Virtual workspace time management tips

By: Emma Bumgarner

Your time as a PR pro or pro in training is valuable, so knowing how to spend it wisely is pivotal to success in the field.

As we approach nearly a year since shifting to virtual learning and remote workspaces, I feel it’s important to revisit some time-management tips. Organizing calendars and deadlines with healthy ways to balance the work-home lifestyle is already overwhelming without everything being strictly online. Your time as a PR pro or pro in training is valuable, so knowing how to spend it wisely is pivotal to success in the field. 

Use different calendars for different things

Personally, I find peace of mind in using three different types of calendars for planning; each with a slightly different purpose. Writing in a planner is a good way to keep track of daily tasks and small deadlines. Something I’ve made a habit of doing is prioritizing and listing my to-do’s and crossing them out once I’ve completed them to help make the list less daunting to look at. When it comes to weekly meetings, I turn to virtual calendars. Having a weekly layout of all my different meetings on the screen in front of me helps me to visualize my free time slots where I know I can step away from the screen. With virtual calendars, you can label the meeting type, sync the calendar between your phone and laptop, and set up notifications to remind you of your meeting starting. The final calendar I use is a wall calendar that holds birthdays, fun events and big deadlines. With this calendar hanging right by my desk, I’m able to visually see upcoming events. Giving different types of calendars different purposes ensures that I’m keeping up-to-date and prioritizing my time better. 

Start early to boost daily productivity

One way to optimize day-to-day productivity is by preparing the night before to get ahead the next day. Waking up early isn’t always easy, especially not when going from home to work or class now involves getting up out of bed and walking a few steps to your desk. Getting to bed at a reasonable time and setting a nighttime routine to help wind-down mentally and physically prepares the body for sleep, which can result in a more restful sleep and ease with awakening in the morning. An article by Meredith L. Eaton on MuckRack brings attention to limiting or turning off notifications and shutting down some social or communication platforms to help you step away. While the article itself focuses on general organizational tips for the PR pro, I like to incorporate these tips at the end of my day so I don’t feel mentally overloaded the next morning. Another thing I make a point of doing is closing all of my tabs at the end of the night and silencing my phone. When you’re able to sleep well, you can wake up easier and give yourself the needed time to get situated and feel fully prepared for the day. 

Communicate to keep yourself on track

It’s no secret that those in the PR field are often multitasking or have various tasks to attend to. Checking in with peers or colleagues about projects, simple tasks and big, hard deadlines is essential to keeping others and yourself on track. Even just sending yourself or your team a few deadline reminders can help keep the tasks at hand fresh in your mind so that you’re more likely to remember to do them. Setting deadline reminders that pop-up as notifications on your phone is also a great way to communicate to-do’s to yourself. Communicating to yourself and to others what you’ll be working on is a way to hold yourself accountable to the work you need to complete. 

How to spruce up your LinkedIn profile during your job search

By: Claire Bang

As a soon to be college graduate, the job hunt becomes a huge part of your final semester. While some of your classmates may find jobs quickly, you might find yourself struggling to figure out what you can do to improve your appearance as a qualified candidate. 

LinkedIn is one of the many free resources you have access to as a soon-to-be professional in the workplace. A profile is something that is easily customizable and can help you stand out from other candidates. In an article from LinkedIn themselves, they give you some of their main pointers on how to give your profile the makeover it deserves.

Make your headline more than just a job title

This stands out for many of us soon-to-be graduates simply because not all of us currently have jobs. Instead of writing that you’re a student at Chico State, you can alter it to display what works for you or a desired position. An example of this is “Aspiring Marketing and PR Specialist.” This allows you to be found easier when recruiters are searching for certain positions. That’s because even if you don’t currently hold the position they’re looking to hire someone for, they’ll be able to find your profile because it has the desired position listed.

If you’ve got the skills, show them off

LinkedIn currently offers more than 80 different assessments for technical, business and design skills. They offer anything from Google Analytics to Microsoft Word and so much more. These allow employers to quickly identify who has the skills they’re looking for before even needing to click on your profile.

Customize your profile with a great banner photo

We all know the first impression comes with having a professional profile image to show who you are, but another really easy way is to create your own banner showing your personality. If you need some help figuring out where to start, look to Canva where you can get creative by messing around with their templates. For me personally, my banner connects back to my professional website and matches the messaging and colors that someone would see in my online portfolio.

If you’ve got the skills, show them off

LinkedIn currently offers more than 80 different assessments for technical, business and design skills. They offer anything from Google Analytics to Microsoft Word and so much more. These allow employers to quickly identify who has the skills they’re looking for before even needing to click on your profile.

Let your personality shine through

Besides letting your personality shine through in your banner, you can also use the about section on your profile to talk about your aspirations. As a soon to be college graduate, I’ve made sure that mine includes a place where I talk about what I’m doing until I graduate. You can include items such as what you’re learning and how you’ve applied it. Mine also includes the kind of team I want to work with and how I want to help a company grow. Be creative with it, because if you’ve already followed the above steps, then this is one of the next places an employer or recruiter would look.

Ensure your experience highlights your accomplishments

This is a spot where an employer has the opportunity to see what you brought to the table in your past experiences. Instead of saying things like, “Responsible for increasing sales within the company,” use specific examples such as, “Increased company sales by 8% throughout 2020.” If you’ve worked a management position you can talk about things like how many team members you onboarded. Treat your profile as a place where you can list your highest accomplishments instead of a place to list mundane job duties.

Show your passion for learning outside of school

LinkedIn offers learning courses where you can further your education on topics you may not learn inside the classroom. They also release up-to-date courses with all the new industry knowledge. Most of the courses give you the opportunity to add a course certificate to your profile after you’ve completed a course. Some of my favorite courses are Crisis Communication, Resume Makeover, Google Ads Essential Training and Learning to Be Promotable.

Now more than ever, it’s important to make sure you are creating an impression on LinkedIn that shows you’re passionate about what you do and what you can bring to a team that is unique to you. The job hunt may seem long and daunting but I promise, you have every tool you could need to set you up for success in your career.

Why social media campaigns are even more important while we’re at home

By: Grace Gilani

The days when we regarded social media indulgence as a bad habit, or a generational flaw, are essentially gone. Instead, it has become one of the most integral aspects of modern society, particularly amid the pandemic when many of our real-world forums have disappeared.

Now more than ever our digital social media marketing skills need to be at the forefront of our strategies. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, brands and companies have had to reinvent their marketing strategies to tailor them towards an almost all-digital world. Recently I realized just how important these campaigns were as I was brainstorming potential ideas for campaigns with my friends for Instagram. Even before the pandemic, our world was primarily online throughout the wide variety of social media platforms we have out there. Now, it’s hard to reach your audience when most of them are staying home. In an article by Forbes, they lay out some best practices when it comes to forming your social media strategy.

1 .Know who your audience is. 

While conducting your research you want to take into account who your target audience is and what platforms they might be using. For example, Instagram is the biggest social media platform with over one billion active monthly users. Breaking that down even further, 49 percent of their users are male while 51 percent are female. With Instagrams having such similarities there are other apps that reach more of a diverse audience, such as Twitter. Knowing who your audience is and how you want to reach it should be at the forefront of your mind. 

2. Stay up to date 

As we all change and grow throughout our day-to-day lives, it is important to keep an eye on the current trends circulating throughout the industry. As many of us are aware, all PR pros alike wake up every morning and do a news sweep and look at current trends. These trends have become increasingly popular on the fastly growing social media platform TikTok. If your company were to jump on one of these trends it would have the potential to reach millions of users and catapult your brands’ social media to a new level. 

3. Considered sponsored content 

In our world now everyone is considered an influencer if you successfully run your own Instagram account. However, knowing the difference between macro and micro-influencers is important. Many times brands will collaborate with these influencers in hopes of reaching their audience, however, macro-influencers can oftentimes come with a large price tag. If your brand is small and this is your first time experimenting with influencers, a good way to test the waters would be to use micro-influencers and assess your strategy from there by the data you collected. 

Another idea to reach your audience at home is purchasing sponsored content. By using sponsored content you are able to tailor your demographics and reach the right audience, or the one that you think could be the best for your audience. For smaller companies just $10 would suffice, it’s all about getting your brand out there. 

