A Few Takeaways from the 2017 Texas Tech Pro Day

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My Craziest Idea Yet

About a week before Texas Tech’s Pro Day, I was laying on the couch in my apartment watching TV with my roommate. I was thinking about ideas I could do my projects over for my sports production class, and all of a sudden, a lightbulb went off in my head. What if I went to Texas Tech’s Pro Day and wrote a blog about it? That could count as a project!

I was skeptical about it though, because I knew it was a pretty closed off event. My roommate actually had to talk me into emailing my professor about the idea…good thing she did.

To help me, my awesome professor emailed the associate director for Texas Tech’s football team and suddenly, I was going to Pro Day. Here are a few things that I noticed on March 31.

Meet the Participants

The Pro Day participants included Paul Banks III, Reginald Davis III, Malik Jenkins, Devin Lauderdale, Patrick Mahomes II, Thierry Nguema, Ondre Pipkins, Tyler Scalzi, Luke Stice and Kris Williams.

Pro Day started out in the weight room with the vertical jump, broad jump and bench press, then moved promptly to The Jones where the athletes ran a 40-yard dash, three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle.

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Davis had the best 40-yard dash time with a 4.41, Nguema posted a 4.25 20-yard shuttle time, while Scalzi, Stice and Pipkins impressed in the weight room with their bench reps.

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The Gunslinger Keeps on Impressing

28 of the 32 NFL teams were in attendance for Texas Tech’s Pro Day, including some big names like Ben McAdoo (head coach of the New York Giants) and John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks general manager) – their primary focus being on Mahomes. Mahomes didn’t participate in any of the workouts the other Pro Day athletes did because he wanted to focus on one thing only: throwing.

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Mahomes threw about 80 passes on the day to his former teammates Stice, Lauderdale, Davis and Scalzi. During the last snap of his workout, Mahomes threw an 80-yard Hail Mary pass to the end zone. It seemed to be the most fitting way to end Pro Day, and in the words of Mahomes, “I have a big arm, why not show it off.”

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Tyler Scalzi isn’t Human

Who is Tyler Scalzi? Listed as a fullback on Texas Tech’s Athletic website, Scalzi turned many heads during Pro Day. The walk-on participated in a lot of offensive drills which included running routes and catching a few passes from Mahomes.

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But what was really impressive was his turn out in the weight room. Scalzi had a 32.5-inch vertical, 10-foot-6-inch broad jump and a remarkable 37 reps on the bench press, the most out of all the Red Raider Pro Day participants and more than any of the NFL combine invites. Scalzi may not have been a well-known Tech player like Mahomes, but don’t be surprised if his name gets called at the end of April.

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What to Expect

These players put on a show for the NFL scouts, coaches and general mangers and proved they can compete at the next level. The NFL Draft will be on April 27-29, so be sure to keep an eye out for these players, because they might just get their names called out.

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The final blog (maybe)

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Why Blog?

Before this class started, I always loved to write. From participating in writing competitions to writing just for the hell (sorry, heck) of it, it’s been a pastime that I enjoy as much as reading…and if you know me, the you’d know I love to read!

Blogging is the same thing that I’ve been doing for the past 15 years, except it’s digital. I look at blogging as a way to express my feelings on things in a fun way, while also learning in the process. I didn’t know the mechanics of a blog post until taking my digital PR class.

I think my writing has improved quite a lot in the duration of this class and it will continue to grow as I gain more experience with the blogosphere (I didn’t know this was actually a word until now).

Use Blogging to Your Advantage

Blogging is a great way to not only improve your writing skills and vocabulary, but it also gives you an advantage in the real world. How many people can say they have a blog? Okay, maybe more than you think. But let me rephrase this. How many recent college graduates have a blog they can show their future employers? Probably not many at all.

What sets me and everyone else in the class apart from other college students is the fact that we kept a weekly blog. We continually got better with writing (hopefully) and we have more to add to our good-looking portfolios.

The Final Blog

So, is this the end to my blogging career? The answer is simply no. I may not keep up with it once a week like I should, but I think maintaining an active blog profile will help me in the future.

So thank you, Professor Low. Thank you for teaching us the wrong and right ways to write a blog. Thank you for showing us the ropes of the digital world. Basically, thank you for making us write a blog because it will really set us apart from our competition.

