TOW Week 15: Guest Blogger

April 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm (PRCA 3030, TOW "Topic of the Week")

The following is a description of our blogging topic of the week for my PR and Social Media class:

This week’s topic was inspired by Adam Vincenzini’s Be My Guest month: post something by a guest blogger. Connect with another blogger (it can, but doesn’t have to, be someone in your class) and exchange blog posts for the week. (You don’t have to write something new . . . share your favorite post you’ve written this semester.) In your own blog, make it really clear that the post is written by another person, and link to your guest’s blog.

My guest blogger this week is Allie Schlumper. Below is a blog found directly from Allie’s personal blog. I chose this blog post because will be interesting to all students at Georgia Southern including those who are not but might be experiencing the same sort of thing at their own college or university.

PR Connections- University Proposed Budget Cuts March 3, 2010

Filed under: PR Connections, PRCA 3030 — aschlum1 @ 5:34 pm

For the past couple of days, the proposed budget cuts for Universities in Georgia has been the topic of conversation. Georgia Southern alone has been asked (in the PROPOSED budget cuts) to cut 14.7 million dollars from their budget. This, plus the original 11 million dollars they were asked to cut, comes to about 30% cuts in the money that is provided from the state.

GSU’s President Keel posted a web cast on the GSU website about the budget cuts.

This post is more about rumors and word of mouth, which can be forms of PR. I encourage everyone at GSU and other Universities that are going through the same thing, to really fully understand what is going on before they spread rumors. The cuts have NOT been made yet and there is still something that every single person can do. A website at GSU has been made to inform students, faculty, staff, and the community about the proposed cuts and what they can do to help.

It is important that people are well informed about the situation before they talk about it to others. President Keel and the GSU staff did a great job (from a PR perspective) by posting his video on the site. This shows that they are all concerned about what is going on and it is a very informative video on the situation at hand.


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TOW 14: Guest Blogger

April 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm (PRCA 3030, TOW "Topic of the Week")

The following is a description of our blogging topic of the week for my PR and Social Media class:

This week’s topic was inspired by Adam Vincenzini’s Be My Guest month: post something by a guest blogger. Connect with another blogger (it can, but doesn’t have to, be someone in your class) and exchange blog posts for the week. (You don’t have to write something new . . . share your favorite post you’ve written this semester.) In your own blog, make it really clear that the post is written by another person, and link to your guest’s blog.

I chose my guest blogger to be Kacie Whigham. The following post came from her personal blog. I chose this particular post because it is one of the most interesting PR connection Kacie has written about. It grabbed my attention right away.


Celebrities are going untouched on magazine covers. Is this a PR stunt or just true honesty?

Recently, Jessica Simpson made headlines by going Untouched on the cover of Marie Claire. Apparently, Jessica didn’t even wear any makeup. Just last year, she was in the news for being overweight. In response, she has a new TV show out, called “Price of Beauty” in which her and couple of her friends travel all around the world, learning what beauty means in different cultures.

Is it just coincidence that all of this happens one after another? I think not. Jessica must have an awesome PR team behind her… fighting what media has made “beauty” to be. She is fighting back and people and listening.

Also in the news for going “untouched” in Harper’s Bazaar magazine. Kim’s comment on the message of the nude picture is “embrace your curves and who you are.”

The difference with Kim is that she is also an endorser for Quicktrim, a diet plan she claims to have used herself. Well, if she’s telling girls everywhere to embrace their curves, why is she drinking tasteless formula drinks daily instead of eating healthy full meals?

That doesn’t sound like embracing your curves to me. Maybe her PR team needs to take a look at Jessica’s and go for the natural workout approach.

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TOW Week 13: Viral Videos

April 13, 2010 at 4:46 pm (PRCA 3030, TOW "Topic of the Week")

For the topic of the week this week, we were asked to talk about viral videos.

According to, a viral video is a video that spread quickly via the Internet. It is often a short clip on a video sharing site such as YouTube that people reference in blogs, e-mails, and instant messages.

