Mental Health Monday: Who you are & the media

I’m assuming that many of you have heard recently of the passing of fashion designer L’Wren Scott.  Unfortunately, suicide has taken the life of yet another person.  I chose to focus this week’s Mental Health Monday on two important issues that need to be addressed regarding L’Wren Scott’s death.  

When we think of suicide, we think that we’re invincible; that it would never happen to someone we love or that it would never happen to someone like L’Wren Scott.  The truth is, it can.  I’ve experienced the lost of a friend at the age of 10 and some still think that a 10 year old never thinks of suicide.  I’ve heard stories of people who lost a father, a mother and some still think that adults with children never think of suicide.  We all think that celebrities like L’Wren Scott have it all and that they would never think of suicide.  But they do.  It doesn’t matter what your age is or how much you have, thoughts of suicide can and do happen.  So we need to take a stand to make sure that when those thoughts do occur, we recognize them and we know what to do, before we lose someone else.

Commuting 45 minutes to school gives me plenty of time to listen to the radio and catch up on the news and what’s trending.  But, I was extremely bothered by the poor reporting of L’Wren Scott’s death.  How many times have you heard or even said “committed suicide”?  I hear it all the time and before I became educated and informed about suicide, I used to say it too.  So now whenever I hear “committed suicide” it’s like nails on a chalkboard for me.  By stating something as simple as “committed” it’s implying that a person has committed a crime.  Suicide is not a crime.  Also commonly heard is “killed themselves”.  Stating something like that implies that that a person is a killer.  That person is not a killer, that person was fighting a battle within themselves.  Instead, say that this person has “taken their own life” or “took their own life”.  That way, you’re not implying that the person was a killer or committed crime, you’re simply stating a fact.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a great resource for more information and facts about suicide and prevention.  They have an entire page specifically for the media, so that they know how to report on a suicide.  News organizations need to be more educated and informed about how to report on suicides, it’s a public health issue and the public needs to know about it.  You take a look at the page here and AFSP also provides a handy dandy two-page spread with recommendations on reporting a suicide. 

The music of social media

While glancing through Ragan’s PR Daily, a certain article caught my attention – ‘What social media managers and jazz musicians have in common’ by Zach Pearson.  I’m definitely not a jazz musician of any sorts, so I was anxious to discover what this common link is Pearson believes to exist and I have to say that I completely agree.

5-tinh-nang-can-co-cho-web3

The analogy that Pearson makes is something that we should all consider:

Jazz musicians are “more interested in playing for 5 percent of the population who will understand the technical cleverness of their compositions than the massive audience that’s just looking for something that pleases them aesthetically” (Pearson, March 21, 2014).

Social media managers “design and implement social and content programs that are more about pleasing our pears than our audience” with “simple metrics that are easy to measure and look great on powerpoint slides…how to court influencers, which management platforms are the best and how to generate conversations” (Pearson, March 21, 2014).

Pearson’s argument is that we treat the audience that doesn’t actively engage in social media as if they’re doing it wrong.  The segment of the audience doesn’t engage on social media shouldn’t be ignored or forgotten.  There’s no right way to use social media and there’s no right way to listen to music.  Often time organizations or businesses get too caught up with gaining new members or new customers, but what about the customers and members that already support you?  We can sometimes unintentionally ignore segments of our audience.  Should we pay more attention to Twitter users with 500+ followers or tweets on a regular basis?  According to the O’Reilly radar when you only include accounts that have tweeted in the past 30 days, that media users has 61 followers (Stadd, December 26, 2013).

“Step into the shoes of the audience” (Pearson, March 21, 2014).  The key is to put the audience first and to generate posts that would catch the attention of the audience that actively engages in social media as well as the audience that skims through their social media during commercials or waiting in line at the store.

 

Sources

Alisson, S. (2013, December 26). The median twitter user has 1 follower. All Twitter. Retrieved from http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/median-twitter-user-1-follower_b53261.

Zach, P. (2014, March 21). What social media managers and jazz musicians have in common. Ragan’s PR Daily. Retrieved from http://www.prdaily.com/socialmedia/Articles/What_social_media_managers_and_jazz_musicians_have_16266.aspx.

 

Twitter: one bird is better than two

Okay so we’ve all heard the saying ‘two is better than one’, right?  Well, when it comes to Twitter ‘one is better than two’.

