Back to the basics: Google

Everyday students rely on the Google search engine to answer basic questions, to research for school or to surf the web. For many of us Google is as much a part of our daily lives as food and sleep; basically a necessity. According to the Google site there are more than one billion searches everyday from 181 different countries and 146 languages (view here). However, Google has more to offer than just its search engine. 

Today I am going to discuss the Google Drive capabilities. The Google Drive has been a huge help throughout my college career. The Google Drive allows users to create folders, documents, spreadsheets, forms, presentations and drawings and share them with others via the Internet. Below are examples of how I have used some of these tools in the past few years.

Documents: Google Docs is a great way to share notes, make study guides and work on class projects. Google Docs encourages collaboration and helps students effectively work together when they are apart. Another great feature is that you can see when someone else is viewing or editing the document so you always know what is going on.

Spreadsheets: My favorite use of the spreadsheet tool is for sign-up sheets. Whenever you need to organize and manage a large group of people Google Spreadsheets helps you create virtual sign-up sheets where everyone can be on the same page (no pun intended), even when you’re not together.

Forms: Although my teachers often use Google forms for class surveys, I have found this feature most helpful in my social media monitoring project. I am going to go into more detail about this function in the next post so stay tuned for that!

Presentations: Google Presentations helps students work on the same Powerpoint-type presentation from his or her own computer. Once again, this is incredibly convenient for students, letting them work in their own time from the comfort of his or her computer.

If you do not already have a Google account get one and start playing around with this function! If you create a document through the Drive and you want to share it with others to edit it (which I think is the whole point of the Google Drive), make sure to specify that through the blue “Share” button in the right hand corner of the document.

Let me know if you have any questions. If not, get Googlin’!

AC 

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Multi-taskers, struggle no more!

Happy Tuesday everyone,

Now that we have established what defines your own personal brand we can begin learning about valuable tools in the pr industry! Here we go!

Drumroll….

The first tool we will learn about is HootSuite. HootSuite helps professionals manage multiple social media accounts, schedule posts in advance, track brand mentions and analyze social media traffic. According to Pete Cashmore, the CEO of Mashable, “HootSuite is an essential tool for managing social networks by allowing teams to effectively track conversation and measure campaign results” (https://hootsuite.com/).

The following picture, from the HootSuite blog, is an example of a typical HootSuite dashboard (http://blog.hootsuite.com/). This blog is an incredible resource – check it out for more in-depth help with the program.

Screen shot 2013-10-29 at 1.34.42 PM

This is an example of HootSuite’s customer service account, @HootSuite_Help. From left to right, the first column features @mentions to @HootSuite_Help, the next features @HootSuite_Help’s  recent sent tweets, the following shows @mentions to the general @hootsuite account and the last features Yammer, HootSuit’s Help Desk Group.

I realize that this example is a little confusing because it has so much going on. Let us take a step back and review the basics:

1. HootSuite helps users manage multiple social media accounts.

If you have your own personal account and an account that you use for a internship or job, you can access both of these accounts on this one website without having to sign in and out of Twitter, Facebook, etc. multiple times.

2. HootSuite helps users schedule posts in advance.

Multi-taskers, struggle no more. With HootSuite you can schedule posts for whatever time you want, without having to think twice about it! This helps you spread out posts, have the application post for you when you are busy and prepare posts in advance. How nice is that?!?

3. HootSuite tracks brand mentions.

As we discussed in the example, the HootSuite dashboard show @mentions to the client’s Twitter handle. This works with all social media accounts. Instead of having to do your own social media monitoring which can be a pain, HootSuite organizes it all for you. Talk about saving time!

4. HootSuite analyzes social media traffic.

HootSuite has a lot of capabilities that provides insight to public relations professionals. This is important information that help you track conversation and judge the audience’s attitude toward the client. All of which is important to your boss!

I recommend creating a HootSuite account and inputing your own accounts. Since you are trying to build your own brand through social media, you can schedule your own posts and follow your conversations. This experience will help you be prepared when you are asked to manage multiple accounts!

