Political Social Media…How Would Dr. Dudash Handle It?

Dr. Dudash visited class last Monday and discussed her views on politics pertaining specifically to social media. This was such an interesting topic considering it is a very new concept for politicians and voters. This past election between Obama and Romney presented the first election to have highly active social media leading up to voting day.

Dudash was asked to reflect on the reading about this issue and how she interpreted it. The first thing she noticed was the fact that they compared a political campaign to a marketing campaign. She explained that politics is a zero sum game; you either win, or you lose. You only have a short period to respond, so it is do or die. This reasoning is what makes political campaigns so different from marketing campaigns.

It was very interesting once she started to figure out where social media comes into play in politics. She seemed just as confused as anyone when it comes to this issue because it is something no one has ever had to study and examine. Dr. Dudash mentioned that there is a complicated persuasion process in politics. First, you have to persuade your audience to listen to you. Then you have to persuade them to vote. Finally, you have to persuade them to vote for you. This is where she said social media becomes bizarre.

She then discussed the history of technology pertaining to elections in the past. Each year, things got more advanced. It is interesting to me that this was the first year social media came into play because it feels like people have been using it for a long time. It is bizarre to think that four years ago, Twitter was hardly even known by the public. Social media in politics proposes an issue when you look at how much interactivity and commenting goes on. This is encouraged in the business and personal realm of social media, yet very confusing and problematic for politics.

People cannot figure out what message to analyze once interactivity and commenting occurs on social media platforms. Social media makes a national campaign seem interpersonal, which is something that has never occurred before. After this past campaign, it is apparent that more studies need to be done on political social media. More people will know how to handle it and “tame the beast” if it is examined more and possible solutions are made.


How to Create a Podcast – A Personal Learning Project

Here is the podcast I have made for my personal learning project. Click on this link: http://snd.sc/Q9aQ58

In this post, I am going to discuss how I learned to make a podcast, starting with all the downloads required and ending with the post to this blog. The music you just heard for my introduction was taken from a free royalty free music website titled Smartsound.com.

Podcasts are a very easy way to keep your audience engaged, especially if you have daily or weekly news you want to share. According to Joanna Penn on her website, “The Creative Penn,” a podcast is, “an audio file that you can stream and distribute over the internet.” They can range from talk shows to university lectures and everything in between. The advantage of a podcast is that you can download the audio at whatever time you like, whereas radio only airs at a specific time of the day. This makes it more convenient for listeners to tune in at their leisure.

While “stumbling” on the website Stumbleupon.com, I also happened to come across a post by “The Actor’s Checklist” that gave some very useful information about podcasts and how they can be used for media and entertainment purposes. According to their post, “[Podcasting] became popular in late 2004, largely due to automatic downloading of audio onto portable players or personal computers. Podcasting is distinct from other types of online media delivery because of its subscription model, which uses a feed (such as RSS or Atom) to deliver an enclosed file. Podcasting enables independent producers to create self-published, syndicated ‘radio shows,’ and gives broadcast radio programs a new distribution method.”

Because of the RSS feed advantage, podcasts allow listeners to subscribe and have episodes downloaded automatically to their players. This advantage is great for businesses that want to keep their publics up to date about what is new with their organization. Another great thing about podcasts is the fact that there are so many offered to the public, especially on iTunes. These podcasts are split up into different categories and enable a listener to choose the ones that best pertain to their lifestyle or needs.

The most popular place to download podcasts is from iTunes. According to Joanna, there are millions of free ones out there that have amazing quality. However, there are other places that supply you with podcasts as well. For instance, I prefer to download my podcasts to Soundcloud.com. It is very easy and convenient. If you look at my podcast in this blog, you can see that I have uploaded it using Sound Cloud. I will explain to you how I uploaded it later on in this podcast.

Now I am going to discuss the steps that need to be taken in order to create a podcast. I found a very useful video tutorial from a website by the name of Tinkernut.com. It walked me through the process of making a podcast starting with the software downloads to the exporting of the finished podcast. I am going to walk you through the steps I took to create this podcast:

Step 1. I downloaded the software Audacity by going online and searching it via the Google search engine. Once I found it, I clicked the “download for Windows” option. I then clicked “save file” and it saved to my desktop with its own icon.

Step 2. While on the same website, Tinkernut.com suggested that I download the MP3 encoder as well so that I could upload my finished podcast as an MP3 file. I then clicked on the link for that and saved it to my computer as well. Once it was saved, I needed to extract all the files from it in order for it to function properly.

Step 3. Once I downloaded Audacity, I then downloaded an app on my iPhone called 1st Video by Vericorder. This app allows me to record or take video and pictures. The convenient thing about this app is that they are automatically saved and then you can share them online using a web address. This gave me a fast and easy way to upload each section of my podcast and edit it in Audacity.

Step 4. After I had done all my research and typed it up into a blog post, I then started recording myself paragraph by paragraph. This helped me to organize the podcast and figure out what order sounded best for the audience to follow along.

Step 5. I uploaded each sound file onto my computer and saved them. One by one, I imported them into Audacity in order to edit the files.

Step 6. I used the play button to play each file and see what I could remove. In order to remove the unwanted sound, I highlighted the area I wanted. I then went to Edit>Remove Audio>Trim, or you can just press Ctrl + T. This helped me get a better flow between paragraphs for the podcast to have better quality.

Step 7. Once I had all my writing spoken and edited, I then imported the royalty free music in places throughout the podcast. I did this in order to give the podcast variety and to split it up into sections. The first section gave my research, and the second section gave what I learned.

Step 8. Now that I had all of the podcast edited how I wanted, I then had to export it. I went to File>Export and then saved the file as a WAV file.

Step 9. After saving the file, I went to Soundcloud.com and clicked “Upload and Share.” I found the WAV file and then clicked on it. I then edited all the information that I needed to before saving it.

Step 10. I then went to my blog, clicked the HTML tab, and then embedded the link of the podcast so that it would appear into the blog post.

This completes my personal learning project of learning how to make a podcast. From start to finish, I used various resources to complete the project successfully. Hope you enjoyed!







Good to Go with Web 2.0

Social media has shown everyone in the world a new level of interaction. People do not realize how much more impact news can have if the way it is communicated evokes feedback. A few years ago, news was only spread through word-of-mouth, television, radio, and other ways of one-way communication. This hindered people from expanding their knowledge through comments and other forms of feedback.

According to Sarah Anne Noel in her blog post titled “Truth and Two-Way Communication: Using Social Media for PR” on June 9, 2009, “Social media outlets open the gateways to conversations, often times between a basic consumer and a decision-making member of any given organization. It creates a two-way communication stream essential to customer service (and public relations!) success. Good public relations offers controlled messages, but it also puts power in the hands of the people by providing the information and opportunities that they need. Social media gives any PR professional the means to do exactly that.”

I completely agree with what Sarah is saying with regards to two-way communication putting power in the hands of the people. Ethan Forhetz from KY3 News also made a few great points in class regarding this topic. He explained how important the Facebook page is to his relationship with his fans. Obviously he is only participating in one-way communication when he is airing on television news.

Therefore, he stated how much he appreciated the ability to communicate with his fans and receive feedback and comments on his Facebook page. They can interact with him through social media and feel a connection with him as a person instead of a news anchor. Often times people need to feel like their opinion or presence is very important, and social media definitely allows organizations to accomplish this goal effectively and conveniently.

Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

Public relations campaigns never cease to impress me. It always seems that the simplest idea can form awesome results for organizations. Depending on the idea they are looking to convey with their campaign, public relations professionals brainstorm ways that will be the most effective. However, this is something that is very hard to predict and foresee for an organization. Success appears to come from well done research and planning.

Dove, a personal care company owned by Unilever, decided that they needed to take action once they got lost in a crowded market of personal care companies. This called for a public relations campaign, and Edelman public relations agency were the ones for the task. Their solution was to focus not on the product itself, but to make the women using the product feel beautiful regardless of their age or size.

According to the Campaign for Real Beauty’s website, they stated, “The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is a global effort that is intended to serve as a starting point for societal change and act as a catalyst for widening the definition and discussion of beauty. The campaign supports the Dove mission: to make women feel more beautiful every day by challenging today’s stereotypical view of beauty and inspiring women to take great care of themselves.”

