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Changes coming to the PRism Awards in 2020

Author: PRism Awards Committee

For many of us, January represents a new beginning and fresh start to achieve new goals; but did you know PRSA Central Ohio made some new year resolutions, too?

Based on feedback from previous years and a commitment to offer a premier PR awards event in Central Ohio, PRSA Central Ohio has made some exciting updates to this year’s PRism Awards:

  1. An easier way to submit entries. The PRism Awards submissions will now be completed in Award Force—an award-winning software designed for awards that will offer entrants an easy, efficient and secure way to submit their entries. Entries will no longer be single-page or multi-page PDFs, but text submission areas for each item being judged will allow for clear, concise reporting of your successful work. Be on the lookout for an invitation from PRSA Central Ohio for an upcoming tutorial on how to use Award Force to submit your entries! Be on the lookout for an invitation from PRSA Central Ohio for an upcoming tutorial on how to use Award Force to submit your entries!

  2. Earlier opportunities to submit your best PR projects from 2019. The Prism Awards deadlines have been set as Monday, Feb. 24 by 11:59 p.m. for the early bird deadline, and Monday, March 2 by 11:59 p.m. for the final deadline. Review this year’s categories and entry guidelines document and start preparing your entries now!

  3. New awards category to highlight diversity and inclusion. PRSA Central Ohio has created a new category to recognize PR tactics that focus on diversity and inclusion. This year’s new category will honor PR pros who are leading diversity and inclusion efforts in Central Ohio while also highlighting the significance of diversity and inclusion in PR.

  4. New look, new venue. We’ve got a fresh logo and a great new venue at High Line Car House for a refreshed PRism Awards Ceremony that will not only celebrate award winners, but will serve as a place for Central Ohio’s communications professionals to mix and mingle. Plan to join us Thursday, May 7.

More information will be sent to you in the coming weeks.  Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Thank you,

PRSA Central Ohio

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Welcome to 2020 with Central Ohio PRSA!

Can you believe it? It’s already 2020, the beginning of a new decade! Speaking of new beginnings, I want to introduce myself.

My name is Homa Moheimani, manager of media & communications for the Ohio Restaurant Association. But more importantly, I’m honored to serve as your new Central Ohio PRSA Vice President of Membership.

THANK YOU for your membership because without you, PRSA wouldn’t exist.

2020 also marks Central Ohio PRSA’s 70th year! For the last 70 years, we’ve been furthering the development of public relations professionals in the Central Ohio region, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have you as a part of the family.

We’re the storytellers, leaders, communicators, defenders of the brand and so much more in our personal and professional circles. So, it’s important that we develop relationships, learn from one another and grow together in our careers.

I want to make sure you have everything you need to make the most of your membership, and give you a direct line of communication to your Central Ohio PRSA Board of Directors. Go ahead, send them an email. They’d love to hear from you!

I hope you’re already taking advantage of the PRSA member benefits available to you. Just in case, below my email signature highlight several available right now.

We all have new year’s resolutions, including expanding our professional networks, or maybe even finding a new job. What’s the best way to do that? MAKE CONNECTIONS!

Now is the perfect time to take your membership to the next level by getting involved in a committee as a volunteer. Serving your chapter is the best way to get your name in front of top industry professionals in an area that interests you. Not ready to serve on a committee? Write blog posts, volunteer to host a program or get a speaker for a program — there are many ways to make a contribution!

Have questions? Shoot me an email at [email protected], connect on LinkedIn or I'm always up for grabbing a coffee and chatting. Or, reach out to any board member; we're happy to answer any questions about member benefits, programming, or simply career and life questions. That’s what we’re here for, right? 😉

Let’s make 2020 the best yet. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Blessings,
Homa Moheimani
Vice President of Membership
Central Ohio PRSA

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Happy 2020, Central Ohio PRSA!

Happy 2020 - and happy 70th anniversary to Central Ohio PRSA! As chapter president this year, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share what is in store for this exciting year.

Who am I?

Well, as you can see in the “from” address, I’m Katie Thomas! I joined PRSSA many years ago as a student at Otterbein University. Since taking that leap, PRSA has been one of the most valuable assets in my career. It’s allowed me to meet wonderful mentors; network with amazing professionals; stay on top of cutting edge technologies and trends; grow as a professional by getting my Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and hone my leadership skills. I credit Central Ohio PRSA with much of what’s happened in my career. 

I’ve served PRSA in many roles, including:

  • National PRSA Mentor Committee Chair

  • PRSA Central Ohio Liaison Committee member

  • PRSA Central Ohio Programs Committee Chair

  • PRSA Central Ohio Board of Directors, Director at Large

  • PRSA Central Ohio Treasurer

  • PRSA Central Ohio President-Elect

  • Speaker at local PRSSA chapters and PRSSA PaRtners Conference 

Outside of my work at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our dog, Rebel, and cats, Roary and Pippin, teaching spinning classes, watching musicals (just don’t ask me to sing them), reading and traveling (so excited to head to London this year!). 

 
Tiptoeing through the tulips in Amsterdam last year.


What’s in store for Central Ohio PRSA in 2020?

Last year, you had the opportunity to give feedback on our annual survey. We listened. 

  • You are most interested in programming. Last year, we started our successful Coffee Chats, free programs for members. These informal gatherings allow us to learn from professionals and network with our peers. We’ll continue these for 2020. Make sure to register for our January Coffee Chat now! 

  • You want to continue learning. In addition to Coffee Chats, we’ll offer quarterly luncheons, along with a revamped Annual Conference. Our first luncheon, February 20, goes behind the scenes of the Democratic Debate. On March 27, our Annual Conference, “The Modern Communicator,” will feature 14 fast-paced breakout sessions, a plenary address, and a keynote, all from the brightest minds in Central Ohio. Registration will open for both of these events soon. We’re also looking to enhance programming with Webinar Watch Parties -- more to come. And if you’ve been a member for 10+ years, you’re automatically part of our Master’s group, which offers free programming twice a year. Our Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) committee is also available to help you prepare for the APR process. 

  • You prefer to meet early or midday. We’ll offer our programming in the morning and at lunchtime, except for Meet the Media so we can continue to have local media personalities attend this event. 

  • Move the program locations around.We analyzed zip codes of where members live and work and plan to move programs to different venues and neighborhoods based on our findings. 

  • You want to network more. Expect some type of program from us each month. Whether that’s a Coffee Chat, luncheon, mixer, PRism Awards (which the committee is already working on some new ideas for this year!) or more, save your third Thursday each month for Central Ohio PRSA (with a few exceptions). 

  • We’ll continue to improve communication.We get it. Your inbox is overflowing. There’s so much on social media. We’ve audited our social media and are looking to streamline communication on those channels, through our website and through PRSA Matters, our biweekly newsletter that comes out the second and fourth Thursday of each month. We recently created a Members Only Facebook group so you can connect more with your peers and ask questions. We’ll also send calendar invites to remind you of upcoming events. 

In addition to all of these benefits, we’ll continue our quarterly podcast, “Good Morning, Communicators,” offering opportunities for students, including a new mentorship program for you to impact a student’s life and providing enriched learning on the topics of diversity, inclusion, and ethics.

I am also so proud that we started the Central Ohio PRSA Scholarship Fund last year, which allowed six students to continue their membership in PRSA; gave a stipend for one student to attend the PRSSA International Conference; and allowed several students to attend programming at no charge.

You get what you put into your PRSA membership. Attend an event. Write a blog post. Host a program. Work on a committee. Donate to the scholarship fund. There are plenty of ways to get involved and make an impact — for the future generation and for you.

I look forward to seeing you this year. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, concerns or new ideas to explore. Let’s also connect on LinkedIn! 

Warm Regards,

Katie Thomas, APR

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Central Ohio PRSA 2019 Year in Review

As we gear up to celebrate Central Ohio PRSA's 70th anniversary in 2020, let's take a moment to review how far we've come in 2019. Thank you to all of our members, speakers, volunteers and sponsors that help make the Central Ohio PRSA chapter a success!

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3 ways to maximize organic social media engagement on a shoestring (or $0) budget

By Dan Beckley, Social Media Specialist, STRS Ohio

Everyone knows the benefits of organic. It’s transparent, controlled naturally and free from outside influences. Plus, it costs you nothing! Wait, we’re talking about social media, right?

Since 2016, STRS Ohio has been establishing a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The challenge: build awareness, generate inbound traffic, engage our community AND spend $0 on social media advertising.

I know what you’re thinking. How’d that turn out? What’s it like tweeting to the wind? If you post to Facebook in the forest and no one sees it, then what the heck is the point?

