Launching my new portfolio site!

My new portfolio website will be able to be a one-stop shop for all things related to my career. The site houses everyone someone would need to work with me, contact me, or hire me. I’ve tried to organize it in the most logical manner, as to not overwhelm a potential client or employer. The site provides is the home base for all of my experience. I wanted one site to direct people to when looking for a potential virtual assistant and freelance clients when looking to be booked on a podcast as a guest, when looking for a job, and when potentially applying to a doctoral program. I wanted the website to reflect my skills, but also my personality.

Because of my variety of skills and experience, I had to divide the website up into a variety of section to be able to capture a true portfolio of my skills. There are tabs for my mission statement, about me, resume, my freelance information sheet, my portfolio, press releases I’ve worked on, client video projects, graphic design work, and my portfolio on YouTube. I also included my social media channels, and links to my blog focused on Marketing & PR, as well as my general interest blog. I also included links to other websites I’ve built, a link right to my Twitter feed, a list of websites related to my interests, a subscription to my newsletter and a contact form.

This website allows me to brand myself as a professional in a field and have a great way to showcase all my work and highlight accomplishments and exciting projects. I believe this website will be a great asset when applying for future jobs because I am able to show off how diverse I am, and my variety of skills. Sometimes it is overwhelming to try to include all the details on a resume, but I wanted to have a place where a potential person would be able to see all of my different skill sets but be able to go right to the aspect they wanted first.

In the future, I’m hoping to be able to add research projects I’ve done to this website to highlight my academic pursuits as I pursue the path with my Ph.D. I’m hoping to blog through the process of doing my Graduate thesis, and continue blogging throughout my doctoral program, and including blogs dealing with thought leadership in my area. I’m hoping to be able to get a professional headshot and add them to the page as well, and potentially have the ability to work and publish a few different papers and include a tab on my site for published work.

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Buzzfeed: The power of influencers and viral media

Creating a website is one thing, but when your website becomes synonymous with popular culture, you know you’ve got the power of influence. Buzzfeed is a perfect case study for a website, turned business, that has it’s ear to the ground and a direct line to the 18-34 demographic on social media. Most likely, you’ve used BuzzFeed quiz to tell you what state you should live in, or you have a Tasty recipe saved on Facebook, or you religiously watch the Try Guys on YouTube.

Buzzfeed is an internet media company, that focuses on the social news which started in 2006. According to an article on TechCrunch, one of the most unique things about Buzzfeed was native advertising. They weaved in advertisements for products into engaging news stories, videos, recipes or quizzes, that were so well done that users didn’t mind they were being marketed to. In 2008, Buzzfeed made a mark on the internet with one of the most famous memes, disaster girl.

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In 2016, Buzzfeed had over 200+ monthly unique visitors to its site, and 70% of the traffic is from mobile devices. The bulk of their users are 18-34 which is a prime buying demographic. This allowed Buzzfeed to gain investments and become one of the biggest news outlets for the Gen X & Gen Y internet users. They have cornered the market on the viral video, with various channels, and offshoot pages from everything from unsolved murder to DIY crafts.

For an example of the native advertisement in their recipe channel, Tasty (the BuzzFeed food section), recently did a recipe for soft pretzels with Dr. Pepper Carmel sauce. The product placement blends so fluidly in the video that very few people notice, or even care that it’s a paid post. Over 9.1 million people shared this specific recipe on Facebook and added to the view count that Dr. Pepper got out of their partnership with Buzzfeed. What started as an internet news site has become the king of product placement, and isn’t slowing down.

 


Overall, Buzzfeed is a part of our social landscape now. It is common to hear someone say, “did you see that post on Buzzfeed about…”, more millennials are getting their news from Buzzfeed then traditional news outlets. If this company can do anything, it can teach us some valuable lessons about what works for blogging. According to Entreprenuer.com, some of the highlights include the fact that List posts still work as long as the topic is timely, a well-placed GIF is worth more than an amazing article, and regular consistent posting is mandatory for a good blog. If you want to learn more what Buzzfeed can teach Marketers, this article from Tech.co is worth the read!

The lesson: A good blog can become more than you ever thought, so make sure to be consistent, have good content, and stick with the trends.

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via GIPHY

Why your Social Media Presence Matters in Small Business

When taking on small business clients, often the company is ready to expand in all directions with social media. They need to improve their Facebook presence, add an Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channel to the mix. They’ve read the articles, they know the benefits of social media. While each of those platforms has a strong audience and a great appeal, one of the biggest mistakes a small business can make is spreading itself TOO thin, and losing the reliability of their audience.

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When you are thinking of social media, the first objective should be to be reliable and consistent on one platform before you add a second or third. Plus, 78% of consumers say that a company’s social media posts influence their buying decisions. If your consumers spend most of their time on Facebook, and you post maybe once a week because you’re also trying to fill up Instagram & Twitter, you could be losing critical time with your audience, and that means critical income for your small business.

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Before going on to a different social media site, make sure your Facebook business page is up and active and providing valuable content to your users. As the graphic above references, you want your content to inspire, amuse, unite, or give something to your audience. Below are a few tips to building a great Facebook business page, and you can find more great information on this Hubspot article as well.

The most important step for any business page is to create their vanity URL. Your Facebook URL should be easy to find, and searchable. This can be done once you’ve got 25 or more likes on your page. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out this link. It’s very easy to follow, and this name change helps improve your SEO and will make it easier to have your customers find and tag your page.

The next important step is mixing up the variety of posts. Once you’ve checked your content and make sure it fits into one of the categories illustrated above, you need to branch into a variety of content. In order to get your posts seen in the Facebook algorithm, you need a variety of text posts, photo posts, video content, and links. Facebook allows you to schedule posts ahead of time, so taking a day or two to plan what you want to post over the next month, will allow your page to have consistent, branded posts to draw in your potential buyers.

