Self-branding is Crucial in Finding Jobs in Advertising

As an advertising student, self-branding is a term that is constantly talked about. While it is a commonly used word, there are often times a negative connotation associated with the word. To some people, self-branding means using social media and other platforms to increase relativity. However, to professionals within the advertising industry, it means advertising your values and interests in a way that helps companies to gain insights on your personality.

With a move towards digital, there are now less in-person interactions. Self-branding is crucial for recent college graduates as well as professionals in general in finding relative jobs and attracting employers whose values resonate well with ours. For the first time, the share of internet users with college educations using LinkedIn reached 50%. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn allows professionals to build an identity and is a way to reach out to employers as well as have employers find qualified candidates.

In an article written by The Fast Company, self-branding is imperative to career success and allows individuals to establish careers and goals that they are passionate about. Because advertising is a relatively competitive industry, simply obtaining just a degree is inadequate in allowing professionals to stand out. Instead, one’s distinct personality and professional history allows them to stand out and enhance a company’s culture. The Fast Company also believes that a strong personal brand directly translates to establishing one’s self as a natural leader, which in turn boosts image and aspirational career direction that creates unique opportunities that would otherwise remain unknown.

In another article written in the Forbes magazine, self-branding is essential for development in leadership qualities. Self-branding forces professionals to define what their intentions and objectives are with the use of social accounts. Managing a personal account requires you to be a great role model, mentor and a voice that others can depend on. When creating content, you are responsible for delivering a standard of expectation that you have set forth for yourself, those whom you serve and your community of readers. By utilizing the perspective that you are trying to define and aim to live, you as a professional start to live through the “lens of a brand” and act in way that represents the way you portray yourself. This allows professionals to act as leaders in the sense that they are mindful of what others are experiencing about them.

According to LinkedIn, self-branding is also important because to put it simply, “people buy from people, not companies.” Employers find potential candidates much like consumers find products. As consumers, we do not search for products blindly. Instead, we resort to recommendations and popular items. We then ultimately choose a product or brand based off of qualities that resonate well with ourselves. The same process can be applied to how employers hire employees amongst thousands of qualified candidates. Employers receive recommendations or find prospects from self-branding efforts (social media profiles, LinkedIn pages, etc.) and use this as a way to search for people. They then choose to hire someone based off of personality traits, goals and objectives that resonate well with them.

Self-branding is an essential step in finding jobs. However, we must be mindful about how we go about branding ourselves. As the film Generation Like Discussion discusses, “we are all our own media companies” and get to choose what content we generate about ourselves. Self-branding is a powerful tool, but we must utilize it to empower ourselves and communicate our goals, objectives and qualifications when finding jobs.

 

 

 

Resources

Coles, L. (2015). Why Developing Your Personal Brand Is Important. LinkedIn. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-developing-your-personal-brand-important-linda-coles

Duggan, M. (2015). Social Media Update 2014. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/social-media-update-2014/

Llopis, G. (2013). Personal Branding Is A Leadership Requirement, Not a Self-Promotion Campaign. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2013/04/08/personal-branding-is-a-leadership-requirement-not-a-self-promotion-campaign/#75f6cbb615c0

Saltzman, B. (2015). Why Personal Branding Is Essential To Career Success. Fast Company. Retrieved from http://www.fastcompany.com/3048401/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/why-personal-branding-is-essential-to-career-success

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Traditional Media vs. New Media

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines news as new information that is reported in traditional platforms such as newspapers or television news programs. However, social media sites are increasingly used to share news. While new media platforms share the same role of informing readers as traditional media platforms, both can vary in terms of how effective news is presented. To directly compare how news is presented on traditional media vs. new media, I looked up articles regarding the release of the movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, on the NY Times and Buzzfeed. While the same content was discussed, the different platforms varied greatly in terms of the presentation and style of information.

One major difference is that the NY Times focused on the depth of information, including facts that supported arguments. It also discussed details about the domestic distribution data, the timing of the release date, and incentives to watch the movie. Quotes from highly influential sources in the cinema industry, such as Warner’s Executive Vice President of Domestic Distribution, were included to contribute to the credentials of the news source. The NY Times also used outside sources to gain diverse perspectives on the subject matter, such as media analysts who tracked mentions on social media. On the other hand, the Buzzfeed article focused more on the breadth of information and did not go into detail about the information presented. Besides a brief recap of highlights of how the movie performed, there were very few specifics about introduced topics. Buzzfeed focused on comparing the movie to other relevant movies, rather than going into detail about how the movie performed. A short excerpt was included on an estimation of how the top 10 box office movies would perform. However, no reasoning behind their theory was included, and the information was left unsupported.

Another significant difference between the two media sources was the style of the articles. The NY Times only included one visual, and was very dense in terms of words. The article was formatted into paragraphs, which included specific numbers and quantitative data. The style of the Buzzfeed article was opposite in the sense that very few words were used to discuss the release of the movie. It included rich media, such as multiple color-coded graphs that allowed readers to interpret data quickly.

I think that the NY Times article covers the issue more effectively because more information was provided overall. According to Digimind, the social media monitoring and competitive intelligence company, traditional media receives 44% more mentions and is shared more than new media sources. Traditional media is a more sufficient means of providing information because the platforms used allows for more information. Readers expect articles that come from more traditional sources, such as the NY Times, to have an adequate amount of information as well as include credible sources to support arguments. Traditional media is also speculated and read more than new media because it is a more established source of information. The Buzzfeed article covers the issue less effectively because social media is a place to discover breaking news rather than providing in-depth details about news. The social media article gave a quick overview of the information through graphs in order to communicate the message quickly. According to the Pew Research Center, 77,992,000 digital users utilize Buzzfeed and other new media as a source for directing them to traditional sources with more details.

In conclusion, while different mediums may cover similar issues, they present the information in ways that resonate with the readers and platforms that are used. Readers refer to the different sources for different motivations.

 

Resources

Barnes, B. (2016). For ‘Batman v Superman,’ a Supersized Box Office. The NY Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/28/movies/for-batman-v-superman-a-supersized-box-office.html?_r=0

Malinova, K. (2015). Battle of Social vs. Traditional News: Digimind Social Declares a Winner. Digimind. Retrieved from http://digimind.com/blog/social-media/old-new-media-battle/

Suh, M. (2015). Top Digital News Entities. The Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.journalism.org/chart/top-digital-news-entities/

Vary, B. (2016). “Batman v Superman” Sets Box Office Records For Both Superheroes. BuzzFeed. Retrieved from http://www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/batman-v-superman-box-office#.joEexjAmX

 

 

 

 

 

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Is Spreadable Media

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as ALS, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord that cause people to lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe. The disease was brought to attention when the baseball player Lou Gehrig’s career was ended because of the disease. While there are many charities, fundraisers and events held in order to raise both money and awareness to important causes, the ALS association created the Ice Bucket Challenge that generated spreadable media.

The Ice Bucket Challenge was a cultural artifact that has spread like wildfire online. In fact, in September 2014, Facebook stated that over 17 million videos related to the Ice Bucket Challenge was uploaded to the social network, which were viewed over 10 billion times by more than 440 million people. According to Henry Jenkin’s concepts in Spreadable Media, the social phenomenon was such a success due to the spreadable properties the videos exhibited.

One property that the challenge entailed was that it embraced the flow of ideas. The “spreadablility” was due to the social connections among individuals, which were made extremely visible and had the potential to be amplified by social media platforms. According to Time Magazine, the Ice Bucket Challenge was easily spreadable primarily through Facebook and YouTube, but also took off on Instagram and Twitter. It was also dispersed material as opposed to centralized material, meaning that the content was made easy to spread through embedded codes that enabled the videos to be accessed in a variety of places.

Another property coined by Jenkins was that it allowed for diversified experiences and open-ended participation. The only requirement the ALS Association implemented was for Internet users to upload a video of them dumping ice water over their heads when challenged. The open-ended manner of the videos allowed for people to generate diverse and creative videos that differed from one another. People dumped ice water on their heads at weddings, on the Ellen show and even with the help of helicopters. Everyone’s videos were so different from one another, which is what made the content so interesting to view and share.

The Ice Bucket Challenge also encouraged collaboration across roles. Internet users across the world challenged others both nationally and globally ranging from your neighbor, Charlie Sheen and Barack Obama. Collaboration across the producer, marketer and audience was blurred which made the videos enjoyable and fun to watch. The ALS Association did not force content on social media, but instead encouraged people to participate in the cause.

