Hello. My name is Jimmy Luthye, and I am a shadow. I am also a soon-to-graduate senior at the University of Colorado Boulder, studying psychology and communication. I stumbled into public relations late in my college career but have quickly fallen in love with the field. Now that you know a bit about me, allow me to talk for a moment about my experience as a shadow at MGA Communications.
When I heard about “Shadow Day,” I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t afford to pass up. Fortunately, I was matched with Molly Osadjan at MGA who designed an informative, expansive agenda for my day. To date, this has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have encountered. Today, I was fortunate enough to attend the PRSA Colorado Luncheon featuring keynote speaker Dallas Lawrence from Burson-Marsteller. His lecture focused on crisis communication in the social media age and stressed a number of lessons for PR consultants to heed. Among them were:
- Lesson 1: Know and engage key drivers early and often. It is vital to not only be aware of your primary constituents but also to implore them to believe or act a certain way.
- Lesson 2: Monitoring. You must monitor not only your reputation but also the activities of your client. When somebody inevitably makes a catastrophic mistake, it’s vital to acknowledge and accept responsibility for it.
- Lesson 3: On Twitter, be sure to use people and not just logos. A logo is important for brand recognition, but ultimately potential followers will be much more interested in seeing the people responsible for posting on the account.
- Lesson 4: Know what you are talking about. This one seems sufficiently self-explanatory.
- Lesson 5: Finally, HAVE A PLAN. Simply setting up a Twitter account and sending out tweets does not guarantee successful social media implementation. You must make the plan personal, relevant and strategic, and have specific “microtargets” rather than broad purposes.
Lawrence was a dynamic speaker and offered valuable advice, both to the larger audience of PR professionals (and students) as well as those with real issues. The experience at the luncheon was fantastic, offering great food, an engaging lecture and, perhaps most importantly, excellent networking opportunities.
Overall, my Shadow Day experience has been one that I will remember for years to come as I begin my foray into the post-collegiate “real world.” I couldn’t begin to properly thank each and every member of MGA for sacrificing their time to divulge so much expertise and advice. Thank you Mike, Jeff, Cricket, Sarah, Doug, Kip, Jim, Matt, Lisa, and Molly for sharing your collective wisdom. I hope to see all of you again at some point in the future.