Routine Checkup: What I’ve learned so far

 

Four months ago I posted a blog called “What the Heck is Public Relations?”. In that blog, I talked about my preconception of what PR was and what it actually was. After doing some research I learned more about the industry and found that public relations is all about forming relationships between a brand and a consumer. One of the biggest realizations that I came to when writing that blog was the fact that a lot of PR is done behind the scenes. I also made it clear that it is not the job of a PR practitioner to stretch or exaggerate, but to tell the truth. The last point I made in that blog was stating that the public relations industry is constantly changing, and that’s true. Since I posted that blog I’ve learned a lot about what being a PR practitioner is all about and what the day to day looks like.

My previous conclusion about public relations practitioners working behind the scenes was correct, but it goes even farther than that; nothing done in a campaign is spontaneous or without thorough research. Every single day during a campaign period is planned out, the tactics for that day have been deeply researched and vetted by the entire team before anything actually happens. After looking at a detailed Gantt chart one can see how the routine of a PR practitioner and the campaign made for a client is extremely dependent on scheduling.

The second point I made was that a public relations practitioners must be honest and never stretch the truth. This is still one of the most important things about PR, never lie to the consumers. First off, they won’t trust you if you lie, and secondly, it’s simply not ethical to create relationships and sell products based on lies. Not only is it crucial to never stretch the truth, I now understand that it is the truth can be manipulated by the public and the media, and often times a PR practitioner can not attempt to defend their client, and instead, they must accept the “truth” of a situation and simply apologize. I dealt with crisis public relations in my blog “Learning from the Chipotle Crisis”. When nineteen people in the Washington state and three people in Portland, Oregon got sick Chipotle decided to temporarily close forty-three of their locations. The problem with this whole situation is that their linkage between E-coli and chipotle was only assumed, the bacteria was never directly correlated with the burrito franchise, but regardless the public relations team at Chipotle had to react and accept the “truth” being put forward by the masses. This can be frustrating at times, but it is the job of a PR practitioner to roll with the punches and still come out on top.
A third point that I had made in my first blog was that the public relations industry is constantly changing. I stand by this, just like any industry, the job and the employees must adapt to what their consumers and clients are asking for. Public relation is no different, the industry is becoming increasingly specialized where a practitioner can now choose if he wants to work for medical brands, sports teams and products, or my personal favorite, outdoor and adventure brands. In my blog “Adventure Public Relations and Marketing”, I talked about my desire to work as a practitioner in the outdoor industry. What’s great about PR is that it allows you to do just that. A lot of this is due to social media. Since the late 90’s social media has become a way for people to connect with others from all over the world. Businesses and brands have found a need to create a social presence and throw their hat in the ring. Because of this brand are forced to create a personal voice, that’s where public relations come in. Social media is all about connections and so is public relations, people now expect companies to have relationships with the public, so everyone needs PR.

In conclusion, the things that I have learned in the past four months have not changed my views on public relations but they have increased my knowledge of how in depth the industry really goes. I never thought that a campaign could be as detailed as they are, and how intense the research for each tactic can be. I’ve learned that while it is the job of a PR practitioner to preach the truth, it can sometimes be just as important to accept the “truth” created by the media and the public, while this can be frustrating, it’s the way it’s going to be. And lastly, I’ve learned that PR practitioners now have the option to specialize in a field of Public Relations that they like the most, which can me the job that much better.

Google Partners, AdWords Certification

 

These days, if someone wants to know anything about your business they don’t call or open your door they just search for you online. It can be hard to understand the complicated analytics and data gathering involved in understanding how people are checking you out and how to increase their frequency. Google is awesome and offers free classes and certification in their search engine analytics. Not, only is it free, but it is also incredibly relevant to the career of a Marketer.

The Google Partners site Google Adwords gives you the knowledge needed to put together a good list of keywords and offers you ways to increase your presence online by utilizing various forms of online advertising. Whether it’s before a video, or in an app, your ads can be displayed wherever you want them for a fee based on the number of clicks that you will receive.

As a Marketer working with outdoor brands I would be able to select specific target audiences for the ads that I push. Instead of the “spray and pray” methods of the past, this technology will allow me to single out people who are, let’s say, shopping on outdoor apparel websites, watching videos about hiking or mountain biking, or even just googling information about an upcoming road trip. It’s great because it makes the consumer’s ads more relevant and enjoyable and the advertiser’s art more effective all at the same time.

Here’s my certification,

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 11.11.20 PM

Google offers tons of classes and video explanations of their programs and then gives you the chance to take their exam and get certified. It was a great experience, and I learned a lot about the power of analytics. This will definitely be a skill and a knowledge set that I bring into my career and a new opportunity that I can offer my future clients.

