“Professor, is this going to be on Twitter?” – Social Media in the Classroom
Justin Finnegan, Senior Account Executive (@justinfinnegan)
Dr. Elaine Young, an associate professor of marketing at Champlain College in Vermont, penned an interesting viewpoint for BusinessWeek in which she discusses the importance of teaching social media skills to PR students.
PR students must now write news releases that are search-engine friendly, pitch bloggers, “listen” to a continual flood of consumer-generated content on multiple social sites from YouTube to Facebook to Twitter, generate social media news releases, and engage with blogs, Facebook fans and multiple other sites…One cannot talk about social media without considering both the marketing and PR implications.
Dr. Young later points out that it is becoming vital that PR students have social media skills in their toolboxes, as businesses are hiring these students fresh out of college – learning on the job is no longer an option.
It’s interesting to hear this perspective from a professor who began teaching PR 10 years ago, well before the emergence of social media.
This dovetails nicely with a presentation I saw at last month’s 140 Character Conference meet-up. Dr. Maurice Krochmal, an assistant professor of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations at my alma mater, Hofstra University, spoke about how he was integrating social media into his classes, going so far as to tweet when he may be giving a pop quiz to give the students, who follow him on Twitter, a leg up. (To my chagrin, Dr. Krochmal started teaching at Hofstra long after I graduated.)
When I attended an Internship Fair for Fusion at Hofstra’s School of Communications last month, I had the chance to briefly speak with Dr. Krochmal and we had a great conversation about social media in the classroom. I was more than a little jealous that services like Twitter weren’t around when I was a student. Unlike today’s PR students, I had to learn that on the job.