Columbus, Ohio – DK’s own Natasha Pongonis was the featured speaker at a Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) workshop in October in which she talked about the strong influence of social media, especially when working with Hispanics.
The first workshop in the “Professional Enhancement Series” provided an overview of the positive and negative aspects of social media.
“The Power of Social Media,” held Oct. 11 as part of the DLA Land and Maritime Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, explained social media,
security settings to protect yourself, and the do’s and don’ts of personal and professional profiles.
Instructor Natasha Pongonis, a native of Argentina who is fluent in four languages, has been the social media director at DK Web Consulting
since 2009. The company’s mission is to provide clients with modern and creative web solutions in a sustainable way.
Pongonis said the term “social media” refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive
dialogue. Social media and networking has become a versatile tool and can be accessed by anyone, she said, noting that one person can post or share information with hundreds, even thousands, of people across the world in a matter of seconds. Three out of four people in America use social media technology.
Some of the most popular social media forums are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Other social media forums include Que Pasa, Orkut, Hi5, MiGente and Batanga.
“Social media channels offers good opportunities to interact with people and build relationships largely due to the real time, interactive nature,” she said. “Everyone can communicate information in a flash, regardless of geographical location.”
Pongonis said Hispanics are a very social group with high usage of social media, with 61 percent of U.S. Hispanics online. She said Hispanics are 14.5 percent of the total online market and that 19 percent of U.S. Hispanics are Twitter users and 54.2 percent of Hispanics online regularly use Facebook.
During the workshop, Pongonis mentioned that 57 percent of Hispanics learn more about brands, compare prices and make final decisions online compared to 43 percent of the general market. The purchasing power of the U.S. Hispanic market is projected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2015, she added.
Pongonis said there are a lot of advantages in the use of social media, but added that people need to be “extremely careful” about the type of information they provide or share in social media websites. She told audience members to think before posting anything in any of the social media forums and recommended they create separate private and professional accounts, don’t share too much personal information, build quality relationships and respect the web community.
DSCC MWR marketing manager Jennifer Russell said she tries to stay on the cutting edge of social media trends.
“We were the first DLA MWR site to have a fully functional Facebook page. Now we have over 400 ‘likes’ and are continuing to grow,” she said.
Social media has served us very well; we use it every day to get new information out to our associates,” said MWR Office marketing assistant Dana Thornbury, who spoke briefly at the seminar about MWR’s social media outreach efforts.
The workshop series is an initiative of the DLA Columbus EEO Hispanic Employment Program (HEP) and the Morale, Welfare and Recreational (MWR) Office to help DLA associates achieve their professional goals.
The next workshop is “Professionalism in the Workplace,” which is scheduled for Nov. 8 in the Building 20 auditorium with speaker Robert Boggs, chief of the DLA Land and Maritime Human Perfomance Division. This workshop will address important aspects of professionalism such as interaction and communication with others.
In addition, a seminar on “Choosing Words Effectively” is scheduled for Jan. 18, 2012 in the Buckeye Room with HEP manager Maria Buch Castillo. This workshop will focus on techniques to improve word choice.
DLA associates interested in participating in these seminars can register online at www.dsccmwr.com/seminar. There is a limit of 60 people per seminar. For more information about the workshop series, call Castillo at 614-692-9704 or MWR Relocation Assistance Program manager Lisa Passalacqua at 614-692-7220.
PSA by Mislin A. Perez-Fernandez, Hispanic Employment Program Public Affairs Liaison