Tag Archives: LinkedIn

What’s YOUR Brand?

Hey readers, last week I attended the last of Scripps PRSSA’s PR Bootcamp and the topic was personal branding. Until about a year or so ago, I didn’t know that I was my own brand. Usually when I think of brands I think Burberry, Cheetos, Diet Coke, etc. but not me, myself and I. So what did I learn about how to promote the best YOU brand?

My Twitter profile just screams me with my tagline, background of NYC in pastels and I'm smiling in my "professional photo."

My Twitter profile just screams me with my tagline, background of NYC in pastels and I’m smiling in my “professional photo.”

Step 1: Consistency. All of your social media profiles should match. My Twitter and LinkedIn profile pictures match, as well as the photo I use on the “Who am I?” page on this website. I do have a Facebook but a) I use it for photo purposes/to connect with friends and b) it has higher privacy settings. My photo isn’t the same as my Twitter and LinkedIn but it’s still appropriate and explains me (it’s in black and white). I also have this weird OCD habit about all of my fonts being the same. The font I use for my email is the same font in my resume…. weird right? Well that’s me for ya!

Step 2: Appropriate. Okay, I had to bring this one up. The general rule is that if you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it then don’t post/tweet it. That can be said for photos as well. If you’re under 21, why would you have pictures of you with alcohol in your hands? It’s illegal and you can lose a job or internship over it. I’m not saying you have to be a stick in the mud but be smart. It’s as simple as that.

Step 3: Make it you. This is something I find many people have difficulties with. It’s great to see that on Twitter you are extremely professional and good at what you do but what are you like? Are you boring? Are you a mild-crazy person? What are your interests/hobbies? I look at Twitter as a place where you should be professional but have fun and make it your own. My twitter is half what I do and half what I like. It’s me. I mean who else would say “Lover of traveling” or “Fashion OBSESSED.” That may be someone else’s tagline but I can say that’s who I am. I’ve been to eight different countries and I browse clothing on Pinterest and Polyvore almost every single day. I also read fashion news and am secretly in love with Fashion Police on E!

When looking at YOUR brand, you really have to think about who you are. Now resumes are another subject I will talk about soon because mine took FOREVER. But just remember to never have a private and public Twitter, because that could mean your hiding something. Be smart and if you are thinking whether that post/tweet is a good idea, just don’t post/tweet it. Lastly, remember that you are your own brand, not someone else’s, so ask yourself: Who is ______________?

P.S. I’m going to Chicago in less than three weeks with my best friend and I cannot wait! Michigan Avenue and amazing food here I come!

x KMSH

Diet Coke ad I made for my graphics class... It's one brand I love because I have at least one a day.

Diet Coke ad I made for my graphics class… It’s one brand I love because I have at least one a day.

Press Releases: A Work of Art

mona lisaWhen on LinkedIn you put press releases as a skill, when in reality it should be a work of art that is displayed. I have written many in my few years at OU and it truly is an artwork. Now I could make this into a press release “how to” but instead I’m going to just say a few things that are key when writing a press release.

The 5 W’s: All journalists should know what this means. Who, what, when, where, and why? In the first few words of your press release you should have most if not all of these covered.

Keep it concise: Do you know how many press releases reporters/editors get on a daily basis? I don’t know either but I have a feeling it’s almost unimaginable and reporters/editors don’t want to read a press release that is longer than it should be. Remember they are going to write the story, not you. Word to the wise: just give the basics and let them do the rest of the work (It has worked so far at my internship).

Fresh and new is better than conventional: I am a firm believer in this notion. Your language shouldn’t be boring, blah and conventional. The language in the press release should be fresh. If I was a reporter and had to read the, “I’m the same thing every time press release” every single day, I’d probably throw your press releases in the rubbish bin. The format should be conventional but as long as you get the information across in a concise manner and is received well; you did a good job.

Always edit at least 3 times: Editing is KEY. If there is a mistake… rubbish bin. If you are in journalism or public relations you should know how to edit and understand you have to do it over and over again. Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes can be costly. If you hate grammar like I do, just use your AP Style Book… which you better have in your desk drawer.

These are just a few things I recommend. Is it everything that I could have said, no. I do believe press releases are a work of art because the first one I wrote was similar to a 5-year old’s stick figure drawing. Practice makes perfect, so if you want to write the Mona Lisa of press releases, remember these tips and practice.

P.S. Going to Northern Ireland this weekend, should I pack my heels? I just might…

P.P.S. I took the picture of the mona lisa when I was fourteen, needless to say it was difficult and I had to crawl under people.

x KMSH