Jeff Carter
Life is a riddle; unfortunately the answer's are not written here.

Apr
28

It has been pointed out numerous time this semester how social media can cost you a job or job opportunity. It was never more apparent than in this clip from the new show Kell on Earth.

Apr
28

A while back I saw one these videos on a tv show called Tosh.o. The concept, of the two videos below, is that person was selected or volunteered to make a tourism video for Cleveland. While it is clearly obvious that these two videos are spoofs, it made me think what if it wasn’t. One would think that in order to put together a tourism video, that might attract people, you would want it to be flattering about your city. You would want it to mention everything that a tourist would want to hear about the city. That’s where the public relation people would step in and do research and then work on a campaign that would achieve that goal.

Here are the two videos I am referring to. Unfortunately the second video is not allowed to be embedded so here is a link for that one.

Apr
28

A student, I’m guessing based on the tag, that goes to Georgia College and State University took her flip cam and walked around campus and asked fellow students what Public Relations is. You will see a variety of answers with some being more comical than others.

Apr
27

I recently conducted an interview with Mr. Paul Floeckher. Currently Floeckher is the Manager of Media Relations for Georgia Southern University. Floeckher graduated from Georgia Southern back in 1991. I was referred to him by my adviser, Michelle Groover, as good PR professional to speak with. Here is the interview that took place.

What’s a typical week like?

It’s hard to describe a week as “typical,” since something unexpected always arises at some point during the week. I know what you mean with this question, though, and my job every week is to generate media coverage of Georgia Southern University. I need to get Georgia Southern’s story told – period. It’s that simple. I do that through writing and distributing press releases, contacting media outlets and pitching stories to them, updating the content on Georgia Southern’s website (including a daily story idea for the media) and writing stories for Georgia Southern Magazine.

Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.

Last year I wrote a press release and magazine article about the ProVector, a device Georgia Southern professor Tom Kollars invented to help reduce deaths from mosquito-borne illnesses. (Here’s a link – http://news.georgiasouthern.edu/pressrelease.php?id=1778.) The story was picked up by some local media, then by the Associated Press. Once AP picked up the story, it went national. Newspapers around the country ran it, and the story also aired on CNN and the Discovery Channel. I was glad that a story I wrote and pitched to media brought national attention to Georgia Southern. Also, Dr. Kollars is a great guy who truly wants to save lives with his invention; I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him on the story and getting to know him.

What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

I participate in a number of continuing education courses, training sessions, webinars, etc., on a variety of subjects related to my field.

What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?

That there’s a lot more to PR than writing press releases. My job involves a lot of marketing, which I didn’t have much background in. I have had to learn that on-the-job. My career has been primarily in the news business (five years as a newspaper reporter, 11 years as a television reporter).

How important is writing in your career?

Incredibly important, since I won’t have any credibility with the media if I send poorly-written press releases. When I pitch a story idea to the media, I need to phrase it in a way that will get them interested in covering the story and make them see why their audience would care about the story. I worked for the school newspaper in high school and in college, and my first three jobs after college graduation were in the newspaper business; all that writing experience was a great benefit in my television career and then once I shifted my career focus to PR.

What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

1)      Work to become a great writer

2)      Don’t go into PR because you think you’re a “people person” (unless maybe you want to use your PR background to plan parties and events, which is fine). My success on my job has very little to do with how much I like people – it’s about pitching stories in the best way possible to get media interested in covering them.

3)      Do this because you love it. The money may not be great for your first couple jobs (or, for that matter, your entire career), but work in this field because it’s something you truly enjoy. If you don’t love it, then pursue another career – just find your passion.

Apr
27

The book defines widgets as “snippets of code, usually displayed graphically, that can be used to syndicate content, for example RSS feeds, or to add interactive features that users can drop onto their own blogs or websites.”

Examples of widgets on a web page are: weather updates, clocks, calender, etc.

This can benefit an organization depending on what “field” they are in. For instance, if the site is a sports website for a school, the weather widget will be a wise choice to have. When fans come to the site to check to see if there is any new information regarding an upcoming game or whatever else brings them to the site, they will be able to see what the weather is currently and also what is predicted for the game.

The book defines badges as “an icon or logo that has a link back to its source, which serves as a way of displaying one’s membership or presence in a community on the Social Web.”

You see a lot of “badges” on facebook. Usually they are posted to someones wall, or showing up in a news feed, or it could be an ad on the side of the page. I never really noticed how prevalent these badges were until reading about it in this book.

If it was my site, I would find a way to utilize widgets and badges. For the actual site widgets would be the way to go because its an easier way to give the visitors more information without them having to look elsewhere. This also can help them to look favorably upon your site and/or organization.

For badges I would search for related sites that allow postings by users and place my badges on there. This would hopefully peak the interest of other users and bring more traffic to your site.

Apr
21

PROpenMic is a up an coming site that will greatly benefit Public Relation students and professionals for years to come. The site offers a great gathering place for all things related to public relations.

The founder/creator of this site, Robert French, is a public relation professor at Auburn University. French has over 25 years of experience in this field. So it should come as no shock to know that this isn’t his first public relation website that he has ever created. He has also created PRProspects.com and PRblogs.org.

PROpenMic’s most useful tab for me right now is the “Job/internship” search. Since I am graduation in May, I am actively looking for an internship or a job. This area is a listing of jobs or internships located through out the country and also in some foreign countries.

There is also a section under that same tab listed as O’Dwyer PR jobs. This is a separate site that also has many job postings for public relations people.

One of the many unique aspects of this site would probably be its open discussion forum. Like most forums, it is open to different topics where users can read and comment. The topics range from just basic public relations to specific areas of public relations, and even various job experiences.

PROpenMic has endless networking opportunities for businesses as well as individuals.

Apr
21

A Sur­vival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Opti­miza­tion by Deltina Hay.

Chapter 11: Social Tools

There are various social tools available on the internet that will essentially help you “pull it all together.” Here are a few examples of social tools.

  • Social Calendars – allows you to post all upcoming events and important dates. Most importantly you can share this with your friends.
  • Social Pages – a place/common area for people to gather online and discuss topics they have in common. Almost kind of like a chat forum.
  • Wikis – a site that allows anyone to update or correct information in its contents. This is also known by many students as the “forbidden source” when writing papers

Chapter 12: Pulling it all together

This chapter was pretty short and to the point. It basically listed 3 check list items to see if your site was optimized.

The 3 questions are:

  1. Can users interact with the content?
  2. Can visitors share the content easily with others?
  3. Does the site encourage collaboration?

Chapter 14:Measuring your success

As you continue to grow and produce more items on your site, there are some things you still want to look out for. These are guidelines/goals you may want to go by or achieve in order make your site successful.

  • Increasing Website traffic
  • Driving sales and new business
  • Monitoring brand awareness
  • Improving customer relations
  • Managing reputation
  • Establishing credibility
  • Creating buzz
  • Improving public relations

Chapter 13: Looking to the future

The book discusses using a social ranking in order to tell the relevancy of their site or how searchable it is.

The book also discusses a lifestream. A lifestream is similar to a blog. The major difference is that it lists everything in chronological order and lists mostly streams and feeds.

Apr
21

Chapter 8: Discusses  the various media communities that exist. When i first read “media community” I was not sure of what it was referring to.

A media community is a social site that allows you to save, share, and comment on media items. Sites such as Flickr are perfect examples of a media community. It’s sites like that where you can go and share or retrieve media (photos and videos) with other people. Media communities like this offer a shared medium in which people can connect.

Chapter 9: Widgets and Badges

The book defines widgets as “snippets of code, usually displayed graphically, that can be used to syndicate content, for example RSS feeds, or to add interactive features that users can drop onto their own blogs or websites.”

Examples of widgets on a web page are: weather updates, clocks, calender, etc.

The book defines badges as “an icon or logo that has a link back to its source, which serves as a way of displaying one’s membership or presence in a community on the Social Web.”

Chapter 10: This chapter discusses social newsrooms.

Social newsrooms are designed to be a place online where a company, one usually receiving alot of media attention, can post frequent updates throughout the day. This helps the company and the media because the company is not having to constantly update the website numerous times a day and the media now has an easy way to access all the information the company is releasing that day.

Apr
21

For my PRCA 3030 class (social media) we had to create a podcast as an assignment. This was my first time ever doing a podcast. Back in high school, I had a job at a local radio station in Savannah. I would find myself killing time by experimenting with the sound equipment by recording myself and adding effects and stuff. In that respect it was actually fairly easy to complete.

To hear my first podcast on “defining social media” please click here.

Apr
21

It is no secret by now that Tiger Woods cheated on his wife with 1 or 20 women. When all of this news began to surface, Tiger went hiding. Bin Laden himself was probably thinking “damn that guy can hide.” This was probably by the “recomendations” of his agent and PR people.

Then finally the announcement came that he was going to do a live press conference. Of course by press conference they meant, Tiger was going to give a 13 minute speech, no questions were allowed, and only a handful of media would be permitted while the rest of the media would be located a mile or two away. When I heard this, the only thing I could think of was “are you sure this is Tiger or a G8 Summit?”

That infamous day finally arrived and many people watched with anticipation. At the end of the speech, myself like many others, was let down because we did not get the information we wanted to hear. Then again, that’s understandable.

I couldn’t help but laugh through out the whole speech. Apparently, being the wealthiest athlete in the world (net worth around $1 billion) doesn’t mean you can afford acting classes or buy yourself an award winning performance. Even politicians giving campaign speeches or state of union addresses were less choreographed than Tiger.From his eye contact with the camera, to when to place his hand over his heart.

There was only to be 1 video camera in the room while he delivered this statement. Being a sucker for conspiracy theories occasionally I can’t help but think there was something fishy about what happened around minute 9 of his statement.

The “one” camera in the room, just so happened to lose signal. Conveniently they had a back up camera that was position slightly behind/angled to his left side. This is when we get our first glimpse of who all was in the crowd. Ironically, when this angle first appears he is just beginning to address his family and close friends. Is it a coincidence that family and close friends just so happen to be sitting right in line with the only other camera angle available? Also noteworthy was the fact that his mother was in the center of the screen the whole time this angle was used.

If you have been living under a rock since the day after Thanksgiving, here is a link to the full speech so you can look for the things I have mentioned above.