This semester I attended my first networking event, a Tweetup, which is an event for Twitter users to meet face-to-face. This particular event was hosted by Eisbrenner Public Relations and held for local public relations professionals and students at Mr. B’s in Royal Oak.
Admittedly, I created my Twitter account an hour before attending the event, only in fear of not be admitted at the door without having one, and expected to never use it again. What I found inside—other than the fact that I was the only person there who had yet to send a “tweet”—is that more and more people are connecting professionally through social networking sites. In an industry like PR where reaching your publics in new and innovative ways is crucial, companies and professionals are embracing sites like Facebook and Twitter, sites that were once thought to be just fads among young adults and kids.
The experience was eye opening, to say the least. The professionals I spoke with at the event could not emphasize enough the role that social networking sites are now playing in the business world. They discussed the importance of becoming familiar with sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace—all sites that I had tried to stay away from in the past. It’s clear that by mastering these sites, you can better connect with professionals —and even more importantly—they can learn more about you.
“I never thought my familiarity with Facebook would help me at work, but knowledge of social media has become essential for PR practitioners,” said Jared Bryan, Eisbrenner intern and former Wayne State PRSSA president.
The Tweetup was an exciting and new experience that helped me understand an exciting and new tool, social networking. The more we embrace and begin to use and understand social networking sites; the better off we will be as future PR professionals.
— Jeremy Tucker, Member of Wayne State PRSSA