MSVU Social Media Course Blog

Just another weblog

the great divide…

Today in class we touched on something again that we’ve talked about a lot – the great divide between the generations and their social media usage. I think it was Dee who mentioned that her group was finding it difficult to engage two generations of PR practitioners, and DeNel countered that by saying that there are a lot of ‘older’ people using these tools and there’s just the perception that they’re not.

My thoughts on this are that social media usage has become just one of those things that people have preconceived perceptions about, that may not even be true. Another example of this (which has been discussed in our PR & Gender class) is the idea of ‘bra burning feminists.’ In reality no one ever burned bras; it just became this idea that was naturalized into the history of feminism.

How does this relate to social media usage across generations? Well, I feel like the idea that older generations are not accepting of social media has transferred from just an ‘idea’ to people’s attitudes and expectations. Maybe the reason people are so hesitant to accept social media is because they are expected not to. In the same way that I feel I HAVE to understand it because of my age…

Does this make sense?

Thoughts, ideas, suggestions??


June 10, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material, Really Relevant Interesting Stuff | , , , | 2 Comments

Tips for Social Media Success

This week I listened to The Dean’s Podcast (episode 6) about the use of social media in graduate recruitment. This was especially relevant because not only was I directed to it by Denel, but it relates to the topic of my communication plan for this class (MSVU’s MPR program).

The podcast features an interview with Noreen Golfman, Dean of Graduate Studies at Memorial University. The podcast is hosted by Carolyn Watters, Dean of Graduate Studies at Dalhousie. It’s a really interesting and relevant topic and I encourage you guys to check it out if you haven’t already.

Through the use of their new social media campaign, MUN increased the visitors to their site from 5000 to 38, 000 in the first 24 hours of its launch. Golfman offers a lot of advice about using social media for this target market, but her advice could be applied to anyone’s social media communication plan. Highlights include:

• Don’t just update your website – All of your online tools need to have a connection to each other and have the same main focus. There needs to be coherence among every link.

 • Make sure that everything is easy to navigate – Graduate students are “shopping” online for different programs so make sure that all information is available and accessible.

 • Stay on top of it – Keep everything up to date and current at all times.

 Hope some of this is helpful!

June 10, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material, Really Relevant Interesting Stuff | | Leave a comment


There’s a lot more to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) than meets the eye. Google and other popular online search engines prioritize search results on the basis of several criteria. These criteria include whether or not a website has a user’s search terms in its title, slogan, text body and keywords; how often the search term appears within the website; and whether or not an organization pays to have its site bumped to the top of the results list.

This makes it very easy for organizations to promote their websites with a few simple SEO tricks. Through Google Analytics and other statistical tools of the like, organizations can determine what terms users search most frequently, then include those terms somewhere (or everywhere) on their website.

Organizations could even include the hot search terms in invisible text, thus bumping its website even higher up the search results list, and under the Googler’s cursor before other websites.

But is all this SEO action benefitting the Googler?

Those searching for “best quality cupcakes” truly want to find the best quality cupcakes possible. If an internet-savvy cupcake company with mediocre cupcakes is including the search terms “best”, “quality” and “cupcakes” repeatedly on their website, then Googers will find their website first. With the level of trust that many internet users place in Google and their go-to search engines, it’s likely that they’ll trust their search engine to find them the website for the best quality cupcakes. Little do they know, they won’t be finding the best quality cupcakes any time soon—just the best quality SEO. (Which is not nearly as tasty under a blanket of vanilla frosting and sugary sprinkles.)
I guess it’s up to consumers to look closely at the websites their search engine retrieves for them, to determine if it’s really what they want. But in today’s fast-paced web-based world, I worry that many consumers won’t take the time to look past the first three websites that Google populates.

June 10, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Motrin Mishap

Wow these women really told them what they thought!

In this suppose to be humorous commercial; Motrin was promoting their product towards mothers who were suffering from back pain from carrying their babies around. However, instead of getting positive feedback and reply, mothers all over the world did not approve of the content of this commercial and felt that this commercial was insensitive. These mothers flooded their views on Twitter and other social media tools to get their voices heard. After a couple of days, the “company issued an apology and withdrew an ad that was meant to be a light-hearted look at ‘baby wearing.’”

Although this video was pulled off air, this “Motrin Mom video Mishap” is finding its way around all my classes.  Not only is it one for our readings for this class but it also came up in our Public Relations and Gender class. After conducting an exercise for a product pitch towards women, the Motrin topic came up. Was this commercial created by a team of men, or by women? In the reading most of the viewers state that a mother would never come up with a commercial like that. Therefore, it only leaves us with men, or women without children.

Personally, I don’t think we can blame this on gender. If this commercial was created by men or by women the company obviously did not do their research to see what their target audience likes.

Any thoughts?

June 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Social Media Insurance?

Hot on the heels of Hilary’s latest post – public openess on the internet has garnered much more interest than I would have imagined. As we’ve heard so may times, we are living in a world that changes exponentially, and the changes that we are seeing in regards to social media, throughout this class alone, have been astounding. In a recent post on PR Conversations, author Kristen E. Sukalac discusses how social media has really arrived, so much in fact that people are inquiring about social media insurance. 

Kristen points to a recent e-newsletter by the American Automobile Association (or CAA for us Canucks) where headlines were “do I have coverage for saying stupid things on facebook” and “is my coverage up to par for blogging activities.” Basically suggesting that people want insurance over what they say online in case someone tries to sue them. While these inquires almost shock me, it is a real reminder that the internet is not just its own world, but that the ‘real’ world is transitioning onto the web. 

As mentioned in the post, this insurance inquiry, also has to make you wonder how the content on social media will change. As social media becomes more mainstream will it loose some of its original transparency, maybe some of its clout, as people become more cautious?

How the world continues to shock and terrify me…

June 10, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | , , , , | 1 Comment