By: Chloe Tykal
As a future public relations professional, being a good writer is a large part of your job. Nobody can just jump on their computer and crank out an amazing press release in 10 minutes without practicing, either. Even the best PR execs in the industry had to start somewhere.
Luckily, we live in an age where anyone can write and publish their own material. There is no better way to hone your writing skills than to start a blog. It can be about anything, all that matters is that you are consistently practicing your writing and putting material out there.
To start, think of something that interests you (it doesn’t have to be PR related at all). If you love fashion, start a fashion blog. If you love cooking, share your recipes. Once you have a basic idea, get a little creative. Find the thing that’s going to set your blog apart from the others.
There are a ton of platforms for blogging that are easy to use and free. Check out sites like Weebly, Wordpress, or Tumblr and see which one fits your idea best. They also often have templates that make designing your page easy if that’s not your thing. Any blog can look well-polished and professional with zero web design skills needed.
Coming up with a name can be tricky, but try to make it reflect your theme. Also stay away from naming it something directly with your name (aka don’t name your food blog Carol’s Recipes). Since you most likely aren’t a celebrity, name recognition isn’t going to mean a lot and can often sound hokey.
Once you have have your site all planned out, it’s time to start creating content. Start out by challenging yourself to post once or twice a week. If you know that you’re busy, sit down when you have time and crank out a few posts at once, then save them and publish them slowly.
This is your time to really develop your voice and become comfortable with your writing. The more you write, the easier it gets and the more confident you will become in your abilities.
Writing and maintaining a blog not only gives you a lot of writing practice, it can give you a portfolio of your work that you can forward to future employers. Often, they will request a writing sample with your resume and your blog can act as an archive of your work.
Blogging can be a key tool for PR professionals. Learning the ins and outs of the industry early on can be a benefit just as important as improved writing skills.
By: Chloe Tykal
For years, your Twitter account has had the same funny, but slightly inappropriate handle. Your profile picture is you in a bikini. Or maybe you’re tagged in some photos after consuming a few too many beers (complete with red solo cup in hand).
As the finish line approaches and you realize you have to become a “real adult,” your social media image becomes more important than ever. Your new company isn’t going to care about your following/follower ratio, or how many times a week you post. Before you’re even hired, they’re going to have looked you up and at least done a quick scan of your accounts.
It’s time to accept reality and do some online spring cleaning.
The first thing to do is make sure that the “outside” of your profile looks good. Set your profile photo to one where you look like someone that people would like to hire. That doesn’t mean it has to be your LinkedIn headshot, just make it one where you look like the type of person it would be nice to work with.
Make sure your handle identifies you with your name. As boring as it sounds, it’s time to switch your handle to some combination of your first and last names. It looks professional and is easily identifiable.
Digging a little deeper, it’s now time to get to work cleaning up the content on your pages. Delete questionable posts, unlike all of those Facebook pages that you liked in middle school, and untag yourself from those terrible photos.
Try to keep your personality on your page. If you’re a comedian at heart, don’t delete all of your funny posts. If you love music, don’t take down the links to playlists and videos that you’ve shared.
Instead of making your online presence completely disappear, curate and grow it to something worth remembering.
Try to coordinate all branches of your social media. Have them all work together as a single unit. If you write a blog post for your Tumblr, share a related photo on your Instagram, Tweet the link to it, or even tell your Snapchat friends to check it out in your story.
Social media is one of the biggest tools PR professionals have. If you can’t manage your own, how can your boss expect you to manage a company’s?
By: Rosie Leuby
With many great triumphs in life, there will also be moments of failure. There are many different major public relations mistakes that have happened over the years that can teach future public relations practitioners what to be careful of. Here are just a few major mistakes found in public relations practices that one can learn from:
1. McDonald’s on TwitterAs a public relations move, McDonald’s promoted the use of a hashtag, #McDStories, on Twitter. Almost immediately after posting about their promotion, the hashtag was overwhelmed with negative comments about McDonald’s. They pulled the hashtag after only two hours and criticized Twitter users for their “snarky” comments. The lesson to learn here is that one cannot control the conversations on social media, and especially not act all that surprised when people say something that is not nice.
2. Coca-Cola‘s Carton Change
One of there products, Tropicana, was getting a new, cleaner-looking design on their cartons, instead of their signature orange with a straw image. It caused the customers to be upset and confused them when they were trying to purchase their favorite orange juice. The uproar caused Coca-Cola to quickly reverse their decision after the fan outcry. The lesson here is to stay true to the brand packaging.
3. Apple’s Steve Job’s Comment
When a post to the world, like a comment from Steve Jobs about the iPod being the “funnest” ever, has grammar issues, that message is no longer getting through to consumers as the word choice has distracted them. The lesson to learn here is how no one is immune to grammar mistakes and one should make sure that grammar rules are used correctly.
To learn more about public relations mistakes and lessons to learn from it, check out this link: http://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2012/05/05/11-major-public-relations-mistakes-and-how-to-learn-from-them/
By: Rosie Leuby
It is critical to have a strong knowledge of social media when attempting to land a PR job. You not only need to have a strong resume and crafty customized cover letter, but also a polished, established presence on social media sites. Here are just a few tips:
By: Hannah Saltzman
On Friday, Facebook for Ireland and Spain is releasing a trial run of a new emotions feature called "Reactions." Part of the “like” button will now include 6 emojis to represent different emotions. There will be a heart for love, a red angry face for mad, a teary face for sad, a laughing face for laughing out loud, a surprised face for “wow” and a closed-eye smiley face for “yay.” According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook constantly gets requests for a “dislike” button. However, Zuckerberg does not want to turn Facebook into a place where people up and down vote a post, so he and his team came up with the reactions feature. Zuckerberg said this new feature will allow people to be sympathetic on Facebook. For example, someone might not feel comfortable liking a sad post so instead you can use the sad reaction button to make your response more appropriate. While they are testing the six different reactions in Ireland and Spain, every user can look out for the “LOL” and “yay” reactions.
By: Erin Antonelli
On October 12, Facebook announced it would test out a new shopping feature on its site. The feature, called Canvas, will begin testing in select areas of the country.
The idea behind Canvas is to cut out the middleman between Facebook and retailers. When users click on in-feed ads they will no longer be directed to the company’s website, but instead be able to purchase directly through Facebook. It also allows for users to browse through other items that the company sells. Currently, there are a limited number of brands. It is mostly larger retailers such as Target and Niemen Marcus. If Canvas is successful, however, the number of retailers could expand.
Facebook developed the feature in response to the needs of the user. Many users no longer look at Facebook solely as a place to connect with family and friends. According to Facebook’s research, nearly half the people who visit their sites were actively seeking new products. This feature will meet their needs as well as drive sales for the businesses they are purchasing from.
Facebook is not the first social media site to join in the e-commerce game. Both Pinterest and Twitter have seen success with shopping features. Facebook is, however, the largest with around 1.23 billion users. Adding a shopping feature could entice even more users or convince current users to spend more time on the site.
By: Allison Haworth
Many Snapchat users have probably discovered that the well-known filters that appear when you swipe right on your picture, a recent upgrade to the application, have gotten snappers deforming their face through the use of selfie lenses.
In order to get to these new selfie lenses, it is necessary to have the most recent upgrade. To get to the lenses, the Snapchat user must tap and hold on the screen while on the selfie camera view. Eight new lenses will appear on the screen and are ready to be used.
This remarkable upgrade to the app has gotten so much attention that it has attracted many new users. Snapchat has been considered one of the top players for social media, and through the development of the new additions; it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
This buzz about the new selfie lenses has created a large progression of publicity. Through all these new filters, companies believe it is a good idea to sponsor themselves via Snapchat. Although this branding doesn’t come with a cheap price, Snapchat is charging millions for an ad on one of their filters during peak seasons. Many Snapchat users don’t mind the ads as long as it provides them with a fun new frame to take a selfie with.
So get out there, test out the new Snapchat lenses and get your selfie on!
By: Paige Roberts
I’m sure many of your may have noticed the recent update of having sponsored advertisements when scrolling through your Twitter feed. However, your Twitter profile may also be experiencing some major changes in the upcoming months. According to, recode.net, Twitter will soon be experimenting with including advertisements into users profiles. Some people are wondering how this will affect the future of Twitter. Will Twitter users continue the use of the app even when it’s turning into one big advertisement? Will this bring bad PR to the company? There are many factors to consider when making such a big change.
One hiccup that the newest feature of the app is facing is the use of advertisements on verified accounts. Most celebrities are verified on the Twitter app, meaning they are the real and official account of the person. Along with being a celebrity many are sponsored by major companies. Recode.net noted that Twitter is avoiding the use of advertisements on verified accounts to avoid the collision of competing sponsors being promoted on a celebrity’s account.
If Twitter did take the next step of using advertisements on verified accounts there would have to be extreme measures taken in order to avoid any mix ups of sponsors to certain Twitter users.
By: Ariel Wiley
Have you heard of Miami Television News on Miami University’s campus? If you have, that’s great! If not, you are not alone. As the Vice President and Business Manager for Miami Television News, I have witnessed many missed opportunities to promote our organization around campus to get both viewers and new members.
There are a many ways to improve your own organization on campus, but there are 3 big steps you can take upon yourself to get great PR for your club!
1. Social Media
2. Getting out of your Comfort Zone
3. Old Fashioned PR
These are just a few starter tips to gaining followers and members for your own organization. What other PR strategies have your favorite organizations taken to improve/gain members?
by Jack Bernard
Despite Instagram’s popularity around the world, many major businesses and brands are struggling to formulate a proper PR strategy on this social network. Luckily, a senior account executive from InkHouse Media and Marketing, Lee Glandorf, created a 5-step approach for businesses to increase their brand awareness on Instagram.
1. Update often.
Be sure to stay active and update your account. Nike, for instance, has 7.3 million followers and averages at least one post per day.
2. Be concise.
Attempt to stay at an average of 138 characters per post.
3. Tag others.
According to Simply Measured’s research, a post that tags another Instagram account increases engagement by 56 percent.
4. Hashtags are important, but don’t over use them.
91 percent of brands use seven or less hashtags per post. Be sure to not overwhelm your followers.
5. Tag your location.
Location tagged posts earn 79 percent more engagement versus those that do not.
Is your business taking full advantage of the PR benefits on Instagram?
by Paige Roberts
As hard as it may be, consider a world without social media. The early 2000s were the turning point for the widespread phenomena of social media. However, not only has social media changed the way we spend our time on the Internet, it also transformed the world of Public Relations.
Before social media, breaking news stories would already be a day old once published in the next day’s newspaper. With the help of Twitter, breaking news can be tweeted out to an account’s followers in a matter of seconds. With the help of Facebook, there is less of a need for focus groups. Companies can use their Facebook account to have two-way communication to gain feedback from their users.
Twitter and Facebook are only two of the popular social media sites that have been created. In a matter of 14 years, social media has managed to change the world of Public Relations from sending a “fax-blast” press release to sending a simple 140-character tweet. Having to collect a group of people for a lengthy focus group, to a Facebook chat with a consumer. What’s the next social media innovation coming our way? And what will happen to Public Relations when it comes?
by Rosie Leuby
Social Media can be hard for any business. That is why an entrepreneur named Jason Squires was nice enough to highlight 9 of the most common mistakes businesses will make in social media.
1. Focusing on Quantity of Followers, Not Quality
Having a ton of followers is good, but if they aren’t interested in your business they will not be sharing with their friends.
2. Not Posting Engaging Content Regularly
Status updates, tweets, etc. should be used to attract your audience and be something they can engage with. Around 176 million people buy products online.
3. Not Making Followers into Paid Customers
Having people share your posts are great for brand awareness, but your business will not benefit unless they make a purchase.
4. Focusing on Too Many Social Media Channels
Unless you have employed a specific person to work on online efforts, do not spread yourself too thin across too many websites.
5. Having No ‘Brand Personality’
Make your posts interesting with a personality, because if people think your posts are too generic and boring, they will not make a purchase.
Do not post too many ‘salesy’ updates, the audience will loose interest and stop viewing your page.
7. Doing Everything Manually
Manually takes time, there are a lot of programs and websites out there design to allow you to manage everything from one screen. Embrace them!
8. Broadcasting the Same Message Across All Channels
It is understandable to promote the same product across your social media accounts, but you need to mix it up a little. Change the design to appeal to the audiences that follow you across multiple sites.
9. Not Having a Strategy at All
Blindly trying to create a social media present is not a good idea. 90% of businesses currently using social media will have a planned strategy.
Just ask yourself: Are you using social media affectively?
Allen, K. 9 social media mistakes businesses make. Retrieved November 2, 2014, from http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/17551.aspx
by Tali Hunt
Today, Melissa Currence will be visiting Miami University. Currence is the Interactive Media Manager for the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. She has over three years of experience in many areas of public relations: email marketing, corporate writing, social media and crisis communication.
She graduated from Ohio State University with a Masters in Journalism and Communication in 2004. Currence is a member of the Public Relations Society of America. She serves as the Community Service Chair for the Cincinnati Chapter. Currence has gained experience in the field of PR through many past involvements, such as, being a press office intern for the US Senator George Voinovich, being a section editor and reporter for The Xavier Newswire and volunteering for nonprofit groups.
Currence specializes in writing, Adobe Creative Suite, web design, hypertext markup language (HTML), and photography. She has given her time to better non-profit organizations, like the League of Women Voters. Currence is the current Vice President of Development for the League of Women Voters. She will be sharing her knowledge about the development of public relation for non-profit organizations with any and all Miami students who wish to learn more.
by Paige Garty
You and your friends go on a hiking trip and to remember your good times you snap a ‘selfie.’ Later, you post that picture onto social media. Little do you know you and your social media followers are not the only ones who can see the picture from your hiking excursion. Ditto Labs in Massachusetts created new software that scans people’s photos from different social media sites for companies to track how their customers are responding to their product in everyday life.
