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Archive for the ‘Class Posts’ Category

We have all been there; the presenter is droning on about the world’s most boring topic and all you can think about is how uninspiring the slides are.

We have also all been the boring ones, providing that same presentation. With the many group projects and presentations in my communication classes, I have officially grown out of PowerPoint.

Below is an example of a Prezi that I created for a social media project.

Prezi Example

Check out these six reasons why Prezi has me excited.

  • User Friendliness. Prezi provides tutorials when you first sign up but they are almost unnecessary. By clicking around, things are self explanatory. Just play as you go. 
  • Eye Catching. The way each slide zooms from one to the next is automatically going to make your presentation stand out next to the sad transitions that PowerPoint provides.
  • Public and easy to share. No need to worry about file type and formatting with Prezi. It functions online similar to a Google Doc. If a group of people is collaborating efforts, everyone can edit at the same time.
  • Basic Design. No need to sift through a million different options for background colors and themes; Prezi has a handful of different options that vary based on what type of presentation you are creating. You won’t have to waste your time selecting fonts either, Prezi has it all set.
  • Affordances. Prezi lets you crop photos, embed videos, adjust page layout among so much more. And all of this with a few quick clicks; it’s all built in to the site.
  • It is impressive looking. Because it is on the newer side, many people are still enamored by how bright and shiny Prezi makes things look. Prezi helps to make you stand out.

Sometimes it is more appropriate to use PowerPoint when it comes to straight facts or more formal presentations. But Prezi has definitely done a lot to help people impress audiences by getting messages across in a more dynamic way.

Do you like Prezi or PowerPoint better? Let me know in the comments below.

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First impressions used to happen as people met face to face. But in today’s world, people meet others way before that step.

Meeting people and getting to know them used to require both parties to be present. With all this “newfangled” technology, this is certainly not the case anymore. These days, first impressions tend to start with either a Google or Facebook search and a little stalking.

It is important to monitor what any outside person will find when they search you. Here are some tips I have found helpful to keep in mind:

  • Does someone else have your name? Be sure that when people search you, they are finding information about you and not the other 8 billion John Smiths that exist. Do something to stand out. Include your middle initial in your Twitter handle or LinkedIn profile. Use SEO to bump yourself up to the top of a search. Mashable can show you how
  • Clean up your social media. No drinking. No drugs. Easy on the language. Make sure you are always looking over what your friends post and attach your name to. Don’t be afraid to un-tag, delete posts and even de-friend if need be. Don’t let someone else taint your pages.
  • Make sure you are consistent. If you look like a raging lunatic on Twitter but your LinkedIn shows how you run your own business while your Facebook has you saving orphans in Cambodia, outside viewers might be skeptical. Play to your strengths while still being honest.
  • Keep track of where your name is. Set up a search on your Google Reader that shows when new web content contains your name. This will help to stay aware of how people might find you. If you have a common name, this is a good idea to make sure your long lost twin isn’t shaming your name.
  • Ask a friend to take a look. Sometimes we become desensitized to what shows up online. Have people of different ages tell you the first things they notice. Not sure if a photo is appropriate? Wondering if your LinkedIn profile shows off your best talents? An outside perspective always helps.

Another great way to check out how awesome you are online on Klout. By connecting your various profiles, they give you a score based on how influential you are with whatever content you post and how your connections respond to it. I’m still learning how to use it but my competitive nature has me doing all I can to bump up my score.

Klout

What tips do you have to make a great impression online? Let me know in the comments below.

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There is always controversy about who is the world power. Ethnocentrically, the United States believes we run the universe. China is certainly a contender. Spoiler alert- we’re all wrong.

Facebook has officially taken over everything. In my social media class, we have uncovered the scary ways in which social media has control over our privacy and information regardless of how much we think we protect it.

