The New Scope Periscope Brings to News

By: Erin Golden,@eringolden

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By now, everyone’s probably heard of the immediately popular, Twitter-created app, Periscope. Periscope allows people with a mobile device (and the app) to live-stream video content.

The Meerkat app, which was released first and was heavily funded right before Periscope, has failed miserably after Periscope launched. Periscope’s usage and downloads have recently spiked and passed the downloads and the rankings of Meerkat. A large difference between the two apps is that Periscope saves the content on the app for 24 hours after the first live broadcast.

We can use our phones to live-stream events straight to the Internet in real-time, so what?

An app like this, however, could drastically change the news industry for media and for brands as well.

Here’s what apps like Periscope could mean for the PR/media industry.

  • We (the people) become even more of a “citizen journalist.” Giving the public the ability to be the first to report on events with video is a big deal. Now, big-time news outlets like CNN or Fox have competitors when it comes to quickly broadcasting real-time news. People with their phones might be able to post the content and spread the news faster than a news crew can get there. This doesn’t mean the quality will be high – just like citizens posting incorrect information on Twitter and Facebook, live video can still be taken out of context. However, seeing is believing, which makes it easier for a developing story to tell itself through an app like Periscope.
  • Brands could be hesitant to dive into a live-streaming app. It’s been stated that Twitter probably won’t be able to filter all of the content coming through Periscope. This could mean events that weren’t scheduled or monitored could be out on the web before a brand’s communication team might even be aware. Crisis communication anyone?! For this reason, brands might be hesitant to invest and partner with live video streaming like Periscope.
  • Global connections are made even easier. Periscope seamlessly connects users to other users all over the world, therefore really focusing in on the “international connectivity” aspect of social media. When traditional media reports internationally, it’s often from the perspective of a journalist who is not a native of the country, possibly skewing the reporting or having a bias on the news. Periscope allows people all over the world to glimpse into another’s life and view it from their perspective; from all the way across the world to right down the street.

No one (even us PR pros) can predict the future of technology and the effects of every new app that comes on the market. But, apps like Periscope harbor the potential to possibly change the landscape of the public relations and media markets.

Networking Trips 101: The Do’s and Don’ts

By: Morgan Borer, @MorganBorer

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This weekend, I traveled to the city that’s just as famous for its deep-dish pizza and hot dog stands, as it is for the Sears Tower: Chicago. I arrived at the Felix Hotel late Thursday evening with four other members of PRSSA, tired and weary-eyed from the exhaustive drive. I quickly unpacked my bags, located my planner and itinerary and hopped into bed. I was eager for a full day of networking with Scripps PRSSA.

I have traveled to Chicago a few times prior to this weekend, but I found myself unprepared for this networking trip. For example, while walking downtown during our lunch break on Friday, I frantically called my dad pleading him to deposit money into my account, I had seven dollars.

I was also shivering and attempting to warm my hands, to no avail. I also failed to bring a decent winter jacket and gloves. It’s almost April, so it must be warm in the city, right? Wrong. Fortunately, I was surrounded by people who really had it together and helped make this weekend the experience of a lifetime, despite my poor planning!

After reminiscing on the trip, I’ve conjured up a few “Do’s” and Dont’s” of Networking in the City.

Do dress for the weather

Check the local weather at least one week in advance, and begin planning appropriate outfits and outerwear. If you’re traveling to a city, like Chicago, with cooler temperatures, pack extra gloves, hats, scarves, socks, tights and a warm coat. Also, bring appropriate shoes! Flats are much more comfortable for getting in and out of cabs than heels. Stash your heels in your bag to change into at your destination.

Do your research

Know the companies and professionals that you are visiting before you walk in the door. Visit the company website, read recent press releases, and be well-informed about what they are doing in the news. Come prepared to each meeting with intelligent, thoughtful questions. Professionals will be impressed when you show that you’ve done your homework.

Do soak it in

You’re a student, so act like a sponge and soak everything in. Listen closely to what each professional has to say. Oftentimes, they offer valuable interview tips and career advice. In Chicago, several of the professionals spoke about their own personal journey after college, and how they ended up working in public relations. Pay attention to the company culture and the environment and watch how employees interact with one another.

Do follow up

Bring your resume and business card to each place you visit, and be sure to collect business cards before you leave. After the visit, send each professional a personalized follow-up email. Thank them for meeting with you and discussing the company. You can always add a compliment, or mention something specific you liked about the company. For example, when I followed up with Groupon, I mentioned how I loved the Tiki bar in the middle of the office. Additionally, reach out to each professional on Twitter or LinkedIn and send them a message. These connections will be important during job hunting season.

Don’t be on your phone

Warning: If you’re like me and have an emotional and physical attachment to your iPhone, this will be difficult. However, it’s extremely important to stash your phone away and pay attention. Professionals will notice if you seem distracted or uninterested in the presentation and their company. At one of the agencies I visited, an employee blatantly pulled out his phone multiple times throughout the presentation, giving me a negative impression of the agency. Be polite and engaged.

