To The New CCPRs On The Block

“Back to work on Monday. Don’t know where the summer went. But looking forward to an amazing new school year with 80 new future PR professionals.” – Barry Waite

GAWD, that’s a lot of new students coming into the corporate communications and public relations program at Centennial College this September! It will be one year since I enrolled in CCPR and it was the best decision I made in my life so far. I made new friends, went to a lot parties, made connections in the industry and learned the best way possible, HANDS ON! Since I’m now an alumni of Centennial’s awesome program, like a big brother, I want to give you new CCPRers some tips (maybe tricks?) on your post-grad experience to make it awesome!

1. Make friends with your fellow CCPRers: During the first few weeks you’ll be introducing yourself to your fellow colleagues. You’ll get to hear where everyone came from, their experience, their passion, and where they want to end up. Make sure you talk to everyone, even people in the other block! Not only are they your fellow students but they’re your first PR contacts. Sure you’ll be closer to a few people than others but never break relationships. Plan lunch outings, a happy hour after class, or even a secret santa at school. The friends you make at CCPR will be ones you have for the rest of your brand new career! Enjoy yourself and remember everyone is in the same boat.

2. Everyone is in the Same Boat: You’re in post-grad for a reason, you want to start your career. That goes the same for all your peers in the program. Try helping out your peers if they are stuck on an assignment or if they need help on Photoshop and InDesign. I had someone in the program who was charging people for a copy of the Adobe CS program and I didn’t think that was nice. So the next day I downloaded the whole program and gave it to everyone for free. If you have any knowledge in the PR or social media world share them with your friends. For example, during the internship search, if you see an agency that one of your friends would like then let them know. In the end everyone will have an internship so don’t worry.

3. Teachers = Mentors: Post-grad is nothing like your first year at University. Everyone is mature and the teachers are really there to help you get your career started. Teachers like Barry, Donna, Clowater, #Paolo and Vivienne are just some of the mentors who will guide you through the program. Feel free to talk with any of them about your PR goals or struggles with CCPR. The assignments and projects that you get won’t be useless because you’ll able to put the best ones in your PR portfolio. Remember, nobody knows the PR world more then your teachers.

4. Social Media is Your Voice: Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogging are going to play a big role in your path to becoming a PR pro. If you haven’t already, start a Twitter account right now! If your Twitter is locked, that’s a bad move. Follow all the PR agencies and PR pros around Toronto. If you find an agency that you really like engage with them to get noticed. When you tweet think how you want to be presented in the PR world. So tweet out PR news, social media trends, and fashion/entertainment (if you want to work in that industry). You will be using Twitter a lot during your time at CCPR. Like Twitter, blogging is very important in PR. Writing blog posts can help you develop and practise your writing skills. Blogging will also help you write short and sweet and keep your creative mind going. [Tip: you will be writing blog posts as assignments so start your blog now!]. Honestly, I could talk more about blogging and social media but I’m not going to drag this on….just click here.

5. Dress To Impress: Now I’m not saying to wear a suit and tie but please don’t wear sweatpants to school or really crazy revealing clothes. Your teachers and peers will notice your attitude, habits and the way you dress. You will get told that image is everything and you can make a great impression by the way you present yourself. Keep in mind that people at PR agencies are very fashionable so remember to dress for the career you want. [Tip: take a really professional photo for your LinkedIn/Twitter profile]. Check out the blog post, Dress For The Career You Want! for men and women fashion tips on how to look your best.

The first four months will be a little crazy with a lot of assignments overlapping each other but don’t worry you’ll do great! Barry will send you a lot of volunteer opportunities and I highly suggest you go to as many as possible. If you are looking to join CPRS or/and IABC do it because you will get a student discount, but it’s not necessary. CCPR was a lot of fun because of the awesome people I met in the program so don’t be shy and connect. I still hang out with people from CCPR and it’s always a blast!

Good luck CCPR Fall Semester 2013!

