Benefits and Downfalls of Social Media Devices

Social Media has its pros and cons just like everything else in the world. Sure you can interact with friends, add and look at photos, and chat with others, but all of this can come back and bite you in the butt. As we all know everything that has ever been on the internet can be traced and retrieved. The pictures of you at a Bid Day Party upside doing a keg stand can be found, explicit comments about your loss to your football team’s rival can be rediscovered, and posts to friends about their sorry exes can be seen again. This may sound harmless to some. The truth is, these can ruin your chances at landing your dream job if the potential employer finds them before you erase them.

Previous to college I was a member of the social media networks Facebook and Myspace. Now that I am in my last semester of college at Georgia Southern University, I am no longer a member of Myspace, but an active member of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Word Press.

  Throughout my past few semesters social networking has been a requirement which has opened my eyes to the many downfalls that they carry. When I thought about having to use social networking for a grade I was excited about how easy it would be to earn an “A” in my classes. However, after a few days of trying to keep up with the various social outlets my head was spinning, my eyes were hurting from staring at the computer screen, and I think I began to develop symptoms of carpal tunnel (ok, not really but you get the point).

 A downside to being involved in multiple networking devices is how time consuming they can become depending on your involvement. I don’t know about you, but I do not have the time to sit and check my email, my Facebook, my LinkedIn page, Twitter, my GAView, my Word Press, and other accounts on a daily basis like I should. This could mean that I am missing something important that someone is trying to tell me through these outlets. It could mean that I am missing a deadline or due date, or it could mean that I am wasting time online when there are more important things in the “real” world waiting for me.

 Although there are incredible benefits to social networking, I find more downfalls. I enjoy social networking for pleasure, not work. As much as I love to “stalk” people on Facebook, I would regret doing it for a living. I understand that there are a lot worse jobs out there (like cleaning the road kill on the side of the Interstate) but I would be willing to bet that networking all day everyday would be one of my least pleasurable jobs. As I end my last year at Georgia Southern, I will end some of my accounts to these social networking devices.

Here is a great link to review on tips to how to stay safe when using social networking: Safety Tips

This is a site to help you manage your social networking. It has been very beneficial to me :Social Media Management

This is a great blog to refer to. Mrs. Nixon is the Queen of Social Media and has taught me everything that I know : Queen Nixon

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Nonverbal Communication Skills that We Should All Acquire

We have been taught since we were children proper grammar, how to speak to one another, how to use an “inside” voice, and various verbal communication skills. However, nonverbal communication is equally as important as verbal communication but sadly is not taught as frequently or in depth to students.

Have you ever heard that actions speak louder than words? Well it can be true. I learned in Dr. Beverly Graham’s Interpersonal Communication class that nonverbal communication is often times more believable than verbal communication.

We can think of examples where this can be proven true. Think of when you have had something bothering you and in result your body language told others that you are not happy. This could be shown through a scowl on your face or having your arms crossed, etc. We muster out the words, “I’m fine” but our bodies tell a different story. Often times our body language is more believable than the words we use. This is just a silly example but it helps support how highly important nonverbal communication is to people in everyday life but more importantly in the professional world.

There are seven types of nonverbal communication that we must all be familiar with which include: body movement/posture, direct eye contact, facial expressions, voice, space, gestures and touch.  http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq6_nonverbal_communication.htm

To understand the best use of these I will go into greater detail:

  1. Body Movement/Posture- be sure to sit up straight. You want to appear like a professional and a simple way to do that is to use good posture. This indicates that you are there for a purpose as well as showing that you are not intimidated but assure of yourself.
  2. Eye Contact: Make sure to use direct eye contact with your interviewer. This shows respect to the person speaking. Be sure not to stare at the interviewer; connect with them to show your interest in the subject. You do not want to look away too frequently though so try to keep a happy medium.
  3. Facial Expressions: Your face says it all. Emotions are hard to hide on the face. They can show signs of happiness, sadness, concern, anger, boredom, etc. Be sure to control your facial expressions. This is a tough one for me because how I feel is always written all over my face.
  4. Voice: This involves pitch, tone, volume, and more. The tone sets the mood so be sure to use a confident tone. Also remember not to speak too loud or too soft so you are not hurting the interviewer’s ears but also to where they do not have to strain to listen to what you are saying.
  5. Space: We all have our comfort zones and do not like for people to invade them. Try to keep enough distance away from the other people in the room without distancing yourself too much. You do not want anyone to feel cramped but you do not want them to feel like you are trying to keep your distance from them either.
  6. Gestures: These include waving, handshakes, pointing, the use of talking with our hands, etc. It is important to use gestures sparingly and at the right time. Try not to talk with your hands as it can send a sense of nervousness. Also, when you shake the interviewers hand be sure to have a firm shake (not limp like a fish) and look them in the eye with a smile on your face. This is a great way to show that you are confident.
  7. Touch: This can go along with number six. Touch can share a lot of emotion. There should not be too much touch during the interviewing process but perhaps a pat on the back or a nice firm handshake could be considered appropriate. Make sure not to cross the line with a big bear hug or kiss on the cheek.

Learning the use of nonverbal communication is important. I hope that you can learn from this blog and carry with you some of the tips mentioned. Remember that actions speak louder than words and nonverbal communication can help make a lasting first impression.

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Tips to Help with Resumes and Cover Letters

As a senior in college I know the importance of a resume package, but do you? This blog will help you understand how vital it is to have a strong resume package and how it can help you land your dream job position.

For starters let’s focus on the cover letter. People often forget about the cover letter until the end and try to throw it together right before submission. These letters are very important as they are a way to communicate to the company/organization/business/etc that you are applying to. A few tips that I found from http://www.worktree.com/tb/CL_tips.cfm are very beneficial when comprising your cover letter. A brief summary of what can be found on this link is provided.

  • When writing your cover letter be sure to not get too wordy. Be direct and to the point.
  • The purpose is to communicate.
  • Don’t be afraid to use the word “I”
  • Don’t write in a passive tense, be active.
  • Remember the format should follow the standard business letter.
  • Open with a solid, strong sentence.
  • Be personal in your letter. It needs to be unique for you.
  • Make yourself look like you are the one that they need to hire.

Now that we have a few starter tips for our cover letters let’s turn our attention to the actual resume. Resumes are incredibly important to job hunters. This one sheet of paper can lead you to the job of your dreams or send you back to living with mom and dad. The detail and attention that a resume needs is immense; you should spend several hours working on it and it should be worked on continuously throughout a given time (not just in one sitting). Some tips that I have found come from, http://education-portal.com/articles/Building_Your_Resume:_Resume_Tips_for_College_Students.html This link has a great video with a lot of help to those who need it but I will give a few tips that I found to be helpful.

  • Include education, work experience, and the special skills you have. These should be placed in order according to your strength. For example if you have not had much experience you would not put work experience first.
  • Make sure that your education helps you. If you have a 2.3 you do not need to be specific about your grade point average. I have learned that if it is lower than a 3.0 you do not need to mention your GPA.
  • You should include the school you attended (or are currently attending) as well as the projected year of graduation, your major/minor, and your year in school.
  • If you are a second-year student or above there is no need to include high school information.
  • With your work experience you want to include what you did on your job site, how long you were there, the job title you held, and obviously the name of the store/business/organization you worked in.
  • Be sure to include the various skills you have acquired. You want the person reading your resume the skills that you can bring to the job. These skills should be specific to the job you are applying for.
  • Also, add some activities that you are involved in. This could be intramural sports teams, the debate team, PRSSA, a church group, etc. this adds a few interesting facts in there about you for the interviewer.

I hope that these help you in the process of writing your cover letters and resumes. I know that this can be a scary part of life but with these tips things should run much smoother and put you one step closer to achieving your dream job.

 

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All About Me: Lauren Lee

At Isle of Palms with my family

Hey everyone! I will start off saying that I am a senior public relations student at Georgia Southern University and cannot wait to graduate in May and see what is in store for the next part of my life. I am interested in event planning but will be happy with almost any job offered to me once I graduate. I will be doing an internship this summer to complete my academics for GSU.

