Tag Archives: social media

The Almost Post-Graduate Checklist

Happy Monday…or not, I usually feel like this on Monday:

But today? Today I am fired up because I have new post for you and I am so psyched to get your feedback. As many of you are making the final steps towards your last few weeks as a university student, you probably have many emotions: happiness, fear, poverty (which may or may not be a real emotion), hunger and sleep deprivation (once again, maybe not an emotion). BUT never fear, I have some blogging caffeine to send your way!

This is the first post in my “getting you hired after you graduate” series (that name is a work in progress) and it’s a quick, down and dirty checklist of items that YOU need to make sure you have in order for your post-graduate hiring push.

As I came upon the final weeks before my graduation, I had a job in hand (well, a paid internship), but that didn’t stop me from making sure my ducks were in a row – social media, resume & online presence – I wanted to make sure if ANYBODY even thought about hiring me, I would be ready. Below are a few items (and resources) for YOUR “Hire Me NOW! Almost Post-Graduate Checklist”:

  1. Social Media: Are you social media-ready for a snooping hiring manager? According to a 2012 study by CareerBuilder, some 38% of hiring managers said they screened candidates via social media. So please make sure you’re not trashing employers, showing excessive bad behaviour, or saying incendiary things that will make a hiring manager think twice. Good rule of thumb is: “would I say this in front of my nan?” HOWEVER, social media is also a chance to show HOW good of a candidate you are; I am a huge advocate for having a professional Twitter handle and a Linkedin page where you can list accomplishments, past projects, your skills, jobs and showcase thought leadership in your field. As you’re nearing the end, do a Social Media audit and make sure you’re in good shape
  2. Resume: With the host of social media sites and other ways to network, we sometimes forget that the little, modest resume is still your best bet to get hired. Take some time over the next few weeks to really give your resume a hard look. Have a professor, or the career center at your Uni also look it over – you should include ALL relevant experience, including any school projects that were in PR/social media, related job experience (internships to the TOP!) and even communications courses. Hiring managers know that as an entry-level pro, you’re not going to have a TON of experience, but you can still polish it up and make it shine. Check out this great post from NYC PR Girls for more on that winning entry-level PR resume.
  3. Online Presence: I CANNOT stress this enough! In this day and age, in PR and social media, you need to have an online presence. Of course, many will say you don’t have to have one, but I’m here to tell you:

    You NEED to have an online presence. Whether it be centered around social media, an About.me page, an entire blog, an online portfolio or even ONE page with your resume and a few links…well, I think you get it. Plus, having a polished online presence will shoot your light years above the competition – it will show that you can write, are strategically thinking and you understand the importance of image and content curation (three VERY important things in PR). A domain name is less than $20 per year, a WordPress blog is even cheaper…even Tumblr can be a good site to use. Use your online space to advertise yourself, write great content or house your portfolio.

Hopefully, this has been an educational and thought-provoking post and a great way to kick off this little mini-series. Graduation is coming up on you faster than you realize and if you get ready now, you’ll have a better chance to land that dream job.

If you have any questions or just want to pop in and say hello, the comment section (or the contact page or my Twitter) is always open. Until then…

XOXOXO,
Jess_AsPRing

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Has the Internet gone too far? Cyber bullying and it’s devastating effects

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I’m sure you’ve recently heard the story of 17-year old Canadian girl Rehtaeh Parsons

Rehtaeh tried to commit suicide on April 4th by hanging herself in her bathroom; By the time her mother reached her, she was unconscious. Rehtaeh went in to a coma and just a few days later, her parents decided to take her off of life support, ending her life at just 18 years old.

Rehtaeh was the victim of constant cyber bullying after photographs of her rape at the age of 15 were circulated around her small town. Eventually, the bullying got so bad, Rehtaeh and her family had to move to a different city and try and start fresh.

I wish this was an isolated incident, I wish I could say there weren’t other stories of teens deciding to end their life after suffering harrasment and betrayal at the hands of anonymous internet bullies after they were the victims of horrific crimes. This is not the first such incident: Take another Canadian teen, Amanda Todd: the 15-year old committed herself after pictures of her exposed breasts were leaked; she endured months of cyber bullying and heckling by her classmates and total strangers. She changed schools twice before committing suicide just a month before her 16th birthday.

