SEO and Go

I was very excited to write this article – my job after graduation deals with a lot of SEO (or “Search Engine Optimization“) so getting extra practice in before I start is always something to smile about!

Donald Dunnington’s Hyper-Local SEO & Marketing pointed out some very specific takeaways I’d like to share regarding SEO:

  1.  Successful marketing starts with SEO: I never realized it, but SEO truly does start the marketing (and later, buying) process. It largely affects what B2B and B2C consumers see when they start their search for products or services. Getting the keywords right can mean big bucks for your company or office.
  2.  Sometimes (most times), literal translations won’t work: The euphemisms or cultural slang we use in South Jersey just won’t carry the same meaning in Germany. To combat this issue, translators must find the closest euphemism in the new language and translate that – if it even works with the marketing message anymore.
  3. Visual PR is very important:  At this point, it’s almost not enough to tell a good story with original content – readers want to see content driven by powerful visual stories as well. Impactful photos, illustrations, animation, videos and infographics all play a huge role on websites and in social media.

While these are only a few takeaways of what could be an enormous list, I feel they are the most important because while they’re simple, they act as doors to open huge possibilities. First, if no one can find you, the campaign is dead. Second, the MAC triad shows that an interruption between the audience and message (poor translation of keywords or message) kills a campaign. Third, readers’ attention spans grow infinitely smaller and must be caught by an interesting or evoking graphic to be held. Dunnington’s explanations of Hyper-local SEO and marketing really hit home the finite detail a communications professional must take in seeing a campaign to fruition.

What do you think the most important part of SEO is? Do you even think about SEO in the sphere of a PR campaign?

Book Review: Lisa Buyer’s “Social PR Secrets”

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Third Edition

Some might say Lisa Buyer’s book, Social PR Secrets: How to Optimize, Socialize, and Publicize Your Brand’s greatest value is the quality of information, but that truly comes second to a more impressive feat: Buyer’s easy-to-read chapters chock full of important and sometimes complex information. The writing style practices what Buyer preaches in her 300 or so pages. She clearly understands and has perfected her trade – communication – and uses her writing as a vehicle for her message: becoming a PR trendmaster in your company or industry.

Nicknamed by Sarah Evans, digital correspondent and author of [Re]frame: Little Inspirations for a Larger Purpose as the “communication professional’s modern-day handbook,” Social PR Secrets’ non-threatening format allows anyone to feel comfortable reading while they are exposed to tactical and practical public relations tips. Some of the best features of the book remain:

  • Tips and tricks for success on multiple platforms
  • The shift in media relations and press releases
  • A thorough resources list

Buyer treats readers to almost double the content as her second edition of Social PR Secrets, with new information that teaches readers how to traverse new online landscapes like Linkedin, Pinterest and Facebook and tips for online writing, like inviting

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Lisa Buyer: Speaker, journalist and educator on the trending topic of social media and SEO influence on PR.

guest writers to post on a blog. Social PR Secrets also makes it clear that rules for both media relations and press releases look nothing like they did 20 years ago. As if Buyer hadn’t given up all her knowledge already, she includes several glossaries in the back of the book like the “#SocialPRSecrets Twitter List” and the “Social PR Terminology Cheat Sheet.” These resources not only offer readers a chance to dive into the heart of social PR immediately but begin to cultivate thoughtful social media strategists out of all readers.

Truly, Buyer’s book Social PR Secrets is one of the best tools PR practitioners can have in their belts. It will sit on my shelf next to the AP Stylebook for years to come (or at least until the next edition is released!).

Guest Writer!

My boyfriend, Lucas, wrote an extremely inspiring poem I’d like to share with all of you! Unfortunately, he does not have a blog. But I wanted his work to be shown! I didn’t edit or touch anything; merely copied it off the paper he gave me! Enjoy his amazing words!

Do not think cutting out my tongue will silence my breath

For the pounding in my chest will scream until death

Gouging my eyes will not prevent my sight

For my vision will be seen by all who choose to fight

Only a fool would choose to deafen my ear

For my battle cry will be for all to hear

Crippling my hands would not deter me to write

For my actions will inscribe themselves in history’s plight

Breaking my legs would only epitomize my cause

For I stand firm that is a soldier’s clause

A bullet could not stop my heart from beating

For I’m embodied in others never fleeting

You are mistaken to simply decapitate my head

For the ideas inside will not die, but spread

Too Poor for Protection?

A Rebuttal of Chuck Hagel’s Cuts to Military Personnel

September 11th, 2001 was and eye-opening experience to America; this was the first terrorist attack on American soil by another nation spanning back decades. Al Qaeda’s attack threw into sharp relief our need for a military ubiquity on the global scale. Following the tragedy, America’s military was in a flurry of action and dispatched to the Middle East for a war that lasted over ten years. After approximately three years of withdrawing from Iraq and engaging in the process of clean-up, some politicians and government officials believe it is time for a reduction of the military, not only retiring Navy battleships and Air Force jets and planes, but in manpower as well. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is cutting too many soldiers in the United States Military with the proposed 2015 Department of Defense budget plan. A cut of this size jeopardizes both national security and economical stability in the United States. I am rebutting Chuck Hagel’s claim that cutting a large amount of active duty soldiers is unfortunate but necessary. He argues that a massive military presence, especially overseas, is not an essential part of a modern Department of Defense; in addition, the budget cannot support this many soldiers while running multiple training programs, producing weapons and vehicles, and keeping up with clean-up expenses. However well meaning, Secretary Hagel is mistaken in his assumptions, and I believe these drastic cuts to the military will impede our military instead of benefitting it. While his beliefs in fiscal responsibility and limited manpower bolster his claims, they are riddled with errors.

