Sunday, April 17, 2011

Oh Baby, Rebecca Black Just Surpassed Justin Bieber for Most Disliked Video!

Long post title? Maybe, but it seems a new piece of history has just been made.

Personally, I spend many hours a day searching for videos on YouTube. While I acknowledge that it probably is not the best way to spend my valuable time, I can at least say that I’m typically not actively engaged the whole time. I usually use music videos as background music while doing other work.

Now that we’ve gotten past explaining my bad YouTube habit, let me move on to something related, however much more interesting. I was, once again, reading my PR Daily News Feed, and a certain article stuck out to me: The 10 Most “Disliked” Videos on YouTube.


I must say, I usually go to YouTube to view videos I like, however I have many friends who go online to view “bad” videos, simply for a good laugh. By bad videos, I mean ones displaying funny failings of humanity (I hope that makes sense). I do have a personal YouTube account, and sometimes take the time to comment on videos I like, or “like” them, but usually, I just add them to my favorites, to watch again at a later time.

Anyway, moving on. I'm sure many have recently heard the buzz about Rebbecca Black’s new video for “Friday,” and I heard it got quite a bit of hate. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post stating that Justin Beiber's video for "Baby" topped the list for "Most Disliked Videos on Youtube." While this may have been true at the time, I have received some feedback claiming that it is in fact "Friday" that currently holds First Place. Don't believe me? Check this out.

Well folks, I hope you all still “like” my post, however I am now going to include the new most “disliked” video below. Enjoy (if you can).

Oh, and if you want, follow Rebecca Black on Twitter: Follow Rebecca Black

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Brian Solis Unveils the New Influencers

Hello once more!

Finishing up Brian Solis' book Engage, I have once again found some very interesting information to share. In chapters 19 through 23 of his book, Solis discusses who the "new influencers" of social media are and goes on to talk about Developing a Blueprint for New Marketing.

To begin chapter 19, Solis states that "we are media." He claims that, "we, the people, demanded personalization in engagement, improved services that put the customer back into the spotlight, and acknowledgment that our feedback would incite a more value-added circle of overall communications and product adaptation." A very good point. As one of "the people," I can certainly attest to this. Communicating with customers and valuing their opinion and feedback is crucial to developing products and services that they want. I like to know that a company cares about how I view their products.

Solis goes on to say that we must engage with purpose, and do so by shifting from monitoring to action. Later on,  he gives tips on "breathing life into the human network" by means of finding and utilizing influencers. This is the key to success. On his website, Solis writes urges his audiences to Please Repeat: Influence is Not Popularity. This is important to keep in mind. Before we delve in too deep, it is helpful to first Explore and Define Influence.

My opinion? I entirely agree. With such easy access to all kinds of social media nowadays, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. Being a PR student, I run several blogs, and I know firsthand how difficult it is to become influential. It takes time, dedication and patience. If someone becomes influential online, they can alter the opinions of so many people!


Solis Discusses Influence:

For J.Crew, Nail Painting Proves Controversial

This semester, I am taking an Honor's Class called Issues of Social Justice. Earlier this week, one of my peers shared an article she had come across that raised the issue of socialized gender roles in mass media. Then a few days later, the article was indeed in my PR Daily News Feed, so I thought I would blog about it this week.

The latest controversy seems to lie in a recent catalogue that showed its creative director, Jenna Lyons, painting her young son’s toenails pink. The caption read, "“Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.” This photo received a huge response, and many have criticized it for setting a bad example. Fox News claims that, “This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity—homogenizing males and females when the outcome of such ‘psychological sterilization’ [my word choice] is not known.”

Should this really be so controversial, though? Take a look at the article here. I decided to read some of the comments that others had posted, and it seemed that a majority of the commentators did not believe it was such a huge deal. Personally, I do not see this as an issue. I have many guy friends who had their toenails painted as a child, and it did not seem to effect their "manliness" or sexual orientation. I think many siblings and family members use such activities as bonding moments, and nothing negative is intended by it.

Why then did J.Crew respond with "no comment?" It seems to me that they are contributing to the drama. If there is nothing to hide or regret, then why create such a mystery? I'm going to continue to check J.Crew's Twitter for the latest.


Here is a photo of the controversial article:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Brian Solis' Social Media University 403: Branding

I'm back, folks!

