UNL graduate uses editing skills in social media job
By Sherene Al-Turk
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
It wasn’t too long ago that Krista Vogel was sitting in classrooms at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, learning about journalism.
Now, she’s using what she learned in the real world at her desk at Hurrdat Social Media in Lincoln.
Vogel, 23, graduated from UNL’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications in May 2011. She’s an account manager at Hurrdat Social Media, which markets its clients including businesses, brands and athletes through social media.
Vogel talked about her job and how she landed it in a recent interview.
Q: When did you first get interested in this field and how?
A: I was in yearbook and journalism in high school. I always liked writing but that was the first time I ever did any sort of reporting and interviewing. I was the editor my senior year of both the yearbook and the newspaper so that was kind of when I got to start editing. I just loved everything about it. In yearbook, I worked with the layouts and design as well as the writing and photography, just every aspect of it. I went to a yearbook camp one summer and by the time I graduated I knew I wanted to do journalism, hands down.
Q: What other jobs have you had?
A: Hurrdat is my first real job. In college, my senior year I did some work with a magazine here in Lincoln called Neighborhood Life. It’s a neighborhood magazine with lifestyle articles about families and businesses. I just edited stories for them; it was very part-time. After I graduated I had an internship out at Yes Magazine in Washington. I was an editorial intern there; I reported and wrote shorter articles. I did other intern type tasks like managing the library and the mail. I got some really good writing experience there and working with real editors was great. I came back and got an internship at Hurrdat. I started as a copy-writing intern and then was hired full time.
Q: Can you describe what a typical day is like for you?
A: I am in charge of managing about 10 clients right now. I am the person who talks to the client to figure out what types of content they want put out on their social media sites. I am the one who monitors everything, so any message that goes out on Twitter or Facebook if anybody responds to it I need to be ready with a response to him or her. I also look for interactions on Twitter; if anybody is tweeting about anything relevant to my clients then we can reach out to them. I also have a copy writer that works under me. I approve all content that she writes and then I schedule it all for my clients. There is no real method to my madness as far as a typical day goes. I do have set days that certain content is due for certain clients. Typically my morning is: I come in, I check all of my accounts to see if anything happened overnight, I write content and submit it for approval in some cases. The afternoon is a little bit more fly by the seat of your pants, whatever happens, happens. On Tuesdays, we have a group meeting for all of us at Hurrdat but other than that it is kind of whatever comes up. Social media is always on, some days you get a ton of comments to respond to and some days it’s dead.
Q: What role does editing play in your job?
A: When I started this job I was kind of worried that it didn’t really go along with my major, but the more I did it the more I realized it did. I would find an article and I would want to tweet about it and I would have to cut it down to something that people are going to want to read, something that catches their eye. You have to use the right words; you have to hashtag the right words. (You have to be ) able to choose the right words or even the right articles to use. I have to know what sources are relevant. I have to fact check anything that everybody writes. I have to do my research just like you would in reporting and in writing. Lastly, I work in Excel a lot and Excel doesn’t have a spell check, so it is very important to have a keen eye for those details. It is a lot of tightening those words up.
Q: What advice do you have for students who want to pursue a career in this field?
A: Relevant to UNL especially, be involved in ACES (American Copy Editors Society). If you want to do anything in editing, being in ACES was such a great opportunity because the whole ACES organization knows the UNL kids and they expect us to be at the national conference, to be active and volunteer for things. There were a lot of connections made through ACES and internships. Being able to go to conference and sit in on those sessions was great. Aside from ACES, networking is so important and getting internships is so important. That is one thing I wish I had done more of. Get yourself out there, talk to people and try new things. Doing social media right now isn’t what I envisioned, but I love it.