Eileen: Phew! This was a difficult assignment, although one of the most beneficial as a Professional Communicator. It opened my eyes to the positive side of journalism; that is, discovering people’s stories and being inspired by their passions. I struggled through learning how to conduct a professional interview, transcribe and edit for print or media, and how much work and time is involved. I was surprised by how most students were willing—even eager—to be interviewed. I was also surprised by how engaged I became with MacEwan University as a brand. I felt a personal responsibility to represent the University—our University—in the best possible light. The most challenging part was working through those awkward silences during the interviews. However, I learned that during those long pauses, we extracted the most information. Allowing the person being interviewed to reflect on the question provides the most honest response.
The value of Twitter lies within its ability to reach either a mass audience or a targeted one via hash tags. You can build a company, business, or an organization’s brand simply by your online presence and communication style. My favorite style is using a bit of humor: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-best-social-media-responses-of-the-year-2012-12?op=1
Natasha: When it was first mentioned that we would have to approach random strangers for this assignment, I was a bit nervous. It’s not that I am uncomfortable with talking to people, but I usually dislike initiating conversations complete strangers. However, my experience didn’t reflect my initial concerns, and I actually enjoyed connecting with people around campus. We took the process seriously by recording our interviews to accurately quote the people we spoke with, and through the process we obtained a lot of interesting facts about MacEwan. We were able to have many conversations and picked out what we thought were the most interesting parts. The only difficult part of this was trying to narrow it down to 140 characters. I think our choice in recording our interviewees instead of writing down the quotes had a positive impact on the end product because it gave the posts a more casual tone. When I follow organizations on social media, I want the posts to be authentic and relaxed, and I think this technique helped us achieve this. The whole activity has helped me understand how important it is to stay connected with the community; specifically when you are managing a social media account for an organization. It is effective to engage with people who are involved or connected with the organization and then promote the positive aspects you find.
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