For those of you reading this who aren’t in #jb4520 social media class PR professionals, PROpenMic is a social networking site where all who are interested in PR can post information, network and learn more about public relations and communications.

As part of an assignment for OSU’s social media class, #jb4520 for twitter users, we had the opportunity to take over the site for one week. By “take over the site” I mean that our class was completely in charge of producing content for the site, as well as stimulating conversation and feedback. Students were asked to create video and print stories as well as create new forums for conversation.

I had the opportunity to promote and inform students, faculty and the PROpenMic audience about a new Journalism and Broadcasting student organization, STATEments.  STATEments is a student-run public relations firm, under the umbrella organization of PRSSA. STATEments gives students the opportunity to work with real clients, and in teams of other students. You can read more about STATEments here.

Apparently, our class did a great job of driving people to PROpenMic to view our content. My professor, Bill Handy, ran all kinds of analysis on the traffic of the site while we were in control of the site. While some of it may be over my head, it is interesting information. You can see some of the facts and statistics here.

I look forward to monitoring what other schools do with the site when they get the chance to take it over. I hope that everyone can take what OSU did with PROpenMic and only make it better and even more interesting. Good Luck!


I currently serve as the Communications/PR Chair for an organization on the OSU Campus. I’ve served in this position for 3 years now, and feel like I have a good working relationship with the organization and feel like I’ve built a fairly well-known reputation as being a good, hard worker.

We are currently working on our Communications plans and strategies for the event which will take place in the Fall 2009 semester. During planning, I was approached by a superior who requested that we send out a press release to every steering members (every student who is invoved in the organization) home-town paper. The press release would be a template consisting of what the organization does, and we would just insert the individuals name, major and what their job within the organization is.

There are over 80 students that are members of this organization. The students are from a variety of places including small towns with populations of 100 to students from the OKC, Tulsa, Dallas and Houston areas. In the fall we will send out press releases about the students who are executive members of this organization.

Here is my dillema. I feel like this mass press release, goes against everything I am being taught in the School of Journalism and Broadcasting. As a public relations student, one of the first things I was taught was to send a press release only if it contains real news. This doesn’t seem like news to me. The second reason I feel that it is a poor plan strategically is because when we are sending press releases about our actual event to same of these same media outlets, I am afraid they will be overlooked. I also recently found out that the umbrella organization of this group is using this “mass press release” technique in other areas of their organization as well. I believe this will hurt the organizations overall credibility.

While I understand they are trying to reach some of the smaller communities, I think it is a wasted effort to use the “mass press release” technique and there has to be a better way to reach this audience. Your comments, advice and thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Will the blogosphere adhere to the same standards of objectivity, fairness and truth as traditional journalists?

Just one of the 25 big questions for the future of journalism; according to Scott Hepburn.

Personally I think this is one of the more important concerns facing the future of journalism. Anyone who has the most basic computer and Internet navigation skills can create their own blog. Journalists, or at least good ones, go through years of training.

Speaking as someone who has received training in both Journalism and the “blogosphere” I think I’m probably in a minority.  As a student of OSU’s School of Journalism and Broadcasting, I’ve received training in writing, classes in law and ethics of Journalism. I have also been fortunate enough to have professors who are interested and aware of the way journalism is changing today and therefore have been educated in the ways of blogging.

How do those bloggers who aren’t as fortunate as I am, get their lessons concerning the ethics of posting information? I realise that in today’s world of sharing information we have to have some level of trust in one another’s information, but how far do we go in trusting the honor’s system?

I don’t think that I will ever be able to trust just another user’s information as much as I can trust someones information who is backed by a long-standing organization. It’s just not the same level of professionalism. Professional journalists have to be trustworthy because they are held accountable by their employers and reputation. What holds bloggers accountable? I realise that most people’s own reputation as a trustworthy person is enough to hold them accountable, but what about for those who don’t care?

I think that if we are going to one day move to solely relying on bloggers over journalists, that there will be need to be some type of rating system that ranks more credible blogs over others. I’m not sure who would be in charge of doing so, maybe AP. In any case, there needs to be some system for separating the news and the noise.

If you are looking to get some real, hands-on public relations experience without leaving the comfort of campus, you should apply for PRSSA’s new student-run firm, STATEments.

