PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

Final Presentation from NMDL

I had my last New Media Drivers License class a couple of weeks ago, and our final project was a presentation on what we learned. I wasn’t a stranger to new media in the beginning, but I still learned so much. I think the most important thing I learned was, while I have some pretty solid knowledge of today’s media, tomorrow will be different. Keeping on top of things is important, but as the brilliant Shannon Paul once told me, the new wave of PR professionals will need to walk on the fence between new practices and old techniques.

I tagged all of my adventures under “New Media Drivers License” with this blog, and you can see more about the class here. Because I already some sort of preexisting knowledge about new media, my presentation was a little different than most of my classmates. I focused on these areas:

  • Your online brand
  • Ethics in social media
  • The power of an offline network
  • Continuing your education

Check out the presentation below or on my Slideshare profile.

I’m hoping to help out Derek Mehraban, the instructor, teach the course next semester, so I’m looking for some feedback from all of you. What would you like to see in a new media class? Does your school (or association) have some sort of indstruction on new media? Any best practices you’d like to share?

Thanks for the help!

Filed under: New Media Drivers License, Public Relations, Social Media, , , , , , , ,

Recap of NMDL

If you haven’t heard me brag about my New Media Drivers License class yet, here’s a post that will do a lot of bragging. It’s been a great nine weeks and I’ve learned so much about new media and how to use it. Each topic, whether it was Google AdWords or search engine optimization, took a lot more than reading the assignment description. I had to research and practice these new online tools. I learned a lot, but I also realized how much more I have to learn. I plan to continue my new media education through this blog.

Overall, I learned that the traditional public relations principles are the same online, too. This goes along with the new age of public relations – our generation needs to balance their knowledge of tradition methods with new skills. You can’t just know Facebook and studying cases from 1984 isn’t completely helpful either. The industry is changing quickly and by staying on the forefront, you’re offering high value to your clients or company.

Here is what I plan to present to my class when we meet again on March 21. I’m going to primarily focus on strategy vs. tactics. I blogged about this earlier and it still keeps me thinking. I’ll then talk about four main areas that I think are so key:

  • Creating a personal brand online. What are the rules of showing your personality? What social networks should you be on? How do you stay consistent?
  • Ethics in social media. What are the lines ethics in new media? How does ghostwriting play in social media? How does ethics play into your brand?
  • The power of an offline network. We’re good at making friends online, but how do you transfer that to an offline network?
  • Continuing your education. Why continue your blog? What should you be doing now?

We’re also reading Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. It’s pretty intriguing and I’m hoping to refine my presentation skills before the final class. Whether you’re in advertising, PR, marketing or other fields, you’re probably going to be doing some presenting now and then. Check it out – it’s a pretty quick read.

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be preparing a slide show and will definitely be posting it. Stay tuned. Until then, please feel free to comment on what you think I should include in my presentation.

Filed under: New Media Drivers License, Public Relations, Social Media, , , , , , ,

World Wide Rave

My assignment this week for my NMDL class was to do some free PR for David Meerman Scott. If you haven’t read The New Rules of Marketing & PR yet, you really should. It’s a quick and informative read.

Scott also came out with another book (I just ordered mine on Amazon). Titled World Wide Rave, this book talks about “viral” marketing and how it works. Why is it called World Wide Rave? Scott explains it pretty well:

“A World Wide Rave is when people around the world are talking about you, your company, and your products. Whether you’re located in San Francisco, Dubai, or Reykjavík, it’s when global communities eagerly link to your stuff on the Web. It’s when online buzz drives buyers to your virtual doorstep. And it’s when tons of fans visit your Web site and your blog because they genuinely want to be there.”

I like this description a lot. Viral is a term that is thrown out there too often. It’s worse when you hear someone saying they are going to make a “viral” video. Scott even calls it sleazy, and I agree with him. Even so, there are some really good examples of products and companies online and I’m looking forward to this read. Here’s the page with more information on the book, and below is the video describing the book. Both are worth your time.

