Week 1 Guest Speaker Roundup – by Britney Wilson

A Conversation with Matt Meeks of Warner Bros. & Independent Consultant Jeremy Pepper

By UCLA X425 Student Britney Wilson

Who owns social media?

Evidently, the answer to this question depends on who you ask, as guest speakers Matt Meeks (@MattMeeks) and Jeremy Pepper (@jspepper) made clear when they provided different responses to students in UCLA’s x425 class.

Matt Meeks, director of audience development for Warner Bros. TV, feels that PR people are best suited for dealing with social media because they are good at providing timely responses. Matt serves as a hybrid between the communications and marketing teams at Warner Bros, where he says everyone has a very specific job and the departments don’t always communicate with one another. Therefore, his job is to come in and merge all the different social media efforts.

Alternatively, Jeremy Pepper believes social media is really an extension of online communication. He describes himself as a PR person withsocial media skills. According to Jeremy, nobody should claim that they are a social media expert.

Both speakers provided insight on the importance of the following issues:

1. The audience is not just the audience, they are potential customers. Those engaged in social media should be aware of who their audience is; they should find a way to understand their audience because the audience can eventually become their customers.

2. Social media provides a new way to tell your story and build relationships with the press. In fact, social media has changed the way information is created and distributed. That said, more people are relying on social media platforms to learn about the news and other topics of interest.

3. It’s important to consider who the influencers are and how they reach core audiences. Websites such as quantcast.com can be used to find influencers. The site provides data for different websites, and helps users measure their media assets.

These are just a few of the many valuable tips Matt and Jeremy provided for anyone interested in exploring the benefits of social media.

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2 Responses to Week 1 Guest Speaker Roundup – by Britney Wilson

  1. Thanks for the write-up Britney! For your second point, look at how people found out about Osama Bin Laden. Many people found out on social media, and then went to mainsteam media (television news or news websites), and got the bigger more than 140 story.

    Or friends of mine were just having family downtime and found out in the morning. It doesn’t mean that they missed the news cycle, or that social media is an end-all, be-all, but just another communications tool that helps spread awareness and news.

    But, yes, I’m a bit of a hard ass when it comes to the future of PR and social media. It’s a bit fun in discussions with companies. :)

  2. Cathy Flynn says:

    I appreciated you relaying the comment that “more people are relying on social media platforms to learn about the news and other topics of interest.” It becomes that much more important that the use of PR in social media should be factual and relevant.