One property that Jenkins does not identify is that spreadable content triggers emotion. People want to spread cultural artifacts not just because of their importance, but because it evokes strong emotions that they want others to feel as well. While the videos were funny and entertaining, they all were for the same cause: to generate awareness of such a devastating disease and hopefully generate donations that could go towards research to find a cure. According to author Rick Smith, the Ice Bucket Challenge was also so successful because it encompassed a big idea that was based on smaller selfless and simple ideas. The videos held a greater meaning and challenged people to emulate what it felt like to have the disease in a light-hearted manner.

Overall, I feel that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a good example of Jenkin’s ideas. Its success was correlated to the concepts of “spreadability” that focused on social logistics and cultural practices. These concepts enabled the videos to become popularized with the help of technical and cultural logistics.

 

Resources

Bonifield, J. (2015). One Year Later, Your ALS Ice Bucket Money Goes To… CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/15/health/one-summer-after-the-als-ice-bucket-challenge/

Chowdhry, A. (2015). Remember The Ice Bucket Challenge? Donations From The $220 Million Campaign Enhanced ALS Research. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2015/08/26/remember-the-ice-bucket-challenge-donations-from-the-220-million-campaign-advanced-als-research/#384d48e0692b

Smith, R. (2014). The Science Behind The Success Of The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/ricksmith/2014/09/01/the-science-behind-the-success-of-the-ice-bucket-challenge/#652475cd72b0

What is ALS? The ALS Association. Retrieved from http://www.alsa.org/about-als/what-is-als.html

Wolff-Mann, E. (2015). Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? Here’s What Happened to the Money. Time Magazine. Retrieved from http://time.com/money/4000583/ice-bucket-challenge-money-donations/

The Negative Effects of Facebook

Facebook is one of the most popular social media sites that exist today. Many Internet users utilize the new media to get information, connect with friends and share pictures and articles. While all of these activities associated with Facebook seem harmless, using the new media device has had many negative effects in general.

One article that discusses the negative effects of Facebook is “How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy,” by Maria Konnikova. The article talks about a study that was conducted from a University of Michigan psychologist to determine the effects of Facebook use. The psychologist found that the more people used Facebook, the less happy they felt. While Facebook is a great tool for instigating the feeling of social connectedness, it overall enables people to feel lonelier and more depressed. This was directly associated with the frequency of use. Lonelier people are inherently more likely to go online, and Facebook is a new media platform that creates feelings of alienation.

Another study in the article discussed how social media overall also instigates problems in relationships by increasing feelings of jealousy and envy. The author brings up a significant point that “with an increase in time people spent browsing the site, as opposed to actively creating content and engaging with it, the more envious people feel,” which can be explained by the social-psychology phenomenon called social comparison. With personal information now more easily accessible, learning about the achievements of others has increased, thus allowing Facebook users to compare themselves directly with others.

As a millennial, it is difficult for me to admit that I for the most find that the negative effects discussed in this article is a good and accurate example of the effects of new media in general. In “Reclaiming Conversations,” the author stresses how physical conversations allow people to engage in an empathetic manner, which is crucial in developing relationships. Facebook hinders people from connecting on intimate levels that cannot replicate conversations and relationship that are developed from physically being present.

Using Facebook can also become addictive which can have negative social effects as well. In fact, 65% of Internet users use Facebook daily and spend and average of over 20 minutes on Facebook per day in periodic increments. The curiosity of wanting to learn about other people and wanting others learn about us drives people to constantly browse Facebook feeds in order to remain current.

It also creates an added pressure to maintain a certain image and creates conflicting feelings of self-identity. In the book “Contagious- Why Things Catch On,” author Jonah Berger talks about the term “social currency” and how social media users are more prone to share things that make them look good. Facebook users filter what statuses and pictures they post and what articles they share in order to maximize social currency.

Also in support that Facebook has negative effects, the video by The Lip TV discusses a study that discovered that women who use Facebook more negative psychological effects. Facebook is primarily and seemingly used to connect socially, but in reality is used for self-aggrandizement. Facebook users are more likely to select positive content to upload. They inaccurately represent users and create pressure to socially compete with others.

