Today is my birthday, and it is not just any birthday – I am officially entering my 30s! Fabulous!
I realized looking back at the last ten years – it has been filled with various activities and wonderful memories. Looking back at where I was over the years from Florida to CA to Tennessee and now in Louisville, there are many momentous activities I experienced in my 20s that I will always take with me as I move on in my life. As a result, I decided to create a short movie about it to highlight a few events that defined my 20s for me.
Here are some of the accomplishments I had in my 20s include:
- Age 21: Became an All-American for the first time (2003) and SEC Shot Put Champion
- Age 22: Third All-American for the Shot put indoors at Florida and went to the 2004 Olympic Trials (finished 9th)
- Age 23: Graduated with my Bachelor’s in PR from the University of Florida (2005) and started at USC for graduate school in PR.
- Age 24: Finished track and field eligibility at USC (School Record Holder and All-American) in 2006 and started Jenny Craig.
- Age 25: Graduated from USC with Master’s, went to South Africa for international study abroad and internship, and began at Tennessee in the PhD program (2007)
- Age 26: Started my academic career at Tennessee by presenting at my first international conference in China (2008) with Kristin
- Age 27: Finished my second year at Tennessee in the PhD program and went to Greece with Mom and Kristin and the Netherlands for conferences. Started preparing for comprehensive exams and teaching Fall 2009 (online and in person).
- Age 28: Took comprehensive exams, teaching (online and in person), dissertation, and conferences (2010).
- Age 29: Graduated with my PhD from the University of Tennessee to officially be Dr. Freberg 2.0, started my first year as an assistant professor at the University of Louisville, Kristin and Scott’s wedding, conferences and consulting, and Milan!
As you can see, my 20s were filled with throwing and lifting lots of items, going to school to graduate with three college degrees, travel the world, and spending time with amazing friends and family. I would like to thank all of my friends and family (Mom, Dad, Kristin, and Karla) for making these last ten years pretty fabulous and amazing! It’s been an exciting road and time for me, and I am sure that my 30s will be as fabulous!
Hope you all are having a fabulous day!
I found the Fortune Tech article that Ryan Holmes (CEO of Hootsuite) interesting and I have to say while he makes some points to consider for universities when it comes to social media. Yes, there are professors at universities that either 1) do not value social media; 2) do not know what social media is (I actually had a professor tell me that email was social media – really.) or 3) trying to say that it is just a “fad.”
This is not the first time I have seen articles or others comment about where social media is at in higher education. I have heard several versions of each of these, and they do still exist presently at several universities across disciplines around the US. Professors are battling several elements with new technology sometimes internally – whether these are gatekeepers that want to keep things “traditional” or other obstacles, we have to address these while making sure we are actively engaged in both the academic and practitioner communities.
However, there are points where I do disagree with Ryan in his article in Fortune Tech. As a consultant in PR, I do understand the growing need for having the latest tools and perspectives when it comes to social media to make sure we prepare our students for the workplace. Yet, labeling all universities to be behind the curve is not entirely fair to state. There are many researchers I know not only in PR, but also in systems engineering, psychology, and other disciplines, who are really changing the game when it comes to their research on the subject. In addition, these same professors are engaged in the classroom as well to make sure we pass along latest issues, trends, and skills expected from the workplace with our students.
With this in mind, here are some things I would like to point out:
- Universities are engaged in cutting edge research when it comes to the classroom as well as practice: Many schools like University of Colorado are leading certain disciplines like crisis informatics and crisis communications when it comes to social media practices with their research. MIT, USC, Michigan State, and Stanford are all universities looking at the growing changes in technology as well as what skills and issues need to be addressed in the classroom – but these universities were not mentioned in the Fortune article.
- Professors are continuing to be cutting edge with incorporating technology in their classroom across disciplines: Several professors in the public relations and communication field are leading the way when it comes to not only discussing social media, but incorporating the tools as part of the overall social experience that is strategically managed and engaged across communities with the students. Professors like Robert French (Auburn University), Serena Carpenter (Michigan State), and Marcus Messner (VCU) are just a few that are transforming social media strategically for public relations in particular.
- Universities have established research centers dedicated to monitoring and engaging in social media for faculty and students: University of Colorado, Clemson, and University of Washington have established social media command centers that have been incorporated into the various curriculum at these universities. Faculty and staff of these centers are training students with the latest technologies and trends not only from a research focused perspective, but also from an applied perspective.
- Professors presently have to have a hybrid mentality when it comes to their role as a scholar: More than ever, professors not only have to be aware of the theories associated of course with the academic literature and science of their field, but they have to be actively engaged in the professional community and understand how to apply and strategically use their findings and tools to help businesses, agencies, and other organizations. Several professors consult on the side in their specialized areas besides their research and teaching obligations.
