MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Last Post…

So this is it, my last official blog post. I have mixed feelings as a write this post, I am sad that the course is coming to a close, but also to be filled with knowledge of what social media is all about.

On the first day of class I was nervous and excited. I was not comfortable with my social media skills and when I was told all the exercises we were going to be doing, my stomach did a little bit of a flip. Blogs, Wikis, pos casts… WhAT!?!? I had used these tools, but to actually make when. I am a facebook geek, and I would tweet and blog from time to time, but to actually learn the purposes or blogs, wikis, podcasts was a great experience. I find my self a lot more comfortable with the different social media tools, and actually know what they do and where to get access to them.

I also enjoyed reading my classmates posts. Each post was unique and very informative. It was also nice to see how our personalities are shown in our posts; just by reading them you can guess who wrote them. I would also like to say thank you to all the great guests speakers that we had. All of them brought new ideas to the table, and open my mind to what social media has to offer and how it different tools can play different parts in organizations.

Last but not least. Thanks DeNel.  You made this class fun and interesting for the last 6 weeks. You kept us working hard and always had us on our toes. In my opinion, I think this course should be a mandatory class. Social media is growing fast, and all up coming PR practitioners should learn the ropes.

Au revoir mes amis!

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Is your Website a needy child?”

It needs to be kept cleaned, updated with the latest trends, make sure it has no bad language, does your audience like it? Are you raising a child or running a website? This week while following my website, I came upon and interesting but humorous post on how website and taking care of a child have some similarities. Lindsey Miller wrote post  “Is your Website a needy child?” and provided readers/organizations some key pointers to make sure your website doesn’t look to needy.

The following is her lsit:

Does your organization have organaritis? If you answer yes to one or more of the following questions you probably need to seek medical help:

• Do you have pictures of very important people within your organization (your needy children) on your Web pages?

• Do these needy children require messages from them to be published prominently on the site?

• Do you have big pictures of smiling actors pretending to be customers? (Shiny, happy people.)

• Do you have needy departments whose stated objective in life is to get some real estate on the home page?

• Do you have needy, powerful managers who demand that their latest programs and initiatives get prominence on the home page?

• Is your culture one that believes that the primary purpose of the Web site is to get customers to do what you want them to do, rather than help them quickly and easily do what they came to do?

• Does your organization embrace verbosity atrocities? Headings such as: “Start your way to a clear new world.”

I agree with all the points that she has made and believe that a website can reflect the organizations lack of customer focus. However I also believe if something it not broken doesn’t fix it. Some organizations websites don’t need to be update because their target audiences are “simple” and don’t need the new and flashy tools. Like Calum said in his presentation, he has not up dated some of his websites and they are still in the top 3 of Google search.

I think what is comes down it, is that organizations need to understand what their audiences are looking for. And some however do need to bit the bullet and ask for help for their dying site.

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | Leave a comment

A little thank you….

I had a lot of fun in today’s class. We had the opportunity to SKYPE with C.C. Chapman and also got to learn about pod casts from our dear friend Greg.

 I would just like to do a little shout out to C.C Chapman and  thank him for taking the time to answer our questions. He provided each group with interesting and useful ideas and feedback. I know our group really appreciated it.

Thanks Again!

June 15, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | 2 Comments

In one corner we have Press Release in the competing corner Social Media…. Ding Ding Ding… let the battle begin

 As we all know, social media is the new hot thing in the PR, marketing world. People and organizations are using it to contact with one another so socializing purposes, to sending out a message. These new tools are chique, exciting and allowing practitioners to connect to their audience like never before.  But what will happen to the old fashion way of PR? What’s going to happen to the good old press releases?

In Lindsey Miller article: Is the R.I.P. for PR a trifle premature?  It discusses just that. She states that the PR industry is at significant crossroad due to the large part of social media, which has changed the way the profession has always worked. But the old ways are not working anymore. “The old ways of pitching journalists via press releases has largely fallen by the wayside as demand grows for multimedia content and interactive PR,” she stated. Personally, I have not seen the change all that much. In my past co-op job I still had to write press release. However, did I get a response… not so much. I agree with Lindsey that our society is based on creating new and better ways of communicating. Our lives are based around technology; to not embrace that, and not use it would be a mistake.