When I am not busy with my 17 hours of classes I am either working downtown at a wedding invitation shop called Doodlebugs, hanging out with my boyfriend and friends, or working out. I also love to read, sew, and run in my spare time.

This blog is going to be used for my practicum class as we learn different skills to better our job searching skills and future in public relations. I am not a professional yet but as the semester progresses my level of confidence for social networking and blogging will improve. Thanks for reading and feel free to leave questions, comments, or concerns!

Psalm 121:8

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Framing can be a Real Problem

Framing is a selective process that the media uses to shape a story into how they want you to see it. This takes place on an everyday occurrence but are you really catching on?

It was not until I took this international public relations course that I fully understood what framing is and how it is used to get the public’s attention to focus on a story and see it in the light that they want it to be seen.

Take for example the popular reality TV show “Jon and Kate Plus 8”. This show ended in a nasty, public divorce where each side tried to frame the story to best represent them. Kate was shown as heartbroken and depressed where Jon was out partying with young women and back in the dating scene. Each of the parent’s publicist shed stories to make their client look like the innocent one in this nasty battle.

Framing takes place in all aspects of life. The government uses framing for political candidates, new policies, and countless other issues. We are so used to this method that we do not even realize that it is taking place.

America is not the only country that faces framing; it is used internationally. It can be used to “clean up” issues to get the popular opinion of the public.

Fox News is another prime example. Fox uses framing to get their target audience to view the political issues the way they do.

There is no getting around framing but you have to be smart enough to catch it. There are always two sides to every story and you are the judge of what you believe. Do not let the media tell you what is right or wrong; make your own decision.

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Agenda Setting in the Media

With the increase in coverage over the health care policies and the uproar of the Swine Flu it is hard to turn on the television, read a paper, or surf the internet without being bombarded with information dealing with these two topics.

 The health care policies and Swine Flu are two hot topics in today’s news and have set the media agenda to discuss the issues. People are worried about catching H1N1 and there is a great deal of debate about how the health care system should run and what Obama should do regarding this issue.

Another issue that is covering all of the different media is the economic status of the United States. The recession and everything that has come along with it has been publicized day in and day out for the past year.

Honestly I am so sick of hearing about these three topics that I do not even pay attention to the news anymore. What is going on in the United States with these three news stories is not all that is taken place but we would not know any different due to the mass coverage.

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Guest Speaker: Mihaela Vorvoreau

Dr. V spoke to our international public relations class on November 17. She was unable to be present for the presentation but we were able to interact with her via Skype. Dr. V is from Romania and is an assistant professor in the college of technology at Perdue. She said that although she is trained in communication she has turned her hobby into a job.

Dr. V spoke to the twenty-five students in Mrs. Andrew’s class about the use of social media around the world. She had a PowerPoint presentation to demonstrate the percentages of users in graph form. Some of the statistics given were:   

  • Asia has the most internet users – 42.6%
  • Europe has the second most users – 24%
  • North America comes in third with 14.6% of the population using the internet

She then discussed what social media is and gave a few examples. Those examples include: Twitter, Facebook, PR Open Mic, You Tube, Flicker, MySpace, etc.

She talked about social media and its uses worldwide. Facebook, blogs, and watching video clips are all common across the world.

The top two networking sites are 1. Facebook and 2. Myspace

Social networking is most popular in the Philippines. Only 43% of the U.S. is involved in social networking (I found this number relatively low).

Another random but interesting fact talked about during the presentation is that South Korea is the country that reads blogs more than any other country in the world while Brazil watches more videos than any other country.

She ended with a very interesting point. She stated that it is often thought that the United States “owns” social media. With the numbers that Dr. V presented it is evident that this statement is false. I was surprised by this; I assumed that the United States would top the charts in every category. I guess this proves that I am a bit ethnocentric.

Overall Dr. V’s presentation was informative and interesting. She was very kind to take time out of her schedule to teach us some of the information she has gathered and for that I am thankful.

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