Interns aka digital natives meet pros at the Social Media Social
By Jaclyn Liva
University of Rhode Island
Social Media is being used in almost everyone’s lives constantly throughout the day. The URI Student-led Public Relations Society recently hosted the first-ever Social Media Social. Several students that belong to the University’s Harrington School of Communication were in attendance, along with many Newport Interactive Marketers members and small businesses looking for interns.
University of Rhode Island Social Media professor Suzanne McDonald, founder of NIM, kicked off the event with an informative speech on how the need for digital natives is increasing. It was a great because the students there are all familiar in social media, aka digital natives. Her presentation is available on SlideShare and focuses on “Crossing the Digital Divide” between digital natives (student-interns) and busy professionals.
The Social was an opportunity for students to socialize with business owners and other professionals who are seeking help with social media for their businesses. Suzanne also talked about how important a LinkedIn profile is to have.
Shawn Simmons, Director Public Relations at StyleWeek Providence, @StyleWeekPR was also a keynote speaker at the social. He discussed the importance of branding yourself and offered tips on how to discover your brand. Shawn advised everyone to keep in mind that what other people say about your brand is much more important than what you design your brand to be.
During the event, there was a live Twitter stream onstage. People were tweeting and retweeting questions for the social media experts panel. And #URI_PRS was trending. One student tweeted: “How important are recommendations from co-workers and bosses on LinkedIn?” The question was answered almost instantly by one of the panelists: crucially important.
It was nice to see even the keynote speakers tweet from the audience. It made the atmosphere of the Social feel much more open.
The Social Media Social panel featured
- University of Rhode Island PhD candidate Joannah Portman-Daley @Joannah
- Kevin Vine, Dunkin’ Brands Interactive Marketing Manager @KevinTVine
- Nichole Wardle, direcor of sales at Longwood Events
- Brian Hodge, communications and social media manager at Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau,
These pros deftly handled numerous questions and stressed the fact that everything that is put on the Internet will forever live in cyberspace.
The Social Media Social came to an end with a networking session. This gave everyone in attendance the opportunity to meet, mingle, and explore internship opportunities over free ice cream!