“Wait! Let me take a picture!” “Hold on, I need to Vine this!” The number of times I’ve uttered these sentences is countless. Pictures have a way of expressing much more than words ever could. Given my generation’s obsession with social media, we rarely take pictures or say something interesting without instantly posting to some sort of social media outlet. Being someone that is constantly glued to my phone I am guilty of overly posting and constantly tweeting (Sorry world!).
Social media posting isn’t my only bad habit, I’m also guilty of shopping like it’s a career path. However, bad habits aside, while I’m stimulating the economy (at least, that’s how I justify it) social media posting has been seen to be a powerful and successful tactic by many companies.
If a company is trying to engage in various outlets of social media, Instagram and Vine are a great place to start! Instagram is an app that allows viewers to post pictures and 3-15 second videos. Vine is a 6 second, looping video. Similar to Twitter, users are able to hash tag (#) key words in the videos description that allows the post to be easily accessible if the hash-tagged word is searched. Instagram also allows users to post photos that can be hash-tagged.
Here are some tricks of the trade for engaging on Instagram and Vine:
1. Make your posts interesting and fun!
When posting things to your business Instagram or Vine pages, it’s important to make them interesting and fun. You only have a brief second until someone scrolls past your post. Make sure you have something interesting enough that will make the viewer want to pause their scrolling and take a moment to look at your post.
2. Follow your followers!
One of the most important tactics is to follow your followers back. Everyone loves having followers regardless of the social media outlet. If a user follows you and your company follows them back, the user will notice and will pay attention to the fact that you cared enough to take an interest in them.
3. Make your posts inspiring and action-worthy!
If your posts can get someone’s attention, you’re half way there. For example, if you were running a restaurant, you would want to post pictures of the food you are serving or even a video of how the chef prepares the guests’ meals. Showing the finished product and the steps to get there will spike your audience’s interest and ultimately bring them into your establishment.
4. Share your content elsewhere on the web!
Another key to using social media is to share your content. When you make a video on Vine or post a photo on Instagram, share it! Post your creations to Facebook and Twitter. Send them out in e-mails. The possibilities are endless.
I am more inclined to follow, tweet, post, share or even wear clothing items by a company that I follow on social media. Promotional e-mails aside, when a company posts a Vine or Instagram video of a behind the scene photo shoot, I am hooked. I want to know more about the products they are trying to sell. I want to know the price, the quality and how to buy it for myself. The viewer has the ability to see the process it takes to get an item or an idea to the public.
As easy as social media can be to use, it can also be very easy to neglect and to have others make a fake account about your company. If your company does decide to use any form of social media, it would be a good idea to constantly search for your company on each site. Every outlet has a “search bar,” make it a habit to type in your company’s name and see what else is out there. If a fake account does exist or comes along later on, make sure to follow the steps on reporting a user through that social media outlet.
Society is much more fast-paced then it used to be, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stay ahead of the game and use the culture to our advantage.
When working in public relations, it’s important to promote your clients and their events in a way that’s easiest for the message to get across. Sometimes the best way to do that is to create what is called an “infographic.” This is a great way to visually represent complex information. It is common to include infographics with press releases in order to have another version of the information that can be more easily interpreted.
The point of an infographic is to get the immediate message across with no confusion. Include simple information that cannot be misinterpreted. The easiest information to use is statistics because they are facts most people look for and can make or break a cause. If your facts are compelling, you are going to reel people in immediately.
When creating an infographic, make sure you are consistent with the layout and design. Stick to the theme of the message and create the infographic around it. All of your information has to go together, or the graphic is going to seem unorganized and messy. At the same time, make sure you don’t include too much information. It is extremely important that your infographic is simple and easy for the average person to understand.
Also, make sure you double-check all of your information! It’s easy to find false information on the internet and you need to establish credibility. Check multiple sites for the same info and make sure you include the source somewhere on the graphic.
Two of the easiest infographic generators are Piktochart and Visually. These are not the only infographic generators available – many people use Photoshop and other graphic design programs to create infographics. The only limit to infographics is your own creativity.
Once you have perfected your resume, tailored it toward a public relations position and landed your internship, make sure you enter that internship prepared.
Being prepared is your first step toward success. Do your research and make sure that you know the company. For example: Who are its clients? What are its views? What kind of PR does it do?
The purpose of an internship is to learn and it is really important and beneficial to ask questions in order to expand your knowledge. If you are not sure about how to do an assignment, ask for help. However, before asking small questions, try to take the initiative to do some research to figure out the assignment on your own first.
Take the advice, feedback and constructive criticism that your superiors give you and put them to use. Show that you’re listening by not making the same mistakes repeatedly.
Along with applying and accepting constructive criticism, you should always be practicing and improving your communication skills. Once you’re more comfortable and have developed your skills enough, try to go the extra mile and volunteer to help with extra tasks.
Keep in mind that public relations is a very stressful field. When you feel overwhelmed, stay positive and have a good attitude. Remember the benefits of having a public relations internship. You get to experience the overwhelming tasks while learning how to handle them before entering the field as a professional. Now, you will be ready for anything!
The job market has become very competitive and is forcing employers to test potential employees' skills before offering a job. One component that has been added for the public relations job interviews is the writing test. Employers are now asking potential candidates to write a timed press release or media pitch as part of the interview process.
Here are some tips to help prepare you for the dreaded test.
The writing tests are typically timed. It is important to practice timing yourself so you have an idea of how long it takes you to write a flawless sample and cut down on time if necessary.
2. Know AP Style
AP Style is the format used in the public relations field. Make sure you are aware of the format and keep updated on any changes.
Read other press releases from the industry and company you are interviewing with in order to write with similar word choices and sentence structure.
4. Edit yourself
Just because the test is timed does not mean grammar and spelling mistakes are not judged. In a competitive job market employers look for any reason to eliminate a candidate, and having grammar and spelling mistakes in your writing test is a valid reason.
Most employers use the writing test as a final decision maker, which means the job could be yours! Good luck!