I’m beyond thrilled to kick off the month of August with a rebranded JRM Comm. Watch the video below to learn more and browse JRMComms.com to see how we can work together to bring you success through smart strategies!
Do a Google search on blaming social media and you’ll find over 5.6 million results. They range from social media being blamed for your bad mood to the 2011 London Riots being blamed on social nets. Social media is an easy punching bag because it’s still relatively “new” in society.
Social networks have taken the world by storm. First, it was a fad, then it was emergent and, finally, mainstream. Many people and organizations are on board with using social. While social is widely hailed as helping to transform the way we communicate, it’s become somewhat of a target or crutch when someone needs to place blame.
The latest “blame social media” incident was during the July 16 MLB All-Star Game in Minnesota. St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Adam Wainwright clearly grooved a fastball to retiring New York Yankees All-Star shortstop Derek Jeter in the first inning. Wainwright admitted it in a separate interview and was flamed on Twitter. He then backtracked in a dugout interview with Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews.
“Don’t you love social media…,” Andrews was saying tongue in cheek to Wainwright. He replied, “No, I don’t love social media.”
While this isn’t the most egregious violation of blaming social media, it is an example of the lengths people will go to place blame on social media for their own mistakes. Wainwright blaming social for his own error is akin to me blaming my kids for not making dinner when I said I would in the first place.
Social media has become the punching bag for those that don’t really understand how powerful social is today. In this day and age, you need to fully grasp that your words and actions are magnified by social. Something that use to be a benign comment can be overblown very quickly. It’s not all social media’s fault; be responsible for what YOU do and say. Here’s how.
- Don’t use social as a crutch- “I didn’t mean to post that,” “If I didn’t have a Twitter account, I wouldn’t do things like this,” or “Social media didn’t get my sarcasm,” are crutches that you need to throw away. They are excuses. You and you alone have the power to control your actions and virtual words. Period.
- Understand what social can do for you- Social media is responsible for something of the biggest news events becoming bigger. Remember U.S. Airways Flight 1549? What about the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound that netted the Al Qaeda leader? These are examples of how social has changed news reporting, gathering and dissemination. It’s also become the place where brands make major announcements. With great power, comes great responsibility. Social media is a great responsibility.
- Know your role- The more you understand how social works, the better off you will be when using it. If I post something and someone takes it the wrong way, that’s on me. I didn’t explain it well enough in 140 characters, or clearly in a Facebook post. Just because you don’t have a blue stamped check mark next to your name on Twitter or have a million followers on Facebook and Instagram, does not mean you aren’t being listened to closely. Your role in social media is a big one, whether you believe it or not. Appreciate what social is and what it has become.
Facebook is ten years old, Twitter is only eight years old. That’s still very young. However, social media has come a long way in that time. You need to understand that before you go placing blame on a social network for your words. Be better with social and you’ll appreciate the benefits.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
[Jas’ note: I’m glad to have my friend Ben Butler provide a guest post on a very important topic]
The company handbooks given to new employees nowadays seem to be getting thicker and thicker. Unfortunately, it seems that one potentially brand-crippling area is neglected—social media.
Here’s why your company needs to add a social media policy to its employee handbook:
It Clarifies Expectations
Your company may not be on social media, but I can almost guarantee that your employees are. You should never assume that your employees will represent themselves or your company properly. In fact, it often seems that some people forget the standard rules of engagement when they’re online.
Establishing a social media policy puts all of your expectations in one, formalized place. This will help you explain what behaviors are discouraged and even what could get someone fired.
Some of the topics you may want to cover include: best practices for discussing the company, what company topics are restricted (confidentiality concerns), venting about customers, racist comments or posting inappropriate photos.
It Helps You in Times of Crisis
Remember Justine Sacco?
The former director of corporate communications for IAC Tweeted, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get Aids. Just kidding. I’m white!” before getting on a plane. Not only did her Tweet created a personal crisis for Sacco, but it suddenly created one for IAC as well. Sacco’s rank in the company immediately attached them to the chaos.
Because they knew how to handle employee conduct in the digital realm, they were able to quickly and properly react by denouncing her comments and publicly firing her before she even landed in Africa.
It Can Enhance Your Company’s Brand
It’s difficult to control exactly how and when your employees talk about your company, but it’s wise to add a best practices section to your social media policy.
Sometimes employees want to share the news, but are unsure how to do so. Be sure to provide examples of how employees can advance your company’s brand on social media. It also probably wouldn’t hurt to include stories like Sacco’s so that employees know what happens when social media is used incorrectly.
How has your company used a social media policy?
Ben Butler is the founder and president of Top Hat IMC, an integrated marketing communications firm in Wexford and Pittsburgh, Pa.
Whether you are in public relations, marketing, advertising, or social media management, it is important to understand just how valuable you are. Why? It could be the difference between a potential client understanding your worth and not being valued.
In today’s Tip, I explain the importance of value as a professional.
What are your thoughts? Weigh in by leaving a comment or sharing one on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.
“Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.”- Dwight D. Eisenhower
Planning is part of our fabric as public relations pros. We make sure that clients have planned for an event, roll out, or social media campaign. In today’s Tip, here are a few ways you can be better planners.
How do you go about planning your day, your tasks? Let me know in the comments.
It’s not every day you get the chance to chat with an Olympian. I originally read about Katie Uhlaender’s story prior to the Sochi Olympic Games, due to her link with former Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. Despite not medaling, she inspired many with her grace and toughness.
I was really honored to have had a chance to chat with Katie during a break from her duties at her farm. She shared her thoughts on farm life and her experiences in traveling around the world. Katie also touched on social media and that bond with Manuel, through her late father, Ted.
Katie is a great role model for hard work, dedication, and never giving up.
Let me know your thoughts on the podcast and leave a comment below.
One of the more popular questions I get during my CEO of You personal branding talks is: “Should I have separate Twitter accounts for personal and professional?” It’s a great question because there are so many opinions on this. There’s the camp that states it is absolutely necessary to have both because you do not want to confuse followers about your brand. A recent article on “The Savvy Intern” blog stressed the necessity to have a recreational account for topics that aren’t “on brand.” Tip of the blog cap to Reganie Smith (@ReganiePR) for sharing the post on Twitter.
I fall into the other camp: I don’t think it is necessary to have two Twitter accounts. On full disclosure, I do have two accounts. One is for my business, JRM Comm; the other is me, @JasMollica. The difference, though, is that I don’t feel it’s essential for staying “on brand” to have a second account for myself. My JRM Comm account is strictly business; my @JasMollica account is a mix of professional and personal. Here are my reasons why you should focus on just one Twitter account.
- Time– Regardless of whether you know how to use Tweetdeck, HootSuite, or Twitter’s app, it’s not easy to juggle multiple accounts. Focus your time on making your personal account great and show people you are worth the follow.
- Confusion- One of the more important aspects of personal branding is giving people a good idea of who you are and what you do. If you have two accounts, who should I follow? The real person or the other account that just tweets business/career information? Don’t fall into the trap of being confusing. That only makes your brand clouded.
- Transparency- I’ve stressed in many of my talks to students and professionals that the need for openness and transparency are essential. To me, multiple Twitter accounts do not help. I want to know who you really are… and so do other pros and potential employers. And, frankly, if you put the more personal tweets on another account, people will still find it.
- Noise- We’ve all heard folks complain about too many tweets. Two accounts from one person adds to the Twitter noise. We see people tweet the same information, at the same time, from multiple accounts. That adds to the noise. Tweeting information that is valuable to your followers from one account cuts down on noise and confusion, too.
- Personality- I’m in the camp that wants to see your personal side and that’s not to sound stalkerish. Before I hit follow, I look at what you’ve tweeted about. It gives me -and others- a better idea of who you are and what you do. If you posted something about last night’s hockey game, that’s great. We don’t, however, need to see the posts about beer pong or being hung over.
- Smarts- Twitter and many other social networks may be free to sign up for, but they all require responsibility. You can make your one Twitter account great by just displaying some smarts. Don’t be so quick to hit that tweet button. Take a moment to consider your audience and your brand. Displaying smarts on your one account will go farther in strengthening your personal brand.
Focusing on your personal brand can be very difficult. The more honest you are with yourself and your audience, is not only great for your brand, it will be great for your career as well.
What are your thoughts on multiple Twitter accounts? Let me know in the comments!
Matt LaCasse and I are another example of developing a relationship from social media. I’ve (unfortunately) never met him in person, but have talked with him in every other way possible (except carrier pigeon and the string cup phone).
I’ve never been disappointed with something I retweet or share from Matt because I know he recognizes the importance of what he puts out on social networks. His only failing? Being a Chicago Cubs fan. Why do I pick on him about that? Because I’m a New York Mets fan.
In all seriousness, I’m really excited for everyone to listen to this episode with Matt because he shares some really great insight into how he started out in public relations, why he feels microvideo will dominate in 2014, and adjusting to being a parent and balancing work along with it.
Let me know your thoughts on this episode, by leaving a comment below!
Episode Four of The JourneyCast Podcast features Game Changer Communications president Jason Sprenger. I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with Jason in 140 characters over the last few years. His focused insight with clients and the respect he has within the public relations industry is one we can all learn from.
Talking with Jason, I found a person who truly cares about his business and clients, but most importantly, not flying off the handle with opinions. He takes the time to really look into a topic, like his recent blog on social media managers. Without spoiling the post, it’s not what you normally expect. It’s one I really enjoyed and I think you will as well.
What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below!
Late last spring, I had the chance to first chat with Ben Butler over Twitter. As we got to talking, I realized how incredibly prepared and focused he was. Ben interviewed me for his blog and we finally got to meet in person in October at the PRSSA National Conference.
In this edition of the JourneyCast, I chatted with Ben about his start in PR, why he decided on a solo PR career, and what drives him every day.