Between You and Me, There's PR

Exploring, learning and using social media, public relations and marketing.

Multimedia portfolio May 3, 2011

I’ve abandoned this blog for a while because I have been blogging for Ozarks News Journal as a part of my multimedia journalism class. For our final portfolio, we were asked to write a post combining ten of our best stories and work. Here is my portfolio:

1) A featured story or other reporting-based text (not opinion)
I did a lot of research on the topic of social media in a crisis, especially revolving around Japan relief efforts after the tsunami. I found some interesting statistics from both news stories and related to social media and combined it into the following story:
Social Meda’s Role in Japan Relief Efforts

2) One reporting-based opinion text
I was intrigued by the song “Friday” by Rebecca Black when I heard it on the radio and began researching her. I was appalled at how rude people were in their comments on YouTube and it inspired me to read more about her story. This story states two of my opinions: one, that the song is annoying and two, that cyberbullying is a scary issue.
Cyberbullying Friday

3) A series of five photos:
I choose to include this photo gallery from our most recent feature story. Bianca Boyd and I took most of the photos aside from a few that Jason Johnston took. I took the first few personally. Bianca and I collectively wrote descriptions and resized the photos. I uploaded them as a gallery. I believe the descriptions could stand alone as a story because of our descriptions.
New Bike Corral Is Eagerly Anticipated in Downtown Springfield

4) A video
This is a video I created based on an event Saturday, April 30, 2011. I created it as a highlight video for teams that competed in the tournament. I posted it to the event page on Facebook for everyone to see.

5) A podcast
This podcast is an interview I did with musician Melissa Harper for our Alternative Entertainment feature story. I edited 12 minutes out of the recording and edited out many of my comments and questions to help with the flow. I also uploaded her song for the introduction and conclusion and faded it in and out.
Interview with Melissa Harper

The following are my top favorite blogs. I choose these because they included research that helped shape my opinion on issues in the news or different trends.

6) Opinion blog
My Future: AKA Endless Job Searching 

7) Opinion blog
Way to Rub it in Our Faces iPhones

8 ) Opinion blog
You’ve Got Mail in 2011 

9) Opinion blog
Social Media: An Accomplice to Hostility 

10) Reporting based opinion blog:
Barbie Loves Ken, Mattel Loves Publicity


Politics, religion and sex November 4, 2010

In my personal selling class we have been talking about how to use small talk when networking with people as well as when approaching a prospect customer. Small  talk means you can talk about random topics, but everyone knows to avoid politics and religion.

This is the same for nearly every aspect of conversation at work, online and when meeting someone for the first time.

Christina Khoury, author of the PRBreakfastClub, wrote about trying to find the fine line between being yourself and “word vomit” or as she defines it, “the act of putting one’s foot in thy mouth.” A few ways to avoid this, according to Christina, is by not discussing politics and religion for their tendency to lead to debate and why you hate your job, because the wrong person (boss or client) might see it.

#PRStudChat aired their first podcast on Monday and featured Brandi Boatner (@brandiboatner) from IBM for more great discussion on online transparency.

Brandi’s best tip was to “treat your online relationships like your offline relationships.” She presented the scenario that if you walked into a party where you did not know anyone and yelled ‘I am here’ it would be considered rude and awkward. In a normal situation, you would talk to people and get to know their background a little and earn their trust before getting deep into a conversation. Brandi says the same thing applies online, listen and gradually add to the conversation instead of being the loud obnoxious new person.

Brandi also mentions three key topics to avoid in conversation: politics, religion and sex.

It is all about our online image. We are branding ourselves out there in the gigantic world of online networking and just as people are forming opinions  about our company whether we like it or not, they are being formed about us as individuals as well. As a student looking for a job or even someone currently employed by a company, filtering your online presence is very important to building your credibility.

Hopeful parting words:

Brandi mentions in the podcast that human resource people don’t necessarily have all the time in the world to dig up your history in photos. That is not to say they will not look, therefore, becoming more conscious of how your online presence looks currently is definitely a step in the right direction.

Our guest speaker in class last night, John Scroggins from Noble and Associates, mentions that he understands being in college and utilizing privacy settings. He considers that a judgement call rather than hiding a deep dark secret.

That said, not everyone will be as generous as these two professionals and we should dfinitely still use discretion. If you wouldn”t want mom to see it, don’t post it.


Is this real life? October 22, 2010

This week at Campus Crusade for Christ’s Fusion, I was definitely distracted by the fact that I needed to write a blog before the night was over and then out of no where, as though a sign from God, the Fusion team used Animoto to create a publicity video and this blog was born.

This week in class, we discussed video sharing, and though I am familiar with the programs used to post them on websites, I had never worked with any video editing software before. As I watched this video in Fusion I thought to myself, “I wish I was that talented,” but as it turns out, I can be!

Free software, such as Animoto, makes it really easy to download your images or video and give it minimal guidance and it will create a professional looking video to share. Another really easy way to create a simple but professional video in 30 minutes is by using a flip camera. Our professor, Melinda Arnold, created a video ready for upload in a five-minute demonstration during class because the camera comes with its own software. Videos can become viral instantly regardless of how much time or money you spend, or hire someone to spend, creating a video.

Another innovative way to incorporate video into an organization or company is through live streaming. For instance, Mizzou has developed its own channel on USTREAM to stream video of different homecoming activities.

Having the ability to include people outside of the actual event promotes the school, homecoming, the organizations involved and even lets me  watch my best friends dance despite the fact that they are three hours away. USTREAM preserves these files so people who missed the live stream can view them at a later date, and even gives the option to embed or download the live stream.

I find it amazing how anyone can create a video and regardless of its quality, it can become viral instantly.  “David After Dentist” is not any less funny because it was shot in a car on a simple home video recorder. A man simply videotaped his son doing something, uploaded it, and the world found it to be funny enough that poor David is now as well-known as a celebrity.

If you are looking for a way to publicize an event or organization, grab a camera and within 30 minutes, the world will see whatever it is you would like them to see. It is a fantastic publicity tool that takes little effort and time and definitely worth utilizing because it is free!

Spoiler alert: I am going to end this conversation here because our next class assignment is a learning assigment when I will attempt to learn a new form of social media.  Therefore, you can be sure to find a blog update on how my personal experience goes with these tools. Perhaps it is not as easy as it seems? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I leave you with YouTube sensation, David.


Careers in social media October 9, 2010

Did you ever think you could make money by updating Twitter or Facebook accounts? Simply Hired has 6,063 current job listings related to social media and Indeed has 26,624 listings. Something many people use as a social tool or, simply something to pass the time, is introducing a new and very important job opportunity.

Social media’s ability for instant communication and allowance of anyone to post comments about a company or product anywhere on the Internet presents the need for someone to monitor conversations at all times. This allows businesses to not only appreciate and thank consumers for the positive comments, but also to react to negative attention when needed.

This past summer, my best friend had a paid internship that was dedicated to creating and implementing a social media plan. I felt a little jealous that she was getting paid to use Facebook, but there was a lot more research and intention to what she posted than I imagined. After my own internship supervisor left me in charge of our Facebook and Twitter accounts while she was on vacation, I began to realize how much work and consideration actually went into a career in social media and understood why this job deserves to be a paid.

This 2009 podcast from the Ottawa news, “Social Media Jobs on CBC News,” aired during the pioneering stages of social media jobs. Now, in 2010, these jobs are everywhere.

As students, the idea that we could be making money for our knowledge in something we use everyday is pretty exciting. Though it is used differently than when I update my friends that I am going to the movies, the concepts are still familiar. Here are a few tips taken from a Mashable article for people looking for internships or future careers in social media.

The article states that:

  • The top four qualities employers look for are good communication, writing and social skills as well as enthusiasm.
  • Recruiters claim that utilizing social networking websites on their own is an important skill for their intern or employee to acquire because it shows they know how to use them as well as determines their own personality and brand.
  • Interns should be creative, flexible, a team player and willing to learn. They also would like to see their applicant show their social media work rather than simply talking about it.

For more tips and job postings, please read the full article: “What Companies Want in a Social Media Intern,” by Amy Mae Elliot.

So what are you waiting for? Get paid to be social! Did you notice the video from 2009 said social media jobs pay $50,000? That could be you!


Anyone can. You can too! October 1, 2010

I lack talent in the cooking department, but if I saw a book titled “Anyone Can Cook” I would simply have faith that this author has found a way to mold me into a chef.

In the same way, social media has created the idea that anyone can become a published musician, writer, and videographer. Suddenly, anyone can promote themselves online with any talent they may or may not have. I think I am a writer and therefore, I am writing this blog. I signed up and was given the ability to share any thought or opinion I have with the world.

“The Social Media Bible,” by Lon Safko states that: “In the twentieth century, professional reporters and publishers decided what the news was and determined how the public saw it. Though we might still have some professionals making these decisions in the twenty-first century, we now have personal reporters and publishers— more than 50 million of them—who bring our news to us on a daily basis.”

Safko goes on to explain that today, instead of only receiving the news our local media deems newsworthy, we have endless news sources to choose from and the format is more conversational rather than telling.

This idea that everyday people are creating information sources is called citizen journalism. New York University journalism professor, Jay Rossen, defined citizen journalism in July 2008 on his blog, Pressthink,as “when the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another, that’s citizen journalism.”

Podcast, also described as an MP3 file, is a very popular way to promote information or video online. Here are a few examples of how both professional and accredited organizations, as well as how individuals use these tools to publish their thoughts.

1. CNN creates podcasts for each segment they air making it easy to pick and choose a topic you wish to know more about.

2. Geek News Central is an online website devoted to podcasting about technology. This is a perfect example of how anyone can find a niche, create a podcast and find followers.

3. Philip Defranco creates a short five-minute video five days a week. In his podcast, he very quickly and humorously offers his opinion of that day’s top news stories.

4. Missouri State University has a select number of classes and professors that have recorded and uploaded their lectures into podcasts. For instance, Dr. Dyer post all of his lectures on iTunes U convenient to not only his students, but other students and professors across the nation.

As an organization seeking publicity, having information readily available to consumers wherever and whenever they want them is a key component to a company’s success. If prepared, creating and uploading a podcast will only take a few minutes. This is a simple and free way to reach people on the go. Why not take advantage of it?


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