A Milestone: Reaching My 1,000th Twitter Follower

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

At last.

Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

As noted in the image above, I finally have arrived in the Twittersphere.  Or, at least I think so.

I reached follower 1,000 earlier today. And, as of this afternoon that number has catapulted to 1,001!

Frankly, this process took much longer than anticipated.  As examined in this August 2015 post, I had attracted more than 700 followers and anticipated a meteoric ascent to four figures.

Well, it only took around eight more months. Now, the quest continues to 2,000 and beyond.

But, kind followers, I’ll need your help to crack the 2,000 follower mark.

What strategies and tactics should I employ to reach that next digital plateau?

Change the image on my profile page? Tweet early and often? Retweet and favor more selected tweets? Follow more people, organizations and companies that are public relations based?  Should I follow the Real Donald Trump?

Your thoughts are most welcomed. I’m confident I’ll land 1,999 new followers by year end. And, that will be no mean tweet.

I’m mean feat.

 

 

 

Quick Career Online Tune Up. When Was the Last Time You Had One?

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Just a few minutes ago, I made a few subtle — but important — edits to my online profile on LinkedIn, perhaps the most “serious” of the big three social media platforms.  Okay, I guess Pinterest has made a case for there being a Number Four.

Here’s what I did:Image

1. I added “association management” to my profile.  Just two words, but noteworthy and accurate because I’ve spent around one-third of my professional career in the association management industry.  For the record, according to the American Society of Association Executives, there are a lot off us out there, and we represent just about every segment of business and society. I just happen to work for an association that represents real estate interests.

2. I posted some information and links on the new Sections feature of LinkedIn. (Here’s how to find it: From your profile, look for this content:

NEW Add sections

Add sections to reflect achievements and experiences on your profile.

There are a few Section options. I added information on my work on the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) and a link to my web page that contains a few published works on public relations and real estate topics.

That’s it.

So why did I augment my digital footprint? Well, it was quick, easy and free. And, it’s kind of reflective of our world today. We need to stay current and keep pace with technology’s seemingly limitless breakthroughs and upgrades. Or, at least we think we do.

During my career I have volunteered on a few other occasions, but I choose to put only my UAB work for now — because it’s the most recent and significant. And, I have published hundreds of works by my byline (Edward M. Bury, not PRDude), but felt it was more prudent to direct viewers to a page with a handful of work.

So, will my “online tune up” yield any tangible, measurable results? You tell me. Visit me now on LinkedIn and let me know. By the way, when was the last time you had one?

Japan & Other Stuff, Random Thoughts on a Friday

By Edward M. Bury, APR, aka the PR Dude

Here are three thoughts on a Friday evening.  The first attempts to put some perspective on a story that has kept the world riveted for a week.  The second poses some questions I’d like answered, but may never learn “who or why.”  The third is just an observation on something that has helped define and shape modern society; and me, too.

Earthquake. Tsunami. Fallout. Since the earthquake and tsunami, then the resulting nuclear reactor meltdowns, ravaged Japan a week ago today, I’ve spent many waking hour trying to put the past seven days into some sort of perspective. Like any sane, rational human being, my heart goes out to the Japanese people. The images of devastation are surreal, awe-inspiring and heartbreaking.  How could an act of nature (or God, based on your beliefs) cause so much destruction so quickly?  How could one of the most advanced, well-prepared nations on earth be virtually powerless to quickly cool down  damaged nuclear reactors?

From an almost simplistic point of view, I wonder what role public relations and communications can do to help Japan and its people.  In January 2010, when the earth shook, left ruin and brought death and misery to a poor nation like Haiti, I wrote a post offering some suggestions on the power behind public relations to bring awareness to Haiti’s tragedy.  I don’t think we need to take that step with what’s taking place in Japan today.

Words and pictures will define the Japan earthquake years and generations from now.  I offer this word: Apocalyptic.  From the thousands of images, still and video, taken these past seven days, this one grabbed me by the lapels:

A rescue worker musters a smile while holding an infant.

It shows hope and humanity.

Japan rebuilt itself into a global powerhouse after the crushing defeat in World War II. It will rebuild again, hopefully better and smarter regarding nuclear energy and coastal development.  If you want to help Japan, follow this link.  As I write this, the nation is being hit with after-shocks registering 5.9.

Those Lurkers on LinkedIn. From the “anonymous LinkedIn user” to “someone at Acme Industries,” I wonder who purposefully reviews my profile on LinkedIn.  For the record, I have a very robust profile, with 383 connections, 30 recommendations and much business and educational content. I’m a member of 18 groups, and I manage two.  The PRDude blog is included in the applications on my profile, and I regularly post updates and questions, and make my thoughts known.

Sometimes, my profile is opened five or six times a day. So, to all who visit the LinkedIn version of Edward M. Bury: What do you want?  Drop me an email.  I just want to know who you are.

It Use to be More Than Just Rock and Roll. This news item caught my eye (and ear, I guess) today: Bob Geldof, he of the Irish band the Boomtown Rats and driving force behind the Live Aid humanitarian music concerts in 1985, issued this manifesto as the keynote speaker at the South By Southwest music/film/technology summit in Austin:

“Rock ‘n’ roll needs to be against something. It can’t just BE,” he said.

Furthermore:  “There will always be great songs that don’t suggest anything other than being a great song. But where are our Ramones or our Pistols today?”

Must say, I agree with Geldof. There’s been some tremendous new music the past several years — at least when talking sharps and flats. But what the heck are any of the true rock and rollers of today singing about?

