Keep Up and Keep Track

As a student of public relations I have to read a lot of materials about the practice of public relations, social media and so on. Although I’ve only been in my social media class for four of six weeks so far I feel that I have learned a great deal about the ins and outs of social media. Social media is constantly surprising me. I feel as though it changes so rapidly from one day to the next and if you blink you’ll miss it. It is intimidating, as a senior in college, to be sitting in a class with people who are younger than me and realize that they are much more experienced than I am in the social media realm. If we don’t keep up and keep track we’ll miss opportunities and we must always stay on top of these changes in social media so that we know what works for our organizations and what does not.

In the book “Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals” we learn in chapter nineteen about how important tracking the progress of social media is in our organizations. According to author, Richard Bagnall, on pages 164 and 165, there are seven principles of progress. These principles include: setting goals and measuring progress in any PR organization, measure “outputs” over “outcomes,” measure all results of the organization, measuring all media involves “quantity” and “quality,” the value of PR is not defined by Advertising Value Equivalents (AVEs), there is the ability to measure social media and “transparency” and “replicability” are crucial aspects in measuring sound. To be honest, there are parts of these principles that I don’t understand, but as a general viewpoint, I do understand that Bagnall is trying to tell us to keep up with the social media of our organizations by way of measuring the progress of the measures we have taken. That being said, I completely agree. I think that a constant measure of the progress of social media measures done by an organization are what will help any organization reevaluate their social media plan and then continue to be innovative. Without taking a step back to look at the progress that has been made in any situation, how would any of us reach our goals or succeed? Sometimes we have to look at what works and what does not and get rid of what does not work in order to create a comprehensive plan, even if we become attached to what does not work.

 

Measuring Tape- Measuring Social Media...Get It?

Measuring Tape- Measuring Social Media…Get It? http://serps-invaders.com/social-media-reporting-the-basics/

In an article on mashable.com by Kurt Wagner, co-founder of Google Sergey Brin admits that he made a mistake in being a part of the creation of Google+ because he is “not a very social person.” The seeming failure of Google+ is a buzzing topic among social medialites so for Brin to admit that he took part in the unpopularity of the Google social media page, is a good step. In PR we learn to take ownership for our failures and in doing so, specifically in the realm of social media, we are able to subsequently measure the success of our techniques. In the case of Google+ it is becoming increasingly apparent that it is not as great as they thought and Brin is suggesting their realization of the matter in his admittance of being anti-social.

In another article on mashable.com, author Armand Valdes discusses a YouTube multi-channel network called “Fullscreen Media” that reaches billions of viewers every month and how they are making plans to leave YouTube and create a Netflix-like channel targeting millenials. In the cause of the measurement of progress, this new avenue for “Fullscreen Media” may prove to be a lot more different than they realize. For starters, they will no longer be on YouTube, which is the place that created their success and furthermore, they are accustomed to the ways of social media, whereas a network like Netflix or Hulu may actually close them off to their current subscribers, especially if they plan to charge a monthly or yearly fee. I’m sure that “Fullscreen Media” will have a lot of progress measuring to do after implementing this new idea.

We measure our successes and failures in every day life and as a part of an organization that takes part in social media I can understand the validity here. We need to make sure that our organizations are constantly up to date and making changes where necessary. Sometimes admitting defeat or failure is difficult, but more often than not it is necessary.

Bagnall, R. (2013). Chapter 19. Share This Too More Social Media Solutions for PR Professionals. (). Somerset, NJ, USA: Wiley.

Valdes, A. (2014, May 28). Fullscreen Media to Launch New Premium Video Platform.Mashable. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from           http://mashable.com/2014/05/28/fullscreen-video-platform/

Wagner, K. (2014, May 28). ‘I’m Not Very Social’: Sergey Brin Admits His Google+ Mistake.Mashable. Retrieved May 28, 2014,      from http://mashable.com/2014/05/28/sergey-brin-google/

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Guidelines for Guidance

As a part of my internship I am constantly brainstorming ideas for my organization’s public relations plan. After taking part in a recent Twitter chat discussing a variety of subjects including a social media agreement, I have a lot more ideas. Before the Twitter chat I had thought about the idea of creating a social media agreement for my organization, but I was hesitant because it seeks to cover a “grey area” of social media. I have weighed the pros and cons of creating a social media agreement for my organization and I have decided to make one for a variety of reasons.

No matter who you are or where you work whenever you post on your personal social media pages you must keep in mind that you are a reflection of the organization you work for. If a person were to post something negative or controversial on one of their own pages it may be looked at as the views of the organization and not just the person or as if the person is speaking on behalf of the organization. For the reason, a social media agreement should be created to establish a guideline stating that the employee understands what is and is not acceptable to post. This becomes tricky because an organization must decide what is acceptable and what is not, as well as what, if any, repercussions there may be for unacceptable behavior. For my organization I feel that it is important to establish a list of guidelines for what is acceptable to post personally and what is unacceptable. Furthermore, I will suggest that a member of the organization request approval for speaking publicly about the organization.

 

Would you consider it wrong to tell people that your work lets you take naps on the job?

Would you consider it wrong to tell people that your work lets you take naps on the job?

http://it-lex.org/discussing-new-job-on-social-media-does-not-violate-non-solicitation-agreement/

The goal for this agreement is for it to act as a set of guidelines. I want to emphasize the word guide here. There is a misconception that guidelines are a nice way of an organization telling employees what they cannot do. The goal is to guide members of my organization into making the right decisions. It is a way to help members of the organization to remember to think about what they are posting and how it may be perceived before they post it. This is not telling people what to post or what not to post but it is telling people to use their common sense. If they feel that there may be a reason for people to be angry about the post then it is something that they should think about before posting. Again, repercussions come into play here. If a member of the organization decides to post something negative or controversial on their social media pages that reflects poorly on the organization we must ask ourselves what the consequences for their actions are. According to the textbook “Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals” author Gemma Griffiths states “Too often organisations think about social media guidelines as a list of restrictions” (P. 40). That is not my goal for the social media agreement I plan to create. I don’t want members of the organization to feel that they are not welcome to use their personal social media pages as they please, but to be considerate of the image of the organization and to think of themselves as a member of the organization.

Even when it comes to commenting on social media pages we must be mindful. An article on mashable.com called “Commenting Guidelines for the Mashable Community” by Vadim Lavrusik lays out a list of guidelines for their employees to follow when commenting on articles. This goes to show that a set of guidelines may have a further subcategory of guidelines such as this that is specific to acceptable commenting behavior. After reading this I realize how intricate a social media agreement can get and for this reason I am even more encouraged to create one. Furthermore, another article on mashable.com called “Facebook Unfriending Has Real-Life Consequences” by Business News Daily discusses how Facebook is much more than online, but can affect a person’s real life, which can also be said for all other social media pages. This can affect an organization because if people within this organization are offending each other online it’ll create drama within the office or worse, outside of the office in the community. Since we want to avoid this, this will be a part of the agreement I create.

It appears that I have a lot to consider in planning and creating my organization’s social media agreement. I spoke with my boss today about the importance of a social media agreement and what we may include. Luckily, he agrees. However, it may be more of a set of guidelines which will be discussed with members of the organization rather than a signed documentation of agreement. I have a feeling that down the line it will evolve into something that is signed, but for now, I guess, I’ll be okay with a vocalized set of guidelines. So what do you think? Social media agreements: good or bad?

Facebook Unfriending Has Real-Life Consequences. (2013, February 6). Mashable. Retrieved May 20, 2014, from http://mashable.com/2013/02/06/facebook-unfriend-consequences/

Lavrusik, V. (2010, December 6). Commenting Guidelines for the Mashable Community.Mashable. Retrieved May 20, 2014, from http://mashable.com/2010/12/06/commenting-guidelines-for-the-mashable-community/

Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals (). (2012). Chapter 5. Somerset, NJ, USA: Wiley.

 

 

 

In the Business of Strategy and SOCIAL Media

As a student and intern of public relations and social media I find that a lot of what we do is creating strategies, planning and organizing. On a daily basis a multitude of tasks require these three elements in order to complete assignments and goals. By creating strategies PR professionals can foresee what is to come and can solve problems before they start. In careful planning PR professionals can comb over fine details of events and so on. Organization will then keep everything neat and easy to maintain. When we look at the importance of these three elements to a PR professional we must realize that they’re just as important in social media as well.

