These days, you’re not really a PR pro unless you have a social media presence. Most college kids already have this in the bag. However, an important aspect of working in public relations is being able to… well, relate to people. Media relations experts have to know the journalism world in and out. Anyone focusing on community relations better be aware of any big event rolling through town. As a student, I have no need to specialize but I have started to be a little more strategic about how my Twitter timeline can educate me. Here are 4 types of Twitter accounts that make me a better PR practitioner.
- Journalists. Like anyone wanting to be an informed citizen, I follow all major news outlets. But recently I’ve started to follow journalists whose work I like. Maggie Haberman gives me the White House scoop. Gregg Doyel keeps me current on Indy area sports. Bekah Pollard and Hannah Sparling give me insight to colleagues my age in the journalism field, something that can benefit me as I strive to make professional contacts with media personnel in a couple years. In a world of media distrust, I think it’s important to understand the structures and systems that give us information. Having individual, off the record professionals on my timeline is helping me do this.
- Verified Locals. My homerun recommendation in this category has got to be Neal Taflinger, who not only has the blue checkmark by his name but also happens to work for Borshoff. His tweets help me keep a pulse on a certain segment of the Naptown population (post-college males, to be exact) that I don’t hear from much. John Green rarely tweets about Indy specifically, but he is (outside of athletics) probably the most famous person that lives here which I find valuable. Lara Parker is a Hoosier transplant at Buzzfeed who proves that you can go from UIndy PR to looking like an Instagram model daily (while creating digital content)!
- Your dream workplace. I know I’m a true millennial because I found out about my most recent internship on Twitter, which proves that clicking the follow button can literally pay off! Since I’m on the prowl for future internships in the nonprofit field, I follow everyone from the Arts Council of Indianapolis to Music for All.
- #Goals. I always try to keep a steady stream of funny, insightful role models trickling through my timeline. Professionally, this means watching how PR entrepreneur Heather Whaling stays professional while talking politics. Recently I found out that my favorite Refinery29 contributor, Ashley Ford, is from Fort Wayne which endeared her to me even more. And of course, Jenny Slate never fails to make me laugh with her quirky, rose tinted tweets that prove just how much you can fit into 140 characters. I’ll end this post with one of her inspirational nuggets: