MSVU Social Media Course Blog

Just another weblog

farewell my friends!

So this is it, my last will and testament… aka my last official blog post. It’s really sorta sad, but as I reflect on what this blog has taught me, I can’t help be excited.  First, I’m excited that I’ve actually written on a blog, that I didn’t totally suck at it (I think)  and that other people read it . Secondly, I’ve learned so much from all of your posts and looking at all of the assigned websites. And, last but not least I think I  finally get the whole idea of social media.

Looking back, I’m not quite sure why I was so scared of it… seriously let’s break it down: social – well as most of you can probably tell I’m social, almost a bit too much, and media – well that’s just self-explanatory, we are surrounded by media almost every second of our lives.

So, why was I so scared to take the social media plunge? Maybe I’m just scared of change in general, but after this class and engaging in it myself, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to being a ‘social media scardy cat.’ 

I’m glad that I made this transition from old media advocate to social media wannabe in an encouraging and ‘safe’ environment. I realize that I’m no expert and don’t plan on ever being one, but I honestly feel that I’ve acquired some very useful and relevant skills in this class. So thanks!

So I’ll leave you with these wise words from my dear friend Frank (not Frank Ovaitt):

And now, the end is here

And so I face the final curtain

My friend, I’ll say it clear

I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain

I’ve lived a life that’s full

I traveled each and ev’ry highway

And more, much more than this, I did it my way…


Such a stretch, but a dramatic close, nonetheless.


June 16, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | , | Leave a comment

Dell does Tweetzza (…so to speak)

I realize by now you’re all probably sick of me gushing over how relevant Brian Solis’ posts are on PR 2.0, but I really can’t help myself… so bare with me.

Yesterday, I posted a comment/reflection about Naked Pizza selling pizza via Twitter. This is an interesting concept (ie: using Twitter as a marketing tool to drive sales), and one we should take note of. With that as a background, when I checked Solis’ blog today, lo and behold was a post about how Dell  has been using its own Tweeting techniques to drive sales… in other words, my gushing about his relevance is justified!

Solis’ post describes how Dell used its Twitter account, @DellOutlet, to drive $2 million worth of sales.

They have done this by posting special offers and “nurturing customer relationships on Twitter” (I assume this means responding to customer Tweets, etc). The @DellOutlet account currently has close to 625,000 followers – in other words, they’ve essentially formed their own “micro community” with access to Dell’s exclusive deals.

To take a quote from Dell from Solis’ blog, “We’ve surpassed $2 million in revenue in terms of Dell Outlet sales, but we’re also seeing that it’s driving interest in new product as well. We’re seeing people come from @DellOutlet on Twitter into the site, and then ultimately decide to purchase a new system from elsewhere on If we factor those new system purchases that come from @DellOutlet, we’re actually eclipsed $3 million in overall sales.”

(note the extra “O” for emphasis)

The Twitter technique has evidently worked very well for both Naked Pizza and Dell (both very different businesses). Not only has their tweeting boosted sales, it has fostered customer involement, thus loyalty to the brands and their products.

Solis’ friend who works at Dell, Richard Binhammer, noted, “…this is about putting the public back in public relations where relationships are direct. The dedicated practice of connecting with customers generates real results on many levels. While this announcement focuses on revenue results and referrals to, they are also reinforced by the relationships and direct connections we have with customers everyday using the Web.”

This train of thought (ie: conducting business via Twitter/social media) has raised some new questions for me:

 – Is this an example of a new “best practice” in public relations, or just strategic marketing strategy that’s replacing things like flyers and mailouts?

– And as a continuation to that,  where do we draw the line between marketing and PR in businesses’ use of social media tools?

– Will the use of social media to drive sales and/or nurture relationships serve to distinguish public relations practice, or will it do the opposite?

June 16, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | 1 Comment

R.I.P Traditional Communication Tools

As this is my last post on my monitored site, SXSW, I was anxious to write about something SUPER cool to end it with a bang.

As I browsed through the latest updates to the site, I came across a clip of another award that was given out- Category: Blog – Sites that revolutionize the power of publishing by providing regularly updated content of a personal or professional nature.

This award went to a blog called The Bygone Bureau, Which was created by two college seniors. It’s basically an online newspaper which has over 2000 contributors. Many of them have not even met the two creators of the site.

In the interview after winning the award, one of the creators was asked if he thinks blogs will someday take over print newspapers. He responded “I really, really hope that newspapers don’t go away.”

Well, I really, really hope newspapers don’t go away either. In fact, I really, really hope that cd’s don’t go away (although that’s looking more and more of a possibility) and I really, really hope that comic books don’t go away, or person-to-person conversation, or bank tellers, or telling secrets to friends, or books, or dvd’s.

What I’m getting at here is that after 5 weeks of monitoring my site, looking back at all of my posts, they have almost all had to do with technology replacing mediums that have been around for ages! This goes for a lot of our class posts as well.

I think the progress that technology has made in such a short span of time is amazing. And amazingly scary.

I mean, I’m all for technology. I can’t live without my cell phone, can’t go anywhere without my iPod, checking facebook has basically become  part of my everyday life and yes, blogging is fun! I just find myself moving forward and not looking back, not taking the time to stop and think about just how much technology is advancing.

I hope that someday social media and traditional forms of communication can live in harmony, pleasing everyone. I would like to still be able to wake up in the morning and check the morning paper over coffee. Because I know myself too well, and a mug of coffee over a laptop just wouldn’t work.

What are your thoughts on technology replacing traditional communication? It’s EVERYWHERE!

On a side note: I will definitely still be keeping up with SXSW as often as I can. I suggest you all take a look at it too!


June 16, 2009 Posted by | Really Relevant Interesting Stuff, Review of Monitored Site | , , | 1 Comment

Research, Research, Research …

This week on PR Conversations, Frank Ovaitt, discusses the “Four Things That Only Took Me Five Years to Learn.” Frank is retiring after five years as President and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations.

 Franks Four Things:

  1. There is no reason to assume that Public Relations is inferior to marketing, advertising (or many other management functions)  in terms of our research.
  2. There are three kinds of public relations research:  Research used in public relations, to guide and evaluate communications programs. Research on public relations, to understand what we do and how we do it.And research for public relations – theoretical development to provide the social science underpinnings.
  3. The public relations field is more interconnected globally than ever before, and research is one of the great connectors.
  4. Public relations professionals who understand research will rule this field.

 His ‘learnings’ are interesting to me because they are all around PR research… something that I’m not THAT fond of. Maybe that’s why it took him so long to learn it… I’m not sure how the rest of you feel, but research always seems so stale and, well, annoying.  

 However after reading his post I sort of got it, an ‘ah ha moment’ if you will, research is the foundation of what we do, and without it we really are spin doctors.

June 16, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | , | 2 Comments