Abercrombie & Fitch for the Homeless

Remember the lyric, “I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch” by the boy band LFO? Well, it turns out that Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries would change those lyrics to “I only like thin and beautiful girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch.”

Jeffries and Abercrombie and Fitch has been in the spotlight lately due to the remarks he made in his 2006 Business Insider interview. Jeffries is quoted saying that he “doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people” and he “doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing.” Definitely not a good look for the CEO of a major american fashion label to say.

There are also reports that Abercrombie and Fitch would “rather burn the clothes than give them to the poor.” In this social media world we live in, people will take matters into their own hands.

Activist and YouTube video director Greg Karber responded to the “not giving clothes to the poor” by heading into a Goodwill, purchasing Abercrombie and Fitch clothes, and giving it to the homeless. This is something that Abercrombie and Fitch should have seen coming.

I remember nothing at this store fit me, even though there were XL sweaters, it felt tight. It wasn’t a big deal to me that they should make larger sizes, I just shopped at different stores. Few years later I lost weight and now their Medium size shirts fit me. What I’m trying to say is that Jeffries shouldn’t have said anything about making smaller size clothing or hiring models as store associates because people already knew Abercrombie does (if not, then you’ve never been to a store). Now his reckless comments and actions will follow him throughout his career.

Abercrombie and Fitch posted a note from Jeffries on their Facebook page.

I’m Different, Yea I’m Different

im-different-yea-im-different-ccpr

I may be wearing a white shirt with a tie in my picture above but don’t let that fool you, I am still Heroin Tracks! Seven months ago I made a life changing decision; go back to college. They say don’t ever look back, just look forward, but I think I made the best decision of my life so far (I hope). I thought I didn’t know much about corporate communications and public relations, but with all the blogging, attending events, interviews with artists, and social media promotion, I wasn’t totally out of the loop.

There are over 60 of my peers who are trying to land a job in public relations and I have to stand out from the rest. How am I different?

Well, I would have never thought that starting a blog in 2010 would land me back in college to a career in public relations. It’s hard finding what your passion is in life, but I’ve spent over four years working hard to know that I am ready to make the transition into a PR pro. Everything I’ve done has been a learning experience and in a way, it was tying into PR. Heroin Tracks was a platform me to practice my persuasive writing and introduce me to Twitter, which then led me to create a social media campaign for a not-for-profit organization with XTM Inc. That led me to manage the iconic clothing brand, Roots, where I engaged with thousands of customers through social media and create emails. Roots then led me to Centennial College, where I organized a charity launch event with no budget and I had to a write donation letter and save-the-date email to persuade the media and organizations.

I want to combine my new found public relations knowledge and digital marketing experience by working at a PR and/or digital marketing agency.

Oh, and even though I started a blog that covers PR and social media, I try and include a song in my posts. That’s how I’m different!

Why It’s Important to Blog in Public Relations

why-its-important-to-blog-in-public-relations

I am in my last few weeks of the corporate communications and public relations program at Centennial College and the pressure is on to find a great PR agency or organization to join. I’ve been blogging for about four years now and I found that it helped me get a few interviews and it developed a creative portfolio. I always find it weird when people who are starting out in public relations are not taking blogging seriously.

For those that want a career in public relations you need to have strong writing skills, social media experience, and multimedia experience. If you don’t have those skills, don’t worry. I am here to tell you how you can possess all three essential skills just by blogging.

Continue reading

Facebook feeds us a Redesigned News Feed

facebook-new-news-feed-2013

On Thursday, March 7, 2013, Facebook did some spring cleaning and announced a refreshed design of their News Feed. Most of the time when I go on Facebook, I just check my News Feed because I can get the information quick, so it was about time that things changed. Just like Facebook’s Timeline, the new News Feed is all about bigger content like photos – everything has been enlarged so it’s easier to see.

Facebook also wanted to “reduce the clutter” and give more control to the user, so on the new News Feeds there are different feeds which you can browse:

All Friends – a feed that shows you everything your friends are sharing.
Photos – a feed with nothing but photos from your friends and the Pages you like.
Music – a feed with posts about the music you listen to.
Following – a feed with the latest news from the Pages you like and the people you follow.

