“Bloom where you are planted,” Elyse Hammett, APR, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, says. “Plant your seed, dig hard, take on every single thing you can from every single direction because the more you dig, the more you bloom. You want to be perennial.” The room full of aspiring public relations professionals is silent as everyone listens to her speak on how to find your path.
This advice comes from a panel of impressive speakers discussing the differences between Nonprofit, Agency, and Corporate career paths at Public Relations Society of America Georgia’s 2018 Braving the New World Annual Conference on March 23.
Conferences offer ways to grow professionally while also being able to connect with likeminded people during an engaging event. I represented my local PRSSA chapter at Braving the New World and would like to share three of the major takeaways from my experience at the conference that benefit both students and professionals interested in public relations and marketing.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Companies are expected to be more than just companies in today’s market. Simply having a good product and supplying it aren’t enough anymore. Businesses need to be engaged with their audience and enact what is known as Corporate Social Responsibility, often abbreviated as CSR.
CSR is a business’ recognition of and implementation of environmental or social wellbeing causes. Research regarding Gen Z and the types of companies, products, and corporations they chose to support points toward a growing preference of social responsibility in business. Young people today are more likely to support businesses who act in part as activists and use their product or wealth to benefit causes outside of themselves.
It is no longer a recommendation but an expectation.
Building Brand Voice on Social Media
How do you brand and advertise your company in an authentic way?
In a world where social media is so prevalent, people are becoming more aware of and are producing negative reactions to advertising and losing trust in corporations. How do you brand yourself or your business in a way that reaches people? Today, businesses are not just competing with other businesses online but with friends, family, and interests consumers hold. They have to find a way to stand out against competing forms of content the average person finds more important or engaging than a typical ad or corporate social media page.
Josh Martin, the senior director of digital and social media for Arby’s, spoke about the importance of being bold and targeting niche communities online. By creating fun, visual content that feels very personal to specific groups of people, your content has a bigger impact on those specific consumers. While not everyone will get the joke or reference you are trying to convey, those that do will feel a more personal connection to your brand which strengthens the voice of that brand across all platforms.
Essentially, businesses should brand themselves as fans of their content, with consistent personalities and voice to stand apart from the standard advertisements people avoid and scroll past on their feeds.
Bloom Where You Are Planted
Public relations and marketing change daily. These fields force professionals to constantly adapt to new trends and information. With this in mind, it is important to take hold of the work you do and cultivate your craft. The best way to get better at something is to do it over and over again. PR and marketing are no different.
Focus on blooming year round in everything that you do. Maybe that means taking on a new client in an area you aren’t exactly familiar with or taking a fresh take on the work you do for current clients.
Whatever it is, bloom where you are planted. Be perennial.
Chloe Taylor is one of FACTEUR's Spring 2018 interns. She is a junior studying Public Relations and Mass Media at Valdosta State University, where she's also an executive board member of its PRSSA chapter.