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Let’s say “DMA!”

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What is a Digital Media Audit?

A digital media audit, or DMA, is essential for a company to create at least once a year. A DMA is conducted to tell a company background information on the client, how their client is doing on social media and helps the company plan better ways to establish their brand among its target publics.

Digital media audits can be conducted every six months, once every year or even once a month. You should conduct them as much as possible so you can achieve better results and success in the future with your client. Digital media audits should also be conducted before and after a campaign to maximize your results.

My Experience with Conducting a Digital Media Audit

My digital public relations class has taught me a lot about the digital aspect of the industry. We were given a real client to conduct a digital media audit for and it was a great learning experience for my group and I.

We looked at our client’s social media pages, specifically how many followers they had, how many people interacted with their posts, how many times our client posted on these channels and much, much more. There are so many aspects you have to look at when creating a thorough digital media audit, but looking at all of these factors helps you determine the right way to conduct your DMA.

The Results

Our digital media audit allowed my group and I to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of our client as well as the opportunities and threats they have/face. We were able to determine the goals, objectives, strategies and tactics that our client can do digitally that will allow them to gain more followers and success.

In the End…

If you are a brand who wants to gain more attention and followers on social media, or if you just want to utilize the digital realm in a more efficient way, I recommend you conduct a digital media audit at least once a month. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

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Measuring your reach: It cannot wait

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It Can Wait Movement

While I was taking my PR Strategies class, we had an assignment to create a case study about a campaign of our choice. I chose to conduct my case study on FleishmanHillard’s “It Can Wait” movement for AT&T. This campaign did extremely well, and so many people have heard of the campaign tagline.

FleishmanHillard had a lot of tactics that helped them achieve their goal. From simply handing out car decals to touring across the United States holding informative seminars about the dangers of texting and driving, awareness and activism for this movement spread extremely fast. If you want to find out more about this movement and how FleishmanHillard raised awareness, click here.

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GOST of PR’s Past

I bet you’re wondering what “GOST” stands for, and I’m here to tell you! GOST stands for “goals, objectives, strategies and tactics” and is extremely important to understand in the public relations world.

Before you do anything in the PR, you need to define the goals, objectives, strategies and tactics of your project because this helps you and the company you work for achieve success.

Metrics, Metrics, Metrics

A metric that is used in the digital world is a key performance indicator, or KPI. According to Klipfolio, a KPI “is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.” Companies use KPI’s to also measure their “success at reaching targets.”

For the It Can Wait movement, a KPI for AT&T and FleishmanHillard is how many people supported and pledged to this movement. Their goals were to reduce automobile crashes caused by texting and driving AND incite advocacy to show that texting and driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving.

An objective for the It Can Wait movement could be to gain the awareness of teens and young adults, specifically increasing their awareness by 35 percent within six months.

A tactic AT&T and FleishmanHillard could use in their movement could be to have people who were affected by texting and driving write a blog about their experience, and share it with the world on AT&T’s social media channels.

Did It Work?

A good way to see if the tactic worked is to use NUVI. NUVI allows you to see how many people are talking about your movement, what keywords are being utilized and soooooo much more. It’s a great way for a brand to stay connected online and see if they had any success in achieving their goals and objectives. So, if you’re a brand in need of figuring out the reach and success of your project, use NUVI or any other metric. Thank me later.

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Well, DAM! That is super convenient.

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What’s with the Dam Picture?

Puns. That’s what the title of this blog post is. Of course I’m not using foul language… Pssh, who would do that, especially online? I have a reputation to uphold! 😉

Okay, back to reality. This blog post is intended to educate you as much as me. Sometimes, the digital world can be a bit befuddling, so I am going to try and introduce you to something I came across.

What is DAM?

Digital asset management, or DAM for short. DAM is a solution provider for organizations to store, find, recover and share files digitally. It’s pretty easy to use and serves as a digital library that provides people with controlled access to digital assets. These can include things like images, audio and other documents.

The Benefits of DAM

There are a lot of huge benefits to DAM. There is a Cloud digital asset management, also called Cloud DAM, that provides you with all-access to your digital media. You have 24/7 access to any business critical file from pretty much anywhere you are.

