Working Smarter not Harder!

When I get involved in new initiatives I usually try to see if I can “work smarter not harder”. Similarly now that we are looking at adding another strand to our communications strategy namely starting a blog, I thought it would be a good idea to see if I could try to implement this new writing task in a smart way.

Very recently we were given the opportunity to write short articles for a monthly e-newsletter. So I decided to trial out writing the e-newsletter article and then using that material (similar audience) for a blog post. This is exactly what I did for my recent post “Is your on-line reputation working FOR or Against You?”.   In addition I then posted a link to the blog on my Social Media TEST Page on Facebook, as I would do if this was a live project. I was delighted to be able to get through the mechanics of that process.

What I have learnt is that writing the articles ‘off-line’ and then pasting them into WordPress is definitely the way forward. I have just lost several blocks of text even though I was regularly  “saving” the drafts!

Would love to hear your comments on my blog postings so if you have a minute, please jot a comment into the box below!

This blog expresses my own personal views and not those of the university I work for.

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Keeping Motivated in Difficult Times

Here is a video which gives some tips on keeping motivated in difficult times. Persistence is the name of the game but it can be sometimes harder to achieve then we think!

Have YOU any tips to give readers of this blog? What has kept YOU motivated in the past when faced with a setback?

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Getting to Grips with Building our Social Media Presence

Over the past couple of weeks I have been trying out some of the ideas I have learnt in my social media training course.  So what have I achieved?

Starting to draft a policy and strategy

My colleague and I met to start drafting up our communications strategy and policy. Social media will be a sub-section of that policy. We have planned an “Away Day” with our team to look at new developments and we will be using our draft communications strategy documents as a basis for discussion during that “Away Day”.

We have already given a 5 minute presentation to our department about what we have learnt about social media. During the presentation we highlighted the importance of having a social media policy and also the need for developing a clear identity on-line. Part of our “Away Day” will be agreeing on the identity we want to have. My colleague and I already have some ideas about this identity but we need to make sure that we agree the identity as team. We will then add the identity “details” to our policy. 

My colleague and I have already thought about how we can monitor the implementation of the identity and we thought we might start by drafting Tweets, Blogs and FB posts in a folder on our shared drive and have a review process for the first couple of months, where social media “input” was circulated for review to 2 or 3 in the team, before it was made “live”. In fact I first drafted this blog entry in a Word document and then once I was happy with the text, pasted it into WordPress.   We may find this is “over-kill” in practice but we want to make sure we have a sound and safe way of ensuring the identity once established is consistent no matter whom the “writer” is.

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Is your on-line reputation working FOR or AGAINST you?

Never put anything on-line you would not want printed on the front page of a newspaper. Think before you hit that ENTER key on your computer or phone. Once it is on-line, it really is there forever

Social Media is everywhere! Make sure that it helps rather than hinders you in your job search.  What are the pros and cons of social media and how does it affect you? Here are our top 5 tips for harnessing social media in your job search whether the job you are looking for is part-time to go along side your studies (to build up your experience), free-lance or graduate level.

Be careful about who you add into your networks –  (Facebook or Linked-in). We all tend to judge people by who they are associated with. Make sure that you build your network with reputable members.  

 Be aware of your on-line reputation – Would you be happy for an employer to login now to your Facebook page and see ALL of your information? Even some of those photos taken at that recent party?  Take a look at this film link from CareerPlayer to get some tips on social media and job hunting.

Join Linked-In – Have you heard of Linked-In (www.linkedin.com)? Linked-In is a (free) professional social media network. It is being used more by private sector employers these days to advertise vacancies as they are trying to cut back on the cost of advertising via newspapers and agencies.

Set up a Twitter account and start to follow companies you are interested in working for. You can also get information about jobs on Twitter. Pick up some tips from this link.  If you use Twitter on your PC/Laptop, it will not cost you anything.

Visit the Social Media and Networking page on the Teesside University careers website to get lots more tips.

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#3sm4e Learning lots about multi-posting

#3sm4e Learning lots about multi-posting today at Teesside University. Keeping messages short and sweet! Thanks @Stevie_T

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DAY 2 – Social Media & Pictures

Click for larger image

We are going to add a picture!

Isn’t this a beautiful photo? It is great to be able to add images and I promise to learn how to use Picasa so that I can make my blog posts more interesting in the future. I am really enjoying learning these new techniques at Steve’s training course. This could be the start of a whole new chapter for me!

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Some thoughts about writing for the web

Having read Steve Thompson’s document on ‘Writing for the Web’ I now have a good understanding of tips and pitfalls in web writing. What I need to do is to keep things ‘short and sweet’! This will be a challenge for me, but one I am willing to embrace!

I can see how formatting and adding headings and bullets can help the reader to scan the document if they are in a rush.

Some tips for good web writing

1. “Begin with end in mind” – so be clear from the outset about the purpose of the blog post.

2. Be very clear about your audience.

2. Keep it short.

3. Use headings and good formatting.

I came across a very good blog post during the week which I think I will us as a template. It is written by Caterina Fake, co-founder of Hunch and Flickr. Take a look here and see what you think! It is a very interesting piece also.

I would love to hear your comments on Caterina’s blog entry, so if you have a minute please drop me a line here.

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