By Holly Bartlow
1) Skepticism of paid media content
With fake news still a hot topic, there is a lack of trust with earned media. Instagram influencers are being paid to produce content that push certain brands. Before there was a law requiring that the material must be titled “sponsored”, many people saw these images as a person like themselves.
Still, even with social media advertising on the rise, according to 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, 75 percent of consumer trust relies on friends and family recommendations.
2) Influencer marketing
Influencers will become the driving force through 2019 to engage audiences and drive a response. This doesn’t mean someone with a 1.1 million following though. The following needs to hit a target audience, and the influencer needs to be credible in order for this marketing strategy seen as useful.
According to eMarketer, 70 percent of US agency and brand marketers strongly agree that influencer marketing budgets will increase in 2018.
3) Getting noticed in growing media
With a growing number of niche organizations competing for business and consumers, it will be getting harder for organizations to stand apart from the rest and receive media attention.
4) Video content will boom
It has been proven that people gravitate toward imagery. In today’s world, it takes more than an enticing headline for people to read a story. Videos will be used more and more to help deliver a message in a more effective way to the consumer.
5) Growing reliance on PR firms
For many organizations with a small in-house PR team, it’s hard to juggle the many components of PR. Therefore, many companies are branching out to firms for reasons such as a launch of a product or bigger PR projects.
By Raven Jade Emmert
Many believe that social media gained its momentum within recent years, but this is actually not the case. The beginning of social media can be dated to nearly 20 years ago with the launch of the networking platform, “Six Degrees”, which allowed users to create a profile and “connect” with other users; this supported the basis of many social media outlets we see today. Seen as ahead of its time, it allowed users to create a profile and “connect” with other users. This supported the basis of many social media outlets we see today. The role of social media within public relations has introduced a new realm of “influencer” marketing, ultimately ending the era of one-way messaging and providing an interactive appeal and stronger customer engagement for many companies. Here are 3 ways you can modernize and build your business by implementing these social media tactics:
So often in life we are told that in order to succeed, we must be our true, authentic selves. This rule of thumb also applies to social media. When analyzing what practices successful business social media profiles are following, one of the most widely recognized traits is the charisma of the business. For example, Wendy’s is widely known for their quirky, fun personality showcased throughout all of their social media platforms. Immediately upon viewing their Twitter profile, their bio states: “We like our tweets the same way we like to make hamburgers: better than anyone expects from a fast food joint.” With nearly 3 million followers on Twitter alone, Wendy’s has surpassed KFC, Taco Bell, Burger King and Subway in follower engagement. While Wendy’s is not the first and only brand to reference pop culture in their content, their ability to remain relevant despite having opened their doors nearly 50 years ago.
Throughout classic public relations, consumers have found themselves not necessarily engaging with the company, but more so having campaigns and media storytelling simply spoken at them. With the introduction of social media, companies were able to not only engage with their audiences in a more intimate way, but increase the amount of feedback presented by their followers. As the basis of social media is to further connect and “network” with one another, it thrives off of conversation. In February of 2014, Caribou Coffee pulled off a PR stunt so elaborate, it nearly shut down the Mall of America. With the help from brand agency Colle+McVoy, on the ground floor of the largest mall in the country stood a 5-story interactive Pinterest board which represented different inspirations for their newest coffee blend. “Inspiration” being the key word, as their momentum for this project was to capture the essence of their fans through what influences them the most. They began by filling their corporate Pinterest profile with motivational photos for their followers, such as quotes, unique photos, and potential ingredients for their future coffee. They also began a campaign to become more inspired by their audience, which entailed the hashtag #InspireCaribou. This hashtag allowed fans and followers to share their own inspiring photographs for Caribou to view and take note of. Some of these included a tropical rainforest, a group of friends surrounding a smoky bonfire, or a continuous silky waterfall. All of these photos represented not only the followers, but also notes of how their future coffee should taste. This genius campaign not only intrigued Caribou’s fans, but also allowed them to feel empowered and as if their personal inspirations meant a tremendous amount to the company.
