5 Personal Branding Tools for PR Professionals

PR personal branding quoteLast week, I had the awesome opportunity to speak at a meeting of PRSSA-UD (Public Relations Student Society of America – University of Delaware chapter). It felt a lot like coming full circle.

My junior year, when I was trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to do with my Communication major, I enrolled in a public relations class with Professor Bartoo. She encouraged all her students to check out PRSSA, for which she was the faculty advisor. Always eager to get more involved on campus, I went to a meeting. And I don’t want to think of where I would be today if I hadn’t.

As I only took two other public relations courses in my time at UD, most of what I learned about public relations and social media came from PRSSA meetings. I think it’s also where I first heard the term “personal branding,” a principle that I believe I owe much of my career success to!

Some of my highlights include how much I admired then-president Abby Ecker for accomplishing so much while still a student, hearing Jessica Lawlor speak at one of our meetings, and being able to blog about Charlie Sheen while still learning about PR. I remember figuring out what I wanted to do out in the scary, scary real world.

So, anyway…being asked to speak at one of those meetings that helped me figure my own life out? Being one of those people confused students looked at and thought “they seem to have their life together and seem so smart?” It’s definitely going to go down as a huge milestone in my career, regardless of how much I eventually accomplish.

I spoke about personal branding, but I knew that such savvy PR students were already familiar with the concept. So instead on focusing on what personal branding is and how to do it, I focused on a few tools that will help anyone take control of their personal brand. Take a look at the presentation:

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13 Things Social Media Community Managers Love

things community managers loveThis past Monday, if you weren’t aware, was Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD). The day where the people who are normally hidden behind avatars, brand handles, and admin tags are recognized as the individuals they are, holding together much of a company’s online presence.

Every community manager celebrates “our holiday” differently. A lot of companies and agencies provide goodies or lunches for their community managers. There are a lot of meetups, parties, and networking events, and even more blog posts about every facet of community management.

Me? I’m the only community manager at my company. I don’t live in an area where I’ve been able to find many other people working in social media and community management. But I did come up with an idea for a blog post. A GIF-tacular blog post.

It was pretty easy to write (and not just because it was mostly images!), I just thought about what I loved and hated about my job:

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Best Practices for Sharing Infographics on Social Media

sharing infographicsI love infographics. I know some people think they’re “out,” “so last year/two years ago/whatever,” etc. but I don’t think they’re going anywhere. They make conveying information easier (and prettier, and I love pretty!), are a strong tools in any content marketing strategy, and, let’s face it, pretty fun sometimes.

But, as with most things, there’s a right way and a wrong way to share an infographic.

Sharing is caring, but when it comes to infographics, be sure to share with care (Tweet this).

Of course, the “right” way to share an infographic depends on the platform on which you’re sharing it.

Sometime’s I’ll see someone share someone else’s infographic, or even their own, on a blog or social media and just want to go “yuck.”

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It’s My Birthday – A Marketer’s Delight

birthday marketing

It was my birthday last week (10/10!), and in addition to birthday cards and texts, and Facebook posts, I found myself drowning in birthday marketing.

So many stores, brands, and websites took time out of their busy schedules to email me, text me, or send me a message through their app wishing me a happy birthday.

Just kidding.

I know they were automated marketing messages sent out because I had provided them with my birthday. And why wouldn’t I? I love hearing ‘happy birthday,’ I love studying marketing messages, and I love free and discounted stuff.

Since I’m much more immersed in the world of marketing than I’ve ever been before, I found myself enjoying dissecting the different ways brands handle birthday marketing messages just as much as I enjoyed spending my 10% discounts (Yes, I’m a quite a geek).

As I was reading the emails (and yes, even a few physical cards), I could smell a great blog post in the works. I just couldn’t wait to share what I thought of these messages. Here’s a breakdown of a few of my favorites:

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How to Become a Youtility [Infographic]

“Smart marketing is about help, not hype”

Youtility quoteThat’s the basis of Jay Baer’s new book, Youtility. I won a free copy from Vocus that I’m (slowly) working my way through, and the bits I’ve read so far have gotten me so excited. The book is about a new way of marketing that’s all about becoming an indispensable resource.

Being a Youtility means being so helpful that your audience & customers can’t live without your help. (Tweet this quote)

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How to Optimize Your Twitter Profile

optimize your twitter profileThis month, we’re going to take one post a week to help you make the most of your social media profiles with a social media optimization series! We’re doing this because there’s more to your social presence than the content you post.

