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