When it comes to social media, I have consistently found myself a bit behind the times. I only joined the Facebook world my senior year of high school which put me about four years behind in comparison to my friends. Even this seemed like a big step for me, so I allowed it to be the extent of my social media activity for quite some time. As it turns out, this semester set in motion my evolution into a much more professional, social media savvy individual.
Prior to taking Intro to Public Relations, I was completely oblivious to the importance of social networks. I admit, I even harbored some negative attitudes toward these sites which I saw as pointless distractions. Upon taking this first class in the PR sequence as well as joining PRSSA, I was quickly made aware of my ignorance. PRSSA has given me the opportunity to hear countless professionals speak about their occupations in the field, and every single one has incessantly stressed the benefits that a solid base of knowledge and involvement in social media can provide. It didn’t take hearing all of these professionals for me to get the idea. My plan to submerge myself into the social media world took off less than a month into the semester.
Where better to start on my path to social media savviness than a familiar territory? Already a member, I understood that I needed to tweak my settings a bit to make myself more private. Potential employers know how get around obstacles in order to find anything they need. With my page set to private, my name different than my full birth name, and my friends list chopped nearly in half after un-friending people I really didn’t know, I had conquered Facebook.
Judging by my initial skepticism about this site, I could have never predicted my eventual obsession with it. PRSSA meetings have emphasized the need for a more professional twitter account, so upon joining, I created a recreational account as well as a professional one. Twitter allows me to follow organizations, celebrities, peers, and professors that keep me informed about happenings in the PR world and the world in general. I confess, I get almost all of my news from Twitter these days! **Follow me @meghan5phillips
Of all my social media endeavors, this site excites me the most. PRSSA meetings and the professionals who speak at them place particular emphasis on LinkedIn and how individuals can use it to strategically set themselves apart to potential employers. Before joining PRSSA, I did not even have a profile. Now, I find myself constantly editing my LinkedIn page as I receive more tips in class and at PRSSA. Lately, my focus has turned to highlighting what I uniquely got out of past jobs and any experiences I’ve had in the field of communication. Just like a paper résumé, employers seek LinkedIn profiles that distinguish their users. I hope to increase my number of connections now that I have joined PRSSA and have become closer with peers who share the love for communication that I have. Connect with me, Meghan Phillips, on LinkedIn!
I have not reached my full potential in the social media world, yet, but I plan to continue my journey. My next goal is to start a blog or possibly a vlog (a video blog) on YouTube pertaining to my experiences in the field of public relations and communication. Be on the lookout for me as I take the social media world by storm!
Meghan Phillips is a junior Interpersonal Communication and Psychology double major and plans to eventually add a minor in Advertising. She serves as the Vice President of the UD Women’s Club Basketball team and is a current member of PRSSA.