Bye, #sisson3280

A lot of my friends were so confused when I was tweeting six times a week the #sisson3280 attached to every tweet. The hashtag was my class hashtag for my public relations and social media class. Here are a few things I learned: 

  • Blogging takes effort and planning. It isn’t easy to throw together a blog last minute every week. I have a new found respect for bloggers and their discipline. 
  • I love Twitter!!! I used to never get on Twitter. This class showed me all the awesome things about Twitter and created a new found love for me and the platform. 
  • Social media is work and effort. A lot of people tack on “social media management” to job descriptions for communications jobs. Social media in itself, is a job. Managing all of the various platforms takes a lot of time and work ethic and it deserves to be appreciated as such. 
  • Snapchat, Snapchat, Snapchat. There is so much you can do with Snapchat! My teacher alone created office hours and a scanvenger hunt through Snapchat. The options are endless and they can be integrated into a business plan. 
  • You have to be able to measure EVERYTHING. What good is a post if you don’t know how beneficial it is? Or if you are even reaching your target audience? Take the time to learn metrics and analytics. 
  • If you work in social media, Hootsuite is your friend. Hootsuite is there for the purpose of making your life easier. Use it. 

I had an AMAZING semester with Dr. Sisson, as usual. I learned a lot about social media, time management and strategy. This class was the foundation to an extensive learning process about social media alone. 

Learning outside the classroom

There is a lot of learning to be done outside of the classroom. I know we go to a university or college to get a degree that is supposed to prepare us for the “real world,” but learning outside of the classroom is essential to our education. 

Just this week we saw two different PR crises that happened OUTSIDE OF A CLASSROOM. Governor Bentley resigning from office because of a love affair gone wrong and United Airlines dragging a customer off of a plane. 

Governor Bentley- What did we learn? 

  • It is important to own up to your mistakes. Governor Bentley repeatedly and consistently denied allegations that he was “seeing” a staffer of his. With the denial, people only wanted to dig further. This escalated to criminal charges and a governor resigning from his post. 
  • Do not underestimate the power of journalism. There is a reason they are considered the “fourth branch” of the government. A journalist from The Birmingham News was the first to break and pursue this story about the governor. The journalist did his role in “exposing” what was happening in our society. 
  • Do not assume you are untouchable. With any leadership comes power, be careful to stay humble and understand that you to fall under the laws of the United States of America and Alabama. Everyone is to be held accountable to the law, even a governor. 

United Airlines- What did we learn?  

  • Americans expect a reasonable apology and will not back down until they get one. The CEO of United Airlines had to release multiple statements until the American people were finally pleased. America would not back down until United took fault for the incident that happened on their airline. 
  • Going viral is such a real thing. In the age of technology and “instant media,” it is hard to believe that people don’t realize what they do can instantly be shared to hundreds and millions of people. Always be weary of what actions you are taking because there are citizen journalists all around you. 
  • PR battles aren’t a one-night nightmare. This battle with United and the customer that was forcefully taken off of a plane is far from over. This is now a lawsuit, stock market and public opinion issue. A lot of United’s customer base has lost faith in them and this will take a long time to restore that relationship. 

Classroom knowledge is great and while we discuss a lot of these issues in class it is important that I take note what is happening in the public relations hemispheres. When these situations arise, it is too late for teachers to implement them into their curriculum so it is my duty, as a lifelong learner, to analyze these communications and public relations nightmares. Let us all remember, history repeats itself. Don’t be silly enough to make the same mistakes of those before you. 
Some links on the issues!!

Personal Pro & Con list for Snapchat

I love Snapchat. I have been a member of the Snapchat community since 2012. It has changed a lot since 2012 but it is still a staple in my book. Here’s why….

