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Four Things We Learned About Social Media and Public Relations from Thea Haigh of Sunshine Sachs

By Caroline Cakebread, Junior Newhouse NYC student and MAG major 

Newhouse NYC students have the opportunity to hear from dynamic professionals throughout the semester and on Tuesday, January 26, the students in professor Finlayson’s Social Platforms, Processes and Perspectives class had the chance to hear from Thea Haigh of Sunshine Sachs. After taking time to get to know the students, she got right to it. Here are our four favorite pieces of advice Thea shared about public relations, social media and the real world.

1.The worst thing you can do on social media is not be social.
Many brands and entertainment figures do a great job of using social media platforms to promote themselves, but forget to interact with their followers and end up losing them. To tackle this problem, Haigh suggests using a rule of thirds­ when it comes to posting. For every three posts, dedicate one to promotion, one to entertainment and one to engaging with a follower.

2. Social media and public relations are a perfect pair.
Haigh pointed out that “by definition social media is two way communication.” This type of two-sided conversation is also the goal of public relations campaigns­­. PR firms want their audience to engage with their client or campaign in the same way they engage in a friend’s Instagram post. “If your job is eyeballs and news, I would pick social over a traditional media outlet any day,” says Haigh.

3. If you never want to be bored, public relations is the place for you.
Working at a large PR firm means working with many diverse clients who bring different personalities and challenges to the table. There is no typical day in the PR world­–Haigh does everything from attend events to crisis management. “I can say a lot of things about my career and job, but boring is never one of them,” she says.

4. Engage by disengaging
In our crazy connected world, taking an afternoon off from social media is important. “It’s an incredible challenge when people aren’t experiencing the world and only know other’s opinions” says Haigh. She emphasized this for the members of “Generation Connected” in the class, joking that the world will keep spinning for that hour or two your phone is off.

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