Don’t feel like you have to have your life planned out

A networking trip is an opportunity to sample a little bit of everything from the buffet. You don’t need to know exactly what you want, or where you want to work. If you are set on working for a non-profit, that’s excellent, but keep your options open. One professional I spoke with told me that in college he never wanted to work in advertising or marketing, and that’s exactly what he does today. Don’t be intimidated by the young, cool, seemingly know-it-all professionals. They started out right where you are.

Don’t forget to smile

Finally, don’t forget to smile! Make good eye contact and smile at everyone you meet. You will likely grow tired, hungry, or in desperate need of a 3 p.m. Starbucks run. However, making an effort to stay upbeat and positive will make each visit more enjoyable. Display genuine kindness and people will definitely notice.

Social Media’s Inevitable Development

By: Austin Ambrose, @tex_ambrose7

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Remember the ‘good’ ole days when Facebook was a place for high schoolers to rant about their lives, share pictures, and parents didn’t even know it existed? Or when Twitter was an easy way to update you followers on what you were doing. Or when you had ‘Best Friends’ on Snapchat. Those were the days.

Sure, you can still find this on each of these sight, except the ‘Best Friends,’ which we are still bitter about. However, you know have to decipher through something else in order to reach this original social aspect of social media: news content.

There is nothing wrong with news content, but it leads to the point that social media sites often get taken over by the news industry trying to reach more people and make enough money to stay afloat. Who can blame them? Finding an audience can be difficult these days.

It seems to be the inevitable path of social media. It as a platform for young adults/teenagers, to do whatever the sites is for, and then news companies and older generations move on in. Thus, changing the whole experience of social media.

Facebook and Twitter have become hubs for media outlets to post and circulate content. Facebook has become grand central station for Buzzed quizzes, and has even ventured into publishing original content. Twitter has become an easy platforms for companies to put up articles and hope people retweet it.

Snapchat has begun to move in this direction, having their new ‘Discover’ feature and sponsored Snap stories. The positive side with Snapchat is that it would be very difficult to infiltrate the original purpose of the app, to send terrible selfies to your friends.

It’s inevitable that media companies will want to use these platforms for their own gain. It doesn’t, however, seem to be scaring users away, but changing the way the site is used. Conversely, people are always on the lookout for the next breakout app.

Five Most Underused Social Media Tools

By: Gentry Bennett, @Gen_andTonic

With so many social media sites these days, it can be hard to learn the ends and outs of all of them. There are some hidden tools and features that can extremely help improve your experience. Without further ado, here are the five most underused social media tools…

1. Mute on Twitter, Unfollow on Facebook

Whether it’s your uncle on Facebook that likes to share his political views, or that one professor on Twitter that tweets at least once an hour, sometimes your feed needs a little “spring cleaning.” The mute and unfollow options on Twitter and Facebook, respectively, help you to stay connected with whomever you please. If the people you want to connect with aren’t improving your social media experience, silence is a simple click away. To activate these features, go to the selected account’s profile page. From here, on Facebook click where it says “Following” or on Twitter click the “Settings” gear, and unfollow or mute away!

2. Reading List on Twitter, Saved Links on Facebook

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This feature will come in handy for those with a tendency to click on the longest articles when they don’t have time to read. If you fall into this category, and want to save that Buzzfeed article for your morning commute or walk to class, your bookmark bar is waiting for you. The days of cluttered bookmark bars and a million open tabs on your browser are over: enter Saved Links and Reading List. iPhone users can send articles found on Twitter to their Safari “Reading List,” while Facebook users can use the “Save Link” feature. Simply open the article of your choice and tap the arrow coming out of the box icon to save or send to your List.

3. Discover on Instagram

It’s easy to scroll through the photos on Instagram and then close out of the app. Just one tab over from your home feed is the search tab where you can also find Instagram’s most popular photos. These photos range from a Kardashian selfie to traveling photographers. This is a great way to find new people and companies you can follow to help diversify your feed.

4. Pinned Posts

Pinned tweets and Facebook posts (most often used in Groups) can be extremely helpful for the social media user with a lot of content on their profiles or Groups. Pinned posts allow you to pin one post that you find important, or has pertinent information, to the top of your profile. All other content following will be organized as it normally would. This is especially helpful for an upcoming event or contact information that a user viewing the profile or Group may need.

5. Relationship Notes on LinkedIn

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Use this hidden feature to privately remember where you met someone or a reminder about a conversation you had once. Below the photo on a LinkedIn profile, click “Relationship.” From here, you can add any notes you want about the person. The best part is, the notes are completely hidden to anyone except you.

Keeping Your Personal Brand Safe Over Spring Break

By: Sophia Ciancone, @sophiaciancone

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Spring break is finally here. Ping has been packed and the salad bar line long. Students are ready to set off and enjoy a week of carefree relaxation and fun. It’s important, however, that students keep in mind a lecture we’ve heard time and time again: brand yourself. From professors to professionals, everyone in the field promises that if we just create our brand, we are set. Sometimes, adventurous trips like spring break can put our brand at jeopardy. In order to make sure that does’t happen, here are some tips to keep things clean while you’re soaking up the sun and having a blast with your friends.