Most important of all, know your company’s brand and your core audience. Even with the best Facebook page, and beautiful posts, if you’re not speaking to your ideal client, you are wasting time. Make sure to take time to understand the details that make up your customer!

Media Relations in a Social world

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Social media has forever changed the playing field for all aspects of PR & Marketing. What once involved mailing campaigns, along with some special ads on television or radio, has become a world where you create one ad and it can be viewed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, and your email. Ads follow you around based on your browsing history, and because of these changes, Media Relations has drastically changed. One of the biggest changes is the increased customer focus and higher engagement with the customer base directly. Social Media is where the consumer lives, and the smart PR person leverages this, while also tying in influencers, to create a well rounded digital plan.

According to an article by 5W, a PR firm, there are 5 significant ways that Social media changed the PR game. One important way is keeping the PR cost low for small businesses, and this includes independent authors, one of the biggest small businesses of the last few years. Before social media, you had to take your book manuscript and send it off to different publishing houses in hopes of getting picked up, now there are pitching days specifically on Twitter where indie author pitch their book to big publishing houses, and indy publishing houses alike with hiring an agent, or spending any excess money.

The benefit of this is more promotion. Before if you wanted to promote your client’s new book, you’d need to do the legwork to find an in at a news station. Now, with social media, bloggers have become influencers in such a large way. In exchange for a copy of a novel, bloggers and vloggers are willing to take your book and possibly promote it to all their followers and friends. For example, the vlogger below – Tiny Reads – has a YouTube following of over 3,000 people, and constantly reads and reviews books. In times before social media, reaching 3,000 would cost quite a bit in the promotion, but now, all it costs is an email, a copy of a book, and many some exclusive items to giveaway! The advent of digital media has made media relations an evolving thing because no one is quite sure who the media really is.

Another benefit of this is to continue to craft a relationship with traditional print and video journalists in a new way. Instead of pitching via email, you can now pitch via Twitter or Facebook message. Hooking media into your plan is much more of a tech-savvy choice as according to Cision’s 2015 Global Social Journalism Study, 94 percent of journalists are using social media on a daily basis — with 67 percent spending up to two hours a day. In the U.S., 25 percent of journalists report that they use social media to make new contacts and 12 percent report that they have published stories based on information found on social media. Though PR has been a thriving industry way before the advent of social media, there is no doubt that social media is changing the game for PR professionals.

To Post or Not? Ethical Social Media Facts

Ethics of PR and Social Media are always up for debate. Every time something new is brought up on social media, people are debating if that is ethical or not. For my opinion, ethical choices come from trust. People in positions of authority on social media, whether from celebrity, blogging, politics, or any other field have influence that they need to make sure they aren’t using in a wrong way. According to utilitarianism, an action is right if it tends to promote happiness and wrong if produces the reverse of happiness—not just the happiness of the person who made the choice but also everyone affected by it. For me, happiness and trust are linked. Ethical social media involves posts that promote positivity, push positive messages, honesty and good causes, and uplifts the spirit. Unethical social media is when facts are withheld, negative messages are pushes, and people use their influence to potential harm people.

A great example of ethical social media is the company TOMS. Though a famous company, they use their social media for good. They donate a pair of TOMS to those in need for every shoe purchased. Their Facebook page continues to promote positive messages, and help charities get their word out. TOMS gets involved in the community and encourages their customers to do the same. The post featured below deals with Stevie Wonder performing at The Global Citizen Festival, and how TOMS was proud to sponsor this event and be involved with this charity.

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One of the most common examples of unethical social media lies in not disclosing sponsorship or free product. The FTC updated its guidelines recently dealing with disclosures on social media. Trust is really critical on social media and blogging. When people trust an influencer, such as The Pioneer Women, they will be more inclined to buy what she recommends. But, if she doesn’t disclose that a product was given to her to review, or that she chose this product to back because she already used it, it may give people the wrong impression. A great example of this was brought to my attention from a Forbes article, In 2006, Wal-Mart suffered a slew of negative publicity when its PR agency Edelman supported two bloggers road tripping across the U.S. writing positive stories about Wal-Mart through the organization Working Families for Wal-Mart.  The blogging was gaining traction until BusinessWeek broke the story that the trip expenses for the blogger were being paid indirectly by Wal-Mart. This article also breaks down a few other really unethical, and offensive social media issues.

The Rising Trend: Podcast Marketing

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Podcast, or internet radio as it was once called, has been around for awhile. For most marketing professionals, podcasts haven’t yet cracked the list of the most marketable sites, but as podcasts are growing in popularity, there are a few reasons that either starting a podcast or getting your service marketed on a podcast, may be an up and coming trend in the future. According to an article on Forbes, 57 million Americans listen to at least one podcast a month.

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Social Media: To include or not to include?

Diversity has been a hot topic for our country, especially this last year. We are working as a country to embrace those who are different, without making them feel singled out. Finding a good balance for having diversity in our PR and social media efforts are something that many of the major PR firms are currently struggling with. As one article mention, diversity has to start at the top and trickle down, but social media is beginning to be a force for change.

Social media platforms are actively working on making it safer for people to speak out of diversity and other topics. During the last presidential election, it was noticeable that there was nowhere that allowed safe speech without the fear of backlash. Twitter provided a whole training on this topic in 2016. They pledged to help users of Twitter actively promote diversity, and open dialogues safely and securely without having fear of backlash. As just one platform leading the way, they are helping to create a safe digital space.

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