Social Media Group’s Plans

A couple of weeks ago, the social media group met to establish our main goal and how we were going to reach that goal. 

Our Goal: To bring the UHCSC up to date using social media tools, enabling them to reach a new audience.  
We can accomplish our goal using Facebook, Twitter, a blog, and possibly YouTube.
Facebook: Request a different logo, photos, an event calendar from Linda.  Everyone in class needs to join fan page.  

Blog: Plan to spotlight someone each week (1 post); Beckman in charge of designing blog; Form a list of blog ideas.  Madison, Beckman, and Lauren are deciding 1st blog post.

We also came up with a list of blog ideas:

-Spotlighting people
-Inside view from employee
-Contact board members
-Find stories on homelessness throughout the country–link
-Video Clips
-Upload pictures
-Press Releases 
-Guest Writers 
-Volunteer Group-what they experienced, what they did 

Website: See what they have and how it’s organized, and reorganize it.  Make a layout, make it more cohesive.  Katie to meet with Reid and create graphic for class to utilize.

Twitter: Lauren and Madison will be in charge of Tweeting.  Aim to do one tweet a day (school week).  Customize account.  Get anyone who is on Twitter in our class to follow account.

YouTube: Not main focus, but may upload videos throughout semester.

**Important to have class get active on Facebook and Twitter.

Hopefully we will accomplish our goal by the end of the semester!!


Real World PR- Social Media’s Place in Public Relations

The first session that I attended was “Social Media’s Place in Public Relations”.  The panel of speakers included Ashley Payne from the Georgia Aquarium, Stephen Brown from MS&L Worldwide, and Nick Ayres from The Home Depot.  This session allowed for all questions to be answered.  

How has your company handling social media a year ago?

Ashley explained that the Georgia Aquarium used to use all traditional public relations and now use Facebook, Twitter, and E-Marketing.  They’ve researched how people use social media.  Now, they give away free tickets and announce exciting events that are occurring at the aquarium.  Nick said that last year, Home Depot was involved with social media, but now they have a specific team that is specific for just social media.  Stephen explained that MS&L has realized what blogger relations is and is working on connecting with the correct audiences.  For example, they set up a Coca-Cola Free-Style and Osh Kosh Biggosh Facebook pages.

How do you use Twitter and Facebook for business?

Ashley said to make everything personal account private, look at what’s being said about your company, and if your company isn’t using social media, tell them why they should. 

How to balance friends and business on Twitter?

Nick said that just using it for talking to friends is not business-like.  If you add something special about yourself, it adds personality.  He also reminded us not to just re-tweet because you’re not really using your own thoughts.

What types of things do you tweet about?

Ashley said to tweet about very cool things (a celebrity comes to the aquarium) or new news (a new animal joins the aquarium).  

When employers look at possible new employees, do they follow the candidates or just take a glance at their Twitter page?

Ashley- glance at your page for personality.  Nick- Glance, but Googles the candidates first.

How do you pull in older audiences to social media?

Stephen said that it may or may not be helpful.  For example if one of your clients is a senior living facility, they will not be on Facebook right now.  Nick explained that PRos have to know traditional PR as well.

How do you monitor social media?

Stephen mentioned Radian 6 and said that you can measure it by the brand sentiment over time.  Nick said that he keeps a report of what people care about and what’s hot.  He counts the positive and negative tweets.  He uses YouTube views, Facebook Fans, Twitter Followers and pictures in blog posts and tweets in his social media reports.

How is social media organized in your company?

Ashley said that the Georgia Aquarium has integrated social media into all aspects of the company.  She explained that employees are the best advocates because they stick of for their organization without being told to do so.

Session three post next: “Seal the Deal: What You Need to Know to Land the Job”.


The social media group has created a blog, a twitter, and is helping with the Upstate Homeless Coalition’s Facebook Fan Page.

The upstate Homeless Coalition of South Carolina’s BLOG is here.

The Upstate Homeless Coalition of South Carolina’s TWITTER is here.

The Upstate Homeless Coalition of South Carolina’s FACEBOOK is here.

The Upstate Homeless Coalition of South Carolina’s WEB SITE is here.

I hope that you all will start linking to the UHCSC’s blog, following UHCSC on Twitter, and becoming a fan of the UHCSC on Facebook.

Who’s Calling the Shots?

I’ve never been in a class like my senior seminar class.  On Thursday, Dr. Novak stood at the front of the classroom, let us ask any questions that we wanted about factual information about the Upstate Homeless Coalition of South Carolina.  After a few questions had been asked, Dr. Novak walked to the back of the room and was silent for the rest of the class.  As a class, we wrote a mission statement, appointed class liaisons, organized ourselves into three main groups (fundraising, media, and social media), and decided on tasks and duties of each major group. 

We then broke up into the major groups.  I chose to be in the social media group along with Erin Sanders, Beckman Perry, Katie McKenzie, and Lauren Patterson.  We plan on helping update their Web site, start blogging for the UHCSC, help update the UHCSC Facebook page, and tweet under a username for the UHCSC.  After working on these social media networks on behalf of the UHCSC, we are also going to write a social media plan that the UHCSC can use after the semester is over. 

In our blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts, we want to connect with homeless people who use social media sites.  Part of our job this semester is going to do research to reach out to homeless people in the upstate who use the sites and let them know the services of the UHCSC. 

