By Wanda Guerra
What is a personal brand?
A personal brand is an element that not only helps us build our own online identity but also makes us stand out from the rest. It helps to communicate a unique identity and clear value to potential employers or clients. With the influence of new technologies and social networks, it is more than necessary to project a cohesive personal that is capable of sending a positive message about your identities and values. But where do you start? Here are 5 strategies to build your personal brand.
1. Define who you are
To create your personal brand, first, you must focus on yourself. Analyze yourself.
How would you define yourself? What is your greatest passion? Do you know a lot about a specific subject? It is also very helpful to know the perceptions that your family and friends have about you. Define your mission, your reason for being, the reason why you are who you are and how you are. Determine your vision, who would you like to be in the future, what achievements would you like to achieve. And lastly, define your values that define you as a person and as a professional. For example, some values are responsibility, punctuality and honesty.
2. Determine what you want to be known for
After defining yourself personally, you must shorten the type of information that you will provide. What is it that you do extremely well? It starts with one or two related themes, for example: Advertising and Design. Thus, you have a larger range of topics. Choose a particular area you would like to focus on and let it evolve over time. Get some interesting ideas about what your audience needs and how to differentiate yourself from the competition. According to Jonathan Long, founder of Uber Brands, your value proposition is what you are going to offer to your target audience and that will make you unique and unrepeatable. Create a value that speaks to what you do and who you best help.
3. Define your target audience
Determining objectives is a crucial factor in successfully developing a personal brand. It is true that good content tends to attract a large audience. However, this fact does not ensure success, as it does not guarantee that this is the right target audience for your brand. Defining who your target audience is will help you generate not only good content but the correct content to achieve your goals. The definition of your buyer persona is closely linked your objectives, so you should keep in mind who you want to address such as colleagues, clients, suppliers, contacts, etc.
4. Build your online identity
With so many different social media platforms available, your online presence will likely look different depending on the medium you choose. Just as companies create their own name, their own colors and their own logo that represents them, for your personal brand, it will be important to define the logo, colors and typography that represent you. Your logo is the visual element that represents you. It should be easily recognizable and associated with you. Your logo will include unique colors and typography that convey the brand concept that you have generated. In addition, using a photograph with the same filter, color temperature or concept is essential to maintain a consistent photographic narrative. Lastly, add your personal brand into your Twitter bio by using hashtags that focus on your niche, follow important people in your field, and retweet posts related to your industry. You can also create a portfolio that provides essential information about who you are and visually highlight your work. Remember to be visible and accessible!
According to Forbes, 85% of all jobs are filled through networking. Building interpersonal connections can help you gain credibility thanks to the knowledge and opportunities presented by more established people in your field. Use the networking strategies to generate new contacts and strengthen current ones for the future of your career. LinkedIn is perfect for professional networking. The more connections you make, the more value you can provide in your interactions. In your profile, include key industry skills, as job recruiters will often search for keywords that relate to the role they are trying to fill. And do not forget to include personal accomplishments! Keep in mind that you are a brand; try to use the same username, profile photo, background images and about section on all the pages and networks that you register.
Creating a personal brand is a daily job that challenges us to show ourselves how we want others to see us, through our messages, ideas and actions. The work and continuous care of your personal brand will pay off in the medium and long term, generating a good base of new professional and personal opportunities. What are you waiting for? Follow this strategic plan and start developing your own personal brand in a serious, professional, and effective way. Achieve your goals!
By Steve Munoz
Whether you are a PR student or not, these five tips will definitely help you to define your career and get the best out of it.
On September 16, PRSSA Long Beach had their first meeting of the semester and we were honored to have a very special guest, Mariana Vaca. Vaca is the Assistant Manager of Communications for Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing - the division of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products (DPEP) that brings stories and characters to life through innovative and engaging physical products and digital experiences. Vaca is on a team that serves as the corporate communication function for consumer products and delivers strategic communications plans for cross-franchise campaigns while developing business stories.
In other words, Vaca is always busy doing something. But despite her busy schedule, she took some time off to join PRSSA-LB to talk about her job and some of the things she does as an assistant manager at Disney.
Here are five of the most memorable tips she shared with us and that I think everyone should really pay attention to them.
1. Advocate For Yourself
“You don’t get the things that you don't ask for,” Vaca said. I know you might be really excited to finally get a job offer at your dream company and it might be hard sometimes to say no to those job offers. However, one of the things that Vaca recommends is to always know your value as an employee and always ask for what you really deserve. It might be hard sometimes to do it, but really try to put yourself first when it comes to things that are going to be beneficial to your future.
