Monday, March 26, 2012

Recap: Pro-Am Day 2012

This post was contributed by our spring intern, Erica Baldwin.

PRSA Dallas' Pro-Am Day occurs each spring and allows students or recent graduates to shadow seasoned PR professionals. This was my first opportunity to participate in Pro-Am Day since I relocated from Florida, and it was an amazing learning experience. Throughout the entire day I heard a lot of great advice, but I’d like to share the three especially important lessons:
  • Media relations is the bread and butter of public relations— it never goes away.
  • Read everything. How can you pitch a writer at the Wall Street Journal if you've never read his or her work?
  • Find a way to fit PRSA dues into your budget. Join as a student to save money for the next two years with an associate membership.
My morning started off at Ketchum, where I was joined by three other eager-to-learn shadows. We were able to hear from some of the top executives at the Dallas office, from what a typical day for a Ketchum employee is like to how they got a start in public relations. The second phase of Pro-Am Day invites all participants to a luncheon, which provides the opportunity to network with other students and mentors. During lunch we listened to a panel of four PR professionals answer questions and give advice on finding a job, a useful topic for professionals at any stage in their careers.

Pro-Am Day was a complete success. I highly recommend students to take part of this experience next year. Bring your pen, paper and business cards because you never know what you may learn and who you may meet.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Social media metrics: Stop trying to reinvent the wheel

If you’re willing to admit it, social media metrics can be a big challenge for PR professionals. Whether justifying the hours spent on Twitter or the value of a Facebook Like, calculating the return on investment for social media activities can be a complicated task.

As social media account managers, we might be making our jobs more difficult when justifying this investment to clients and executives, according to Nichole Kelly, CEO of Full Frontal ROI Consulting. During her “No Fluff Social Media Measurement” session at the recent Explore Dallas event, she explained that defining ROI for social media should utilize traditional metrics, rather than attempting to create special measurements exclusive to social media.

For advice on tracking measureable results, read my post from SmartBrief on Social Media that includes a full recap of the session.

Post contributed by Vicky Smithee, @VSmithee.