I understand that we are coming up with new ideas, but what about the traditional PR firms that do not have social media awareness? Fuat Kircaali, CEO and publisher of SYS-CON Media states  “70 percent of today’s traditional PR firms will not survive, while the remaining 30 percent will need to reinvent themselves.” Like we have been learning in class, these organizations well depend on us to show them the 2.0 way before their organizations become extinct. “The new PR companies won’t be putting out press releases and won’t be in the press release business,” Kircaali told via e-mail. “The PR firm of the future will employ professional bloggers who will use social media tools to get their message into the hands of their targeted audience. The press release business already belongs to the Stone Age.”

I raise this question; will the old PR pros survive, and change their way? Or will they be taken over by the new PR social media gurus?

June 14, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | 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

“Ragan Select member…”

I was a little disappointed while following my blog this week. I found that the blogs that were posted were mostly fillers for the site, though there was some interesting posts, I felt that the stories did not catch the eye and were not that relevant to me.

I began to venture out of the main page and came upon more posting. I thought to myself I have reached the “Ragan Jackpot.” There were posts that I felt were really interesting for all audiences. When I went to go click on a post called Poll: Government sites slow to adopt social media written by Lindsey Miller, (which I thought we be great information for our Wiki), I would not access the post because I am not a “Ragan Select member.” Unfortunately, I do not have the money to become a member therefore unable to read the blogs that are most interesting to me. I understand that this company makes a profit to have these stories on their blogs. However it would be nice if the everyday folk could get a chance to read it. Maybe after a few days, all the blogs could be archived allowing all audiences to read them.

Just a thought…

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Still like my real life

As the world becomes revolves more around technology, people are finding more way to communicate and also express themselves/be themselves. There are many different programs found on the Internet these days were people are given the opportunity to have an “online” life.

In Wednesday class, I was very interested in creating my own avatar, (changing my hair, clothes, body). I also enjoyed exploring the different worlds, flying and interacting with the class. However, like Bethany mentioned, my online world began to be uncomfortable when I started to meet other people. I was caught in the middle of a conversation with two other avatars (that I didn’t know) talking about a girl across the room. I started to wonder if they looked and acted the same way offline.

I am open to new ways of communication, and I do understand that technology is making it easier for people to meet for personal and for business reasons. But I also think that it is important that technology and personal interaction (face-to-face) need to work together. In the reading The electric self: doing virtual research or real in second life, by Julie Rak

 It describes Second life as a place “where it is possible to interview for a job in the offline world (but as your online persona)” Personally, I believe that interviews should be kept face-to-face to actually meet. Anyone can be whom that want on the internet. Sometimes when meeting face to face you learn more about a person. 

I leave you with this question. In a few years, will Second Life be “real life? Will personal/ face-to-face interaction matter anymore?

May 30, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | Leave a comment

“Making a pitch? Try following rules for dating” the does and don’ts.

This week on my blog, I found a post that relates how to make a pitch and the rules about dating. The author keeps the tips short and humorous, but also interesting points which helps further and former media relation practitioners.

The following are the tips:

1. Call, baby: If you are going to pick up the phone and call, have something intelligent and interesting to say. Know a little about the person you are calling. With reporters, be ready to reference a recent article; with a potential date it is always helpful to be aware of the win-loss record of their favorite team. 

2. Do not make it all about you: Ask about what the reporter is writing (or what the date prospect is working on) … and better yet, what else they read. This will get you to interview (date) No. 2, rather than leaving you dead in the water after the first. 

3. Know when to walk away: Recognize the disingenuous Call me back later. Journalists, like some people you date, will sometimes lie in order to let you down easy. Get your lie-dar going and always be straightforward with journalists (dates). They appreciate it. 

