I’m in the beginning stages of planning a social media marketing campaign at my day job. I want to use Facebook and Twitter to communicate to college students about events happening where they live. I want to create a sense of community in an online space and hope that it helps them connect with the people they live around who they may not have met face-to-face.
I’m trying to be careful and thoughtful about this plan, but I seem to be outpaced by the students themselves. Groups for their residence halls and hall governments are springing up left and right. So, I ask myself whether I need to reinvent the wheel and create new groups or if I should befriend these kids online and try to sculpt their already existing message.
Clearly their enthusiasm to create the Facebook groups themselves shows that there is a need for such connections and communication via social media. And because this new tactic doesn’t fit so well into my carefully thought out social media marketing plan, I’m feeling a bit like a rogue agent. I suppose it’s better to roll with the punches than to try to bend nature backwards. Isn’t listening to your audience and customers part of Marketing 101?
Here are a few good sources for social media marketing that I’ve been reading lately:
Putting Meaning Back in Social Media
AMC Mad Men Twitter Take Down
Comments and suggestions from your own experiences are appreciated.
This week I received a call at my office that caught me off guard, but probably shouldn’t have. It was a clear signal of the shifting change that is occurring in my professional life.
I’ve made the move from editor/graphic designer to communications manager, and after only three weeks, the contrast is obvious. It has taken some adjustment, I will freely admit that. I’ve had to alter my perception of what “work” means and the way that I think about projects – it’s a much bigger picture now and it’s taking some getting used to.
So, back to this phone call. It was from a radio reporter looking to do a quick interview about an upcoming event. My immediate thought was one of panic, but I quickly regained composure and remembered that this is my job now. All in all the interview went well. It was quick and relatively painless, but it got me thinking. Media relations is a whole new ballgame for me and I need to polish my act. It’s the sort of stuff they don’t teach enough of in school. I did take a 100-level media relations course in college and we did one TV interview that semester, which was horrifying, but I now realize we should have done one a week just to get comfortable.
The next day I joined PRSA (Public Relations Society of America). I need all the support I can get, and I’ve been wanting to join a professional organization for awhile now, I just wasn’t sure which group was the right fit. With time and practice I think I will hit my professional stride and find situations like this to be commonplace.
How have your handled professional change? What kinds of professional development measures have you taken to support your new or changing role? I’m happy to hear your comments.
On behalf of a former classmate and colleague:
Local software company looking for people interested in participating in usability testing during the week of week of Aug. 25-29.
Usability tests involve meeting with a researcher one-on-one to give feedback on a software product by trying to use it and answering some questions. Sessions are one-on-one appointments and take about an hour. Participants would be given a $50 Amazon.com gift card as a consideration for their time.
Qualified participants are Mac computers users who have experience with making screen recordings and video editing. Participant must be able to travel to Okemos, MI to participate in the tests.
If you would be interested in participating, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.
There are two upcoming, back-to-back networking events for our readers living in mid-Michigan.
Grand River Connection
August 26, from 6-8 PM
MSU Spartan Club at Spartan Stadium
Mid-Michigan Tweet Up
August 27, starting at 5 PM
Dublin Square, East Lansing
I’ve previously attended events for both groups, and had a very nice time chatting with young, up-and-coming professionals. If you have past experiences with these groups that you’d like to share, please do so in the comments. Are there other groups out there that you’d like to see promoted on beyondwords? Let us know!
I’m tired lately. And by lately, I mean for about the last two years. Since I graduated from Michigan State University and began my professional life, it seems I am always working in one way or another. I have my 8-5 job, but also side projects such as freelance editing and consulting – and there is also the looming (and massive) archiving project I’ve committed myself to for the last year. It seems 40 hours a week is just a myth.
It’s a situtation I’ve completely and totally created for myself. I can’t help it. I’m like an addict – if someone asks if I am interested in consulting, editing, whatever the side work may be – I can’t say no. The extra cash is nice, and I typically enjoy the work itself. The real problem becomes when I stop leaving my 8-5 life at the office door. I think about my day job a lot in the evenings, mostly just because I need to process my day. And a lot of the times, creativity doesn’t strike strictly between business hours. For instance, last Monday after an evening walk with my dog, I was hit with a “burst” of ideas about how to incorporate social networking into our marketing plan. It was 9 p.m. and I was sitting on my bed scrawling notes on a legal pad.
