PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

A Social Media Workshop from a Pro

On Friday, our PRSSA Chapter had the pleasure of hosting one of the social media greats to come in a run a hands-on workshop. Shannon Paul of the Detroit Red Wings showed us everything from setting up accounts, why each social media platform is important and how they can be integrated in public relations.

As a student with a couple of internships under my belt, I am finding the best way to supplement what I am learning in my classes is to get experience and get involved. Besides finding an internship, workshops and seminars that such organizations as PRSSA offers fill in the gaps to make you a more well-rounded pre-professional. Here are some of the things that we touched on:

  • Social media is an information trade. While traditional print media is only one voice yelling at a large group of people, social media offers the opportunity to have direct conversations online. Cool? Yeah, it pretty much is.
  • Using and understanding SEO (search engine optimization) is key to having a strong presence online. There is not need to have a clever headline if it won’t show up in a Google search.
  • The people who are best at social media are the ones who are the most human. Don’t endlessly self-promote, don’t change who you are, and most of all, don’t be that guy. Be a human!
  • The future of the public relations industry, for my crowd, at least, is straddling the fence between social media and traditional public relations. You don’t want to only know how to use social media tools and be able to play on Facebook all the time. But you don’t want to only know how to write press releases and make follow-up calls either. Know both. Again, try to be as well-rounded as possible.
  • Social media is a tool, not a channel of communication. Supplementing a public relations campaign with social media tools, especially today, is the key to success. Shannon called social media “connecting the dots,” and I think that’s a pretty cool way to put it.

Then, we got on the computer and set up new accounts. The first thing Shannon recommended was to set up a Google Reader account and start reading. Shannon showed us how to use Alltop and find blogs that interest us. Here’s what I read:

I read a lot more, but those are the best. I totally recommend that you add them to your Google Reader, too!

Also, Shannon talked about joining the discussion on social media. Comment on other blogs before you start your own. And always remember to promote other blogs more than your own. Again, don’t be that guy.

Lastly, it is important to remember that as a student, it’s OK to make mistakes on social media. Whether it’s a misspelled word on your blog (it’s happened to me) or an inaccurate opinion that you tweeted (it’s happened to me), you’ll live. Always ask for feedback, encourage people to comment on your blog or other forms of social media, and learn from others. That’s how this blog got started.

What do you think? Was Shannon crazy or right on target?


Filed under: Social Media, , , , ,

6 Responses

  1. I know I thanked Shannon for coming to the workshop, but I also wanted to thank you for setting that up!

    She was quite helpful – I’m obsessed with all top and stumble upon now.

    Without a pda though I feel it’s almost impossible to keep up to the minutes updates! I’ve added so many new blogs on google reader, but then I come home and have 100+ unread articles!

    I wonder if there should be a limit on how many to add in accordance to how much time you can devote to reading them. The “mark all as read” button is so tempting at times, but I think I just need to go through and see which ones realllly interest me! (Just typing out loud)

  2. Ari Adler says:

    Great stuff Nick — and not just because you gave a shout-out to my blog. 🙂

    Thanks for posting something like this so even those who didn’t attend (but should have) can learn from your experience.

    Katy, one of the things you will have to learn is the art of skimming your reader and then feeling good about smacking that “mark all as read” button. Trust me, you can’t read it all…

  3. shannonpaul says:


    This recap of our workshop is great because you added your own voice to what I was able to offer and made it even better.

    I love how that works!

  4. […] Nick Lucido, whom I can personally vouch for as “intern extraordinaire,” writes about the importance of not just learning by watching others, but actually doing things so you can […]

  5. Great to make the list, Nick! I’m so honored to be mentioned in such swell company!! 🙂

  6. Kevin Dugan says:

    Thanks to Shannon and everyone for singling out the Bad Pitch Blog. In case you are wondering, we’re actually here to help…especially with folks new to the field. If you ever have a question about media relations….stop by. If you do not find the answer, drop us a line. We will not bite.

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