by Ashley Lopez
We have all been exposed to influencers while scrolling through our Instagram feed. We’ve all seen Instagram stars and celebrities promoting everything from weight loss teas and teeth whitening devices.
These influencers are part of a bigger picture than just being visible on our Instagram feed. Influencer marketing is a growing component of public relations campaigns. A study found that 39 percent of marketers will increase influencer marketing budgets in 2018.
Influencer marketing focuses on influential people, rather than the target market. This is a big focus area for public relations and marketing. I’ve spent the last couple months at my internship with Intern Queen helping brands find influencers that align with its brand and products.
Although they are considered influencers, the term goes beyond the insta-famous and vloggers because influencers have always existed.
Influencer marketing is not new and has evolved to what it is currently. Back in the 1950s advertisers would market toward upper-class Americans because they were considered the “influentials”. Others would admire them and buy the things they owned. So, their buying influence would encourage the rest of the population.
In 2005, home appliance brands like Electrolux would partner with Kelly Ripa to sell their home appliances to mothers. Now in the social media environment that we live in, those companies seek out mommy bloggers because they have more influence on mothers than traditional spokespeople.
Every industry ranging from beauty, health and food are utilizing influencers to increase their sales and build relationships for their brand.
My spring internship has exposed me to the process of connecting an influencer with various brands. The standard influencer campaign generally sees these steps:
1. Identifying the audience with the client
Understanding a client’s audience is key to developing the right campaign. For example, I recently got to work with Peet’s Coffee, which wants to promote its new cold brew coffee to college students. It’s easy to forget who you’re communicating to when good ideas start forming. Despite this, you must always take your audience into consideration.
2. Influencer Selection/Plan and Strategy
Based on the criteria given by the client, we are tasked to find influencers who align with the selected audience. Once the influencers are selected, the team at Intern Queen and the client will host a training call with all influencers to explain details of the campaign. The campaign details consist of the amount of Instagram posts, events and using the correct verbiage. A content calendar also gets created to make sure the selected influencers are posting when required.
3. Campaign Management
The team at Intern Queen tracks the campaign throughout the week by checking posts. It’s crucial that the posts include the correct hashtags and captions. If the team notices the influencers forgot to include something, then they email them to fix it. There are bi-weekly calls with the client to give them updates on the campaign.
4. Measure and report
A typical campaign usually lasts a month. Once the campaign is over, the team gathers pictures and stats, which typically includes views, impressions, posts and likes.
Influencers play a much bigger role than we can imagine. The influencer model is integrated in most public relation campaigns and will continue to grow. Many public relations students will probably find themselves in positions that will involve influencer relations, so the best time to learn is NOW.
10 things PR people need to STOP DOING RIGHT NOW on social media
by Jacob Lemus
Image via Pixabay
Social media has given public relations practitioners the ability to reach audiences instantly at little to no cost. But simply creating accounts and spamming your followers with endless posts isn’t going to get you (or the organization you’re working for) anywhere. So, without further ado, here are 10 things PR people need to stop doing right now on social media.
1. Posting Without a Strategy
Social media is a tactic, so know why you’re using it. Tactics serve a strategy in order to complete objectives. Posting without a strategy in mind is for amateurs, not PR pros. Here’s a blog on social media strategy to help you get started.
2. Talking at Your Audience
One-way communication on social media is almost dead. But as long as there’s a single practitioner out there that doesn’t understand social media should be a conversation between an organization and its audience, it deserves its place on this list. You should be observing people’s behaviors and addressing their needs. Make sure you are talking with your audience, not at them.
3. Posting too Frequently (or Infrequently)
This gets tricky due to the difference between social media platforms. If it’s a Twitter account, you can to post multiple times a day. On Instagram, stick to a daily post with some engaging content on your story throughout the day. But don’t get carried away.
4. Neglecting to Research Influencer Efficiency
Just because an influencer has followers doesn’t mean they have an audience, and vice versa. Research the interaction they have with their followers. If you do decide to utilize the influencer, make sure there’s a way to see how much his or her audience is being directed back to you (or your client).
5. Failing to Track Analytics
If you haven’t heard of analytics; learning what they are, what they do and what you can do with them is the first thing you should do AFTER you finish this article. If you don’t believe how important they are, I dare you to see how much the social media analytics market is expected to grow.
6. Synchronizing Posts Across Various Platforms
Posting the exact same post on every social account you have can muddle or discredit your brand’s message. Especially when the message isn’t tailored to the channel on which it’s being distributed. Besides, synchronization often makes a brand seem unnatural and insincere.
7. Hating on Hashtags
Listen, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve done my fair share of bad mouthing the hashtag #iStillDontRememberWhenItStoppedBeingThePoundSign. But the truth is, when done well, that little symbol has the ability to instantly connect people and ideas. Do everyone a favor and learn the hashtag dos and don’ts so you’re not annoying about them.
8. Following Every Trend
It’s just like high school, we know you want your brand to be popular; but be yourself. Following every social trend can confuse your audience and create backlash. Just ask Pepsi how taking on police brutality went when armed with Kendall Jenner and a soda can.
9. Forgetting to Direct Followers Back to Your Website
Driving traffic back to your website not only moves your site up in search engines, it directs people back to media you own. And good PR pros know that owned media is where you can beset tell your brand’s story.
10. Relying on Organic Traffic
Social media is often touted as a free way to connect with your audience. That is 100% accurate; but you need to pay if you want to make the most out of the millions of people at your fingertips. Don’t be cheap; invest in promoting your posts.
Keep these rules in mind and you will succeed in the ever-evolving landscape that is social media. But since it is always changing, be sure to stay on top of new tools and rules. ln a profession built on storytelling and networking, the last thing you want to do is become a pariah.
by Jassareth Alanis-Ponce
Most college students can agree that public speaking is what nightmares are made of. Efficiently commanding a room isn’t an easy task but with these tips, delivering a presentation won’t be as daunting.
1. Know Your Information
There’s nothing worse than conducting a presentation and not even having a clue regarding what it’s about. You can read notes but it won’t make a difference when you don’t actually understand the facts you present. If you do extensive research on your subject, you will not only be confident with the information you are putting out, but you’ll also be ready to answer any difficult questions.
2. Dress to Impress
Take some time out of your morning to pick out an outfit that makes you feel confident. You cannot effectively persuade others if you don’t first believe in yourself and your immediate impression. A nice outfit will help boost your confidence and if worst comes to worst you’ll at least look good while presenting.
3. Be Proud of your Content
No matter what you do in your life, always put your best work forward. If you’re putting your best work forward, I guarantee you will be excited to step up and show off everything you just spent time and effort working on. Your work will essentially speak for itself.
4. Remember Your Purpose
It’s easy to forget when all eyes are on you that the purpose of your presentation is to help the audience by sharing your insight on a particular subject. Don’t let your nerves let you forget your real purpose. You are in a position to inform others for a reason. It only makes sense to act like it.
5. Practice. Practice. Practice.
There’s a reason why the saying “practice makes perfect” is still around. I’m sorry to say this but the reality of the situation is that no one becomes a better public speaker overnight. Like everything in life, you’ll only get better if you put in the work to improve. Mistakes are bound to happen but they are learning opportunities that can positively shape your development. Practice anywhere and everywhere until public speaking is nothing short of a breeze.
About to graduate? Here are four ways to make your resume and cover letter land you a job
by Ofelia Del La Rosa
With the spring semester coming to an end and graduation slowly getting closer, the stress of getting a job is becoming more real and, quite frankly, a little scary. The process of looking for a job, filling out the application, hitting send and waiting for them to call can get a little frustrating after a couple of times. Standing out to a job recruiter whose eyes have seen countless resumes and cover letters can be challenging, but there are ways to be noticeable and be the one who lands the job.
1. Don’t be repetitive
It’s normal for your resume and cover letter to include similar information, but not every piece of information on your resume is meant to be included in your cover letter.
It can become repetitive and uninteresting.
Your resume is supposed to have detailed information of when, where and how long you worked, but your cover letter should have a more personal touch. This is where the recruiter gets a better understanding of who you are, your most important qualities and what makes you the best candidate for the job, in your own words. Keeping your cover letter to a page is key to maintaining their interest.
2. Don’t be lazy, verify what you’re writing
It’s easy to just submit it without verifying what you’re writing and who you’re writing to after three hours of working on your resume and cover letter. Don’t be basic and write “To whom it may concern” because going the extra mile is what’s going to earn you that job. Do some research and find out who will be receiving your resume and cover letter.
Look over your resume and cover letter. It looks good, right? The information is right. You have good experience and great references. But did you spell check? A spelling error can be what's standing in your way from getting a call and being employed.
3. Every job is different
Yes, it is less time consuming to just submit one resume and cover letter to multiple jobs, but this will ultimately hurt your chances in the long run. You have to tailor each resume and cover letter to the job you’re applying to. It’s okay to have a template that works for you, but change what’s necessary when applying to different jobs. There’s no need to change everything completely. It’s as easy as using certain keywords for one job and wording your resumes and cover letters differently.
4. Don’t be a robot
It’s easy to start a resume and cover letter with listing what you’re good at. Communicating, leadership, being a team player – see how generic that is? Use power verbs. This will make your resume and cover letter less generic. For example, “I believe my experience in working with an in-house public relations agency as a social media specialist makes me a great candidate for the public relations position” sounds better than “I’m interested in this job because I’m good at public relations.” The power is in your words because anyone can list a bunch of skills that have no meaning. Be the one that goes above and beyond.
Well, there you have it. Don’t fret about graduating and not having a job because finding a job can be stress-free when you have the right resume and cover letter.
How to win the Job Search Competition
by Carmina Duarte
In today’s competitive job market, college grads need to be creative and use every tool at their disposal to get noticed in their job search. Recruiters get inundated with emails and hundreds of applicants for each job they post; so it’s up to you to differentiate yourself and stand out from the competition. Here are five ways to stand out in your job search:
1. Develop an online presence – LinkedIn, online portfolio, website
What is the first thing that you do when you want to learn about something or someone? If you’re like me…you Google it! Guess what…you will be Googled by prospective employers and recruiters⎯so have an online presence with a stellar LinkedIn profile, online portfolio and personal website with information you want them to find. By developing your online presence with these platforms, you’re building your online brand for employers and recruiters to find you and learn about your skills and qualifications with the ultimate goal of landing a job.
2. Targeted résumé and cover letter
When applying for jobs throughout your job hunt, remember no two jobs are exactly the same. One size does not fit all. Of course, it’s just easier to have generic materials than to write and update your résumé and cover letter according to each position that you apply for. However, if you don’t invest the time in writing a targeted résumé and cover letter, you’re probably not going to get a call from the employer for an interview. Writing targeted application materials that match your skills to the job will set you apart from the competition and move your employment candidacy to the top.
3. Connect with an Insider
One of the best ways to find out about job opportunities is through your network. Remember, it’s not about who you know; it’s about who knows YOU. A good way to build your network is to connect on LinkedIn with prospective employers, recruiters and influencers, as well as join professional networking organizations. Connecting with someone from the inside and conveying your value and passion for the company can garner an introduction to hiring managers and gain an advantage on the competition.
4. Optimize your résumé and online profiles
Make yourself more findable by placing relevant keywords in your résumé and social media profiles that employers are most likely to search. Employers spend little time looking at each résumé and instead are searching for keywords and phrases on LinkedIn and in résumé databases to find candidates. If you have those keywords, chances are you will be found by the hiring manager and your résumé will get reviewed. Search engine optimization can be very helpful for employers to find you and give you that edge on your competition.
5. Attend networking events and workshops
Attending networking events, informational meetings and workshops is a great way to meet people in the industry, learn about job openings and enhance your skills. Undergraduates are encouraged to attend workshops to learn critical skills and receive hands-on tips. Stay in the know by following @PRSSALB on social media.
In today’s highly competitive world, you need to go beyond your résumé and think of ways to differentiate yourself and stand out from the competition. Apply these five tips to help you stand out from the crowd and land your ideal job. Good Luck!
How to optimize your profile for professional exposure and success.
by Devynne Honsa
Understanding how to optimize your LinkedIn profile is key to gaining exposure and getting employed. As a student, it can be difficult to know how to show off what skills you have without years of experience under your belt. Using these three tips can help make your profile stand out, tell the story of who you are and show what you can bring to the table for a company.
1. Emphasize Your Personal Brand
Your LinkedIn profile can be a great introduction for potential employers to get to know your brand. To maximize your profile’s potential, keep the keywords, bio and job descriptions inline with the content on your other professional accounts, like Facebook and your website. For example, if you have brand colors and images on your site, keep those consistent with your profile photo and background on LinkedIn. Doing this will emphasize your professionalism and will show that you are consistent in your presentation of yourself and your work.
2. Streamline Your Bio
Your LinkedIn bio is likely the first thing that someone will read on your profile. It sets the tone of who you are as a professional, and within the first few sentences should convey what you have to offer. Nothing is worse to read than a boring bio. Be sure to have your skills, accomplishments, goals and personality shine through while keeping it short and sweet.
Many students wonder - What do you write if you don’t have much experience? The answer is simple: emphasize your personality and your work ethic. Incorporate a short anecdote that shows off your soft skills and makes you seem like an interesting person to work with. There are several different ways to form a bio, so don’t think it is a one-size-fits-all deal.
3. Talk About Your Experience
Job descriptions can be a bore to read, especially if you have less than five years of experience. To make your skills stand out, use active verbs and conversational language. Don’t just write the duties of your previous and current jobs like it was presented in the job description. Remember, your profile is not your resume; it is an opportunity to explain what you did at your job and how you did it well. Write as if you were explaining what you did to an employer over coffee, using first person, concise sentences and giving quantifiable accomplishments to bring out the personality behind the skills.
With these tips, you can create the perfect LinkedIn profile and stand out to employers and colleagues. Perfecting your LinkedIn profile is the key to networking and landing your dream job, so be sure to keep your profile active and up to date.
With technology on your side, deadlines will never blindside you again.
by Clint Duff
In the modern world we are all controlled by the clock. From the time we wake up until the time we go to bed, we set all our tasks to specific times of the day. With these countless deadlines we give ourselves, I’m sure some of you reading this have forgotten or missed a few of these deadlines with possible consequences. As I’m writing this, I’ll admit I’ve had experiences of my own.
I walked into a class recently without a care in the world; it was another hour of note taking so why not? However, it all changed when my classmate across from me asked if I finished the assignment due that day. My heart skipped a beat and my view began to narrow out of shock. How could I’ve forgotten such an important deadline when it seemed so obvious? Was there something that could assist me in never failing to forget ever again? During my recovery from my moment of shock my eyes narrowed on a black object in my hand, my own cell phone. Then it hit me, with the correct usage of technology I will never forget a deadline again. To my fellow deadline forgetters, I will share with you three free technologies that can help you not be me!
1. Google Calendar
Google Calendar to me has been a great tool for keeping myself on track. This simple-to-use app allows the user to color code events, *which is great if you love using colors* and set up reminders for any event. This app is available for both Android and iOS operating systems, which allows most cell phone users access. This app has been a great asset in making sure that I don’t forget my deadlines.
2. Writing/typing on smart devices
While this one might seem obvious to some, it never hurts to put this one here. Paired with a Bluetooth keyboard, an individual can actually type just as fast or faster if using a normal keyboard on a computer. This flexibility can be a great asset because this allows anyone to quickly type up a paper or assignment at the last possible minute without fear. This is something I’ll be using in my future.
I can already hear the groans from here but please don’t worry, Excel can be a great help. Unlike a calendar, an individual can create and customize a list of their own deadlines. This can range from using color coding, making specific columns and customizing size. While this program might seem not cool or nerdy to some of us, it can actually be a great help at combating deadlines!
I hope these three small tips can help you overcome your future deadlines as much as they have helped me! Good luck and I wish all the readers the best!
Productivity tips for PR and marketing professionals
by Eddie Infante
Working PR and marketing professionals are often tasked with several assignments at one time, which usually all have different deadlines and requirements. But don’t stress out just yet; I have found three simple tips to help increase your overall productivity.
1) Get the seven to eight hours of recommended sleep daily.
While this may seem like a very simple tip, most working professionals don’t get nearly as much sleep as is recommended. When we sleep, our bodies recharge from the stress of the day and prepare us for the next. By getting the recommended amount of sleep daily, you can strengthen the immune system and help retain your memory. Not to mention, how alert and energized you will feel in the morning.
2) Plan out and prioritize
PR and marketing professionals can be tasked with multiple assignments at any given moment. It’s important to begin each day by planning out everything that needs to be done and rank them in order of urgency. We sometimes spend too much time overthinking about a particular task that didn’t require that much for us. By blocking out your time for the day, you can ensure the more important tasks get done, all while also finding time to complete the minor tasks as well.
3) Technology exists, use it!
There have been many new innovations that make communication and task management in a workplace so much more accessible. End the countless back and forth of a long email chain by using websites such as Google Docs and Dropbox. These websites allow you to create, edit and share documents in real time with the rest of your team.
These tips can ensure that you are more productive and time-efficient in the workplace as a public relations or marketing professional. Have any other tips? Please feel free to leave them in the comments down below.
The First Steps In Creating the Killer Podcast You Keep Talking About Starting
by Cody Warner
Podcasts are a growing part of the media industry and all the big players are jumping in. Apple is optimizing its devices to recognize voice searches for podcasts while content hosting outlets like SoundCloud and editing platforms such as Audacity grow to become part of the mainstream. What is unique about podcasts is how little it takes to create one relative to other artistic ventures like vlogs. Here are a few steps for those of you with something of substance to say.
1. Choose a topic
Today’s media market is niche. There are many specialized podcast channels that cater to increasingly growing audience. If you want to have a podcast that people will listen to, you should choose a topic you enjoy and a good name for branding.
2. Explore publishing platforms
Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher and Tunein are just a few of the channels available for you to publish your podcast. You’ll need to figure out which combination of channels will work best for you. Knowing which channels you plan to use will affect how you go about producing.
