We Are Communication Architects

Building brand awareness through content creation and community engagement.

November 4th, 2014

Voce Student Weekly Reading 11/4: Career Fair Tips, Press Release Mistakes to Avoid & More


Social Media

What’s the Best Way to Spend 30 Minutes of Your Time on Social Media Marketing?

“Social media management can be a full-time job, and even for those who do social along with any number of other tasks, social media marketing can still take 10 or more hours every week. So what would you do if you only had 30 minutes to spend on social media?”

Insight – Schedule your emails, tweets, status updates and blog posts at the right time – when you have a captive audience. You want to catch your audience not only when they’re checking their messages and news feed, but when they might have a few minutes to click through a link and check something out. This article does an excellent job at highlighting how to manage your social media time and get what you need done in 30 minutes.

5 Tips for Writing the Perfect Social Media Post

“Don’t overwhelm your audience with too much text in a single post. Twitter has a character limit for a reason, and it’s good practice to place your own limitations on all your social media posts. Try to keep your non-tweet posts around 250 characters. Not only does this help to keep the interest of your readers, it makes sure none of your text gets cut off.”

Voce Insight- The key to a great social media post is great content. If you don’t have anything valuable to give your audience, it’s not worth posting something just because you feel you have to keep with a schedule. However, that’s not to say that posting consistency isn’t important. Use trial and testing to determine what posting frequency your audience responds to best.

Public Relations

PR Insider: Top 7 Myths in Public Relations

“Public relations can be a simple industry for many who choose to consider it as such: You get a client, call the media, tell their story, go home. At least, that’s the going thought out there.”

Voce Insight – Working to dispel the myth that PR people don’t understand media will help you tremendously to become successful. Research the current media landscape. Seek to understand the pressures of being a reporter today and how you can help them. Write to them with news that would interest their readers and building a rapport with the core media for your client will be much easier.

5 Press Release Mistakes PR Pros Should Avoid

“You can’t just assume the reporter will understand why your news is so significant, because it may not necessarily fall under his or her main area of coverage. You need to make it clear not just what the news is, but also why it’s important and needs to be covered.”

Voce Insight- Unless you immediately command their attention, most reporters are not going to read farther than the headline and the first few sentences. Your opening should be able to stand on its own, clearly conveying the news and why it’s important. Writing in the inverted pyramid style, with the most important information up top will help reporters (and ultimately yourself) a great deal.


9 Career Fair Tips to Get You Hired

“Career fairs are a great place to network and build strong relationships within your future industry. Talk with as many people as you can at a career fair, advises John Bradac, director of career services at Ithaca College in New York. “Even if a company does not offer what you are looking for, you never know who that company representative may know. You may be pleasantly surprised as to who knows whom and where someone may be able to refer you.”

Voce Insight – Career fairs are an excellent way to build your professional network and find out about internships and job opportunities. This is your time to shine, so make sure to put your best foot forward. Dress professionally, and practice your “elevator speech” so you come across confident, not nervous.

5 Ways to Get Noticed in the Workplace

“In today’s world, it’s difficult to stand out and make a name for yourself. We did it…we put ourselves out there, went on interviews, landed the job, and finally have our foot in the door. The question then becomes, what now?”

Voce Insight – You may be the hardest worker at your company – but if you’re not in people’s thoughts, then you will be passed up for any new projects, promotions or additional responsibilities. Even though it may seem tough at first, try and solve problems on your own, without seeking help every step of the way. This will show that you are capable of working independently and effectively. Like this article mentions, “don’t be afraid to take matters into your own hands!”

Filed in Career Development, Weekly Reading

October 28th, 2014

Voce Student Weekly Reading 10/28: Why Social Media is Mandatory for Success, Tips to Stand Out and Get Your Dream Job & More


Social Media

Infographic: The Optimal Length for Every Social Media Update and More

“Shorter seems to be better on Facebook. Maximum engagement happens at 40 characters (so, too, does minimum quantity, meaning that a vast minority of Facebook posts hit this 40-character mark). And engagement slowly wanes the longer you go.”

Voce Insight – While social media is all about trials and testing, this fun infographic is very useful when you’re first starting out with a social media program or campaign. You can use the tips in this infographic as a great jumping off point, and then tweak depending on the results that you see on your social media channels.

Public Relations

The Keys to a Compelling Headline

“First, to create a compelling headline, look at the project with a creative eye. Think about it from the perspective of a reader and try to imagine what would grab them, draw them in, and make them curious to want to not only read more, but share the piece with their social communities.”

Voce Insight – In a world full of noise, how do you get people to actually read what you write? Good content or great design is just not good enough. The most important part of writing an article is the headline. Headlines contain essential words that convey the subject of a story and what the story is about. In addition to being unique, your headline should be ultra-specific. It should provide enough information to let customers know whether or not the offer you’re presenting is interesting to them.