Even during these terrifying and uncertain times, an important thing to remember is that social media is forever, it will always be there, but remember that it can be what your brand makes of it and how you tailor it to your needs. Social media will be your best friend, especially when you look at exactly how many people use it on a daily basis. 

How to Maintain a Relationship with Your Brand and Audience

By Colby Rutledge

During these current times, building and maintaining a relationship between the brand you represent and the audience that supports is becoming tough. Especially if you want to support something people part of your brand are really invested in. Issues, such as social justice, or other serious issues, are something that some may be hesitant supporting. The best PR examples I have found are the PR teams that represent the Seattle Storm and the Los Angeles Sparks, and the PR team that represents the WNBA as a whole. 

To deal with making sure their players’ voices were heard while also making sure not to drive away fan interest, the WNBA PR teams, which includes 12 teams in the WNBA, showed support for players while educating fans who are interested in the issues that players are discussing on and off the court. The way they did this was by allowing a platform for the players’ voices with teams like the Seattle Storm and the Los Angeles Sparks advocating for change with posts to bring light to the issues. 

Photo and post by Seattle Storm from Instagram 

One of the biggest PR campaigns this year that got WNBA fans and basketball fans very interested was the Social Justice Auction by the Seattle Storm of the WNBA, which promoted auctioning off items such as signed jerseys and memorabilia by the Seattle Storm, with the proceeds going towards the fight for social justice. This was a motion brought forward by the Storm’s Force4Change campaign that started in July, and the Instagram post that went with this gained over 1,200 likes on the Seattle Storm’s Instagram, with all positive comments. 

Another thing that your brand and audience will support is to be behind a message that is easy to follow and that has a clear message. The Los Angeles Sparks helped emphasize the WNBA’s vote campaign that provided a clear message with their Twitter page highlighting the caption.

“Voting makes us stronger and we’re with you…..every vote matters. Democracy is a team sport! #TheAllianceLA’’ 

Video and post by LASparks from Twitter 

This social media post by the Los Angeles Sparks team garnered 49 likes and over 1,000 views for their video in just a six-hour span. It was one of the many ways that the WNBA and their teams got their point across, and still kept their high volume of fans interested and liking their product.

Photo by Yahoo Sports and post by Chicago Sky from Twitter 

Another key thing to remember when it comes to maintaining the relationship with your brand and your audience is to make sure to respond the right way if someone criticizes what your brand is, or its message that it is presenting. A case in point with the WNBA is during their peaceful protest of racial injustice in which they were criticized harshly by Atlanta Dream co-owner and Republican U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler for their peaceful protests prior to the WNBA game’s start time. Instead of getting upset, all of the WNBA teams created social media posts about it, like the Chicago Sky’s Twitter page using the Twitter caption of “ Don’t boo…Vote” with the hashtag “#Vote2020,’’. 

With those posts, all of the WNBA teams also showed support to one of Loeffler’s political opponents this election season, Atlanta pastor and Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock. This post resulted in over 8,000 likes’, and over 1,000 people tweeting about it, creating a positive conversation on the issue. 

Photo and post by the WNBA  from Facebook

The final point in how to maintain a relationship between your brand and your audience is to show that the head of your brand supports people that are most important to their brand, and address someone who is trying to bring harm to your brand in a calm way, using something like a statement. This example, a statement by WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert on Kelly Loeffler’s comments regarding the player’s platform, highlights that it’s best to fight criticism with support of the people that best represent your brand, because that makes them want to stick up for you when you need support. 

Just to show how the WNBA’s practices worked, according to SB Nation “…the 2020 WNBA Finals between Seattle Storm Las Vegas Aces had 15% more viewers than the 2019 Finals between the Washington Mystics and Connecticut Sun,” (Albert Lee, SB Nation). I think this is proof of how to use these great practices to your advantage, because this rating hike for the WNBA Finals was higher than the NFL regular season, MLB regular season and the Stanley Cup Finals. 

5 Creative Tools to Help You Design

By Jessie Chen

As we continue to experience the pandemic,it’s important to sharpen our tools. We all have tools that help us get through the day, as a mechanic has their tools, teachers with their educational tools, and we designers have tools too! So let’s go ahead and immerse ourselves into some design tools, because it may help you solve a creative issue. 

