Hangout Fest 2017 Social Media Release

**This Social Media Release is fictional. It is not affiliated with Hangout Music Fest in any way.**

Pitch:

Listen to your favorite bands with your toes in the sand! Hangout Music Fest 2017 will be held on May 19-21st in Gulf Shores, Ala. The three-day festival will feature headliners such as, Mumford & Sons, Weezer and Frank Ocean. The various artists will play on multiple stages set up all over the beach. Tickets and packages to the ultimate beach vacation are on sale now.

Background:

Hangout Music Festival is an award-winning concert event that exceeds expectations far beyond its stacked lineup. Attendees enjoy a beautiful beach setting with access to multiple Gulf-front amenities, local seafood options and much more for the memorable experience of a lifetime.

Facts:

Links to purchase tickets are available at: http://hangoutmusicfest.com/tickets/

This is an event for adults. You must be 18 or older to attend. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 21.

Children aged 5 and under are admitted FREE if accompanied by a ticket­ holding parent or guardian. Due to safety concerns, we cannot admit more than 2 children per supervising parent or guardian.

Quotes:

“I’m stoked to be here,” said Rivers Cuomo, lead singer of Weezer. “There’s nothing better than playing a concert on the beach.”

“Hangout Fest was the best weekend of my life last year!” said Taylor Sumner. “The experience is unforgettable!”

“The lineup is better than ever this year!” said Samantha Collins, head of Hangout Fest communications. “The tickets will sell themselves!”

Multimedia:

https://www.facebook.com/hangoutmusic/

Video:

Social Media:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube
Website

A Letter To My Freshman Self

Dear Freshman Me,

Hey me, it’s you. Well, the older you. I have a few things I want to say to you. Some things that I wish I would have known before I started my college journey. I promise the things you’re about to read may come as a bit of a shock to you, but try to listen, because after all, I am the wiser one here.

First things first, these are without a doubt, the best years of your life. Some of them are more fun than others, but each of them has prepared you for where you are now (which is pretty great, if I do say so myself.) With that being said, you don’t graduate in four years. This probably won’t come as much of a shock to you after your freshman year. But hey, it’s okay. You do graduate!!! BUT… STUDY, STUDY, STUDY! The older you’s GPA will greatly appreciate it.

Second, you’re going to have to work. A lot. After your sophomore year, you’re going to have to claim residency, because we both know how mom and dad feel about out of state tuition. It stinks, but you end up kicking butt! You become the manager of that cute little boutique you bought your first rush dress at. Yeah, the one with the heavy door. You end up working there for the rest of college. This job is what prepares you for the real world. This job gives you a future roommate, and countless friendships. This job gives you a second home and people to call family.

Third and finally, enjoy every bit of this life you were given. The people you are about to meet are going to give you some of the best memories in your life. You might lose some, you might end up getting really close to some, but please cherish each and every one of them. They’re a part of your story. They’re a part of what makes you, me.

Remember, college is something you only get to live through once. Don’t take it for granted. Go out with your friends, take the longer walk to class, go on a date with that cute boy you’ve always had a crush on, even if he’s two years younger. (You won’t regret it, wink!) You’re hard headed and a pain in the butt sometimes, but you’re loving and kind. Looking back, I can’t believe we made it this far. We actually did it. I’m so proud of you and the things you’ve accomplished and will accomplish. When things get tough, don’t give up, lean on your friends and God, I promise you will make it through.

I love you and I’ll see you soon,

Me

P.S. Wish us luck, we’re moving to San Diego!!!

#Sisson3280

As a graduating senior in PR, I am sad that I did not take Social Media in Public Relations sooner. I recommend this class to all CMJN majors. Social media has become such a vital part of the way we communicate. Not only will this class prepare you for the rest of your college career, it will prepare you for your professional career as well.

What the course offers is practical knowledge and provides opportunities to build the analytical skills necessary to create, evaluate, and execute social media campaigns. Not to mention, Dr. Sisson is an awesome professor. She will go above and beyond for her students.

Here are some of my favorite things about this class:

 Hootsuite Certification

 This was definitely one of the best things about the course. Students get to become Hootsuite Platform Certified. This certification comes with a badge to put on your LinkedIn resume and you are put in the Hootsuite Certification system.

