January 14, 2012 § Leave a comment
As graduation nears, I look back on everything I’ve learned and I must say, I couldn’t have chosen a better path. Majoring in Public Relations and Advertising was by far the best choice I’ve made in terms of my education. And believe me, there were a lot of choices that led me to PR and Advertising.
Starting out college as a psychology major, it didn’t take me long to realize I didn’t want to be a social worker, which is about all you can do with a B.S. in Psychology. So I moved on to business, and although it was closer to what I wanted to do, it was far too broad for my tastes, and I needed something else. So I ventured around Portland, where I obtained my AAA Paralegal degree, yes it is 3 A’s—Associates of Applied Arts, while I was considering law school.
After deciding law school wasn’t for me, I left Portland and came back to Eugene. I’m not really sure how it happened, but for some reason, I all of a sudden found myself majoring in Public Relations and Advertising. Yeah, I didn’t see it coming either, but I discovered I absolutely loved it. Deb Morrison sucked me into Advertising, while Kelli Matthews got me hooked on Twitter, then John Mitchell told me why PR isn’t just “spin,” and I was stuck.
With graduation in only 19 short weeks, I’ve taken a step back to see what has really stuck with me:
- You can’t make people talk to you online; you have to make them want to talk to you.
- Networking is crucial to your existence in the industry.
- Be an interesting person. Be curious. Be creative. Stand out.
- You don’t always have to stay in the box. Take a step outside from time to time and try something no one has before. Be disruptive.
- Keep revising. None of your work is ever really done.
- Only show your best work. It’s better to show 3 pieces of really good work than 10 pieces of just-okay work.
- It may seem obvious, but… Start thinking digital (if you haven’t already). That’s where everything is going.
- Create content people want to share with others. If they’re not sharing it, it isn’t interesting enough.
- Everything should have a plan and a strategy. Without the strategy, the final product will fall short.
- Show people how you think.
As I prepare myself for the “real world,” I have a million questions, where will my education take me, where I’ll end up, etc… but what I can say is that I’ll be prepared and ready for the leap. Because I’m not taking the ladder into the pool, I’m diving in headfirst.
September 7, 2011 § 1 Comment
Here at Abraham Harrison, we know the importance of social media in a public relations campaign. Many PR agencies use social media in their campaigns to help gain awareness for their client’s brand and product. However, campaigning through social media cannot simply be done by just anyone with a facebook account, at least not successfully. You need to have a social media strategy, know the people you want to connect with, and not under or overload the public with your message.
With social media booming as a way to market to your publics, PR needs to own up to the responsibility of integrating social media into their campaigns. PR and social media go hand in hand; you can’t be successful with only one. Just because social media is a newer marketing tool doesn’t mean you can throw all the old tools out the window; just the same, you can’t get away with only marketing through events and advertising without using social media. From the World Internet Stats, 30.2% of the worldwide population is using the internet. With this number continually growing every day, why would any PR professional pass up this ideal platform to market their client’s product?
Many people don’t know how to successfully market online. You have to develop a strategy to promote your client; you can’t just blindly create a twitter account and expect it to have a positive impact on the brand. With a social media strategy you want to connect with the early adopters, the online creators and the critics. These are the people who are going to write about your client’s product and help generate awareness. Word of mouth marketing is one of the best ways to market a product, and the people reading online reviews are more likely to believe the average blogger than a company representative. Therefore, the PR agents need to connect with the bloggers, creators and critics as they test out and promote the brand and product.
Social Media Specialists are taking over the PR world. They are gaining awareness about their client’s brand and products, most of the time with a cheaper price tag then the “old fashioned” PR tactics. It’s time to reposition yourself in the PR world and try some new tactics, if you haven’t already. Familiarize yourself with this online world. Embrace it. Accept it. Social media is the new now; don’t get left behind.
August 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
When it comes to marketing, you want your company Website the top of the page on the first page of a Google Search.
There are many tools out there to help SEO specialists; here are a few of the good ones based off of a recent Crunchyblogger article.
