Phone Etiquette

It used to be rude whenever someone whipped out their phone and was texting during a conversation, but now it seems that it’s almost commonplace for people to be having multiple conversations via texting/tweeting as well as a face-to-face conversation. A recent New York Times article, posted by columnist David Carr, titled Keep Your Thumbs Still When I\’m Talking to You, elaborates on how it’s normal to have a person whom you are talking to be engaged in a texting conversation with someone else. Carr says, “Here’s the funny part: If she is looking over your shoulder at a room full of potentially more interesting people, she is ill-mannered. If, however, she is not looking over your shoulder, but into a smartphone in her hand, she is not only well within modern social norms, but is also a wired, well-put-together person.”

Now, everyone is wired in one form or another. Carr adds, “When I go out to dinner with my peers these days, it’s not considered weird at all to pull out your phone. In fact, the situation has sort of reversed itself: You feel awkward if everyone else is using their phones and you’re not. It happens. A lot.”

I completely agree with this article. It’s almost weird to not have a phone out and your awareness buried in technology. However, there are certain situations in which it is against proper etiquette to be texting or tweeting.

In Ragain\’s PR Daily‘s article titled  “Emily Post explains texting and tweeting etiquette,” Emily Post is quoted saying, “The guideline [to texting and tweeting etiquette] is that you do not text-message when you are involved in any type of social interaction—conversation, listening, in class, at a meeting, or, especially, at the dinner table.”

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Twitter: a go or a no?

Kami Huyse, a 16-year PR veteran and co-founder of Zoetica, has her own blog called Communication Overtones. In her most recent post, BlogHer Study Shows the Continued Slide of Twitter Influence, Facebook Makes Gains, she evaluates Twitter usage compared to other social media networks.

As the title of her blog post states, a BlogHer study proves that most people say blogs and Facebook are their preferred network of social media.

Although there are pros with Twitter (immediate updates on thoughts and whereabouts–of yourself, your friends, and celebrities), it’s downfall according to Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder of BlogHer, is that it doesn’t serve a compelling purpose and that it doesn’t help regular people how to use it well because it only suggests to follow celebrities.

Twitter’s popularity rose because of “its ease of access and the ability for marketers, and anyone else, to bend the service to almost any purpose. It is the democratized social network.”

Elisa mentions an article by Fortune Magazine, in which they pointed out the following: “This is one area in which [Twitter] has the upper hand over Facebook. Facebook communications are private unless a user chooses to make them public; all tweets are public, which gives marketers a potentially richer pool of content for targeted ads.”

Out of curiosity, I polled some people myself, of which it seemed to be split down the middle: half were dedicated to Facebook, the other half enjoyed Twitter more. The Facebook followers said that the reason they were more apt to use Facebook over Twitter was because they felt that they could stay in touch with a more vast array of friends and family, as well as the entertainment of the pictures. The Twitter followers said that their reasoning behind their answer was because they liked the freedom to post whatever they are thinking, feeling, and/or doing as well as seeing what others were thinking, feeling, and doing.

One of Elisa’s point to the predicted Twitter fallout was that it used to be a site in which people could post questions and they would receive answers. However, she says, “Today, if you ask a question, it is likely to get ReTweeted, but less likely to get answered. It has increasingly become a broadcast channel vs. a relational one.”

Tips for Landing a J.O.B.

We all love the freedom of not having deadlines and nagging bosses, but sometimes college can be just as bad (or good) as what a job can be. However, for myself, and for many others out there, college is coming to an end and we have to start thinking about the  next chapter of our lives. These economic times have proven difficult to find employment, especially for recent graduates with little-to-no experience. Luckily, Ragan\’s PR Daily has provided three lovely tips on how to further the chances of scoring a decent job–or maybe even that “dream job”.

In Meg Carroll’s article, 3 tips for landing a PR job in the Big Apple, she discusses exactly what the title alludes to: tips for landing a PR job in NYC. These tips can suffice for any job in any city, and she clarifies that these are simply boosters and not ensurers.

The first tip is accessibility: “Out-of-state addresses do not scare potential employers as much as inaccessibility.” Being accessible via phone or e-mail is a must, but Carroll also includes accessibility as it pertains to face time. “Let them know that you are willing to travel for an interview if necessary,” she says. “You must make yourself available for an in-person interview if you are looking to land a job.”

The second tip is making connections. While this may seem like a somewhat obvious requirement, Carroll explains that any and all attendance to events somewhat related to the desired field of employment is necessary. At the event, it’s crucial to engage with everyone there. Carroll jokingly says, “Even if you don’t get a chance to speak to the host of the event, you may be sitting next to the young woman who just passed up an internship with Michael Kors because she couldn’t pass up the vacation to Italy with her boyfriend.” She then encourages to, “Always send a thank-you note to the host or special guest with your contact information (but don’t send unsolicited résumés). Very few people actually take time to thank the host, and it is always appreciated.”

The last tip is the often forgotten follow-up. Sending a resume is one thing, but showing potential employers that you are serious about this potential job and interested can be the deciding factor to put your resume at the top of the list or in the trash. Carroll refers to @KristinMiller‘s tweet, “Dear Interns I’ve interviewed lately: If you haven’t followed up with me, why should I think you would follow up with a reporter?” Make yourself known!

All of these tips, as stated before, can only boost possible job opportunities…not ensure future employment. But by using and acting upon these, it may just land you that dream job in your dream city!

Is Social Media Monitoring Ethical?

Personally, I think social monitoring is ethical. People should be free to post online whatever they think and/or feel; however, with the action of posting online, people should always be aware that they are, in fact, posting to the public. Because of that small fact, I think it is perfectly OK to monitor networks and websites.

Businesses and famed people all over have been protecting their images since day one. It’s common PR 101 right here, folks. If someone says something negative about a business or person, the come back is always either respond positively or dispose of the evidence. If one chooses the latter, it is not unethical since the comment is meant for the public.

There are actually companies who help other companies learn how to monitor their website interaction. One company, called Jive, has a positive take on social media monitoring. Promising to “help you listen, measure, and engage” with customers seems like a constructive means of social monitoring, but is monitoring nonetheless.

Another company, called Trackur, uses “sophisticated social media monitoring and filtering technology. It scans the web for any mention of your name, brands, and products—so you don’t have to.” Trackur simply brings to attention anything that is mentioned about specific name, brands, or products; then it’s at the discretion of the user to do with the mention how they please.

There are many more websites that can assist in social monitoring, and even some websites that tell you of other websites—such as Ben Barren.

Yet another website, Mashable, provides ten helpful steps to successful social monitoring. The first of which is to define the objective: ask yourself why you are monitoring and make sure that you have a clear goal in mind.

I think the key thing to remember, as users of the internet, is that we are using a public site and, therefore, everything will be public. If there is something that we would like to post about a person, brand, and/or product that would be offensive, then watch out for it to be plucked from space.

PR Open Mic

PROpenMic is a social network developed by Auburn University’s Robert French. This social network is targeted toward Public Relations students, faculty, and practitioners worldwide. This network connects people involved in Public Relations, providing future internships, job forums, etc. This is a network focused on learning and sharing.

According to their Facebook page, they are an ad-free and non-profit with an education focus. This is free to join!

The things that this social network offers are: blog listsforum discussionsvideosphotosgroups and eventsjobs and internships, and much more. This network functions much like other social networks–updating statuses, uploading photos, chatting, etc. However, something that is different from this network compared to the other social networking sites is that PROpenMic allows to members to interact in other ways rather than just blogging or photos. This is similar to LinkedIn, in that members should be professional due to potential internship and job offers through this site.

In various discussion pieces, unlike Facebook or Twitter, members can see and participate in discussions with those who are not friends of the member or with those who are not following, or being followed by the member. This provides more interaction and availability to network outside of one’s comfort zone.

This site is also very good with potential jobs and internships. Just like statuses are updated on Facebook, and like tweets are shown on Twitter, this has updated jobs and internships for its members to be the first to have access to. Not only does it upload possible positions through their own website, but it gives other portals for finding a job or internship–such as TwitJobSearchPRWeekJobs, and O\’Dwyers Jobs.

Podcasting

This is a trending topic among the media and across society. No, not a chic word or phrase to attach to a hashtag in twitter, but an actual source media that is growing in awareness and use.

Now, thanks to the Internet and its instantaneous connection to millions of people, your dreams can become reality. Just as blogging has enabled almost anyone with a computer to become a bona fide reporter, podcasting allows virtually anyone with a computer to become a radio disc jockey, talk show host or recording artist.

As ipodder indicates, a podcast, simply put, is no different than a webcast, a show that is broadcast over the web and is broken up into parts or episodes. Most podcasts are similar to news radio programs and deliver information on a regular basis, while some podcasts are comedy shows or even special music broadcasts. Podcasts are most popular on Apple’s iPod and iPhone devices, hence the name podcast, but a podcast can be enjoyed from a number of different sources and can even be listened to directly on a computer.

Podcasting can reach a different group just like blogging and other forms of social media reach specific groups. Although podcasting hasn’t reached a fame like Facebook or Twitter has, it has gained publicity with various businesses as they are attempting to get their ideas and innovations out to the masses.

Similarly like a radio talk show, or someone reading a book out loud, podcasting allows information to be heard from a different portal. It works especially well for those who are driving long distances–instead of listening to song after song about love or depression, they can educate their minds on the new up-and-coming innovation.

What is Foursquare?

No, not the recess game that we used to play in elementary school, Foursquare is “one of the hottest companies around,” says Nick Saint of Business Insider. “Foursquare is primarily used for letting your friends know where you are and figuring out where they are. Secondarily, it’s for collecting points, prize “badges,” and eventually, coupons, for going about your everyday business.”

This helps you become more aware of the things in your area. By uploading Foursquare to your phone, you can link to your friends through other accounts (i.e. Facebook or Twitter) to see where they are located. You can “check-in” to places that are stored in Foursquare–or if Foursquare doesn’t recognize a location, you can save it into your archive so that it will be remembered next time. To use Foursquare, this allows you to show your friends where you are and for you to see where they are as well.

By adding comments and tips about locations, it will allow for others to evaluate if certain places are worth their time. You can find recommendations or suggestions for things to do in your designated area. The more you use Foursquare, the more you’ll get out of it! You can unlock badges and points based on how often you “check-in” to different places. By racking up the badges and points, you can receive various discounts and coupons to certain locations.

If you check into a location more than anyone else, you can become the mayor! By becoming the mayor, more rewards are given.

Foursquare is becoming popular as time goes on. When Nick Saint posted his article for The Business Insider, it had not even been Foursquare’s first birthday, and they already accumulated 275,000 users. Then just five months later, Tech Crunch announced that Foursquare had breached the two million mark. Now that Foursquare is just over two years old, it’s users are multiplying, and so are its rewards.