I love Facebook. What's not to love? I've lived in six different cities, I don't have a long distance plan, and seeing my list of friends makes me feel important. But aside from fulfilling my incessant need to be popular, Facebook also allows me to creep. Alright, not creep; scout.
We're adults now. We're all entering the real world, getting real careers, looking for real jobs. It's during this time when we're beginning to move from Facebooking to Linking.
LinkedIn is the Facebook for professionals. Portfolios, references, resumes, and, best of all, connections. For most of us, this is a place to connect, collaborate, cultivate, and leverage who we know, rather than creep them.
This week, HarperCollins launched inkpop, an online community for writers. For teen writers.
It marries trendy with professional, and inspires success, motivation, competition, and creativity in youth.
In this business, anyone will tell you how tedious it is to get your foot in the door. No matter how amazing your portfolio: teacher's pet, straight A's, pages and pages of high-profile references, and no one wants to speak to you.
Anyone in the business will also tell you how important it is to market yourself. Stand out, be unique, be creative, draw attention, be memorable.
Yesterday I met with a client to do a brief for a project I'm working on for a team of real estate agents. Like many agents, they take out ad space in the local paper to show their listings. As I took notes on their business objectives, goals, expectations and budget, I thought of all the things I could do to promote them.
Then he said something that made me stop.
"I don't want my picture in the paper. It's not about me."
Here we are, cold-calling agencies, emailing, knocking on doors, using as many connections as possible, trying to promote ourselves. Yes, it's difficult to get your foot in the door. Yes, you can stand out, and be unique, and have good references, and an amazing portfolio. But how does this benefit anyone else?
So, here I am. I've created a blog. My first obstacle was to come up with a title. I began by writing down EVERYTHING communication. PR-related or not, I just wrote it down. My cell vibrates, I write it down. Lady Gaga comes on, I write it down. That man is ordering coffee, I write it down.
How many forms of communication can I record in the duration of 48 hours? Plenty. And how effectively are the messages being conveyed? Well, that depends. While paying close attention to people's interactions, (down to the number of times the cashier makes eye contact as she rings my produce through), I began to think about the way in which we communicate - or don't communicate.
The purpose of this blog, as any blogger or blog follower would tell you, is to communicate. But to go one step further, this blog is to convey a message. Or, more specifically, a collection of messages, to help facilitate discussion on what makes a message effective. This is exactly why I find Public Relations so fascinating.
Find a story, determine who it affects, make it relevant, drive it home, and continue doing so until you find a way for that message to create an impact. Slant, spin, repeat.
I currently work as an intern, Junior Project Manager, at 8020Info Inc. - Consultants, and hope to continue my work as an Associate following my internship.
Earlier this year, I worked as a Marketing Assistant at the Development Centre at St. Lawrence College, working with staff and faculty over each of the three campuses. This has been my second year planning SLC's annual tri-campus Professional Development Conference - this time as the Chair of Marketing and Public Relations.