Groundswell: Chapters 4-6

January 31, 2010 at 10:48 am (PRCA 3030, Reading Notes)

Chapter 4

There is a four-step planning process for building your groundswell strategy. The acronym is POST.

  1. People. Asses how your customers will engage, based on what they are already doing.
  2. Objectives. What are your goals?
  3. Strategy. You can plan for the desired changes up front, as ell as measuring them once strategy is under way.
  4. Technology. What applications should you build?

Five objectives that companies can pursue:

  1. Listening
  2. Talking
  3. Energizing
  4. Supporting
  5. Embracing

Chapter 5

There are two ways to listen to the groundswell:

  1. Set up your own private community. A private community is like a c ontinuously running, huge, engaged focus group. This is a natural interaction in a setting where you can listen in.
  2. Begin brand monitoring. Hire a company to listen to the Internet (blogs, discussion forums, YouTube, and everything else). Have the company put all the information into summary reports  and then push out the information to certain departments (i.e. customer service).

Why you should listen to the groundswell:

  1. Find out what your brand stands for.
  2. Understand how buzz is shifting.
  3. Save research money; increase research responsiveness.
  4. Find the sources of influence in your market.
  5. Manage PR crisis.
  6. Generate new product and marketing ideas.

Tips on how to succeed with groundswell listening:

  • Check the social technographics profile of your customers.
  • Start small, think big.
  • Make sure your listening vendor has dedicated an experienced team to your effort.
  • Choose a senior program to interpret the information and integrate it with other sources.

Chapter 6

Techniques for talking with the groundswell:

  1. Post a viral video.
  2. Engage in social networks and user-generated content sites.
  3. Join the blogosphere.
  4. Create a community.

Tips for successful blogging:

  • Start by listening.
  • Determine a goal for the blog.
  • Estimate the ROI (return on investment).
  • Develop a plan.
  • Rehearse.
  • Develop an editorial process.
  • Design the blog and its connection to your site.
  • Develop a marketing plan so people can find the blog.
  • Remember, blogging is more than writing.
  • Final advice: be honest.

Note: Please refer to my previous post for information about the source of these notes.

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Correct Body Language in Your Interviewing Process

January 28, 2010 at 11:40 pm (Assignments, PRCA 3711)

With the struggles of the job market, more and more employers are looking beyond what looks impressive on paper. The interview is the time to most impress your possible future employer not only with what you can offer the company if they hire you but also how you present yourself and conduct yourself within the interview. Careerbuilder.com has a list for Body Language Do’s and Don’ts and this is where I derived part of my list of how to conduct yourself in a job interview.

  • Make sure to shake the interviewers hand with a firm grasp (not to firm) and make eye contact while saying “hello.”
  • Avoid fidgeting at all costs. This can make you seem uninterested as well as show your possible future employer that you don’t have the ability to focus your attention for a long period of time.
  • Give positive expressions and “head nods,” without looking too much like a bobble head.
  • If you are doing a phone interview, STAND. Standing is proven to increase your level of alertness
  • Sit up straight, showing alertness and attentiveness. Slouching can make you look lazy and too comfortable, which is not a good image to portray in the hiring process. Nobody wants to hire a lazy employee.
  • Keep a smile on your face (not an all to fake smile, but a genuine smile). Smiling shows openness and friendliness.
  • If you are not sure about what to do with your hands, loosely clasp them in front of you. Keep your hands away from your face, it may indicate you are lying. Crossing your arms shows a defensive state. Waving your arms around shows unprofessional ism. The less you move your arms and hands, the more confident you will seem.
  • Make sure your goodbye hand shake is just as firm and confident as the initial hello handshake and greeting.

According to Forbes.com, the first impression is made within the first three to seven seconds of meeting someone. According to the article, Is your body betraying you in job interviews?, 55% of that first impression is based on body language alone. Here are some different body languages cues than stated above:

  • Sitting with crossed legs while shaking a leg or wiggling her foot may suggest you are nervous on uncomfortable.
  • Staring at the floor shows lack of interest.
  • Rubbing the back of your head suggest boredom.
  • Positioning your body towards the door indicates you want to end the conversation quickly.

How to use nonverbal communication to impress, is an article found on about.com which tells job interviewees a few small tips on how to communicate non verbally in the interview process. Some of the small tips that were pointed out in the article were simple things such as: don’t chew gum, don’t wear too much perfume, wear enough deodorant, don’t smell of cigarette smoke. The way you present yourself from the moment you step out of your car until you drive away after the interview can impact your possible future employer and your chances at the job of your dreams. Even the way you greet and conduct yourself in front of the receptionist/secretary can impact your chances. Make sure to be friendly but not too overbearing. The interviewer is likely to ask the receptionist what they thought of you, whether this will be your appearance or how you conducted yourself while you were waiting for your interview.

In a previous post, I recapped a professional session concerning interview tips which I attended at PRSSA’s National Conference in San Diego.

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TOW Week 3: “Is Social Media Monitoring Ethical?”

January 26, 2010 at 9:18 pm (PRCA 3030, TOW "Topic of the Week") (, , , , )

“Is social media monitoring ethical?” This is the question to answer for my social media class this week. This particular question completely threw me for a loop, so to speak.

Monitoring social media has become much more common with businesses since the popularity of social media has grown. Businesses are curious of what consumers are saying about them and the products/services they produce. Social media provides instant response and companies have been looking for this quick of a response for a long time. Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and WordPress are all considered public forums, therefore the content published on them is open to the eyes of the public. So if comments, opinions, etc. concerning businesses are on public forums and the businesses are monitoring what is said about them, then social media monitoring is ethical, right?

Well some may argue the opposite opinion that social media monitoring is not ethical at all. Businesses have been known to have an employee create a “fake” Twitter, blog, or Facebook just to see what the community is saying about them or their product. Using a false name or idenity to get the internet community talking may not be the most ethical way to discover opinions about you.

My opinion is this: If a company is monitoring social media the “correct” (and when I say correct, I mean the most ethical way they possibley can), using companies such as Radian6, then monitoring social media is ethical and is extremely beneficial to companies in the long run.

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Tips for Writing a Cover Letter

January 25, 2010 at 11:02 pm (PRCA 3711) (, , )

As my time here at Georgia Southern University comes to an end and I am experiencing the “dreaded” job searching process, I am finding that more companies are requiring cover letters along with your resumes. At first, I had no idea what content needs to be in your cover letter. I know this your chance to “sell yourself” or “make yourself stand out,” but what is the best or most efficient way of accomplishing that task?

My mom’s best friend works in the human resource department at a bank and she is who I went to when writing my first cover letter. She said first off, if you are not physically meeting with a person face-to-face, always write a cover letter because it makes you stand out among those who simply just send in a resume and it helps introduce yourself and gives more insight about the type of person you are than that of  a resume. One of the most important points I feel she made would be to show the company you are applying at what you could do benefit them if they were to hire you. Also, add additional skills you feel are important and that would make you excel in the position you are applying for that were not included in your resumé.

I refered to QuintCareers.com for some “Dos and Don’ts” of cover letter writing. Some were very similar to the tips my mom’s good friend had given me previously.

  • DON’T ever send your resume without a cover letter.
  • DO address your letter to named person.
  • DO keep your cover letter brief.
  • DON’T rehash your resume.
  • DO avoid negativity.
  • DO use action verbs.
  • DON’T use cliches such as “Enclosed please find my resume.”

So now that I know what to do and what not to do, what information should my cover letter contain? Below I have listed content you may want to include in your cover letter. I found the information on this topic at Accent Resume Writing’s website.

  1. What position are you applying for?
  2. How did you learn about the position at this company?
  3. Why are YOU perfect for the position?
  4. Who will contact who?

Coverletterinfo.com has split a cover letter into sections in an article called The Killer Cover Letter. The sections each have a goal that needs to be accomplished in that particular part of the cover letter. I have shown you each section below and given a couple of details regarding each one.

  • Attention: this might be an obvious one. You need to grab potential employers attention in order to get an interview within their company. Just as you would start off a paper with an “attention grabber,” you should start your cover letter the same way.  You want to grab your reader’s attention.
  • Interest: Now, you have to keep your audience’s interest. Show them what you can do for them. You could even briefing describe a success story you have had that is related to this job position.
  • Conviction/Desire: Emphasize what you can bring to the table (skills, etc.)
  • Action: Your overall goal is a job interview. Make contacting you easy by including when you will be available and how to reach. Include a businesslike email address.

