Monthly Archives: August 2013

Five Social Media Tips for Millennials and You to Manage Your Personal Brand Online

Working in marketing and communication for almost half my life, I have seen plenty of cringe worthy moments online. Dominos video prank. Paula Deen. The list can go on. Some recent cringe worthy moments from this past week’s VMAs reminded me that sometimes adults and students alike have trouble understanding the impact of their actions on their personal brand and online presence. Well for that matter in real life. All of us, regardless if we a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, can learn to manage our personal brand online better.

Who are these Millennials?

But for some adults who work with students, both in college and high school, they already know that social media and students are ubiquitous. They are hyper connected. Ask any college or university about the amount of traffic their students generate on social media. Bad day in the commissary, everyone on social media will know about it. Not happy about the residents halls? Don’t worry, your students already created a Tumblr page about it.

Rachel Metscher Personal Brand for MillennialsSome fun facts about today’s students who are a part of the demographic called “millennials.”

  • As a teacher or boss, you are more likely to get a text from this student rather than having a conversation with them. And from her point of view, text is so much faster. This is supported by a recent Pew study, 56 percent of millennials think technology helps people use their time more efficiently.
  • Millennials send about 20 texts per day. (Pew Social Trends)
  • 80 percent of millennials sleep with their phones next to their beds. (The Millennial Generation Research Review)
  • “The Future of Education” study by Millennial Branding found almost 53% of students polled agree that “online colleges are a reputable form of education,” but only 43% think an online classroom can match or surpass the quality of a traditional one.
  • Read the other stats Digiday pulled together

Social Media and Students: What You Type Today is Permanent

But, with students using social media sites for both personal and school, digital presence is increasingly important as they move from school to full-time employment. Even though these students live in the “now”, they can’t forget what they have posted in the past. It will catch up with them. Harvard Business Review wrote an article back in 2012 that highlights the growing trend of recruiters and hiring managers are relying heavily on the Internet to research candidates for employment. Multiple studies show convincingly that more than 75% of employers actively research candidates online. So, your partying pictures that may be “so sic” may not be to your future employer.

With this in mind, here are some tips to manage your personal brand online:

1)   Your digital footprint lives permanently online. Here’s a fun activity: “Google” yourself and see what comes up. Even more fun select images associated with your name for bonus. Many times students don’t realize that photos they post to their blog or online in general can show up in results. Peter Shankman said it best; “it is no one else’s fault if your personal brand isn’t how you want it to be. It’s not Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin’s fault.”

2)   Think first before your type. It is very easy to send of a tweet about how much you hate school, how unfair your teacher or boss is, etc. But those posts or tweets live on long after you hit send. I am not saying you can’t vent, but rather be cautious.

3)   Set Your Privacy Settings. This maybe obvious to you, but some students don’t every think about changing their setting. So scary. You should not share sensitive info on the interweb.

4)   Connect the Dots. As an educator or mentor, be very clear on how inappropriate or hurtful language is a representative of the individual. This is good advice regardless if you are in high school or a working professional. Your brand is what is reflected in your words, images, and work. This does not stop once you leave work or the school bell rings. This is a hard lesson for most students so help them help themselves by connecting the dots. If you are an educator, you can perform a fun activity by having the students research celebrities and identify what they are “known for.” Using those descriptive words, have the students then identify their own words to describe themselves based only on their digital presence. How they are perceived in their day-to-day interactions may be different than what is reflected online.

5)   Help build a positive social brand. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others. Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0, describes how people can leverage the same strategies that make these celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others. Branding tip: whether your posting on social sites or interacting with other students passing through the halls, your words, actions, and behaviors represent you at all times. One bad mishap can have a ripple affect.

While I wrote this in mind for students anyone who wishes to have a better brand should use these tips to monitor their brand. You are what you type.

 (Note: Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation, are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when Generation Y starts and ends. Commentators use beginning birth dates ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s).

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.

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Eight Linkedin Profile Tips to Tie Storytelling to Your Personal Brand

In my role, I get asked a lot about how to promote yourself online. And it is no surprise when you think about how digital presence is key not only to your business, but also to your personal brand. Harvard Business wrote an article back in 2012 about how your digital footprint in key to personal brand.

And there are many avenues to chose from what it comes to promoting yourself: Twitter, Blogging, Tumblr, etc. But one important key to your digital presence should be to have a stellar Linkedin profile. Linkedin is relevant for anyone looking for a new gig or promoting your expertise internally/externally.

What’s so Awesome about Linkedin?

According to Mashable, Linkedin is

  • Highly trafficked website. There are 161 million professionals worldwide who have connected with Linkedin since its official launch in May 2003.
  • Members constantly engaged. Linkedin members actively look for jobs and read work-related content on the platform. In 2011, there were 4.2 billion “professionally-oriented searches” that number is set to surge to 5.3 billion in 2012.
  • Keeps growing. Today, LinkedIn announced its new pages for universities.

Linkedin profile same as your resume?

Many folks are unsure how to use Linkedin beyond a regurgitation of their resume. So, think about Linkedin beyond a reproduction of your employment history and use it to promote your personal brand. Answer one question: What do you want people to takeaway from your profile?

If your not using Linkedin to tell your personal brand story, you’re missing an opportunity to promote you and your expertise in front of would-be colleagues, collaborators, and future employers.

It’s about a cohesive brand story.

Much like storytelling, your personal brand story needs to make sense and persuade folks to read it.

Jot down your ideas in terms of these areas to highlight your personal brand story:

Setting the Story: How will you lure the reader in? You need to set up your story with a crafty headline and interesting personal summary.

  1. Headline. How would you describe yourself? You can certainly use your title, but also think about how potentially someone will search for you. Use keywords you want to be associated with.
  2. Summary. What do you bring the table? Be Strategic. What areas or expertise do you want to highlight? You can use your objective or summary piece from your resume, but be short and sweet. You can in this section add a bullet list of expertise, presentations highlighting your awesomeness, and video.

Character Development: If you are the main character in your personal brand story, how will you support your central theme? So, for example, if I want to be known as a digital marketing expert, how will I convey this?

  1. Experience. Think about this in terms of a story. What do you want people to know? It’s more than listing your accomplishments and responsibilities. Think about how you would describe your coherent roles and how it relates to your overall goal or next career move. 

How to convey the pinnacle points in your career? Showcase your successes.

  1. Projects. Highlight projects that you have worked that show strong results?
  2. Publications and Articles. Written anything that would support your experience or summary? Add articles to highlight your knowledge and promote your own thought leadership.
  3. Skills and Expertise. Think of this in terms of projects. What have you worked on that you can add? Use this to add dimension to your profile.
  4. Recommendations. Who are your champions? Did an awesome job at work? Get your boss or fellow teammates to fill out a recommendation. Get them to fill out a recommendation?

Storytelling is about persuading and entertaining your audience. In order to cut through the noise, you need to differentiate. You don’t need anything formal, but the above it is get you thinking about what is most important to convey in your profile.

What would you add?

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.

Happy Birthday Metscher’s Musing

Its been one year since I started Metscher’s Musing based on my experience in communications, social media, and public relations. The blog has been an amazing experience. I am glad that after talking it in concept  for more than a year, it went live on August 12, 2012.

Happy_Birthday_Metscher_MusingsSince then the blog has been shared not only in the States, but also in United Kingdom, Australia, and many other countries. Amazing! Thank you so much for reading and sharing my posts. There are many, many blogs to choose from and thank you for taking the time!

365 Days Later…54 Posts and Counting

Since my first post in August 2012, I have written 54 posts on a variety of topics such as social media trials and tribulations, communications best practices, and public relations trends. I listed my top posts for you, but don’t be shy. Check out my other musings.

  1. Six Reasons Why Your Sales Folks Don’t Use Social Media
  2. The Undervalue of a Thank You
  3. Fun Fact Fridays: Nine LinkedIn Tips for Introverts
  4. 16 Ways to Successfully Fuel Your Content Curation Machine
  5. Ten Questions You Should Ask Before Making the Social Media Leap
  6. 16 and One Ways on How to be a Better Storyteller
  7. Six More Tips For Building a Social Media Roadmap
  8. Why is Earned Media Important to Your SEO Strategy?
  9. 4 Reasons Why a Blog Helps Your Personal Brand
  10. #FunFactFridays: Do’s and Don’ts When Working with PR Folks
  11. How to Run an Internal Social Media Training Workshop
  12. Six Tips to Be More Creative in Your Public Relations Work (Part One)

 

 

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.

20 Signs You’re a Public Relations Hipster

Last week, my friend asked for some advice with a personal brand project. Her assignment was to help her team build their personal brand within the company and crowded marketplace.

