Archive | Spring ’11 PR Connections-COMM4633 RSS feed for this section

A Social Media Class

4 May

Doodled Desks 2 by Tiffany Szerpicki

This Spring, I had yet another opportunity to take one of  Barbara Nixon‘s classes at Southeastern University. Social Media for Public Relations was a very influential class and, just like any public relations class, we  learned about things that were currently happening. The Public Relations field is constantly changing so it makes me feel like I’m learning, studying and working in “real time.”

I am truly going to miss gathering weekly and discussing the latest PR scandal/incident at the beginning of each and every class. I learned a plethora of things in all of Barbara’s classes and would recommend her as a professor to any of my fellow communication majors.

I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Barbara for the awesome influence that she has been to me. I believe that without her having come to Southeastern last year, I would not be as prepared to enter the PR world as I am now. Her classes were challenging and interesting because she truly loves what she does and I believe that she will always love it. And to all of #COMM4633, thanks for the laughs, discussions and learning experiences. I hope that you all “make it big” wherever your path takes you!


Looking for Entry-Level Hires? We’re Out Here!

27 Apr

Image Credit: Angel by Salih Ozovali

Employers, it is time to save paper and turn to social media for locating ideal job candidates for your business. Sure, human resources employees know the right tactics for finding the right candidates, but are they adapting to the technological advances of this generation? Today’s young professionals are constantly on social media and, at times, even use social media for their job search. Here are some things to try:

1) Set up an account on Twitter and tweet about open positions at your company. Within your tweet, include a link to a page that includes a job description, instructions for applying, online application, along with a job search hashtag. Some job search hashtags include:

    • #jobchat
    • #jobsearch
    • #entrychat

2) Post jobs on searchable job sites such as and These two websites search several job posting sites in order to provide job seekers the most accurate search results.

3) Search for job seekers on LinkedIn. By simply typing the industry along with keywords such as student, freelance, etc., you will be able to locate many young professionals in your area.

There are many other social media methods but the above are just a few of them. Although the use of social media for hiring may be unfamiliar to you, don’t be discouraged; you will surely be able to find the young professional you are looking to hire. For more information, read this article on the use of social media within the hiring process.

The Tornado at Sun N Fun

12 Apr

March 31, 2011 was an extremely interesting day for me. My plans were to volunteer at the Media Room at the Sun N Fun International Fly-In & Expo. I was prepared for a day composed mostly of welcome media to the Fly-In and issuing credentials repeatedly. That was not the case.

It was a gloomy day as clouds darkened the Lakeland, FL skies and there was a very high chance of precipitation. My thoughts: “Just another rainy Florida day.” After getting lost while trying to locate the Media Registration trailer, I was feeling exhausted. I finally arrived at the trailer and very few media came to the trailer for registration; they were probably sleeping in because of the rain. After an hour or two of sitting and conversing with Danny Kushmer, among others, Danny suggested I run back to the Media Room to take a lunch break. Little did I know, Danny was sending me to shelter.

I arrived at the room which was full of tables and chairs for the media to relax and eat lunch. Twenty minutes may have gone buy until it began to drizzle. The Media Room populated pretty quickly as media took shelter from the rain. Before we knew it, the lights started flickering and it began to pour. It turned from a semi-bright cloudy day to complete darkness. This weather was normal for me, having lived in Florida for over 13 years, but the media in the room were from all over the nation and globe and were definitely not used to this sort of weather.

OK, so you may be wondering how this post has anything to do with public relations. The truth is, I got first-hand exposure to media reacting to the crisis that was occuring at Sun N Fun. Journalists were drafting stories, making phone calls, publishing on social media outlets, etc. I tweeted the entire time (I must say, I contributed to #lkld becoming a trending topic on Twitter that day). After the storm calmed just slightly, reporters ran outside with cameras searching for any damaged aircraft, etc. At one point I was next to a Polk County Sheriff who was being interviewed in person and over the phone. She provided nothing more than the most accurate information. Erroneous reports of a building collapsing got out on websites and social media. Turns out that an exhibitor tent had collapsed and only a few minor injuries occurred.

I volunteer to help causes, meet new people, gain experience, etc. but what I witnessed in the Media Room on March 31, 2011 was a learning experience and much more.

A Chat with Nancy Duarte

29 Mar

Last week, I had the opportunity to listen in on Nancy Duarte‘s keynote presentation at Southeastern University. Nancy shared the story about her company, Duarte Design, and how it got started up. She gives thanks to God for leading her and her husband from having the desire of planting a church to starting a company. Nancy’s husband latched on to the personal computer and his vision and Nancy went a long for the ride and now they are the top-of-the-line business presentation producers. Nancy shared that all of their work comes from referrals. Until the publishing of her two books, Duarte Design had done no marketing whatsoever.

Nancy’s presentation took place at 9 a.m. on Friday morning and she is such a dominant presenter that I could not help but to pay attention. She not only ensured me that I don’t really have attention deficit disorder but she also proved that good presentation skills are key to successful communication. Nancy also shared that she loves hiring people fresh out of college. That’s encouraging!

Here are some of the highlights from an overall excellent presentation:

@whitneygonzalez Think of someone you love before presenting. It changes your whole body language.@nancyduarte #comm4633

@barbaranixon RT @whitneygonzalez Know your material & bring printouts! @nancyduarte on technical failure#comm4633

@barbaranixon .@NancyDuarte discussed the imptce of college students knowing “office skills” before starting their careers.#COMM4633

@barbaranixon RT @whitneygonzalez@nancyduarte says she used to buy her suits at Goodwill in order to look the part. It’s all about how you carry yourself. #COMM4633

@whitneygonzalez STAR moments are ideal during presentations: Something They’ll Always Remember. @nancyduarte

The Benefits of Volunteering

24 Mar

My involvement in the Dick Pope/Polk County Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association has given me the opportunity to not only network with local public relations professionals, but also to volunteer at events, etc. Some people are reluctant to volunteer because they simply feel that they will be working for free and doing nothing important. Although you may, at times, be appointed to positions which you do not enjoy, such as selling raffle tickets or directing traffic, you will more than likely  have the opportunity to meet some great people and learn more than you expect to.

Last April, I volunteered at the Sun ‘N’ Fun Fly-In issuing members of the media their credentials for the event. Going into this volunteer position I didn’t really expect much except to cross names off of a list and issue name tags, but I was surprised at the number of media who were from not only all over the country, but from all over the world.

Last March, I volunteered at the National Leadership Forum at Southeastern University and although we spent countless hours greeting people, etc., I got to meet Former President George W. Bush!

Most recently, I volunteered at the Detroit Tigers’ Major League Scramble at Cleveland Heights Golf Course. I had the opportunity to meet major league baseball players as a raffle ticket salesperson. There are so many benefits to volunteering but here are some that I have encountered:

  • Free admission to exclusive events
  • Meeting celebrities
  • Learn things that are relevant to public relations
  • Ability to ask professionals questions

OK, so maybe it isn’t all about who you get to meet and all the benefits you get. It’s supposed to be all about helping out a good cause, etc. but you can’t deny all the opportunities that volunteering can get you! Get to volunteering!

Twitterville Review

20 Mar

What could be better than a book all about Twitter? I picked up Shel Israel’s Twitterville as part of a social media book assignment and enjoyed reading it. I learned a lot about Twitter’s beginnings and the different ways in which it was adopted.

Twitter can be more of a listening tool than people think. One can Twitter search their name or company’s name and obtain accurate results of what’s being said out there about them or their company. It can be just about as accurate as Google Alerts.

Although it may seem like you are tweeting to the entire twitterverse, by using @replies and DMs (direct messages) one can make Twitter as intimate as a telephone conversation.

One thing that stood out from Twitterville was the Google “sucks” test. If you type your name or company’s name in Google and type “sucks” after it and a lot of results return, you just may “suck.”

Overall, Twitterville was a great book and anyone that has an interest in social media can benefit from reading this book. By learning about Twitter from a slightly different angle, students can benefit upon searching for a career in social media because they will be familiar with everything Twitter.

Social Fresh Tampa 2011

25 Feb

This week I had the privilege of attending a two-day social media conference in Tampa, FL called Social Fresh. It was an enormous learning and networking opportunity for me as well as any other person that attended. It was awesome to be in a room full of hundreds of people that are as passionate about public relations and social media as I am/hope to be. Social Fresh Tampa kicked off with a Facebook Masters Training in which several speakers such as Justin Levy, Corey Creed, Chris Penn, etc., spoke about using Facebook Marketing Tools for business purposes and the different methods in which to do it successfully.

The second day of Social Fresh consisted of social media training with speakers such as Paula Berg, Schneider Mike and more. On day 2, there were many Q & A sessions that addressed the questions that the audience had. There was great interactivity between the panel and the audience.

Twitter played a big part in Social Fresh Tampa. The #socialfresh feed was constantly flowing during the conference and over 7000 tweets were sent during Social Fresh Tampa. Thanks to Twitter, I was able to meet plenty of people, not only online, but I was also able to meet them in person during breaks. I now know a plethora of PR professionals whom I have actually met IRL (In Real LIfe) and have gotten lots of contact information which will be beneficial for me when I dive into the job market or desire to explore social media with real case studies.

I would recommend Social Fresh to anyone who is interested in social media and guarantee that they will not only have a good time meeting people, but also learn a whole lot of information! For links to the presentations shared at Social Fresh Tampa, check out Katy Widrick’s recap post by clicking here.