By: Alex Torres
Kris Ruby, CEO of Ruby Media Group, stopped by Prof. Newton’s Digital Public Relations Toolbox
class via Facebook Live this past Tuesday. Ruby is one of the preeminent social media experts in
America, and is a frequent on air contributor for FOX Business and Good Morning America, amongst
The Facebook Live session was a Q&A format that allowed students to gain priceless knowledge from
who the Business Council of Westchester calls the youngest “40 Under 40” Rising Star. When asked
about tips for graduating college students, Ruby’s response was in line with the theme of Newton’s
“The number one tip is to work on creating your own personal brand. You should create your own
personal website…and you want to put together a portfolio from your internship experience,” Ruby
Journalism 470 students recently finished a professional portfolio website for Newton’s course, so
hearing Ruby stress the importance of having one is extremely encouraging.
“Right now LinkedIn is hot, LinkedIn is where it’s at,” she further explained. “It’s a great place to spend
your time when you’re graduating…write the bio for the job you want, not the one you already have.”
Like many others, Ruby believes the PR industry has changed exponentially. People would come to her
and say they want to work in PR, but when asked about their graphic design skills, they’d lack the
“I don’t think you can say that anymore. You have to really have a skill set where you’re a good writer,
good at traditional PR, good in digital PR, and [have] a basic understanding of video editing skills,” she
stressed. “It’s not like the old days where you can just do one specific thing and that would be enough.”
When asked for tips about landing your dream internship Ruby said, “Be the solution to someone’s
She also covered a variety of topics such as influencer marketing, public speaking, and how to succeed on
Facebook as the platform goes through changes.
She concluded by saying that in an industry where a person’s path to success can be so unique to them, it
is important to find those on similar paths to you. “Connect with people you relate to, everyone’s career
path is so individual to what their journey is.”
If you missed the Facebook Live chat with Kris Ruby and want to hear everything she had to say about an
evolving PR industry, you can still watch it on the Ruby Media Group Facebook page.
Ensure your online persona reflects your “best self”
By: Vanessa Aguilar
Illustration: Ashley Siebels
According to a 2018 study conducted by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers check social media to screen candidates during the hiring process. (businessnewsdaily.com)
But before you think to yourself, “Why not just go MIA on social media before applying to jobs?” Well, the same study also suggests that going on a rampage and deleting all social media is not such a good idea either. The CareerBuilder study found that 41% employers who weren’t able to find any information online about candidates were less likely to interview them. It seems the best option would be to clean up any social media accounts to ensure your online persona reflects your “best self.”
Here is how:
Make a list.
This is important because it’s always good to see exactly where you need your focus. What social media channels have you opened over your life? There are probably more than your are initially thinking.
Think like a recruiter.
Think to yourself what you would like to see as a recruiter? What would you like your future boss to know about you? Are there any skills you would like to display?
This may be a no-brainer, but studies suggest that employers and recruiters will begin by googling you first. So, it’s a good idea to check exactly what your name is tied to online. Maybe you have risky content online associated with pictures or comments? This would be a great place to start when fixing photo settings and permissions on your accounts.
Make personal accounts more secure. Keep professional accounts public.
If you haven’t yet, this may be a good opportunity to make a professional Instagram or blog. Maybe you’re a good photographer and want to post professional photos on Instagram, or maybe you have excellent writing skills and would like to make a blog.
Review past blogs.
It is a good time to review all blogs you have, if any. Make sure the content you’re displaying is appropriate and professional.
Review all social media accounts.
Make sure there aren’t any negative rants you may have made during midterms on Facebook. (We get it, but employers don’t want to see that!)
Clean up any questionable content on all your social media channels.
Too many selfies, according to studies, may come off as being narcissistic. So keep selfies to a minimum.
Change online persona.
Time to really think about what you are trying to represent and reflect in your online persona. Some ideas: Conscious environmentalist, fitness junkie, hardworking student who won in the Bateman competition? Showcase your skills and talents.
Review names, URLs etc.
Make sure there aren’t any provocative words associated with your name online.
Post updated pictures of yourself, school functions or work environment.
You want your social media to reflect who you are today, not who you were five years ago.
Whether you’re a senior looking for a new job after graduation, or a freshman looking for your next internship, these 10 tips will help you send the right message to your future employer.
