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ECEDENT PR Public Relations Student Society of America

Issue 2 • October 21, 2013 • University of Georgia • Drewry Chapter •

If you don’t brand yourself, then who will? Major companies like Coca-Cola and McDonalds bombard us daily with advertising strategies designed to make us view their company in a positive light, so why don’t you do the same? Ask yourself what comes to mind when others say your name. Is it image of success and positive influence? Jerry Wilson, senior vice president of The Coca-Cola Company and president of the Global McDonald’s Division, says branding is who you are deep inside, what passions you have and how you can lead your most successful life. The purpose of branding is to differentiate yourself from other applicants and competitors in the marketplace. By developing your own brand, you’ll have control over people’s initial perception of you. Successful brands communicate in a consistent manner and create a unique position in the marketplace. The American Institute of CPAs lists five tips to brand yourself effectively: 1. Define your brand and become an expert. Use words such as collaborative, resourceful, flexible, connected, visionary, diplomatic, intuitive, precise, ethical and genuine to describe your persona, culture and outlook. 2. Establish a presence. You’re being Googled by friends, colleagues and potential employers, so make sure your branded content is what people find when they search your name. 3.Generate brand awareness through networking. You should be connecting with other

students and professionals in the public relations industry by using social media. 4. Remember the 3 Cs of branding. Clarity, consistency and constancy. Be clear about who you are and are not. Determine where you want to fit in and then remain visible to your target audience. 5. Get feedback from those who know you best. The true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold of you in their hearts and minds. Ask them what your top attributes and core strengths are. If they can easily tell you, then you’ve succeeded in branding you. In today’s competitive marketplace, it has never been more important to utilize all channels to illustrate all that you have to offer. Bob London, a marketing expert, states that public relations practitioners often pride themselves on being generalists, being able to do anything for a client, when they should really be focusing on what they do best. Figure out what you’re great at, and make it your specialty. Market yourself in a way that sets you apart from others. Finally, don’t forget to proactively manage all aspects of your brand, ensuring these aspects are in sync and that they continue to reinforce your brand attributes. The world wants to know what you have to say.

By Amelia Miles


Digital Trends Today

hen it emerged in the beginning, Facebook was a great site to keep up with friends and find your old buddies. Now, the multi-billion dollar company that started the “Social Media” trend is flawed by the same problem that attracted so many users: a broad mass. With so many companies using Facebook to try to connect with users, there has been a largely unreceptive audience relative to the small, active users who prefer communication with these companies. The overreach of Facebook has been only one of a growing numbers of concerns and problems social networking sites face in the future, yet any networking site that is going to succeed has a number of trends they will have to confront. Everyone knows of sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, but what is beginning to change the social network scene is an attraction to private networking, or a network with a limited audience. People no longer want to broadcast their experiences to one thousand pairs of prying eyes; rather, they want to post a picture of their dog wearing sunglasses and have it be seen by one hundred true friends. Google + is quickly becoming one of the best ways for users to organize their friends into circles, allowing for much greater control over what is shared and visibly expressed. Having become the second biggest social media site in number of monthly viewers, G+’s popularity as a networking site remains open to companies hoping to tap into the resource. Companies hoping to attract followers on Google + will need to find effective and unique liaisons to draw in users and appear to their niche audiences, without being too noisy in their approach or web presence.

Another growing trend in social networking is the desire for portability and accessibility. Nowhere has this predilection been more evident than in the growth of mobile access. Mobile applications and the use of smartphones are set to overtake desktop computer usage within the next few years. One new mobile app, called Highlight, is set to change the stage in terms of mobile interaction. Anytime someone with a Highlight profile comes near you, their name, age, mutual friends, and posts appear on your home screen. This type of local connectedness is what Facebook and other sites need. A final development in wake of the social networking boom has come from ways to make money off new apps and websites. In wake of this “mobile migration,” many developers and advertisers have struggled to find effective ways of broadcasting their goods/services to users. It all relates to convergence and how media, advertising, and marketing must be tied together to achieve maximum effectiveness in advertising. To be successful in this aspect, a company must be able to tailor the message and channel by which it reaches its target audience. A girl on Facebook Mobile isn’t going to watch a 30-second clip for Old Spice deodorant any more than a guy who finds himself looking at a Tory Burch shoe deal. Customization and the ability to identify and reach target audiences efficiently will be the make-it-or-break-it factor for mobile advertising.

