Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog

See it! —– Believe it! —– Deal with it!   

February 28, 2011

readings in social media and pr for february 28 2011

Filed under: A list news,Conferences,Facebook,Public Relations,social media — Karen @ 11:38 am

My friend and fellow collaborator Monica Colon-Aguirre ( she was first author) on the poster presentation at Tennessee that tied for top poster! Congratulations!

Here is what I am reading today:

“A Facebook-only news organization? It was only a matter of time. The Rockville Central, a community news site in the Washington, D.C., area, will move all its operations and news coverage to its Facebook Page starting on March 1. This risky move by the site’s editor, Cindy Cotte Griffiths, highlights Facebook’s growing role as a platform for journalists to use for social storytelling and reporting.”

“M&M’s are doing something a little different over in Denmark, utilising Bookmarklets (little Javascript apps that are launched from a bookmark) to help turn every website in the world, into part of the M&M’s “Space Heroes” internet invasion game. This style of creative strategy has been hotting up of late, with brands delivering interactive experiences accessible on any website.”

“Since the ancient, early days of social media, people have been obsessed with certain numbers as expressed in almost existential questions: How many people should I follow on Twitter? Are enough people following me? Should I accept friend requests from strangers — not to mention high-school classmates I haven’t thought of in ages — to pad out my Facebook social circle? Lately, everybody’s been obsessing about yet another number — a sort of meta number that is meant to tally your “social influence,” particularly on Twitter. Among the players in the influence-rating space: Klout (known for its notorious Klout Score), PeerIndex and Twitalyzer, while companies like PeopleBrowsr offer integrated solutions: ways to identify influencers (“Find Your Brand Champions”) and means to further engage them.”

“n December, it seemed that Quora, a 6-month-old website that allows its users to ask and answer questions of each other, had begun to grow at a rapid pace. How quickly, no one outside the company knows exactly. Quora is mum on the size of its audience, leaving the void to be filled by estimates from services that monitor websites’ traffic indirectly, the speculation of tech bloggers giddy with the prospects of a new sensation, and random cultural indicators, none more so than a Valentine’s Day message from uber-pastor Rick Warren telling his Twitter sheep to direct questions that require longer answers to Quora.”

“While plenty of signs show spring is around the corner, we are not out of the woods yet! As the cold, dark days of winter give way to the cold, dry winds of early spring, keep your health and longevity fired up with spices and herbs.”


Generous with resources & information, setting professional guidelines in class, and leading by example: Key to success in teaching in traditional and online classes

Over the last couple of years since I have been pursuring my PhD in Communications, there have been many areas that I have been active in as a PhD Candidate.  Working on research projects in various areas (crisis communications, social media, psychology, etc) have been very fabulous in my opinion – just great!

I have also found teaching very rewarding – both in the traditional sense(Tennessee) and online (IMC Program at WVU).  I knew that I always wanted to be in the classroom – ever since the early days of seeing both Mom (Psychology) and Dad (Business & Marketing) teaching their courses, and soon Kristin will be teaching at West Point.  I guess you can say that it runs in the family! :)

In various discussions with colleagues and seeing what others say are some of their own reflections and best practices when it comes to teaching, I would have to say that I have come up with a few of my own:

  • Lead by example: If you want students to perform certain assignments and presentations or produce case studies, then you have to lead by example and show that every assignment you have for the class, you would do as well.  I have done this in my PR Cases Class where I have shown students a case study I did and highlight the main points as well as explaining of the framing of the assignment.
  • Be one with new trends and issues in field – always be a student of life: This also goes with implementing new technology – if you are known for being the person to go to social media for example – you have to lead by example and use it in the classroom as well.  This can be done by implementing Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, or Tumblr into the classroom setting to bring out discussion points and conversations outside.Not only being aware of these trends is important, but being apply to strategically apply these and provide reasons for students to pay attention to these for both professional and personal reasons is also key.
  • Articulate clearly expectations and reasons behind class structure: I have framed my classes for students by pointing out that they should treat this class like they would an internship or job.  This means attending classes, being on time, producing professional documents and presentations, etc.  I also state at the very beginning (and my syllabus) that if they wouldn’t do something on the job (ex. turn in late work, etc) then don’t do it in class.  Setting the expectations early and being consistent with these throughout the semester is key.
  • Give more information and resources than expected: College tuition is expensive, and students want to take courses that help them not only by expanding their knowledge about the field, but also where to go for further information and resources.  This is what I have done in both of my classes this year – I try to provide students with white papers, list of resources for social media, and presentations that I think might be of interest to them.  These materials are not covered on the exam or anything like that – but they have these in hand to review at their leisure.  I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from these additional resources from some of my students.

