A recent study indicates that 76 percent of American and Canadian communications professionals use Twitter daily, compared to 32 percent of the general public. Twitter usage among these professionals has grown by 100% over the past two years.
If you are interested in a communications-related career–whether in marketing, advertising, corporate communications, nonprofit fundraising, or a host of other fields–we recommend using Twitter to network and learn from this growing network of professionals.
To get started, sign up for a Twitter account if you don’t already have one. Do a search for “communications,” “public relations,” or other areas of interest. Twitter will pull up “people results” on the right sidebar: typically industry experts who already have large followings. These results will give you a place to start. Once you find individuals of interest, see who they are following to get more ideas. You should also follow the Twitter accounts of your favorite publications and news organizations.
There are some Twitter accounts devoted to informing the public about communications jobs: follow @nyprjobs, for example, and get updates about PR job openings in New York City. However, note that those who have the most success using Twitter as a networking tool actively tweet themselves, rather than simply following others of interest to them. You want to build your knowledge base to the point that you are comfortable actively contributing to the professional community. For example, if you run across an interesting article or statistic about your communications field of interest, you can tweet a link to it with a brief line of commentary. This June 2011 U.S. News and World Report article focuses on how to use Twitter effectively to change careers, but it also has some great advice for anyone looking to build a strong brand on Twitter by sharing expertise and resources.
Still skeptical? Take a look at this blog post by Kelly Giles, UNC alum and Assistant Director of Sales and Marketing at a company called Optimal Resume. I met Kelly at a recent conference, where she shared that by being an “active and authentic” blogger and Twitter user, she ended up with a fantastic job. It’s a testament to the potential power of “140 characters or less”!