ComPRehension

Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
September 17, 2009

Status Update: Millennial Staffers Can Update Your Social Media Plans


Recent college graduates and interns may be consigned to carrying lattes and other administrative tasks, but there’s a real opportunity to advance your organization’s value proposition by building on their social media skills.

Millenials grew up in the glow of the computer screen, and have spent a significant portion of their lives socializing on Facebook, Twitter and other new media sites. Senior professionals who (ahem) remember mimeographs and Betamax are probably less savvy in the social media space.

Tapping on these new professionals may seem like a gamble. You don’t want them speaking to clients, let alone producing messaging. However, to increase your organization’s toolbox and capture the attention of younger staffers eager to get ahead, the social media space is an ideal testing ground.

Depending on your confidence in younger staffers, there are a number of ways your organization can tap on their expertise and also teach them about the industry.

A good starting point is to task new professionals with building up senior staffers’ profiles and networks on the organization’s social networking accounts. New professionals can learn who the key players are and what types of business opportunities are currently being sought. Also, they may draw in new leads.

Another online responsibility can be to regularly track your online messaging through sites like http://bit.ly and http://hootsuite.com. In this way, new professionals can improve your organization’s grasp on target demographics by tracking what is creating hits and what’s falling flat.

Finally, the online space is an excellent opportunity to try out different messaging and programs, like tweetups and viral videos. New professionals can propose programs that are just gaining traction, that you may not have heard of. So always ask them what they’ve heard is the next big thing.

If you have a new professional you’d like to provide professional development in social media programs, please register them for our upcoming seminar and networking event, “Honing Your Social Media Skills While Networking with New Professionals in Atlanta, on September 24 in Atlanta, GA.    

 Ben Garrett, PRSA Health Academy board member and co-chair of the 2009 Health Academy Conference,  is an award-winning health producer with more than 28 years of experience in broadcast public relations, and an innovator in health care communications on the Web. Garrett is currently the executive producer of On the Scene Productions. Connect with Ben on  on LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter@bengarrettotsp.