Overall, teaching is very rewarding – and these are just some of the best practices that I have come up with based on my experiences and talking with others in the profession.  Setting strong expectations, creating a positive and professional learning environment, offering constructive criticisms and ways to improve assignments and writing, and leading by example by becoming a student for life is key to success in the classroom.

Hope you all are having a wonderful day!

Best Wishes,

Karen

February 25, 2011

Presenting at the 33rd Annual Research Symposium at Tennessee!

One of the things that I have been active in since I have been at Tennessee has been the annual research symposium.  The research symposium has been a great way to share and discuss research from faculty and students (PhD, Master’s, and Undergraduate) about issues and trends in Communications from various disciplines.  From Advertising to Public Relations to Journalism and Information Sciences – all had their place in the spotlight today at the 33rd Annual Research Symposium.

I do have fond memories of previous symposiums and can remember exactly where I was during each of those times.  I remember my first one was back in 2008 just as a 1st year doctoral student presenting my study that I did while in a Research Methods course at USC for my Master’s.  It was a good experience for me since this was my first ever research conference and poster session!  This poster also tied for being Best Poster – my first conference award, so I was very excited!  The next year was the first time that I presented a collaborative piece – and it was a study looking at undergraduate public relations programs from a PR research / practitioner perspective.  This was a fun study to be a part of and look into – and it was transformed into another paper for the following AEJMC Conference, where it was awarded 2nd Place in the PR Teaching Division.  Last year – I presented two papers and I remember the symposium since it was right after I finished my comprehensive exams.  Good times! :)


This year, I had the opportunity to work with two individuals from the School of Information Sciences (Monica Colon-Aguirre and Dr. Suzie Allard) on a project looking at the perceptions of Google Scholar among graduate students.  We conducted a pilot study looking at the perception of Google and Google Scholar, and we found some interesting findings. In addition, this was a great interdisciplinary project between public relations and information sciences – so this will be an interesting line of research to follow down the line and into the future.  Our poster tied for best at the symposium – which I thought was very fabulous!  Not only did we have handouts for our poster so people can review further on what we did in the study, but we also integrated QR Codes into the mix as well (what can I say – I think that emerging technology is fabulous!).  This is just another way that you can incorporate these into conference presentations – both professional and academic.

Overall, I had a wonderful experience at this year’s symposium – and would like to thank everyone that reviewed and judged the papers, and everyone in the college that helped support and organize this wonderful event.  Thank you to all of the faculty and students who came and supported all of the presenters at the conference – it was greatly appreciated! :)

Hope you all are having a wonderful day!

Best Wishes,

Karen

February 24, 2011

readings in social media and pr for february 24 2011

Filed under: A list news,Public Relations,social media — Karen @ 8:06 am

Want to know more about social media, ask someone who uses it! ;)

Here’s what I am reading today:

“So you blog for your company, clients, and yourself? How would you like to receive more traffic every time you write for your clients from social media, but also search engines? How would you like ongoing traffic like a content stock portfolio that grows every year? You might say, “Sure, doesn’t everybody?””

BRAND AMBASSADORS. CONTENT MANAGERS. EVANGELISTS. These are all words that are often used to describe the constantly evolving social media manager of today. In order to be a successful one, he or she must take on a pretty demanding schedule of constant updates, meetings and tweets — all the while maintaining an effective online presence.”

Brands try to inspire excitement among their communities so that their fans and supporters will do the selling for them. That’s called advocacy, and it’s much more powerful than self-promotion. There are of course many ways to cultivate that fan base and get your advocates motivated On the flip side, however, are “badvocates” –- the folks who spread negative comments about you with their networks. For example, Kevin Smith’s experience with Southwest Airlines.”

The growing cohort of iPad owners — wealthy, tech savvy, and increasingly female — is emerging as a powerful driver of online retail sales. Having spent countless hours at swim meets over the past year, I can personally attest that the iPad has become a must-have mobile device for many suburban moms, who seem especially fond of shopping (and playing Scrabble) while their young children compete in the pool.”


February 23, 2011

Sharing research interests via social media & publishing online key parts in managing reputation as future researcher /scholar for 21st century

One key role that we as scholars and researchers in academia have to take into consideration is that we are not only expected to be successful in the classroom and teaching and mentoring students, but we also have to make sure that we establish ourselves as leaders in the scholarly community.

The way to accomplish of course is through conference presentations, invited presentations and lectures at various conferences (both research and professional) as well as publish.  Publishing in academic journals is a thorough process – you first have to determine which journal would 1) be interested in the area of research you have explored 2) has published similar studies using either the specific methods or theory and 3) is a key research outlet and forum for sharing the latest trends, issues, and studies in the particular discipline. The review process for submitting to a journal can take as long as a month, but even be as long as six or seven months at a time.  Through review among the various reviewers and editors, the researcher will receive feedback on whether or not their research study and publication has been 1) accepted; 2) accepted with major revisions or 3) rejected.  There are of course many different options to take for each of these, but the key thing to remember is that it will take time, energy, and dedication to get the research study published in the scholarly community.

With this being said, with certain areas of interest in a particular discipline (ex. public relations and social media, social media and crisis communications) – how can researchers be able to share their findings and research with the academic community in a timely manner?  Well – one way that scholars are getting their research noticed to their various audiences and followers (including the scholarly community) is through social media.  Whether it is posting the findings and feedback about the study with followers on Twitter or even showing where people can go directly to a personal website of the researcher to find out more information about the study.

However, the other route to look at is online journals – which a lot of them are peer-reviewed and the studies are published quite quickly.  For example, I submitted a research study with a few colleagues of mine on our study looking at online and offline relationships in connection with social networking sites and loneliness to the Media Psychology Review.  Not only is the study posted on the online journal website, but I also have the PDF version of the paper on my own personal website for followers and others to review at their leisure.

There are many benefits and opportunities for researchers to share their research studies with the scholarly community in a tangible way with social media including writing blog postings about the research, providing commentary or podcasts about the research with various individuals, posting multimedia elements showcasing research (Slideshare), and even presenting the information and results in a webinar or online video meeting.

Of course, those that are opposed of sharing research and their findings on social media may say that it does not count in the academic community or count towards putting another line on the CV.  However, by NOT being present on social media and sharing what you are doing in terms of research is a huge risk towards your professional reputation as a scholar and professional.  Social media (personal blog, personal website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Slideshare, Quora, etc) allow you as an individual researcher and professional to establish your reputation and expertise in a particular area within your discipline, which is built and invested in over time and among these various digital platforms.  It is also good to also include traditional ways in sharing you research interests with others by doing invited professional presentations, guest lectures, and presenting at dissertation colloquiums.

By establishing this credibility and trustworthiness of information with your research, people will be able to recognize your work, expertise and understanding about a particular phenomenon or issue in a particular industry, and make the connections on the research study and research agenda.  In addition, having a presence on social media with your research will also provide a good record of your research agenda, interests, and expertise on the job market and for future employers and collaborators on research projects.   It also allows protection for the researcher if they use social media for their research ideas, interests, and studies by providing a timeline and documentation in the digital academic community – which is definitely something that researchers today have to be aware of and be actively managing their reputation with this specific focus in mind.

All of these issues will continue to be present in both the professional and scholarly community – the key thing to remember is that in the 21st century, there are many opportunities and outlets to where you can go with your research, so it is key to explore all of these various possibilities since they all come together to form your professional reputation in research and consulting in your respective discipline.

Hope you all are having a wonderful day!

Best Wishes,

Karen

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