Networking: Generation Grand

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One benefit of getting involved in PRSSA was finding out about Generation Grand: PR in GR. This was a regional conference hosted this year by GV PRSSA, which I was fortunate enough to attend.

The conference started on a Friday, with agency tours to Truscott Rossman, Seyferth PR, and Mighty, and ended with a mixer at Lambert, Edwards & Associates. I learned so much that day about the kinds of opportunities available in Grand Rapids, and all within walking distance of each other! I had to take a selfie at Seyferth, partially because it was my favorite agency (they gave us free journals!), and partially because it was the second agency that day to have an office Keurig:

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Taken by Adrienne Cooley (April 7, 2017).

Saturday was filled with various panels related to PR: Design, Crisis Management, Nonprofits, Beer City USA, Green Thinking, and more. These were all very educational, and they held my interest a lot more than I’d anticipated. After the panels and time to explore the city, everyone met up at the Waldron Public House. That was one of my favorite parts of the weekend. The food and desserts were fantastic, and I was able to spend most of the time networking with my fellow PR students.

Before the conference, I had gotten to know a few students in PRSSA, but many did not know my name, and I didn’t know many of their names either. By the end of the weekend, not only did I learn a lot and meet professionals, but many more people in PRSSA at Grand Valley knew my name. It was a busy weekend, and pretty exhausting, but entirely worth the time and money for my ticket. You will definitely be able to find me at next year’s regional conference.

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Social Media Management

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While running the Twitter page for GrandPR, Grand Valley’s nationally affiliated, student run PR firm, I got pretty familiar with Hootsuite, a social media management tool. Because I was already comfortable with this, I decided to try out Tweetdeck for my personal Twitter page. I used it to schedule several tweets: a couple about finals week, one about the book I’m currently working on (more on this later), one about this blog, and one showing an example of my photography. My goal with these tweets was to communicate my personal brand and personality in a way that would be relatable to my followers, who are mostly my age.

Cooley, A. (April 20, 2017). Screenshots of Tweetdeck [JPEG]. Retrieved from https://tweetdeck.twitter.com

I’m glad I tried out Tweetdeck. It is super convenient in that there isn’t really a sign-up process. It simply connected directly to my Twitter page. If I decide to schedule tweets in the future for my personal page, I will likely continue to use it. On the other hand, I think I’ll stick with Hootsuite for pages that aren’t mine, as I find it easier to use for that purpose. Of course, that could just be biased since I started with Hootsuite first.

Through this process, I discovered that social media management tools aren’t only useful for professional pages for PR. It can help a lot with personal social media and maintaining a consistent online presence.