Kiersten Bagley (@KABagley on Twitter) is a public relations student at Missouri State University. Today, she tells us how she used Twitter to get a dream-come-true internship at Howell Marketing Strategies.
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 really grown up with the social networking sites, but it is hard to grasp the true capabilities and power of tools like Twitter.
When I joined Twitter, I began to explore: I 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 eventually quit logging into Twitter all together. Like many Twitter “noobs”, I fell off the wagon after just a few tweets. After my period of inactivity, I decided I would give it another try with a slightly different strategy. I would follow influencers who related to my major, public relations, and see what they had to say.
Originally from the Memphis area, I had dreams of landing an internship or job in the city I loved.
This dream of an opportunity came about from simply reaching out and taking a chance on Twitter.
I felt it would be a challenge being a Missouri State 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?
I began to utilize Twitter’s search feature by typing in topics like “Memphis”, “Memphis PR” and possible hashtag combinations (for example, #Memphis #PR). I scrolled through the results of tweets and people and began listening to what professionals in my city were saying. I followed dozens of different organizations and individuals along the way. I started to see content I liked put out there by these professionals and retweeted things I found interesting. In the Twitterverse, the “RT” (retweet) is your own little way of giving applause. I was suddenly starting to get to know and build relationships with professionals through their tweets!
In my search 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. They were reaching out, sharing news and having friendly, relevant back-and-forth conversations that I was interested in with people across the globe. 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 Twitter users 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!”
Much to my surprise, a short time later I got a reply: “Sure! We do have summer interns ~ send resume to @LaceyWash @KABagley”.
WOW! I was ecstatic. I got in touch with Lacey via Twitter Direct Messaging (or DM: a personal, private message) and she replied to me with her e-mail address. I then sent my resume and cover letter on to 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. I have gained over 500 followers and built dozens of relationships since our meeting in early January. All it takes to succeed on Twitter is a little courage and some good conversation and content. I wish you all the best of luck in your internship seeking!