PR Executive, one of the most stressful jobs

January 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Career Cast has come out with “The most stressful jobs of 2012” and to my surprise, Public Relations Executive followed not far behind Police Officer.

At #7 on the list, PR Executives even come before the Corporate Executive on the stress test. This doesn’t mean that every Public Relations Executive is going to have an extremely stressful job; it just means the majority of them do. Just the same, the police officer who sits behind a desk for eight hours a day isn’t going to be as stressed out as the one who patrols the streets.

Why is the Public Relations Executive so high on the list? PR Executives are in charge of maintaining the positive image of the corporation, company, person or government entity they represent. Sometimes this is a difficult task, especially when the client is involved in any type of scandal or controversy. Being the intermediate of communication, the PR Executive often acts as the voice of the client while interacting with the media and the public. In a very competitive field, meeting deadlines and making speeches is a large part of the job.

Ironically, the Event Planner comes in at #6 on the list, which is often categorized as a type of Public Relations.  Moral of the story… If you’re looking for a place to relax, the Public Relations industry is probably not for you. But if you’re looking for a career that is going to keep you on your toes and give your something different to do everyday, then you’re on the right track.

This post can also be read on Marketing Conversations and Business 2 Community.

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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.

Your small business and social media

September 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Starting up a small business is no easy task, but with the help of social media, you’re able to get your name and message out into the public’s eye easier than in the past. If you’re just now entering your business into social media, there are definitely a few things you should know first. Here are some tips on how to help start an online conversation about your company, with a little help from Whirlocal.

Your company site should link to a company blog. And yes, you do have to maintain both of them! While your company website will help to promote your business, what you do, and how to contact you; your blog will help with the personal stuff. Your customers want to hear from real people, and blogging is just the way to do that. I use WordPress for my personal blog, and would suggest it to anyone starting their own. Blogging can increase your SEO and Google rankings, and getting to the top of that Google search page is very important.

Realize now that customer reviews count. A business with poor online reviews is probably losing a ton of potential new customers. You want to encourage customer reviews, especially from the customers that rave about your business; you can do this by simply asking the customer to write a review or by creating links to review your business on your company site. You want to get on sites like Google, Yelp, Yahoo and Bing; these sites get the most traffic when it comes to reviews. I would suggest emphasizing Google and Yelp. It also helps to respond to reviews, especially the ones that don’t show your company in the best light. If someone writes a bad review, responding with a solution to the problem can make that bad review not look so bad anymore. This will show potential customers that you can own up to your mistakes and are willing to listen and fix them.

Social Media is a must. Get on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and do everything you can to get your name out there- just don’t do it aimlessly. Have a social media strategy and focus on what each social media platform can do for your business, because each one is different.  This may be time consuming, but if you do it right, in the end it will be well worth it.

If you want people to contact you, you have to make it easy. Make your contact information easily accessible on your website, blog and all of your social media channels. Put it where they’d have to be blind not to see it! However, being accessible isn’t all you need to do. You need to respond to people in a timely manner. Don’t let emails sit for longer then 16 hours, that’s almost too long; by then your potential customer may have already moved on. Instantaneous responses show that you care about their business and that you’re available to them whenever they need you.

These are just a few tips; building an online presence for your business won’t happen overnight. Engage with your customers in a way that makes them want to come back, and want to tell their friends and family about your services. Make what you do online interesting, be patient and most of all, be persistent.

This post can also be read on Marketing Conversations and Business 2 Community.

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.

Read this post on Marketing Conversations and Business 2 Community too!

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.

Read this post on Marketing Conversations and Business 2 Community too!

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.

Read this on Marketing Conversations and Business 2 Community too!

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