 

 

References:

Google AdWords. https://www.google.com/adwords/?channel=ha&sourceid=awo&subid=us-en-ha-g-aw-c-bk_hv_exa_1!o2-69678485-176465420077-google%20adwords&gclid=CM7kzfTUq9MCFYW3wAodYZMGwg

Janizewski, L. (2017). Google AdWord Certificiation [Screenshot]. Google Adwords.8

 

Resume’ building with the GVSU Career Center

I was more than happy to receive help with my resume’ this last week at the Grand Valley State University Career Center. I was able to sit down with a representative who took the time to walk me through the steps that should be taken to create a good resume’ that will compel companies to give me an interview. In doing so they tore my resume’ apart and had me redo my formatting and change some of the content in a way that is more eye-catching and visually appealing. While some of the changes seem insignificant and minor, they all represented a crucial aspect of how employers look at resume’s and what they value the most.

Here it is, old on the left, new on the right.

As you can see, I was able to keep the general formatting of the page, but the representative at the Career Center instructed me to remove the photo (unprofessional), remove the “About Me” section and reword it into an objective, and to add some spark by including my certifications that might attract employers. It was really great getting help from a professional who knows the in’s and out’s of resume’ building.

Special thanks to all the staff at the GVSU Career Center!

Reference:

Janiszewski, L. (2017). Old Resume, [Screen Shot]. Microsoft Word

Janiszewski, L. (2017). New and Improved Resume, [Screen Shot]. Microsoft Word

Dream Jobs

When I think about the future, I think about moving somewhere on the west side of the US and getting a job at one of two kinds of places, either a company that works in the outdoor industry or a marketing firm that specializes in outdoor marketing. As I go throughout school, it has been helpful for me to look at the different jobs that are available in my field of interest and see if those positions will likely be open when I graduate.

In my case, I have found quite a few jobs that fit this description and would great places to work. Some of them require work experience that is beyond my qualification, but regardless it good to see what I will be working towards. I find that looking into the technologies and software that I will need to know before looking for jobs is beneficial as I can practice them while I am still in school. All of these jobs require similar skill sets and a knowledge of marketing programs as well as general business software like the Microsoft Office Suite.

 

Media Strategist @ 90Octane

Original Posted Link

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Communications, or business management
  • 3-5 years of digital/online media planning/buying experience, with direct response advertising expertise preferred
  • Knowledge of ad serving technologies (especially DoubleClick)
  • Strong written and oral communication and presentation skills

 

Director, Sports Marketing @ The North Face

Original Posted Link

  • 10+ years of related professional experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing or business
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, and Powerpoint
  • Strong Strategic Thinking skills and application to programs
  • Extensive knowledge of outdoor industry and competitive landscape required

 

Director, Retail Marketing Group @ The Mars Agency

Original Posted Link

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising, Marketing, or a Related field
  • Minimum 8 Years of marketing or ad experience
  • Industry Knowledge
  • Leadership/Presentation skills
  • attention to detail
  • Knowledge of Shopper Marketing Programs

 

Marketing Operations Manager @ Patagonia

Original Posted Link

  • Willing to travel
  • 10+ Years of project management experience
  • Knowledge of sustainability and corporate environmental initiatives
  • Writing, communications, and negotiation skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite

 

Senior Copywriter @ REI Outdoor Adventures

Original Posted Link

  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, communications, Journalism, or English
  • 5-7 copywriting experience
  • Ability to write and edit effective marketing copy
  • Utilize technology to keep yourself and other informed of work plans and progress toward goals.
  • Consolidates information from various sources including feedback from others to reach sound decisions.

 

References:

Glassdoor Job Search | Find the job that fits your life. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm

Jobvite Job Search. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from http://App.Jobvite.com

Indeed Job Search. Retrieved April 12, 2017, from http://www.Indeed.com

Creating a Business Card: Having Fun in Adobe Illustrator

This week I had some extra fun by playing around with some different tools in Adobe Illustrator and creating a phony business card. I used my blog title as the inspiration for a marketing company. As I looked at some of my favorite marketing companies and their logos I decided that the best way to go was to be simple and abstract. In doing so I created a design that represents my passion for art and my passion for the outdoors, an abstract colorful mountain.

^^^^^ Above my work while in Illustrator ^^^^^

 

BC front      BC back

and here is the finished product, a phony business card for a company that doesn’t even exist, but it was fun and its going to be the new look of this blog. Time well spent if you ask me.

