Thursday, September 07, 2006

What's Up in Communication Practices?

This question goes out to professional communicators: What current and future trends are taking hold in corporate communications, public relations, media relations, marketing and the like? If you've kept up with this blog, you know it's geared toward SMU Communication (CCPA) students in my Advanced Communication Skills class. Students last semester gained valuable insight from professionals who commented on this blog site and on the student blog sites. (Students were required to develop their own blog for the class. Their blogs are listed below.) One unexpected benefit from the class was internship and job offers students received as a result of their blogs. The assigned articles posted on their blogs gave potential employers an opportunity to see the students' skills and their knowledge of the field.

For spring semester, in addition to developing a blog, students will learn podcasting and webcasting, and how these new forms of communication are being used to effectively deliver messages in an world struggling with information overload.

So, as I begin preparing the class for the next round of students in Advanced. Com. Skills, I invite you to offer the benefit of your experience to the wannabe communication professionals of tomorrow. What are some of the best practices in PR today? What new strategies, cutting edge technology, networking opportunities, skills and approaches will give students an edge as they move into real-world communication work?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Have a great summer!

Hi ya'll.
Thanks to all of you for making this a great semester. I loved the experimental nature of the class and the fact that we all learned a lot about new technology, blogging, professional networking and best practices in communication. I hope you will keep your blog going. I will keep all student blog addresses here so we can keep up with each other. I'm sure you will want to change the focus or theme of your blog to suit your interests. I look forward to seeing how your blogs will evolve. Stay in touch and I will too.

Have a wonderful summer!!!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Communicating Through Pop Culture

The buzz biz thrives on celebrities. Get a celebrity to use your product when the paparazzi are around, and boom, your client scores. Pop culture has become an increasingly useful tool for PR practitioners working to generate exposure for their clients. That's the subject of the student blogs this week, so visit their blogs for the young perspective. Who knows better than SMU college students what's trendy and why?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Thank you, Pat Porter!

SMU CCPA students were awed at the wealth of experience and practical know-how Pat Porter managed to squeeze into a one-hour class last week. Porter, the Executive Director of Dallas Business Committee for the Arts (DBCA), discussed non-profit communications, business arts advocacy and cause-related marketing. She told students to watch trends in social venture partnerships, improved methods in research and documented outcomes, globalization, technology, strategic alliances and how non-profits are realigning to meet the changing demands in communication.

Thanks again, Pat. It's the first time I've heard students say they wish the class could have been longer.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Edelman Trio Tells It Like It Is

Advanced Comm Skills students had not one but three speakers from Edelman last week. All were SMU communications alums who came to offer advice to CCPA students about working in "real world" PR. SMU CCPA graduates Kate Parkhouse and Stephanie Blackburn, and SMU Journalism graduate Antra Higgins spoke frankly about what students can expect, ways to prepare and how to get an edge in the very competitive communications field.

Students gave a resounding thumbs up to the presentation.

Thanks to our speakers and to Edelman Dallas for letting you off work to visit our class.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Don't forget to blog!

I know. All you can think about is Spring Break. But before you go...Blog. Your random, anything-goes blog is due Friday, March 10. No need to blog on the main class site, just on your own blog.

Have an outstanding Spring Break.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Jody Venturoni on "real world" PR

This week our class was honored to hear from Jody Venturoni, executive vice presient and general manager for the Southwest region of Weber Shandwick. Drawing from almost 20 years of experience in communications, Venturoni gave CCPA students a no-nonsense take on working in agency-side PR. From her current work on issues involving the Wright Amendment to the difficult moments of leading the crisis response team for American Airlines after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Venturoni's background and experience inspired students to get started with internships in the field as soon as possible. I'm sure students were phoning her moments after she returned to her office Wednesday.
Thanks so much, Jody.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Looking at Case Studies in Corporate Communication

This week our class is browsing through case studies which demonstrate strategic moves by PR professionals who successfully (or unsuccessfully) handled a client's situation. We're looking at cases in which PR helped clients in myriad ways, from dealing with crisis or diverting a crisis, to a product launch or major announcement.

Students will research, select and examine one PR case study for the lessons it offers in what to do or not to do. They will post their blog on this topic on Wednesday, March 8. Visitors can browse and comment on the student blogs by clicking on the student links on the lower right side of this page.

