Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Keeping Your Personal Brand Safe Over Spring Break

February 27, 2015

By: Sophia Ciancone, @sophiaciancone

SpringBreak

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

January 28, 2015

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

January 21, 2015

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!

5 Social Media Tips to Begin 2015

January 6, 2015

By: Austin Ambrose, @tex_ambrose7

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Starting a new year allows for the chance to start fresh, and there is no reason this shouldn’t apply to your social media life too. Now is a perfect time to rethink your media strategy, and make some changes for the year ahead. With a little time and effort, you can have a completely revamped and improved plan for 2015.

Evan Lepage, a blogger for Hootsuite, discussed five tips for social media renovations. Taking from Lepage’s discussion, I’ll add some personal experiences of my own to bring the discussion closer to home.

1. Declutter and Drop the Weight

  • There are times when you scroll through your news feed on the accounts you manage, or maybe your own, and realize that you have no idea why you follow some r accounts. Drop that weight. Stop cluttering your feed with people who aren’t aligning with your goals, or who aren’t supplying the information you are looking for. Get rid of them, and move on. Also, cancel those accounts that you never use. If you aren’t updating that Google+ you made when you signed up for Gmail, end it. People shouldn’t find that and follow it, if you are never going to update anything on it.

2. Set Realistic Goals

  • Be smart about what you plan to achieve this year with your social media accounts. Don’t get your hopes up, saying you are going to gain 100 organic new followers on Instagram in a month. Chances are this probably won’t happen. I know that I have created goals for one of my accounts to post every other day on a Facebook page, and have 5 new likes in two months. Since education reform is a narrower interest group, I knew not to expect a lot, but hopefully gain some new followers.

3. Build a Follow List

  • While you are setting your goals, it might be a good idea to think about what information you hope to receive from your accounts. Once you know what you are looking for from your account, find new accounts that will provide you with that information. Don’t follow the people that retweet the information, follow the people who are first to send it out. Make a list of these people, and know who to look for to increase your effectiveness.

4. Update Profiles

  • Not having an updated profile is a real buzz kill. People are looking to learn more about you, but if you never update that Linkedin, then it becomes difficult. And yes, people still check Facebook, so make sure that is updated as well. Even if you don’t use it, have it up-to-date, or get rid of it.

5. Learn, Learn, Learn

  • Social media could be described as the fastest changing medium. New platforms are created all the time. It’s important to know what the hottest new app is and how the old ones have evolved. Stay current and do your homework. Make an effort to learn as much as you can about the sites you use and how they are changing. Also, make it a point to be on the look out for what is up and coming. You don’t want to be the last one to the rodeo.

Tumblr: Less is more

December 31, 2014

By: Gabrielle Gamad, @gabbygamad

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While procrastinating in the library, I discovered why one social media site is taking the field. Archive after archive, I began to see an abundance of things Tumblr did better than the more popular social media platforms.

For starters, Tumblr hits the hard-to-reach demographic, teen to twenty-something year olds. According to the Business Insider, GlobalWebIndex’s survey reported that 34 million Internet users, globally, said that they contribute to, or use Tumblr on a monthly basis. Nearly half, 46%, of these users were between the ages of 16 and 24. Tumblr appeals to this age group by keeping posts simple.

I can confidently say a majority of my newsfeed is Parks and Recreation memes (usually Leslie Knope inspirational quotes), dancing babies from Vine and GIFs from old 90’s movies. Under all the fluff of my favorite memes and GIFs is something every person interested in PR can take away. Going into 2015, people in PR should consider that sometimes less is more when trying to target the 16 to 24 age group.

Hear about “The Woman and Black 2” coming to theaters January 2nd? There’s a GIF for that. What about the Hawaii vacation give away contest St. Ives is promoting? Yeah, there’s a GIF for that too. Instead of watching a three minute movie trailer, there is a couple of highlights from the movie, conveniently located to the right of your newsfeed. Also, a picture of two sandy feet in the ocean is a lot more appealing than a list of reasons why you should pay attention to St. Ives. We live in a fast paced world where advertisements are long and attention spans are short. Quick GIFs and images gets advertiser’s point across without wasting the time of their audience.

Scroll through Tumblr, you can immediately see there is an array of multimedia content that appeals to our microscopic attention spans, keeping posts short, sweet and to the point. Tumblr is similar to Twitter and Instagram in the way they distribute their content. What sets Tumblr’s apart is the ability to have multimedia, and various other mediums, on a newsfeed. Instagram is strictly pictures or videos, and Twitter is 140 character posts and pictures. Tumblr is all media you need concentrated into one area.

Tumblr began utilizing their unique multimedia abilities when native, sponsored posts were created in Spring 2013. Since then, they have been revolutionizing the way companies are promoting themselves and engaging with consumers. An example of the paid advertisers Tumblr has is the telecommunication company, AT&T.

AT&T is currently on a journey to look at the way humans are evolving and connecting through mobile devices, which they call, The Mobile Movement. Anyone can track their journey on AT&T’s Tumblr. Students, artists, innovators and every day people can share their stories about their networked life through customer created GIFs, making it personal and relatable. AT&T is connecting with their customers in a way that no one else is.

Even their sponsored post is simple, a text bubble that reads “when you know what you want call me.” AT&T is bringing life to their brand by using reblogs, GIFs and memes to connect with their customers personal loves and experiences. That is the most significant difference between Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. Tumblr has the ability to bring people together through experiences and human insights.

Those in the PR field should begin prioritizing Tumblr as a primary social media platform, maybe even more than Twitter and Instagram. Tumblr is quickly increasing the number of companies they are sponsoring, as they continue to revolutionize the way companies engage with young consumers. When it comes to targeting young consumers, Tumblr proves that simple multimedia posts are most appealing.

Athens Boutiques Get Social With Their Media

November 6, 2014

By: Corina Rolko @corinarolko 

Athens is widely known for being home to Ohio University and its popular annual festivals, but many are finding that the gorgeous brick streets also boast modern and unique fashion boutiques. Uptown Athens has a wide array of shops, but a few have boosted their popularity through a strong social media presence.

kismetFigleaf Boutique, a women’s clothing store on North Court Street, has a fan base of almost 4,500 people who view their daily posts. The shop mixes media with photos, look books and simple sale announcements to entice customers to stop in and shop their regularly changing selection. To engage with customers, they also host giveaway contests on their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – creating a fun and fashionable environment online.

Just up the street from Figleaf, Artifacts Gallery uses colorful graphics, enthusiastic tones and infuses humor into their social media. Their Facebook page has over 600 fans and their photo-driven approach engages customers and brings them into the story. They also have a Twitter account where they showcase photos and important sale information.

Screenshot_2014-11-06-14-28-54Kismet, a newcomer to the Athens fashion scene, is a women’s and men’s clothing, accessory and home goods boutique located on West Union Street. Kismet has taken off on social media with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram accounts that are constantly engaged with customers. Their Twitter page has a following of almost 500, and they consistently post links to their blog where readers can learn about the newest trends and see new pieces in the store. Their Instagram account shows pictures of pieces to draw in customers and promotes contests that give followers chances to win gift cards or unique items from the store. The different platforms could easily become overwhelming, but instead of posting the same information and photos, they work together to promote events and sales in different and innovative ways. For a sidewalk sale in April, their Facebook account ran an announcement in the morning, while their Twitter account posted a photo of the set up and the Instagram account posted a photo of new bracelets that were available for purchase.

In a town where the target market is college students attached to their smart phones, fashion boutiques have to be smart in using social media if they want a free and effective way to bring in new and returning customers. While the fashion selection in Athens continues to grow and expand, its certain that the social media presence of each business will become more and more important in marketing efforts.

 

Denny’s: PR Genius or Insanity

October 20, 2014 1 Comment

By: Amanda Moline @mandamoline

Face it: you’re addicted to Twitter. You follow everyone from TSwift to Stephen Colbert and that one girl from that one class you had a couple years ago. But you probably don’t follow Denny’s, and you definitely should.

Over the past several months, Denny’s has loosened up and narrowed their brand’s voice around goofy and often outrageous humor, aiming for a younger and more Internet savvy audience. The brand manages to combine humor with purpose by participating in trending hashtags, life-tweeting pop culture events such as award shows, and participating in various conversations that

American teens and young adults are having about music, celebrities and more. To prove that you should indeed take the plunge into syrupy social nonsense that is Denny’s twitter, here are seven times Denny’s won Twitter (and the Internet).

First off, as you start reading their tweets, you’ll wonder, “who the @$%# runs this account?”

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Now, Denny’s loves their Top 40 hits, but they seem to have a strong love for Drake in particular. They even made their own emojis for him!

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You can dance if you want to, Denny’s. You can leave those other restaurants behind.

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And don’t worry – they paid their tribute to Queen Bey.

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They make all sorts of references, like this ode to SpongeBob Squarepants.

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They promote some really important causes.

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They even had a 13-tweet long saga on National Coffee Day about a character ingeniously named Greg, who drinks so much coffee that he soars above the city: “using his super-caffeinated powers to thwart criminals and protect us from bono” where he apparently gets lost.

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Denny’s has effectively joined the online conversation by leveling with their demographic, and setting the tone for other companies on Twitter. Their whimsical, teenage-minded approach on staying relevant sure does stick with you. At the end of the day, I believe that is what public relations is all about. You do you, Denny’s.

Is it Weird for a Potential Employer to Follow Me?

August 4, 2014

By: Amanda Moline @amandamoline

Picture that little (1) next to the PR lover’s favorite little bell, sounding a new Twitter notification. You rush to check who will now be updated with the glorious 140-character proverbs that are your daily Tweets, when you realize that the person you just recently interviewed with, your potential employer, is now following you on Twitter. So…is that weird?

You’ve used social media to connect with friends from classes, student orgs, or even people you’ve met online, but what about a potential employer? When used professionally and carefully, social media can be utilized to maintain connections and allow others to get to know you. If you’re considering interacting with a potential employer on Twitter or any other social media site, make sure to keep these tips in mind.

-Follow the company in general, rather than the specific employer, and follow them hard. If you’re truly interested in working for a company, it’s helpful to know about their culture and their online content.

-If you connect with anyone related to the company whatsoever, make sure your Twitter is Grandma-approved. This means not having anything on your pages that you’d be embarrassed having your Grandmother see. Keep it clean or it could cost you the job.

-Be sure to use your social media accounts to equally push out valuable information and connect with others. Of course it’s a great idea to share a relevant article that you feel your Twitter followers may enjoy as much as you did, but continuously being a “news feed” is bland and overdone. Create and share original content, especially if you have your own blog.

-Don’t thank your interviewer over Twitter, that’s just lame and lazy. Write them an actual thank you note or thank you email – it does wonders.

The verdict: as long as you keep it clean and have valuable interactions, it can actually be valuable to have your potential employer follow and interact with you.

#Trending on Social Platforms

July 18, 2014

By: Hannah Wheeless @tweetsonwheels

Jeeter Re2pect campaign is trending right now on Twitter

Jeeter Re2pect campaign is trending right now on Twitter

From flip phones to iPhones, G2G to BAE, and highwaisted shorts to- well back to high waisted shorts, the latest trend is something we’ve all strived to keep up with at some point in our lives. Trends tell us what’s new or popular so we can be a part of it.

By collecting the most mentioned topics, phrases and words in social media posts, different platforms can display them for all their users to see allowing the opportunity to engage with others in the online community.  With an opportunity like that, many social networks couldn’t pass up utilizing this trending concept.