During the past four months, our Facebook business page’s organic average engagement rate per post has been stellar: 9.7% in July, 8% in August, 8% in September and 9.1% in October. All of these percentages are well above the Facebook average engagement rate per post for nonprofits (0.13% 1).

Our team has been building up to this crescendo of success for a while now, because we had a strategy in place that was built on three main pillars of success.

  1. Follow your social media mission.
    Your social media mission is very important because it defines your content and refines your audience. It will guide not only you, but also your organization in making decisions about what you want your channels to look like.

    Who is your audience? Who are you trying to reach? What specific information will you be sharing? All of the answers to these questions will factor into your social media mission. Once your mission is in place, your unique brand voice will begin to emerge, and you can start to get more creative with your content and imagery.

  2. Create engaging content about your audience.
    The first and most important rule when creating social media content is that it’s not about you—it’s about your audience. How can your audience get the most out of your product or service? How can you inspire them today? If you see your audience members winning awards or doing amazing things in their communities, feature them on your channels. Your posts should not only provide your audience with useful information, but also highlight your followers’ day-to-day journeys and engaging stories.

  3. Test new times and different types of posts.
    Many social media management platforms offer features that suggest optimal posting times for all of your channels. However, don’t be afraid to try different times or rely on other sources for guidance. One of the reasons that our engagement has been so stout for the past couple of months is because we’ve been following a comprehensive report2 containing detailed graphs about the best times to post. This is just one of the many reasons that you need to set up Google Alerts to stay up on all the latest social media trends.

    Also, experiment with different types of images. Our in-house communications team pairs inspirational quotes with images, designs infographics with interesting info from our publications and highlights audience members in a creative way. We’ve found that the more unique your image and content, the better your reach and engagement.

    The great news for PR professionals is that “pay to play” is not your only option for making an impact on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can generate great social media organic engagement with a sound strategy and a flexible, creative mindset.


Dan Beckley is the social media specialist for STRS Ohio. He is passionate about creating content that educates, entertains and inspires. Connect with him on LinkedIn: danbeckley

1 Feehan, Blair, Rival IQ 2019 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report, https://www.rivaliq.com/blog/2019-social-media-benchmark-report/ (Feb. 15, 2019).
2 Arens, Elizabeth, Best times to post on social media for 2019, https://sproutsocial.com/insights/best-times-to-post-on-social-media/ (July 31, 2019).

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Central Ohio PRSA Well Represented at PRSA International Conference 

Many Central Ohio PRSA members journeyed to San Diego to participate (and win awards!) at the PRSA International Conference on October 18-22.

  • Ohio State PRSSA was recognized as the winner of the national PRSSA membership contest by recruiting more new members than any other chapter in the country.

  • Ohio Northern University PRSSA won a Dr. Frederick H. Teahan Award for Chapter Development and a Star Chapter Award.

  • Ohio University Scripps PRSSA received the Dr. Frederick H. Teahan Award for Outstanding Chapter Website.

  • Jaron Terry, APR, Fellow, PRSA, presented on “Getting It Right: Diversity and Inclusion in LGBTQ and Latinx Communications.

  • Lisa Arledge-Powell and Kevin Volz spoke on how to “Create a Video Storytelling Strategy That Gets Results and Shows the C-Suite the Value of Your Work.”

  • Dan Farkas, MBA, presented on “Cracks, Hacks and Backs: A Practical Guide to Multimedia Communication in 2019.”

  • MJ Clark, APR, Fellow PRSA, presented on “The Art of Managing Workplace Conflict.”

  • Katie Thomas, APR, John Palmer, APR, and Kery Francis, APR, represented Central Ohio at the Leadership Assembly.

We’re proud of all of our members who represented Central Ohio! And mark your calendars, next year’s event takes place October 25-27 in Nashville.

 
Ohio University Scripps PRSSA Chapter


Ohio State University PRSSA Chapter

 

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Insights from PRSSA International Conference

By Zach Ferenchak, Capital University, Class of 2021, PRSSA Chapter President

Not too long ago I was in beautiful and sunny San Diego, CA for the PRSSA International Conference. This was my second year in a row attending what is considered the largest gathering of PR students in the United States and it was just as special as the first year.

I come back to Central Ohio with new insights, new connections, and a new sense of inspiration and energy to bring back to my local PRSA/PRSSA community. Below I will recap some of my favorite moments and insights from this weekend of professional development.