1.8 billion photos are uploaded to social networking sites every day. This means 1.8 billion photos are being scanned every day from sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr. The software allows companies to track the logos and patterns on people’s clothing, the location of the picture, and even reads facial expressions to determine the satisfaction of the customer.
The new program is a dream come true for marketing firms. They can now carry out extensive research with little effort and can find out vast information about their products’ consumers. Based on the results form Dittos Labs’ program, Advertisers can find out exactly how they should target their customers.
You may be thinking that this is totally intrusive and simply cannot be legal, but the director of Big Brother Watch (a group that challenges policies which it believes threaten people’s privacy) says otherwise. Emma Carr told MailOnline, “Social media companies are well within their rights to scan photos for marketing purposes, which will certainly come as a surprise to many users.”
I guess it is true what they say: be careful what you post on the Internet!
by Rachael Booth
Social Media. It surrounds us everywhere. Social media websites are portrayed in the media as positive inventions that have benefited society. However, beneath all the excitement and advancements social media brings, what are the consequences? It has been said that Facebook can cause loneliness and depression. Studies have shown that the way users portray their lives and display photos, specifically photos of vacations, cause others to envy them. Taking a closer look, Facebook may not be the biggest criminal here. These four reasons explain why:
The question here is will social media sites continue to tell us that the best images are what give us our worth and will we continue to be influenced by the ideologies social media presents?
WINTER, J. (2013, July 23). Selfie Loathing Instagram is even more depressing than Facebook. Slate. Retrieved October 5, 2014 from http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/2013/07/instagram_and_self_esteem_why_the_photo_sharing_network_is_even_more_depressing.html
by Ariel Wiley
In the technology section of The New York Times this article on Facebook was highlighted and how they are “promising” a deeper review of user research but the way they are doing this is not specified. Facebook now is up to 1.3 billion users, this means news and media opinions are spread around very quickly. Facebook has taken advantage of their viewers in the past year with the advertisements used to get the viewer to click, which usually end up being spam. When Facebook came out with the messenger app, another article came out claiming that the app was able to take a lot more information of the user than the user was ever aware of (everything from their phone number, home address if posted on Facebook, and likes and dislikes, etc.).
Facebook is getting very aggressive with the way they take their users information before the users even get to benefit from the site. From this article, they hit a certain point that Facebook seems to be missing. This social media site is only functioning because people are using it, if Facebook pushes the people too far (which they almost did this time), they will not be needed in the near future. Consumers will find a more trusting social media site to be apart of. They need to work on better communicating with the public and giving users enough information to trust the site with personal information.
GOEL, V. (2014, October 2). Facebook Promises Deeper Review of User Research, but Is Short on the Particulars. The New York Times, p. 3. Retrieved October 3, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/technology/facebook-promises-a-deeper-review-of-its-user-research.html?ref=technology&_r=0
by Kaylie Kueppers
Who knew that Vine would become so popular? With the 403 percent growth within the app Vine, it is very obvious that this could be a good way for companies to advertise. Vine and many other apps are great ways for companies to catch the attention of the Y generation, those that have social media so easily accessible. The age that children get smartphones and are involved in social media is becoming younger and younger which could be very beneficial for companies.
Social Media plays a huge role in advertising and creating interest in products. It is extremely beneficial for companies. It also allows companies to catch the attention of many different age groups and audiences, allowing for higher product sales.
by Chris Foster
Social media is a growing tool that many businesses and companies are utilizing. Public relations is grasping onto the idea that social media provide brands a frontier of connecting with clients and customers. Many companies go head first when they are starting off in social media. There are some important tips that will help them tackle social media.
Many companies build rapport by tweeting, posting and mentioning different aspects they like about a situation or topic. This allows companies to change to the way views or followers want them to change. In sense it is kind of like a focus group online, allowing citizens to give feedback and evaluations on what companies are doing. Social media promotes growth and prosperity and should be utilized.
by Kaylie Kueppers
Have you ever wondered why you are pulled to things like Google, Disney, and Netflix?
A study conducted by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) says that this is due to emotional linking.
Public relations use this emotional linking to connect you to their product through marketing techniques and branding. They do this by finding ways for the consumer to see their brand as positive. Many of the decisions we make are greatly dependent on emotional factors.
With this information companies are informed of which marketing and public relations strategies work and which do not. They can use the branding to their advantage to avoid competition.
Next time you search with Google instead of Bing, ask yourself, why?