The Five Parts to Brand Storytelling Nearly Everyone Misses

“‘No child will ever ask you to read them a press release at bedtime.’ You don’t say? His point was the corporate story you tell has to be engaging. If a child doesn’t want to watch, listen to, or read your story, neither will your customer. It means you’re doing it wrong.”

Voce Insight – Casting your client or company in the protagonist role of a bedtime-style story is a good way to check yourself and make sure whatever you’re writing is not too full of corporate-speak and jargon. It doesn’t need to have dragons and castles, but your story should still charm consumers into identifying and hopefully interacting with your client.


How to Pitch Yourself and Improve Your Job Prospects

“One of the biggest mistakes that job seekers make is that they fire off their CV to whichever job site or recruitment company they saw the position posted on, and just leave it at that. Sure, your application might be so great that you get the call anyway, but showing some initiative can really increase your chances.”

Voce Insight – Engaging with professionals through social platforms can play an important role in landing you a job. LinkedIn and Twitter are both great places to get your name seen by people you hope to work with one day. Also, don’t be discouraged if someone doesn’t respond to you. If the person wants to get back to you, he or she will. It is much better to say “If this is not of interest, feel no need to get back to me.” LinkedIn groups hold a lot of opportunity for networking with people who fit your prospect profile as well.

5 Bold Ways to Stand Out and Land Your Dream Job

“Want to work in film production? Make your own short films and upload them to YouTube. Want to secure a job as a web designer? Find a friend with an independent business and create or revamp their webpage, but be sure to include a link to your contact details so people who like your work know how to find you. Think that project management is right for you? Start your own small scale project and put together a small team to get it running.”

Voce Insight – Showing your prospective employer that you’ve not only been keeping busy while looking for work, but that you’ve already been accruing relevant experience will help enormously. Work on related side projects while searching to demonstrate interest in your future career and initiative to your new boss.

Filed in Career Development, Weekly Reading

October 21st, 2014

Voce Student Weekly Reading 10/21: Steps to Prepare for Your Career While in College, How to Get a PR Internship & More


Social Media

98,000 Hacked Snapchat Photos and Videos Posted Online

“On Sunday, a collection of almost 98,000 files (totaling more than 13GB of photos and videos), apparently from Snapchat users, were posted to The Pirate Bay less than 24 hours after someone claiming to be perpetrator said he had changed his mind and decided not to publish the photos.”

Voce Insight- The fleeting nature of Snapchat may suggest that files disappear along with the images or videos they contain. This goes to show that any data put out on the web can find its way into the wrong hands. Just remember to think twice before snapping something you may not want to resurface.

All Your Social Media Posts Now Sorted By Location and Up for Sale

“Using keyword and username filters, Geofeedia’s software collects your posts, tags them, and then groups them based on your geographical location, no matter what state or country you live in. And yes, this includes your username. This means that the cops — or more terrifying, your boss — can see what you’ve posted every time you hit send.”

Voce Insight- Geofeedia’s software is just another way companies can use what you post on social media to learn more about your habits. If privacy is a concern, make sure to turn off location information on Facebook, Instagram etc. Furthermore, PR and social media firms can use Geofeedia’s services to determine sentiment around a certain business, location, etc., and use it to provide recommendations to clients.

Public Relations

How to Get a Public Relations Internship

“Since writing is a major area of the public relations field, an error-free resume is crucial for gaining an internship. Networking online is another excellent strategy for staying up to date on internship opportunities and for companies to review your electronic qualifications in the event they are actively recruiting for such positions.”

Voce Insight – Did you grow up dreaming of representing brands, loving the media and writing? If so, chances are you are cut out to be a PR practitioner. However, landing an internship in this field can be far from dreamy. For starters, have a list of PR firms that you’re interested in. Now that you have a list of your target firms, your focus is narrowed and it’s time to network! If it wasn’t already, LinkedIn is now your best friend. Always follow up with personalized emails. Thank the people you met with for their time, and show your continued interest after knowing more about the job.

PR Insider: 5 Tips for Giving a Great Interview

“Landing great media coverage for your client or company is a key goal for most PR professionals. Most feature-type articles start with an interview, and there are a few telltale signs of a good one: the spokesperson represents his or her company well, starts to build a relationship with the reporter, entices the reporter to write an article now or down the road, and overall feels good about the conversation.”

Voce Insight- Make sure to prime the reporter beforehand with an overview of your client company, along with its products and services will help keep the conversation on track and make sure that both parties get what they need out of the interview. This also gives you an opportunity to establish a rapport, which could make the discussion more natural and free-flowing, rather than a stilted and simple Q&A.


Six Steps to Prepare for Your Career While in College

“If you know what you want to do when you obtain your college degree, do you know people that are doing that job right now? If not, you should find out who these people are and speak with them. These individuals can be school alumni, friends of your family, parents of other students and people who live in the town where your college is located. Set up appointments with these individuals to learn about their jobs. These people can also prove good sources for possible job openings.”