  1. Put the phone down. Sun, sand and water make a dangerous combination when it comes to smartphones. Despite the fact that you want to capture memories of your trip, it may just be best for your phone and your brand if you keep the phone in a safe, secure location. Don’t bring out your professional self, if there is a chance someone could ruin your professional image. Bring it out only for small periods of time.
  2. Steer clear of social media. This could be a good week just to take a short break from social media all together. Log out of your Twitter and Instagram, or maybe only check it a few times a day. Once something is posted, it can never come down.
  3. Take fun, clean pictures. When you step away from the party for a bit snap some fun, beach pictures with your friends that are social media friendly. These are the pictures you can share with your followers that will keep your brand clean and pristine.

Keep these simple tips in mind while you’re soaking up the sun, and when you return back to reality, your brand will be exactly the way you left it.

Citizen Journalism

By: Kelsey Miller, @kelseymiller300

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The quote, “With great power comes great responsibility,” isn’t just helpful for super heroes, but a quote journalists should stand by in their career. Are citizens, however, as aware as professional journalists about what great responsibility comes with having a smartphone?

Citizen journalism is the idea that someone breaks the news that isn’t a journalist. You wouldn’t have heard this term ten years ago, but with the sophistication of smartphone users in the past few years, it’s in our vernacular.

The questions is, should it be considered a form of journalism? In the Stuebenville, OH rape case and the Eric Garner video, it was. Or was it? Is it possible that there was more to these situations than we, as viewers, know about? I am not discounting the authenticity of what happened in these videos, but how long before a person twists a major news story and leads the world astray? Think about it: do you really trust Wikipedia all the time?

False information is put on social media regularly. What distinguishes a false claim from a true claim? It is a lot to expect from people to behave ethically when it comes to what they post on social media or their blog. This means that all forms of citizen journalism must be taken with a grain of salt.

With that being said, without it, cases like Stuebenville or the Eric Garner video wouldn’t have been brought to the surface. Citizen journalism is responsible for exposing the seriousness of rape culture and racism in this nation, something a lot of people like to sweep under the rug. This is only the beginning. What will citizen journalism tell us about our country next?

People are pickier than ever about where and how they obtain news. The Third Annual Social Media News Survey findings, as told in the article, Is Citizen Journalism Good for News Media, put it: “[The survey], conducted by TEKGROUP International in 2012 found that almost 90 percent of the respondents name Facebook and 70 percent name Twitter as their primary source of news and information.”

In addition, 28 percent of respondents get all of their news from social media alone. With staggering numbers like these, it is impossible to ignore the impact of citizen journalism. People trust their peers more often than they trust a journalist these days.

In a world where nothing is fast enough, it would be stupid to not take advantage of the convenience of citizen journalism. Professional journalists are unable to break every story; they aren’t the same super heroes they used to be. The question now is where will journalism be in another 10 years?

Starting 2015 right: Cleaning up your online PResence

By: Alexandra Corsi, @acorsi17

Twitter was full of blunders in 2014. Between DiGiorno Pizza’s insensitive tweet, in light of the Ray Rice domestic violence accusations, and U.S. Airways’s leak of a pornographic image. Poor online public relations decisions made headlines left and right this past year. Taking these PR fails into account, here are some ways you can start 2015 right by cleaning up your online footprint.

1. Think before you tweet.

Check out this infographic from Mashable. If you’re ever wondering whether you should post something, this is a good flowchart to help guide your decision. Almost 80 percent of employers will consider someone’s online presence before hiring them. Even if you’re not currently considering internships or job offers, thinking before you tweet, or even having two different social media accounts—one private for personal use and another public for professional use—is important for preventing future debacles.

2. Always do your research.

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The reason DiGiorno’s tweet came across so insensitively was their lack of researching the meaning behind #WhyIStayed. Instead of coming off as snarky and funny, the tweet was received by Twitter users as ignorant and insensitive. Hashtags often relate to current events, so even if you do keep up with the news, doing your research before using a hashtag can prevent your tweets from coming off as ignorant and being used incorrectly.

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3. Create a brand for yourself, and make sure your online profiles are consistent with that brand.

How do you want to come across to potential future employers? This is something I always keep in mind when I’m drafting a tweet. Nothing online is private anymore; between screenshotting and quote-tweeting, there are multiple ways to save someone’s tweet, even if they have deleted it. You, typically, don’t want to come across to a potential employer as a crazy party person, with the mouth of a sailor. If you want to brand yourself as a professional, hard-working public relation mastermind, make sure your social media is consistent with that brand too.

Let your 2015 resolution be to shape up your social media presence. I think that one of the main problems is that with phones and technology, people feel like they are invincible, when hiding behind a phone. Keep in mind that what you post online reflects upon you in person. Practice good personal PR and keep your social media clean!