Zoella, Jack and Finn Harries, JC Caylen and Kian Lawley—these are your new opinion leaders. These YouTubers are taking over the Internet. In turn, they keep their audiences up-to-date on the newest products, address social issues when they arise and provide a good laugh.
YouTube was created by employees of PayPal in 2005. The creators of this video-sharing website allowed the public to view the site six months before its official debut. The following year, YouTube was purchased by one of the biggest companies in the nation: Google. Since the conception of this idea, the website has become a go-to site for all things video.
Individuals who had a camera and a plan soon started posting videos on the site. Many YouTubers have been on the site for several years and made posting videos a career, such as popular YouTuber Alfie Deyes. They post their private life on the Internet through daily vlogs and a variety of social media platforms. While YouTubers are not always considered celebrities, their social stances make them formal opinion leaders. Conventions, meet-and-greets and tours are held in honor of theses entertainers as we build a relationship with them through the screen and beyond. They are invited to movie premieres and even win blimps at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.
YouTubers have become the newest opinion leaders in our generation. For example, Zoella and Arden Rose relay to viewers their opinions on new beauty products and their latest shopping hauls, which are the items they purchased as well as the places they were purchased. This product placement not only encourages viewers to buy from a certain store, but it also cuts out the anonymous reviewer from online sites. Oftentimes consumers rely on the brand itself or reviews from the site they are visiting, hoping that the anonymous reviewer is credible. Without a reviewer’s approval, we are left wondering if our purchase will be worth it. These anonymous reviewers are no longer necessary. With the help of our new YouTube opinion leaders, we are able to determine whether a certain brand is the right fit for us.
Not only are YouTubers influencing our brand choice, but also our social stances. Tyler Oakley, one of the biggest voices for YouTube, has raised several thousand dollars, with the support of his viewers, for the Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for the LGBTQ community. Even President Barack Obama realizes the influence in which YouTubers have. Last year, President Obama invited YouTubers such as Tyler Oakley and Hannah Hart to discuss the current issues and causes they feel strongly about.
YouTubers can also be authors, with many YouTubers writing their own autobiographies. Zoella went a different route by writing a fictional novel. With the success from her first book, Girl Online, still on everyone’s mind, Zoella announced her second novel, Girl Online on Tour. Through her daily vlogs, Zoella has kept her viewers in the know about the progression of the new book. The sequel debuted on Oct. 20, 2015 and skyrocketed to number three on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
YouTube is not a new social media platform, but the credibility allotted to YouTubers is. We consider them reliable sources. We go to them for a good laugh, opinions on the newest products and for a quick “How To” video. Our newest opinion leaders are not only friendly, familiar faces, but people with whom we can relate as well.
-by Brittany Ray, Regional Conference Social Media Committee Leade
Gaining experience in your desired field is crucial for any occupation, but as all aspiring public relations professionals know, it is incredibly important in the communications field. It is common for students to seek out internships during their breaks from school to not only gain experience and apply knowledge learned in school, but also to make connections in firms and companies they aspire to be a part of someday.
This summer, I was fortunate enough to intern at a financial company in the D.C. area. I worked with the company SenecaOne for about six weeks. My official title was “HR/Marketing Intern,” but I had a lot of different projects throughout my internship. One thing I really appreciated was that I was assigned projects and given a timeline to complete them, rather than being stuck with frivolous busy work. While I still did my fair share of lunch runs and made hundreds of copies, the company was really great about making me feel like I was part of the team there.
A typical day for me at SenecaOne started around 7 a.m. when I commuted into the city. My days varied when working in the office. Sometimes I would help out with reception, answering calls and completing FedEx labels, or I would meet with our supervisor and plan out what needed to get accomplished that day. I would spend the rest of the day working on my projects, completing tasks around the office, or helping the HR and marketing departments with whatever they needed. I got an hour for lunch each day, which was a cool way to explore the city some on my own, and it gave me a great sense of independence. This also gave me a chance to make some connections within the office. As I became more comfortable, I reached out and invited different people to lunch. This helped me to learn more about what they did for the company and form closer bonds with the people with whom I was spending my summer. Aside from the work experience you gain, the connections you form within your office and beyond are arguably the most important part of any internship!
My projects varied throughout the summer depending on what the company needed most. One of my largest projects was with the HR department, and it involved creating a new hiring strategy for the company. I researched terminated employee files and compared them to extremely successful employee files, then created a new formula for hiring more successful employees based on their demographics. This created a better targeting strategy for the HR department and is actually still on file at the company today. This is very fulfilling, considering I spent weeks pouring over employee files in my office. Aside from my research project, I had smaller projects like creating posters and fliers for various company events and helping to find photos for the website.
Overall, I think that this internship experience was a great one for me. It was my first taste of working in a real office and gave me some insight on what it’s actually like to work as part of a team. It gave me a chance to apply some of the skills I learned in the classroom to real life. It was also so fulfilling to see my hard work pay off! I look forward to pursuing more internship opportunities in the future, and I would recommend the same to anyone else looking for a productive way to spend their summer.
-by Madison Croxson, PRSSA General Member
The joy that came from the pope’s highly anticipated visit to the United States was tainted by the confusion of the pope’s meetings with both Kim Davis and a gay couple. The two encounters left the Vatican scrambling to issue statements to quiet the confusion.
The pope has been an insightful, progressive leader so far, but this controversy has temporarily replaced his good deeds as the topic of discussion. He met with a government official, Kim Davis, who is vehemently opposed to homosexuality; he then met with an openly gay former student and friend and his partner. Why? And what does Kim Davis have to say about these two encounters?
The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor-at-large at America Magazine said, “The pope meets with all sorts of people on his trips and that such meetings are not an ‘endorsement’ of anything.” But according to Davis and her lawyers, the pope agreed with Davis’s refusal to issue same sex marriage licenses and offered his support. Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, contradicted Davis’s claim by issuing a statement that the pope’s meeting should not be considered a form of support for Davis’s position. The statement did not directly say he supports same sex marriage, but there have been many times when he has shown acceptance and kindness to the gay community.
Although church teachings have not been changed to depict same-sex relationships as anything other than sinful, Pope Francis has many times emphasized acceptance over judgment. For instance, when he famously said, “Who am I to judge,” in reference to gay priests who seek to do God’s will, he proved just how progressive and accepting he is even in a position of strict rules about issues like homosexuality.
The openly gay friend with whom the pope met defended the pope and is cited as saying he believes the pope was “misled” into meeting with Davis, a statement Davis and her lawyers would have the public believe is false.
Why the pope met with Kim Davis may never be revealed, but the truth is that his meeting with Davis and the openly gay couple confused many Catholics everywhere. It leaves the public wondering if it is possible that Pope Francis is sympathetic to both sides and how the Vatican will recover from this.
-by Amanda Perucci, PRSSA General Member
Most students start an internship with big expectations. They have dreamt about what they will be doing, what they will learn and all of the great experiences they will have. Yet not all internships are created equally, and often the reality of an internship falls flat in comparison. While we are not always given that dream-job experience, here are a few tips to make the most out of every opportunity in an internship.
The First Lesson Learned: You Do NOT Want This Job.
You could have dreamt about the position for months or have jumped in last minute. Whatever the case, one thing is certain: This is not the job for you. Instead of seeing this as a failure, realize that you have successfully eliminated one of your many post-graduation options. This internship saved you from agreeing to a full-time position in something you dislike. If Thomas Edison failed over 1,000 times while making the light bulb, it could take you a few good tries to find the right internship.
Listen to Feedback.
It may not be the job for which you hoped, but it is certainly still a job. Doing an internship is a great opportunity to show your skills in the professional world and to receive feedback from those in the field. Take all of the advice you can get and use it to develop as a professional.
Work on Your Teamwork and People Skills.
Is your internship okay, but your co-workers are driving you up a wall? Don’t get discouraged. Disagreeable people are something you will encounter in any career you choose, and now is a great time to learn how to manage them. Try switching up your communication tactics, negotiation strategies and, if needed, your peacekeeping methods to see what works best.
Most likely, making copies and fetching coffee are not your life’s calling. So if that is all you are doing in your internship, you will have to dig a little deeper to get real value from the position. Observe what your superiors are doing, try to understand their thoughts and actions, and ask questions when appropriate. If ever there is the chance to get involved in a project, take that opportunity; if no openings exist, try getting creative and working on your own. You reap more benefits from your internship and also impress your boss with your self-motivation.
-by Bethany Corne, PRSSA Executive Member
All blogs are written by general members of UAPRSSA and Capstone Agency.