Tag Archives: Social Media

PR Student Summit

The most helpful session at the PR Student Summit on February 12 was given by Scott Thornburg, Ike Pigott and Julie Senter on the topic of social media. Though the session didn’t cover much material I didn’t already know, it did reinforce principles that I have learned through my PR and social media classes at Samford.

The 5 basic tips about social media they gave were:

  • The basics of PR still apply. Research, planning, implementation and evaluation.
  • It’s not about you. Be open to new social media outlets even if they don’t interest you, they could interest your audience.
  • Understand the why.
  • Test and track.
  • Always be learning. Platforms will change so stay on top of the best practices and pay attention to industry trends.

Another helpful session, led by Brandon Wilson, was about resumé do’s and don’ts:

  • DO use all your resumé real estate wisely.
  • DO be active on paper.
  • DO focus on impact, not just experience.
  • DON’T use overly clever email addresses.
  • DON’T include references.
  • DON’T lie or overstate accomplishments.

Overall the Summit was a great review of the basics of PR I have learned while at Samford.

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PRSA Student Summit

Tuesday February 12 students from all across the southeast converged on Birmingham, Ala. The PRSA Student Summit was held in the Alabama Power Building in Downtown Birmingham. The summit had students from over 12 schools across the southeast from states such as Alabama, Mississippi and others. Topics from the conference included social media, questions for a panel of Public Relations professionals, and a resume review.

After sitting through several hours of lectures and speaking with students from other universities  I would have to say that Samford University has prepared me for the changing field of Public Relations. Many of the topics addressed in the lectures were already covered in detail in class. Also, the Samford department of Journalism and Mass Communication has given me more than just simple skills like writing press releases and researching skills. We are prepared in layout and design and video giving us a leg up on the competition.

The lecture that I felt was most important was the one dedicated to social media. A majority of articles written on social media etiquette and job prospects would suggest to lock down your social media accounts to prevent party pictures and inappropriate posts from being seen. The speakers at the lecture suggested to instead clean up your social media to show that you have social media skills and that you are not simply locking things behind a door. Also, the panelists said that it is best to have a plan when it comes to social media for a business. Have a plan of interaction and how this will lead to growing and sustaining your business not just getting more likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter who might never look at your page again.

The most important thing I learned was to listen broadly and to take in as much information as possible. This meant read news stories, and information not just from your field but others. Learning from others broadens your knowledge base and allows you to be more versatile in any job.

Meredith Foster Visits

On March 2nd, Meredith Foster, Project Specialist for Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, spoke to our class. Her job is influenced heavily by social media. Her position also requires her to be a jack-of-all-trades and she does everything from graphic design to writing press releases. In her line of duty, Ms. Foster is often doing a lot of traveling between Birmingham, Bessemer, and Anniston, Alabama. Two of the programs she uses most are Indesign and Photoshop. Ms. Foster advised us to be avid readers. Some of the blogs she reads on a regular basis are Nonprofit tech 2.0, Social Media Examiner, Mashable, Social Media Today, Social Mouths, and Techcrunch. She also informed us on the ideal times to tweet and make Facebook posts (8:30, 12:30, and 4:30). “At 8:30,” she explained ” people are waiting to get on the clock at work so they’re are more than likely just killing time.” During the other ideal social media times, 12:30 and 4:30, people are surfing while they’re eating lunch, and checking their computers as soon as they get home. She the proceed to give us advice on building a portfolio. Two of the biggest things someone can do are getting published and going to professional development seminars whenever possible.

Sean Wright shares venue management advice

Sean Wright, director of venue management at Samford University, spoke to our of PR class on Friday, March 14th. Sean is in charge of scheduling all of the events for two main buildings on Samford University’s campus: the Leslie Wright Center and Pete Hanna Center. It was extremely interesting to hear about the behind the work scenes of our beloved Samford U.

  • A lot of the venue places in Birmingham work together to not step on each others toes when it comes to announcement release. Wright said that the fact that they can all work together on something is very unique to events market.
  • To book an event in the Wright Center at Samford University, you have to book your event 18 months in advance. I was shocked when Sean told us that because I had no idea they have all of their events planned nearly a year and a half before they actually happen.
  • “Venues are more public than ever before and patrons are more demanding than ever before,” said Wright. The market continues to improve as the years go on, but so do people’s expectations.

Having Sean Wright come speak to our class was extremely beneficial to those of us who, in the future,  want to be involved in event planning, social media, or even working at Samford University.

Sean Wright, Director of Venue Management, Speaks to Samford PR Class

On March 14th, Sean Wright spoke to a Samford PR class about his job as Director of Venue Management at the school. Mr.Wright oversees the Wright Center and the Pete Hanna Center. He came to Samford in 2007 to be a part of the opening of the Pete Hanna Center. Mr. Wright shared with the class what his day-to-day job is like and what goes into planning events. Here are some of the highlights:

1. In the venue planning business, the calendar never ends.

2. Every year seems to start earlier and end later.

3. Social media are important. The Wright Center and the Pete Hanna Center both have Twitter and Facebook accounts.

4. He spends a lot of time talking with people involved in potential productions and events at Samford.

5. He insisted that next level customer service is the key.

6. Cross branding is a very important key to event planning success.

Take Aways from John Richardson

“I don’t think you can be successful anymore if you’re not in the interactive game” -John Richardson

You hear all the time that the world is changing, but time and time again, especially in this profession, you hear that you cannot be successful if you are not in the know.

John Richardson, a freelancer who has been working in the field of public relations,  informed the class on Friday, February 24th,  of things we should specifically be aware of.  I definitely took away how important social media is. And, in addition Mr. Richardson provided specific websites which will prove to be useful for us.

For example: socialmedia.com, hubspot.com, and hootsuite.com are all great sources to track action online.

Richardson said that it is very important for us to not miss this window of opportunity in the online world. You always need to be doing the coolest, next thing FIRST.

And, as a final takeaway, I learned even more about what it means to freelance, and how great this can be for someone who wants to be their own boss.  Freelancing is flexible and allows you to work on your own time, yet do exactly what you want to do.

Mr. Richardson offered to be a resource to us and would prove to be a great one especially with all of this background AND experiences as a Samford Alum.

He can be reached at about.me/jrichardson76 and on twitter @jrichardson76

Take Aways from John Richardson

John Richardson graciously came to speak to our PR class about the different types of work there is today in the world of PR. Despite the technical difficulties, Mr. Richardson taught the class a lot about the diversity that is available in the strategy and content of PR.

1: Get comfortable with writing. Mr. Richardson assured us that we will be asked all about our writing. With that, he said that no one has a good excuse to have typos. Typos boil down to how much attention you really are paying to what your writing. Writing is very important and you do it a lot.

2: Publishing anything will get your foot in the door. Mr. Richardson said that publishing your writing will not only get you comfortable with writing, but also to add works to your resumé. Whether it’s a blog, an article in the local newspaper, a website, any type of publishing will only be beneficial to your career in PR.

3: The goal in PR is to do the coolest next thing first. Research is vital. Whether you make the big hit will either make or break your career in PR.

John Richardson of The Forte Marketing Group