Guest Speakers Help Shape Student Social Media Views

Jared Solomon, PA State Representative, 202 DistrictAs social media continues to evolve, there is no one right way to operate a channel. To bring a well-rounded and comprehensive perspective to her classroom, Dr. Amanda McClain, Associate Professor of Communications for the School of Arts and Sciences, has utilized a number of guest speakers to talk about corporate social media use and the different strategies involved in making a platform successful.

“Social media use has greatly expanded over the past several years,” McClain said. “Employers look to new graduates for guidance on how to craft targeted messages and reach audiences. Students must be able to effectively use platforms and quickly learn as new platforms emerge.”

Students in the COMM 250 Introduction to Social Media class have met with Jared Solomon, PA State Representative, 202 District, who discussed how he used social media throughout his campaign; Daniella Nahmias Scruggs, Development Director for HIAS Pennsylvania, who Skyped into the classroom to discuss how the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society utilizes various social media channels to reach a target audience; and Dave Pavlak, Communications Specialist in the Marketing and Communications Department at Holy Family University, who shared the various channels the University uses, how students can become involved, and how to measure analytics.

As a final project, students will be analyzing Solomon’s and HIAS’s social media accounts, making recommendations to help improve their social media strategy.

“Guest speakers permit students to understand how what we're learning in class is used in the working world,” McClain said. “Interaction with the professionals engenders a deeper understanding of how entities utilize social media, and on another level, what they want social media professionals to do for their brands. Students treated some of the guests as clients; brainstorming how they could better the speakers' social media use to raise awareness, for development, and how to tell a cohesive story.”