These heart-breaking incidents happen all too often and it brings a question to light: has the internet created a society of bullies? Profile pictures and harsh words? Where total strangers or people you thought were your friends can post demeaning comments and photographs about you?

The truth is, in this day and age there are too many social networks and other avenues for teens to ostracize their peers. Between Facebok, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube (to name a few), there are literally a ton of chances for these “viral” photographs and videos to be shared, and their hatred along with them.

This culture has got to STOP. Why bully a girl who has already suffered through the ordeal of sexual assault? Why allow her attackers to walk around with a clear conscious while she suffers at the hands of her classmates? And what girl can feel good about herself knowing she is shaming another young girl in public?

This made me think about the prevalence of internet trolling…people who feel okay making fun of others and say hurtful things to strangers because they are “protected” by the anonymity of the internet. These are the same people who wouldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight but have no problem whatsoever threatening and spreading their hatred and bigotry around the internet. What makes these incidents even worse is the prevalence in which they are joined by countless others. It wasn’t just one or two people harassing Amanda and Rehtaeh, it was a mass of people.

I’m not blaming the internet or social networking; in fact, millions of people use the internet and social networks every day to connect with friends, find jobs, raise awareness and spread positivity. Bullying isn’t new either, people have been bullying each other since the dawn of man (even animals do it) and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. So what does need to change?

I can’t say. I honestly don’t have any fun tips or advice; I do know that parents should be more vigilant with internet usage and I hate to say it, but more consequences. People need to know that they can’t drive a young girl to take her life without there being some sort of consequence.

I’m not saying send every one of Rehtaeh’s tormentors to jail, but would I be against making them do 100 hours of community service? No, I wouldn’t. And let’s get the parents involved; if they knew that their teen was tormenting a helpless girl, how would they feel? Let’s band together and start making it next to impossible for this type of behavior to exist.

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Rehtaeh, Amanda and the countless others who have been on the receiving end of taunts and threats. My heart goes out to you and I want you to know, I’m in your corner.

Thanks for reading and until next time,

XOXOXO,
Jess_AsPRing

The Senior Chronicles, Pt. II: When Should I Start Looking for a Job?

Happy Monday mi amigos/amigas! With Spring winding down very quickly, so I wanted to make sure we got the “Senior Chronicles” going in full force, so you (and by “you” I mean “WE”) can get ready for graduation!

I hope you remember part I of the Senior Chronicles, in case you didn’t, here it is! Senior Chronicles: I am Terrified. It was basically my fear of the unknown (AKA life after graduation, employment, in particular); so I started thinking: why fear it, when I can conquer it? I can’t sit around and wait for  job to land in my lap, I need to get out there and TAKE IT! So, the Senior Chronicles is all about the job hunt, kiddies, and the 2nd post in this series is a great starting point:

WHEN SHOULD I LOOK FOR A JOB?!?!?!?!?

PR is a unique field for many reasons, one reason is the industry hiring practices: while a bank or a hospital may have regular hiring intervals, PR agencies, organizations, etc. only hire on an as-needed basis. Meaning, if they have a new account, or somebody leaves, then they need people. This puts us graduating seniors in a sticky situation because traditionally, in the summer, things slow down a bit in the PR world, so chances are, not much hiring is going on. Which is a bummer, because who wants to spend the Summer on your parent’s couch?

Another thing to think about is how quickly a PR agency hires its folks: from posting the job announcement to getting that warm body in the seat, it is only about a 3-5 week process, so if you don’t graduate until May, applying for a great job in February probably isn’t a good idea. I know, at this point, you’re probably saying:

SO WHEN SHOULD I START LOOKING FOR A FREAKIN’ JOB JESS?!?!?!

My answer? Yesterday! You should be always keeping your eyes open for announcements and openings; but not JUST announcements, look out for when an agency gets a new client, loses a client, merges or get’s bought. These are all indicators of jobs lost or created. BUT the catch is, don’t start applying just yet. Hiring managers are looking to fill these openings ASAP, and if you can’t start, it will mostly likely just frustrate them.

So what have I been doing? I’m glad you asked.

Starting back in NOVEMBER, I started connecting with agencies, recruiter, HR people and hiring managers on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, on email, via telephone, carrier pigeon…you name it (except the carrier pigeon…they freak me out!) and let them know while I am not graduating for quite some time, that I would like the opportunity to forward my resume and stay in touch. I got a lot of great feedback and it served a few purposes:

  1. It got my resume in front of them; which means they know my name and were able to go over the experience I had thusfar
  2. I was able to give them my blog and social media information; so they could see my work, links, influence level, etc.
  3. It gave me a reason to call them again in a few months, with an updated copy of my resume.

