Tumblr Arts Evangelist discusses creative side of communications

by Catherine O’Hara

As a San Marcos native and Arts Evangelist for Tumblr, Annie Werner joined Mass Comm Week via a live Google Hangout to provide students and other audience members with insight about Tumblr, how she got there, the importance of personal branding and the field of communications as a whole.

Tumblr is a popular social media website used by individuals and corporations from a variety of interest communities and serves as a platform for more than 140 million blogs today. Werner has worked with Tumblr for three years and is now a part of the evangelist team. An evangelist works as an expert in a niche such as books, music, art, fashion, politics or media to help surface content.

Jon Zmikly, SJMC faculty, hosts an interview and discussion 
with Arts Evangelist Annie Werner via a Google Hangout.
Photo by Catherine O’Hara

“It’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened in tech,” said Werner. “That job doesn’t exist anywhere else.”

Werner said her job did not even exist when she was in college. Moreover, she said current mass communication students will likely have jobs that don’t exist today.

 

As media is converging and rapidly changing so are the jobs in the field, and professionals in
communications are juggling more responsibilities. Learning to code, being flexible and jumping at opportunities are key factors that Werner mentioned as marketable strengths.

“You might be doing communications one day, marketing another day,” said Werner. “It’s definitely very fluid.”

Building a strong personal brand is another point Werner stressed not only for artists but anyone trying to build themselves professionally or showcase their skills on social media.

“You want your online presence to reflect who you are as a person,” said Werner. “You want to make sure everything you have is kind of cream of the crop of what you want to share.”

 Students at Texas State participate in the discussion with
 Annie Werner by asking questions via Twitter.
Photo by Catherine O’Hara

Werner explained that you want to show personality on your social outlet, but you also want to keep it professional when developing your personal brand for the prospect of future employers.

“You want to be very focused. You want to be very clear. You don’t want your personal brand to seem elementary,” said Werner.

She then added that you don’t want to just talk about yourself and the events in your life. Instead, Werner said you should talk about your ideas and your interests in order to connect with people at large.

However, building a personal brand and knowing how to navigate social media are only two factors to being a successful communicator. Werner listed a few more “bare bones” skills: read the news, know what’s going on in the world, be a go-getter and don’t be afraid to ask questions and network.

“You have to be willing to be the one to talk to people and get yourself out there,” said Werner. “Oh, and definitely learn how to make GIFs.”

Annie Werner
anniewerner.tumblr.com
@annie_werner

Catherine O’Hara is a senior student at Texas State University with a major in journalism and minor in art and design. Contact: tx.catherine@gmail.com

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