Tag Archives: Social Media

Why LinkedIn Matters

Have you ever Googled yourself? What’s the first thing that comes up? For most of us, it’s our social media accounts, specifically our LinkedIn profiles that first appear. Now pretend a prospective employee or your new project manager is Googling you. Would you be comfortable with them seeing your LinkedIn profile in its current condition?

A couple of weeks ago, I listened to a webinar by William Arruda about the power of LinkedIn and how companies could use it to recruit talent. I never paid much attention to my LinkedIn profile except for when I first graduated, but after this webinar, you better believe I updated my profile.

My results when I Googled myself

My results when I Googled myself

If you haven’t been on LinkedIn lately, the site has several new features, including the ability to customize your background and add documents to different roles you’ve listed. It’s not just your online resume anymore; it’s your personal website where you can create an online brand for yourself. Maybe you want to highlight a volunteer position that showcases other skills. You can do that and provide real examples for others. You can show the value you bring to your current organization and share pieces of thought leadership as well.

What Arruda said that I haven’t realized yet was that LinkedIn can be a competitive advantage for companies. Think about it: If your employees have strong profiles, where they share content about or related to your company or industry, they become brand ambassadors. In turn, these employees increase the visibility of your company and can engage others potential employees. It’s like a free mini recruiting system!

This is a mindset shift for most people. We are all used to our resumes in a tidy Word document that we can easily email to people. What we forget about is our online profiles like LinkedIn, which could reach more people daily. Companies also need to have an online presence and keep social media as a top priority. By strategically engaging their employees and sharing content on LinkedIn, companies can retain current staff and recruit even stronger talent.

When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? Does your company have a strong online presence? How do they consistently engage employees? Share your thoughts below!

Love & Other Drugs

Social media was flooded with two types of posts this past Saturday: people believing in love and people jaded by love. On one side, there were pictures of flowers, chocolates and jewelry. On the other side, cynical quotes tagged with #singlesawarenessday. So many emotions, so little characters, all for one day!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t phase me; it’s just another day on the calendar. If you’re not in a relationship, then maybe you should focus on the good relationships you do have – your parents, siblings, extended family and friends. Most think of love in terms of a romance, with a significant other. But there’s so many other types of love out there, why limit Valentine’s Day to a celebration of just romantic love?

SATCOne observation: most millennials are good about broadening this definition of love. Generally speaking, we’re not a generation hyper-focused on getting married and having babies. I’m not going to pretend that I know why or that I’ve done research that shows why. My best guesses are we’re more focused on bettering ourselves, finding a career that makes us happy versus makes us money and giving back. Also, we saw how our parents did it and might not want that for ourselves. Or maybe Carrie Bradshaw did have it right, that our girlfriends are the true loves of our lives.

I don’t want to generalize and say all millennials are waiting to get married or have babies. That’s not the truth. What I am saying is that there’s something about the 20 something female that is different in this generation versus past ones. The dating game has changed with the advent of Match.com, Tinder and the like. Also, the ability to Google anyone and anything might hurt our cause versus help it. Maybe technology has helped us create this barrier, this layer of protection, so we can somewhat hide behind a computer or phone screen. It makes us less vulnerable.

I’ll admit dating does intimidate me. I don’t like to be vulnerable and put myself out there. But, as the real lovesaying goes, no risk, no reward. I waver between understanding that statement and wondering if real, true love is sought after. If it’s meant to be, won’t it find a way? Or should I be searching for it on the Internet? I don’t have an answer yet but I do know I’ll figure it out in my own way on my own time.

Either way, however you look at it, wherever you are in the dating game, have an open mind and heart. I’m going to try and suggest you do that same. You know I want to hear your thoughts on this topic! Share away!

Is Being Busy a Badge of Honor?

It has been two months and a day since my last blog post. This fact saddens me but the reality is I haven’t had time to fit writing into my schedule lately. Depressing to a degree, but the truth nonetheless.