By acknowledging hurdles in social networking and forming effective strategies for dealing with them, companies can bolster social network presence and outperform their opponents. In a world with a constantly changing techno-landscape, it is imperative to stay one step ahead of the game by keeping the consumer’s concerns in mind, and tailoring their experience to keep them attracted and connected.

By Doug McWilliams

Creating a Stellar Linked Abby Bergquist

PRSSA Publications Committee

If anyone is like me and feels unsure of how to conquer LinkedIn in a professional way, then fear no more. There may be a time where we no longer need a classic resume, only a LinkedIn profile, but that time is not here. Currently, professionals view the LinkedIn profile as the medium that should be the most up to date. When applying for a job the applicant is expected to turn in a resume, but once handed over it cannot be changed quickly. That is where a LinkedIn profile comes in handy. Your profile should be the most accurate currently; that way the company hiring can have a quick reference point.

Here are 5 tips to create your completely updated LinkedIn: 1. Put up a new picture The first thing professionals will look at is your picture, so you don’t want it to be an Instagram picture or an image with other people in it. Get a close-focused picture that shows your smiling face and fills the frame. A misconception is that you need a formal shot, but as long as it’s professional looking it qualifies. PRSSA offers members the opportunity to get professional photos taken at an inexpensive cost, so take advantage of it!

2. The more detail the better The strongest profile you can make is one filled with detail. That can include work experience, volunteering, past education, anything you would include on a resume and more. Following LinkedIn’s Profile Completion Tips can help as well. Adding a profile headline and summary are also good ways to give a great impression.

3. Proofread everything Don’t skip over parts of your profile that you think would obviously be correct, because there always could be a mistake. It looks unprofessional to people looking to hire when something is spelled wrong because it seems that you don’t have time to carry out the project to the very end.

4. Never lie I know this might sound like a lecture, but it is never a good idea, especially in the professional world. If you get caught you’ve lost all credibility for what you do and anything else you might have truthfully listed.

5. Add LinkedIn to your email signature By having this attached to your signature, you indirectly bring more traffic to your LinkedIn profile. The more awareness as a professional you have, the more connections you could gain!

The Do’s and Don’t’s of Social Media Social media are a prime example of the blurring between public and private in our personal and professional lives. On one hand, they serve as a forum for connecting with friends, sharing pictures and comments and communicating casually online. On the other hand, social media have the potential to help you find a job and connect you to networks that can assist your career. With a continuum of completely different purposes, what we can and cannot, should and should not post online and on our social media platforms becomes one large gray area. It should no longer come as a surprise that potential employers will research and view your online and social media presence, if they have not already. Whether you are a freshman who is completely new to the potential job sphere or a senior actively seeking employment, cleaning up and maintaining your social media can help you now and in the long run. Whether on LinkedIn or Instagram, your social media is a presentation of yourself, so do put your best face—and tweet—forward.


Do 1. Create positive content.

Seek to make a strong first impression, but if your social media reads with a negative tone; it will present you negatively as well. Friends and bosses alike do not want to read gripes, complaints and rude comments that you post for the world to see.

2. Display your personality.

Social media can give you a voice, a face and a personality where a paper resume cannot. Use this as a chance to share your interests, hobbies and passions.

3. Connect with others.

Social networking has incredible capacity to help you connect and stay in touch with people, new and old. While a contact on Facebook may be a critical link that gets you a foot in the door, do not rely on social media as a primary or formal means of communication.

4. Monitor frequently.

Check yourself regularly to ensure your profiles and content present you in the best light. Do not wait until you have something inappropriate to delete after an application is submitted or an interview is scheduled. Make it a habit to filter your profiles.

5. Interact.

There’s more to social media than quick updates and sharing pictures with friends. Follow companies you are interested in, share articles or posts that mean something to you or your field and engage with people and businesses alike.

1. Upload anything you wouldn’t want everyone to see. 2. Over share.

This goes for your schedule, current location, pictures, activities, relationships, emotions, private conversations or topics. If it is personal or impulsive, do not share on social media.

3. Make your online presence all about you.

Yes, they are your social media accounts but make your presence known by being interactive. Don’t just post what you’re eating or status updates asking for jobs but retweet meaningful posts, share relevant articles and videos and make thoughtful comments.

4. Ignore your privacy settings.

Be aware of which profiles are public or private and what content different people can see. Google yourself for a quick check.

5. Be naïve.

Understand that people, friends and bosses alike, will be looking at your social media profiles. Know that they are a representation of you, keep them appropriate and think twice before posting.

