Tag Archives: social media

What Would … The Perfect Tweet Look Like?

140 Characters of Awesome!

What Would...Social media is one of the most influential avenues of communication, making it a tool worth using for not only individuals but for businesses, too.  Whether you are sharing personal opinions, raising awareness, developing your own online fame or driving a political campaign, you name it, it’s been done on social.

One of the most common social media platforms we use today is Twitter. Why? Let me break it down for you…

Twitter has 320 MILLION active users a month with over 1 billion unique visitors to links shared via Tweets!  Who wouldn’t want to share their content on Twitter?

The real question is, how do you Tweet without getting drowned out by the other 319 million monthly users?

How to make 140 characters pack a punch:

1.  Use less than 140 characters

In a constant stream of information, people get overwhelmed with mass content. Keep your message short and straight to the point to make it more readable and enjoyable for your follower

2. Be visual

Always use images when possible! Tweets with images are 35% more likely to receive engagements.

Try this: log onto Twitter and scroll through the main feed. Where do your eyes land? Images make your Tweets stand out amongst a million others.

3. Use trends to your advantage

#WordsofWisdom – hashtags help get your tweets noticed! Hashtags act as labels or tags for Tweets. This makes it easier for users to find a message within a certain theme, in other words, it attracts those you want to target, better!

4. Time is on your side, yes it is!

Has anyone ever told you that timing is everything? There are certain hours of the day where your followers are more active. Check your Twitter Analytics under ‘Audience’ to discover when your followers are online and schedule your content within those time frames.

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Why CEOs should be #Social

BCSEAThe Internet has drastically changed the way people receive and provide information, especially when it comes to social media. In just one day, an average of 340 million Tweets are being posted, and that number continues to climb. Social media has taken ‘word of mouth’ to a whole new level, making it important for CEOs to join in on the conversation. They are, after all, the face of the company, whose reputation is greatly determined by how their customers view them.

While most companies are active in gaining the marketing perks of social media, their CEOs typically shy away from being #social (68% of CEOs have no social media presence). It is seen to be risky business, putting too much information into the hands of too many. It is clear that most CEOs lack an understanding of how much social media has progressed into being a crucial business tool. Gone are the days where social media is only for teenagers posting selfies on Facebook and tweeting their recent dinner choices, and in are the days where social media means business.

In this digital age, customers expect to know not only what they are buying, but who they are buying from, making it increasingly important for CEOs to tell their story as transparently as possible. I don’t mean CEOs should be posting bathroom #selfies on Instagram, I mean they should be using social media as a business advantage, a way to promote what they, as business leaders, are all about.

Why CEOs should let their fingers do the talking:

  1. Social media promotes brand awareness: Social media puts company brands where eyes are already in focus. Although it is important for CEOs to build personal relationships through face-to-face interactions, social media is capable of bringing a personalized message to millions. With social media, CEOs can easily communicate their brand’s key messages and optimize brand visibility with just 140 characters.
  1. CEOs bring a personalized touch to your brand: The key concept of social media is to, in fact, be social. A recent survey by BRANDfog found that prospective customers are more likely to find a company trustworthy if their executives and leaders are on social media. Engaging online is an opportunity for CEOs to show the personality, values, and ideas that make them a capable leader customers can relate to.
  1. Opportunity to show thought leadership: Through social media, CEOs can show that they are engaged in their industry and passionate about their profession by providing helpful content and industry insights positioning themselves as thought leaders.
  1. Discover new team members: Social media tools, like LinkedIn, make it easier for CEOs to recruit new talent and new business opportunities. Job seekers and professionals in general have made themselves more visible to employers by posting their professional background online. Also, social media allows for CEOs to identify those who are genuinely interested in their company by filtering out those who are engaging with their posts and shared content.
  1. Better understand your customers, industry trends and your competitors.

A key component of having conversation is not only to speak but to listen. This goes for social media, too! Social media is a great tool for gaining industry insight. It gives CEOs a way of monitoring customer’s opinions, concerns and needs that surrounding the industry. It will also keep CEOs on top of industry trends and insight to what their competitors are doing.

Social media is always evolving and becoming more influential every day. CEOs deciding to embrace social media in their communications strategies will surely see the ongoing #businessadvantages that come along with it.