 

 

References:

Janiszewski, L. (2017) Taking Steps Business Card [Screen Shot]. Adobe Illustrator

 

Adventure Public Relations and Marketing

With the rise of social media and the increasing need for companies to establish a personal voice, public relations has become a necessary part of doing business these days. Due to this, the field has become diversified and public relations firms can specialize themselves into different industries. Having specialized firms allows for practitioners to combine passions and be inspired by the industry they are working in. One of the specialized fields that intrigue me the most is adventure public relations, these firms specialize in working with companies and professionals in the outdoor and adventure industry. All kinds of outdoor companies use adventure PR, everything from well-known brands like Columbia and North Face to adventure destinations like Vail Mountain Resorts and The Tennessee Rafting Company have utilized public relations in a variety of ways to increase their business.

Just like every other form of public relations, firms that specialize in the outdoor industry have to cover all the bases: strategy, press release, event management, as well as the occasional crisis management. The only difference is that these firms take on every problem in the mindset of an outdoorsman, which can be pretty difficult at times. One of the biggest values for these companies is conservation and environmental protection for future generations. One of these firms, Backbone Media offers many forms of marketing services to their clients, but they also clearly state that they “advocate for the protection of our environment for future generations”. (Backbone, 2017). With these values in mind, every action must be taken with the consideration of who is going to be reading and interpreting the messages that will be sent out. According to Bonnie Tsui from Ad Age, one-half of adults in America have taken an adventurous vacation in the past 5 years. These days, adventures have become mainstream, there is a huge market this kind of marketing (Tsui, 2000).

There are many examples of public relations campaigns that have brought this message into their public relations campaigns and it has worked wonderfully. One of the best companies that have utilized this is Patagonia, a company that not only sells tactical adventure clothing but also cares a great deal about the environment. They are constantly pushing new campaigns that focus on the ways that they are working to decrease their environmental footprint. They have done everything from using recycled down to insulate jackets to making wetsuits out of natural rubber. Even in their mission statement, they express their goal of using business as a mean to help environmental issues (Patagonia, 2017). Another example is the case of Naturally Superior Adventures’ use of adventure marketing tactics as a way to boost his paddling excursions. They promoted their excursions as a “do before you’re dead” experience of a lifetime, challenging middle-aged adventures to take on a new task and offer city-dwellers an opportunity to get outside and experience something different (Naturally Superior Adventures, 2017). These are the kinds of messages used every day by adventure public relations firms to help brands grow.

I want to work in a firm that specializes in adventure marketing and public relations because it would allow me to combine my love for the outside with a career that allows me to be creative while working. I would like to have a hand in every aspect of the marketing for these inspirational brands. Being able to promote companies that help people take on new adventures and try new things would be such a rewarding profession. People always say that we should work at a job that makes you happy, and I believe that a job in the field of adventure public relations would do just that.

 

References:

Patagonia, (2017). Mission Statement. Retrieved on March 17, 2017 from http://www.patagonia.com/environmentalism.html

Naturally Superior Adventures, (2017). About Naturally Superior Adventures. Retrieved on March 17, 2017 from https://www.naturallysuperior.com/about-us/

Backbone Media, (2017). Our Values. Retrieved on March 16, 2017 from http://www.backbonemedia.net/our-values/

Tsui., B. (2000, September 25). MARKETING ADVENTURES. Retrieved March 18, 2017, from http://adage.com/article/news/marketing-adventures/56747/

SEO: Digital and Online Media Skills I’ve Learned in My Marketing Classes

We live in an incredible time where anything you want to learn can be attained through a couple searches online. Marketers have adapted to this online age and have place ads and media all across the web in hopes of grabbing your attention. In fact, according to CBS, every day we see over 5000 adverts as we go about our day! With all of this information available to consumers, it can be hard to compete.

It doesn’t have to be hard, and of course, the answer to this problem can be found with just a few clicks. In my most recent Marketing Class (100-1k), we focused on Search Engine Optimization; the process of crafting your media in a way that makes it more discoverable based on the keywords and phrases that you use in your content. Consult with any Digital Marketing (1k-10k), Internet Media (100-1k), or Online Marketing (100-1k) guru and they’ll tell you the same thing: SEO is not only interesting, but these days its completely necessary if you want to get ahead.

I’m Taking Steps (100-1k) towards Learning Digital Marketing (100-1k) and all forms of online Advertising (10k-100k) and Public Relations (1ok-100k). In that effort, this blog is going to utilize keywords and promote Search Engine Optimization as a way to grow my brand.

Using Google Adwords’ KeyWord Planner (will require you to sign in using a google account), I was able to plan out specific keywords for this blog (in bold/uppercase above) and I was even able to see how many people search those terms monthly! Google Adwords has some wonderful tools that you can use to create a search engine optimized blog, website, or any other form of media you have online.

 

References:

Google. AdWords. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://adwords.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/

Johnson, C. (2006, September 17). Cutting Through Advertising Clutter. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cutting-through-advertising-clutter/