Time to once again further delve into the very informative book Engage, by Brian Solis.
Today, I'll be picking out and discussing the most compelling sections of chapters 12 through 18.

In chapter 12 of Brian Solis' Engage, he discusses something very relevant to my own life: personal branding. In my Social Media for PR course, I am currently working on an assignment called my Personal Learning Network (PLN). I have chosen to focus my network on digital portfolios and personal branding. Since I am specializing in Public Relations and Advertising, and have taken classes in both of those areas, I have decided to create an online advertising and design portfolio. In order to chronicle the process of its creation, I have actually utilized blogging: here's my blog!

This is why I was particularly excited about some of the information Solis provides in this portion of the book. While most of his advice tends to deal more with company and brand management, I can still use some of these tips when approaching my project. Some personal points of interest that I found include:

-Establishing an Online Presence: Solis mentions that, "the challenge isn't necessarily how to convince management of the need to outwardly engage online. The real obstacle is defining and reinforcing the brand personality as it either existed prior to social media and/or how it should display and present to those across the social web" (128). Solis then provides the reader with some helpful questions to ask yourself when beginning an online presence.

-Multiple Personality Disorder: This section particularly struck me, because I've definitely experienced the things he mentions. There are so many ways to present yourself online, we must choose what "reflects our corporate soul and personality" as opposed to something fabricated and simply well-meaning.

-Multiple Personality Order: To create a good online presence and keep your profile in order, it's still important to remember that "While 'being human' is consistent throughout the cycle, you are indubitably a different person to different people in different circumstances" (131).

-Discovery and Actualization: In order to put what we know into practice, we must look toward the past, but also the present and future. We must attempt, without bias, to show our personal identity and character.

All of this information was very compelling to me, as I am working on personal branding. Another good source for personal branding (as opposed to corporate online presence) is Dan Schawbel's Personal Branding Blog.

All in all, the information here has many takeaways, hopefully for everyone!


-photo courtesy of Alan Gonzales

March's Top 10 Viral Videos!

March seems to be quite a month for viral videos. So many disasters, so little time! The subject of March viral videos is so popular, that even Ragan's PR Daily seems to have taken some time to list the top 10. Remember folks, I'm only discussing the month of March 2011. It may be April now, but some of these videos are still viral, or just gaining momentum (as in the case of Rebbecca Black)

Being a person who loves to spend time online-- particularly on YouTube watching videos-- I decided to check out the list. Going in, I was fairly sure I'd be seeing various "winning" Charlie Sheen videos, as well as Rebbecca Black's "Friday" video. I was right! Here's the full list of the top ten:

1. “Friday” by Rebecca Black (48.1 million)- seen it.

2. Video of tsunami waves reaching Sendai airport in Japan (18.3 million)

3. “Winning” – a song by Charlie Sheen (17.4 million) -seen it.

4. Aerial view of Japanese tsunami (14.3 million)

5. Scared baby (13.4 million)

6. Earthquake in Sendai (13.4 million)

7. ‘I just had sex’ (12.1 million)

8. Japanese dog refuses to leave injured friend (10.7 million)

9. Footage of 9/11 attacks from police helicopter (10.6 million)

10. Charlie Sheen says he’s “winning.” (9.6 million)- seen it.

Upon reviewing this list, I realized that I've only seen three of these. While I was aware of the terrible Earthquakes in Japan, I hadn't seen any of these videos, at least not online. I did see snippits on TV. It does make sense, though.

I have seen the Rebbecca Black video, but I had no idea just how many parodies are already going around! For a very comprehensive list, check out the article on Know Your Meme. Some of the parodies include a Conan O'Brien "Thursday" parody, a Deadmau5 remix for all you ravers, and the Chipmunk version (among many others).

Good times.


P.S. I -had- to include one of the funniest things ever: Introducing the: Rebecca Black - Friday (Ft. Charlie Sheen Dubstep Remix)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The New Media University, According to Brian Solis

Hello once more!

Today, I'm continuing my journey of reviewing Brian Solis' book Engage. This time, I will be discussing chapters 6 through 12--that's quite a chunk, but I'll do my best to do it justice.

This section continues "The New Media University" portion of the book. Here, Solis writes about Social Media. In chapter 6, he writes about the importance of images, forums/groups, URL shorteners, etc. In further chapters, Solis goes into detail about Facebook pages, groups, and other useful social media tools such as microblogs (including Twitter).

