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magnifying glass on white background with clipping pathIf you are ready to pull data and are looking for advice on how to build a strong Boolean search string, this blog post is for you. I don’t post to this blog often, but I have received several requests about this topic, so I decided to write a blog post about it. I’ll use the Charlottesville protest as an example because my work is in social media and activism.

Discover your keyword pool
Conduct an Advanced Search on Twitter for your event dates and try different keywords to examine tweets. Do the same for hashtag searches during the time of the event through Advanced Search on Twitter. Next, you will sort keywords in an OR paragraph or an AND paragraph that you create in a Word document.

Build a list of OR words
First, identify any anchor word that is undoubtedly about the event you want to capture. For example, HeatherHeyer would be an obvious anchor word choice for the Charlottesville data because you can reasonably expect that anyone talking about her on Twitter is going to be talking about her in the context of the Charlottesville protest. Continue making a list of any word that uniquely connects with your event. Those words will be words that you connect with OR in your Boolean search string.

Build a list of the AND words
Next, you will make a list of “and” words by identifying combinations of words that immediately capture your event. In the context of Charlottesville, you would write something like “KKK and cville” if you think that individually, these words will not capture your event. Put all of your word pairs together and connect them with OR.

After you have finished your OR and AND lists, connect the two lists in a giant search string with OR as a connection word.

Add NOT words if needed (make sure to test your words)
You can easily capture irrelevant data if any of your search terms refer to other people, places, and events than you want to capture (such as a city that has the same name as the last name of a key person). You can test your search terms by individually looking up your OR words and by individually looking up each AND pairing in Advanced Twitter Search to see if irrelevant results pop up, especially if you do not sort by your event date.

Finally, connect the OR list and the AND list with “NOT.”  You can use parentheses for complex search strings (see my example below).

Example
My Charlottesville data pull from GNIP resulted in so many tweets that we had to break up the request into three pulls. You will see that I have some

Pull 1: (Charlottesville OR cville OR VA OR Virginia OR McAuliffe OR @CvilleCityHall OR @VSPPIO) AND (antifa OR Nazis OR Nazi OR neo-Nazi OR Nazi/KKK OR KKK OR (white supremacy) OR (white supremacists) OR (white activists) OR (white activist) OR (James Alex Fields))
Timeline: May 7 to Oct. 12, number of tweets: 3 million approximately
 
Pull 2: (Charlottesville OR cville OR VA OR Virginia OR McAuliffe OR @CvilleCityHall OR @VSPPIO) AND (antifa OR Nazis OR Nazi OR neo-Nazi OR Nazi/KKK OR KKK OR (white supremacy) OR (white supremacists) OR (white activists) OR (white activist) OR (James Alex Fields))
Timeline: Feb. 7 to May 7, number of tweets: 40,000
 
Pull 3: (Charlottesville OR cville OR VA OR Virginia OR McAuliffe OR @CvilleCityHall OR @VSPPIO) AND (statue OR memorial OR (Robert E Lee) OR (Lee Park) OR (General Lee) OR Confederate OR (Emancipation Park) OR (Stonewall Jackson) OR protest OR march OR marchers) OR cvilleaug12 OR #invisiblecville OR #HeatherHeyer OR #DeAndreHarris OR (DeAndre Harris) OR #unitycville OR #defendcville OR #cvillestrong OR #standwithcharlottesville
Timeline: Feb. 7 to Oct. 12, number of tweets: 2.8 million approximately

Remember to filter out bots
You’re not out of the woods yet. Once you have your data, make sure to use a method for filtering out bots if you’re doing any theory-building about people’s behavior. There were enough political bots in the Charlottesville data to affect our topic modeling, and this is a fundamental step. Look for identical tweets, nearly identical tweets (because bots can swap out adjectives to try to evade capture), and tweets that tag a bunch of people with the same link. 

Final thoughts for now
One reason I love being at UNC Charlotte is the access to big data and the institutional support for collaborating on interdisciplinary projects! My thanks go to Ryan Wesslen for training me (he is an incredible teacher of more advanced topics, as well). If you have additional tips for search strings or can improve my post, feel free to leave your feedback in the comments area.

 

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J452 class Noon 2015 J452 class 2 p.m. 2015
It was such a treat to work with these promising students, most of whom graduated earlier this month. I miss them already! Listed below are some highlights from their work. The pictures above, as well as the work featured below, are displayed with students’ permission.


Infographics

Madison Hare produced an infographic about the illegal elephant ivory trade.

Lily Steinbock created an infographic about the need to protect coral reefs.


Informational interviews
Jessica Landre wrote about her informational interview with Sara Israel, assistant account executive at Edelman.

Courtney Mains provides an inside look at Nike through her informational interview with Brittney Orth, a communication specialist.

