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Archive for October, 2009

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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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

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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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