Category Archives: Weekly Topics

TOW 15: Guest Blogger, Jessica Cameron

This week I have the opportunity to share another one of my classmates thoughts and information from her blog to mine. Jessica Cameron has allowed me to share an article that I found interesting as I reading her blog, that discusses pro’s and con’s of social media while being a job seeker. I felt like this post really stood out, and can educate many of those like myself actively on the job hunt. A big thanks to Jessica Cameron for sharing this post. BE MY GUEST!
(You can also find more articles like this on Jessica’s personal blog. <A href="http://jcam19.wordpress.com/&quot; href=”http://jcam19.wordpress.com/page/3/”>-(http://jcam19.wordpress.com/page/3/)

Benefits & Pitfalls of Social Media for Job Seekers
February 18, 2010 at 9:06 pm (Assignments, PRCA 3711)

Social media has become a huge tool for people of all ages and interests. The first form of social media I can recall using was MySpace, which now I do not even have an existing account. Social media has been a way to reconnect or stay in touch with old friends and family, share pictures and videos, raise money for fundraising, or meet new people. However exciting and great these benefits may be, there are some great pitfalls, especially to those in search of jobs.

I found an article on Mashable: The Social Media Guide called “7 Secrets to Getting Your Next Job Using Social Media.” I have included the list Dan Schawbel comprised below.

Conduct a people search instead of a job search. 80% of the jobs out there are not posted. Within this secret there are three steps to searching people for your job search: 1. Identify the top 5 companies you would like to work for 2. Use search engines to track employees that currently work there. 3. Connect with the person directly.
Use attraction-based marketing to get job offers. Brand yourself! The best way to do this is to blog, so write creatively and consistently.
Be proactive on Twitter. Follow recruiters on your account but make sure you have a completed profile first.
Capitalize on LinkedIn. Recruiters are starting to use LinkedIn as their main place for sourcing candidates because it is free and top professionals are on there.
Advertise your brand using AdWords and Facebook Social Ads. These ads are about targeting a specific group that would care about your resume or hiring you.
Construct a video resume and upload it to YouTube. Very few people have created video resumes so you will stand out when a recruiter searches for them.
Subscribe to blogs that have job listings. This will save you hours of searching.
Although social media can be a great tool in your job search as well as in your personal life, it can also be a pitfall in your search for a job. If you are not careful with the content you post on your social media sites, it can come back to bite you. One of the most popular sites, Facebook.com, has great features such as posting many many pictures, which can be harmful to your job search if they are not professionally appropriate.

Careerbuilder.com has a list of Social Media Pitfalls comprised. They also have a list of social media don’ts. Below is what I found helpful on their site.

Terrible Tweets: Even though everyone will have their moments where they hate their job, boss, or salary…it is probably best not to Tweet about those feelings. Employers are increasing their online presence and sharing these feelings with the social media world will most likely not be a career booster.

Facebook Fired: Comments made about your job or boss have been known to get employers dismissed from their job.

Social Networking Don’ts

Don’t announce interviews, raises or new jobs.
Don’t badmouth your current or previous employer.
Don’t mention your job search if you are still employed.
Take advantage of all the social media opportunities out there, but make sure you take caution when using social media. It can either get you the job or cost you the job…you pick.

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Weekly Topic: Attending a Career Services Workshop: Info on Cover Letters and Resumes

Earlier this week I attended a career workshop, put on by the career services department at Georgia Southern University. Most of those in attendance were other students that are approaching graduation. The instructor covering the workshop explained in great detail what a resume should look like. She explained that this is your tool to express yourself. The employer only has this piece of paper in front of them to judge you by, so it is important that this piece of paper be as accurate and precise as possible. The resume is to show off your talents. You are marketing yourself, and with the market the way it is right now, you must prove that you are the best there is, meaning your resume needs to be outstanding and memorable. Professional is the word she used most frequently. This comes by honest and lets a possible future employer see a organized and well-balanced side of you before even meeting you.

When working on your resume, you need time to really think about all that you’ve been involved in and accomplished. Make a list of everything you can think of from jobs to volunteer work. Anything recognition or projects you have been a part of really stand out as well. After you have made a list, choose from that list what you believe to be the most powerful for your resume. After you do this, you are well on your way to creating a memorable resume for your future employer prospect.