With so much traffic accumulated by “influencers” of their respected fields, public relations professionals have taken note of just how critical these marketing tactics have become in terms of product promotion, campaign momentum and overall public persona. One of the many reasons for this being the consumers ability to relate to fellow bloggers and influencers, as they are not seen as mega corporations, but rather just an honest opinion. For bloggers and influencers, their ability to connect with an audience based on factuality and trustworthy opinions is what drives their success. The opinions and product knowledge according to people’s favorite bloggers is an important component and on a much more relatable scale than a traditional celebrity endorsement. A great example of this is Katy Bellotte of thekatyproject.com. She is a YouTuber turned blogger that thrives off of the feedback from her fans. She posts honest, heartfelt and factual content pertaining to body image, being a millennial in the workforce and just life in general.
Social media has tremendously impacted modern public relations as it has undoubtably altered all traditional forms of public engagement. As our consumer climate changes, businesses must accommodate with it. Social media is one of the largest tools of consumer outreach accessible today, neglecting to increase public awareness through these channels is a neglect to proper business building.
By Tianna Lashay Hampton
Podcasts are changing the game and starting to become all the craze! Weekly podcast listeners averaged seven podcasts a week this year, compared to five in 2017. They’re perfect for us students with super crazy schedules who want to learn on the go. Whether you’re looking for something on education, technology, politics or entertainment, you’ll be sure to find a podcast on just about anything.
Many of us college students grew up using social media, we’ve seen it grow from something fun and social to a powerful business tool. No one knows social media better than college students, besides the pro’s of course! That being said, I tuned in to some social media marketing podcasts to get all the tea, and here are my top contenders:
1) Social Media Marketing Podcast with Michael Stelzner
Michael Stelzner does a great job at making such an information packed podcast feel light and conversational. While his episodes are typically 40-50 minutes long, they are filled with weekly survival tips on algorithm, personal branding, engagement and analytics across all social sites. He also makes sure to include expert interviews and success stories from a variety of social media marketing pro’s. If you’re someone who likes consistency, Stelzner’s podcast would be a great choice because he posts episodes every week!
2.) Social Media Social Hour with Tyler Anderson
Tyler Anderson is the founder of both Casual Fridays and Scoreboard Social and is an expert in content marketing. Throughout the podcast he interviews brands and influencers on the importance of content marketing tactics and how to utilize them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, Periscope, Pinterest and even Google+. Social Media Social Hour is a good choice for listeners who prefer shorter episodes. With some being as short as 24 minutes, you can speed through a few episodes within an hour.
3.) Perpetual Traffic By DigitalMarketer
Hosted by Ralph Burns from Tier 11 and Molly Pittman from Digital Strategy BootCamps, Perpetual Traffic is another weekly podcast that explores advertising and marketing but the star of the show is the idea of paid traffic. According to both Ralph and Molly, paid traffic is putting a product, service or message in front of a target audience with the hopes of acquiring customers online & building goodwill. With over 160 episodes and a five star rating, this mashup of paid traffic strategies with real agency experience makes the perfect podcast.
There are so many podcast out there for public relations students. Whether it’s social media marketing, digital marketing, advertising, or SEO, there's a podcast waiting for you to tune in to it. What are some podcasts you recommend for students?
The easiest ways to optimize your search
by Genesis Rodriguez
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an efficient way to increase traffic to your website. As a public relations professional you don’t want to neglect your owned media, so understanding standard SEO practices can go a long way. Move toward improving your website by following these quick steps!
Step 1: Meta Tag Optimization
Maximize the impact your site has on Google by changing the title tag to help improve your search results. Make sure you provide descriptive tags to encourage more visitors to click through to your site. Content meta tags are a good way to gather information on what parts of your site get the most activity, therefore allowing you to strategically add more information for even better results.
Step 2: Content Optimization
Integrate content specific to target search phrases that will provide viewers with the greatest impact in a tactful manner. This is a good method to offer results that provide valid information while also improving your SEO.
Step 3: Inbound Link Building
Backlinks are a huge factor in your SEO ranking. Your website will rise in search results if users are consistently directed to it. Try to earn referrals from platforms such as partner pages, articles and white papers.
Step 4: Keyword Search
Identify the most popular search terms for your type of product or service and then integrate them into your content to generate leads. You can actually buy search words that can help increase traffic. Also remember to research which organic searches people are putting into Google, then match them to your site so that it increases traffic.
Step 5: Business Directory Submissions
Try to add your information and links to online Yellow Pages, niche websites, GPS and other business directories. Some platforms require you to pay to be on their site or while others allow you to create your account and host your contact information on their site for free.
Now you know the basics of how to improve your SEO, which will increase the visibility of your website or web page in search engine results. Take these fundamentals and let your brand enjoy the benefits!