One part of the section that really stuck out to me were Solis' "Tips for Twitter and Social Media for Socially Savvy Business". Here are some of the tips:

-Special offers
-Word of Mouth Marketing
-Conversation Marketing
-Customer Service
-Focus Groups
-Direct Sales

He goes on to discuss even more wonderful tips, but for the sake of time, I'm only going to mention these.

A final point I would like to bring up in this week's post is Social Media Optimization. Google has some great info about that here. It sounds fancy, but basically accounts for how someone gets noticed on the web. This is quite relevant to my life, at this time, because I host two PR blogs, and have a Twitter account. The problem? Only 12 followers...
In order to get noticed, I learned that I need to "optimize" my blogs. There are many ways of doing this. Here are some that I learned:

1. Choice of accurate keywords.- Both in your titles, headlines, as well as TAGS.
2. Use outside applications/websites, and think of all possible keywords for your subject.
3. Be specific.- talking about everything will get you nowhere.
4. Use other social media to spread awareness.- tell people via Facebook and Twitter!

Overall, these chapters were very helpful to me, even now as a student. I will definitely have to work on optimizing my blogs, so others outside the class find my posts and comment on them! How about you?

If you want some helpful tips on SEO, check out this video:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Oh, Baby, Your Videos are the Most Disliked on YouTube!

I spend many hours a day on YouTube. While I acknowledge that it probably isn’t healthy, I’m typically not actively engaged the whole time–I may be listening to a song while I’m writing, for instance.

Now that we’ve gotten past my bad YouTube habit, let’s move on to something related, and more interesting. I was (once again) reading my PR Daily News Feed, and a certain article stuck out to me: The 10 Most “Disliked” Videos on YouTube.


I must say, I usually go to YouTube to view videos I -like-, but I have heard that many people go online to view “bad” videos. By bad, I mean ones displaying funny failings of humanity (<– I hope that makes sense). I do have a YouTube account, and sometimes take the time to comment on videos I like, or “like” them, but usually, I just add them to my favorites, to watch again, or be able to find later.

Anyway, on to the list. I did recently hear the buzz about Rebbecca Black’s new video for “Friday,” and I heard it got quite a bit of hate, so I was surprised it didn’t top the list. Who did?
Justin Bieber. Should have seen that coming. His video for “Baby” is the number one most “disliked” YouTube video. Sorry, Justin.

Well folks, I hope you all still “like” my post, however I am now going to include the most “disliked” video below. Enjoy (if you can).

Oh, and if you want, follow him on Twitter: Follow Justin!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Forever Students of New Media

Hello again, folks!

Today, I'll be delving further into Brian Solis' Engage, specifically chapters 3 through 6. These chapters explore Integrated marketing tools, blogging, crowd-sourced content communities, social bookmarking, livecasting, and much more.

As in my last post, there is once again a lot of really good information in these chapters, so I'll be doing my best to do it justice (if you haven't gotten the book yet, you should, though).

These chapters are in section II of the book, and belong to a chunk called The New Media University. Chapter 3 begins with Social Media 101, which Solis introduces with the thought that, "we are forever students of new media." He goes on to say that we learn it every day, through practice and reading, but states that social media is evolving so quickly that we "should never strive to master" it.

A key portion of the chapter explains the tools of integrative marketing:
-socialized networks
-audio livecasting
-social bookmarks

...and many, many more.

To begin, he defines social media as "a platform for the socialization of media." All of these tools he has listed (along with several examples of each) are very important in today's PR world. I use several of these, personally, including blogs (this one, as well as my Wordpress account), Wikis (for classes), and social bookmarks (Delicious + Diigo). I have found all of these to be beneficial both in and outside the classroom.

In the next two chapters, Solis takes an in-depth look at many of these social media tools. He states the importance of videos and images, as well as tips for using other sites (for instance, using URL shorteners on Twitter). I personally love It has helped me become successful at Tweeting links, without having the URL take up all of my characters.

I have only began to scratch the surface of all that was written, however I do feel that all of the tools described are important. Social Media Today has a great article talking about The 39 Social Media Tools to Use Every Day. How about you? Which tools do you use?


Here is something useful I found in explaining how social media works. Social Media in Plain English.:

Socializing On Mobile Phones

Let’s face the facts: social media has become very important in today’s world. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…so many sites, and only 24 hours in a day. Our generation spends a LOT of time socializing on the web these days.

