Monday, June 6, 2011

Community Service

For students, an internship is a great way to get experience and obtain connections. However, getting an internship can be a difficult task, especially in today's economy.

If your having trouble finding an internship, another way to get experience, knowledge, and connections is to do participate in community service.

Community Service can be very beneficial to students, especially if they volunteer at organizations that are related to their career path.

Community Service benefits:

1. Networking- Volunteering can connect you to others. Volunteering strengths your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and important contacts.

2. Experience -Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization.

3. Can help define career skills and goals- Volunteering can help you build skills and use them to benefit the greater community. For instance, you raise awareness for your favorite cause as a volunteer advocate, while further developing and improving your public speaking, communication, and marketing skills.

4. Makes you feel good about yourself -Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.

Students can find volunteer opportunities at

-Community theaters, museums and monuments
-Libraries or senior centers
-Service organizations such as Lions club or Rotary clubs
-Youth organizations, sports teams, and after-school programs
-Historical restorations and national parks
-Places of worship such as churches or synagogues
-Online databases

Do good for your community, and volunteer today!

Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Volunteering can be an exciting, growing, enjoyable experience. It is truly gratifying to serve a cause, practice one's ideals, work with people, solve problems, see benefits, and know one had a hand in them.
-Harriet Naylor

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Beyond Web 2.0 for PR Professionals

How we communicate as individuals and business leaders changes daily on the whim of whatever new social networking trend is garnering the most popularity among consumers. Communication occurs today at the speed of light or faster. This gains momentum and crosses national borders and language barriers. The ramifications of not keeping an ever present eye on the ever present waves of citizen journalists and consumer driven opinion posts would be, for a business, at the least problematic and at the worst disastrous.

Control of the Uncontrollable
Never before has the practice of Public Relations both internally and externally been of greater importance. Today's consumer has found their voice and it is online speaking through tweets and blogs talking to networks regarding how they feel about your business or service.

Keeping that in mind these tips may be ways a business leader and communication staff can stay ahead of the incoming tides of Web 2.0.
1. Now is the time to use the employees as your best brand ambassadors

2. Offer alternating department’s opportunities to blog or tweet innovations and services improvements

3. Allowing the employees ownership creates a better environment for consumers and employees to handle any issues as they arise

4. Begin pitching to independent and industry bloggers as if they are conventional media (avoid the mistake of assuming they don't drive consumer choice)

5. Go viral with your networks. By knowing your base consumers allow them to spread your message through viral communication efforts in video, audio, or other creative avenues

6. Criticism is part of the social networking risk. Engage the criticism in a real and conversational way. Don't clog the social networks with corporate lingo that will get you nowhere

7. You are in their world now so follow their codes of conduct. Don't falsely manipulate perception. Engage the users where they congregate. Use real time response or encouraging reviews of those followers

Tips for 2.0 takeaways

- Global impact
- Target your audiences where they are
- Use employee ambassadorship to boost morale and customer support
-Treat citizen journalists as you would any conventional journalist
-Know the rules and code of conduct in the sphere you are using
-engage consumer base and go viral