Developing new skills and learning along the way

By Liana Verbos

Knightly News Reporter

During the winter term, I took a communication-projects course that offered me a wide range of knowledge and plenty of opportunities to practice what I learned.

Being a corporate communications major, I found many areas to dive deeper into, like journalism, communications theory or blog writing. With some background experience managing social media, I wanted to test my knowledge and creative skills.

With the help of my alma mater, Susquenita High School, I took the deeper dive. Through a project in the course, I began managing the school’s cheerleading squad’s social media, developing social media posts for their pages, finding old photographs from community members and learning new ways to promote pages.

Having a background in managing the cheerleading squad’s social media before this project gave me an advantage. My goal was to learn how to drive more traffic to the team’s page, develop creative content and provide community members a reason to want to search for the team online.

Generating fresh content weekly was the most challenging part of this project. Writers get writer’s block, and social media managers get creative-content block.

The first week I started strong. The ideas for content were flowing naturally.

As the weeks passed, I found myself searching for ideas and scrambling. The good thing about living in a world with phones, computers and tablets is there is always a place to look for inspiration, and that is just what I did.

On the days I could not develop any content ideas, I analyzed other cheerleading social media pages. I looked at what they liked to share, creative hashtags and different ways to get community members engaged with their posts.

Once I found my muse, it was simple. The creative juices were flowing once again. The more interactive I was on the page, the more interactive community members were.

One week, I decided to reach out to a fellow alum who was an athlete on the team in the ’80s and coached after she graduated. She was able to provide me with throwback photographs and history about them.

This was great insight for me as a social media manager for the team’s pages. I was able to promote the team itself through the photographs she provided, but I was also able to get alumni involved.

This post was one of the biggest hits throughout this project. Alumni enjoyed seeing, liking and sharing this post of the throwback photographs.

This course and others like it at Central Penn help students dive deeper into their career fields. It allows students to make connections and receive feedback from others who may be working in the field. Not only has this project allowed me to develop my creative skills through social media management, but it has given me new ideas to take into my current career.

I can give new perspectives and ideas in the workplace that I would not have been able to do before without pursuing this assignment. This is an excellent project for student development toward graduation before they take the leap into their desired career.

Comment of story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.

Edited by media-club co-advisers Professor Paul Miller and Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi.