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  • Ellie Brown 2:23 pm on March 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    School Work + Internship Experience = Match Made in Heaven 

    My graduate capstone project is due in approximately 5 weeks.  Eek!  So that means school work is taking priority over internship work for a while.  Well, sort of.  Inspired by my internship and newfound interest in social media, I decided my project will be an analysis of the social media strategies of four companies: Ford, Chevy, Starbucks and Chinatown Coffee Company.

    So while I haven’t been putting in the same hours each week at Abraham Harrison that I have in the past, I am still reading, writing and breathing all things social media.  By integrating my internship experience with the theme of my capstone project, I am able to take advantage of the knowledge of my colleagues at AH and continue to learn both inside and outside my internship…even if my hours inside are shrinking a bit.

    Therefore, for any of you readers who are considering an internship someday: don’t settle for a position just to fill up space on your resume.  Pick something that supplements your interests, and course work.  At least for me, it lessens the stress of a 40-60 page research paper due in 5 short weeks.

  • Ellie Brown 2:58 pm on March 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Writing practice makes perfect 

    I’ve never written so often in my life.  With this blog, my own blog and Abraham Harrison’s company blog, Marketing Conversation, my days are packed with writing.  But what better way to prepare for a career in PR –  a profession that is based on one’s ability to effectively communicate – than by honing my writing (read: communication) skills?

    And I’ve not just been writing blogs during my internship.  I’ve also written case studies, client success stories, and employee bios.  Each assignment, while different, is about knowing who I’m writing for, what is the most important information to convey, and how to do it in a succinct, yet interesting way.

    I recently finished writing up a case study on the blogger outreach I did for International Medical Corps.  I had to write just one page summarizing the context of the activity, the goal of AH’s communication strategy, the tactics used to reach that goal and finally the results of the outreach.  Then I had to boil all that down to one concrete results statement that not only communicated what our effort had accomplished, but also positioned AH as the best company for the job.  Not easy.  But a really good exercise in developing targeted and concise messages which I’m positive is a skill I’ll need for any job in PR.

    • fblume 4:28 pm on March 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Do you find it hard to change your register, the voice with which you write, between all your audiences? Which do you like best?

    • Chris Abraham 8:47 pm on March 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi, this is Chris, the president of Abraham Harrison, and what I like best about Ellie is that she doesn’t adjust her voice too much between these different platforms in an attempt to be more “professional” or more “casual” or more “approachable,” just that she remains consistent and the quality of communication speaks more to the readers — and her humor, which she doesn’t edit out — than if she tried to speak a certain way.

      • Ellie Brown 10:19 pm on March 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I couldn’t have said it better myself. That’s what I like most about blogging: that you can write in your own voice. And once people start to recognize that voice online, it helps to build your own personal brand.

        • Chris Abraham 10:41 pm on March 15, 2010 Permalink

          Too many “old school” businesses try to squelch the unique personal brand, thinking that it competes with or dilutes the parent brand. They feel like the employees need to be subsumed into the greater corporate brand; however, personal employee passion-based personal brand actually almost always enhances the parent brand. And, since it is so rare to find a passionate and excited employee, one should really try to encourage the personal brand growth. If you’re afraid of losing that employee via headhunting, you did something else wrong if you do lose her. Also, if you think she’ll get too big for her britches and she’ll be impossible to deal with? Well, look at your CEO — you deal with her, too! And, to be honest, the bigger her britches are the more influential she will be, so that’s generally a good thing. Besides, nice people generally don’t become jerks overnight. Well, I did, but most don’t. 🙂

  • Ellie Brown 1:35 am on February 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: digital public relations, International Medical Corps,   

    Blogger Outreach for Haiti 

    One of the things that Abraham Harrison does as a digital public relations agency is blogger outreach on behalf of clients.  So what does that mean?  Well, rather than reinventing the wheel, here is an abridged description taken from AH’s blog Marketing Conversation:

    With each new client, and each new outreach, we identify a target demographic and identify bloggers who are leading and influencing that demographic. We call these groups of relevant bloggers the “universe”.

    The universes are built using existing lists of bloggers AH maintains in combination with brand new lists (since each client has a different set of demographics they want to reach).

    We then reach out to these bloggers in a 4-6 week campaign which includes an initial semi-personalized outreach email, followed up by 2-4 follow-up emails. The emails are terse and the majority of the messaging is “outsourced” to a social media news release (SMNR – a one-page simple HTML microsite) that is a “steal me” sheet for the bloggers to add pictures, content and widgets. Here is an example of a SMNR:  http://freshairholiday.org/

    Each one of these outreach cycles generally leads to 100-300 social media mentions in blogs and on Twitter (depending on how intriguing the client’s message and offering are), invariably reaching millions of people.

    After last month’s earthquake in Haiti, I had the privilege of working on a pro-bono outreach AH developed on behalf of former client International Medical Corps.  We emailed almost 10,000 bloggers and asked for their help to spread the word about donating via text message or online to support IMC’s efforts in Haiti.  My job was to respond to bloggers who wrote back with questions, log any mentions on blogs or Twitter and thank bloggers for their help. We ended up with 171 blog and Twitter mentions that could be directly correlated with the outreach.

    Granted this outreach was for a noble and timely cause, but pretty much all the feedback I received from the bloggers was overwhelmingly positive.  Sometimes bloggers respond negatively and may think our efforts are “spammy,” but most of the time they are happy to oblige and impressed that there is a real person behind the emails they are getting.

    It was a great learning experience for me, and I’m definitely looking forward to working on more campaigns.

    • FB 3:36 pm on February 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      This is really interesting. Is there any way to estimate how many people were reached as a result? Just curious. It seems like a Herculean effort.

    • Ellie Brown 11:10 pm on February 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      We’re still finalizing the numbers, but I think all the blogs and tweets were viewed by over a million people.

  • Ellie Brown 2:35 pm on February 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    My super fantastic internship 

    Hi everyone!  My name is Ellie and I am here to share with you the trials and tribulations of my internship this semester with Abraham Harrison LLC.  I am a grad student getting my master’s in Public Communication and hope to someday be a a snarky public relations executive at a big company where I can boss interns around all day…just like Chris Abraham, president of Abraham Harrison.

    Actually, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  My internship so far has been anything but getting bossed around.  Abraham Harrison is a public relations company that engages in social media management, online grassroots & new media marketing, business intelligence, search engine services and online reputation clean-up.  Really, really cool stuff.

    (More …)

    • Miguel A Corona 7:29 pm on February 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent Ellie. Your internship is really on the forefront of what I’m seeing out there as well. It seems like it will be a great experience for you on a lot of fronts. I’ll be keeping taps on your progress! ; )

    • FB 7:44 pm on February 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      So you’re a virtual intern in a virtual office! How do you get your assignments? How do you get guidance and mentoring from your supervisor? What are the advantages and disadvantages of working from the comfort of your home or the uncomfort of the library?

      • Ellie Brown 12:49 am on February 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Hey! Pretty much all our communication and work is done using Google applications: document sharing, email, chat etc. I also use Skype to chat with my supervisors and go over assignments. The main advantage of working virtually is that you can work whenever you have time and you aren’t really tied to your desk during the typical 9-5. A definite disadvantage for me is the face-to-face learning and interaction with peers. I actually wrote a post on my blog Daily Social (http://elliebrown.wordpress.com/2009/12/) about my transition from cubicle worker to pajama worker.

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