As a director of communications for a real estate brokerage, a lot of my "clients" (our real estate brokers) ask me for social media advice.
The hot topic right now is Instagram.
Everyone knows that Kylie Jenner is making a killing endorsing beauty products there, and brands are quickly ditching their Snapchat accounts for the newest Instagram Stories updates.
Still, there remains a lot of mystery around how to use Instagram for business.
If you are just getting started on Instagram or thinking about how to retool your Instagram strategy, here are the first three things you need to do.
I belong to several closed Facebook groups for marketing and public relations professionals to discuss business, trends and the state of the industry overall.
One of the most common topics I have seen lately is concern over whether or not public relations jobs are going to be sustainable as local news struggles and we have fewer outlets to pitch.
In my opinion, lack of outlets to pitch our clients and companies is the least of our problems if the news industry can't sustain itself, but that is a tangent for another day.
Beyond that though, public relations is about so much more than our relationships with media. It's not about pitching our clients to the same five reporters every month so that we can prove we earned that monthly retainer.
Being a public relations professional means you should possess, superb writing skills, clear and articulate communications skills and the ability to constantly find new and creative ways to promote your clients, brands or businesses.
In fact, it's a huge red flag if all a client cares about is how many media contacts you have.
Our jobs are about so much more than pitching media -- so why are we so afraid for them when media changes?
About seven or eight years ago I was having drinks with two friends, both of whom had blogs.
One commented that even though she was blogging for fun, as a reality TV junkie she had secretly always dreamed of being famous.
In response, our other friend hid under the couch.
I took the middle ground stance.
Although I don't have Hollywood aspirations, I do want to be well-regarded in my industry and respected for my talent and expertise.
As it happens, my talent and expertise is in branding, communications and public relations -- helping business owners define and present their brands to specific audiences.
Although PR alone will never make you famous, all of us have numerous tools at our finger tips to build and shape a personal brand in any industry.
Whether your career is full-time in the corporate world, you have a side hustle, or you're bootstrapping a small business, the first step to establishing and building a solid brand for yourself is to find your target audience.
If you own a small business or manage the communications for a brand, it's entirely likely that you've received a negative review.
One of the most common "crisis" issues that arises in the real estate world is when an unhappy client leaves a negative review.
In real estate, where the competition is deep and challenging, reviews and referrals are everything. Even one review can jeopardize someone's ability to get that next client.
Now, with that said, I feel like I also have to say this: some people are impossible to please no matter what you do and others are just plain unreasonable. Some people will never b satisfied whether you respond to the review or move mountains to correct whatever problem occurred.
When the real estate agents that I work with come to me with concern over a negative review, I almost always tell them to see it as an opportunity. Responding to a negative online review tells the public a lot about how you run your business.
Thoughts on new and traditional media, current events, life in Chicago and the occasional small Chihuahua photo.