Working Girl How-To: Building Your Brand With Pinterest

Can’t wait to try this out!

Working Girl How-To: Building Your Brand With Pinterest

Just a place to save recipes and DIY projects, no longer. Pinterest has become a staple for brands and their social strategies, serving as a visual haven for brands to show their followers what they’re all about.

Back in November 2014 when I began strategizing the January relaunch of That Working Girl, I quickly realized that Pinterest was the “weak link” of all of the site’s social properties. Sure, I had a presence of the site, but not one that was well-thought-out or well-maintained. Over the last four months I’ve learned a ton about effectively managing a brand’s presence on Pinterest, and how to boost your follower growth quickly.

Want in on a few secrets? Read on below!

Cross-promote on other social platforms.
This might seem like a no-brainer to some, but other than a button on That Working Girl’s sidebar, Pinterest wasn’t a very talked-about platform. I experienced an impressive…

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Media Relations: A Two Way Street

What is media relations and why does it matter?

Motion PR defines media relations as, “…in reference to conducting outreach or responding to the news media on behalf of your organization or client. Media relations is often considered a specialized function within a public relations campaign and can help agencies understand when it is best to do an email pitch or a traditional press release.”

In public relations it’s essential to have good media relationships. PR professionals rely on the media and journalists to cover their stories, campaigns and new launches. Basically, without strong media relations, a campaign or story may not reach its full potential. It may sound daunting to cold call a journalist and ask for coverage of an event, product or campaign but if you remember some of these key tips it will make the process a lot less intimidating.

1. Research. Simply researching stories related to your topic can help you find what reporters are covering stories in your field. If a reporter is covering a story related to the one you want to share then they may be more likely to cover yours as well.

2. Relax. Remember that although you need help from a journalist or reporter to gain coverage, they also need you. Media relationships are a two way street- they need you to give them stories just as much as you need them to cover your stories. Look at it as building a mutually beneficial work relationship.

3. The coffee date. Journalists and reporters get emails and calls all day long filled with pitches. It’s important to show that you’re more interested in a mutual relationship rather than just a simple pitch getting covered. Asking a journalist to meet up for coffee shows that you’re interested in what they’re doing as well as getting your stories covered. Once you’re sitting down with the reporter take the time to ask them what kinds of stories they’re covering or interested in covering and offer to keep your ear open.

Building positive relationships with the media means more chances at gaining coverage. Just remember, excessively bugging the media will get you nowhere. Know when to back off in order to avoid burning bridges. For more tips on pitching visit, http://blog.journalistics.com/2013/two-most-effective-media-relations-tactics-2013/.

Happy pitching!

The Person Behind The Brand

With the growth of social media and the online community, it has been key for companies and organizations to not only have an online presence but strong social media accounts as well.  The social media accounts are not only used for conversations and promotions, it’s also a way for the brand to show its true personality and colors. The ability to show themselves is both a weapon and a blessing. These organizations and brands can build and strengthen fan bases on simple re-tweets alone or they can completely destroy the trust of their followers with one inappropriate comment or picture.

I’m personally guilty of following all my favorite brands on Instagram and Twitter. I know my friends and many others do it as well. I love reading their posts and having the chance to “like” or respond to something they have shared with what feels like me personally.

I recently posted a picture on Instagram of my gelato and tagged the brand talenti as well as ABC’s The Bachelor as I was watching with a friend. When I woke up the next day not only had both talenti and The Bachelor “liked” my picture but talenti had actually commented on it as well. I had a smile on my face as if a celebrity had just commented on my picture. Of course it was most likely a public relations associate at the companies doing a simple media search who found my picture and decided to hit “like” but it had made my day and for that I will always go back to talenti when I’m craving a sweet treat.

Last week as I was making my all to familiar trip to Target when I decided to post a tweet saying, “True Life: I’m addicted to Target.” A day later Target tweeted back at me saying, “We consider that a healthy addiction. ;)” I loved it! I retweeted them and told my classmates as I read it.

Talk about simple and effective communications! The people behind those brands decided to make my day by mentioning me in a comment or liking my posts and spent probably less than a minute in doing so and still left a lasting positive impression.

