Google Analytics and Me

Before this fall, I had never heard of personal branding. This changed drastically ever since I became an Advertising and Public Relations major at Grand Valley. Personal branding is crucial in this field, as knowing your brand and selling your brand to build your network is a huge part of APR. For me, my personal brand is built around how social I am in my life and my interest in all forms of media, hence the name of this blog, and my desire to become a PR professional. Media and the way people reach an audience is ever changing today, and it is up to me to stay informed with current trends to stay in the know.

As stated previously, I am an Advertising and Public Relations major, although, I have yet to declare an emphasis. I will most likely choose public relations as it is an atmosphere that I can see myself thriving in. My social nature makes public relation conducive to my growth as a person. However, it is nigh impossible to know exactly where one will end up in life. Therefore, it is necessary to become adequate in all aspects of the APR field. This will not only increase my knowledge of both sides, but, I will also become a more versatile employee. This versatility would be beneficial in developing my brand. Media is almost a living creature. It is so alive in the sense that it moves and changes, it talks to us and we talk back. With so much feedback, it becomes difficult to keep track of who is saying what and how to respond.

This is where Google Analytics comes in. This system acts as a translator between and advertiser and their target market. It is extremely user friendly and easy for advertisers and businesses to use. Imagine Google Analytics as the middle man. You have a website for a business that sells let’s say shoes. Now, what use is a website if you have no idea whether it works or not? This system allows you to respond to your customers that come to your website. Google Analytics provides you and your business with comprehensives data about what your customers are doing on your website.

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Clark, E. K. (n.d.). [Screenshot of Test Score]. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
To do this, Google uses Javascript, a form of source code, to track who is coming to your website and what they are doing there. This code lets Google find out where in the world your customers are coming from, what campaigns are working, and how customers use your site. It can even know where on your website that potential customers lose interest. You learn what pages of your website are not performing well and then take action to fix the problem.

Google offers another service known as AdWords that helps users form ad campaigns. AdWords can be useful to make your business known and bring people to your page. This service can provide data about your ads in regards to their click through rate, page quality, and how you get your ads out to the public. This can be extremely useful, however, with Analytics the two become powerhouses for a business.

So this may leave readers asking, “what if I prefer public relations over advertising?” Well, Analytics doesn’t have to be just for the advertisers. Think about it this way, you are helping a political campaign as a PR pro and your candidate needs someone to reach the community through their website. Here, Analytics can be used to show what portion of the candidates website is being focused on. There is a page on this hypothetical candidate’s website that regards their stance on environmental protection. Google Analytics can tell you that this page is getting the most clicks and is performing very well. Now you, the PR pro, can tell your candidate to focus on this issue to reach the community and boost their reputation with the people.

So, maybe my life does take a turn towards advertising. Maybe it stays on the track of public relations. Either way, Google Analytics will help me further my career and my brand as a PR professional who can reach others through the use of new technologies and media. This is why I became Google Analytics certified.

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Clark, E. K. (n.d.). [Screenshot of Passed Certification]. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
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Networking – PRSSA

I believe that I have met more people in the past four months than I did in a whole year back home. In my first semester at Grand Valley State University, my personal rolodex has grown immensely. I owe most of this growth to the Public Relations Student Society of America. On September 7th of this year I decided to get my feet wet by joining PRSSA. It was enlightening, to say the least. A freshman among a sea of senior members, I did not know a single person. I can be seen in the picture below. What the picture doesn’t shown, though, is the inner panic I felt as everyone around me greeted their friends.

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Ermoyan, J. (2016, September 7). [First PRSSA Meeting Fall 2016]. Retrieved December 8, 2016, from https://twitter.com/JaclynErmoyan/status/773689292241731588
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Ermoyan, J. (2016, September 7). [First PRSSA Meeting Fall 2016]. Retrieved December 8, 2016, from https://twitter.com/JaclynErmoyan/status/773689292241731588
This picture was taken at the first meeting of the semester. There I am, sitting in the back all alone. Now, this isn’t going to be some sob story about how I was lonely and never made any friends. What actually happened is quite the opposite. Over the course of the semester, I never missed a single PRSSA meeting. I was presented with the opportunity to meet and connect with all kinds of like-minded people. Although not everyone in this picture stayed in PRSSA this semester, those that did I got to know.

There was a very short time where everyone there got to introduce themselves to the people around them, however, that short icebreaker was not enough for the names to stick in my head. At the time, I didn’t know that the girl two seats to my left is Vanessa who would later be a member of the APR Alumni Relations committee with me. The girl to the far right of the second picture is Danielle, another member of the APR Alumni Relations committee. Seated in front of Danielle is Hunter, someone I did not even know I shared a class with, CAP 105. I could go on and on listing all the PRSSA members I know, but, that would be pointless if there was no professional development provided.

The person who recruited me to PRSSA, Kelly Darcy, became almost a mentor for me. She essentially taught me how to use Twitter, which is definitely helpful in the field. She taught me how to use Tweetdeck, a life saver that I used every PRSSA meeting. I was also a guest on her podcast, PR Hangover, after one of the meetings about being a solo practitioner. Alyse Rose was featured alongside me on the podcast and we got to know each other through the meeting.

Another person that I met at PRSSA who helped me blossom in both the club and also in classes was Ashley Bovin. Another person I didn’t know that I shared a class with, Ashley is the reason I survived CAP 115, a class that should not have been as confusing as it was for such a level. Not only did she help me through this class, she is also the Vice President of Alumni Relations for PRSSA and the Chair of the APR Alumni Relations Committee. I applied to join the committee and she accepted my application and allowed me to join. It was through networking at PRSSA and having her experience my work ethic in class that gave me the upper hand when joining.

I made some of my biggest advancements in PR through going to that first PRSSA meeting and getting to know those two people, alongside the many others that I interact with on a regular basis because of the club. I look forward to next semester, where I would like to blog about every meeting and even further my involvement with PRSSA.

Networking – Healthcare PR

As an Advertising and Public Relations major at Grand Valley State University, all I ever hear is network, network, network. The importance of networking is emphasized in all of my CAP classes. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of networking is “the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business”. Since this activity is so important within the field of public relations, I am not only expected to, but, required to take part in networking.

One networking “event” I attended was a meeting of GVSU’s PRSSA chapter. PRSSA is an acronym for Public Relations Student Society of America. As a member of the organization, and also a committee member of the APR Alumni Relations Committee, I have been to every meeting. At the most recent meeting on Wednesday, November 30th, I heard Rick Jensen and Michael Yoder from Spectrum Health speak about healthcare and public relations. From this event, I learned about how structured public relations is within the healthcare system. The two talked about how it is very conservative field to be working in. They emphasized the fact that PR within healthcare is very different. Something that was found humorous during the meeting was Rick Jensen’s loathing for the photo release forms.

He described the photo release form as being one of the biggest pains of healthcare PR. This form is a piece of paperwork that must be filled out by any person in a picture that may be released for public relations purposes. This means that any time Spectrum Health posts a picture on Twitter, in a newsletter, or some form of advertisement, they must have written consent from every person in the picture. Furthermore, media relations specialists  must be cautious when taking a picture in a hospital, taking careful steps to avoid accidentally releasing private patient information. The picture I took, with noticeable difficulty, below would have to be combed over to see if there is any information that could not be released. I would even have to get permission from the other two in the picture, Rick Jensen and Hunter Burin, to post this picture!

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Clark, E. K. (n.d.). [Evan Clark, Rick Jensen, and Hunter Burin at PRSSA]. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
Another point that was expressed by the two was messaging. We’re not talking about texting or DMing, but rather the message that your content is attempting to portray. Michael Yoder stated that learning and knowing the tone and voice of your message is critical. Healthcare is a sensitive subject which, in turn, makes the content itself sensitive. Knowing what to say and how to say it is detrimental when releasing content. Healthcare PR is not the place to post a quick picture to Facebook or send out a simple tweet. Overthinking what you’re about to post might not always be a bad thing.

All in all, I learned a lot from these two speakers. I never thought that I would be interested in this field of public relations, though, you never know where the road may take you. During this meeting, I even posted a tweet myself wondering if this is a career path I could see myself taking. Gaining this knowledge from people who have experienced it first hand is extremely helpful and one of the many reasons that networking is key.

Something About Infographics

Tired of looking at boring graphs and stats? How about those lame “wikiHow“s that make you read paragraph after paragraph about how to tie a shoe? They can get boring and sometimes long winded. Fear not, though, for I am about to introduce you to a whole new world of information sharing. Infographics! Filled with fun little icons, shapes, and simple visuals an infographic will become the life of the meeting. An infographic is an appealing visual that shows the basics about information. Easy to make and pleasing to the eye, making infographics is a priceless skill that take minutes to learn. However, infographics do have their downfalls. They may be fun to look at, yet, they are not very in-depth. If you are looking to share information and numbers in an important meeting maybe back up your infographic with a handout that has more detailed statistics and information than is shown on the infographic.

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Clark, E. K. (2016, December 5). About Me Infographic [Digital image].
Shown above is an example of an infographic about me. It’s bright and fun to look at. It has some information about me on display, but, it obviously isn’t a biography about my life. To create this infographic, I used Piktochart. It took a few minutes to learn how to use with easy navigation and fun customization. I provided anyone who views this with a little information about me, such as my interests, what I spend my time doing, and a couple fun facts about me. I incorporated my favorite color, just like I did with my business card I made through InDesign. More information about me included that I’m currently a freshman in college and my birthday. Although fun, this visual doesn’t tell everything about my life. You would have to ask me for more information.

