PR pros should pay more attention to Youtube

And so should me and every PR, marketing or business student, and with this blog post I shall clarify why!

This post is the base for my today’s presentation at the #PRinthepicture event, which is a networking event for students and PR practitioners, organised by me and my fellow PR classmates.

We could have volunteered to prepare short snappy presentations on the chosen by us subjects and I haven’t really been thinking about it much until one day, when I decided I needed to talk about this particular platform.

I didn’t used to overthink Youtube too much. Not gonna lie, I don’t have a channel, I don’t even spend much time on there, unless I take a break from studying. Cause’ what can a person do during a short break from all the books and essays, if not watch funny can videos on Youtube?!

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I mean, come on, how cute is that?! Brightens your day right up!

But other than that? No…it’s not like Facebook to me, or Twitter, or Linked in, or WordPress, which I use a lot on a daily basis.

But I’ve decided to talk about it and I have a strong reason behind it.

And the reason is the half an hour I spent with a 10 year old girl. Here’s the story:

I was at my boyfriend’s mum’s place…I really do enjoy using possessive ‘s. At some point in the afternoon, Dotty’s (my boyfriend’s mum) friend, Jasmine, popped in with her children – Lilly (10) and Jack (12). Jack went to the back room straight away to join the boys playing football on the Xbox and ,curious of what I was doing Lilly, sat down next to me on the sofa.

– What are you doing Nat? Youtube?! Cool! Do you want to see my channel and what I’ve watched today?!

She didn’t even notice the cuteness of the kittens on my screen, just took my phone and went straight into her account. She had so many videos posted, I couldn’t believe it! Especially that I, myself, was considering setting up a channel at some point, but still haven’t got to the point where I feel confident enough to do so. She’s 10 for God’s sake!

I pointed out she had a lot of videos and asked if the fact that anyone and everyone can watch her didn’t overwhelm her?

– If anything, it annoys me when people aren’t watching me. Most of my viewers are my friends. They follow my channel so when I post a new video, they’re the ones to watch it. Then they respond with their video. Most of the time it’s just like we’re talking.

WOW.

– What do you talk about in your videos then? – I asked.

– Everything. How my day at school was…you know, normal stuff.

Dis I get it right? She’s already building her personal brand in a brilliant way without even realising she’s doing it.

– Who do you watch then? – I asked.

– A lot of people. A lot of DIY videos or educational ones, when I don’t know how to do my homework…

Apparently it is easier for Lilly to search up stuff on Youtube, rather than on Google, because, “she gets it better and learn faster from the videos”.

– I do have my favourite vlogger! – Lilly got excited.

“Zoella” – she typed in the Youtube search box.

Of course I knew Zoella, we all know her, with more than 7 million channel subscribers to her name, she’s probably one of the most successful fashion and beauty blogger and an amazing PR in addition.

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– I love her so much!!! – Lilly continued. – She’s so smart and pretty and she’s got so many followers!  I want to be like her! I even have her book, look! – and so she grabbed her bag and took the ‘Girl Online. On Tour’ out of it to show me. – I’ve got another one actually. This isn’t the first one, the first one is just ‘Girl Online’. You should read it! My friends were so jealous when I showed them this one.

– Do your friends have her book too?

– Oh yeah, we all do! You’re kind of lame really if you don’t. You have to know those people…it’s weird that you don’t have your own channel. Everyone’s on Youtube, you have to be there, you know?

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I didn’t. I didn’t also know, how popular Youtube and vloggers were among younger generations – generations of today’s 10 year olds. They look for inspiration through Youtube, they learn through it, they communicate through it….Funny fact? Lilly doesn’t have Facebook, or Twitter…but Youtube and Snapchat are used by her on a daily basis.

My first thought was “This is insane”! My second thought was, that this is amazing and Youtube, despite what I thought, has not reached its full potential yet. The process has already started though. Youtube is already booming and its statistics are incredible, even though they only include people of the age of 18 and older. Think how those statistics are going to look like in 8 years, when Lilly and her friends are 18!

