Archive for the ‘Topic of the Week Comm4633’ Category

TOW #4

My chapter is “Talking with the Groundswell.”  This chapter was very helpful to read because my mom has been asking me about how to use social media in business.  Here are some quotes for how to talk with the groundswell from page 103 in the groundswell book:

“1. Post a viral video.  Put a video online, and let people share it.  That’s what Blendtec did with its extreme blending videos.

2. Engage in social networks and user-generated content sites.  Creating a personality within social networking sites like MySpace is one of the simplest ways to extend your brand reach.  Turning it into a conversation is harder.

3. Join the blogosphere.  Empower your executives or staff to write blogs.  Integral to this strategy is listening to and responding to other blogs in the blogosphere-and that’s one way talking with blogs is different from issuing press releases.  In this chapter we show how HP uses blogs to its advantage.

4. Create a community.  Communities are a powerful way to engage with your customers and deliver value to them.  They’re also effective at delivering marketing messages, as long as you listen, not just shout.  We’ll show this through the example of Procter & Gamble’s beinggirl.com, a site for adolescent girls.”

Here are some tips from the same page about advertising:

“Worldwide, marketers spent more than $400 billion on advertising in 2006, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Much of this money is spent on television commercials.  This is not talking, this is shouting.  Advertising thrives on repetition.  The two main measures are reach (the gross number of individuals screamed at) and frequency (the number of times each one hears the shout).  Advertising is about mass.”

My groundswell chapter was great.  I have recommended this book to my mom.  She started reading it when I brought it home for the weekend.  She has already taken pages of notes just on my assigned chapter that she plans to study!  This is a great book.


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Who are you wearing?

12 Apr

Photo: ppjumpping

Christian Dior announced Tuesday that he fired his chief designer John Galliano for making anti-semtic remarks. Natalie Portman, Academy Award winner for best leading actress in her movie “Black Swan” refused to wear Mr. Galliano’s dress to the Oscars.  She said that she did not agree with the statements that he made and she would not support him by wearing his dresses.  ”I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano’s comments that surfaced today… In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way. I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful.” says Portman.

This article is from Katy Carpinello’s blog.

TOW #15

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TOW #13

I chose Rebecca Black’s video not because I particularly like it, but because it’s one of the most populare YouTube videos in the history of viral videos.  What does it take for a video to go viral?  It takes laughter!  It takes a lot of laughter.  People go to YouTube in hopes of escaping the dull every day cubicle work routine.  They want to be entertained.  But they don’t just want to be entertained.  They want to have something that they can share with their friends.  Telling a friend about a video you saw on YouTube is on some level, perhaps small, a reflection of yourself.  Most people want to appear “cool.”  Choosing a hit video to share with your friends can create an inside joke that lasts for months.  Who doesn’t want to take credit for a great inside joke?

Another reason videos go viral lies with the ability to spice up every day occurrences.  People want to see what they do every day in a new light.  Or better yet, they want to see things that they don’t think would actually happen to them or around them.  Another aspect of a viral video is sometimes stupidity.  Most people end up judging themselves against others.  Many people find a twisted comfort in making fun of the talent in others because it makes them feel adequate.  People want to believe that they could also make a viral video and become famous.  They want to feel more capable than those who are currently enjoying their own viral video success.

I don’t see viral videos going away any time soon.  People enjoy watching other people do stupid things.  People like to make fun of people, period.  Because of that, I think there will always be an audience for viral videos.  Good luck to you all who make a viral video, and stay safe!

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TOW #14.  This is an article from Laurie Cobb’s blog.

April 22, 2011

Lindsay Lohan’s Courtroom Drama

In sending Lindsay Lohan to jail, the judge said  she  might behave better after seeing "how truly needy women ... have to live."

Image credit: Alan Duke

Lindsay Lohan appeared in court today for what seems like the thousandth time this year.

She was sentenced to 120 days in jail until her lawyer made an appeal and posted a $75,000 bond for her to be temporarily freed.

Her brushes with the law have been very publicized and all of these offenses make me wonder something. How many times does she have to drive drunk, violate her probation and steal expensive necklaces before she actually has to face up to her crimes? I probably sound like an extremely cynical person, but it seems to me that her money gets her out of a lot of jams. I know the justice system is not perfect, and we have many brilliant and hard-working people striving to make sure it remains fair and balanced, but what does this entire mess say to a generation of young people?

It reminds me of my three-year-old when she hits her sister and thinks she can avoid a timeout. What happens when my little daughter avoids punishment?

It somehow teaches her she can do whatever she wants.

Punishment is a necessary and healthy part of life. Without it, we’d all be a wreck.

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I learned that there are differences but also similarities in the private sector and the public sector.  Building social media policies is important.  What do you do if you want to have a social media profile when you work for a high profile company?  There is a concept called a social media packet that employees will be able to utilize.

He as able to launch radio stations as program director.  I found that interesting.  It also gave him a lot of credibility to me.  We definitely have been social for a long time, but the way public relations relates to communication is evolving.  There must be a balance between the public relations executive sitting with their arms crossed refusing to get a Twitter account and the up-and-coming executive who dismisses traditional business practices that helped the industry of public relations grow.

I didn’t realize that companies had “micro-blogging policies.”  Just because all of us can self publish doesn’t necessarily mean that we are great writers.  Content is very important.  I agree that one of the best ways to become a better writer is to write quite a bit.  Now I know that if I’m a bit stumped for topics to blog about, I should just write.  Sometimes you figure out what you are interested in as you continue writing.  You could write the ending and the beginning, and then decide what you want in the middle. Writing a blog is more about focus on content than focusing on how many people are reading your blog when you first start.  Find what you like and write about it.

I would like to know more about the book mentioned, “Six Pixels of Separation.” Finding your audience is important, but you will start to find your audience after you start getting in the groove of writing.

TOW #12

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A podcast is a way to educate others on the topic of your choice.  If your organization deals with public relations, you might create a podcast that addresses topics relevant to PR professionals.  Your topics could range from what to wear to your next job interview, to the techie lingo used for Facebook and Twitter.  Either way, what you put out there for people to hear needs to be pertinent and useful.

PR majors would benefit quite a bit from listening to PR related podcasts.  It gives you a chance to have an inside look at how the PR world operates.  It also gives you the chance to listen to mainstream players in the PR world.  What a great opportunity!  Can you listen to such podcasts for free?  Why, yes you can.  Talk about a priceless tool.  When I listened to a PR podcast for this class, it was pretty interesting.  I liked that I could learn from teaching of professionals at absolutely no charge.  It’s almost too good to be true.  Actually, my professor was mentioned during the podcast because it’s a requirement for our course.  I admit, one of my favorite aspects of the podcast was the foreign accents.  English accents get me every time.

Podcasts  are a part of generating a reputation and image for your company.  If you think your company has something relevant to say about given topics, podcast it.  You can subscribe to podcasts instead of just searching the name and downloading a few here and there.  For some, this is the better option, especially if you have a favorite that you don’t want to miss.  I think most of all, a podcast creates the opportunity for having a conversation with clients or the general public.  What is covered isn’t just straight-jacket jargon.  People use examples from their own life when relating core concepts.

TOW #8

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I admit I had absolutely no idea what Foursquare was until I started researching for this post!  I’ve always been weary about giving my location to any app or website.  But I’ll touch more on that later.


Foursquare is a tool people use to learn more about fun things to do around their location.  You can also check out helpful tips on something equally as important: what to avoid at all costs.  Have you seen people “checking in” at different locations on Facebook?  You already understand the concept.  Foursquare takes checking into a location to a whole different level.  Honesty time…I’ve been craving steak for a while; a seared, tender, melt in your mouth work of art.  If you have a similar craving, check out some of the best steakhouses in your area on Foursquare.  Some restaurants might be known for impeccable service while the next steakhouse down the road is known for rushing you in and out the door as though your business is not appreciated. That is one of the benefits of Foursquare.  You get to see tips from people who have actually been there.


Foursquare does not stop at check ins.  You can earn badges on their website, depending on how many times you check in.  If you check in the most at a certain location, you become the mayor of that location on Foursquare!  That could unlock some sensational opportunities for special packages and discounts.  And if you are going a a place that much, you will probably save some cash here and there from the discounts.


Companies are certainly benefiting from the use of Foursquare.  The more people who check in, the more popular their location becomes, which brings more business.  I will also voice a word of caution, though.  There are potential dangers in giving away your location to location-based services.  Be careful of who you want to know where you are.  If everyone using Foursquare knows where you are, there is pretty much nothing stopping them from meeting up with you at your location.  As the welcome video describes on Foursquare’s website, it could bring about a moment of serendipity, but it could also bring about danger.  Have fun with it, but keep safety in mind.  Good luck!

TOW #7

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