23 May 2014

PR Friday: Social Media Classes

I am participating in PRSSA’s “Progressions Writing Prompt” exercise for (month and year). To learn more, check out this post for details.
As a public relations student, or even a Millennial we are expected to be social media gurus. However the way we utilize social media is not necessarily the way that companies, agencies and businesses should be utilizing social media. Public relations is an ever changing industry, thankfully universities and colleges are finally starting to catch up to the social media trend. 

My university just introduced a social media course, and I think that it should be required for every communication and business major. Before you think this is crazy, hear me out. 

1. Aspiring professionals should be taught about their online presence in a formal manner. We have all heard to censor ourselves a bit, but some social media etiquette is still hazy. A social media class with guidelines on what to and what not to post would help set boundaries. 

2. Aspiring professionals should be given examples on how to interact with companies and professionals in the industry.  As a sophomore I was not sure how to interact with companies or professionals on Twitter and LinkedIn. I would want to learn examples of what to say to professionals or companies in order for a relationship to be built. Learning by example is the best way to learn sometimes! 

3. Aspiring professionals should learn about what form of social media to utilize for different purposes. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest each have different audiences and purposes. Learning how to use each form of social media to best help clients or organizations is invaluable. Being able to explain to potential employers how they would utilize social media to reach different audiences sets them out from those who know how to gain personal twitter followers. 

4. Aspiring professionals should learn about SEO and how to analyze data from social media. With tools such as Google Analytics aspiring professionals should be given instruction on how to use analytics and search engine optimization. This is the easiest way to show clients what they're paying for, and knowing how to analyze data and use SEO sets candidates apart from others.

As a junior who is going to be taking a social media class, this is what I hope to learn. A lot of public relations professionals have taken on the role of social media managers, and this is what I would want to learn more about social media. My program does a great job of preparing us for other parts of the workforce, and I'm excited to see what I will learn about social media. I feel as if I've only just discovered certain aspects of social media. 

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