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KNOW NO LIMITS – Q&A with Anne Harvey, Vancouver Coastal Health

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By Phoebe Yong

Magnolia MarComm was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak to Anne Harvey of the Vancouver Coastal Health this past week. Anne is the Vice President of Employee Engagement at the VCH and has forged a successful professional career managing a broad portfolio of Human Resources functions at VCH. This Q&A highlights her thoughts on her chosen career path, women in the workplace, and above all, encourages women of all ages to Know No Limits.
Please see an excerpt of the interview below: 

Q: “What is your position at Vancouver Coastal Health?”
A: “My title is Vice President of Employee Engagement which is the Human Resources department for Vancouver Coastal Health. I’ve had the position for nine years with a very broad portfolio that includes everything from Labour Relations, Clinical Education, Health and Safety, Recruitment and Retention, Lean Process Improvement, and Management Education. It’s a very, very broad Human Resources portfolio.”

Q: “How did you get this job and how did it evolve?”
A: “I was asked to apply for the position by the previous CEO of Vancouver Coastal Health.”

Q: “Were you working at VCH beforehand?”
A: “No, I was working for the BC Nurses Union.”

Q: “In what capacity? May I ask?”
A: “I was the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Negotiator. I headed up a very productive set of contract negotiations between the health authorities and the BC Nurses Union in 2004. The CEO of Vancouver Coastal was looking for a more innovative approach to Human Resources than had been traditional in health care in the past.”

Q: “What do you mean by wanting a different approach as opposed to traditional?”
A: “First of all, I think they were looking for somebody with innovative ideas. There were some long standing problems like high sick leave and injury rates that needed a new solution, there was also a huge skill shortage gap for nurses and no one had been able to solve these problems. Secondly, VCH was looking for a more collaborative approach to working with unions. In the 2004 negotiations with the health authorities and the province, we had a number of innovative ideas that were agreed upon and implemented. Obviously, the only way we could reach an agreement on some new approaches was through collaboration between the health authorities, the Health Employers Association and the union.”

Q: “So it’s a collaborative effort with lots of key parts?”
A: “Yes. In that round of bargaining, we actually used a mutual interest bargaining model, which emphasizes more alternate dispute resolution rather than positional bargaining.”

Q: “Now, how many work within the VCH?”
A: “VCH has approximately, 20,000 employees, 5,000 volunteers, and there are 2,500 physicians who are not employees but are affiliated with VCH and have privileges in our hospitals and programs.”

Q: “What would you say is the best part about your job?”
A: “The opportunity to try out new ideas. I have been really, really fortunate ever since I came to Vancouver Coastal Health that when we come up with a new idea and a new way of approaching things, we’ve never been told no.”

Q: “Can you give me an example of a new idea that you introduced and that was accepted?”
A: “Our most recent idea addresses the fact that we have a problem with bullying in health care. It’s a problem internationally in health care. Particularly in the emergency and operating room environment where there is a lot of stress. We had a very good policy on the face of it but people weren’t reporting when they had complaints. We would only hear about them three of four years after they were experiencing the problem. So, we came up with a new program where we put in a 1-800 number for people to report bullying complaints to our Employee and Family Assistance program. Then, they could either get some counselling through the Employee and Family Assistance program or the program would refer their complaint on to a Human Resources advisor, who would investigate the complaint and help them resolve it. This had never been done before, so it meant that we had to be very transparent and recognize we had a problem with bullying. Not every organization would want to be transparent about that but we took it to our executive team and they said, ‘Yes, go ahead. We don’t know how successful it will be. We aren’t sure it’s a big a problem as you think it is but try it’ and we did. So we launched that new program on February 26th, which is No Bully Day. ”

Q: “Of this year?”
A: “Yes and since then we’ve had over 200 complaints reported. So that’s tremendous and we are now not only getting those reports in but sending out how those reports are being resolved in the VCH newsletter. So we’re being very transparent about the results saying these many are being resolved with apologies and one has been resolved by suspension. The senior executive was discussing it this morning and saying, ‘Wow you were right! This is really good because if we have that many complaints we do have a serious issue, more than we thought and we’re really glad that you raised it and that your team is working on it.’ That’s the joy of my position. That we have a culture at Vancouver Coastal of innovation and if you have a good idea, you get to try it out.”

Q: “Right and something like this shows that whatever people’s complaints are, are not going to ‘deaf ears’, you guys are actually doing something about it.”
A: “Exactly. The problem with bullying is it causes a great deal of anxiety for people. People with that level of anxiety end up on sick leave or even on long-term disability because they develop serious anxiety and depression. So it’s a really important issue.”

Q: “Along that same question, what is the most challenging part about your job?”
A: “The most challenging part is that health care is the most complex industry or sector and it’s very difficult to predict how a new program or decision will affect the organization in terms of patience and employees. You can make a decision over ‘here’ that has an unintended consequence over ‘there.’ Then of course because the health care budget is such a large portion of the provincial government’s budget, funding is really a challenge.”

Q: “Do you mean managing the budget or getting the budget? What do you mean by that?”
A: “It’s getting funding for initiative. It’s difficult and challenging so we really have to link how any new human resource program or our existing human resource programs affect the bottom line. So we have to work really hard to translate our work into dollars and patient care hours.”

Q: “Moving away from this position, what would you say was officially your first job?”
A: “I pumped gas as a teenager, I worked as a waitress, chamber maid – all jobs when I was in high school you know?”

Q: “So what about officially as a career?”
A: “I was a Lab Assistant at Imperial Chemical Industry.”

Q: “A lab assistant, interesting. So in the science field, did you like it? How long did it last?”
A: “Maybe a year. I didn’t like it really, it wasn’t my passion.”

Q: “And what about education wise, where did you go to school?”
A: “I went to school in Britain. I finished a Sociology degree with a major in Modern Industrial Society. Then much, much later I took a Master’s in organizational design from the Fielding Institute in Santa Barbara. That was online as part of distance education for the most part.”

Q: “In terms of your career path, did you know that you would end up in HR when you started taking these classes? Obviously you love what you do.”
A: “You know, I didn’t plan a career. Actually, I will be retiring in the next two or three years and I don’t know what I’m going to do when I retire either. But what I’ve always done is looked for what I find fascinating, that’s why I took Sociology. After that I took Journalism.”

Q: “What area of Journalism?”
A: “News reporting because I found it fascinating. Probably journalism was the only decision I actually tried to do. Everything else, I just stayed open to opportunities. As I saw an opportunity, I would switch and go into something new.”

Q: “Were you driven by your gut or money? Do you mind me asking?”
A: “Well no. I had children very early. I had my first child when I was 20. I had always wanted to travel and I was living in Britain and by the time I was 23 I had two children. So, I realized that I wasn’t going to be doing that much travelling just from an economic point of view. So I decided that I would live my work life as an adventure. So I looked for things I found fascinating. Jobs would close down and I would see something else or I’d be working in a job and somebody offered me another opportunity. Most of the time, when I switched I’d earn the same or more money but a couple of times I earned less.”

Q: “Oh interesting. So it wasn’t money that guided you then it was always about that adventure.”
A: “It was really the enjoyment of the work.”

Q: “So if you were talking to young women today, especially from an HR perspective who doesn’t know what to do with their career, what tools would you recommend for them to find that right career path?”
A: “I don’t know because I puzzle with this one myself. First of all, definitely watch your interests. You have to love your work. You may not know the job you want, but look for the area that has the content that fascinates you. For example, I didn’t work with Sociology ever but I was fascinated by Sociology and it was extremely helpful when I moved into Journalism, Labour Relations, and now in Human Resources. So don’t get hung up on the exact job. Look for the content area that fascinates you.”

Q: “Be guided by those interests right? As you were growing up, who were some of your role models for women? Whether it’s somebody personally or famous, was there anybody that you looked up too?”
A: “My mother was very career oriented, so she instilled those values. Both my parents worked extremely hard. The best thing you could say about someone in our family is that they were hard workers. I was growing up just after the Second World War and my father began a business. In fact, he began three businesses, one after the other until he finally made it but he was extremely successful in his chosen field. So, I did see both my parents do much better than you would have predicted based on their education level or social class, which of course is very big in Britain.”

Q: “Yes of course but I hear you about hard work, nothing replaces that doesn’t it?”
A: “No, nothing replaces that.”

Q: “Generation Y because is the audience I may be speaking to throughout this campaign, ones that are coming out of university. Do you have any advice for them or comments about this generation in terms of how they may succeed?”
A: “Well what I notice about Generation Y is that they have strong community values, which is great! I think it’s really important that they hang on to those values and look for work that allows them to express their values. I think that’s absolutely key; to be aware of their expectations and how their expectations might be different from people working around them and be aware that there are different expectations at work as well as at home. I think we all tend to think, what we expect is what everybody expects and I don’t find that as true. So we should be aware of what our own expectations are and being open to understanding that other people have different expectations, I think is really important. ”

Q: “My last question is about the campaign theme that we’re doing, which is Know No Limits. What would you like to say to women today about knowing no limits?”
A: “What I notice, which I am just amazed about and I think is wonderful is that when my generation had children, we tried to hide the fact because it was so new to have working mothers it was easier not to talk about it because it generated less opposition. What I’m really proud of about young women today is that they are raising these issues about the challenges of being parents and employees. Also, young men are too and I think it’s wonderful that there is more discussion about that and people are bringing those issues forward rather than trying to keep them quite.”

Q: “Are you saying I that in terms of knowing no limits that just because you are going to be a working mom, that shouldn’t hinder you or hold you back?”
A: “No it shouldn’t hold you back at all and you should be able to talk about the challenges of being a working parent. I think you need to actually talk about it because there are more and more, particularly in the public sector, value placed around working fathers because of their employment contracts. I think it’s important people talk about those challenges openly and find way to reconcile their differences. I know that we’ve moved some of our meeting times for team meetings, not because the women in the team have childcare times but two of the men in our team have child care times. And so, I’m really glad that we can now debate that and say how do we accommodate this? How do we change the working hours? How do we change the meeting times?”

Q: “Interesting, it’s really about accommodation isn’t it?”
A: “It is. I think what the next ten years is going to be about is: there will be skill shortages in all sectors. Specifically, those in Canada and the US are showing that women’s participation in the workforce is dropping slightly. So young women are going to be extremely valued and sought after as employees because we are going to go into shortages. I think young women have a really good opportunity in the next ten years to advance their careers and maintain the working parent balance because they will be in demand.”

Q: “Yes that’s promising for them isn’t it?”
A: “Very.”

Q: “And then the last question is that is there a lesson you wish you knew then that you know now?”
A: “I don’t tend to think about regrets. I have a great career in that it’s extremely varied, extremely interesting and I’ve enjoyed it all.”

Q: “You’re very lucky too for that. Thanks for your time.”

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Know No Limits – Magnolia’s Social Media Summer Campaign – Join us!

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By Phoebe Yong

This past week, I’ve watched several commencement speeches in the media delivered by smart, highly successful individuals, and safe to say, over achievers.   As I watched and listened to their inspirational wishes for these young graduates, as an entrepreneurial woman, I couldn’t help but also think about the young graduating students at the  high school and elementary school level — in particular the young women and girls who even at that young age have so much to consider before entering adulthood.

This is why I’ve decided to dedicate part of our social media campaign this summer on a project I’ve called “Know No Limits”. Sounds a bit like a Nike slogan doesn’t it, but truthfully, I came up with this idea while enroute back from a business trip.

My daughter is graduating from Grade 7 this year, marking a milestone in her young educational pursuit and I often hear her talk about different professions she would like to strive for. The usual professions that are often targeted for women in health care and education are mentioned. Then I thought about how cool it would be to initiate a campaign where women in all sorts of careers, maybe not quite as traditional, encourage young women and girls engaged in the idea of knowing no limits to their success in whatever they want to do.

Using social media the goal of our team will be to spread the message this summer that young women today can achieve anything they set their mind to it, and here are the many examples of great women in all sectors and professions to tell you how they did it and the obstacles they overcame.

Lastly, I want young women to know if they choose to do something they love as a career, then each day isn’t a chore or drag but a true reflection on their purpose in life to live out their passions and contribute to being an awesome human being in our society.

So please help me this summer by passing the word of “Know No Limits” for young women out there and in the coming weeks, I hope you will enjoy the interviews, short articles, and blogs on how women are living their full potential because they dared to Know no Limits.

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Getting Bums In Seats

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By: Kelly Choi

Picture this scenario: you’ve been planning an event for months and have slaved away researching a venue, exploring catering options, perfecting the décor, and much more on a long list of arrangements. But on the day of the event, as you eagerly await for the arrival of your many guests, you realize you can barely fill the room. This is a nightmare for any event planner. It’s also a nightmare for guests who are expecting a chance to mingle with a group and presenters who are anticipating a good audience.

Well there are some surefire tactics we can suggest that promise to fill those seats:

Know your event, know your audience

Think of the top three goals you would like your event to achieve. What is the message that you want your attendees to bring home? Knowing what your event’s goals are will help narrow down your list of potential invites and sets your event apart from others.

Spend more time on promotion and start early

Too often people put all their time into detail decisions. Rather than focusing on whether to go with the swan-folded napkins or fan-folded napkins, don’t forget you need to get the word out! Promotion is so much more than just creating a Facebook event page. Thanks to e-mail marketing and social tools like Event Brite, creating a campaign is a cinch. Begin planning your outreach early on in order to give people lots of notice and more opportunities to consider attending.

Create an email and social media marketing timeline

E-mail marketing services such as MailChimp or Constant Contact are ideal for event invitations and notices. Keep your audience in the loop about your event by sending out consistent e-mailers with a variety of subject lines, starting first with the initial “save the date” notification, the actual invitation, and then one or two follow up emails leading up to the event, as well as a “thanks for attending” note following your event which is a great chance to get feedback.

For social media (SM) marketing, create a comprehensive schedule of tweets about your event and consider creating an event hashtag to start some buzz. For example, if it’s a golf fundraiser, you could use #pitchinandputt and synch them up with your other SM accounts for a wider reach. Find more great SM tips here: WiredImpact.

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The Great Rejig: Giving your Marcoms Plan a New Direction

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By Hanah Van Borek

Hopefully our last post got the wheel turning and helped you realize it’s not too late to reevaluate your strategy in 2013 thus far. Once that crucial review has happened you’ll have a clearer idea of what is and isn’t working. The next challenge is execution.

To help you begin we’ve outlined four key areas where businesses commonly fail and how to improve:

Brand Health

Is your brand garnering a bad rep, or no rep at all? Letting go of a defunct brand is tough since it’s a huge part of your company identity, but if you’re not getting the reaction you want it’s worthwhile to reconsider. In need of a total makeover? Start at the beginning with that initial creative brief. Chances are those key associations you used to pair with your company have evolved or need tweaking. Then sit down with a few branding experts and have them show you samples. Take your time with it – this is not a decision you want to rush. Get as much trusted feedback as you can.

Media Awareness

If all your campaigns to date have managed to drum up are crickets, there are one of two possibilities. Either your angle and approach stink, or you need to give it more time (it can take a while to get through). If your situation is more the former, some brainstorming and research are in order. You may need to dig deeper to find out exactly what’s being said about your company and your industry; get your finger on the pulse. You may also be going after the wrong folks, for example, if you have a very niche product and general business folks aren’t biting, start first by approaching the verticals of that niche.

Customer Communication (Direct)

The relationship you have with existing customers is precious; it’s what keeps them coming back and bringing you referrals. You must not only be responsive to them but also motivate a response (a positive one of course). There are a variety of ways to do this, but a lot will depend on your market and those segments within. For example, a newsletter may be an appropriate initiative, or a simple e-mail campaign can be just as effective. Consider social media here as well, where the goal is not just growing as many followers as possible, but actually connecting and engaging with the ones you have.

Web Activity

What was the last lead you got from your website, let alone the last click or view? This might be a web emergency you don’t want to ignore because you could be missing out! 67% of the typical “B2B buyer’s journey” is now done digitally (SiriusDecisions CXO Study 2013). It’s likely not just a case of a bad layout or poor navigation, but in how people are finding you, which is where SEO optimization and in-bound links comes in. Once people find you, they also need a call to action. For this, you may not need to revamp the whole site, some simple coding enhancements could be all it takes.

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It’s not too late to reevaluate 2013’s marketing strategies

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By Phoebe Yong, Principal, Magnolia Communications

One of the most important and toughest jobs in 2012 was setting the path for 2013 and after that, following through with the right execution. What many companies may not consider is that just because they’re well into 2013 with a plan in full motion, it’s not too late to stop and review it and allow themselves to make crucial adjustments before year end. As a matter of fact, if you take the time to reevaluate, you may achieve the confidence and clarity you need to get on the right path instead of pushing forward with misaligned goals.

Ideas for discussion

  1. Take stock of your industry. What’s happening? What are top trends this year and for next year that you need to have in place for 2013? This year in the social media scene Pinterest took big leaps as one of many photography-focused platforms and presented a great opportunity for retailers who were fast to add Pinterest to their toolkit. At Magnolia, we are seeing compelling storytelling lean towards short videos and animation making for a more personal impression; I received an e-newsletter from CNBC and rather than featuring articles, it featured videos only. Your strategy may need to employ some of these tactics to keep up with your competitors, which leads me to our next point.
  2. Take stock of your competitors. This is probably something that you’re doing on a regular basis. If you’re not, start paying special attention to the top competitors in your niche, their positioning and the key services they are focusing on. For example, in our sector, social media is one of the biggest new offerings. I’ve purposely kept social media at the periphery, focusing mainly on LinkedIn and email marketing as key arsenal for lead generation. I figure let everyone else fight it out with Facebook and Twitter. In the meantime, I’ll gear our business and our clients’ attention on true lead generation tools that in my opinion yield better ROI for them. Some of your competitors may be positioning themselves as, for example, low cost or value driven; what is your positioning? Is this the right positioning you want to take into 2014?
  3. Take stock of your customers. Are the services you are offering meeting customer needs? Are you asking the right questions of your customers to meet their expectations? My experience in working with product managers during my Sierra Wireless years taught me that any newly launched product should go quickly into product review to ensure the next product cycle includes continuous feedback from end users. How do you tailor your products to meet customer needs?
  4. Make a Wish List! Or if you already have one, review that Wish List! Ok, you’ve got three months to go before year end, what are the top things you want to achieve or have marked as SUCCESS? One item on our list was to move into a new office this year where we would be better positioned to scale our business. Check! Another item for this year is to land our client an interview with the Economist and a prime time TV spot.

How are your marketing initiatives going to make those wishes come true?

You’ve got some time on your side to figure it out.

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The FireFox and the PR Hound

– By Alyssa Sy de Jesus

As a wise man (Sean Tyson, Director of Strategy at Invoke Media) once told my BUS450 class at SFU: “Social media is like teenage sex. Everybody wants to do it, but not everybody knows how.”

Running on the theme of effective social media use and age, my colleague Nicole Freeston wrote about why it IS okay to trust a 23 year old with your business’ Social Media. But for this week, I’d like to build on that by discussing why it might be a good idea to trust public relations in particular with your social media.

Most businesses and organizations look to social media to grow their reach and reputation by means of positive interaction with the right audience. In this sense, using social media successfully for business is about public relations.

Now I know that “Firefox” is a browser and that some would not consider it a “social media”. However what I’m really getting at here is a beautiful friendship between two seemingly opposite but in actuality, complimentary forces between the free-flow interactive technology of the Internet and the specificity of communication in public relations. Also, I’m Disney fan.

The way I see it, social media is the fast and free fox that moves about in the vast and rampant terrain of technological information and interaction. And as for the PR Hound? Under the Magnolia Tree, we define the PR Hound as somebody who loves to go for the focused and targeted chase of communicating good stories and making great connections. The fox may run wildly and the hound may hunt sharply, but instead of chasing after each other’s tails, I believe that the targeted PR Hound can use its senses to help to strengthen and focus the agile fox in the wild terrain. The fox on the other hand, can lead the PR Hound into new territory.

