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  • Amber 11:33 pm on November 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , finance, , social media   

    My Last Day 

    Today was my last day at my internship and I can look back and say I have accomplished a lot.  By helping to draft press releases, media alerts, web briefs, social media posts, blog posts backgrounders and fact sheets I have definitely improved my writing skills.  I learned how to use valuable public relations tools like Cision to help build media lists.  I learned about a variety of clients in diverse industries including aviation, finance, data management, eye tracking and more.  I learned how advertising and marketing go hand in hand with public relations to create successful campaigns for clients.

    What I enjoyed most was having the opportunity to help draft press releases and blog posts.  Both of these activities allowed me to be more creative.  Before writing, I had to research the topic extensively so that I understood it and organize my thoughts in a logical way to present it to the client and the public.  While this was sometimes a challenge, I definitely enjoyed it.  My least favorite aspect of my internship was probably helping to call reporters and stuff media kits.  Even though calls are needed, some reporters are very rude and aren’t interested in the topic at all.  Additionally, stuffing media kits can take hours and definitely becomes very tedious.

    Consequently, today I ended my internship by helping to call reporters about one of client’s holiday media kits.  As a treat, my supervisor brought me noodles and co. for my last day lunch! The mac and cheese was excellent.  At the end of the day I gave a presentation about my internship to my two supervisors, Stephan and Kristina and some of the other employees.  I made sure to point out how thankful I was to have been given this opportunity and to have learned so much.  I also pointed out some suggestions to the program and noted that Pot Luck Thursday was my favorite day since I got to enjoy delicious food and get to know the employees a bit better.  At the end of my presentation, Kristina, the VP of Public Relations, gave me a gift card for my hard work which was very nice.  It’s great to be appreciated.

     

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  • Amber 1:50 pm on November 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , extended warranty, social media, wedding gifts   

    Calling Reporters 

    Today I spent the majority of the day assisting in calling media outlets to garner press coverage for a holiday press release for one of our clients who focuses on extended warranties for consumer electronics, appliances and more.  While this is not my favorite task, it is something that must be done.  It’s hard to call reporter after reporter to only reach voicemails or hear people explain they are not interested.

    For the rest of the day I will be helping to assemble the rest of the holiday media kit for the same client, so it has been a very busy day!

    Additionally, one of the blog posts for this same client that I helped draft on wedding gifts is now published and can be seen here! Blog post

    You can also check this clients facebook page to see some of the social media posts I helped draft!

    Monday will be my last day so I am currently working to prepare my presentation for the office about my internship there!

     
  • Amber 1:47 pm on November 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , social media, TV stations, twitter   

    Holiday Media Kits 

    Today I have spent a lot of time working in Cision again, helping to create a media list for one of our clients who offers extended warranties for consumer electronics and other products.  The media list focuses on TV outlets in DC, Baltimore and Richmond.  Thus, although I am already aware of many of the TV stations in DC, I am learning about other existing TV stations in the other two cities.

    Before that, I helped to assemble 200 holiday media kits for the same client.  In my opinion, media kits can really look impressive to a client or reporters when including relevant information and polishing the product well, but I never realized how much time it takes to print all the papers, staple them and assemble it into one kit.  From now on every time I open a media kit, I will consider the time and preparation needed to prepare one.

    Additionally, one of our clients that deals with data management is planning on creating a Twitter account, and I am helping to find some related Twitter contacts to add to its social network.

     
  • Amber 6:01 pm on November 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , social media,   

    Learning about Media Lists and Media Alerts 

    This week I learned about writing media alerts by helping to draft a media advisory for an aviation solutions company.  I also helped draft some news briefs for a local DC bank, and started a press release for a research company that specializes in counter-terrorism .  All in all, it’s been a lot of writing that has kept me busy.

    I’ve also helped research and start drafts of more social media posts for one of our client’s facebook and twitter accounts, which deal with news about the latest electronics, appliances and sports equipment.  According to the latest in electronics and gadgets, the new MacBook Air is here and it’s fabulous, the Athletic Propulsion Lab Concept 1 sneaker that gives you 3.5 inches more vertical lift with its unique spring system is BANNED from the NBA, Toshiba has created a solar powered E-reader, and Panasonic’s 3D HD TV has been rated the best of the best.

    Basically, my internship has been involving a lot of research mixed with writing.  I’m currently working on helping to start a media list through Cision for regional and state publications.

    What I have learned in the public relations world, however is that the development and planning time required in press announcements is considerable and sometimes materials take weeks to approve

    On a completely irrelevant note, the maintenance man stopped in today and announced that they had extra flowers and nicely gave my desk a delightful potted plant.  I guess it brightens up the office a bit 🙂

     
  • Amber 5:57 pm on November 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , social media,   

    Potluck Thursday 

    Today is Potluck day at my internship! Everyone brought in something delicious for lunch and my two supervisors are just swarming around the kitchen area waiting to eat.  I contributed homemade mac and cheese, so hopefully everyone likes it!