Spoiler alert- Facebook likely knows more about you than you do. Here is how:

  • Location location location- Facebook knows where you are based on where you are using your smartphone or the IP address of where you are logged in. If you don’t log out, Facebook still collects all of your information.
  • Face recognition- even if you untag or delete photos, Facebook has face recognition. Your name will always be attached with images in an album where you appear whether it is once or 50 times.
Facebook Face Recognition

Facebook could identify my face when looking through an album that hadn’t been tagged

 

  • What are you searching? Facebook keeps track of that and uses the information to tailor advertisements to you. 
  • Facebook makes changes to their terms and conditions all the time but they rarely let users know. Your privacy settings might be reset without you knowing it.

With Facebook being so present, they continue to extend their control over its users which has reached the billions. The latest was this week’s announcement of the Facebook’s new home screen for Android phones. Users can chat and get updates automatically to the home screen of their smartphones.

And what does Facebook get? Access to everything. With no concept of logging in or out of the Facebook application, users’ information will be constantly recorded.

While new technology gives us the potential to do so many things that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, we must stay smart. Being aware of the motives behind the world powers like Facebook and Google will help to stay protected and maintain privacy.

What measures do you take to secure your privacy? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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Reading a newspaper is fairly old hat. Sadly enough, most print media seems to be. I was in mourning when I found out that Newsweek mailed out its last ever print edition in December 2012.

But the immediacy of online news keeps the world up to date on anything and everything. I get my news mostly from Twitter  by following the best of the best. New York Times, Huffington Post, and CNN Breaking News just to name a few.

Political issues come up all the time. As a(n almost) college graduate looking for an entry level job (hire me!), I have been all over the internet. Over the past four days, everywhere I turn, I’ve seen the following image.

Equal Rights

Knowing the symbol, traditionally in yellow and blue, I was aware that it had to do with human rights but I didn’t know what was going on currently that prompted the wave of red across my social networks.

I immediately scrolled through my friends, looked over posts and comments and within moments I was updated. To quote Montell Jordan: This is how we do it.

While we may not understand the power or even concept of a true newspaper that can be held, millennials have a different (not worse just different) understanding of how to stay up to date.

We are an inquisitive bunch. And we don’t like when people tell us what to do. We like to think we are the original gangstas- that we found it all on our own. Hence, the internet. We scroll and click and use our attention deficit mannerisms for good not evil.

From a media consumer perspective, I appreciate that I’ve got the power to pull in what information I want. From a professional perspective, how does anyone get people to see their content?

It is a tangled web to weave. The key is to make people curious so that those consumers feel they have no choice but to pull on your content. Shoving material in peoples’ faces is just as old hat as newspapers.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it is what has created awareness about Proposition 8 lately, and so many other current events in the past.

What have you found on the internet that has made you curious? Who does a good job of pulling you in to click around? Let me know in the comments below.

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It is officially spring break. Unfortunately, now is the time to accelerate the job search. No breaking here (aside from the fact that I will not be getting out of my pajamas unless absolutely necessary).

With a solid amount of open time, I am taking this opportunity to reach out to anyone and everyone that might help me. Not help in the sense of, “Poor me, find me a job” but more of the “I am really excited because I have a blank canvass and I get to decide how I’d like to proceed.”

The more I search for jobs, the more I realize I don’t have an ideal career in mind. There is no holy grail of positions, but rather many starting points that could lead me down multiple avenues. LinkedIn has helped me find what exists out there. Seriously, what did people do before LinkedIn?

Job Suggestions LinkedIn

Being so new, how am I supposed to know what I want? How am I supposed to know what even exists? Therefore, I am spending this spring break asking questions. The best advice I have to repeat to myself- “I am not the first person to have to do this job search.”

I am turning to the experts. People who have jobs right now all went through a time of not having one. I am filling my week with informational interviews to pick the brains of all those that came before me.

I have an open mind and a hopeful attitude. I have nothing to lose, only answers to gain. The following are my list of questions that will guide my brain picking process.

  • What is your specific title and what do your day-to-day tasks entail?
  • What is your favorite part of your job? Least favorite?
  • How did you land in this position?
  • How did you know this was what you wanted to do?
  • What are the people like here? Do you like the culture of your work environment?
  • Where did you look for jobs when you first graduated?
  • What advice do you have for me as an (almost) recent graduate looking to get into this industry?
  • Is there anyone else here at your company that you recommend I speak with?

