Social media are great: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Four Square and blogs are fun, and social networks can help you reconnect with old friends and make new ones. But we, as public relations folks, know that there is so much more depth to social media than status updates and friend requests. We know that you get out of it what you put into it, and the benefits that can come from using social media are endless. For me, that meant my first post-grad public relations position.
Here Is the Story
While I’ve been active in the social media world for quite some time now, it has only been in the past few months that I have really engaged with other public relations students and practitioners, and I have already gained so much by doing so, including a job.
Several weeks ago, while looking for interesting, engaging public relations, marketing, advertising professionals to follow on Twitter, I began conversations with several individuals from different agencies and sectors. One of the professionals I began talking to had just become the vice president of digital marketing with a full-service advertising agency and was looking to fill new positions in the new department. After sending him my resume and writing samples, we scheduled a phone interview, which led to a day trip from Tuscaloosa, Ala., to Alpharetta, Ga., for an in-person interview.
You know how they say when something is right, you just know? Well that’s the exact feeling that I had after leaving the interview, and apparently they felt the same way. I got a call only a few hours later and was offered a post-grad position, and even some freelance work until I join the team in May.
I will be joining Force Marketing, a full service advertising agency in the automotive industry, in what I consider to be my dream position. I will be brought on as in-house public relations, but will have endless opportunities to contribute in other ways.
My Advice for Job Seekers
I have Twitter, and social media in general, to thank for this opportunity. I hope my experience will encourage more students to engage with other students and professionals, build their online presences and take risks. You never know when your comment on someone’s blog or a RT will peak the right person’s interest and make your job hunting experience easy, enjoyable and effective.
I would highly advise May 2010 grads and anyone else looking for a public relations job to look beyond the norm. Don’t be afraid to apply for a job in a field you had never considered. The automotive industry is probably the last place I would have imagined myself working, but since I took a chance, I will now be broadening my horizons and gaining limitless experience in a new field. I will also have the chance to dabble in other areas, like in-house public relations, marketing and digital marketing, which I may never have had the chance to do had I only applied for specific public relations positions.
Also, don’t be intimidated to reach out to professionals and agencies that you see on Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social network. In this day and age, with such an emphasis on social media in public relations, practitioners and agencies don’t want to hire a recent grad with no online presence or who isn’t social media savvy. Get noticed and reap the benefits, whether they be contacts with agencies, job interviews or great resources.