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Local radio host and social media personality, Lauren Hunter, gives insight on her social media experience 

By Abby Cunningham on March 14, 2023

Lauren Hunter has been in the media industry for over eight years, using social media to get a start at Sonic 102.9. 

Through social media, she has fundraised over $30,00 for various organizations and created a petition to name a local park the “Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavillion.” The petition alone has already gotten over 37,000 signatures. It even got noticed by Warner Brothers Studios, with the cast of Suicide Squad making a video about it. 

Hunter believes her experiences could be a guide to students and aspiring journalists. 

Q&A with Lauren Hunter

1. What are the benefits of using social media, and how do you use it to connect with listeners and your audience?

When I started in radio, people would always call social media the second microphone, so it’s just another way to reach your audience. And in radio especially, people don’t see your face. They don’t know what you look like, so it’s another way to put yourself out thereI also want it to be a platform where people can learn things about their community and even more important causes tooI think that’s important when you have a platform.

2How do you personally use social media?

With what I do as a radio announcer, a lot of what you do personally and for work is very intertwined. So there’s no clear distinction in my mind. My main goals are to entertain people and to inform them about what’s going on. So often, what I do is rooted in a lot of headlines, but then I put a fun spin on it that people maybe haven’t heard before.

 3What do you find are some challenges with using social media

I mean, there’s lots. One is that you know you always feel the pressure because social media is always on. It never shuts off, and there’s always in the back of your mind, like, could I be making more content? Could I be doing more and more and more so? You also wanna keep some things for yourself too, and you don’t wanna be just on this hamster wheel of making content all the timeJust remember to live your own life, too, because good content will come from that eventually.

4. How do you come up with so much fun and creative content and always make something new?

 I think primarily my biggest driver is that I look at what’s going on in the news and what is topical that people are talking about right now. And for radio, I skewed towards the more fun stories because those are ones you can have a spin on. The Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion all started as an Edmonton News story that there might be a new park downtown. So my mind goes, okay—new park. Let’s talk about this. What could go in the park? I had a couple of other random; I don’t know, dumb ideas. Sculpture, or something, and then the Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion was one of those. One thing on social media is you gotta capture like what really works. And I remember I tweeted, I mentioned it on the air, and it got a lot of response on the air, which was unusual, and then I tweeted it, and it got a lot of response on Twitter. So it’s like, build on the things that are working.

5. Do you find that having a social media presence has helped you have more presence and more viewers on your show and helped get your voice out there more?

With radio, we never know how many people are listening, but I certainly think it’s helped get my name out there in the community. People who didn’t know about me before learned about me from social media when they normally never would have.

6Overall, do you find social media to be more positive or negative?

I think it’s like a lot of things in life. You can look at anything as positive or negative, and there can be a lot of negative on social mediaI realize that you know there’s always gonna be people who have something negative to say or don’t like your stuff or don’t get what you’re trying to do, but there’s also a lot of positive comments.

I used to respond to the negative ones cause they stand out, but it’s like, no, I need to respond to the positive ones cause those are the people who are excited about what we’re doing, and they wanna be a part of it. And it’s like, why not give them the time of day? Because they’re invested in me and Sonic, and I want to be invested in them, you know, and keep a good relationship with them.

7What’s your advice for future content creators and people going onto the news and media industry (in terms of social media use)

For me, throw mud at the wall and see what sticks. People always talk about a brand, and I think a brand is very important. But I like to think of myself as just a person, too, and don’t always get in your head about like, oh, what would I do as a brand? It’s like, No, what do I want to put out there as a person? And what do I want to contribute to the world? And that’s where your own good social media content will come from.

Take things you like or that you’re good at and exploit them. Like for me, I’ve always been an artist. I decided to create a Halloween costume because I’m an artist. And so I did that once, and it got a really good response. So that was just like something that I genuinely love to do. 

But keep doing what you love to do, and sometimes the dominoes will fall in the right place for you.

Hunter frequently posts on Twitter and Instagram and always has something funny to say and share about Edmonton. 



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