This summer was the first time that I truly realized how behind on new media I was. Don’t get me wrong- I love Facebook to connect with friends while I am away at school, upload photos to Instagram on a daily basis and update my LinkedIn for job opportunities, but still find the numerous platforms of new media around us unnecessary. However, I do realize that new media it is an important aspect today in the worlds of public relations and communications which is why I chose to follow this industry over the semester in order to have a greater understanding of this ever-growing phenomenon.
Interning this summer at an e-commerce that prided itself on their social media and technology, my company was up-to-date on every new media outlet to reach their customers and audience. Our social media intern was a wiz at every form of social media, which sometimes even became annoying when she would need to “check-in” wherever we would go on foursquare. As a PR intern, my supervisors told me to create a Twitter to follow brands and media outlets that we worked with to get a better glimpse into what our audience was currently working on and saying. They were surprised that as a college student and more importantly as a PR major, I didn’t have a Twitter. Reluctantly I created a Twitter but only used it to “follow” people rather than actually to “tweet.”
I am currently taking a Social Media for PR class at Penn State this semester which has really taught me to recognize the importance of the various forms of social media including Twitter. I previously never thought about using a Twitter because I already had a Facebook and wondered if people actually cared that much about what I was saying or doing. One of my first assignments was to “tweet,” “@reply,” “retweet,” and “follow” an exorbitant amount of times in one week. This really forced me to face my fear of “tweeting.” Now that my assignment is over, I have seen myself appreciating Twitter and continuing to use it. I have started following various people and companies in the public relations and social media industry who provide useful links to articles and create meaningful topics for conversation. Twitter is also a great way to stay up to date on the latest information with its constantly updating news feed. I am still figuring out the proper Twitter lingo, but I hope to continue to strengthen my Twitter skills which will help me later in the public relations field. I think that for a public relations professional, learning the different social media platforms is important to connect and interact with your target audience.
So “follow” me, “tweet” at me @kimschmohl.