COMMON SOCIAL MEDIA MISTAKES

social-media-mistakes.jpg

By Caleb Carden, Fall 2017 Intern

In 2017, social media is practically inescapable. Children under the age of 10 have never known a world without it, and even our grandparents are joining Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. Ideas for new platforms are emerging every day and the leading platforms are only growing and evolving. In order for any business to stay current and successful, it is crucial to maintain an online presence and stay connected to the world around you.

Whether the primary purpose is to sell your product or just to keep your customers informed, social media is an excellent tool to engage with your audience. Every business has their own brand identity and voice, but it’s important to always keep in mind best practices for managing your social media accounts. While some of those best practices may seem obvious, a lot of businesses are guilty of making these common social media mistakes:

1. Not Knowing Your Audience

The biggest crime any business can commit is not understanding their audience. If your target market is women age 30-55, you’re not going to use the same marketing strategy as someone would to target teenage boys. It is crucial that you first know whom it is you are trying to reach. Once you know exactly who are you communicating with, you can drive the conversation by tailoring your content for that audience and get the best reach possible.

2. Posting Too Much Too Often

The quickest way to get your followers to hit that “unfollow” button is by posting too much too often. Unless you’re Beyoncé, you probably can’t get away with posting multiple times within and hour or so. If your content is flooding someone’s timeline, they’re going to grow tired of seeing it and immediately opt out of seeing any further posts from you. It is best to keep at least two hours between each post, especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram where posts are not necessarily in chronological order on your feed. Keep in mind the type of content you are posting and who is going to be viewing their timelines at the time you are posting in order to reach the best possible audience.

3. Boring/Annoying Your Audience

A lot of businesses are guilty of “recycling” content, and this can be incredibly dangerous. Your followers will begin to catch on if you are posting the same content multiple times and will become bored or annoyed. One of the most important things I’ve learned is to always keep your content fresh. It’s very easy to re-promote a message by changing up the imagery and text that goes along with it. By having multiple images on hand and editing your copy, you can get away with posting the same message several times without annoying your followers.

4. Not Creating Value for Your Followers

It is important that you create value for your audience with each post. Why should someone invest in your business? Why should they follow or subscribe to your content? Keep these questions in mind when creating content so that each post is purposeful and valuable to the customer. Sometimes businesses forget their purpose and will post content that isn’t really helping the customer in any way, which can lead to customer confusion or dissatisfaction.

5. The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule is a social media marketing strategy that says 80 percent of your content should be informational and educational while only 20 percent should be direct promotion of your business. Most businesses don’t follow this rule exactly, and it’s not detrimental if you don’t. Some businesses find a ratio that works best for them, and that’s great! The 80/20 Rule is just a guide for what to strive for in order to keep your audience informed and entertained without hard selling in every single post.

Keep these common mistakes in mind when managing your social media in order to maintain your following and create a successful online brand. By learning best social media practices and applying them to your accounts, you can make the most out of every platform and grow your following - and ultimately, your business. 

GOING VIRAL: MAKING IT IN THE MASSES

going-viral007.jpg

By: Taylor Lewis, Public Relations Coordinator

The Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign, the “Straight Outta” meme, and how could we forget the black and blue vs. gold and white dress debate of 2015. Each one of these viral sensations captivated the masses of the social media realm, but you have to wonder why and how they gained so much popularity? Was it the content, the visuals, a lot of luck, or a combination of everything?

Having a social media campaign go viral is dream come true for a social media content creator, but there are rarely any prior indications of what will go viral and when. So, one could argue that there is really no way to predict that something will reach such a level of popularity. However, there are several elements that are not mutually exclusive and proven to increase the chances of your content going viral when use in the right ways.

Audience over everything.