Public relations has a long and challenging part in working for production studios
By Emily Aguirre
We see these movies all the time, we hear about them and talk about them. Yet how do we get there? How important is it for a public relations professional working for a production studio to hear us talking about their upcoming film? Beyond important. It is their main purpose to get a spotlight on that film as soon as the film is announced to be made. PR professionals are getting coverage on all platforms, like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. From start to finish, PR professionals are there taking on-set photos, interviews with the cast, comments from the director and behind-the-scenes looks to anticipate the premiere of the film. Even once the premiere day has arrived, they are making sure people are talking about it and still having something to say after.
Successful films have had a lot in common in terms of actors, location, scripts and directors. However, the most important is promotion. The film would be nowhere without anyone hearing about it. And specifically, without the films main audience knowing of it. A film like last year’s Oscar winning picture of the year, The Shape of Water, would have an intended audience of drama/fantasy lovers. The film did $195.2 million at the box office, after its initial release at the 74th Venice International Film Festival, and the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. After it won the Golden Lion award, the film started being promoted a lot more on television and Twitter, as I, myself had noticed.
Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures
I noticed before, and even after the film was released, how much PR planning goes into it. And it’s amazing to me how much you really have to care about the art of film and the time it takes to do the best job you can. From implementing campaigns that include trailers and media preparation, to media press kits for the film that include short and long synopsis, cast and crew bios, a director’s statement, etc. The role of a PR professional in this film industry is long and challenging. But when your film wins for “best picture of the year” at the Oscars, it’s worth it because you know you did what you could to promote the film and have the public want to watch and support it.
Gillette reaches those willing to listen with its “The Best Men Can Be” ad.
By Tiffany Bakthy
Photo by Gillette
On Jan. 14, 2019, Gillette, a men’s razor company, released its “The Best Men Can Be” ad. It is an almost two minute video about the stereotypes of toxic masculinity that the men of today should fight against. The message was clear. Gillette wanted men to teach boys how to be better through showcasing current controversial issues like the #MeToo movement among traditional gender constructs like bullying.
However, what seemed like an encouraging call to action came off as a hostile attack on men to some. Gillette received backlash for supposedly turning against their customers. There were many tweets of previous customers throwing away their Gillette products and switching to competitors.
Despite the concerning backlash, Gillette chose to support its message and did not waver. As the nation becomes more polarized in social justice issues alongside political warfare, nothing seems to be apolitical anymore. By not issuing an apology, Gillette sends a clear message that they are not in the wrong.
Sticking with their stance, Gillette establishes credibility as a brand that keeps true to its mission. This campaign had its position set on one side of a number of controversial issues. If Gillette were to waver, it would look suspicious. They were already losing those who did not like the message, so retracting their campaign would only lead to general distrust.
Rather than just trying to advertise their products in a usual way, Gillette focused on molding their brand to be something that keeps up with the times. The ad was not about shaving; it was about shaping a better tomorrow. The consumers of today are not looking for repetition of the same pitch that only looks to get them to buy products. They want to put their money in places that holds their values and generates a good feeling in the products they use in their daily lives.
Gillette is a stellar example of a brand that knows what tone it wants to set because they believe in it entirely. This creates trust and integrity, defining factors in what keeps the customers they want around. Gillette not only shows what “The Best Men Can Be,” but also what the best brands can be.
By: Julianne Bautista
A lists about lists! From magazines to entertainment websites, listicles have come a long way in showing that having lists in articles can be useful, effective and pleasurable. Here are five reasons why listicles are the best way to write articles.
1. It’s easy and fun to read
The first listicle I have ever read was on Buzzfeed. I remember it being colorful, funny and informational. Buzzfeed is known for bringing their listicles to life by including up-to-date memes and moving images called “Gifs.” Listicles that use memes and gifs are always so easy and fun to read, it makes the reader understand and relate to the topic. Having images in an article also makes the message of the story more interesting. Visuals are key!
2. Readers do not have to read the whole article
Whenever I am sick and paranoid of whatever it is I caught around the public, I immediately read an article with the five home remedies I could use to cure my illness. The listicles that provide the home remedies highlight titles that simplify all the points of the subject. The list is straightforward and simple, telling me what I needed to do to cure my sickness. I did not have to read the whole entire page since the content was direct.
3. The format is organized
Listicles are pretty! It’s like having a nice, organized planner. It’s absolutely pleasing to read articles that have everything listed out for you with no trouble at all. In a listicle, every content and message of the subject is sorted out for the reader from beginning to end. Listicles are definitely pleasing to read by knowing when the article is finished.