Will Collie: Building the PR engine and planning for your career

Will Collie, General Manager of Southern California for Edelman, delivered the first keynote address of the conference. He spoke on what some of his best practices were for PR, as well as the status of the industry today.

One insight that stood out to me is that as individual practitioners, we are parts of an engine. In the past, a company may have had one spokesperson that would handle everything from media pitching to event planning, making him or her the entire engine. In today’s age of integrated marketing communications and digital media, though, a company’s PR function is a lot bigger. Each person chooses a specialization, a different part of the engine if you will. The collective efforts of people working together in unison, then, create the engine of your company that is its PR department.

Another aspect of Collie’s talk that stood out to me was that companies must constantly work on building trust with their publics. In the age of people not trusting PR and the media in general, this is huge. Collie finished his talk by stating that as individuals, we need to plan for our careers, be awesome at the jobs we have now, and be willing to try, because the occasional mishap is inevitable and will allow us to learn.

Transformational Leadership with Cheryl Procter-Rogers, APR, PCC, Fellow, MBA, MA

I feel like we could always learn and grow as leaders, so this session was something I was looking forward to. Cheryl Procter-Rogers is a PR strategist and coaches executives on leadership strategies. Her session was on how to become not just a great leader but a transformational leader.

One of the main takeaways I gained from her session was that as a leader, you need to embrace change as growth instead of shying away from it. Another point that resonated with me was that as a leader you must guide, motivate, and inspire. You are a role model for those who look up to you and as Procter-Rogers said, as a leader, people are always watching you. Doing all of this along with paying sharp attention to emotional intelligence and connecting with everyone in your organization will lead you well on your way to becoming a transformational leader. 

How to become the GOAT of PR with Kaye Sweetser, APR+M, Fellow PRSA

Kaye Sweetser was full of energy, inspiration, and passion to welcome us and kick us off on our busy Saturday of International Conference. The four main points that she hit on were clarity, creativity, critique, and passion. She stressed the importance of clear and complete storytelling as we look to create impactful campaigns in the future. She recommended the book Writing Without Bullshit to use as a guide for writing with clarity.

Creativity, according to Sweetser, meant being able to look at things from every angle and being a problem solver, a do-er. She suggested that if you don’t possess creativity in this sense, then maybe you should reconsider your career choice as a PR professional. 

“You better ask somebody,” is the Snoop Dogg quote that Sweester offered to address the importance of critique. Workshopping your work is key and should be done every time. Going along with that point, Sweester stressed the importance of collaboration. She stated that you should volunteer to do the hard things, share your knowledge, and lift others up. 

One of my favorite quotes from the weekend came from Sweetser and goes as follows: "You never have to cut someone down in order to stand up." This really resonated with me and was a great quote to end her session on.

Agency Sessions: PRSA Global Agency Panel, Nebo Agency Session

A huge aspect of the PR and Communications industry is agency life. So far this semester, Capital PRSSA has hosted two events focused around agencies, so being able to continue this deep dive into agency life was a fantastic experience for me.

Starting with Kimm Lincoln, President of Nebo Agency, I liked how she stressed the human-centered aspect of Nebo Agency. Lincoln built off of that point throughout her presentation as she discussed the importance of storytelling, a human tradition, and how audiences want companies to be a force for good, something that corporations sometimes forget but is a crucial aspect of the human condition.

The PRSA Global Agency Panel echoed some of these points while introducing new ideas as well. Every person on the stage echoed the idea of fostering a positive company culture and investing in your people as an agency. One idea that was echoed was making decisions with your company’s employees in mind first and foremost, and everything else will follow suit. 

Another theme that was praised was change, because if you’re not changing, then you’re probably going backward. Change must align with culture and the industry, and it is what successful agencies are doing. Pieces of advice for students such as myself included being a lifelong learner, being a reliable member of the team, and going the extra 10 percent, or “plus one” as one of the speakers coined.

Drawing 400,000 people to Columbia, S.C. for The Great American Eclipse with Tracie Broom and Merrit McNeely

A total solar eclipse is a rare event that allows us all to stop what we are doing and focus on something bigger than us. For the city of Columbia, S.C., the latest total solar eclipse proved to be bigger than the city as hundreds of thousands of new visitors flooded into the city to partake in a weekend of events leading up to the big day back in 2017.

Tracie Broom and Merrit McNeely, executives at integrated communications firm Flock and Rally, joined forces to share their knowledge on how this special weekend of tourism came together. It took over two years of planning and collaboration on a city-level, with public institutions partnering with local businesses to coordinate one of the largest weekends for tourism the city has ever seen. A key takeaway that I got from the session is that regional collaboration works better than competition. 

The session makes me inspired and hopeful for other cities to try something similar in the future. One of my colleagues from Scripps PRSSA, Katherine Keber, and I walked out of the session inspired to facilitate something similar for an Ohio city in the future. Seeing that Dayton, Ohio is in the path of the Total Solar Eclipse of 2024, we would like to provide them with some of our notes in hopes that it inspires the similarly-sized Ohio city to capitalize on the special occasion that awaits them in the future.

PRSA General Sessions: Bob Woodward and Laura Ling

As a student who is equally interested in journalism and PR, being able to attend sessions featuring legendary journalists was exciting and insightful for me. Bob Woodward and Laura Ling are both award-winning journalists who have done so much more than just typical news reporting. Both of these people have made history and have brought about change for the greater good, something that transcends the profession they were called to serve in.

Starting with Bob Woodward, he spoke on his experience in breaking the Watergate story and how it relates to today’s impeachment inquiry. Being able to connect recent history with the events of today provided an insight into today’s headlines that not a lot of news media talks about, so it was refreshing to see. His session reassured me that good journalism sparks conversations for the greater good and that journalism is vitally important to a thriving democracy.

Laura Ling’s keynote was impactful in a different way. It honestly was one of the most impactful speeches I’ve ever received and it’s message extends far beyond the session, the conference, and the profession in general. Ling retold a heart-wrenching story about her time as a prisoner in North Korea and the humanity that led to her eventual release. Ling was able to befriend the guards that despised her when they first met, and she noted that even though the culture of her captors varied so much from Western culture, common principles of humanity still prevailed and allowed her to live and connect with the people around her. Her speech made me think about how important love and understanding are and how those concepts can be applied to every aspect of my life, not just my career.

Concluding thoughts

Attending PRSSA International Conference allowed me to develop both personally and professionally. Being able to spend a weekend with like-minded professionals was invigorating and inspiring. I feel like I have found my niche, my people, and that feeling inspires me to come back here and do great things. I am grateful for the connections I made with friends old and new, and I look forward to continuing the conversation into the future as I further my professional development. San Diego was beautiful, by the way. I loved being able to explore the city in my downtime and look forward to the next time I may indulge in a California burrito.

I want to extend my sincerest thanks to Central Ohio PRSA for funding some of my trip and for allowing me to guest post on this blog. I also would like to recognize Capital University for funding part of my trip, and last but not least PRSSA/PRSA for putting together such a special conference. I look forward to continuing my development as a professional and hope to positively impact my chapter at Capital University with some of the new ideas and inspiration I have returned with.

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Get Your Ethics On: 5 Tips for the Ethical Practice of Public Relations

By Kerry Francis, APR

PR ethics sounds pretty straightforward and boring – always be truthful, disclose conflicts of interest and don’t plagiarize, right? Yet when you dig into it, the ethical practice of public relations is a lot more interesting and complex. Our jobs are more complicated thanks to social media, data privacy, social activism and today’s news environment, just to name a few. As the profession wanders into new territory, so does our ethical practice. For example, how many of us have grabbed an image off Google or used a GIF of a popular movie on social media? I know I have. The Code lays out what media is ok to use in what cases - personally, it’s probably ok to use much of this media, but using it professionally can get into a gray area.

Today it’s more important than ever to understand what is and is not ethical, not to mention legal. And it’s important that our work aligns with our personal ethics. As we close out Ethics Month, here are five tips from this month’s Coffee Chat to help you apply ethical practices to your work.

  1. Know your Code. PRSA’s Code of Ethics is simple, sets a strong foundation and offers guidance on some common areas. As members, we have all agreed to practice according to this Code.

  2. Promote good journalism. News-ed classes teach journalism as the fair, unbiased reporting of facts. With citizen journalists, the constant news cycle and competition for eyeballs and clicks, that’s not always the case. As PR pros, we can promote good journalism by supporting the outlets that do a good job, helping journalists report balanced news and calling it out when reporters don’t get it quite right.

  3. Know the regulations around endorsement. The FTC’s endorsement regulations specify what needs to be disclosed and when. They help guide work with influencers and work produced in- house as well as considerations for posting on personal channels. Knowing this ahead of time can keep you and your organization out of trouble.

