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Powering Public Relations

Alexandra LaRocca

On March 28, 2011, faculty and students in the Media Arts department and the Public Relations program attended the Seventeenth Annual Public Relations Explorations Forum titled “Powering PR: Social Media and Technology Attracting Audiences.” The forum each year focuses on a different theme, and this spring, students learned the various ways social media websites could be used to promote a company and or an individual. The forum was organized and run by Professor Abby Dress, the Director of the Public Relations Program. According to Dress, “Our Explorations Forum showcases how our coursework is current and tied to the requirements of the field. Social media tools for the public relations practitioner are used to facilitate branding, attract audiences, and develop relationships.” Each speaker is a professional in using social media to help promote clients in their respective fields. The speakers Tracey Gittere, Theresa Jacobellis, Don Miller and Janet Caputo use various social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to promote clients and events in their respective fields of event planning, public affairs at a hospital, an issues management specialist and a social media consultant. The speaker Janet Caputo is a summa cum laude graduate of C.W. Post, graduating from the Public Relations program in 2008.  Caputo manages social marketing campaigns through participation in various social media programs such as Twitter and Facebook. She has also utilized other social media platforms such as Flickr, YouTube, Foursquare and LinkedIn.   This fall, Caputo will be teaching Public Relations 38, a course, which focuses on integrating the social media platforms Twitter and Facebook into an effective communications campaign. Caputo was chosen to teach this course because according to Dress, “It is important for our program to reflect the changes in the field and be taught by professionals who are immersed in the day to day implementation and measurement of those technologies.” According to Emily Timpson, senior Public Relations major, “The forum was very interesting and I learned different ways that social media can be used to promote an event.” Each forum is very beneficial, as students learn first hand from professionals working in the field about groundbreaking techniques, which enhance a client’s public relations, allowing the campaign to be successful.

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