HOW IT WORKS

Hashtags may be the first place your mind goes to when thinking of trends. The introduction of the hashtag on social media allows users to categorize their posts making popular or trending topics appear in a column on the newsfeed or home page. However, trends can be created with or without a hashtag. Using a specific word or phrase in a post categorizes it with any other users post that also includes that word or phrase. After enough users start chatting about that specific topic, it becomes a trending topic.

WHO DOES IT BEST

Twitter

Hashtags and Twitter go together like bricks and Court Street. The categorizing of trends through hashtags allows users to instantly engage in conversations with fellow tweeters about anything from the Scandal finale to record breaking brick wall, Tim Howard.  This hashtag concept has quickly been adopted by other platforms including Facebook, Vine, Pinterest and Instagram. Searching a word or phrase in theses platforms will lead you to a page that compiles photos, status updates or posts with that same topic.

 Instagram

Instagram uses trends the same way as its fellow social media friends. However, because Instagram is limited to only sharing images, they only have the “explore” page that displays images based on accounts you follow, images you’ve liked, as well as popular trending images within your area and around the world.

YouTube

Whether you’re on YouTube for some laughs from your favorite Jenna Marbles clip or to attempt learning the latest dance craze, Youtube keeps track of who’s watching what and how often. They find trending videos and display them on their home page, dividing them into categories from sports, cooking and music. You can also use a hashtag in the description of your uploaded videos to make them more easily found by others.

Reddit

Reddit is a website constantly being updated with anything from breaking news to goofy memes. The entire website is organized by up and down votes, likes and dislikes. Therefore, the top post has the most upvotes or is the highest trending post, followed by the next highest trending post and so on. This system allows trending topics to be easily available as well as become interactive.

At the end of the day, any website or social media platform is looking to find the most talked about topics and make them available to its users. Hashtag or not, when something big happens in the world or even just in your own town, social media platforms are the perfect place to get the details and join in on the movement.

 

 

 

How to Connect With Someone You Don’t Know, but Want to

July 9, 2014

By: Sydney Gardner @sydneygardner

two tweets“It’s all about who you know.” It’s been said time and time again. To a PR student, connecting with professionals can often appear too intimidating to even try, but have no fear! Social media is a great way to connect with professionals in a less stressful environment! Taking a few easy steps will allow you to not only connect with someone you don’t’ know, but probably impress them along the way as well.

Know Their Work

Professionals may be flattered at you fan-girling over how pretty their office is, or who their clients are, but nothing shows your genuine interest better than knowing what they have done. Look up case studies, check out their blog and really read them! This not only gives you the chance to get a true idea of what type of work they do, but it also helps you see if this person is all you’ve cracked them up to be. By being able to discuss a person’s work with them, in and educated and informed manner, you show that you are truly interested in their career industry.

Interact With Them

So now that you have studied up on the person/company/brand that you love, it’s time to let them know. Social media is all about having real conversations so just remember to be yourself. I think one of the best ways to show them you like their work is to share their blog, tweets, etc. Networking on social media allows you to create a more casual environment to interact. Twitter is a great platform for starting conversations with professionals because you aren’t expected (or allowed) to write a lot. Just tell them, and your followers, why you like it. You may even get a reply or a follow from it! You can also comment on their work if you don’t want to share it. Be aware to not over do mentions and comments though! You want to show the person you admire what they do, not that you’re obsessed with them (even if you are).

Connect

Now that you’ve laid the foundation for connection, it’s time to take the plunge. I think connecting on LinkedIn is a great midway point between Twitter and email. I recommend connecting on LinkedIn within a few days of having a conversation on social media. Remember to always write an actual note on the invite, not the generic one given. Remind them of the conversation and let them know why you want to connect. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Most professionals will welcome connecting with an enthusiastic student with open arms.

Social media may not scream professionalism to some, but it can be great tool for you to reach out to people you want to connect with.  Social media has the unique ability to blend your personal life with your professional one, and that allows you to form genuine connections with people. When you interact with professionals on social media you are able to highlight you’re unique blend of personality and professionalism. So next time you are looking to network, turn to social media. You may be surprised at how successful you will be.

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