They made distinct goals in order to change women’s perceptions of their bodies and figure out what true beauty entailed. They also wanted to change the way beauty was viewed in the beauty market. In order to do this, they did their research by performing multiple interviews and surveys with women of ages 18 to 64 all across the globe.

Dove’s target audience was women of all ages and sizes, and they set many objectives for what they wanted to accomplish with the campaign. Their tactics included: advertising, television commercials, their website, billboards, the Dove self esteem fund, and interviews. Their campaign was very successful and boosted sales of their products. It received lots of media coverage and many people visited the website to share their thoughts about the campaign.

This campaign received many awards, including: PR Week’s Consumer Launch Campaign of the Year in 2006, PRSA’s Silver Anvil “Best of” Award in 2006, and the Grand EFFIE Award in 2006. Check out this Prezi that includes more information about this campaign and why it was so successful:

Also check out the television commercial that became so popular during the campaign entitled “Dove Evolution”:

He Can Move His Hairline…and Now the Whole World Knows

In 2010, a Missouri State University student named Frank Albenesius posted a YouTube video showing his random funny talent. He can move his hairline to make it look like he is wearing a wig, and wanted to share it with the social media world. Check it out:

As discussed in class last Monday, people can post anything on Reddit.com and it can be found by anyone on the Internet. A few days ago, Frank’s video made it to the front page of Reddit.com and has gone viral since. Here is a photo of his post on Reddit.com.

Ever since his video was posted to Reddit.com, it has reached over five different websites. These websites include Break.com, Viralviralvideos.com, the Tosh.O blog, MSN.com, and Facebook.com. Frank was even asked to do it again so he made a new version of the video. Check it out:

This is a local example of what Reddit.com can do for posts that go viral. In a matter of hours, videos and other media can reach a plethora of people in an instant via the Internet.

See Ya College…Hello Career!

A few weeks ago, it became even more real to me that I will be graduating in May of 2013.  If you are like me, that still seems pretty far away. However, it is only 7 months from now…

As frightening as that sounds to me, I can now say that I am more excited than anything else. The reason I say this is because I have a lot to look forward to in the next year. I will be making the classic transition from college life to career life, and I could not be more psyched about it!

I received an email on Monday, Oct. 1, from my boss at one of my internships this past summer. He was sending me an email in order to thank me for the work I did all summer, and also wanted to offer me a career there after I graduate! I was filled with mixed emotions–sighing with relief that I had at least one job offer, excitement that it could be the career I want, but also confused as to whether I should commit to it just yet.

I really liked working for them over the summer, but it is going to take some time for me to decide if it is the right place for me to begin my public relations career. However, I do think it will be a very comfortable start that will allow me to expand their social media base and get their name out to the community more.

If I were to take this position, I would be the Director of Marketing and Recruitment at Duchesne High School in St. Charles, Mo. This would consist of recruiting more students to attend the school through various public relations tactics, as well as working with the students to promote the school within. I would also create all the marketing and public relations tools and designs, communicate with all the parents of the students, and assist in the organization of fundraising and special events.

I think it is safe to say I have a lot to look forward to, but I also need to begin brainstorming ideas for how to improve the school’s communication and public relations efforts. They are very good at updating Facebook, yet I think more could be done with the Twitter account. I could also make more video and audio podcasts in order to give faculty, students (future and present), and parents something to watch and see the school’s personality better.

I am wondering if any of you have other ideas I could bring to the table? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I am really looking forward to this possible future career. Whatever thoughts you have I will take into consideration for my new public relations campaign for Duchesne. Thank you!

Instagram: Photo Sharing Instantly

Knowing that photos can now be taken on mobile devices, people have recognized the need for apps to accommodate to this ability. Many photos that are taken by people on their mobile devices deserve to be shared with others. Therefore, apps have been made in order to share your mobile photos with others.

Instagram, the most popular photo sharing app, is a fun and easy way to share your life with others through the pictures you post. It is quick and easy by simply taking the photo, choosing from numerous different filters, and then choosing which networks you want to share it with including your Instagram app homepage.

I have an iPhone, so when I share photos using Instagram I can post them to the following networks: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, email, Flickr, or foursquare. You also have the option to write a caption about the photo that will appear along with it once it gets posted.

This app was created in order to make mobile photos look more than mediocre by using filters. It also tries making photo sharing more convenient by having all networks available in the same upload. The uploads are very fast and efficient as well, so your photos will usually be uploaded in a matter of seconds.

Instagram is a free app that is available at the Apple app store and the Google Play store. I suggest you check it out and make your photo sharing experience more enjoyable, fun, and convenient!

The Post-Exam Examination

Looking back on Monday night’s exam, I am able to let out a sigh of relief. I had very high expectations for the midterm exam due to the amount of information we have learned throughout the semester so far. I was not sure what to expect either, considering this was going to be the class’ first exam of the semester in COM 509.

As with every first exam in a class, I am never sure what to expect regarding the level of difficulty. However, I was very pleased with the hints we were given before we took the exam. The hints were given in class as well as on the Facebook group that we all use to interact. I really liked the fact that we were given hints about some of the questions on the test, because it gave me an idea of what to focus on while studying.

While taking the exam, I noticed that the multiple choice questions were very clearly asked and not confusing. This relieved me, because I am used to taking exams that are worded in a very confusing way. This usually hinders my ability to successfully answer the questions, and I do not score as high as I wish I would. Once I moved onto the short answer questions, I noticed that I knew one of the answers word-for-word because it was another hint given on the Facebook page.

I thought the short answers and essay were fairly simple to complete, yet they took a while for me to answer. There was so much writing involved and I was hoping to be able to get all my thoughts on paper. All in all, I think I did well on the first exam in this class. I studied as best as I could, and I am confident that I will see that success in my results next period.

5 Ways for Businesses to Use Facebook to Their Advantage

Many businesses are on Facebook and use it regularly, but do they all know how to use it to their advantage? Obviously, Facebook allows its users to share, promote, and connect with others. However, not all of its users are aware of how to successfully do that. If you follow these five ways, your business is sure to use Facebook and its assets to its full advantage.

1. Create statuses that are insightful and highly likely to generate likes and comments that pertain somehow to your business. For example, Bud Light’s Facebook page does a great job at posting creative photos that include their product. This enables its consumers that like their page to see their brand’s personality. Check out this photo of Bud Light bottles made into the World Series trophy.

2. Make Facebook offers such as discounts on new products or services that your business provides. This will enable consumers that like your page to redeem a discount. In turn, they are more likely to visit your business or go online and contribute to your success.

3. Connect blog posts to your Facebook statuses so that you can generate consumers to your business blog. This also allows them to learn more about your brand’s personality. Check out this blog post status from the St. Charles Convention Center.

4. Like other business’ pages that will generate similar consumers to your business. This will allow you to gain a larger consumer base, and may even steal loyal consumers from other businesses. Doing this will also keep good relations with your business and the ones in the same area as you.

5. Post videos or podcasts on your Facebook page that will enable consumers to learn more about your business.

Video Movement Gone Viral: KONY 2012

Video is such an effective form of media. I think it is often underestimated how much impact a video can have on the audience that views it. This is especially true when the video pertains to something such as a movement. I have seen non-profit  organizations benefit tremendously from making a video to raise awareness of their purpose and objectives.

A perfect example of this would be the recent KONY 2012 movement that was started and organized by the non-profit organization Invisible Children in 2004. This organization worked to make a 30 minute video in order to educate and spread the word about Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army in East and Central Africa. They have been abducting, killing, and displacing civilians ever since 1987, so Invisible Children decided to take a stand and get the world on board to battle against Kony and his army.

Take a look at the 30 minute video:

This video went viral fast and now has over 93,000,000 views. Most people are now aware of what is happening in Africa and are willing to contribute in any way they can. If you take a look at the Invisible Children’s website, invisiblechildren.com/kony, it looks as though there is another video promoting the movement that is scheduled to occur in Washington, D.C. on November 17, 2012.

All these videos that are posted about the KONY 2012 movement tend to be very inspiring and motivating. As an organization, I think it is very crucial to know your target audience and figure out what you want to convey to them through the videos you make. Invisible Children has done an excellent job at educating and motivating everyone to recognize the need for a change. They have shown the world that Kony and his army should be stopped, and they have successfully done it using video.