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Lessons Learned

December 20th, 2012 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

As the Fall Semester comes to a close, let’s take this opportunity to look back and reflect on some of the lessons we learned as members of this pilot class:

Public Relations IS important!

As PRSA chair-elect Joe Cohen stated when he spoke to our class on Monday, this class was established to teach MBA students the importance of Public Relations in business management.  As we’ve learned, in today’s world, where information travels faster than ever before thanks to technology and social media, business leaders can no longer afford to not take an active role in PR strategy.  With so many ways to personally connect with the public, it’s important to take charge and be a part of the public conversation, rather than outside of it.

Be Passionate!

Some of the best parts of the course were the self-directed presentation activities, such as the 20/20 sessions and the student-lead classes.  These were a great contrast to the usual assigned presentation projects and gave us a chance to talk about topics and issues that interested us.  As a result, we all found that when we share the things that we are passionate about, and would like our peers to learn more about, we naturally elevate our public speaking abilities.  As business leaders, it’s important that we have passion in what we do as a career.  If we have that, then speaking about our companies in public will be a cinch!

Always have a plan

As MBAs, we’re trained to think and plan before acting.  Business strategy dictates that we understand the environment we’re operating in before making operational decisions and Public Relations is no different.  Whether its confronting a crisis or launching a social media campaign, proper planning is crucial to make sure that you are sending out a strong, unified message, as well ensure that you have a plan in place for any possible reactions from the public.

On behalf of the members of this pilot class, we’d like to again thank the PRSA for creating this program, as well as Dr. White for being our instructor.  It was definitely a great experience and one we hope that the Smith School will continue to take the lead in for years to come.

Marvin Yueh is a 2013 MBA candidate focusing on Entrepreneurship and Marketing. He is currently the Marketing & Events Assistant at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship as well as the President of the Smith Entrepreneur’s Club.

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The Next Generation

December 5th, 2012 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

We all know that right now, businesses are scrambling to get a read on how to work with Millenials, but what about the next generational shift?  Eventually as millenials grow up, they will take the place of generation x as the leaders of businesses, and the next generation (Generation Z, the Digital Generation, The Homeland Generation, etc.) will enter the workforce as young adults.  What attitudes will they bring to the professional world, and will we be ready for them?

By examining trends and current events, we can start to predict what Generation Z might look like when they arrive in the workforce.  Here are a few things to begin considering:

They will simultaneously be smarter than you while knowing less than you

Generation Z will have access to the internet at a much earlier age than anybody from previous generations.  How this will affects their cognitive development is still being researched, but this much is certain, the next generation will be much better than even the most tech savvy millennial in processing large amounts of information quickly.  At the same time, the advancement of mobile and information technology is shortening the gap between what we know and what we can find.  The oldest of Generation Z were born in the early 2000’s, well after the proliferation of broadband internet, and grew up in a world where anything can be googled or wiki’d at any time.  This means that there is less of a need to remember facts, as long as you know where to find it and how to process it.

They will be more self-directed and independent

In contrast to Millenials, who are known to have a tougher time figuring out what they want to do and require direction in the workplace, Generation Z will be much more self-aware of their wants and desires at an earlier age and thus it is predicted that they will tend to be more self-directed in the workplace.  This could be an influence from the Generation X parents, who are more pragmatic and value time spent in the home and self-discovery.

They will not be team players

The prediction that sets the next generation the most apart from the Millenial Generation is that Generation Z will likely not enjoy working in teams.  While Millenials tend to function better as a community, a self-directed Generation Z worker will likely prefer to work alone.  This prediction stems from studies that show that there is a cyclical pattern in American culture that team-oriented generations precede individualist generations.  Several findings support this claim as members of generation z are more likely to have a unique name, which has been shown to correlate with developing a more individual identity and promote independence.

Marvin Yueh is a 2013 MBA candidate focusing on Entrepreneurship and Marketing. He is currently the Marketing & Events Assistant at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship as well as the President of the Smith Entrepreneur’s Club.

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Spread your Voice! Podcasting 101

December 5th, 2012 by under Social Media. No Comments.

