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The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


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7 Days of Blogging – #7 – To Learn

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So my 7 days of blogging turned into 7 days spread out over 10, but I finished my challenge! Here is my blog #7 entitled To Learn…

I spent most of the last year of my life learning. It started in December last year, when I heard from the MN Workforce Center of a social media class I could take at Takoda AIOIC – Institute of Higher Learning. I knew I wanted to up my skill set, so I signed up. In January, I took the class and through it, learned of the Public Relations Specialist Program they also offered.

I always thought that public relations was about having to be in front of a camera (I am absolutely a behind the camera kind of gal!), but soon realized I that had actually been doing public relations for the past 20+ years of my life in one capacity or another. I jumped at the chance to enter the program after hearing about the classes involved: Creative Writing, Writing for Public Relations, Public Speaking, Marketing, Graphic Design, Fundraising, Event-Planning, more Social Media to name a few.

It was a fun scavenger hunt and scramble to put together my past grades from high school to various universities, do some required testing and gather other required documentation to enter the program. I managed to get everything in by the deadline and finally started in March.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use the change the world.

 ~Nelson Mandela

 

We were a cohort of nine to start, and five of us who started together, ended the program together. Four of the original group left the program and two other lovely individuals had started before us but had to take a break for a block, and rejoined with us in the second block. We were the Super 7 throughout our second block, and part of the third. Unfortunately one of the seven, again had to leave. Still following? The six that made it through are from different personalities, races, cultures and walks of life, and each one is a creative, beautiful and extremely strong woman.

I cannot speak for the others, but now that the program is at conclusion, I am proud of what we all accomplished together and separately. There were some tough times and each of us had our individual struggles on top of accomplishing a 2-year program in 9 months, but I think we all learned about many topics that will bring us further in life. Plus we developed friendships in a unique experience that had us spending more time with each other than our own families in the past months.

I can also personally say that I learned a lot about myself as well. This has been such a positive experience for me in that I have learned many new skills, skills that I am already putting to use in my internship, my personal social media plan and building my website. More importantly, I rediscovered pieces of me that were “sleeping,” and I am very glad they woke up. I feel empowered and have the strength to “get out there.” I may have feelings of anticipation but I am not afraid. I am ready for new challenges.

Thank you to my fellow cohort, thank you to the instructors that taught me so much, and thank you to the wonderful staff of Takoda… I could not have done it without you.

~Christine Dietsche

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PR and social Media

 

 

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    ↔    PR

 

 

The field of Public relations (PR) has changed so much since the beginning of social media and it will continue to change as social media keeps evolving. Understanding how much social media has changed the PR profession will help us put together better communication programs that put both parts in a way that intensifies your messages. With that said, I would like to share a few areas of how social media has impacted the world of PR

Communication consistency

It used to be that PR was a one-way message program. You put out the information that you hope is relevant and wish that it will reach everybody. With Social media, your target message is transformed into a conversation that just about anyone can start, converting the one-way message into a constant discussion.  Social media makes it possible to enter this discussion anywhere, but the discussion cannot be controlled.

Target Audience

The old model of PR is to send a specialized message to a single message source. But in today’s world of social media infused PR model, you target audience is now a community. The main difference now is that with a community of friends, many conversations take place socializing the message.

Channel Reach

With social media, your audience is motivated to pay attention to each other making it very powerful. The engagement from the audience boosts your message leading to more shares, and making certain conversations go viral. Engagement, in social media and PR, is a key achievement.

Source credibility

User-generated content in PR groups has always been a point of concern mostly surrounding bloggers and journalists. In today’s social communication platforms, a message could become very potent when there’s an exchange between sources. For instance, the journalist using social media to investigate stories or the stories in a traditional publication gets shared on social platforms.

PR uses many communication programs and social media is just one of them which allow us to interact directly with our customers. Social media also allows us to be to communicate with our consumers and hopefully gain a positive action. And understanding how social platforms have changed the PR world, it can help us make better use of it in our campaigns.

 

Source: Social Media Disruptors of PR and social PR


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Is social media really helpful for organizing?

The value of social media for organizing is common knowledge in many instances, most notably the Arab Spring. But how useful is it now?

In this post I look at social media from the perspective of someone starting an ad hoc lobbying group, wondering what channels, if any, could be helpful..

I want to campaign to change some laws when the Legislature is back in session in 2015, assuming the upcoming election results in bodies receptive to the changes I intend to propose. Unfortunately (and fortunately) one person can’t dictate the laws (although I think I’d do a great job dictating the laws, others would probably disagree).

I am sure others would love to see the changes I would propose in my campaign and would help demonstrate the need for the changes, including some who would help with lobbying. Some people would have stories to tell which would be more effective than a whole boatload of facts and statistics in persuading members of the Legislature to approve the changes. The question is, how do I find these others? It will not help to find the disgruntled, those who will piss and moan but not do anything, I need to find those willing to act.

In theory the beauty of social media is that you can use it to find other like-minded individuals. It would seem Facebook would be perfect for the job. With Facebook algorithms as they are now is that the posts from a new page with few Likes may not make it to the news feeds of users who have Liked the page. I’m not in a position to pay to boost posts for my ad hoc non-profit lobbying group. So what would be the point of using Facebook?

Twitter might work, but the number of active users is small compared to Facebook and I am not sure it will help me find my target market.

Examining the other major social media channels I am not sure they would help, as I note in the following paragraphs.

The issue is not one which lends itself to pictures, which eliminates Pinterest. Even if it were I’m not sure my target market would find me. The lack of pictures probably also puts Instagram out of the picture.

It’s not a work or professional issue, eliminating LinkedIn as an option.

The number of people reading brand new blogs is small, so I’d have to find ways to drive traffic to the posts Which comes back to Facebook and Twitter.

Clearly I need to research other, less well-known social media channels. Is there one that would do the job?

The power of social media is not all it’s cracked up to be.

JE


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How To Add Value and Help Your Organization With Social Media Postings

I believe the way to add value to social media  posting would be to include “you” in it. Think about what attracts you to your  favorite sites, links, post or people and grow from that position.

What does Value mean?

Define it!

There are a few definitions  but the two that stick out for me and relate to this context would be the following:

1. the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. or

2. consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of.

As a  organization you will determine and define  how or what your values will look like, if you need help or have drawn a blank,take a look back to your mission statement  and evolve from that point.

Quick Tip:
How I remember what’s possible when I am going through transformation or embarking on a new journey, mission etc.. is that “Evolve” has the word  love in it.

Remember to add what “you”  love (passion aka your mission)

If you go from that point of view and set gentle reminders you cant help but to jump in and enjoy.

My Thoughts on a Miraculous thing known as Social Media ..

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What do I want to learn about Social Media?

I can always benefit from adding to what I already know about social media so this course should be exciting and fun.

I would like to know the insides of how/why it works from the standpoint of the consumer or potential client.

I would like to learn how to “win” when it comes to Social Media

How to use Social Media in an effective, efficient, and accountable manner that is relevant to my job or clients everyday in the PR realm within my niche’ area of expertise.

I would like to learn about the impact it may have on my children and future generations to come.

I would like to learn how to  better connect social media’s capacity for outreach.

I would like to know how to sell it to growing or established businesses , churches, non-profits, individuals and so on..

I would like to learn how to use it  for my benefit and not someone else’s .

What do I like about social media ?

I like how even in the smallest country or city,  if you have an idea it can spread through the vehicle of “Social Media”

I like the way it connects others.

I love the way it has reunited my family members that I and others never or rarely see anymore.

I like how individuals can use social media to benefit a cause, business, endeavors  or simply highlight a plight/issue/story/problem.

I like how generations of people can learn new things through Social Media and that gift of knowledge can be shared in real-time over and over again.

I like the ability of others sharing thoughts, ideas, feelings  etc.. and having an audience that can and will respond, but only if they want too

I like that I can follow, chat, meet, message  people I know personally or not and do the same with the famous or infamous people I  want to know more about like – artists, actors, businesses, individuals and so on.

**I will always have a love of social media because it is how I met my boyfriend Adika, who later on became my fiancé then a great life-long friend.  We connected through social networking, We met on Facebook(best thing ever) in 2008, both having an equal love affair with books(Facebook’s Bookshelf) and he  of course, enjoying my profile picture :-). It is because what we initially shared on our profile(interests/groups) that brought the East coast and Midwest via Down South together.  We  grew, explored and shared who we are and what we represent, through other social networks like MySpace, Imeem and Youtube to continue our communication and journey.

Enjoying ourselves like "Normal People" muhahahha   (Enjoying ourselves like “Normal People” mu-hahaha)

What do I not like about social media ?

I don’t like how Social Media is heavily relied on by so many, and thought to be the “BeesKnees”.

I don’t like how as easily Social Media connects you to others , it can and will take you away from who or what is truly meaningful(If you allow it).

I don’t like how businesses,  advertisers, marketing institutions use your interest or likes for  tracking purposes but I understand the beast 🙂

I don’t like how  some  who follow celebrities, and bash them through social media  for what they may or may not do. I believe it is easy at times for many to  forget “celebrities” that they are people and the same way you may be feeling ..guess what they are human with opinions and thought just like everyone else – get over it!