So for the next five weeks, we’re devoting Mondays to helping you improve your profiles. We’ll be tackling Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. If there’s another profile you want optimization tips for, just tweet us and we’ll share some tips!

So why is optimizing your Twitter profile important? Because Twitter is about so much more than tweets. Even if your content is written well, you won’t be taken seriously on Twitter if your profile is generic looking (Tweet this).

What does a generic looking Twitter profile look like? I’m sure you’ve seen a ton of them: the background is the cloud image that Twitter automatically uploads, the avatar is the default egg, and there’s no Twitter bio information. If you look at the tweets, you’ll probably see a lot of automated-looking tweets: just the name of an article and the link. Basically, there’s no customization.

So how can you make your Twitter profile optimized for Twitter’s search engine as well as for your profile’s visitors? Start with these four steps:

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How to Optimize Your Facebook Page

Facebook Page OptimizationHappy Monday! We’re back again with another post in our series on social media optimization. In case you missed it, last week we talked about how to improve your Twitter profile so that it’s more appealing to both other Twitter users and Twitter’s search engine.

Today we’ll take the same approach: not only will these tips help improve your visibility in Facebook’s Graph Search, they’ll help Facebook users find out more about you easily and quickly.

While users may ‘Like’ your page for the content you post, you still want to offer more than that. (Tweet this)

There’s so much to Facebook pages besides the Timeline. Sure, new posts appear in the News Feed, which is where users spent 40% of their Facebook time in 2012. But there’s also your ‘About’ page, which can serve as an information hub for your business, as well Facebook Page Apps. I can’t even tell you what you can do with Facebook Page Apps because the possibilities are endless if you decide to create your own.

So as we said last week, the content you post is just part of your presence on a social network. There’s a lot more, especially with Facebook. How can you optimize all of that information? Here’s a start:

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Why I’m Not Really Using Vine or Instagram Video

vine instagram videoI won’t deny that Vine and Instagram Video are huge. Before, social video never really had a top contender or standout app and now there are two. I think social video is a great idea, so I’m grateful to both apps for that.

That said, I don’t really use either to post my own videos…yet. Basically, I don’t think Vine and Instagram Video are where they should be, and the difference between the two points is a deal breaker for me.

I don’t want this to be your typical post about what these apps are still missing because there are a lot of blanket posts like that. While they do raise valid points that should be addressed in app updates, there’s one specific thing that irks me: videos live and die within the apps.

Let me tell you the story of how I realized what a huge flaw this is:

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Will Facebook Hashtags Work for Social TV?

Facebook HashtagThe social media world went “BOOM” last week when Facebook announced support for clickable hashtags. I was torn. That’s right, Facebook hashtags. #ItHappened.

On the one hand, people were already using hashtags on Facebook (sometimes because the post was shared from another social network, sometimes because they don’t understand hashtags), so it makes a lot for Facebook to leverage something users were already doing. After all, that’s how they started on Twitter, which is most infamous for hashtags.

But on the other hand, I just don’t think they’re going to be used the way Facebook wants them to me. Even if they are used as Facebook hopes, there’s still a major problem standing in the way of Facebook being comparable to Twitter for social TV purposes:

EdgeRank.

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How Friends Would Be Different With Social Media

Friends with social mediaThere are two things I love in this world: social media and excellent sitcoms. Sure, there are a lot of other things, but these two take up most of my time. And there are few things I love more than spending a gloomy Sunday in bed with my laptop and my well-worn Friends box set (some may say this is sad, I say it’s awesome). I’m so obsessed with Friends that my car’s name is Princess Consuela, I call my kitchen Central Perk, and I have a picture frame around my apartment door’s peephole.

A few years ago, watching these sitcoms would turn into conversations with other fans about how we would never find ourselves in some of those crazy situations, because Facebook, Twitter, and other social media could be used to prevent or defuse whatever crisis was taking place. However, I never thought to really develop these thoughts until I was inspired by the Twitter account Modern Seinfeld.

So, I really want to take a look back at some of my favorite sitcoms of yesteryear and flesh out what episodes could take place today, or how certain episodes would be different. I might even take a stab at Seinfeld. Although I probably can’t beat Modern Seinfeld, I might as well take a stab at it.

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