One thing that I took from the worshop was not to hold anything back. Show off your skills in your resume. The most time consuming part of sending off the resume is your objective line. If you choose to have an ojective in your resume, it is important to tailor it towards each position you are applying for. I took note on this, which I had not been doing. I have a very broad objective that reaches and accomplishes what I like to say to each of the companies I have sent my resume to. They are all in the same genre of positions, so therefore I just used the same objective. I guess things will be changing after this workshop.

As far as cover letters go, you need to be specific. Make sure you share with the employer why you would be cut out for the position. Here, is a great way to get their attention. You can also show a little bit of your personality through the cover letter, which I believe is a great way to set people a part from others.

Overall, the workshop was helpful. Much of the information covered I felt like I already knew, but I did learn some interesting things, and always hearing what you know again is helpful. The repetition of what you think you know, can really come as a benefit when trying to remember tons of thoughts as you are putting these important documents together.

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TOW 14: Guest Blogger, Meghan Beytagh

This week I am featuring Meghan Beytagh, a classmate and friend of mine, who says a lot and usually a lot of interesting things. 🙂 I discussed what type of discussion I could post to my blog and after talking for a minute we realized what better topic than one she wrote a while back on social media. This is Meghan’s thoughts on Twitter as well, and her definition of Social Media as a whole. Thanks Meghan for letting me share your work. BE MY GUEST!
(You can also find more of Meghan’s thoughts on her personal blog – www.meghanlane.wordpress.com)

Adam Vincenzini asked on Twitter and on his blog for people to share their definitions of “social media” with him, in 140 characters or fewer. Read through the list of definitions that were shared with Adam. Pick a few that resonate with you and discuss why these definitions “work” for you. Develop your OWN 140-character definition of social media.

As I approach my graduation date in May the word change is something that not only excites me, but also scares me at the same time. President Obama centered his entire presidential campaign on the same word. Change is something that is a scary thing for a lot of people. That is why I liked the definition that Trevor Young gave about social media. He said that “Social media is a catalyst for change – change in the way we connect with each other, change in the way businesses communicate with the world.” This change has opened many doors for the business world. Long gone are the days when you simply called the company to complain about something or give them praise. Now people are turning to their own social media outlets to do this. Letting not only the companies know, but also the masses.

Patti Schom-Moffatt stated that “Social Media is a tool for engaging with audiences comprised of people you would be unlikely to come across on your own.” I like this response because let’s face it… It’s the truth. Many of the people that read your companies tweet or those follow your blog or that you yourself follow will never have the opportunity to meet face-to-face. That’s the beauty of these outlets. These outlets let you immerse yourself in the thoughts and ideas from people millions of miles away. Through social media outlets, people living across the country have the opportunity to change something while sitting in front of their computer at home.

One other post that I really liked was by Paulat Cirkle, which stated that “Social media is a voice for the masses, a voice of endorsement & a voice of dissent. The power lies simply in listening,” for the sheer fact that it points out that everyone has a voice. I know that the voting system here is America is supposed to be a place where everyone “has a voice”, but this system is taken advantage of. I feel that through social media outlets I do have a voice. I can write my opinion about something and even if people don’t listen at least I said it and it will forever be “spoken” on the web.

So, now for my own 140 word definition of social media… It’s a combination of the three above along with another idea that I have about the world of social media. I believe that…

“Social Media is a vehicle of change- a change in which people do business, communicate with each other, and connect with the masses. It allows a voice for the masses, a way of communication with people you may have never met in your life time, and a way for you to express your own thoughts and ideas and “listen” to others. A change that will forever affect the way we discover and relate to the world and the way that the world relates personally to us.”- Meghan Beytagh

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TOW 13: Viral Video’s, What it is about them?

My question dealing with the topic of viral video’s is, what is it that makes people watch them? What entices us? What exactly makes a video more popular than another? Well that is what I’m covering today. A viral video is defined as, “A viral video is one that becomes popular through the process of internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites and email. Viral videos often contain humorous content and include televised comedy sketches.” This definition comes from Wikipedia.

Obviously, the “what” behind a video is how interesting they are. When they catch the eye of an individual, the objective if striving for popularity numbers is reaching a wide audience. One of my favorite viral video’s can be found at youtube.com and is titled, “David after Dentist.” This video got so many hits, and quickly in the past year became one of the most popular video’s on the website. Why? It’s funny. It’s a video of a father and son, (David) after a trip to David’s dentist. In the video David obviously had some pain medicine, probably laughing gas, and discusses how he feels with his dad in the car after leaving the dentist office. The child is very funny along with the David’s dad.

Video’s such as the one I just mentioned, become popular for their own little reasons and have been mimicked and used for entertainment on shows, such as, Saturday Night Live. There have been cases where people become “semi-famous” through posting a video. Just look at Justin Beiber, the newest hit amongst teen girls.

I’m not exactly sure what the ultimate answer is to what entices people when it comes to viral video’s, but its something interesting to share with a friend or co-worker. When my friends have found something they want me to watch on youtube, they will usually copy the url, and post it to my facebook wall. The topic becomes great conversation, and other friends will watch it as they see a video posted on my wall.

To leave you in this discussion today, I posted one of my favorite viral video’s below. The video clip is of a little girl who is not quite old enough to read, but read’s a book full of kitten pictures based on what these kittens are doing. It’s very funny, and weird at the same time. The video is titled “kittens inspired by kittens.”

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TOW 12: Widgets and Badges

For this topic of the week, I’ll be describing what widgets and badges are (as simply as possible). I’ll be taking definitions from the book, “A Survival Guide to Social Media & Web 2.0 Optimization: Strategies, Tactics, and Tools for Succeeding in the Social Web,” written by Deltina Hay.

Widgets- “is a snippet of code, usually displayed graphically, that can be used to syndicate content, for example RSS feeds, or to add interactive features that users can drop on their own blogs or Websites. They are often customizable by the user & typically offer ways for users to pull information from the widget’s originating site.”

Badge- “is typically just an icon or logo that has a link back to its source, which serves as a way of displaying one’s membership or presence in a community on the Social Web.”

It is common for people to get the two terms confused. They are very similar, but are not the same. People are seeing them being used especially in social media sites more often. Widgets are usually used with applications that you can add to your desktop, computer, and even phone. They give the user a more customized experience. A badge is sort of like an advertisement. They look like a badge and people can click on these on a website and be taken to another link that the orginal website wants you to check out. For example, at the bottom of a website there may be a facebook badge. By clicking on the badge it might direct you to the companies facebook page. Although both can be fun to use, widgets are a little more complicated, mostly because they involve codes. Though these are not used by everyone, it would be a great tool for an organization or company to use and benefit from.

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Weekly Topic: Interviewing a PR Professional, Recap

My Public Relations Professional I chose is a good friend of mine and is always enthusiastic to share highlights of her day at work. Her name is Brandi Wigley and she is the  Community Initiatives Manager at the Atlanta History Center.  She graduated with a degree in Public Relations from GSU. Thank you Brandi for being kind enough to offer up your time for a one-on-one phone interview.

brandi1

Below are my favorite Q and A’s from the Interview. 🙂

Me: What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?)
Brandi:  A typical week varies for me. 
I serve as the “face” for the Atlanta History Center.  I contact other cultural institutions and try and create partnerships between campuses.  I help to create press releases and media alerts and send them out to my contacts throughout the tourism industry on different events and promotions we are currently working on.    I also go out and speak to the community on the offerings of the AHC, whether that be educational events, group tours, lectures, or exhibitions.  I also attend industry tradeshows and events where I educate the public on our offerings.  Every week I contact group tour operators, sending them information on what we can offer them.  My goal is to get them to come and visit the AHC where I will lead them in a familiarization tour of the facility, our 33 acres of gardens, two historic houses as well as our midtown campus, The Margaret Mitchell House, thus prompting them to add the AHC to their itineraries.  On top of all of this, I work with the graphics devision of our Marketing Department to create collateral pieces that allows us to let the public know what we have going on in the next few weeks.  Grass roots marketing is a really important part of my job, so I develop discounts and get the collateral out to the public – thus pushing people through our gate.  There are many things that fall into my “bucket list.”  On any given week, something else gets added to my job description 🙂

Me: Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.

Brandi: I am currently working on Atlanta’s largest Gone With The Wind tour.  This tour works with 10 different institutions and allows the visitor to experience Margaret Mitchell’s life and vision while writing the epic novel.  I have worked to develop collateral, press releases, media alerts, and have talked to several different media professionals about the pre-launch of the tour.  This has been my baby – and I look forward to it being a huge success!

Me: How important is writing in your career?
Brandi: Writing is extremely important.  I send out industry e-newsletters to over 5,000 people once a month.  This newsletter allows all the hotels, Destination Marketing Organizations, restaurants, and other cultural institutions, to know what the AHC has to offer their visitors.  I also have to work to help create press releases and media alerts.  Working as the “face” of the Southeast’s Premiere History Museum – it is very important that we craft the right message to get out to the public and to the media.