Have you ever heard the saying “quality over quantity”? Well, when it comes to going viral, those words have never been truer. Just because you put amazing content in front of tons of people, doesn’t mean they will care or engage with it. You can get to know what your audience likes through gathering insights on their demographics, what content they like the most, or just asking them questions through an Instagram story. However you gather this information, It is important to know your audience and develop content that they will be drawn to, thus increasing the likelihood that they will interact with it enough to go viral. 

Let others do the work for you.

Going viral is definitely a blessing and a curse. It increases engagement, followers, website views, but it is also a lot of work on the social media manager’s part. When developing something to go viral, you should aim for your audience to do some of the work for you. Encouraging people to “share” or create user-generated content is a great way to ensure that your reaching a larger audience and people are engaging with your content. Influencers can be extremely influential as well. So, find some key influencers among your audience and encourage them to engage as well.

Timeliness is the name of the game. 

Although there is no perfect time for something to go viral, it helps to follow a few simple tips. 

-      Stay up to date on the latest events and trending topics. 

-      Know when your audience engages the most.

-      Use trending hashtags when possible.

Timeliness is all about knowing the perfect time to interact with your audience. Finding the right time will make a huge difference on the amount of momentum the content will acquire and propel it to go viral. 

Keep up the momentum.

Your content goes viral, great! But now what? It is vital that the social media manager continues to engage with their audience through reposts, liking comments, replying to comments, etc. Keeping up this interaction will keep your content “alive” in the social media world, which will only serve to further benefit your social media pages. 

Utilizing these tips will be extremely beneficial in the quest to go viral, but a little luck won’t hurt either. So, good luck!

 

WE'RE HIRING: PUBLIC RELATIONS ASSISTANT

Now Hiring-5.png

The Public Relations Assistant will be an integral part of our established public relations firm and will work closely with the account executives and managers in servicing multiple clients across both the traditional PR and digital PR realms. 

We are looking for an individual who is looking for more than just a job. The right hire is someone who gets their hands dirty, wants to learn all facets of a growing PR firm and enjoys the idea of a close work family. 

The successful candidate must demonstrate strong communication and organizational skills while displaying a positive, outgoing attitude. This position will actively support an assigned team to fulfill clients PR needs while simultaneously overseeing the daily internal tasks for the firm.

The ideal candidate is required to have strong writing, research and organization skills; a fine eye for detail; be willing to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to complete a project accurately and on time; and have the ability to manage multiple projects in a fast-paced environment. 

Responsibilities:

  • Manage and execute projects as designated by firm president

  • Support account executives and management to integrate goal-oriented PR campaigns

  • Research client products, services, brand, competition

  • Maintenance and creation of selected media lists and editorial calendars

  • Management of Cision database management

  • Assist with press distribution

  • Oversee intern program companywide, ensuring interns are scheduled and on track, as well as adhering to guidelines, deadline and client protocols

  • Monitor, track and manage secured client coverage

  • Assist with social media scheduling and posting

  • Assist with monitoring of client social media accounts

  • Posting and monitoring (as needed) on the weekend is required

  • Coordinate interactive/social content with client promotional and marketing materials

  • Assist in measurement and tracking of social media platforms effectiveness

  • On site participation and engagement for client events and community outreach

  • Manage office maintenance and general office needs

  • Maintain office environment, including keeping entire office ‘meeting ready’, maintain neat and clean appearanace of restrooms, kitchen, lounges, meeting room (in coordination with housekeeping staff)

  • Ordering office supplies and tracking inventory

Qualifications / Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferably in communications, public relations, journalism, business administration or related required field 

  • Experience in social media platforms for business (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter) 

  • Ability to manage multiple projects in fast-paced, deadline-driven environment 

  • Self-motivated go-getter with positive attitude 

  • Should exhibit creativity and resourcefulness 

  • Self-confident and outgoing personality 

  • Must have strong communications skills (verbal and written) 

  • Active team player with commitment to excellence and ensuring client satisfaction 

  • Exhibits strong attention to detail and organization 

  • Entrepreneurial attitude and ability to think outside of the box 

  • Passion for knowledge of all things PR and understanding of social media execution 

  • Must be able to take personal accountability and perform well under pressure 

  • Eager to grow and succeed in public relations 

Think this is you? Send your resume to Krista@KCProjects.net and include “Public Relations Assistant” in the subject line. 

