Category Archives: Communications

Becoming a Social Brand

How do you get others talking about you online?

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Having a presence in social media is starting to become the standard for companies. Creating a Twitter account for your organization won’t get you the same bonus points it did just a year ago.

Now consumers are focused on the companies that not only are able to use the tools but also understand the power behind them. Being a social brand is not necessarily measured by your follower numbers. Social brands are driven by personality and connect with their networks on a more meaningful level.

When I think of social brands I think of brands you would not just recommend but actually go out of your way to endorse. I love recommending local restaurants that are active on social networks. They manage to stay at the top of my mind. I like talking about them because I know that someone who works there is reading what I’m saying and cares.

I’m betting a lot of my Columbus friends follow @jenisicecreams on Twitter – a great example of a social brand. They share pictures that others tweet of their ice cream, they respond when you both talk to them or about them. They have fun and sometimes randomly tweet “scoop scoop” just because they can. They not only engage but also have their own persona online.

I crave authenticity and originality from my brands and companies now. Running a contest where you have to retweet a message to win has been done many times. Brands that are thinking creatively stand out now. How can companies incorporate geolocation and mobile technology into a campaign?

My point is, just showing up isn’t enough anymore. What will you do to stand out?

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Filed under Communications, Technology

3 Ways I Check Engagement on Twitter

1. Who are you talking to?

When someone follows me I always go to their page, check if they have a bio and photo and then start to look through some of their recent tweets. I want to make sure they are someone who is interesting and add value, but sometimes even more important than that I want to know if they are conversationalists. Do they have any @ replies? Do they RT others? Are they just automatically feeding links from their Facebook or blog? I like to interact and follow real people.

2. Who is talking to them or about them?

The next step is getting on search.twitter.com and looking for @ replies to this person. Are people interested in what this person has to say? I want to know if people are answering or paying attention. A one sided conversation isn’t helpful to me (aka answering every question a celebrity asks). I don’t count @ replies but I definitely check out the stream and notice if you haven’t had a mention in two weeks.

3. What Twitter lists are you on?

I really like the Twitter list function, but maybe not for the same reasons as others. Often people view individual lists and compare the people who are listed together, or they expect people to follow lists they build as a recommended group to watch. Typically I’m more interested in visiting a page and looking at all the lists someone has been placed on. It helps create a profile of that user. It’s also helpful because it tells the story of outside perception versus self-perception that particular person might have. Their bio might tell you what they think they stand for but when you read through the 100+ lists they’ve been placed on you can start to see how others perceive them. Someone who is on lots of lists is usually someone who is engaged and values community.

How do you check engagement on Twitter? Is this important to you when building your network?

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It’s Happening: FutureMidwest

A couple weeks ago I attended FutureMidwest a “technology and knowledge” conference held in Royal Oak, Michigan. They did a fantastic job with programming and the event overall. There were some short key lessons I wanted to share that I took away from the speakers.

Online integration forces listening. Tim Schaden, CEO of Fluency Media gave a presentation on the importance of integration in improving your listening and overall communication. He encouraged all channels, services, agencies and internal teams to work together. This is something that I think is overlooked in many companies. Do you really need ten different Twitter accounts run by each department?

Blagica Bottigliero shared the importance of community building and also reminded me of the power in story telling. Her talk about the Gal’s Guide was filled with emotion and passion. She was able to share the story of the site by telling several shorter stories from her life and past experiences. I think that I need to start focus more on storytelling in my speeches.

Social media is forcing PR back to its roots. — Beth Harte of Serengeti Communications, gave a presentation focused on how to integrate “people relations” into online public relations, marketing communications and social media strategies. Beth encouraged PR pros to know ROI because this not just a practice for marketers. Also, ask yourself the question – how do these tactics help my strategies. If you can can’t answer that your campaign is a waste of time and money.

Ken Burbary who is the Head of the Digital Strategy and Social Media practice at Ernst & Young gave a killer presentation on monitoring online analytics. I really couldn’t even begin to do his preso justice in such a short recap so instead it out on slideshare.

A large part of this conference was also focused on the revitalization of the Detroit community through not only technology but a united community. The messages of bringing Detroit back to a level of respect that it deserves reminded me a lot of my hometown, the lovely Cleveland. I’m not trying to say the cities are in the same situation, but I still related to what these leaders were trying to accomplish for the Detroit neighborhood.

This video will give you a better idea of what I’m trying to convey. They played it before the Friday night keynote speaker. I got chills and again, I’m not even from Detroit. Again, totally awesome conference – hope next year it can expand to truly encompass more of the Midwest scene. This conference could turn into something even bigger than originally imagined.

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My Favorite Picks of the Week

Tomorrow is Central Ohio PaRtners Conference. I’ve been part of a team working over the last several months to make this student conference come alive. If you are a PR, communication or business student in the sate of Ohio (especially Columbus) you should be at this event. There will be about 40 professionals in attendance from a variety of industries and backgrounds. We have 12 sessions you can choose from throughout the day. Check out the lineup here and be sure to follow the conversation on Twitter: #ocpartners

This is is simple (and awesome). Follow @ListWatcher on Twitter and receive a DM when you are added to a new list or taken off one. I’m obsessed. Sometimes there is a slight delay but I think it’s been catching all updates and changes so far. Thanks @SeanMalarkey for sharing this tip.

