Monthly Archives: February 2010

Social Media: Friend or Foe?

After listening to “Social Media: Friend or Foe,” I had a new perspective on the pros and cons of social media becoming such a dominant aspect of our communication. Checking one’s Facebook wall or updating a Twitter status has become such an ordinary task as getting the newspaper. In the field of communication, obviously face-to-face communicating and in-person contact are important in establishing a good relationship between a business and clients. With so many large companies and organizations using social media outlets such as Linkedin, blogs, Facebook, and dozens of other tools for locating prospective employees, I think it is such a valuable asset to any career, especially public relations.

During the online conversation of the meeting, some of the people in opposition of using social media tools talked about how they did not like not being able to network in person. One man gave the example of how he would miss taking clients out golfing and dining them. I can definitely see how in taking clients out for activities like that will never be able to replace talking to someone via the internet.  Those who are skeptical of using social media and see it as a potential “foe” have good reasoning wanting to network the good old-fashioned ways.

Like it or not, businesses and people are going to have to adjust to the ever-changing ways that new technology is bringing to our society. I think that social media is a great development that will drastically improve the field of public relations as well as hundreds of other careers.

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Filed under PRCA 3030 Social Media, TOW- Topics of the Week

Benefits & Pitfalls of Social Media for Jobseekers

When looking for a job in today’s economy, jobseekers are willing to do anything that will help get their name noticed and a foot in the door. Fortunately, thanks to the explosion and popularity of social media, there are tons of opportunities for doing this on the internet. With the chance of putting yourself out there for all to see on the web, there comes responsiblity along with benefits and pitfalls to be aware of.

In his blog post, “Jobseekers: How to Utilize Social Media Like a Social Media Strategist,” Neal Schaffer discusses the importance of engaging yourself in different media outlets because that’s where companies are looking for potential employees. He explains that companies are now becoming a part of the social media scene because they realize that’s where their audiences are:  “It requires a mindset, a mindset that says that you become a resource for others instead of broadcasting your requests to others.  It also means there are a plethora of other social media channels out there that you need to explore, not just LinkedIn.  Facebook.  Twitter. Blogs….etc.”  Schaffer says job seekers can benefit from social media by having the chance to differentiate yourself and selling a product that is 100% you.

Get on the bandwagon

 Job seekers need to be concious of the fact that once something is posted on the internet, it will stick like glue and is extremely hard to erase, if even possible. Taseer Rangrez discusses the pitfalls to social media in the blog, “3 Financial Dangers of Social Media.” Andy Beal, CEO of Trackur.com, says it is important to remove any questionable images or pictures of yourself on social sites, and make them private and unsearchable. Assume employers will do a Google search of you, and let them find only positive information. Pay close attention to what you post on Twitter as well, as employers follow prospects on there as well. A good rule of thumb is if you have to question posting anything online, don’t post it. Information spreads fast online, so be careful and use good judgement.

” ‘We’ve seen a lot of cases of people publishing status updates that have gotten them in trouble,” says Justin Smith, founder and editor in chief of Inside Facebook. “

Jessica Livingston takes note on the positive aspects of marting yourself with social media in “The Benefit of Using Social Networking Sites for Recruiting.” She points out that “..profiles are designed to broadcast their interests, so if a recruiter contacts them with something he thinks will be a good fit, people are usually interested.” Broadcast skills and facts about you that are unique that will make you stand out in a crowd of competitiors. Employers search for key words and phrases, and you never know who could find you because of a specific word you used. Livingston agrees that more is better when it comes to social media networking:

The more connections they make through the sites, the more likely they are of finding a job that interests them.” 

So whether or not you are searching for your first job or just want to network yourself online to further your career, social media comes with pros and cons to be aware of. With the right attitude and some guidance, you can be well on your way to getting what you want out of networking online!

Information used on this blog post can be found at the following sites:

http://windmillnetworking.com/2010/02/11/jobseekers-start-thinking-like-a-social-media-strategist/

http://rangrez.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/3-financial-dangers-of-social-media/

http://www.humanresourcesiq.com/article.cfm?externalID=15

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Filed under PRCA 3711 Practicum

Search Engine Visibility

After reading the article on Search Engine Visibility and the different search methods that companies use to get their products and businesses popular on the internet, I got a headache thinking about how much information is truly on the internet! It is such a big and constantly-expanding universe that is only going to obtain more links and facts as time goes on. I learned that there are two types of search tactics- Paid Search and Optimized Search. These are essentially tools that marketers and web-professionals use to place their products and sites at the top of search engine results in order to receive maximum visibility. Reputational Search and Social Search are emerging methods that will prove useful to public relations and helping to reaching the appropriate audiences. Implementing social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. with tags about a company or idea will ensure that there are other places for people to find information other than Google.

I was actually surprised that only 90% of internet-users use search engines. I figured it would be closer to 95% and higher, just because so many times people, especially older adults, are often unsure of the exact web-address they are looking for on the first try. This is where search engines come into play. I thought it was very neat how JetBlue set up a twitter account, which seemed to greatly improve their customer relations and social networking in general. This is genius idea for an airline, especially when people love to complain and can’t seem to get through on the telephone and speak to a representative quick and easy.

It will be interesting to see what kind of search engines and methods we will be using in the next 5 or 10 years, which is not that far away, but in internet years seems like an eternity because a lot can happen in a year.  I like the promise that the internet brings, providing instant gratification and easy communication, and although it will be important for PR workers to implement social media online, it is also crucial for them to remember that the “P” in PR stands for public. Face-to-face relations and traditional conversations are why many people enter the field; because they are good communicators in a personal form.

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Filed under PRCA 3030 Social Media, TOW- Topics of the Week

Like a bowl of potpurri…

Social media has been around for years, but it seems that the term has sprung into everyday vocabulary out of nowhere over the past months. From facebook to twitter and all of the fancy gadgets that Apple is constantly coming up with, our society is constantly updating our lives via technology. But what does the term “social media” mean to each of us? People offered many definitions on Adam Vincenzini’s twitter page, and obviously there is no right or wrong interpretation. Some of my favorite ones…

  • @DannyBrown Social media is the human engine oil. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Mini or Mercedes, you get an equal shot to compete in the race.
  • [This is so true! It doesn’t matter if you are tech-savvy or what kind of social media outlet you use, everyone has the equal opportunity to use the internet for whatever they desire.]
  • @anna8988 Social networking; the only place you’ll find other nutters who share your interest in crazy things like pig Olympics and cat circuses!
  • [Social networking is always for professional and educational purposes; it definitely is used by me for searching for odd cat videos and talking about my favorite things on Twitter.]
  • @therealprmoment Social Media is PR’s biggest opportunity 20 years.
  • [Public relations and virtually every job in communications is undoubtedly benefitting from the simplicity and possiblities of social media!]

Creating my own definition of what social media means is sort of intimidating because the term “media” itself holds covers so many different concepts. But here it goes…

“Social media is like a bowl of potpurri; you can put anything you want in it and it is unique to you and your interests.”

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Filed under PRCA 3030 Social Media, TOW- Topics of the Week