By MELISA FINK ’14
Alex Martin is the social engagement manager at Silicon Valley Business Journal. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Political Science.
“As the social engagement manager I work a lot with content. This includes content strategy and content direction”, Martin said during a phone interview. “The voices of the community impact what we cover and how we cover it. It also impacts how we present content and what it looks like online,” Martin said.
When asked what makes his position unique from other journalism jobs, Martin points out that his job is not a typical reporting gig. “It’s one of these newer titles. I look at the overall path and vision and what voice the content should have to be successful,” Martin said. “What’s unique about it, is that I’m able to look at data and twitter and different things that I am seeing and then direct our reporters and content producers when they go to write their story.”
Martin describes this as a two-way conversation between the audience and the news source. “It’s a new-age kind of content cycle. You listen to your audience and your audience is telling you what they want you to cover and how they want you to cover it.”
Before landing at the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Martin worked in Meriden, Connecticut for two years at The Record Journal. Martin did it all in Meriden: web-design, breaking news editing, social media, web editor, and managing interns. “It set me up nicely.”
During his four years at UConn, Martin found Rick Hancock to be his most influential professor. “He was the one talking about Twitter, social media, and the two-way content cycle”, Martin said. He also remembers and learned a lot from Profs. Wayne Worcester and Marcel Dufresne.
“I wish I networked more,” Martin said when asked about his regrets at UConn. “It’s really about who you know. There are so many resources available that I never took advantage of while at UConn,” Martin added. “Be social. Read about what the industry leaders are doing and apply that to your job. You’ll be irreplaceable if you look at the horizon the whole time.”
In a follow-up email, Martin gave more valuable advice to current UConn Students:
- You have the rest of your lives to be responsible, worry about jobs and money, and only four years in Storrs. And, by the time you’re reading this, you probably already have 2 or more under your belt.
- Take an afternoon off from class or studying and split a pitcher with your friend at Ted’s. Split a Bionic Beaver if it’s been THAT kind of week. (I’d been known to single-handedly dismantle one of those monstrosities, but I couldn’t possibly recommend it.)
- Go to Gampel, go to Rentschler, go to the XL Center. Cheer on our men and women athletes as loud as you can. Go support our soccer, field hockey, ice hockey, baseball and swimming teams, too, because we’re actually tops in the nation in a lot of sports that don’t get the recognition they deserve.
- Take a roadtrip to see the men or women in the NCAA Tournament or (God-willing) the Final Four. Go to see the football team play in a bowl game in we are ever decent again. (Support them anyway).
- Take note of who your friends are. Take less selfies and more group shots. You never know when your life will change over night – because it will – and you’ll realize you haven’t seen your college friends in 3 years. Life goes by in a blur and college will go by even quicker.
- Go to Nickel Night. Go to 50 cent pitchers. Stay out too late. Order Sgt. Pep’s, DP Dough and Wings Over Storrs. Use your last $20 on a 6 pack and a frozen pizza.
- Walk around campus. Take it all in: the roads, the buildings, the trees, the skyline. You’re going to wish you had done that more when you don’t have the opportunity to.
- It’s OK to worry about your future, about getting a good job, making enough money, paying back loans and chasing your career dreams. We’ve all been there. But, for four years you get to be something you’ll always cherish and always remember: A college student. And, more importantly, a UConn Husky.
Follow Alex on Twitter