Making the Investment

When starting a new job, it’s easy to get sucked into the newness of it all. You want to do well, you want to be sure that your organization values your presence, and the everyday treadmill can feel as though it’s on incline 8.0 at speed 7.5.  However, as one of my superiors recently mentioned in one of my company’s “peer lunches,” it is critically important that we all take time to “make the investment.”

What did she mean by “make the investment?” She meant that as young professionals,  our personal brand and reputation does and should extend past the confines of our current job.  We spend all day (and sometimes nights) investing in our clients, making sure they are succeeding in achieving their goals, but we have to take time to invest in ourselves.  

Much like our clients have business goals to guide their strategic communications,  we should have career goals to guide our strategic personal branding.  Here are 5 steps to help all of us make the investment in ourselves:


1. Write down two goals you’d like to achieve in your next year of your career. Note- these should be personal goals, not client-based or company-based.

2. Ask yourself, your peers, or even your boss (where applicable) what the best way is to achieve these goals.  What do you need to do between points A and B? Write these down in specific, realistic terms.

3. Start with the simplest action first. (I find tackling a daunting list can be best achieved by easing yourself in.)

4. Congratulate yourself! Take the time to celebrate that you’re making an investment in your long-term professional brand.

5. Complete the rest of the actions on your pathway list.  Now celebrate! You’re well on your way to achieving your goals,  and you’ve taken the time to make the investment.


Great post about a nifty new tool for the research that should guide every good PR campaign!

Here is my example of a Google Trends search for a topic near and dear to my heart – “a cappella!”

My PR Master

Planning an effective PR campaign has some similarities to writing a good speech: You don’t only have to think about WHO will transport the message, but also HOW he or she will do it. Sometimes an emotional appeal is the best way, and sometimes merely presenting the facts would be the better choice. But how do we decide? 

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Top 5 Tidbits for Job-Seeking Success

I’ve compiled the best advice from last night’s #HRRoundtable at the Newhouse School into a brief post for all of my fellow job-seekers!  Enjoy.

  1. Show your PERSONALITY in your cover letter.  As Brooke Popko of W2O Group said, companies don’t just want an employee with the right skills. It’s about showing how you are the right fit for the culture of the organization.
  2. 70-80% of positions are not posted online! Leveraging your personal and social networks will help you find these hidden opportunities, said Beth Guerra of APCO Worldwide.
  3. “Everyone you know should know that you’re job searching.”  You never know who could be the right person to connect you to that next opportunity.  No need to be shy about who you are and what you are looking for, said Guerra.
  4. “Treat LinkedIn as your headquarters.”  This advice from Brian Batchelder, VP of Recruiting for Fleishman-Hillard is perhaps the key to job-seeking in today’s world.  Be sure that your resume directs readers to your LinkedIn, which then can direct them to your online presence through Twitter profiles, blogs, etc.   Make the recruiter’s job easy.
  5. When looking for work, make social media tools work for you!  Batchelder recommends using a service like Hootsuite (my personal favorite) or TweetDeck to create a stream with updates from your target companies.  This will help you stay on top of their news, whether it be an industry award, media coverage or even a job posting.

Do you have any tips to add to the list?

For more, check out my Storify of the event: HR Roundtable


5 ways social media changed “The Big Game”

1.       People kept their eye on the…ball?

Actually, they didn’t.  According to Mashable, 24.1 million tweets were sent during the course of the game and Beyonce’s halftime show.  That means that on average, about 5 million tweets were sent each hour of the programming.  As we all know, social media takes formerly single-screen experiences and transforms them into multi-screen, multi-dimensional experiences.  Whether a football fan, Beyonce fan, or just an observer, an online conversation was ready and waiting for you last night, and odds are you chimed in.

2.       People demanded more.


It seemed that everyone involved in last night’s game was up for public critique, from the broadcasters, to power companies, to performers, not to mention the players and coaches.  From a public relations standpoint, this provided plenty of interesting examples of how brands can best respond to such criticism.  For example, Entergy, the power company for the Superdome, updated their Twitter feed with information on their efforts to find the source of the 34-minute outage, and even released a joint statement with the managers of the Superdome today. Every communications manager from every organization even remotely connected to such a huge event was on-call last night, as should be the case in our world where crises never sleep.

3.       A blackout blew up.

Rather than losing viewers due to technical difficulties during a game that seemed to be no-contest, CBS actually gained viewers, said one Yahoo! News report.  How did this happen? Likely the same way that Tracy Morgan and Jimmy Kimmel’s Emmy awards fainting hoax did.  The news of the blackout went viral on Facebook and Twitter, and people tuned in immediately.

4.       #AdBowl winners won, instantly.

According to Mashable, 30% of the tweets during the game were about the advertisements.  Breaking this down further, they mapped out exactly which brands were the most talked-about in the online conversations, with Taco Bell and Budweiser taking the lead.  While these numbers do not factor in the question of positive vs. negative mentions, they certainly provide a good basis upon which the winners and losers of last night’s #AdBowl can be judged.

5.      A good ad gained value.

For those companies that created the most popular ads of last night, they got far more than their money’s worth.  The ad they would have paid millions for ten years ago suddenly gets thousands of free viewers as it spreads through social media.  Bad ads, however, become worse catastrophes.  Rather than being complained about on a couch of four people and forgotten minutes later, they are torn apart online over and over.  Thanks to social media, there was much more than just the Lombardi trophy at stake last night.

Congratulations to my favorite Twitter success of the evening….oreo

New Year, New York!

The perfect way to kick off the new year, I embarked on a two-day trip to New York City with twenty-six of my graduate public relations peers.  The whirlwind trip gave us helpful insight into the ‘real-world’ of public relations and the realities of post-graduate life…both the glory and the gore.
[View the story “Newhouse visits NYC” on Storify]Thanks to our hosts at MBooth Public Relations, Edelman, Marina Maher Communications, Time Warner, Viacom and the talented alumni who spent their Thursday evening with us at the Lubin House!

Chancellor Cantor will leave Syracuse University

Last Friday, students and faculty at Syracuse University were made aware that in 2014, at the end of her contract, Nancy Cantor will end her reign as Chancellor of the university.  The university community seems to be split on their reactions to this announcement.  After months of criticism by free-speech advocates (including this article by The Daily Orange in April 2012), who see her management and communications style as detrimental to the University, many cheered this news.  However, many others in the university see this departure as tragically ending what will have been ten years of increased diversity, community outreach and engaged learning.

In terms of the public relations impact of her departure, I see a long road ahead in effectively maintaining relationships with the university’s stakeholders.  The difficulty lies in Chancellor Cantor’s “Scholarship In Action” programs; these new initiatives of engaged learning have created a multitude of new stakeholders who are now strongly tied to the university.  Prior to Chancellor Cantor’s reign, these individuals or groups may not even have existed as stakeholders.  For example, the Imagining Americaprogram at Syracuse did not move to campus until 2007.  Today, there are eleven graduate students whose studies are paid for in part by this program, in addition to three full-time employees running the program and student work studies managing the office.  All of these individuals now have stake in not just the university, but in Chancellor Cantor’s initiatives and her leadership.  This may seem like a small group, but there are countless groups like this across the university, and all will want a voice during this time of transition.
I will let the hallways and classrooms of Syracuse work out whether Cantor’s departure is for the best or the worse, but regardless, from a public relations perspective, the university is in quite a pickle.  Due to the growing criticism of Cantor’s work, should the university start from scratch, and leave behind many of her initiatives? Or, due to the influx of stakeholders who now have brand-new or stronger ties to the university, should it continue Cantor’s initiatives in the interest of maintaining good relations?    Either way, the university will need to proceed with transparency (some would argue a new concept for Cantor’s Syracuse…), two-way dialogue and respect for all stakeholders involved.  If public relations is not at the table during the important decision-making processes of this transition, it is unlikely the university will come out of this time unscathed.