Q&A: Becca Jacoby
- Name: Becca Jacoby
- Age: 24
- Hometown: Sugar Land, Texas
- Position: Account Executive
- Company:Weber Shandwick
Becca Jacoby received a bachelor's degree in Public Relations from The College of Media & Communication in 2011. Becca was a part of numerous activities and societies while at Texas Tech that include Tech PR, Texas Tech Athletics Street Team, Chancellor and Dean's Council. During her undergraduate studies, Becca obtained a position at the American Council On Renewable Energy in Washington, D.C. As an interim assistant, Becca executed public relations tactics together with the vice president of corporate relations. From then Becca became an intern for Texas Tech University System, National Institute for Renewable Energy and FleishmanHillard. In April, Becca became an account executive for Weber Shandwick where she is now working on accounts like American Airlines Technology and GM News Bureau.
What advice can you share with students who are looking for internships?
Start early. Many agencies and organizations have early deadlines, especially for
summer internships, so students should be on the look-out as soon as possible. I always
started looking at the beginning of the semester.
Also, internships are for developing your skills in a real-world setting, and it's equally important to diversify your internship experiences. My internships were all different, from the industries to my roles, and I think that made me a more well-rounded candidate for full-time positions.
What role did social media play in your internships?
Whether I was monitoring for trends or checking out what people were saying about our clients' brands, social media played a significant role in each of my internships. It's not enough to know how to use Facebook and Twitter; you should become an expert in strategy, social listening and understanding a brand's tone-of-voice. Even if you have more of a traditional role throughout your internship, social media is still crucial because it's a place to learn more about what people are saying.
What type of tools were used in your internships to monitor social media?
I've become familiar with many different social monitoring tools, including Radian6, Sysomos and Follower Wonk. These all serve diverse purposes, from finding impressions for social posts to determining influencers. There are various dashboards that help you manage and measure your social channels, and my favorite is HootSuite. It provides side-by-side views of whatever channels you want to monitor, so it's useful to have your brand's networks right next to a competitor, giving you real-time access to what your competitors are discussing with their fans.
What skills would you recommend students have in order to obtain a job or internship in public relations?
I believe it's important for job and internship seekers to have strong writing skills, be critical thinkers and be proactive researchers. You will most likely have various projects thrown your way—research projects, blog posts, social content development, data analytics and others—so having a diverse skill set will differentiate you from other applicants.
Describe a day at Weber Shandwick as an account executive.
It's difficult to describe a typical day because things are constantly changing when you work in client service. I could make a to-do list and not cross off a single item because something else could have taken over my day. It's fast-paced and unpredictable, but it keeps you on your toes and you're sure to learn something new each day.
How did The College of Media and Communication prepare you for the professional world?
I feel that I was prepared for the professional world not only through my courses and various projects, but also through my interactions and relationships with my professors. It's important to develop relationships with professors because they have been through everything you are aspiring to do. I learned a lot during my 15-minute conversations with professors after class or during their office hours, so take advantage of that time with them and know they are there to help you and truly want you to succeed.
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