Category Archives: @AmandaFoxPR

PR Examples Website

I came across this great website the other week (created by 10 Yetis’ Rich Leigh), and I am now an author, picking out and searching for great and wonderful PR campaigns which we can all admire and learn from! If only this website has been around when I was at University, there were so many times I could have done with a portal of recent PR stunts and campaigns. So I see this website been a great success.

The website is http://prexamples.com/

Follow them at @PRExamples

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS… CONSIDER YOUR VIEWERS

Following on from my previous post on managing your social media foot print, I thought it maybe beneficial to look at a selection of different social media tools used for networking, how they are used, what their audiences are and how they will portray you.

Facebook is a very ‘friendly’ platform, where as long as your settings are tight, you can display funny images, quirky comments which you use when around your close friends. They have also introduced ‘Private Groups’ which can be used for creating personal pages for just you and a select group of friends. This way, you are not showcasing your whole life on Facebook and leaving yourself open to any negative comments or mistaken reputation issues.

It is important to realise that Facebook is a showcase into your private life, so do think twice about what you display online.

Twitter is a more professional tool than Facebook, and I think this has not been understood and realised by many students. There is the temptation to use Twitter as you would your Facebook updates, but the problem with this is – Twitter is visible to EVERYONE! Therefore, finding things out about people is easy.

I believe the best way to use Twitter, especially for young professionals and PR students is to use it as a sharing information tool. Share stories in the news, comment on discussions of a professional nature, connect with potential employers and most importantly network.

Linkedin is a tool which is very similar to that of Facebook, but again more professional. I think of Linkedin as a professional Facebook page, where my main aim is to connect with those I work with or want to network with. It is a great way to see how well-connected people are in your business area and a great way to find out who works at which companies. From this, I recommend that this tool is used in a professional and career-developing way.

Another concern I want to highlight, is that a lot of students, young professionals use their Facebook pictures (images of them out on nights out), as their Linkedin profile picture. I wouldn’t recommend this, as it does require a more professional image which can portray your employability.

I think blogs are a fantastic way of showcasing your work. This is especially relevant for PR students, as they are asked to produce a PR portfolio, therefore having this online is a great way to publish yourself. Again, this is a great way to show potential employers what you are capable of doing, your past projects, what work you have been involved in and also how you write and communicate.

It is crucial that when starting a blog you decide what your blogs aims are, and how you want to show this. I read many blogs which are just career-developing, or used to showcase work, but I also I read blogs which have specific topics, are for comedy value or are serving a purpose of discussing a certain topic.

Following on

All of the above tools can be linked together to increase your SEO and your online footprint. Although, you may want to think carefully about linking Facebook to your professional tools. Facebook can be altered by other people, for example any of your friends can tag you in stupid pictures, write things on your wall  and comment on anything they want. Therefore, for me, this is too uncontrolled to be seen in a professional light, as someone else could do something which damages your reputation. It may not be the fact that you have anything to hide, but for your own career development I think access to your personal life should always stay private until you know people really well! But obviously you can all judge for yourselves…

I hope this has been useful in deciding which tools are relevant and for what reasons, what to consider and what to watch out for. Any comments or questions please get in touch.

Tips for managing your online footprint

How the world views you is through their own eyes but also through the eyes of Google… Everything you put online or have an association with will in some form or another affect the way people form opinions.

I know… you are thinking this shouldn’t be the case! Why should what you do online, reject or favour your own reputation and how others view you…

Well, take a look at the stats:

Social media is HUGE! It is a growing trend and something we all (from a very young age) need to consider our online footprint. It has been suggested by many professionals, that young people will need to change their name before having the chance to enter the professional work place due to their ignorance whilst experimenting online. For example, many young people are uploading drunken videos, photos, writing obscene comments on blogs, websites or chat sites. What they now need to realise, is it’s there forever. It may be lost out of sight for a while, but until someone wants to find something on you, it may become visual again!

From the current view on online footprints I have put together some advice to guide young professionals, especially university students to generate a positive online profile:

Online footprints…

1. Remember to set your Facebook privacy settings – Employers search Facebook to see what you are like outside the working environment and you should keep your private life as personal as possible.

2. Think who your actual friends are whilst on Facebook – Remember that if you add any random person into your Facebook profile as your friend, then this opens your settings to them, and also to their connections (depending on your FB settings).

3. Consider what you upload – When you upload anything to an online or social network site, you should remember that it will be there forever. Even if you remove your upload it can be copied or stored by someone else. Your name will be assigned to these uploads and therefore any future employer will be able to see it.

4. If you wouldn’t mind your mother seeing it – then it’s fine to do! Check everything you do online by asking yourself this questions – “Would I mind if my mother saw this?”… This will help filter out things which may not be beneficial to you in future years.

Personal profile online…

1. University students have the upper-hand, so use it! When you finish university and start looking for your career starting point, young graduates will have an advantage and a skill which employers are looking for. You understand social media! This is an important tool and skill to utilize in any interview, as many businesses are run by the generations which find it a lot harder to understand the changes made in social media.