Personally, I’m quite aware that I spend many hours a day on Facebook, for example. This is not continuous use, though. I have a Facebook tab open while doing homework, or artwork. But it’s always there. In the background, calling. I will take breaks in my homework quite frequently to just sneak a peek at any new status updates or event invitations. It’s undeniable–social media had infiltrated my life. I can access it nearly anywhere, at any time. I can use my MacBook, or even my iPod Touch at hotspots. I’m constanly ‘plugged in’ even without a smart phone.

But what about those among us who have access to social media on their phones? A recent article from Ragan’s PR Daily states that according to Inforgraphic, Americans Spend 2.7 Hours Daily Socializing on Mobile Phones.

I actually find that number kind of low, but I guess it does make sense; we’re not constantly staring at out Facebook pages. We only check them briefly from time to time. The article provided an amazing visual to help explain:  photo.

What do you think? Does this number seem high or low to you? Or just right?

I don't dig texting.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Brian Solis says "Engage!"

Hello all!

Today I'm leaving the Groundswell behind and embracing a new text! One of the most well-known social media gurus, Brian Solis gives great advice in his book "Engage!" You should check it out or buy it here: Buy Me! 

The first two chapters of the book describe what Solis calls the "Social Media Manifesto" and goes on to discuss his "Case for socializing media, by the numbers."

In the first chapter, Solis makes some great points (these are just a few of them):

-the socialization of media is years in the making
-the future of communications and service is already here
-conversations happen with or without you
-build a bridge between you and your customers

One that I'd like to run with is that conversations happen with or without you. I entirely agree. This is a point that really needs to be emphasized, because I think some people believe that if they don't blog, no one else will. That is a far cry from the truth. The world of social media is expanding, and no matter how much you try to "stay out of it," the truth is that people will still talk--you just won't know it. Taking classes in social media and PR has taught me this. Therefore, I choose to be informed, and participate fully in Twitter, Facebook, and social bookmarking.

In the Second chapter, Solis gives many statistics. I know numbers are dry, but I'll just choose a few I think are key. Of the 7 billion people on Earth, 1.6 billion are Internet users. This may seem low, but is actually quite a large number. One of Solis' main points, however is that 2/3 of global Internet users access social networking sites. That's his point--social media is HUGE. He talks about how everyone and everything is being redirected to social media these days, and how it's making the world a smaller place. I can relate. Of all the things I do online, about 90% involve social media. Here's just some of my main hangouts: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Diigo...and my e-mail. But that last one's just for school news, mainly. I literally hardly ever do anything else.

All in all, Brian Solis makes great points, applicable to our lives (mine, yours, etc). I love and embrace social media, do you?
P.S. Check out Brian Solis on Twitter: @briansolis


Unfollow Charlie Sheen on Twitter Day

Hello everyone! Glad to be back for some more PR blogging.

I'm fairly certain most of you have heard of the whole Charlie Sheen fiasco. If not, I will quickly fill you in. The actor Charlie Sheen (he's in Two and a Half Men, among other things) likes to hang out with porn stars while "banging seven gram rock," and apparently has "tiger blood" and claims "dying is for losers." In a recent interview, he made no excuses for his actions and when asked if he was proud of his actions claimed "what's not to love?" His publicist (who's reputation is probably eternally tarnished, by the way) quit, claiming he couldn't deal with Sheen (well...yeah). That sums it up.

This brings me to my next point. Charlie Sheen boasts about his wild popularity, pointing an imaginary finger (well, possibly literally, as well) to the massive amount of followers he's acquired on Twitter. Well, a recent article from the Village Voice brings to light a whole new way of ending this #winning, attention-drawing PR storm Sheen has created. The article claims there is to be an Unfollow Charlie Sheen on Twitter Day

Now that is truly winning, no hashtag required. The article goes on to say how everyone's had enough of the Sheen storm trending on Twitter, so on March 11th, everyone is supposed to go to Twitter and unfollow Charlie. Obviously March 11th has already passed, and looking at the numbers, he still has well over 2 million followers. So the event kind of failed a bit, but it was a valiant effort, in which ordinary people utilized social media, in my opinion.