Scott also posted some of the rules of the rave:

  • Nobody cares about your product (except you)
  • No coercion required
  • Lose control
  • Put down roots
  • Create triggers that encourage people to share
  • Point the world to your (virtual) doorstep

I realized that there’s a lot of cool stuff you can do for free online to help get buzz for a company or product. This also means that you can do a lot understand to enhance your education. Below is what I did to share this information online and make his book a world wide rave. As a student, try some of these Web sites out, especially if you have student-run firms:

  • PR.com is a free site you can use to post press releases. I posted a press release on World Wide Rave on this site. Who knows, maybe I’ll get coverage?
  • I used Digg and Delicious to bookmark his site
  • I posted some links on my Twitter feed
  • I even wrote this post! That’s free PR, right?
  • I shared some of his posts on Google Reader

All in all, I didn’t realize that there is so much you can do for free.  I wrote a press release and tried out some free PR sites – it’s on my Scribd profile here. It’s all cool stuff. Check out his book, won’t you?

Filed under: New Media Drivers License, Social Media, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , ,

Why Digital?

Until yesterday, I thought it was because I wanted to learn more about digital media and how it’s changing the public relations industry. That pretty much changed at the PRSSA Regional Activity I attended. In downtown Chicago, I went to a couple of presentations from local professionals discussing professional development and how to get ahead in the industry.

Most of them said that knowing how to use digital media will put you ahead of many, but I disagree. From taking my New Media Drivers License course at MSU, I’ve realized that there is a lot more to digital media that just “doing it.”

406910873_56c8f9ea73

You need to listen to the conversations happening online, but you also need to know how to contribute.Between AdWords, various social networks and blogging, there is a lot to know before throwing yourself or your company out there. All in all, the basic public relations principles apply when moving online: have a clear objective, be strategic and evaluate your progress all the way through.

For more information on the course, I recommend checking out my course Web site. You can get a New Media Driver’s Licence, too.

Photo by Krista76 on Flickr.

Filed under: New Media Drivers License, Professional Development, Social Media, , , , , ,

Why You Should Know About SEO

One of the buzzwords for 2009 already is SEO, which stands for search engine optimization. In general, SEO is all about increasing a Web site’s page rank. In terms of Google, the higher the page rank, the higher the site will appear in a search. That’s the simple definition of something that really isn’t that simple.

Everything you would ever need to know about becoming more optimized you can find on the Google Blog. You can also download their SEO guide on that page. Although your site or blog might only be for personal use, it’s good practice to make sure what you are creating is optimized. It’s been my on-going project with this site.

Here are some of the top tips I’ve pulled out from my research this afternoon, and a lot of it relates to basic public relations principles.

  • Key Messages. Think like a PR practitioner and prepare key messages. That is, make sure your content is relevant to your topic. Also, in naming your blog and preparing the subhead, think about who will be reading your blog. Is your content interesting? Does your content connect with your audiences?
  • Brevity. The shorter and more concise the name and headlines of your page, the more likely it is to show up in a search. Again, relate it back to key messaging and make sure everything ties together. With that said, try to keep it unique and differentiate it from other pages with similar purposes.
  • Network. Get to know bloggers online and share their content before you expect them to share yours. Sure, good content will always be appreciated, but building your network ensures that you will have an audience.
  • Know how to write. A huge turnoff is bad grammar, spelling errors, and more. Make sure you proof your content before you embarrass yourself. Yes, I have embarrassed myself. I read through my stuff before I post it now.
  • Consistency. More than just with your blog or Web site be consistent with all of the social networking sites you’re on. I’m “nicklucido” on pretty much everything, and because of that, my profiles for these sites will be up on a google search of my name. You don’t have to have your name if you’d like to stay anonymous, but whatever you choose, keep it consistent. And avoid names like hotlips69, especially if you plan to connect with professionals.

Honestly, the best way to increase the Google PageRank of your site takes more than just your own desire. But overall, if you create good content and have a strong enough network that will share your content, your rank will increase. Here are some tips on how to increase this number. Below are some ways to monitor and increase how SEO friendly your page in.