4. Do not use any stupid pickup lines: Have a point. Say it. Enough said. 

5. Do not filibuster: We have all sat across from the guy/gal/not-sure-which talking on and on and on … and on. That is the last thing a journalist wants to hear on the other end of the phone or during the lunch he took the time to have with your client. Deliver your message. Illustrate it. Move on to the next one. Repeat. (Dates like that as well.)

6. Make that date already: Set up the interview, and get the heck off the phone. Never dillydally or think the strength of a relationship is measured by the how many minutes you spent on the phone. You both know why you are talking — in both cases.

7. Be considerate: Never — ever — call during deadline or when the date is in the shower. Or at 5 p.m. on Friday. Or in the middle of the night (date wise). Offer to have your client do the interview over the weekend if it helps the journo out. Be flexible with both parties!

8. Do not compromise integrity: If the story does not fit, or if you could never see yourself with this guy or gal for more than a couple of shoddy minutes, do not try to make it work. Walk away and look for the better fit now. 

9. Make a lasting impression: Position the client appropriately, and personalize your story angle. Talking about the CEO as the CEO is not going to get you anywhere. Use first names. With dates, use nicknames. 

10. Show intelligence: Nobody likes an idiot. I have said what everyone is thinking.


Personally, some of these points seem like common since, however I believe that it is important for all PR professionals to know the do and don’ts about making a pitch. I would just add one more tip though… Don’t be too needy. Being needy just turns people off in professional and personal encounters and makes them think “maybe this person isn’t so secure..

Can anyone else think of any tips to add???

May 28, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | Leave a comment

What to believe online – “Student hoaxes world’s media with fake wiki quote”

What information can we trust? Millions of people a day conduct searches online to find out information. Some is for grade 4 history reports while others are to some degree of great importance.

Shane Fitzgerald, a Dublin university student tested the media by posting an inaccurate quote by Maurice Jarre (French composer), which he said hours before his death.  This was a false quote written really by Shane to prove that our world is becoming too globalized.

When reading this article I found it scary but also entertaining. The scary part is that it is possible that one can have the power to alter and add information on the Internet, where millions of people a day seek to find true facts. It is also a little disturbing that this student would take advantage of the death of someone to conduct an experiment.

However I do understand what the student was trying to prove and test. It’s entertaining that people based a lot of what they know from reading something fast online.  It does go to show that people these days “do” and then ask questions later when receiving information.

Personally, I use Wikipedia to conduct fast searches, and I’m not going to lie, I use the information there because it’s quick and easy and sometimes I can’t find the information anywhere else (maybe there is a reason for this lol). But like Walsh said in the article, “ if you see that quote on Wikipedia, find it somewhere else too.”

I don’t know about you guys but I’ll remember to do that!

May 24, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | Leave a comment

“Twitter’s #hashtag: Handy search device, or irksome clutter?” A blog on Ragan

“Have you #hashtagged your #conference or #hobby on #Twitter yet, or are you #waiting to figure out the #definition #first?”

This week on my blog site I found an interesting article on Hastagging on Twitter. Personally I had no idea what Hastagging was all about.  “Hashtagging, is the practice of putting the pound symbol (#) in front of a word.” There are no rules for hashtags, anyone can use them for anything. Like any tagging the idea is to label something so you can easily find it later when doing a search. The new “thing” on Twitter is Hashtagging an event or activity.

Personally, I think hashtags are useful for stuff like live tweeting events, but on the whole, I think they are more confusing than they are useful. First of all, you’re already limited to 140 characters, do you really want to use a bunch of them for your #hashtag? And when reading other peoples post, it can get confusing on what they are trying to say with all the pound symbols being thrown out  left right and centre. 

I personally think Twitter should come up with a way of tagging posts that is invisible to userslike tagging blog posts. That would also make it possible to go back and add tags onto existing posts, or to fix you’re tweeting about something that requires a tag (like an event) but you forget to add the hashtag.

Any thoughts?

May 24, 2009 Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | Leave a comment