The first thing that we did in Dr. V’s Stakeholder Communication class was watch a movie off of PROpenMic about what public relations is all about. Among other tips that PR professionals suggested for future professionals, “joining in the conversation” was one that really stuck out to me. Personally, I thought that “joining in the conversation” meant suggesting your ideas and opinions while in meetings or while talking with team members or employers. In reality, “joining in the conversation” means joining and participating in social media. I learned that many PR professionals are using social media to network, learn new ideas, and help one another out. I quickly decided that one of my goals for the semester was to become an expert with as many different types of social media as I could. After all, I KNOW that I don’t want to miss out on ANY conversations.
I am really glad that I am being forced to jump into the cold water of social media this semester in Dr. V’s class. From the advice that I have been given, it is hard to know exactly what social media is without trying it out. Since this is my first blog post, I hope to slowly become more familiar with exactly what to blog about and to read other professionals’ blogs to learn more. I recently joined Twitter and now I am addicted! My goal is to start tweeting about ideas they may be able to help others.
As PRSSA chapter president, I have had the honor of meeting and networking with the many speakers that we’ve had come speak to our chapter. Last night, Abby Blaylock of Jackson Spaulding in Atlanta came to speak to our chapter about the benefits of social media networking. Abby is a role model for us all as she had five, yes five, internships while going to school at UGA.
Abby mentioned social media that I had never heard of before. Because of the way that she talked about each of these sites, I plan to look into joining and exploring each one. She talked about LinkedIN which she described as a more professional Facebook with resumes. She explained that with LinkedIN professionals can “introduce” students to possible employers and others who may have possible internships. Abby also explained a Web site called HARO (help a reporter out). On HARO, reporters post questions that PR professionals try to answer to the best of their ability. She encouraged us to join HARO so that we could see the types of stories that were being written by key reporters. The last site that Abby convinced me to join was PROpenMic. I know that we’ve talked about PROpenMic in Stalkholder Comm, but hearing again how important it was to join and network with other PR students and professionals persuaded me to sign up for an account.
Abby explained four ways that social media helped her in her career: it instantly gave her more visibility in her company from the start, she has been able to educate her colleagues, she has been able to educate her clients, and she has positioned herself as an expert.
I hope that learning more about these new social media sites will help me become a better PR student and possibly give me an edge over other professionals in my field in the future. Learning these different types of social media will help me “join the conversation.” I encourage you to try and explore all of these social media sites as well. The only problem is trying to find time to keep up with all of them!