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AlexMelInstagramIf you enjoy watching communications trends then you know that young people are all about visual social media channels. The more pictures and videos, the better! One of their favorites is Instagram. This photo-sharing social site is growing at a faster rate than twitter. Recently, MarketingMel was called on to assist a client with her Instagram presence.  Public Relations Intern Alex Quillin (who is 20 and loves Instagram) was given the assignment and received rave reviews from our client. Alex first had a customized one-on-one social media training session with the client. Then she created this handy step-by step how-to-guide to Instagram as a follow up piece. The client loves having this to refer to as she continues to build her personal brand on social media channels.

Instagram How-To

How are you/your children using Instagram? For business or fun? (Note: My tween LOVES Instagram and uses it daily to communicate with friends and even share homework!) Please comment!

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LisaRiceWritingA column about Lisa Rice’s successful judicial campaign, the Socktober campaign to help the homeless and the Johnson City Up & At ‘Em Turkey Trot were all winning entries for the MarketingMel public relations team at the Tri-Cities Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) awards banquet April 21 in Kingsport. Two awards were “Awards of Excellence,” the highest honor given.

Mary Ellen Miller, founder of MarketingMel, received the 2015 Award of Excellence in Column Writing, for a column titled “Three Ways to be a “Shoo-in” in Business and Politics.” MarketingMel was the only winner, in the writing category, to receive a perfect score from one of the judges on a writing entry. The column, first published in Out ‘N About Magazine, and later on MarketingMel’s blog, offers tips to success in the world of business and politics.

Miller was the campaign manager for Criminal Court Judge Part 1 Lisa Rice’s campaign. After watching then-candidate Rice’s hard work and determination, Miller was inspired to write the column. “It was an honor to work with, and learn from, the professionalism of then Candidate (now Judge) Rice,” said Miller.

“This is a wonderful and well deserved award. Congratulations to Mary Ellen Miller and the MarketingMel team,” said Judge Rice.

Additionally, MarketingMel received a second Award of Excellence at the ceremony. This was given for the Socktober campaign that saw numerous organizations come together to support the cause of socks for the homeless, first initiated by YouTube sensation Kid President. During this campaign, MarketingMel, with the assistance of Johnson City Schools’ homeless coordinator, Bonnie White, set a goal of obtaining 750 pairs of new socks. With the help of Johnson City Morning Rotary, Spine & Sports Chiropractic, Appearances Hair Salon, Exalt Academy of Cosmetology and numerous other businesses, more than 1,100 pairs were collected and given to the Johnson City/Washington County Area United Way for distribution through its agencies that serve the homeless. “The judges loved your measurable objectives and your clear goals for the project” said Brad Belote, Tri-Cities PRSA president.

The final award, the Award of Merit, was given to MarketingMel and the public relations team of Jenny Brock, Karen Hubbs, Keisha Shoun and MarketingMel Intern Alex Quillin, for their work on the 2014 Johnson City Up and At ‘Em Turkey Trot 5k. The race featured a first-ever press conference at Fairmont Elementary School. The event, which received widespread coverage from regional media, included a mascot race along with Biggest Loser Season 15 top five finalist and Grand Marshal Jennifer Messer.

“It is a tribute to the giving nature of our region that projects like Socktober and Turkey Trot have been so successful,” said Miller.

MarketingMelTeam

Elyse Batista, Mary Ellen Miller and Alex Quillin

Miller was accompanied to the event by her newest intern, Elyse Batista, and her outgoing intern, Alex Quillin, both ETSU PR/Advertising majors. Mentoring the next generation of PR professionals, including Batista and Quillin, is a pillar of MarketingMel’s mission.  “It is so incredible to get awarded for all of the work we put into these campaigns. Mel has taught me so much during my year with her and this ceremony was the cherry on top!” said Quillin.

MarketingMel, now in its sixth year in business, is a communications-consulting firm offering marketing, public relations and social media strategies to business professionals. For more information visit www.marketingmel.com

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The following is a guest blog post from MarketingMel Public Relations Intern Alex Quillin.

DogThanksI’m a 20 year old Advertising and Public Relations major at ETSU, so naturally, I frequent social media sites. I like Instagram and Facebook, and I have Twitter and LinkedIn, though I don’t use those as often. Classes taught me to use these sites to develop my professional profile, and my family expects me to keep them updated about various aspects of my life. But I did not realize how useful they can be until…

It was about 4 PM on a Friday, and I was unloading groceries. I faintly heard a “ma’m? ma’m?” in the distance and turned to look. At the top of my driveway sat a middle-aged lady in a golf cart with a precious puppy in a blue collar beside her.

“Is he yours?” she asked. “There’s no name on his collar.”

“Oh, no. I’ve never seen him before. He’s cute…”

“Well you can have him. I’ve been completely around the neighborhood and no one claimed him. I don’t know what to do with him.”

I looked at her. I looked at the puppy. I knew I could help her, I just didn’t want to fool with it.

“Will you take him and try to find the owner?” she asked.

