PY – This weekend Constantin Basturea and I are attending the superb UGA Connect conference for the second consecutive year. To mark the occasion, I asked our Fall intern Lindsey Loughman, a UGA Graduate and Connect attendee last year, to write a guest blog post about the conference.
Connect 2008 is a conference that is near and dear to my heart. Connect is an annual event at the University of Georgia, that brings together professionals and educators under the banner of social media education.
A little background, Connect 2007 was a student campaign lead by Dr. Karen Russell. Dr. Russell and others at Grady College, UGA’s journalism school, realized that social media was changing PR and there was a growing gap between PR education and practice. Connect was one way that they could try to close that gap.
It provides an opportunity for industry to exchange notes. Educators bring with them emerging studies on the effects of social media and results of best practices, while practitioners bring the experience of case studies and social media techniques. But, at its core Connect, is about building relationships in the real world, boosting the plethora of online venues where students, practitioners and educators are connecting like PROpenmic.
Connect is also a big part of my story and how I came to Converseon. Last year I worked in a class under Dr. Kaye Sweetser to provide live coverage of Connect. There, I feel in love with social media and met Paull and Constantin for the first time. It was a perfect match; all at once I had found an incredible new field of PR and some of the most talented (and very cool) people who practiced it everyday.