It may be the off-season for baseball but that does not mean that the communications department gets to take time off. It is actually the busiest time of the year. We learned this and much more when Caitlin Moyer, the Director of New Media for the Milwaukee Brewers came to talk to us. On December 3rd, she talked to us about her role within the organization and how the Brewers use a wide variety of social channels.
Here the Brewers do a lot of listening and interacting with fans. Facebook is great platform to answers fans questions but it also allows them to have their voices heard. They also promote tickets, events and contests on their page. Pictures have been used here and some have been great successes in creating interaction.
Hashtags are utilized greatly here. They can be used to run contests, promote certain things and also listen to the fans. Even though hashtags are growing in other platforms, they are used mostly here and Instagram. Twitter allows the Brewers to target certain groups and run contest. Through their Twitter account, they also provide news, photos and insider content into what is going on at the club. Bernie, the mascot, also has his own twitter account that is fun and is extremely popular. The account brings the beloved mascot to life and is constantly interacting with fans.
The majority of Pinterest users are females so this is where the Brewers can connect with them. On this platform, they can be creative with photos and pins. The Brewers can also test certain merchandise and other posts here. If they are successful, they can post about them on other platforms and direct them back to Pinterest.
On Instagram, they run photo contests with fans while using a hashtag. They also highlight pictures that are related to the Brewers and drive engagement.
On their website, they have a blog that the communications department maintains. Sometimes they cover special events that the Brewers put on such as activities with Bernie, concerts at Miller Park or events with the players. The blog also allows the team to give the fans an inside view on what is going on with the team. Features on players do occur and guest blogs do occur. Sometimes other things around Miller Park are featured such as the food options. During the off-season they run a series that features what everyone does during the off-season, which is a great way to keep the fans, involved year-round.
The Brewers are in one of the smallest markets in all of baseball yet their social media platforms rank in the middle of all teams. They help bring the team to life while reflecting the culture of Milwaukee. Caitlin started as a part time worker on the in-game promotions team known as the Brew Crew and rose through the ranks to her current position. Her department has grown from one person to a full team capable of almost anything that they might need. It is easy to see why the Brewers are success with social media. We want to thank Caitlin for taking the time to come visit us and go Brewers!
On November 13 Kathleen Fugler, a communication associate at Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin
, was kind enough to come speak with our chapter. While she was here she gave us a brief background of Feeding America in addition to sharing information about what she does on a day-to-day basis. As a communication associate it is Kathleen's responsibility to help coordinate the delivery of food to 1,000 partner organizations. As a food bank Feeding America is able to use 97 cents of every dollar donated to support hunger relief efforts. To put that in perspective for every dollar donated Feeding America is able to provide five meals to people in need. Last year Feeding American Eastern Wisconsin was able to help 330,000 people including 105,000 children.
In order to successfully coordinate these hunger relief efforts Feeding American needs to plan fundraising events
. Food for the Holidays is a broad initiative that consists of various events including:
- Wine and Dine Wisconsin
- Stuff the Bus - an effort with 99.1 The Mix to encourage holiday shoppers to donate enough non-perishable food to full Milwaukee County Transit System buses. This year's goal is to 250,000 pounds of food.
- Drumstick Bash - a 5K run on Thanksgiving Day that aims to increase awareness of Feeding America's efforts as well as raise monetary and non-perishable food donations.
Communication tools Kathleen uses to spread the word about upcoming events and fundraising goals include:
- The Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin Website
- Around the Table - a quarterly newsletter
- An annual report
Finally, Kathleen gave us a brief idea of what it is like to work at a non-profit compared to a corporation or communication agency.
- Be willing to fulfill multiple rolls
- Be willing to work some nights and weekends
- Know that you will become deeply attached to what you do and who you are helping
- Gain a sense of responsibility for your cause
- Become adjusted to a very small, close-knit work environment
- Engage with a variety of people - from donors to board members to people in need
- Go above and beyond the duties described in your job description
This past weekend five of our e-board members got the opportunity to attend the PRSSA national conference in Philadelphia. While at the conference they were able to learn from a variety of individuals with experience in almost every industry. Vice-President of Marketing & PR Monica Lawton was very impressed by all of the speakers who presented, and wrote a brief blog post recapping their most memorable advice. You can visit her website The PR Libra
to learn more about what it's like to work in the automobile, fashion/entertainment, agency and food PR industries.
