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Tales from a student-PR agency at Kent State University


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Three tips for managing your social media like a pro

Before I took on the position of social media director for Her Campus at Kent State, social media was just another way to entertain myself. I can’t say I never cared about putting effort into maintaining my platforms, but it took on a whole new meaning once I began to manage accounts for work. In the past year, I’ve come to realize a few things about cultivating a successful social media presence. Here are three things to keep in mind that apply to both professional and personal accounts.

  1. Stay true to your brand (yes, you have a brand)

The definition of what a “brand” is constantly changes, but Forbes reports that it is essentially “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.” You may think this definition only applies to those with a product to sell, but consider this: You are a product and you advertise who you are as a person when you use social media. The key point to remember about your brand on social media is consistency. That’s not to say you don’t have room to grow, but just like you wouldn’t expect ESPN to start tweeting about New York Fashion Week, you too should stay true to your identity.

Here’s an example with the main Huffington Post twitter account dipping their toes into the entertainment world and getting criticized in the replies.

  1. Multimedia elements are your friend

A quick scroll through my timeline shows very few plain text tweets and there’s a good reason for that. According to Twitter, “tweets with photos get 313% more engagement.” Everyone from The White House to “Common White Girl” knows the power of a good multimedia tweet. Just take these posts for example:

  1. Contribute to the Conversation

What are people talking about and how can you become a part of the conversation? Not every situation needs a response and there is something to be said for selective participation, but if it *makes sense for you to participate, then go for it.

Here’s a great example from Her Campus Kent State from our Women’s March coverage. I had one of my social team members live tweet while they marched and a fair number of people picked up this particular tweet.

*see tip #1

I’m sure you know how your social media presence comes off and you were probably already posting pictures and commenting on current events before I told you how important it is. My point is to do these things consciously so that next time you type out a tweet, you know that it’ll be a hit. Now go forth and conquer social media like it’s your job.


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YouToo Social Media Conference Recap

IMG_0947I can’t believe the ninth-annual YouToo Social Media Conference has already come and gone! A lot of preparation went into the day, and the day could not have turned out better.

Kyle Michael Miller

The morning began with a keynote from Kyle Michael Miller, lead social media producer for NBC’s TODAY show. Kyle spoke about everything from content to his working environment. He reminded us all to look for stories.

One thing he said that really stood out to me was, “People aren’t going to Facebook for the TODAY show. They’re going for their mom, friends and dog.” I thought about that quote a lot during the rest of the day, especially when I was in a later session and Alyssa Purvis from Key Bank said the same thing. Being in charge of a brand, you become enthralled with what the brand is doing, and it’s important to you. However, it may not be so important to others, and that is where creativity and research come in.

Kyle shared with us the story behind the post of Kathie Lee Gifford talking about her recently deceased husband and why it was so successful. “Authentic moments always win in the social space,” Kyle said. People can tell when you’re being unauthentic. People are responsive to raw emotions. As Kyle said, does anyone really pass up a video of a husband crying after seeing his wife’s new makeover?

Another huge theme of the day was social media analytics. Looking at the analytics of posts to see how they were received by your audiences is beyond important. Having the ability to judge the success of a post on more than just how many likes it received can help you craft future posts and learn more about what content is best received by your audiences. Kyle talked for a while on Facebook analytics and how he uses them daily to track the reception of posts. That information then carries over into future posts.

Two key takeaways from Kyle’s keynote:

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20 Times Parks and Recreation Described Being a Public Relations Major #PRProblems

When you attend your first networking event and try represent yourself as a professional.

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You’ve picked out the perfect blazer for the occasion and practiced your elevator pitch at least five times.


When someone asks if PR is like Samantha from Sex and the City or Olivia Pope from Scandal.

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No, public relations is not party planning, spin, or covering up murders.


When you stop at Starbucks every day before class.

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If I’m not supposed to go to Starbucks every day, then why is it located two minutes from Franklin Hall?


