PR In Progress

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Thoughts on Public Relations, Communications, Social Media, Sports and anything else in my life…

Want to explore social media for your business? Hire an intern!

Let’s face it, social media has only begun to take root in public relations. What we know now is only a stepping stone for what is to come in the next few years. We are already pitching journalists and sending out press releases via Twitter, quickly knocking down the walls of tradition. So why fight social media? You’ll only be left in its wake…

So, how do you get started?

Hire an intern. College students spend copious amounts of time using social media and would like nothing more than to take those skills and relate them to their jobs. This has many benefits to both you and the intern: You get free help, your business begins its shift into Web 2.0, the intern gains invaluable experience with both old and new practices, and you both walk away knowing you have provided a great service to each other.

That being said, this shouldn’t be a social-media-only internship. Interns should still learn about your business, how to operate in your sector and develop their core skills. Just because social media is making things easier for PR people doesn’t mean we have to slack on our fundamentals!

Start slow.

It is quite tempting to register for every social media site or tool out there, but you must refrain from that. Before you even launch a blog, or begin twittering, you need to sit back and listen to what is being said about you. This is the perfect job for an intern. They can take the time to research the tools and report back to you, helping decide which ones would help you the most. This allows them to follow feedback about your business, learning your strengths and weaknesses, and become a vital component of this new communications channel you are about to open.

Enjoy and Embrace it.

Once you’ve researched social media tools and tried some out, decide if you truly enjoy them. If you begin seeing them as a chore, it is probably best you don’t continue using them. However, if you are enjoying social media and it becomes a viable part of your practice, embrace it. The more time you spend with the tools, the more you’ll learn about them and you’ll start using them in different ways than when you started. PLUS, social media is one of the least expensive tools you can use for your business today.

There, I’ve just given you two ways to improve your workflow and help the next generation of PR practitioners for next to nothing–Hire an intern and let them explore social media for your business.

What are your thoughts? Do you think more companies will begin searching for social media interns?

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Filed under: Public Relations, Social Media

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