The clock struck 5 p.m. on Feb. 22, as I was hurrying out the door of Center1, an office building just 10 minutes away from the Seoul Press Center. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) was just beginning its welcoming ceremony for a new batch of English bloggers. I caught a cab, hoping to get there as soon as I could. When I arrived at the lobby, a woman took my name and pointed me to the elevator. I peered at the attendance list she was holding, and saw that most of the names had not been checked off. Puzzled at the seemingly low turnout, I headed upstairs to the conference room.
Upon entering the room, I was met with a sea of new faces, many of them looking nervous. I wondered how this giant crowd had slipped past the roll call at the entrance as I struggled to find a place to sit, squeezing past a throng of people, all facing forward with attentive eyes. I had arrived just in time for the awards ceremony for bloggers completing their first year.Tony Kwak, a student at Sungkyunkwan University, received a distinguished title for his frequent contributions to the FSC and vigorous publicity efforts on social media.
Next was an orientation by Suzie An, a former blogger who was about to hand over her blog-maintenance duties to Kim Ah-young, the new foreign press manager. She said our blog was the first English communication initiated by a government ministry in Korea, and that the name Frank’s Super Communication was coined using the initials of the FSC. As of July 2012, the blog had a total of 455 posts, over 200 Facebook fans and more than 600 Twitter followers, she said, an astonishing achievement for a blog less than four years old.
Mr. Kwak then took the mic, presenting PowerPoint slides that he had prepared to impart his blogging know-how. He gave tips on choosing the right topic and finding sources, and encouraged newcomers to push through the nine-month term, however busy they might be with schoolwork and internships. Finally, he suggested a monthly retreat to forge stronger ties among existing and new bloggers, something the FSC had not tried before. I could sense that many of the younger bloggers looked up to him as a role model.
The FSC Foreign Press Spokeswoman Kim Mi-kyung closed the ceremony, saying bloggers with outstanding performance records could potentially join the FSC as an official staff member next year, just like Ms. An did last year. We then proceeded to the lobby for a group photo (below).
The meeting took a little over an hour, but felt a lot shorter, probably because we all were excited about this opportunity to publicize the FSC to our foreign audience. So we hope you stay tuned to learn more about what Frank is up to this year! 🙂