The Business of Business Trips

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Last week, I started a new role as a social media and content coordinator at Cornerstone Advertising. This week, I spent a few days in Indianapolis meeting the home team and learning more about the company and our clients. Going on my first business trip was a mixed bag of emotions: excited, nervous, tired, inquisitive, etc. It’s safe to say my first trip to the MidWest and time with my team were a success. I got some advice from some great ladies before embarking on my journey, and now I want to share my thoughts with you!

Most of my trip was spent working with my team. There are plenty of posts out there with tips for business trips, so consider these more like takeaways. Continue reading →

Beginner’s Guide to Focus Groups

Focus groups are a great weapon to have in you research arsenal. They are a great way to gather in-depth perception about your brand and get feedback on new ideas. I recently conducted a focus group as part of my IMC Campaigns course discussing my communication strategy and goals for my final project. Focus groups are an underutilized method because they seem complicated, however they are easier to conduct than you think.

Startup Stock Photos

Recruitment

Because my target audience was millennials in my hometown, I was able to create a Facebook group and reach out to my friends and former classmates. However, if I was looking a different audience, I would have started outreach on social media and create an event page on a website like Eventbrite. Using a focus group facility/agency is one (pricier) way to insure you get the correct audience. Be sure to screen your group members before to ensure they meet their requirements. You want 8-12 people to participate in order to have a variety of opinions and create conversation. When hosting a focus group providing an incentive like a Starbucks gift card, free meal, or something else of monetary value for participants. Continue reading →

A Content Rule to Live By

There are a lot of rules out there when it comes to writing. Everyone seems to have different opinions on what readers want and what defines “good” content. By today’s standards, good content is content that  sees the most views. Content that goes viral. The more shares a post receives the better or more important we deem it to be. From that idea, click bait arose.

Image Cred: Jeremey Said

Image Cred: Jeremy Said

Clickbait may get content viewed, but it won’t get it shared. To get content shared, I have always asked myself, “Would I share this?” If the answer is no, then I wouldn’t pursue that topic or angle. However, the more I have learned about audience insights and consumer behavior through my graduate program, the more I have decided this question may be too narrow. Continue reading →

Boosting My Productivity

My 2016 Resolution was one word, positivity. Aside from radiating positivity, I also want to make parts of my life more positive. One of those parts of my life is my productivity. I’ve previously written posts on how using tools and playlists can help boosts your productivity. Working from home requires a lot of self motivating. As someone who works best at night, it can be hard to start my day. I often end up getting down to business after noon and working well into the late night hours. This can lead to a vicious cycle of staying up late and sleeping in.

As we came into the Lenten,  I thought about ways I could deeper implement my New Year’s Resolution. One of the biggest threats to my productivity is television. So for the next 40 days (give or take due to a family emergency) I will not watch any TV between the hours of 10AM and 6PM on weekdays. This may seem like a “duh” to those who work in an office, but as someone who multitasks well, it can be hard to fully focus on one thing when so many are at your disposal. I get all the work done, but not as efficiently as possible. Continue reading →

The Social Media You

Social media bios can be extremely difficult to write. Unlike the summary section of LinkedIn, on Twitter and Instagram you only get 160/150 characters to express yourself. With such tight parameters, you have to be creative + prioritize what you want to share with the world.

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Everyone approaches their bio section differently. Some people use quotes, some just put down the basics. Some people don’t share anything. If you work in a creative field, having a bio is expected. Keep in mind that in Google search, your Twitter bio will show up as a description of your Twitter account. Here are a few things to keep in mind when crafting your bio:

  1. Make every word count. Whether you use one word or two, choose the option with the smallest character count.
  2. Don’t worry about complete sentences. Use symbols to separate  ideas like |, •, or +.
  3. Make use of emojis. They were born of social media + can stand in for a word. I use ❤️ in my Twitter bio instead of writing out the word love. It saves three characters. Continue reading →

Leaning In: Let’s Start Talking + Let’s Get Working

I finally got to reading chapters 10 and 11 of Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. The focus on these chapters is starting the conversation and gender issues + supporting others. Earlier in the book, Sandberg discusses ambition gap that causes women to not take a seat at the table and how career progression is less linear than we think. My third Lean In post covered finding a mentor + what your truth is. My last post covered three chapters that can really speak to young women + mothers. The chapters featured in this post may be some of the most important in the book.