The first faction of Secretary Hagel’s argument disputes that our military does not need the numbers we have now, stating “the country no longer felt inclined to engage in the kind of long and costly operations it had mounted in both Iraq and Afghanistan,” and goes on to suggest “since we are no longer sizing the force for prolonged stability operations, and Army of this size is larger than required to meet the demands of our defence strategy” (Williams). However, this 14% decrease in active military soldiers (military wide: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) weakens the protection of our country. Active duty soldiers not currently serving our country in a time of conflict partake in daily training to remain ready at a moment’s notice for battle at military bases around the world . Private Betterton, a soldier in Pennsylvania’s National Guard, personally believes that the greatest longterm effect of the dramatic budget cuts will result in a less prepared military that shows weakness to the rest of the world and makes us more vulnerable or susceptible to attacks (Session with PV2 Betterton over Military Budget Cuts). Moreover, a rising conflict in Ukraine resulting from President Obama’s poor foreign policy is foreshadows another potential conflict for which the United States must be ready. As Representative Michael Turner of Ohio said, “We don’t always get to choose our conflicts” (qt. In Molon).

Secretary Hagel continues to rally around the military’s “suffering” budget, but there are many inconsistencies in his argument. In a New York Times article by the a group of 18 journalist with a wide range of expertise, it is verified that the biggest budget problem faced is the pay and benefits to veterans, the military, and their families (Editorial Board). However, an interview with Private Lucas Betterton contradicts these claims. During Private Betterton’s three month Basic Training period, there are multiple times in which Sergeants had to limit the use of ammo because the program was not appropriated enough to thoroughly train each and every soldier. In fact, the ammo that Private Betterton and his class were using had to last their entire training and the next three month training (Session with PV2 Betterton over Military Budget Cuts). The salary of an active duty Sergeant who is deployed and in combat averages around $26,000, and the benefits of a soldier, including their housing, are going to be steadily decreased or plateaued in the coming years. The 30,000 active duty soldiers that will be without a job if the military budget cuts are accepted will be thrown into the civilian workforce that does not correlate with their specific set of skills, and will be competing for entry-level jobs that can significantly lower their morale. In past years, the military has decreased the number of active-duty soldiers, so another even more significant cut just seems needless. In consequence of the 30,000 less soldiers, there will be less of a need for materials the military buys. While it may save the military money in the short term, long-term consequences can be as drastic as manufacturers of guns, weapons, ships, planes, and programs losing their jobs. A study conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency ranks the United States under Middle Eastern and African countries such as Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Azerbaijan for military spending by percentage used of the country’s GDP. The United States uses just over 4% of their gross domestic product while South Sudan, a country that has one of the lowest human developments for its population in the world, uses more than 10% of their gross domestic product.

Cutting personnel and soldiers in the military is detrimental to the United States for both fiscal and security reasons. Hagel’s argument is flawed because soldiers and their families will suffer financially with the cuts, as well as our prominence as a global military superpower. The consequence of my argument, if the troops are not cut, is simply the smaller financial burden the Department of Defense will cover. The consequences of Hagel’s argument, the cutting of troops, puts America at danger economically and security-wise. Not only is national security at stake, but the confidence in our government to lead and protect its people will be questioned.

A Letter to my Class

I’ve finally come to the conclusion, after 18 years, that this is place is my home. 

For years, I’ve whined and complained about living here, judging the people and places by face value and never bothering to look deeper than a mere glance. The quote “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone,” comes to my mind as I prepare myself for Baccalaureate and graduation, and I’m sure it will mean even more to me my first night in my dorm room. But as I reflect on my four years of high school (and even back to seventh and eighth grade), I realize how blessed I’ve been, and I believe you all share in these blessings. We attend the finest school in the area/diocese (even if the math/religion/everything doesn’t seem like it), and even though we don’t have modern conveniences like working computers or cold air, we have so much more that actually matters. We’re bound by our faith (more or less), friendship, and an everlasting tie to green and gold. And even though we’re one of the bigger classes, we have a family-like bond. Some of you I’ve known since I was three and others I barely spoke a word to this year, but I truly do love you all. I know that everyone has shaped me in some way or another. Some of you have torn me down and others have built me up, and I’m thankful for both groups. You are some of the most down-to-earth and humble people I have ever met. And I only hope you know that if you ever need me in the future, I will be there. No questions.
A lot of this is probably just be a sentimental me coming out as I realize our time together is ending, but our next chapter is an exciting new beginning and our five year reunion is going to be a blast. So now that it’s finally the end of the year, I can’t wait to turn my tassel with my right hand to the left side of my hideously ugly cap IN UNISON with the rest of you as we slowly wither away in 102 degree heat.

Happy Graduation.