6 BOOKS ALL PR PROFESSIONALS SHOULD READ

Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 4.04.47 PM.png

 

By Kassidy Abernathy, PR Assistant

In today’s PR world, workand lifeseem to blend together like watercolor paints. The lines are bleeding. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. Corporate culture is changing and evolving to the demands of the people. And people are exploring new and innovative ways to work smarter, not harder.

The old lines of PR are being erased and fresh, bold lines are being drawn. With this modification, we sometimes find ourselves in need a little direction — in life and in the workplace. A soul refresher, if you will.

Having a healthy, positive, and receptive mindset not only can benefit your everyday life, but it also manifests growth and success in your professional life. 

Here is a stash of good reads to keep your mind sharp, your soul content, and your brain creative, willing and ever-learning.

“How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

A time-tested classic. Carnegie’s best-selling book was published in 1936, but his advice is still wildly relevant today. Some consider the book a “PR bible”, which includes six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and nine ways to change people without arousing resentment. Get ready for success in all aspects of your life with this read!

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Stephen R. Covey

I know, I know! I’m hitting you with the classics first! Chances are, you’ve probably already read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, drank the Kool-Aid and bought the t-shirt. But here’s my advice: READ IT AGAIN. Covey’s formulas and fixes for a better life are simple. Implementing them into your life is the hard part and sometimes we just need a refresher. 

“Outliers: The Stories of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell

We have this idea about success. Malcolm Gladwell, a renowned author and long-time journalist for the New York Post, is here to stomp on that idea. Does this book have anything to do with public relations? No. But, you won’t be able to put it down as Gladwell argues that success doesn’t really stem from intelligence and ambition, rather it grows from a person’s surroundings and just a little bit of chance. Pick this one up if you’re ready for your mind to be blown.

“Spinglish: The Definitive Dictionary of Deliberately Deceptive Language” by Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf

Say that book title five times fast! Every PR professional knows it’s not whatyou say, it’s howyou say it. Beard and Cerf have compiled a Spinglish dictionary — a devious dialect of English used by professional spin doctors (in our case, PR professionals). Entries such as “incomplete success” for “failure” will make you chuckle and then think, “Oh! That’s actually good!”. Need to laugh and brush up on a new vocabulary? Get to reading!

“Everybody Writes: Your Go – To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content” by Ann Handley

Today, being able to communicate well through writing isn’t just a skill, it’s necessity. Handley knows that successful content marketing centers around good communication — ahem! — good writing. This go-to guide will re-shape the way you think about content creation and teach you a practical approach to creating online content that works! Did we just find a pot of gold? Yep.

“Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time” by Keith Ferrazzi

Master networker Keith Ferrazzi spills the beans on how to be successful and get ahead in life. He says: Just reach out to people. This book leads you through networking strategies used by some of the world’s most connected individuals, from Katherine Graham to Bill Clinton to the Dalai Lama. Ferrazzi challenges readers to quit networking and instead strive for genuine relationship-building, because it’s in the latter that success can be born.

Grab your library card, use those audible credits, set up your stack! Allow these books to inspire you, implement new strategies in your life and at work, let yourself laugh, encourage new behaviors.

Happy reading!

 

PUMP UP YOUR PRODUCTIVITY WITH THESE OFFICE PLAYLISTS

pexels-photo-761963.jpeg

By: Lindsey Mays, Social Media Manager, KC Projects PR

In today’s world we are surrounded by distractions – from HQ Trivia alerts to a never-ending stream of Slack notifications it can sometimes be difficult to turn down the noise to focus on work. Luckily for you, we have developed the ultimate office playlists to cut through the distractions and ramp up your productivity! 