 

Youtube is no longer a platform focused on cute animals, pranks and music videos. No. It moved from it to being used in order to showcase campaigns that are promoting awareness, promote a brand or re-positioning. It gets better than that….and it’s still completely free!

 

So what does it mean for PR departments?

 

  • Brand Awareness; Youtube reaches probably the biggest potential audience you could ever dream of. From kids, like Lilly, through men and women aged 18-49 (according to Youtube statistics), to elderly people – the evidence are my grandparents. This gives you a new way of approaching the public and building brand awareness. You can choose your audience so easily. You can communicate with a broader one, or narrow it down to a particular community (e.g. gamers, travellers). Youtube has became a platform to showcase your products/services and their benefits with creativity!

 

  • Communicate Messages; it was never easier for you, brands and companies to communicate messages. When you publish a video on youtube you don’t just communicate with your local audience, you send the message worldwide. And the language barriers? Please, there’s a free option to add subtitles so you can communicate with anyone and everyone despite all the different languages.

 

  • Respond fast to risk; Youtube platform allows companies/organisations and individuals to respond fast to any allegations, which may lead to a crisis. It is a simple and effective way of responding to a potential reputation threat. A great example is Domino’s President response to the prank video by two of Domino’s employees, which was far away from funny and more of a offence to some. Domino’s acted fast by putting this on:

 

 

  • The personal touch; to engage with their public well companies and brands should become more personal. Youtube is a great way to add some humanity to a faceless corporation. Youtube has already been used by many companies to showcase the benefits of working with them and their Youtube activities became a significant part of the recruitment process:

 

So if you, or your company aren’t on Youtube yet…well, I think it’s worth to start thinking about it now. It could help you build your own, strong brand and add up to your reputation.

 

Sorry, this one turned out to be a bit longish. Hope I didn’t bore you too much!

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Nat

 

 

Strong research skills mean strong PR skills

If there is one thing we all do, but never admit doing, it’s stalking. Yes I said it, and no…don’t give me the outraged “I never do it!” gibberish!

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Whether it was your future work mates, new uni friends or, most likely, your partner’s ex, y’all have been there spying on someone at some point!

I also know, that if you got caught doing it, you were embarrassed. Understandable, but!, I’m here to say something comforting and true in the same time.

All those hours, you thought you’d wasted on stalking your one and only to find out as much about them as possible and win their heart, did not go to waste. Especially if you’re an aspiring PR, or a journalist, or a spy.

Because, ignoring the whole creepiness of our behaviour, while spending those long hours on stalking others we all have developed some research skills, skills essential for every PR and every journalist, skills you’ll be expected to have by every company you’ll ever work for.

Here’s why I think so.

I’ve recently (well…3 weeks ago) kicked off with my work experience for Bristol-based InfectiousPR – PR company doing promotion in the music industry. Because I’m a total freshman, obviously, I do not work with clients. Instead, I do in-house stuff. And guess what in-house work is all about. Reports…REPORTS AND DATA SPREADSHEETS. Which means researching, researching and researching. Researching clients, industries, media, journalists, bloggers, news tracking and so on.

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Research is a part of PRs’ daily job and so having a strong ability to conduct an accurate and fast research is an essential skill that is critical for Public Relations practitioners. Ability to gather information is vital for success in the field – every PR project  involves research to some extent.

Time you forgive yourself the hours spent on stalking! You may be a bit of a creep, but at least a research-skilled one, and that one day will be much appreciated! (;

 

Have a great Friday!

Nat

 

What I’ve learnt from running a project as a UWE Global News Relay PR coordinator

Being at a university is a great experience allowing you to expand your knowledge, work up your interests and develop certain skills, there’s no doubt in that. However there there are things you can’t learn from lectures and books and knowledge that can’t be relay to us by the best teachers. I’m talking about lessons that can only be learned through experiences.

Recently, I volunteered and had an opportunity to perform in the role of a PR coordinator for the UWE Global News Relay team of journalism students.

 

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To find out more about Global News Relay follow the link:  http://bit.ly/21e5Eo3

 

I was more than excited! It was not only a great opportunity to learn, but also to prove myself with prior knowledge. I’ve done my research. Ideas were falling in to my head one by one, as if someone stood next to me with an ideas-loaded gun aimed right in my head giving one shot after another. I’ve planned everything, from the press release, through ideas of content to be published on social media platforms, to making a list of potential guests and journalists from local media to be invited to the event. Not gonna lie, my expectations as to my work and the final result were quite high. All I needed was collaboration of journalists students involved in the project and that’s when I was brought down to Earth.

 

Here’s what I’ve learnt from running a project as a UWE Global News Relay PR coordinator:

 

People don’t understand Public Relations


Whether it’s still PR’s bad reputation on its back or general luck of one’s knowledge, I’ve realised that people really don’t understand the concept of Public Relations. What’s more, for the reason of the luck of understanding people you’re suppose to work with may turn out unwilling to collaborate. And I don’t mean uneducated people, I mean even those very intelligent and driven in the field of their study individuals. You’re not an enemy, but they don’t know that. Get ready for some serious explaining.

 

 

    Most of the time people will try to give you short shrift


“I’ll sent it to you later” was probably the sentence I heard the most often from people. And guess what…I was usually never sent anything from anyone. Persistence is, I think, the most important quality for PRs and it’s something that most of us (students) needs to learn if we want to be good in our job. Pushing people harder,  in order to get what you want isn’t something that’s natural for me. I don’t like feeling like I’m too insistent. Guess what tho? Sometimes there’s no other way around, you have to learn to be more assertive and deal with your fear of people perceiving you as bossy or intrusive.

 

There’s always going to be more work to be done than you think
– expect the unexpected.


 

If you thought, that all you need to invite all the interviewees who appeared in journey students’ TV package is to take their details of the students and just give them a call, then you couldn’t be more wrong. I wasn’t given a one single full contact – it was really good when I was given an actual personal email address. Sometimes it was just their name, sometimes just an email to their work placement…sometimes it was only just a phone number to someone who knew the interviewee and recommended them as a contact to talk to.

Yeah, it does take a while to get in touch with people who you don’t have much information on.

It’s only one of the examples. Advice to self for the next time? Prepare for things going wrong and make sure you have some extra time in reserve.

 

 

4. Your flexibility is gold!


“I’ll let you know, when I have time” is the second thing I heard the most often. You have to be ready for people letting you know about things not far in advance at all. Always check you phone, emails and social media accounts, there’s a chance, that at 10pm you’ll receive an email saying you need to be somewhere at 8am the next morning if you want what you were asking for. And that’s fine, if you want to be a PR you’re probably not a type of person who’s afraid of hard work!

 

 

Summing up my effort with the Global News Relay project? Nothing wen’t the way I planned it, hahahah. And I think it’s fine..because I know what to expect next time and what skills to work on. I guess that’s how you learn!

 

Have a great Thursday everyone! 🙂

Nat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Relations vs. propaganda – what’s the difference?

While tracking the latest news from the political world back at home (I’m Polish if I haven’t mentioned, cześć!), I’ve spotted something very disturbing. Something that made clear to me where PR gets its bad reputation from…and showed how Public Relations’ potential gets wasted.

By the way, ironic, isn’t it? That an industry all about building and manipulating of image suffers from an image problem itself.

But lets go back to that something…

Polish politicians very loosely use the term “Public Relations”, not explaining what they actually mean by that. They ACCUSE each other of “doing PR” and pulling public opinion’s leg…

They talk about you in the media – that must mean you “do PR.” You turn your attention away from uncomfortable topics, publicizing issues less troublesome instead – note, this is PR! Rather than take offence at an opponent, you give him a hand – you’re up to something “in the PR style.”

PR in Poland began to live its own, false life… and my heart sinks.Because what those people accuse each other of has nothing to do with Public Relations. In fact, I do not think that Polish government, political  parties or individuals on the political arena have any PR strategies for themselves at all…or any idea as to how Public Relations works. What they accuse each other of is propaganda, not PR.

What’s more, following the results of my little research I can easily jump to conclusion that Public Relations in Poland is purely marketing and business focused…which basically means there’s no real PR in Poland. What a waste of potential…

But let’s go back to our PRopaganda.

It’s actually quite difficult to put a pin between PR and propaganda in theory – dictionaries’ and textbooks’ definitions are quite similar:

Propaganda is the deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions and direct behaviour to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.
Jowett and O’Donnell (1992:4)

 

Public Relations is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between an organisation and its publics.

UK Institute of Public Relations, 1987

 

Indeed, there are similarities between the two practices. The above definitions highlight how both, propaganda and Public Relations have the same purpose – to influence public perception in order to generate a desired response.

Like propaganda, PR is systematic, serves to achieve set goals and involves management of perceptions. Both models use various media platforms to reach different audiences. The difference lies in intentions and motivation in their usage.

Although PR and propaganda share the same objective and often share same techniques of delivering a message, there is a difference

Propaganda is often used to damage an opposing cause, organisation or individual. The information it uses very often isn’t based on truth. Delivering false information or twisting facts to influence the public’s attitude toward a cause, an idea or, usually, a political agenda falls under the definition of propaganda. Propaganda is generally an appeal to emotion, not intellect. E.g. Political campaign ads designed to attack an opponent.

PR, on the other hand, regards truth as important and is usually used to present truthful information in a positive light. E.g.When an organization is facing a controversy, a PR campaign may be put together in order to address the issue and restore the company’s reputation.

In support of my words, ladies and gentleman, CIPR’s list of values:

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Both PR and propaganda are extremely powerful tools. Although their definitions are similar, the practices differ and the difference lies in their relationship to truth.

Public Relations isn’t well understood by many, including PR practitioners and their clients. That’s why it is important that values, like the ones of CIPR, lie in the core of the practice. Otherwise PR stops being PR and becomes what Polish politicians accuse each other of doing – propaganda.

 

 

You can spell “events” without “PR”…

As I’m over half way through my Public Relations course, visions of future me and my career become clearer and clearer.

There’s more than few aspects of traditional PR, which I find very interesting, but for the reason of my constant need of feeling like a free soul, with my love for loud music, hula hooping and colourful strobe lights, I may not end up doing corporate PR…

Instead, more and more often I catch myself daydreaming of my very own team of creative souls working hard together to create and deliver the most amazing festivals, full of music, dance, food, workshops and lights, and make someone (or a few someones) the happiest people on Earth for at least few days a year!

Fireworks
With a special little place in my heart, Boomtown Fair in Winchester

 

Yes, that’s one of those very tempting visions of mine. I guess, the patch of event management wouldn’t be the worst patch to walk 🙂

That’s why, when I’ve heard from someone, that event management has nothing to do with Public Relations I got a little upset…at first. ‘Cause I’ve quickly realised how strongly I actually disagree with such statements.

Events management may not necessarily  fit into definitions of traditional PR, just like it may not be obvious how PR skills are essential for event management. However,  I believe, events are a significant and important part of Public Relations and vice versa.

 

Events for PR:

Events are a great opportunity to promote, celebrate and entertain! Modern day PR support, among others, includes event management to help organizations raise their profiles and/or improve relationships with their stakeholders. Events management, if executed well,  can achieve publicity and recognition for the organization, adding up to their prestige.

Public Relations is about communication and an event can be a great tactic for pushing a PR message out there!

 

PR for events:

PR skills are more than adequate and easily applicable to event management.

Both, PR strategy and event management require similar project management skills. Research, planning, budgeting, organization, time management and communication – doesn’t matter if you’re a PR or an event manager, you need to be good with those.

Like I’ve mentioned in one of my previous posts, to succeed in a PR world you should be a people person. The world of events doesn’t exempt you from it. You still have stakeholders to look after and satisfy. You still have clients to update with everything regularly. People and relationships to establish and maintain everywhere!

