Thursday, May 26, 2016

Rest easy Twitter fandom, longer Tweets are coming soon!

By: Cole Buergi, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

Yes, you read that correctly and, no, it’s not me purposely trying to stay under the 140 character limit in the headline. This is a blog, not a Tweet.

Reports are that Twitter will stop counting photos and links as part of its 140-character limit for messages. That means you can now really say what you want to say, that is in 140 characters or less. 

Currently, links take up 23 characters after Twitter shortens them automatically. Freeing up 23 characters for your thoughts instead of links may not sound like a lot, but in the world of tweets where brevity is king, it definitely would be a major change.

This comes after Twitter was contemplating raising the character limit to 10,000. Thankfully, wiser minds prevailed. It’s hard enough to keep track of the all the tweets scrolling down the page. Imagine if each one was the length of a novel. Ok, 10,000 characters doesn’t qualify for novel length, but you get the picture.

The major benefit I see to this change is in the business world where brevity is sometimes hard to achieve. This will make things a bit easier. 

What do you think of the pending change? Will 23 more characters make much difference for you?

P.S. This blog is only 1,314 characters. Could you imagine tweets nearing 10,000? Yikes!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Lessons Learned my first five months in PR

By: Ashley Vickney, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

It’s graduation season, and as an early-graduate I’ve been able to watch my friends graduate from college and enter the “real world.” A term that generally strikes fear into a college senior’s heart, I thought I would offer some words of advice to my new work peers on the “real world.”
  1. Early is On Time
    Try to arrive anywhere at least five minutes early. This includes meetings, work, workout classes and drinks with your friends. It shows that you value their time, your time and think what you’re doing is important.
  2. Pick Up the Phone
    Talking on the phone seems to be the bane of our generation’s existence. With about six other ways to contact people, we would much rather use those. However sometimes calling an editor, reporter or a client is the easiest, or best, way to get the information you need. I’ve also found that a five-minute conversation on the phone with a client will give you a lot more information than a long chain of emails.
  3. Take Notes
    As an entry-level employee, taking notes is one of the best ways to set yourself apart. In meetings, take note of important details, and comments the client or boss makes about upcoming events. Another trick with this is to make a list of what you or your agency needs to do, and what your boss or client says they’ll do. At the end of the meeting you can easily list off who is going to do what or send a follow-up email.
  4. Create a Task System
    As a full-time employee, you’re going to have a couple of projects and regular tasks to complete. Create your own task system using whatever you want. It’s going to take some experimentation with different systems but you’ll figure it out. Being able to prioritize is an essential skill, so don’t be afraid to ask someone how important the task they gave you is, or ask your supervisor for help.
  5. Network and Create Connections
    PR is about connections, and it’s never too early to start. Make a goal of attending at least one networking event a month, joining your local PRSA and young professionals group at your local chamber. Also make a point of getting to know your co-workers. Ask about their hobbies, families and their careers. I’ve gained so much by knowing my co-workers well, and have created what I hope are long-lasting relationships and mentor/mentee relationships.
  6. The Learning Doesn’t Stop with Your Degree
    Never stop reading articles, magazines or looking for ways to improve your skills. Learn HTML, how to use Adobe Creative Suite, or even look at business classes. If there is a topic that intrigues you, read about it and see what you can do to dive deeper into it. Your degree is the foundation and starting point, not the end of your learning.
  7. Don’t Work All the Time
    Working all the time doesn’t actually do anything for you other than wear you down. Take time to exercise, get out of your cube for lunch and call your parents. Will you have to work a lot? Yes. But don’t just work to work. Be productive, do your job well, and take some time for yourself.
The “real world” isn’t nearly as bad as it seems. It won’t be an easy transition, but if you put in effort, give yourself a little grace and don’t give up you’ll be a full-fledged working adult in no time.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

How Much is Too Much?

By: Susan Finco, President, Leonard & Finco Public Relations
It seems just about every day someone I know will ask me, “How much is too much to post on social media?”  That always leads me to ask, “What do you want to accomplish? Who do you want to reach? Do you have the staff to effectively research, write, post and monitor social media?”  It’s always best if social media is part of your overall communication plan but, let’s face it, not everyone takes a text book approach to communications.

First and foremost for me, is that you have to have something worthwhile and interesting to share. If all you’re doing is a sales pitch day after day, you’re not going to be very effective. People want knowledge. They want insights. They want to know about trends, issues and challenges along with those all-important sales or promotions. The bottom line:  What is this post going to do for them, your audience? Answer that question, and you’re on your way.

But there’s still the question of how much is too much? Think of it like this:  How often do you want to hear from your best friend? Your mother? Your cousin? It varies, doesn’t it? And then we all have that one friend who would talk with us ten times a day if we let them; but we don’t, because they just go on and on. Social media is a lot like that. There is no one size fits all answer, but the key is to do it well and find the balance that gets the results you’re looking for.

Do you have any guidelines you use for posting on social media? Love to hear your thoughts.