Rebecca Rhodes discusses advice for graduating seniors based on her informational interview with Hilary Marvin, an account coordinator for Allison & Partners PR.

Alex Trulio takes an inside look into sports PR through his interview with Aaron Grossman, corporate communications manager for the Trail Blazers.


Blog posts
Allison Barry shows how a company should apologize after an insensitive tweet through her comparison of the DiGiorno Pizza and Epicurious case studies.

Claire Sanguedolche critiques the CSR strategy of donating money for awareness tweets.

Leigh Scheffey discussed how politicians should react to damaging social media content by their employees.

Following my class, Kati VanLoo wrote a blog post about her application of my presentation tips to speaking articulately in professional settings.


Social media audits
Jessi Hales, Emily Lauder, Claire Sanguedolche, and Madi Weaver performed a social media audit for National Farm to School Network.

Sofia Doss, Jessica Landre, Olivia Gonzalez, and Danielle Friend conducted a social media audit for Inn at the 5th.

Allison Barry, Monique Carcamo, Cody Koenig, and Alex Trulio performed a social media audit for The Hult Center.

Karen Ramming, Skylar Ojeda, Kate McCue, Alejandra Gutiérrez, and Michael Eiden conducted a social media audit for Asbury Design.

Fall 2013 Class

These students have a bright future ahead of them!
(Picture and student work used with permission.)

I had a wonderful public relations class this fall. This quarter was particularly busy with my large lecture class and work on an interdisciplinary NSF grant, among other big things, and it was always a highlight of my week to mentor this enthusiastic group and see their growth in just 10 weeks.

Infographics
You can see students’ infographic tips and click on the images of their infographics for a close-up view of them.

Jessica Stancil created an infographic to encourage people to watch a one-minute video to learn CPR.

Nicole Marlborough created an infographic for a CSR program she proposed.

Marisa Blair created an infographic about the success of MTV’s Video Awards show.

Lindsey Contino created an infographic about cooking safety as a bulletin board poster for her catering job.

Allie Masterson created an infographic to highlight the accomplishments of the San Francisco Giants.

Taylor Yacobucci created an infographic to encourage communities to support a music festival.

Informational Interviews

Jen Eisenmann shared tips from her informational interview with Nike’s Kayla Glanville.

Bradley Sheets shared tips from his informational interview with federal speechwriter Neil Mansharamani.

Ryan Lundquist shared tips from his informational interview with Megan Bauer, who is now with the Hoffman agency.

Brooke Baum shared tips from her informational interview with Lane PR’s Angie Galimanis.

Haoyun Zhou shared tips from her informational interview with Levi Strauss & Co.’s Ginger Liem.

Insights From Social Media Audits

Kaitlyn Chock discussed social media insights based on her team’s work for Cawood.

Nellie Maher discussed social media insights based on her team’s work for the City of Eugene.

Tori Opsahl discussed social media insights based on her team’s work for Sixth Street Grill.

Sarah Holcombe discussed social media insights based on her team’s work for The Reach Center.

Computer
If you’re in a research methods course, you might be studying qualitative methods and have heard of grounded theory. If you’re interested in performing a grounded theory approach to data analysis (or sharing a fresh example with your class), this blog post is for you.

Or, you might be reading this because I mentioned in my research-in-brief article in Public Relations Review that a list of open codes, properties, and examples of participants’ words from my study about Millennial practitioners are available on my blog (that would be this blog post).

One of the challenges of understanding the grounded theory approach to data analysis results from the abstract nature of the explanation:

Open coding: Basically, you read through your data several times and then start to create tentative labels for chunks of data that summarize what you see happening (not based on existing theory – just based on the meaning that emerges from the data). Record examples of participants’ words and establish properties of each code (see my charts below).

Axial coding: Axial coding consists of identifying relationships among the open codes. What are the connections among the codes? This will be easier to understand when you see the last chart of this blog post.

Selective coding: Figure out the core variable that includes all of the data. Then reread the transcripts and selectively code any data that relates to the core variable you identified. Again, this is easier to understand through the last chart of this blog post.

The study I’m using as an example is about relationship building with the Millennial generation of practitioners who work at PR agencies. The data came from asynchronous online discussions (via Focus Forums) with 50 participants and emailed data from one participant.

Research question one: How do Millennial practitioners who work at public relations agencies describe their generation of public relations practitioners?

