Getting the most out of your LinkedIn

By Allison Zullo

As aspiring PR professionals, we are a little too familiar with social media. From Twitter to Instagram to Pinterest, we know the ins and outs of both the personal and business sides. But what about LinkedIn?

If you’ve never heard of it, LinkedIn is a social media site where professionals can connect with each other and companies or businesses. In short, it is an essential networking tool that all professionals, including aspiring pros that are still in school and looking for jobs or internships like us, should be taking advantage of.

But don’t have a stress-induced panic attack if you haven’t created an account yet, or are confused as to how to gain more connections or add more information. Here are a few tips and tricks that will get you well on your way to being a LinkedIn expert.

linkedInpic

Keep it professional. LinkedIn is a networking tool, so it is crucial to keep everything as professional as possible. Use a high-quality, professional-looking picture of you (and only you) as your profile picture, and make sure anything you post is business or industry-related and is not inappropriate in any way. Also, LinkedIn will notify you whenever someone views your profile, so keep the stalking to a minimum and save it for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Highlight your experiences. Input as many of your professional work experiences with jobs, internships, and organizations as you can. Add detailed explanations of what you were responsible for and what you accomplished. This isn’t your resume, so you don’t have to worry about keeping it short and concise; you can make it as long and detailed as possible. However, do make sure that your experiences are relevant and up-to-date. For example, if you’re about to graduate, don’t have anything from high school on your LinkedIn profile. In addition, you can upload your updated resume so potential employers can print it off and have easy access to it.

Join groups. Join groups that are relevant to what you want to do and what you are interested in. LinkedIn has many public relations and social media related groups, which allow you to connect with other aspiring and established PR pros that are interested in the same things you are. Ohio University has a group for both alumni and current students, where you can connect and network with other Bobcats.

Follow companies and influencers. Follow companies that you are interested in, whether it be for a job or internship, or simply because you like what they’ve been doing recently and want to learn more about them. You can also follow “influencers,” which are people (mostly founders and CEOs of major companies) that have amassed a lot of followers and write about specific topics. This can be a great way to learn more about the industries you are interested in, or even just learn a little bit more about current events from a different opinion.

Network, network, network! You don’t have to tell Scripps PRSSA twice! Connect with anyone you can on LinkedIn, from your peers here at OU to your coworkers and mentors at your internships. Whenever you receive a business card, search the person on LinkedIn and connect! You never know where these connections can lead, so don’t be afraid to get out there and send some LinkedIn invites. Just be sure to write your own personal message when connecting, instead of sending the generic one, to ensure that you stand out and to remind the person you’re connecting with of who you are and where you met.

Happy connecting, Scripps PRSSA!

Follow Allison on Twitter at @allisonzullo

All PR is not created equal: Irish vs. American

By Kelly Hayes

This summer I was afforded the amazing opportunity to intern abroad in Dublin, Ireland in Parliament. It was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t change any of it. After traveling to Vietnam with the Global Leadership Center, I unpacked and repacked my bags within five days and was off to Europe! Even with previous internship experience and two years of ImPRessions and PRSSA, I still didn’t know what to expect. The basics of public relations are the same everywhere, but how things are done and executed differ.

Working in Parliament I thought I would work a lot with social media, press releases and writing. While I didn’t work as much with social media, I did write all the time. Press releases were the norm. Media lists were my constant reference and parliamentary questions were my daily task. These job responsibilities really shed light on a major difference between U.S. public officials and those in Europe: our public officials tweet and use Facebook like no other but those in Europe still rely heavily on traditional media practices.

 I had to create an entire media database including every single newspaper and radio station in the Republic of Ireland. While I did advise certain social media practices, writing press releases/statements and sending them to newspapers and radio stations was my main job. When I was on my way to work every morning I saw many people with newspapers tucked under their arms and countless buses with radio show advertisements on them. In the U.S. we tend to be very social media focused, especially when it comes to politics. European public officials do use Facebook and Twitter but not to the extent where they are constantly tweeting and posting. 

