Social Media and the Summer Vacation

Social media continues to change the way we live our lives and, according to the Wall Street Journal, how we communicate when we’re on vacation. A recent story by Elizabeth Holmes shared the challenge that people who have a strong social media presence have when taking a summer vacation: Stay connected and tweeting to keep your followers happy but face the pressure to remain “on-message,” even when you are officially off the clock.

If you’re a super user — or just super into the social media scene — here are some tips if you want to unplug on your time off:

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News You Can Use: Generation Sell, Share or Self-Employed? What People Saying About Gen Y

In one day, we read three articles about Generation Y in The New York Times and The New York Post — that covered topics from self-promotion and gossip to whether or not you really need to go to college to succeed. Here are the soundbites:

Millennials Embrace Entrepreneurialism & Salesmanship: On the front page of the Times’ SundayReview section, an article entitled “Generation Sell” by William Deresiewicz, paints Millennials as “polite, pleasant, moderate, earnest, friendly” and  comments that “We’re all selling something today, because even if we aren’t literally selling something…we’re always selling ourselves. We use social media to create a product — to create a brand — and the product is us. We treat ourselves as the business, something to be managed and promoted.” Our question is, “What is wrong with that?” In this extremely challenging job market that Gen Y is graduating into, if they don’t sell themselves, no one is going to do it for them. In order to get noticed, as we discuss in our book, Be Your Own Best Publicist, you must treat yourself as a product to be promoted.’

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News We Can Use: A Simple Way to Stand Out (AKA Jimmy Fallon Is Onto Something)

This week, the Postal Service shared that the average household gets one personal letter about every seven weeks. That’s a significant drop from 1987, when people received a letter about every two weeks. Makes sense, given that cursive writing itself may be headed for extinction; to date, 41 of the 50 states have dropped it from their teaching curriculum.

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On Our Radars and In Our Readers: Week of October 2

Whether for the government, a cause or  yourself, marketing in all forms is bubbling up in conversation this week.  Here’s the latest:

Thanks again to Gennifer Delman — virtual intern/future magazine editor/head of Hofstra’s Ed2010 chapter — for compiling the top PR/marketing news of the week!

See any other headlines/trends you want to share?  Post it in the comments or send it to us at BestPublicist (at) gmail (dot) com.

News We Can Use: Facebook Can Be Risky Business For Those Applying to College

"Princeton could use a guy like Joel"

Twenty-eight years ago, the seminal teenage film “Risky Business” led us to believe that some college recruiters were swayed more by parties and entrepreneurial spirit than academic achievement. However, this week, USA Today told us that today’s admissions people are increasingly turning to Facebook to gauge just how much partying (and other things) a potential student has done before offering them a coveted spot in their institution. In fact, the number of recruiters doing just that to vet potential candidates has quadrupled in the past year alone. Kind of ironic, since the genesis of Facebook itself was a different kind of vettting of co-eds, no?

This is not the image you want to send.

But seriously, this should be a cause for concern for kids and parents alike. We’ve long said that Google is your first resume and that HR professionals are using social media to assess potential candidates as well. Now we know it can also be the key or the barrier to higher education. From typos and grammatical errors to bigger errors in judgment (step away from that bong!), what you put out there will absolutely come back to haunt you. Check out our blog posts about your digital profile and its lasting legacy.

What do you think about recruiters using social media to select their students?  Tell us here or via Facebook or Twitter (@BestPublicist)

 

 

 

 

News You Can Use: Forever Indebted — Rising Debt Makes Finding the Right Gig Vital For Grads


This past weekend, Meryl spoke to 175 seniors graduating from Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications, where she also earned her degree. She, like so many graduates, feels  connected — even indebted — to her alma mater for the experience and access that it provided.

Interestingly, this year’s graduating class is indebted in a completely different (and quite disconcerting) way. The Wall Street Journal reports that, thanks to rising costs of education, those graduating from America’s colleges and universities this spring share a dubious distinction: the most in debt ever. And, according to a recent poll, a staggering 85 percent of graduates will move back in with Mom and Dad to try to stave off financial ruin while seeking a job to pay off the monies owed.
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The Good, The Bad and the Scary: How Your Digital Profile Impacts Your Job


The Web still continues to be, in most minds, the Wild West (the WWW, if you will). Constantly changing, filled with danger and opportunity, you never know where the next shot will be fired and who will be the next sheriff in town. So, with that in mind, we share with you the WWW’s impact on your job search — Spaghetti Western-style: The Good, The Bad and the Scary:


THE GOOD: Getting Information and Access Is Easier Than Ever.