 Social Media Participation

 Before taking this class, my love for Twitter was slowly drifting away. This course rekindled that flame! Every week students were required to tweet and interact with other students about all things social media. Not only did it teach me a ton of interesting things, it was very encouraging hearing feedback from other PR students.

 Social Media Proposal

 Our final group project in the class was to create a social media proposal for Auburn University’s School of Communication and Journalism. I really enjoyed this project because it taught me how important social media is for an organization.

I encourage all CMJN students to take #Sisson3280 next year!

Ethics in PR

In the famous words of Michael Scott, “Let’s get ethical!”

The textbook definition of Ethics is defined as moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains: “The field of ethics, also called moral philosophy, involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior.”

What both of these definitions have in common is the elements of requiring some form of systematic analysis, distinguishing right from wrong, and determining the nature of what should be valued.

In public relations, honesty, openness, loyalty, respect, integrity, fairness, and forthright communication are all ethical values. The current state of ethics in public relations practice depends heavily on codes of ethics held by the major professional associations such as Public Relations Society of America. PRSA members agree to abide by a code of ethics that is written for the entire group. Most of the professional associations in public relations have a code of ethics.

Unfortunately, membership in these groups is voluntary, meaning that one is not required to belong to such an association in order to practice public relations. This is where public relations professionals can get a bad wrap for being “spin doctors” or twisting the truth.

Personally, I believe that to be a successful PR professional, your personal ethical standing and moral beliefs need to line up with the organization or company you are working for. I know that I would not be successful in my profession if I didn’t agree with what my company represented. I think that if every public relations professional stood by this belief, the PR profession would get a lot less slack because there wouldn’t be so many misunderstandings.

4-H Program Creates Positive Social Media Environment for Kids

The influence social media has on adolescents has become a prominent subject over the years. Not only because this group of adolescents is developmentally vulnerable but because today’s youth is the largest user base on social networking sites. According to a report by Common Sense Media, 75 percent of teenagers in America currently have profiles on social networks. 68 percent use Facebook as their main social networking tool.

Joy Scott, a 4-H youth development, citizenship and leadership specialist, knows that social media usually gets a bad rap when it involves today’s youth, but she believes it actually makes a positive impact.

I asked Scott if there is a noticeable difference in behavior from children who have grown up with social media verses adults who have only used social media later in life. Scott said, “Today’s youth is not afraid of it. They use it as a safe haven.”

Scott works with young people in the 4-H program. She views social media as a way for them to learn from one another. For example, Scott explained the 4-H state ambassadors who respect the youth in Alabama 4-H are spotlighted each month. These ambassadors are spotlighted on the 4-H Facebook page with their picture and a quote.

“These spotlight posts give younger kids in the program the motivation to be a future 4-H ambassador,” Scott explained.

Alabama 4-H is the largest youth development organization in Alabama, with more than 60,000 members ages 9 through 18. There are more than 3,000 screened and trained volunteer leaders. These volunteer leaders work with 4-H Foundation Regional Extension Agents regional agents in the Alabama Cooperative Extension System to deliver these educational programs.

4-H focuses on belonging, independence, generosity and mastery in many different educational programs. A few examples are photography, healthy lifestyles and technology. The 4 H’s stand for: Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. They are the four values members work on through fun and engaging programs.

The 4-H program Facebook page shares, “The mission of 4-H is to serve all youth. Alabama 4-H is an innovative, responsive leader in developing our states young people to become productive citizens.”

Scott shared that younger people in the program can get information about upcoming 4-H events and news, on the 4-H Facebook page. They can also get information on other Alabama Cooperative Extension events and programs.

In addition, Scott tells kids in the program that what they post on their own social media accounts will reflect the 4-H program. “I always tell the kids to be careful what they put on social media because it can affect their future.”

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer leader or for more information on the Alabama 4-H program, go online to www.Alabama4H.com and search for 4-H in your county.

Spring Break 2017: Road Trip Edition

With two busy months left until graduation, spring break is going to be my last hoorah before going into the real world. With that in mind, I am determined to make this spring break my best one yet. In true PR student fashion, I created the perfect PR plan for my spring break road trip. My main goal is to have the most memorable road trip of all time.