  4. Research your target companies. It’s important to know what a potential employer or client stands for. This helps avoid personal conflicts later. And it helps us counsel clients on becoming involved in an issue or business and when responding to a crisis. These issues are bound to come up – just look at the discomfort Ogilvy’s employees had with taking on Customs and Border Patrol as a client, and the internal backlash at Google for its handling of sexual harassment claims.

  5. If you’re not sure what to do, seek guidance. Sometimes the answer isn’t very clear, or it can be hard to understand all the implications of doing or not doing something. Talk to a mentor. Talk to me, your Ethics Officer. Or talk with PRSA National’s Board of Ethical Practices and Standards.

While most of us likely won’t have to wrestle with a BIG issue, PR ethics is still critical. Small steps taken every day build our reputation as individuals and of the profession.

Thanks to Hinda Mitchell, president of Inspire PR Group, for sharing her expertise at this month’s Ethics Coffee Chat.

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Adulting 101: how informational interviews and a polished resume can help you stand out from the crowd

By: Sam Metcalf

I’ll never forget the spring semester of my senior year in college. It brings everyone a lot of stress. Finding a new job, somewhere to live, not having a meal plan anymore – all of it was hard for me. I said to myself over and over again “I wish there was a welcome weekend for post-grad so I could figure out what I was doing.” A lot of that doubt came from the fact that I didn’t have a job lined up after graduation. Graduation day crept up faster and faster, and my confidence levels fell lower and lower after each rejection email I received. I had great internship opportunities, I was involved on my campus, I had good grades. I really couldn’t figure out why someone wouldn’t hire me.

Luckily, my Aunt Pam, one of my biggest mentors and supporters, is an executive coach. I met with her to chat about my frustrations with this process and how hard it was for me to find a job. That’s when she introduced me to informational interviewing. A concept I had never heard of, but helped me land my first job. Note: I found out I got said job the day before I graduated! It will all come together – I promise you.

With that being said, I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to nail your informational interviews and make your resume stand out. I’m not an expert by any means, these were just things that really helped me along the way.

Informational Interviewing

We all know that networking can be exhausting. Going to a room full of strangers all trying to meet everyone else in the room is no bueno. Personal opinion. Anyways, if you find yourself agreeing with that, informational interviews can be an amazing solution! My Aunt Pam gave me this tip my senior year of college, and it 1) was the best tip I received as a graduating senior, and 2) helped me land my first post-graduate job!

How to start preparing for informational interviews:

  • Make a list of organizations! This is your “target organizations” list. Start by thinking of industries you think you’d enjoy working in ­– sports management, tourism, retail, government, IT, etc. Aim for 3-5 industries with 3-6 companies listed under each one. This does require a little bit of effort and maybe even some homework.
  • Tap into your personal network. Reach out to previous or current bosses, coaches, professors, and mentors to ask for 30 minutes of their time. You’ll want to formally type out your target organizations list and attach it to this email! I use the same heading that’s on my resume and cover letter just to stay consistent.
  • Meet at their office: A great way to learn more about job spaces is to go to them! If you get lucky and get an interview at this company down the road, you’ll be familiar with the space going into things.

 

In an informational interview:

  • Let them get to know you: Tell them hobbies you have, activities you are involved with, your career goals, passions, etc. This will help frame the entire conversation.
  • Discuss your target organization list together: Ask them if they know of other people who have worked with these companies and if their experience was positive or negative. After one of these interviews, you may be able to cross 2-3 organizations off of your list if they don’t match with your values and career goals.
  • Ask them about themselves: Their career history, their interests, their take on industry trends, etc. You have their undivided attention, so use it wisely! If you get nervous or anxious talking to strangers, compile a strong list of open-ended questions to take with you. Open-ended questions = conversation.
  • Take notes: One conversation I always made a point to have was about the target lits in general. Are these good companies to work for? Do you know positive or negative things about any company listed? You’d be surprised what you’ll learn! Jot these things down, and make sure to cross off a company if it doesn’t end up matching your personal values.
  • You’re not here to get a job: Going into an informational interview with the hopes that you leave with a job lead will only lead to disappointment. It’s just a conversation – for you to know them, and for them to know you. Be yourself, show your personality, laugh, and really engage with the person you’re chatting with.