This is one of those, “you can’t pay it back, you can only pay it forward” kind of situations. I am grateful to anyone who meets with me or even responds to my email, of course. But one day (fingers crossed) I will have a job. Someone will come to me for an informational interview and I will be ecstatic to return the favor.

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It was the moment I had been waiting for; the Whole Foods finally re-opened in Upper Arlington, Ohio. Unfortunately class prevented me from being a door buster but I wouldn’t miss opening day. Opening day is a sample-lover’s dream. A promotional item hoarder’s fantasy.

I regret to inform that Whole Foods left much to be desired in the name of marketing practices.

I can’t totally discount the samples and the exceptional customer service. As brands go, Whole Foods is consistently superior in their face-to-face customer engagement.

But what about the other forms of engagement? If I was social media manager…

There would have been a store opening countdown a long time ago. Each Whole Foods has a local account…except for this new one. (If you’re looking for a social media manager Whole Foods Upper Arlington, I’m ready when you are).

With signs and samples throughout the store, there were tons of opportunities to drive people to their website and/or mobile app.

Throw a QR code next to food displays to take people to a how-to recipe link. At the very least, place a Twitter bird in the corner of the chalk boards so we know where to find you!

One of their big promotional events being advertised across every Whole Foods in the country is today’s Parmageddon. It has something to do with cheese and breaking world records- two of my favorite things.

Parmageddon

 

No better time than to ask for people to post their favorite recipes that use Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on their Facebook page. Perhaps a photo on Instagram or Pinterest. At the very least, go for a hashtag.

Internet marketing and social media is only as useful as its user is capable. The world is lazy. It is our job as marketing professionals (ok my dream job- I’m working on it), to lead the horses to water and make it impossible for them not to drink.

We have to make it impossible for them to resist. We have to get in their heads and make them want to be part of our conversation. Social media should never be one way and always be top of mind.

Social media is the new “word of mouth.” We can make our messages spread like wild fire. With technology on our side, we can make content instant and get immediate feedback. Now more than ever we have an opportunity to get creative.

Whole Foods gave people a reason to talk and interact but without instruction on how to do it. All it takes is a “click here” or a “follow us here” and that’s enough to drive media use and inevitably brand loyalty.

What’s the best store opening marketing you’ve seen? Post in the comments below.

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As the job hunt gets increasingly more intense and my competitive spirit gains momentum, I’m starting to get a bit tired. It’s time to draw from inspiration. Who better than the one and only Michael Jordan?

Michael Jordan

Image courtesy of Eric Brown, BodyworkBiz Blog

Losing a basketball game did not make one of the best basketball players of all time a failure. As Michael Jordan and I are quite similar, I am extrapolating this to my job search. One bad interview does not make you bad at interviews.

As I prepared for my first official phone interview, I tapped in to all the tips I’ve heard about how to do it right. After I hung up the phone and let out a big sigh, I realized what else I could have done to prepare. And thus, my list:

  • Dress up as if it they can see you. A suit will put you in a professional mindset and give you an immediate confidence boost.
  • Smile as you speak. They can’t read your nonverbals so verbals have to come across even stronger. Facial expressions help portray enthusiasm.
  • Have responses at the ready. Prepare examples of successes, failures, goals, leadership, and challenging experiences.
  • Use your resources. They can’t see you so use that to your advantage. Have your computer in front of you, ready to look up anything. If they want additional writing samples, send them in the moment. They might ask about your resume; have it in front of you.
  • Have a glass of water close; nervous people have coughing fits.
  • Follow up after. Be sure to get your interviewers contact information and

Sometimes preparation can only take you so far. Unexpected questions happen and brain freeze sets in. To quote Dory from Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming.”

I swam my little heart out, answered the questions to the best of my ability and prayed. The phone interview did not advance me to the next round of interviews. Some might look at that as a failure.

But Mike and I use these failures to make successes happen for next time. I now have a game plan for phone interviews, one more experience under my belt and a bit more confidence than I had before.

For more interview tips, check out 7 Job Interview Sins You Cannot Make from New Grad Life

What interview questions have stumped you? Post in the comments below.

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