    Last Thursday I was able to sit in on an interesting meeting.  A representative from a company that creates publications for the military and its surrounding audiences came in to discuss working with us on advertising for one of our clients.  The representative showed many options for ways to advertise  including posters, hologram stickers, pressure-sensitive stickers, belly-bands and inserts.  They are also offering a new product called webcasts, which are more interactive for the consumer.  Overall, it was an interesting meeting, because I was able to learn and see how advertising combines with Public Relations.

    One of my more regular tasks has been helping to research and start drafting social media posts for one of our clients that provides extended warranties for electronics, lawn and gym equipment and jewelry.  I research new gadgets and devices on websites like engagdetcnet and dvice to post on its facebook page.  It can be pretty interesting, because I’m not very tech savvy and would probably not know about things like the robot window washer or the dawn stimulating alarm clock if I didn’t read these sites.

    Today I also helped being a draft of a press release for client in the aviation industry.   I will say that my Public Relations writing class has prepared me well in writing press releases.  Thanks Professor Melillo!

     
  • mrbrefast 7:35 pm on October 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaboration, , , , meetings, , social media   

    Social media: fun for personal use, but important for professional use too 

    By even writing this blog post, I am participating in one kind of social media in a semi-professional way (given that it is for the Career Center), but that serves as an introduction to the topic at hand.  About a month ago, I was published for the second time here at work, as one of the authors of a report entitled Local Government Use of Social Media to Prepare for Emergencies.  As the title implies, the report looks into the innovations of several local governments in making use of social media as part of their comprehensive emergency management plans.  Examples of this include things like using Twitter for updates about inclement weather and power outages; using Facebook pages to update the community on the progress of snowplows; and then having short blog posts reminding citizens to have enough water and food on hand during an emergency situation.  As a side note, but one worth mentioning, this entire process of using social media has some serious ethical implications of equal provision of emergency management services for citizens of lesser economic means; bearing this in mind, the report is written very clearly as a suggestion to include social media as a valuable addition to the emergency management services of a municipality, meaning those other services (such as having a toll-free hotline for contact) need to be continued as well.

     

    This is a very professional (as opposed to personal) use of social media, by local government, but it also serves as some good indications of why it is worth getting involved in social media in a presentable way, for the purposes of networking and improving one’s chances of making the right impression to get a job.  As such, I have a short list, based on in-house discussions, of how social media figures into a job interview or working at an internship.

     

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  • Ladan 7:34 pm on July 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , social media   

    Using Facebook and Twitter to HELP your Internship 

    A lot of employers get upset or skeptical when they see their interns cruising Facebook or constantly updating their Twitter statuses. Sometimes interns will do it out of boredom or because they have down time, but other times they are using it to help complete their job.

    I find out about many stories I do at work because of Twitter. I also build up a following by posting my internship’s stories online for my followers to see. It is a great marketing tool, resource center and networking opportunity.

    But what about Facebook, you might ask? While Facebook is more of a social medium for me, you can use Facebook to join in group discussions, hear about what your fellow journalist friends are doing, and find news articles of interest. You can also use it to find out about area Happy Hours in your field (for example, the Online News Association Happy Hour tonight) and make other life plans that you wouldn’t have time for at home. Businesses that ignore the value of social media and having their interns use it at work are missing an opportunity.

    Instead of scolding interns for visiting those sites (or worse, BLOCKING them), teach them how to use it in a productive way and measure its effectiveness through the content they post, how often they update, what events or stories they learn about and how many more followers they get.

     
  • Kristine Untalan 8:06 pm on July 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , interning, social media,   

    Downtime Thoughts. 

    Angie had some matters to attend to, so I was able to get the rest of my week off. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I shrugged off my internly duties! I still went through a lot of emails and went about adding Facebook requests for her in the meantime — but instead of being in the newsroom, I’d be at Starbucks (possibly looking like a yuppie stealing some wi-fi. Oh well!).

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to the Charm opening event like I had mentioned in my previous post, but once I get another event covered I’ll definitely post about it.

    The more I do these things, the more I honestly forget that I’m not getting paid to do any of it. I realize that this might be an important factor to someone considering getting an internship in the first place, but seeing as how a majority of internships are unpaid, interns understand what they’re getting themselves into. I’m still getting shocked faces when I tell people I work at 3:30 in the morning. I imagine that they’d be saying things like, “Girl, you crazy!” in their heads but again, why should something you honestly enjoy doing even be doubted in your mind?! I’m a firm believer in doing what you love, but if you’re ever caught in a moment where you’re second-guessing something…you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. Trial and error, friends. Trial and error.

    That being said, I’m happy to be back in the newsroom again on Monday morning. Seriously!

     
  • Pinkie 8:40 pm on April 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: outreach, social media   

    Outreach is an essential part of any organization. Every organization should convey the following key aspects to its audiences
    a) Who we are
    b) What we do
    c) responsibility towards betterment of the society

    Social Media seems to be the buzzword that has revolutionized the perspective of outreach activities. At the click of mouse, information can be shared effectively throughout the globe by leveraging social media sites like twitter, facebook. So, we decided to optimize our dissemination by marking our presence on facebook. Turns out that it is a perfect platform to publicize our content that includes cool videos too. With some great apps and a few days of creativity we ended up with a page that showcases our goals and objectives. I am sure this marks a new direction to our social media strategy.

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

    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: , , social media   

    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.

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    • 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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