Interview with Social Media Whiz, Biba Wythes

By Sabrina Luton

A degree in Media and Communications offers a unique career path because of the vast array of roles available, and the many directions you can take! Almost every company needs Media and Communication professionals to ensure they’re putting their best face forward – even Government agencies!

I recently caught up with Biba Wythes – the Social Media Advisor for Children’s Health Queensland, to chat about life after university. Biba gives an insight into her role as a Media and Communications professional in Government and offers advice to students and new graduates!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

After working in Event Management and Marketing for 14 years, I undertook a Graduate Diploma of Event Marketing and Management at QUT and was fascinated by the Digital Marketing and Consumer Behaviour subjects. As a result, I moved into pure Marketing roles professionally and studied a Master of Business – Marketing. Most recently, I graduated from a Bachelor of Business (Honours) where I completed a thesis investigating Australian mothers’ use of social networking sites and the impact of online recommendations on their behaviour.

For the last eight years I have worked in Social Media Advisor roles in Health, including with the Department of Health and Children’s Health Queensland. I currently work on social media for Children’s Health Queensland, which includes work for Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me includes social media monitoring, responding to social media interactions and sourcing social media content, including adhoc patient and staff social media opportunities. A big part of social media is consumer interaction, as increased interaction with our followers results in a higher level of engagement across our platforms.

I also provide social media advice to various business units; where I advise them on how they can share their information on social media, what the best options are for content and how to deal with social media issues that may arise.

What skills do you wish new graduates have?

In any role, the skill of planning a task, seeking feedback and seeing a project from conception to delivery is important. I think it’s valuable to create multiple solutions with the information you have so that you can present a range of solutions to each problem.  It’s not so much the skill of having the ‘right’ solution first off, but showing you can think through the process and identify alternatives.

What’s your best piece of advice for young professionals?

1. Don’t be afraid to speak up and advocate your ideas.  While you may not feel confident because you are new to the industry and surrounded by peers with years of experience, it’s important not to underestimate the value of ‘fresh eyes’.  That input is really valuable and often full of gems!

2. If you get something wrong or make a mistake, put your hand up and admit it. You will gain so much more respect in the workplace (and life) by saying ‘I got it wrong, I’m sorry’ and owning it. No one will think badly of you for it, in fact quite the opposite. While it’s hard to do admit when you’re wrong, it shows integrity and will be respected by your colleagues and managers.

3. It’s great to get a range of different experience when you are new to an occupation or starting your career. However, looking back, I also now see the benefit of staying with an employer and working your way up.  There are many opportunities to work your way up fairly quickly in well paid roles in Government – if that’s what you want to do.

[Header Image CC: Supplied by Biba Wythes].

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