Your thoughts?


and for laughs:

A "songified version." It's actually pretty catchy!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Energizing the Groundswell and Supporting It

This week in my Groundswell reading, I came across new, important information for any PR professional. The two chapters that I read this week were:

Chapter 7: Energizing the Groundswell

Chapter 8: Helping the Groundswell Support Itself

Before I get too far into my discussion, I want to define "Groundswell," in case there are some folks out there who aren't sure what that means (I know I used to be one of those folks, when I first ordered this book off Amazon). I think defines it well in saying that a groundswell is, "any surge of support, approval, or enthusiasm, especially among the general public." Therefore, I take the context of the book to be showing me how to tap into this "surge of approval" in my future career. 

Alright then, on to business. Both chapters were fairly lengthy and I don't want to test anyone's attention span, so I will try to summarize them efficiently, but feel free to read the book for yourself; it's quite a good read: Buy it on Amazon here!

Chapter 7 talks about ways of energizing the Groundswell. Some of the methods detailed include making sure to utilize word of mouth techniques; they are believable, self-reinforcing, and self-spreading. This is true. In one of my classes, I recently learned that word of mouth is still the most widely trusted source! The book's author makes a good point in saying, "Energizing the groundswell means tapping into the power of word of mouth by connecting with, and turning on, your most committed customers." --That beautifully summarizes the chapter. Specific methods? Ratings, reviews, and anything that involves the participation of your customers works well. The book cites EBags as an example.

Chapter 8 talks about helping the groundswell support itself. The author discusses traditional support vs. groundswell support, citing a Dell case study as an example. What are some great ways to find support? Forums. These include iRobot, Fair Isaac, and Linksys (What is Linksys?). We must remember that we live in a largely participatory culture infused with new media. The book suggests to build a community--this is critical. Reach out to active customers, and plan to drive traffic to your community. 

All of this information is compelling, because it can be applied to most modern jobs. I totally understand that technology and building an online community are crucial in today's world--I have so many accounts online to present myself in a way that will cause others to have a positive opinion of me. A similar principle applies in the PR business world. Building an online community will greatly help one (such as me, in the future) to be successful.

Well, that was a bit longer than I planned, but hopefully interesting!


People-Technology-Business Pictures, Images and Photos

70% of Local Business Owners Are Using Facebook!

A recent study by MerchantCircle shows that 70 percent of local business owners are on Facebook. I was reading my PR Daily news feed when I found this compelling article. I know that Facebook is really popular nowadays, so I expected the number to by high. I was a little sad to find that only about 40 percent use Twitter. I honestly expected that number to be a bit higher.

According to Merchant Circle, “Facebook has now surpassed Google (66 percent) as the most widely used marketing method among local merchants, and is almost tied with Google search (40 percent) as one of their top three most effective marketing methods, with 37 percent rating Facebook as one of their most effective tools.”

This truly shows just how much social media is being used in businesses today. With tools like Facebook Pages, which were actually recently updated to be even more user-friendly, both local business as well as large corporations can benefit from online exposure. This is useful information for everyone, even a PR student like me. In classes I am learning about how to utilize social media to benefit my future career. With this information, I will have a competitive edge. What many students do not realize is that older adults in the field are not nearly (if at all) knowledgeable in social media. Being aware of it, and how to use it will really benefit my generation of PR and business professionals.

Keep that in mind, folks!


Here is the chart created from the survey I mentioned:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tapping the Groundswell in PR

The reading this week focuses on three main topics:

Chapter 4: This chapter talks about strategies for tapping the groundswell.
Chapter 5: How should you use the groundswell for research purposes? Listen.
Chapter 6: This chapter shows how to use the groundswell for marketing and PR, in other words, it tells you how to "talk with the Groundswell."

In order to tap into the groundswell, the book details a simple four-step process, which can easily be remembered by the acronym POST. It stands for: People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology. It is important to know who your customers are and how they are likely to respond to your PR. Additionally, one must know their goals, how they plan on achieving, and how technology can be used to accomplish them.

Next, the reading discusses five objectives that companies can pursue in the groundswell, which include listening, talking, energizing, supporting, and embracing. The author mentions that "the clarity of your objectives will either make of break your strategy."

The next chapter discusses listening to the groundswell--another important skill for PR professionals. Overall, the message is: "your brand is what your customers say it is." No matter what you -plan- on accomplishing, and no matter how -you- envision your brand, it is ultimately the customers' perception that matters, so we must listen to them.

