There’s a whole lot more going on these days at @PatchTweet, the official content-side Twitter account for AOL’s hyper-local network. Newsworthy items from the west coast, east coast and beyond are being regularly and properly highlighted. For that, the company can thank Brad Gerick.
Appointed social media manager at Patch in late spring, he is now running this central Twitter account. The Maryland-minted MBA (pictured) has been working for the company since 2010 graduation. His steady rise has taken him from local editor of the Maryland Bel Air Patch site to Harford County associate regional editor (August 2011) to nearby regional editor (December 2011) to Twitter-Facebook guru.
Gerick was in LA earlier this summer to conduct field training at AOL’s Beverly Hills HQ and will be returning later this month for Social Media Week LA (September 24-28) and more training sessions. “I’m trying to give the local editors as many tools as possible to be versatile on social media and enhance their coverage,” he tells FishbowlLA via telephone. “We have also expanded our social media standards and best practices.”
“One of the first things I bring up about Twitter is, whenever it’s relevant, for our LEs to include in a tweet the handle of anyone directly or even sometimes indirectly connected to that story,” Gerick adds. “If they can get those people to re-tweet or email it forward, that’s going to be really valuable. We also like to show our local editors the advantages of Twitter’s advanced search capabilities.”
Although Gerick is now living in Queens and left his golf clubs in storage, his Patch career still has a lot to do with the sport. During his undergraduate studies, Gerick injured his shoulder, necessitating a fallback strategy.
“I was on the golf team at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland, and gained a year of eligibility because of that injury,” Gerick explains. “So I stayed a fifth year and did grad school. The job market then was about as bad as it is now, but thankfully, Patch came along and I jumped aboard.”