 

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http://www.webdesignerslondon.co/making-the-most-of-your-facebook-business-page/

In the textbook “Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals” we learn in part three about the difference between the uses of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. I am going to focus on the importance of Facebook because I am the most familiar with it. The book discusses (Wilson, Robin, P. 66) about the importance of considering six factors on Facebook. The first factor is audience. Why is audience important? Audience is your client or customer. When a business pays attention to their social media audience their customers notice. Furthermore, when a business interacts with their social media audience they have the opportunity to help their audience see the benefits of their organization and if there should be a negative PR situation made apparent on social media pages they have the opportunity to respond. Facebook is one of the most (if not the most) popular social media site so interaction between an organization and their audience via Facebook is crucial.

The next factor the book discusses (Wilson, Robin, P. 66) is goals. In creating a Facebook page for an organization one must consider what they hope to gain from the page and what their goals for the page are. Without an end goal, the organization may have an inconsistent or confusing message and in doing so will confuse their audience, which is never a good thing. Some goals of an organization on their Facebook page may be to send a particular message about their organization such as helping their audience recognize the organization’s community service efforts.

In the planning process the organization must be taken into consideration. Each organization has guidelines and ‘codes of conduct’ that must be followed in order to keep uniformity in the workplace. According to the book (Wilson, Robin, P. 66) these guidelines or rules are not only important in the workplace, but in the social media workplace. Any rule set by the organization must be reflected in their social media pages. What some business professionals fail to realize is that social media pages are not necessarily a “free-for-all.” They demand structure or risk failure.

Relating back to audience the book discusses a conversation strategy (Wilson, Robin, P. 66). This involves the audience again. If we think about it social media is just that; social. As an organization they have a responsibility to connect with their public through various means including the internet. In social media pages an organization has the opportunity to connect with their audience and hear them. According to an article on mashable.com called “Facebook Passes 1 Billion Monthly Mobile Users” by Kurt Wagner, we see that by going “mobile” Facebook has been able to reach even more people and even more frequently. With expanding opportunities for people to access Facebook even more frequently organizations have the opportunity to reach their audience even more so they must interact with their audience carefully and frequently.

Next up in the book is the content plan (Wilson, Robin, P. 66). A content plan involves what the page will consist of and what the organization will post in order to interact with the audience. Some organizations choose to create frequent related posts or somewhat of a mini series of posts related to the same topic and ultimately related to the organization. This creates a conversation piece between the audience and the organization and gives people the opportunity to respond to the efforts made by the organization.

Lastly, the book discusses the operations of the page (Wilson, Robin, P. 66). This involves the who, what, when, where, why and how of managing the page seamlessly. In doing so an organization has the opportunity to create a foolproof social media plan but the social media department or organization as a whole must have an understanding the of the management efforts of the social media page. According to an article on mashable.com called “Facebook Rolls Out ‘Business Manager’ Tool for Marketers” by Todd Wasserman, we learn that Facebook has created a tool for business professionals that allows them to manage multiple professional Facebook pages. This is beneficial for organizations who wish to have several pages and it helps them significantly in the operations side of their social media efforts in keeping everything organized.

In the growing world of social media it is crucial for professionals, specifically PR professionals to understand the importance of social media to an organization, the importance of organizing that social media, the content of their pages and ultimately the importance of interacting with their audience. After all, as I stated earlier, that is exactly the point of social media; interaction with others.

Wilson, R. (2012). Chapter 7. Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals(). Somerset, NJ, USA: Wiley.

Wasserman, T. (2014, April 28). Facebook Rolls Out ‘Business Manager’ Tool for Marketers. Mashable. Retrieved May 14, 2014, from http://mashable.com/2014/04/28/facebook-business-manager/

Wagner, K. (2014, April 23). Facebook Passes 1 Billion Monthly Mobile Users. Mashable. Retrieved May 14, 2014, from http://mashable.com/2014/04/23/facebook-1-billion-mobile-users/

The Social Media “Me”

Throughout my social media lifespan (give or take 10 years) I have found that I utilize certain areas of social media more than others. For instance, I use Facebook and Instagram every day, but I have a LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube that I never seem to use. Now that I am seeking to use social media as an outlet for my professional public relations, photography and travel portfolio I often find that I struggle with an “appropriate” way to incorporate all of these aspects into a creative, entertaining, personal yet professional website.

To me, social media is a way to show a side of oneself that may never be seen, but it is also a way to attract the attention of potential employers. Recently I have become conflicted with the notion of being one hundred and ten percent myself online or creating my own alter ego, which I must admit I’ve always wanted to do. I have a Wix account ( http://akangas1.wix.com/akanow ) that displays an online portfolio of some of my written work as well as some professional photos I have taken. At first, I felt that this page was perfect and absolutely what I wanted, but now, although it is on the right track, I feel like it is missing something and I can’t put my finger on it. I’m concerned that I’ll run the risk of a potential employer not understanding my creative thought process and wondering why I would use this technique.