Finally, chapter 6 talks about how to talk to the groundswell. This can be accomplished through techniques such as user-generated video, blogs (such as mine!), and communities. An example of such a tool in action is Procter & Gamble's community for young girls:

All of this information is important to know, especially for students of PR, such as myself. I know that what the authors have said here is very true. You cannot hinge on your own perceptions, but listen to your customers. Having a goal is critical too, and means for achieving it. Your strategy can start with something simple, such as this blog I am writing, or a Twitter account, or Facebook page. I have all three, and feel that this can help me build a strong PR community. How about you? What do you think?


PR Measurement- Is My PR Effective?

When working in the PR industry, it is very important to meet your goals established at the beginning of each campaign. This is why it is crucial to understand PR measurement. Basically, measurement ‘evaluates the effectiveness of messaging and provides a way to show whether PR is reaching objectives.’ In fact, it is one of the most important parts of the PR plan. In general, there are three main parts concerning PR measurement:

-Assessment of the objectives

-Agreed PRIOR to campaign

-Adds to the bottom line

-Sets benchmarks

So, how then is PR measured? There are three levels: basic (measures production), intermediate (measures exposure), and advanced (measures attitudes/change). There are many ways in which one can measure PR effectiveness, namely press clippings, impressions, web hits, advertising equivalency (although this method is very unreliable, and seldom used), Information requests, attendance, etc.
Obviously, the first two levels of PR measurement are relatively easy to achieve, but attempting to get an accurate measurement of attitude and change is very difficult. How can we really know if someone’s attitudes have -actually- changed?

Thankfully, there are many online resources that I have found to help. For example, , a blog about PR measurement from the KD Paine PR firm. as well as the following YouTube video both clearly explain PR measurement:

All in all, measuring the effectiveness of your PR campaigns is a vital part of the process, and should not be taken for granted. But which ways do I think are effective? I think that none of the ways of measuring PR are foolproof. How can a person really know if someone who came across your website (website hits) really got something out of it. Just because someone attended your event does not mean their attitudes changed.

What are your opinions?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Are You Really LinkedIn?

I'm sure many of us have heard of LinkedIn. According to their website, "Over 90 million professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities." But what does that really mean? How many people are using this website effectively?

A recent article on Ragan Communications' PR Daily News feed suggests that Most LinkedIn Users Don't Use the Site. Why not, since it's such a great tool, I wonder? It was recently found that a substantial majority of our members do not visit our website on a monthly basis, and a substantial majority of our page views are generated by a minority of our members. So, do people not care, or are they just too busy to be bothered?

I was sitting in PR class last week, and the professor stated that it may be good for us to create our own LinkedIn presence, so I looked into it. The recent statistics do put me off a little. If no one's using it, what's the point? Can I really build relationships with people who don't check their profile? Reminds me a little of Myspace, and we all know how cool that is these days. Back in the day, everyone made a profile; now most people have abandoned it. You can leave a comment and never get a reply. If LinkedIn works similarly, I don't think I'm interested.

From what I understand, LinkedIn provides contact information and a short "resume-style" profile that helps people network in the professional world. It really seems like a good idea, but other articles agree that the site has seen better days. Hey LinkedIn, Where Did Those Profitable Years Go? is another example of an article talking about the downturn.

Honestly, after reading these articles, I am a little bit skeptical. I will probably still create a LinkedIn profile at some point, since it seems to be a nice networking tool, but I won't hold my breath. If it helps me, great; if not, I tried.

For more info on what LinkedIn does, here's a video "In Plain English":

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Become an Influencer Today!

In today’s day and age, it is important to put yourself “out there” in the digital world. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, LinkedIn and other social media tools can really help in the PR industry (but not only that—having an online presence can be helpful in many careers). It’s not enough to just create profiles on these sites and follow a few of your peers. The key to having a successful online presence has to do with influence. One must become an online influencer.  But what does that mean and how can you become one?

