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The Eastern Echo Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

BMA_SuccSumm_2024.heic

Black Media Association hosts a Success Summit for EMU students

The Black Media Association, a student organization at EMU, hosted its first Success Summit since 2018 to advise students on navigating social media in their careers on April 11.

In the backdrop of social media’s development, there are career opportunities that have not existed in previous generations and new ways to pursue career endeavors. This shift was a key theme of BMA’s 2024 Success Summit: Navigating Social Media. 

The student organization gathered three panelist speakers who are at the forefront of this change to share industry insight with students. The panel included two social media managers associated with the City of Detroit, Ethan Lloyd and Tyesha Vinson. Alongside them was media and public relations specialist, Brittany Mobley. 

Aaron Hughes, the current president of BMA, spoke about the inspiration of focusing on social media for this year's Success Summit as a shared middle ground for students focused on the media industry.

“A lot of our members are interested in social media and content creation. We felt like doing social media [as the topic] is going to connect to a lot of jobs and a lot of opportunities. We felt that it is a great way to get everyone involved in it,” Hughes said. 

The group discussion guided by BMA outlined themes of strategic storytelling, building connections, and representation of people within the media industry. 

Strategic storytelling

A point Lloyd focused on was the importance of using strategy to quickly capture the attention of the audience. He shared his objective for video content to grab the viewer’s attention in the first three seconds and retain it within eight seconds. He shared a tip to put the most interesting parts at the start of videos to match the social climate that encourages “best for first, not for last.”

Paired with the tips for strategizing the delivery of social media content, Lloyd explained another technique to identify potential topics and subcategories once you have established the interests of your audience. 

“I have my umbrella of what [social media topics] works, but it’s really throwing darts and seeing what sticks. When I see what sticks, I hit it really hard and then I splinter it into different categories that can be spoken about and can be told in a story form,” Lloyd said. 

Building connections

Outside of navigating the digital landscape, there is a navigation of relationships and connections within the industry that Vinson experienced as a news producer and social media manager.

“It’s one thing to meet somebody, shake their hand, give them a card, scan a QR code, and all that. That’s great, but now you just have a collection of contacts. What are you going to do with it,” Vinson said.

Vinson highlighted the importance of a timely “follow-up” within the industry to ensure people can remember you after the initial meeting. The process of following up is to ensure memory retention but also create a cycle of sharing opportunities and information periodically by “establishing connections and being consistent.” 

Showcasing people's stories

Mobley also voiced her agreement in using networks as a tool for collaboration, feedback, and to help others authentically. Being transparent in the media industry was another quality she wished to encourage around her, especially with stories that might go unheard and unrepresented. 

“If I don’t see that you’re getting the recognition that you deserve or your story needs to be told and there is no one listening, I see that and I feel that from my experience. I’m amplifying your story because I know how it is not having your story told,” Mobley said. 

Throughout the panel discussion, there were frequent chuckles from the friendly chemistry the speakers shared and just as frequent applause for their career achievements. 

Lloyd reflected on how he would not be in the position he is today without the assistance of others sharing their wisdom–specifically his mentors. Sharing insight with EMU students was his way of ensuring they didn’t encounter the same struggles he did, and if they did, to understand how it happened. 

“I am here right now because somebody else did it for me. I am a result of my mentors. It would be a disservice not to pour back in [to others]. The biggest secret I learned in business is [that] the more I give, the more I receive,” Lloyd said. 

Though BMA was founded in 2017, the student organization hasn’t been active due to the disruption of the pandemic. As a graduating senior, Hughes’ main goal was to ensure people knew about the organization since its revival. He highlighted the best way to connect with BMA or to keep up-to-date on future opportunities and events is through their website or Instagram page @blackmediaassoc.