The 8 members of STATEments, me included, have been split into smaller groups and assigned clients to work with including the OSU Foundation, Smart Start of Payne County and OSU Racing. As members of STATEments we have to opportunity to perform real client work for the organizations. Some of the work I have done is creating a social media plan for OSU Foundation and working on branding issues with Smart Start of Payne County.

STATEments began meeting and taking on clients in January of 2009. Before the firm had even begun meeting PR professor, Gina Noble, had a dozen potential clients asking for the firms assistance. As STATEments and its client-base continues to grow, the firm is looking to double its membership in the fall. The organization meets weekly or as needed, and is a great way to gain experience. Because the organization is a new one, some of the kinks are still being worked out, but I believe that everyone who is interested in being a PR professional should apply to be a member of the firm.

I’ve included a copy of the application and job descriptions in the pages section of my blog. You may also find the application and job descriptions on


I have what feels like my first real, big-kid interview next week. I’ve had plenty of interviews before, but this is this first one that I feel like it matters. Tuesday evening I’ll be packing up and driving to Tulsa, OK to stay the night with my grandparent so I don’t have to wake up at an ungodly and drive. Plus, who wouldn’t want a little extra love and praise from grammy and pa right before an interview?

All week, I have spent my extra time researching the company on their Web site and asking those “in the know” what this company is really about. I also had an appointment with my Career Services counselor, Kiera Mann (Who is amazing by the way. You should make an appointment with her if you haven’t already.). Kiera had all sorts of great advice and suggestions for my portfolio, changes that I will most definitely be making before my interview next week. I also had some concerns with some particular questions I thought would be asked and she helped me walk through them and find the right answer for me. She even offered to look over my outfit if I brought it in for her to look at!

I wouldn’t say that I’m quite prepared yet, but I’m well on my way. Wish me luck!

As the social media and Internet presence continues to grow, it continues to change the way our world is working. First the Internet changed the way we searched for and collected information. It has changed the way we shop, the way we manage our money and funds, the way we receive our entertainment and the way we communicate with one another.

Initially the Internet was used more for communicating with friends and family in a social context. Users were still, for the most part, spectators in the realm of information on the Internet. With the growing use of cell phones, wi-fi, satellites and the combination of all of the above, everyone has the capability and access to be connected to everyone around the world all the time. Obviously this kind of connectivity is going to change trends, especially those relating to how we receive our information.

Mike Koehler, Multimedia Editor at OPUBCO, spoke to our social media class today about how the media is using these innovative social media tools in their coverage. The biggest discussion of the day was the use of twitter during the recent ice storm and tornadoes in the Oklahoma area. In both of the cases, people using twitter were able to give and receive information about the storms through the use of “hash tags” (#okice #OKstorms). Using these tools you can see what other people are posting about the storms, answer questions, follow different sources of media to get the information they are broadcasting, etc.. Koehler said that as they were following the storms people were able ask questions about specific areas, and they would go to that specific area to see how the weather was in that area. NewsOk has recieved national recognition because of its use of social media and interaction with the public in these instances. PRSA called it citizen journalism at its finest.

The lingering question is how will everyone make money using all these free tools? I’m sure someone will figure something out soon, so I’ll leave that one up to the “gurus”. Overall, Koehler thinks that these changing trends are positive. I think that the trends are changing so frequently there is no possible way anyone can predict what will happen in even the near future. I’m just trying to not get left behind, which I already feel because I don’t have a smart phone. (I think I may be the only person at OSU.)

You can follow Mike Koehler at

First I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone for taking time out of their busy schedules to come to Stillwater. All of the students really appreciate your thought and consideration.

I think the expo was an overall success! Personally, I got to meet some great people who work for great organizations so I felt it was definitely worth my time. I really enjoyed speaking with Janet from the OSU Marketing Department, with STATE magazine. We had a really good chat about some current writing assignments that I am doing and how they can possibly correlate with the magazine.

I also really enjoyed speaking with the representatives from Schnake Turnbo Frank PR. They seemed really excited to tell us about their firm and are really excited to get some qualified interns. The firms has more than 50 clients, and they explained their interns get to work with any of the clients that need additional help.

Overall, I think the expo was a success. For future expos I would like to see more representatives from the Tulsa and Stillwater area. I think that Oklahoma City was fairly well represented. I also hope that because of today’s event and it’s success that more communications professionals will want to travel to stillwater to meet with OSU’s young and upcoming professionals.

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