2. Always Take the Call
In other words, always take whatever opportunity is presented to you because you never know what new skills you could develop. Don’t be afraid to apply for an internship or a job even if you don’t meet some of the qualifications. If you don't know how to do something just Google it!
3. Learn How to Write
For those who are public relations or journalism majors, we know the struggle of always looking at our AP Stylebook. I know it can become tedious sometimes, but Vaca encourages everyone to take advantage of the classes that the JPR Department at CSULB provides such as JOUR 374 Written Communications for Public Relations. “Technical writing classes are very important and that’s something you’ll see throughout your career,” Vaca said. So whether we like writing or not this is something that we need to do at some point and we have to get better at it if you want to shine at your new job.
4. Have People Look at Your Resume
When you think your resume is ready to be sent to prospective employers, it’s time for another look. Vaca recommends always having someone else look at your resume. They can give you amazing tips on how to improve it and it always helps to have other people’s perspectives.
5. Learn How to Network
One of the best tools we can use today to network is LinkedIn. You probably have heard a lot of things about LinkedIn, but the most important thing about this tool is that you can use it to connect with other professionals. Try to put yourself out there and make that LinkedIn profile neat and easy to read. You never know when a recruiter might be looking at it!. And just like Vaca, you could land your dream job!
I really hope you find these tips very helpful to the point where you can say “I need to put this in practice.” I wish you the very best in your career and don't’ forget to always enjoy the process of learning new things.
By Vanessa Martinez
With a global pandemic upon us, we have changed many things. One of those things is working from home. Whether you are a student or a professional, we have all been pushed to learn a new way of communicating using online video conferencing, most notably with the app Zoom. Zoom is great but being on a screen for too long can be an issue for many of us. Enter, Zoom fatigue.
Zoom fatigue is real and debilitating. What is zoom fatigue? It is the feeling of being mentally and physically worn out from looking at a screen most of our day. According to CBC, psychologists say several factors lead to Zoom fatigue. First, when software continuously displays to a user their own live image, adding an element of self-awareness, we can feel like we are performing for the camera more than we would while meeting colleagues in person.
Being a full-time student during this pandemic has been a lot, so I can only begin to imagine how it is for everyone else. College is already tiring, and connecting virtually should not have to be harder for us. So what are some ways to help beat Zoom fatigue?
Here are 5 ways I found to be helpful…
1. Take small breaks
We are on the screen all day, so take a break and pace yourself. Listen to some music in between your meetings. Walk around your house to get some fresh air. Let your eyes rest for a moment and just relax. Your break is not the time to start doing something else on your list; just enjoy the free time you have.
2. Stop trying to multi-task
Yes, you read that right! Stop trying to do multiple things at once, especially if you’re in a meeting. As much as we live for our social media, refrain from checking it. If you have other things to do and you think you can multitask, it will not work out. Just concentrate on one thing at a time at least for that moment. As a student I would rather take in all the information I possibly can. It is already hard to concentrate while being at home, so why make it harder on yourself? Studies say that multitasking can reduce our productivity by 40 percent. Head over to Science Alert to know more.
3. Grab your favorite snack
It is the little things that make us happy. So, treat yourself to something you enjoy eating. We all have our favorite cravings, so make yourself happy by indulging in something you enjoy. Take your break and grab yourself a coffee or anything that can possibly boost your dopamine levels. Higher dopamine levels in our body means we feel good and if we feel good it will boost our motivation and attention.
4. Turn your camera off
If possible, turn of your camera. While it could seem a little rude in a class/work setting, it is understandable that we do not always have to have it on. It is nice to not focus on how we look in the camera (I am sure no one will admit it, but we simply all do it.) Not only that, but it may be distracting to some people. Any normal human being that is looking at multiple screens is going to focus on what is on our background.
It is very important to get some sort of activity throughout the day. It does not have to be some hardcore exercise, but it is good to get your body moving. In times where we will be sitting in front of a computer it’s nice to take a break from that. A 10-minute stroll around your block can do some good. It might sound contradicting to fight fatigue with some exercise, but it has been proven to help. So many fitness influencers have provided free workout plans throughout this pandemic; you might as well take advantage while it’s free. Not only will you feel better, but you can also end up looking better while fighting Zoom fatigue.
We are all going through these hard unprecedented times; therefore, it is important to keep yourself feeling good. Learn to listen to your body and know when you are feeling tired and worn out. It is normal to feel this way as we are adjusting to a new way of working and communicating. Take that break that your eyes are longing for, it is needed as we live in an era where technology and social media play a crucial role in our lives. Whether you are a college student, or a professional needing to increase your productivity, after a long day of video meetings, it is good to know there are ways to help beat that feeling of Zoom fatigue.