My first objective, and first stop, Nashville, Tennessee. When planning this road trip I knew the perfect way to start our trip would be Nashville. Not only is Nashville beautiful, it has the BEST food. To fully achieve my objective, my strategy is to hit all my favorite restaurants in Nash. My first tactic will be eating at The Pancake Pantry for breakfast. After walking off a mountain of chocolate chip pancakes on Broadway, we will make our way to my second tactic for lunch, The Pharmacy. The Pharmacy is a beer garden with the most delicious burgers in the entire world. It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it. Unfortunately, we’ll have to hit the road before dinner, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have room for ice cream!  My third tactic, grabbing some mint chocolate chip ice cream at Jeni’s! Calories don’t count when you’re in another zip code? Am I right?!

My next objective, and second stop on our trip, Louisville, Kentucky. It’s about a three-hour drive from Nashville to Louisville. I’ve never been to Louisville before so I’m excited to do some exploring! My strategy is to hit all the major Louisville tourist attractions. My first tactic is to visit The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. I’ve been told this is the place to be for baseball lovers, there is a museum detailing the history of the famous bat. You also get the opportunity to hold bats used by historic players like Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth. Of course, the giant bat outside makes for an excellent photo opportunity. My next tactic, is to see a show at The Louisville Palace Theatre. The theater is also close to several restaurants in downtown Louisville, making it the perfect place to get dinner after the show. My final tactic in Louisville, tour The Waverly Hills Sanatorium. I’ve read that the sanatorium is one of the most haunted places on Earth. I’ve always been curious about the paranormal, so I figure it is time to put my money where my mouth is!

My final objective and final destination, Chicago, Illinois. After spending two days exploring Louisville, we will be headed to the Windy City! My strategy is to have the full Chicago experience. Lucky for us, we’ll be in Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day. My first tactic is going to watch the Chicago River turn green. My next tactic is to eat lots of Chicago style pizza! Who can go to Chicago without eating the best pizza on earth? My next tactic is visiting Millennial Park. I’ve always wanted to take a picture with that big silver bean thing! My final tactic, and the one I’m most anxious about, is going to the top of Sears Tower. I’ve always been afraid of heights but it’s been on my bucket list forever.

After implementing all of the objectives, strategies, and tactics in my perfect PR plan, I know that by the end of the trip I will be able to look back on my last spring break and say, “This was the most memorable road trip ever.”

I am Officially Hootsuite Certified

I am thrilled to say that I am Hootsuite Certified! My Social Media in Public Relations class was required to become Hootsuite Certified this semester. This was one of my favorite things about the course.

I was fortunate enough to have worked with Hootsuite before, because I am the social media coordinator at the boutique I work for. Life before Hootsuite was exhausting. I was having to post twice a day on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This took all the fun out of my job.

After expressing how tiring this was, my boss looked into different program that I could use to make my job easier. First, I tried Sprout Social. Anything that made my job easier was fine with me. After the first month, my boss gave me the option to use Hootsuite.

What I loved most about Hootsuite, was the ability to incorporate my Instagram posts. Sprout Social would not let me link to Instagram, so I was still having to take the time to create two Instagram posts a day.

Hootsuite on the other hand, let’s me set up my Instagram posts ahead of time. Unfortunately, Hootsuite still doesn’t let me post on Instagram automatically like it does on Twitter and Facebook, but Hootsuite does give me a notification to post during the day. So all I have to do is copy and paste the picture and caption I have already created ahead of time and post it on Instagram.

Even though, I already knew how to use Hootsuite before I became certified, I have learned so many cool things during the course. I recommend to all Public Relations majors or anyone who is planning on working in social media management to become Hootsuite Certified before you graduate.

If you would like to learn more about what you get with your Hootsuite Platform Certification, check out my infographic!

My Absolute Favorite Social Media Campaign

Dove’s “Choose Beautiful” Campaign

Dove set up signs above side-by-side doors in San Francisco, London, Delhi, Shanghai, and Sao Paulo. One sign said ‘beautiful’ and the other said ‘average’. Dove turned this into a mini-documentary video and the results are powerful. They filmed the women’s reactions as they chose which door to walk through. Anyone who looked hesitant or anyone who didn’t hesitate at all was asked if they could be interviewed by the director, Paul Dektor, to explain their decision.