The role of an event manager requires a lot of responsibility. One mistake while organizing can result in attendants getting injured! Someone being upset isn’t actually the worst thing that can happen. Remember The Hillsborough disaster?

Last, but not least, for your events to succeed, just like for your PR campaigns you need some serious “out-of-the-box” thinking. Creativity is a must!

 

I’m not saying there’s no line between Public Relations and events management. Of course there is, but I will never agree with statements claiming, that one practise has nothing to do with the other. I also don’t think that my PR course means that I’ll be unqualified, when it comes to working in events industry.

You can spell “events” without “PR”, but would it not work better with a silent “PR” chucked somewhere in there?

 

I’m curious to hear other opinions on the matter, so please feel free to share your views!

 

Meantime, I wish everyone a great weekend!

 

 

 

WOW! – Facebook introduces 5 new Reactions

A ray of sun came through my bedroom window lighting up the whole room. Stretching lazily, I was trying to work out what day of the week it was. Monday? Nooooo…when you weak up on a Monday you simply know it’s Monday, no other morning of the week feels as crap…

“It’s Wednesday Nat” – whispered the slowly reawakening conciousness.

A minute and thirty two seconds later I was fully aware of the Wednesday, my 12 o’clock meeting in Bower Ashton and the 7 hour shift at work after.

I was ready for this Wednesday. I had my notes, my notebooks, my apron, my bus ticket and my headphones. Nothing was going to surprise me today. With everything ready and in place I was happy to find the extra 15 mins for my morning coffee, rollie and little Facebook sesh!

Ready for everything me turned on my laptop, logged in to my Facebook and…

“Not ready for this, were we?!” – mocked me my conciousness.

 

Yes…WOW, WOW, WOW, this happened:

 

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We’ve been waiting for a long time. Some with excitement, some with fear. But they are finally here and IT’S HUGE! I mean, I think it’s huge…it’s my blog, so what the hell, I can say whatever I want! IT. IS. HUGE.

Facebook introduced “Reactions” – expanded options for our beloved Like button, a whole bunch of emotional reactions, which you can use to tell people how you feel exactly about a particular post.

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This morning Facebook has brought the promise of greater engagement and changed the ways, in which this engagement will be measured and interpreted.

With the appearance of Reactions, Facebook evolves from a fairly safe for brands space to a space, in which anyone can express outrage with a click!  However, it also evolves into a platform allowing brands to gain a more in-depth understanding of their audiences, collect more detailed data and engage in much more meaningful conversations.

How exciting is this?!

Well, I think it’s a hell of a deal, and I can not wait to see how it works out for everyone.

 

What are your thoughts on Facebook’s new Reactions? Let me know!

 

Have a great Wednesday…oh, wait, Thursday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a waitress and no, I do not hate my job.

After two years of listening to people commenting on how waitressing is a boring and a demeaning profession, I’ve decided it is up time to clear things up a little!

To everyone, who’s ever asked me if I hated my job:

No, I do not hate waitressing. No, it’s not boring. No, it is not ‘such an easy job for anyone.’And yes, I do think it makes me a better candidate for a job in Public Relations.

I work full-time as a part of front of house team in Koh Thai Tapas and I love my job! It doesn’t only involve cleaning tables, delivering food and refilling plate warmers, it’s a great way to make money, meet people and develop transferable skills, which could not only easily fit into a business environment, but are essential for it.

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I am lucky to work in a busy and well-known for it’s high quality food restaurant. This means constant opportunities of getting to know interesting people and expanding your network. Only last week, I had a pleasure to meet the director of Bristol based Ujima Radio!

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Being involved in a waitressing job teaches you many valuable skills, that I know I will easily apply to my future profession in a business environment!

  • Being organized

If you son’t keep yourself organized, something’s going to go wrong. Handing several tables, customers and orders at the same time requires from you being on it of all times. Otherwise everything’s going to turn into chaos.

