Posts Tagged ‘tactics’


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.

When a Hashtag Leads to Help: PR Tips from #BlueKey

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Andrea Corbo*

Peacekeeping - UNAMID

Flickr Image: United Nations Photo

We all know there are many reasons to use social media, but why not use it for a good cause? Well, that’s what many non-profits, NGOs, and supporters do! 

Let’s take a look at a recent social media campaign launched by USA for UNHCR. The initiative, called The Blue Key campaign, aims at raising awareness of UNHCR refugee work and raising money through the purchases of blue keys that symbolize a key to a home, which refugees no longer have. Their goal is to “dispatch 6,000 Blue Keys by December 31, 2011.” To date, they have dispatched over 3,400 keys. The campaign has had huge success this year and still has a presence if you run a Twitter search today. #BlueKey

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Shonali Burke, a public relations and social media strategist based in metro D.C., who consulted on The Blue Key campaign (USA for UNHCR is her client), and blogs at Waxing UnLyrical. From our discussion, I was able to see that the tactics fell into several categories.

Measurement
If you are a PR professional running a campaign, you may choose to set a goal that you can measure such as a set-amount of followers, hashtag mentions, or number of group members. (One of their goals was the number of blue keys.) You can then relate these quantitative metrics to monetary measurements and numbers of people positively affected as a result of such aid. You can also take a look at qualitative metrics, think tone or sentiment, to see how people may be reacting to your campaign and how your campaign may have shifted their awareness – positively, negatively, or neutrally.  What types of response can you get?

To understand how analytics helped UNHCR tell their story, check out this interview between Shonali and Beth Kanter, author of Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media.  

Timeliness/Relevancy
Use holidays and events to your advantage. A great idea in the Blue Key campaign was to incorporate an online frenzy via a tweetathon (on June 13th) that approached World Refugee Day, held each year on June 20th.  These tweets then led to more awareness which, for UNHCR, resulted in a direct increase in support through purchases of blue keys. In fact, the tweetathons were so successful that they were held again in September and again on Monday, October 24th in honor of United Nations Day.

According to a recent email message sent by Marc Breslaw, executive director, USA for UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency, the tweetathon held last week generated 1, 800 tweets with the hashtag #bluekey and have helped to spread even more awareness and keys.

And as 2011 draws to a close, another tweetathon is planned for November 17th from 9am – 9pm.

Word-of-mouth
Clearly, USA for UNHCR and other organizations can create their own campaigns to raise awareness. But how can people get involved with these organizations if they don’t launch the campaign themselves? That’s where the Blue Key Champions come into play. Social media users, in general, can aid in these campaigns by participating by spreading knowledge, posting info for events or fundraisers, and sending targeted info to their friends.

Community Engagement (In Real-Life)
Since part of the goal is to actually bring real world action to causes, it is important for organizations and the communities to meet in real life, not just online. Today (November 2nd), in the NYC-area there is a  tweetup (NYC #bluekey tweetup) organized by local Blue Key Champions and the D.C. #bluekey tweetup will be on November 10th. These tweetups are a great way for people who are passionate about a cause to come together and meet others who are equally as passionate and foster a sense of active community.

 

Want some other causes to follow on Twitter? Help promote a cause that you are passionate about. Use your social media power to your advantage. Here are a few Twitter handles I suggest you follow to get started: @UNRefugeeAgency@planuk@unicefusa@Polaris_Project, @PlanGlobal@tkhf, @VolunteerMatch, and @ecoteer.

I hope I’ve encouraged you to get involved and help promote through your social media accounts. It’s easy and it means something important. What organizations do you follow on Twitter? Tell us by leaving a comment on Fresh Ideas.

***

Bio: After receiving a B.A. in communications, and briefly working at a TV production studio, Andrea began volunteering abroad. This lead her to work in the non-profit world, where she was fortunate enough to learn about international education, women’s empowerment and social issues for the elderly, while traveling to over a dozen countries.  Since joining BurrellesLuce in 2011, Andrea is excited to share her thoughts and views on branding, social media, and communications with the growing Fresh Ideas audience, as well as her passion for cultural awareness, volunteerism, and sustainable efforts. Twitter: @AndreaCorbo; Facebook: BurrellesLuce; LinkedIn: BurrellesLuce

How to Speak C-Suite

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Ruth Mesfun*

If you mistook the clattering of keyboards for cicadas in heat and saw your Twitter feed explode with the hashtag #prndigital, yesterday, then you were probably with me at the PR News Digital PR Next Practices Summit at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. The all-day event was a smorgasbord of useful topics and speakers flinging words such as SEO (search engine optimization), influencers, engagement, and fangate pages.

