UGA conference to highlight social media’s impact on public relations

UGA conference to highlight social media’s impact on public relations

Athens, Ga. – If social media tools such as microblogging, podcasting, wikis and Second Life leave you scratching your head, the University of Georgia may help connect the social media dots. The UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication will host Connect, a two-day conference on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19-20, 2007, to educate participants on the ins and outs of social media. Sessions will be held at the university’s Student Learning Center.

“Social media is today’s collaborative way to communicate,” said conference organizer Karen Russell, Grady College associate professor of public relations. “These various online resources are becoming more important to the practice of public relations.”

Social media’s effects on the public relations field will be addressed by guest speakers Kevin Dugan, co-founder of the award-winning Bad Pitch Blog, and Jay Bernhardt, director of the National Center for Health Marketing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In panel discussions, top-ranked PR professionals Constantin Basturea from Converseon, Josh Hallett from Hyku and Katie Paine of KD Paine & Partners will advise participants on cutting-edge techniques such as blog monitoring, social media news releases and measurement. Kaye Sweetser, assistant professor of public relations at UGA’s Grady College, will be joined by Northeastern University’s Walter Carl and the University of Wyoming’s Robert Sprague to explain the latest academic research on political blogs, word-of-mouth communication, and the legal implications of social media.

Additional sessions will feature national and state experts providing how-to advice on using social media. Attendees will have the chance to connect with other communicators and gain valuable networking resources.

Conference registration is $125 with a registration deadline of Monday, October 8. To register for the conference, view the full agenda or get more information, go to www.grady.uga.edu/connect.

Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers seven undergraduate majors including advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, visit www.grady.uga.edu.