Sunday, March 27, 2011

Moral Support in the PR World

As many of you may (or may not) know, our professor has been booked solid with radio gigs all week to talk about Twitter’s birthday.  Myself and a few others stayed up till the deep and dark hours of the night to listen to one of her radio appearances on the Colorado radio news station, @850koa.  You might be thinking, “Listening to a radio talk show to discuss social media at 2 am doesn’t sound like that much fun to me.”  Well, my answer to that is, “You had to be there.”

It may have been the lack of sleep talking, but the experience made me realize how much I enjoy my major and what it is we do.  Even though I was dead tired the next day, I was still buzzing thinking about the entire experience.  Here is how the night went down:

First, the host introduced Professor Bufkins (@Samjb) as a knowledgeable social media and public relations professor at University of North Texas’s Mayborn School of Journalism.  Then he went on to talk about what Twitter was and how people are using it.  As he was asking questions, I felt the strong skepticism he had toward Twitter but he did seem receptive to the things my professor had to say about it and its value to media and public relations.  After that, the phones calls started coming in.  You might be asking yourself, “What kinds of listeners are up at 2 am?”  Well, this is where the hilarious fun part of the night started for me.

I could potentially write an entire blog about the first caller, but for the sake of time, I’ll just say he isn’t the type of demographic that Twitter is missing out on right now.  Not only does he not have an email account, but he doesn’t have a computer.  Before he even got to his question, he immediately starts mouthing off about how Twitter is stupid and how it’s making us all “borgs.”  To fully understand what he was trying to say, I turned to Wikipedia for some sort of understanding of what “borg” meant and I found this definition, “The “Borg” are a fictional pseudo- race of cybernetic organisms depicted in the Star Trek universe.”  Need I say more about this guy?  I bring him up because during my professor's conversation with him, I was pretty nervous for her.  How do you approach people like that who don’t want to hear that message at all?  I began tweeting to her to 1. Make fun of this guy and 2. Give her something to say back to him.  She absolutely handled the situation all by herself, as I knew she would, but I really felt compelled to jump in and send her as much as I could think of to say to Mr. Borg.  When other people called in with real questions, I was a tweeting maniac trying to add my input about how to respond.  Again, it wasn’t because I didn’t think she could handle it, I simply felt compelled to.

What I didn’t realize is I was doing what many PR professionals do with their clients.  Many instances arise where your client will be on a phone interview and you will literally be sitting right next to him or her handing them notes with answers to questions them.  Instead of tweeting them possible answers, I would be next to them helping them out and supporting them.  Will they need it? Maybe not.  My support for them during their interviews is what will make me a good PR professional.

It’s certain times like this when you realize you picked the right major and you’re really going to love what you do when you get out of college.

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