The Pros and Cons of Using Social Media at Work

With so many different types of social media, it makes for more work distractions. Visual by: birgerking

 

With social media on the rise, it’s no surprise that it’s becoming the new Solitaire in the workplace.  Before social media took over the nation, employees would spend time at the office playing Solitaire. I even remember hearing a story a while back where a company took Solitaire off of their employee’s computers because it was becoming that big of an issue. Now, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, among others, have replaced solitaire as the new work distraction.

According to Workplace Tribes’ article “How can social software get you fired,” more and more employees are spending company time on their personal social media sites. Forty-three percent of businesses around the world say that they have to deal with misuse of social networks. This misuse resulted in 42 percent of corporations taking disciplinary actions against their employees.

Having said that, social media isn’t a tool to just bide your time until the workday is over, but it’s a useful resource when it comes to hiring employees and communicating with the community. One of the great things about my internship is that it has actually jumpstarted my involvement with social media sites. For example, the Senior Athletic Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the University of Oregon suggested that we, the interns, tweet about what’s going in the office. Day-to-day activities are pretty normal to us who experience it every day, but there are people who are interested in knowing what goes on behind the scenes of a collegiate athletic department; tweeting will give them a teaser as to what we do. Since then, I have tweeted more consistently, blogged about my experiences in the office and created a LinkedIn account. These are all things that I probably would have done on my own with time, but they encouraged me to do them now as a way to increase my communication and presence in the community.

If not used correctly though, social media can lead to your destruction. The following are the top 8 ways that Workplace Tribes says you can get fired because of social media:

  1. Post off-color remarks
  2. Post-confidential details
  3. Bad-mouth your clients
  4. Disrespect your employer
  5. Post inappropriate photos
  6. Create animated videos of your coworkers
  7. Talk trash about your boss
  8. Play hooky and post about it

Honestly, if you do any of those things, you deserve to be fired! As an employee of that company, you are no longer representing just yourself but the company as well. So naturally, if the company sees you disrespecting them on the Internet, would you blame them for getting rid of you? If you need to vent, fine, everyone needs to at some point; just don’t do it in a place that’s visible for everyone to see.

The Greenest MLB Ballpark in the United States is…

The San Francisco Giants stadium, AT&T Park

The other day as I was procrastinating on homework and playing around on Twitter, I saw something posted by the San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants), that made an already proud Giant fan even more impressed. The tweet consisted of a link to an article that included a review of how ATT&T Park, the Giants stadium, is going green.

The article highlights the ways in which the Giants have taken the initiative to reduce their carbon footprint and turn their stadium into an environmentally friendly example of what other ballparks and fans should do to help protect the environment.

The following are the 6 initiatives that the San Francisco Giants took and some surprising stats sure to impressive just about anyone.

Certification:

The Giants first received certification from LEED EDO&M (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing buildings, Operations and Maintenance). This certification proves that the Giants are on the right track for creating a cleaner Earth.

Renovating Ballpark Concessions:

For those of you who have attended a Giants game, you’ve hopefully had their best concession, garlic fries. The Giants started going green by adjusting just this one stand. They changed the way in which they made garlic fries, used soda machines, and they lit the stand. They even painted the stand with biodegradable paint. It’s estimated that the energy saved by making these improvements could fry an additional 110 tons of garlic fries, the equivalent to last 275 games or 1.5 seasons.

Getting Educated:

AT&T Park created what they call their “Green Team.” These are employees who have been educated on how to correctly recycle and compost and are easily identifiable so they can answer any questions on being environmentally friendly.

Solar Panels:

AT&T Park installed 590 solar panels that have already decreased their greenhouse gas emmitions by 360,000 pounds!

Lighting:

By relighting the ballpark using energy efficient devices, AT&T Park saved 171,000-kilowatt hours of energy. That’s enough to power 25 homes for an entire year! In addition, the scoreboard was placed with a more energy-efficient one that has been 78% more efficient in saving energy.

Public Transit and Water Conservation:

The Giants added a new irrigation clock to their field, which has decreased their water usage by 33-50%. It’s known that more than 50% of Giants fans that travel to AT&T Park travel by public transit, which significantly decreases the amount of pollution that would have been produced from the cars or taxis they would have driven. In addition, the Park also offers bike valets to promote walking and biking.

Why is this important?

