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.

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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

Being Smarter with Tweetdeck

Its time to start using social in a smarter way. While this isn’t a new tech, it is something that can change the way you use twitter! Tweetdeck is a third-party add-on feature on Twitter that allows you to schedule your posts ahead of time, saving you both the time and the effort of sitting down and waiting to post at the best times.

Having a schedule of your weekly or monthly social media postings can allow you to spend the time on more important things, like bing-watching your favorite Netflix shows, or you know maybe going outside for once. What’s really great about scheduled posting is the fact that it gives you the opportunity to set up your weekly messages and planning your strategies instead of simply posting for the day.

Here are some my upcoming tweets that I have scheduled for the upcoming week:

 

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References:

@LukeJaniszewski (2017). Scheduled Tweets [Screenshot]. Retrieved April 12, 2017 from http://Twitter.com

Tweetdeck (2017).  https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/

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

 

Close Ties: Social Media and Public Relations

7:30 am, the alarm wakes you up, and if you’re like me, you take a long pause, evaluate your life decisions, and while still disoriented, you roll over and grab your phone. Then, you proceed to check your various social media platforms. How many likes you got on that photo you posted on Instagram last night, check birthdays on Facebook, and maybe see what’s happening in the Twitter-verse. Social media has become a part of our lives these days, as of March 2017, the average person spends nearly two hours on social media every day (Davidson, 2015). Corporations and Public Relations professionals would be insane not to utilize this valuable time to get their various messages out and connect with their audience.

We use SM for everything, whether it’s checking what reviews for the restaurant we’re considering, catching up on the news, or simply Facebook-stalking a new friend, SM has become a part of our lives. “Social media emerged as integral for cultural maintenance at every point in the circuit of culture.” (Vardeman-Wnter, 2015). It’s grounded in our culture, and corporations aren’t taking it lightly. Public Relations practitioners have utilized it relentlessly as a means of establishing personal connections with the public and creating a corporate voice that extends past a group of practitioners. Being a part of the culture is an important goal for PR and social media is simply a way to fulfill that goal.

Communication is key, and social media has proven itself a great way to do just that. Francine Charest conducted a focus group of professionals that utilize social media management and found that nearly all corporations that consider the general public as a target audience have a specific SM team devoted to pushing messages on all platforms, and without them, they would be falling behind the competition. “Indeed, it may be difficult for an organization to achieve its communication objectives if it does not have a dedicated team for SM, adequate monitoring tools and, of course, a realistic budget.” (Charest, 2016). Public Relations is still learning to utilize SM and how to target specific audience influencers as a way to gain media recognition and further push their brand and propel their company into the public eye.

Some professionals have argued that social media public relations is just a poor excuse for communication, but I beg to differ, poor communication would be not utilizing the tools in front of you, and social media is a big tool. SM is an outlet that reaches an extremely wide audience, these days everyone and their great-aunt has a Facebook, it’s no longer just for young people. PR practitioners can utilize this form of mass communication as a way to establish a dialog between brands and their consumers, after all, public relations is all about creating relationships and engagement between organizations and the public (PRSA, 2015). Museums have started utilizing the tools of SM as a way to reach out to the public and establish new audiences. They have found that utilizing an online experience as well as a physical one creates a new sense of engagement with the younger generations, and brings new people through the doors (Bojana, 2016).

Social Media is a tool that can and should absolutely be used by Public Relations practitioners as a way to further engagement and establish new audiences. Every day, people are scanning various forms of SM platforms, and it’s important for practitioners to establish a presence on these platforms as a way to reach the largest audience. SM is not a poor form of communication, it offers a new way for a brand to share experiences with the public and establishes an easy way for consumers to communicate directly with their favorite brands to further connections and relationships. Public Relations and social media have a clear connection in this day and age, and it is important that practitioners utilize SM to the fullest.

References:

Davidson, L. (2015, May 17). Is your daily social media usage higher than average? TheTelegraph. Retrieved March 25, 2017, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/11610959/Is-your-daily-social-media-usage-higher-than-average.html

Vardeman-Winter, J., & Place, K. (2015). Public relations culture, social media, and regulation. Journal of Communication Management,19(4), 335-353. Retrieved March 24, 2017, from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/JCOM-11-2013-0079

Charest, F., Bouffard, J., & Zajmovic, E. (2016). Public relations and social media: Deliberate or creative strategic planning. Public Relations Review,42(4), 530-538. Retrieved March 23, 2017 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/300411279_Public_relations_and_social_media_Deliberate_or_creative_strategic_planning

Yann, A. (2015, November 30). What is Public Relations? PR Definition: PRSA Official Statement. Retrieved March 25, 2017, from https://apps.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/PublicRelationsDefined/#.WNahWRLytP0

Bojana, S., Karlíček, M., Stříteský, V. (2016). Adoption of Social Media for Public Relations by Museums. Central European Business Review. (.pdf)