Friday, April 2, 2010

The Intern Finally Sees the Value in Social Media

By Chris Grant

The other day my 86-year-old grandfather talked to my cousin in Rome via Skype. This is a man who was born before television became popular. For all I know he could have a Twitter and LinkedIn account, and who knows, maybe even get hired over me for my first “real” job after college. I have never used Skype, or Twitter, or LinkedIn. I always knew I was behind my generation when it came to new technology and social media. But my grandfather?

As I get ready to enter the real world, I know I need to come fully equipped with all the social media necessities. I have never been the biggest advocate of social media. It has always taken the pressure of others to force me into it. My Facebook account was actually created for me by my friends. I’m still not on Twitter or have a LinkedIn profile, but I can say that my opinion of social media has changed over the past couple of months from my time at Maroon PR as an intern.

While at my internship, I have been able to see the benefits of social media firsthand and how important it is to a company. Companies constantly look for ways to enhance brand awareness and are starting to come to the realization that social media is an extremely effective way to achieve this. It allows for there to be direct contact between company and buyers, without a middle man such as the media, to have control of a message.

According to a recent article in CNN, social sites, such as LinkedIn, are more important now than ever before:

“If you don't have a profile on LinkedIn, you're nowhere…. If you're serious about managing your career, the only social site that really matters is LinkedIn. In today's job market an invitation to "join my professional network" has become more obligatory -- and more useful -- than swapping business cards and churning out résumés.”

As my internship comes to an end and I begin to look for jobs, I am going to need to start buying into this social media craze if I want any chance at succeeding. But most of you probably knew that months ago.

Apparently, my grandfather did.

Chris Grant is the Maroon PR Intern. He can be reached at

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