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics gives you insight into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. It helps you track your sales and conversions, while helping to measure your site engagement. It can track email campaigns, banner ads and offline ads, as well as identify your best revenue source.
2. Google Website Optimizer
Google Website Optimizer helps you listen to your visitors by receiving direct feedback from them. It makes it easy to increase your site effectiveness and visitor satisfaction, which leads to higher conversion rates and a higher return on investment. You will also receive a clear report that helps eliminate guesswork, and will help you find out what leads to the most conversions.
MailChimp makes email newsletters easy. It can help you design e-newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate them with services you already use and track your results. Using Mailchimp through social sharing allows you to increase the impact of your message.
4. Google Webmaster
Google Webmaster helps to increase trafficking to your site. It allows you to find out how Google crawls, indexes and ranks your site. It can analyze your search data, showing how many people see your site compared with how many people click on it. Google Webmaster can also send you email alerts to tell you if your site has malware or generates errors.
Your company can use Mediafeedia for its facebook profile and pages. It allows users to manage multiple accounts at once, receive email notifications from users’ fan pages and allows easy reply through email, as well as the ability to schedule posts with pictures and links. Mediafeedia makes managing multiple facebook accounts easy.
Similar to Media Feedia, Cotweet helps you manage your twitter accounts. Although Cotweet can be used for both Facebook and Twitter, you’ll most likely have a different social media strategy for facebook than you will for twitter. Therefore, by using Cotweet for Twitter and Media Feedia for facebook, you are able to easily differentiate between these two platforms to make sure each are reaching your target audience effectively.
SEO Specialists don’t have easy jobs-they have to thoroughly understand search engines and how to get businesses on the first page of a Google Search while at the same time maintaining their ethics. However, with the help of these six tools their job can be just a little bit easier.
August 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
When you take a step back and look at the scope of the PR and Journalism professions, it becomes obvious that they’re in a far more symbiotic relationship than they realize. PRestige Agency offers some good reasons why:
The PR practitioner saves the journalist a chunk of time in the research process, often presenting ready-made stories on a platter. The journalist can’t take everything the PR rep says at face value, its always necessary to fact check. However, the time that the journalist has been saved is optimal to make the story perfect for any media channel.
On the flip side, the journalist helps PR publicize the message in the most helpful medium for coverage. Unfortunately, not everyone always wants to chat with a PR rep. A savvy journalist is a good friend to have in times like these.
Youtube recently showcased a funny portrayal of the media nemesis’s. Spoofed from the Mac/PC commercials, the practitioner and the journalist are coached by a counselor to mend a battered friendship. Even though the video pokes fun at both the PR and journalism professions, it also shows that both are necessary for the other to exist. Journalism- the ying. PR- the yang.
Communication is always key in any relationship. The practitioner needs to understand a journalist’s deadlines, contacting news sources well in advance and always with patience. A journalist needs to be open-minded, acknowledging that a good story can come from anywhere. In fact, the PR rep on the phone may be the ticket to the newest, hottest story out. Youtube was smart to showcase this issue with humor, an ingredient that’s lacking in today’s relationship recipe. It’s only with clear channels of communication and a few well-timed giggles, that the media world will continue on in harmony.
August 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
I recently came across a fun find, which opened my eyes to a market of possibility in the social media world– Mediafeedia. Two months ago, Mediafeedia opened a social media management platform for businessowners. Unlike some of the other social media managing dashboards like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, Mediafeedia focuses solely on Facebook, recognizing the negative repercussions of utilizing the same social media campaign across every networking platform. Because each social media platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, concentrating solely on Facebook allows Mediafeedia to accentuate its strengths and downplay its weaknesses.
At this stage in the networking world, businesses need to engage with their customers online, not just weekly or monthly, but every day. With more then 500 million users logging on daily, Facebook is the place to be for businesses to advertise and communicate with customers. Sometimes advertising your business on Facebook can be overwhelming, especially for those business owners who own multiple businesses, but Mediafeedia has provided a platform that makes it much easier to manage all of those accounts.
Not only can you manage multiple accounts, but you can also schedule status updates for those accounts with pictures and links, not just days or weeks, but years in advance. This avoids confusion between pages, and helps to ensure your posts are published in a timely manner.
At Abraham Harrison we know the importance of multi-tasking and praise the powers that be, to the tools that help us do so. It’s Websites and softwares like Mediafeedia’s that cut hours off monitoring. It’s evident every day how necessary engaging on social media sites is, and no one is a stranger to the power that Zuckerberg and his Facebook updates seem to have over us. Maybe that was Mediafeedia’s thought process; Spend more time on our Website, spend less time on Facebook.
June 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
Summary of the Campaign:
Skinnygirl Margarita uses both Facebook and Twitter to promote the cocktail. The Twitter page “@skinnygirlmarg” has nearly 20,000 followers; however, the Facebook page “Skinny Girl Margarita” has only a little more than 700 likes. Although the cocktail’s Facebook page does not have very many likes, Bethenny Frankel’s official page (the creator of the drink) has over 500,000 likes. She uses her official page to promote the drink as well as other products of hers and her television show. The Skinnygirl Margarita Twitter page is generally used to promote both bottle signings and other Skinnygirl events. Some tweets also show photos and other various information about Bethenny and her as a product. The Skinny Girl Margarita Facebook page appears to be recently created, possibly around the beginning of this May and the Twitter page looks like it was created mid April with the first tweet on April 12th of this year. The Facebook page is used as a platform for Skinnygirl fans to talk to the brand; the posts by Skinnygirl do not appear to have a specific focus except promotion.
What issues are at stake for Skinnygirl Margarita?
By creating a Facebook and Twitter page Bethenny’s fans expect her to engage in conversations with them. They ask for retweets and ask questions about the brand as well as where it can be found. If these questions are not answered then her fans may feel as if she does not care about them, which in the end could result in declining support. (Engage, Brian Solis) On the Facebook page, I can see many questions posted on the wall that were not answered. There is a small amount of engagement, some posts were commented on; however, about 80% of the posts have no comments and unanswered questions. The Twitter page seems to engage its audience more than the Facebook page by retweeting positive comments about the brand. Another issue at stake could be transparency. Neither the Twitter nor the Facebook page discloses who manages the page, which could be a problem. People could be assuming that Bethenny manages the pages because she is the creator and face of the product and this may not be the case. (Tactical Transparency, Shel Holtz)
Pros and Cons of Skinnygirl Margarita’s decision:
The use of Twitter and Facebook is actively raising awareness of the brand. Most of the comments and conversation about the brand is positive, which could help to increase sales because people tend to believe other people’s testimonials before believing the brand.
It appears that the Skinnygirl Margarita twitter page has a recent focus, to let its fans know where Bethenny is for bottle signings and other events. However, this was not the main focus when the page was first created. Various information about Skinnygirl, Bethenny and her show were being posted. One of the main trends is retweets of fans who promote the cocktail. One of the issues at stake for the twitter page is that fans may be overwhelmed with all the different information about Bethenny, her TV show and her various other products. This can blur the line for what the page is actually promoting. Although the main focus is, of course, the margarita, cross promotion is done on the page. However, anyone else following Bethenny’s or any of her other pages knows that she cross promote her products through all of them therefore her fans may be use to it.
On the Skinnygirl Margarita Facebook page they are only engaging some of their customers. By only responding to some people the people who are not responded to may feel left out, which could result in declining support for her product. The Skinnygirl Margarita Facebook and Twitter pages are not being transparent with who manages the pages. There is no disclosure saying who is representing the brand on that page.
My recommendations to continue the campaign is to engage with their audience more. When someone posts a question on their Facebook wall answer it and when someone says something good about the brand like it. They also should disclose who is managing the pages in the about me sections. That way they are being both transparent and engaging, which in the long run will help the brand gain even more support.