  1. It changed how we communicate. Instead of always sending a text where tone can be misconstrued, you can put a face to a message through Snapchat. 
  2. It is just plain fun. The concept of sending an “ugly” face and it going away after a few seconds is light hearted. It’s a great platform to make people laugh. 
  3. The ads on Snapchat aren’t entirely obnoxious. Snapchat does a great job of only publishing decent ads. Although ads aren’t fun, I would choose Snapchat’s over any other platform. 
  4. The geofilters are great for marketing and branding. The amount of Snapchats sent a day is astronomical. Think about how many engagements that it is in a day if your brand is being sent along with those snaps.
  5. Snapchat stories are a great way to engage your consumers. Stories can be used for your organization’s story telling. 
  6. The published stories are great. They are so entertaining and can be 


  1. Although it is a staple, there is a shift away from it. In my personal life, I have seen a drastic transition into Instagram stories rather than Snapchat. Instagram pictures have more quality and can be more interactive with users. 
  2. You can’t specifically tag a person or website in a story. There is the “see more” function but that isn’t an option for everyday users. 
  3. It can be a time consuming message. Even though selfies in public have become way more acceptable, there is still a stigma of taking a picture of yourself while around others. 
  4. Personally, I feel like Snapchat could do better of switching out the geofilters more often. There is a great variety but I feel like they could do more. 
  5. It is difficult for local, smaller businesses to engage. I love Snapchat and I love the brands I follow. However, I have noticed that smaller brands are difficult to launch on Snapchat. There isn’t enough content curation available to stay a staple on the platform. 

Snapchat is the best and it’s not going anywhere, especially not in my life. Every platform has their limits and these were just a few of my thoughts on Snapchat. 

Social Media & The News 

Raise your hand if you get your news from social media? 🙋🏼

Raise your hand if you get your news from TV? *crickets* 

Social media has changed the game from 24-hour news cycle on television to 24-hour cycle on social media. 

Personally, I don’t have cable so all of my news has to come from a different source. Currently, Twitter is my “go to” for all of my news intake. My mom, born in the baby boomer era, gets all of her news from Facebook. Hopefully, with the fake news battle, she’s being properly informed. 

It’s interesting to see how social media, once used to only engage with friends, is now a place to engage, learn and be informed. Social media is a reflection of the beginnings of America. Social media is the blending of ideologies and opinions. This directly affects the news because instead of dinner talk about politics it’s constant status updating about politics. 

Social media has made it easier than ever to express your opinion on a platform for hundreds to see. The problem is that some people think Facebook is a direct reflection on how America feels about a certain issue. This is not always the case. This is also why we still conduct research and poll people in the PR industry rather than just reading peoples’ statuses. 

Social media has become a one-stop shop for reading the news, engaging with friends and expressing opinions. Social media has transformed communications, broadcast television and interpersonal communication. I can only imagine what new social media 2017 will bring. 

Social Media & Politics

shutterstock_212116750-e1479401971146.jpgWith politics encompassing our social media feeds, it is almost impossible to stay unengaged. However, there are some rules to follow when discussing politics on social media… here are a few:


1- Be respectful- America was founded because of a difference in beliefs in individuals. It is important to be respectful and tolerant of others’ views. Fostering a discussion of beliefs is invited but engaging in an argument won’t benefit anyone. When scrolling through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, let your peers know that you are happy they are exercising their freedom of speech rather than the fact you disagree with them.

2- Fact-checking your sources- Facebook is working to reduce “fake news” but in a world of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” it is important to research the information you read and where it comes from. In order to have an educated conversation, you can’t just read the headlines you see on your feed, you have to check the source and what they are saying. Sometimes it is difficult to find the entire truth, but researching as much as you can is doing your part in spreading the #truth.

3- Exercise your right- Freedom of speech is a right. Rights are to be used, or you might lose them. By allowing for insights and discussions on social media, you are allowing yourself, followers and friends to exercise their rights. It is important to remember that your friends may or may not enjoy reading political updates on their feeds. While it is still your creative outlet, you can take note of what your followers do and do not enjoy. It is also important to remember that while exercising your freedom of speech is great, it is also important to VOTE when it comes time!

#TwitterChats You Should Follow

Until recently in my PR & Social Media class, I would have never though to look at chats on twitter for advice. Now that I am in this class, I am agreeing that Twitter chats are great and I think you will agree with me after looking at these awesome chats.


#bufferchat– This chat is great for all aspects of your career life. They offer creative thinking in social media, productivity, and even personal branding. Buffer also posts a weekly summary of what they discussed in that week’s chat. You can also follow the Buffer account here. The twitter chat takes place every Wednesday at 12 p.m.