On October 8 Wayne Breitbarth, author of "The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success," joined our chapter to discuss how to use LinkedIn to its full potential. Listed below are some of the highlights from his presentation:
- Think of LinkedIn as a research tool for businesses. When you apply for a job it's likely that the hiring manager will search for your profile; you should do the same. Take the time to learn as much about the company you're applying to as you can. You want to portray yourself as competent and knowledgable, and LinkedIn can help.
- Keywords. Keywords. Keywords. Optimizing your profile to include any search terms that are relevant will help your profile be more visible to hiring managers when they are searching for candidates. Sections to include keywords in are: headline, summary, experience (job titles, job description) and skills. When writing keywords try to think about synonyms that other people maybe using.
- Searching for jobs has never been easier. When using the job search tool you can narrow your search by keywords and by location.
- Another handy tool you can use is searching for interests. If you search under interests, education, Marquette, alumni you can find alumni who maybe working in your dream industry or even your dream company.
- When creating your profile try to tell a story. Use first person and shift between paragraphs and bullet points. This will keep your reader more engaged.
- Optimize your headline by making it your current business objective. If you're looking for an internship or full-time job make sure you include it.
- LinkedIn recently added a new feature called the "professional gallery" use this tool to display relevant portfolio pieces.
Last Wednesday night we were lucky to have a panel of recent graduates come speak to us about their experiences in college, internships and full-time careers. The panel included:
- Micah Soriano: Regional Marketing Manager at Johnston Controls
- Julie Caan: Assistant Account Executive at Vollrath Associates
- Tara Vandygriff: PR Master at Integrated Brand Group and Integrated Marketing Solutions Provider at Clear Channel
- Shannon Gavin: Assistant Account Executive at Nelson Schmidt
- Izzi Crowley: Account Coordinator at HY Connect
- Crystal Schreiner: Photographer, Director and Entrepreneur (Co-Founder of Bast Pictures and Go-Geddit)
They all had great advice that was applicable for everyone. The theme of the night was the reminder to be yourself. Whenever you go out to interview for an internship or full-time job you have to remember that you are not the only candidate. Take the time to reflect on who you are and use your personality/uniqueness to your advantage. Avoid giving the socially desirable answer; being being open about who you are will give the interviewer something to remember and increase your chances of getting the position.
Tara gave the example of how she landed her current job. She was fortunate to have spent 14 months studying abroad in Chile. When she returned to Marquette for her Senior year she hadn’t had any internships. However, while at the PR & Social Media Summit last year she met her current boss. After telling him about her study abroad experience and that she wanted to travel more after graduation, whether she had a job or not, he told her Clear Channel would have a job waiting for her. In her situation being untraditional set her apart from everyone else looking for a job, and helped her achieve her goals.
Other themes included:
- Think of yourself as a brand. You are unique; use this help sell yourself.
- “Don’t burn your bridges.” - Shannon
- “If you don’t know how to write you’re in trouble.” - Julie
- Know AP Style
- Know your voice
- Know how to write for various mediums
- Know your audience
- “Set aside time to do what your passionate about.” - Crystal
- Take the time to go on informational interviews. Ask someone in the industry to grab a cup of coffee with you, and listen to there advice. They've been working for a while and will be able to help you focus your goals.
When you’re in school make sure you set aside time for internships. It may take leg work to get them, but they are invaluable when it comes to setting yourself up for success. If you are finding it difficult to land a position try these tips:
- Look where others are not. Go outside the city limits.
- Non-profits are always looking, and there small enough to let you do more than a typical intern.
- Create your own position or opportunity.
Transitioning from student to full-time employee can be hard. However, there are a few things you can do to make it easier:
- Look for a company that has a great culture.
- Find a job that makes you excited to get up in the morning.
- Take some time off after graduation to travel or do something that’s meaningful to you.
- Don't come off as if you know everything. Be vulnerable and be open to learning.
- Take pride in the fact that you do things well. Even if the task may seem small it has an important place in the campaign.
- Make your goals known and work toward them.
- Read as much as you can. A great book that Crystal recommended is “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy.
As PR students, we all know the importance of branding. It’s a huge part of what we do, but it’s also a huge part of who we are. The most important brand you can create is your own. On February 5, Marquette journalism professor, Herbert Lowe, shared some tips on how to make the most of your personal brand.
“Who you are, is who you attract” was an overarching theme of Lowe’s presentation. Your personal brand is what connects you to the rest of the world. To make the most of this personal brand, utilize digital tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogging.
