Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Tag

“Real World” Here I Come!

Today I got the email every student likes to hear: “You are graduating!”

Loyalist PR was the catalyst for the creation of this blog, and I have continued it well past the December due date mark.  Part of my program included an internship at Engine Communications where I updated their blog, Facebook and Twitter.  It was a great experience, and I hope I can continue to stay in contact with them.

Now, I have begun work at Loyalist Certification Services which will be another great learning opportunity.  The great thing about the real world is that I now have a vehicle (Mazda 3!) and am not nearly as concerned about receiving loans.  Though, the real world sure seems to take up a lot more time than schooling!

16hrs of class + homework is way less than 40hrs a week at a job.  But it is change, and change is always a good thing!

As long as I don’t create a Whisper-Gate Burson-Marstaller esque PR fiasco, I am pretty sure the real world will be fantastic!


Communication Methods are a-Changin’



In the past I blogged about social media and its usefulness in our society (herehere and here) and a few events this past week have underscored its important role in our society.

At the News Canada Networking Breakfast our guest speaker, Martin Waxman of Energi PR gave a presentation to the audience about the “new PR” aka social media.  As president of the CPRS (Canadian Public Relations Society) he knows what he is talking about, and he realizes that communication has shifted towards social media.  Firms, organizations and individuals will have to engage in social media or risk losing their voice.

The following evening, the Spring Quinte Tweet Up was held, and it underscored the impact social media can have on the community.  Without any traditional media, posters or advertising the Tweet Up drew over 60 visitors in two hours.

Only Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth were used.  A grass roots event drew a large crowd to a local pub which created networking opportunities and helped the local economy.

Social media is here and they are only growing bigger.  These are only two local examples of their impact, and many companies and celebrities thrive due to their strategic use of social media.

Facebook and Twitter are the two main examples, but in five years they could easily be replaced.  However, this innovation and change is the great aspect of social media.

If you, or your company, is shy about using social media or think it is useless, think again.  Feel free to contact me or comment and I’ll gladly introduce you to the wonders of social media.

Has Social Media Really Created Two-Way Discussions?

After experiencing social media last week at Loyalist PR I have been thinking about social media quite a lot.

One major point of discussion struck me as odd.  Social media is seen as revolutionary because it has created a two-way discussion.  Prior to social media it is said that there was only a one-way discussion.  The media sent out information, the public received the information and they could not change, interact or influence the discussion.

Yet, to me this presumption seems false.  Prior to social media there still were ways to discuss issues.  People could call, write and email the media in order to discuss their feelings.  People could call, write and email the companies in order to complain about their practices.  The two-way discussion still happened.

To me, social media seems like an upgrade to an already existing discussion.  The creation of social media is like a two-lane highway being upgraded to a four-lane highway.  Was there traffic before the upgrade? Sure there was, but now the road can carry significantly more information in both directions.

History has shown riots, upheavals and events which occurred prior to social media. There was still a two way discussion but it was much more limited and happened less frequently.  Now, the information flows freely (and some might argue that there is too much information flowing). To me, more discussion can only be a good thing.

The Ease of Social Media

Taking the Post-Grad PR at Loyalist College has equipped me with many practical tools that my previous education just didn’t give me.  The most effective tool has been social media.  Now I had a Facebook account, for five years, and I had heard of Twitter and Linked In. Yet, I didn’t really know how to use them.  Facebook had barely been touched in two years and the other sites didn’t pique my interest.

Now that I use them though, it is amazing how much can get done through them.  In real life if I try to “follow” any fellow Twitterers, they would call the police on me. Though, on Twitter they see me as a fellow PR person or a random stranger that could have interesting insights.  I can connect with other community members and even become involved in their projects.

The same can be said about Facebook and LinkedIn.  Strangers can come together, start chatting and promote causes they are passionate about.  Gap stopped their new logo change due to the social media backlash and the mayor of Calgary got elected due to his strong social media following.

Is social media the sole effective tool for every type of PR campaign or even a more general marketing campaign? I don’t believe it is.  But it is a powerful tool right now, one that seems to open up an individuals mind rather than shut it down.  I ignore ads regularly, I ignore street teams regularly but if I see something on Twitter or Facebook through my friends I am way more open to viewing it.  Although I may not purchase anything, it gets me to look at the idea.

I can’t really explain why or how these networks have gotten people to remove their social barriers but they have and its nice to see people interacting rather than ignoring one another.

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