Influence can be defined as the ability to shape thoughts, perceptions, or behavior. So how do you know if you are an influencer? There are several clues to look for.
Several ways to spot an influencer include:

-Popularity: an obvious indicator
-Expertise: to be influential, one must be an expert in their subject
-Listening: a good listener is influential
-Quantity of followers
-The ratio between the number of a user’s followers and the number of other people that the user follows (his audience, or as we designate in this report, followees) -2nd article

Just think about how many times you’ve bought something and it’s been rubbish, so you go to Amazon and give it a bad review (or a good review, if you loved it). In this way, billions of consumers ‘work’ as “citizen marketers,” influencing how brands are perceived by other potential consumers. Brands themselves can do nothing, comment, or encourage such people, but they will still be an influence, no matter what. In a recent article [link], Brian Solis mentions, “Aside from the disciplines and behavior our profession dictates, we are far more than communicators, marketers, publishers or chroniclers of life events.  We are also knowledgeable people with ideas, opinions, observations, and experiences that cannot be discounted.  We bring opinions, experiences, rapture, and frustrations to each conversation as a consumer. But when its time to reach our peers and colleagues, we regress to broadcasters and purveyors of information and lose site of how what we represent truly impacts those we’re trying to reach.” Very true!

A 2009 post entitled Social Media Reading – Influencers mentions that “Under most conditions that we consider, we find that large cascades of influence are driven not by influentials but by a critical mass of easily influenced individuals.” A 2009 post entitled Social Media Reading – Influencers mentions that “Under most conditions that we consider, we find that large cascades of influence

While there may be many ways of measuring influence, there are several things a person ca do to get noticed:


-Listen with care: you are more likely to be influential if you listen.

-Read blogs: know what’s out there—be informed.

-Read comments: not only the blog posts are important. Comments let you know how others feel!

-Comment: create a two-way communication path

-Be authentic: people will be able to connect with you


Focusing my studies in the area of PR, I realize it is very important that I become influential through my online presence. What I say matters, and influences others. I do, however need to take into consideration that I am, at the present moment, not very influential, and should probably do my best to work on that. There may not be a foolproof way of going about that, but using the resources and knowledge I have gained in class this week, I will give it a shot.




Sunday, February 13, 2011

Social Media Leadership- Do You Have What it Takes?

I recently came across an interesting article on Ragan's PR Daily feed the other day, and thought it merited some attention. With the rise of social media technologies, it is easy to get lost or go unnoticed. In the past, if someone had a personal website, this set them apart, and they quickly became noticed by the professional or business world.

Now, many people have their own websites, blogs, and other online accounts. Many people have Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, personal blogs, and YouTube channels. It is a lot harder to show professionalism and stand out among so many people. Because of this, it is crucial to know just how to become a leader in the vast world of social media.

The video included on PR Daily gives wonderful suggestions on how to become a "next generation PR Pro." The CEO of Ragan Communications, Mark Ragan, sits down to present an important segment for the Social Media Leadership Series. Some of the suggestions he makes throughout the 8 minute video include:

-The skills needed today for social media are: PR is "no longer looking for people who can deliver the perfectly crafted message" but rather people who have come from online culture and understand what makes an online community tick. Who know the rules of engagement instinctively."

-The PR industry values people who spend hours on online sites like Digg and Reddit, immersed in weird internet culture.

-Blog content that "organically came to be" is most valued by the consumer than specifically branded information.

-Anyone wanting to succeed in social media needs to "play an amateur psychologist"--get into the minds of the consumer.

These are only some of the many useful tips they provide. I entirely agree. My generation is so involved in online social media culture, that we know how it works. Also, getting into the minds of consumers will help sell a brand or product. I believe that the information provided is good, and useful for someone hoping to go into PR and Advertising (as I am trying to do).

Great info!

Here is the full video for further information:

Dear Delicious, Please stay!

Remember the days when you came across a useful website, and you clicked "add bookmark?" Soon, you opened the bookmark dropdown menu and you could never find the site within the mess? Or maybe you wanted to access the site at school, but remembered that you had only bookmarked it on your home computer. Those were the old days. Or perhaps you still do this? If so, it is time to move on. Keeping your favorite sites bookmarked on your browser at home is just not the way to go anymore.

A [fairly] new system exists to bookmark your favorite sites. The other day in my PR class, I was introduced to an online service called Delicious. It is a type of social bookmarking site which lets a person bookmark sites at an online account, organize them, and share them with others (if you choose to do so). I love this idea! It makes life so much easier. I can now access my bookmarks from any computer with internet access, and others with similar interests can also benefit from my compilation.

Unfortunately, it seems that these might be the last days for Delicious. The site may be shut down soon, but no one is sure. An article on ReadWriteWeb mentions that after Yahoo! became in charge of Delicious, they stated that they might close it down. Yahoo! did not give provide more information, though. Later, they gave an update, stating that they plan on selling Delicious rather than closing it down.

Either way, no one is sure exactly what will happen or when, but many are disappointed. Delicious is very useful, and many people would hate to see it go. Luckily, there are other similar social bookmarking websites, such as Diigo, that serve a similar purpose. Diigo, in particular, may prove helpful if Delicious goes under. They provide an easy transfer tool which allows you to transfer all of your Delicious bookmarks to Diigo, or create simultaneous lists on both sites. Personally, I would be sad if Delicious got shut down. Just in case, I made a Diigo, and am compiling my bookmarks there. Hopefully, we don't have to see Delicious go, but thankfully we can still utilize the wonderful concept of social bookmarking to make our lives easier.


Christie Duffy of the Financial News Network explains how Yahoo! plans on cutting costs by closing Delicious:

ReadWriteWeb article: R.I.P Delicious, you were so beautiful to me

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Yammer: Get the Best of All Social Media Worlds

Most people have heard of Facebook or Twitter, but how many of you have heard of Yammer? I'm sure the number of people who are aware of Yammer are few and far between, but it seems this site may just be the next big thing in social media.

A recent Ragan Communications article discusses this new social media site, but also cautions potential users that there are unwritten rules about using it effectively. The article mentions How NOT to Use Yammer.

Since many may not know what Yammer IS, I will take some time to explain its purpose. In short, "think of Yammer as Facebook meets Instant Messaging meets Twitter meets LinkedIn for internal communications." It's basically a conglomerate of all other social networking sites all bundled into one. Overwhelming? Maybe initially, but it seems that getting used to it could pay off. Yammer's main use is for internal communication within companies and businesses. In order to use Yammer to a company's benefit, there are several things to keep in mind:

1. Make sure to set some ground rules- telling your employees how you plan to incorporate Yammer  can lead to success. Let them know it is to be used for business only.

2. Do not Accept any account- make sure employees have accurate information on their profiles and include a photo.

3. Keep Information Relevant-make sure all posts are related to your company. No random videos.

4. Utilize the "groups" feature- It can be helpful for networking to create "groups." Remember to use but not abuse.

These are only a summary of some of the helpful tips provided by the Ragan article. I think this tool can be really helpful in a business setting, but may take some time to catch on.

Yammer has Apps:
bb-Yammer Pictures, Images and Photos

Yammer explained:

Egypt: Internet Kill Switch Engaged

Just last week after an outburst of civilian protests against their President Mubarak, the Egyptian government enacted the Internet kill switch, shutting off all Internet access, and, therefore, all access to social networking sites. The supposed purpose of this action was to curb protests by cutting off simple lines of communication such as Twitter and Facebook to prevent Cyber warfare. Both of these sites provide easy channels for the general public to communicate and organize actions, such as protests and demonstrations. Additionally, the sites give the people a voice, so they are able to share their opinions on the matter (of the government) to audiences worldwide.

Twitter, for example, lets anyone create a free account and post short messages, called Tweets, about any subject at any point in time. While being a prime networking tool for businesses, Twitter is also used by many ordinary people to get their voice out to the world. It allows messages (news, personal opinion tweets, etc.) to be released quickly and efficiently.

Facebook, on the other hand, provides a great channel for organizing “events,” which could include anything from a small family gathering to a large protest in the streets. Anyone with an account can create pages, which again aid networking of like-minded individuals.

A recent article from The New Yorker  states that, The world, we are told, is in the midst of a revolution. The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism. With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coordinate, and give voice to their concerns.” –Malcolm Gladwell. This sums up what I’ve been trying to say very well. Gladwell offers more wisdom on the matter in his article entitled From Innovation to Revolution.

But what does this all mean for us in the U.S, for instance? China controls their communication already. Legislation has been considered to enact the ability for the government to enact the Internet Kill switch in the States, but there has been much opposition to it. It does seem to be in breech of amendment rights (freedom of speech). What if control got in the wrong hands? Could it ever be approved? Even now in Egypt, there are services that help Egyptians get around the lack of Internet access.

And we have to keep in mind, there are always hackers who have their own ways.

Here is a short clip considering the controversy of the kill switch:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Hello all!

Just wanted to welcome you to my new PR blog. Stay tuned for interesting PR and social media tidbits.