I’m starting a new job next week. This has meant that the last two weeks I’ve spent a lot of time wrapping up projects, cleaning out my desk, organizing, and cleaning up files on my laptop. It also has meant that I’ve had a much slower pace at work than I am typically used to. It’s been a nice change of pace, though I fully realize it’s merely the calm before the storm. This time next week I’ll be up to my elbows with meetings and introductions as I begin to settle in at the new place.
This atypical lull has left me feeling slightly uninspired, as most of my blog fodder comes from my work and the fast-paced thrill of it all. Then it hit me — during this time I’ve become very good friends with my Google Reader. I’ve nearly doubled my subscriptions since boxing up my desk and hauling it all home.
So this is some of what I’ve been reading lately. It’s all beautiful, useful stuff, even if it’s not directly related to professional writing. I’ve found that some of the fashion and interior design blogs are a great source of inspiration for color palates and patterns.
Here are five of my favorites:
Death by Kerning
Oh Happy Day
Girl Meets Business
Damsels in Success
What new (or just interesting) blogs or sites have you come across? Please feel free to share in the comments.
We have some exciting news to report.
Angela Shetler is moving to Japan! She leaves this weekend for Tokyo, where she will begin orientation for her new job teaching English at a senior high school in Koriyama, Japan. I’m very excited for Angela, although I will miss her while she is gone for one year (maybe longer) abroad.
Angela and I have been colleagues for sometime, starting way back when we were both interns for the creative non-fiction journal Fourth Genre and consultants at the MSU Writing Center. I’m very thankful that we were able to keep in touch and eventually launch beyondwords. Luckily, the internet allows us to forget time zones and we can continue our professional development together despite the miles.
Angela has already begun chronicling her journey, so I hope you will check in on her adventures from time to time.
Please join me in wishing Angela well on her new endeavour!
A List Apart has opened its second “Survey for People Who Make Websites“, which is a fantastic opportunity for professional writers, editors, designers, students, and hobbyists who have a role in web design to share their experience with the field.
Calling all designers, developers, information architects, project managers, writers, editors, marketers, and everyone else who makes websites. It is time once again to pool our information so as to begin sketching a true picture of the way our profession is practiced worldwide.
There are 44 questions for the survey (which may vary slightly depending on your answers) and it took me less than five minutes to complete. So take a few minutes today to contribute to the field of web design, and then be sure to keep an eye on A List Apart for survey results. In the meantime, you can also check out last year’s survey results to see what was learned.
Those working in PR and corporate communications may be interested in the Social Media Summit to be held in Chicago this September. The event will feature how-tos and best practices to put social media (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace) to work for your organization.
You may also find interesting information on Ragan.com, a web site offering “news, ideas, and conversations for communicators worldwide.”
The site also features an interesting interview with University of Michigan communications professional Jessica Soulliere, who discusses how her team developed video podcasts (vodcasts) to promote the work of faculty at the medical school.
Grand River Connection, a networking group in the Lansing area, has monthly opportunities for young professionals to come together and socialize. This month’s event will be Tuesday, July 22, from 6-8pm in the Stadium District. Check out the Grand River Connection website for more details.
Blog Indiana is a two-day conference about blogging and social media. Sessions topics include blogging for beginners, using blogs in your business, monetizing your blog, and political blogging. Anyone with an interest in technology and new media is welcome to attend. The conference will be held August 16-17 at the IUPUI Campus Center in Indianapolis, IN. Check out the conference website to learn more and register.
Tweet-ups are events where fans of Twitter meet in real life to keep the conversation going. In Michigan, there has been an active tweet-up group in Detroit for a while now, but Lansing and Grand Rapids are new to the scene. Below are upcoming tweet-ups for all three areas.
Grand Rapids Tweet-up
Thursday, July 17 @ 7pm
Hopcat, Grand Rapids, MI
Thursday, July 31 @ 5pm
Dublin Square, East Lansing, MI
Detroit Tweet-up Network
Friday, August 15 @ 7-9pm
GM Heritage Center, Sterling Heights, MI
What networking opportunities are you taking advantage of?