#brandchat is hosted on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. #brandchat includes more about marketing but also offers great advice for public relations professionals as well. Public relations encompasses more than just tradition PR so marketing tips can be taken into consideration as well. The chat is hosted by Maria Duron (@MariaDuron).

#MeasurePR is a chat hosted monthly. You can find the date of each month’s chat, here. #MeasurePR is a chat hosted to discuss the most effective means of measuring your public relations efforts. Stakeholders want to know their efforts are being effective and showing data through measurements shows them that. Shonali Burk (@Shonali) is the moderator for this great chat.

Thinkbelle said #PRstudchat was the best chat to follow for graduating PR students. The chat offers monthly insight to current and future leaders. Deirdre Breakenridge (@dbreakenridge) and Valerie Simon (valeriesimon) host the chat. The team invites knowledgable PR professionals for Q&A sessions. There is also a weekly summary of the chats in case you miss out on it in the live feed.

Kellye Crane (@kellyeCrane) founded #SoloPR. The chat discusses trends and also an in-depth Q&A for solo professionals and free lancers. The chat takes place 12 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month.

There are dozens of other great chats. These are just a starting place! Don’t forget Twitter can be just as great of a resource as Google.


Why you need to sign up for Hootsuite

After recently completing my Hootsuite platform certification, I  can attest that you needed to create a Hootsuite account like yesterday.

————>sign up here<————

Hootsuite is a one-stop shop for all of your social media and engagement needs. Here is why——->

The dashboard available to you in Hootsuite is incredible and makes engagement across all platforms incredibly easy. Hootsuite is easy to use and navigate. Along with easy navigation, it also has many free courses to teach you how to use it.

Hootsuite also offers in-house analytics. Some of the data is updated in real-time and offers in-depth visuals that explain the data recorded. Hootsuite Analytics also make it easy to show ROI for your stakeholders.

Hootsuite allows you to post on multiple platforms at once, schedule posts and much much more. Hootsuite Publishing allows you to create a content calendar and then schedule your posts for the entire month and more.

As a public relations major, this was one of the most interesting tools for me to learn about during my certification. Hootsuite allows for creating, managing and analyzing a campaign all in one place. Hootsuite can provide resources for all of your campaign needs.

Employees are often an overlooked network. Hootsuite Amplify puts approved company content in one spot so your employees can share and post about the company as well. By having your employees share your message as well, you can expand your audience in tenfolds.

Use Hootsuite on the go with their mobile app. You can post, edit posts and look at settings all on your phone. The mobile app allows for engagement anywhere and everywhere. With all of Hootsuite’s advanced features and mobile app it’s possible to never miss an engagement opportunity again!


Check out the infographic I made about Hootsuite!! ——->

Hootsuire Infographic.png


How you can make money through social media

Some people think of social media as a place to share pictures with their friends or their latest travel trip but some people think of social media as their means of making money.

Blogging– A lot of people blog for pleasure and relief but some people blog to make money. The first step in starting to make money for blogging is to start a blog. Next we you need to find a niche and increase traffic so that a lot of people view your blog. Once you have done both of those things you need to try to convert your readers into subscribers. You will then need to send those subscribers products that you endorse and you think your viewers will love. Then you just have to hope your viewers and readers trust you and they buy the products! You will make money based off the sales.

Vlogging- There are multiple ways to make money using Youtube. After you have your account you can enable your account on Google AdSense so that Google can put ads on your videos at no cost to you. Whenever a viewer engages with that ad, you receive money. You can also get sponsored by brands and brand yourself and sell your own merchandise.

Paid to travel– Most people get recognized by their Instagram or blogs and then they get recruited to travel to hotels and resorts to review their place. There is a lot expected of travelers because they have to test every feature of a resort. Some people aren’t even exactly “paid” in monetary value but get benefits of using a resort for free. There is a lot of value added by getting to travel around the world. You can also get sponsored to use certain equipment while traveling and then encourage your viewers to buy the product. You have to do a lot of posting and have a lot of recognition to be able to do this.

Endorsement- One of the easiest ways to make money is to reach out to companies and see if they will let you promote their product. You have to have a good following on multiple social media outlets for people to promote their product. A lot of companies will give you a specific code that is unique to you and when a consumer types in that code, you will receive commission. I, myself, am about to try to seek out some endorsements so I will let you know how it goes!