All it takes sometimes is some positive interactions to completely gain my brand loyalty. Those are two of my favorite social media brand stories and I would love to hear some of yours! Are there any brands or organizations you suggest following or do you have any stories of brands interacting with you? Share in the comments below!

How to Have a PRoductive Spring Break

For college students, spring break is a time to let loose, erase everything school related from your mind and pretend for a week that you don’t have any responsibilities. As a senior in college, a heavier course load has made me much more excited for this years break even though I will most likely be sticking around dreary Oregon for the week.

Spring break is the perfect time to get a head start on the job or internship search that you “haven’t had time for” in the past few months. Here are some of the pointers I have heard and plan to work into my break while definitely still making time for relaxation and a social life:

Research, research, research! While you lay on the couch or in bed binge watching shows on Netflix, it wouldn’t hurt to start researching upcoming jobs and internships or companies you’re interested in working for. You’re most likely still in triple tasking school mode so you might as well take advantage of it and get a few productive things done. (You can do it in your pajamas!)

Set up informational interviews! Now is the time to contact those agencies or employers you have been interested in and ask if you can meet them for a cup of coffee. Choose a fun place that you have been wanting to check out and make plans to go shopping or meet a friend nearby afterwards. You will feel much more productive and inspired afterwards AND it gets you out of the house in a change of pace and scenery.

Polish. Dig up the resume and make all the little changes you haven’t gotten around to. Add in new experiences and make sure to save a copy of your resume as a PDF for using with applications. PRSA has some good resume tips but explore other websites and find what works best for you. PRSA

Apply. After you have done some research and even talked to a few companies you might as well send in some applications. Right? Set a goal early on in the week of how many places you want to apply to and then dedicate an hour or two first thing in the morning just to send in some resumes and applications. Keep track of where you send them off to on a spreadsheet and remember to check in on your applications in a week or two. (You can do this in your pajamas WHILE SIPPING COFFEE.)

You may not be somewhere tropical for spring break but make a plan and follow these steps to ensure you have a productive break! I’m sure you’ll feel just as refreshed when you go back to school (okay maybe not) but you will be more prepared than you were before break you just might not have that glowing tan.

Making Statistics Pretty

When you’re displaying statistics or information for publics, doing so in a clean, visually appealing, no nonsense matter is the key for success. The use of an infographic is the perfect way to display your data or information in a way virtually anyone can understand. Follow these easy tips for creating your own infographic’s, inforgraphic’s for clients and companies or personal posters:

Use complementing colors, in fact, try to keep your color palette below five.

Make sure your alignment is clean. It must be easy on the eyes to follow and read.

Use statistics and numbers.

Tell a story. Your use of statistics or data should flow in an order that complements or builds on one another.

End your story with solutions or more information.

When you’re first working with infographics and visual representations of data it can be confusing to understand the steps it takes to share your data in a clear and concise way. A good website for examples and templates to work with is, http://piktochart.com. Check out their site and start to play around with colors, shapes and layouts that they use and you can create your own mock infographic for a fake client before you’re asked to do the real thing.

Here’s a mock infographic I created using Piktochart. My pretend client was, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and I wanted to spread awareness about how many people are affected by the disease. At the end I offered some solutions and how viewers can get more information.

Take a look at my work in progress:

Breast Cancer Statistics Infographic 2

6 Steps to Improving Your Personal Brand on Instagram

Today, fortunately and unfortunately social media is a part of a person’s identity. If you’re using online sites then you are sharing yourself with the public and everything you say or share becomes public information you can’t take back. In the PR industry many future employers and companies want to know that you understand social media and are actively participating on it. That being said, your personal social media sites are free game and an easy way for clients and employers to learn more about your personality and brand.

If you plan to have your personal Instagram account open to public viewing then it’s time to make sure it reflects your personality in a good way and shows that you can be professional as well.

Follow these easy tips to get started cleaning up and developing your personal brand on Instagram:

1. Make sure your username is both appropriate and relevant. A simple username that includes your name or organization is perfect. Keep it short and easy to read.

