As we all know, the use of electronic communications is growing and growing: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, etc…all are being used not only for college students to spy on each others’ lives and vent about their “problems,” but also for social networking by major companies, organizations and businesses.
Honestly, when my mom got a Facebook, I was horrified. And when my aunts and uncles started getting Facebooks, I was even more horrified. How many times have you heard high school and college kids say, “Old people shouldn’t have Facebooks?” While I can’t quite get rid of the opinion that Facebook is for students, not parents, grandparents, etc… I understand the use of Facebook by everyone, as well as Twitter and other social networking Websites. My mom works in PR, so I’m sure having Facebook has helped her with social networking at her job. I witnessed some need of Facebook in my (somewhat) professional life just the other day. In writing a story for my college newspaper, I had a source I needed who I could find absolutely no contact information for…except his Facebook. Sending him a message got me his phone number, and voila! Facebook saved me.
I’m a strategic communications major (a mix between public relations and advertising), and I know working in a communications field will require my competency in electronic communications. If I don’t know about social networking, what good am I to a possible employer?
I’m subscribed to Ragan’s PR Daily News Feed, and each day I receive e-mails with blogging and Twitter tips, including how to get more retweets and how to translate Twitter slang. PR and strategic communications professionals obviously use Twitter and other electronic communication outlets to gain publicity and recognition for their organization. If the professionals are giving me this advice, I’d be stupid not to take it. Even visiting the Ragan Communications Website, it’s loaded with articles on electronic communications and social networking. It is obvious that electronic communications plays a huge role in the field of public relations and strategic communications.
Besides online newsletters, strategic communications organizations are determined to teach the field’s professionals how to stay modern with the growing world of electronic communications. A conference titled “Social Media for PR and Corporate Communications” is being held in Las Vegas in February, which if is unable to be attended, can be attended via live webcast. How’s that for electronic communications? A conference about it, with the chance to partake in it at the same time! And really, could you imagine a more fun place to learn?