Aside from the mini- documentary, Dove interviewed 6,400 women of all ages around the world about their thoughts on beauty. “96% of the women they interviewed said they didn’t see themselves as beautiful, but 80% believed every woman has something beautiful about her.” Surprisingly, every single man walked through the ‘beautiful’ door in London. “Women make thousands of choices each day — related to their careers, their families, and, let’s not forget, themselves,” Dove said in a press release. “Feeling beautiful is one of those choices that women should feel empowered to make for themselves.”

The YouTube video gained over 500,000 views in the first day. Dove also used Twitter to promote their campaign and put an ad in the Metro paper today. The ad was double paged, it asked readers to ‘read this if you think you’re beautiful or average.’ I think the ad was tasteful and brilliant. It got great feedback on Twitter.

In our world today, sex is what sells. I believe many companies take the easy way out and use sex to sell themselves or their product. I think that Dove is brave for choosing campaigns that have a deeper meaning behind them. The “Choose Beautiful” campaign didn’t try to tell people that if they use Dove products they are going to be more beautiful and if they don’t their going to be average. The “Choose Beautiful” campaign was used to show women that they are beautiful in their own way, sometimes they just need a little reminder.

How to Plan the Perfect Valentine’s Day

February 14th can be a stressful and disappointing day for plenty of reasons. The main reason it can be stressful is because many people leave their Valentine’s Day plans for the last minute. In public relations the 3-step process is the perfect way to plan a PR campaign. I chose to use this process to show you how to make your Valentine’s Day be anything but disappointing.

Here are my specific steps to follow:

Planning:

The first step, is to ask your significant other (or potential significant other) to be your valentine ahead of time. I recommend through a card but a sweet text or phone call will do just fine. The next step, is to do some research on your valentine. This includes, their favorite foods or places to eat, favorite chocolate or candy, favorite flowers, or favorite movies. Gather your information from other sources, like a best friend or roommate. Once you have conducted all your research you need to schedule your day. Make sure to have all gifts purchased ahead of time. Make dinner reservations or buy your movie tickets as soon as possible. Set a time to pick up your Valentine, at least 30 minutes prior to your dinner reservation. Parking can be tough, so do not leave late!

Implementation:

The second step, is the fun part, going on the date. Hopefully all your planning paid off and things are going smoothly. You picked up bae on time and dinner was perfect (because it was their favorite restaurant.) Your valentine loved their gift and your heading to the movies now. Since you strategically planned your day in advance, you know the logistics of your budget for the rest of the night. You made sure to bring enough money for drinks and popcorn. The only thing to worry about for the rest of the night is having fun with your valentine.

Evaluation:

The final step, is evaluating how well your Valentine’s Day went. You were most likely doing an on-going evaluation all night long. Was the date going smoothly? Was the conversation enjoyable? Did you have good service at dinner? Was the movie funny? Did bae like your gift? It was most likely easy to evaluate these questions during the date. Next, you need to do a summative evaluation of your date. Overall, was your Valentine’s Day successful? Of course it was! Because you followed the planning section of the 3 step public relations process, your Valentine’s Day was perfect.

The Hidden Gem of Social Media

VSCO is a new photography app that is, what I consider, the hidden gem of all social media outlets. According to Growing Social Media, “VSCO is a new photo app that has not only swept the nation, but has struck gold with the millennial generation specifically.” Most VSCO users put their link in their Instagram bios to gain more visitors on their photos. This has created more and more attention for the app.

The best part of VSCO is the fact that you can’t see how many followers a person has and you can’t ‘like’ any of the pictures posted. Clever right? VSCO takes away the posting stress that all social media outlets tend to create. It doesn’t matter if people ‘like’ what you are posting. It doesn’t matter if you post 17 pictures in one day. VSCO is what I consider a breath of fresh air in the world of social media.

Another great feature the app has is the filters. VSCO describes itself as not just an online space, but a “community for expression.” This is the way that the app differentiates itself from being just another photo app, VSCO is a community for custom photo masterpieces. You can also purchase different filter packages. VSCO filters have the ability to make your photos look like they were taken by a photographer. Users are also able to write blog posts which makes the social media app unlike any other.

Unlike Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, VSCO gives people a truly worry free place to post whatever they feel like. I personally enjoy and use my VSCO account more than any of my other social media accounts. I hope more and more people discover the wonderful world of VSCO.

Want a VSCO account? Here’s the link:  http://vsco.co/