Voce Insight – Most students are probably vaguely aware that their college or university offers career assistance, but it pays to research exactly what resources are available. You can help prepare for your career by taking on select extracurricular activities. These activities go beyond part-time work to provide hands-on experience related to your career aspirations. Your best way of getting prepared to enter the workforce is by securing an internship. That internship should align closely with what you want to do. Take your internship as soon as it becomes available.

High-Mobility Employees Are More Engaged With Social Media [Infographic]

“High-mobility employees are much more engaged with social media: 26% of high-mobility employees keep their LinkedIn profile up-to-date, whereas just 5% of low-mobility workers keep their LinkedIn profile current.”

Voce Insight- Beyond keeping their LinkedIn profiles up-to-date, high-mobility workers know that they could already be connected digitally to the next step in their work life. If you’re looking for the next foothold in the career climb at your company or searching for the next job, an online presence is imperative. Follow your prospective employers online and always make sure to follow up with those you meet in person by establishing a connection digitally.

Filed in Career Development, Weekly Reading

October 14th, 2014

Voce Student Weekly Reading 10/14: How to Avoid Social Media Regret, Crafting a PR Resume & More


Social Media

Report: Facebook Readying App for Anonymous Sharing

“According to the report, the app will launch in the coming weeks and allow people to use pseudonyms so they can have discussions about topics which they may not be comfortable connecting to their real names.”

Voce Insight – This is a sharp departure from Facebook’s previous stance on anonymity – that attaching your real name to everything you share is important to establish a genuine online identity. It is true however that anonymity can foster positive discussion and sharing that might not happen if names were attached. Conversely, trolling and vitriolic comments are also a regular feature of sites that allow pseudonyms. Above all, remember that no matter what name you are sharing under, it’s not all that hard for a message to be traced back to its source.

How to Avoid Social Media Regret

“Social media is becoming an extension of the workplace,” says Janet Ayyad Ismail, a labor and employment attorney for the Dallas law firm Haynes and Boone. “You have the right to go on social media and complain about your job, but you don’t have the right to say whatever you want and keep your job.”

Voce Insight- It’s a delicate balance on social media between wanting to express your personality and views, and keeping things “employer appropriate.” When you’re having a rough day at work, be mindful not to let your temper get the best of you and post negative things about your employer. At best, you’ll end up regretting what you posted, and at worst, your employer may take action against you, whether that be a formal warning or even potentially letting you go.

Public Relations

Follow Up Right with Journalists: 5 Golden Rules

“When you follow up, tweak your pitch so that you offer something better than the first time you sent it, perhaps an exclusive with the company president, or new statistics that have popped up since your first pitch. This could be the thing that draws in the journalist or blogger.”

Voce Insight- You won’t get anywhere with a journalist by being annoying. Nothing is more aggravating to a journalist, or really any professional, than having your inbox blown up with an overenthusiastic pitch. If a journalist is interested, they will follow up with you. If they don’t, it’s reasonable to reach out a second time, but don’t keep emailing and calling if you don’t receive a response.

Putting together a Public Relations Resume that will Guarantee Landing a Job

“For starters, you must list your agency experience. Recruiters and hiring managers want to take a look at your resume and automatically see what Public Relations agencies you worked at. They’re looking for specific names here, so make sure to list them.”

Voce Insight – A lot of people can say they’re PR savvy, but not all those people can prove it. The PR practitioner reading your resume wants to see what you’ve accomplished for clients or brands. To really set you apart, show your fluency by linking to your blog, your Twitter handle, your LinkedIn page and your Pinterest account. Think of your objective as an elevator speech. Give a clear and concise statement of who you are, what you can do and how valuable you can be to the company that hires you.

10 Storytelling Tips for PR Pros

“Over the past decade, the field of public relations has evolved into a real-time, fast-paced practice. Yet, even within this evolution, the effectiveness of telling an organization’s story has remained a steadfast rock.”

Voce Insight – Perhaps more than anything else, strong writing skills and a sense for storytelling are paramount for any PR practitioner. Keep in mind that more people than ever have the ability to share your story. Moreover, having other people share your story for you lends it more credibility. Creating something that is simple, short and easily relatable will help in spreading your message.


What You Need To Know About The ‘Stress Interview’ Or ‘Pressure Interview’

“Having to go through an interview is cause for enough anxiety for some people, but add to that a “stress interview” or “pressure interview” and the mind may blow. However, if you understand the strategy behind these types of interviews, you will know how to navigate through it successfully.”

Voce Insight – Stress interviews aren’t perpetrated exclusively to torture an interviewee. This approach is a legitimate and effective way to predict a candidate’s performance at work – which is, after all, pretty stressful at times. The candidate who handles interview pressure with confidence and grace goes light-years past the candidate who can handle only the easy questions. What’s the best thing you can do? Be open, honest and direct, but refuse to be emotionally intimidated.