Naturally nature: 

According to researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, adding tunes that incorporate natural sounds can enhance your mood and improve focus. Become one with nature and turn on these soothing sounds here

Keep it classical: 

Classical music is also a great go-to playlist choice! One of the most frequently cited studies related to music and productivity is the "Mozart Effect," which concluded that listening to Mozart for even a brief period each day can boost "abstract reasoning ability." Treat your ears to these classical hits and watch your productivity soar here

Turn it up: 

Sometimes, classical and nature sounds just won't do. That's when you pull out the big guns and crank up the jams! These types of songs put you in the mood to take on the day and be your absolute best. Next time you're looking to feel empowered before a big presentation, interview, or salary review, check out this playlist here

Good for the SOUL:

Feeling down? Buried under what seems like an unsurmountable email queue? Whatever is bringing you down, sometimes all it takes is a good song to put you right back on top. Music can stimulate the same part of the brain as delicious food and other pleasures. In 2013 the Journal of Positive Psychology cited a study finding that people who listened to upbeat music could improve their spirits and boost their happiness in just two weeks. Let the good vibes roll and listen to this mood-boosting playlist here

Tom Petty once said, “Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There's not some trick involved with it. It's pure and it's real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.”  While not all people will respond the same to these playlists, one is sure to spark your imagination and increase your efficiency!

DO'S & DON'TS OF PROFESSIONAL EMAILS

By Victoria Morris, KC Projects Summer 2018 Intern

Do you ever write and rewrite, read and reread, and simply overthink the email you’re trying to send? It is so important for professionals to learn how to email appropriately. Emails are how the business world communicates. These messages can make or break you. It’s typically your first impression to a future boss or company, potential employer and more. Here’s the chance to increase your response and success rate! 

The Must Do’s:

  •  Identify your audience. 

  • Usually six to ten words is an appropriate length for your subject line. 

  • Paragraphs should be written in short sentences (one to three). 

  • Open with what you’re emailing about. Introduce yourself later. Get reader’s attention! 

  • Make it easy for your audience to read: numbered or bulleted list. 

  • ·Common business endings: Best or Best Regards

  •  If formal: use full name; if unformal: first name is acceptable. 

  •  Encourage creating email signature.  

The Please Don’ts: 

  • Do not assume gender or relationship statue. *

  • Do not type one big paragraph. It makes it hard for the average reader to read and they might just give up half way through or even before they start. *

  • Avoid immediately introduce yourself. *

  • Do not start by disclosing that they don’t know you. “You don’t know me but….” 

  • NO SLANG: Sup fam, that’s lit, Gucci, salty or throw shade. 

  • NO TEXTING ABBREVIATIONS: Ngl I’ll be smh & tbh u will get nc back. 

Make It or Break It!

The first thing your reader sees is the subject line. This determines whether your emails get read or avoided. Think BUSINESS: Be Unique & Specific In Not Eleven but Six or Seven. 

One of the ‘must do’s’ is to keep it between six and ten words for an appropriate subject line. First things first: identify your audience. This will help you establish whether your email should be formal or informal. In my opinion, it’s better to be formal in an informal setting, then informal in a formal setting.  

Meet & Greet!

Salutations can be one of the trickiest elements. If the relationship status or gender is unknown, a big ‘please don’t’ is using titles like Mrs. or Ms. Instead, resort to using their full name. For example, “Dear John Hancock”, followed by a comma and an inserted space between the greeting and introduction. However, if you have no information on the reader, add a simple greeting with no name. Good greeting options that don’t include a name would be: Good Morning/Afternoon, Greetings, Hello all/everyone.  

PERSONAL BRANDING TIPS

personal-brand-608x390.png

By: Brailyn Hardy, PR + Digital Brand Manager

Your online footprint is the first impression you'll give most employers.

So, what is personal branding? Personal branding is the process of developing a "mark" that is created around your name or your selected career path. You use this "mark" to express and communicate your skills, personality, and values. 

