A couple weeks ago I was having lunch with a friend, who is new to the social media addiction, and I am going to explain to her how I can help her to raise her profile online because she is, after all the best in her field. No joke. But she has no voice out there…just some great Google search results thanks to her stellar clients over the years. But I am telling her on this gorgeous day, sitting outside at Cheesecake Factory in Redondo Beach, that she needs to get going with social media! She is not clueless but just hasn’t taken any steps beyond a Facebook account at this point.
I am taking her through my list and, as is always the case, Twitter is bit tougher to explain as valuable…but I believe so I do my best. Then it happens…US Air has an emergency landing on New York’s Hudson River (which used to be my view when I lived in Battery Park city, but I digress) and I receive a tweet about it from my friend and PR guru @Skydiver at 12:56 pm PST. I share the news and we have a moment of sadness because we naturally and unfortunately assume the plane has crashed and everyone has died.
Then tweets continue to come through with news of ferries as first responders and possible survivors. Then OMG a tweet announces they think all the passengers and crew are alive! We shriek in celebration which scares our server, who has not heard about the incident at all yet. This goes on for nearly an hour.
At 1:50 pm PST I finally recieve a tweet from CNN reporting the incident. My friend is compeltely impressed by the power of Twitter at this point! As am I. Pretty cool, huh?
I’ve spent the past 2 weeks interviewing candidates for 2 intern positions with my company Starfish PR. It’s been awesome because I’ve meet so many great people, it’s going to be tough to choose. One question that has come up with several of the young PR hopefuls is “what else can I do to help my chances of getting a job?” I was able to rattle off a few things that, as a hiring manager, I felt would make add credibility and give them a leg up on their competition. So here are my suggestions, but I hope other PR pros will add to this list so that we can arm young PR pros with the tools they need.
Start doing PR now – get in the conversation and network with people who work within your desired field.
Join Twitter – select a professional handle or one that is creative but conveys your area of expertise and be sure your profile shows your real name. Also, create a short profile that honestly reflects why you’re there. For example: Media newbie in Chicago looking to learn from PR pros and share my creative ideas. Oh and follow me on Twitter.
Join online networks/groups – Already on Facebook? Join some groups where you can network with likeminded people. Always share ideas and links if you can, it’s about engaging in conversations, not one-sided conversations. Better yet, start your own group and show off your leadership skills!
Blog – Blogging is the best way to establish your own voice. Write about what excites you, challenges you or drives you. Use this forum to show people why you’re interesting and always try to add value for your readers.
Google Alerts – create a google alert for your name, your desired field/industry, and companies you’d like to work with. Use any keywords (like job openings) that make sense.
Join HARO – Helpareporter.com is the greatest tool for media professionals and it’s free. Thanks to the hilarious and brilliant Peter Shankman, you receive 3 emails a day filled with media quries. Even in you don’t have a job yet, monitor these queries and see if you can help friends/colleagues get media placement. Great practice and you’ll learn a lot about pitching (the right way) on HARO.
Read other blogs – your google alerts and HARO will help you find bloggers you enjoy reeading & subscribe to their blogs and share what you learn via twitter, facebook and your blog. Also, check their favorite links for other great blogs.
Sign up for online newsletters – when you find bloggers you like, chances are they have newsletters too so sign up.
Today went by very quickly for me, which was great. I just realized I spent a lot of today tweeting and networking with colleagues (new and old) about work and life. I forgot to eat breakfast and almost lunch! In the end I feel very fulfilled because I enjoy what I learn from my network of friends and some of them really crack me up too (yes, you @MrsWrite.) Twitter was filled with great insights and links to helpful posts today. I feel like I improved my skills, while having great conversations, as usual. I guess that’s ROI 🙂
I did observe something interesting today. The folks who are doing what they love were excited to be back to work in a new year filled with possibilities. There were great conversations and posts regarding goals and expectations. The people who work a regular job…not so much. Their status was ‘hate coming to work today’ or ‘when is the next 3 day weekend?’
Makes me feel really good that I actually still enjoy what I do and, despite how football season can do a number on me on Sundays, I still go to my job with a smile and great enthusiasm! I hope everyone who had the Mondays today will make a goal in 2009 to do what they love not what they have to do.