Creating Your Personal Brand Online

“Every post you make on social media builds your online identity, which is an extension of your real identity. Without intentionally doing so, you are creating your own personal brand. Look back on your online activities. Have you been cultivating a good identity? Does it reflect your actual personality and does it show you in your best light?“

Voce Insight – Most people (including employers!) are going to do a quick Google search to get acquainted with you before you actually meet. Whatever they encounter online in those first couple minutes will color how they interact with you in person. Googling yourself may sound a bit conceited, but its also a good idea to cultivate the online presence you think best represents you.

Filed in Career Development, Weekly Reading

October 7th, 2014

Voce Student Weekly Reading 10/7: How the Research Skills You Learned in College Can Pay Off in PR, Networking Advice & More


Social Media

New Ways to Engage with Who’s Viewed Your LinkedIn Profile

“Today, we’re launching a new addition to the Who’s Viewed Your Profile feature: an additional component to the existing insights graph so that, in addition to seeing who is looking at your profile, you can see which actions you took that led to that specific increase in engagement, including making various updates to your profile, endorsing a connection, joining a group or expanding your network.”

Voce Insight – When connecting with someone you meet at a conference or an interview, try sending a personalized message, rather than using the generic LinkedIn message. When you see that someone has viewed your profile, it may seem exciting. However, you want to make sure you build a valuable relationship with these people – especially if it’s someone that may seem intriguing to you. Begin your network of contacts now so you have connections to use as resources if you need them.

The Four M’s of Social Media That All Marketers Should Master

“The Holy Grail of social media marketing is sales. When marketers can draw a direct line between a social-media campaign and sales, all the guessing over the value of engagement ends. The return on investment is indisputable.”

Voce Insight- Social media marketing can sometimes be a nebulous concept. Demonstrating its value is imperative for any aspiring professional in the space. When proposing a social media campaign to a client, always be sure to show how it’s going to drive eyes (and sometimes dollars) to the places they need them most.

LinkedIn Continues Mobile Push With SlideShare for iOS8

“Like the Android app, which launched earlier this year, SlideShare’s iOS app creates a personalized feed of presentations, documents and infographics based based on the what’s trending among those in your network. Users can also subscribe to topics like social media, education or business.”

Voce Insight- This iOS app is a great way to learn more about topics on the go and in your spare time. Got 5 minutes before class starts? Why not flip through a presentation about career development or ways to get a job through social media. The great thing about SlideShare is you can subscribe to topics that are important to you, such as Career, or Social Media. It doesn’t all have to be about work though; you could also subscribe to a topic like Health & Medicine and practice some killer yoga moves. SlideShare is full of variety, and definitely worth checking out!

Public Relations

How Using the Research Skills You Learned in College Can Pay Off

“While it sometimes felt like it, professors don’t make students present in front of the class as a form of torture. It’s actually a valuable life skill both on the job and in the community. Even if you’re not technically getting graded these days, you should still take every step (and then some) to prepare for your work presentations. Practice in front of the mirror or ask your friends to critique you so you can improve, build confidence and, ultimately, become more successful. You may not be “graded,” but your career depends on it.”

Voce Insight – You may feel that what you’re learning in the classroom right now won’t help you in the workforce. However, all those long nights cramming for exams and projects aren’t useless after all. Research is highly important in public relations because it aids in making informed decisions and how to proceed with given situations. When learning about research in your college courses, make sure you pay attention to the different methods of research. Also, your professor isn’t making you present in front of the entire classroom just for giggles – there’s a purpose. PR practitioners present to the public and clients all the time, so make sure you absorb all the tips you’re learning in college.

How Marketing and PR Should Work Together to Reach Customers

“In order to truly serve today’s customer, it’s clear that those closest to the customers must step up their game and figure out how to best leverage their assets. For any businesses, selling is mandatory; but understanding why someone buys, when they will buy, and if they will think positively about your organization is just as important as the actual purchase.”

Voce Insight- The larger-scale story of a company built from conversations often falls to PR, while marketing executives extrapolate data to better target them quantitatively. However, the author astutely points out that they are cyclical and intertwined. When pitching a plan to a client, there should always be a balance of qualitative and quantitative – PR and marketing.


How I Stopped Sucking at Networking

“Most events these days have a hashtag associated with them. Follow the hashtag ahead of time and when you arrive at the event, and connect with others using the hashtag. Arrange a meeting at break time at a certain location. I can’t tell you how much this has made a difference for me. When I know that there will be a few friendly faces from Twitter at an event, I feel much less alone and awkward.”

Voce Insight- You won’t get better at networking by sitting in your dorm room watching TV every night. Be proactive about your career by going to PRSSA networking events, joining twitter chats such as #PRStudChat, and reaching out to people in your career field. Networking may feel intimidating, but the rewards of making a quality connection are definitely worth the few minutes of “butterflies in your stomach.”

Juggling Classes and Career: 8 Tips for Holding Down a Job in College

“At the end of each semester, conduct an honest analysis of your work and school experiences. Look at your grades, job performance and social life to determine if there’s any room for improvement. While many people have to work in order to survive, look for potential ways to increase efficiency. If you know that classwork will be light, pick up some extra hours at work to get ahead of your student loan payment plan. If you’ve worked really hard and are in a good financial position, scale back your work hours so you can pick up an extra elective or hobby.”

Voce Insight – Many students feel that taking on a part-time job will distract from their studies at school. It can seem overwhelming to take on a part-time or full-time job while going to school, but it is possible to do this. Working in college can help you avoid debt, provides you with valuable job experience and teaches you time management skills. Also, think of how much better it would look on a resume to have real-world experience rather than having an empty space in the work experience block.

Filed in Career Development, Weekly Reading

September 30th, 2014

Voce Student Weekly Reading 9/30: Defining the Future of PR, How to Land a Communications Gig & More


Social Media

How Social Media is Reshaping News

“Half of social network site users have shared news stories, images or videos, and nearly as many (46%) have discussed a news issue or event. In addition to sharing news on social media, a small number are also covering the news themselves, by posting photos or videos of news events.”

Voce Insight – Most college students may find it hard to find time to keep up with news. It’s very important, though, to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the world – especially in the communications field. Find a way that works for you to stay on top of what’s happening both in the world as a whole and in the communications/social media industries.

Public Relations

Defining the Future of Public Relations

“Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media outlets have transformed the relationship between the members of the public and those communicating with them. The public relations process used to be singularly dimensional–“the filter down theory”–but the future of PR is now a conglomeration, primarily focused with facilitating an ongoing conversation while remaining on the forefront of innovations in the communication arena.”

Voce Insight – Public relations isn’t always traditional media. In fact, there is a huge emphasis on the importance of social media for brands in the PR world today. Social media ensures that a brand’s message keeps moving, creating brand exposure and grabs the attention of key influencers in its sphere.


Four Career Mistakes You Should Be Making – And The One You Shouldn’t

“Of course we all want to appear to our coworkers and customers that we know everything about our company, service, or product. But, the truth is, none of us know it all and more than a few of the people we spoke to, told us how valuable it was to have their ego crushed. Why is this a great mistake to make? Because, once you know you can be wrong, you approach work differently knowing that your next decision might not be correct, but it will be a learning experience that leads you closer and closer to finding the most successful result.”

Voce Insight – Mistakes should be held up as high as successes in your career, if not higher. Remembering that failure is a necessary part of advancing can go a long way to saving your sanity. However, it is also true that there are some types of mistakes you truly would rather not make.

Why Employers Don’t Respond After Interviews

“The recruiting process can start and stop and be interrupted along the way. Maybe the company started interviewing external candidates but then had a couple internal people pop up. Or the funding for the position has come into question. There are a lot of “structural” reasons that a job opening might fall through that have nothing to do with your quality as a candidate.”

Voce Insight – The author sensibly points out that if a company doesn’t have the decency to respond to you after going in for an interview, you probably wouldn’t want to work for them anyways. If you’re not getting a response from a company, following up once and then thanking them for their time leaves you looking professional and poised to lock down the next opportunity that comes your way.

5 Ways to Land Communication Gigs

“Many companies, full-time recruiters, and individuals tweet about job openings as well as freelance opportunities. Keyword, key phrase, and hashtag searches can help you find a variety of communication positions, along with guest blog posting and speaking opportunities, which might help you land additional gigs.”

Voce Insight – There are more ways than ever to make contact and get in the room for an interview. Make sure you are exhausting all avenues to find the opportunity you want and the person you need to reach to make it happen.

Filed in Career Development, Weekly Reading

September 23rd, 2014

Voce Student Weekly Reading 9/23: Facebook Updating News Feed Algorithm, Career Advice for College Seniors & More


Social Media

Facebook News Feed to Surface More Timely Stories

“To decide the posts that surface to the top, Facebook is also going to factor the rate that people are liking or commenting on a post. Facebook currently looks at the total number of likes that a post received, but now it will look at when people like, comment and share posts.”

Voce Insight – This is an interesting update that comes as Facebook is trying to decide what it will become next. This change could shift it more towards being a source of hard news, something that Twitter has long done well.

Twitter Updates Profiles on iOS in the ‘Biggest Update to Date’

“The redesigned profiles include three tabs: tweets, photos and favorites. The photos tab displays images you have tweeted, while favorites surfaces tweets you have favorited. User bios are also immediately surfaced in the profile view; previously, you had to swipe across the top of a person’s header image to view his or her bio.”

Voce Insight – Twitter updated its iOS app today with a new look for profiles that places additional emphasis on pictures. The emphasis on the bio means it’s more important than ever that students be clear about their experience, interests and what they want to do in their career in this space.

Public Relations

5 Ways to Be a Superhero in the News

“The reporter will ask whatever questions they want to ask and they’ll write whatever angles they want to write. You can’t, no matter how hard you try, control the story. Instead of worrying about controlling the story, focus on what you can control: Your mouth.”

Voce Insight – Knowing exactly what you are talking about, respecting the right of reporters to ask the questions they want to ask and speaking genuinely in response will go a long way to establishing a positive rapport. Being quick to respond, accurate and fair will likely result in reporters acting in the same way.

Public Relations vs. Media Relations

“Media relations and public relations are often terms used interchangeably. Contrary to popular belief, the two are not the same. Media relations accomplishes one goal, and public relations accomplishes another.”

Voce Insight – Media Relations is an aspect of public relations. The terms are not interchangeable as media relations focuses solely on the relationship between the company and the media. They use different media outlets and coverage to tell the company’s story, rather than directly engaging with the publics and key stakeholders.


How To Approach Your Professor For a Reference

“Believe it or not, your professor has a life outside of teaching. With a hectic schedule they may not be able to quickly respond to an email regarding your situation. Give yourself at least a week before the application is due to request for a reference.”

Voce Insight – Like most things in life, relationships are key. Don’t be that student who never shows up to class and then expects a glowing reference. Stay committed in the classroom and out. Sign up for your professor’s office hours at least once during the semester and use that time to ask academic major/ career advice. The more engaged and dedicated you are, the more likely it is that your professor will want to recommend you.

Career Considerations for College Seniors: Resume – Building Begins Now

“When it comes to networking, practice makes perfect — and it’s often easier to establish a professional relationship with influential contacts while you’re still in school. Alex Mooradian, CEO of Readyforce, says that students shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to business leaders or alumni at companies and in industries in which they’re interested.”

Voce Insight – It may not feel like it, but your college years are when you have the most career resources at your fingertips. Take advantage of the career center on campus and build relationships with your professors. They will have contacts and references that may help you land that first post-college gig.

If you’re interested in receiving this newsletter in your inbox, subscribe here.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 11.08.30 PM

Filed in Career Development, Weekly Reading

September 16th, 2014

Voce Student Weekly Reading 9/16: PR Interview and First Job Advice, Internship Expectations and More


Social Media

10 Social Media Blunders That Cost a Millenial a Job – Or Worse

“So remember your boss, work colleagues, and hiring managers can see your most polarizing tweets, even if they aren’t following you. And even if your public Facebook profile looks like Fort Knox, anyone can see images you’re tagged in by using graph search. Typing “photos of person’s name” into the search window reveals hidden pictures. Test it out to see how creepy it is.”

Voce Insight – If you’re surprised at what you can find out about your classmates online, just remember that the same might be said of you. Nothing is safe once posted online, and neither are your job prospects if you over-share.

Facebook is testing a feature that lets you schedule the deletion of your posts in advance

“Based on the screenshots we’ve seen, Facebook is letting users opt for anything from 1 hour to 7 days, after which the given status update will self-destruct and disappear from view.”

Voce Insight – This (possible) new feature might have some interesting applications for communications professionals marketing a brand. Having the option to make a post time-sensitive may drive more engagement. However, it should be said that any content on Facebook is already fairly ephemeral. Everyone’s news feed is an never-ending river that will quickly take your post downstream and out of sight. Focusing on creating quality content that people will remember long after should still be the primary goal.

Public Relations

Everything You Need to Know About the Public Relations Job Interview Process

“Public relations is an exciting and dynamic field. It’s also very competitive, so if you are fortunate enough to land a job interview you want to make sure you’re well prepared. Since public relations is all about generating publicity and making a strong impression, you will have to do some PR of your own when being interviewed. Here are some tips to keep in mind.”

Voce Insight – Presentation: Public relations job interviews are essentially presentations. You must engage the interviewers and get them interested in what you have to say. Your presentation is your own personal PR.


How to Handle an Internship That Isn’t What You Expected

“When you don’t have much to do, there is no harm in asking! This may seem somewhat daunting at first, depending on what kind of relationship you’re building with your supervisor, but it will make your internship much more worthwhile and your supervisor will appreciate your enthusiasm and proactivity.”

Voce Insight – Even if your internship isn’t turning out the way you dreamed, it’s important to keep your chin up and make the most of your situation. Stay productive by developing your personal brand during downtime through blogging, educational Twitter chats, etc.

7 Things No One Tells You About A First Job

“Unlike college, in the ‘real world,’ there are no As, Bs or Cs. New employees soon learn that it’s only pass/fail. Most entry-level employees receive less training now than at any point over the past 20 years. Employers expect you to hit the ground running — already expert in the position you’re expected to fill. So, don’t over-reach for a job that requires more skills than you currently possess.”

Voce Insight – The harsh reality of your first job is that nobody is going to spoon-feed you and hold your hand. Didn’t meet that deadline? Your boss isn’t going to fall for the whole “it got lost in email” excuse that used to work on your professor. A first job is about working extremely hard to prove yourself as a valued employee, even if the work you’re doing isn’t exactly glamorous.

Career Advice That No One Told You – And You Might Not Want to Hear

“Many young people finish high school or college and wrongly assume that they’ll love every aspect of every job they’ll ever have. The truth is… that isn’t going to happen. Literally no one loves every part of his or her job. That’s okay. The trick is to figure out the parts you love and the parts that you don’t like that much, and then come up with ways you can make the icky parts more fun.”

Voce Insight – One of main complaints about millennials is that “they always feel entitled.” When it comes to your career, put the entitlement aside. No boss wants to deal with an arrogant, elitist personality, and they definitely won’t want to promote one. Work your way up from the bottom, by proving your worth time and time again. It helps to keep perspective- “it’s not about what your company can do for you, it’s what you can do for your company.”

If you’re interested in receiving this newsletter in your inbox, subscribe here.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 11.08.30 PM

Filed in Career Development, Weekly Reading

September 9th, 2014

Voce Student Weekly Reading 9/9: Twitter Adds ‘Buy’ Button, Google Analytics Proves PR Value and More

Social Media

1410019361000-BuyNow_FINAL IMAGE

Shop while you tweet: Twitter launches ‘buy’ buttons

Twitter wants you to shop while you tweet. Starting Monday, the short-messaging service is going to test “buy” buttons in tweets. A small percentage of U.S. users will see the buttons in the Twitter apps on iOS and Android.

Voce Insight – With around 271 million monthly active users, and over 500 millions tweets sent per day, it’s no wonder Twitter wants to make those transactions into the kind with dollars. There’s also serious money to be made for all involved, if it catches on.

What’s the General Sentiment of the Most-Shared Articles on Social Networks?

“Of the 5 major social networks studied – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn – Facebook dominated with 81.9% of the total shares generated. Interestingly, though, of the most-shared articles on Facebook, only 36% were deemed to have positive sentiment, as opposed to 47% negative (with the remainder neutral).”

Voce Insight – Automated sentiment categorization should almost always be taken with a grain of salt. While the stats are very interesting it’s entirely likely there are false positives all over the place in this study. Taking the numbers at face value, though, it shows that people are turning to social networks to largely voice gripes, complaints and other discontent, which runs in the face of both the upbeat content that comes from Upworthy and other sites as well as how much of the engagement on these networks is geared toward a positive sentiment.

Facebook Adds YouTube-Like Video Features, as It Tops 1 Billion Daily Views

“Now, Facebook is adding a pair of YouTube-like features. In an update that will start rolling out this week, Facebook users will be able to see how many views a video on Facebook has received, something that’s been part of YouTube’s service for years. On Facebook, view counts will be shown on public videos to help people discover new, popular videos. Another feature, which Facebook is currently testing on mobile, displays related videos after users finish watched a clip (also a longstanding YouTube capability).”

Voce Insight – Facebook continues to make a play for being publishers’ default video outlet, adding metrics and features to the player. There are also reports that native videos perform better in the News Feed, reaching more people than embedded YouTube videos.

Public Relations

How to Respond to a Negative News Story

“Remain polite regardless of the reporter’s response. Reporters will react better to a discussion about factual errors than a differing opinion, but you’re welcome to make your case if you believe his view lacks perspective. If the reporter got a key fact wrong, you’re entitled to request a correction.”

Voce Insight – When a journalist reports about your company or organization in a negative way, it’s easy to let emotions run high. Instead of reacting emotionally, calm down and work out what you can do to fix the issue rationally. Oftentimes, once your emotions calm down, you will see that the situation isn’t as drastic as it seems.

6 ways to prove PR value with Google Analytics

Google Analytics helps industry pros go beyond vanity metrics such as circulation to demonstrate how PR directly affects brand awareness and sales. To illustrate PR value and highlight social media successes, add the following Google Analytics tricks to your toolkit.

Voce Insight – Though PR is often not an easily quantifiable profession, you can learn a lot about the impact of your message by finding how many people saw it, how many people stuck around long enough to take it all in and how many people started talking about it themselves. Putting numbers behind your efforts is an invaluable tool in proving the worth or your work.


What Are the Most Valuable Lessons to Learn From a First Job?

My first job was at a management consulting firm. Though I did not particularly enjoy the two years [I spent there], I learned a lot of things that have been helpful as my career has progressed. Below are a few of the main points.

Voce Insight – Maybe one of the only answers left out of this interview is about the all the questions you should be asking your more senior co-workers. Ask questions, listen first and then apply those insights to your work.

How to end your internship the right way

“Being evaluated can be nerve-racking—no one likes to hear negative things about the work they did—but be open-minded about constructive criticism. Feedback or constructive criticism can help you improve in your next job or internship; internships are for learning from mistakes. If you worked hard all summer, there will likely be more talk of what you did well than what you did not.”

Voce Insight – Even if you don’t receive an immediate job offer from an internship, having that experience on your resume is extremely valuable. Listen to the feedback from your internship manager. It may be tough to hear criticism about your performance, but it will help you learn what professional qualities you need to develop for your next internship or gig.

If you’re interested in receiving this newsletter in your inbox, subscribe here.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 11.08.30 PM

Filed in Weekly Reading

September 2nd, 2014

Voce Student Weekly Reading 9/2: NatGeo a Top Social Media Publisher, Twitter Testing Favorites in Stream & More

Social Media


National Geographic Is Reportedly No. 1 in Social Media Among Publishers

“National Geographic is the king of the social media jungle, according to a top 10 list released by Shareablee. The New York-based digital data company has ranked NatGeo as the most effective publisher in the social space for the month of July, with 46.4 million engagements on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.”

Voce Insight – While this certainly isn’t the entirety of their strategy there’s a lot to be said about taking advantage of steady access to amazing photography. National Geographic sits on a treasure trove of high-quality pictures and so is perfectly positioned to thrive on a social web where visuals are the native language.

2 Essential Qualities of Successful Social Media Strategists

“Social media now represents an opportunity for PR practitioners and marketers to establish themselves as strategic leaders, with one eye on business goals and the other on budgets and resources.”

Voce Insight – You can’t get to the top without working your way up from the bottom. An effective social media strategist should be knowledgeable about the processes across all levels of the business. You can’t build a successful social media strategy if you do not know the ins and outs of the business, and what their specific customer needs are.

For Its Latest Experiment, Twitter Is Showing Faves As Retweets

“As pointed out by a few people yesterday and this morning, including Re/code’s Peter Kafka, Twitter looks like it is testing a feature that makes favorites (faves, if you prefer) appear in other people’s timelines…just like a retweet.”

Voce Insight – This might be the first move Twitter makes to a more algorithmic Timeline, and many have pointed out that Twitter’s FAQ has already been updated to include things like this. But while it’s already causing much hand-wringing among power users, for whom this is a major change, it’s something that could help Twitter attract and maintain more new users and clear up some of the confusion that often keeps them from participating.

Public Relations

Ice Bucket Challenge

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Has Nonprofits Rethinking ‘Public Relations Dollars’

“The ice bucket challenge’s phenomenal success is making other charitable organizations rethink how they connect with a younger generation of potential donors. Since the ALS Association began tracking the campaign’s progress on July 29, it has raised more than $53.3 million from 1.1 million new donors in what is one of the most viral philanthropic social media campaigns in history.”

Voce Insight – The ALS Ice Bucket challenge’s success is due in large part to the online connections of many people, rather than any one individual or public relations executive. The fact that it’s difficult to trace the origin of this viral sensation underscores this point nicely.

Why Public Relations and Media Relations Don’t Mean the Same Thing Anymore

“The challenge today for public relations is adjusting to the constant drum of news from social media and mobile. No longer are episodic, big budget launch campaigns the ticket to success. Instead, brands must widen the net and maintain an always-on presence. This means using a combination of third-party validation, along with branded content and social.”

Voce Insight – Though reaching out to a select number of influencers with your message is certainly important, it should be remembered that the end goal is always to get the greater public talking to you and amongst each other.


Learning How to Score a Job Using Social Media, for Beginners

“With 92% of companies using social media in their hiring efforts, job seekers can’t afford to overlook social as a vital resource in the job search. While you’re busy job searching, employers are leveraging online resources to find candidates just like you.”

Voce Insight – Treat your job hunt as a client project (you’re the client!), using social media as one of your primary means of communication. That way, you’ll be able to reference your skills in the interview, and companies will see them as more than words on a resume.

5 Ways to Stay Calm at Work

“Work is stressful, especially for PR pros. It’s in the nature of the job, and the stress is well-documented. According to Forbes, the PR professional has the world’s sixth most stressful job, keeping company with enlisted military personnel and airline pilots.”

Voce Insight – A short memory for failure (remembering only the lessons learned) and an always optimistic mind frame are imperative for success in PR. Stress is going to visit you during your PR career, but so will success. Sharing both with your colleagues will keep you even-keeled.

Things I Wish I Had Learned In College to Prepare Me For PR

“Microsoft Excel is one of the most-used tools at a public relations agency, but I spent little time in it as an undergraduate and instead focused on writing and learning AP style.”

Voce Insight – While having an education in PR is beneficial, there are many things you don’t learn in college that could benefit you for a career at a PR agency. Microsoft Excel is an extremely vital program that is used in agencies, and it’s good to know how to use it before entering the work field. Money matters! In undergrad, most college students aren’t taught how to manage reports and budgets. In reality, it’s important to know how to navigate finances.

If you’re interested in receiving this newsletter in your inbox, subscribe here.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 11.08.30 PM

Filed in Career Development, Weekly Reading

Voce Photo Stream