Professionals are invited to suggest case study examples or sites for finding PR case studies here. As always, thanks for your input.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Emerging Communication Technology

This week we're exploring new communication technology that is changing public relations and business communication. What are the latest technological trends impacting corporate communicators? What are the implications for the future of PR? Students and Professionals are invited to post your insights on the subject here. Thanks!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Burson's Mike Lake Rocks

Our thanks to Mike Lake, chairman of Burson-Marsteller's Southwest division, for bringing the benefit of his more than 25 years of public and private sector PR experience to the students in our Advanced Communication Skills class last Friday. Mike managed to cover a wide range of information, from an excellent overview of local and global PR operations today, to concrete tips for graduating seniors looking for jobs and/or internships in the field. He even brought handouts of Burson's writing test given to job applicants. All much appreciated.

Students are asked to respond to Mike's lecture with comments and questions posted here. I've asked Mike to read your blog comments, so heed his advice and polish your basic writing skills. (Good advice, Mike!)

Note to students: Ordinarily I would have advised you to refer him as Mr. Lake, but in class he asked students to call him Mike, so feel free to address him as Mike when you're blogging.

Getting Ink for Clients

Students in SMU's Advanced Communication Skills class were asked to research professional PR websites and blogs for expert tips on creative ways to get ink, or media attention for clients. To read their papers on this topic, scroll down the right side of the screen and click on the links to their individual blog sites. Visitors, we invite you to add your own comments, tips and insights to the topic here, as well as on the student blogs. Thanks.

Note to students: You don't need to provide a synopsis of your paper on the main class site as was required with the first paper. Just post your completed paper on your blog Monday before class.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Let's Get This Party Started

Did you ever throw a party and were afraid nobody would show up? Me neither. But when we started this blog last month, I was concerned our invitations for communication professionals to join our online conversation might result in a no-show. Hardly. Folks are poking into our blog both by invitation and by chance. We've had positive responses and tips from a handful of "real world" pros who salute what our class is doing this semester.

Check out the resounding support we're getting at in the February 08, 2006 post entitled: "Mentors move in; SMU opens up a can of new student bloggers."

In addition to comments and tips posted on the main class site, several of the individual student blogs have received blog comments from professional observers. This is testimony to the great work these CCPA students are doing.

Keep up the good work, CCPA students. And keep blogging us, PR Pros. Your input is invaluable and much appreciated.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Effective ways communication professionals use blogs:

For this first formal paper topic, students should post brief overviews of their papers here and post their complete paper on this topic on their individual blogsite.

Visitors and students are invited to browse the comments posted on this blog topic to get a glimpse of some of the students' work, then go to the students' individual blogsites to read their papers in full. The student blog links are listed at the lower right of this page.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Week 3

Monday I want everyone to post a blog on the ten talking points in corporate communications and PR you were asked to round up for discussion.

Also, go to at least five blog sites of your classmates and blog a comment on their "talking points" blog--providing observations and comments about this blog topic. Try to blog students who have not yet been blogged.

Note: You should have already posted a blog on your overall impression of blogging on the main class blog site. (See Blogging 101 in the archives here if you've forgotten this request.)

Wed. you will work in the lab on the first topics assignment, which must be posted Friday morning to get full credit.

Fri. we will discuss your blog papers and begin discussing your next topic assignment. We will also attempt to get everyone in gear on your communication professional interview/overview assignment.

I'm pleased to report that everyone is getting the hang of blogging more quickly than I expected. I like the way some of you are personalizing your site by bringing out your specific interests in the field of communication. Keep up the good work.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Communication Strategies

Week 2:
Hope everyone is getting the hang of blogging. This week you should be browsing various blog sites to get a feel for ways communication professionals are using blogs in their work. You will then write a paper (see your syllabus under Writing Assignments/Topics) addressing your observations about blogs as a PR tool. You can paste your completed paper as a post on your blog, being sure to file your paper according to the deadline, as discussed in class. You will then write a one to two paragraph overview of your paper topic on the class blog site (here). Remember to sign your name at the end of your comments.
If you have not yet managed to get your blog up and running, talk to me in class.
--Prof. Flournoy

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Blogging 101

Welcome to the Advanced Comm. Skills class. To get started in the world of blogging this semester, each student must post a comment here regarding your overall impression of blogging. Do this AFTER you have browsed the recommended blog sites and have read the blog articles assigned in class. Be sure to sign your name to your comment.

Keep in mind, I am also new to blogging, so we're exploring this together. If you're an experienced blogger, feel free to share you're know-how with the class. The idea is to learn some of the new tools which many corporate communications practitioners consider essential. Each student will build a personal blog site throughout the semester.

It should be an interesting ride. --Professor Flournoy