Tagged: UCM Public Relations

Extra Extra, Read All About It: The Importance of Staying in the Now

By: Emily Schaper

Being a Part of the Table 

We’ve all been part of a conversation where we have no idea what is being talked about. It sets you apart from others and can become difficult to get to know more people. When it comes to global issues, reading the news or checking the media every day can set yourself a spot at the table.  Plus, if you know about what’s going on in the world, you can start up a conversation about almost anything. 

How to Get Started

There are so many amazing websites that will send the news to your email every morning. It doesn’t take any time at all to be up to date with what’s happening around you. All you do is enter in your address and the top stories for each day will be sent straight to you. Some beneficial websites include:

  1. theSkimm
  2. Need2Know
  3. The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet
  4. LinkedIn Pulse

Why It’s Important

The news is important for a number of reasons within society. Not only does it inform the public about events, but it connects everyone together. Plus, if you’re interested in Public Relations, the news should already be of importance to you. Continuing on, the media can be broken down locally, nationally, and internationally

  • Local: News from a local area helps advise people about activities that may have an impact on the community. Decisions can be determined and people can be brought together
  • National: When news becomes more of interest, it will have a broader perspective. This can become tricky because of the differing time zones. However, it can be of value to know the situations of other cities and towns
  • International: When it comes to the global economy, news from other countries becomes vastly important. It gives us a sense of other perspectives and lifestyles/cultural differences


As a Public Relations major, my professors would always tell the class, you never want to be the last to know about anything. If you’re not up to date about what’s happening around you, you probably need to find a new job or area of interest. If you ever want to lock in a seat at the C-Suite Table, you’ll need to define your role, show your ability to think strategically, elevate your game, and act like you belong there. All of these can be achieved by reading the news every single day and knowing what’s happening around you.





TikTok and The Race to Join Emerging Social Platforms

By: Faith Ford

TikTok, is a massively popular app that lets users create and share videos up to 60 seconds long. At least that’s the Dictionary.com definition of the content creation app that started to gain social media users’ attention around 2018. So how did TikTok get to where it is today? And what does it mean for the future of social media, especially in the public relations, marketing and advertising industries? 


TikTok, described as one of the fastest-growing social media platforms of 2020 – and all time, began as an app that most people had recognized as Musical.y after an acquisition in 2017 by a Chinese company called ByteDance. Due to this merger of brands, the app specialized in dancing clips which led to viral trends of dance-offs, lip syncs, and extensive use of hashtag challenges. The app today has grown into a hotspot for influencer marketing and as a medium for brands to use when sharing their messaging. In just four years, the social media site has reached 150 countries, has 2 billion downloads, and 1 billion active monthly users. All this activity puts TikTok ahead of business favorites like Facebook and Instagram

Growing Hesitations 

While TikTok has shown its tremendous growth and strengths within its use as a marketing and communications hub for businesses, the app has faced crises that have jeopardized usage rates in the business world. The biggest issue facing the platform is privacy. 

Concerns about privacy have been under the lens of the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission and were even highlighted in a late summer move toward a possible nationwide ban on the social networking site, and other actions by individual businesses. 

In a July NBC news article, reporter Kevin Collier states that, “The bank Wells Fargo told its workers to delete the app. Amazon ramped up the scrutiny of TikTok on Friday after a leaked internal email said company employees needed to remove the app from their phones. Amazon later clarified that no such edict had actually been issued.” 

It seems hard to imagine that employee internal conflict with this app would reflect positively on the company, when the company starts to use it for its own purposes, as employees are a primary public to keep in mind.

However, the hesitations to use the app for public external messaging also becomes easier to understand. Why would a business invest in positions to research, analyze and create when there’s a possibility of the app being removed from your consumers? 

With regard to these concerns, it seems that TikTok has outgrown its “he who cannot be trusted” description, as more and more businesses join the viral experience. 

Considerations for Businesses 

Of course, businesses shouldn’t just join in on the site just for the numbers and its popularity. There has to be some reason for their use or else the messaging seems forced, is lost, and won’t reach their intended audience. This is where PR comes in. Remember: “What or how you do something is not as important as the WHY.” 

So what does this mean for companies wanting to use TikTok as a social media platform? 