4. It makes readers understand and remember the topic
Whenever I am reading an essay, a book or an article, I always have to highlight the key phrases to help me remember the important points. In a listicle, readers can easily remember and understand each given point on the subject. The points in listicles repeat in the reader’s minds which helps replay the details of the subject over and over. For me, reading an article with lists helps me memorize the subject in an uncomplicated manner.
5. Three Words: Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization otherwise known as SEO is a process that makes a website or web page more visible to the audience who are looking for a specific brand. Competition! Listicles are important in SEO because being the first article to be seen on the first page will get you more attention. The quality of a listicle needs to have all the informational facts that the audience needs. Also, using key words and creating intriguing titles can help your article to rank higher in search.
The journalism trend of listicles has changed the way of writing in columns and articles for the better. What’s on your next list?
Pros and Cons of Handwritten vs. Computer Note taking
By Tracey Romo B
Have you ever wondered if taking notes by longhand or on the computer helps you study or remember more? Studies have shown that writing notes by hand helps you remember material better than typing on your computer. There are strengths and weaknesses in both writing and typing. Here’s a breakdown so you can decide what’s best for you.
Even though NPR tells us to “put away our laptops,” the best method is always dependant on the students and how they prefer taking notes.
After reading this article, what do you think is a better way to take notes?
Top agencies and teams who foster creativity and great workplace culture
By Kevin Bollman
With 2018 just a few months behind us, now is a great time to look back at some of the public relations agencies and teams that really outshined the competition with creativity and a great workplace environment. With so many great organizations out there it can be a daunting task to narrow down the best of the best, so here are my top five personal favorites that really caught my attention.
As mentioned in PRWeek's annual Best Places to Work initiative honors, Miami-based Boden embraces the philosophy of creativity, collaboration and strong internal communication. The agency specializes in the U.S. Latino markets and has worked with iconic brands like McDonald’s and Chobani yogurt. Boden is noted for its low employee turnover and its professional development program called BodenU which has employees check-in every three to six months to ensure success.
2. Maroon PR
Maroon uses their small size to their advantage when it comes to making their employees feel like part of a family. Staff members enjoy amenities like a gym, yoga classes, happy hour and all the tools and resources needed to make the company successful. Maroon employees also enjoy one work day from home per week and paid vacation for winter holidays. All these perks make for a great work-life balance that creates a feeling of camaraderie and companionship in the workplace.
3. Day One Agency
This small but mighty group was crowned the North America Small PR Agency of the Year at the 2018 SABRE Awards and it’s no surprise why. Their cliental includes industry giants like Nike, Facebook, American Express and Victoria’s Secret who have all benefited from its new influence marketing creation NEON. Day One’s biggest claim to fame is a campaign for Chipotle’s Queso launch that became one of the most dynamic Instagram campaigns ever created.
A cell phone company may not seem like a top choice for a dynamic and fulfilling PR job but never judge a book (or cell phone) by its cover. T-Mobile strives for an inclusive workplace environment with notable support for the LGBTQ community. With multiple recognition programs across the entire organization there is a feeling of employee appreciation that other large corporations lack.
5. 10Fold Communications
Given the fact that each agency employee has two paid days each year to do chartable work it should come as no surprise that this great company made PR News’ 2018 Winner for Top Places to Work in PR. 10Fold wholeheartedly embraces the concept of nurturing talent by preferring to promote existing employees before looking to hire outside the company. That high level of employee investment along with some really interesting and thoughtful blog posts about content marketing and cybersecurity makes 10Fold really stand out among other agencies.
Know of a good PR company to work for? Tell us in the comments.
Simple Tools on How to Manage a Successful Nonprofit Organization
By Alyssa Casiano
Nonprofit organizations aim to get as much media attention as any other company or business. The only difference is that nonprofits can be more personal and connect emotionally to people, which may need a different approach when working in public relations. Whether it’s a nonprofit working to prevent plastic pollution, fighting to end world hunger or spreading awareness on Parkinson’s disease, nonprofits need as much media attention as they can get to stand out and make a global impact or social change.
If you ever find yourself working for a nonprofit, here are just a few strategies on how to help you make a nonprofit organization successful.
