Okay…a random-ish thought for my Curry College COM/PR student-friends and Curry College PR Student Association members sparked by having participated in three or four Twitter chats in the past couple of weeks courtesy of colleagues scattered across the globe…
How active are you on social media? And on which platforms? And what is the general “theme” of your activity? I’ve written about this before, but the topic just seems to keep coming up in one way or another, so…
Now before you start jumping up and down and screaming “Kirk, I actually have a REAL job that keeps me running all week plus, as YOU well know, I carry a full load of courses every semester, so where do you think I’m going to find time to ‘play’ on social media”…take a deeeep breath and listen.
I know how hard you’re working, and I admire and respect you for all that you have done, are doing, and will do. You are amazing. If I had half your energy and dedication, I would be grateful.
BUT…there’s a reason for my question.
It occurred to me as I was engaged in the Twitter chats that (a) I was learning something new in every one and (b) I was expanding my network of contacts dramatically. In addition, by including “handles” for Curry and for CCPRSA, I was introducing a global audience to both. What will come of that little step? I don’t know, but time will tell.
Same holds true for Facebook and for Instagram…sorry, folks, SnapChat and I are having a hard time falling in love.
The main point here is that I try to maintain an active presence on these three platforms and share a wide range of thoughts, ideas, perceptions, snarky remarks, and so on. And, believe it or not, I don’t spend a ton of time doing this.
I’ve worked out a system that enables me to keep track of what’s going on and to respond/ comment if appropriate. I don’t feel compelled to react to every single thing that bubbles up in my Twitter or Facebook feed, and I don’t.
So what’s this all about? It’s about YOU and your efforts to gain some recognition out there in the “working world.” It’s about planting the seeds in your “network nursery” that will eventually develop into full-blown professional contacts.
You don’t know where that job or internship lead will come from, but I can assure you that, in today’s online-focused world, it’s more likely to come from a social media connection than from a newspaper ad.
Yes…use social media to have fun. I love bashing our local mass transit system when it deserves it (I also praise the good things that its employees do.), and I carry on sideline conversations with various reporters and travel writers when something catches my interest. I share more food pictures than any “normal” person probably should. And I love to re-post photos from trips to Taiwan and other places.
But more often than not, I use social media to share observations and lessons learned from professional activities. I want to be recognized as someone who gives serious thought to the communication profession, in particular public relations, and has opinions that might be of value to others.
And this is my message for you, my friends. Build yourself a presence on social media…don’t rush it…let it develop organically. Comment on and share thoughts from others that you have your own opinion about. Eventually…not right away…eventually…others will turn to you for comment or advice.
But you have to be there first for this to happen. So don’t be anti-‘social’!