continue to expand its already vast reach into the world of social networking, explains this article from SFgate.com. With companies like Goldman Sachs investing huge amounts of money into social networking sites like Facebook, is it safe to assume that social networking will only continue to grow as an influencer in business and marketing?

As noted in the same SFGate.com article cited earlier, London management consulting firm, L.E.K. found that “40 percent of social-network users log on [to Facebook] at least once a day, including 27% who check in several times a day.” With approximately 500 million people logging in between once to several times a day, what company wouldn’t want to have some sort of presence on the site? Taking it a step further, the lack of an organization’s presence on Facebook can be detrimental as consumers constantly seek online experience and knowledge.

Taking heed from the recent investment in Facebook – social networks will continue to play bigger and bigger roles in marketing and public relations efforts. Learning and understanding these tools may become imperative to function within an organization. 

Do you think social networking will grow in 2011 or will a new way of reaching the masses take over? How do you see the age of social networking maturing or evolving? Please share your thoughts we me and the readers of BurrelleLuce Fresh Ideas.

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*Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce