A Reflection on Social Media and PR

As my time at Auburn University comes to an end, I can look back at my coursework and reflect on what I have learned throughout the spring semester. One class, PRCM 3280 (Social Media and PR), definitely stood out.

If you’re a public relations student at Auburn, I absolutely recommend taking the Social Media and PR class. In this digital age, a knowledge of social media and content management is vital for a career as a PR practitioner.

Millennials may think they “get” social media… how hard can it be to tweet, anyway? As digital natives, we assume our peers can handle their own online. But good social media management is the difference between:

  1. Throwing content into the void and hoping for the best, versus…
  2. Knowing that content is reaching and engaging your audience!

Plus, this Social Media and PR class was far from a simple lecture format. Instead, it has improved my writing, increased my Twitter engagement and given me valuable experience working with real-world clients.

increased Twitter ENGAGEMENT

Twitter is one of the staple social media sites that many public relations practitioners incorporate into their social media strategy. This course required three organic tweets each week, plus responses to three classmate’s posts.

I’ve always enjoyed Twitter, but used it mainly as a source of breaking news, funny memes or interesting articles. Thanks to this class, I have learned to manage my Twitter account like a media professional. Our class hashtag quickly became a wonderful source for public relations posts, case study examples and social media tips.

I’m no longer required to tweet on a weekly basis, but will do my best to continue the conversation online with classmates and the multiple social media influencers I’ve interacted with over the course of this class.

Refined writing skills

In addition to our tweets, I wrote a weekly blog post about different topics in social media. This assignment was definitely my favorite since I already enjoy reading, writing and researching about these topics in my free time!

However, this kind of writing is distinctive. In the past, my articles were written for journalism courses and focused on interviews. On this blog, I create content that shares social media knowledge while incorporating relevant research.

This opportunity refined my writing skills and served as an introduction to the world of blogging, whether as a private citizen or corporate entity. It also gave me confidence working with content management systems like WordPress.

Real-world experience

This semester, our class teamed up with Auburn’s School of Communication and Journalism to help improve their presence and engagement on social media.

During the semester, my group and I did both secondary and primary research as well as conducted a communication audit in order to better understand CMJN’s current social media practices. We also worked together in forming a strategic plan to increase their reach and better engage their target audience.

This was a great learning experience for our group since it allowed us to apply what we learned in class to a real-world client. My group has created a full report and will present to CMJN’s social media managers by the end of the semester.

This final project and presentation combined all the strategies that we have learned throughout our Social Media and PR course. This wasn’t the first time I have collaborated within a group to create a successful campaign for clients, and it definitely won’t be the last.

In conclusion, I believe public relations practitioners must embrace the digital age or get left behind by their competitors. Social media is here to stay! Armed with a Hootsuite Certification, I’m more confident than ever to work within the ever-changing world of social media marketing and management.

Finally, I want to give a shout-out to our professor, Dr. Sisson. From PR Fundamentals class to Social Media and PR, you’ve been such an influence on my education and future career. Thank you so much for your constant support moving into this next chapter of life!

For the last time, #Sisson3280.

Stress-Relieving Strategies for Students

Stress is an inevitable part of life, especially when you’re attending an academically challenging institution like Auburn University. With the end of the semester quickly approaching, many students are already beginning to experience some finals week stress. Parking at the library is now nonexistent, coffee shops become crowded, and finding a quiet study spot in the student center is like discovering a rare gem!

Stress is impossible to eliminate, but you can learn to manage it. So before pulling an all-nighter or panicking about every possible worst-case scenario, read these tips from students on how to keep stress at a minimum:

1. Get enough sleep.

Aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night. Although spending the night in RBD reviewing study guides seems like the productive thing to do, the reality is that sleep does more good for a tired brain and body. Sleep is the best way to take a break and recharge for your next study session. It helps avoid both mental and physical fatigue, so it’s easier to retain information.

“Definitely take a nap.” – Paige Purvis

2. Step away from the desk.

Sitting in the same spot for hours on end won’t boost your brain power! Studies have shown that being active causes the brain to release endorphins, which improves your mood and overall happiness. Try visiting the Rec and Wellness Center on campus for a study break that can help take your mind off the status of your GPA.

“Go out on a run.” – Melissa Bryant

“Having a dance party always helps me.” – Lauren Gaines

Take your dog for a walk.” – Julie Tewell

3. Eat a healthy snack or meal.

Fuel your mind and body before you begin studying. Try eating a balanced diet with fresh foods. Healthy food improves your ability to think clearly, concentrate, and feel energetic when you need it most. Most importantly, avoid eating too much caffeine, sugar or junk food. Even if you’re in a rush getting to class, don’t skip a meal just to save time! That way, hunger pains are one less thing to worry about.

“Grocery shopping makes me feel relaxed” – Meagan Richardson

“Find some good snacks to eat” – Crandall Hinton

4. Focus on your friends.

Spending time with study partners or pals to keep you company in RBD is always a great idea. Good friends can encourage and motivate you to get work done, as long as they are careful not to distract too much. It can also help to have someone that understands the material and can help explain when studying gets tough.

“To reduce stress, I like to play foosball or video games with my friends.” – Patrick Snell

“I like getting coffee or wings with my pals when I’m stressed.” – Nicole Bianca.

5. Find an escape.

For many students, going back to one of their favorite hobbies may help reduce stress from a long day in the library. Listening to music, especially classical, while studying is especially known to give your brain a boost.

“Hot baths always make me feel relaxed.” – Kohler Constantine

“I like to play the piano or cross-stitch. Call me a grandma, but I ain’t joking!” – Elizabeth Cummings

“Watch the Office or Parks and Rec whilst eating candy snuggled in a blanket.” – Lindsey Guin

It’s important to remember that stress exists for a reason. You can either choose to let it be your downfall or use it to drive you to improve your work!

How do you de-stress from school? Tell us in the comments below!

This article originally appeared on Auburn Family.