Posts Tagged ‘Lauren Fernandez’

“PR is NOT Social Media” and more words to tweet by from Lauren Fernandez

September 19, 2009

Flying in all the way from Dallas, Texas, Lauren Fernandez educated the Connect attendees with her rules on social media, or what she calls “enhanced media,” and what PR pros can bring to the table. Using examples from her position at the American Mensa and even an activity that brought the pros back to the classroom, Fernandez suggested that a brand’s social media execution should not be left up to the external PR team alone.

Within the company, the execution of a brand’s social media presence needs to be done by someone who knows the brand 100 percent and who has the all the information at all times, or someone who is fluent in the brand’s culture. This internal person, therefore, can provide the authentic voice while simultaneously controlling the message. Social media is about engaging stakeholders and an internal voice can provide the realism and passion essential to engagement.

If the external PR team isn’t responsible for execution of social media, what can they do for the online conversation? As outsiders, external pros can provide the checks and balances needed for effective brand building by educating the executors about the strategy behind the message and monitoring the client’s online activity. It should be a system of working together towards a common image.

In addition to her ideas about social media execution, Fernandez also outlines the keys to engagement:

  • Learning: Seek out those with common interests to gain understanding or a new perspective.
  • Listening: People like to talk about themselves and their interests or problems so to start a conversation, make it first about them. Find common goals.
  • Advocating: When people see the passion about a brand, they will listen to the message

Bottom line, PR and social media are about one thing: opening the dialogue and having a conversation. It’s how a brand does this that sets them apart.

 

Dr. Natalie Tindall, Georgia State University, takes it all in.

Dr. Natalie Tindall, Georgia State University, takes it all in.

A Few Minutes with Lauren Fernandez

September 8, 2009

Meet Lauren Fernandez. She is a young professional from Dallas, Texas, and loves shoes, politics, traveling and of course, Big 10 football. In the public relations world, however, Lauren is one of the leading new voices of PR pros.

As a current marketing coordinator for the National Office of American Mensa and the Mensa Education and Research Foundation (you know, the genius club?), her qualifications pile up much like the linebackers of her favorite football team on gameday. She is the Social Media SIG Co-Chair for the Ft. Worth Chapter of the PRSA, and a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Lauren is also a student of the ASAE Leadership Academy, Class of 2010. In addition, her blog LAF was recently named “Best Up & Coming” in the 2009 PR Reader’s Choice Awards.

Now, all of these credentials can be found by simply google-ing her name. Let’s get to know her a bit more:

Q. How did you decide on a career in public relations and marketing?

A. I decided on a career in public relations because of my love for writing and journalism. After a stint on the HS newspaper and a newsroom internship, I knew I couldn’t adapt to the crazy schedule many journalists adhere to. I like order and structure, and a journalist suggested I look into public relations. I took one class and fell in love with the profession, and my various internships through college solidified that.

Q. What are three things people wouldn’t normally guess about you?

A.  I wanted to grow up to be Rainbow Brite when I was a kid.

I am the granddaughter of a Cuban revolutionary, which has taught me to always stand up for what I believe in and question everything.

I think chocolate is one of the most disgusting things ever.

Q. We know you like football…How do you feel about the Bulldawgs?

A. I grew up on Big 10 football, so I’m a huge Michigan fan. Most people don’t know that, especially living in Texas! When the SEC is on, I usually pull for LSU. I have lots of UGA alum friends, though, so I enjoy their fandom on a regular basis.

Q. As an emerging leading voice in the field, where do you see the future of PR heading?

A. I think that the PR field will continue to evolve and use social media to enhance it. The one thing that professionals must keep in mind are the traditional tools, because this is the foundation of our profession. It won’t go away.

Q. Any hints about what your lunch address will be about?

A. My session will be on something that has been covered in my blog and caused a lot of opinion.

Q. Which part of the conference are most looking forward to?

A. I’m most looking forward to engaging with students and other PR professionals. I love learning and seeing the dedication that people have to this field – it really revitalizes who you are and the type of PR professional you want to be.

Q. So I follow you on twitter; what are some requirements you look for before deciding whether to follow back?

A. Unless it’s someone I know pretty well, I look at their interests and the type of interaction they have. I don’t follow brands unless I like them a lot and how they use Social Media – ie. Zappos, Southwest; if they indicate they are interested in PR; or if they are interested in sports and fashion.

For those of you attending, you can hear Lauren speak during the lunch presentation at 12:30 p.m. on September 19. Everyone else, please check back periodically on the day of the event for a summary post of Lauren’s address.

And for those of you who still want more, you can follow Lauren on Twitter @CubanaLAF. But she may or may not follow you back…