Over the last two months, I’ve been to five different states, worked three different events and have had to make the choice on what the priority was that minute, hour, day and week. Some might call this busy and I did too, until I read a powerful article from the Harvard Business Review, sent to me by an esteemed colleague. The two-page article, “Why we Humblebrag About Being Busy,” should resonate with anyone who’s ever said “Oh I’m so busy,” in response to the simple question “how are you?”

busyThere’s so much to obsessed over in this article. You can bet that mine is highlighted, underlined and has been read approximately four times. In short, an epidemic is occurring where people are so proud of being busy that their lives are becoming a giant rat race of more. The more bubble, as author Greg McKeown suggests is enabled by “smart phones, social media, and extreme consumerism. The result is not just information overload, but opinion overload.” That thought, opinion overload, struck me as the greatest factor aiding the growth of everyone’s more bubble.

The opinion overload epidemic has been aided by advancing technology that allows us instantly post on a zillion different forums how late we’re working or actual photos of the work we have left to do. Twenty years ago, people didn’t feel the need to share about their overtime because there wasn’t technology for them to make this private information public. Now, it’s a constant competition of who is the busiest and when translated that means the most successful, happy, satisfied or important.

McKeown suggests four helpful tips to become more of an Essentialist or the type of person who actually read books instead of strolling through Facebook before bed. I’d like to add two more suggestions on how to become an essentialist:

1) Stop playing the comparison game. It does not matter what someone else is doing at work, at home, for their community or on the moon. This is your life, your journey to forge and I bet you are doing just fine.

2) Believe in balance. Some days, I have time to write  a blog post and exercise, but not all will be like that. Some days work wins and others my family come first. Priorities are allowed to shift as often as you need them to.

I am no where near being an essentialist but this article has inspired me to try harder. Being busy aka not sleeping, missing family time and being generally unhappy is not the badge of honor I want to wear any more. Join me in the essentialist movement and please share your tips below!

I’d like to add two more: work smarter, not harder and stop playing the comparison game. Most supervisors are not going to hover over your desk as you work. They trust you to get the work done in the most efficient, best way possible. Maybe that means you work 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Or maybe you go to yoga on your lunch break. Figure out how to be more efficient and make that your routine. Working more hours does not always make you more productive.

Oh the comparison trap, how it ruins lives! Please do not scroll through Facebook or any other social media site and compare yourself to your co-workers, neighbors, relatives, friends, etc. It unhealthy and unproductive to make comparisons when no two lives operate in the same way. We each need to live our own life, on our terms. Sure, it’s fine to want more but not at the expense of your health, family, sanity or anything other life necessity.

A Knowledge-Filled Saturday

As a young professional, I am always looking for ways to expand my knowledge and grow my industry expertise. This is occasionally challenging because I do not work within public relations. While I love my current job, I still want to maintain a breath of public relations knowledge and keep up-to-date on industry trends.

The schedule for the day!

The schedule for the day!

Luckily for me, I was invited back to Temple University this past weekend for the TU Invitational hosted by Temple PRSSA, one of my former student organizations. While the event was for students, I am so glad I attended. There were four speakers, each with a different PR specialty. Below are the “quick tips” I learned from each.

  • Cassandra Bailey from Slice Communications was the keynote speaker. You couldn’t have picked anyone better to kick-off an event! Cass was energetic, passionate and real. My biggest takeaway from her presentation was to break the process and be different. You shouldn’t change yourself to fit within a role or company. People want someone authentic, interesting and who challenges the norm. I adored her ideas and hearing that being different is a positive when hiring people.
  • I then went to Jessica Lawlor’s breakout session about personal branding and blogging. I read Jess’ blog religiously and worked with her during our PRSSA days at Temple, so I was really pumped for her session. Jess managed to pack so much info into her session without overwhelming us. She walked through various social media sites, outlining what essentials we should focus on to help build our personal brand. I was also beyond thrilled to hear the you don’t need to have a niche blog to be successful. I like to write about a lot of topics and according to Jess, that’s a good thing, as long as you are providing useful, fresh content. Overall, it was an awesome session and now I have a ton of ideas for my social media profiles and my blog!
  • After lunch, Steve Cameron from Air Products spoke to the group about a variety of topics. Steve has been in his role for several years so it was interesting to hear his perspective on how the industry has changed. Obviously, social media is the biggest advancement for PR professionals. Steve presented a social media decision tree for both personal and business use. This visual was so helpful in articulating the questions that need to be asked when figuring out how a company can utilize social media. The personal portion of the tree provided insights on the company’s social media policy; much easier to read than several convoluted paragraphs!
  • Our final speaker was Scott Tattar from LevLane, a PR agency in Philadelphia. Scott spoke about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and how it is now an essential for companies. CSR is the bottom line and should serve as a marketing tool. I found it interesting and refreshing to hear his insights because not all companies think like that. A good CSR program is focused, so even if you are a large corporation, you shouldn’t support a million charities. It also empowers the customer (or employee) to do something rather than to just write a check. Lastly, it should be in line with the company’s mission. For example, Coca Cola should not back a cause like childhood obesity since their product is soda. Scott’s session was my favorite of the day because it was a topic not addressed frequently.
All of the PRSSA alum with the chapter president.