Perusing Possibilities: Finding Jobs on LinkedIn

It is safe to assume that, on average, people “waste” a lot of time on social media. It might be that you are scrolling through dozens of tweets on Twitter, liking your grandma’s status on Facebook, or double tapping your bestie’s selfie on Instagram. Maybe it’s all three, which just shows how often we use social media. Now, some people say that this has a negative impact, which it may. However, is social media has its many benefits, one being the ability to find a job. Let’s look at how social media has innovated the way we can discover jobs within our careers.

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LinkedIn [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2016, from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.linkedin.android
Social media sites are forms of technology that has sucked us into the void, without a doubt, and at this point there is no way to escape. So why not use it in a more productive manner? LinkedIn is one platform that has changed the professional world. This form of social media has made it much easier for professionals to stay in contact with each other, discover jobs, employees, and employers. Through the use of this “professional Facebook” of sorts, I was quickly able to find a handful of employment opportunities. This took only about thirty minutes to gather a long list of potential jobs. LinkedIn makes it extremely easy to filter out the type of job that is being searched for. The positions I found fall within the realm of Public Relations and Communications. As a PR major at Grand Valley, I found it very interesting to take a a look at all the possibilities within my field.

Business Branding: InDesign

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Clark, E. K. (2016, November 14). [InDesign Screenshot].
Developing a personal brand is a staple in today’s professional realm. Everyone has a brand, whether they are aware of it or not. The way one presents themselves, their skills, and their attributes are all things that become a part of a brand. A title can bolster the credibility and validity of someone’s brand. Creating a business card is the perfect way to make your brand known and tangible by having it on a solid card. Many positions in the work force recommend or even require the person to have a business card. So why not get an early start and brand yourself through a business card right now? That is exactly what we did in CAP 105 at Grand Valley State University.

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Clark, E. K. (2016, November 14). [Business Card Front].
We were asked to create a business card of our own through the use of Adobe InDesign. With this card, your personal brand is supposed to be shown somehow. If I am to be honest, InDesign is not the most user friendly program. After some playing around with shapes, text, and the many other tools available, I was able to begin working on my business card. The first thing I did was incorporate my favorite color, orange. I put two columns of the color on either side of the card to frame the card. Furthermore, the color orange has a certain character to it. It is a “warm” color on the color spectrum, which I believe represents how I can also be considered “warm” and friendly. Moving on from the color, a business card is just modern art without some form of text or information printed on it. Most importantly, I put my name in the middle of the card, using the largest font size. With the name established, I continued to supply more information about my brand and who I am. “Public Relations Major” and “Spanish Minor” are the most prevalent titles I would apply to myself, currently. This also helps build my brand as a social person by showing that I am studying in the School of Communications and also pursuing the study of a foreign language. Next, I provided another title that established my credibility as a social person. For the past two years and three months I have been a sales associate at Banana Republic Factory Store. This position requires a lot of communication between coworkers and also customers, furthering my established brand as a social person.

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Clark, E. K. (2016, November 14). [Business Card Back].
Lastly, what is the point of having a business card if the recipients have no way of contacting you? I tackled this on the back of my business card where I listed my phone number, email, and Twitter handle. The last way  to contact me may be slightly unorthodox for a business card, however, it does build my social brand even more. Therefore, with my card, my brand is visible and recognizable.

Manageable Media: Ins and Outs of Tweetdeck

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Clark, E. K. (2016, November 2). [My Tweetdeck page].
It can be said that social media is extremely prevalent today. The extent of this has almost reached the point to where it is not manageable. Specifically with Twitter, one’s feed can grow to the point where the user is overwhelmed with a barrage of tweets, retweets, hashtags, and ads. As enjoyable and useful as social media is, it can be hard to manage if it gets to this point. Personally, my Twitter feed is overrun by all kinds of content regarding movies and film, friends, and public relations. When I joined PRSSA, Public Relations Student Society of America, Twitter was used as the main source of information and content sharing. With a large amount of hashtags and people to follow, it became difficult to keep track. I was lost until a fellow member of PRSSA introduced me to Tweetdeck. This free online service is very helpful for keeping track of what happens on your feed. During PRSSA meetings, I keep Tweetdeck open with three or four columns open with hashtags such as #PRWednesday, #GRsocialchat, and my home page.

For this assignment, we were required to use Tweetdeck in a way that I never have. Another feature that is available for users is the option to schedule a tweet. The assignment called for 5 scheduled tweets using #CAP105GVSU. Scheduling a tweet is very simple. All it takes is to start writing a new tweet, then click schedule, then choose a date and time that this tweet will be sent out. After this, the work is done. Tweetdeck will send out that tweet at the date and time that it was scheduled for. Simple as that. If someone has a lot of content to send out, but, doesn’t want to release it all at once they can use Tweetdeck to send it out at different times.