Open codes for RQ 1

Open code Properties Examples of participants’ words
Wanting experiential learning Seeking credentials
Feeling ambitious
Seeking excitement
Being eager
Seeking experience
Ambitious
Hungry for responsibility
Want to be the next big thing
Driven
Ready to roll
Always looking for a new thrill
Grow quickly
Learn things on our own
Pioneering social media and easily adapting to change Being comfortable with social media
Wanting to lead
Creating and embracing new ideas
Not being afraid of technology
Risk-taking
Being fresh
Creating and accepting new ideas
Embracing a rapid fire speed
Being creative
Feeling entitled due to unique qualifications, as compared to previous generations Coming equipped with a public relations education and several internships Mostly PR majors instead of majoring in other fields
Being educated in public relations
Starting jobs with several internships under the belt
Having a great foundation from majors and internships
Craving immediate feedback and being motivated by feeling appreciated Desiring attention
Wanting to impress
Wanting a mentor
Want to feel valued and appreciated
Want to be recognized
Want feedback
Want to be rewarded for good work
Advocating a
work-life balance
Seeking personal fulfillment
Recharging by enjoying a rich personal life
Being raised to believe they could have it all
Don’t want to work our lives away
Want to have room for a life outside of work
Raised to expect excellence in our personal lives
Possessing the personal skills and characteristics needed Getting along well with people
Being intelligent
Valuing ethics
Friendly, sociable
Motivated by friendships at work
Smart, clever, sharp
Ethical


Research question two: What can be learned about cultivating a long-term relationship with Millennial public relations agency employees based on their own perspectives?

Open codes for RQ 2

Open code Properties Examples of participants’ words
Being groomed Being mentored
Getting to work on new accounts
Getting to have face time with the client
Being included in discussions about personal long-term goals and organization’s long-term goals
Getting funding for graduate school and skills workshops
Mentored
Trained to specialize in a needed area
Assigned to new accounts
Included in new business planning
Involved in conversations about the long-term outlook of the department
Meeting about long-term goals and incentive packages
Sent to professional development sessions
Paid for graduate school
Face time with the client
Constantly learning Having intriguing work
Developing professional skills
Intriguing work
Constantly learning, training
Receiving verbal encouragement and making observations Feeling appreciated
Noticing low turnover and receiving messages about growing the company from within
Asked if I’m happy
Talk about the future
Get regular reviews
Constant congratulations
Get messages about growing the company from within
Very little turnover
Being cared for as a whole person Caring about personal well being by both the organization and senior management
Encouraging and enabling a healthy personal life
Personal development fund
Lacking a personal touch (negative evidence)
[Senior exec.] like a second mother
Long hours, low pay (negative evidence)
Working in a good environment Working in an organic culture
Feeling like they fit in
Working with great people
Agreeing with the organization’s philosophy and values
Personality of the office
If I fit in
Open and honest communication
I love the environment
Wonderful people
We don’t have titles. My old large agency put so much emphasis on titles and I think it hindered work quality
The organization isn’t as dynamic as other employers (negative evidence)
Having interests and preferences accommodated Getting to choose projects, dress and hours Get to choose my accounts
Get to wear jeans
Flexible hours


Research question three: What irritates or upsets Millennials when receiving feedback on their work?

Open codes for RQ 3

Open code Properties Examples of participants’ words
Getting called out Detesting verbal vomit and being ridiculed
Feeling discouraged
Getting ripped apart
Chewed out
Bashed
Chastised
Criticized
Thrown under the bus
Negative tactics don’t motivate us
Not being heard Having work changed, which results in their voice not being heard
Working so hard makes this frustrating
Believing they don’t have power to say anything
You slave away and they’ve completely changed what you’ve done
My art was changed, which I worked really hard on
People are always going to change what you do. Always!
Co-worker presented my ideas as her own; no way to address those issues
Mind reading and expectations for a miracle worker Believing they have a combination of vague instructions and specific expectations, some of which areunrealistic Vague instructions
Having to mind read
Inadequate explanation
I’m not a miracle worker


Axial codes and selective code based on the open codes

Open codes Axial codes Selective code
Wanting experiential learning; constantly learning; working in a good environment;pioneering social media and easily adapting to change; feeling entitled due to unique qualifications, as compared to previous generations; possessing the personal skills and characteristics needed; being groomed Believing they are ready to be set loose on accounts Wanting to make a difference
Craving immediate feedback and being motivated by feeling appreciated; detesting getting called out; receiving verbal encouragement and making observations Seeking external validation
Mind reading and expectations for a miracle worker;getting called out; not being heard Silently blaming employers for failures
Advocating a work-life balance; being cared for as a whole person; accommodating interests and preferences Wanting a meaningful experience at work and outside of work

For more information on grounded theory, I recommend Kathy Charmaz’s “Constructive Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide Through Qualitative Data Analysis.”

If you’re interested in reading the summary of my study, you can find it here, or you can email me for the full-length study at tgallica@uncc.edu.

Happy researching!

Spring 2013

It was wonderful to be a part of these talented students’ journey!

At the end of every quarter I highlight a blog post from each of my students (after obtaining permission). These students’ work is excellent.

Infographics

Sarah MacKenzie created an infographic about Internet dangers for teenagers.

Nicole Ibarra created an infographic about dark chocolate

Kalli Bean created an infographic about Relay for Life.

