Sunday, April 25, 2010

Avatar: Part of YOUR Personal Brand

This week, we had a brief introduction to Second Life. We read an article in the New York Times "How Second Life Affects Real Life," to show the connection between our behaviors from online to offline. I found this very true, yet disturbing all at the same time. When we create an avatar, we want it to reflect our best or a according the article "our hottest self." It sounds pretty silly when you think you want an animated picture to be hot, right? However this is not just a picture, its a representation of ourselves, our identity. It makes me think back to the PRSSA National Assembly presentation, "Managing Your Personal Brand." I guess you think of an avatar as a personal brand because it represents YOU.

You can also think of it like this. Your profile picture on your Facebook or Twitter page is also apart of your personal brand. Sometimes your picture may not represent an everyday look, but your best. Why do you want a photo of you looking your best? Of course you want people to see your default photo and equate your name with that photo. Same with an avatar. Even though you are not physically present in Second Life, you SELF is.

I actually just set up a Second Life character named Penelope if she is flying around your area, it's me :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010


This past Wednesday, I decided to participate in my first Twitterchat, #PRStudChat. I logged into my Twitter account from the web, and noticed a few of my followers were using the hashtag, so I decided to join in. I quickly switched over from my normal Twitter page to the Twitterchat page that would allow me to view the conversation a little easier. At this site, I didn't have to remember to put in the hashtag, it already calculated it into the 140 characters for me, how handy!I noticed tweeters were introducing themselves, I introduced myself and mentioned I was a St. Edward's student. Tweeters were very receptive because I received a few responses that welcomed me into the chat, especially since I had mentioned it was my first chat. I was debating whether or not I should just "lurk," and feel my way through the conversation or get in and ask some questions. In the beginning, I just watched the updated feed and then I decided I wanted to add in some input. I noticed Tweeters would first ask a question a
nd label it Q1 and many people would respond or retweet the same post for professionals to answer. This process would continue with each question asked (we got up to about 5).

It was sometimes very overwhelming to participate because your feed would move so quickly. I was afraid to press "pause" in the upper right hand corner because I was afraid to miss out on something important! You gotta have some fast fingers to respond...! Also, you might see a post you want to retweet and comment on, but all you really have room to write is a short and sweet note like "great advice" or "interesting point."

Probably the most helpful advice from the PR pros was the conversation about Linkedin. I know we discussed its importance during class, but I still wasn't convinced that I needed to use it. I already had a profile set up (you know, just to have one) but my information was sparse. After seeing a few posts how useful it is for interviewers, I decided I better update mine ASAP.

Here are a few samples of my tweets during the chat:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shoud there be a Dewey Decimal System for Twitter?

It's official, EVERY Tweet since Twitter's launch in 2006 has been recorded in the Library of Congress. Twitter decided to share its archive and as you can imagine, the number of tweets recorded is in the billions! The Library will record the tweets about every six months and with about 55 million Tweets coming into Twitter everyday, that's enough recording to make anyone's head spin.

Let's think about this, why would the Library of Congress want to store a pop culture icon of social media in the midst of thousands of historic pieces of literature? If you think about it like this, Twitter has been revolutionary in the way we share information. Twitter has been able to let us communicate live about some of the most historic events since its launch in 2006. Twitter has been able to capture moments like Obama winning the presidency or the Haiti earthquake, which have effected all of our lives in one way or another. Not only is Twitter just a social networking site, but buried beneath the tweets about your disgusting ex-boyfriend, there are tweets that are of value in our history.

However not ALL tweets are housed in the Library, if your tweets are protected, then they will stay that way. Also, if your tweet is going to be stored forever in such a renowned location, maybe people will think twice about their tweets sharing TMI..probably not, but wouldn't that be nice?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


This is probably my favorite hashtag on Twitter and I recently saw a post..."#youknowyoureaprstudentwhen you ditch your friends for a Twitter chat!" I have never participated in a Twitter chat, but one day I could see friends in my network would be participating in some sort of chat because they were all using the same hashtag and posting frequently. In class, we discussed a little about the benefits of Twitter chat and some of the popular chats to participate in or at least very least, "lurk." If you're trying to find a job, most of the time these chats include professionals who can give you great tips (140 characters or less!) about what kinds of things recruiters are looking for.

I am not a senior yet, but I am about to turn that corner soon when I am going to be scouting out for an entry level job. Of course it's never to early to start looking around and building up a network, that's how you get ahead of the game! Some popular social networks are PROpenMic, LinkedIn Groups like PRIntern |EntryLevel, and Twitter initiatives such as #HAPPO. So I figure now that have the resources, it can only benefit me to join these networks and do what any PR pro does best, NETWORK!