This class is by far the coolest class that I’ve ever taken at Clemson University.  It’s student run and we are getting to call the shots.

Tide Loads of Hope- Good PR

After seeing a commercial about Loads of Hope by Tide, I decided to research a little further.  I quickly found out that Tide trucks with built-in washers and dryers drive to places that have recently been hit with a disaster.   The trucks let disaster victims do loads of laundry for free.  These energy-efficient machines can clean 300 loads of laundry every day.  Tide promotes Loads of Hope through its Web site, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and has multiple videos on YouTube. 

The videos are positive testimonials of people who have used Tide’s services and machines.  They list places the Tide trucks have visited as well as how many loads were completed and how many families were helped.  Below is an example of one of the YouTube video testimonials:

The Tide brand is looking like saints to the disaster victims.  When disasters occur, I usually hear about organizations donating money to help out the victims.  By helping with a task that seems so trivial, Tide is helping victims as well as helping themselves gain great publicity.

My Defintion of Public Relations

In my last public relations class, I learned that public relations is the management of complex interactions between an organization and it’s publics.  To me, this definition encompasses many different things.  Through my personal experiences with working in three different areas (corporate PR- Verizon Wireless, small firm- JDPR, and law firm- Toussaint Law Firm) I’ve learned that a public realtions practioner wears mutliple hats.   Writing press releases, constantly keeping in contact with the media, developing new ways to pitch ideas, working with a company’s philanthropy, making flyers and brochures to distribute, and tracking media clips are only a few of the many things that I witnessed my fellow co-workers continuously do at my internships.

Now, as times are changing and more news is becoming “citizen news” through social media, PRos must keep up with the new technology that is being invented.  Through Twitter, blogs ,and Facebook, YouTube and other forms of social media, a company can be praised or totally ripped apart within moments.  It’s scary to think that people who may not have any expertise on a part an organization that you represent can easily bad mouth it and cause permanent damage.

Popular Clothing Brands on Facebook- Mountain Hardware Bad Public Relations

For my public relations class, we were asked to look at major brands on Facebook.  I chose to look up popular brands that make products that many Clemson University students wear and use.  The three brands that I looked up were: The North Face, Patagonia, and Mountain Hardware.  Out of all three, Mountain Hardware’s page was the least put together.

Patagonia’s Faceboopatagonia-labelk page has over 6,500 fans.  On its wall, Patagonia shares news stories about earthy subjects that are geared more towards their clientele.  Fans of Patagonia write mostly positive feedback on its wall.  Under it’s INFO tab, Patagonia lists its Web sites, background information, and the products that it produces. In its PHOTOS box, there are outdoorsy pictures of nature.  Interestingly enough, there are very few pictures posted that include the Patagonia label.  Patagonia has a YOUTUBE tab where it features outdoor activities that would be interesting to their fans.

The North Facthe-north-face-logoe fan wall is similar to Patagonia’s except it has five times more fans than Patagonia’s.  The North Face fan wall shares Facebook notes about a climbing excursion of a 5 man team.  They also have fans that write positive feedback and promote events that will be happening in stores that carry North Face products.  Under it’s INFO tab, The North Face fan page has multiple Web site and the products that they sell.  With the other tabs, The North Face fan page is very similar to the Patagonia page, but they do not have a YOUTUBE tab.  In addition to the regular tabs, they have an EVENTS tab that lists the upcoming outdoor activities that The North Face is hosting.

The last fan pamountain_hardware_logoge that I looked at was Mountain Hardware.  The fan page has less than 300 members and only has 3 tabs to explore the site with.  A few fans have written on their wall, however there have been no posted articles or upcoming events by Mountain Hardware.  The information in the INFO tab lists one Web site and the major designers and their backgrounds.  There are few photos that are under their PHOTO tab.  This fan page is the worst out of all three because of its lack of ingenuity and information.  The site isn’t geared towards it’s fans and doesn’t try to connect on a personal level.

Your Mom Has Facebook?

For the past few months, my mom has been asking my sister and me to set up a Facebook page for her.  She said that she wanted one to get in touch with her friends from her childhood and stay connected easier.  My dad even suggested making my mom a Facebook page for one of her Christmas presents.  My sister and I keep explaining that it’s not cool for our mom to have a Facebook and that she needs to wait until it becomes more popular for older women.  However, after reading this article by Amanda Lenhart, I realized that maybe more moms have Facebook then I thought.  In a study conducted by Pew Internet and American Life Project, they found that the percentage of adults that use social media has increased by 27% since 2005.  Specifically, 22% of adults have a Facebook profile.

I talk to my mom about my stakeholder communication class and I’ve tried to explain all of the new social media tools that I’ve been learning and using on a regular basis.  I don’t know if the new media that I’ve learned would be useful to her because of her profession, but I think that Facebook would be beneficial.  I think that my mom would be able to easily pick up on the do’s and don’ts of Facebook and figure out how to work her profile page.  After reading the statistics of what adults use Facebook for, I’ve realized that my mom wants to use it for the exact same reasons as other adult users.  I don’t want my mom to miss out on being a part of social media.  I want her to be able to have a Facebook because she IS a cool mom.

So… Happy Valentines Day, Mom. I’ll make you a Facebook.   🙂