After reviewing several sites and articles regarding cover letters and ways to succeed, I am feeling a little bit better and more confident in writing cover letters in the future.

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Understanding the Groundswell Chapters 1-3

January 23, 2010 at 8:26 pm (PRCA 3030, Reading Notes)

The assigned textbook for my Social Media class at Georgia Southern University is Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies.

According to the book, the groundswell is defined as: “a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.”

Chapter 1

The groundswell comes from 3 sources:

  1. People – the balance between the economies in institutions & the rebellion of their constituents shifted because of the spread of social technologies.
  2. Technology – It has changed the world’s social interactions. Everyone is online and connecting with each other at all times through social media.
  3. Economics – basically the internet equals money

Chapter 2

  • Groundswell thinking is compared to jujitsu (a Japanese martial art)
  • Groundswell technologies were grouped together in order for the reader/company to determine how people use them and what it means for the future. The chapter went into further detail concerning each group. The groups are as follows:

1. People creating blogs, user-generated content, & podcasts

2. People connecting: social networks & virtual worlds

3.  People collaborating: wikis & open source

4. People reacting to each other: forums, ratings, & reviews

5. People organizing content: tags

6. Accelerating consumption: rss & widgets

  • In order to evaluate new technologies, use the groundswell technology test and ask yourself these questions:

1. Does it enable people to connect with each other in new ways?

2. Is it effortless to sign up for?

3. Does it shift power from institutions to people?

4. Does the community generate enough content to sustain itself?

5. Is it an open platform that invites partnership?

Chapter 3

  • The Social Technologies Profile groups people based on groundswell activities in which they participate. The groups are as follows:

1. Creators

2. Critics

3. Collectors

4. Joiners

5. Spectators

6. Inactives

  • Why do people participate in the groundswell?

1. Keeping up friendships

2. Making new friends

3. Succumbing to social pressure from existing friends

4. Paying it forward

5. The altruistic impulse

6. The prurient impulse

7. The validation impulse

8. The affinity impulse


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TOW Week 2: “Haitian Earthquake Crisis, American Red Cross, & the Use of Social Media”

January 23, 2010 at 3:43 pm (PRCA 3030, TOW "Topic of the Week") (, , )

On Tuesday, January 10, 2010, Haiti experienced tragedy and terror as an earthquake shook Port au Prince  measuring at a 7 MMS. Two days following this tragedy, 52 aftershocks were recorded measuring at  4.5 MMS or higher. Two hundred thousand people are expected to have their lives taken from them thus far. Mass graves were being re-opened and dug to create space for all the bodies who fell victim to this natural disaster.

Picture Credited to Mail Online (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Countries around the world are coming together to offer support and help to Haiti. The American Red Cross has really stepped forward in the attempt to relieve Haiti from the disaster that has struck this month. The American Red Cross has used social media during this disaster to help raise money and awareness of the extent of the earthquake in Haiti. The American Red Cross has kept up on their blog, that can be found on the web page, and their Twitter.

Through Twitter the American Red Cross has been able to keep their followers updated on what is going on currently in Haiti and the measures that are being taken to offer help to the country and people over there.

The American Red Cross has created a way to give $10 just by sending a text “HAITI” to 90999, which will be added to your cell phone bill. Each cell phone service provider is broadcasting this message on their homepage, along with commercials airing on television.

Celebrities, such as Lady GaGa, are offering their support by donating proceeds from their merchandise to Haitian relief. Lady GaGa is getting the word out about your Haiti Relief t-shirts by updating her tweets. Her #GAGAFORHAITI has become a popular trending topic on twitter. Lady GaGa also has created a special shirt where all proceeds go to relief which can be purchased through her official website.

Through “word of my mouth” so to speak, the news of being capable to donate to Haiti earthquake relief has spread incredibly quick through celebrity tweets, trending topics on Twitter, fan pages on facebook, blogs, and other means of social media. Thanks to social media the amount of money raised for Haiti is a larger sum made possible to the social media craze going on throughout the world.

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