Editor’s Note: During the YouToo Social Media Conference on April 10 at Kent State University, Ben Brugler and Ryan Collins challenged the student attendees: send us your best recaps for a takeover of our Microbrew blog, typically reserved for AKHIA interns. Kent State University Sophomore Cassidy Awad, a public relations major, is featured today.
I had the pleasure of attending the 8th annual YouToo Social Media Conference on April 10, where many talented, experienced and passionate speakers came from near and far. The attendees were constantly engaged through Twitter, using the hashtag #YouToo2015. Our efforts paid off: it was the number one trending hashtag in Northeast Ohio for five hours straight! Here are ten of my top tips from the conference that you can apply to your professional career to ensure it’s a successful one:
1. Brand ambassadors are key
They can help you grow and expand your brand because they are loyal. You can leverage them for many tactics and new promotions with their permission and buy-in.
2. Your publics will always demand immediacy, honesty and transparency
Our number one objective as communications professionals is for our publics or target consumers to relate with us and what we’re trying to say. If they can’t relate and understand, you will lose them.
3. Be in the moment
Media and its platforms are always changing. I quote Mark W. Smith, editor for mobile Web at The Washington Post, “Everything I say will be a lie in six months.” That’s because everything is and always will be evolving in this field, and as public relations and marketing specialists, we need to evolve too.
4. We are the future
As students and working professionals, everything we are taught, everything we learn to do, and everything we become, is the future of the industry. Let that soak in for a minute.
5. Don’t be afraid to fail
We all do it. You might be scared, and you may not be the best at taking constructive criticism. But you will be stagnant if you don’t try. Go with it. Be inspired.
6. Be ethical
If you’re caught making a poor ethical decision, it’s nearly impossible to make a comeback because trust is everything. The answer is simple: we’re all taught in school proper PR ethics, and you have a sense of right and wrong. Don’t go outside the guidelines, they’re there for a reason!
7. Always improve your writing, even if you’re great
Write, write, and write some more. Whether its personal writing, blogging, or professional writing, make it an everyday task to keep yourself from losing your spark. When you’re not writing, read other great writers.
8. Give yourself time to be inspired
Sometimes you need to disconnect. Some of your best work will come from spacing yourself from the digital world to see what inspired you in the first place.
9. Getting fired (as bad as it sounds) is not the end of the world if you took an ethical stand
Dino Baskovic, Digital communication strategist and independent consultant, said, “If you get fired, you get fired. You will find work. Walk away knowing you did the right thing,” when referring to your ethical stand point.
And most important of all…
10. Good public relations led Miley Cyrus to accumulate $76.5 million in 2013
If students like myself continue learning and aspiring to be great public relations professionals, we can be the ones spearheading future publicity campaigns for celebrities like Miley Cyrus! $76.5 million is a lot of shoes!