So, if you are going to tell others how to create a rockstar profile, you have to practice what you preach. Naturally, her folks checked out my profile and came up with my personal brand, PR Hipster.

Loving this concept, I did some more research. When I think of hipster, what comes to mind is someone inevitably wearing hip clothes, Ray Bans, drinks coffee often and a lot of it, and usually has a stellar vocab. Perhaps the team was right?  According to Urban dictionary,  hipster is more than fashion:

Public Relations HipsterAlthough hipsters are technically conformists within their own subculture, in comparison to the much larger mainstream mass, they are pioneers and leaders of the latest cultural trends and ideals.

So what are the other signs of a Public Relations Hipster?

  1. You know the marriage between digital and public relations is coming.
  2. You’re planning on the convergence between paid and earn media.
  3. You love social media and use it often for work and personal.
  4. While you tinker with new social media tools, you know a plan and a strategy are needed.
  5. You are the first one in a meeting to think how to repurpose content.
  6. You consider yourself a storyteller.
  7. If there’s not a plan, you put one in place.
  8. You frown upon trite media campaigns in favor of thoughtful and thought provoking content.
  9. You ask “so what” and “why” often.
  10.  You understand how Content+Social+Public Relations is a winning equation.
  11. You question the norm often.
  12. You understand short and sweet is the best kind of media release.
  13. When pitching you understand personalization and relationships are key.
  14.  You get that selling new ideas is about change management.
  15. You love your haters. They are your motivators.
  16. You have learned the art of selective hearing and ignore noise.
  17. You are sometimes a contrarian.
  18. You wear plaid and other retro articles of clothing.Of Course!
  19. You likely to share your love of documentaries or indie rock.
  20. Your don’t worry about whatever everyone else is doing. You forge ahead and build awesome public relations programs.
  21. Bonus: You are disruptive by nature.

What would you add as a sign for public relations hipsters?

Added from my colleague, Allison O’Quinn:

  1. There’s an unnatural obsession to stay on top of all the latest celebrity gossip.
  2. You tend to be the event planner in your group of friends.
  3. constantly fine tuning your organizational style and discussing it with colleagues (or anyone that’ll listen).

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.

Six Tips to Be More Creative in Your Public Relations Work (Part One)

I recently spoke on the Bulldog Reporter panel about how to bring more creativity in your public relations work. Love the opportunity to share some nuggets on how I bring more creativity to my work. And let’s be honest, sometimes being creativity is hard work. So, here are my tips to bringing more creativity to your public relations work:

  •  Schedule Time for Creativity. You need to schedule time to be creative because it just won’t magically happen otherwise. Back to back meetings are not helping your creativity so make sure to budget time to brainstorm ideas. Schedule down time to do research or noodle on topics at least once a week.
  • Plan for Research in the Process. Sometimes when brainstorming, I start researching a variety of germane topics on Google. Look for the weird and opportunities outside your discipline to generate ideas. I recently spoke with one of our developers who share different articles that are funny or inspiring to jump-start her team’s creativity. For me, when I am struggling with creating content, I check out Buzzfeed or Huffington Post often because both of these publications do an amazing job of creating entertaining and engaging headlines and content.
  • Add an Incubation Period. So, when you think you have the next great idea, let it simmer first before sharing. Lifehacker wrote about the importance of an incubation period, “Especially if you have thought long and hard all day about a problem, jumping into the shower can turn into what scientist call the “incubation period” for your ideas. The subconscious mind has been working extremely hard to solve the problems you face and now that you let your mind wander, it can surface and plant those ideas into you.”
  • Find a Buddy to Bounce Ideas. Who says your boss or coworkers are the only people you should chat with about ideas? Look for likeminded people in other departments, industries or companies. Some of my best ideas have come when I have chatted with people outside my organization who have other experiences and backgrounds.
  • Plan for Naysayers, Roadblockers, and Buzzkillers. These folks dislike change and don’t want to rock the boat with new ideas. Plan for them and make them apart of creative process early. Another piece of advice worth reading is Peter Shankman’s why to love your haters .Rachel Metscher's Journal for Metscher Musing
  • Carry a Journal. I am old school and carry this journal everywhere I go. You never know when you will have an idea. If you are addicted to your iPhone look into Evernote.

This is only a short list, but starting small can lead to big ideas.

 

 

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.