Tag Archives: corporate communications

New Year, New Opportunities

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Keep your head in the clouds and your hands on the keyboard.” – Marissa Meyer

Earth to Sam… Are you there? Hello?

Yes, I’m back!

After a brief hiatus, I have returned. To all my readers, I’m SO sorry it took this long.
Let me explain.

In September of 2014, I began the journey into my final semester of my Masters at New York University, which meant a few things. First, since I fast-tracked my degree I would have a heavier semester than most. The semester would be spent writing my thesis, fulfilling a practicum placement and on top of those two (which are considered a full semester),
I would be completing two additional courses needed in order to graduate –
Crisis Communication and Reputation Management. In case you’re wondering, I survived.

The months of hiatus were spent researching, planning, and building big projects. I conducted my thesis research on reputation management and branding initiatives using digital platforms in the airline industry. A mouthful – I know. The end result was to produce a best practices guide for airline companies in using digital platforms and how this corresponds to proving a return on investment. It was a daunting task at first, but the guide proved to be a valuable resource in an industry faced with innumerable complications – especially with communication.

On the other end of the spectrum, my practicum was to work alongside the New York Knicks to develop an integrated marketing plan that could be implemented as a means of promoting and building their current efforts. It was an incredible experience understanding the realm of sports public relations and the strategic ways they go about communicating with fans.

So, what now? Well, as many of my readers know, I am originally from Toronto but relocated to New York to complete my Masters. Now that they’re over, I’m hoping to stay in the city (fingers crossed!) and find a job. I’m currently doing all that’s related to the job hunt!
Resumes, cover letters, and of course networking!

It’s a new year for new opportunities. I’m excited to see what this year has in store.

I’ll be back later this week with some more posts!

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Social Media: More than just a résumé skill

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“Social media spark a revelation that we, the people, have a voice, and through the
democratization of content and ideas we can once again unite around common passions,
inspire movements, and ignite change.”Brian Solis, Author of Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web

Anyone who knows me, whether you’re a follower of my blog, twitter account, or a close friend, will tell you that I am a huge advocate of social media. This is for several reasons. I’m not just
referring to my general love for tweeting, or pinning my latest quote. This love for an online
community goes far beyond just the use of the platform.

Without any knowledge or background on how social media can assist in building your brand, or increase engagement with your followers, it seems unfair to deem social media as something that millennials just like to play on. Social media has the incredible power to build the
reputation of a brand, and connect audiences on a larger scale. If not carefully used, there
is also the looming threat of destroying a brand quicker than you can say tweet.

So when someone says they’re a social media maven, or a social media strategist, what do they really mean? Since social media extends far beyond just proficiency of the platform, it means this so-called expert can translate social media efforts into a return on investment (ROI).
In order for this to happen, the social media strategist has to be able to connect these efforts to higher level goals and business objectives – see Deirdre Breakenridge’s Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional. This is a great resource for any
PR professional, whether aspiring or experienced, seeking to develop their social
media skills and understand how to effectively manage a brand on various platforms.

One reason I’m so passionate about digital PR is because it gives an audience the ability to
communicate and connect with a brand that goes beyond the purchasing power. A company that can effectively manage a two-way conversation between their audience
and the brand puts a human connection behind their products or services. This enables
audience members to become brand ambassadors on social platforms.

It’s important to understand that including social media specialist under the skills section of your résumé extends far past your recreational use of Facebook. In order to
effectively use sites like Twitter, Facebook, WordPress or Instagram, you need to have
an understanding of the metrics and analytics behind the platform. This means being able to provide the C-Suite with visible changes in brand sentiment, share of voice, or even website traffic.

An efficient use of these social media tools will show some form of profit growth, contributing to the company’s bottom-line. Any social media strategist that can use these tools to provide growth in a company is a valuable resource. These skills will continue to be an asset as new
platforms continue to develop. It’s a social media strategist’s job to stay up-to-date on the latest technology to ensure they’re optimizing the use of platforms for their respective companies.

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Content Strategies: Creating Quality Material

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“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
- Maya Angelou

It goes without saying that everyone loves an easy and enjoyable read. Connecting with your
audience is a pivotal part of brand building and engagement. One area of struggle individuals, companies, and/or organizations run into is creating good content. More specifically, there is
always difficulty in conjuring up new and refreshing content that makes your audience want to act on. Whether it’s an article for your company blog, or a Facebook post promoting a new
product line, being strategic about your material can help boost interaction. But, how?

First, it’s important to research and understand your audience. Sometimes companies can make the mistake of assuming they know who their audience is without really taking the time to look into the demographic breakdown. A simple error made in promoting aspects of a company is reaching out to individuals who aren’t necessarily your largest audience. Take time to create
surveys, focus groups, and scan your platforms to see what ages are interacting with your
services. If you understand your audience, messages and content can be tailored towards them.

As well, it’s important to monitor and track what content is drawing in the most engagement. When you first begin producing content, take note of which articles and posts get the most
interaction. If topics that focus on social media monitoring get more attention than say, topics on employee management, perhaps your audiences want more messages tailored towards
social media usage. Also, be sure to use your analytic tools and metrics. These are a valuable
resource for determining which posts get the most interaction from users.

Another suggestion is to think outside the box. This means producing content that is creative and fun. In order to encourage your audience to participate with your content, you need to make sure that its worthy of engagement. If your company isn’t the type to usually make videos, perhaps it’s time to vary up the method of content production. To measure what your audience engages with, you need to vary up the methods for producing the content. Sometimes the least expected methods draw the most interaction. Creativity also means changing things up. Maybe have guest posts, interviews or Q&A sessions with industry professionals. The goal of your
content is to give your audience more reasons for interacting with your brand.

What are some of your suggestions for creating good content?

Sound off below, or tweet me @Sam__Dickson

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