Bennett Belles learned the importance of marketing themselves from local media professionals.
The Triad Association of Black Journalists (TABJ) taught its members and aspiring journalists how to “BRAND New You” during a weekend workshop. A number of journalism and media studies students from Bennett attended the event on Saturday, January 21.
The workshop was opened to Triad area college students as well as paid members of the association. The workshop was hosted in the Journalism and Mass Communication department in Crosby Hall at North Carolina A&T State University.
Two speakers were featured as experts on branding: Ross Wade and Danielle Hatfield.
Ross Wade, assistant director of career services for the School of Communications at Elon University, explained the importance of marketing correctly, whether a student or professional.
Attendees were encouraged to develop a six-word professional statement. This could be used to briefly describe a person’s purpose and integrate social networking.
“A six word personal statement is great to tell an interviewer who asks you to sum up your purpose but also fits in the space allotted on Twitter for your bio[graphy],” says Wade.
Besides Twitter, Wade also stressed the importance of social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. He expressed that it was imperative to make use of these sites to market yourself as a professional and to establish an online presence.
“On LinkedIn, connect with people that you actually know using the advanced people search. Also, follow companies that you may have an interest in working for in the future,” says Wade.
Wade showed many aspects of LinkedIn that would help professionals and students maximize the sites effectiveness.
Elise Roberts a local television news reporter for News 14 Carolina says she learned some useful tips for LinkedIn.
“I thought I was using it correctly too, but I learned a lot more today.”
In summation, Wade described his attitude toward using social networking sites as, “Why have it [an account] if you’re not using it?”
Friend of TABJ Natalie P. McNeal, also known as Frugalista joined via Twitter. Attendees were allowed to ask her questions on tweetchat.com. McNeal informed those at the workshop of ways to accumulate the least debt possible and how to save money. She spoke on her experience of transitioning from a St. Petersburg Times staff writer to a full-time blogger for the Frugalista blog.
In regards to McNeal, Bennett student Evette Brown says, “Frugalista really showed me the power of social media. She answered our questions and even followed most of us on Twitter. I was very impressed by her humility and flexibility.”
Local marketing and advertising expert Danielle Hatfield was second to present her version of how to “Brand You.” Hatfield also gave tips on how to use LinkedIn as well as Twitter.
“Treat Twitter as if it were a water cooler. It’s an open conversation that anyone can join in and add their opinion,” says Hatfield.
She urged maintaining consistency on all social networking sites by using the same name (preferably your real name) and the same picture. But, Hatfield also encouraged creating a website specific to the individual.
“It’s always best to have your own website because any day, Facebook or Twitter could fall off. But, you will always have your personal website,” says Hatfield.
At the close of Hatfield’s presentation, she left attendees with a few words of advice.
“The keys to success include consistency, authenticity and knowledge. Use your success to allow you to be a resource to somebody else,” says Hatfield.
Bennett sophomore Racquel Bethea also attended the workshop.
“The workshop really opened my eyes to the importance and benefits of LinkedIn. I know now to watch what I say and how I use my social networks because the speakers enforced that future employers will go straight to those sites to see if you’re a good fit,” says Bethea.
The Triad Association of Black Journalists is the local chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. TABJ brings together area professionals that work closely with Triad college students.
By: Jhanay Davis