Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog

See it! —– Believe it! —– Deal with it!   

November 22, 2014

Embracing opportunities and gaining inspiration at NCA 2014

I have been in Chicago these past few days for a communications conference – this has been one I have attended a few times over the years. The first one I did was back in 2010 when I was still a doctoral student.

However, the other times I have attended this conference I had presented research, but that was not the case this time. I did not present research at NCA this year. However, I had the opportunity to be a respondent for the social media and PR panel on Thursday in Chicago. The research that was presented in this section cut across all aspects of PR – from restaurants to NGOs to emergency management to stakeholder engagement measurement.


The level of research that is being conducted now in the field is both relevant and inspiring. It was great to be able to read these papers and respond with some initial comments to the audience. It was a full house!

The social media presence was felt as well at the conference. The PRD for NCA was active on Twitter sharing updates, insights, and comments from the presentations. Sarah VanSlette was in charge of the engagement we saw at the conference and did a tremendous job! As someone who has live tweeted, managed multiple accounts, and covered various panel sessions on social media for conferences like AEJMC, I know the amount of energy it takes to do this and Sarah has done this extremely well. The NCA PRD is super fortunate to have an engaging, hard working, and innovative professor and professional managing social media for the PRD. Well done, Sarah!

Another great thing about conferences is you get a chance to see fellow professors, mentors, and friends at the conference as well. It was great not only catching up on what everyone was doing – but checking in to see how they were doing outside of work. Some of these professors I have known for almost ten years, and then there are others I got to finally meet in person after years of corresponding on social media.

It was also fun to see graduate students who are now professors and being referred to as “Dr. So and So.” This last part made me realize it has been three years (going on four) since I was in their position. Time has certainly flown by when you’ve been busy!

Overall, even though it has been a short trip to Chicago for me, it was well worth it. I feel energized, excited, and inspired by the conversations and research I have heard these past few days. I also feel the field is in good hands with the graduate students who are entering the workplace and the professors who are mentoring them.

If you are interested in finding out more about the NCA PR Division, make sure to follow them on Twitter at @PRprofs and save the date for the conference next year in Las Vegas.

Safe travels everyone from Chicago and I wish you all a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving. :)

Best Wishes,

November 14, 2014

Igniting confidence and embracing H2H: Online reputation management strategies for the future

Managing your personal brand as a professor, professional, and even young professional entering the workplace now is not only essential, but expected. Not only are you expected to have a blog, presence on Twitter and LinkedIn, and be an active member of the social media community – you are expected to create, curate, cultivate, and communicate your insights, stories, and experiences that distinguish yourself from others around you.

Of course, we are seeing social media integrated into classes at all levels more than ever, and it does appear most professors have similar class exercises to propose for their students to complete for the course.

Writing a blog, creating content to be shared on Twitter, and engaging in group projects are just a few examples. However, creating a sustainable online persona and make the right first impression on social media is key. It’s important to share these same insights we give corporations and brands with our students as well as colleagues and fellow professionals. We have to formulate a strong communication strategy to engage and sustain our reputation online and offline.

CIO has some good ideas about how brands can utilize tools that can be used to monitor online reputations, however, why can’t these be applied on an individual level? The answer is of course yes. We can apply these best practices as well as tailor them for the audience, industry, and overall personality characteristics we want to highlight and promote online as well.

So, how do we go about in doing this exactly? Well, there are several best practices when it comes to doing this for 2014 and beyond that Fast Company highlights here.

What struck me about this article in particular were two things. First, we have to be confident in what we are doing on social media. Too many times we see people state that they are afraid to be present on social media because “it’s public and for the world to see.” Yes, social media is public and everyone can see what you post, tweet, snap, and comment on. However, if you know this, you have to integrate this as part of your daily interactions online with various community members. Second, it’s key to be more than a promoter and marketer when it comes to social media. Having the ability to showcase your story, experiences, and interests as a person is absolutely key.

I’d also add a third component here to consider when it comes to managing online reputation. We think we are dealing with brands and corporations as a social media professional at times, but essentially, we are dealing with people. Brian Kramer talks about this as H2H in his new book, and how it is essential to keep this mind in even when you are engaging with others online.

Again, we can tailor these practices to managing personal brands as well. Connecting the dots strategically is essential here for strong online reputations. So, if we are able to share these examples and best practices with students in and out of the classroom, they will be able to have the insights and tools necessary to not only proactively use these tools for business and communication practices, but they can also integrate these as well for their own personal brands.

Hope you all are having a great day! :)

Best Wishes,

November 11, 2014

Lessons learned after a successful #PRProfChat for AEJMC PRD

One of the things we have done as part of the AEJMC PRD social media committee is to initiate a Twitter chat series within the division. We have done two previous chats on different topics this past year, and both were very successful.

We initiated one for the fall semester last night and it focused on wearable technologies and new media. We had Rick Murray and Dana Coester come and join us virtually on the Twitter chat session.

We had probably the most engaged chat session yet! We had more users come on board and participate and we also extended the conversation to include not only professors and students, but also practitioners in the field as well, which was very cool to see.

However, to create an effective and dynamic Twitter chat session, you have to have a team in place for this to happen. Luckily, I am working with the best social media team out there – Dave, Geah, Melissa, Diana, Kelly, Carolyn, Nicole, and Patrick all have helped out tremendously this year with the PRD social media efforts. Geah was the one who organized and hosted the chat session last night and she truly did an amazing job.

There were a few lessons I was able to take away from participating in this chat last night and apply for future Twitter chat sessions. Here are some of the best practices I’ve learned from this experience:

  • A Twitter chat session is a team effort: It’s really hard to pull off a chat session by yourself – so you want to make sure to have several people on board. More hands on various keyboards and mobile devices create light work. :)
  • Have different roles on the Twitter chat session: What worked for us is the fact we were able to have multiple roles going on. Geah was the host, and Dave and I were actively engaged in communicating and commenting about the various topics on hand with the professionals and guests for the chat.
  • Promote, promote, and promote: Before the chat even has happened – you want to have a content management plan ahead of time for how you are going to promote the event. We used infographics that were shared on all of our social media sites as well as sending out a notice to the PRD listserv to cover our bases.
  • Create visual quotes from Twitter answers by the guests: This was new for me – but I think this was a neat discovery in the process. I had my laptop, iPad, and phone going during the Twitter chat session, and I realized both Dana and Rick were saying some great things that I thought were key to save and share with others in the chat session. However, do you favorite the tweet, or create a visual to illustrate this answer? I went with the second answer by creating visuals for each professional by using the app Word Swag – which can be shared, downloaded, and used in future presentations in classes and other places. I think for future chats – whether it is for the PRD or at conferences – you need to have at least one person who will be in charge of creating visual quotes from the speakers to share on social media for everyone.

In summary, the Twitter chat session for the AEJMC PRD this semester went off very well. Thank you to all of the PR professors, students, and practitioners who participated in the chat session.

Also, special thanks to Rick Murray and Dana Coester again for taking the time to chat with all of us last night. We really appreciated your time and having the opportunity to chat with you about emerging trends and media.

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,

November 8, 2014

A must have social media book for #prprofs: Trendology by Chris Kerns

I am always looking for new books, articles, and resources to bring into my social media classes. I have used a range of different books for class, and I have found one that is not only going to be included in my class for the spring, but it should be on the list for all professors teaching social media classes. The book is called “Trendology” by Chris Kerns.

I have to be honest, there have only been a handful of books where I went and sat down and read it all in one sitting. The first one was Michael Brito’s book [another great social media strategy book I am using for my social media class again next year] and this one. What I really like about this book by Chris is the bridge he is able to connect between data analytics to strategic applications – some books have done this, but not as effectively. It was very refreshing to review this book and I realized very quickly that this is a must have book for professors teaching social media classes.

There are so many different elements of Chris’s book that are not only relevant for professors and practitioners to consider, but for students as well. There are a lot of relevant RTM case studies in Trendology, so that is very helpful for professors to talk about these in class but also showcase how students can take these lessons from examples of B2C RTM [Business-to-Consumer Real Time Marketing] and B2B RTM [Brand-to-Brand Real Time Marketing].

  • Accepting rather than setting the narrative. This is one point Chris highlights in his book which is very good to focus on and address. This point does provide us with a way of looking at RTM in a different light rather than just a current trend we are seeing. Instead, it’s about the strategic mindset we have to be aware of here. I am really glad Chris has pointed this out for all of us.
  • Having great visuals and case studies: I LOVE the amount of case studies, current examples, and frameworks Chris has in this book. The visual illustrating the RTM framework is concise and to the point – but it also can serve as a guide for others when implementing their social media strategies. We all know about Oreo of course, but Chris talks about DiGornio’s, Tide, Charmin, KitKat, and many other cases which is very refreshing to see and be able to talk about with the students. Plus, having the list of brands Spreadfast has followed on RTM specifically on Twitter = fabulous!
  • Best explanation of measurements on Twitter: This was a big factor for me here – and Chris nailed it and really created some great definitions that are concise and very clear. This is PERFECT to have for a reading for the students in a social media class. Chapter 2 is essential to look at – one of the best overall presentations of this platform from a strategic/measurement perspective I’ve read.
  • Breaking down to the metrics effectively: Chris does an excellent job in walking the reader through the strategic analysis process of looking at the data – what are some trends we are seeing, how do we calculate and evaluate the results, and how do we apply this. Really excellent to see this presented in this book. Chapter 3 focuses on the application of RTM for known events while also highlighting the importance of data analysis and implementation to help guide these strategies.
  • Having a blueprint for a dynamic social media team for RTM: Chris has this down for Chapter 5 and continues on this path for Chapters 6 & 7, so if you have a social media class that is focusing on a group project or proposal for a client, this would be good to note and have your class read. Very good strategies and ideas here. These three chapters will help guide students into the strategic mindset process – figuring out what they need to do in terms of the planning stages for their social media efforts so they are able to capture and execute creative messages that are effective on social media.

