Posts Tagged ‘social media’

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.


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.

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Cross-posted to the blog of UO PRSSA


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

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Social Media Education Trend

Out: Requiring students to sign up for various social media accounts (e.g., Twitter, delicious, PR Open Mic, LinkedIn) and jump through required hoops for participation (e.g., friend this many people, tweet this many times).

In: Designing a flexible assignment that enables students to create their own social media plans.

Inspired by Karen Russell’s experiment, Donna Davis, Kelli Matthews and I decided to try something new in our J452 classes this winter: a choose your own adventure PR plan.

This project enables students to choose the learning activities that would be most meaningful to them. My version of the project is below. Educators, students and practitioners, your feedback and ideas are welcome. As with any first assignment, I’m confident that opportunities for improvement will be discovered as we go.

Personal Public Relations Plan and Report
You will create and implement a personal public relations plan that is tailored to your interests and then update the plan by putting it in the past tense and by reporting your results at the end of the quarter.

You will never be required to publicly participate on the Internet in our class. You can design private goals if you would like. Feel free to see me for help.

You only need to write one of each item, provided that your plan takes on a meaningful amount of growth. You will likely have multiple items in at least some of the areas.

The plan has to include at least one social media component, and it can include offline components as well.

The goal is a generalized statement that begins with the word “to.”

In the goal area, state what you would like to achieve.

Each objective must reflect the following guidelines:

  • Specify one outcome (only tackle one outcome at a time)
  • Be measurable (will you realistically be able to measure the objective you have written when you get to the evaluation component of this plan?)
  • Be obtainable and a meaningful achievement
  • Refer to what will be done rather than how it will be done
  • Include a date by which the objective will be accomplished

The deadlines for your objectives can be any time between March 3 and four months after your graduation.

Your strategies broadly explain how you plan to accomplish your objectives.

The tactics explain the details of the strategies. Depending on your plan, you might want to consider these items:

  • delicious (enables you to save useful blog posts for quick reference prior to a job interview and as an employee, helps you position yourself as a content expert because you can quickly reference information on the topics important to you, helps you compensate for areas you don’t know as well by saving information you expect you’ll need as an employee)
  • Google Alert (notifies you of when your name is mentioned on the Internet, so you can listen and respond when people write about you)
  • Google Reader (allows you to subscribe to potential employers and thought leaders in PR, including experts in your area of specialization, and engage with them in conversation)
  • LinkedIn (expands your digital footprint, enables you to see if you have indirect connections to people you want to work for, so you can leverage your connections)
  • Twitter (expands your digital footprint, helps you position yourself as a content expert by listening to others and by tweeting regularly on a particular subject, allows you to network with potential employers by engaging in conversations with them and retweeting some of their tweets and blog posts, also helps you network by participating in relevant hashtags and live chats – specify which ones if you use this in your plan)
  • Blog posts (expands your digital footprint, helps you position yourself as a content expert by blogging regularly about a particular subject)
  • Blog comments (expands your digital footprint, drives traffic to your blog, enables you to network with industry leaders and potential employers)

We will cover these tactics prior to the deadline for the public relations plan.

Your evaluation section will address how you will measure whether you have achieved each objective.

If you set deadlines in your objectives that go longer than this quarter, include a section for short-term assessments that will be made by March 3.

Example: Personal Public Relations Plan

Goal (Loosely stated outcome)
To develop a specialization in conflict resolution.

Objectives (How you will measure your achievement of the outcome)
To write five blog posts about conflict resolution by March 3, 2011.
(This is an example of an output measurement because it’s a physical result.)

To give a presentation about conflict resolution by March 14, 2011.
(This is an example of an output measurement because it’s a physical result.)

For myself to believe that I have a solid understanding of conflict resolution by March 14, 2011.
(HT to Kelli for the outtake example. As Katie Paine explains in her “Measuring Public Relationships” book, an outtake is “how people think as a result of experiencing the outputs” (p. 3). An outcome measurement would be a behavioral result, such as having your resume personally delivered to HR by someone in the organization where you want to work.)

Strategies (How to achieve the objectives)
Conduct primary and secondary research about conflict resolution.

Tactics (Details for the strategies)
Read chapters from “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In” by Fisher, Ury and Patton.

Read chapters from “Start With No: The Negotiating Tools That the Pros Don’t Want You to Know,” by Camp.

Read the chapter titled “Public Relations, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation” by Plowman in the book titled “The Future of Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management” (pp. 85-102, edited by Toth).

Read “Hot Waste in Utah: Conflict in the Public Arena,” by Plowman in the academic journal titled “Journal of Public Relations Research” (volume 20, number four).

Interview a public relations practitioner who has experience with negotiating conflict.

Monitor the #conflict hashtag on Twitter at least weekly to identify cases to write about.

Read The New York Times and Drudge at least weekly to identify cases to write about.

Evaluation (How to measure whether you achieved your objectives)
This plan will be assessed by seeing whether I have written five blog posts about conflict resolution and whether I have delivered a presentation about conflict resolution. In addition, I will reflect about the extent to which I believe I have a solid understanding of conflict resolution.

This is just one example; feel free to design a different plan. Below are some other examples of goals:

  • To position myself online as a public relations practitioner with a specialization in conflict resolution. This example is more focused on a branded digital footprint than the example used previously.
  • To position myself for a public relations internship at an agency in the Northwest on the public affairs team. This type of goal could be measured in various ways, so the objective could be something like “To obtain two job interviews with Northwest agencies by May 1, 2011.” The strategies and tactics sections would then be more traditional than the example I wrote out.

Personal Public Relations Plan: Points and Deadlines
The plan is worth 10 points and is due on Thursday, Jan. 27. Type your plan in black 12-point font on a high-quality print setting.

Grading Criteria for Personal Public Relations Plan

  • How is the writing quality? Check grammar, punctuation, spelling, brevity and AP Style. I’ll follow the quantitative rubric in the syllabus.
  • Are the goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and evaluation developed according to the rules presented in this description?
  • Are the objectives meaningful and achievable?
  • Is there at least one social media component?

Personal Public Relations Plan Report: Points and Deadlines
The report (including implementation) is worth five points and is due at the beginning of your week 10 meeting with me.

Grading Criteria for Personal Public Relations Plan Report

  • How is the writing quality? Check grammar, punctuation, spelling, brevity and AP Style. I’ll follow the quantitative rubric in the syllabus.
  • Are the goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and evaluation still developed according to the rules presented in this handout?
  • Is the writing tense correct for the report?
  • Were the objectives achieved? The objectives need to be achieved for a perfect score.

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Windy is seeking a job with a nonprofit organization in the Portland, Ore., area where she can share her skills and passion for development and public relations. She can be reached at  linkedin.com/in/windyhovey.

She is knowledgeable about nonprofit development and social media, she is strategic, she is an excellent writer, and she has an incredible work ethic. I strongly recommend her without reservation.

By Windy Hovey

A thesis. You spend so much time planning for it, nurturing it, and making it the best it can be. When you finally set it loose in the world, you hope that all your effort and sleepless nights will provide valuable information for both scholars and practitioners. It was also  my wish that the crowning achievement of my two years in graduate school would arm me with knowledge I could apply in a nonprofit development and communications position.

Over the past three decades, scholars have built theories about how an organization can manage relationships with its publics. My study adds to this body of scholarly work by providing insight into strategies an organization uses to build relationships with its publics and outcomes for those relationships. It examines social media in the rich context of a nonprofit dance center with unique strengths and challenges in its community. Fortunately, the director and volunteers were willing to share their use of and opinions about the organization’s social media sites. By the final chapter, my academic research demonstrates a practical way for nonprofit managers to assess ROI of social media. It also presents both good and bad aspects of using social media that might surprise nonprofit managers:

  • How can an organization’s volunteers on Facebook help nonprofit managers who are limited on time and resources?
  • How might using Flickr jeopardize the outcome of an organization’s relationship with its publics?
  • What are some barriers to two-way dialog on an organization’s blog or Facebook page?
  • What roles can social media play in an organization’s strategy to be a good neighbor and community steward?