- Social media is not only about certain tools, but a focus on the overall social experience: Brian Solis recently had an interview with Sephora that discussed how the company was using social media not only for the specific platforms, but for the overall social experience. This is one of the perspectives professors are now taking with their classes – they are focusing on the strategies and integration of these various platforms together to complete the overall social experience of the audience. We are teaching our students it is not only about the various tools out there, but using each platform for a strategic purpose as well as the growing need to encourage inspiration, creativity, and telling our stories through these experiences in various multimedia formats.
- Social media classes focusing more on strategies instead of tools: There are classes in social media dedicated to focusing on just what tools are out there and we do know that college students are digital natives with the various platforms, but what we can offer for students as professors as guidance on how to use these platforms for a professional setting as well as for managing their personal reputation.
As a professor who will be teaching and designing a social media class this upcoming spring semester at the University of Louisville, I do welcome an open discussion with Ryan on how we can bridge these gaps that are identified when it comes to social media in the classroom.
We need to have an open dialogue between practitioners in the workplace as well as businesses and the academic community. So, Ryan – I am just a tweet/update/email away – let’s get the conversation started so we can work together to help students studying social media be the best they can be for their future employers.
Hope you all are having a great day.
Research and understanding the core essence of what social media is and how it is being applied is one of the most challenging yet exciting opportunities for public relations professionals and students.
There are many universities that have established either a social media class or has faculty and graduate students doing research in the area. However, what are some of the main research centers dedicated to studying and exploring the areas of new media?
- IPR Social Media Research Center: IPR just launched their social media research center, which is going to focus on the areas of PR research that focuses on emerging technology across various specializations such as crisis communications, health communications, and influence.
- Social Media Research Foundation: This foundation focuses on open tools, open data, and open scholarship – so it is interesting to see not only the tools these researchers are using, but where their work has been published.
- Pew Research Center: Probably one of the most established research center when it comes to social media and looking at various trends, issues, and emerging elements to consider when it comes with new media. Great reports and white papers looking at demographics and use of this new media among audiences.
- Altimeter Group: If you want to look at the leading practitioner research on social media, this is the group you will want to know and follow. Great research and presentations from all members of the Altimeter Group team, especially Brian Solis and Jeremiah Owyang.
- Reputation Institute: This research group focuses primarily on the areas of reputation, brand management, and identity for businesses, but they have explored the influences of new media on a company’s reputation and brand presence with their reputation both offline and online.
Besides foundations and established research centers, there are of course several centers that have been established in universities. Here are a few that you may want to be aware of and check out their research, publications and presentations, and what they offer to their faculty and students working with the center:
- University of Washington SoMe Lab: The collaborators and researchers who are part of this team are mostly from information sciences and geography, but this is where a lot of great research (especially in crisis communications) dealing with social media is coming from. There are several focus topics related to this research group with new media, including political communications and organizations just to name a few.
- Clemson Cyber Institute: This is very interesting since the institute focuses on not only providing research in one or two disciplines, but transdisciplinary research. The center is not only engaged with research with their faculty, but also with their students – which is great.
- MIT Media Lab: Boston is really becoming one of the major global headquarters for emerging research and studies in new media. Great resources and research coming out of the MIT Media Lab that is cutting edge and changing the social media and emerging technologies research lines across disciplines.
- USC Annenberg: The researchers working in the new media and technology division of their research center focus on the growing changes in the new technology and how it impacts public relations, international communications, social network theory, and communication innovation. In addition, one professor you may want to review and follow is Henry Jenkins – great innovator and thought leader in digital media with his commentary and research.
- University of Colorado Connectivity Lab: If you are interested in crisis communications within social media, this is a center and research team you will want to make sure to follow as well. Great resources and research coming out about crisis informatics and how social media is being used in key crisis situations (ex. Egypt protests, CA Wildfires, Virginia Tech crisis, etc).
Bonus and Honorable Mentions:
- Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford: Great research looking at persuasion and how it can be effectively be used in social media and mobile. Great studies and resources available here on the website.
In summary, these are just a few of the various research centers in the professional world and at universities. There is great research and findings being shared and discussed in both the practitioner and academic communities.
More research centers will emerge as the technology continues to evolve and more businesses are expecting professionals not only to be able to look at what has been done, look at the various gaps that could be addressed, and strategically and creatively think about what you can do to contribute to the body of knowledge.
Hope you all have a great day!
Besides giving our students the tools and resources to succeed in the workplace, we have to make sure our students are aware of what are some of the challenges and obstacles they need to be addressed. These are not only things that need to be shared with undergraduate students, but also with graduate and PhD students.
So, what are some things to be aware of if you are a student (undergraduate, graduate, or PhD) about the job market? Or, what are some activities I need to be prepared for and what I can do now? Here are just a few elements to consider and think about.
- Interviews: Interviews are one of steps that students, undergraduate and graduate, for getting a job. Students not only have to be prepared for all types of interviews: one-on-one, one-to-many, and even Skype interviews. Do mock interviews for all situations so you are prepared for the real one.