By Catherine Gebhardt

Online Etiquitte Social Media, it is ever changing. There are so many ways to connect and interact with the world through your mobile device or your computer. Being students, having a personal life that is heavily socialized on the internet as well as trying to build a professional brand to aid in our career opportunities after college can get a bit tricky. In an effort to alleviate some stress I will be highlighting the things you should be doing and the things you should be avoiding.

Whether you are managing a Facebook page, Twitter account, blog, Tumblr, Instagram or all of the above, here are a few things you want to keep in mind: Using your social media as a way to interact with businesses and professionals means you need to also be professional and make it easy and simple to interact with you. When you are retweeting links on Twitter or sharing links on Facebook including the subject matter of the industry you are interested in, be sure the link is relevant and useful to those in the industry. It is also very important that you read and understand anything that you retweet or share. You do not want to make the mistake of putting inappropriate or inaccurate content out there. If someone engages you into a conversation about what you retweet or share, you want to be competent on the matter. Always be knowledgeable of the things you tweet or share.

When using your own thoughts and comments, keep it short and concise; you want the readers to be able to read your tweet or post by scrolling through their feed rather than clicking on the tweet or post to get all the contents. You can make a great impression by being direct, knowledgeable and accurate.

It looks good to professionals when you can show your personality successfully in the realm of the industry. Expressing your own thoughts and opinions on an industry is a great way to keep up with the changes and updates. You want to be timely in your post; being organized and prompt shows your discipline. Always respond, whether the comments are positive or negative. When you do respond, do so in a positive voice with a polite manner. Exemplifying control with a cool demeanor speaks volumes about your character.

Above all else, remember that we are our own personal brands. Everything you do, say, associate yourself with has an impact on your brand. Whether the impact is positive or negative is up to you. Be careful with the friends you accept on Facebook, be conscious of grammatical errors, and just be yourself. Maintain a consistent theme on your social networks, a theme that mirrors who you are professionally and personally.

By Patrice Boswell

Twitter Fails

In this day and age, social media is a basic and essential tool for all public relations professionals. Every company utilizes and maintains a social media presence, usually in multiple formats like a YouTube channel, a website or a Facebook page. Quickly rising as the easiest social media format, Twitter allows organizations to get messages to their fans efficiently in 140 characters or less. A company can communicate with its followers and address complaints or praises in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, the ease of communication through twitter has led to complacency and absentmindedness by social media experts. It happens all the time—you are scrolling through your twitter feed and see a post that makes you wonder what on earth that person was thinking. This feeling is commonly referred to online as Shaking My Head, or SMH for short. SMH moments happen with professional organizations as well as that annoying, always has to give his unwanted two cents guy currently filling up your feed. Let us call these lapses in online judgment, “Twitter fails.” Common Twitter fails are automated tweets, hashtag ignorance, wrong account tweets, hacks and the favorite of everyone—Twitter freak outs. Here are a few of the biggest and best Twitter fails:

AutomatedTweet TweetFails Fails Automated

Scheduled or automated tweets are common practices that get organizations into some interesting situations, or worse, a public relations crisis. The social media team for the airline, AmericanAir, were obviously feeling a bit lazy the day a consumer tweeted about his very negative feelings towards the company. Something along the lines of American Air being the largest and (cough cough) “worst” airline in the world. He received an automatic reply saying “Thanks for your support! We look forward to a bright future as the #newAmerican.” The National Rifle Association took the scheduled tweet problem to a whole new, disturbing, level. Hours after the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting, the NRA tweeted out “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” This was a scheduled tweet, not being posted by a person at that moment, but it still came off as extremely insensitive. What have we learned? Just say no to automatic and scheduled tweets.

HAshtagIgnorance ingnorance Hashtag

What is hashtag ignorance you ask? It is when a company sees a hashtag that is trending and does no research what so ever as to why, but uses it in their own tweet any way. These tweets have the possibility to turn out offensive and make the tweeter look like an imbecile. The company Entenmann’s posted a tweet saying “Who’s #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?!” The hashtag, #notguilty, was currently trending because of the Casey Anthony verdict. Entenmanns is guilty of hashtag ignorance, but they on the other hand, did not get away with it. An apology was swiftly tweeted to followers. The same situation occurred when Celeb Boutique tweeted “#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress…” No, Celeb Boutique, just no. The trend was actually about the Aurora theater shootings. Clearly social media employees were not on the ball that day.

