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Archive for November, 2008

The headline of this post might be a little misconceiving. It is my belief that the point of LinkedIn is to connect and either add business partnerships or find a new job. Well, neither of those have happened yet for me. I have, however, found success connecting with my past fellow employees and with people I hope to network with in the future.

I did read an interesting Reuters article today about the economic crisis boosting the usage of LinkedIn as laid-off employees seek jobs.

I’m one of the thankful and lucky ones that still has a job, and I’m at a business with strong ethics and practices that spell success for it (and hopefully for me) for the future. However, I am feeling extra lucky that I have already immersed myself in social media and online recruiting that will keep me “up to date” in the marketplace.

The Reuters article includes an interview with a mid-50s woman who is just getting signed up to LinkedIn. It is good to already be there, know how it works and connecting with friends and employers to create an online network that may come in handy some day. At the very least, I’ve already met people with similar intersts that are simply nice to talk with. So, if you haven’t signed up, go ahead. It may one day be well worth it.

Please feel free to come say hi to me at my LinkedIn profile.

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Well, now we can see the real value of social media.

Guy starts Facebook group about Texas beating OU in early October.

Facebook group now as more than 18,000 members.

Mentions of group on Austin American Statesman Web site (possibly in print).

Signs with 45-35 score on them were plastered across Memorial Stadium at Thursday’s Texas/Texas A&M game. Many of the signs were printed in The Daily Texan, the University of Texas’ student-run newspaper.

Guy who started Facebook group was interviewed live on ESPN talking about the group.

So, what started on Facebook also garnered print, Internet and TV advertising. I didn’t get a chance to listen to radio for the game, but I’m sure it was mentioned there as well. Gotta love the power of social media.

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Maybe it was just me, but I was a little disappointed in the advertisements that came in Thursday’s newspaper. For the past couple of years these ads have played a key role in my Thanksgiving — watching my husband, his family and my family rifle through them and choose things they like. However, this year the excitement was tremendously dialed down. Home Depot was the only store that really got anyone in our family pulling out a pen to circle the items they like. And consequently, my mom, my mother-in-law and myself all spent at least part of Friday morning at Home Depot.  

Maybe it was high expectations. I expected flashy ads and sliced prices in an effort by the stores to get more people out there Friday morning despite the fact that everyone is number crunching right now. But maybe the stores are doing so bad that they can’t afford to cut any more of their prices. Or maybe they expect people to shop on Black Friday no matter what the prices are because we expect them to be cheaper.

Any thoughts? How was your Black Friday shopping?

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The power of social media is helping Longhorn fans to fight for their team this week. With the BCS rankings too close to choose a Big 12 South winner (an expected national title game participant), Longhorn fans have created a Facebook group called “Texas did beat OU 45-35, lest we forget.”

You can read a full blrub about the new group here.

There were 3,800 members when the Bevo Beat blog was posted, and I’m sure that number has grown quickly. But, how many voters for the Harris poll or coaches in the USA Today poll actually are on Facebook? Probably few. However, the purpose of the social network group is not to solely gain members.
The purpose of this social media campaign isn’t to drive people to Facebook. It is to spur action to grab a larger presence on TV on Thursday (i.e., big signs with the OU-Texas score). So, what we may see is something that started on Facebook help shape the game Thursday night, OU’s game Saturday and the rankings on Sunday. Kudos to the power of social media and people’s willingness to use it.  

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Earlier this week I talked about the impact social media had on the Motrin ad campaign. Here’s lesson two: social media can turn quickly — one way or the other. Already it seems as if the turmoil over the Motrin campaign has died down. Karlene Lukovitzwrote a more detailed article about the fleeting nature of the Motrin uproar. This fleeting nature is why so many companies choose to ignore questions posed through social media. Right when you decide to jump into the conversation — and for many companies, this decision could take days or even weeks — the conversation is already over.

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The Associated Press plans to cut 10 percent of its workforce in 2009. What makes this especially interesting is that daily newspapers were cutting staff and thus were needing to rely more on AP copy or completely burn out their newsrooms. If everyone keeps cutting, who is going to be left to write our news? Enter social media. The people will write their own news, possibly making the entire newspaper industry obsolete at some point down the road.

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I attended a seminar this morning where journalists turned PR professionals were supposed to provide a little insight into how the transition has impacted their current careers.

A few thoughts:

1. I found it interesting that no one really addressed the role writing experience has played in their transitions. I stressed just last week to a group from Texas State University how important being able to write is for a PR career. I believe my time as a journalist taught me AP style, self-editing skills and how to write concisely — all of which play an important role in my PR career. Maybe this was too basic for the topic, but I expected it to be addressed.

2. It felt like an hour (of the one-hour scheduled time) passed before anyone brought up social media. I was surprised. Maybe it is just me, but as a PR professional all I think about lately in terms of my industry is social media.

3. I walked away from the seminar wishing there would have been more of a round-table approach to it. First off, probably 30 percent to 40 percent of the room were former journalists. In that kind of situation, be flexible. Open up the seminar beyond the three leaders who didn’t seem to satisfy anyone’s curiosity. I think we would have all benefited more by a candid discussion between everyone in the room.

4. At the end of the day, the key question is “Why is this important?” It’s the question for journalists and PR people. If it isn’t important, then it isn’t news.

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