  • Time management

You need to carefully juggle between taking orders, serving food and drinks, taking payments and taking equal care of all customers in your section. This requires from you planning your activities in advance and prioritising.

  • Communication

Good communication skills are essential. Both, with customers and other members of the team. First of all, each customer requires different communication approach. From the moment they get seated in your section you have about 30 second to recognise the type of the customer you’re dealing with. Some people like to be attended of all times, some prefer not to be bothered. Some want your attendance and recommendation while choosing their food, some prefer deciding by themselves. Some people expect you to be very formal (e.g. business lunch), some enjoy your jokes and laid back approach. Recognition of the type of customer sets out the communication approach for you to undertake with them for the next 1.5/2 hours.

Communication is also essential between all members of the team. If you’re working on section with another waiter, you need to remember to update them with all your actions You need to communicate with you managers (letting them know of every occurring problem), chefs, bartenders, other member of the waiting stuff. Where there’s no communication within the team, there is chaos.

  • Team work

If you have to be anything to be good in this job, you have to be a team player. Yes, you are being given your own section, however, in a busy environment that restaurant is, you need to learn how to collaborate with your team mates and help each other do the job best you can.

  • Customer service

There is not better place to improve your customer service skills than a restaurant. Good customer service involves a lot of different skills and a lot of knowledge.

  • Crisis management

Being a crisis hero is an integral part of working in a busy restaurant environment. When the order gets messed up, your customers are complaining, your colleagues are blaming each other for the disaster and other customers are still waiting to be served, you need to stay calm, your head clear and, in spite the pressure, you need to think of the best way to solve the problem and stay on it with other customers.

Yes, it is hard sometimes to juggle a full-time job, studying, work experience and social life, but all do, including my work as a waitress, teaches me something I’ll be able to use at certain point of my career in Public Relations.

  • Up-selling/Cross-selling

Every restaurant has it’s weekly budget. Weather the restaurant gets busy during the week or not, that budget needs to be reached. As a waitress I need to combine up-selling and cross-selling techniques in order to maximize profit. In doing so, I need to make sure that the customer doesn’t view the attempted up-sell/cross-sell negatively.

So far it’s going well  I guess:

jg

 

Okay, waitressing isn’t what I want to do till the rest of my life. Yes, sometimes it is tiring, you do get people who just can’t be pleased no matter what you  do. Sometimes my tongue stings from biting it, when I hear “good girl” instead of “thank you”…but do you know what?  No matter what you do and where you work, there’s always going to be a butthole there. Nothing teaches you how to put up with them better than waitressing. (;

 

Have a great Thursday everyone!

Are you sweating hard enough? – How to find work experience.

Working within Public Relations can be, indeed, a very rewarding career with unlimited opportunities across as many business sectors as you can possibly think of.

We all know how fast-evolving the industry is. But we also need to remember, that with fewer jobs on the market and more and more graduates with qualifications just like ours (PR degrees became very popular lately, mind), our degrees are not good enough to sit on our hands and wait for our dream careers to kick off.

Studying at a university is an amazing experience, from which we can learn a lot, no doubt in that. However, the truth is, you don’t need a PR degree to start your career in Public Relations. In fact, you don’t need a degree at all. That certificate you’re working for is just a piece of paper confirming you know your theory. But what is theory worth, if you can’t apply it to practise? Absolutely nothing, aha!

If you still think, that having a degree guarantees you’ll get a job, here’s a GIF for you and your laid back approach:

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If all you do is your degree, let me tell you, you’re not sweating hard enough.

Now, as I’ve shattered your false hopes into tiny pieces, let me comfort you. If you think it’s hard to find opportunities to gain experience, learn more than your course offers you and build your portfolio, you’re wrong. Opportunities are everywhere, all you need to is start looking out for them.

 

Here are my ideas on how to find them:

 

  • Contact your university’s career office.

It’s a good place to start. They may not have exactly what you’re looking for, but if you’re less confident and still feeling a little confused about what to do, it’s never a bad place to seek for help.