Believe it or not, I got some really great feedback, a few “call us when you graduate!” emails and I even had to turn down TWO interview requests, because I hadn’t yet graduated (which sucked!). The point is, I got my name in their box and let them know that I will be open for business soon.

I am going to follow up with all of them very soon, letting my contacts know that I graduated. BUT first, I am going to spend two months doing a full-time post-graduate internship in NEW YORK CITY!!!! That’s right, I got the job and I am ready to rock it out (more on that later)!!!

Well that’s it for this installment of “The Senior Chronicles” check back next Monday for my take on the “perfect entry-level resume” with a very special guest (oooh…mystery, suspense…) until then…

XOXOXO,

Jess_AsPRing

Were the Oscar’s a PR “Win”? The REAl winners and losers.

Hello ladies and gents, last night was supposedly the “biggest night in Hollywood” and the stars were out in their finest; the entire cast of Les Mis performed after a powerhouse by Jennifer Hudson (she really stole the show), it was the night of the ingenue (Both Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence won in their respective categories, although I’m still #TeamSallyFields) and it was a night of good suprises: the great Barbara Streisand graced the Oscar’s stage for the first time in almost 30 years, Michelle Obama showed up and Seth MacFarlane didn’t piss anybody off. But who were the REAL winners and losers? I picked two and here they are:

BIG Oscar Winner: Real-time Marketing.
I’m serious you guys, real-time marketing won, hands down. Brands were working over time to make relevant, witty and engaging posts, images and tweets in a bid to lure fan engagement. One brand that always wins on that front is Oreo, they scored a big win with their  Superbowl Blackout Tweet and they continued last night with a few spots (here and here) with a few other brands jumping in, including: Sharpie, Starbucks, JcPenney’s, Visa and Stella Artois, among many others. Real-time marketing is here to stay people, yet another tenet in our “instantaneous/gimme now” culture. The Oscar goes to you RTM, now keep your acceptance speech short, because I hear they are playing Jaws music to get people off stage these days (which is hilarious)

BIG Oscar Loser: The Onion.
The Onion is an alternative cultural icon; the spoof newspaper has been churning out ridiculous and satirical headlines for decades skewering everybody from Presidents to pop culture cuties. At approximately 8:04PM last nigh, in the middle of the Oscar’s telecast, they tweeted the following, “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right? #Oscars2013” and they lost every cool point they ever had. Like, ever. First of all, Quvenzhané Wallis is nine years old and her personality is still developing and have you ever met a nine-year old? They can be a little self-involved and cocky (for lack of a better term), so lay off, who comes for a nine-year old, really? And, she is the youngest person EVER to be nominated for an Oscar, Mr./Miss Tweet Writter, what have YOU done lately? When was the last time you broke a record? Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Exactly. People are so busy trying to be “edgy” on Twitter that they are over-stepping their boundaries and saying things that are uncouth and down-right mean. Manners are still in people, don’t forget.

Well, those were my winners and losers from last night’s (pretty boring) Oscars…BTW, Sally Fields should have won, I mean…Anne Hathaway? Really. Ugh. Whatevs. Until next time.

XOXOXO,

Jess_AsPRing.

What to do, When You’ve Been HACKED.

Hey Vaqueros! that is totally Spanish for cowboys or something, but it’s just reflective of what a good mood I am in. I recently registered for my FINAL college quarter and graduation stuff is getting REAL, as in I am inviting family and about to take some photographs in the next few weeks. Trust me, there will be more on that soon…I promise.

Soooooooo, did you hear that the Burger King twitter account was hacked this past Monday AND the Jeep Twitter account just today (Read about it here and here)? This means a group of rogue computer nerds (think a dude with plastic devil horns wearing a Star Wars teeshirt) cracked their account passwords and then proceeded to post inappropriate, lewd and NSFW tweets and photographs to their 80,000+ followers. It took Burger King a day to have their account suspended and to issue a statement apologizing and explaining.

