Jane Gitau, Kenya

Jane Gitau “Social Media is not (only) for IT staff”  (ICfD Spring 2011) 

Jane created a blog on livestock to share with the world the work of her team!

When I first heard of social media, I instantly decided it was not my cup of tea. I am not that techie you see. I prefer to play with words, making sure the T’s are crossed and the I’s dotted. My previous job was that of a University Lecturer and I taught the course under the title “New Media” which was taught in two three hour lectures under the larger course unit called “Tools of Public Relations”.

Fast forward to 2008, I joined the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).  I had all my tools in my head.  As far as I was concerned, new media was one area to hand over to the ICT guys without a tear.  Then I discovered there was no magazine, no newsletter.  An institute that works across cultures and countries has to be very clear about the strategies to engage in.  I felt lost, with only the website and brochures to work on. Then finally, I just had to deal with social media.

Since participating in UNITAR’s e-Learning course “Innovative Collaboration for Development” (ICfD) in 2011, I have shared a lot of the work about livestock that my team researches on with the world through this blog, my personal facebook page has received my personal attention a lot more than it ever did and I have even taken to reading twitter. I created an account during the ICfD and although I haven’t posted much, I am now more interested in reading tweets.

As chair of the Education, Training and Research Committee of the Public relations society of Kenya (PRSK) I have organized fora that help communication and PR professionals to discuss around new (social) media and I have made several recommendations to those that want a deeper understanding to take the Innovative Collaboration for Development course.

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