“Buckle up and get ready to make digital art at the speed of thought!” – Rob Hooks

Some of you may think these tools are common and you already know them, but we all can learn something new everyday. Now these are some varying tools that may not apply to everyone, but they all have their purpose in the creative field. 

  1. Adobe Capture

Adobe Capture is a great tool. It is a mobile application that is on both Android 

and Apple stores. It’s a really great tool for any designer, whether you’re 

freelancing or with an agency. Some perks are that it can help you figure out what kind of font your client is using, but they might not know off the top of their head. Or, the client didn’t receive it from a previous request from another designer, who didn’t include extra details like fonts and color. Adobe Capture brings up the most closely related font or that exact font. Another helpful tool within this application is the color option. Simply move your camera to your desired spot and it’ll pick out colors that work well together from your camera shot. You can move around the camera, as you move you’ll see at the top of your device the colors change accordingly. It will not set the color until you hit the capture button. There are many other functions within this application, but these are the ones that I found most helpful.

  1. Adobe Color

Adobe Color is a browser application that is really simple to use. You pick a color that you want to use as your main color out of the many options like analogous, monochromatic, or complementary colors, and many more. It’s great for creating your color palettes or helps if you are having trouble creating them! 

  1. Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay.com

These websites are great to use if you happen to need a photo of professional 

quality and is non-copyright! They’re fabulous websites to check out if you’re in need of filler photos or free photo usage with your designs or websites or layouts.

  1. Behance

Behance is another great website. You can showcase your work or see other 

people’s work. It’s also a place to gain inspiration from in case you happen to hit a mental block and can’t seem to get any concepts out. Additionally, you can join in on conversations on other people’s creative work. Behance is a really a place of opportunity to explore and talk to other designers as well!

  1. Dafont

This website is resourceful for getting fonts or trying out new fonts for your 

creative projects! This site includes both paid and free fonts available for download. You can filter them out to get only free fonts, or however you want to filter out the font selections.

These are some of the creative tools that can help a lot in your projects. Check out the links below to find more tools to use. Also, these tools are optional, you don’t need all of them to be successful!

The 20 best graphic design tools recommended by top digital artists – 99designs

Harry Potter unarmed is a great wizard. But armed with his phoenix feathered holly wood wand, he’s the G.O.A.T! You too may be a very talented graphic designer or digital artist, but by using the right tools the force of your talent can be multiplied exponentially.

15 Tools And Apps Every Graphic Designer Should Have In 2020

The modern era is ruled by technology and internet. Content too has changed form and ideas are now mostly shared through short graphic clips and compelling logo designs. No wonder then that the graphic designer are having a field day. Their job has definitely become more complicated with the customer’s becoming choosier and the competition on all time high.

Four Pro Tips for Running a Successful Business

By Tarah Johnson

Anyone is capable of starting a business. It consists of basic fundamentals such as selling a product, profit from that product, hiring employees and balancing their compensation. It takes strategic planning and hard work, though, to successfully run a business. More and more businesses fueled with innovative, creative ideas are being created each day, with people eager to fulfill a position. While running a business seems straightforward enough, it takes time, effort and dedication to run a business that creates profit, is ethical, fair and won’t shut down. With us still in the midst of a pandemic, many businesses have been forced to close their doors due to a failing economy and other circumstances.

According to HubSpot, in the United States roughly 9% of businesses both new and old close each year. On the flip side, only 8% are opened.

The point is that it takes courage, drive and responsibility to not only open a business, but possess the necessary skills to keep it running successfully. Here are some tips to start your journey and learn how to actively run a great business:

  1. Draft a business plan

One of the more essential steps into running a successful business is having a clear, laid out plan of what you’re hoping to accomplish, goals, general thoughts and ideas. This is an important document that needs to be shared with stakeholders, and it’ll also lead you to be more organized and have a clear vision of the path you want to take. In our current digital age, drafting a business plan is easier than ever, with templates, formats and examples across the web.

  1. Set Revenue and Profitability Goals

In order for a business to succeed, it needs to generate enough money to sustain operations, pay employees, and eventually make a profit for future investments. You’d be surprised at the amount of money that needs to be allocated for a system to run smoothly, including staffing, sourcing, production, capital and more. This would be the opportunity to review your business’s pricing structure and see what needs adjustments. Is your product priced correctly? How much revenue needs to be brought in quarterly, monthly and annually? What quantity needs to be sold in order to reach your profitability goals? Document these answers clearly so you know what to do.