Do your research. Know who your audience is and what they are looking for. If you are a Senior Living facility, for example, trying to reach 65-year-olds, TikTok is probably not the place to reach your primary audience. 

Be engaging. The whole point of social networking sites is to connect you with people. The ability to engage with your audience will give you a better idea of who they are, what they are looking for, and their personality. The extra effort of responding to comments, “dueting” challenges that have helped your brand, and being conversational with influencers is valuable for your brand on the platform. 

Be aware. Look for opportunities that seem organic and authentic for your company. Is there a trend that fits your new launch? Act on it! TikTok trends move quickly, so being aware of the app’s climate is important to being up-to-date and creating new and unique ideas. 

Other Emerging Social Sites 

TikTok grew – fast. It was important for businesses to be aware of its presence, even if they were choosing not to be as active on the platform as their employees. While there still may be reservations about the site, here are some social media sites that public relations, advertising, and marketing professionals should keep their eyes on:


Twitter Spaces 


Instagram Reels


Social media, including TikTok, can be a powerful tool for businesses wanting to reach their audience. However, if you are considering including it in your communication strategy, don’t forget to do your research, and most importantly, don’t forget to answer the “Why?” if you want to maximize its effectiveness. 




https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/tiktok-privacy-threat-sure-so-are-most-your-sma rtphone-apps-n1233625 


Software Gives Power to Public Relations

by Jonathan Haile

officemeetingSome time ago, I was given a question on a test that I can’t recite, verbatim, but went something like, “How do public relations professionals convince members of the C-suite that social media is valuable?” The idea behind the question, I have to assume, is that while social media is valuable in getting audiences to embrace and share content, it doesn’t necessarily equal sales, profits, or return on investment.

This is another example of what has PR pros in a bit of a rut. Whereas, marketing professionals and advertisers have hard data they use to evaluate their work, creating and maintaining relationships don’t always have numbers that can be associated with them. A company’s bottom line is the most important thing and without hard data or facts, the social media pro can get lost in the fold.

That was then. This is now.

We have to thank technology for making things so much easier in many ways, but technology offers the PR pro new powers. It can change soft data into hard, quantifiable data, and ultimately makes the PR pro more valuable. Here are some examples:


Public Relations students at the University of Central Missouri have the advantage of training with Vocus to create media contact lists. I can tell you from experience, it is nice to have the world’s media information at my finger tips, but like many other students, I didn’t know about all the benefits of Vocus beyond its media list capabilities until I investigated further.

Vocus can monitor conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. It uses what is called the “Recommendation Engine” to seek out key influencers, the opinion leaders who companies want to interact with online. It monitors conversations in such a way that if a campaign is embraced by the public in New York and Boston but lacking in Philadelphia, the PR pro will have statistics and data that will help them adjust the campaign accordingly. These are just a few things Vocus can do.


Not far from UCM, one of Kansas City’s fast-growing companies is Spiral16. Its software, similar to Vocus, gives the user or the company “Actionable Analytics” reports from conversations found on social media networks. These customizable reports are client-specific, and they even take into consideration what competitors are doing and saying, giving companies an edge. Using this kind of software takes some training, and Spiral16 helps its clients reach the its full potential with webinars and training sessions.


Engagor's software in action

Engagor’s software in action

Originally from Belgium, Engagor recently made a new home in San Francisco. Much like Vocus and Spiral16, Engagor monitors conversations on social media, creates analytics reports for clients, and allows them to manage content for social media pages, much like Hootsuite.

Google AdWords

Google searches are popular; I think most people would agree. Every time someone searches for something on Google, advertisements related to the search will pop up on the top, right side, or bottom of the page. Online marketers bid on their ads, and ad placement is a combination of the bid price, strength of the certain keywords, and a few other things.

Get to know this software if you have the opportunity.

Chances are, you might not have access to Vocus, Spiral16, or Engagor, but Google AdWords is available and certification can give you an advantage in online marketing. Even so, try to understand the purpose behind the other three products. If you can find example analytics reports, get to know them. Understand why they’re valuable. In some cases they’re expensive to use, but maybe you can prove to the C-suite why they should make the investment. There are many other examples of software with these capabilities, but I’ll allow you to do the further digging.

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Images via: Engagor, Robin Taylor Roth