Technically, you could be at a concert or in a Starbucks in another country and are still able to access whatever you want. Online DAM is so easy to access and manage, and is a great way to share or track your digital assets.

DAM is critical to a brand’s image. It helps a brand look and stay consistent because of its single control system for the brand’s digital assets. It also helps the brand maintain a consistent digital strategy.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DAM

Having all of the brand’s digital assets in one easily accessible place is super convenient and every brand should take advantage of this. I mean, people will notice how consistent and awesome your brand is and want to say “DAM!”

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The importance of listening

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Are You A Good Listener?

Growing up, we’ve all had instances where listening was key. Like the time when your parents lectured you about something you did that maybe you shouldn’t have, when a friend was going through a rough time and you needed to be there for them or even when your favorite musician released a new album.

Being able to listen is such an important skill to have, but not just as an individual person.

Brands and Companies

Listening is an important factor when it comes to brands and companies. They must be transparent and listen to everything their audience is saying about them. If a person wants the brand to change something, then that brand should be open and considerate of it, even if it is only one person saying it. If someone is saying bad things about the brand, then they definitely shouldn’t ignore it, either. Word of mouth about a brand can spread like wildfire, so one should manage that as soon as possible.

Brands and companies need to be transparent and develop great listening skills. These skills could grow or diminish a brand or company’s reputation, so it is something they should never take lightly.

Do People Engage With You?

Another important factor to consider as a brand or company is how much the audience engages with you. It is a good thing for you when people start engaging with your brand. This means your brand or company is having an impact on people and it means that you are doing something right.

Listen AND Engage

Listening and engagement – these are two things brands need to keep in mind as they are trying to manage their online reputation. Are people saying good things about your brand? Bad things? Do people like your tweets? Or hate them?

These can make or break a brand unless you actively listen and engage with your audience. So let me ask you one question after reading this: Will it make or break you?

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What would a PR strategist do?

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WWAPRSD?

One of my favorite classes I have ever taken at Texas Tech was an online class during the second summer session – PR Strategies. Usually, online classes are my least favorite because I am such a visual learner and need to actually go to class just so I can understand the course material better.

However, this online class was one of my favorites because it 1.) was easy to understand and 2.) the professor was AWESOME. I was able to take in the information I learned like a sponge, and I continue to use what I was taught in other PR classes.

The Strategist

I learned a lot from my PR Strategies class, and here are some important things you should know too:

Issues vs. Risk vs. Crisis Management

These are three important things you need to know and be able to do in PR. Simply put:

Issues management happens when PR professionals anticipate and prepare for any issues that may appear.

Risk management is when the PR professionals identify, control and minimize the impact of uncertain events on an organization.

Crisis management happens when the PR professionals have to deal with issues that were out of control.

Prepare. Prevent. Identify. Control. Manage.

Live by this.

What is Your Position?

A positioning statement is something an organization needs to use so they can set themselves apart from other organizations. It is how they want to be seen by the publics and organizations should keep this in mind when writing them.

Writing a Goal

A goal is a broad statement that outlines what the organization wants to accomplish. It is like an umbrella – you should be able to fit everything you want your organization to accomplish while also keeping it short and to the point.

The Difference Between Objectives, Strategies and Tactics

In my opinion, these make up the Holy Trinity of PR Strategies.

An objective needs to be goal rooted, public focused, attainable, time definite and, most importantly, measurable. It should measure the awareness, acceptance and action of the target publics.

A strategy defines how an organization wants to engage its publics and can be proactive or reactive.

A tactic is the visible element of a strategic plan.

They may sound super simple, but they are so important when creating a strategic plan for an organization.

Proactive Strategies

A proactive strategy is what an organization should use when they want to engage its target publics. Examples of a proactive strategy include sponsorships, strategic philanthropy and special events.

Reactive Strategies

A reactive strategy is what an organization doesn’t want to use. It is usually used when an organization need to respond to an issue or crisis. Examples of this includes a prebuttal (when an organization releases bad news about itself) and attacks.

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The Importance of Strategy

Strategy is the key backbone to any PR plan, and an organization needs to make sure they understand these five important aspects of it because it could help them immensely.