“The best way to engage honestly with the marketplace via Twitter is to never use the words ‘engage,’ ‘honestly,’ or ‘marketplace.'” – Jeffrey Zeldman
In advertising and public relations, we know that managing social media is extremely important. It is important for our personal use so we develop a professional persona and personal brand. It is also important to maintain active social media site for companies so they build a strong relationships with their customers and society. Although, sometimes it is difficult and tedious to remember to post on a regular basis. Those weekly Twitter reminders for the public to sign up for your companies fundraiser, or daily promotions to be published at exactly 2:15 pm for your brand may be easiest if there was a way to do them all at once. Thankfully, programs like Hootsuite or TweetDeck provide us the ability to schedule posts on social media accounts ahead of time.
This week I explored TweetDeck. It was organized simply and easy to use. The site was set up so there are columns for your account’s home news feed, notifications, messages, activity, and, most importantly, scheduled tweets. All you have to do to schedule a tweet is to generate a tweet as normal, and then rather than clicking “Tweet,” click the box that says “Schedule Tweet” and then choose your desired time and date. TweetDeck will post your tweet even if the program isn’t running on your computer, and you won’t have to do a thing!
This program is incredibly easy to use, and will help tremendously when you are juggling multiple media accounts with lots of events going on. Below I have uploaded a few screenshots of what the application looks like, and the 5 tweets I scheduled for TweetDeck to post this week.
Gagnon, E. (18 April 2017). TweetDeck4 [Screenshot].
Gagnon, E. (16 April 2017). TweetDeck1 [Screenshot].
Gagnon, E. (16 April 2017). TweetDeck2 [Screenshot].
Gagnon, E. (16 April 2017). TweetDeck3 [Screenshot].
“Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.” – Ralph Marston
After attending the PRSSA panel discussion and meeting, I was excited to hear that some of the panelists use Google AdWords and Google Analytics in their everyday jobs! I had already been amidst completing the Google Analytics Academy and earning my certification when I heard this, so it was great to hear that what I am working on right now, will actually be applicable to my work in the future.
I’ve discussed and briefly used Google AdWords in one of my previous blogs. It is a Search Engine Optimization tool that helps your brand stand out on the world wide web and to be noticed by customers. It promotes itself by only requiring payment when a user actually clicks on your digital ad. Google offers online lessons so you can actually become Google AdWords certified. This certification looks great on your resume, and might just put you one step ahead of a competitor without certification!
Similar to the Google AdWords certification, you can take online lessons to become Google Analytics certified. I am happy to share with you that I have earned my Google Analytics certification! Google Analytics is a measurement tool that helps you grow your business through intelligent data and collection. The way it is set up is that there are beginner lessons, advanced lessons, as well as Ecommerce analytics, and Google Tag Manager Fundamentals. These lessons are to prepare you for the final exam. The final exam consists of 70 questions, with 90 minutes to complete it, and you must get a score of at least 80% in order to be deemed ‘certified’. Did I mention that this education is also free? It’s amazing.
I chose to take the both the beginner and advances lessons. The beginner included 4 “chapters” with about 5 “mini lessons” and a short assessment concluding each chapter. The mini lessons were mostly 5 minute videos explaining how to use the program, and occasionally a guided tour so you can work the program yourself. These videos and tours were not difficult or strenuous, but you do have to pay attention to the details that are said. The advanced lessons were set up very similarly, but you should go find out for yourself!
Like I have mentioned, these certifications will help you in the real world. Knowledge is power, and APR jobs emphasize the importance of knowing how to use technology. By educating yourself with what Google has to offer, you can better promote your personal brand, as well as your company’s, and your career in communications. I am so excited to add “Google Analytics Certified” to my resume!
Below I have uploaded my certifications for completing the beginners and advanced lessons, as well as the certification for passing the final exam.
Gagnon, E. ( 3 April 2017). Beginners Certification [Screenshot].
Gagnon, E. (12 April 2017). Advanced Certification [Screenshot].
Gagnon, E. (12 April 2017). Analytics Certification [Screenshot].
“Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.” – Gordon B. Hinckley
Grand Valley’s Advertising and Public Relations program hosted the Superior Awards at the Eberhard Center downtown, on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. This event aimed to honor students for their hard work throughout the school year. Students who submitted their work had their entries evaluated by professors and APR professionals and were given thoughtful feedback. I had the opportunity to attend with Brooklyn, who is also a freshman in the APR major program! We were able to network with students and staff before the event began and enjoy some delicious hors d’ oeuvres.
The event featured 3 speakers: Jaclyn Ermoyan, Racheal Vruggink, and Amanda St. Pierre. Jaclyn and Racheal are both influential women and graduating seniors who spoke of their experience at GVSU. Jaclyn spoke of how she was an undecided freshman until she found APR and I was able to relate because I also had know idea what I wanted to do when I began college. Her best advice was to get involved in everything that GV has to offer. Racheal spoke of her advertising experience and success and after listening to her speak, I would love to talk to her and get to know her better. Lastly, Amanda spoke of her journey and where she plans to go as she begins her own company! She advised us all to always include humor, heart, brains, or balls within all of our posts, and to always “show up”. The opportunities that arise from showing up to networking events in and out of GVSU are incredible!
“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye
A couple Wednesday’s ago (4/5/2017, 9-10 pm) I took the opportunity to attend my very first PRSSA meeting. PRSSA is the Public Relations Student Society of America, and Grand Valley State University is one of five colleges in the country to have their very own chapter! This group proved to me that they are very well deserving of all (and there are a lot) of their accomplishments.
PRSSA is a group of public relations pre-professionals who provide leadership and service in the community. As quoted from the national organization’s website, they “Provide members with national, regional and local opportunities to network, share ideas and grow professionally.” I was easily convinced that joining this group will help me gain experience, and provide me with many APR opportunities.
This was a great meeting to attend because it consisted of a panel discussion of recent APR graduates and where they are now. They all have solidified jobs, varying in titles and corporations. Some as digital and social media managers, others as advertising managers and more. It was very beneficial to listen to their experiences and advice for working in professional situations. After hearing what they had to say about their jobs and what they do, and simply, just the type of people they are, I felt more confident that Advertising and Public Relations is the right major for me.
My adviser, Adrienne, introduced me to all of the executive board members and as well as many others. I can already tell I have so much to learn from Adrienne and these wonderful people. After talking with them about their positions on the exec board and what they do, I got a chance to grab a quick selfie with two of them! Pictured below (from left to right) is myself, Jaclyn, and Erin. Jaclyn is the CEO of Grand PR, and Erin manages the GVSU PRSSA twitter account.
I look forward to joining PRSSA and live-tweeting events along with these hilarious and motivated people!
“The man on the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” – Vince Lombardi
As our winter semester is wrapping up, there has been a lot of talk of the “real world”. From graduating seniors, to freshmen, to anyone out there – in the real world. We are on the search for what we are going to do with our time, how we are going to make money, how we are going to gain experience, how we are going to make our mark on this world.
Searching for jobs, internships, or even volunteer programs can be very difficult. I chose to take this quest online by checking out what Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, Pure Michigan Talent Connect, and Beyond have to offer. These are all (free) match-making sites dedicated to helping you find and apply for jobs that speak to you.
Because I am studying Advertising and Public Relations, I will be searching for jobs that primarily deal with advertising and social media. What these type of jobs – and many other job types – require is knowledge with technology. Personally, I have a long way to go and legions to learn, but right now I could offer a beginner to intermediate knowledge of Photoshop, InDesign, Microsoft Office, Final Cut Pro, Google Drive, and most recently, Google Analytics.
Below I am going to share with you 5 job openings I found that I am interested in and their technology requirements.
Marketing Development Specialist, Trivalent Group (Grandville, Michigan)
Microsoft Office applications
Customer Relation Management (CRM) tools
“Eye for graphic design with experience with related applications preferred (Adobe)”
Digital marketing experience and event management services (Constant Contact, Eventbrite)
As you can see, companies are looking for individuals with a wide range of technological knowledge! These sites are super easy to navigate, and can help tremendously when getting your name out there and sending out applications.
“I didn’t know where I was going until I got there.” -Unknown
Hey guys! As the semester is coming to a close and stress is rising to the max, why not entirely contemplate your purpose and what you really want to do with your life? (Probably because that won’t get you very far for the time being, but your finals aren’t going anywhere, so you should proobably get back to studying. Just maybe.)
Aside from the mundane cluster of school work, I decided to enjoy and dream a little while designing a personal business card. I began to think about how I want to portray myself, and for one day, when I’ve landed a reliable job, what do I want my clients first impressions to be of me? I also took time to dream of what the reliable job looked like. With the stress of scheduling classes for next fall and winter, I have been heavily considering what educational route and what classes I want to take. School will always be school, but if I am studying essentially what I will be doing for the rest of my life, I would like to at least enjoy the topic.
Building this business card helped solidify that I am en route in doing what I love to do. Creating, collaborating, designing, working hard, and building relationships. These are all also symbols of business cards. We hand them out to people so that they don’t forget us, that they can follow-up or contact us, or so they can pass it along to someone else to help create new relationship — all with hopes to someday work together.
Now, creating the business card in itself was the fun part. I primarily used the Adobe program InDesign which is very similar to Adobe’s Photoshop. Also similar to Photoshop, or any Adobe program, it may take a little while for beginners to understand how to properly use the functions and to take advantage of all the program has to offer (which is quite a lot). No worries, though, a few YouTube tutorials will get you to where you want to be in no-time.
I also took the liberty of learning a new program. I have always been looking for an easy way to draw something and turn it into a piece of digital artwork so I can make it into a logo, or in this case, a business card. After looking through the app store on my personal computer for a while, I found the app called Aphalina Designer. This program was insanely easy to figure out and learn. I used it to draw out my logo (my initials) “emg” above “made with ♥”. Whenever I doodle, I always find myself writing my name in cursive over and over again. Also, I love to make crafts and gifts for people, so whenever I can, I incorporate “made with ♥”. Whether it be on the back of a card-stock jewelry box, at the end of a note included with a scarf, or essential oil heating pads, or anything else, I like to think of it as my little signature.
So here it is! This is a screenshot of the Aphalina Design program I used first.
Then I just took a screen shot of my work, and was able to drop it in the InDesign program as a photo and whalaa!
Here are a few photos of the front and back of the final product with both preview and normal screen modes.
Gagnon, E. (2017). PreviewBack. [Screenshot].
Gagnon, E. (2017) PreviewFront. [Screenshot].
Gagnon, E. (2017) NormalFront. [Screenshot].
Gagnon, E. (2017). NormalBack. [Screenshot].
As you can probably notice, I am not (yet) an “Advertising Specialist”, I don’t work for a company named “Purple Fountain Media”, and all of my contact information is false, besides the social media though, those are free for you to check out if you’d like!
I don’t have my dream job (nor do I know exactly what my dream job is yet), but for now I just have to keep working hard and getting through the stress school brings. After all, I probably won’t know where I am going until I get there.
Ever heard of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization? Well I hadn’t until recently, and now I wish I learned it sooner. It is highly important when website making. SEO is a process of utilizing the world wide web to benefit your website or blog and to help it rank higher on search engines. Search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) use what are called “spiders” to crawl through their archives and select all content that is relatable to the term that was searched. Through search engine optimization, we can take advantage of these spider by using keywords. Keywords are words that are portray your brand and that are linked to your website.
When I decided to use search engine on my own WordPress website, Google AdWords helped me out, and it made me realize a few things about my website. All I had to do was enter my URL, and it gave me a list of keywords Google detected that may trigger my ad to appear next to search results. This is when I started to realize that my website is in need of some major search engine optimization. Here is a screenshot of the results…
The keywords Google detected were primarily concerned with creating and designing a free website, rather than my website’s content. This must be because my website is made through the free version of WordPress. It begins to recognize the content by including grand canyon, wilderness, pr, and active. After all, I created this website to practice my major in Advertising and Public Relations (pr), and to post about being active, getting outdoors, and experiencing wilderness.
Search engines keep track of how many times keywords are searched. Using this data, SEM, or Search Engine Marketing, can show ads that correlate with the search term. By the use of SEO and SEM, websites can promote their ads more effectively. The global monthly searches for the 5 keywords I chose to represent my website, and 5 of the keywords Google chose to represent my website are as follows:
“Advertising and Public Relations” 1,300
website making 3,600
grand canyon 1,000,000
Now that I understand search engine optimization, I feel as if everything makes more sense. I have found the clarity that lies beyond the fog. What myself and all other websites should do is pay attention to the vocabulary and word choice used on our websites. Every post, especially titles, should be full of important context related to the brand so it can be easily detectable on search engines and draw more publicity.
“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” – Edward Abbey
So, here’s a picture of me doing a handstand.
And here’s a picture of the beautiful Grand Canyon.
Now, here is a picture of me doing a handstand on the edge of the Grand Canyon.
I’m sure you’ve all seen pictures of people traveling to beautiful places and posing for pictures while standing on their hands… standing on one leg… or standing on one leg with one foot behind their head, all while being five feet from the edge of a cliff! Well, thanks to Photoshop, I guess I am one of those people now!
I have always wanted to have a legitimate picture like that of my own but I am fairly a beginner at handstands, and haven’t traveled too much (despite my wishes). Even if I had, I’d be crazy to get that close to the edge without both feet on the ground. I think I’d actually be the one to lay on my stomach and inch my way closer to the edge to get the view, just so I know there is a very slim chance I’ll slip and fall!
I would love to believe that all of the beautiful poses and pictures I’ve seen are real, but look how easy it is to fake it. I know the edit may not be 100% perfect, but I’m also a beginner at using Photoshop, and this took me about 15 minutes (including lots of trial and error).
I began with the background layer of the Grand Canyon. I added a sharpening filter to emphasize the detail in the rocks. Next I created a new layer, and placed the embedded picture of me doing a handstand. I used the magic wand tool to select the background, then made another new layer of only my body. After that was completed, I put my body layer over the Grand Canyon layer, placed it where it fit best, and the rest was minute details! I used the magic eraser tool to trim away any tiny edges that the selection tool missed. I also copied and pasted a few more rocks around my hands to hide some of the imperfections.
Photoshop was so fun to mess around with, and if you ever need help, there are plenty of tutorials online to help you out!
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” -Alan Alda
Hey guys! I’ve been given the task the past two weeks to create a video that I feel represents by website. I knew going into it that this would take so much more time than I could think. Being a perfectionist, every time I watch it there is something I wish I could change. Eventually, I had to say enough is enough. So here it is!
So now that you’ve watched it, do you see what I mean? The few glitches that you probably noticed weren’t recognizable until I had uploaded the video to Youtube, so I was very bummed that it was too late to fix. I used Final Cut Pro to generate this video. For the most part, it worked very smoothly! Aside from the resulting glitches, the program just takes practice, and lots of patience to perfect! Between rendering and finding the perfect transitions and filters, it would be easy to get stressed if you don’t know the program well. So you can get a glimpse of what it was like, I’ve posted a screenshot of my timeline on the Final Cut Pro program, as well as the story board I created using Storyboard That to organize my vision for the video.
Aside from the technicalities of the video-making process, I feel that this video gives a good visual of what I am trying to convey in my website. All of the footage was taken by myself and a few clips from my brother (no worries, I got his permission to use them). To you, these clips might look pretty, but to me, these clips contain countless memories with friends, family, and myself. They are collected from many vacations and excursions over the years. I was so happy that I finally had a reason and the right technology to create a video with some of this footage! In reference to Alan Alda’s quote I featured above – in the moments from the video, I got away from the city. I discovered wonderful things. I discovered something new about myself each of those trips. It doesn’t take much to get out and enjoy this great, big, beautiful world we live in.