11th Annual Texas Social Media Conference Highlights Innovation

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STEPHENVILLE — Twenty-five interactive Zoom sessions throughout November propelled this year’s Texas Social Media Conference sponsored by Tarleton State University’s Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI).

From Twitter chats and live networking to weekly journal club discussions and original social media research, participants stayed engaged.

“The conference has been on my calendar for years now,” said 10-time conference attendee Dr. Melanie A. Mason from UT Arlington. “I never miss it — wonderful, caring scholars who love to share their research and ideas.”

The conference sessions featured social media research with a health communication emphasis. Graduate student research teams from Tarleton’s College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the College of Business presented their research in five interactive sessions.

Tarleton students Riley Odom, Megan Mackay, Erin McDonald, Bayley Chenault and Sydney Brown presented one of those sessions, “How Public Health Agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom Communicate with Their Target Audiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

“I enjoyed the versatility of the virtual conference and the opportunity to explore the different social media avenues I did not know before,” said Tarleton communication studies graduate student and TSMRI Fellow Lauryn Harris. “The flexibility of the conference was amazing, and I appreciated being able to log on before completing tasks at work or after class.”

Among the final sessions to be held Tuesday, Nov. 30: “Student-based Resourcing: Responding to Increased Needs as a Rural Institution”; “The 3 V’s of Virtual Communication! How to Communicate your (Non-Profit) Cause in a Digital World”; and “How the Texas Department of Health and Human Services and the State of Louisiana Department of Health are Communicating About Health.” To register visit https://www.tarleton.edu/tsmri/SocialMediaConference.html.

The conference was planned by senior-level PR and event management students Fisher Pearce, Kennedy Whitten and Kaylee Bentley. The 12th annual conference will be in Fort Worth on April 22, 2022.

For more information, contact communication studies Professor Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards, Executive Director of TSMRI, at jtedwards@tarleton.edu or 254-307-1375.

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