I learned about a new site called Gal’s Guide after hearing its creator Blagica Bottigliero speak at FutureMidwest last weekend. It is designed to help young women who are relocating or moving to a new city after graduation. Although Blagica writes from her Chicago experiences the blog has now grown to includes guides to several cities. Love the community building and the mission.

What are you favorite picks of the week?

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My Favorite Picks of the Week

Things I’m digging this week both online and just in general…

20 Something Bloggers — heard some buzz about this community through friends on Twitter. I’ve only started learning about the group but I’ve already been impressed by how welcoming everyone is. I had a comment on my last blog post within the first 24 hours of registering. You do have to request to join, they require you are that you are 20 and actually have a blog. Worth checking out if you are indeed a 20 something blogger.

Raising Kids to Be Entrepreneurs — video from a talk given by Cameron Herold at TEDx Edmonton. I don’t know Cameron but I’m a fan of TED and really enjoyed his topic choice. It reminded me of my own Dad and the business lessons he taught (or always tried to teach) me growing up. Take a few minutes to watch the video start to end. I think it’s an important topic, I’m curious if others agree.

Da Levee — new Columbus restaurant delivering a taste of New Orleans to the Short North. I’ve only had the chance to visit one time for lunch so far but plan on returning again soon. Really delicious Cajun/Creole food. It’s the prefect amount of spice. The buttery garlic bread they served with my etouffee was also a memorable highlight. I’m getting hungry thinking about it now. Hit them up on Facebook for more info.

FutureMidwest — according to the site it’s the region’s largest two-day technology conference (April 16-17). I’m headed there this weekend to check it out and meet some cool peeps. Check out the list of speakers and let me know if you’re interested in making some last minute travel plans from Columbus. Anyone is more then welcome to come along. I like having a driving buddy. You can also check them out on Twitter @FutureMidwest

So tell me, what are you digging this week?

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My World Upside Down: SXSWi Recap

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I’ve been struggling on how to even begin describing my first SXSW interactive experience from this past week. It’s important for me to blog because I believe in the power of sharing good ideas and exchanging knowledge, so I’ll try my best.  I had an amazing time and it’s hard to fully convey the reasons I know this was an extremely valuable trip. It pieced together a lot of things for me and the timing (my senior year of college) couldn’t have been any better.

Despite knowing a handful of people going to Austin for SXSWi this was a trip I took alone. I made plans to stay with a friend of a friend who I had never met before and got permission from my professors to leave early before finals. This was my not only my first SXSWi but also my first visit to Austin. I had a vague idea of what to expect but overall decided to stick with a “go with the flow” attitude. I described my game plan to some friends as “organized chaos.”

I tried to do my homework before I went. I talked to people who had attended SXSW in previous years, emailed some online tweeps I wanted to meet, picked out the sessions that looked interesting and ordered my personal business cards. When the time came to leave I was still anxious but feeling more confident I knew what to do and could rock out SXSWi.

My first three days flew by. I seriously couldn’t even tell you what happened when, who I met what we did (no not because I was drinking too much). It was intense. Since I was traveling alone I was constantly being forced to meet new people. I loved it every moment of it. I bounced from group to group and made a ton of new friends. Also taking time to meet people I had only ever communicated with online.

hanging out w/ new friend @vero

Several people told me it’s the people you meet not the sessions or speakers that really make your time in Austin worthwhile. While I attended some great sessions, I would still have to agree. I’m walking away with the feeling that some of the people I met will become lifelong friends (thank goodness for social media keeping us connected). It sounds cliché but it’s true. I valued the feeling of being surrounded by people who want to go out and change the world. I think that was another key piece of this trip; the opportunity to meet a group of people who understood the importance of looking ahead the future.

I plan on blogging more of my thoughts from the trip soon. I did write up a post for The Next Great Generation called Embracing Your Gen Y Status: SXSWi Edition if you want to check that out. Visit here again soon for more updates.

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Filed under Communications, Networking

4 Quick Tips for a PR Undergrad

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Last week was our Otterbein Cardinal Career Luncheon. It’s a networking lunch that alumni relations and career services sponsor each year for junior and seniors. I had a chance to sit and talk with public relations and marketing pro Crystal Olig from Oxiem. She is an excellent role model and has some great insights on our generation.  I wanted to share some of the advice I gathered from our talk.

1. Try to be honest when you run into with someone. The nature of business is that you may have to see former clients, or perhaps a potential client that didn’t sign with your agency. Smile and be courteous, but also be honest. Don’t be silly and pretend you don’t remember them. Wish them the best of luck in their future business and remain genuine.

2. Ask for business card from everyone. This was Crystal’s advice especially for large networking events and conferences. Even if someone is about to turn their shoulder and exit the conversation, ask for that business card before they go. You will surprise people when you follow up later, because not everyone takes that extra step.

3. Never turn down an invitation to a networking event when you are new somewhere. Crystal relocated to Columbus earlier last year and worked to make connections and start meeting locals. Unless you are unavailable that night make an effort to take all invites to network and get out. She joked that you should take invites from boring people too because they might have really fun friends you can meet.

4. Find some newsletter publications that relate to your career field or goals. I subscribe to blogs and follow articles shared on by my network on Twitter, but I don’t currently subscribe to any newsletters. I thought this was a smart tip for students looking to learn and a good way to stay current on trends from a reliable source.

You can learn more about Crystal by following her on Twitter or check out her site whY genY.  This post is my version of a Gen Y thank you note to her.

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