According to Lowe, LinkedIn is crucial for getting noticed by recruiters. It serves as your online cover letter and resume, and can be the difference between landing a job and having to start a job search all over again. Some tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn:
- Show professionalism—both in content and writing style
- Check it daily. It’s all about a good first impression!
- Think about design. Use white space, and avoid widows and orphans
- Show your aspirations. What are your goals and how will you achieve them?
Regarding Twitter, Lowe’s biggest tip was the 33% rule. Your tweets should consist of 33% personal, 33% information, and 33% news. Balancing your content will expand your audience and increase your following.
To end the meeting, Lowe took some questions, most of which were about blogging. He said blogs should be about 6 paragraphs in length and you should come up with new content about once a week. However, quality is more important than quantity. Put yourself into your writing and make it your own. That’s what personal branding is all about!
To learn more about Herb Lowe, visit www.herblowe.com
and connect with him on LinkedIn (just make sure you’ve followed his tips first)!
Join us for our next meeting on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in JH 303, where Tom Branigan of Branigan Communications will talk about his experiences in crisis communication!
As our undergraduate careers continue to fly by and seniors prepare for graduation, anxiety is beginning to ramp up around Marquette. Many of us are currently facing the biggest questions of our lives – where will I work? Where will I live? What do I really want to do with my life?
One of the best ways to be reassured is to hear from those who have been in our shoes not long ago. That’s why we invited Chelsea Real, Julie Caan and Maddie Smith to our most recent MU PRSSA meeting, held on January 22. The panel of recent Marquette graduates had plenty of advice to share, including how to make the most of your college experience, tips for finding internships, and recommendations for both seniors and underclassmen.
The consistent theme was that putting in the effort now, while we’re still in school, will serve to prepare us for “the real world” and set us ahead of the competition. All three of the ladies stressed the importance of internships – paid or unpaid – as a great way to gain valuable experience and develop important connections. Along with that, there was emphasis on getting in front of the people you want to emulate professionally. Making the most of networking opportunities and informational interviews can open some major doors, and Chelsea, Julie and Maddie all wished they would have taken better advantage of these opportunities.
They also reminded us not to get discouraged, which can certainly happen in such a competitive job market. “You don’t need a job on your first day after graduation,” Julie pointed out. “Everything will work out.” That’s an important message to remember going forward – hard work will always eventually pay off.
All three of our panelists offered great insight, and continue to do so on a daily basis. Follow Madison (@MadisonSmith10), Chelsea (@The_Real_Chelse) and Julie (@julie_caan) on Twitter to stay connected down the road.
As a reminder, PRSSA Regional Conference is being held at DePaul University in Chicago on February 14th and 15th. For more information, please contact Maggie Cooney or any other E-Board member.
Also, members with the best attendance for the remainder of the semester will be entered in a chance to win a $25 Starbucks or Sobelman’s gift card, so make sure you make it to every meeting! Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 5th at 7pm, JH 303. See you then!
On November 27, Molly Rasmussen, marketing and events coordinator for Professional Events and Consulting (PEC), which consists of a team that plans corporate events for various occasions, spoke about personal branding.
Rasmussen shared her journey from wanting to be an event planner to going into PR and using social media. She discussed the importance of working hard as a student in order to have an easier time securing a job come graduation time. A major part of this early work is personal branding.
Rasmussen suggested finding 5 things that make you who you are and expressing them to potential employers through various channels, mainly social media. Some must-haves for a communications major include LinkedIn and Twitter pages. Other helpful things to have are blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, online resumes, business cards, and portfolios.
The most important thing to remember in regard to your online and offline presence, according to Rasmussen, is consistency: in your profile pictures, the way you dress and present yourself, the way you design your resume and cover letter, and the way you act in your everyday life.
This meeting was the last of the semester. Look for updates about upcoming meetings after break and have a safe, fun, and relaxing holiday season!
For more information about PEC visit www.pecpros.com
and be sure to connect with Molly on Linkedin! You can also visit her blog www.heartofablonde.com
Some of you may have noticed our hot chocolate bar under the Bridge the week of Thanksgiving. This was our first major fundraising effort of the semester, and was a success as temperatures began to drop! A big thank you to any of you who may have contributed to our chapter by purchasing a cup of hot chocolate, and to the brave volunteers who manned the table in the cold! If anybody has suggestions for future fundraising efforts, we would love to hear from you! Just drop an email to any E-Board member, or let us know at a meeting.