3. Choose equipment
To start your podcast, you’ll need a microphone, a computer and audio editing software, along with some time and dedication. Make sure you get a dynamic mic with a USB connection. Many people use LogicPro to edit their audio, but you may also be able to do it with your computer’s internal audio recording software. You should also consider the location of your podcast recordings. Try to avoid unwanted noises that wreak havoc during editing or distractions that take away from the quality of the conversation you’re having.
4. Choose collaborators
This can be optional, as not everyone will want to work with another while producing a podcast. However, more people lead to more ideas, more help and more fun. Maybe you have friends with videography experience and you can add a visual element to your podcast. You could also contact experts or people of interest to add content and perspective to your show.
5. Plan the first three episodes
Planning is a vital step, it will always be your fall back. Even if you don’t stick to the plan completely, planning the first three installations of your podcast will give you something to measure against as your show develops.
6. Test your setup
Make sure your mic is recording, your software is working and that you have ample space for your content to save. If you’re videoing your show, make sure your lighting and angles lend themselves to your editing.
7. Record your first episode
This is the meat of the show, when you get to speak, talk to your friends or perform an interview. Much like giving a presentation, it can be easy to get off track if you plan to have a topical show. Try and keep the talking points somewhere close, even if just to put your mind at ease while recording.
All you’ll have left to do is edit and publish your podcast. This time when your friend asks what you’ve been up to, you can give them a link instead of an excuse. If you want to grow your audience (who doesn’t?) you can use your social media channels to help promote your show.
by Luis Marquez
Once seen as juvenile and immature, GIFs and memes are now a staple in a lot of brands’
social media strategy. These new tools have shown the potential of showing much more
emotion, feeling, and humor than your run of the mill emoji. They’re a great way for any brand to
gain exposure because they demand more attention than your average picture or graphic.
In 2015, people on Twitter shared over 100 million GIFs to further express and communicate
amongst themselves. GIFs have become so popular among the population that both Twitter and
Facebook had to create their own GIF search engines.
We live in a new age where people don’t want to be advertised to, they don’t want to watch
commercials or see ads all over the place, they just want the stuff to be there and they’ll
somehow get the stuff. For a company or organization, that puts them in a tough position. How
are they supposed to market and sell to these people without marketing or selling? Well, you
hide your tactics in GIFs and memes.
Audiences, especially young audiences, want humor from a brand, they want brands that don’t
take themselves too seriously and can have some fun. Also, with attention span being at an all-
time low, GIFs and memes, make consumers stop for a bit and recollect the information that
brands are putting out there. It’s a cunning ruse, but it’s an effective way to get a message out
while still not necessarily advertising and selling. If a brand can engage audiences with a
moving image that says it all in five seconds or less, then they’re doing something right; high
reward, minimal effort.
Also, it’s not just about selling anymore, it has become bigger than that. Companies and brands
now have to start a conversation and engage with their consumers and potential consumers.
Memes and GIFs are exceptional conversation starters and always have potential to go viral
with the ability to give brands thousands of impressions and instantaneous free publicity.
GIFs and memes have increasingly become popular in the sports world. The sports world has
adopted the usage of GIFs and memes as if they were the inventors of the medium. The sports
world really is the perfect fit for GIFs and memes though. There is always something happening
in sports that can use GIFs or memes, the NBA, for example, has a culture that has been
intertwined with memes, like the crying Michael Jordan meme or the Kevin Durant “you the real
MVP” meme. Plays can be turned into gifs so that video doesn't always have to be utilized and
can be easier for a consumer to view. A lot of times sport teams will make reaction GIFs out of
their own players to stay brand specific and not having to give publicity to another entity.
Being unabashedly biased right now, I believe that the Los Angeles Kings run one of the best
Twitter feeds out there because of their use of witty and creative GIFs, in the last 6 hours they
have used 10 GIFs demonstrating game play and the accomplishment of Dustin Brown scoring
a hat trick. During playoffs and important games, they will use GIFs to trash talk their
GIFs and memes can only help your brand, but you have to be sure to use them correctly and
almost have a nonchalant feel about them; don’t force them on your public. Relevancy and
timing are also very important when using GIFs and memes, there is always a time and a place.
Never use a GIF or a meme to announce something that has a serious tone and manner. Follow
your heart and these basic rules and you should be golden when it comes to using GIFs and
Looking to get published on our blog?
Email your topics (or drafts) to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. The publishing deadline for Fall 2020 is November 10.
DRAFTS must be submitted before this deadline.
Drafts submitted after the deadline will NOT be published.