Here are two reasons as to why I think that the FireFox and the PR Hound can be good friends and why using social media for business is something that comes naturally to PR:

1. Understanding the “Media” in “Social Media”

While I am admittedly a social media enthusiast, I do not see it as the Holy Grail with the Midas PR/marketing touch. So first thing’s first: social media is a media outlet. This means that it’s all about figuring out how to best use it according to one’s specific needs and goals. Using social media effectively is a lot about customization and who better to intuitively figure that out through skill, expertise, and experience like a PR Hound? PR is about identifying a business’ or organization’s story and finding the best way and avenue to tell it from. Along with picking the right outlet, a PR Hound can figure out how a great story can be told through both a 14 page print feature or in 140 characters or less.

2.   Understanding the “Social” in “Social Media”

Social media echoes of and adds to the immediacy and fluidity of conversations between people. But besides being able to feel people out and discover the stories that resonate with them, PR Hounds are also great at immediately responding to and making the best out of a situation. In short, PR Hounds can keep up with the pace of social media interaction because of their improvisation skills. Magnolia team member, Hanah Van Borek, wrote about the importance of improvisation in PR and the same tips on “agreeing, contributing, and making statements” go for social media. However, improvisation in social media and PR is not just about building on connections but creating something positive out of the negative as well. As Kristina Lee’s  post on how people have forgotten the letter and taken to Twitter points out, social media is now an active place for customer feedback. A PR Hound would immediately know what it takes to handle negative customer feedback on social media, where interaction happens at the speed of light, and improvise based on their people and business know-how.

From a PR perspective, social media is all about figuring out how to effectively use the technology according to the ways in which people interact and connect on it. Social media provides a range of information and potential for PR outreach and storytelling. PR can help to strategize a productive and efficient direction for your social media trail to take. Together, the FireFox and the PR Hound can really go places.

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Trust Us! – A Response to “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media”

– By Nicole Freeston

Hollis Thomases, President & CEO of Web Ad.vantage, wrote an article that was posted on Inc. on August 10, 2012, listing 11 reasons why you shouldn’t hire a recent graduate to manage your company’s social media accounts. Thomases uses the example of 23 year olds, which may be the average age of new grads; however as someone on the verge of turning 23, and the one who oversees all of Magnolia’s social media, I, of course, had to respond to this.

Excerpt from Hollis Thomases article on Inc.com

I can’t say this for all of us who are 23, or almost 23, but I love the fact that I was born in 1989. Unlike children born in the mid-late 90s, we didn’t necessarily ‘grow up digital’. Of course this is a big generalization to assume anyone born after 1989 is obsessed with technology and social media; I mean to say that we did things the old way for a while. I spent half of my childhood without a computer, didn’t have my first cell phone until Grade 11, and didn’t join Facebook until I was almost done high school. It is definitely a little disheartening to find that we’ve been thrown in with all of those who were born digital.

Since I have lived a portion of my life without social media and explored its uses and misuses while in University, I’m able to be critical of it. I may be generalizing again, but I’m assuming that anyone like me, who has studied Media or Communications, has been exposed to similar things. When a recent graduate applies for a job to manage social media, they are most likely someone with that particular background. We also learn to use social media to market ourselves and are careful what we post, so wouldn’t we do the same thing for the company that hires us?

Of course there are youth that fit the stereotype that Thomases proposes. I understand that “being good on Facebook,” doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the online identity of a big company. I’ve shaken my head numerous times when I see people treat Facebook or Twitter like a diary. However I assume and hope that these people are never going to apply for a job managing social media.

Like most job openings, there is some sort of an interview and training process. If employers are fearful of these negative qualities associated with youth and social media, find out during the interview if there is anything to be afraid of. If your company has a particular way of using social media with regards to language, etiquette, or general policies specific to your brand, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a new grad and letting them know about these rules, just like you would do with any position, with any person, of any age. A new hire needs to learn the company’s procedures, culture, and products, regardless of what position they are in. It’s not necessarily viable to use age as a reason to expect less from a recent grad. In fact, a 23 year old may do a better job managing social media than someone older. Having grown up using social media, as well as being old enough to see its misuses in those younger than us is an advantage. We know the uses, the trends, and the important roles social media should play in the industry.

I don’t fully disagree with Thomases. There are youth that fit the mould she describes, but these individuals are not representative of all new grads. Most of us know how difficult it is to land any kind of gig in this industry and are eager to learn and work hard. So, trust us!

Read Hollis Thomases full article HERE.

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