Social Media in the “Real World”

For this post, I asked a few questions of the new Digital Media Specialist at the Georgia Aquarium (and also one of my friends)! I met Maureen when we both worked as Event Attendants at The Classic Center in Athens, Ga.  She graduated last May from UGA with a public relations major, which gives me high hopes for future jobs for other recent PR grads! Although she has only been a part of the Georgia Aquarium team for about three weeks, I have probably already told her 30 times that I am super jealous of her new position!

So what does a Digital Media Specialist at the Georgia Aquarium do? You may ask, as I did.

A picture I took at the Georgia Aquarium a couple years ago.

Maureen helps assist with digital media content for both the Georgia Aquarium and the Marineland Dolphin Adventures.  She monitors and updates social media content including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  If you follow the Aquarium on Twitter, the next tweet you see may have been from Maureen! She also replies to comments and questions on social media.  She said “Negative comments are usually the ones that reflect PR the most, because I then have to go in and fix a complaint or issue that the person has. It’s almost a little bit of crisis management every day because I have to give a quick response.”

She also assists with the internal and external newsletters, which includes working with other departments to acquire information.  She said:

“Working with the other departments is key in the job because we all work as a team. In order for our communications content to be correct, we have to get it approved by the Zoological Operations team. We also work with them closely when media come to visit. I enjoy corresponding with all of the different departments because they are all unique and it is fun to all work for the same goal.”

Maureen also helped in the creation of the aquarium’s new blog and will assist in content.  She is really excited about this because this will include doing behind-the-scenes videos and interviews with staff that she says will be interesting and engaging.

Maureen’s Advice: “Don’t worry about GPA – Get as much real-world experience as you can in areas that interest you. In other words, be well-rounded. I would not have gotten this position if I had not had real-world experience in both PR and digital media. Because I had a well-rounded resume, I think I was able to stand out a little. Also, you don’t always have to have the most internships to get hired somewhere. The key is to just get experience somewhere. If something interests you, do it on your own. For example, start a blog, freelance, or work with the community. All of this shows you are passionate and a go-getter. “

So I hope all of you almost-graduates and recent graduates take Maureen’s advice and get yourself out there to gain knowledge and experience!

If you don’t already keep up with the Georgia Aquarium, find them on Facebook, Twitter and the blog! (It could be Maureen updating you or answering your questions!)

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6 comments on “Social Media in the “Real World”

  1. It’s really cool that you interviewed one of your friends for your blog. I’ve actually been told by quite a few people that GPA isn’t that important in the long run but being so trained to score well on the scale from one to a hundred is hard to kick. I sometimes find myself wondering if I can apply grades to things outside of the classroom. If I’m being honest with myself, the pie I just baked is probably a B-. Maybe I should regress to smiley face stickers.

    • Thanks. I agree. I have always been so concerned with my grades, but hearing from so many professionals, including my last boss, about how G.P.A. isn’t that important, I have began trying to rethink how much I stress out about school. (Not saying I am ok with just a B, but if I don’t get a 97 on an assignment, I don’t stress myself out anymore!)

  2. I love the aquarium. I used to have a season pass

    I think the New Media Institute had a hand in helping them develop their podcast tour back when they first opened. I always though that was a good idea.

    Just a month or so ago, I went to the high museum and they were still handing out the bulky in-house headphone units. Very unnecessary.

    I went to the aquarium not too long ago as well and saw that they still had the podcast placards up. I wonder if they are still using the same audio.

    To encourage repeat visitors, they should have multiple tours available for download – maybe even ones narrated by celebrities. I would love to have a georgia aquarium tour narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

  3. That position at the aquarium sounds awesome! I, like Maureen, have been told that experience matters way more than your GPA. I think my boss tells me that everyday so I will work longer hours, rather than go study!

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