social media

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.

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.

It’s pretty easy to say that the world of social media affecting the way we interact with one another. Unless they just have something really lengthy to say, I have found people would much rather communicate via text message, facebook or e-mail as opposed to the old fashioned cell phone. Or sometimes when it is just too difficult to tell someone something, you’d rather break it to them easily with an apologetic facebook message, so heart-felt. My generation would much rather get information through a medium where they can see it and have a record of the information, rather than hearing it over the phone (or heaven forbid, word of mouth) and having to write it down.

But lets be real, Facebook alone has changed how we interact in our relationships. Let me give a quick rundown. You meet someone that catches your attention in class, at a restaurant, through a mutual friend or wherever. You have a conversation that goes well and you seem to hit it off. What is the first thing you do when you get home? Every single girl knows, you Facebook ’em. (This probably happens even if you didn’t hit it off so well. You have to at least check, right?) Here’s where it gets tricky. Do you add this person as a friend or wait and see if they request your friendship first? I mean you don’t want to seem to eager, but also want to seem interested and everyone can use another Facebook friend right? etc, etc… Now lets just say that after all of the Facebook flirting (quirky wall posts, late night Facebook chats, messages asking if you want to get ice cream) you really hit it off. It’s time to define the relationship. I don’t know about everyone else, but when one of my friends goes facebook official, we expect a ring to follow within the year. Yep. It’s taken that seriously. Why wouldn’t it be? You’re proclaiming your relationship to world! Or, at least to the 1000 friends you share between the two of you. Heaven forbid you break up!! Now all of your friends receive a notice “Jessica Young is no longer in a relationship.” This literally happened to me once. Within the hour I received phone calls from across the state from concerned friends, which was exactly what I needed just then. Then you have to discuss, what is the appropriate grace period for leaving the status “in a relationship”? Days, weeks, months? And who “cancels” the relationship? The dumper or dumpee? So much etiquette to consider.

Here is a video that I think depicts how Facebook has changed the meaning of our relationships all to well.

Just imagine what will happen when we add Twitter into the mix. Here is what I envision. You find someone who has interesting Tweets and is following some of the same people you are. You begin following one another and tweeting on a regular basis. @replies and directmessages are funny and interesting, what’s not to like? The next thing you know you are scheduling a private Tweetup at the local Smoothie King! I’m just sayin, the possibilities are endless.

I’m not sure what the correct verb usage for Ning is but I’m suggesting Ningin, so take not social media world. For those of you who are unsure, allows you to create your own social networking site. You get your own brand, members, widgets, real-time activity steam, groups, network, chat and all this convenience is for free.

The sites look really good and, as far as I can tell, are pretty easy to use. I am a member of the Oklahoma Social Media Club, which created its Web site using Ning. You can see that it is pretty user friendly.

So of course our social media class is creating our site with Ning.  Anyone surprised? I wasn’t really either. We will be creating a site that is geared toward students in JB school, and more broadly, any OSU students who are or want to be engaged in social media. I know, you’re excited.

I absolutely love the Ning homepage. It shows some of the popular Networking sites of the day. Today’s sites include “The Bonnie Hunt Show”, “The Twilight Saga” (I’ll probably be joining that one shortly), ” The Green Light Community”, “Offbeat Bride Tribe”, “Lost Zombies” and “Burnt Marshmallows”. Isn’t it amazing how specifically a person can get into their own niche? That is just one of the many benefits of creating your own social networking site. Check it out, you might even get a giggle out of it or something.

I’m pretty excited to learn how to create with and use this network. My mom and dad are excited because now I can do it for his company. (Thanks for that Bill.)

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