  1. Hire The Right Employees

You’ve worked hard to create a business unique to you, so you definitely want to have a team that reflects you and your company’s values. Additionally, making sure these employees are also trustworthy, driven, dedicated, hardworking and intelligent are essential as well. Don’t build any ordinary team- build a super team, one that you’re proud of and consistently delivers good results. Surround yourself with experts in things you are not. Ask for their input/feedback, and involve them in decisions that affect them as well as your business. When you win, you all win.

  1. Focus on the Customer Experience

Last but certainly not least, hone in on your business’s customer experience and the impact you want to leave on your customer. Your business is nothing without customers and valued buyers, so make sure you’re treating them as such and make their experience a great one. Their time with your business affects the way your brand is perceived, so be ready to deliver what the people want. 

Running a business isn’t an easy process, and running a successful business is even harder. It takes time, effort, money, commitment, planning, and a willingness to constantly learn from yourself and others to improve. If you follow these tips, though, it’ll lead you to the right path of figuring out where to start, and how to maintain that trajectory as you navigate your business endeavors. 

Resume Tips for Remote Work

By Breanna Cota

This year has thrown many challenges our way, but it’s important to make sure you are keeping your resume updated and relevant for new job opportunities. Many students and recent graduates are learning how to juggle the new challenges of both learning and working. 

Students are attending most of their courses online and are learning from the many challenges remote learning causes. Individuals who are job hunting will find many careers have moved to the digital space and they must revamp their resume to show how they have accommodated to new challenges

Many tasks you perform at home help keep you organized and productive, yet they are not listed on resumes. Here are some tips from FlexJobs.com to help showcase how you’re working from home and learning from home. These experiences can help build your resume as well as create a competitive advantage. 

1.Show self reliance and motivation

Working on your own helps show potential employers that you are self sufficient and can be relied on. When you are at home, you may be able to take charge of creating your own schedule, but for some a set Monday-Friday schedule is the way to go. Whichever way works best for you, listing your experience with working on tasks on your own can be seen as a strength for future opportunities.  

2. List programs you are familiar with

Many meetings and events are now held in a virtual space. Listing your familiarity with programs such as Zoom, Google Chat and Dropbox shows that you are capable of working in collaborations from remote locations.

Other programs such as Microsoft Office or Google Suite should also be listed. Many of these office programs are used in physical offices as well as by teams remotely. Showing you have prior experience with such programs gives you an advantage.

3. No WFH experience?

If you have no WFH experience, there are still plenty of opportunities to show how prior tasks and challenges were met in a communal work environment. You can let employers know how you will use your prior knowledge and experience to tackle the challenge of working from home.

Many students have spent countless hours working with programs such as Excel, Word or Google Suite. Showcasing how you used Excel to track projects or Google Suite to communicate with team members on projects can let employers know you have strong communication skills.

Betsy Adrews of FlexJobs states, “While remote-friendly employers will consider an applicant that has never worked remotely before, it’s always a good idea for an applicant that has remote experience to highlight this in their resume as it may ‘give them a leg up.” 

The most difficult part of working remotely is being in charge of yourself. Your boss can’t walk around the office and check on your progress if you are working remotely. It is your responsibility to make sure you are organized and efficient. Without good communication skills and self efficiency, working from a remote location could be a challenge. 

Behind every strong resume is a potential employee eager and ready to rise to the challenge. It is important to make sure your resume is always up to date and filled with relevant information. It’s recommended that you revisit and refresh your resume twice a year.

How to succeed in a virtual internship

By Lexi Kornblum

No one could have expected the rapid and staggering changes that have occurred in 2020. While it has been difficult, we’ve all adapted our practices and we’re moving forward. Now, remote working is more plentiful than ever, and it’s not quite the same as in-office work. 

Getting an internship is a crucial step in the career process for college students and recent graduates alike. Internship can give you experience in your chosen field, and help you network for the future. Approximately 60% of employers are planning to offer virtual internships in the coming months, so taking the time beforehand to prepare yourself is key.