Have you ever Google’d yourself? 69% of employees are using online search engines like Google to research candidates and see if the job seeker is presented professionally.For example, when I Google myself my personal website, company I work for, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all immediately populate the search results. Hiring managers wouldn’t have to look very hard to determine that I live in Birmingham and I’m the PR + Digital Brand Manager for KC Projects PR. 

Tips for Building your Personal Brand: 

1.     Manage Your Online Presence. 

Before submitting your application, making small changes like setting your social media accounts to private, switching out the Spring Break profile image for something a little more professional and updating your LinkedIn profile can go a long way. 

2.    Printed Resume vs. Online Resume

How did you find the job your applying for? More than likely online so why wouldn’t you have an online version of your resume? Even if you are not tech savvy enough to create your website, maximize the benefits of LinkedIn. Since LinkedIn does not have space limitations it’s a great source to go a bit deeper into your professional history than you do on your traditional resume. 

3.     Promote what you are passionate about. 

Spend your summer in Australia working with a penguin conservation group? Taking initiative and solving problems is a good quality to have. Employers want to hire people who are smart, can carry a conversation and have a point of view about life. 

4.     Have a high-quality headshot. 

You will use this headshot more than you think. I’ve used mine for my LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, website, award nominations and everything in-between. No, that poor quality photo you cropped of you in a dress from your cousins’ wedding is NOT a headshot. 

5.     Become involved in the community. 

Being an active member of your community is great content to add to a resume. Getting involved in your community serves the dual purpose of professional networking, while demonstrating your leadership and passion for serving others. 

 

WHAT OUR INTERNS WISH THEY KNEW BEFORE ENTERING THE PROFESSIONAL WORLD

pexels-photo-267885.jpeg

By: Elizabeth, Bethany, & Victoria, Summer Interns 2018

During our last week with KC Projects PR, we were asked to list the things we wish I would have known before entering the professional world. Applying for internships, and moving into the business world from the college lifestyle is hard so here is our list of things to help students feel more prepared. 

  • Try to always make your mornings count. Although it may be tempting to lay in bed until last minute, get up and exercise, make breakfast, drink coffee, or do whatever gets you prepared for the day. You will be much more energized and prepared to take on the day.

  • Start transitioning your wardrobe weeks/months in advance from college attire to professional dress. It can be overwhelming to try and buy an entire professional wardrobe in a short period of time, Next time you are out shopping, keep an eye out for work appropriate clothing and start picking up a few items here and there. That way, you have one less thing to stress over when your graduate and/or get your first internship.

  • Start building your resume early. Start developing your resume as soon as you enter college so by the time you are graduating you will have a fully developed resume that you are proud to send out. You will thank yourself later!

  • If you don’t know how to send an professional email, learn now. This is something you should have under your belt before you begin applying for job interviews, internships, etc. You will email constantly and it’s important to be professional while doing so.

  • Building relationships with employers is so important. Always remain professional and never skip an event/opportunity to meet with an employer.

  • Develop and practice your elevator pitch, Identify strengths and weaknesses, have an interesting fun fact about yourself that stands out. 

  • Surround yourself with people of similar goals and work ethic. 

  • Join clubs in your major. Go to club meetings and interact with other students/teachers in your major. This is a great and easy way to make connections that could potentially end in an interview/internship/job. 

  • It’s said all the time, but after graduating college (or before applying for internships) it is so important to do a social media purge. Things that college aged kids post on their social media accounts don’t always translate well with future employers and most adults. Making albums private on Facebook is a thing, use it! 

  • For college students there are FREE resources on campus that will help you with a resume and cover letter. This is the last time you might have the opportunity to have free professional help on two things that are so important to your career. It would be insane not to take advantage of this opportunity. 