  • Is your blog registered on Technorati? It should be. You can also check the authority, which is the number of blogs linking to a Web site. Some think this is a good measuring system, and others don’t. Find out for yourself.
  • Digg it. The more diggs you get, the more popular your Web site or blog is.
  • Stumble upon it. This allows users to rate Web pages, and the most dugg stories appear on the front page of the site.
  • Yeah, it’s del.icious. Make sure you bookmark your blog, and if you create content that’s worthwhile, you’ll be lucky to find people think it’s worth sharing.
  • When you do all of this to your own blog, find other bloggers and do the same to them. They will usually return the favor. Even better, you can start building the relationship with them.

For students, recent grads and professionals, making yourself findable is key on the Web. I’ve been working on making myself findable, and if you google “nick lucido,” you’ll see that 8 of the first 10 pages are me. Cool! I’m even ahead of the Nick Lucido that grabbed nicklucido.com before I could. Ha!

Last thing to remember: if content is king, make sure your good content is findable.

Some other SEO resrouces:

  • A Knol on SEO
  • Shannon Paul shares her thoughts on SEO and lists resources here
  • Some useful SEO tools
  • Use Google Webmaster tools for tips and advice

Filed under: New Media Drivers License, Professional Development, Public Relations, Social Media, , , , , , , , , , ,

Social Networking

There are many posts, columns and articles out there about how to create your own brand online. I’ve read a lot of advice on the subject and learned a lot. I’ve also learned that you really have to find out on your own.

Before I share some different Web sites that I believe to have great value, I encourage you to go through this (if you haven’t already). It’s a presentation by Marta Kagan. This really is hilarious and worth an entire read-through. Also, use it as a guide – even if you’re not doing this stuff for a business. As a general guideline, make sure you are consuming and sharing others stuff before your own.

  • Twitter – microblogging. Some argue it’s a way of life. No matter what, there are many conversations occurring on here and this site is especially important in building your brand online. Connect with me on Twitter here.
  • Facebook – connect with people by friending and maintaining a profile. Facebook is moving in the general direction that most of these services are moving – sharing and consolidation. What’s the point of having 30 profiles on different Web sites when you can update and maintain everything from one? One day, Facebook really will own the world. This scares me, too. Connect with me on Facebook here.
  • LinkedIn – I like to call this the professional Facebook. Connect with and recommend your business connections. This is a great way to keep in touch with people. Connect with me on LinkedIn here.

Here’s a couple more services to take your social networking to the next level:

  • WordPress – host your blog here. It’s a great site that tracks all the stats you’ll ever need and has many useful tools.
  • Google – using such apps as Google Reader, Google Groups, etc. make Google social. You can use these apps to share information and contact each other.
  • Friendfeed – combine pretty much everything you’re doing online to your feed. I think Friendfeed is the future of social networking because, like Facebook, it is a way to combine everything easily. Brian Solis wrote a great post about the future of Friendfeed here, and I agree with him.
  • Pandora – play streaming music online. I love Pandora because it is nice to find new music as well as hear some favorites. And yes, this is social networking, especially because you can hook it up to your Friendfeed. You can check out my feed here.
  • Delicious – bookmark your favorite Web sites, articles and blog posts. I installed the Delicious Toolbar for Firefox and because this is hooked up to my blog and feed, people can check it out. Oh yeah, make sure you connect this with your feed, too.
  • Flickr – post and share photos. I wish I took more pictures and had a camera phone so I can use Flickr more, but I don’t. People find this service helpful because it is so easy to share and to post on different platforms.
  • StumbleUpon – find and rate information on the Web. For more information on how to use it, click here.
  • Scribd – upload and share documents with friends. I have seen people use this for group projects (Google Groups can do this, too) and other things. I think this will be gone soon because of how much easier Google’s programs are.
  • YouTube – watch videos online. Come on, there’s something for everyone here!
  • Slideshare – connect with some brilliant minds and share their presentations (or create your own). Look above for an example of an incredible presentation on Slideshare.

It probably seems like a lot of work to maintain all of these accounts, but I’ve found that once you do all the signing up, it’s pretty easy. I don’t spend hours updating and maintaining my profile on each of these services, I simply use them when I need it.

What else do you use? What doesn’t work? Where is the future of social networking? For me, the trick is consolidation.