 

  • Do your stalking on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Do your own research and identify potential organisations/companies you’d like to do your work experience with. They don’t need to be big ones, sometimes it’s better to go local and for smaller companies. They’re just as likely to give you the experience you need and less likely to be overwhelmed by applications.

 

  • Working while you study? Great! Talk to your manager!

No matter if you’re a waiter, a barista or a retail assistant, your company has more opportunities for PR students than you think! For example, why not to manage social media platforms for the site you work for? Think about it!

 

  • Talk to your friends and family.

Your family and friends may turn out to know someone, who does what you’re interested in! If they do, don’t be afraid to ask for their number, e-mail address, or simply just their name and surname, so you can find them on LinkedIn!

 

  •  Go out – combine business with pleasure!

Participating in events is always a great opportunity to meet people. No matter if you’re going to a rave, social night with your work colleagues, or a lecture on healthy lifestyle, there’s always going to be someone there, who has something to do with Public Relations. So, next time when you’re in the club, grab their card before you grab a drink!

 

Getting work experience doesn’t have to be hard or stressful! It’s not only a great way to build up your career confidence, skills and contacts, it’s also an amazing way of getting to know yourself. Work experience gives you a taste of different jobs, so you can see what is and what isn’t right for you, what you truly enjoy doing and what doesn’t necessarily suit you, what you’re good at and what skills still need to be worked on.

I hope the thoughts I’ve shared turn out to be helpful to you my fellow PR people.

Let’s start truly working for our dream careers!

 

Have a great Thursday everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

Content Evolution -Moving from Supply to Demand

Remember those times when you needed new tips on fashion and you had to go to the local kiosk and buy Vogue ? Or if you were looking for a new diet, you had to go to the same kiosk and get an issue of Cosmopolitan? Or when your next abs workout was to be found nowhere else, but in the new copy of Men’s Health?

Yeah…to be honest, I don’t remember it that well, I was only born in 1994. And I was one of those kids riding their bikes all day long.

But that’s how it used to look like before the Internet. Back in the days, believe me or not, content was consumed from print and through television. How crazy is that?!

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Those of you, who do remember those days, I’m sure, at the time, you thought the selection of content available was broad. But now, when you compare it to what’s available to us today, that selection from over 15 years ago seems less than satisfying.

The revolution of the digital has changed everything: the meaning of good content, the ways we consume content, our expectations,the likeliness of consumers to become loyal to one brand and, therefore, PR practise, strategies and the industry itself.

Here’s what’s changed it:

  • Search Engines:

search engines

With the appearance of the Internet, closely followed by the appearance of search engines such as Google, markets became smarter. It’s no longer the content available that we consume, but content we need at the particular time, that we look for ourselves. In this digital age, all you need to do is enter your search enquiry  and wait for the search engine to, with the help of its algorithms, provide you with the most relevant and valuable source or content on the subject.

Those search engines and their algorithms mean one for PRs – opportunities to provide better, desired content. You can check out my Google Suggest tool experiment to find out why.

 

  • Social Media

social media

Those had a huge impact on our behaviour – the way we consume content and our decision-making process. Social media initiated a customer-to-customer dialogue kick-off and online-communities emerge. Not only we became better informed and less likely to remain loyal to one brand, but also much more difficult to persuade. We are no longer being led by businesses and what those businesses want us to see, we’re being led by the opinions of our ‘friends’ or ‘followers’, proved by ‘likes’ and recommendations.

 

  • Apps

apps

Apps are the best example proving how our content consumption has changed. To be honest, I don’t remember the last time I’ve Googled  my bus-times, not mentioning the last time I’ve checked the times on the actual timetable on the bus stop. For, at least, the past year and a half my BusChecker App was doing it all for me. What’s more, the application not only tells me what’s the planned time for my bus to appear, but tells me exactly how many minutes I have left before the bus arrives, shows me the exact bus rouse and the estimated times of getting to where I have to get considering various factors, like traffic.

I don’t remember last time my mama bought herself one of those health magazines for women to find more healthy recipes. No, instead of that, she now has LowFat app on her phone’s desktop.

