The New & Improved Expanded Text Ads

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Google ad changes (as shown above).

If you’re a PR pro or marketer, chances are that you’ve heard about the big Google AdWords changes. The changes were announced several months ago, giving advertisers time to opt in early or wait until the changes are rolled out universally in January 2017. To sum up the changes, Google is now giving advertisers more space to get their messages across. Before, advertisers really had to create a minimalist ad in order to fit the character count guidelines. With the extra space, advertisers have a bit more wiggle room to persuade consumers to visit their sites.

AdWords currently supports both expanded text ads and standard text ads for the time being. If you’re creating any ads between now and January 31, it’d be beneficial to default to expanded texts ad since standard ads will no longer be supported next year.

If you’re not familiar with the expanded text ads, here are the improvements broken down:

  • Google expanded text ads will be available on Google Display Network and Google Search Network
  • Ad extensions will also continue to work with expanded text ads
  • There are now two headline fields for ads
  • The description field goes up to 80 characters
  • A URL that shows the final domain you’ll send visitors to
  • Two optional “Path” fields in the URL

 

5 Reasons To Use Digit

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This article originally appeared on GenTwenty as part of the GenSocial column.

On the Internet there’s been a lot of discussion about what twenty-somethings should do with their money. Some argue that it should be spent on travel and leisure for the purpose of enjoying youth. Others say twenty-somethings should begin saving immediately, especially since the retirement benefits are better if we start doing it in our 20s. Hello earlier retirement!

Regardless of where we stand on the retirement issue, many twenty-somethings might find value in a social app called Digit. Their tagline is “Save money, without thinking about it.” But how does that work? And is it really beneficial to sign up? The app is seriously as easy as it sounds.

Here we list the top five benefits of joining Digit and why saving doesn’t have to be so hard, even when it’s done on a micro scale.

  • It links directly to our checking accounts. Digit has a secure system that connects with the provided checking account. It then looks at our spending habits and removes a few dollars here and there. All we have to do is sign up and provide our information.
  • We can withdraw our money at any time. Digit takes away money and essentially puts it into a rainy day account. Whenever we want Digit to stop saving, we can remove the funds and use it for what we’d like.
  • It’s an absolutely free service. Honestly, we lose nothing by signing up for Digit. The automated app does the work for us. It helps if we have trouble saving and want to use the money towards something. There are more reasons to use it than to not use it.
  • It takes into account our incomes and spending habits. Using its specialized technology, Digit conservatively takes our money and saves it for us. That means they won’t take out too much from our checking accounts. Instead, it takes a little bit over time based on our previous decisions. Normally people have savings of $30 or so they find after a short period of time. The number increases depending on our income and spending habits.
  • Digit sends us regular updates about how much we saved. While Digit does its magic, we get regular texts from them about our saving progress. It’s an effortless and smart way to save money, especially if we tend to struggle with that.

What’s best about Digit is that it’s tailored to the individual. Most people want to have some kind of savings. It’s a part of life that we have to plan for the unknown. But sometimes we don’t make enough to save effectively or we can’t stop ourselves from making certain purchases. With Digit, we can have the help of an automated app that does it for us. It takes away money we won’t notice and puts it into an FDIC account. Best of all, we can access if we end up needing it sooner than we thought.

What money-savings app do you use? We want to know in the comments!

Best Sources for PR News

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Image via assignmenteditor.com

As a public relations professional, I try to stay in touch with the latest PR and social media news. Sometimes it can be hard with keeping up with national and international news, let alone specific industry updates. Luckily there are a few great sources that aggregate PR news and send it directly to your email inbox. Below I list some of my preferred sources for finding out what’s new in the world of PR.

  • PR Daily is one of the easiest websites to sign up for. Visit prdaily.com and you’ll see a button to subscribe to their News Feed. The site initially will sign you up for a large number of daily emails. If it ends up being too much, you can always adjust your settings to your needs. PR Daily is a consistent and reliable source of PR-relevant topics.
  • PR News Online is also a savvy source of news for communicators. When visiting the homepage, visitors can enter in their email address to get industry alerts. Like PR Daily, PR News Online includes both news articles and tips for professionals.
  • Unlike the other two, The Skimm isn’t exclusive to PR professionals. However, The Skimm acts as a supplementary source of other news. Working in PR often requires practitioners to keep up with current events. The Skimm is one of the easiest ways to do this, given their daily emails that summarize the biggest headlines in the world.
  • PR Week gives readers more traditional headlines like who’s elected to corporate PR positions or the contracts that certain agencies are signing. PR Week is a straight forward source of industry news that helps give a big picture look at the field.

What sources do you use to stay up-to-date? Share your favorite PR blogs and websites in the comments!

Public Relations Reading

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It’s almost the end of the first year of grad school. It feels like it went by fast, but August actually feels like a long time ago. I want to compare it to being submerged under water. Finally I can come up for a breath of fresh air. As I much as I love school, this past semester’s worn me out. I’m looking forward to the summer, which will be here in less than three weeks.

As a nice break, here’s some PR reading I plan to do over the summer. Feel free to post your recommended reads in the comments!

  • Recipe for Press by Amy Flurry. This guide boasts do-it-yourself public relations tips. It includes ways to get the best media coverage and simple steps to being your own publicist.
  • This Is How You Pitch by Ed Zitron. This no-nonsense guide gives honest tips to secure media buzz. It’s meant to help young professionals succeed in creating professional relationships with reporters and editors.
  • Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time by Bill McGowan. Emmy-winning correspondent McGowan teaches readers how to communicate things accurately the first time. McGowan shows PR professionals how to pick the right language and create the right message.
  • Strategic Public Relations: 10 Principles to Harness the Power of PR by Jennifer Gehrt. Gehrt’s book helps professionals be strategic in their public relations approach. It also discusses the changing landscape of PR and how to take advantage of the 24/7 news cycle.

Open PR and Communications Jobs

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Image via paulstallard.me

Finding the right job is no easy task. Normally I find jobs through listservs or referrals, instead of first turning to Google. I’ve had a number of part time PR jobs or internships, but I’ll be looking for a full time job at the end of this year. Here are some of the websites I’ve found that provide PR professionals with a starting place for the job search.

  • PRSA has a job center for members to either post jobs or apply for them. It’s a useful site, but requires membership before going through the postings.
  • Indeed.com allows people to search jobs by type and location. When typing PR jobs into a search engine, Indeed was one of the first to pop up, with my location already entered.
  • Simply Hired is another job website that automatically filters for location and job type. It supplements what Indeed doesn’t pick up.
  • LinkedIn seems like one of the first places to go. However, LinkedIn is also one of the most popular and competitive sources of jobs. Users can see how many people, oftentimes in the hundreds, that applied to a single job. It’s wise to use LinkedIn in addition to other sites when job hunting.
  • Monster remains one of the leaders of job sites. Users can sift through postings from all over the country. After posting their resume, people can easily attach it to multiple postings.

February 2015 Social Media Recap

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Image via theweek.com

I’ve let this blog fall to the wayside and I admit full responsibility. It’s almost spring break though and I’m ready to make up the blog posts I’ve missed. To start with, here’s all the social media news from last month.

Social media’s biggest challenge challenge? Keeping brands in check via Forbes

How 3 Ordinary Americans are Getting Paid for their Social Media Posts via ABC News

How social media is shaking up recruiting; Punt, Pass & Pork via Sports Illustrated

Get More People to Share Your Posts on Social Media With These Top 6 Tips via Huffington Post

How social media can make your small business go gangbusters via The Week

8 Social Media Mistakes That Are Killing Your Brand via Entrepreneur

Cable news and social media go all in on #LlamaWatch via CNNMoney

Twitter’s new tool should help curb those embarrassing social media hacks via The Washington Post

Beginner Rules of AP Style

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Image via apstylebook.com

The Associated Press Stylebook is a manual that both journalists and public relations practitioners follow. AP Style includes rules and formatting suggestions for written documents. Journalists use it in articles, while PR practitioners use it in press releases. The stylebook changes a bit every year, sometimes to reflect cultural terms or new words. In general, there are few easy rules for journalists and PR practitioners to remember.

1. Numbers one through nine are spelled out, while numbers 10 and above are typically represented as numerals. Example: “I have three pets at home.”

2. Percentages are always represented as numerals, while the word “percent” is spelled out. Example: “I give 100 percent of my attention to this job.”

3. Ages are always represented as numerals. Example: “She is 25 years old.”

4. Dollar amounts use the “$” sign and express the amounts as numerals. Example: “You have $12,000 in the bank.”

5. Dates are represented as numerals. The months of August through February are abbreviated, and the months of March through July are never abbreviated. “Th” is also not used when mentioning the month. Example: “I have an appointment with the doctor on Dec. 6.”

6. Farther means physical distance, while further is an extension of time or degree. Example: “You walked farther than your friend” or “I will look further into the issue.”

7. Street addresses are expressed as numerals. If terms like “street”, “way” or “road” are paired with a number, they are abbreviated. If not, they are spelled out. Two exceptions are “route” and “road”, which are never abbreviated. Example: “You live at 546 Sycamore St. Her work office is on Holmes Road.”

8. United States and U.S. are used in different cases. United States is used as a noun, while U.S. is used as an adjective. Example: “I live in the United States. I live on U.S. territory.”

9. Job titles are capitalized before a person’s name, but lowercase after the name or independent of it. Example: “President Barack Obama is in the White House. The president is speaking.”

10. Media titles, like those of films, books and songs, are capitalized and put in quotation marks. Quotation marks should not be used for reference books, magazines or newspapers. Example: “I saw the movie ‘Frozen’ last week.”

Interested in knowing more about AP Style? The stylebook can be purchased online for multiple devices. To purchase the AP Stylebook, click here.