This new News Feed isn’t anything new, if you’ve been using Facebook on your iPhone or BlackBerry Z10, you’ll notice that Facebook brought that interface to the web version.

Facebook will be rolling out the new design over the coming weeks on web and mobile. These design updates will be available on your iPhone and iPad in the coming weeks and to Android soon after.

What does Facebook’s new News Feed mean for PR practitioner? Visual content will play more of an important role in terms of popping off the page. The update will be great for brands because images always play a major impact on engagement, so with larger images it should draw more clicks. It’s not only about images however, it’s important to take advantage of videos, polls, and sharing articles to interact with users.

Artists Announce New Album Dates on Grammy Night

beyonce-jay-z-grammys

Probably the biggest and important night in the music industry is the Grammy Awards. It’s where all the artists, producers, DJs, A&R’s, basically everyone important come out and celebrate. The 55th Grammy Awards took place on February 10, 2013 and it was ok. It wasn’t the best Grammys I’ve seen. The performances weren’t that spectacular (except for Justin Timberlake’s), LL Cool J kept making the show about him, and most of the awards were handed out during the pre-telecast.

Being such an important night in music, this was the perfect time for artists to announce new projects that they’re working on. The media from all around the world is on the red carpet, all music bloggers are glued to their TVs, and their PR practitioners are in full force. Here are some of the big announcements that were announced at the Grammys:

So as you can see, these are some pretty big announcements coming from artists of this high calibre. Being a music blogger myself, I was excited to hear album dates and future projects coming from my favourite artists. Looking it at a PR perspective, the 55th Grammy Awards brought in 28.4 million viewers, so it was the perfect time make a big announcement like an album release date. You’ll also have thousands of people tweeting during the night, so when Drake told us the name of his new album, fans were already talking about it and bloggers writing posts about the name.

Unless you have wardrobe malfunction, or a shaky performance, it’s all good publicity for an album/tour announcement during the Grammys. Now if only Jay-Z and Kanye West announced their new albums!

Do You Have a Social Media Personality?

social-media-personality-infographic

Face it, we all put on a different face when we’re on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. You may have tweeted out a spoiler of a popular TV show like Breaking Bad, the ending of a blockbuster movie, and probably complained about the weather and traffic. If you can sit in front of your computer and tell me you haven’t, you are a liar! Joking! …or am I? HA!

MyLife did a survey with 890 adults aged 18 and older to find out with types of personalities there are on social media sites. They compiled the results of the survey and created an infographic. I love infographics! I did the test and I turned out to be a “Mr. Nice Guy” but there is no way that’s true. I know I have a mix of the “Oversharer” and “Humble Bragger” in my social media persona.

You can follow along the infographic and find out what’s your social media persona. If you do, leave a comment on what you get, I would love to know!

(source Mashable)

55th GRAMMY Awards #TheWorldIsListening Campaign

grammys the world is listening

This year, to help promote the 55th GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy teamed up with TBWA, which is a worldwide advertising agency (yes, they have a Toronto location).

#TheWorldIsListening is a social media campaign that helps feature up-and-coming artists. Musicians can upload their record on SoundCloud and share it on Grammy Amplifier. The musician’s track may be tweeted out by iconic artists such as RZA, Linkin Park, and Kelly Clarkson, who are the Amplifier Curators. Continue reading

Twitter Adds Photo Filters… Too Late!

This post may be a little late, ok maybe like 2012 late. If you have Instagram and you’ve been using Twitter to share your images then you may have noticed that you cannot see your filtered photos on your Twitter stream without clicking a link. That’s because Instagram (owned by Facebook) has disabled the support for Twitter cards.

Twitter responded by adding their own photo filter support. It’s funny because the day Twitter did that, Instagram updated their app with two new filters and a new layout.

I haven’t really played around with Twitter’s filter and to be honest, I don’t think I’ll really use it.