A lot has been said about companies using social media to identify and screen potential employees, particularly the newly minted set.  But now, the proverbial mouse is in the other hand, according to a recent survey — nearly 28 percent of college students plan to seek employment using LinkedIn. Slightly more than seven percent plan to use Facebook, a platform formerly seen as primarily social.

It’s that blurring of the lines that is actually putting the soon-to-graduate set in the driver’s seat; instead of waiting around for that recruiter to reach out, they’re using digital tools to identify and, ideally, land their ultimate gig. For them, the wealth of online information helps them cull through options to identify companies that align with their values and goals. All is fair game, and a strong digital presence is one way for employers to attract the best and brightest to their ranks.

THE BAD: The Internet never forgets.

Another survey — this one from the Society of Human Resource Management — shows that more companies are recruiting via social networking. Not surprising that almost 100 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn.  What might be news is that Facebook is the next most utilized Social Media site (58%), followed by Twitter (42%).

In addition to being careful about what you post, it’s a good practice to give pause before giving access. In other words, think twice about to whom and to which sites you give access to your Facebook profile. You are who you “hang” out with — one and offline; make sure you know the friends who have access to your profiles and that everyone you are connected to is carefully considering what they post to your wall or the photos you’re tagged in.

THE SCARY: Like it or Not, Everyone is A “Public Figure”

As we’ve said before – Google is your first resume. In Be Your Own Best Publicist, we caution that everything you say (or post) can and will be used against you. Run a red light? Cameras are there to catch it. Fall in a fountain accidentally? Someone is filming on a flip cam and uploading to YouTube before you dry off. In this day and age, when walking on the street can inadvertently turn you into an overnight celebrity, everything — did we say “everything”? — is on the record and privacy has basically gone out the window.

Unfortunately, unlike the of-the-moment celebrity or sports star, that white hot spotlight doesn’t translate into a lucrative endorsement deal or the ability to borrow that $1 million pair of Harry Winston earrings for your company’s annual awards ceremony.

 

So remember, your digital profile is your lasting legacy.  Pay attention to your posts, your posse and your privacy settings to stay on the right track.  Giddyup – and good luck!

What other things worry you about the impact of the digital realm?  Share with us here, on Facebook or on Twitter.


Tips from the Trenches: Six Ways to Further Your Career

Over the last few months, we’ve been asked to share our tips from the trenches at colleges such as Manhattan College, Montclair State, Rutgers (and soon Ithaca College) as well as to professional, creative and alumni organizations including Advertising Women of New York, New York Women in Communications and The Hired Guns.

Last week, Jessica moderated a career panel for her alma mater, the University of Michigan, and the panelists — all successful alumni in different fields, from finance and e-commerce to fashion and food — had some great advice to share on how to be your own best publicist. Here are a few highlights:

 

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One-on-One Interview: Dan Schawbel, Personal Branding Guru

In Be Your Own Best Publicist, we share tips and advice from friends, colleagues and key experts in PR and beyond. One person who has great wisdom on how to brand yourself is Dan Schawbel, the founder of Millennial Branding, LLC & author of Me 2.0. We caught up with him recently to get his insight about personal branding and leveraging classic PR and marketing techniques to stand out in the workplace.

What skill or technique have you, yourself, used to get ahead or get a job?

The best technique I learned was to gather new skills outside of work that would be relevant to my internal career path. I was stuck in a product marketing role and wanted to be in social media marketing back in late 2007.

By starting a blog, establishing myself on social networks, and then constantly marketing myself every single day, I became a better marketer and more valuable to my company. The result was that I was able to create my own unique role within my company called “social media specialist.” Ever since then, I’ve been following my passion, honing my skills, and have been continuously innovating.
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How to Kick-Start Your Career as the Job Market Rebounds

It was just reported by Crain’s New York Business that, for the first time in 19 months, the jobless rate in New York City has fallen below 9 percent (granted, it was at 8.9% for December 2010 but still…) and the national rate was at 9.4%, the lowest it’s been in many months. While this is still not what we’d like the figure to be and the decrease may be due to some folks coming off unemployment, it also could indicate a slow recovery and a job market that’s opening back up again.

With the new year up and running, it’s vital that the unemployed, underemployed and unhappily employed take stock of where they are and make a plan for their career future. Whether you need a job or are in one but looking to make a move, now is the time to get going. Here are a few ways to kick-start your job search for 2011:

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