Professional Development: Personal branding: 5 components to help you land a job

Belema Iyo.

As PR students and professionals, one thing that stands true as important and nerve-racking everyday is what happens when we graduate. We begin to wonder exactly how long it’ll take to land a job. What most people forget is that you have to start planning and preparing for that way ahead of time. Even those who remember this don’t know the steps they should take. This article does a good job of highlighting one of the many important steps; personal branding.

Personal branding in simple words is how we market ourselves. Personal branding defines who you are. The article notes few things one needs to identify to create a personal brand. They are:

Define yourself: What are your unique skills, experiences, and values? What makes you different?
Determine your audience: Who are you trying to reach?
Establish your messaging: What are you trying to convey? What do you want others to remember about you?

These then become the backbone of what defines your brand. The article then goes on to mention useful tools one can implement to communicate brand across to professionals. These are useful things to include; logo, tagline, brand tools, social media and greeting cards.

The article highlights how important personal branding is as it helps to tell your story outside what can be found in emails, online applicatons and resumes.


Professional Development: 5 rules for starting your PR career

Belema Iyo.

I think as students involved in the PR field, one of the most important things we tend to push over is what happens after. We all just want to get a job, be good at it, do what we are told and hope that gets us somewhere. This article does a good job of explaining 5 basic rules that will be beneficial to the starting of one’s PR career.

Although it is very important to take advantage of every single oppurtunity we come across, there is also some other important information we need to consider. What comes then? This article not only helps with telling us how to get started in simple steps, but also teaches us how to maintain and improve the positions we find ourselves in.

Below are the 5 simple tips:

1. Raise your hand. Demonstrate an active interest in the business.

2. Be curious. Be a “student” of the media.

3. Step out of your comfort zone. If an account is presented that doesn’t seem to immediately match your skill set, go for it.

4. Remember: managers aren’t mind readers. Speak up about your goals, ask for advice, and understand you won’t be handed everything you want.

5. Take notes. Not only does it demonstrate active engagement during the meeting itself, but also it ensures that follow-up activities don’t deviate from what was actually discussed.

Like the author states, “using these rules won’t just enable you to start your career right, they are critical to sustaining and maintaining your career’s path in a changing world.”

Professional Development: 5 tips for writing faster—and better—copy

Belema Iyo.

“You can get it written well, quickly, or cheaply—pick two. It’s a mantra freelancers know all too well. Although they say it tongue-in-cheek (kind of), it highlights a tension that’s inescapable for anyone who cranks out copy in a work context. It’s the tension between writing better and writing faster.”

This article is useful for every PR professional because it does a good job highlihting what is important for writing fast and immediately needed articles and press releases. It is one thing to write a good article and another to deliver it efficiently.

The author states, “Always the optimist, I’d like to believe that given enough time, everyone is capable of crafting polished and powerful copy. Unlimited time is a fantasy, a pipe dream in a world where the quantity of work we produce is just as important as the quality of that work.” This is very significant because we always want to make sure that our work is good, but if it is not delivered on time, it becomes useless. There is a right time for everything including the right time to deliver an article or write-up. If delivered in an untimely manner it becomes useless.

This article is very important for us because although we are PR professionals we still have to do a lot of writing. This is important basic  but straight-forward information we ought to know. Below are these 5 simple tips:

1. Know the assignment.

2. Gather information and resources.

3. Devise a (basic) plan.

4. Write.

5. Have a strong endgame.

Professional Development – Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

Belema Iyo.

Ted Talk.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author who has become famous for her books, Purple Hibiscus, Half Of A Yellow Sun and The Thing Around Your Neck.

In this video Chimamanda talks about what she calls, “the danger of a single story.” In this video she addresses the content of the stories we use to define people and their culture. Chimamanda has become so much of an inspiration to so many people and the way she writes her books gives life to most. In this video, she challenges the ideas we hold true to ourselves as what we feel defines Nigerians & what we feel defines Africans and people in general.

This video in so many ways shows us a simple solution to a problem that has had a huge impact on the world in more ways than one. Chimamanda says this about the danger of a single story, “the single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

Professional Development: Does Advertising On Facebook Actually Work???

Belema Iyo.

This article answers less of the question posed but does more of giving us an example/interivew/mini case study. The article is more like an interview with Ford Motor Co.’s Scott Monty. It shows us a prime example of the role social media plays in the Ford Company.

Scott Monty talks about the strategy Ford uses to approach social media. He talks about how Ford uses everything from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to YouTube to Google+ and even Flickr.

Monty says, “we’ve been on Facebook since October of 2008 and we understand the community. We look for what they are looking for, we try and speak like them.”

This article gives us a great idea about how big companies handle their social media output and their publics.

Read more:

Professional Development: 12 tips for using Twitter as a customer service tool

Belema Iyo.

This article goes into detail about 12 different ways we can effectively use Twitter for customer service. In more recent times, one thing we have all come to accept as an intricate part of our day to day lives is social media. We in turn should also understand how all of this changes the way we communicate with our publics/consumers.

This article details each important tip for us & how they work. If our public is likely to turn to social media especially twitter, it is important to know these tips. Here is the complete list of ways to improve your customer service efforts on Twitter: 

1. Use apps such as TweetDeck.

2. Respond in speedy fashion.

3. Never let customers reveal their private details.

4. Be polite and courteous.

5. Place your Twitter handle in prominent locations.

6. Create a separate customer service Twitter account.

7. Personalize the experience.

8. Create a FAQ from common questions.

9. Know when to move problems on.

10. Know when to use direct message.

11. State when you’re open.

12. Follow up.

Professional Development: The Loving Story

Belema Iyo.

The Loving Story is a documentary that follows the story of how an interracial couple changed a nation. The Loving Story premiered on HBO on the 14th of February, 2012. The documentary follows the life story of two Virginia natives, Richard and Mildred Loving who got married in DC in 1958 and moved back to their hometown of Virginia where they were arrested because inter-racial marriage was illegal in the state.

Mildred was a woman of African & Native American descent while Richard was a white man. They had three kids. They were both dragged out of their bed and arrested for getting married to each other. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pled guilty and were sentenced to one year in prison, with the sentence suspended for 25 years on condition that the couple leave the state of Virginia. The trial judge in the case, Leon M. Bazile, echoing Johann Friedrich Blumenbach‘s 18th-century interpretation of race, proclaimed that “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

The documentary details the story of the Lovings’ and all that happens leading up to the Loving v. Virginia Civil Rights case that made its’ way to the Supreme Court. In a unanimous decision, they declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute, the “Racial Integrity Act of 1924“, unconstitutional, thereby overturning Pace v. Alabama (1883) and ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States. Despite this Supreme Court ruling, such laws remained on the books, although unenforceable, in several states until 2000, when Alabama became the last state to repeal its law against mixed-race marriage.

The documentary goes to show the inspirational story of a quiet family that changed the United States. The documentary includes photographs and videos of the Loving family through those years. In the documentary, after they lose one of their first court cases, Mildred states, “you have to loose the small battles to win the big war.”

The Loving Story