May 8, 2013
Starting a new job can be both nerve-racking and exciting at the same time. Even more so, graduating from college and beginning full-time employment can prove to be a real challenge. Here are some valuable tips for new graduates entering the workforce:
- Give yourself a reality check – In college, if you make an error the worst that usually happens is your grade is knocked down. In the “real world” be mindful that you are working on projects that have very real dollar signs associated with them. Don’t let this paralyze you, but allow this to be your motivation and begin to develop a sense of pride in producing services and creating content that people will happily pay for.
- Be ready to continue learning – Don’t get me wrong, what you learned in the classroom can be very useful, but I personally have found on-the-job training to be so much more valuable. Once you enter your industry of choice, the real learning begins. Think about this: how many wildly successful authors have you witnessed catalog their classroom lessons? How many have written about their life and career experiences?
- Let go of college – Work life is not college life. You will miss the naps in the middle of the day and your close-knit community of friends. Just know that the workplace requires different skill sets, a new mindset and a new routine. Expect this and be ready to adapt.
- Develop a personal life – Although this tip may seem off topic, it is anything but. It was easy to make friends in college. You may start to realize you took the fact that so many of your best friends lived so close to you for granted. Instead of crying about this unfortunate change, do something about it. Make time to connect with your best friends from college and begin to entrench yourself in your local community to make new friends. Start attending classes at the gym, join a book club or find a recreational sports team in your area. It may take a while to develop deep relationships but it’s worth the time. If you feel more balanced in your personal life, it will make you that much more effective at work. I promise.
- Get plenty of sleep – Say goodbye to the all-nighters. Simply put, you will regret it. As I mentioned above, develop a personal life but don’t let it stop you from taking care of yourself. You now have more responsibility than you did in college and if you ensure that you have enough sleep, you will set yourself up for success in the office. You will be expected to be focused and sharp; taking care of your body will definitely help.
- Ask to participate – As the saying goes, closed mouths don’t get fed. There is something to be said for learning the basics at your company but if a project comes up that you are truly passionate about, speak up and ask to work on it! I am firm believer that everyone has something to contribute. Don’t look at your inexperience as a burden. Instead, realize that you are in a unique position to offer a fresh perspective and YOU have the potential to take the company to new heights.
What do you think? Share your thoughts and tips below. We are all different, so the more ideas, the better!
January 23, 2013
Retweets are key to building your following, yet how do you increase the number and in turn the reach of your content? Below are some key tips to consider:
- Share News and How To’s: Consider not just retweeting key events and news in your industry but instead putting your own perspective on it before just simply retweeting.
- Always include links in every post: You do not have to tell your audience all of the details in one tweet. Provide a link with a call to action.
- Avoid self-reference: Twitter followers will know the tweet is coming from you. You do not need to reference yourself in the tweet. Make your handle a resource for news and information without over promoting yourself, company or product.
- Tweet at right times : According to recent social media research tweets posted prior to 10 and after 2 are more widely read than those posted at other times. Be mindful of tweeting on the weekend too, when people have more time to read your tweets.
- Avoid Errors: Inaccuracies immediately diminishes your credibility. Who wants to retweet content that is not even grammatically correct? How can you ensure the quality of the content if a word is misspelled?
- Use headlines and adjectives: You have 140 characters; use it wisely with key words and a headline that explicitly tells the reader what you are talking about.
- Cultivate relationships and share their content: Simple enough – do unto others as you would like done onto you. Share relevant followers content whenever possible and include your own perspective.
- Punctuate: Make it easy for your followers to read your content. Since when is it wrong to include a comma or a period?
December 12, 2012
In order to become an effective networker and communicator in the public relations industry, leveraging the power of social media can be one of the most effective ways to generate and develop relationships with potential (and current) clients, reporters, editors and industry thought leaders. By being active on multiple social media channels, not only will you grow your own influence in the digital world, but you have the opportunity to align yourself with industry trends and impactful conversations online. Here are some thoughts I have about how to use social media as a business tool for PR.
- Find out which social media channels make the most sense for you. Make sure to participate in the social media channels that your target audiences and clients actively use. Not only will you be able to keep a pulse on certain industries and news developments, but you connect with people through a manner in which they are already accustomed.
- Develop skills and tactics on social media that helps you achieve the best results. Not everyone can be on Facebook or Twitter all the time, but if you find out which times of the day are best to interact, the top hashtags to use, the best photo opportunities to take advantage of, etc. you will be able to make the most out of your online social experience.
