Digital Communications for Personal PR

This week, I was fortunate enough to meet with a great group of young women who are working towards engineering degrees. They are the UNT chapter of the Society for Women Engineers. They are a great group that has come together for an excellent series of workshops entitled “One Busy Girl.” These workshops teach networking, resume writing, interview skills, fitness, self-defense, professionalism, and anything a busy professional needs to know! 

My colleague Staci approached me earlier in the semester and asked if I would help her plan one of the workshops. “Sure.” I said, “But what does a journalism/computer education major have to offer a bunch of brilliant engineering women?” Then I thought about how hard it was to get a professional photograph taken for my LinkedIn profile. I ended up learning about self-portraits instead of hiring someone. I grabbed my DSLR and signed up for co-hosting: “First Impressions: Make Up For the Workplace.” 

All students need to know how to market themselves as professionals in the workplace. Staci is a pro, successfully completing her coursework in information science while running a beauty consulting business, a full house complete with every extracurricular activity known to man, a volunteer career, all while looking polished and pristine.

My eagerness to be involved on campus resulted in a digital communication campaign.
LinkedIn Profile Photo Shoot
  • Budget: $0.
  • Channels: Pinterest, Facebook, and email.
  • Goal: Provide newly made-over young professionals with LinkedIn headshots.
  • Success metrics: 
    • at least 25% of active members on campus in attendance.
    • at least 50% of members following Pinterest board.
  • Post-mortem project evaluation: whether or not the students found the tips useful.

I created a pin board where I bookmarked articles about the best way to introduce yourself, appropriate workplace attire, and fast hairstyle tutorials. My Facebook page became a billboard for the event; tagging the organizers, sharing the event, and posting fun tips on the importance of a neat appearance in the workplace.

I addressed about 16 young women, (less than 25% of the membership, but I will let the engineers stick to the math) most of who are new to the job search, on why having an appropriate photo on LinkedIn even mattered. It’s the same reason that dressing nicely for an interview matters: recruiters are trying to decide if you're a presentable candidate.

SWE members pick out work appropriate makeup

I had so much fun communicating the event that I hope to do so much more on campus. My next student seminar will be for the Research Friday events out at UNT’s Discovery Park, November 2nd. I plan to address how to use social media to share research news and create funding opportunities. 

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