The best part of the advent of social media technologies is that these days, anyone can be a producer of media with very accessible tools.  Want to be a filmmaker?  All you need is a phone or camera that captures video and YouTube!  Want to be a writer? All you need is a computer and a blogging platform!  Sharing your creative works has never been easier!  This post will focus on one such creative outlet that’s always interested me, Podcasting.

Podcasting gives you the chance to literally spread your voice over the internet, giving you the opportunity to spread your expertise, highlight things that are important to you, or even give you an outlet to express your unique views.  As business leaders, podcasts offer a way to engage with your employees, customers, or the public in general.  Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Lay out your strategic objectives

Without a plan, a podcast is just a person’s ramblings.  Here are some basic questions to answer when formulating a new podcast:

  • Who am I representing?
  • To whom am I broadcasting, and what do I want from them?
  • What is my range of topics?  Am I broadcasting to everyone? A select niche? Somewhere in between?
  • Why should my target audience listen to me?

Determine your format

Once you know why you’re podcasting, you need to figure out how your podcast will be organized.  Having a standard format will create a sense of continuity with your listeners, as well as make it easier on you to plan your shows.  Questions to answer at this stage are:

  • How long should my podcast be?
  • How often do I produce new episodes?
  • Should I have a co-host? Guest host?
  • What segments should be included? (more on this below)

Choosing what segments to feature is probably the most important part of giving your podcast an identity.  The longer your podcast is, the more segments you should have.  While there’s no proven formula, its common sense that if you want your listener to listen to your 2 hour podcast, don’t spend the full 2 hours on the same type of segment.  Here are some typical podcast segments:

  • Introduction Ritual (theme song/introductions/etc.)
  • News/Current Events/Main Topic
  • Personal Updates (What you’ve been up to since the last podcast)
  • Shout outs/Plugs (especially if you’ve been able to get your podcast sponsored)
  • Interviews with special guests (either pre-recorded, on-the-air, or over skype)
  • Emails/Questions (solicit questions from your listeners and answer them on the air)

Record the podcast

Once you have your plan, it’s time to record.  The two basic things you need to record a podcast is 1) a mic, and 2) recording software.  Luckily, both are easy to find.  You can buy a mic from any electronics store, and there are several free and paid ways to obtain recording software.  A popular free tool is Audacity, which can be downloaded here.  A quick google search will get you other solutions as well.

Of course, recording is easy.  Getting your podcast to sound great takes some work.  But you don’t need Dr. Ken White’s golden voice to have a quality sounding podcast.  Here are some basic things to remember:

  • Always record in a soundproofed room.  Anything that is not your voice will distract listeners from your voice.  You want as little ambient sound as possible.
  • Mind your mic position, understand what type of pattern your mic picks up audio from and place your voice in that sweet spot.  (i.e. don’t eat the mic)
  • Always check your levels.  If you’re too high, your voice will clip (your voice overpowers the mic), and if they’re too low, nobody will be able to hear you.
  • Use a pop filter.  P’s and S’s sound especially harsh (and annoying) when recording.  Fitting your mic with a pop filter will help you not annoy your listeners!  (and it’s easy to DIY)

Publish the podcast

When you finish your podcast, it’s time to publish it to the internet!  There are several ways to publish to the internet, whether through a podcast hosting service, or on your own website or blog.  Business related podcasts should be hosted on your company website to take advantage of the network effects.  Here are some additional tips on how to promote your podcast:

  • Take advantage of the organizing power of the internet.  Utilize tags on both your audio file as well as your actual post to make sure your podcast can be searched via keywords.
  • If your audience can be contacted directly, send it out via mass email.
  • Tag people/companies/organizations mentioned or featured in your podcast to take advantage of network effects.
  • If you are hosting your podcast yourself, make sure to set up a RSS feed so your listeners can subscribe.

Do you have a favorite podcast?  Share it with the group by posting a link in the comments!

Marvin Yueh is a 2013 MBA candidate focusing on Entrepreneurship and Marketing. He is currently the Marketing & Events Assistant at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship as well as the President of the Smith Entrepreneur’s Club.

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