February 20, 2014
As I browsed through twitter accounts of various public relations firms, and public relation gurus, I couldn’t help but notice the many similarities of the content within their tweets. Many of the profiles had posts that shared links to useful Youtube videos which acts as a guide to one’s knowledge of marketing. The twitter account of Sparkah Media interacted back and forth with their followers, while other profiles such as PR News mostly posted helpful and promotional links. Admittedly, all the public relations related twitter profiles were rather lackluster, until I began viewing the Forbes.com embedded “Must-Follow Marketing Minds on Twitter 2014” profiles that I became interested. Again, some profiles only posted links, while the Forbes account interacted with users in the tweets connected to the links. One of my favorite profiles belonged to Joseph Jaffe (@jaffejuice). I found his tweets entertaining, even though they weren’t as informative regarding his discipline. His tweets gave an insight into his interests, strong opinions, and even his very snippy responses to ignorant followers.
Viewing the profiles of these marketing minds acted as a window into the life and mind of these very successful, sought after marketing professionals. Though it may seem hard to get a lesson by simply viewing their tweets, it is also a great way to see the mindset and professionalism required to work in these fields. Many of these profiles are very active, which show that they understand the growing importance of social media and how effective a simple thought and/or opinion of 140 characters can be. For example, the profile of Melissa Hoffmann, the senior editor of Ad Week’s bio states “Opinions are mine; don’t blame my employer.” I found this to be amusing, and it demonstrated her integrity as an individual, separate from her career. It teaches us that marketers and publicists realize the power of their words, and that what they say may be a direct reflection of their company, which can either greatly or negatively affect them. For example in the case of Justine Sacco, the former PR Director for InterActiveCorp in 2013, was everything but cautious when she tweeted a very ignorant comment stating “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m White!.” A comment like that, coming from a PR director of a very popular internet company was completely unprofessional. As soon as this comment occurred, the IAC released a public statement saying “This is an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC. Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action.”
Although these professionals may lash out against rude responses of followers, and offer their controversial opinions, they are still nothing short of professional in the way they speak, and words they employ. It shows that it is very important to maintain a sense of professionalism, in and out of the workforce. Something as simple as twitter and other social networks can severely affect one’s life based on one tweet/post. So the better question is: What is the standard of professionalism in the field of marketing? If you make the choice to use social media as a form of marketing and communication in the field you work, it seems the best choice is to keep it strictly business. It wasn’t hard to figure out exactly what these great marketing minds on twitter’s profiles represented because their bios gave it all away with short and simple wording, stating their job title, and/or the company they work for; and their tweets did just that. As I browsed from the profiles of Sarah Manley the CMO of Burberry, to Barbra Rechterman the CMO of GoDaddy.com, I found that everything was strictly business. They hold such important positions in their field of work that it would be unfortunate if anything they posted on their personal social media accounts had a negative impact on their job potential.
Professionalism in the field of PR enables one to maintain a positive image at all times. It seems as though the best way to go about this, based on what you see as examples from these marketing professionals, is to relate everything back to the company and brand one works for. However; this may vary depending on if you work for TMZ or if you are the CMO of Walmart.
The marketing field is far more lax than other fields in the business world, but even this field depends on the firm you work for. Being a “professional” is having the skills required to be engaged in a particular profession. A person working in the field of marketing must possess certain basic skills such as leadership qualities in order to drive a brand forward and manage a team, being business savvy, socially understanding, tech savvy, and having good writing skills; but simply having these skills may not be enough. A person working in this professional field must uphold the proper behavioral standards set by the company they work for and maintain proper, professional and ethical relationships with clientele and partners.
When learning about the marketing profession, and the necessary steps to become a force to be reckoned with in the marketing/advertising/public relations field, we learn the importance of maintaining good relationships with the brands with which you work. After all, marketing and public relations is all about a company’s effort to form good relationships with consumers, and having a good public image. This was clearly demonstrated with all the profiles I viewed. Whether it was a link to a news article, or a link to a Budweiser commercial; these professionals in some way were promoting these brands whilst offering their opinion at the same time and helped to draw the attention of their followers.
Being a part of the marketing culture means that you become the driving force behind many major brands and industries in the world. A marketer can single-handedly be responsible for the success or failure of a company and/or brand. When one becomes a professional marketer they take on great responsibility, and at all times have to be on their A game in order to push the brand/company for which they work to the top.