Life update: October 2012

As usual, I’ve been trying to write more often on the blog and have been slacking. But, for good reason: I’ve been crazy busy with my new job! Most of my friends and family know that I have a new job, but few know exactly what I do, so I thought I’d write a post explaining what it is I do.

I work for a boutique PR agency called Watershed Communications that’s located in downtown Portland. Most of our clients are upscale restaurants and wine, cider, and beer makers, which means lots of fun reading news about the food and beverage industries. I’m currently an intern, but have been applying my expertise in a variety of areas. My day-to-day job is to track media pitches and mentions, but I’ve also written news releases, created media lists and have had many group brainstorm sessions about social media marketing. It has been very busy, but rewarding to feel like my arrival has helped the business in a positive way.

Another fun perk of the job is going to rad client events like the Portland Fresh Hop Festival and the Feast 2012 Sandwich Invitational. I will be writing posts about both of those events in the coming days. And I can’t forget the occasional dinner and bottle of wine I can take home; those are little perks I love getting. Stepping back into public relations after delving into the advertising realm of social media has been a smooth process and I’m happy about the direction I’ve taken. It definitely seemed ideal to get a job here after all of the papers I’ve written in school and food and beer.

If you want to follow along with what our agency is doing, feel free to check out the website and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks again for reading!

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Is Social Still Cool? Webinar Highlights

Today I attended a webinar ran by Social Media Today called “Is Social Still Cool?” Three panelists who work with social media in their businesses offered their perspective on the state of social media right now, defined the word “cool” as it applies to social media, and spoke about the “do’s and don’ts” in social media marketing. Gabby Nelson, community manager for Sleep Number; Erika Napoletano, writer and author; and Paul Berry, CEO of Rebelmouse were the panelists and these were some of the highlights from the hour-long conversation.

Defining “cool” in social media

Brands that are cool on social media definitely understand their target audiences and know how to communicate with them through a variety of channels.

 

Brand interaction on social media

Some of my favorite brands on social media have both an inanimate presence and human presence. People like Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson, Activision’s Dan Amrich and Marvel Entertainment’s Ryan Penagos are great examples of a human presence of a large brand.

 

If your brand screwed up, would you apologize?

The power of an apology is greater than ever in the age of the Internet. I’m not sure if it’s because people feel like others are desensitized to hurtful actions, but a heartfelt apology can make the difference between a friend and an enemy.

 

Who works well in public-facing roles for your company?

Not everyone needs to be in a public-facing role of a company, but most people in media roles should have a presence on social media. Those who use their accounts successfully will only benefit their employers by doing their job well and attracting future talent to their place of business.

 

What brands are doing cool things in social right now?

The Oatmeal is awesome. If you love sriracha, you must read The Oatmeal.

Overall, I’d say that being “cool” on social media involves listening and interacting with your customers. For companies both large and small, every employee that is active on social media is a potential asset for the company. Hiring an employee that fits well with the company culture could ensure fantastic exposure of the company for future business opportunities. Employees that fit their company culture and understand how to communicate with their brand’s audience are what make social media “cool.”

How to Make Content Marketing for Social Media Work for You

Content writing

 

Today I attended a webinar at Social Media Today hosted by C.C. Chapman, Ann Handley, and Maggie Fox, which covered the topic “content marketing for social media.” In the hour that they let their expertise shine, I discovered a wealth of insight that I wanted to highlight here in case you missed it.

Content Marketing: What is it and who does it well?

Content marketing is anything you create and share to tell the story of your brand and/or company. You can ask yourself, “How does our product help people?”

Two companies that C.C. and Ann covered who are doing content marketing for social media well right now are the following:

Burberry: They are doing a fantastic job with over 454,000 followers on Instagram right now and it’s not unusual to see someone with an iPhone next to the runway taking pictures. Burberry has a great mix of raw and professional photos that keep them popular on social media.

Oscar de la Renta: OscarPRGirl uses Pinterest to tell a story about the brand whether it’s through sketches of the designs or fashion shows they appear at. Their 27,458 followers on Pinterest demonstrate the success of the medium.

But you don’t have to have a big budget like those two examples to create great content marketing. With a high-quality camera phone, you can take pictures of happy customers and your product in use to spread your very own content marketing. The power of social media is connecting with potential customers in their daily lives by telling the story of your brand. Be flawsome.

What’s “flawsome?” It’s being awesome because of your flaws, not in spite of them.

Tool Examples in Content Marketing

Some of their favorite content tools mentioned include the following:

Instagram – Many people use this simple app on iPhone and Android to share pictures and it’s proven to be a great way to share marketing content.

Vyclone – The concept behind this app is that many people in one place can take a video of the same thing and it’ll upload all the videos to make one solid video from multiple angles. I imagine it’s like that Beastie Boys documentary.

Over – This app is simple in the fact that it lets you add words over pictures. It’s for those people that love ads and equally for those that want to make memes straight from a mobile device.

List.ly – This tool lets you create lists out of information you have and also curate lists.

Of course, not every brand needs every tool at their disposal, so study what works for your brand and go from there. Not all brands can be storytellers and there’s nothing wrong with hiring someone to come in to tell your story for you. Again, you can do something like this at every budget level whether you hire a whole agency or just a journalist.

One last tip from C.C. Chapman is as follows:

“If you want to start creating things, start today. Don’t wait.”

3 Habits in Social Media to Successfully Educate and Promote Yourself

What would an employer want in an employee? If you were hiring someone, would you want someone who’s constantly learning and networking in their profession or someone who’s tired of educating him or herself and doesn’t have the time to communicate with others? My goal as I search for my next job is to have a company feel secure with me as a new-hire because I’m proactive in my own education and I’m social enough to spread the word about my employer and our services. I try to do it through the following 3-step process.

1. I use my Twitter account as an active resume

Posts on Twitter from Jesse Radonski

I share the news I find interesting in my chosen profession as well as the news in the interests I have personally such as video gaming, music, craft brewing and more. The majority of people and companies I follow are directly related to those industries and I make sure to converse with them every day. Not only does this habit communicate what I’m currently educating myself on, but it shows that I’m active on this social media platform daily and that I have a commitment to using it and educating myself regularly. I believe this approach is much more effective than merely mentioning that you understand social media in your resume or in a job interview.

2. I use an RSS reader for daily consumption of news

RSS Feed Image

Time is a rare commodity nowadays and a reader helps cut down on the fluff to get the news I find most appealing. I find myself gravitating to articles that help me with different tactics in social media campaigns as well as other tips for better performance from services such as Google Analytics or Facebook Insights. Similar to how I use Twitter, most of the news I follow relates to the industries I find interesting.

3. I use LinkedIn to keep tabs on others in related industries

LinkedIn Post Image

Since LinkedIn has a longer shelf life for posts, I usually post 1 – 2 of my favorite articles of the day on the professional networking website. I’m part of quite a few groups, although I must admit that I don’t interact with them as much as I should. LinkedIn is a place that every professional should keep tabs on, even if they aren’t currently searching for a job. It’s a great place to keep your job skills updated, so it doesn’t become a chore when you have to update your resume.

With just an hour a day, you can educate yourself and promote yourself through Twitter and LinkedIn. Plus, it’s a great way to wake up with your morning coffee. How do you educate and promote yourself?