by Ross Wade, School of Communications career guy
You never know who you’ll connect with while traveling. Last month iMedia alum, Chris Metzloff, connected with Ronnie Ramos, managing director of digital communications at NCAA, while on a business trip. Chris was kind enough to connect me with Mr. Ramos, and I had the opportunity to do a quick phone info meeting with him. Check out his answers to my questions below.
How did you transition from you print journalism career to digital media?
At my last job I was assigned to handle the transition of our print section to a print/online section. I learned a lot about digital media by trial and error, as I think most people do. I realized how much I enjoyed the online component, and afterwards decided to pursue digital media as a career.
What is your job like day to day? What exactly does managing director of digital communications do?
I also manage our digital communications team, which has grown from three to eighteen in the past two years.
Who is on the digital communications team?
The team consists of reporters, social media creators and managers and web and video production.
What key skills do new professionals need to have as they pursue a career in digital media?
They need to have a combination of more traditional skills, such as writing and reporting, as well as social media skills – they need to be hybrids. For example, our designers are not only skilled in creating something that is visually appealing, they understand content and the importance of messaging – they have knowledge of both.
How do you stay on top of trends?
Lots of reading – blogs, websites, Twitter. I also stay connected to my network, especially those doing digital media but in a different field. I think it is important to keep one foot in the digital media realm, while keeping the other foot rooted in the tried and true basics of good writing and reporting.
Advice for those pursuing a career in digital media?
For young professionals pursuing a career in digital media it is important not to only focus on the social media component – if you do that, you’ll have no real expertise to bring, and you’ll come across the same as everyone else. If all you know about is social media, but can’t think about creating original and engaging content, you are missing half the battle. It seems that a lot of social media is geared toward marketing and that there are not enough people producing meaningful content in an engaging way.