Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why You Should Blog

Chad Levitt recently wrote a post about the importance of having a blog. Throughout the semester it has been time consuming to blog on a weekly basis, and I will be the first to admit that I have simply forgotten a few times. Mainly because I had too much on my plate from my other classes and my internship. After reading the article, I feel guilty for not blogging on a regular basis.

Here is a list as to why blogging is important to building your personal brand:

1. Search engines love blogs
2. Blogs are link sticky
3. You are creating an enduring asset you own
4. Increase your opportunities to get found
5. It's all about eyeballs

My personal learning project this semester covered personal branding. As a senior who is graduating in two weeks and has yet to figure out where I will be heading after graduation, it is important that I build a brand for myself. One of my goals for my PLP was to have my website appear on the first page of search results. I was successful in making it the first result, but my blog isn't even on the first page. Instead, the first page results include my website, facebook page, linked in, and then blog comments from others in my class. Had I have spent more time updating my blog, it would pop up on the first page of results.

Levitt's fourth reason as to why one should blog was important to me.
Think of every one of your blog posts as a lottery ticket; the more lottery tickets you have the more opportunities you have to win. Winning the lottery can mean getting the job you want, making more money, or just being seen as a thought leader in your space. Whatever your lottery is, each blog post you own is another chance at winning your lottery.

Here's to hoping my blog holds the winning ticket to a career after graudation.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Completion of

After months of trying different layouts, site builders, and fonts my website is finally complete. My Social Media for Public Relations class allowed us to pick a semester long project of our choice. I thought it would be interesting to learn about Personal Branding. Branding expert Dan Schawbel defines personal branding as "how we market ourselves to others." It was important to me to choose a topic that would be relevant after graduation. What better way than a website that will help me market myself to potential employers.

My website is not flashy and should not be compared to those of famous people who have disposable funds to pay people to build their websites. Instead, it is simple but gets my message across. It contains an abundance of information about myself that will help employers learn more about me than what is simply written on my resume. Instead the words written on my resume transform in to samples of my work that are displayed under my portfolio page. If you have time, I recommend taking a few minutes out of your day to check out my website. I am open to suggestions and would love to hear your feedback.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Problems with creating Mikkayla

Though JustHost provides a free website builder, I still ran in to several problems along the way. For starters uploading my resume took a long time. All the words that were supposed to be bold had a different colored background. After messing with the code for 20 minutes I decided not to use bold text, and instead opted for italics.

Another problem I came across was locating an appropriate picture. I searched through the 400 + pictures on my computer and I did not find any. Something was wrong with every picture whether it was because someone else was in the picture or because I was not wearing business attire. In the end I decided to use a photo from my senior portraits.

Uploading my portfolio also gave me problems. Luckily I saved all my hard copies of papers so that was helfpul after my laptop was stolen. I was unable to locate hard copies of my video clips.

The process was very time consuming, but in the end very worth it. I believe it was very beneficial to me to create a website. Personal websites are becoming a necessity in order to stand out. It allows potential employers to view your work without requesting it via email. With companies having the opportunity to choose between someone straight out of college or a person with 10+ years of experience, it is important to show them you have what it takes to get the job done.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Baseball on the Hilltop

In honor of St. Edward's 125th Anniversary, I thought it would be fitting to cover a major component of Topper Athletics. Since my arrival on the Hilltop, the baseball team has been Heartland Conference Champions twice. During those two seasons, they have posted 40+ win seasons. The arrival of Head Coach Rob Penders has helped the Toppers improve their record. Prior to coaching for SEU, Penders was the first-base coach for the University of Texas Longhorns.

With St. Edward's being such a small school compared to it's neighbor located a few miles north (UT for those of you who are geographically challenged) the game day atmosphere is drastically different from Divison I participants. For starters baseball games are free and fans are allowed to sit where they please. This includes putting your chairs up against the fence behind home plate, watching from picnic tables, or on the grassy bleachers. Those who choose to enjoy a hot dog or a bag of sunflower seeds will be pleased to know that the concession stand does not have an item over $5. A drastic difference from the concession stands at UFCU Disch-Falk Field, where a drink and a dog can easily cost $10.

On Good Friday St. Edward's hosted St. Mary's for a double-header. At the end of the day both teams collected a win. The Legand of Taylor Johnson captures the Hilltoppers come back against Heartland Conference rivals St. Mary's Rattlers.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Social Media Press Releases

Tom Foremski's widely talked about social media press has become a hot topic in the past week among twitter as well as our class. His release has helped set the foundation for press releases in a web 2.0 world.

According to Foremski," press releases are nearly useless." As an intern who sends out as well as receives a lot of basketball related releases, the text in a release is often overwhelming. It is easy to see why many releases often go unread and end up in one's trash.

Foremski's proposal to deconstruct the press release to make it user friendly is one of those hey why didn't I think of that products. By providing different sections of the release, it is likely that all of the information will be taken in by the reader. This format also allows for valid information to be correctly phrased in newspapers, magazines, and blogs. Writers will be able to spend less time looking for information on the internet.

When readers don't understand something in a release they do one of two things: continue to read the release in hopes of figuring it out or they search what ti is. It's likely to be the first choice because people are lazy.

I think it might take some getting used to, but with time it could very well become the norm in the PR world. Just like every new product, the social media press release is bound to change a few times before people are completely satisfied. What are your thoughts on the social media press release?