Friday, September 27, 2013

Using Social Media to Land a Job in PR

College graduates have mastered the use of social media to chat with friends, engage in online tweet chats and keep up with current events. However, only a handful of them, including myself, know how to use social media to land the PR or communications job of our dreams. Be mindful that social media should NOT be the only means of finding a job but it can offer plenty of job leads and tips to brush up the resume and keep a positive digital profile. The following are some tips to land a job in PR.

Establish a digital profile.

Many employers are using LinkedIn to search for potential candidates so it would be best to create a profile here that best represents you. In addition, you should update it at least twice a week and make meaningful connections with those in your future career field that could take you to the next level. I would also create a Pressfolios account and direct people to it or create and maintain a blog.

Use Twitter to network.

Twitter has become an emerging method to network with people you have never met and thus is the case when looking for job leads. One way is to actively participate in tweet chats and also tweet content that will get people’s attention and bring you new contacts/followers of whom you would want to connect with outside of social media. Connect with executives of companies you want to work for and let your personality shine in 140 characters.

Use social media to build an active network.

Twitter and LinkedIn are gateways to building contacts and could lead you to an interview for a potential job. Connect with people on Twitter who you think could put in a good word for you on a job lead or could connect you with a higher-up at the desired place of employment. Having over 1,000 followers on Twitter is nice but what good is it if they can’t help you find a PR gig?

Friday, September 20, 2013

PR Strategies for SEO Success

                If you are looking for new ideas to improve search engine optimization then look no further than public relations professionals. They have used time-tested methods that have enhanced the branding of their various reputable clients. Companies usually have one authority figure who want to scream their accomplishments from the rooftops whether it be the CEO, CFO or COO. Here are some outlets to effectively leverage SEO.
                First, if you have great writers then arrange for your boss to guest write columns periodically for an online publication such as Salon or Forbes. Write about three articles and pitch to websites either directly or with the assistance of public relations firms. Use links sparingly to maintain the breadth of the content. Another strategy is to consider making donations a favorite charity of the company’s choice. Doing enough charitable deeds will garner enough of a human interest angle to get media attention. In addition, being creative in your efforts can help raise funds for the charity. SEO can make an impact on the organization than only changing rankings. An outreach campaign can promote the brand, create goodwill and boost sales. In short, looking at traditional PR agencies is a viable option when planning an outreach campaign.

Friday, September 13, 2013

9/11: Never Forget

Wednesday marked the 12th anniversary of the day the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked by terrorists on that infamous morning of September 11, 2001. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was a high school freshman and had just got to school and was making my way to my first class of the day when all of a sudden there was a big commotion in the school cafeteria. I went downstairs to look at one of the TVs there when I saw the unthinkable. A plane has crashed into both towers within a 10-minute span and then seeing them collapse like a condemned building at a demolition. I was at a loss for words. In my mind I was like, “WTF is going on?” “Is this really happening?” “How does one process this tragedy?”
I often wondered how the media would have covered the incident if Twitter and other social media platforms were available. I honestly believed that the magnitude of the attack would have broke Twitter within one hour of it happening. There would be so many pictures of the chaos on Instagram. PR agencies that were used by the City of New York would struggle with trying to put out information that is beneficial to the public but also doesn’t offend the families who lost loved ones. Twitter would have been one of the easiest ways people could have followed the news in real-time without having to look for a TV. Social media have changed the way the media community reports, deciphers and transmits news to millions of people but it should be heavily relied on as a credible source. The misreporting following the Boston Massacre is a prime example.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Art of Writing a Press Release

Many communications experts, journalism professionals and professors will tell aspiring journalists that in order to be successful in journalism you need to be able to write in different forms. The forms they speak of are news, broadcast (TV and radio), the online news and public relations. As I see myself as a strictly news writer who does everything according to the book of AP, I often wonder how does someone as a print person transition his writing style to public relations. defines it as the actions of a corporation, government, or individual promoting goodwill between itself and the public, customers, and community.
PR is needed to put the image of the company one represents in a positive light or to make amends when the company makes a mistake. I can only imagine what the aftermath of the 2010 BP oil spill could have been if they took the time to have great PR amid the tragedy but I digress. The primary method of communication in PR is a press release. I believe companies take them for granted because they don’t make it a priority to share quality content with their customers which could decide if they stay in business or not. According to Wordsmith Consulting, the best press releases allow journalists to find story leads about your company and covers the 5 W’s (who, what when, where, & why). For more information, click here. In addition, make sure that all facts and figures related to the company are correct. Double and triple check if possible.  Oh and one other thing. Use Spell Check!!! That’s what it’s made for but don’t rely too much on it. It doesn’t catch everything. Once you have these things down you can be well on your way to writing press releases with no major errors and become that sought after PR professional. Maybe not like Olivia Pope but close enough. Lol.