As I look back on the past 15 weeks, it is hard to believe that my time at IUPUI is coming to an end. About a week from now, I will be putting on the cap and gown to complete my obligations as a graduate student and finally receive my MA in Public Relations.
In December of 2014, I was freaking out about the course load I had placed upon myself along with a full-time job. I had a marketing course out of the Kelley School of Business that overlapped the fall and spring semester, contributing to 12 credit hours worth of classes during the first five weeks of spring. Fortunately, my wife, classmates, instructors, friends, family and co-workers were all very supportive of my efforts and encouraged me along the way – especially my wife.
One of the courses that I most looked forward to every week was J560 – Managing Online Public Relations with Ben Risinger. The weekly Google+ hangouts have been a unique opportunity to connect with my instructor and classmates via the internet. In the past, I was never a big fan of online classes, but this class was an exception.
Four months ago I didn’t even have a personal Twitter account. Now I have over 200 followers and have had my book review of “The Tao of Twitter” re-tweeted and favored by Mark Shaefer himself.
At the beginning of the semester it seemed impossible to manage all of the requirements for J560. How on earth was I going to come up with so much content for the various platforms we used? That was a lot of tweets, posts, pics and videos to cram into such a short amount of time. What helped me through the semester was utilizing Hootsuite for the majority of articles that I wanted to share, while spontaneously posting and tweeting when I got the opportunity. I think this method helped structure the content I was putting out there and enabled me to post when I felt it appropriate.
J560 persuaded me to think about what type of content would develop the type of voice I was trying to portray on social media. I learned about appropriate social media etiquette and how a few negative words can ignite a social media firestorm. I am glad I had the opportunity to make YouTube videos and develop a blog. Those two projects expanded my social media presence, as well as helped develop my writing skills and on-air talent.
I want to thank Ben and all of my fellow classmates for making spring 2015 a great semester for me. I wish everyone well on their future endeavors. I will now officially bid farewell to #J560.