Flash Communications

Tales from a student-PR agency at Kent State University

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FlashCast: YouToo Social Media Conference

Many of our interns helped plan and attend this year’s YouToo Social Media Conference, which took place Friday, April 8, 2016.

Attendees this year heard from a variety of great speakers, including Kyle Michael Miller, lead social media producer for NBC’s TODAY and Scott Monty, CEO and founder of Scott Monty Strategies.

We recapped this year’s YouToo conference and discussed our favorite parts of the day in our latest episode of the FlashCast podcast. Check it out below!


What did you think about this year’s YouToo Social Media Conference? Let us know in the comments or by emailing us at flashcomm@kent.edu!

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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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8 Reasons to Listen to the FlashCast Podcast

ICYMI, the Flash Communications students have started a podcast to discuss the latest trends in public relations, social media and communication. In case you haven’t listened to the FlashCast Podcast, here are eight reasons you should check it out.


  1. Stay current with public relations news and trends. Keep up with the industry trends as we discuss what’s new in the world of public relations. Some of our past episodes have focused on topics, such as Super Bowl commercials, Kent State’s rebranding campaign and updates to social media.
  2. Zabrina. Zabrina provides much of the comedic relief of the show, giving memorable quotes, such as “My cousin thought Bateman was the name of my boyfriend because I talked about it so often.”
  3. Get advice from some of Kent State’s top public relations students. How do students balance their time while taking classes, working, being involved in extracurricular activities and maintaining a social life? How should you develop your personal brand? The Flash Communications students have answered these, and other questions in past FlashCast episodes.
  4. Through the power of technology, you will be able to hear Marcus Donaldson’s voice. And he has a lot of interesting information to share.
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Which Flash Communications Staff Member Are You?

The Flash Communications staff had some fun this week and decided to come up with their own Buzzfeed personality quiz. Check out the quiz by clicking on the picture below and comment with your results!

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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.


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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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.


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.


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.