The Meaning Behind #PRStudChat Word Cloud

I thought that the 3/17 #PRStudChat with special guest @bethharte was one of the best chat sessions we’ve ever had.  I walked away thinking that the conversations could have continued for at least another few hours.

The theme of the discussion focused on graduating students and what they should expect when they enter the real world of business, from the roles and responsibilities to how to reach new influencers on behalf of their brands. For me, there were several immediate takeaways that were loud and clear, including:

  • New jobs and what to expect for an entry-level position was a hot topic.
  • Salary requirements really got the PR community talking.
  • There were interesting conversations that evolved around the integrated PR/Marketing approach.
  • Social media at an entry level still requires great communication skills.

Because the conversation in our #PRStudChat discussion is so fast-paced and dynamic, I decided to conduct a simple experiment using a word cloud to see if what I thought were the “loud and clear” takeaways were actually the most dynamic topics during our one hour chat session.

Caution, don’t try this experiment unless you have an hour or so to kill.  But, believe me, it’s worth it.  First, I went to the #prstudchat profile page and found the transcript for the discussion.  I cut and paste the entire conversation (from noon to 1:00 p.m. ET) into a word document.  Next, the most consuming part, I deleted all of the unnecessary chat information including the time of each and every post, @reply’s and RTs of all of the questions.

After a tedious process, I went to Wordle, cut and paste the content into the “Create” section, and hit go.  The result was a #PRStudChat word cloud that looked like this:

When you compare my “before” thoughts with the “loud and clear” word cloud takeaways, I realize I was pretty spot on with my earlier assessment. However, the word cloud tells me even more about our 3/17 #PRStudChat discussion. Aside from the very obvious (#PRstudchat is by far the largest word in the cloud because everyone uses the #hashtag), here are a few points I was not able to identify as a chat participant because of the speed of the conversations:

  • The word “PR” stands out and we discuss PR as it relates to everything and everyone from traditional media and research to influencers and social media.
  • Question 1 was a very popular question/topic based on the size of the Q1, with many PR pros, students and educators discussing whether or not new influencers should be treated the same way as traditional media.
  • The word “influencers” was larger than traditional media as the PR community is learning new ways to connect with bloggers and how to ascertain their influence.
  • Question 6 was the most discussed question based on the size of the Q6 and the size of the word salary.  This question sparked heavy response from the community, and when you look at the transcript, Q6 had the most responses.
  • Media is one of the larger words in the cloud and one interpretation could be that media affects our role as PR professionals and we are focused on the changing media landscape.
  • Research is one of the larger words, as PR professionals know the value of research.
  • Q2 and Q3 were not far behind the most popular questions, however, Q4 is nowhere to be found.
  • Q5 doesn’t exist because we made a slight error and jumped from Q4 to Q6.

For those of you who participated in the #PRstudchat discussion, do you think your immediate takeaways resembled what the word cloud tells us?  What do you think were the most important takeaways and even if you weren’t a part of the discussion, what do you think this word cloud tell us?