Filed under: New Media Drivers License, Social Media, , , , , , , , ,

My Experience with AdWords

I saw something today I never thought I would ever see. Check this out:

picture-2

Yes, I bought some words. AdWords, that is. This is how Google makes a lot of money. Because I work in sales at The State News, I recognize the huge value in this product. AdWords isn’t intrusive – it simply shows up on the right side of the screen when you search for something on Google.

This is great for those people who love stats, but AdWords doesn’t allow for traditional branding. To me, it skips that whole creative branding process that I believe is essential for a company to connect with an audience. However, revenue for AdWords continues to increase while the rest of the advertising industry continues to suffer. Where will things be in a year? Five years? It’s a tough questions but nonetheless important for those getting into advertising, marketing and PR.

Anyway, I found the product useful. I did see some traffic increases, but not any comments from new bloggers. Although I would love to see a million people reading my blog every day, I would rather the blog be useful to those looking for advice. I think I have some work to do on targeting and it will take some more exploration on my part. There are many ways to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. Google does a really good job explaining everything here.

Here are my search terms:

picture-4I thought about using “super fly” as a search term just to see what would happen, but I realized that there are probably many more ads that are willing to pay more per click than my offer of $0.15. Hey, I’m a broke college kid, don’t make fun of me.

In case you can’t see, here’s my ad. Now I know how my clients feel when they place their first ad in our paper.

picture-5

Filed under: New Media Drivers License, Professional Development, Social Media, , , , , ,

My New Blog Reads

As if I don’t read enough I did some searching around for some new reads. I think that subscribing to a bunch of PR (or whatever industry you’re looking at when you graduate or currently work in) is great, but finding content that is related to your industry is just as beneficial.

Here’s what I came up with and recommend all of them.

The White House Blog. Democrat, Republican… or anything else… you should be reading this. With the new administration’s apparent commitment to transparency and ethics (woo hoo!), one can hope that this blog is going to be used to promote what is actually going on in Washington.

PR Watch Blog by the Center for Media and Democracy. I wrote in my last post about how it’s important to learn from the critics, and I also found out that they had a blog. Check it out.

SPJ Blogs by the Society of Professional Journalists. You’ve got to give SPJ credit for their Code of Ethics. It’s the second result when you search “code of ethics” on Google (a lot higher than PRSA’s code) and they talk about relevant things in the media industry.

Flacker – A Digital Public Relations Weblog by Young PR Flack. This blog offers an interesting perspective on the field and provides some pretty solid content.

PR Works by David Jones of Hill & Knowlton. The thing that sold me on this blog was their video on how the Flight 1549 Wikipedia page updated over 90 minutes. There is also plenty of other worthwhile content, so definitely subscribe to this one.

Learn It, Live It, Love It – the PR book club. Yes, we have plenty to read with work and class, but this is a fun way to network and learn. While I might be one of the group managers and a little biased, we’ve got some great things going on with this. Check it out.

I did some searching with the Google Blog Search, as well as Alltop and Technorati. All are great places to search for topics, as well as clients, future employers and yourself.

Anyone else have any good finds recently?

Filed under: New Media Drivers License, Public Relations, Social Media, , , , , , , ,

Google for Students

Sometimes, I imagine my life without Google. And then I realize how dependent I am on Google – if it’s going down I’m going down with it. As students, Google really does make our lives easier. Literally everything is at our finger tips and we should know how to maximize usage on their products to improve ourselves. Personally, I have found that Google makes things simple and easy to sync with the rest of your life. I can’t recommend it enough, if you can’t tell.

google

After creating a Google account here (be sure to use something along the lines of your name, both for credibility and SEO’s sake). Here’s a list of the things Google offers you should be using, both from experience and recommendations:

  • iGoogle – This is your home page. You can add different widgets and sync many of the features listed below to this page. It’s a nice first page to look at when you get online.
  • Gmail – The Web mail of Google is my favorite Google product. You can fetch mail in other inboxes to use one tool for your multiple accounts, as well as chat, label, and store at your pleasure.  I also use Gmail as my to-do list; that is, I keep only the e-mails I need to deal with in my inbox and archive the rest (archiving is not deleting – click on “all mail” to see your archived messages or simply search for it). Oh yeah, your inbox is huge. Like really, really big. Don’t worry about filling it up any time soon.
  • Google Reader – Much more than a tool for news junkies, you can use Google Reader to keep on top of the news, your favorite blogs and even the occasional random feed. If you’re new to blogging, I recommend Alltop – it’s a great place to get started and check out topics that interest you.
  • Google Alerts – This alerts you, either by e-mail or through your reader, when a phrase you select lands anywhere from a news article to a blog post. I recommend using this in two ways. First, it might seem ego-centric, but put a Google Alert on your name. Have this one e-mailed to you so you can know if something is being said about you. Next, put some Google Alerts on the companies you want to work for. I would recommend subscribing these to your reader so you can peruse these at your own pleasure.
  • Google Groups – If you’re in a student organization or you want to keep in touch with friends, Google Groups is where it’s at for you. You can chat, create pages and make your group look fancy.
  • Google Calendar – I’ll be honest, I don’t use this application. I have my physical planner that I wouldn’t know how to live my live without it. However, I’ve heard great things about this easy-to-use app. You can also sync it with your mobile phone – it doesn’t get much better than that.
  • Google Analytics – This gets to the advanced stuff, but you can put a code on your Web page or blog and Google Analytics will show you various statistics on your site usage. Just so you know, visits measures how many times the Web site was accesses, unique visitors measures how many different computers accesses the Web site, and page views measures the total number of pages served to a visitor. The more page views per visitor, the more useful your site.
  • Google Scholar – This is the Google search entire limited to scholarly sources. I’ve used different research tools that MSU has to offer, but honestly, Google Scholar is a lot easier and quicker than anything else. I’m not sure if it yields quite the same content, but this should do the trick for a quick citation on a paper you’re writing.
  • Google on your phone – to die for. I got this on my BlackBerry and it’s done everything from saved to ruined my life. Yes, Google Maps has saved me when I have no idea where I am (this happens more often than I like to admit), and yes, I”m addicted to my crackberry. But hey, I’ve got a world of knowledge in the palm of my hand it’s been more helpful than anything.

So, there you have it – how you should be maximizing all of Google’s capabilities. Google offers so much more than what I put on this short post and I recommend trying out a little bit of everything. The best finds are often the ones that get the least coverage.

How else do you use Google? Do you have anything to add to this list?

If you’re looking for more information about all Google’s apps, check out their how to site.

Filed under: New Media Drivers License, Professional Development, Public Relations, Social Media, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

PR Book Club

A couple of weeks ago, Rachel Esterline sent out an idea on Twitter she had about a PR book club. I’ll be quite honest – I need to read more books. I read books for class (most of the time), subscribe to way too much on Google Reader to feed my news junkiness and make time to read The State News in print every day. But I don’t pick up too many books.

Thus, the PR Book Club for students and professionals begins. (We’re looking for a new name and we’re looking for suggestions!)

In case you haven’t heard me ramble about this, one of the things I’m most passionate about is professional development. Yes, more reading on top of what you are assigned as a student or your workload as a professional (or sometimes both), but I think you can and should make time for this.

Here’s my current book list on deck, and hopefully we’ll get to some of these:

new_rules_book_cover1The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott. Although it’s part of my New Media Drivers License class, I’ve had this for a while, just haven’t had time to read. I started reading it yesterday, and it’s incredibly engaging.

groundswellGroundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. This book has been recommended by me way too many times for me to ignore it.

stephen-covey-7-habits-of-highly-effective-peopleThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey. This, too, is a book highly recommended by friends and colleagues.

presentation-zen-bookPresentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. This is the second book that’s part of my NMDL course. Anyone in the marketing field can use a refresher course on solid presentations. Working in sales, I’m excited to improve my presentation skills.

ogilvy-on-advertising2Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy. He does advertising, I do PR, but I think this is going to be a good one.

Rachel is heading up the group and is seeking interested members. Head over to her blog and comment to be part of something really awesome.

Filed under: New Media Drivers License, PR Book Club, Professional Development, Public Relations, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Add to Technorati Favorites

Delicious

View Nick Lucido's profile on LinkedIn

Twitter

Friendfeed

View my FriendFeed

Flickr Photos