All of the PRSSA alum with the chapter president.

We all went and celebrated a successful event after it was over. I was so proud of my former student organization for putting on a great event where I learned so much. My day reinforced the importance of continuing to learn even as a professional. Hopefully, I’ll get to go back to next year’s TU Invitational!

Our Obsession with 20-Somethings

Everywhere you look on social media, there are articles about the 20-somethings. From Thought Catalog to Elite Daily, there are lists of fun activities to do in your twenties and others filled with thought-provoking lists of goals to never give up on during your twenties. I, along with every other 20-something, retweets, prints and highlights these articles. My question is why?

twentiesYour twenties is the decade where you do the most soul-searching. Typically, you’re just starting your career, haven’t found that special someone yet and certainly do not have kids. The responsibility of adulthoood is overwhelming and you’re barely breathing some days. How could you ever be responsible for another life?! But that’s how I see my twenties; it doesn’t mean the rest of the world does or should view it like me.

The millennial generation, myself included, is obsessed with defining the 20-something. We read, post and beg for a definition, a plan for each of us to follow. I don’t know if it’s insecurity or uncertainty but there is something there. For me, I am unsure of the future, what exactly I want and how it’s all going to play out. I read these articles across every social media forum searching for the exact answer on how to proceed confidently into the future.

Well guess what? No one, no article or Twitter account can provide me with the right way to take my journey. Sure, reading them is harmless enough as long as you don’t define your life by them. It is perfectlylife ahead fine to be 30, single with a kick-ass career. In the same breath, it’s great to be 24, married and wanting nothing more than to raise babies. Bottom line: It’s your life, own it and make choices based on your happiness, no one else’s.

The 20-somethings are an interesting group whose perspectives are constantly evolving. We have a lot to say about the world and our place in it. So if you’re a 20-something, own your twenties in whichever way you want. If you’re not, have a conversation with one and share your knowledge with them. They will appreciate it!

Keep Calm & Cherry On

Last night in a brutally cold, downtown Manhattan, I attend “The Temple Idea – The Making of a Movement” that discussed Temple University’s Temple Made and Cherry On marketing campaigns. The panel discussion featured Director of Marketing Angela Polec as well as my former Strategic Communication (StratComm) professor Gregg Feistman and the PRowl Public Relations firm director Kaitlyn Sutton. As both a StratComm and PRowl alumnus, I was very excited to hear about these viral marketing campaigns.

In the fall of 2012, the Temple Made campaign was launched with a kick-off event at the university. The

Just the basic details were given for the Temple Made launch event

Just the basic details were given for the Temple Made launch event

only details given were the date and time of the event. From there, Temple Made commercials had spots during the Temple versus Notre Dame football game and billboards were displayed through the region. This was Temple’s first centralized marketing campaign that gave a voice to the pride that already existed with current students and alumni. When anyone saw a Temple Made commercial, they immediately saw what the Temple type is. Temple Made is a mindset, a different breed of people who hustle harder and are self-made. Through this campaign, it became easier for anyone to see that the Temple Made type was different.