A social media boutique- This is a newer trend that I have seen a lot of my friends do. They have created a large following on Instagram and then they create a second page with a boutique. I also have a friend who created a strong fashion blog and is now about to start her own store. People spend all their time on social media so why not shop on their as well?

There are many ways to make money on social media! Why not not make money off of what you enjoy posting on anyways?


Social media tips that also apply to personal accounts

People think that building a reputation on Instagram is only for bloggers, businesses and promotion models, but it’s not! Check out these ideas that also apply to personal social media accounts:

Content calendar: Every week I have a blog post due and every week I struggle to think of something to write about. If I would brainstorm at the beginning of them month then I wouldn’t struggle to think of topics on a weekly basis. A content calendar doesn’t have to be a rule book, but more of a guide. I or anyone else can deviate from the calendar if they so choose. A content calendar saves me time in the long run and allows my work to be published on a consistent basis for readers.

Branding: Branding is also important in your personal life because then your viewers know what to expect from you. I know that with my Instagram account, some pictures get a significantly more amount of likes than others. There are a bunch of factors that account for likes but I can look and see that my viewers liked one type of content on my page more than others. This leads to my second concept….

Analytics: Analytics do not only apply to businesses and organizations, they can be used on a personal level as well. Who doesn’t want to be InstaFamous? By using analytics, you can boost your knowledge about your followers and appeal to what they want more. Analytics will tell you things like when to post, what to post and who is engaging with you on social media.

Different content for different platforms: Even on a personal level, you should strive to alter your branding key messages across various platforms. A unspoken rule of Instagram is that you shouldn’t post multiple photos back to back to back. However, you can post as many photos as you want on Facebook. It is important to be aware of what is socially acceptable or not across all social media platforms.

Reputation: Maybe the most important thing to remember is that your reputation is important to brands and people looking to hire you just like a brand’s reputation is important to consumers. Potential hiring companies, parents and friends are always checking up on people on social media and you have a responsibility to post wisely just like companies do. The great thing about social media is that it is a voice to a larger market, use that voice wisely and use the voice to your advantage.

Resources for Social Media

Resources for managing and posting on your social media!


Managing You Social Media Accounts

  1. Hootsuite is a tool that allows you to manage all of your different social media accounts in one place. The organization offers many different plans but you can get so much with the free one, which is great for a smaller organization or an individual! With the free plan you get up to three profiles to manage, basic analytics, content scheduling, free social media courses and much more! Personally, I just started using Hootsuite this year and I am already obsessed with it. You can do so much with the tool and it is very user friendly.
  2. Tweetdeck is much like Hootsuite, it is a site to manage your social media accounts. You can monitor multiple accounts, schedule tweets, turn on alerts/ reminders and also customize your theme.
  3. Iconosquare  is a great tool for analyzing your Instagram content. I used the 2 week free trial and loved the program. It is all of your statistics for Instagram in one place.
  4. is a great program for condensing links to save your tweet character count and clean up those posts!


Posting on your Social Media Account

  1. VSCO is a lot like Instagram but it doesn’t allow you to “like” each others posts. The cool thing about VSCO is it has amazing editing features. The options range from crisp to an old school vibe.
  2. Instagram is known for posting pictures but it also has wonderful features for editing. Instagram has many different filters and other features you can use without ever even having to post a photo.
  3. Phonto is one of a more recent tool that I discovered. Phonto allows you to add texts and images over other photos. It is great when you are trying to promote an opportunity or event. Visuals are always great for any posts!
  4. Whitagram is very useful when you can’t fit an entire photo in a post. Whitagram adds a white border to “zoom” out your picture so you can fit an entire picture in your post.
  5. Best Time/ WhenToPost are two different apps and not websites, but they essentially do the same thing. They show you best time to post an Instagram to increase your chances of getting max likes. I’ve really enjoyed using these apps to boost my social media presence and also learn more about social media analytics.


BONUS: Followers + is an app that allows you to see who has unfollowed your Instagram and Twitter accounts. It also gives you the opportunity unfollow and follow multiple accounts at once.