One of the trends I see in the majority of viral videos is the humor aspect. Is a video being funny what makes it become viral and spread like wildfire over the Internet?

One of my favorite videos that become viral is called “Scarlet takes a tumble.” It starts off slow with a girl singing on top of a coffee table when all of a sudden she takes a step and the video turns bad…or hilarious, whichever way you want to look at it. Watch the video below to form your own opinion. This video has over 12 million visits! That is a ton of people watching!

My other favorite video is called “Beyonce Clown.” In this video two girls are reenacting the dance to Beyonce’s  “Single Ladies.” One of the girls is wearing a clown mask and they look like they are doing a good job at the dance when the one with mask misjudges exactly how far away the television is. HILARIOUS! Watch for yourself! This video has over three million visits.

Viral videos seem to becoming more and more popular as the world of social media gets larger. And all of the videos seem to be humerous in some way or another. People are sharing these videos through social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. They are also being shared through e-mails, chat rooms, and blogging sites, along with the video hosting sites they are being found on. Celebrities are being born through these viral videos and appearing on such television shows as TMZ and The Soup.

What are your favorite viral videos? Let me know by leaving a comment on this blog post.

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TOW Week 12: Widgets & Badges

April 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm (PRCA 3030, TOW "Topic of the Week")

For this weeks topic of the week, we were asked to describe widgets and badges and the differences between them.

According to the book A Survival Guide to Social Media & Web 2.0 Optimization: Strategies, Tactics, & Tools for Succeeding in the Social Web written by Deltina Hay, a widget is a snippet 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 on their own blogs or Websites. They are often customizable by the user & typically offer ways for users to pull information from the widget’s originating site.

According to the same book, a badge is typically just 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.

Sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably even though they are different items. Badges & widgets are a new tool in the Social Web, but I feel as if they are catching on somewhat quickly. The more popular the two tools become, the easier they will be to create.

A widget gives more of a wider range of customizable applications for your desktop that allow access to some of your favorite content available on the web.

A badge can be thought of as a small form of advertising. Badges are little icons you can click on that will take you directly to the side that is being “advertised.” Have you visited a specific company’s website, and at the bottom or the side seen the little Twitter or Facebook icon? That is a badge. If you were to click on the icon, you would be directed to the company’s Twitter or Facebook page.

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TOW Week 11: Delicious

March 30, 2010 at 3:48 pm (PRCA 3030, TOW "Topic of the Week")

Discuss how college students (especially those working in groups) could benefit from social bookmarks. Be sure to include a link to your Delicious bookmarks in your blog post.

For this week’s topic, I created an account on You can find my bookmarks at:

Delicious is a social bookmarking service that allows you to tag, save, manage and share Web pages all in one place. With emphasis on the power of the community, Delicious greatly improves how people discover, remember and share on the Internet.

Delicious encourages users to organize and plan. Bookmarking sites, like Delicious can be used to bookmark those sites which you visit frequently or want to remember so that you can revisit at a later date. Along with the social aspect of Delicious, the site can also be used to assist with group work and projects.

Lets say for example that I am working with a group for a school project and I conducted some research. I want to save those sites which I will use as my sources so that I can double-check my reference page and re-visit those sites to conduct more research. Not only am I able to locate those once visited sites easily, I can also share my bookmarked pages with my group members so they are able to see my sources and findings on the web.

Tools like Delicious are becoming increasingly popular as social media and other aspects of the internet evolve. I only wish that I had known about social bookmarking sites like this one when I was working on group research projects throughout my time here at Georgia Southern University. Delicious certainly would have come in handy in the past 5 years, but I am thankful I now know the benefits as I am entering the professional world in just a few weeks. I can’t wait to share my knowledge with my younger sister who will soon have to work on her first group research project.

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TOW Week 9 & 10: PROpenMic

March 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm (PRCA 3030, TOW "Topic of the Week")

The topic of the week for weeks nine and ten was PROpenMic. PROpenMic is a social network for students, faculty, and practitioners. They claim to be a worldwide network for connections and learning.

I have been a member of PROpenMic for a little over a year now. Although I have created an account, I am not a frequent user of the site. This social networking site, like many others, gives you, the user, the ability to post information about yourself including a link to your blog and Twitter. It even allows you to add photos if you choose.

One of the cool things about PROpenMic is the “Job/Internships” section. On this particular part of the site you are able to see recent searchs for job and internships resources. If you were to click on a link in this section, it takes you right to the source of the posting and you are able to find contact information in order to start the application process. The major PR publications that help keep a running list of job and internship openings on this site are:

PROpenMic has a “forum” section. A forum is an online discussion board, sometimes also called message boards. Members are able to post discussion questions or topics. These are great for getting feedback or advice, especially from practitioners.

There is also a video section located on the social networking site. You are able to narrow your search for videos by choosing from the following categories:

  • PR Week video interviews
  • YouTube PR channels
  • Daily Dog video channel
  • PR OpenMic video chat

This site also offers group and event capabilities. As a member you are able to create events and visit other events members have created through the site. There are groups that have been created by other members. If you are familar with, the groups are similar to the ones on that particular site. You are able to create groups and join groups according to your interests or activiites.

Although PROpenMic is similar to other social networking sites available, I think that it is also has a uniqueness that other sites do not have with it’s forum capabilities and the job/internships section.

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TOW Week 8: Podcasting

March 8, 2010 at 9:56 pm (PRCA 3030, TOW "Topic of the Week")

This week, our topic of the week is to discuss podcasting and the benefits it provides. According to the definition of a podcast is:

a pre-recorded audio program that’s posted to a website and is made available for download so  people can listen to them on personal computers or mobile devices.

The name “pod” casting originated from the Apple iPod. Although the name originated from Apple’s most well-know product, podcasting is not limited to just the iPod.  Listeners are able to subscribe to their favorite podcasts. When a listener subscribes to a podcast, the casts are automatically delivered to them via computer or mobile device. The most popular tool used to listen to podcasts is iTunes.

Podcasts can be very helpful to keeping up and becoming aware of the different things going on in the public relations world. Some PR practitioners have created podcasts in order to keep their publics updated with everything happening so that communication can be successful in the PR community.

Podcasting has become more and more popular within the last few years as technology and the mobile web has evolved into a revoultion. Listening to podcasts can be increasingly helpful to students studying public relations (or studying anything in communications). Podcasts can be thought of as a way to help people with the same interests stay connected.  Part of being a public relations professional means that you have to be current with all things that are going on in the world, as well as the other pr professionals/practitioners out there.

There are websites designed especially for finding podcasts according to your interests or topic of choice. Below are some websites that might be helpful in finding podcasts according to your interests:

Check out at least one of these sites, find something that interests you and let me know what you like best about podcasting!

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TOW Week 7: Foursquare

March 3, 2010 at 8:28 pm (PRCA 3030, TOW "Topic of the Week")

What is foursquare?

This is a question I had to research the answer to before I could begin my topic of the week blog post. Forsquare is an application available on the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or Palm 3G devices. From the foursquare website, this is how to describe what exactly this application is:

“People use foursquare to “check-in”, which is a way of telling us your whereabouts. When you check-in
someplace, we’ll tell your friends where they can find you and recommend places to go & things to do
nearby. People check-in at all kind of places – cafes, bars, restaurants, parks, homes, offices.”

Foursquare can be to an advantage to businesses. Forsquare combines the friend-finder and social network with game-like rewards (aka points). Some local businesses are offering rewards to customers who show their servers/clerks the forsquare application on their phone. If the customer has been a certain place so many times, they could get rewarded with free drinks. This would help build the customer relationship with the business. But with everything there can always be disadvantages. Forsquare could potentially be dangerous. You are checking in to different places you are going and this is being posted over the internet. Is it really safe for the internet world to know where you are going each night of the week?

Overall, I believe the foursquare application is a viable tool and can really strengthen the business-to-consumer relationship. Businesses have a great opportunity at rewarding their customers who are frequenting their place and sharing that visit with others in the foursquare community.  But as with everything dealing with internet usage, people need to be cautious as to what information they are making public knowledge.

I will be trying out the foursquare application on my Blackberry device within the next few weeks and will post back to let you know how it is working out for me.

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TOW Week 6: “Social Media: Friend or Foe?”

March 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm (PRCA 3030, TOW "Topic of the Week")

This week, we were asked to listen to “Social Media: Friend or Foe?”. David Biesack, Shel Holtz, Vida Killian, Terry McKenzie, and Jim Ylisela discuss, “concerns and objections around the adoption of social media communication channel.” The discussion was recorded on October 16, 2008 during the Ragan Communications conference, “Corporate Communications in the Era of Web 2.0.”

The goal of this particular session was to answer all the questions people have social media. The panelists, (David, Shel, Vida, Terry, and Jim) were introduced and the questions started flowing. Each panelist start answering the questions that are thrown at them with their opinions.

A lot of the questions asked revolved around politics instead of just mainly focusing on social media. If a consumer is having issues or doubts about a company and/or its customer service, they should be able to post that question or concern on their choice of social media and expect to get some sort of response in return. Social media is such a great tool for companies to take advantage of. Social media sites give companies the opportunity to build a stronger relationship with their consumer audience. As well as giving customers a response to their questions and/or concerns and building that important relationship, social media also gives companies the advantage of learning what the consumer wants and/or needs.

If used the correct way, social media has the ability to expand consumer-company relations more than ever imaginable before. Social media has all the potential to be a company or consumers best friend. It also has the potential to be an enemy to the person who does not realize how to use social media correctly. For example, if a college student uses and posts inappropriate pictures of he/she drinking underage and looking very unprofessional. This student could apply for a job/internship and the company where he/she applied might have somebody “google” this person and the pictures were then found. Social media could technically be considered the enemy then.

If social media is used correctly and responsibly, it can be somebody’s best friend. So be wise when taking advantage of the social media sites available on the Internet.

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TOW Week 5: Reaction to an Edelman paper

February 16, 2010 at 2:02 pm (PRCA 3030, TOW "Topic of the Week")

Below is my three-pronged reaction to Search Engine Visibility, and Edelman insights paper by Steve Rubel and others at Edelman Digital.

1. What I learned?

  • I did not realize how many search engines are really out there.
  • Search is the most dominant online activity. I guess this really doesn’t surprise me because most people now look to the internet to find answers to all their questions.
  • Enquiro says that 72.4% of people found what they were searching for on the first results page.
  • There are five steps to becoming more visible online: research, teamwork, planning, experimentation, and benevolence.

2. What surprised me?

  • Google recorded 7.23 billion searches in 2008…2 years late I’m sure the number is MUCH higher.
  • According to this article, the terms “search” and “Google” and are synonymous. I will admit I have used the phrase “Just Google it” meaning go to and type in what information you are trying to figure out or discover.
  • A site must earn Google’s trust in order to rank high in the list of search results.
  • Most sites are visited, not by personal bookmarks set up, but instead by search.
  • Companies are setting up Twitter accounts to address customer service issues. JetBlue’s Twitter representatives seem to work faster at responding than customer service.

3. What do I want to learn more about?

  • How Google determines which sites to trust and put higher up in the rank of search results.
  • I want to learn more about the way “clicks” or “visits” are recorded through or other search engines.

This article was extremely interesting and brought up ideas and points I had never thought about before. Research on search engine visibility is interesting to me and I hope to be able to read more about the ways search engines are keeping track of each site. Before this paper, I had never really given much thought on the importance of search engines. There is much more to search engines, such as, than just  being a tool someone uses to uncover some sort of unknown information.

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