My first Press Release was published today on my college’s website!
A few weeks ago in my reporting class we covered the ever delightful topic of Social Media. It was perhaps one of the chapters that I usually know a ton about. While I did learn a lot about some of the techniques journalists should use on social media (we’ll be going over that in the next post). There was one topic that my teacher kind of stayed on: Twitter.
Here in my school’s bubble twitter isn’t that well used. It’s just now growing some but not so much. I got my twitter account a year ago at the urging of some journalists friends who are out and about practicing the profession. In case you haven’t been able to extract this fact: I’m a wordy person. It’s something I’ve been working on of the late. My friends felt it would be a great way to condense what I had to say. I confess that I nearly cried on my first tweet. How was I supposed to say all I needed to say in 140 characters of less? I sort of gave up on it for a while, but then would occasionally pick it back up. These days however I mostly post something daily or every other day. I’ve to- date tweeted 2, 044 times. It’s been a pretty grand experience. I remember first starting and I was quite frightened to be “tweeting” strangers. We were talking about PR stuff, but it still felt strange to me. I’d heard too many horror stories of social networking to feel safe. After a while though it became pretty cool. One day I asked a follower of mine a question and was answered by one New York’s top Fashion PR people. I then understood why twitter was so awesome.
Now I’m the kind of social networker that makes sure all my accounts legit. What I mean is I don’t post something that would get me in any kind of trouble. Lately we’ve been bearing witness to some companies who have slipped up when it comes to their twitter accounts. I’m a big fan of the “If you can’t show it to your mother, then don’t post it” train of thought. So when my professor asked if I had a twitter I of course said “Yes”.
After some explaining of the mechanics of twitter my professor asked me about what assignment I’d like to work on for the chapter. While I could have easily said “I’d like to write a blog post” and turned in some old post from my Tumblr blog. I decided to practice Live Tweeting.
Live tweeting is when you attend an event and tweet form it in real time. Many companies and organizations are adopting a live tweet platform for events such as conferences. It not only helps to fill in the need for some up to the minute PR coverage, but it can also fill in the downtime between sessions and workshops. It helps continue conversations that have transpired in those events and can help people who are not attending to see what all the fuss is about.
I decided to live tweet form my college’s Constitution Day. It was a little strange for me. I chose to sit in the back of the chapel and being the smart phone-less person that I am, used my laptop to tweet the event. I was shaky at first just trying to cover the basics. But when it comes to passionate people and politics things got good. For the next hour, I was not only able to work on my tweeting abilities but I was also able to word on writing leads, attributing quotes and finding sources for government programs that where talked about. I was also able to fact check what was said. Time flew by and I found myself having participated more by doing all that I had.
Feel free to follow me on twitter! @thesuperrare
I think perhaps it might be best to explain why I’m even here. Not on this blog, if you’ve read any of my earlier posts you know why I have this blog. I’m talking about why I’m studying Journalism. This year Forbes released a survey that concluded that Journalism in the 5th worst career a person could pursue. In fact Journalism has slowly been declining as a profession since I was born in the 90’s. So why would a first generation college student dare study a profession that isn’t exactly the must beneficial? The answer is simple: passion. I know you’ve heard this a million times but go out on a limb here and listen to a million and one.
When I was a kid I would read some news stories and I would become so interested in what they had to say that I would actually learn about different things. My first view into politics didn’t come from my family. In fact I learned some of the basics of politics when I was still in elementary school.
I had read an article on the then upcoming election. It was a powerful editorial on how young people where giving up their freedoms to vote because “they didn’t feel like it”. I spent a whole afternoon in the library looking up different things. By the time my mom had come to pick me up for the day, I felt I was well enough informed. I sat up with her that night and watch a presidential debate. It was boring but I wrote some things down and was back in the library then next day. I was a sight to see. Scouring through dictionaries and encyclopedias trying to find things like “Foreign Policy” and “Healthcare Plans” (They didn’t let us use the internet at that time). On the ride home that afternoon I looked over at my mom and said with my voice shaking “Mom, I’m pretty sure you’re a republican, but just in case you’re not please don’t vote for Al Gore, he really didn’t invent the internet and his foreign policy stinks.” I was never able to get my mom to reproduce the look of shock that passed over her face (not even in my teen years).
Out of all the things I enjoyed about reading newspapers, I think the section I enjoyed the most where the editorials or the special interests section (it really depended on the newspaper and how they had things laid out), In those pages the most interesting people would come to life before my eyes. Sometimes they would be someone famous but more often than not they would be some everyday person that was doing something extraordinary. The first one that really stuck with me was a bee keeper, another was a woman who ran a women’s shelter, hundreds of people I will probably never get the chance to meet became dear friends to me within those pages. There were times when I would get frustrated at the writers. sometimes they would leave out details that I wanted to know, others I felt as thought they just din’t capture that person like I felt they should have.
After those days no matter where I was or who I met I would right an editorial in my head. I would start by capturing the environment around me. Then I would move on the the person what they were wearing, then why I felt they were important. By the time I was done I felt that I had captured the essence of the person.
This is why I love journalism. Making your stories come to life. Showing people across the street or across the globe why something is important. Sharing information, sharing in the human experience. This is why I love and study journalism.