2. Use university to gather those skills – Whilst you have more free time during studying, it is wise to build up your skills of using online mediums and tools. These will be most likely used in any future career role, and greatly appreciated by your future peers. (Believe me… it’s harder to gather these skills whilst working, as time is rather limited!)

3. Build up your profile – Build yourself a blog or a website and use it to show what skills you have gathered from university. Everyone is graduating with a degree these days, so the challenge is to show that you are different from the masses. Therefore, building an online profile is a crucial way of showing that you are unique, hard working and you understand the current environment. A blog can also be used for building your portfolio, which is a great way to showcase the projects and work you are involved in at university.

I hope these pointers help to understand the dangers and the positives that the current environment has brought. Good luck with developing your own online profile and watch your online footprint!

Please do get in touch if you need any advice or help – or comment if you have any more pointers which will help!

Watching every online move!

It’s interesting to think that somehow, someone, somewhere can damage a company’s brand reputation through a home-made movie or an angry tweet… well this is true and exactly what can happen through the use of social media.

A great example of this is Dave Carroll’s United Breaks Guitars video which has now been watched 9.23 million times. His video was a backlash against United Airlines who damaged his expensive guitar whilst he was on one of their flights. Dave complained and got no where with the airline who appeared not to care, so from his frustration he created a video to convey his anger and concerns.

Less than a few months after the video had been created, the airline had a massive public relations crisis on their hands, as not only did Dave’s video highlight the bad response of the airline in a creative and funny way, but more people then came forward to vent their frustrations online too. This caused the whole idea to snowball out of control.

I think the obvious change in the media environment is the blurred boundaries between ‘news’ and ‘social media’. The significance between a front-page news story damaging a company’s brand and one persons voice are no longer different – all it takes is one Tweet, one video one Facebook post to catch the attention of others and it can cause a PR disaster!

On the other hand, social media can be beneficial or disastrous for employees or job-seekers. As much as we are watching what companies do, they are also watching us! Our online footprint can be tracked and followed so being careful about what we write and how we write it is crucial. There have been many examples which show individuals slagging their bosses off on Facebook and getting caught out, but then there is many examples of individuals gaining jobs through their online work.

Social media tools are very accessible and therefore not easily monitored. This can create problems for both companies and the general public alike because anyone from anywhere can mimic a company by calling themselves by that company name. A great example of this is the fake Birmingham National Express Twitter account called Travel_WM which has been set up by someone other than the valid company itself. They are damaging the reputation of the company through tweets as shown below. The account looks valid as they have even used company logos and added company details into the description boxes, therefore people believe it’s real – and why shouldn’t they! However, the tweets that are being displayed on the account are not beneficial for the Birmingham travel company.

This range of examples show the changing environment we all now sit within, whether we are a company a consumer or both we are all effected by the social media and we should all learn to acknowledge it and embrace it where possible. If working for a company, traditional or not, we need to understand how social media can effect the reputation, brand and workings. There is a lot of trial and error happening, but we are fast learners and keeping on top of the new social media trends will allow PR professionals to help their clients and themselves out in situation which will occur.

New Delhi, India’s reputation crisis over the Common Wealth Games

This will be the first time India has hosted the Common Wealth Games and only the second time the event has been held in Asia (Kuala Lumpur in 1998 was the first).

It doesn’t seem long ago that India’s reputation as a destination and a growing and vibrant culture was planting itself in people’s minds. The famous film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and the ‘Bollywood’ industry brought the country ideas of glorious India full of colour and culture, alongside its raw earthy heritage, which most likely enlightened people’s mind about the country. The Indian Tourist Board created the ‘Incredible India’ campaign with an accompanying website IncredibleIndia, and used celebrities from Bollywood to help promote the area, for example; King Akshay Kumar.

This little appreciation that the country seemed to gain has vanished in an instance. The criticism they are receiving for the disasters leading up to the Games will damage their reputation for holding world-class events in the future.

Headlines are over bound by negative comments and images of the site where the Games are due to be held.

Recent reports to the BBC show representatives blaming cultural differences for the criticism received by countries pulling out of the event. From a BBC report (22 Sep) Lalit Bhanot, secretary general of the Delhi organising committee said: “Everyone has different standards about cleanliness. The Westerners have different standards, we have different standards,”

This difference in cultural ideology has brought problems for the Games, alongside the structural building work deadlines which have also impacted the world’s perceptions on the event. India will have to make sure they come out strong from this experience, otherwise this event will impact their future as an international destination, a business destination, a tourist resort and a future attendee and especially a host for further world events.

I will be watching closely to how the Games commence.

Common Wealth Games Delhi http://www.cwgdelhi2010.org/

Students are getting their books at the ready…

But what is really important to a PR degree?

It only feels like a few weeks ago that I was heading back to Leeds after my placement year in Manchester, were I was looking forward to living my last year as a student again. What people didn’t tell me, was how my final year wouldn’t be anything like my first two years of careless living, partying during the week and having the time to watch every episode of Sex in the City, One Tree Hill and 90120…

My memories of final year are mostly blurred visions of stressful long nights spent in the library, debating with group members, having the few early night drinks before collapsing into bed surrounded by dissertation notes at 10pm… a very different university experience but one that I have learnt so much from. This is the experience and advice I think should be shared. Here are a few tips for final year student.