“Oh, okay. Did you post it on Facebook?” I asked.

“No, I don’t know anyone around here so I didn’t think it would help.”

“Okay, I’ll post it… Come on little fella.” I said, instantly questioning my decision.

I took him inside and he started whining. Loudly.

I couldn’t believe I had gotten myself into this. I took three pictures of him and tried to put him in my bathroom, fearing he would run away if I left him outside. In the few seconds I took to upload the pictures onto the Facebook Local Yard Sales, the puppy had knocked over his water, managed to get soaking wet, and had escalated his whining level to an ear-piercing howl. “I found this puppy. Do you know who he belongs to?” I asked anyone scrolling through the couches and coffee pots.

Then I shut the gate to my porch, and let him outside. He sat on our chair there. I kept checking the comments on the posts. One lady wanted him if no one claimed him. Another wished me luck. Then I saw the comment that made me smile. Just two hours after I uploaded the pictures.

FacebookThread

It was him! The owner turned out to be a young boy. He was about 7, and he was so worried about his new puppy. His mom showed up at my door just a few minutes after we messaged each other. The next day, there was a knock at my door.

“Hi,” said a four-foot handsome fella. “Thanks for finding my dog.”

He handed me a card.

LandonThankYou

Suddenly, I was so thankful I took that whiny little dog. And I realized just how useful social media can be.

AlexQuillin

 

Alex Quillin is MarketingMel’s 2014-2015 Intern. A senior at East Tennessee State University with a 3.8 GPA,  she is the first recipient of the recently created MarketingMel Public Relations Scholarship at ETSU. Alex plans to work in the field of advertising and public relations.

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Students in MarketingMel's "Gettting Professional With LinkedIn" workshop at Milligan College.

Students in MarketingMel’s “Gettting Professional With LinkedIn” workshop at Milligan College.

LinkedIn is one social media platform woefully underused by college students. Recently I was invited to present a LinkedIn workshop to a group of Milligan College Juniors and Seniors. The students who attended came on their own time so the classroom was full of soon-to-be graduates who were eager to learn.  It was a two-part session with the first hour sharing information and questions about LinkedIn and the second being hands-on creation of individual student profiles. Students brought their laptops.  Each student brought their resume to class in order to have it handy for the LinkedIn profile creation. First we extensively reviewed the demographics of LinkedIn which leans heavily male 25-54. Income levels skew $100,000+ and the typical LinkedIn user checks in around 8 AM and 5pm, before and after work. Clearly, these are the business professionals who will be making the hiring decisions for these students in the future. Here are a few of the tips I shared with the college students.

  1. Professional Photo: Probably one of the most critical elements of LinkedIn is the good, professional head shot. The school provided a professional photographer. Then each student had a professional head shot made to upload for their profile creation during the hands-on portion.
  2. Professional attire: All students were advised to look professional for the photo. In other words wear clothes appropriate for a job interview.
  3. Use LinkedIn to find potential job leads: LinkedIn has an excellent internal search engine specifically for jobs. We used this as an example in class to look for “marketing jobs in Johnson City, TN” as an example.
  4. Join Groups and ask pertinent questions: I showed the students how I used an actual LinkedIn group, the Public Relations and Communications Job Community, to crowdsource in helping me prepare for the talk with them. We received 25 very helpful comments on using LinkedIn to find a job that I shared with the class.
  5. Updates: Post regular updates on LinkedIn that will be of use to your business audience.
  6. Get references: When we went to the hands-on portion of the workshop I invited students to connect with ten people, then seek out a written reference and  give someone they know a written reference. (In LinkedIn as in life, what goes around comes around.)

What tips would you share from your LinkedIn experiences? What recommendations would you make to help seniors in college as they prepare to enter the workforce? Do you have a need for a similar workshop at your college, university or place of business? If so, please contact me via this web site.

View the prezi created by MarketingMel intern Alex Quillin for the workshop:

 

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Mary Ellen Miller of MarketingMel, and Dr. Stephen Marshall of ETSU award the new scholarship to Alex Quillin.

Mary Ellen Miller and Dr. Stephen Marshall of ETSU award the new MarketingMel PR scholarship to Alex Quillin.

As any of you who reads this blog regularly knows I am a HUGE believer in supporting the next generation of Public Relations professionals. Last week I had the opportunity to take that support to the next level by teaming with the newly created Mass Communications department at ETSU to establish and award its first scholarship: The MarketingMel Public Relations Scholarship. I am delighted to announce that my new intern, Alex Quillin, is the first recipient of this award! Alex is one of the most level headed 19 year olds I have ever met with a strong entrepreneurial bent and a bright future ahead of her. She is as smart as she is beautiful, carrying a 3.8 GPA and already a junior in semester hours. Dr. Stephen Marshall, one of MarketingMel’s advisory board members, is the newly named department chair. He joined me on campus for the ceremony announcing Alex’s scholarship. To read the full story on the ETSU web site and to see what great jobs the previous four interns have moved on to, please click here.

 

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