By Peyton Smith
With finals coming up, we are all familiar with late-night study sessions that make us want to cry. A huge stress reliever for myself and many of my peers is to watch TV to ease our mind for a bit. The benefits of streaming services are unparalleled when it comes to quick access and having a plethora of options to choose from. During these stressful times, you don’t want to watch shows that could make you even more emotional, like Game of Thrones. Here are five light-hearted comedies that allow you to sit back, relax and take your mind off school.
1. Broad City
This series is created by and stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer as semi-fictionalized versions of themselves and is executive produced by Amy Poehler, so you know it’s going to be good. It follows the hilarious antics of the two 20-something girls as they try to navigate their lives in New York City. They are pretty broke, and they get themselves into some messy situations as a result of this. But they are both determined to have the best time they can on their budget. Broad City is available to stream on Hulu and the free Comedy Central app.
2. Schitt’s Creek
This sitcom, hot off its clean sweep at the 2020 Emmys, follows a wealthy couple and their two adult children as they suddenly find themselves completely broke. Johnny, a video store magnate, and Moira, an ex-soap opera star, have one last asset, a small town called Schitt’s Creek. The town was purchased as joke years earlier, but is now all they have left to their name. They are forced to move there and try to overcome their newfound poverty. They are trying to make it out together as a family, even though they have many differences. Let this one build though, the best seasons are the final three where they really cement the tone of the show, which results in something truly special. This complete series can be streamed on Netflix, with the 6th and final season having just been added.
This new comedy series depicts the most real-life version of middle school that television has ever seen. Starring and produced by Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, the two play younger versions of themselves as outcasts in the year 2000. The show follows the two girls as they battle all of the ups and downs of being a teenager; first kisses, dating, and everything in-between complete with braces and hair barrettes galore. The two real life thirty-somethings are surrounded by a cast of actual middle schoolers (but don’t worry- adult body doubles are used in any kissing scenes!) yet somehow manage to blend in seamlessly. It is painfully awkward and accurate in the best way possible. Season two has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but season one and the first half of season two are available to stream on Hulu.
Issa Rae creates and stars in this HBO series (and 2020 Emmy nominee for Best Comedy) that follows best friends Issa and Molly, who are both in their late 20s, as they deal with the insecurities that come along with being Black women in America. They live in Los Angeles and the everchanging feel of the city makes it even more difficult for them to conquer their relationships and careers. They struggle with themselves, their friendships, and the African American community as a whole. The show explores social, racial and gender issues and is available to stream on HBO Max.
5. The Office
Of course, you can’t have a list of comedy shows without including the best one of all, The Office. Frankly, if you haven’t binge watched this comedy at least once by now, you might have been living under a rock for the past 10 years. Set at a paper company in Scranton, Pa., the mockumentary depicts everyday life in an office setting. This show has completely blown up since it was added to Netflix, which is great for a show that struggled to stay on air season-to-season early on in its run. It always puts you in a good mood and has everything that a comedy needs: romance, awkwardness, crudeness and different dynamics. I would even go as far as to say that it is the show of our generation. Feel free to skip the last two seasons without Steve Carell as they fall completely flat in trying to compensate for his absence. Nothing can beat the sheer cringe inducing antics of Michael Scott and the Dunder Mifflin crew; it’s like visiting an old friend.
By now, you have at least five shows to watch on your breaks. Whether they are new shows that you haven’t seen yet, or ones that you’ve watched repeatedly, they will all do the job of easing your mind and providing you with an outlet to break away from school for a few hours. Grab a snack, cozy up with a blanket and get lost in another world for a while, the homework can wait.
For more suggestions on what to watch, visit https://www.nytimes.com/spotlight/what-to-watch.
By Nicholas Santana
Since the start of COVID-19, many small businesses have had to close their doors. Recently, restaurants were allowed to resume business, but under many regulations that slows business down. Small businesses have had to come up with new ways to market themselves to keep loyal customers and attract new ones, in order to make a profit. Here are five of the best tactics small businesses can use to keep their business growing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. QR Code Rebirth
I can’t be the only one who thought QR codes were going extinct, right? This year has been full of surprises, like the QR code having its comeback. As the world moved to more touch-free, germ-eluding communication, QR codes were the perfect response. Now at many restaurants you will not see any physical menus, but QR codes placed on tables, coasters etc. QR codes allow restaurants to have a fully digital menu that could be easily changed in seconds.
2. Up to Date Website
Visiting a website is generally the first time you interact with a business. So, having an easily navigational website has never been more important than now. Your businesses website should give a quick overview of who you are and what you offer, and clearly direct customers to place an order. With the help of website builders like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace, it is easier than ever to create an aesthetically pleasing website to drive traffic.