What ASI did right, and what they could have done better
by Michelle Matos
I’m sure ASI was fully aware that chaos was bound to happen from offering $10 Disneyland tickets to a group of 37,500 students, and limiting it to the first 1,000 buyers.
If you were one of the hundreds of students waiting in the line - which extended from the USU all the
way to the CSULB library - to buy tickets to Long Beach State ASI Day at Disney, you probably witnessed the commotion, frustration, and outrage that unfolded among the crowds. Here is what ASI did well, and what they could have done better in terms of public relations and crisis prevention.
ASI announced this year’s ASI Big Event on Facebook at about 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 5. Although it was short notice, ASI did well at promoting the event over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and on the ASI website. It seems nearly every student was aware of the tickets: For just $10, CSULB students get all-day access to Disneyland on Friday, May 11, and access to an exclusive hospitality area with food and LB swag from 2 to 6 p.m.
What wasn’t so delightful, for both students and the ASI team, was the process of ticket sales. Many
students missed class, skipped lunch, lost study time, held their need for a bathroom for over two hours, and threw off their day for the chance to buy a ticket to the first-ever ASI Day at Disney. If ASI had a more organized system in place for ticket sales, and better on site communication, they could’ve avoided these problems for over 1,000 students.
I arrived just before 1 p.m. and ended up in the middle of the crowd, right in the gray area of whether
the line was within or past 1,000 students. As time passed, more and more people started jumping into the front area of the line, cutting people who had been waiting for over an hour, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. At 2 o’clock, ticket sales finally began and my area of the line still didn’t budge for half an hour, while the mob of people at the front trickled in, 10 to 20 at a time.
Every student around me and behind me spent the hour wondering the same thing: What number am I in line? How many tickets have been sold so far? Will I even get a ticket? Should I just leave now? A few people near the front turned to look at those further behind in line and held up three fingers, as if to say “May the odds be ever in your favor.” The line eventually began to move at a decent rate for the next hour, until they finally announced that tickets were sold out. Students blew up all over ASI’s social
media, flooding their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter comments with complaints.
ASI did everything right, in theory, in terms of online communication with students. They had FAQs on
their website before the day of ticket sales, they sent out updates on Twitter and Instagram Story during the hours of ticket sales, and they responded to many comments over social media before, during, and after the sales.
However, not even the best PR plan can fix a faulty product (in this case, the insufficient supply of
tickets). Of course, the only way to have satisfied every student in line, would’ve been to have enough
tickets available for everyone in the first place. But since the number of tickets was so limited, ASI
needed to have a seamless process of selling them in a way that was as fair to everyone as possible.
My suggestions? Option 1: Communicate with students in person and give out frequent updates to
everyone regarding how many tickets have been sold. By the 900th ticket sold, there should not have
still been more than 500 people waiting in line. Option 2: Give each person in line a number. This
would’ve avoided people from skipping ahead and cutting to the front, and would’ve limited the line to
Hundreds of students were left disappointed on Monday afternoon, to say the least, after more than
two hours of waiting in line and not even a Disneyland ride at the end of it, let alone a Disneyland ticket. I experienced the devastation first-hand; I was next in line when they sold out.
by Juliet Rumley
Over the last year I realized that podcasts have been a trending medium with young millenials. As podcasts are becoming more popular, we are seeing podcasts about education, news, current trends, humorous stories, murder mysteries and so much more. With my search, I discovered that several of my friends listen to podcasts on their way to school and work to help pass the time and learn new things. While hopping on board the podcast train I decided to listen to the best marketing and public relations podcasts and gain a little more knowledge about the field. Here are a few of the best:
1) Vlog Boss Radio by Amy Schmittauer Landino
Amy Schmittauer is literally a vlog boss! Her podcast is filled with techniques, secrets, and stories on how to succeed when creating a strong content vlog. She gives advice on building your social media platforms, networking, branding and includes her own stories to keep it relatable. Also if you aren’t the type to listen to long podcasts, Schmittauer’s are perfect as most of her episodes are between 10-20 minutes.
2) Unforgettable by Adria Decorte
Adria Decorte’s podcast Unforgettable teaches entrepreneurs and businesses how to create a brand and make themselves memorable. Through different case studies, interviews and personal stories, Decorte inspires people to create the best promotional content for your brand and image. She encourages you to stand out and teaches how to grab audience attention in a positive way. I absolutely loved her message and the guest speakers were worth the listen. Her podcast was definitely unforgettable!