1) Start final year prepared that big nights out will be dramatically lower (unless you don’t mind getting a lower degree mark – or work very well with a hangover!). I can’t – but maybe that’s something to do with getting old!?

2) Prepare for your dissertation early on and think about what contacts you already have. Don’t try to dive into writing a dissertation on PR and celebrities unless  you have contact with celebrities you know will help. It’s all about using the contact you know, so think about this before you choose your topic. I wrote my dissertation based on the contacts I gained through my placement in tourism.

3) Get as much PR experience in the bag as possible. Free time will be short, but putting yourself out there and gaining work experience during your final year will ultimately help you gain that job after graduating.

4) Make as many contacts as possible. Go to the university CIPR lectures and social networking events and make sure you go with questions to ask and a voice ready to talk and network. You never know where contacts will lead you!

5) My final thought for today is to remember to enjoy it! If you don’t enjoy the pressure of final year, you won’t last in an agency or heavy PR environment. The final year prepares you for your future career – so make sure you like it, or you should maybe think about spreading your wings into a another area.

The hard work pays off in the end!

A revolution is really happening…

I have spent the past two days at a social media workshop, learning so much more about the world of social media. I think that if you need something to sum up the importance of social media to any clients, or just any jo bloggs who believes its all for geeks, then you should show them this video. It certainly made me gasp a few times… interesting!

It is from a company blog called socialomics.net

Auckland to host Triathletes – Building the countries sporting profile

Sports events are a great way to put a city on the ‘map’ and be visual to an international audience. We have seen much of this from the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the recent Olympics in Beijing and now the work been done for the London 2012 Olympic Games.  It is not only about the sporting events that are important to the city – it is about making sure they push the potentials and opportunities available when in the world’s eye. Auckland has announced today that they are hosting the 2012 ITU Triathlon World Champions, and this is how the event is viewed:

Triathlon New Zealand CEO Dave Beeche feels the event will be very beneficial to the city of Auckland.

“Hosting this World Championship Series Grand Final will be a huge boost for the profile of Auckland and New Zealand, with an estimated global audience in excess of 13 million watching on TV. But just as important is what this event will do for the sport and the profile here in New Zealand. This is like having the Olympics come to town for our sport-the very best in the world will race the likes of Bevan Docherty, Kris Gemmell, Andrea Hewitt and Debbie Tanner in our own backyard.”

I believe this fits in perfect with a blog post I read the other day on Nation Branding, which defines what ‘nation branding’ is. The blog quotes:

“Nation branding: the adoption of real-life policies and tactics following a strategic plan to gain relevance and perceived value in one or several aspects of a country’s reputation. Or, simply put, defining what reputation a country wants to have, and taking the necessary measures to become by fact what a country intends to be known for. Deserving the reputation by fact by implementing strategies, policies, activities, investments and symbolic actions. In other worlds, doing the right things to prove the country deserves the desired brand among citizens, both inside and outside the country.”

Auckland, New Zealand are using the event to play on building a Triathlon reputation for sport and expressing the countries passion in the sport – which is growing in popularity. New Zealand and Auckland will now be working on increasing their sporting profile and working towards attracting tourists and visitors for the event in 2012 – building that country profile as a nation of sporting triathletes.

Well England are out, but the World Cup carries on… branding

After the knock out match yesterday many England fans may have lost interest in the World Cup for now, and maybe until the next World Cup bearing in mind England’s poor performance. Football aside, it is interesting how hosting the event is such a large process, and one that countries are prepared to go the extra mile to do. Not even out of the World Cup 2010, but Brazil are thinking about 2014 with a ground breaking exhibition in Johannesburg.

Casa Brazil – Sensational Brazil” is been held during the South Africa games. This is an interesting boycott of South Africa’s attempts to host a successful World Cup – not saying it has not been a success, they have received an enormous amount of media attention (both positive and negative might I add) but never the less they still have hosting to do. Brazil have stepped into the South African boarder to publicize their tourism offering for the 2014 games – and with their interest been attracting tourists who love football, they are certainly in the right place to grab their attention.

The exhibition is really showing what Brazil can offer, with partnerships with their federal government – they plan to showcase an exhibition of digital games, shows and real-time intelligence among other innovations.

The exhibition aims to showcase the full range of Brazil’s cultural and natural diversity, profile Brazil as a major industrial manufacturer, producer of leading-edge technology and energy innovation, its contributions and achievements in sports and the stability of its economy and its democracy.

Breaking Travel News

Brazil understands the opportunities open for hosting the FIFA World Cup and importance of showcasing the country to the world in a positive light.

Every country has its negatives and down factors, and these will always shine through any international event, but making the most of the opportunities available for marketing and PR through destination and country branding is most important. People will remember what the country was like as a host city/destination and this could either generate further opportunities or create a very negative image to the international audience.