Friday, April 13, 2007

Look-Look at the New Entrepreneurs

This week SMU Advanced Comm. Skills students are hard at work finishing up their research
on a trend challenge presented to them by California trend-tracking company Look-Look.
According to the executives at Look-Look, young people (who they define as 19 to 35
years old) are redefining their career values and creating new paths for their work life.

Today's youth are moving away from the old definitions of success held by previous
generations. This shift has kicked-off a surge of young entrepreneurs who are striking
out on their own, developing new business models, launching independent ventures.
Look-Look calls this current breed the “New Entrepreneur.”

To examine this trend, the Look-Look folks have asked our class to research the SMU
community — current students and those who have graduated in the last five to 10
years — to find out if the new entrepreneur trend is showing up at SMU, and in what ways.
In addition to conducting independent interviews with SMU students and alums who fit
the model of the “New Entrepreneur," students in this class are researching the affects
this trend is having or will have on all types of businesses — retail, manufacturing,
technology, health and beauty, service industries, entertainment and fashion.

To read their independent findings, click on their individual blog links to the right
of this page to access their blog entries.

Feel free to leave your comments.

And thank you, Look-Look, for giving students an opportunity
to work on a real-world project.

--Professor Flournoy

Friday, March 23, 2007

What's On This Week

Just back from Spring Break, our class is researching PR case studies to determine the strategy used in handling different types of communication situations. Click on the student blog links to the right of this page to read their findings.

Up next? Trend spotting. Our class will examine trends — what they are and the promotional strategies for pushing them to trend status. We will be working with Look-Look, a trend tracking company that will guide our class in tracking specific trends and reporting the results.

Following are resources students will be browsing for background in assessing the current trend landscape:

Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Kudos for our SMU Student Blogs

One of our student blogs by Meredith Hultman caught the attention of Dave Cote of Agency Next, a professional Marketing and PR agency. He writes about our class blog efforts and predicts that our "forward-thinking skills" will be instrumental in creating "leaders of a new generation of communication strategists."

(Read his entire blog post: Here’s a scholar (and the future of marcom BTW)

We appreciate his vote of confidence. It seems clear that since the Internet is second nature to today's students, communication companies will count on this generation of college students to help companies navigate in the blogosphere. Cote insists, "Organizations with members who blog well and blog regularly will benefit from the invested effort. Striking a balance between getting your message across while serving the needs of your users and building community is critical. Nothing propels adoption faster than online communities. Nothing builds traction more cost effectively. And nothing is more elusive or temporal."

Amen. And although I'm aware that if you're reading this blog, I'm preaching to the choir, it does not change the overwhelming evidence that the blogs have caught on well beyond original expectation. As Cote says on Meredith's blog, "
PR professionals have caught the blog fever, and the only prescription is bloggers like you. As a matter of fact – give us a call when you graduate!"

Count on it.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Thanks Scott Baradell

Today, students in SMU's Advanced Communication Skills class heard from Scott Baradell, founder of Dallas PR firm Idea Grove. Baradell provided a fresh perspective on how students must learn new forms of communication, such as blogging and podcasting, to enhance their communication skills and give them an edge with prospective employers. He said communication professionals no longer refer to blogging as a flash in the pan. In fact, he characterized blogging as "huge" for the communication field.

Baradell urged students to continue developing their blog sites over time, not abandoning their blogs at the end of the semester. "Blogs are a great networking tool, and students should know that by listing their blog sites on their resume, they are giving employers an opportunity to see much more than just what you can squeeze on a resume." He said employers can browse the blog and see the quality of a student's writing style, their point of view, their technological skills and their reach. "Think of your blog as an extension of your resume," he added.

Good advice, Scott. We invite you to drop by our blog and give us advice and insight anytime. And we'll keep up with you through your blog: Media Orchard
Thank you!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Generating Buzz

I asked students to browse the Internet to find examples of unique, quirky or wildly successful ways PR or Marketing practitioners have generated buzz for their clients. Students will post their findings on their blog site (Student blog links are listed in the column to the right of this page). We invite communication pros. to share your tips or examples for creating Buzz. Leave your comments in this posting, but be sure to check student blogs to see what they have to say on the subject.
Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Welcome to Advanced Communication Skills

Put on your sunglasses. The future of corporate communications is bright, even blinding. Students in this Advance Communications Skills class will spend this semester exploring new strategies and tactics being used in professional communications. Forward thinking communication professionals understand that the Internet is constantly changing the way we give and receive information. Consumers now access media, information and entertainment in a variety of ways--anytime, anywhere. In this hypercompetitive public relations marketplace, today’s practitioners must have some working knowledge of the technology that is changing the business of communication.

So this semester, we’ll examine the impact of blogs, podcasting, and RSS feeds. Students will also become familiar with the best practices in corporate communications. We will do this by using our student blogs to invite the professional PR community to contribute their insights on our class blogsite.

To get started, 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. Next, each student will build a personal blog site throughout the semester. But more on that in class.
--Professor Flournoy