Overall, I was very pleased and impressed with this book by Chris Kerns. Trendology is not only a book for fellow practitioners, but it is a necessary book to include as part of the required readings for social media classes, especially those who are working with clients and have students propose a campaign proposal.

I am very excited to have Chris speak to my class virtually in the spring for #Freberg15, and I am sure my students will really enjoy reading Trendology for class. Make sure to follow Chris on Twitter as well as use the hashtag for the book as well #Trendology on Twitter.

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,

November 7, 2014

Engagement + information + relationship management = effective combination for a social media professor in the classroom

Juntae Delune just posted a really good quote from Gary Vaynerchuk about Twitter, which states “I’m not using Twitter to consume information, I’m using it to consume engagement.” What exactly does it mean to be engaged on social media?

Jason Falls had a good quote about what engagement stands for overall on social media for professionals – but why shouldn’t this be included in the classroom as well?

As professors, what we need to do is instead of just passing along information and relevant articles to our students on social media, we have to consider how to inspire them to be engaged.

How do we go about in doing this exactly?

  • First, you have to be there for the conversation [Engagement]: Take on a role as a lead discussant for the class online and be prepared for some ice breakers. For me, I have shared various items like articles and such, but I follow up with saying – what do you all think about this?
  • Apply and personalize ideas for classroom content from practitioners and brands [Information]: As professors, we have several brands we are a part of. We are part of our respective universities, departments, profession – as well as managing our own professional brand and our class brand. There are many ways to brainstorm ideas for how to create visual, personalized, and memorable content for our classes for social media. We see this done for brands and our students create ideas for how to do this for their campaigns class – so why can’t we do it for our classes and our professional brand as professors? The answer is – of course we can!
  • Being open and available for the conversations that emerge [Return On Relationships]: This is the thing when it comes to social media – you are not only engaging in conversations with your students on social media for your classes, but you are allowing a window and virtual seat open for others to join and be part of the conversation. Practitioners, fellow colleagues, and other students even can see what you are sharing.
  • Walk the walk, tweet the tweet: In order for getting engagement from your students – you as the professor have to set the standard. Be part of the class, do the same activities, and show students the potential and amazing opportunities that can arise from being active on social media. The conversations, networking connections, and updates are all public for them to see and be an eye witness to. Once they are able to see what you are able to do, students may be more likely to follow your lead. You first have to show them the way on how to do this with fellow social media professionals, brands, and agencies. Take on the role as a coach and mentor in this area rather than just passing along information.

In summary, there are a lot of benefits for being an engaged part of the social media community as a professor. There is a combination for everything to work out – you do have to be engaged not only with providing relevant content for class, but be there as well. Answer questions, have conversations that showcase your personality, and be open to comment on items your students share. The mixture of all of these updates is what creates a dynamic, energetic, and vibrate learning environment that will last not only in the class, but also create a community that can be sustained even after the students graduate from your university.

You never know who may be observing your conversations online with your fellow students. All of the conversations I’ve had with students have been professional and related to class, and I had one of my Twitter friends and fellow social media colleagues comment on this last night.

Russell is the director of digital media for the University of Oklahoma Athletics Department, and he shared this with his followers based on a conversation I had with one of my #FrebergGrads graduate crisis students. This comment really made my evening – it was very humbling to hear this from a well respected professional like Russell about my teaching and how I am using social media as a professor. Thanks so much, Russell!

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,

Next Page »

SINCE 1995

Words to Live by:

"Train hard, win easy!"

Toby Tanser and
John Manners

Karen's Being Social Media Page

Karen's Louisville Page

University of West Virginia's IMC Teacher of the Year!

Managing your on-line Reputation

QR-Code for my C.V.

the Crisis & Social Media Daily

My Recipes

Laura Freberg's Psychology Textbooks

Powered by Word Press