Know Better, Book Better and Go Make a Difference

Again, I return from a long blog hiatus, and I’m proud to say that I have officially completed my graduate degree. Now I’m happy to share some of the work that’s kept me busy these past few months. For my last class, I stepped into the shoes of a corporate communications leader. From financial communications to corporate social responsibility (CSR), corporate governance and issues management, we covered a lot of ground.

Given the broad applicability of these lessons, we began each class discussing the latest business news and also took turns posting more in-depth analyses to the DePaul Corp Comm Class Blog. I’ve included my analysis regarding TripAdvisor’s announcement of a new booking policy and education portal below. I believe their policy approach and launch communications hold valuable lessons for those involved in CSR strategy and communications planning.

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5 Steps to Brand & Align Your Professional Digital Footprint

Many organizations are exploring the uses of social media to connect with their customers in new and more personal ways. These opportunities also extend to individuals seeking thought leader, entrepreneur or simply tech-savvy status. This is especially important for those who work in the digital communications field, but also for leadership looking to take a more proactive role in brand interaction. A great example in the higher education community is University of Cincinnati’s President Santa J. Ono.

While his background is in medicine, Ono is regarded as a social media trailblazer for making himself completely accessible to UC stakeholders. He actively tweets, posts and engages with students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and fans. His success on social media demonstrates the power of digital platforms to foster strong and lasting connections with your community.

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Here’s to Strong Women

May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

Dad

When I was growing up, my dad constantly told me I could be the president of the United States. I always thought that was silly because I did not have a particular passion to be our nation’s leader. But it’s important to acknowledge that this encouragement left a greater impression. It was my dad’s way of telling me I could do and be anything I wanted. I had the power to make it happen, and I hold the potential to make a difference in the world.

Reviewing all of the coverage for International Women’s Day reminds me that not every girl receives such encouragement by those around them. Thank you, dad, for instilling me with the confidence to pursue my passions and to reach my potential. I will do my best to support all the women in my life to do the same. #Pledgeforparity

2015 Adobe MAX Recap – Part 2

Adobe MAX stage

Allow me to set the scene with the Adobe MAX stage that was always adorned with art from many creatives.

In my last post recapping the 2015 Adobe Max Conference, I provided personal reflection prompts to encourage exploring your creativity goals and hang ups. While I found these sessions and the resulting guidance to be extremely valuable, the Adobe MAX Conference wasn’t all creative soul searching. Let’s shift to brass tacks with some concrete professional recommendations around storytelling.

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2015 Adobe MAX Recap – Part 1

Adobe Max design wall

Post-conference Haleigh does not approve of pre-conference Haleigh’s creative doubts.

I recently attended the 2015 Adobe Max Conference where creative brains from around the globe gathered to learn about the latest Adobe Creative Suite updates and the different ways to leverage these tools to create works of art, from photographs to illustrations and videos. As a communications professional and aspiring creative services manager, I attended the conference to hear the latest trends in visual communications and to learn some new techniques for eliminating pesky creativity barriers. I got all that and much more.

It was an action-packed three days at the Los Angeles Convention Center so I’m going to divide my top takeaways into two separate categories and blog posts. Those looking for personal reflection prompts to unleash creativity, you’re in the right place. Practical professional recommendation folks, stay tuned.

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Tips for Incorporating Multimedia Content

panelists

Chicago’s PRSA Young Professionals Network hosts panel on multimedia content.

Last week, I attended a panel presentation put on by Chicago’s PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) Young Professionals Network. The panel’s title, “Storytelling through Multimedia Content,” immediately caught my attention. Whether you’re agency or in-house, all public relations and communications professionals share the expectation to deliver fresh and relevant multimedia content to engage consumers in new ways. To get diverse perspective on the matter, PRSA consulted four Chicago professionals: Sarah Gitersonke, executive producer at AKA Media Inc.; Prash Sabharwal, digital manager at Golin; Lisa Trafficanta, vice president at Res Publica Group; and Geoffrey Frankel, senior vice president at Edelman.

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Digital Storytelling for Social Change

roberto-morales-digital-story

Roberto Morales’ digital story “Dónde estas…” shows the deep impact of a miscarriage on young parents.

Continuing my exploration of digital storytelling, the medium’s cost-effective production and strong potential for engaging audiences makes it an ideal tool for non-profit groups. Digital storytelling for social change focuses on raising the voices of subordinate groups who are directly affected by social issues but seldom heard in public deliberation. The two to four-minute video format – composed of primarily voice over and still images – serves as a feasible platform for subordinate groups to speak beyond their immediate communities and to contribute to broader public debates by challenging commonsense understandings.

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Digital Storytelling Best Practices

Kaplan-YouTube-success-stories

Kaplan Higher Education shares student motivation and success with YouTube videos.

Today, there is a lot of hype in the communications community around the concept of storytelling as well as the importance of leveraging digital platforms to engage users. Combining these trends, we’re seeing more and more organizations incorporate forms of digital storytelling in social media campaigns as well as larger web strategies. Given my background in higher education, I recently partnered with a fellow DePaul Grad student (s/o to Kelsey Peters) to explore how colleges and universities are using digital storytelling to talk about college experience, success and affordability.

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Creating and Delivering Newsworthy Content

Starbucks-newsroom

Starbucks’ online newsroom delivers engaging story packages that include photos, videos and downloads.

As I close the book on my Public Relations Writing course, I wanted to take a moment to share my key takeaways with my fellow communicators. To put it simply, our job is to create and deliver newsworthy content. While messaging and audiences will vary from role to role, all communications professionals must know how to craft a newsworthy story and how to effectively deliver stories to target audiences. Let’s take a closer look at what this means.

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How to Survive Graduate School While Working

What’s with the disappearing blog act? Well, I learned that it’s difficult juggling grad school, a full-time job and life. To others that are about to embark on this same journey – congratulations! Your future selves will pat you on the back for investing in your career and passions, but first you have to make it through this lifestyle change. The following five steps will help you manage the transition and stay motivated to reach graduation day.

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