Tweet Tweet

Twitter is one of the most commonly used forms of social media. According to DMR, the estimated total number of Twitter registered users is 1.3 billion, and the number of people who actually use Twitter is around 320 million. Twitter is a great tool that businesses can leverage in order to get their name and ideas out to consumers in a concise, yet effective way.

This semester, our Public Relations Writing course spent the semester tweeting about various public relations and Marquette related topics, in order to establish our professional “digital footprints” and our own brand. At the beginning of this process, I followed several public relations and Marquette Twitter accounts, such as MarquetteU, MUTribune, mashable, PRDaily, mediapost, Adage, PRSA and problogger. After I did this, I noticed several public relations professionals starting to notice me and my posts. Many of them even followed me. That put me well on my way for my future professional career in public relations, so I thought this process was very professional.

I have always believed that social media is very effective when it comes to public relations. Public Relations is defined as “the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person”. Social media is a great, free way for companies to put out their content in unique, engaging ways that will reach consumers. Twitter also gives consumers a chance to engage with companies, which can be extremely valuable.

Social media is an excellent way for companies to reach consumers, because so many people use it. It will be interesting to see how companies continue to use Twitter and other forms of social media in the upcoming years.



The Social Media Debate

Social media use in the workplace and in the classroom has become a very hot topic in recent years with the rise of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These social media sites have become engrained in society today, and most people do not go a full day without visiting some sort of social media. Whether it be in the workplace or the classroom, there has been much talk and controversy over what is appropriate use in regards to employees and students.

There are many ethical and legal implications that come along with media use in the workplace and the classroom. When it comes to ethical issues in the classroom, there are many things to consider. Social media tends to be a distraction for any who use it, especially in the classroom. If a student is on social media, they are not listening to the professor and the class to his or her greatest ability. Social media can hinder the overall learning experience, in other words. Because of this, many professors attempt to make strides to prevent this by putting a no cell phone or social media clause in their syllabi. Further, if these professors see a student using social media or a phone, they often say something to stop the behavior. On the other side of the spectrum, however, it can be argued that students have the right to go on social media if they please, because they have the right to make their own decisions about their lives. There are less legal implications that come along with social media use in the classroom, but there can be issues if a professor takes away a student’s cell phone or computer because of social media use. Students may be able to take legal action against something like that.

When it comes to the workplace, there are numerous ethical and legal implications of social media use in the workplace. When at work, it can be argued that social media is distracting to employees, which makes them less focused and productive at work. Many companies argue that they do not want to pay their employees for looking at their social media when they should be doing their job while at work. Others argue that it should be okay for employees to check their social media as long as they are getting done what they need to get done. When it comes to legal implications, many things can happen. Some companies may find social media use a terminable offense, and that can cause issues for both the employer and the employee.

In my opinion, I think that employees should be able to use company time on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter if it is not hindering their work. For example, employees should definitely be able to use these sites while on a break, such as lunch. Also, employees sometimes need a few minutes to take a break from their work in order to get back to their full potential as well, and social media sites can be a good way of doing this.

After reading some of the social media policies from various companies, it became clear to me that most of these policies are in place in order to give employees guidance and voice, but also making sure their expectations are understood. For example, Adidas tries to make it clear that employees can use social media, but they make it clear that it is their own responsibility to keep it appropriate and in line with their employer’s values.

Instagram that, please!



Instagram is quickly becoming the most popular free photo sharing and social media platform. It allows members to upload, edit and share photos with other members through Instagram, but also through email and other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Instagram has editing features that include digital filters, rotations and borders. This trend of Instagram is very interesting to me. It was the first photo sharing site that truly blew up quickly, and it’s still continuing to grow today. Forrester Research even found that Instagram generates 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter, which is very intriguing to me.

Instagram is personally my favorite of all of the social media sites. I love being able to look at my friends’ and family’s Instagram posts, as well as see the posts of my favorite celebrities, such as Ashton Kutcher, John Stamos and Reese Witherspoon. It makes me feel like a part of their lives, because I am seeing pictures of things they are doing as opposed to just seeing the words on a platform like Facebook. In my opinion, pictures are much more personal and interesting than just words. I think the quote “A picture’s worth a thousand words” speaks volumes in the success of Instagram.

Organizations can benefit from Instagram in multiple ways. First, Instagram for Business can provide ways for businesses to connect with their customers. They can listen to customer feedback through comments and make relationships with their audiences these businesses want to reach. Possible ways this can happen is that businesses, depending on what they are selling, can post a picture of a new product or service, and get feedback online. They can also engage customers in this way as well.

Instagram also provides businesses a way to learn about what kinds of things their customers like, so they can use that information to their advantage. Additionally, Instagram gives businesses a relatively easy way to gain more customers. They can use hashtags to attract different people to their page. Finally, businesses can generate sales by using Instagram. When customers actually see the picture of what they are being sold, there is a much higher chance of audiences remembering that product or services and buying it in the future.

Overall, Instagram is an excellent PR, marketing and communication tool that offers businesses a chance to attract more customers and engage with their current ones. Instagram is popular for a reason, people like to see pictures. It would be wise for businesses to jump on this opportunity!


Tami Kou of Aurora Sinai Visits Marquette


In my Public Relations Writing course at Marquette University, our professor occasionally brings in guest speakers that help us students see how what we learn is applied in the workplace. This week, Tami Kou, the Director of Public Affairs at Aurora Sinai Health Care System came to speak with us about Public Relations and what she does on a day-to-day basis. I found everything she spoke about very informational and necessary to know for my future career. It is always helpful to speak with people who are actually out there doing what I hope to do one day in order to gain more understanding and excitement about Public Relations as a whole.

Tami is in Public Affairs, and she said that this is more of an overarching title than Public Relations by itself, and deals more with reputation management, which means that her job consists of trying to make Aurora Sinai look good in the eyes of the their stakeholders, which could be anyone from potential customers, to the government, members of the community, potential caregivers, donors, volunteers and the media. I find this information very helpful, because I further understand what kind of stakeholders are interested in companies like Aurora.

Tami then talked about her top three duties in her job: working with the media, working with the government/community, and handling crisis/sensitive issues. When she talked about working with the media, I was especially intrigued by her descriptions of defining what is “newsworthy”. She laid out seven elements: new, unusual, timely, significant, conflict, controversy and human interest, and she explained how these come together to make news “newsworthy”. Something else I found especially interesting was her tidbit on reporters, and how they meet twice a day, early in the morning and again in the afternoon. This information is very good to know for if I am a Public Relations Practitioner and want to send information to the media, then I know when to send it.

The next duty she spoke about was working with the government and the community, in which she mainly spoke about how important it is to maintain good will with key stakeholders. She said a good question to ask yourself is “What messages do I have to get out and who do I want to connect with?” I think I will find this very helpful for my future in the Communications realm.

Finally was her last duty of handling crisis and sensitive issues. She said that her main job is to safeguard Aurora’s reputation, and to minimize the impact of negative situations that occur. In order to do this, it is important to collect all of the information as if you were a reporter and have a statement ready to go to quickly respond to the media if necessary.

I learned a lot from Tami Kou’s visit to my Public Relations Writing class, and I think I will be able to use a lot of the information she spoke about in my future career!