3) Content Marketing by Ryan Hanley
Content Marketing is the perfect podcast to learn and understand ways to create media that is both engaging and interesting for all audiences. Hanley breaks down the best way to gain the attention of your consumers within 157 episodes. Hanley has a great way of tying in real world experiences while making his stories entertaining!
4) Young PR Pros by Kristine D’Arbelles, Julia Kent, Ross Simmonds, Clare Bonnyman
This podcast is PERFECT for PR undergraduates and graduates as the hosts discuss ways to advance in careers as young PR professionals. One of the episodes I listened to was “The 30-day Challenge in a New Job” where the host/producer, Clare Bonnyman, talks about her new careers challenges and gives advice for the first 30 days working. After listening to a couple more episodes, Young PR Pros highlights the importance of learning new lessons and the struggles one may face in a relatable and refreshing way.
5) Marketing Over Coffee by John Wall and Christopher Penn
Marketing Over Coffee is surprisingly good! One of the episodes that really stood out to me was “Ted Level Presentations with Tamsen Webster.” Tamsen Webster, who was a guest on the episode, had the BEST way of explaining content marketing and how content marketing is all about having clarity and not just having content. This podcast is fresh with current marketing trends and the hosts are very knowledgeable.
The more I researched for the best marketing and PR podcasts, the more they kept popping up! It is amazing that there are so many podcasts on these topics, which is perfect for college students to listen and learn. If you in the mood to listen to a podcast, make sure you check out one of these!
Dressing for success isn’t always necessary
by Bobby Yagake
The digital age has introduced mentorship platforms for students to meet mentors online. According to Forbes contributor Diana Tsai, these mentorship programs “care about the things you care about” and cover various communities.
“The same platform/community can be developed for any Tribe, whether it’s women leaders in tech mentoring up-and-coming women-in-tech, or successful minority entrepreneurs mentoring aspiring minority entrepreneurs or individuals newly diagnosed with a life-threatening illness being mentored by survivors who know what they are going through,” Tsai said.
Students believe they have to dress for success when they meet their mentor in person. This may make students overanalyze facial cues and body language. According to Tsai, the benefit to a digital mentorship at home is that it “creates a safe space for vulnerability and authenticity.”
Multifamily Marketing and Communications Strategist Lisa Tufano suggests researching the career history of someone and learning about what made them successful. She also suggests being willing to engage with them on their social media pages. “If you really want to maximize the upside of each pivot you take in your career, you simply cannot do so in a vacuum,” said Tufano in her LinkedIn article. “You can often get the benefits of mentorship simply by being a good online researcher and spectator without ever actually asking someone, ‘Will you be my mentor?’”
While Tufano suggests engaging with mentors, she reminds readers to be sensitive. Mentors have their own schedules and contacting out of nowhere may not be welcome. Some mentors will mention they are open to mentorships on their LinkedIn pages. In fact, Tufano lists “mentorship” in her list of experienced skills on her LinkedIn page.
Online mentors can also be part of dedicated organizations. Entrepreneurs can use MicroMentor to find mentors from both small and large businesses. SCORE Mentoring allows entrepreneurs to search for mentors that can help them reach their business goals.
Lastly, although the means of networking are great, students should still be courteous and observant of their mentors. They are given more opportunities to find mentors in the digital age, but must still hold themselves to professional standards.
How the Website is Utilizing Shopify to Improve Business
by Dominique Marek
Image via The Ecommerce Workroom
Scrolling through Pinterest always invokes a feeling of wanting to buy, craft or cook everything that you see. Falling into a Pinterest “rabbit hole” so to speak, can sometimes leave you wanting more. This is especially the case when you find a product that you just have to have, but can’t find an online retailer that supplies it.
Pinterest has introduced a new way to allow users to easily purchase the products that they see, through a partnership with Shopify to create buyable pins. Buyable pins can be set up by brands through Pinterest to ensure that there is higher engagement and purchase rate with their target audience. Once a user sets up a business account with Pinterest, they can use these buyable pins to experiment and determine which images, captions, hashtags, and trends will best fit their brand. It’s important to utilize all aspects of a pin to get a higher engagement rate. Shoppers want to be able to engage with products that they can see themselves using. In fact, Pinterest has actually seen an 18% higher engagement rate with pins that show lifestyle shots that fit a brand’s image.
