Young Pros host social media event at Hanson Dodge Creative

This week, the PRSA Young Pros were treated to a presentation on the 10 Principles of Good Content by Sarah Van Elzen, social media director at Hanson Dodge Creative. Sarah discussed what defines “good” content, provided industry relevant examples and showcased the top 10 principles every writer needs to know.

Sarah Van Elzen and event guests

Sarah Van Elzen and event guests

More than 30 young and seasoned pros along with senior students from nearby universities filled the room and had an opportunity to network over wine and cheese plates. Attendees were encouraged to use the hashtag #PrinciplesOfGoodContent for a chance to win the book, Social PR Secrets by Lisa Buyer. (Sarah is quoted in the book on page six.) Patty Bloom, a reputation management assistant account executive from Charleston Orwig, won the book with this tweet. Sarah loved her sense of humor for using the wrong hashtag.

We grabbed five minutes with Sarah to ask a few follow up questions:

Q. For a client starting out in social media, is there a place they should absolutely be – whether it’s a blog, Facebook, etc?

A. It varies by client. I’d recommend a blog for nearly every brand because it will showcase long form brand voice, provide content for social platforms down the road and help optimize the client’s online presence from an SEO standpoint.

Q. Do you have a favorite platform right now?

A. Instagram

Q. What is the most challenging thing about working in an ever-changing industry?

A. Keeping up with the new trends

Q. What is the one key quality or characteristic that makes a social media person successful?

A. Organized

Q. What is the best piece of advice you can give to someone entering this field?

Be active…in professional social platforms.

Be professional…in all your content. 80% professional. 20% personal.

Be proactive…reach out to industry thought leaders and connect with people.

Be there…have an online profile and examples you can refer to quickly with a link.

Q. Is there anything in your own personal life that helps make you better at social media?

A. My job history growing up helped significantly. I worked as a server and had to handle customer service situations frequently. I also worked at a telemarketing company during college which helped with quick thinking and communication.

Q. You’ve worked with House of Harley-Davidson. What would you name your motorcycle gang?

A. Yogi Gangsters

Turning content into results, Sarah Van Elzen is responsible for leading the HDC social media practice. Her team engages audiences across a variety of platforms, focusing on campaign strategy, content development, community management and analytics. Sarah began her career in music marketing and then moved to sunny Florida for her ongoing endeavor in online PR and SEO. Sarah has managed social media strategies for clients since 2007, when Facebook launched brand pages and Twitter was just a few months old.

Through a variety of agency positions, Sarah’s experience encompasses web content strategy, SEO, online PR, social media strategy and relationship management.

Her client experience includes: fashion, CPG, technology, finance, tourism, real estate, law and health & beauty.

Sarah regularly practices yoga, bringing a sense of calm in and out of work.