Twitterquette 101: Lesson Three

When you are posting on a Twitter account you manage for someone else, do not tweet to your personal account and respond to yourself. Why not? Well, you are not really engaging and fully taking advantage of the Twitter experience.

One of the many great things about Twitter is the networking it allows you to do. By tweeting to yourself, from yourself, you are not really networking. You already know yourself! Twitter allows you to meet people that live in different cities, states and countries. So narrowing down who you tweet with, and by only tweeting back and forth with yourself, limits your endless opportunities to network. I am not saying that talking to yourself is bad, but when you have the ability to connect with someone that is thousands of miles away, why just tweet to yourself?

So what do you think… is tweeting with yourself pointless when you are running two Twitter accounts? Does it limit your networking opportunities?

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Why I Almost Considered Divorcing My Droid

It is no joke that I am completely in love with my Droid Incredible. I have had it since last July (I waited a whole month to get it!) and it is the first smartphone I have ever owned.

The Android version of me!

When I first started looking at smartphones, I took the time to research all of them. I originally wanted a Blackberry Curve, but after speaking with several Verizon Wireless customer service representatives I decided the Droid Incredible was the phone for me, and not because it had just been released, but because it was what would work best for me. I absolutely loved all of the features the phone had and realized it would do everything I needed a smartphone for.

While I have only had my Droid for a little less than a year, I recently started to think about going back to a normal cell phone. Why, you may ask? I feel extremely too connected sometimes. Even when I try to take a break for a day, I feel as if I am constantly checking my phone. If I am not constantly checking my phone, I feel like I may miss something important, or I need to inform everyone I am taking a day off from my computer and phone, which I feel is completely impossible to do most of the time.

My smartphone is a great asset and I will not really get rid of it. However, I have decided I will stop checking my phone past a certain time each day. Yes, it is great to be connected, but there is a fine line between connected and too connected. The past few months I feel as if I have been too connected and I want to make a change so I do not feel like I have to constantly check my phone when I am away from my computer. There may be some exceptions, like if I am waiting for something important from someone and I know they will email, or contact me, late at night. However, like my mentor says, many things can wait until the morning!

What are your thoughts? Are we way too connected with our smartphones? Should we disconnect after a certain time each day? If so, what do you think is a good time to stop checking  your phone?

You can read the article that inspired this post, here.

Important Lessons from Grey’s Anatomy

It is no secret that I have a huge addiction to Grey’s Anatomy, and yes I realize it came out in 2005. While I recently discovered this show, I have quickly picked up on a few things that stand out that can apply to the work world.

  • Mixing professional and personal. Right off the bat, surgical interns Meredith, Izzie and George move in together because Meredith was looking for roommates. It is great to have roommates, but something I have noticed about these three is when they are having issues at home they tend to bring them to work. In a professional environment it is not acceptable. While people love the drama of the show, drama in the workplace is immature and unprofessional. It is always great to make friends with coworkers, but make sure you keep personal and professional separate. Do not let it impact the work you can do!
  • Communication is key! This phrase is said constantly, and for a great reason: it is true! If you want to have success within an organization or company, you need communication. This does not only apply to PR and the communications industry, but everything. The show is about surgeons, and to me it seems like the communication should be constant with them. However, since it is based mainly on the interns they are still learning and the audience sees many times how there is lack of communication between the interns and the resident surgeons. For there to be success, there needs to be communication.
  • Being an intern does help! Some universities do not require students to have internships prior to graduating, but some, like mine, do. Like I mentioned before this show is mainly about the interns. Before watching this show and other shows like it, I had no idea that surgeons had to intern for as long as they do. It makes sense though. While I have never had an operation in my life I do not think I would feel comfortable having someone fresh out of school that does not have a lot of experience operate on me. So how does this relate to PR? No we are not going to be making operations on anyone when we graduate, but we will have to deal with many other things that may occur, like a crisis situation for instance. By interning we have the opportunity to learn and be mentored by professionals before jumping into the fire.

While I may be a little late to the Grey’s Anatomy party, noticing these points in the episodes I have seen has shown me that students are all the same. We are constantly learning and growing. So what do you think… are there hidden messages like the ones I have mentioned above in other television shows? Do you think this is on purpose?

Idol’s Lessons on Social Media

Jason Scott is an Entertainment Business Student. He is an Editorial Assistant @SocialFresh, along as an intern at @DreamRow and Twitter Guru for @DigitalNashvlle. His loves are music, social media, Glee, Idol, and Carrie Underwood. Follow the link below to read his guest post. You can tweet with Jason @jlscott13!

Pop culture is all around us. Just like Charlie Sheen’s #tigerblood, entertainment informs the trends and habits that happen on all social media sites. This might be a little obvious to most of you, but what does culture teach us about what we should be doing on those sites? What can a show like American Idol possibly teach us about our online presence?

[View the story “Idol’s Lessons on Social Media” on Storify]

Twitterquette 101: Lesson Two

Last week was my first lesson in Twitterquette and it covered the basics of what is okay to tweet. This week I thought it would be appropriate to discuss hashtags, and how to use them without stepping on any toes.

I will admit, hashtags are one of my favorite Twitter features. While I use hashtags on a daily basis, and in almost every tweet I compose, I also think there is a right and wrong time to use this awesome feature.

When is the right time to use a hashtag? My answer to this question is simple: whenever you have something to say that you would like to share with other people in the Twittersphere! Hashtags help get your message across to more people than just your followers. Using hashtags is a great way to strike up some interesting discussions regarding public relations, or any topic for that matter. When you use a hashtag just make sure it fits whatever message you are sending. For instance, if you are tweeting a question about public relations and you would like feedback from other students, use a hashtag like #PRStudChat. This is the first hashtag I use if I need advice from fellow PR students or if I have something exciting to share.

Twitter chats is another prime time to use a hashtag. Personally, I love Twitter chats and there are some great ones out there (#PRStudChat, #pr20chat, #internchat and #u30pro to name a few) to get involved with. Twitter chats not only offer a chance to chat with other students and professionals once a week, biweekly or monthly, but they also offer amazing communities that you can build relationships with fellow community members. This is one reason I participate in Twitter chats. I simply love the communities that come with them!

When is the wrong time to use a hashtag? The only time I think it is the wrong time to use a hashtag is if a Twitter chat is going on with that particular hashtag and you randomly send a tweet promoting something. I have seen this happen before and the response was not very pretty from the Twitter chat community. While some communities may not mind, keep in mind that it could rub some communities, or community members, the wrong way.

Other than that, I do not think there is another wrong time to include a hashtag in a tweet. What are your thoughts? When is it right, or when is it wrong, to include a hashtag in a tweet?

So You Are New to the Blogosphere…

So you are new to the blogosphere, now what?

Everyone is new to blogging at some point or other, but how do you get started? I started my blog a little more than a year ago and I never imagined I would ever get any hits on it. That has changed and it has a lot to do with things I have learned through my own experiences and reading other blogs.

The following are some tips I have for those of you who are new to blogging or want to jumpstart your blog again.

  • Make a plan. The first year I started my blog I did not really have a plan for it. My goal was to get a few posts up a month, but nothing far beyond that. When I decided to buy my domain name and attended Real World PR for the second year in a row, I decided to make a plan and be more serious with my blog. Maybe it took spending money on a domain name, or attending a conference two years in a row where they stress the importance of social media, but I now have a plan for my blog. In your plan, decide what you want to base your blog on and create topics you would like to write about. I suggest this to anyone starting out. It really helps!
  • Research. As PR students we already know the importance of research. When it come to blogging this is no different. See what other PR students and professionals are doing with their blogs and what they are writing. Along with this research you will create a list of blogs you will read daily or weekly.
  • Network in the blog world! Almost everyone is on Twitter, and there are Twitter chats for almost everything. One of the first few chats I was ever in is #blogchat. This Twitter chat has helped me network with other bloggers and get a lot of questions I had about blogging answered. While there are a wide range of bloggers that participate in this chat, you can still find a lot of useful help by participating. If you really want to network with bloggers that are interested in the same topic as you, find a hashtag that fits you. #PRStudChat introduces me to a lot of PR students who are interested in the same field as me and blog about similar topics.
  • Comment on other blogs and share posts. To me, this is very important. Read other blogs and join in on the discussion in the comments. This is a great way to get your name out there and show that you are not just promoting your blog, but other blogs as well.

What are other tips you have for starting bloggers?

Time to Celebrate Grammar!

Happy National Grammar Day!

In honor of National Grammar Day, why not brush up on your grammar skills? As PR students, this is something we definitely need to enhance early on because writing will be a huge part of our future career. So pull out your AP Stylebook and write until you cannot write anymore!

Or just read some of the following articles about common mistakes and why writing skills in PR are vital.

AP Stylebook

5 Skills every PR professional needs

Common Grammar and Punctuation Mistakes

7 Grammar Mistakes that Make Editors Hyperventilate

Affect Versus Effect

There are definitely more blog posts and articles out there, but these can be a starting point for those of you who would like to brush up on your grammar skills today!

How are you celebrating National Grammar Day?