1. Focus on Target Audience
Defining your target audience is essential before even starting to create any content. It’s important to know who you’re speaking to whether that be based on age, demographic, gender, etc., that way you know how to plan and create content to appeal to this particular group of people. A great strategy to understanding your target audience is to make audience personas. Identifying your personas will help you know who you’re targeting, how to approach them, where to find them, which social media outlets to use and how to engage with them on a personal level. Understanding who you’re speaking to will help you present
2. Have Intriguing Stories
Storytelling is key to success for nonprofit organizations. One of the most important aspects in a nonprofit is their stakeholders, which are their donors and volunteers. A successful way to attract these stakeholders is by creating moving stories that will touch people in personal ways. For instance, telling an emotional story about a person who was diagnosed with a certain disease is much more intriguing compared to dull statistics about the disease. Using emotion in stories is a great way to attract people to the organization which leads to more audience following, donors and volunteers.
3. Create Campaigns to Influence Audience
Campaigns are a great way to make a nonprofit relevant by making their audience feel involved and take action that will support the cause. For example, the #StopSucking campaign by For a Strawless Ocean, went viral on social media after thousands of people, including celebrities, used the hashtag in their posts while supporting the cause. It encouraged people to stop using plastic straws in order to prevent plastic pollution in the oceans. With an eye catching hashtag and a simple request to take action, a global and successful movement began. Ultimately, campaigns can be a creative way to spread awareness, attract donors/sponsors and fundraise money.
4. Be Consistent, Relevant and Build Loyalty
Like most public relations work, it’s vital to keep content consistent, relevant and to always stay loyal to your target audience. Frequently posting on social media, writing blogs to bring traffic to your website, hosting events to spread awareness, using/creating hashtags and pitching stories to journalists are just a few ways to stay relevant to your audience in order for them to see the constant work you’ve been doing. To build trust with your audience and especially donors, it’s crucial to stay loyal by being transparent, presenting accurate information, keeping close relationships with donors and staying emotional and relatable to your audience. Donors are the most important stakeholders for nonprofits, so consistency, relevancy and loyalty are three major elements to keeping a close relationship with each and every one of them.
We never know where our future careers may take us, so if you ever find yourself working for a nonprofit, hopefully these strategies are useful to help you build a successful nonprofit organization.
Digital Dialogue and its Importance
By Claudia Cazares
Social media presence has become very important specially during this time, in 2018. Seventy-seven percent of the U.S population reported to have had a social media profile according to The Statistics Portal. This has given businesses a reason to take action and involve their brand in this fast growing technology era. According to Ethinos there are five reasons why businesses should include social media in their public relations plans:
How Influencer Marketing Can Help Build Your Brand
By: Helen Sandoval
In today’s age, paying celebrities to promote a product or service has become less popular. Social media has allowed brands to promote themselves through well-known individuals called influencers. This new method, known as influencer marketing, has given brands the opportunity to expand their audience and build connections among its publics. The process is simple. All you have to do is find the influencer that fits your brand and they will get the word out. There are numerous reasons why using an influencer is successful in generating buzz; and to prove it, 81% of marketers said the method was effective.
A study showed that 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations more than any other form of advertising, . Word-of-mouth can help spread important news about your brand. An influencer can share their experience with a brand and its product to their audience, which creates a word-of-mouth action. Users will feel inspired or motivated to try that certain product, and if it’s favored, they will recommend that product.
Using influencers is a cost-effective tool that can easily connect with a specific audience. There are several ways you can pay your influencer. Depending on the influencer you’re partnering with, it can be fairly cheap or even free. Start-up companies can offer an influencer a free product in exchange for a shout out or a brand can pay an influencer based on commission. If a product is bought because of an influencer, a percentage of the total sales can be given.
3. Builds credibility
Working with an influencer in an authentic way can help humanize your brand, which allows there to be a genuine connection. Influencers carry a lot of responsibility as their followers expect them to promote only good products. This builds credibility between the brand and its audience by connecting with someone who is trusted.
4. Bigger audience reach
Given that 69% of the public are social media users, partnering with the right influencers can attract a lot of attention. The more loyal followers an influencer has, the more people will see your brand and will consider buying your product, but they need to be credible figures. Influencers can also help a brand reach a specific audience as long as the influencer is relevant to your brand and goal.
Partnering with influencers can help distribute a brand’s message and easily grab people’s attention. As a result, this affordable promotion method can help you target a niche audience and is essential to a PR/Marketing strategy.
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