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Takeaways from YouToo Social Media Conference

Haley Keding shares her takeaways from the 2015 YouToo Social Media Conference

Haley Keding shares her takeaways from the 2015 YouToo Social Media Conference

A few weeks ago, I attended the eighth annual YouToo Social Media Conference where I learned about social media’s place in the professional world of PR. The conference was phenomenal, and I loved listening to keynote speakers Gini Dietrich, author of “Spin Sucks” and founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, and Mark W. Smith, mobile web editor at The Washington Post. Both professionals had great things to say at the conference so I wanted to share some of their tips on social content and ethics that stuck with me.

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Mark W. Smith opening the YouToo conference with “What IS Social?” Photo by @ebatyko

First off, it’s important to understand what makes social content good or bad. Smith said that when people scroll through their timelines and news feeds, they want short, quick information, so good social content is short, sweet and to the point. If readers choose to click on a link, he said they want to clearly understand what they will read and the experience they will have from that link. This is definitely a tip I want to use on my social media accounts- especially Facebook. Thankfully, Twitter has a 140 character limit, but on Facebook, it’s easy to write a paragraph or two- or five. When I post things in the future, I plan to treat it like a news lead; I’ll keep it to one or two sentences and get the main point of my post across clearly and quickly. I don’t want anyone to be bored with my posts or confused about what I’m telling them, so I plan to ditch the cutesy, fluffy intro for the sanity of my Facebook friends.

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Entertainment PR Tips from an Intern

PR Senior Amanda Knauer provides tips on getting ahead in event public relations

PR Senior Amanda Knauer provides tips on getting ahead in entertainment public relations

Since the day I heard about Allied Integrated Marketing when I was a sophomore, I knew I wanted to eventually intern there. Allied “builds impactful and results-driven campaigns for entertainment and lifestyle clients.”  The agency’s closest branch to me is in Cleveland, but there are offices all over the country (Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, San Diego, Boston, Washington D.C., and the list goes on). At the branch in Cleveland, the agency works basically with new movies coming out in theaters.

After applying and interviewing for the position this past December, I kept my fingers crossed as I waited for the phone call. You can imagine my excitement when the agency finally called and offered me an intern position. I saw it as a way to get my foot in the door. The entertainment sector is a tough one to get into when it comes to public relations.

So, although I have only been an intern at Allied for about a month now, I have learned and experienced many different things about the entertainment industry. Here are a few tips to being successful as an entertainment PR intern:

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The Power of Social Media in Action

Senior PR Major Katie Smith talks about the power of social media.

Senior PR Major Katie Smith talks about the power of social media.

Social media gives us access to our favorite celebrities and brands like never before. Twitter is probably the easiest medium for interaction, but these brands won’t seek you out. You have to be proactive and join in on conversations already happening with the celebrity or brand.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have some of my favorite Twitter accounts interact with me, and I think it’s made me even more loyal to them.

Because I’m interested in fashion public relations, @OscarPRGirl, aka Erika Bearman, has been my idol since I found her account in 2012. She’s in charge of communications for Oscar de la Renta. One day during my freshman year I tweeted to her – not expecting a reply – but I about lost it when I got one.

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I’ve interacted with her on other occasions via social media, and I’d call it a win.

The positive energy bangle company, Alex and Ani’s (@alexandani) social media team also does an excellent job of communicating with its fans. I recently tagged them in a post because I was working on a school project for the company. They not only tweeted me back wishing me luck, but also offered to help if I needed any additional information. Talk about service.

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My greatest social media achievement came from my all-time favorite Twitter account, the magazine Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan). After following the account earlier this year I realized how great of a social media presence the magazine has. I also realized how similar my sense of humor was to the magazine’s sense of humor. I think this is a really important aspect of branding for a company online. Cosmo has a human voice in its tweets. It’s not a stereotypical, robotic magazine account, and most importantly, it interacts with its followers.

One morning I decided to tweet what I had been thinking for months, “why do I get the feeling everyone who works at @Cosmopolitan is having way more fun than the rest of us?”

Cosmo TwitterCosmo favorited, retweeted and responded to the tweet. Then to my surprise, they followed me! I was so shocked and surprised. It just goes to show how impactful social media can be. Cosmo has 1.1 million followers, and it only follows 1,873 users.

One of Cosmo’s followers happens to be Harry Styles, and I fully plan on marrying him. I’d say I’m one step closer.


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Magazines succeed – and slip up – across social media platforms

Magazine Journalism Major Kelli Fitzpatrick evaluates the social media efforts of top magazines

Magazine Journalism Major Kelli Fitzpatrick evaluates the social media efforts of top magazines

As a magazine journalism major, I love the world of magazine media. Whether it’s in print, on an iPad or online, I consume magazine content every single day. The method I most frequently use to gobble up celebrity, fashion, food and culture news is social media. I follow many of my favorite publications on Twitter, where I watch tweets roll in by the minute. Today, most magazines have accounts on many platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. I’ve looked into my three favorite social media sites to uncover how magazines are using their accounts to promote their brands with style—or are struggling to do so.

Twitter

Doing it right: @slate, 780,000 followers. Slate, a daily online magazine, seems to have mastered tweeting new original content every few minutes with funny, catchy headlines. “Does Pope Francis support gay civil unions?” and “Reminder: 10 percent of people will believe anything” are just two gems to attract readers to slate.com to read more. @slate also retweets followers who share Slate stories, putting on display the articles that actual readers are enjoying.

Needs some work: @marieclaire, 1.45 million followers. Fashion mag Marie Claire regularly commits a Twitter crime: way too many repeat tweets. I understand tweets roll in so fast that a media account must repost links to keep its content near the top of followers’ feeds. But Marie Claire goes overboard in repeatedly pushing its content. Case in point: the early-morning celebrity news on March 6th was Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s setting a wedding date. @marieclaire posted a link to its news article six times, each with a different paparazzi shot of the notorious couple, between 6:24 and 7:06 a.m. Maybe I’m biased because I am anti-Kardashian, but this incessant coverage was nauseating.

Facebook

Doing it right: Entertainment Weekly, 1.7 million likes. Entertainment Weekly uses a combination of horizontal photos and links to content and to other Facebook pages to make its posts pop on the Facebook news feed. EW’s albums of “exclusive” photos and videos make visiting this page worth your time.  Regular posts tote exclusive content on EW.com, with heavy emphasis on daily TV and movie news.

Needs some work: Seventeen Magazine, 2.4 million likes. The fashion magazine of my youth struggles to stay relevant on the Facebook news feed, with its first offense being a boring profile picture. Instead of updating its photo to the month’s cover star—as most magazines do—Seventeen uses its plain pink logo, which gets fuzzy in thumbnail form. The page could also do more to liven up its posts. Seventeen doesn’t use nearly enough photos, leading to plain posts with simple callouts such as “How to shop smart online and avoid counterfeit sites.” I know the 17-year-old version of myself wouldn’t be persuaded to click that link, making the post a failure.

Pinterest

Doing it right: Vanity Fair, 50,000 followers. Vanity Fair creates an eclectic, enticing array of 43 boards. With a total of more than 1,300 pins, the magazine presents a smorgasbord of topics: The VF Oscar party, retro photos from the magazine’s 100 years of production and even a “Classy Cats” board of celebrities with their felines. The entertaining mix doesn’t stop there: “Style in the Streets” features street style on celebrities and normal folk alike; “Vanity Table” delivers food pics; and “Office Treats” shows off goodies enjoyed by the editors in their New York City office.

Needs some work: Reader’s Digest, 6,400 followers. With just 11 boards, Reader’s Digest has a good start but needs to step it up to make it in the world of Pinterest. The “Quotable Quotes” and “Fun Food” boards seem to be the most shareable. But outdated boards such as “Christmas Crafts” from 2012 drag down the account because it has so few other boards to explore.