MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Wonder world

Wow, I can’t believe blogging is a requirement for a university course; this is actually amazing. I am so excited for the social media seminar; this is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. And it seems there is no better place to start than with Tracey Taweel’s paper, Social Media, Social Capital and Public Relations.
This paper was a great read for the introduction of the social media class. With the evolution of communication and society’s dependence on the Internet, Taweel is right when she says; this dependence also presents a lot of choices when it comes to social media options. The question of which method to use, when, why and to connect with whom, are questions I hope to find answers to in this class.
In my time as a PR practioner, working on my co-ops I have found that many organizations do recognize the importance of using the Internet and social media as a primary information source, and the importance of having a strong web presence, but few know exactly how to do that. Few organizations understand how to utilize the same channels that their stakeholders and clients are utilizing.
I agree with Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li, authors of Groundswell – organizations need to encourage, listen and connect with those who use social media tools and they need to spend time answering consumers’ questions, responding to their blog outbursts, and correcting misinformation that flies around in cyberspace.  The recent Domino’s crisis (which didn’t have to be a crisis) is a prime example of the way social media can cause an unnecessary issue if the organization isn’t paying attention to what social media it’s employees, consumers’ and stakeholders are using. If you aren’t monitoring what is being said, if you aren’t connecting with those around you who are online and participating in these trends, than you will end up being slapped in the face by it.
James Grunig said it best, “new media offers tremendous potential for environmental scanning, issues management, rumor control and crisis communication…”
Today, people are all about the videos. Everyone has a video camera on their mobile device, or a video option on their digital camera. People are uploading their videos as often as they upload and share pictures. www.wonderhowto.com is a great example of this new wave of video popularity. This website is the one-stop-shop of how-to videos. They have it all from how to dance, to how to make a toothpick launcher with a clothespin and string. And if you are creating your own video for your website, www.magnify.net is a platform that enables users to add video channels to their sites based on topics. This site provides video discovery, social networking, and custom players. They even have a live chat so you can talk directly with a web video expert.
I definitely believe that what scares organizations away from using social media is the lack of control they have over the way their message is used once it’s out there.  Taweel’s paper says, consumers now have a choice whether or not to accept your message and they will be happy to tell you and everyone in their online community what they think about it. That can be a scary thing, but it can also be an amazingly exciting thing.
My hope is this class will provide me with the tools to evaluate when it’s right to use social media, who to connect to and why, and most importantly how to evaluate the use.
Cheers,
Kim Bottomley
May 12, 2009

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June 19, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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