Twitter

There’s still plenty for us all to learn about social media and once we finally get the hang of juggling our LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts there’s a brand new social media tool to add to our toolbox.  I suppose there’s more than one of us that have learned the hard way that having one Twitter account enough to handle without adding in another.  Then there’s the other boat load of us that still question whether we should have two Twitter accounts to separate our corporate and personal brands.  ‘Why one Twitter account is plenty’ by Jason Mollica on Ragan’s PR Daily is here to help us out.

Mollica (who does have two Twitter accounts) doesn’t think it’s necessary to have more than one Twitter account.  He states that “focusing on your personal brand can be difficult” and “the more honest you are with yourself and your audience, the better for your brand, and the better for your career as well” (Mollica, March 14, 2014).  There are several reasons that Mollica gives for why you should only focus on one Twitter account – time, confusion, transparency, noise, personality, and smarts.

My personal favorite of these reasons – smarts (read the others here: http://www.prdaily.com/socialmedia/Articles/16255.aspx).  This remains my number one reason why I feel no need to have two Twitter accounts to separate my personal and professional lives.  “Display some smarts”.  In other words – think before you tweet.  Not everything but the kitchen sink needs to be posted on Twitter.  If you wouldn’t want your grandmother reading it, you probably shouldn’t be tweeting it and chances are she might actually have a Twitter (it’s possible!).   Overall Mollica believes that showing some smarts on your Twitter shows that you considered your audience and your personal brand before you tweet.

In the article ‘Twitter 101: how to tweet your way to a strong personal brand’ on TheSavyIntern, it’s suggested that “if you MUST tweet about topics that are not “on-brand” for you [what you ate, what your kids are doing, etc.], set up a recreational or personal Twitter account” (JobHunt.org, February 27 2014).  I beg to differ.  Do you REALLY need to tweet about those topics, so much that you’re willing to give up a chunk of our time to juggle two separate Twitter accounts?  Even if you only follow Mollica’s ‘smarts’ reasoning for only having one Twitter account, that should answer your question.

So tell me, is ‘two better than one’ or is ‘one better than two’?

Sources:

Jason, M. (2014, March 14). Why one twitter account is plenty. Ragan’s PR Daily. Retrieved from http://www.prdaily.com/socialmedia/Articles/16255.aspx.

(2014, February 27). Twitter 101: how to tweet your way to a strong personal brand. TheSavyIntern. Retrieved from http://www.youtern.com/thesavvyintern/index.php/2014/02/27/twitter-101-how-to-tweet-your-way-to-a-strong-personal-brand/.

#TBT

If you’re on any social media site, chances are that you’ve either seen or participated in it.  It’s fun.  It’s (sometimes) embarrassing, yet funny at the same time.  It’s history.  It’s Throwback Thursday or better known as #TBT!

Urban Dictionary does a swell job at explaining what exactly Throwback Thursday is all about – “When you put a picture from a “while” ago on your social media sites” (January 26, 2012).  Okay so it’s not the best definition, but it gets the point across, right?

TBT2

If you were to explore my personal social media accounts, you’re bound to find numerous Throwback Thursdays.  It’s a great way to reminisce through social media and I enjoy the laugh from viewing everyone else’s throwbacks.  So it came as a surprise to me that it never crossed my mind about this being something great for businesses and organizations until I read Craig Carter’s article “8 brands making the most of Throwback Thursday” on Ragan’s PR Daily.

Carter does a much better job explaining Throwback Thursday and how it came about “as a way for people to share older pictures of themselves or reminisce about the past in general” (Carter, March 7, 2014).  Carter uses specific examples of brands that have jumped on the #TBT bandwagon, my favorite being Wendy’s and their #TBT to when they opened the first modern day pick up window (drive thru).  This made me realize how extremely clever it is for businesses and organizations to join in on the fun of yet another social media trend.

The #TBT trend allows businesses to share a piece of history with their audience; it gives the audience a slice of who the brand is.  It invited the audience to share the laughter of how far you’ve come and be thankful for it.  Also, it’s a great opportunity for the audience to learn something that they hadn’t known before about the brand.

So what’s your next #TBT going to be?

Sources:

throwback thursday. In Urban Dictionary.com. Retrieved March 9, 2014, from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Throwback+Thursday.

Craig, C. (2014, March 7). 8 brands making the most of throwback thursday. Ragan’s PR Daily. Retrieved from http://prdaily.com/socialmedia/Articles/16200.aspx.