The Hired Hand – Not just another blah-blah-blog

May 31, 2014

Hire me – Part II

Filed under: Advertising,Public Relations,Social Media — Darcy Grabenstein @ 11:33 pm
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To new beginnings.

The day I was laid off from my job at the ad agency (along with 11 others, thanks to the loss
of two major accounts), we had tickets to a Phillies game that night.

My son (of legal drinking age for five whole days) and I did what any self-respecting Phillies fans would do… we started “tailgating” that afternoon at home. I promptly poured him a beer, poured myself a glass of champagne and toasted to new beginnings… and then I promptly posted my celebratory photo on Facebook. I’m not one to cry over my glass of wine; I’m one to raise it in toast.

As we got ready to head to the stadium, I kept thinking what a great PR idea it would be to
announce my job status at the game. After all, there would be thousands of prospective employers fans there (well,
only about 24,000 fans – but that’s another story).PR at the Phillies game

“So I got me a pen and a paper” and I made up my own not-so-little sign. Forgive the improper grammar; I couldn’t resist citing those familiar song lyrics. What did my sign say? It read: “Hire me! Darcy G at LinkedIn.” I promptly posted it on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Since we were in the nosebleed section, I didn’t make it on camera or the jumbotron. I’m getting a little more mileage
out of my photo, however, by blogging about it.

To cap off my stellar day, my seat number was 13, and the Phillies lost 4-1 to the Mets.

There’s always tomorrow….

September 22, 2013

Mourning the loss of more American troops – on a personal level

Filed under: Social Media,Writing — Darcy Grabenstein @ 4:01 pm
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Facebook is a social network that keeps us connected with family and friends. It’s a great way to keep others updated on our lives, no matter where we are. We share everything from the minutiae of our daily lives to major life events. We take joy in others’ happiness.

And we drown in sorrow at others’ losses.

Today, I am drowning.

Life has its highs and its lows. Yesterday, I wrote about a most glorious day in New Jersey. Today, although the sky is a silken, sun-filled, cloudless blue, it might as well be dark and dreary.

It is raining on my soul.

Liam Nevins

Liam Nevins

Today I found out, through Facebook, that the son of one of my best friends was killed – ON BASE – in Afghanistan. This is incomprehensible. This happens to other people’s sons and daughters, right?

Liam had recently been injured and was due to come home soon. He was about to begin a new chapter in his life with Julie. The fact that he was killed on base makes it especially hard to swallow.

He one of three American troops killed, all members of a special ops team. They were military’s elite.

He wasn’t much older than my own two sons. I can’t help but find it ironic that he celebrated his 32nd birthday on September 11th.

For those of us who think we are so far removed from the conflict in Afghanistan, this is a stark reminder that we are not. We should be grateful every day for the brave young men and women putting their lives on the line for our country. For democracy.

I ask everyone who reads this to take a good look at this handsome young man. We need to put a face on our forces serving overseas, especially those killed in the line of duty. They are not just statistics. They are someone’s son, fiancé, brother, uncle, nephew.

Forgive me if I’m rambling. This all hasn’t quite sunk in just yet. Writing is a form of therapy for me, so I’m pouring my heart out here. (It’s hard to type when you can’t see the keyboard through buckets of tears.)

To my good friend, I can only hope that my words – and the words of condolence sent by many on Facebook – will be in some way therapeutical as well. We are all so very proud of Liam.

Check out Darcy Grabenstein on Google+

April 18, 2012

The quiet person’s guide to getting people talking online

My blog post originally was published by SmartBlog on Social Media.

Computer screenMuch to my chagrin, behavioral experts would consider me an introvert. For a PR professional, it’s almost a death knell. For a creative type, however, it can be a blessing. And for someone who dabbles in the digital space, it could be a perfect match.

Lucky for me, I’m all of the above.

Let’s get something straight: An introvert isn’t necessarily a shrinking violet. Technically, an introvert is someone who finds crowds draining and who is energized by solitude.

Research has revealed that introverts not only are highly creative, they also can be extremely effective leaders. What do Albert Einstein, Warren Buffet, Charles Darwin, Mahatma Gandhi, Al Gore, Sir Isaac Newton and Rosa Parks have in common? You guessed it. They’re all introverts.

So what’s all this got to do with social media? With a little creativity and a lot of savvy, introverts can use social media to their advantage as a public relations tool. (Don’t worry, we won’t get into the discussion about who should “own” a company’s social media outlets — PR? E-commerce? IT? That’s a topic for another day.)

Here’s how introverts can maximize their social media moxie in terms of PR:

  • Learn from being a lurker. If you observe more than participate on social networks, that’s OK … to a point. Take the time to understand the various players — customers, media, competitors — then use that knowledge to best position your product or service.
  • Make the most of online relationships. Introverts, as a rule, are more comfortable with one-on-one communications. That’s the beauty of social media. While you have access to many audiences at once, you can focus on one conversation at a time. There’s a reason it’s called public relations.
  • You’re a good listener. Prove it. Compared to their extrovert counterparts, introverts are said to be exceptional listeners. Listen to what your customers are saying about your company — both good and bad. Listen to what people are saying about your competitors — both good and bad. Go beyond just listening to your constituents. Let them know you truly hear them.
  • Devote some face time to Facebook. I’m not asking my fellow introverts to share your personal lives with thousands of your BFFs. Instead, make sure your business has a separate Facebook account/page, and use it to interact with current and prospective customers. You’ll be surprised at the honest feedback you’ll get.
  • You’re a person of few words? No problem. Twitter’s the social network for you. You’ve got 140 characters to state your case, so make them count. Twitter is ideal for customer relations and crisis communications. You can deal with crises in real time — and even avert crises with timely, up-front tweets about the situation at hand.
  • You’re a person of even fewer words? Pinterest is for you. Take a few pointers from Kotex Israel, which launched a successful PR campaign on Pinterest. Here’s a snapshot (pun intended) of the campaign: Kotex targeted 50 inspiring women on Pinterest, then created personalized gift boxes for each, based on their boards. To receive the gift boxes, the women had to repin the Kotex invitation. The key takeaway here is that Kotex, with help from the Smoyz agency, took the time to get to know its target audience. PR professionals can do the same, whether it’s the media or consumers.

So don’t use your introverted nature as an excuse to shy away from social media as a PR vehicle. In fact, social media is tailor-made for us introvert types. Gone are those awkward silences we so dread in face-to-face communication.

See you online.

Check out Darcy Grabenstein on Google+

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