Also, a Twitter chat, #PRStudChat, will be held tomorrow Wednesday, April 14th at 1:00 pm CT. This is a great opportunity because experienced recruiters will be giving us some insight on how to land a job. Some of the experts will include:

  • Jessica Porterfield, a recruiter with Fleishman Hilliard. Jessica has eight years of experience in the Biotech/Pharma industry and now recruiting in PR.
  • Jessica Bayer, a Public Relations recruiter at Qorvis Communications. Jessica specializes in Public Affairs, Government, Crisis, Interactive, Creative, Consumer and International relations.
  • Laurie Bartolo, a recruiter at Ogilvy. Laurie’s career spans almost 20 years and covers a wide geography, from Florida to Washington DC to New Mexico and now Michigan.
  • Lindsay Olson, a recruiter, founder and partner with Paradigm Staffing who spends her days helping companies build public relations and communications teams nationwide.
  • Rachel Kay , President and found of RKPR. Rachel, whose firm is currently hiring, is an award-winning public relations expert with experience spanning a multitude of industries including consumer technology, food, beauty and fashion, the Web and more.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Google Juice

If you type your name into a search engine or "Google yourself," what are the results? For me, I have my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn profile at the top of the list, my work's website next, my blog, St. Edward's PRSSA blog, and of course a blast from the past with a Dallas Morning News Article on my highs chool drill team (sighhhh...). We have learned in class that is VERY likely for a future employer to just type in your name into Google and see what skeletons you have hiding in the closet.

Reading a little into Edelman's "Search Engine Visibility," gives a little insight in how Google might "select" the hits that come up when you put a search in and also the direction search engines are moving. First, Google is said to have a democratic way of selecting what things will rank accordingly when you search for something. For example, Edelman discussed how the New York Times was particularly frustrated when sites like outdated BBC sites, wikipedia, and YouTube showed up before their new story when "Gaza" was typed into Google. So it makes you wonder, what does it take to get a high ranking on Google? Bribes? Turns out, Google is just like a friend and all "it" wants is a little bit of TRUST.

Not only does content have to be reliable, it must also be LINKED. I discussed earlier, Foremski's rants about linking in a press releases, but as it turns out, linking is also very helpful in SEO. This is not really new information, but the methods in which we are linking and changing from "static linking" to a new form that allows a company to build relationships as well. Today, many companies are taking advantage of social media to link and drive traffic to their websites. That is to say if you see a Twitter discussion about a particular topic and then see a news story about the same topic, that link is more likely to rank higher because of the popularity of Twitter. So the more social networking sites you link to, the more "Google Juice" you will get!

The secret to Social Search is to employ an "embassy strategy." Companies that set up meaningful, engaging and permanent outposts inside all of the relevant social networks will be more discoverable than those who don't. Today the benefits of visibility are measured via Google results. Tomorrow it will be within search engines that are embedded into the social networks.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Topper Takes a Tour!

For this video, our group decided we would like to highlight the 125th anniversary of our St. Edward's campus. In order to accomplish our goal, we decided it would be helpful for prospective and incoming Freshman students to be aware of our anniversary, since the celebrations will roll over into the fall semester as well. We decided to incorporate the 125th anniversary theme of "Journey of St. Edward's," into creating a "journey of the campus," by giving a tour with a very special guest.

We have heard that our mascot, Topper the Hilltopper, was a huge hit at the previous Homecoming celebrations this past February. Naturally, we decided that this would definitely bring some traffic to our video because, come on, who doesn't love Topper? This would be a great way to build up our school spirit, both for current students and prospective students alike. Plus, Topper would be able to debut in his first feature film!

We hoped to not only use this video assignment for class on our blogs, but also feature it on the 125th anniversary website in order to bring traffic to the website. Speaking with the St. Edward’s Marketing Department early in the semester, I learned that one of the major goals is to link the microsite, Twitter, and Facebook page together to create a much more interactive experience for students to get involved. By bringing Topper in the mix, we wanted to a way for students to feel connected to their university and spread the word about the anniversary celebrations.

Ally Hugg, Sara Roberts, and I take a tour with Topper as our tour guide. He leads us toward many of the campus hotspots like the Holy Cross Plaza marked with our University seal, the captivating Main Building, and the grand Sorin Oak Tree. Topper provides us with fun facts and information that would be useful to prospective students and give them a visual of what it is like to walk around the St. Edward’s campus. Of course, the 125th anniversary is mentioned when the fountain located by the Main Building engraved with the words “St. Edward’s 1885” is passed in our tour. Of course Topper does not want anyone to forget about St. Edward’s birthday!

We hope that “Topper Takes a Tour” will encourage students to become more involved in St. Edward’s 125th anniversary. Whether it be to participate in the celebrations or participate in the 125 service challenge, it is a great way for students, faculty, and the St. Edward’s community to come together to celebrate the anniversary and the completion of the 10 year strategic plan that has transformed the campus.

Topper is also available by appointment for special University events!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Since the PRSSA National Assembly a few weeks ago, my Twitter network has grown tremendously, and I love it. Before I was only following a few celebrities and "30 PR pros" that you SHOULD follow on Twitter. Even though I "should" be following these people, I realized that I wasn't really responsive to the tweets they were producing. Yeah, I mean some tweets I looked at but most of them I just blew off.

It was a little difficult working with my Twitter frustrations for my "Personal Learning Project" in my Social Media for PR class. I was looking at the pros' posts and even asking questions, but I was getting very little response. Luckily, this PRSSA Assembly changed it all. I feel that now when I go on Twitter, that my network is a little more personal (probably because I actually met these people) and I enjoy reading their tweets. I am also glad that many of my followers and followees have really relevant links that have helped me with my project.

To be honest, I am not sure what the problem was before when I only had a few PR people I followed. Perhaps it could be that I am more motivated to interact and respond to people I have met before? I wonder if anyone else experiences this issue? Maybe for some people it is just the opposite and they are more inclined to interact with people they don't know. It could also be that I am interacting with my future generation of PR pros that could make it a little more interesting for me. Either way I am glad I have build up a network that I like. No offense PR pros... I am still following you too!