In 2012 the U.S. was reported to have the most Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ users, as well as the largest increase in Instagram usage. While we are able to find Wi-Fi in almost every part of the country, Ireland is still struggling with that concept. I remember my boss repeatedly dealing with just trying to get wireless access to certain places in County Kerry. He didn’t even have Wi-Fi back at home because it wasn’t accessible. 

Shocker, right? Even in Dublin the best Wi-Fi reception was in Starbucks, which never fails to deliver. Overall Europe’s public officials will continue to rely on the newspaper and radio industry to get their message across. And what will our public officials be doing? Tweeting while they are in the chamber (which – in Irish parliament – is NOT advised).

Meet Cidnye Weimer, the 2013-2014 VP of Social Media!

98aead9cc56b11e1b10e123138105d6b_7Cidnye Weimer is a junior at Ohio University studying Strategic Communications with a specialization in Business Administration and earning a certificate from the Global Leadership Center. The 2012-2013 Scripps PRSSA voted Cidnye “Least likely to be seen without her phone,” which explains why Cidnye will be a fantastic 2013-2014 VP of Social Media!

Some fun facts about Cidnye:

Experience with PRSSA? I was a dues-paying member freshman and sophomore year, member of the PR Committee and the Social Affairs Committee freshman year and VP of Social Affairs sophomore year. I also attended National Conference in San Francisco as well as many networking trips, match day, helped to plan regional conference and I was involved with the Scripps innovation challenge

Advice for incoming freshmen? GET INVOLVED as much as you can, make friends with upperclassman and try everything!

Hobbies? Watching Netflix and Hulu, reading, hanging out with friends, playing tennis and dancing

Favorite OU memory? I can’t pinpoint just one! Every day at OU is amazing and OU has truly become my home

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Hopefully living in Chicago working at a PR agency dealing with consumer products or in the entertainment industry

 Biggest pet peeve? When people use the wrong form of “your” and “you’re”

Favorite reality show? I don’t really watch reality TV much so I have to say my TV show obsessions are Scandal and Revenge – so juicy!

PR idol? I would have to say the two women who really stick out to me are Margie Korshak and Barbara Hunter. Both started their own PR firms and became extremely successful making a name for themselves, Margie in Chicago and Barbara in New York. It’s inspirational to see such successful and powerful women in the PR industry

An interesting fact about you that not many people know? I can lick my elbow!

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be? Mocha for sure!

Favorite animal? Monkey!

Contact our new VP of Social Media by tweeting her @cidnyeweimer. Chances are, she’ll tweet you back!

PRSSA Meeting 10.8.12

Please join us in Scripps 111 tomorrow (Monday, October 8) at 6:00 p.m.for our weekly PRSSA Meeting! We will be hearing from Nate Riggs and Paul Matson as they speak about Digital Public Relations. Nate Riggs works as a Social Media Strategist for The Karcher Group, an Ohio-Based Digital Agency. He has keynoted many private and corporate events, and is very knowledgable in his field.  Paul Matson works at Razorfish in Chicago, a company that focuses on building great brands by creating exciting and engaging experiences in the digital world.

Nate Riggs is a content and social media marketing strategist at The Karcher Group an Ohio-based digital agency. Over the past 12 years, he’s advised a variety of popular brands such as Donatos Pizza, Bob Evans Restaurants, Rite Rug, and Kay & Jared Jewelers, Scotts Miracle-Gro and multiple mid-sized companies on how to use the internet to win customer attention and increase sales.

Nate keynotes conferences and private corporate events, and his blog {nateriggs.com} is ranked in the top 100 most influential blogs on social media for business by Junta42, and among the top 500 marketing blogs by Advertising Age. Nate is also adjunct faculty at Ohio University, where he teaches graduate-level classes on foundations in social business. He’s proudest of his three wonderful young boys and his amazing wife.

This Tuesday continues our PR Bootcamp lessons. This lesson will focus on writing news releases.