Me: What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?
Brandi: NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!!  You can never get too many business cards and you can never give out too many!  Start asking for them in college!  These people will serve as a network to help you find a job or even advance in the job you currently have.

Me: What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?
Brandi: Newsletters, working, and talking with other professionals

Me: Did your education prepare you for working in PR? How?

Brandi: Yes!  Georgia Southern has a wonderful program.  From Intro to PR to Campaigns – my education gave me a huge leg up among the rest of the new college graduates coming into the industry.  I know how to plan meetings, write press releases, media alerts…  All of things come into play with my current position…

Me: What has surprised you the most about working in PR?
Brandi: Every company has their own style… I remember coming out of college and thinking that everyone’s press releases would look the same – NOT TRUE!  Your company will help you to learn their style!

Me: What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
Brandi: I would have networked even more than I did.  I wish I had known how important an internship would be… I probably would have done more than one!!

Me: How has PR changed since you entered the field?
Brandi: PR has had more of a demand since marketing dollars and advertising dollars are few and far in this economy.  Writing a press release is a great deal cheaper than advertising in the AJC!

Me: How does technology affect your daily work?
Brandi: HA!  I live on Email!  And social media is huge for us right now!  It helps us to reach a market that we haven’t been able to in the past.

Me: When your company is hiring for an entry-level PR position, what makes a candidate stand out?
Brandi: Great communication skills, excellent writing skills, and the ability to think on your feet!

Me: What professional organizations are you involved in? (For example, PRSA, IABC, etc.)
Brandi: PRSA

Me: What is your favorite and least favorite part about your job?
Brandi: My job is very rewarding and has allowed me to meet some wonderful contacts.  I have gotten to work on some amazing exhibits!  Such a wonderful experience!  Least favorite:  The pay!  HA!

After interviewing Brandi, I can defintely see myself working in the Public Relations industry. I’m more likely to have more interest in the career, mostly because it seems like jobs like this keep you on your toes. I like new challenges and new events. The fact that there is always something new to be working on appeals to me.

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TOW 11: Interview with Martin Waxman

This week’s topic came about after listening to an interview that professor Barbara Nixon had with Martin Waxman, president and cofounder of Palette Public Relations Inc. My professor discovered Mr. Waxman through his podcast a couple of years ago, and since then has kept connections that have undoubtably paid off. After Mrs. Nixon interviewed Mr. Waxman, we had the privilege of listening to the interview. Throughout the interview Waxman talks about keeping connections through the use of social media, but also remembering to stay tuned in with traditional media. As the world is evolving in social media and the trends it brings about, he gives some great advice on how to stay “hip” in the new ages of technology. He touches on the importance of social media and tools that are available for those who are wanting to get involved, such as, blogging, but it’s not the end of the world if you aren’t blogging everyday. Although it looks great to future employers that you have been practicing writing and keeping up with the wave of discussion through a blog, it’s just as important to read others blogs especially those who matter.

Social media has been very beneficial when it comes to companies and their consumers. It’s an efficient and honest way of sharing information. These tools that are available through facebook and twitter have really broadened the spectrum of communication. The data that can be sent to consumers with the click of a mouse can share information or even address a complaint. The access seems to be in reaching distance whereas before it was much harder to get to consumers. This communication is now more personal than it has ever been, and companies must listen to their consumers. It’s for their own good.

Even though social media has advanced and taken off at a rate of speed that was probably uncomprahendable years ago, Waxman says that we must not forget about traditional media. The ol’ “word-of-mouth” techniques are not disappearing. Which I believe to be a good thing.

What struck me as most interesting about this interview, and I would like to see more of, is how colleges can use social media to communicate with professors and students more. Most college students that have a facebook account are checking it at least once a day. With the capability of groups or fan clubs on facebook, and twitter updates, I think that emergency or important updates through these tools would make a large difference. I know that Professor Nixon uses most social networking sites and has offered up her availability through these different sites for all of her students. This has made it much easier to communicate with her being that this social media class is online. The traditional office phone number and email, seem to not cut it anymore. Mrs. Nixon has made herself available through numerous accounts. In a way this has been a really help, but at the same time it also creates a want for an instant response, which as unbelievable as it may be for most of us who are always on a social networking site, instant responses might not always come when you need them. We might have to wait an hour. 🙂

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