Are advertising services invading SM sites?

Ethics in Social Media

There usually comes a point every semester where, conveniently, many or all of my classes seem to focus on one similar topic. Right now, between my ethics in mass communication, PR/advertising law, PR online tactics and argumentative prose classes, the topic of ethics in social media is being discussed quite frequently.

I’ve also started to notice a lot more attention from the media surrounding this issue, especially since the FTC announced its decision to create a new set of regulations for advertising – more specifically, endorsements and testimonials – being done through blogs, Twitter and other social networking sites.

The FTC is cracking down on SM marketing

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Event Planning 2.0

Courtesy of eventique.com

This past Friday, I attended the Greater Cleveland PRSA Student Day, titled “Get Social. Link Into Your Professional Network.” It was a long day – I was waking up to get ready as my roommate was getting home from a night out – but it was well worth it. The day consisted of PR professionals from around Northeast Ohio speaking about everything from agency and corporate life to what not to write in your resume and what shoes not to wear to a job interview.

My favorite part of the day, however, was the session titled “Event Planning 2.0.” Professionals from event planning businesses in Cleveland spoke to us about how they incorporate social media into their planning processes. I found these practitioners’ use of social media very interesting and wanted to share a little about what I learned from each of them.

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Courtesy of whoisbardi.com

Embrace Your Social Networks!

If you’re active on any social networking site, chances are you’re no stranger to those annoying users that just don’t get it. You know, the guy who tweets about what he just had for lunch. The girl who changes her Facebook status to a different Sex and the City quote every five seconds. The person promoting his or her organization/brand relentlessly, yet is only following three people, who pretty much is saying, “Hey! Look at me and what I’m doing! But I don’t care about any of you!”

Although I’m new at this whole social networking thing and still not quite sure what I’m doing, I have caught on pretty quickly as to what I shouldn’t be doing. Below I’ve listed some of my own insights about social networking I’ve discovered over these past few months, as well as some tips I found on Social Web School.com last week that help me understand the proper ways to network online. Continue Reading »

Facebook SUCKS?!

Facebook SUCKS?!

As I flipped through the Daily Kent Stater last week, the advertisement above caught my attention – for more than one reason. First of all, I thought it was odd that I found an advertisement in a college newspaper claiming that Facebook sucks, considering almost all of the college students I know are borderline addicted to the site. Secondly, when I think of Facebook I personally don’t relate it to my parents, or old people, whatsoever. And thirdly, I find it hard to believe that college students make up only 30 percent of the Facebook community. But, that’s all besides the point. This ad caught my eye and made me curious enough to check out CollegiateNation.com for myself. After registering and exploring the site for a while, I found it to be pretty interesting. So, expanding on my previous post, I thought I’d share a little info about this new SM site and how CollegiateNation.com could be another useful social media outlet for college students, and only college students.

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What can SM do for us?

What can SM do for us?

As social media sites become more and more popular all over the world, it seems as if I hear about a new site launching almost every day. One of the problems I struggle with is trying to decide which sites I should be registered with and how to use each one to my advantage. I just don’t see the logic in signing up for 50 different sites if I’m not going to use them properly, or at all. It’s just like the advice a PR pro would give to a CEO wanting to create a company blog: Don’t ever make a “let’s make a blog” blog, and don’t sign up for social media sites just because everyone else is doing it.

College students are typically not strangers to the social networking world. After all, Facebook was originally created just for us; it took years for the site to become open to the public. But just because we’ve become pros at “Facebook stalking” doesn’t mean that we understand how to properly use any other SM sites, especially when it comes to advancing our professional goals. So, I wanted to focus this post on finding social media sites that are the most beneficial to college students. Through my research, I found an article on Mashable.com that outlines the 10 Must-Try Social Media Sites for College Students. All of the sites listed can help students to network, collaborate, communicate, and make the daily college tasks a bit easier – for free! Here are a few of my favorite discoveries:

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Think PINK


How do you PINK?

How do you PINK?

When Fathom SEO Senior Account Executive Dominic Litten visited our class last week to talk about search engine optimization and the use of social media in public relations, he mentioned a best practices example that stuck in my mind: Victoria’s Secret.

Victoria’s Secret is a brand that we all know and love, some more than others I’m sure, but I think VS is a company that appeals in some way to almost everyone, even all you boys out there.

But as a female college student, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that the creation of the Victoria’s Secret PINK line made my life a lot more, well, pink – while simultaneously causing my bank account to drop significantly closer to the red (even my bed is completely covered in PINK merchandise). There’s just something about this brand that’s addicting, like I can’t ever have enough.

Plus, I’m pretty sure that this clothing line single-handedly made wearing your pajamas to class fashionably acceptable, and for that I am eternally grateful. I doubt that you’d be able to walk across any college campus nowadays without seeing at least five girls with PINK written across their behinds. We’re all walking, talking advertisements!

What’s PR Got To Do With It?

The VS PINK line was designed specifically with the younger, college-aged generation in mind. And what do we college kids like to do when we’re supposed to be studying, paying attention in class, or accomplishing a million other, more productive things? Why, we play on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube of course! And the people over at Victoria’s Secret know this. That’s why their social media campaign works so well.

Referring back to my previous post, it’s obvious that those VS PR folks asked themselves how they could successfully put social media to work for this brand. They know their audience. They know where their audience lives online. They know what they want to say to their audience. Here are a few examples of how they’re doing it (and doing it well):

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Social Media in PR – In a Nutshell


Courtesy of coedhills.co.uk

Now that we all understand what social media outlets are and how they differ from traditional media, let’s take a brief look at how these SM applications are being used in PR (I say brief because there’s enough information out there to be on this topic for days).

Before the days of e-mail and the internet, public relations professionals built relationships through personal letters, face-to-face communication and social networking events that actually required the physical presence of human beings. Press releases and press conferences served as the fastest and most cost-effective ways to spread information to large audiences. But those days are long gone.

Don’t get me wrong, the traditional media outlets are still being used in the public relations business, just not nearly as much. In today’s world, social media releases, vodcasts and 140-character status updates have taken over.

But when it comes to utilizing social media in a PR sense, it’s really as simple as this: SM outlets are helping practitioners do what they do best even better – communicate.

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Diving Into Social Media

Courtesy of newpaltz.k12.ny.us

Courtesy of newpaltz.k12.ny.us

So, here it is. My first attempt at “diving in” to the blogosphere – yet one more realm of the social media world that I have yet to master, or even try.

Facebook I can handle, but I use it more for friends and fun than I do for business and learning. Now, I am ready and willing to get my feet wet (hence the “diving in”…haha!) with some of the other SM applications out there being used to network and communicate within the PR world, and beyond.

But before I drown in a sea of widgets, tweets and notifications, I’d like to first get a grasp on what social media really is and how it relates to public relations.

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