As a college student, it is sometimes hard for my peers and I to differentiate the uses and then ultimately decide how we want to use social media. Sure, my generation has basically grown up with the social networking sites, but it is hard to grasp the capabilities and power of sites focused on engagement like Twitter, when so many of our friends are simply sharing random thoughts or chatting casually with one another about nothing in particular.
When I joined Twitter, I began to explore, followed a few of my friends and the usual celebrities, and eventually sent out my first tweet. I soon got bored with the casual use approach and decided I would follow influential people from all over who related to my major, public relations. Originally from the Memphis area, I had big dreams of landing an internship or job in the city I loved. I felt it would be a challenge being a Missouri State University student, 300 miles away in Springfield, MO. Well, what better way to learn about the people and places I’d like to work with than to listen to what they really have to say?
When searching for influential Memphians, it was not long at all before I began following @HowellMarketing (Amy Howell) and her wonderful team @alysdrake ( (Alys Drake) and @LaceyWash (Lacey Washburn). Their tweets instantly stood out to me and no one I had found thus far was doing Twitter like they were. They were reaching out, sharing news, and having friendly, relevant conversations I was interested in with people across the world. I knew I had to find out more, so I hopped on the Howell Marketing website and soon began scouring for internship opportunities. Nothing—I was deflated. Then it hit me. These women talk to practically thousands of people on Twitter every day, why not me? That was it and I had made up my mind, I was going to send a tweet to Amy Howell. I had already begun to take pages from the books of the tweeters I admired, sharing my own PR news and engaging with my PR peers. One of my big influencers was the Howell team, so needless to say I was nervous.
I tweeted: “ @HowellMarketing, your website doesn’t mention a search for summer interns, are you accepting any applications? I would love to apply!”
WOW! I was ecstatic; I got in touch with Lacey via Twitter, she sent me her email address, then I sent my resume and cover letter onto her with high hopes and a few prayers.
The morning Amy returned from her Christmas break, I got a phone call. We set up a time to meet and that afternoon I was having coffee with Amy and Alys. Now, I am proud to share that I will be interning and learning from the Howell team this summer and I could not be more eager! This dream of an opportunity came about from simply reaching out and taking a chance on Twitter. If you get to know the people you’re interested in and those with whom you share common interests, you are likely to not only gain new friends but so much more.
Guest Post by Kiersten Bagley
Summer 2011 Intern at Howell Marketing Strategies
Follow me on Twitter at @KABagley