- Social Media: You have to not only think about social media in terms of managing your own reputation online, but you have to think about the various ways you can be creative to get the attention of potential employers. There are some amazing examples of what others have done to try to get an internship/position in the workplace, but there are some things students who are looking at research/academic positions can takeaway for inspiration as well. Here are some other tips to consider as well.
- Presentations: In some cases, you have to possibly present on a topic in a classroom or even present your own research, or even a campaign you lead or were part of from your previous internship/job. You have to determine what is your time frame, what are the expectations for you in terms of documents to bring with you for the presentation, and how much time you have for the presentation.
- Online presence and influence: Be aware of what others are saying about you and what other sites like Klout/Kred are saying you are influential in. These sites serve as a guide for you – but you may not want to primarily focus only on these scores – but instead use these to help you engage others online with your blog, Twitter, Pinterest, FB, and other sites to share articles and information/updates related to these topics. This goes across all students as well – even in the PhD – especially if the areas you are marketing for are in social media or emerging technologies.
- Doing your research: Look at the culture within the agency, university, and other organization to determine if this would be the right fit. The environment you are working in will help you be productive and effective in your work, so this is important. Other research can come from looking at various job listings as well as guides like Mashable has produced to help out young professionals. Formulate also your talking points – know your strengths, share your experiences in the field, and know how you are different compared to the other job candidates. In addition, for academic jobs, know who has done research at your university in social media or the field you are in. The Institute of Public Relations just launched their Social Media Research Center, so this would be a good starting point.
- Showing your personality and proper etiquette: Saying thank you with a handwritten letter, acknowledge and thank others for kind comments via social media, listen and be transparent in conversations, and modesty is a wonderful trait.
These are just a few things to think about. Looking for a job right now in a tough economy is going to be challenging – you may need to be persistent and work hard at this every day. It may take some time and effort, but it will be worthwhile in end. I wish you all the very best!
Have a great day!
Pinterest has been a site where people have gotten their inspirations and ideas for a variety of events and celebrations. From weddings to parties to fashion/home decor/food creations – this site has it all! However, when you look at these possibilities for social and personal interests, the question arises on how Pinterest can be used for professional reasons. I have used Pinterst for both personal and professional interests.
I have items for travel,athletics, and food (of course) ideas, but mainly I have used it as a visual bookmarking platform to save and share info graphics related to various topics. Kristin just wrote a great post on how to use infographics for engineers – these are a great way to communicate visually your data and insights related to your campaign or research study. It is a great platform for visual thinkers – so this is something to keep in mind.
Gini Dietrich also had a great post for PR pros on how they can use the site for their PR efforts, ranging from incorporating this into the employee social media policy to steps to measure the impact of Pinterest pins for your client and brand. Here is a list of some of the tools you can use to measure the impact of Pinterest for your brand from Social Media Today. Understanding the size of the image that will be displayed on Pinterest will also be good to know as well.
With all of these in mind, here are some things to remember when you are using Pinterest for professional reasons:
- Think before you pin: People not only follow just one board, but all of your boards on Pinterest. Keep this in mind in regards to your online reputation.
- Show personality as well as professional interests: People want not only information you can use themselves, but they want to see who you are as a person as well. Have boards for travel adventures, cooking recipes, fashion and shopping, athletics, hobbies, etc.
- Share insights with followers you know will be interested in your content: Use Twitter or Facebook to share videos, infographics, or other useful visual content that may be helpful to others. I have done this with Twitter, and people have been very grateful for these resources for their own classes and even practice.
- Like all social media platforms, you have to be consistent with content: If people are expecting you to have content on a regular basis, you need to make sure to provide it.
- Use the Pinterest Mobile App: This is what I primarily use – and look for various categories that may be interest you and search for content. I have found the technology category to be very useful for social media infographics.
Here are a list of people I follow on Pinterest who have been very generous with sharing their content and insights about various topics of interest (ex. social media, public relations, etc):
- PR News: Great information related to their articles and updates – plus they share updates for their events and tips for inspiration for PR professionals.
- Social@Oglivy: Fabulous infographics and what I really like is the fact they have organized their boards very well – extremely helpful!
- Tom Kelleher: PR professor at the University of Hawaii – has done a great job in using Pinterest to share not only infographics, but also use the platform to share stories and visuals from his Communication department at the University of Hawaii.
- Patrice Cloutier: If you want the latest developments of crisis communications with new media and mobile technologies, Patrice always has the latest developments on Pinterest. Ranging from articles, infographics, and videos – Patrice is a must follow for crisis communication professionals on Pinterest.
In summary, Pinterest offers many opportunities to not only connect and share great information, but it is also a platform to extend your online reputation by sharing more content with your established followers on other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Personally, I have been using Pinterst and Twitter together to share great infographics to build networking relationships and also practice social media curation in the process.
Hope you all are having a wonderful day.