Let’s Start Talking About It

The term “feminist” seems to make many people uneasy. It is often associated with bra-burning, man-hating, + other not so flattering things. Many women (and men) deny their ties to feminism because they are none of those things. However, when they truly understand what feminism is, it perfectly aligns with their belief system.

Continue reading →

What Taylor Swift Can Teach Us About Networking

We all know that Taylor Swift is #squadgoals + one of the most influential stars in Hollywood. Her reach in Hollywood goes far beyond other famous 20-somethings. Her 1989 tour has proved that Taylor has connections to every from fellow musicians, athletes, actors, + TV personalities. She’s had everyone from Jason Derulo to Ellen Degeneres to Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay (HUGE fan girl moment) join her on stage this summer. A girl this connected can certainly teach us a thing or two about having a strong network.

#squadgoals via @taylorswift

#squadgoals via @taylorswift

Broaden Your Horizons

Taylor doesn’t just connect with artist + people in the music industry, she has broader horizons. She has friends that are involved in many different trades like modeling. Limiting your network to only people in your industry will stunt your growth. More diversity= more opportunities. When you have a broad network unexpected experiences can arise like an engineering friend who might need help marketing his new app. If you are only connected with other marketers, that is an opportunity missed. Continue reading →

What to Look for in a Social Media Pro

Specialist, strategist, manager, coordinator, ninja, guru, there are many different titles for someone who works in social media. Typically, their job duties are the same, manage social media accounts across multiple platforms, report on important social metrics, + engage with the general public.

Hootsuite, a social relationship + scheduling platform came out with eight characteristics you should look for when hiring someone to manage your social media. You should look for someone who is creative,  collaborative, flexible, agile, curious, detain-oriented, social, + who has a sense of humor. These are all great qualities to look for from your social media specialist, however, I would like to add a few more to the list.

Analytical 

Many people think that people who work in social media is just  tweet + pin all day long, but that is not the case. Working in social requires someone with a strategic mindset who isn’t afraid of numbers. Reporting is very important to shaping social strategy + understanding your audience. You should hire someone who isn’t afraid to dig further than follower count + impressions. Continue reading →

Why You Should(n’t) Be Hung Up on Titles

As someone who recently went through the job search process, I’ve come across A LOT of titles: strategist, manager, coordinator, specialist, the list goes on and on. At first, I’ll admit I was pretty confused. I only have a few years of experience so surely I am not eligible for a role with the word manager attached. However, I quickly  learned all of these jobs all have the same essential functions.

What specific titles are what they mean often depends on the company. Some PR firms call title entry-level employees as Assistant Account Executive. A smaller firm’s entry-level role may be an Account Executive. Other firms may throw you for a loop and call it a PR Assistant. If you are at a start-up you may even have a cuter title like guru, ninja, etc. The title you hold is becoming less important and the impact or accomplishments you have had are becoming more relevant. Continue reading →

Branding YOU

You have probably heard the term “personal brand” used a lot lately. But what does it really mean? Your personal brand is what you are putting out in the world. This includes your business cards, social media accounts, emails, + even your wardrobe. It’s everything a person might judge you based off of.

Finding your brand

Figuring out your personal brand is pretty simple. You’ll basically perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis on yourself. You’ll figure out what you are good at, what you can improve on, + what areas you can grow into. You should also think of a few keywords you’d like people to associate with you. For instance, I hope people who know me think I am professional, fresh, classic, + intelligent. Everything you do should be in order to support your keywords.

I am professional. I work very hard for my clients + in efforts to acquire new business. I am fresh. I’m young and new-ish to the “real world.” I’m very much in touch with the latest social and pop culture trends.  I am classic. I’m not edgy so much as I am what the kids might call basic- I own it. I am intelligent. I’m currently in my second semester of graduate school. Continue reading →