I don’t like how I  am expected to use every  gadget or doohickey that someone invents  and if I don’t , I am the problem.

I don’t like that at times Social Media can be impersonal while being too personal at the same time.

I don’t like how individuals, groups etc.. will use social media for promoting “Hate” VS. things that can help or heal.

I don’t like how social media has become a “machine” but I respect its awesomeness.

I don’t like how you can quickly be judged on what you do or don’t do when it comes to social media.

J.T.


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LEDMN – Painting The Red, White and Harold of Social Media

How do you engage your audience?

The key of success in social media is finding just the right channel for just the right message.  To put it in the parlance of our painting motif, you need to paint the room the right colour for it to be a showcase.  It can be a pop of colour that brings special notice to a part of the room or a wonderful background to the message your organization is trying to establish.  Undoubtedly each painter or public relations specialist brings to task their own special tool box of gifts to make this message come to life and to capture the imagination of their target audience.  Engaging people in a way that is meaningful to them is always the best approach.  It puts a colour on the wall that is easy for them to live with, as well as one that adds to the overall tenor of their day. One of the many ways to engage people is with humour.  Humour, when used appropriately, breaks down barriers instantly and puts people at ease.  It allows them to have a sigh of relief from whatever else may be going on in their life.  It allows them to be distracted for a moment and the to refocus on the information you give them next.

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In developing my social media assignments for this class I have engaged that ‘paint,’ for both my Facebook and my Pinterest pages.  The LEDMN MEAN MEME PROJECT: “Where’s Harold?” was intended to be just such an approach.  One that is hopefully colourful and filled with some real life discussion of the importance of social media in our lives.  Showcasing how it can bring both the light of  the light emitting diode (LED) for all to share in a way that is meaningful and engaging. Pic Morning Harold As a former teacher, one of the educational tools used to paint a classroom is to understand that what is memorable to a student is also likely something they will learn and use.  The light-heartedness of the story of Harold is just such a tool.  At the outset it is a story of a colourful figure that has no face in the series of stories.  Each listener can project a “Harold,” from their own imagination by painting a vivid picture of who this character may be and his association with the USPS.  He exists to make us smile. He also exists to teach us a little more about how we can use social media as a positive force.  Thank you Harold for truly being just the right pop of red, white, and blue light and colour all over the room!


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LEDMN Social Media Painter – Redux: Painterly Touch-up Or Brand New Plaster?

What should you do with positive and/or negative comments on your channels?  How do you handle controversy or problems that come with being on social media?

To return to the imagery from last week’s WordPress blog post on social media, when have you ever completely finished a painting job?  There always seems to be a little area that needs touch-up, another coat, or a bit of finessing right after you clean up the brushes, roll up the tarp, and put away the ladder.  It’s a well-known fact that when the crews at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco complete the entire paint job from end-to-end, it’s time to go back to the beginning and start anew.  Whether you manage a social media site for your personal advantage, or that of your job as a public relations manager for a company, you need to attend to it as regularly as the Golden Gate crew.

Invariably a smudge or a hairline crack appears on your walls too quickly after you are done.  Invariably you will run into positive or negative comments on the wall that is your social media site.  You handle them much like any great painter would do whether it is a wall or the fine art canvas.  That is, you acknowledge them.

It’s popular for people to bag on Victorian mores, but one lesson they honed to perfection––and we could revive––is politeness.  If someone gives a ‘thumbs-up’ to your social media site, be polite.  Say “thank you.”  Two little words that mean so much when conveyed with good intention.

Likewise, politeness can get you out of a jam when commentary isn’t so positive.  Acknowledge negative commentary on your channel.  Accept it for what it is, and give it some listening time.  No matter how poorly written, there may be a kernel of truth in its essence to help you improve your site, opinion, or commentary overall.  Be brave.  Be willing.  Should the commentary be negatively provocative or with no merit, than simply respond by thanking the commentator for their opinion.  If warranted, comment to them at a private email response to take your discussion off the mainstream site.

Controversies and problems may be handled in exactly the same manner.  Be polite.  Be brave.  Acknowledge the difference of opinions publicly and respect another’s right to hold a dissimilar opinion.  Don’t retaliate.   It’s better to tactfully move the conversation to a private channel between the two of you.  If you can touch-up your wall or canvas in this way, the repairs to your work will soon be sorted out and most likely unnoticeable.   For an example of what not to do, search this summer’s epic public relations debacle (or should that be de-bake-all) as witnessed at Amy’s Baking Company. 

LEDMN