Social Media proves vital at JEA/NSPA convention

A conference attendee takes a Starbucks break, while scrolling through Twitter posts before the first seminars.

Over the years methods of advertising rise and fall with varied degrees of success, yet the goal remains the same, appeal to the intended audience and never relinquish its attention.

In today’s day in age, the popularization of mass social media and its common presence at the edge of most youth’s fingertips, has inspired a new technique for publicity. The times of billboards, flyers and brochures has passed. Today’s generation likes pictures, jingles and simple sentences.

The corporate sphere undoubtedly understands the minds of consumers and strives to keep pace with the ever-changing adolescents who fuel the economy. Primarily through the use of social media liaisons like Twitter and Facebook, organizations now advertise to the population in a way that makes everyone into a sales rep of sorts.

“The kids are using Twitter to create interest and drive people to the Facebook page mostly for sales,” Balfour sales representative Shelly Townsend said.

Unknowingly, through the use of Twitter, students at this year’s JEA/NSPA journalism convention create mass amounts of publicity by solely sharing their thoughts via the internet.  Encouraged by the organizers of the conference and staff everywhere, kids have become obsessed with using the “#hsjSF” on their Twitter posts, re-tweeting others’ opinions and overall, creating a stream of conscious which none of their followers can ignore.

In fact, not only does the “hsjSF” page on Twitter provide a chat room for participants to share what they have learned and connect with others, but it also allows those unable to attend insight into what they missed out on. This constant spread of information may seem like a simple means of communication, but in reality gives the conference free publicity by enlisting its attendees to post about what they have enjoyed.

“In my opinion, the move towards using social media during JEA conferences will help JEA in general, by spreading news in hopes of giving them more members and consistent participation,” director of the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association Beth Fitts said.

In addition to the importance of Twitter, the officials for the convention take full use of the web by utilizing the easy access of evaluation codes under each course description in order to receive better feedback. This innovation targets the students without a social media method to communicate their opinions, and along with Twitter and Facebook enhances the effectiveness of the conference for future years. The combination of such publicity and feedback is not unique to JEA as many businesses around the world strive off such methods.

“The collaboration of social media is extremely important, and without it our business would not be where it is today,” regional sales manager for Gardenavalley News Robert Von Gorres said.

The new fascination with social media has provided organizations with a unique opportunity to advertise to a greater public. Although many people go along with the process of spreading information oblivious of their importance, the manner in which media now impacts the population can not only be seen in the business world, but also at the JEA/NSPA journalism convention.