March 18, 2013
According to the Public Relations Society of America’s own code of ethics, a public relations professional should have these six traits: advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty and fairness. A professional’s code of ethics can directly reflect that practitioner’s success in the communication industry. Since college is already a time for students to define themselves as individuals, it should also be a time to define themselves as professionals -- especially as future public relations practitioners.
My own college experience has played a defining role in the person I will be in the professional world. From my internship experience and involvement on campus, I have “learned through doing.” The more time I spend in a professional setting, the more I discover about personality, leadership style and work habits. My personal code of ethics includes honesty, fairness, commitment and benevolence. Find opportunities and experiences that exercise your professional skills and apply your personal code of ethics to them very day.
I joined my university’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) in 2012. As a student leader, I am committed to performing my work with honesty and fairness. I am also required to show independence and expertise in my work, along with loyalty to my organization.
The experience was an important experience that helped me to define my professional traits and how I function in a leadership role. I believe what I do as a PR student will define how I function as a professional after graduation – developing a sound code of ethics is an essential step toward my career goals
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March 14, 2013
I started my own blog, Coffee and Cardigans, in February 2012. Since then, I have learned important lessons in writing, editing, marketing, business tactics and brand management. I also have a work sample that I can share with employers. As a result, my blog presents a strong example of my interests, my expertise and my personality.
Managing a blog can demonstrate your writing skills, along with any design, photography and editing skills. It also builds upon them if you make blogging a habit. Updating your blog with fresh content on a regular basis also shows your ability to organize and dedicate time to a project.
Blogging is also a great way to expand and enrich your online presence. Add your name to a professional, polished and relevant blog that will be at the top of a Google search when employers search for your online presence.
Blogging can introduce you to the industry where you eventually want to work. Whether you want to focus on public relations in the tech industry or explore financial and investor relations, consider blogging in your area of interest! You can position yourself as an “expert” early, and the research will build your industry knowledge.
A blog also connects you to an online community. The blogosphere is a social place and it isn’t rare to strike up a few friendships while you are there. Networking online can be an effective tactic that can lead to connections in the real world as well. Once you find a niche, research other bloggers who write about your favorite topics.
As a PR student, managing my own blog has been an enormous learning opportunity. I honed my writing skills and voice, developed an editorial calendar, and learned to build and market a brand online. According to PR Daily, writing skills and strong work samples are a must in the post-grad job search. The easiest way for a PR student to earn those skills now? Get blogging.
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February 25, 2013
In our technology-driven world, very few people are without a Facebook or Twitter account. According to a 2012 article by Media Bistro, Facebook has over 900 million users worldwide. Twitter comes in close behind with 555 million users. Those numbers continue to grow and it doesn’t take long to realize that social networking is staying. It has never been easier for brands to connect with a wide web of other social media users with just a few clicks.
Social media sites are home to a unique audience; these users are often engaged, interested and ready to communicate. According to the same source, those 900 million Facebook users spent an average of 402 minutes – or 7 hours – connected to the social networking site each month. Without an active social media presence, companies and brands are missing out on an ever-growing customer base.
In this digital era, I think it's almost necessary for brands to establish a social media presence. But it doesn't stop there. To be effective, that presence should active and engaging. So why should brands be utilizing social media as a tool for outreach?
Social media cultivates conversations anywhere.Since social media is a worldwide affair, brands can reach audience members beyond typical demographics. It is easier than ever connect with a wide range of people beyond your own backyard.
Social media means constant communication.Social networks seem to be buzzing both day and night. There is always someone tweeting or browsing Facebook. If a brand establishes an active social media presence, they have the potential to reach customers beyond traditional business hours.
Social media can be a great customer service tool.Brands can use social media as a tool to quickly communicate with customer concerns or questions. Nordstrom is a great example. The company uses their Twitter not only to share company news, but also as a routine customer service tool. They communicate with customers about complaints or concerns, along with referring them to resources - like Nordstrom’s customer service phone number - so problems can be addressed directly.
But how can you introduce social media use to a client? University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications professor Kelli Matthews touched on the topic during a recent presentation she shared with Allen Hall Public Relations.
“You really have to build your case and do your research,” explained Matthews. “Look at [the client’s] audience and the data there. Show them the conversations that are taking place on competitor’s websites, Facebook, or other social media outlets.” Presenting research, such as a social media audit or analysis, can create a strong foundation on which to build your rationale.
Social media will continue as a fundamental platform in the world of communication. Conversations will grown, expand and influence. But without an established social media presence, brands and companies will not have a voice in that important conversation.
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