In order to make buyable pins work for a business, first a person has to create a business page for their brand through Pinterest. Once this page is created a brand has to apply for buyable pins through Shopify. After a business pay is approved all buyable pins that are created on Pinterest through a brand will link directly to their personal website.
Buyable pins can not only help customers envision themselves with a specific product, but they also bring customers closer to a brand. Smaller companies can utilize buyable pins as a DIY way to sell directly to the consumer without having to spend money on marketing plans. These pins also allow brands to track customers’ overall engagement and sales so that it’s easier to see what strategies are and aren’t working.
Pinterest is becoming more than just a social media platform. It is evolving into a place of business that offers not only inspiration, but an easy way to make someone’s visions into a reality. It’s important to keep in mind that people want to personalize their experience and customers will always choose a brand that will put their needs first.
by Lizbeth Galeno
Whether you’re thinking about your summer internship or you’re graduating soon, your mind is constantly thinking about what you’re doing next. Your frequently visited tabs section on the Google homepage is probably full of online job boards, your portfolio website or your LinkedIn page.
There is a ton of emotional stress that comes with the process of a job search. A constant pressure feels like it’s closing in on you each time you realize an application went nowhere, and you go down a spiral of comparing yourself to everyone around you. It’s important however, to stay focused on what’s important and remember these tips as you search.
You’re a PR student — you can do anything!
The great thing about being a public relations major is that it is an extensive field. This means you’re not limited to “public relations internship” search results. Our education has granted us the ability to hit the mark of digital marketing, social media or several communications titles. More good news is that opportunities in PR are everywhere and can follow your interests anywhere. Don’t be afraid, and don’t think you have to put yourself in a bubble. You can potentially be a part of any integrated communications department or agency.
Take advantage of every opportunity
This means doing things that can be intimidating, but it’s necessary. It means getting involved and going to every networking fair, resume workshop and special event applicable to a future PR professional. Talk to your professors often during their office hours. The great thing about our university and department is how much they want us to succeed. These resources that are available to us can be exactly what we need to get our foot in the door.
Know your stuff and stay on top
“Know your stuff” refers to many components of landing a job. Know what you want in a job. Know how to build your resume and your cover letter, and how to tailor it according to each application. Know what you’re going to say in a networking situation, what you can ask in an informational interview or what to do that will set you apart.
Something I always find interesting is seeing an old resume and thinking, wow that was bad. That’s okay, though! Chances are you never saw it that way when you finished it. Maybe you were really proud of that resume. Maybe you’re thinking, how did I get a job with that? You did though. The good news is you know you’re improving and you know that whatever you’ve been taught, it’s working. Chances are in a few years your current best resume won’t look as sharp as the one you will have then, and that’s a good sign. Best of luck!
by Juliet Rumley
Graduation is right around the corner, which means now is the best time to do your research and reach out to personal and LinkedIn contacts for informational interviews. Informational interviewing is the best way to gain new connections, get your foot-in-the-door of the industry you are trying to get into, and is great for practicing interview skills. This could also lead to you landing a job! So you may be asking how do I prepare for an informational interview? I have five great ways to nail that interview!
1. Do your research! Find out what the interviewee does through LinkedIn, Google searching, and his or her company website. Write down a few notes about the person’s previous careers and other key facts that could be great to bring up during the interview. Also, make sure you always do your research on the company! Not knowing anything about where the interviewee works does NOT make a good impression.
2. Prepare a list of questions: Be prepared in knowing what you are going to ask! Your contact has taken a few minutes of their day to give advice so make sure you make this worthwhile by knowing exactly what you are going to ask. Of course, make sure the questions are appropriate and relevant!
3. Call in an appropriate, comfortable and quiet area: It is so important to be in a place where you have nothing distracting you and have no background noise. You don’t want to constantly ask the interviewee to repeat talking points because you can’t hear what was said due to your location.
4. Keep it short: The interview should not be longer than 30 minutes. Be respectful of the interviewee’s time. A great interview length is 15-20 minutes. Anything longer may be too long and uncomfortable for the interviewee so be mindful and ask relevant information.
5. Build that Connection!: Ask yourself: “How does this interview help me? What can I gain from this interview?” Having this interview may lead to getting another connection, a face-to-face job interview, a reference or even a job. Make sure to always follow-up with the interviewee with a thank you email expressing your gratitude for the informational interview. This allows for the interviewee to have a good impression of you.
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