I have bad news for every marketing and public relations student: having social media skills will not guarantee you a job, and unfortunately, it doesn’t make you special. I hope this isn’t news to you, but if it is, listen up.
According to Brain Walton, the editor-in-chief of GeekChicDaily, “Social media is shifting from a tool in an arsenal for your brand, to what has to be a primary component.” While this sounds good for would-be PR pros, the job as we know it is shifting from an understanding of social media tools into, as Walton describes it, “community management.”
The difference between the two is an understanding of the intricacies of the business you are representing. It’s impossible to be effective while tweeting in a vacuum. So solve the problem through research. How? Broaden the scope of your job well beyond simply tweeting or posting from an account. Turn it into something strategic that involves both on and offline content.
Speaking of strategic content, social media (and all of public relations in my opinion) works better when combined with an integrated marketing plan that expresses a unified message. Or at least that’s what B.J. Cook, the CEO and co-founder of Digital Operative, thinks. He says that, “Folks who want to specialize in social media need to get real and think about additional areas of marketing as well.” He emphasizes that professionals should, “Understand how social media integrates and plays with everything else.”
So what’s the solution for students? Become well rounded. Take classes outside your intended major. If you’re in PR, take advertising and marketing classes. Learn how to design websites and use creative tools like Adobe. If you are on the creative end, learn how to communicate better by supplementing your education with some strategic communications classes. Regardless of your major, cover your bases, and learn how everything connects. Doing so will help to make you more marketable come graduation.
All quotes and the theory behind this post come from an article written for Ragan.com. To view the original article click here.
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jacob DeChant.