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There were things old and new during the sold-out 2017 Social Shake-Up Show’s opening general session today (May 23) in Atlanta. The new started right away, as six members of the Alpha Rho step dancers of Morehouse College literally kicked off the show with a rousing performance. And then Shonduras took over the stage.

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The early bird gets the worm. That certainly applied to the pre-Social Shake-Up workshops, which featured plenty of personalized instruction on topics ranging from customer journey mapping, SEO and building online communities. The Social Shake-Up, which begins in earnest May 23, is sold out, yet the pre-show workshops were intimate and filled with important takeaways or shakeaways, perhaps.

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As PR pros working in an age when even the term ‘new media’ feels old and social apps appear and disappear like stairwells at Hogwarts, we can’t simply sit back and watch earned opportunities slip away. We must evolve and expand by mining new communications platforms for the earned potential that lies within them. Since media companies have adopted social channels as a viable distribution method for their content, shouldn’t PR pros be working harder to earn coverage for clients from media…on social media?

Confidence

In part, pitching the media is a confidence game. For that reason and several others, it’s critical to keep your confidence level high when pitching, pitching guru Michael Smart argues. While Smart understands why journalists blast PR pros at online sites, he urges pitchers avoid those sites lest they lose their confidence and abandon techniques that have worked and will continue to be successful.

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Several situations last week prompted us to think about how brands respond (or don’t) to situations that could become crises. Ken Peterson, communications director of Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Bell Helicopter CCO Robert Hastings urge brands to include an evaluation process in their emergency plans to determine whether or not a situation is a crisis. This evaluation process should include monitoring social conversations and news coverage. That’s step 1 at the Aquarium, Peterson says. Step 2 is an initial assessment to “ramp up or stand down.”

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The Week in PR

May 22nd, 2017 by

Our weekly roundup of news, trends and personnel moves in PR and communications. This week AMEC vows to put AVEs to rest for good, President Trump mulls killing the daily White House briefing, PRGN adds to its roster of agency members and WE founds the PLUS Network.

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Chances are that most of the people around you are looking a new job. One of the best ways for PR pros to keep current with skills and potential employment possibilities is to take advantage of the contacts that you’ve been provided through your career, family and social networks. It’s imperative to make networking a lifelong commitment. At a certain point in our lives and careers we can easily become complacent in our roles and surroundings. We need to be sure to make an effort to invest personally, professionally, intellectually and socially in those individuals strategically placed in our path.

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Instagram video has become useful and powerful content for strategic communicators. In much the same way as photos, Instagram users can like, share and comment on videos. For clients and organizations new to Instagram, the likes, shares and comments can give a marketing and PR team data about how a client’s or organization’s content is performing. Plus, these simple metrics can provide insight into what could be done to improve them.

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In our regular feature about trends in PR and communications, Scott Sleek of the Association for Psychological Science discusses the changes his organization made at its web site when it determined the social media market had shifted.

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It’s that time of year again: Spring is in the air and so are graduation caps. Recent college graduates looking to enter the communications field will face the challenge of their first round of interviews, rife with think-on-your-feet moments. Whether you’re graduating or have a friend or family member entering the PR workforce, here are six interview prep tips for aspiring PR pros.