How To Use Your PR Internship as a Networking Opportunity

By: Lyndsey Isenhower

 

If you’ve ever applied for a job, you’ve probably heard the saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” The more people you connect with in the company or industry that you aim to be in, the higher chance for employment. Networking is one of the most valuable tools available to get where you want to go. And internships are a great way to begin the networking process – after all, you meet and work with people that are already in your chosen industry!

 

As a former intern myself, here are a few tips for doubling your internship as a networking opportunity:

 

Do Your Research.

On the first day of your internship, walk in knowing everything you can about the company and industry. It will be difficult to connect with professionals if you have nothing relevant to say to them, so spend time researching the company history, top executives, past achievements and even client industries if that information is available.

 

The more you know on the first day at your internship, the more reliable, interested and committed you seem to the job. When presented the opportunity to speak with executives, you will already have a basic understanding of what they do and why their work matters. From there, you can dive in and ask questions that go beyond the surface level.

 

Put Yourself in Uncomfortable Situations.

Speaking with employees at your internship may be intimidating at first; however, establishing a relationship with people in the workplace will make your time there more enjoyable and worthwhile in the long run.

 

Don’t be afraid to speak up and share ideas during team meetings because this could lead to further connection and brainstorming between you and your superiors. During downtime or breaks, engage with a variety of peers and supervisors to show your enthusiasm with being a part of the team. Bonding with fellow interns is important, but they aren’t the ones offering you a job after graduation.

 

Diving into the office banter and team lunches can be a way to experience coworkers apart from the business setting, which also helps them familiarize themselves with you. You want these people to be able to speak on your behalf, so keep it office appropriate, but be yourself.

 

Connect on Social Media.

Social media is becoming more and more prevalent in everyday life, but it is also becoming more useful for businesses as well. Millennials and members of Gen Z are in the perfect position to use these platforms professionally, because we’re already so familiar from personal use.

 

Connecting on these platforms – and keeping them up-to-date – also  gives you a chance to keep up with your teammates after your internship ends. Something as simple as liking their pictures can keep you on their mind, but congratulating them on a promotion, direct messaging them to grab coffee with you or just checking in with them will be sure to make a lasting good impression.

 

Another quirk to note about social media involves the timing in which you should add your coworkers as “friends.” Adding people on social media too quick can seem forced and not genuine, so it’s better to have established a relationship first before adding them on social media. While you may connect on LinkedIn early on, you may want to wait until closer to the end of the internship to become Facebook “friends.”

 

Take Initiative.

Hopefully, taking initiative has become second nature to you by this time in your college career. Being proactive in helping your coworkers accomplish day-to-day tasks can alleviate their stress, as well as make showcase your skillset and capabilities. Employers love to see interns going above and beyond what is expected of them because it (a) shows you care and (b) helps you stand out.

 

Small tasks that have nothing to do with the job itself, like unloading the dishwasher or volunteering to grab coffee for a coworker, are great places to start when you are unfamiliar with the day-to-day tasks of the job. As silly as they may seem, these simple tasks show you’re invested in your time at the company and eager to be a part of the team.

 

Getting the most out of your PR internship requires many other steps like working hard, sharing valuable ideas, following instructions and meeting deadlines, but networking could possibly be the most long-lasting and critical takeaway from an internship.

 

Interested in applying for an internship at Dittoe PR? You won’t regret it! Learn more about the program and to apply by checking out the spring internship callout. Applications close Sept. 15!

Best Practices To Use on Social Media During a Crisis

Let’s face it. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, we use social media more and more to digest our news rather than traditional media. Nearly 67 percent of American adults rely on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat for news. So, when a crisis strikes, the information is at our fingertips at lightning speed.

 

News coverage 24/7 has transformed the way we seek and share information, but what does that mean for brands? If you ever find yourself in a crisis, take a deep breath, buckle-up, and get ready for the ride. Here are a few social media best practices when dealing with a crisis:

 

Have a plan.

Hopefully you’re reading this before disaster strikes and have time to proactively create a crisis action plan. This plan will help the team understand their roles during a crisis and allow them to be prepared for every scenario that could possibly go wrong with your brand. Don’t wait until something blows up; brainstorm with your team and list out any and all possible problems that could arise. You then have time to create well-written responses and a good plan of action no matter what comes your way.

 

Be quick to respond.

When crisis strikes, response time is everything. If possible, responding within the first hour of inquiries will help minimize confusion or speculation. Reference your crisis communication plan and draft a statement immediately, individualizing when possible. It’s easier to change the course of the conversation with a timely, heartfelt response rather than staying silent and looking suspicious.

 

Monitor in real-time.

Whether the entire team or just one person is in charge of the task, it is important to have someone dedicated to monitoring your social media 24/7. You can’t deal with a possible situation if you don’t know what is happening in real-time. Create Google Alerts for your company, product(s), and keywords related to your industry. Hootsuite and Sprout Social are also good tools to monitor social media mentions and engagements in real-time. Stop havoc before it happens, or turn your crisis into a win like Reese’s did with their #AllTreesAreBeautiful campaign.

 

I’m sure you’ve opened a Reese’s Peanut Butter Tree at Christmas and its looked a little off. Well, instead of shying away from the backlash, Reese’s launched its #AllTreesAreBeautiful ad campaign. With a bit of hard work, the ad campaign received more than 1 billion impressions. Their emotional and cultural relevance as a brand took off and made a huge impact.

 

Speak your audience’s language.

You use your brand’s voice on all forms of social media every other day of the year—don’t turn into a robot just because you’re in crisis mode. Be professional where it’s called for on platforms like LinkedIn and use a lighter voice with more imagery on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Each social media platform has its own tone, as does each brand. Adjust it with your audience in mind but stay true to who you are.

 

If you don’t already have a plan in place for handling a crisis of any magnitude, now is the time to create one, and Dittoe PR is here to help. Request a consultation with us today!

Facebook: When to Advertise vs. When to Boost

With more than 1.94 billion active monthly users worldwide, Facebook is the top social media network available with the ability to target specific audiences. Not only does the platform allow businesses to interact directly with followers via messaging features, but Facebook also provides a way to scale that messaging to reach additional audiences.

 

Facebook advertisements and boosted posts are two ways businesses can further accomplish their social media goals. We will explore the differences between the two and examine how each option can work to increase reach and engagements on Facebook.

 

Facebook Advertisements.

Running an advertisement on Facebook allows businesses to achieve campaign objectives, such as increased brand awareness, website clicks or conversions, app installs, event responses, video views and more. Step one, though, is to prioritize goals and launch a campaign centered on them that includes a call to action.

 

After selecting the primary ad goal, businesses can set start and end dates for the campaign and have the option to target specific individuals using demographic traits. These include age, gender, hobbies, language, location and more. From there, select a maximum budget for the overall campaign, as well as the daily allotment from the campaign budget. The daily budget will ensure your ad continues to run through the end date, should you choose to set one. Finally, select the campaign’s creative content, which includes image or video along with key messaging. Be mindful of text overlays on an image, as Facebook limits the amount of text in each advertising campaign (90 character count limit).

 

Facebook advertisement audience traits

 

Depending on the overall campaign goal, the look of the ad may vary slightly, but all will be visible on the general Facebook newsfeed. While businesses have the ability to view the ad metrics through Facebook Ad Manager, the ad itself is not visible on the business’ Facebook page. Facebook also gives businesses the option to run the ad on Instagram and includes those metrics with the ones from Facebook. Be careful to cater messaging that would work for both platforms.

 

Businesses can expect to see an increase in page likes, website clicks or online conversions, for example, based on the campaign’s call to action. Post likes and comments are also tracked, but because the ad will disappear following its conclusion, these engagements are not permanent.

 

Facebook Boosted Posts.

Boosting a post on Facebook allows businesses to increase the reach of a post on its business page. Types of content available to boost include status updates, photos, videos, special offers and events, web links, job postings and more. Typically, boosted posts are used to increase the reach of a post that is already performing well organically.

 

Businesses can begin a post by selecting the blue Boost Post buttonon the bottom right corner of an existing post. If creating a new post, visit the Publishing Tools tab on the business’ Facebook page and click the Create button in the top right corner. From there, insert messaging, attach an images or video, and select a day and time to schedule the post.

Select a post that is performing well organically and click the Boost Post button

 

The process for boosting a post is like an advertisement in that Facebook provides the option to set demographic triggers for the post, such as age, gender, hobbies, language, location and more. Boosted posts can also be set for a specific length of time and with daily budget parameters.

 

Boosted posts appear on both the Facebook News Feed and the business’ page, and will remain on the page as a general post following the conclusion of the campaign unless it is deleted. Like advertisements, boosted posts also have the option to be run on Instagram, however metrics are combined for the two channels.

 

Businesses using boosted posts can expect to see a general increase in likes, comments and/or shares of the post.

 

Results.

Dittoe PR put these Facebook marketing options to the test by running both an ad campaign and a boosted post for clients in the hospitality and real estate industries. For both industries, the experiment ran for the same amount of time, using the same messaging, creative assets and budget to ensure the results could be compared accurately.

 

When selecting between the two, we found that Facebook ads are better for content focusing on current events, contests and special offers. These goals are more focused on short-term effects, garnering attention and engagement immediately. These ads saw higher engagement with the business’ page, resulting in page likes or follows, website visits and more.

 

This furthers the reach of the original post, as Facebook also shares information about what audience members are interacting with on the Facebook newsfeed. Because the post remains on the business’ page following the conclusion of the campaign, boosted posts are focused on long-term efforts, sharing information and gaining credibility. Boosting these posts saw an increase in overall engagements with the post itself, including post likes, comments and shares.

 

We recommend testing each method to determine which works best for your business or industry. Depending on your specific goals and objectives, one option may be better than the other. If you are interested in learning more about how Dittoe PR can assist with your social media marketing, request a consultation today!