cherry onThe next step was to create a marketing campaign that was like special handshake for Temple insiders. The Cherry On campaign was born through the collaboration between PRowl Public Relations and the office of Strategic Marketing and Communication. It started by telling Temple students to wear their cherry every Friday. The phrase “Cherry On” developed from those Fridays when athletic prep rallies were held to support different teams. The campaign was organic, for the students, from the students. PRowl worked with Temple Student Government to create the Cherry On video that recently launched. My favorite part of the video: “This is not a fashion statement, it is family.” That one phrase created such an emotional connection to Temple for me. The Cherry On hashtag trended on Twitter during several athletic events, admissions has seen a rise in applicants and website traffic has increased.

So now what? After two successful marketing campaigns that reached prospective students, current students and alumni, how is Temple going to continue this momentum? The panelists explained that a lot of research needs to be conducted including benchmarking success, engaging other audiences, focus groups and surveys.  As a PRowl alumnus, I wish I would have heard about Cherry On from them rather than at a football game this past Homecoming. There is an entire alumni network out there, who can help spread this campaign. While I understand Cherry On was targeted at students, it’s now time to engage alumni and other audiences.

Last night’s event was the first step in engaging alumni to continue this Cherry On momentum. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing how the campaigns started, grew and what the plan is for the future. The campaigns were brilliant and exploded on social media. Both the Temple Made and Cherry On hashtags are seen everywhere including fliers, billboards and online. More than anything, it created a community and mindset that resonates with all of us who are Temple Made. Since we are Temple Made, we can Cherry On through any situation. It is a connection, an experience, a bond we have for life.

Are you Temple Made? Did you know about these marketing campaigns? Check out the video below then share your thoughts with me!

Facebook Turns Ten

If you’re a Facebook user, you are aware that the website celebrated its 10th birthday earlier this week. In honor of this milestone, Facebook allowed its users to create “A Look Back” videos, which showcased their time on the website. From most liked posts to photos shared, users were able to travel back in time to see their Facebook milestones. Cue the nostalgia!

facebook-10th-birthdayMy newsfeed has been flooded with these videos over the last couple of days and I’ve loved it. From reliving my college days to seeing family members grow up, the videos certainly shared a wealth of memories with the Facebook community. It took me a while to jump on the bandwagon as I wasn’t too fond of my initial video. But last night, the editing feature was enabled so I got to choose the pictures I wanted to include. It’s a nice feature to have and gives people a little more control over their video. Overall, the “A Look Back” videos seem to be a huge success for Facebook. It has caught on like wildfire and makes users feel like they are a part of Facebook’s 10th anniversary. Well done!

For a while now, it seems like Facebook users and the social media community have been contemplated the website’s future. You always hear about privacy issues, spam and new features (like hashtags) that everyone isn’t too fond of. While Facebook isn’t my favorite social media site (sorry!), I do see its purpose for both personal and professional reasons. This blog gets posted to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and sometimes Pinterest. Over the last two years, the most clicks, likes, comments and shares have come from Facebook. Why? Because that is where I connect with my audience best.

My group of friends is larger on Facebook than other social media websites. Additionally, the people I am friends with on Facebook know me, know that I blog and enjoy reading. I’ve created a loyal group of people who consistently check my posts out. This is possible on any social media site but I’ve found it’s easier on Facebook. For one, more people, especially older generations, are on Facebook. It has been around longer and is easier to navigate. You can go over 140 characters and don’t have to choose a filter. Even my co-workers find my blog on Facebook rather than LinkedIn. I think they are just more comfortable on Facebook and know how to use it. Regardless of what social media outlet you use for yourself or for clients, having a loyal, committed audience will absolutely help your cause.

The “A Look Back” video campaign on Facebook definitely took off and spread throughout the website. I wonder if people creating the videos remember that they started because of Facebook’s 10th anniversary. I would have added something at the end of all videos connecting it to the anniversary, like animations instead of the hashtag. However, I still think Facebook did a good job with this video campaign and believe the website has a long future ahead.

Check out my Look Back video below and share your thoughts about Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/lookback/

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