Social media strategy

SEO: Using Pinterest, Zeebly and Google to get Discovery running

Battle of the media

As students approaching the workforce, it is essential that we increase our online presence to show employers like Discovery we are well-versed with social media and PR marketing. In this post:

  • Two tips explain well-kept secrets in getting your name out there
  • One website evaluates your online performance
  • Stay tuned for best ways to monitor the media to benefit yourself and your career!


Pinning it tight

Many people don’t know about or use Pinterest, a social media site where users post photos they like. Get on this site to show employers you know how to use up-and-coming social media, and because it is invitation-only so there may be a long waiting list. According to the Huffington Post, the site has seen a 900 percent increase in users since September 2009.

Creating a photo contest for people to document their shark photos during Shark Week is a fun way to get people involved with Discovery.

Logging the blogging

Blogging is like the best way for professionals to increase their personal online presence, because blogs are free and they allow individuals to express their opinion and showcase professional work.

Zeebly is also a great metric for individuals and companies to measure online presence and performance. The website explains which information is most popular, and we can use this data to gauge which content is most popular with target audiences.

Staying alert

Finally, it is important to also monitor traditional media, because many Americans are still tuning into television, radio and movies for entertainment. Discovery Channel has a strong television presence, and their shows are really popular.

Incorporating social media with traditional media is the best way to monitor the latter channels. For example, encouraging Facebook posts and Tweets during television shows is a good way to see people’s reactions and opinions of traditional media.


It takes a village

How I formulated my profilee’s life story

Profiling an individual is a labor intensive but rewarding process. I enjoyed speaking with my profilee and learning her inspiring story.

As Rich suggests (346) I made sure my profile was not a timeline. It was difficult sometimes to structure my information so that it had a coherent narrative and theme, but it was worthwhile because the piece is much easier to read.

Fortunately, I didn’t run into any ethics/law considerations. Interestingly, Bardsley’s daughter, Price, told me her mother despises any sort of untruth. I’m certain I can trust what she says, and Bardsley was always able to back up her assertions. I felt her story was compelling enough to stand on its own.

Tips and tricks

Julie Sullivan advocates using short, descriptive sentences (352). I utilized this tip in my story, specifically with the anecdotal lead.

Alan Richman’s tip about everyone having a story to tell was also useful (343), and at times I plied my profilee with questions because I knew there must be more details I could uncover.

I also used the Rich tip “be prepared” (105), because I talked to Price before I spoke to her mother initially. This allowed me a brief glimpse into Bardsley’s life to prepare questions and better understand her story.

In my research process, I used the GOAL method to develop the outline of my story.

  • I focused on the obstacles Susan Bardsley overcame to become successful
  • My turning point was where I showed how the community and her friends and family made her who she is today.
  • The turning point morphed into the theme or general nut, where the reader sees how it takes a village to create a person.

Down and dirty

I interviewed my profilee three times, including using FaceTime. The latter presented technical difficulties, so we had to quit early and talk on the phone. When I wanted clarification, I used online communication to seek basic answers that didn’t need much elaboration.

I knew I wanted to create the storyboard and website to be inspiring, to make it relatable and newsy to the audience. I tailored Bardsley’s story to be impressive and her journey to Storybook Theater to be inspiring to a crowd of college students who may feel down or need a lift.

I also wanted to do a photo timeline of Bardsley’s musical career. This visual would give the reader a better idea of how long music has played a role in her life.

Bardsley singing and playing piano at one of her shows at Storybook Theater.

Slice of Life research process

The research process
  1. It was difficult to maintain effective communication with my interviewee, because we were both busy, and we had to figure out a mutually convenient time for both of us to meet. We used texting and online communication, including email, to decide on a time to meet and to interview each other. Using these forms of communication omits a lot of nuance or expression that may be gleaned from a face-to-face meeting, and I’m glad that we chose the latter method to conduct our interviews.
    Most of my follow up questions for Sarah related to how her music has impacted her life as a whole. I got some powerful quotes from her this way, and it made for a stronger and more inspirational story.
  1.  Sarah suggested that I use email to get in touch with her mother, which I did, and she gave me a great quote to summarize Sarah’s goals and how her music has positively impacted her life, and how it will affect her future

  2. My technique in interviewing was mostly to sit back and listen and let my interviewee do the talking. I allowed for pauses, because sometimes she added more information without my prodding. In contrast, my interviewer liked to question me more, and tried to get more details for her story, and so I had to think in a more critical manner to present my information from a good angle.

GSPS cleanup

  1. Most of the challengesI flagged emerged from style questions, not grammar ones. For example, I wasn’t sure if passive voice was permissible to use in a quote. To answer these questions, I looked up the answers in the AP stylebook and in Carole Rich’s textbook.I used Poynter’s WrTl 10, fine-tuning, by recording all of my information from the interview in my notes. Before I began my article, I read through all of the data, and picked the relevant points that I wanted to discuss. After I wrote the article, I re-read it several times and omitted needless words, and switched around some information to help it flow better.
  1. I used WrTl 10, which encourages varying sentence length. When I gave basic facts, such as Sarah’s family’s musicality and other factual data, I used short sentences. When I described the music’s impact on her life as a whole, I used longer sentences that were more free-flowing and explained more.I used WrTl 21, which advocates understating more serious parts to a story. In the beginning, when I discussed the tragedies that Sarah endured, I used shorter sentences and simpler language.
  1. To improve my article, I used WrTl 3, which encourages activating verbs. I wrote some sentences in the passive voice, and then went back and refined them and wrote them in the active voice. I also considered NewsU’s lead lab when writing my lead, and used my understanding of all the different lead types to write the best lead I could. Rich also recommends using partial quotes in certain cases, because they clear up confusion and help the story flow better. I did this with the quote from Sarah’s mother, and this was my favorite tip because I wasn’t sure if I could dissect a quote, but I’m glad to learn that I can. Also, for style purposes, I referred to past TA “slice of life” submissions to conform to style guidelines.

Hello world!

I spent my freshman year, this past academic year, studying abroad in Jerusalem, Israel. I had a terrific experience and can’t wait to jumpstart my path towards a communications career at UMD! I am pretty proficient in using and surfing the Internet, I love to write, and I hope to be a journalist in the marketing and advertising world of corporate publications.

To me, the online world represents the future: paperless convenience. I don’t have to spend time and money on gas to take this course, which is why I signed up for it. I can complete assignments in one of my favorite subjects, literature (and the writing that comes with it!) at my own leisure and convenience. I am so excited to take this course and combine two of my favorite fortes, the Internet and literature, and be a part of the future world of online literature, college life, and well…basically everything else that the Internet holds in store for us! What could possibly be better?!