Best of luck and have fun!

Until next time,

AP

 

Building your brand, step two: Let’s get social!

Happy Wednesday everyone,

Now that you have determined what qualities you want to highlight for your personal brand we can get started! In this post I will target the most popular social media outlets and help you maximize your online presence.

Facebook: First and foremost, clean it up. Go through all of your old albums, tagged pictures and old posts with a critical eye and delete anything that could damage your image. Think, if my mom, grandma or employer saw this would they be proud? This always helps me to determine which things to keep and which ones to let go (tear). Next, go through your likes and your “About Me” section in general. Delete “likes” that you do not reflect who you are, and start liking pages of interest to you. This will help you to have a consistent image across all of your social media accounts. Now, make a commitment to post personally-relevant and career-relevant articles on your timeline. Continue to frequently communicate with others and be pleasant! It is your choice if you want to have a private or public account, I’m not going to advise you on that.

Twitter: If you don’t have on already, create one! Twitter is entertaining and is a great way to stay informed and to network. Employers often look at Twitter accounts to see if the potential hire is utilizing it to express their interests and career knowledge. Since public relations professional rely on social media, employers like to see hirees (is that a word?) using the medium effectively. So make an account, start following people/companies/organizations that interest you, share your knowledge via tweets and finally, retweet others posts! If you prefer to have a personal account and a professional account that is totally fine. Just make sure that the professional one is public and the personal one is private!

LinkedIn: There is so much you can do with this medium that I am not going to go into. All I want you to do is to create a profile and start networking! It is a great way to share your skills and experience as well as connect with employers and other professionals. Click this link to help you get started.

Other important social media channels include Instagram, FourSquare, Google+, About.Me… The list goes on. It is also a great idea to have a WordPress page. With this you can blog about whatever you want and practice your writing! Just remember when using these different accounts to treat yourself like you would treat your client. Keep your message consistent and positive and show the world the best version of yourself!

Until next time,

AC

Building your brand, step one: Who are you?

Happy Tuesday everyone!

As I sit here to write my first post about creating your personal brand I realize the enormity of this task.

I’ll make this simple by putting on my “PR lens”. The first thing a public relations professional has to do when beginning a PR plan is to determine the situation of the client. In this case, the client you need to research is YOU!

Take time to reflect and determine what makes you who you are.  Like I said, I’m going to make this journey as pain-free as possible. Feel free to use the questions below for guidance. Your answers to these questions can help guide what qualities and skills you want to focus on when promoting your brand on various social media platforms.

  1. Who are you?
  2. What are you passionate about?
  3. What motivates you?
  4. What do you like about yourself?
  5. Why do you like public relations?
  6. What qualities make you a good PR professional?
  7. What do you want to accomplish in your career?

Self-exploration is not an easy task; it is a lifelong process. However, by taking a moment to ask ourselves a few simple questions we can begin to build the framework for our own brand. In my next post I will attempt to help you use social media to “sell” yourself. For a little more guidance check out this article from Forbes.com. It has a lot of helpful information and advice!

Talk soon,

AC

Come one, come all!

Hello and welcome to my blog!

My name is Ali Chapman and I am a public relations student at the University of Georgia. The mission of my blog is to help ALL communications professionals learn how to leverage technology to become savvy, competent and employable professionals in the challenging field.

As only a senior in college you are probably wondering how I can help you. That’s where the fun is! I will be right there with you throughout this journey. Whether you are a beginner in the field or an established executive, I can assure you that this blog will contain valuable and simple ways to improve your public relations skills and build your own brand.

I will explore social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, About.Me, etc.), HootSuite, Google Analytics, Google forms (for research purposes) and more. Be on the lookout for my first post about building your brand. I will provide a step-by-step guide on how to increase your online presence, build a strong foundation in social media practices and most importantly have a little fun!

If there are any programs you would like me to explore feel free to post below!

Until next time,

AC