In the past half-decade, we’ve gone from an economy that seemingly was on an unending upward projection to one of high unemployment, out-of-control government debt and spending and sagging real estate values.  Oh yeah: Polls reveal most Americans aren’t too happy or optimistic about the future.

Who’s writing songs that address these subjects?  (Well, besides U2 sometimes.)  Who’s writing songs that capture these tumultuous times?  Who’s writing songs of anger?  Songs of hope?

Born in the 1950s, I came of age in the 1960s.  Songs from my early years still resonate and inspire emotion today.  Is anyone writing this kind of stuff today?

 

A Little Victory

Yesterday I gained a little victory in my search for that next great public relations position.   I received word — via email — that I was not selected for a senior position for a prominent national company.  The job involved launching public relations and marketing initiatives for an online resource available to consumers.   I knew the industry, and I had all the qualifications, and then some.

How’s this a “victory,” even a little one?

For these reasons:

1.  I was one of the handful of candidates who received a face-to-face interview, and apparently I was a strong candidate. This means I’m in demand in today’s marketplace; just haven’t made the right connection yet.

2. I had less than two days to prepare for the interview. I used that time to analyze the site and identify ways to improve it.  At the interview, I presented the hiring authority with a printed list of suggestions.   He appeared to be impressed.  This gave me an opportunity to demonstrate and sharpen my analytical skills.

3.  During the interview, held on a Saturday afternoon, I was prepared. I had anticipated questions and prepared answers.  A good interview, I’m told, should be a 50-50 give-and-take between candidate and employer. This one met that criteria.  I was relaxed and confident.  (I think I looked pretty good, too, in my navy blue blazer, gray slacks and “sincere” tie.)  To demonstrate my writing skills, I presented a portfolio that showed the depth of my published works and media relations activities.  Every face-to-face interview offers an opportunity to take stock of yourself.  I’ll do even better on the next one.

4. The company is hiring for other communications positions. This one didn’t work out, but perhaps I’ll be considered for another.  The HR recruiter who set up the interview said I would be kept in consideration.

5. And, I reached out via email to the hiring authority, the person who made the decision to select someone else.   The hiring authority promptly responded to my message and even accepted my LinkedIn invitation.  Now, this person and I are connected online.  I’ll remain a presence — and a possible candidate for another position.

Life is full of opportunities to gain, advance and succeed.  In my search, I fail only if I stop trying and stop believing in myself.  This recent little victory only strengthens my belief in my abilities and my value within the marketplace.

Bring on the next challenge.

More Random Thoughts on Public Relations & Life

Periodically, I like to just let the thoughts flow.  This is one of those days.

What’s a Placement Worth These Days?  Don’t Lie to Me.

There’s been some “spirited” discussion on two public relations LinkedIn groups.

One discussion centers on a “formula” for a contractual “pay-for-placement” publicity program.  It was initiated by a practitioner who operates a web-based service that is “the nation’s premier provider of copyright free content.”  The discussion has been going on for 14 days and to date has generated 145 replies, many by the originator and many over the top in terms of tone.  (Don’t these people have anything else to do? Why do they have to use all caps and multiple exclamation points?)  My perspective?  Any communications program built around media placements is “publicity” only and is not a strategic public relations program.  Pay-for- placement as a concept is ludicrous and an assault on the profession because it addresses only one aspect of public relations.  Advertising is pay-for-placement.

The other discussion topic centered on public relations and lying.  It included a brief survey.  This one did not generate nearly as many replies and the exchange was more reserved and scholarly.  Still, I found the general topic distasteful.  Lying violates ethical standards I support.  Even a “white lie” is a lie. It has no business in public relations.  Period.

Vox Populi is Alive and Well.

Those of us who studied Latin know the translation of vox populi:  “Voice of the people.”  Its origins are from Imperial Rome, I gather, but today it’s more akin to a man-on-the-street interview.  But back when the Empire was flourishing, it was a form of mass communication.  Often, news and information was posted in a public place for the citizens to absorb.

While strolling my Avondale/Logan Square neighborhood on this sunny, yet frosty, January day, I noticed several paper signs affixed to utility poles and adorning the windows of our hipster caffeine center, The New Wave Coffee Shop.  The messages promoted apartments for rent, guitar lessons from a local rocker, the January line up at local rock clubs and more.  One that really stood out: An area resident offered round-trip $5 rides for the auto-deprived to the local Trader Joe’s grocery.  (I applaud this person for their industriousness.)

It’s heartening to know that even in this era of Craigslist, social media and message boards, the most basic form of mass communication — a paper sign in a public place — still has believers.

Something Dim Beneath the Dim Job News.

Like all of us job-seekers, I was hoping for better news on the employment front. But Friday, Washington announced the economy shed 85,000 jobs in December.  This comes after relatively encouraging updated news that we added 4,000 jobs in November — a month when we reportedly lost 11,000 positions.

Continued job losses and minimal to no new job creation is disheartening.  What’s perhaps more disheartening is this projection:  More and more people have dropped out of the labor force and stopped looking for work.  In essence, they’ve given up. This is a sad development.

Since my job was eliminated just more than four months ago, I been busier than ever.  My days center on finding another great public relations position and include:

1. Networking, networking and more networking.
2. Taking on project assignments.
3. Learning more about social media and Web 2.0 applications.
4. Meeting colleagues and contacts for coffee.

This is a time of opportunity for me.  It’s a time for me to reinvent myself and be poised to charge ahead and make a difference.  Yes, it’s been tough. We’ve curtailed many expenses, and I haven’t had a real vacation since April.

Yet, I’m thriving. I’m energized. I’m ready for the next challenge in my life and my career.  If you’re listening: Bring it on!  If I can offer any advice or direction, please reply.  I will respond.