The University of West Georgia’s 39th Annual Media Day was a success with Assistant Professor Kelly Williams planning it for the first time. Williams is no stranger to Media Day since she is an alumni of UWG, but this was something slightly different from what she was used to. Although there was much to be done, Williams felt no type of overwhelming fear since she has background in event planning.
Even though many of the professionals were absent due to a sickness, the event still played out well. This year the planners had a late start on getting everything together, starting in late December, but they made it work. Everything was organized and the professionals that did attend were offering summer internships to many of the students.
Media Day is not always about trying to find a job. It’s about finding tips on what’s going to make an individual successful. These professionals come because they want to help, mentor and get students on the right path. It has always proved to be one of the most helpful events the university has to offer, so when choosing someone to plan this event, it is necessary that they are fully aware of how important it is for the students.
Williams will also be in charge of next year’s Media Day. Williams along with some of the faculty and staff here at UWG are looking for ways to improve the event. No matter how good something goes, there is always room to make it better.
“The only thing I would say was really overwhelming with my position this year versus previous years was knowing whether something was precedent or not,” Williams said. “I kept asking if things had to be done a certain way.”
Media Day requires a lot of planning and getting people together at one time. There were many media professionals from fields such as broadcast, public relations, film and others that all came to be a part of this experience. Some of the professionals that attended had just finished a broadcast or blog before coming to help with the networking session, which shows how strongly they care about the well-being of the UWG students.
“After the event I received a lot of feedback from the students saying that there was not enough public relation professionals to choose from,” said Williams. “However, you must work with what you have. It is always good to get out of your comfort zone and network with other professionals to see what they like or what works for them to get tips on how to be better at your actual job.”
A lot of times individuals get so wound up on a specific job title or job description that they lose sight of the work that actually goes into that job. If being a public relation professional is the dream career for you, it is always good to get connected with professionals like journalists.
“At some point in time the individuals that make up this university will be working on film projects and shows together in the future,” said Williams. “The best advice to give is to play nice and get along with everyone even if you don’t really feel that strongly about them.”
All of these jobs coincide with one another. Public Relations professionals reach out to journalists to either cover a story for them or get them to come to an event to see if they would even consider giving it some exposure.
“Time changes things but some things remain the same,” Williams continued. “In this industry you are going to be surrounded by people. There is always something to connect about and always something you can learn from other people. The foot in the door stories are mostly similar across the board so if you don’t think something can happen to you or for you, it can.”