Public Relations and Social Media Careers

This semester I am taking SCOM318, which is a practicum in communication studies. The focus of my specific section is strategic social media. I took this class in hope of broadening my PR skills by understanding the ins and outs of social media forums like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google +, and many more. I learned that a lot of public relations work is completed through social media. Whether you are actually maintaining social media sites for a client or simply monitoring the sites for media coverage of your client, understanding social media and how to use it strategically is crucial in the world of public relations.

One of my assignments for this practicum class was to find a recently written book that pertained to my field of study and that could provide me with new knowledge. I decided to write a book review on the book, “Starting Your Career as a Social Media Manager” by Mark Story.

The book serves as somewhat of a career handbook for all people interested in a career as a social media manager or the field of social media communication in general. It describes the fundamentals of the occupation and how a professional can use social media strategically. An interesting aspect of the text is that in chapter 1,  the author uses a lot of statistic and facts to express that social media is becoming more and more prominent in the business world. With over 900 million Facebook users and other social media forums such as Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn there really is a need in companies for an individual to dedicate their job to monitoring these outlets. The book presents itself in an honest and unbiased fashion. The author reiterates that even if you think you know how to use social media, you still have a lot to learn regarding how social media can be used strategically in a business setting. The author also expresses that a job in the social media field is not for everyone especially those who dislike writing, dislike change, get frustrated easily, and don’t like consuming media. This text is broken down into twelve chapters each focusing on a different subject matter. The book is set up semi-chronologically in that it first discusses how to prepare yourself for a job in social media, what the responsibilities of a social media are once you obtain a job in the field and how you can continue to advance.

I found this book to be extremely useful and would definitely recommend it to any student studying PR. The author reiterates that social media is a growing field and new innovations are developing rapidly. I applied the information to my life in regards to a future career in public relations. Without knowledge and experience with social media one cannot amount to their fullest potential as a pr professional. More and more publicity is being handled virtually through social media so PR professionals must be equipped with the latest knowledge of these types of platforms.  As a result of completing this book review, my curiosity in the field of social media has skyrocketed. I am looking forward to continuing to develop my skills in as many social media forums as possible in hopes of fully preparing myself for a future career in public relations.

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