Idecided to major in public relations because I love to write and talk topeople. For this project, I chose to research and explore the social mediaaspects of public relations because after college, I hope to acquire a jobposition as a social media coordinator.
I am an avid social media user, andthis industry is constantly evolving and changing. I am very interested in thisindustry because it allows me to illustrate my personality and interests indifferent ways while also incorporating humor and creativity. This generation is surrounded bysocial media, and it has a powerful impact and influence on those whoparticipate.
Social media is an important tool, and it can be used as amarketing strategy to build and establish a brand. Businesses, companies,organizations and individuals use social media to communicate to a largeraudience. It is also used as a source of entertainment. Denny’s twitter hasaccumulated thousands of followers due to its humorous and witty tweets andreplies. In September 2016, forbes.com described Denny’s as the “King ofTwitter” because it introduced new marketing tactics.
The company aims tocreate relatable content by incorporating pop culture references and memes inhopes to reach a younger audience (Gustafson, 2016). A social media coordinatorcommunicates over multiple channels, and I would have to craft my message tofit the multiple channels. Public relations messages are no longer a one-wayeffort; the audience can reply to message instantaneously, so it is importantto monitor the responses. I found three job positions that fulfilled my desireto work with social media. I was really interested in one specifically for a companycalled Advanced Sports Media Group, and the job involved managing social mediaaccounts for various sports teams in the United States. I would promote brandcontent and events via digital media. An essential part of the job would be developingrelationships with athletes and leagues. Also, I would generate reports andwrite weekly press releases (“Digital sports,” 2017).
The second job posting was a socialmedia manager position for University of Indianapolis. I would be responsiblefor promoting the university’s reputation and brand through various socialmedia platforms. The content would relate to academic excellence or communityimpacts. I would monitor social media accounts and interact with multiple audiences.
This job requires community management, relationship building and strategicplanning (“Communication,” 2017). The third job posting I looked intowas a position as a social media strategist for Eli Lilly. Iwould develop a social media marketing strategy and establish the policies and procedures.The company is looking for new creative and innovative ideas for social media. Itwould be important to build relations with brand partners and consumers.Another essential aspect of this position would be to track trends (“Socialmedia,” 2017). I had the opportunity to interviewseveral people via email and telephone for this project.
Their answers gave mea lot of insight about managing social media accounts. Several of the intervieweesare Ball State alumni. They majored in various subjects such as English, publicrelations and communications.
I found it very interesting that between the fiveinterviewees, they all shared one common interest—telling stories. They wereable to find careers that allowed them to utilize this skill. Jo Grabarek and Kelly Sharpe work atTaft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, which is a law firm in Indianapolis. Jomanages Taft’s social media content calendar, and she promotes events, speakingengagements, news and community involvement via the firm’s social media pages.Her job is to establish the firm’s brand, and in order to advance the socialmedia strategy, she must consider language, graphics and timing (Grabarek,2017). Kelly helps update social media, but she also plans events and seminars,updates the website and writes press releases (Sharpe, 2017). Jo explained Taft’s guidelines thatshe must follow when working on the company’s social media pages, and she alsostated that employees have policies for their personal social pages that theymust follow. If she sees a negative comment on a social media page, she followsa standard crisis response plan which includes the following: removing orreporting the comment or post, notifying any potentially affected parties and monitoringthe offending party for any future issues (Grabarek, 2017).
Melissa Jacobs formerly worked atIndiana Farm Bureau Insurance. She created social strategies and a roadmap forcontent creation. She responded to customer complaints and negative commentsposted online by offering immediate assistance to resolve and control thesituation. Along with posting to social media, Melissa also updated the company’swebsite (Jacobs, 2017). Nicole Thompson works at IndianaMembers Credit Union (IMCU).
She updates and manages the social media plan andcreates content for posts. She monitors the social media channels by observingthe engagements, interactions and the overall success of the post, and then sheis able to update social reports. Nicole also responds to messages andcomments.
She designs social images and takes and edits pictures and videos forsocial posts (Thompson, 2017). Nicole discussed IMCU’s social mediapolicy that was established to create a positive brand image. She follows astandard protocol when responding to concerns on social media.
This includesacknowledging the concern, making a company statement and providing a solution.The responses are personalized, and it is important to respond to all commentsthat do not violate the social media community standards, which ensures thatall online communities are positive and supportive (Thompson, 2017). I also interviewed Jessica Stingerwho is currently a recruiting graduate assistant at Middle Tennessee StateUniversity.
She works within the football program; she is in charge of runningsocial media and communicating with prospects via web. Jessica uses social mediato monitor the recruits and learn valuable information. Her job also includes alot of event planning including the following: booking flights, setting updinner reservations, booking hotel rooms, arranging driving directions, creatingitineraries and renting cars (Stinger, 2017). I think that I would be veryinterested in a similar job.
My interviewees stressed theimportance of building my résumé, and it is never too early to start. I amcurrently involved in Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), andnext semester, I plan to join Cardinal Metrics. I wanted to join Byte, astudent-run publication, because I want to improve my writing skills, but thissemester I was far too busy. I have also heard that Cardinal Communications isanother great way to gain experience.
I have started looking into internships; Iam very interested in the sports and entertainment industry, and my dream jobwould be to run the Indiana Pacers social media accounts. Writing skills are veryimportant because social media coordinators must be able to write multiplepieces like new releases, articles and social posts. Communication andorganizational skills are also required. With this specific job, no two days arethe same, and plans are constantly changing. This job requires the ability toadjust and reprioritize projects; therefore, time-managements skills arebeneficial. Knowledge of Adobe products and web design could set me apart fromother applicants, so I definitely should start learning. I learned a lotfrom this project, and several of my expectations were far from the truth.
I anticipatedthat being a social media coordinator would be all fun and I would be able topost funny things or whatever I want on social media. I realized that there isa lot more going on behind the scenes, and creating social media posts requiresa lot of planning. It can be a fast-paced and stressful environment, so severalof my interviewees advised using a calendar. I was also surprised to learn thata lot of math may be involved, but math has always been one of my bestsubjects. Also, I never thought about customer service being a large part ofthe job. I did not think about managing social media outside of work hours, andI realized that it is very important to be available to respond and resolveissues.I discovered that socialmedia coordinators experience many challenges. Melissa stated that her job’sbiggest challenge was demonstratingproven analytics because a large portion is subjective and untrackable.
Plus,it takes time to be able to demonstrate the impacts (Jacobs, 2017). Sometimesit may be difficult to know what an audience wants, so creating engagingcontent can be complicated. Social media coordinators must be instant andcreative.
As I stated earlier, schedules change often and new content becomespriority. Also, crafting a message to fit multiple channels can be difficult. After exploring this industry, Ihave concluded that I am still very interested. I have a lot of experience andknowledge of social media.
I think that I can create fun and entertainingcontent that is appropriate and follows policies. I believe that I could bring creativeideas to this position. Also, my concentration is media analytics, and afterconducting the interviews, I realized that analyzing social media is anintegral part of the job. I want a career that allows me to talk to otherpeople and write because I, too, have a passion for storytelling. I think thata social media coordinator is a perfect position.