“HARNESSING THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA TO BOOST YOUR GLOBAL AUDIENCE” WITH KAMALA DAUGHTRY
A very enriching short virtual course on harnessing the power of social media to boost one’s global audience hosted by American digital reporter/producer, Ms. Kamara K. Daughtry, for the Mass Communication students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) ended Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.
The aim of the course was to equip the students with invaluable digital and presentation skills suitable for harnessing the power of social media for their journalism career and guide them on how to get connections for the future.
The course which was free was taught through a 4-part Zoom series held every Friday between 2 and 3 p.m. beginning from Jan. 29, 2021. Some students joined from different locations while others watched a projection of the meeting in the final-year classroom, Jackson Buliding, UNN, for the first three sessions and Mass Communication first-year classroom, Faculty of Arts, Block A, for the last session.
Ms. Daughtry, is also a social media specialist who assists TV stations by recommending viable strategies for their social media platforms. (You can learn more about her via the image of her bio at the end of this post.)
This post presents a summary of each session, the resources shared by Ms. Daughtry and links to my original Facebook posts from which this article has been compiled.
The First Class
In this class, students were taught the following, inter alia:
• The importance of using their social media accounts in reporting, a very important part of which is interviewing important personalities
• How to prepare for and conduct such interviews
• The superior effectiveness of videos in garnering attention over textual messages and how to use Facebook live in this regard.
As homework assignment, Ms. Daughtry asked the students to do a Facebook live interview of an important personality or do a regular interview, transcribe it and share to their Facebook profiles. The links to these interview posts were to be sent to her via email for review during the next class.
She subsequently provided a link where students who missed the live session could watch it.
The Second Class
In the second class held on Feb. 5, 2021, the facilitator, Ms. Daughtry, brought on a special guest, a TV reporter from Alabama, Ms. Ashley Brown, to share with the students her job experiences.
Clips from some of Ms. Brown’s live reports were shown and she, along with Ms. Daughtry, explained the basics of live reporting. They fielded questions from students on how to improve one’s chances of landing a media job and overcome challenges faced in the process of researching stories/interviewing sources.
The students’ live interview assignments from the previous week were reviewed, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses. More questions were entertained on the process of reporting and the students were given a news writing assignment to round off what had been a very lively and interactive session.
The only difficulty encountered was that some students couldn’t follow Ms. Brown’s Southern drawl easily but Ms. Daughtry’s reiterating of key points saved the day. Besides, by watching the recorded session via the link below, the students can catch what Ms. Brown said more clearly.
The Third Class
During the third class which held on Feb. 12, 2021, the students were taught, among other things, how to build professional profiles on social media, especially LinkedIn, and how to make job-yielding connections therefrom.
One of the videos Ms. Daughtry shared (linked below) gave detailed tips on how to create a LinkedIn profile that will draw attention and impress employers.
The students were also given some tips for creating content on digital media, their news story assignments were reviewed and as their third week homework, they were asked to create profiles for themselves on LinkedIn.
They were to add clear portrait pictures in business attire to their profiles, a short bio describing themselves- their qualifications and skills- and add some media samples like articles they’ve written and videos they’ve made that can attract potential employers.
The Fourth Class
In the fourth and final class held on Feb. 19, 2021, Ms. Daughtry elaborated on how a young journalist can make the most of social media in news gathering and dissemination.
She explained the importance of Twitter lists, how to build them and shared a link on this (See below). She also asked the students to explore the features of other platforms like Tiktok and Instagram (reels & TV).
She then reviewed some LinkedIn profiles the students shared based on the third week’s assignment. She reemphasised the importance of using bright profile pictures; adding rich bios, samples of content they’ve created and the jobs they are seeking to those profiles.
Above all, she reiterated the importance of constantly creating and sharing content (textual, audio & video) if one wants to get better as a journalist.
Our students and I are grateful to Ms. Daughtry for taking the time to teach and challenge them to start their journalism careers even while in school by being active in making the most of news opportunities and building rich portfolios via their social media accounts.
The questions asked by students throughout this course resonated with this challenge: they were mostly about how to make professional connections and get good media jobs.
In her valedictory email, Ms. Daughtry made this glowing remark about our students:
I want to say thank you. It was a pleasure connecting with my new media family in Nigeria. You all are a BLESSED GROUP with AMAZING AND SMART students! The best word to describe the class – is the word- STARS! Bright stars that will change lives and be a light in their community. I’M SO EXCITED AND GLAD TO SEE THEIR PATHS!
We really appreciate this and send Ms. Daughtry a big bouquet of thanks. We also wish her the best in all her endeavours and express our heartfelt gratitude to the Royal Centre for Public Speaking for connecting us with her.
All those involved in various aspects of digital communication, particularly aspiring and practising journalists, can join Ms. Daughtry’s mentoring and networking group, Digital Career Opportunities Worldwide, on Facebook and follow her YouTube channel for updates.
Links to earlier posts from which this article was compiled: