What I’ve learned… short form

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.


Why PR should own Social Media

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.

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6 tools for SEO Specialists

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.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) companies work to make this happen. According to webfroze they do so by understanding the significance of keyword research.

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.

3. MailChimp
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.

5. Mediafeedia
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.

6. Cotweet
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.

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Journalism and PR, It’s Time to Start Communicating

August 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

The relationship between the journalist and the Public Relations professional is rocky at best. Neither thinks the other is necessary, both are frequently butting heads.

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.

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Facebook: Taking Over Social Networking

August 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

We all remember Myspace.  It got big just as quickly as it faded away. If Myspace was just a fad, does that mean Facebook is too? I don’t think so. Facebook is here to stay, at least for a while.

Since its creation in February of 2004, Facebook has constantly expanded. Starting as a networking site for Harvard students, the site rapidly grew and is currently used by people all over the world. Now, marketers say, “it’s a Facebook world and other social networks just live in it.” Facebook is the most popular social networking site worldwide and continues to grow at a steady rate with more than 600 million active users as of January of 2011.

According to the world map of social media, Facebook has turned almost the entire world blue, with more people connecting everyday. Why is Facebook succeeding while so many other social networking sites have failed? Why MySpace’s Failure Solidifies Facebook’s Future tells us the five reasons why.

#1 Sharing – The point of Facebook is to share. The site provides its users a great platform to share everything from photos, to links and personal life updates.

#2 Simplicity – Facebook attracts users of all ages, using a platform that is easy to understand and navigate.

#3 Subtlety – Without users knowing it, facebook has become a leading site for advertisers. By using basic information like age, location and interests, facebook is able to target ads directly relatable to different audiences. Plus, the share button makes it easy for users to share their favorite ads with friends.

#4 Usefulness – Ever wonder what your old friends from high school or college are up to now? Facebook provides a great platform to find them and reconnect. You can even connect with family that lives across the world without the cost of international phone fees.

#5 Necessity – Facebook is doing everything it can to be the fad that won’t fade. With a recently introduced new email service, Facebook is constantly recreating itself to ensure that its users are getting a new experience all the time.

Despite the attempts of many Middle Eastern countries to ban the site, Facebook has prevailed as the social networking leader in 119 out of 134 countries. Although a drop in traffic has been reported in North America, most likely due to expanding popularity for Twitter and LinkedIn, the site is still growing rapidly all over the world.

What does it mean for one social networking site to rule the world? Does Facebook have too much power? Or does the convenience of one social networking site outweigh the competitive benefits of a more diverse internet? Think about it; never before have we been able to have such instant communication. With Facebook, we’re one click away from interacting with almost anyone in the world.

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MediaFeedia – Potential Facebook Manager

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.

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