“Virtual internships are a great experience, and while they present some unique challenges, they give you flexibility and they’re great preparation for the real world.” – Dani Moritz

Here are some tips to help you thrive in your virtual internship:

Communication is key:

Having good communication is absolutely vital to succeeding in a remote work environment. Sending emails, setting Zoom meetings and using Google calendars are going to be your bread and butter for the upcoming months. Keep in mind that each company already has their own communication system, like using Microsoft Outlook or Google, and you should adjust to it as quickly as you can. Having strong communication skills benefits both yourself and your employer, and learning these systems quickly in a remote world is critical to your success.

Focus on learning

An internship is an opportunity to test your skills in a professional setting. This is your time to learn and grow in your field, and it’s important to take advantage of that. Remember that you’re always learning, and this internship is a fantastic opportunity to gain knowledge from industry professionals. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or present new ideas— it’s all part of the process! 

Plan & organize your days

It’s a fast-paced world these days, and it’s more important than ever to plan and organize your work days. Tehama Group Communications has a full blog on staying organized during virtual life, and it’s a great read! Find a system that works for you. Whether that’s using pen and paper planners, or a virtual calendar and phone alarm system, it’s crucial to have a way of organizing your responsibilities. It’s entirely possible that you’re still going to school full-time and working on an internship, in which it’s even more important that you have your organizational system in place. Once you find your system, stick to it and make it work for you.

Be proactive

It’s a good idea in any internship to take the initiative on projects, and show dedication to your work. In a virtual internship, it’s absolutely vital that you be proactive in your work. It can be easy to fade into the background in a remote workplace— you can always turn your camera or microphone off during meetings. By being proactive and joining the conversation, adding your ideas or offering your expertise on a project, it shows that you’re active and engaged with the company. Proactivity is a great way to show your employer just how enthusiastic you are about the work.

Build relationships

An internship is the perfect opportunity to build your professional network. You’ll be working in your chosen field alongside your coworkers and peers, and they really do want to help you! Ask questions and engage in conversation with your fellow employees. Taking the time outside of mandatory training or meetings to make connections with your peers shows that you’re invested in your growth and willing to step out of your comfort zone. People will remember you years from now if you play your cards right, and that can help with job opportunities, earned media for your company, and more. 

While internships can seem like a daunting step in your career, but they’re really just an incredible opportunity for self-growth and gaining professional experience. You will always learn something new from a virtual internship, so it’s important to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity, and keep your mind open to the new experience. And lastly, remember to enjoy your virtual internship and all it has to offer!

Optimizing Your Productivity While Working From Home

By Jamie Kolnes

Ways to make the best use of your time while working remotely.

As we adjust to our new normal amidst the pandemic, our routines need to change. Just because many aspects of our lives feel out of control, doesn’t mean we settle for complete chaos. There are routines and tricks available, in order to condition ourselves into being as productive as possible. Your time is valuable, arguably now more than ever, and creating plans to optimize it can help with a multitude of different aspects in your life. For example, beaumont.org says time management can help with stress management, better sleep, and even being more productive at work. Here are some tips that can help you get started right away. 

Tip 1: Stay Organized

Staying organized is huge when it comes to optimizing your time in a day. When you are organized, there is less time spent thinking about the tasks and objects hanging over you. Knowing where vital objects to your work day are saves precious time and helps tasks get completed at a much faster rate. Your whole day becomes more efficient when you don’t have to spend time finding everyday objects. A great way to maintain an organized state is to hold yourself accountable. Put incentives in place, whether it’s a break to spend time on a hobby, or a treat for yourself. 

Tip 2: Rest Is Important

Making sure that you are well rested is vital to having a productive day at work. In fact, The National Sleep Foundation claims that “Making sleep a priority may advance your career.” There are so many benefits to prioritizing giving your body the rest it needs. Especially when you can argue that it’s good for your work performance. In fact, sleep deprivation causes American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity. Sleep can help you put your best foot forward during the day, and not spend more time on tasks than needed. It’ll also help prevent burnout, and help you enjoy your job more. Having ample rest also improves things like your memory, decision making skills, and, of course, focus.

