All Good Things Come to an End

The New Media Drivers License course is one of the best and most productive classes I have taken at Michigan State University. I must admit, I had my doubts in the early days of the semester- I wondered if this class would teach me anything that I could actually use after graduation. Sure enough, it did… I learned more about social media, new PR strategies and presentation tips in the past two months than I have in my four years at MSU. Bravo!

On March 21, the final class of the semester, I will give a presentation covering the topics or tips I found most important and/or surprising throughout the course.

*See “Don’t Miss Out on THIS Opportunity” blog for topics covered*

Just a few examples of the most important points I’ve learned:

March 6, 2009 at 4:44 am Leave a comment

New Media Marketing and PR 101

newrulesofmarketing2David Meerman Scott’s “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” is a must-read for any professional in the Marketing or PR industry. Scott, a new media specialist, has written over 100 articles and three books. See press release below:

Michigan State University class utilizes David Meerman Scott book

EAST LANSING, MI, February 28, 2009 –(PR.com)– David Meerman Scott’s “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” is the first textbook used for the New Media Drivers License (ADV 492) class offered at Michigan State University.

Scott’s book discusses the changes in online marketing and public relations. It then goes into further detail on each of the types of media that organizations can use. Finally, it provides information, step-by-step instructions and implementation plans to put these programs to work. “This book will show you the new rules and how to apply them. For people all over the world interacting on the Web, the old rules of marketing and PR just don’t work. Today, all kinds of organizations communicate directly with their buyers online,” Scott said.

Derek Mehraban teaches this course thanks to combined efforts by Walsh College and MSU. He chose Scott’s book as a guide for the class. “David’s book was the most comprehensive, actionable book I have seen on how to use digital media to grow your business. The class is able to easily follow along, and the book provides a study guide of best practices. I also like David’s approach to SEO and content development. Two things I feel are essential to marketing your business online,” Mehraban said.

Mehraban is the founder of SocialHarbor.com, “a full service social media marketing and search engine marketing solution for companies and their employees.” Social Harbor is based in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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February 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm Leave a comment

Don’t Miss Out on THIS Opportunity!

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There are several things a young professional must know to succeed in the PR, Advertising, Marketing, or Communication industry today. As new media becomes more popular, cost-efficient and practical, students need to achieve a certain level of digital knowledge to gain a leading, competitive edge. ADV 492, named ‘New Media Drivers License’, is the answer for students enrolled at Michigan State University. This 2-credit course can change your life.

The New Media Drivers License consists of two in-class sessions at Walsh College and weekly assignments through the Digital Bus Web site and Facebook group.  Topics covered include, but are not limited to: 1) Blogging, 2) Google – (Google Applications: Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Talk, etc), 3) Google Adwords and Pay Per Click, 4) Intro to Social Media – (LinkedIn, Facebook, Digg, & Twitter), 5) Search Engine Optimization, 6) Personas, Content, and Conversions, 7) New Public Relations, 8 ) Intro to Video & Audio Content, and 9) Presentation Zen – (techniques and tips).

**See the picture above for several programs and applications used by the pros**

The class is taught by Derek Mehraban, CEO of Ingenex Digital Marketing.

February 22, 2009 at 12:44 am 1 comment

Op-Ed and Letter to the Editor

I recently had an assignment to write an Op-Ed and Letter to the Editor for my ADV 325 class at MSU. As I did some research on the topic, I realized how effective they both are in terms of PR. John McLain, Owner of McLain Communications, calls the op-ed “PR’s most underutilized tool”. I have to agree with him. In his post, “How to Write a Successful Op-Ed”, he writes, “In an op-ed, you essentially state your conclusion first. You make your strongest point up front, then spend the rest of the op-ed making your case, or back-filling with the facts. Done right, it’s persuasive writing at it’s best. You will help the company win converts, gain high-quality publicity for the company, and you will be reaching the elite audience of opinion-makers who regularly read the op-ed pages.”

I chose to write my op-ed and letter to the editor on the topic of smoking bans. As a college student who frequents restaurants and bars in the area, this issue affects my life. In most cases, the CEO or Manager of a specific company or organization writes this op-ed. While I am not an expert on smoking or the legislation surrounding it, I did manage to write arguments for both sides of the issue.

In favor of smoking bans in the Lansing area:

“A smoking ban will protect members of the community from second-hand smoke. This smoke has many effects on the health of individuals exposed to it. It has been linked to a variety of diseases and problems, including cancer, heart failure, asthma, and death.”