3. #Hashtag Usage
Using keywords in posts about your business improves SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and makes it easier for your business to be found. Hashtags help bring in new customers as well as gain exposure to new audiences. With the implementation of using SEO and hashtags in posts, small businesses are able to be easily found by new customers, improving their sales to make a profit.
4. Instagram Story Stickers & Action Buttons
Instagram and Facebook now allow businesses to add Action Buttons to their stories to direct customers to their website to order food or gift cards. This option is great for the restaurant's revenue because sites like DoorDash or Postmates have price fluctuations. Bringing the customer directly to restaurants' webpage to order food means that these small businesses will not have to give a portion of their profit away to third party delivery apps.
5. Outdoor Dining
Outdoor dining is nothing new, but it has become very popular since the spread of the coronavirus. The restaurant industry has had to cease indoor dining and have convert to outdoor/curb side dining. Big and small businesses have had to create unique outdoor experiences to keep business flowing. Small businesses are taking the cake on this one. Converting parking lots, curbside drop offs and rooftops are just some of the many tactics restaurants have implemented since the spread of the Coronavirus.
Through the past year there have been many tactics, redesigns and rebirths used for businesses, allowing them to thrive during such a confusing time. What cool and innovative business tactics have you seen during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments.
By Martin Garcia
Like most students in 2020, you are probably sitting in your bed, half asleep with your camera shut off during your first Zoom class meeting of the day. I know first-hand. As a public relations student myself, I am already suffering from Zoom fatigue only six weeks into the semester. I constantly catch myself scanning through Twitter before redirecting my attention back to my computer screen to focus on the lecture.
Believe it or not, Zoom fatigue is a real thing, and it is happening to more students than you might imagine. It’s particularly prevalent in journalism and public relations students, since our job is to be on social media most of the time. In this post, we will be looking at why it is important to stay active while doing school from home and I will provide you with eight suggestions for combating Zoom fatigue so that it does not interrupt your focus or affect your ability to learn.
Staying active does not necessarily mean exercising or working out. It simply means to not be stuck in one place for too long. Being sedentary can cause your brain to shut down, which then causes your concentration to be negatively affected.
Here are eight suggestions that will help keep you active while doing school from home.
1. Taking a walk
A stroll around your neighborhood is easily one of the best ways to keep your mind going as well as getting your heart rate up. Going outside and enjoying the fresh air will certainly help you combat Zoom fatigue, and you are getting a workout in at the same time.
Who doesn’t like eating organic fruits and vegetables? Gardening will shift your focus from the computer screen to a completely different environment. Instead of focusing on a screen, your mind will be focused on trying to grow the best carrots out there. Gardening is suggested because it allows the body, as well as the brain, to stay active.
If you have access to a swimming pool, swimming is a perfect getaway from the computer screen. According to swimming.org, swimming is one of the best forms of staying active in order to reduce stress. I don’t know of any college student that doesn’t suffer from stress. So if swimming helps, why not give it a go?
Whether it’s crocheting or scrapbooking, crafting is an awesome way to keep your mind active. Crafting is a perfect break in between classes that will not cause you to pick up your phone and scroll through social media for hours. Crafting helps keep your mind focused and will have you ready for your next class when the time comes without feeling fatigued from a screen.
Bike riding is fantastic way to stay active. Cycling is considered one the best forms of exercising, but it is also a fantastic stress reliever. Going out on a bike ride helps take your mind off of doing school work, all while keeping you active.
You do not need to have any talent to stay active while dancing. Dancing is a great way to relieve stress and to keep your heart rate up. Not only is it a great workout, but it is fun and everyone can do it from the comfort of their home.
Shooting pictures can be very relaxing for many students. Why not take advantage and use photography as a way to stay active outdoors? Go outside and snap photos of birds, cars or the outdoors in general. It’s a great way to stay active and, for public relations and journalism students, photography is a great skillset to have.
I saved the best for last. Who doesn’t enjoy playing with Legos? Legos are a fantastic way to stay active while at home. They are entertaining and really make you focus on where to place certain pieces. Personally, Legos have helped me keep my mind active during the coronavirus pandemic.
During this unprecedented time, staying active has become increasingly difficult. It is very important for students to continue to look for ways to exercise their body and mind outside of the virtual classroom, because being on a computer all day while trying to learn is very difficult to do. Being active will help you stay alert in the Zoom classroom because it shifts your focus to something other than a screen during your non-class time. Not only will staying active help with your school work, but it will also help with your overall health. A healthy student is a confident student, which tends to lead to a successful individual.
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