Saturday, April 19, 2008

PR Profs tell students: Keep up the good blogs

With the semester's finish line in sight, I want to congratulate student bloggers for creating innovative blog sites with many insightful posts.

Not only did you delve into the assigned communication topics (the implications of technology for the PR/PA field, media relations, net neutrality, online ethics and CSR)but you brought a lot of your own thoughts about current and future communication "practices into the mix.

Especially memorable are your postings about the impact of blogs and online social networking on political systems worldwide, on the US presidential elections, the way in which bloggers have exposed human rights atrocities in China and how that has played out in the lead-up to the Olympics.

My repeated prompting for students to mingle in the blogosphere in an attempt to generate hits (comments) on your blog resulted in a few hits for students this semester, and also served to confirm our understanding that getting traffic to your blogsite can be tough with the zillions of blogs all competing for attention. I know you tried.

Caitlin Myers tried, and scored. Her lively profile on Tim Rogers, executive editor of "D", ended up on the magazine's award-winning blog: Front Burner.
It received both praise and sharp criticism, which illustrates the disconnect between PR and journalism. Chalk it up to experience.

Speaking of experience, we are grateful for the fabulous speakers (should I include Tony Blair?) who took time out to give students the benefit of their experience. We were wowed by Dallas communication professionals like Burson-Marsteller's Mike Lake, Weber-Shandwick's Ken Luce, Erika Holland, Allan Koenig and Ann Jane Cox, Fleishman Hillard's Destiny Varghese and Jenny Parker, and Scott Baradell, president of The Idea Grove, a branding strategy and public relations agency.

Baradell sort of capped off the semester when he concluded his talk last week by urging students to keep their blog going after the semester ends, and even after they graduate. Treat it like a living PR document, a resume that reflects your personal brand. Amen.

Enjoy your summer, and keep blogging. I'll be checking in to see what's on your mind. Thanks for making it a great semester. --Prof. Flournoy

Monday, January 07, 2008

Taking Root

It's not an orignial notion, but it is still fresh: working in corporate communication is about networking, establishing a strong root system in order to grow. That' what students in this Communication, Technology and Globalization class will be doing this semester. Students will branch out, make connections and explore 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, at a moment's notice — anytime, anywhere. In this hypercompetitive global marketplace, communication students must learn to navigate in a rapidly changing, complex web of information exchange. Getting your message out there has never been so instant and so complicated.

So this semester, we’ll examine the latest trends in communication technology, beginning with blogs. We'll use the blog format as a forum for discussing current 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. By doing this, we hope to put down roots, create mentor relationships, and open up frank, informative dialog.

To get started, each student is invited to post a comment here describing your goals for the class this semester. But first, browse the blog links on this site to get familiar with ideas that fellow communication students and professionals are discussing in the blogosphere. Be sure to sign your name to your comment. Next, each student will build a personal blog site. But more on that in class.
--Professor Flournoy