- Stick with it and adapt as needed. Being diligent about posting regularly and adapting to social media trends leads to many new opportunities and ventures. Trying new things in the social media realm may open many doors. Who knows, the newest social media platform or widget may be the thing that leads you to your new client or may lead to the conversation that generates a new relationship with an editor that you’ve been pitching recently.
September 24, 2012
Every once in a while you have an experience that changes you, causes you to think and realigns your priorities. For some, this may be an illness or losing someone close to them. For others, it may be simply experiencing something new and different which forces us to move beyond our comfort zone and consider an alternative way of thinking. This past Saturday I had the pleasure not only of attending but being involved as a volunteer at the TEDxBOULDER Event.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, TEDx events are independently organized and created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” The theme for TEDxBOULDER was “edges and experiences” and was co-hosted by Andrew Hyde @andrewhyde and George Morris @gmorris, two of Boulder’s most innovative and passionate community builders. Catapult contributed its expertise – both in the form of strategy and media relations. It was a true pleasure to work with George leading up to the event.
So how did the event change me?
- It made me consider why I get up every day and how I am changing the world
- It caused me to reflect in new ways – question “why”
- It made me realize there is deep value in SLOWING DOWN – not just taking a break, but really SLOWING DOWN
- It made me recognize there is value to every story
- And, of course, courtesy of Erika Napoletano it helped me understand that it is okay to be UNPOPULAR!
Overall, it was amazing to see 12 total talks from people from 12 completely different walks of life and see what speaker Shannon Paige called the “making a ripple.” “To make a ripple means to drop change, like a small stone into the center of something perceived as fixed. This pebble of transformation, this shift, created waves that reach to very distance shores, people and places. It is amazing even the smallest idea can encourage another, and another, and pretty soon there is a revolution, and a revelation previously seen as impossible,” Paige said.
It was a great reminder of how each day, regardless of what field we are in, job we have or dream we possess, we may be on a path to a revolution.
What is your organization doing today to create a revolution, tomorrow?
July 25, 2012
The nation is shocked and saddened by the recent events that unfolded nearby in Aurora, Colorado. As a society we seek out the latest news on the tragedy from various sources in an attempt to make sense of a senseless situation. With the shooting occurring less than an hour away, I too have been interested in the developments as they have transpired. While I initially found out about the shooting via a breaking news alert; in the days since, I have turned to television, newspapers, Twitter and various other platforms to stay updated and informed. This event has not only caused me to pause and reflect upon my own life, but brought to light just how important each of us can be as situations like these unfold. There is emerging a new form of journalism – citizen journalism – whereby we can instantly become on-the-scene reporters. Cell phones allow real-time updates and enable each of us to receive news and information in a matter of seconds rather than rely upon the delivery of a newspaper or the nightly news.
Three Primary News Sources Emerge
We live in a world where news and information is readily available in seconds – not hours or days. I propose that there are three primary forms of sources that people turn to and utilize.
- Traditional Media Outlets: These primarily encompass newspaper but can include radio and television. The advantages are their ability to have time to research and tell a more complete story. Disadvantages can include a delay in response, lack of instant updates and sense of “feeling as if you were there.” For PR professionals these are the outlets who tend to adhere to the Society of Professional Journalist standards and policies. As such, public relation professionals must know how and when to work with reporters and broadcasters.
- Interest-Based Outlets: Examples of these outlets vary in scope. For news it could be CNN or Fox. It also could include specific stations focused on particular topics like ESPN for sports fans or C-Span for government news. Interest-based outlets are the millions of niches that have emerged and described in Chris Anderson’s book, The Long Tail. The PR industry is not only leveraging these outlets to reach more targeted audiences, but in some instances creating their own interest-based sources to engage in more meaningful dialogue with key target audiences.
- Social Media: Facebook posts, tweets and check-ins at various locations provide deeper insight than any news story. Social media is personal, it allows for thoughts, feelings and opinions to be shared – unfiltered and immediately. As one recent AP story pointed out, “As Twitter and other social networks become real-time databases of human thought and interaction, the unfiltered conclusions of some human lifetimes are being cast into the public sphere for the entire world to see.” PR professionals must seek to monitor social media platforms for trending topics and immediate news impacting their community, clients and world. Great resources for monitoring social media can include: DataSift, NetVibes and Ubervu to name just a few.
Do you rely more one on of these sources than others? Can social media be entirely trusted in breaking news situations? Please share your thoughts. I would be interested in your experience.