 

After an informational interview:

  • Give them your thanks: Most people you’re chatting with will be on company time. After an informational interview, I would send a $5 Starbucks card through the app to express my gratitude. A quick “Thanks for your time today! Your next cup of coffee is on me” will really help make a lasting impact

 

Resume Tips

  • There’s less room for interpretation with numbers than with words. Use successful metrics when discussing a job duty or project you’re discussing on your resume.
    • "I wrote e-mail campaigns" (Weak)
    • "Crafted ten monthly e-mail campaigns to an audience of 1,582" (Stronger)
  • Get rid of your objective statement. You’re applying for a job – someone reading your resume knows what your objective is!
  • If you’re a recent grad, and you have a GPA that you’re proud of, by all means list the GPA. If you have a GPA that you aren’t so proud of, then don’t list it! Employers who want that information will give you an advanced heads-up if they want an official transcript.
  • I always avoid the use of pronouns to be more descriptive.
    • “I strengthened their web traffic.” (Weak)
    • “Grew Company A’s web traffic by 15% over a two-month period.” (Stronger)
  • Don’t list the same skill twice! If you had three internships that you’re listing on your resume, if you used InDesign in all three jobs, only list it under one position. This is the first chance you have to showcase how broad your skillset is!
  • Always, always, always send your resume and cover letter as a PDF!

 

I hope this was helpful for you! I know these are things I wish I would’ve learned earlier on. Make sure with the time you do have left in undergrad that you’re challenging yourself, taking the hard classes in your major, and taking classes with the tough professors. That’s where you’ll learn the most. Your experiences in this field are far more important than your GPA. If you need help preparing a target organizations list, fine tuning your resume, or preparing for an interview, I’m happy to help. Let’s chat – [email protected]

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How Influencers Must Adjust If Instagram Hides “Likes”

By: Logan Trautman

In an effort to relieve pressure on its users, Instagram is conducting trial runs of hiding the number of likes a post receives in markets around the world.

The new method comes after several studies have shown that the social media platform contributes to self-esteem issues in its users. By not displaying the amount of likes a post receives to the public, Instagram hopes its users will feel less judged, and focus more on sharing their stories. Users can still see how many likes their own post receives.

So, what does this mean for those users who make a living on Instagram? Will Influencers cease to exist without “likes”? Not exactly. However, the way they use the platform and measure their success will have to adjust if Instagram decides to implement its new model worldwide. Here’s how:

Engagement rates are a thing of the past

Initially, brands cared about how many followers their influencer partners had. This quickly transitioned to brands caring less about how many people followed influencers, but rather how many users engaged with their posts, seemingly proving that the content was read and consumed. But in a world where likes aren’t visible, engagement rates don’t hold the same weight.

Influencers will need to start focusing on different KPIs to successfully sell themselves, such as Instagram story views and link clicks to a brand’s website. For B2C brands focused on selling product, the ROI from influencers will evolve to actual sales made, whether in-store or online.

High-quality content is the only option

With the public unable to view the amount of likes a post is earning, and users feeling less judged, Instagram is bound to see an increase in the amount of posts being shared by users. This is great news for the platform, but for influencers it means more competition to get in front of their audiences. Influencers will have no choice but to spend time creating high-quality content that earns the attention it receives. Many will rely on their preestablished fanbase, but for those looking to grow (what influencer isn’t looking to grow?) content is key.

Heavy focus on loyal communities

Unlike other social platforms, YouTube for example, Instagram influencers haven’t been forced to reciprocate the engagement their followers give to them. In the past influencers could address their following as a group, or simply give their followers’ comments a “thumbs up”, but as competition for views increases, and the way engagement is demonstrated and recorded shifts, influencers will need to put more effort into building their followings, and ultimately turn it into a community. By responding to comments and messages, and including their followers in their content creation, influencers will be able to maintain and grow their fanbase.

Instagram Stories

It’s no secret that short form videos are becoming king in the world of content creation today, and with Instagram likes no longer being an applicable measure of success, Instagram Stories will be more significant than ever before. For those influencers who aren’t already using Instagram videos regularly, they will need to learn to not only pose for static photos, but now talk to their audiences through video and share compelling content in 15-second increments. Brands will focus on how many story views an influencer receives as a KPI and will start integrating Instagram story content as part of their partnership agreement with influencers.

What do you think about Instagram hiding likes from the public? Share your thoughts with us!

This post was originally posted on Inspire PR Group, and reposted with the author's permission.

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