The Giants have taken a major leap in being one of the first Major League Baseball programs to take these initiatives. It’s not only a way to jumpstart their fans to be more green, but other ballparks as well. Imagine the amount of energy, water and greenhouse gases that could be reduced if every ballpark in the country adopted similar initiatives.

 

If you’re interested in learning more, I’ve attached the press release of the Giant’s LEED Silver Certification for Existing buildings, Operations and Maintenance.

You’ve Nailed the Internship…Now What?

In college, we’re told that internships are key to getting a job. Plain and simple. But the requirements of being an intern can be often be overlooked. It is in my belief that some of the most multi-tasking you will do, will be in college. We juggle class, exercise, friends, homework and jobs or internships. With everything that we’re expected to do while out of the office, it’s weird having to go into your internship or job and switch gears entirely. I have yet to secure a job for the dreaded graduation but I have found a way to nail a couple great internships in my 3.5 years here and that’s because I learned, through trial and error, the ins and outs of being a dependable intern.

For this week’s topic of choice, I will be using a site recommended by one of my PR professors, titled 10 ways to be a dream PR intern. Even though my internships at the University of Oregon are all marketing related, I feel that this site applies to all internships.

The following are a recap of the top 10 ways, outlined by the site above, to be a dream intern and my thoughts on the importance of these qualities.

  1. Work later than everyone else. This is something that I found would always get your employers attention. Sure, you can be the employee that leaves the second the clock strikes 6:00 but in my opinion, if you have a project that you could finish in a reasonable time, might as well just get it done. That way you can start the next day with a project completed, ready for a new one. It gives you more portfolio work and the opportunity to learn more in less time.
  2. Ditch the millennial crowd. I have learned that age is just a number. Don’t not hang out with people your age just so you can hang out with the boss, then you just look like a suck up. Create a relationship with all ages in the office. At my internship with the athletic department, I have befriended the other interns as young as 20 and other employees who have been working for the University of Oregon for 50 years. In the workplace, you’ll always have something to talk about and someone to learn from so get to know everyone!
  3. Pick out an office role model. There’s always going to be someone that you can identify with more than others. I have found that paying attention to their character and work ethic will make you want to work on yours. It could be something as simple as saying hi to everyone that walks through the office or something as complicated as the way they handle a crisis during a football game. Regardless, you’re sure to learn a lot of valuable qualities to carry over into your other jobs, and life.
  4. Invite someone out for coffee. This is something I have yet to do. I have bonded with the other interns but it’s safe to say they’re in my comfort zone. We’re relatively the same age and are at the same place in our lives. It never hurts to invite someone outside of the comfort zone out for coffee; you never know what you can learn…
  5. Learn new skills in social media. BINGO! If there’s one thing that has changed in my life since starting my internship with the Oregon athletic department, it would be that I have tweeted significantly more in the 6 months that I’ve worked there than the 3 years that I’ve had a Twitter account. It really does keep me informed with the rapidly changing news in addition to sharing unknown information to those who may not have the access to it…kind of like what I’m doing now.
  6. Keep up with your selected industry. This relates to # 5 so I’m not really going to touch on this one.
  7.  Don’t just be an intern. Similar to #1, yes, you’re an intern but don’t act like one. If you hope to work for the same company after the internship ends, then act like you are a regular employee, that you belong there. Be willing to do anything and everything because it shows that you’re a hard worker and willing to learn.
  8. Wear appropriate clothes. Just because you’re an intern, doesn’t mean you should look like one! If you want to be working for this company after the internship ends, or hoping to get a reference, then you need to look and act professionally or else they won’t take you seriously. It doesn’t take a lot of effort. Take off the makeup from the night before, put on a clean shirt and look like you belong there. Make it so no one could guess that you’re “the intern.”
  9. Interact. Luckily, I don’t have to work in a cubicle; I get to work in an open space with multiple people. Not only does it make me enjoy work more, but it’s a good way to get the creative juices flowing such as suggestions from the Photoshop Wizard sitting next to me or Dreamweaver Dude sitting across the way. It also allows you to constantly be learning.
  10.  Say goodbye. Why just sneak out? Might as well ask if there’s one last thing that needs to be done before you head home. A little bit goes a long way and trust me, it never goes unnoticed.

Marketing interns working the University of Oregon football game.

Have I forgotten any?