Imagine my surprise when, in a break from writing a 2500 word essay on Clay Shirky's The Cognitive Surplus (read: procrastination), I stumbled across Behind the Spin's top 10 ranking of Social Students, to find yours truly at joint 8th position.
Having had the pleasure of Behind the Spin's editor Richard Bailey lecturing us during our second year of university, I was familiar with his magazine-style site, which caters for PR students and those starting out in the industry. I'd even seen his tweet the day before requesting BTS's readers to put forward their Klout and Peerindex scores in order that he could compile the Social Student rankings. I didn't give it a second thought - my fellow peers tweet, blog, write, debate, broadcast, argue, Facebook and G+ til the cows come home. Since I'd lost my blogging mojo and abandoned The Details in the Fabric, my fashion and beauty blog, in my placement year, and given that I've never been brave enough to publically put forward my arbitrary views on public relations on the Internet, I was sure I wouldn't stand a chance against the PR heavyweights that are the Leeds Met students, who seem to have made blogging a national past time.
I don't doubt for a minute that my 500+ Twitter followers isn't unrelated to the fact that I worked for the world's biggest car manufacturer on my placement year, or that at least a quarter of my followers are spam-sending companies vying for my attention. And I'm sure a further 150 of my followers are part of the fast-evolving cult that is beauty blogging, itself a small community of like-minded individuals who blog about their passions and are single-handedly changing the face of fashion and beauty PR as we know it.
However, my appearance amongst a list of pure PR talent has given me the confidence to believe that I do have a voice; that the range of channels available to us in which to express our thoughts on academia, on celebrity gossip, on last night's dinner and on Made in Chelsea is so rich and exciting that to ignore those 500 followers would be a bad move. Building relationships is fundamental in public relations, and engaging those who take the time to listen to you is even more crucial. My ideas might not be correct, nor agreeable to everybody that reads them, but becoming part of the conversation presents an unparalleled opportunity to develop these further whilst cementing relationships with potential future employers, even future employees.
"I don't need an introduction to you through someone else, and you no longer need one to me. We are all a click (or a pixel) away from one another. This means that building relationships and turning those relationships into an online community is more powerful and more important than ever before." (Mitch Joel, 2009)
Being the only student in the rankings without an active blog made me sit up and think - here's an opportunity - why aren't I seizing it? I think I may have my blogging mojo back. Watch this space.