On January 13 Public Relations students, professionals and educators gathered together on twitter to discuss social media in the classroom and the educator’s role. Keeping the topic of “Celebrate the PR Educator” in mind, community members considered the benefits of social media in an academic setting and methods to monitor student activity. Questions such as “What steps can educators take to stay current on the quickly changing social media universe?” spurred answers from each end of the spectrum.
Co-founders Deirdre Breakenridge, PR 2.O expert and co-author of Putting the Public Back in Public Relations and Valerie Simon Senior Vice President at BurrellesLuce media monitoring and measurement co-hosted this month’s #PRStudChat.
Special panel of PR educators included Terri Bailey from Florida Gulf Coast University, Suzanne Carbonaro from Rider University, Kalene Elizabeth from Humber College, Mary Ann Ferguson from University of Florida, Melanie James from University of Newcastle, Emily Kinsky from Pepperdine University, Brooke Fisher Liu from University of Maryland, Ellen Mrja from Minnesota State University, Barbara Nixon from Georgia Southern University, Dara Quackenbush from Texas State and Karen Russell from University of Georgia.
#PRStudChat created a stir amongst PR communities on twitter once again with its January-chat. Those who followed the #PRStudChat hashtag discovered great insights given throughout the chat… great not only in quality of information, but also in amount. Below is the first column in a series that will highlight some of the many great takeaways from each of the topics discussed during the chat. Please note that these tweets have been edited for easy reading. The entire series will be available here. If you would like to see an unedited version of the full chat, please click here. To learn more about #PRStudChat and those who are participating, please visit the #PRStudChat LinkedIn Group; all public relations students and practitioners are welcome to join and participate!
What steps can educators take to stay current on the quickly changing social media universe?
dbreakenridge: Read books, blogs, connect with influencers, attend conferences, webinars & use social media :)
ekinsky To stay current you have to stay active in SM yourself. Keep your ears/eyes open. Read a variety of sources online & off.
ellenm53 Educators have a DUTY and a OBLIGATION to learn the new tools/ways. Just do it, as I did. Self-taught.
arikhanson Seems basic, but set up a Google Reader account or Feedly account and track your 20 favorite PR blogs.
MegVandervort Have technorati, mashable, alltop, etc all in their bookmarks!
annebuchanan Use SM to connect w/ future employers of your students. Up to BOTH of us to help them bridge gap between academic & practical.
Samjb Use it or lose it.
dquack Talk to the pros. See how it’s being done in the real world.
barbaranixon If I could only use Twitter for one thing, it would be to connect with PR professors and students. I’ve learned *so* much.
adscientist ALL educators must live social media lifestyle; can’t fall behind the students. Must have students help educate on new social media tools. Teach students to interact with industry professionals by asking questions and advancing their own understanding of subject.
rpulvino Socializing, whether online or in-person is very important. Talk with others, learn from others.
melanie_james I’ve found Twitter immersion to be best as it alerts me to new SM things I can follow up. Generally participating and using SM as part of professional and personal life seems the best way.
kaleneelizabeth Be curious. Talk to PR practitioners about what they’re doing for their clients. Try new tools. Be patient with yourself. Learn.
KarenRussell hanging out in the SM space is the best way to keep up with changes!
REVOLUTIONpr Continue to read about developing tech and test out new channels yourself instead of just teaching about it. Also – remember that there are REAL people behind each twitter account and blog. We often forget they are real live people.
krisTK wants you to check out @propenmic for PR students, faculty and pros: http://www.propenmic.org/
dquack says to follow @bryanperson and see if there is a Social Media Breakfast in your area.
ColbyWG suggests using Snackr, http://snackr.net/, as a news ticker for your computer.
barbaranixon wrote about keeping current in PR/SM in a blog post: http://bit.ly/63AQ10
This is the final column in a special series written by Mikinzie Stuart, a senior at Ferris University and author of The PRepguide. Mikinzie served as guest moderator for the January 13th session of #PRStudChat. Be sure to join us on Twitter for the next live #PRStudChat discussion February 17th. The “Valentine’s edition” will focus on relationships!