February 21, 2009 at 5:28 am Leave a comment

Moving UP to the TOP

A wide variety of search engines are used by millions of people every day. Google, MSN, Ask and Yahoo! are just four of these Web sites. As social media becomes increasingly popular, it is essential to understand the basics of SEO – Search Engine Optimization.  This Internet marketing strategy increases the volume and quality of the users visiting a Web site through ‘organic’ search results, or the unpaid links. The higher the page rank, the higher it appears on the list.

Derek Mehraban’s blog entry, SEO Guide Basics, is a great source for more information. “Think of Google reading your web page, similar to how you read a book. Top to bottom and left to right. In order for Google to rank your site (or individual page from your site) and to be found on search engines, it is important to pay attention to how you write and organize your page. A strong headline, relevant subheads (h1 tags), good content related to both your headline and subhead, links that help tell the story, and a clear and concise ending to the page that reinforces what you want to be found for in the first place,” Mehraban said. His blog also links to a Google Blog, “Google’s SEO Starter Guide.”

frustratedpr-google-search_1234744446472After naming (and re-naming) my headline and formatting some of my content, my blog appears on the first page of Google’s search results. My keywords for this search were:  ‘Frustrated+PR’, but others are now successful after some tweaking. ‘Stephanie Neville+PR’, ‘Stephanie Neville+MSU’ and ‘Stephanie Neville+Social Media’ all result in the appearance of my blog at the top of the list.

For those not willing to put the time into SEO techniques, check out Social Harbor.

February 15, 2009 at 12:26 am Leave a comment

Introducing…Stephanie Neville

Facebook Profile

(My Facebook Profile)

I’ve had a Facebook account since June of 2005, just weeks after my high school graduation ceremony. At the time, it was only available to those who could prove they were affiliated with a university. Now, however, Facebook is available to anyone (13+) with a valid e-mail address. This growing social utility has over 150 million active users. Individuals use the site as a connecting and networking tool, and businesses use it for advertising, marketing and promotion. Facebook allows each user to belong to one or more ‘networks’, made up of different cities, countries, schools, and workplaces. Depending on the privacy settings and the network a certain individual belongs to, strangers may or may not be able to view that profile. Accepted ‘friends’, on the other hand, tend to have access to more personal information. (This includes, but is not limited to: photos, marital status, birth date, political views, favorite music and favorite TV shows.) While this is great for friends, family and business advancement, it is often more hurtful than helpful in the professional world. That is where LinkedIn comes in…

My LinkedIn Public Profile

(My LinkedIn Public Profile)

LinkedIn is a Web site that focuses on the professional network. Over 35 million members from all over the world maintain these relationships and form new ones. According to its ‘About Us’ page, “When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. You can then form enduring connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people you know, linking you to a vast number of qualified professionals and experts.” Through this service, professionals can find new jobs, meet potential clients, or post job listings for available positions. Overly personal information and random photographs are not included on this profile. This is a great professional tool, especially in times of unemployment.

My Twitter Profile

(My Twitter Profile)

Twitter is “a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?” This is convenient for those always on the move, especially media-focused individuals. Multiple people and companies are linked at once with this Web site- it only takes one post. Instantaneous news!

I plan to use these social media networks to keep in touch with friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers and businesses I admire. Each one is unique, enabling the user to communicate with different people in different ways.

February 7, 2009 at 4:51 am Leave a comment

Attention! Please Click Here!

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Once again, Google has made an application to benefit the masses. Google AdWords are Pay-Per-Click ads that appear on the right side of the screen when a search has been completed. There is a $5 application fee to begin, but the overall cost is entirely up to the individual or company creating the ad. I had difficulty with the standard edition in the beginning, but I soon found my footing. (The starter edition is MUCH easier to control – I would recommend this for newbies.) Within 25 minutes I had my ad written and the keywords in place (for the search engine). Let the searching begin!

My keywords include: ‘stephanie neville’, ‘social media pr’, ‘new media drivers license’, ‘social media blogger’, ‘pr information’ & ‘entry level public relations’ (to name a few)

My Google Adwords ad:

Stephanie Neville’s Blog
PR and Social Marketing Info
Tips for success in the industry
stephanieneville.wordpress.com

Sadly, the limited funds ($15) I allowed the program to access didn’t amount to much. Lesson learned: the more you spend, the more you get out of it. Below is a screen shot of my ‘stephanie neville’ Google search results. As you can see…nothing in favor of my blog. A non-profit, corporation or firm (aka anything/anyone other than a poor college student) would have much better luck.

stephanie-neville-google-search_12333928799641

January 31, 2009 at 3:57 am 1 comment

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