Tip 3: Create a Schedule

Procrastination is a huge silent killer of productivity. Even though it’s easy to get away with, it leaves you feeling unaccomplished and stressed. Completing tasks early gives you a sense of accomplishment and drives you to do the same in the future. Creating a schedule for yourself each day, with a to-do list of tasks to get done helps. Rank your tasks from most urgent and important to least. It’ll seem less daunting to make the last few tasks “optional.”   Even if only the most important tasks get completed that day, you’ll still feel accomplished. 

Tip 4: Create a Work Specific Zone

Creating a work specific zone has been a common tip for a lot of us working from home. Just like having a specific place in our homes to eat and sleep, having one to stay focused and “work-minded,” helps with productivity and therefore optimizes the time you have in a day. If you do not have an entire room to dedicate to your work, pick an area of a room, and set it up for each day. Keeping all of your work gear in the same area makes for an easy commute and set up. Pick a quiet, well-lit area that is easy to walk away from a few times a day. Try not to do things like take naps or eat meals at the same place you work. 

I hope you’re able to take a few tips away today and implement them into your own life. They might help you even more than you think. For more useful blogs about working in the public relations field, visit the Tehama Group Communications website.

Keeping your customers at the forefront during a brand refresh

By Claire Bang

Consumers are being constantly bombarded with ads and messaging from all sorts of companies. Giving your brand a refresh can make your company stand out amongst the competition and allows you to truly hone in on what you want your customers to consider about your company. Full rebrands are a lengthy process whereas a brand refresh only requires some market research and competitor analysis.

According to Stephen Peate from Fabrik “a good brand refresh strategy requires less risk than a total overhaul, and it can still get you the results you need.”

Keep in mind that every brand is different and although some may still require an entire brand overhaul, most brands can benefit from some minor changes to help them provide better content. Here are some simple changes your company can make to rejuvenate your brand without losing loyal customers.

  • Test out new marketing channels

Many brands have experienced success in reaching new markets by using one of the latest social media hits, TikTok. Brands like the U.S. Open Tennis Championships have reached new target markets than they’ve previously had before like millennials and Generation Z. Using sounds that are trending on the app has landed their videos on many users “For You” pages numerous times.

Small businesses have seen positive results on the app as well. Both users who were laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic and existing small companies have used the platform to create business for themselves during these tough times. People like The Carpet Repair Guy have created entertaining content drawing in large followings who just watch him repair people’s carpets in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • Stop requiring your customer service team to use copy-and-paste responses

When being responded to by a customer service team, template-based messages are preferred by consumers over copy-and-paste responses. After all, if your customer is talking to a human, it should feel like they’re talking to a human and not a robot. 

The human connection that a consumer makes with a representative of a company can really determine how they view the company, and how they talk about the company to others as well. 

When I used to chat with other customers online for the company I used to work for, they really emphasized the importance of being yourself. They encouraged the use of emojis and exclamation points, when they were appropriate, and I believe many customers seemed more comfortable during conversations because of that.

  • Give your online visuals a refresh

You can easily put your company at the forefront by making small changes to the visuals that customers see, bringing them up-to-date with new trends.

Start by deleting anything that is outdated and a customer would have no reason to look at anymore (psst… it’s taking up valuable space on your page). Content like old Instagram highlights and website content that is irrelevant to where your brand is now is included in this.

Your brand can also change specific design elements and colors in your visuals unless those elements accurately define your company to your consumers. Keep in mind that even well known companies have taken simpler, modern approaches with elements, like their logo, that define their company and have had immense success with it.

  • Refine your messaging 

It’s ultimately a company’s choice to decide where they want to stand on relevant issues occurring nationally and there is one company I immediately think of who has made that loud and clear. Ben and Jerry’s.

Ben and Jerry’s had publicly stated over four years ago their stance in regard to the Black Lives Matter movement. To this very moment, they have continued showing their support on so many topics both on their Instagram and with its own dedicated “values” tab on their website.

Make sure the audience you desire is the audience you are actually targeting with the content you put out through these marketing channels. The messaging, voice and tone all decide who the audience is that you reach and how you reach them.

There are so many resources out there that provide even more insightful information on ways to continue improving your brand and its image. Remember that these changes don’t need to happen all at once and can be slowly integrated into the existing work that your brand does. 

At the end of the day, every decision should begin and end with what the customer thinks and wants. Brands exist for the customer and any work done should be based on customer or research feedback otherwise companies are only changing for themselves.