The adage goes, “It’s all about the journey, not the destination.” Recipe for Press was a pin on a map for previous intern classes, and the big question we wanted to know is “where are they now?” Meet Alex Laughlin!
Q: What year did you graduate from RFP?
A: I interned with Recipe for Press from January-December 2013. I graduated from UGA in May 2014 with a degree in women’s studies and an English minor.
Q: Describe your position.
A: I’m a social media editor at The Washington Post. When I’m not running the main Facebook and Twitter accounts, I’m figuring out new ways to tell stories and engage with communities online. I also host a podcast on the side called The Ladycast, where I interview women who are doing cool things in their careers.
Q: Describe a day a work.
A: I get into the office at 7:00 a.m. and power up the Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’ll typically go to several meetings throughout the day to chat about digital strategy for upcoming stories. I also moderate a Slack community I co-founded through the Post called Pay Up, where women in tech talk about work, career, and the gender wage gap. Some days we’ll do a live Q&A session with an expert on a given topic (like salary negotiation), so I make sure we have our guest “speaker” booked, prepare questions, and make sure the community is ready and excited to chat. Then we’ll usually write a piece for the website
Q: We stress relationship building and how to pitch your story. What RFP take away do you apply in your current job?
A: The most important thing I learned from RFP was that you don’t need to be an “expert” to get things done in the world. So much of professional success is deciding that your voice (or product or service) is valuable and important, and pursuing your goals with a steadfast focus.
Q: What’s new/next in communications/PR/digital marketing, within your field specifically?
A: What I’m most excited about is hyper-niche communities, both online and offline. It’s cool to have the biggest audience in the entire world, but I’m really excited about small, tightly-knit, passionate communities. I heard recently on a podcast, “there’s riches in niches.” Definitely true.
Q: Which SM channels does your company prioritize or put more energy in to? Please explain why.
A: Luckily, my company has the resources to be able to experiment on nearly every social media platform, from Snapchat to List App to Quora, while also focusing dedicated, daily effort on the old standbys (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram). I’m most interested in finding the platforms that enable genuine connection for the purpose at hand, so for me right now, that’s Slack.
Q: What sites/blogs/SM do you visit or reference daily?
A: I really enjoy watching lifestyle YouTubers because they work in a completely different medium. Some of my favorites are Christine Nguyen, Claire Marshall, and Arden Rose. And of course, I live my entire life on Twitter.
Q: As an undergraduate student about to enter the real world of [journalism/media]… what is it that nobody has told me? Is there anything you were afraid of you were actually fully capable to do?
A: If there’s something you want to learn, don’t be afraid to just teach yourself on your off time. You don’t need anyone’s permission to develop a new skill, ever.