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.