  • Before accepting your first job know that you can negotiate your salary, and should ask about insurance and benefits before accepting a job. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

SOCIAL RECRUITING

social-recruiting-definitionx1.5.png

By: Brailyn Hardy, PR + Digital Brand Manager

Social recruiting is now a "thing" when it comes to hiring job candidates. In 2017,70%of employers snooped potential candidates’ social media profiles according to CareerBuilder.com. That’s not to say employers are searching social media for ALL bad reasons, some are searching for the right reasons too. 

For example, if you are applying for a position in PR and social media, shouldn’t we be checking to see if the candidate is an active user? Here are the top reasons employers are “social recruiting” from CareerBuilder.com: 

  • Information that supports their qualifications for the job (61%)

  • If the candidate has a professional online persona at all (50%)

  • What other people are posting about the candidates (37%)

  • For any reason at all not to hire a candidate (24%)

Aside from social media, 69%are using online search engines like Google to research candidates and see if the job seeker presents himself or herself professionally. 

Here are the top reasons why employers chose not to hire a candidate based on social media:

  • Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or videos information

  • Candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs

  • Candidate had discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion

  • Candidate bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee

  • Candidate lied about qualifications

  • Candidate had poor communication skills

  • Candidate was linked to criminal behavior

  • Candidate shared confidential information from previous employers

  • Candidate's screen name was unprofessional

  • Candidate lied about an absence

  • Candidate posted too frequently

Scrolling through your photos from this past weekend and laughing at the debauchery of your charades? Pause before you post because it could prevent you from scoring your dream job. 

 

HOW TO GET MEDIA COVERAGE (WHEN YOU CANNOT HIRE A PR FIRM)

Media.png

By: Krista Conlin Robinson, President / Founder

Announcing a new business, sharing the news of a big idea and gaining exposure for a brand are all tasks public relations firms handle every day. As publicists, we know the importance of getting featured by the media. Shoot, highlighting clients is what we ‘sell’ every day. The benefits of media coverage in a high-profile news article or local outlets - print or online - can be a massive benefit for a brand. 

A few of the benefits in gaining media exposure include:

Brand visibility and reputation– Increasing range of visibility and positioning as a “thought leader” within one’s industry

Partner Interest– Attracting likeminded interested parties, vendors and investors for future collaboration potential

User Acquisition– Attracting more followers, customers and people to your services, website and social media accounts

Recruitment – Businesses depend on successful teams, and positive media exposure may help you attract talent to your business

If you don’t have the budget to hire a public relations firm, then use the following tactics to exposure for your business:

1.    Submit a press release. 

Press releases are still the fastest (and sometimes easiest) way to get the media’s attention. First, you must identify a newsworthy event or message pertaining to your brand. What makes what you are doing interesting? If you are a startup then talk about the launch; otherwise, address major milestones or a big event coming up for your company. In addition to gaining exposure, press releases can have a positive impact on your brand search results, thus helping with online reputation management.

2.    Reach out to specific journalists.

Target individual journalist that write on topics similar to your business. This relationship can be good for more in-depth pieces, features, and developing relationships for ongoing company announcements.

3.    Get involved locally.

Keep an eye out for local events that will attract the media and get your company involved. For example, volunteer in charity events, sponsor community events or sign up to speak at an industry event or convention. You could even host your own local events to generate even more focus for your brand.

4.    News-jack existing hot topics.

So what is “newsjacking”? This is when you take advantage of the popularity of a previously existing story for your own benefit. This type of move allows you to provide expert opinion pieces and to jump on the bandwagon of interesting and highly engaged topics.

5.    Stand out with a strong social media campaign

It is no surprise that many media publications and journalists look to social media as a source of inspiration, so if you can stand out online you’ll have a far higher likelihood of being featured in print. To make this happen, publish (strong and engaging) content regularly. Build a loyal following, position your brand as a leader and don’t ever forget the value of good images when posting. 

These five strategies are a good start to getting featured by the media. Remember to keep your brand visible and involved, and push interesting, engaging, newsworthy content. The time you put into building your exposure now is well worth the investment later.