Profile Hacks Profile Hacks Profile hacks are probably the most preventable Twitter fail. A complicated password that is changed often should do the trick. Of course there are they myriad computer nerds out there that will do anything for a giggle. Burger King and Jeep were both hacked recently. Both company’s profiles were changed to look as if a competitor had bought them. Burger king was sold to McDonalds and Jeep was sold to Cadillac. Many inappropriate tweets were sent out, but the both social media teams resolved the issue quickly.

WrongAccount account Wrong

If you are ever working for a company on their social media team, perhaps choose not to use your personal devices for the organization’s twitter account. Keep your personal account far away from your work. That could be what tripped up whoever was tweeting for KitchenAid USA when a post was made about Obama’s dead grandmother not wanting to see him as president. Tasteless no matter who says it, but a very bad public relations fiasco for everyone at KicthenAid.

Chrysler also had a crisis on their hands when someone at their agency, New Media Strategies, tweeted a very personal thought through the Chrysler company account. This person was wondering about Detroit’s nickname of the Motor City but lack of good drivers, with an F bomb flourish. Needless to say, the agency was fired.

TwitterFreak freak-outs Twitter Outs

There are several platforms available for one to vent their frustrations, insecurities or overall mental unstableness. All of which require no involvement from the general public. A therapist or a diary is a good way to keep one’s head straight. Social media has, unfortunately, created an environment where many feel they can share every single hilariously crazy thing that pops into their heads. Amy’s Baking Company was featured on Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares and was actually the only place bad enough to make him quit. The show aired and caused a flurry of negative publicity on sites like Reddit and Yelp for Amy’s Baking Company. Handle it with class and fix the obvious problems you say? Oh no definitely not, says Amy’s. The company posted, among many other rants: “You are all little punks. Nothing. you are all nothing. We are laughing at you. All of you, just fools. We have God on our side, you just have your sites.” Now, this was posted on Facebook and not Twitter, but could easily be seen on both social media sites. Does this rambling and strange post give you some déjà vu? That is because it probably sounds a lot like the wonderfully strange tweets of the number one Twitter freak out queen, Amanda Bynes. The former child star tops the list of bad judgment in online thought sharing. In some ways, it did gain Amanda Bynes the fame she had lost, but it trashed her image. The lesson to be learned from Bynes; bad online public relations and arson will get you some much needed away time from the computer.

By Kelley Cobb

2013-2014 Executive Board President Cody Nichelson @CodyNichelson Vice President Brittnee Jones @BrittneeJones Creative Consultants Director Whitney Jinks @WhitJinks PR Director Tana Bosshard @tanabosshard Treasurer Renee Micheli @reneemicheli Secretary Megan Deese @Meg_Deese Publications Editor Reagan Fromm @ReaganMFromm Social Media Director Stephanie Pham @Phammy117 Historian Jessie Powell @olivialucy Faculty Advisor Dr. Betty Jones Creative Consultants Advisor Kristen Smith Professional Advisor Jessica Rossi, Cox Media

FAQ:Frequently-Asked Questions I just became a public relations major, what exactly is public relations?

Public relations is “A strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Public relations centers around relationship building in order to strengthen ties with the media, company stakeholders and the consumers/fans of the product or service. Whether it’s researching the audience or performing a company campaign, public relations practitioners are the go-to guys for information. For example, when a company faces a crisis, such as Chick-Fil-A during the summer of 2012, it is up to PR practitioners to to help the company maintain a positive image to its various publics.

How many internships do I need to get a PR job?

It’s not how many you have, but the quality of them. Obviously having a lot of experience helps in the long run, but there are other ways to gain experience in PR. The great thing about public relations is its flexibility as a communications major. Since the merging of marketing, advertising and public relations began, experience in any of these fields will help your career. Volunteer to run or plan an event, become a chair of your sorority or help market a club or service you love. Know your niche skills. If you love entertainment, study media patterns. If you love fashion, research events in New York and LA. Find what resonates with you and spread the word. In this world of 24 hour news coverage…everything needs public relations. People are always looking for help. Check the Grady listserv and UGA dawglink for internships available in Athens and around the country. If you have questions about public relations, internships or college in general you want us to answer, tweet @UGAprssa with the hashtag #precedentFAQ.

PRECEDENT Fall Schedule: 250 MLC, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30: Delta Nov. 13: Member Appreciation Other Important Dates: Oct. 25-29: National Conference Nov. 12: ADPR Connection

Next Issue: If you would like to submit an article for the next PRecedent, email

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