Apps can give us experience, we couldn’t have in the past with print or Telly.They give us access to a huge amount of information within seconds.

 

  • Technology

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The rapid development of technology had a huge effect on our content consumption. The appearance of desktop computers and search engines allowed us to search for information from our own home and store it all on one device, making our content consumption easier and cheaper (no need to buy books/magazines/newspapers).

Then mobiles and tablets appeared allowing us access to whatever information we want/need, whenever and wherever we are – acting on impulse to find desired information.

 

The digital revolution changed the way consumers behave – the way people consume information and the decision-making process underwent a huge transformation. We now expect content, which is relevant to our interests and needs. This is being provided by more than many content sources and numerous channels though which we can receive content.

With such huge demand for content, which is the basis for building social relationships and boosting earned media, content marketing becomes the central element of PRs’ activities. Public Relations practitioners need to change their approach to content, because their audiences already have. It’s no longer about pumping out news to supply audiences with controlled messages. It’s about meeting those audiences’ needs – providing them with information and entertainment they’re already interested in.

To meet those needs PRs need to put more effort into getting to know audiences and their needs and the best ways to engage with them. Therefore, researching, planning, strategic thinking and technology handling are no longer optional skills and if you’re not willing to develop those skills/improve yourself in those terms, then maybe a career in PR isn’t for you.

PRogress

Progress means different things to different people.

That guy from the other side of the canteen, you know, the one with his laptop always on his lap, if you ask him what progress means to him, he’ll tell you everything about the rapidly evolving technology.

That stylish chick doing fashion design course, she’d tell you all about constantly changing trends.

And me? I’d tell you about how much I’ve changed during this past year.

It’s funny, how I don’t know how to reply, when people ask me why I’ve decided to study PR. It used to be even more ridiculous, when, at the very beginning of this year, I wasn’t able to explain what it was, that I was actually studying. Oh, the times, when PR used to seem like the biggest mystery, I do not miss those at all. Because studying Public Relations turned out to be one of the best choices I’ve ever made…even if I didn’t make that choice fully recognising its future succession.

As the second year of my ‘studying abroad’ adventure has begun, I’ve become more than determined to understand Public Relations. New books, websites and blogs appeared on my daily reading list. From ‘Fame Formula’, through Live Love Laugh PR, to #MyPRStack, I’ve started broadening my knowledge about PR’s past and present and realised how much potential it had.

I got excited.

Meantime, journalism turned out not to suit me as well as I thought it would. While I was enjoying recording interviews, putting together videos and playing with my voice while reading radio news, I couldn’t help the impression that news, with its selectiveness, gives people a very narrow view to the world.

I like bigger pictures.

I’ve started blogging.

I’ve always been good with my words…at least in Polish. Writing in English was a bit of a challenge, not gonna lie. But I’ve changed my ways and it worked. While I used to write everything in Polish and then translate it, I’ve decided to start writing in English. No translating, no wasting time on doing things twice.

Reading books and blogs written in English and surrounding myself with people of different backgrounds, languages and environments made me improve, both, my language and writing skills.

I’ve been given a confirmation of that, when I found myself on the list of #bestPRblogs by Behind the Spin. Once, then twice and then again. This gave me not only motivation, but made realise what my strengths and weaknesses were.

I’ve started experimenting with digital – playing with new platforms and tools, linking networks together, getting to know Klout and attempting to improve my score. Digital’s started truly fascinating me and it become my priority to improve myself in terms of it.

2015 was the year of getting to know Public Relations mostly through theory. It was the year of discovering my strengths and recognising what needs to be worked on . It was also the year of learning how to juggle a full-time job and study.

2016 is only weeks away, but I’m ready for it to chuck me another ball. I want it to be the year of getting experience, the year of an intense PRactise.

 

 

P.S.

I wish everyone Happy Christmas! Hope you’ll all spend it surrounded by your loved ones and friends and with the feeling of warmth accompanying you every minute of this precious time.