Elise Cullen created an infographic about blueberries.

Heaven Lampshire created an infographic about blood donation.

Shae Roderick created an infographic about stand up paddleboarding.

Emily Carey created an infographic about domestic violence.

Ashley Hill created an infographic for United Way of Lane County.

Informational Interviews

Kayla Darrow interviewed Katey Hawbaker of Red Horse Racing about NASCAR PR.

Matt Korn interviewed Lindsey McCarthy of Cawood about agency PR.

Sara Israel interviewed Aaron Grossman of the Portland Trail Blazers about sports public relations.

Grant Templeton interviewed Kevin Brett of the University of Oregon about investor relations.

Carolyne Snipes interviewed Dawn Marie Woodward of Food for Lane County about nonprofit PR.

Taylor Jernagan interviewed Courtney Young of Holt International Children’s Services about nonprofit PR.

Lauren Schwartz interviewed Chris Rossi of Core PR Group about personal public relations.

Bonus

Ephraim Payne, a journalist and communications consultant who took the graduate version of my class as part of his graduate certificate program in nonprofit management, explores the public relations of the slow food movement.

Cross-posted to the blog of UO PRSSA

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The secret to a standout resume is to measure your results, and you’ll need to plan ahead to do this. Here are the steps to follow:

1.    Identify the ultimate goal of your efforts. Why are you about to engage in this public relations endeavor? What is the purpose?

2.    Set objectives. Your objectives are how you measure whether you’ve achieved your goal, so each objective must be measurable. To set objectives, you’ll want to find out what your past performance was. You want to do better than last time, but you don’t want to set objectives that are tough to reach. Make sure to set your objectives with your manager.

Ideally, you’ll have access to the organization’s prior performance, so you can report the difference you have made (e.g., increased museum memberships by 5 percent).

If you cannot get information about the organization’s prior performance, you can at least report on your resume whether you met your objectives, and you can potentially report that you exceeded your objectives by a particular percentage (e.g., exceeded attendance objective by 20 percent).

If you will manage your organization’s social media, make sure to use tools to measure your organization’s performance before you take the helm. You can find these tools through an Internet search for “[name of tool] measurement.”

Some of my favorite measurement tools are Edelman’s TweetLevel and BlogLevelStatigram, and PinPuff. There are plenty of other good tools, as well. Facebook has built-in metrics you can use through Facebook Insights, which you can access as soon as you’re an account administrator. Make sure to record the “before” scores, so you can measure the percentage of improvement at the end of your internship. You might also take some screenshots of the before and after measurements, which would be good visual illustrations for the professional portfolio you’ll prepare during J454.

Another important online tool is bitly, which you can use to measure the number of times people have clicked on a link you share.

3.    Measure your results. To figure out the percentage change between your performance and the prior performance, follow this simple formula:

A. Subtraction: Your performance – prior performance = X
B. Division: X divided by the prior performance

Then move your decimal to the right by two numbers, and you have your percentage change.

If you’re interested in reading more about measurement, subscribe to Katie Paine’s blogcheck out one of her books from the library, or do both. Best wishes with your summer internship!

Photo Credit: MarcelGermain via Compfight cc

This was an amazing group of over-achievers!

This was an amazing group of overachievers!

Winter 2013 marked our first class in Allen Hall 3.0! It’s wonderful to be in an environment that is so conducive to teamwork and creativity. Listed below is one of my favorite blog posts from each of my students (all students featured provided permission to have their picture and blogs featured).

This past quarter, a group of my students took their social media audit and conversation analysis to the next level by partnering with a company and presenting their work. Megan Russell describes the experience in her blog post.

The other blog posts below feature students’ infographics and informational interviews.


Infographics

Lauren Van Neste created an infographic about a baseball player from the Seattle Mariners.

Anna Reinhard created an  infographic about the global water crisis.

Mandy Shold created an infographic to encourage the use of reusable bags.

Jessica Hamel
 created an infographic about the benefits of red wine.

Catherine Dacquisto created an infographic about the benefits of pet adoption.

Alexis Chan created an infographic about the importance of music programs in schools.


Informational Interviews

Holly Locke interviewed the senior director of communications for Microsoft Advertising Business Group.

Hannah Olson interviewed a former account coordinator (now account executive) at Cawood. A special thanks goes to J452 veteran Lindsey McCarthy, an outstanding public relations professional, who has now done three informational interviews for my students over the years!

Heather Case interviewed the publicity coordinator for the Rachael Ray Show.

Maritza Santillan interviewed an assistant account executive at Waggener Edstrom.

Carly Fortunato interviewed a former account executive for LaunchSquad, who now works for TripIt.

Tammy Nguyen interviewed a former account executive and research strategist at Lippe Taylor.

Austin Foster interviewed the community relations manager for New Seasons Market, an organic Portland grocery store.