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First #OhioU Social Media Summit educates, encourages students

Alex Koumas | Feb 9, 2012

COMS student wins $5.5K in scholarship support from Phi Kappa Psi Foundation

First #OhioU Social Media Summit educates, encourages students

By Alex Koumas, ak289507@ohio.edu

ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 9, 2012) While many professors and supervisors tend to frown upon students’ continuous use of smart phones and various social media sites, this was not the case on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the first annual #OhioU Social Media Summit sponsored by the Scripps Public Relations Students Society of America (PRSSA). From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., attendees had their noses buried in their iPhones, Blackberry, and Androids, tweeting and posting Facebook statuses on all the remarkable information they gathered from visiting professionals.

“I thought it was really great to see students’ faces buried in their phones,"said Nate Riggs, director of social business and content marketing at The Karcher Group. "I spoke to another group of students recently, and that was not the case.”

The Social Media Summit featured nine professionals who have mastered the use of various social media platforms. The event featured panels of experts who provided information regarding the importance of social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and how to tie it all together in the professional world. The day was broken into two different categories for the attendees based on their experience with social media. The advanced section covered newer, more complex uses of social media, and the beginner section broke down the basics of how to utilize social media.

The event was organized by Anna Frantz, the vice president of Social Affairs for PRSSA, and others on the committee after Dan Farkas, founder of Dan Farkas Interactive and PRSSA adviser, brought up the idea in Spring 2011. He wanted the event to educate students on how to effectively utilize social media, while also standing out from the crowd in their job search.

“During fall quarter, I started the Social Affairs Committee, a group to assist in promoting and executing events for Scripps PRSSA,” Frantz explains. “Eventually I noticed that while these group members were excited to help, they didn’t understand the basic concepts behind social media and the differences between the many platforms.”

Speakers at the Social Media Summit focused on the importance of social media and the importance of using it as a tool to assist students in building their brand and social presence on the Internet. Many of the speakers reiterated the importance for college students to understand proper etiquette for utilizing these platforms.

“Think before you post,” stated Kelly Malone, account supervisor at Fahlgren Mortine. “Whether you’re currently searching for your next internship or the perfect job or not, it’s not about censoring who you are; it’s about being smart. Remember, Google doesn’t forget. So do not trash talk employers, colleagues or other students, post potentially incriminating photos or content, use profanity or constantly complain.”

The day kicked off with Dan Farkas as the keynote speaker. He spoke about the evolution of social media and how it can be used differently in various contexts. He encouraged new users to think about the ways in which they wanted to use social media.

“The same theory we talk about in class applies to social media,” Farkas explained. “Have a plan. Stick to it. Have a structure to evaluate the success of your plan. Tweak the plan as needed. If you don’t know why you are posting something, don’t do it. One final thought, successful social media is about two-way interaction. If you can’t listen and respond, you shouldn’t be out in that space.”

To learn more about PRSSA and how to become involved, follow the group on Twitter atwww.twitter/@ScrippsPRSSA.