In the social media-focused world around us, the public relations career field is constantly adapting and changing. There are many aspects of PR that weren’t even a subject of thought three years ago.
At the YouToo Social Media Conference on Friday, April 20, the opening keynote speaker, Lee Odden, shared a new approach to marketing that PR specialists are transitioning to as social media progresses in importance in our society.
Odden first explained how social media marketing was impacting our user experience as consumers, and how content is being developed with this in mind. Odden explains that all content is geared toward a projected audience, but sometimes that audience expands due to influencer. Odden stresses that when fans of a brand are able to place their hands in the development of something, literally anything, they are more likely to be influencers for their peers and be influenced by the same brand again in the future. He says that although you can create strong, impactful content, there are always going to be “zombies” that interfere with your audience. The six marketing zombies that impact an audience are; ad blockers, data overloads, hate for search engine optimization, buyers not trusting ads, content not scaling well over multiple platforms and dying organic social media outreach. These six marketing zombies are the source of why the social media market is constantly shifting and changing, which makes it difficult for PR strategists to keep up with their audiences. Odden assures us that there are ways to keep your audience engaged and take care of these “zombies” with the use of one tactic: participation of your audience in the creation process.
The bottom line is that by involving your audience in your goals and creating influencers to share your brand, you are gaining major momentum and generating content specific work that is buzz-worthy.
The 2018 YouToo social media conference highlighted other speakers with events throughout the day focusing on topics ranging from the use of LinkedIn to the use of social media advertisements with posts. You can find out more on the 2018 YouToo conference here.
For the first time ever, Kent State’s PRSSA Chapter has entered a team in the National Organ Donation Advocacy Competition (NODAC). This team consists of four PRSSA Kent members who are underclassmen in the PR program: Sophia Iannelli, Isabell Illig, Jailyn Hall and Vanessa Gresley.
Their campaign “You Have the Heart to be a Hero” targeted college students on the Kent State campus. Their over-arching goal was to ignite conversation among students about stepping up to save someone’s life in the unfortunate situation of death. To effectively reach this goal, the NODAC team partnered with Donate Life Ohio, the state's organ, eye and tissue recovery agency dedicated to educating Ohioans about donation and motivating them to join the Ohio Donor Registry.
Caitlin Widuck, the director of community outreach for Donate Life Ohio, assisted the team with information, materials and speakers for their events. She and the team both acknowledged the need for people to better understand what organ donation entails. For example, most people aren’t aware that one donor can save up to eight other lives with their donated organs. Donor’s bodies are never un-presentable for a funeral, and all medical costs associated with the transplant are always covered by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
These three facts were on hot-cards that the team handed out to over 200 students in the Kent State Student Center during their main event on April 25. The team used this opportunity to speak with students passing by throughout the day. There were three guests from Donate Life Ohio that joined the team at their table. These individuals were able to share their stories with students and helped start conversation about becoming organ donors.
This event was treated like a celebration which exemplified the way an organ donor can be a hero in other peoples’ lives. Flash the KSU mascot joined the group in the morning to take pictures with students, and the 4 Paws for Service dogs hung around the table the entire event.
This campaign was incredibly successful, and the team surpassed their objectives after informing more than 150 students about organ donation, having 88 students pledge to start the conversation with their family and friends and motivating six people to register on-site to be an organ donor.
PRSSA Kent is so proud of your awesome work, team!
It’s hard for me to grasp the notion that I’m the one writing the senior note. It doesn't feel like four years have past since the first time I attended a PRSSA Kent meeting. Looking back, my time at Kent State and as a part of PRSSA are sure to be some of the best years of my life. I laughed, I cried, I made many mistakes and I grew as a person. To try to sum up my four years into one letter would be impossible. I want to start by extending a thank you to everyone I interacted with at Kent State, students and faculty alike, you helped shape my experience and you helped me to be the best version of myself. Next, instead of continuing to bore you with my sappy feelings about my time in PRSSA, I will share a few important things I have learned over the years:
By Sarah Heber
Whether it is running a small LinkedIn page or managing Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat Instagram and more, many PR practitioners have social media worked into their roles.
What should you say online though? There are few textbooks on the best social media practices, especially since these practices are broken every day and sometimes in a good way. Here are a few of my favorite brands online that I feel have pushed the boundaries on social media and had it pay off.
Wendy’s Twitter is quite controversial, as it should be. They are known for being savage and ruthless at times but that has worked quite well for the younger (millennial) audience on Twitter. They often call out their competitors like McDonald’s and Burger King. They repeat key messages such as their beef is fresh never frozen, unlike McDonald’s. They often reply to many Tweets with sassy comments, but they have all been received well by other Twitter users. Not all brands can pull this off so just make sure you get to know your companies voice before you go and be a savage online.
Arby’s is a great brand to look at when it comes to media hijacking. They often use events of hashtags that are trending in their posts that way their content will be part of the already trending topics. This has to be done carefully though because not every hashtag is relevant or worth hijacking. Below is an example of their Facebook post around Thanksgiving time. They could have made an easy post like “come to Arby’s for Thanksgiving” but a post like that is unoriginal and would get buried under more interesting content. Instead, they made a lighthearted joke and even crafted a turkey out of an item on their menu.
If you are not familiar with the video game Fortnite, that is fine, just know you’re missing out. This game has become a viral sensation and the social media accounts has helped tremendously with the success of this game. Below, you see their account tweeting a challenge that asks people to submit their dances moves for a chance to have those moves used in the game. There have been numerous gaming celebrities who have joined in on this challenge with further helps them get their name out there and engage with their growing audience. Fortnite is a great example to look at for engaging audiences and even responding to crisis. Whenever their game crashes, they Tweet to let everyone know they are sorry, explain the issue and that they are working to resolve it.
By Natalie Meek
I had the opportunity to spend the weekend in Miami, FL at PRSSA's National Assembly. This is a three day meeting where delegates from Chapters across the nation meet to elect the next academic year's National Chapter officers.
PRSSA's mission is to enhance members' education, broaden their networks and launch their careers. These three factors drove the conversations and platforms of the meeting, and I really think you'll see that in next year's programming and initiatives.
It is so awesome to hear about other Chapters and their events and ideas; people always ask about PRSSA Kent and I was able to share some of the things we've accomplished this school year, too!
What's important to understand about all of this is that, yes, you are one of the 60-some members of PRSSA Kent. But you are also one of the 10,398 members of PRSSA internationally. We are one of 360 chapters-- think about what that means for networking opportunities! There are 10,397 other students out there that you can relate to and share your love of PR with.
Become involved on a national level, it is the BEST way to meet some of these other students. As a member, you have the opportunity to write for the national publication Forum, serve on subcommittee, become part of the regional ambassadors program and so much more.
Also keep in mind that National Conference is an incredible way to make those connections and grow closer with our Kent Chapter. The 2018 National Conference is in Austin, TX and it will be Oct. 5-9. Members need to have 15 points to attend the conference with PRSSA Kent, and we want you to be there with us! Come talk to any of the officers for more information on how to earn those points. I can personally tell you that the experience of being at National Conference shaped the student and future professional that I've become. It is so worth it.
Overall, PRSSA National Chapter is growing and enhancing every day. Check out their website to learn more about all of the resources that are available to you!