The homepage of my wix.com site.

The homepage of my wix.com site.

 

 

I always think about celebrities like Lady Gaga. She has created an identity for herself and her fans or monsters. I always day dream about what I would name my alter ego and how I would depict her online. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it, brainstorming words that I like that I feel portray the essence of me. I had come up with the idea that I would create a website that would act as the central page for my portfolio but that would link out to my Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, WordPress, etc. I would do this so a potential employer, client or follower could see all aspects of my professional and personal life. I look at it as my personal “brand.”

With all of this in mind, I continue to feel conflicted. Reading the textbook “Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals” I learned quite a little bit about branding. According to Simon Sanders (Sanders, Simon. Part Two, P. 17)he encourages us to look at the “business drivers, social media goals and what you’re aiming to achieve.” Using this information I must create a brand that I can use social media to boost awareness of, attract visitors to and followers. Through financial goals I can increase sales through through the creation of “leads,” and I can create longstanding customers through keeping up my brand reputation on my social media sites. By doing so, I can create my own personal brand and social media identity.

Sanders also suggests that people create a strategy for each category and to start with one at a time (Sanders, Simon. P. 17). By doing so a PR professional or any professional under the communications “umbrella” can align and connect all business and brand goals. If there is one thing I have learned through pursuing a PR degree, it’s that a campaign must be consistent in all areas.

The question is: do I create a “persona” or do I stay true to myself? As I’ve gone through my college career I feel like I’ve run into one identity crisis after another. I have a much better understanding of myself, but I have also learned to embrace change because you don’t just wake up one morning and decide you are one way and act as such. Finding yourself is a process and, although I feel that I am almost there, I’m not, but does that mean I am indecisive, conflicted and unsure? Or does it simply mean that I am an ever-changing human being who must create a version of herself through social media to attract the attention of potential employers?

According to an article on mashable.com called “The Key to Balancing Business and Social Media” by Kimberly Brind ( http://mashable.com/2014/05/06/accidental-social-narcissism/ ), even in cases where one person is writing on behalf of the business they run the risk of “accidental narcissism.” This means that a person can think that they’re coming across as cheeky in an effort to be more creative than the next guy but because they ultimately must relate the topic to a personal experience of their own they come across as full of themselves. Although I would be talking on behalf of myself I could run the risk of seeming narcissistic because of promotional strategies.

On one last (and good) note, another article on mashable.com called “Facebook Still Reigns Supreme Among Young Adults” by Andrea Romano ( http://mashable.com/2014/05/06/facebook-highest-reach/ )shows that 89 percent of 18-29 year old people use Facebook over any other social media sites. That is great news for me because out of any social media site Facebook is the one I know the best. I can use this information in any decisions I must make about where to gear my “brand” efforts in the future.

From what I can tell, I’m on the right track for creating a “brand” of myself, but it’s a slow process and I’ve become increasingly indecisive. I can only hope that by the time I am actively on the job “hunt” I’ll have something to present to a prospective employer.

Brind, K. (2014, May 6). The Key to Balancing Business and Personal Social Media.Mashable. Retrieved May 6, 2014, from  

             http://mashable.com/2014/05/06/accidental-social-narcissism/

Romano, A. (2014, May 6). Facebook Still Reigns Supreme Among Young Adults.Mashable. Retrieved May 6, 2014, from

            http://mashable.com/2014/05/06/facebook-highest-reach/

Sanders, s. (2012). Planning. Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals(). Somerset, NJ, USA: Wiley.

 

Can I Please Go Back?

This time last year I was in Europe and now I’m sitting in a classroom…

However, I’m graduating in August so all of my energy is going into finishing school and my next trip has gone on the back-burner. Flipping through my Facebook photos https://www.facebook.com/ali.kangas/photos I find myself longing for the places I’ve been and the places I wish I could explore.

Today, I wish I was in Paris.

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Eiffel Tower. Paris, France.

Tomorrow I may want to be back in Ireland.

And the next day…I may want to be be back in London.

My next list of adventures begins in Madrid and ends at the Cliffs of Moher.

But for now, I sit in a classroom working on my long-term dreams.