Getting hacked is a serious problem for us social media lovers; all it takes is someone determined enough and a few tricks (readily published online) and BOOM! You’re hacked. So what now? I’ve got a simple, but life-saving plan to follow when you’ve been hacked:

  1. Immediately contact the support team of the platform you’ve been hacked on. Send an e-mail or go through their system online and alert them to your status
  2. Change your password, and this time, let’s not make it your Maltese Fluffy, OK? Here’s an old, but still very relevant article from LifeHacker, Geek to Live: Choose (and remember) great passwords
  3. Delete and erase all offensive, spammy, NSFW and inappropriate posts, basically anything the hacker posted on your timeline. Immediately.
  4. Send out a tweet, or post, or pin and let people know that you have been hacked. Chances are, whomever hacked you took the time to spam or send out inappropriate information, so take a minute to compose a thoughtful post or tweet (or whatever) letting people know that it wasn’t you and that everything’s back to normal now.

I’ve never been hacked, but I have had my identity stolen and I know if not handled properly, it can damage your entire reputation (the rep you’ve worked so hard to build and maintain). So protect yourself and change your passwords and make them hard to crack. Until next time!

XOXOXO,

Jess_AsPRing

Social Network Saturday: Vine.

Happy Saturday peeps! I have been doing a lot of other stuff lately (graduation is fast approaching and opening my own online boutique http://bigheartcouture.com/ shameless plug people, we open March 1st) and although PR and social media are a part of my daily life, they haven’t been a part of my online life: I haven’t been tweeting like normal, my Linkedin feed looks like freakin’ Roanoke (5 points if you know what I’m referring to!) and this blog has virtual tumbleweeds.

So, today I am bringing you a “Social Network Saturday” post because in the last few weeks, a new social network sprang up and it actually looks like it has a bit of staying power (literally jumped to #14 on the “most downloaded app” list in like 2 weeks), it’s called Vine and it’s from the creators of Twitter. Launched the last week of January this year, Vine is a social video sharing service that let’s users shoot, edit and produce looping 6-second videos (only available on Apple platforms, so you know, the cult can send videos to each other j/k…but not really).

So how will this be helpful to PR pros and marketing peeps? Well, in my opinion, it has the same possibilities Instagram has: it can add a more “human” side to a brand (even your personal brand), here are a few examples:

  • Shoot a behind-the-scenes video (works best if you are in the lifestyle division), showing your clients at work
  • Shoot some employee fun; like a birthday at the office or just employees being silly (make sure it’s tasteful and the company logo makes it in there)
  • Shoot a “getting ready” video if you are in fashion (which I am!) show your fave pieces
  • How about shooting a networking event you recently attended? Show people you are out there and looking

There are a million other ideas you can shoot with Vine. To tell you the truth, I have yet to try it, but with DKNYPRGirl and The Bag Snob on board, I am sure this thing is going to hit (and it already has, kind of). I’m not so much about the PR side, but using it for me fashion accessories boutique sounds like a pretty cool idea, so I am going to give it a go and let you all know how I liked it.

Want some more info on the incredible edible Vine (OK, IDK why I just said that lol)? I’ve put some links down here for ya:
Twitter Blog: Vine: A new way to share video
The Vine Effect: How Twitter’s App Is Impacting Social Video Startups
Social Media Today: Why Your Vine Videos Fall Flat
CisionBlog: Vine: An Analysis of Twitter’s New Toy

Hey, I’m on TUMBLR!!!

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As if begging you to follow Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest AND now also  Instagram weren’t ENOUGH (were they, huh? Huh? Anybody out there!?!?!) I have decided to start a Tumblr because, why not? I like the visuals and some of my most favourite people are on Tumblr like:

  1. DKNY PR Girl
  2. The PR Closet (Alexis Rodriguez)
  3. Oscar PR Girl

And many more (too many to list, go to Tumblr, you’ll find some interesting and insightful character there). So you’re probably asking “Jess, you already have a Blog, why do you need a Tumblr?!” well, I don’t know if I actually need one, but I do know that it’s more visually-driven, quicker to post to and also (bad thing) more time consuming. I am going to give it a month-long trial run, and report back on January 3, 2013 to let you know my experiences.

Until then, you can check my page out here. The simple black and white theme is pretty much the same and the “Jess” is pretty much the same, so we’ll see how it goes…drop me a line and tell me your experiences with Tumblr or what your take on my new social media endeavor is!

Ciao! XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing