Monday, November 24, 2008

Missouri State University and Social Media: The Necessary Next Step

It goes without saying that Missouri State University would have to leap into the Mediascape of online communication. The most important time of my life was choosing which college to attend after my Associate's Degree was finished, and a large part of why I chose MSU's Department of Communication was because information about this department was at the click of a button, thanks to Carey Adams, then Head of the Department. He has done wonderful things to keep the COM department up to date with the latest online trends, and the InCommon Blog that goes out to all the Undergraduate and Graduate Students has been online for over 4 years. It started as a Newsletter/Website for the COM department, but Dr. Adams and our professors clearly understood that they needed to adapt to the fresh markets that interested students such as myself would be interested in viewing. Now, he's Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and rightfully so.

Brad Mitchell, New Media master at Missouri State University has his work cut out for him. I could spend entire days on MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, LinkedIn, Del.ic.ious, Technorati, and Google (with all it's progyny in GoogleEarth, GoogleReader, and Google searches in general). [My goodness where do you find a job like his? I hope more New Media positions are opening up and will be waiting for me when I graduate!!] Anyway, Brad's presentation of all the work he does for Missouri State was enough to fill a 12-18 hour day, every day, and it's rightfully so.
Who does Missouri State need to reach online that it's so important for a New Media specialist to be hired? High-School, College-Bound, Scholarship-seeking, future students of our Alma Mater. Alumni. Our External Partners, Stakeholders, such as Missouri State Government; Competition such as the University of Missouri System, and others. But the main event is still future students. And within the next year, Alumni will probably be a much stronger audience than they are right now in social media relations. People will get the idea soon enough.
Interestingly, I was just discussing Natalie Hinds' COM Theory paper with her before writing this blog, and she is looking at the concept of the 'Digital Divide' where online social media and our push to use it becomes more of an issue in information sharing because there are still certain socio-economic classes that don't have access to these websites we are swooning all about. Heck, in Poplar Bluff, MO alone I bet that there are people MY AGE who never get on a computer. Why do they need to spend that kind of money and time? They don't when they are farmers, factory workers and their whole lives revolve around our little community. So how do we reach those who have little to no access to online communication? What about when it's not about marketing, promotions, or public relations but its about their HEALTH? Let us not forget that the traditional ways (snail mail, posters, brochures, A PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF AN ORGANIZATION'S PHONELINE) are still necessary in order to understand, communicate and think about the diverse world in which we live.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Waiting for the other foot to drop

We all know about Podcasts -- and how people can download audio/visual 'broadcasts' of someone else's onto their personal music/video device or computer. What I want to see now is this technology be integrated with the wireless world. What I mean is, when can each person who decides to create podcasts going to get their own wireless channel, like on Sirius or XM satellite?

Another thought, I do think that Podcasts are an interesting way to communicate information, but I see it being more of an internal communication tool for the PR rep than external. Meeting debreifings, conference debreifings, things that people need to catch up on about their organization, this would be a great way to transform the hum-drum newsletter from days of old into the Web 2.0 world.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ethical Challenges to IMC

The problem I see with Integrated Marketing Communications is the idea that you are putting marketing communication with public relations. I don't typically view marketing as being very ethical. Maybe this is a stigma that I've received from uncredible sources, but it's been an issue for a long time now, way before we've been talking about Web 2.0 or even seriously considering the internet as a big marketing tool. It's probably all the Bill Hicks comedy specials I've watched (you really need to click on this link - but be warned- lots of swearing).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Press Releases

The handout given in class about how to write a press release online was very helpful to understand how formatting and general layouts will be better received in online media. I couldn’t help but notice that the version already had a ‘1.5’ attached to it. What this tells me is that this formatting template is merely the first of many. This formatting will be in constant flux as we as Communication and Public Relations scholars continue to conduct marketing research and shift into new paradigms. It seems that standards and norms such as this press release template will constantly change depending on what the demands of online constituents are. This could change in a few years, or tomorrow.

We now have to think of who will be viewing our press releases. It’s not just the media we are trying to connect with anymore. Any informed person can look online and view a press release (whether they know it’s a press release or not will be another story). I’m expecting that by the time I retire I will be viewing a press release format version ‘56.3’, which will deal with holograms and formatting your press release to be viewed in the windshield of your flying car and other futuristic options for you to consider when practicing PR.