2. Share your interests, major, job or any personal websites in your bio.  This is a space for you to literally share in words what you want people to know about yourself. Make sure you include your full name on your profile so they know correct spelling. If you’re a student, add your major! If you’re a graduate share what company you work for and the field you work in. If you have a specific favorite field of PR let people know! Don’t be afraid to add a personal touch as well. If you love coffee or flowers one or two of your favorite emoji’s at the end can show your character. Lastly, include a link to your blog or an email if you want people to be able to contact you.

3. Be careful when choosing a profile picture. Your profile picture is the first thing people see. Many people find it helpful to keep the same profile picture on all their social media sites from Instagram to Facebook to LinkedIn. Whether or not you want the same is up to you! My Instagram is primarily for personal use so I don’t have the same headshot profile picture as I do on my LinkedIn. It’s still important to make sure it’s appropriate though; stay away from too much skin, party pictures, you know the rules.

4. Post party pictures wisely. If you’re of age, I don’t see anything wrong with posting a picture, drink in hand. But I wouldn’t post pictures doing shots on a table. Steer clear of pictures with stacked red cups all over the background and empty bottles covering the counters. You’re allowed to have fun but your future boss might not want to know just how much fun you had.

5. Pay attention to your attire. If you’re going to be uploading pictures of yourself just make sure you’re wearing something you would be comfortable with both your family and future clients seeing you in. You don’t need to be wearing a turtleneck or business suit in every picture because that most likely doesn’t show you character but if you’re wearing a revealing cocktail dress in Vegas for your friends bachelorette party, maybe you should stick to a picture neck up. You’re the judge and every situation is different but just think about the context and who might be viewing these pictures before posting.

6. Do spell check. When posting a caption you must spell check! Most people understand that captions are just short blurbs about the picture and don’t expect to see complete sentences but do make sure your spelling is correct and clear.

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Each person will have a different opinion to personal social media sites and many people use them for different reasons but I think we can all agree if you’re in the PR industry and your account is set to public then it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable with anyone seeing it. Once you post something on the internet there’s no going back.

Once you have cleaned up your Instagram feel free to tackle your other accounts as well! Here’s a useful article about enhancing your personal brand on Twitter:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/240642

“It’s handled”

Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washingtion)  takes care of scandals and practices crisis management on screen on the hit ABC show “Scandal.” In the last few days it seems as though Kerry has stirred up her own scandal but instead of it taking place on the streets of Washington D.C. it unfolded on social media. Just two days ago Kerry Washington shared this image and statement on her Instagram account:

Quickly, fans and followers started pointing out Kerry’s much lighter skin tone accusing InStyle magazine of digitally higlighting her skin. As the twitter and Instagram worlds started roaring with mixed opinions and comments; the crisis and PR team at InStyle quickly and accurately responded in one of the fastest and simplest crisis communication statements I have ever read. “We are super fans of Kerry Washington here at InStyle. To feature her on the cover of our March spring fashion issue is both an honor and a delight. We have heard from those who have spoken out about our newsstand cover photograph, concerned that Kerry’s skin tone was lightened. While we did not digitally lighten Kerry’s skin tone, our cover lighting has likely contributed to this concern. We understand that this has resulted in disappointment and hurt. We are listening, and the feedback has been valuable. We are committed to ensuring that this experience has a positive influence on the ways in which we present all women going forward.” http://news.instyle.com/2015/02/05/from-instyle-on-kerry-washingtons-cover/ Not only did the magazine issue a statement on the same day as Kerry’s cover post but the grace they used is one for the books. InStyle did as follows:

  • Recognized fans and readers concerns
  • Explained the reason for the her skin appearing light
  • Showed they understood how it may have hurt people
  • Expressed their appreciation of feedback
  • Shared their commitment to making their magazine a positive experience for all women

InStyle didn’t hide nor did they apologize but what they did instead was recognize concerns and share their key message. Kerry even tweeted in response to their statement saying, “Beautiful statement. Thank u 4 opening this convo. Its an important 1 that needs to be had.”

In the words of Olivia Pope, “It’s handled.”