Overall, I feel that Konnikova’s argument that Facebook has critical negative effects is accurate for the most part. New media is such a conflicting tool because while it may allow Internet users to connect in ways that were not accessible earlier, it creates social anxiety that has negative effects on society.

 

 

References

Berger, J. (2013). Contagious- Why Things Catch On. New York, NY. Simon & Schuster.

Facebook Has Negative Side Effects on Women (Video file). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmaaQ5PDiXI

Kenrick, D. T. (2014, Apr 11). 7 Ways Facebook Is Bad For Your Mental Health. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sex-murder-and-the-meaning-life/201404/7-ways-facebook-is-bad-your-mental-health

Konnikova, M. (2013, Sep 10). How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy. The New Yorker. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/how-facebook-makes-us-unhappy

Smith, C. (2016, Feb 22). By The Numbers: 200+ Amazing Facebook Statistics. DMR. Retrieved from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-17-amazing-facebook-stats/

Turkle, S. (2015). Reclaiming Conversation. New York, NY. Penguin Random

Instagram

In today’s digital society, there is an influx of social media sites being created every day which forces existing sites to be designed in a way that improves user functionality to survive amongst the millions of existing platforms. Popular social media sites are placing more of an emphasis on user experiences in order to meet the demands of Internet users today.

According to Jon Kolko in Design Thinking Comes of Age, the design of digital platforms are shifting from solely being aesthetically pleasing to having more of a focus on efficiency and functionality. Applying the principles of design to the way people work represents the shift in not only social media sites, but also content that users generate as well. Design changes make it easier for users to interact with other users. One increasingly popular social media site that has implemented major changes that go beyond its primary function is Instagram.

One key change to Instagram is the location search, which allows users to identify where videos and pictures are being taken. In addition to this, the “trending hashtags” item is a feature that immediately appears on the Explore page and allows users to browse trending topics in a robust matter and is tailored to user’s interests. The expansion of functions on Instagram has also allowed the social networking site to flourish and increase in popularity. In a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, researchers found that Instagram usage has doubled since 2012 and roughly 31% of Internet users use Instagram. These modifications have also contributed to the change in content that users upload. With the new location tagging and search function, users can now use the location-tagging feature to show where they are. More Instagram posts being created today revolve around places people are visiting. The hashtag and tagging feature also allows users to upload content focusing on their experiences with brands. Instagrammers are now tagging brands and companies in photos that feature products and allow users to interact with brands on a personal level. Because of the new type of content being uploaded on Instagram, there is now a shift in the culture of online brand interactions.

In Alone Together, Sherry Turkle talks about how technology has become the architect of our intimacies with brands, which enable them to come alive on the Internet and connect with consumers through computers and other digital platforms. With Instagram, brands are able to build and enhance intimate relationships with consumers in the digital world. With the tagging, hashtagging, and location features, brands can target and interact with relevant consumers in more meaningful ways. In fact, 40% of brands have adopted Instagram for marketing. Businesses are now utilizing Instagram to create digital strategies and display products, generate website leads, and increase brand awareness. Most importantly, businesses also are using Instagram to find and target audiences and build relationships with the location-tagging and hashtagging feature.

For example, one of my coworkers uploaded a picture of her daily coffee and tagged McDonalds in her post. McDonalds commented on her post thanking her for uploading a picture of their product and offered her a free coffee. This is an example of how brands now have access to posts and are able to see what consumers are posting about their brands and can therefore interact with users in meaningful ways. Overall, new digital features such as the ones on Instagram make it easier for brands to tailor their content to target their audiences and interact with them through personalized digital experiences.

References

Adriel, I. (2015, February). Business Benefits of Using Instagram. Academic Search Premier. Retrieved from http://login.ezproxy.lib.umn.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,uid&db=aph&AN=101722102&site=ehost-live

Duggan, M. (2015, August 19). Mobile Messaging and Social Media 2015. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/08/19/mobile-messaging-and-social-media-2015/

Honigman, B. (2013, January 29). The State of Instagram. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://corp.wishpond.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Infographic_instagram_.png

Kolko, J. (2015, September). Design Thinking Comes With Age. Havard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2015/09/design-thinking-comes-of-age

Turkle, S. (2011, January). Alone Together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York, NY. Basic Books.