However, if you have ever spoken to your boss about using social media it probably went like this:

justincaseyouwerewondering.com

justincaseyouwerewondering.com

If your digital campaign does not translate to the C-Suite language (increased sales, decreased costs, or high ROI) then it wouldn’t matter if you grow their Twitter page to 100,000 followers. They will pull the plug. 

Here are eight steps I took from the panel on Prove the Value of Your Digital Efforts to the C-Suite featuring Margot Sinclair Savell, vice president of Measurement and Analytics at Weber Shandwick, Angela Jeffery, APR and member of IPR Commission and Nick Panayi, director of Global Brand and Digital Marketing at CSC.

1.      Define organizational goals. Make sure your goals are strictly C-suite speak. (e.g., Our goal is to increase sales by 30 percent.) That way they see that you are on the same level.

2.      Research stakeholders and prioritize. This should be done regardless if you are presenting a digital campaign or not; you should always know your audience.  

3.      Ask yourself: What do they care about? I want to add in a perfect line from Margot Sinclair Savell, “Don’t just measure communications; measure the impact on your bottom line.” 

4.      Set social media objectives that correlate with their goals. Now this is where you link your social media efforts to their C-suite objectives. (e.g., With the Twitter campaign, we are launching, our goal is to increase our followers by 50 percent and positive sentiment by 40 percent which in turn will increase our sales by 30 percent.)  

5.      Choose (the right) tools and establish benchmarks. Once your campaign has launched, use tools and benchmarks to monitor how your campaign is playing out in The Media. Remember to monitor both the social media goal and the main goal (C-suite objective).

6.      Analyze, Analyze, Analyze! Be sure to use both qualitative and quantitative metrics and have these also tie back to your communications and C-suite objectives.

7.      Present to management. Remember to add charts of correlation between the campaign and the C-suite objectives. Translate metrics into the language.  

8.      Continue to build on that foundation: monitor, analyze, and improve. Review and revamp your strategy and tactics, making sure to revise as departmental and C-suite objectives evolve. 

So, how are you proving your value of your digital efforts to the C-suite? Please share your thoughts with me, here, on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

 ***

Before joining the BurrellesLuce team in 2011, as social media specialist, Ruth worked as a marketing assistant in a kitchen design firm and, later interned with Turner Public Relations. She holds a BA in Economics with a minor degree in International Relations from Rowan University. In addition to economics, education, and finance – Ruth is passionate about understanding the business implications of social media, including how it can be used to increase ROI, find and maintain a career, and create a business. Connect with her on Twitter: @RuthMesfun LinkedIn: Ruth Mesfun Facebook: BurrellesLuce

PRSA Counselors Academy: Integrating the Brand Experience

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Colleen Flood*

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the PRSA Counselors Academy of which BurrellesLuce was a sponsor and Johna Burke, SVP-marketing, was one of the speakers. Over the course of several days, I got to listen and learn from some really great speakers. Periodically, I will be sharing insights from the event, here, on Fresh Ideas.

One breakout session, lead by Jim Joseph, president, Lippe Taylor Brand Communications, focused on Integrating the Brand Experience.  Jim started by asking attendees to name the one brand they could not live without.  It was interesting to hear the different brands mentioned as adding value to our lives.  Some of the brands were: Huggies, BMW, Weight Watchers, iPhone and Nordstrom. 

The discussion continued with the idea that most PR professionals don’t see themselves as marketers. However, both marketing and public relations have responsibilities that directly tie back to branding and the business. In order for branding to be successful both must work together as a team.

Flickr Image: captcreate

Flickr Image: captcreate

As marketing and communications professionals we need to create personal experiences that individuals can associate with our brands. We must identify and create needs while fulfilling on those brand promises. But with more consumers consciously choosing to include brands in their everyday life, this is sometimes easier said than done. Marketing and PR professionals need to understand the thought process that consumers put into their purchases, work as a team, and update their strategies and tactics accordingly. For many, this comes down to creating conversations and truly listening to what consumers want and need.

Some takeaways: (more…)

BurrellesLuce Newsletter: Six Tips for Signing and Keeping Clients in a Reviving Economy

Friday, May 20th, 2011

iStock_000016298467Small

May 2011

While the last few years have witnessed new opportunities and tools to advance media and client engagement, the period also has been marked by tumultuous economic conditions. During that time, many PR agencies, especially small- and medium-sized firms, have struggled to maintain clients, and attract new ones.

With strong signs of a pick-up in business activity, the climate now is right for PR professionals to develop strategies and tactics that can help them bring in new clients as well as hold on to current accounts.

In this BurrellesLuce Newsletter, “Six Tips for Signing and Keeping Clients in a Reviving Economy,” you’ll learn half a dozen best practices that PR owner-practitioners can use to boost their chances of profitting from the economy upturn.