Discover answers to these questions and more by downloading my full research article — at no cost — published in the latest issue of the Public Relations Society of America Public Relations Journal.

Acknowledgments: This study’s success was secured by my thesis committee members Dr. Mark Horney, Dr. Pat Curtin, and Kelli Matthews; professors in the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication and the Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management; and Dr. Tiffany Derville Gallicano, who was the most marvelous graduate adviser and thesis committee chairperson in every way. They gracefully balance and blend academia and community. They are outstanding researchers and professors who prepare their students for the rapidly changing worlds of public relations and nonprofit management.

Additional sources of information: Learn even more (than you ever thought possible!) about nonprofit social media use by following Beth Kanter (@kanter) and Allison Fine (@Afine) — two excellent sources to start with.

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Manny Ruiz

I cleared my schedule when Natalie Tindall e-mailed me about a free PRSA teleseminar about Hispanic social media, featuring Manny Ruiz. Manny commented, “Not everyone understands Hispanic marketing and even less understand social media.” Below are some insights.

Hispanic audiences tend to be collectivist. Community is important. Hispanic decision makers seek their peers’ insights and consider their community’s opinions. Social media tools present meaningful opportunities to listen and connect with Hispanic audiences.

In at least one way, Hispanics lead several groups in social media use. Manny referred to a July 2009 report by Felipe Korzenny and Lee Van from the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication at Florida State University. Below is one finding from it:

Participants Who Visited Social Networking Sites At Least Two to Three Times Monthly

  • 36% English-preferring Hispanics
  • 34% Asians
  • 27% Spanish-preferring Hispanics
  • 26% African-Americans
  • 18% Non-Hispanic Caucasians

The data are based on a sample of nearly 2,500 people with about 500 cases in each ethnic group. The study did not report whether the participants were randomly selected.

Do not treat Hispanic audiences as a homogenous group. Differences are based on several considerations, such as language preferences, income level and location of origin. You need an analysis of the most appropriate spaces for online engagement, depending on who you want to reach.

There is an opportunity to create highly influential blogs in specialized areas for Hispanics. Manny said there are high quality blogs in several areas, such as Hispanic mom blogs; however, there is not yet a high quality blog in every category. This presents an extraordinary opportunity to create influential blogs in specialized categories for Hispanic communities because 1) Hispanic audiences are looking for culturally relevant communities and 2) these online niche areas are far from being saturated.

Manny offered the following comments to aspiring bloggers: “The hardest part of having a blog is starting. Don’t let perfect get in the way of good. Once you see people reacting, you’ll start to see what your audience cares about and where your blog will be headed.” He also encouraged bloggers to include their URLs on their business cards and e-mail signatures.

Public relations practitioners can help the Hispanic blogging community by offering incentives and gifts. Keeping in mind that you need to ask any recipient to transparently disclose incentives and gifts to be ethical and to follow the law, encouragement is appreciated. Manny explained, “It is hard for bloggers to continue without financial support, and we need Latino voices.”

Manny also noted that a blogger could have a bigger presence on a blog rather than on Twitter or vice versa. Time is short, so people tend to do a better job with one area. This could affect your approach with engagement and pitches.

Don’t just translate announcements into Spanish for Facebook and Twitter accounts. Manny explained:

“That is a problem I see with early adopters. It [Facebook fan page] just happens to be in Spanish, and there are a couple company announcements on there. That won’t create any meaning with people who want to sign up. Unless you have unique, tailored content, it’s not going to get you anywhere. Have great content and a contest that helps people — or just a good contest. Now you’ve created a point of connection. It’s a much slower process to grow Twitter. You have to have unique value.”

Frequent content is essential. Moderator Sonia Sroka, PRSA Diversity Committee chair and senior vice president of Porter Novelli, compared relationship building with friendships:

“If you want to build a relationship with someone, you don’t just call them every once in a while; you have to talk to them and with them. Don’t just call every week and hope I pick up the phone. It goes back to deep human insights in terms of the relationship.” Manny agreed and recommended that serious bloggers update content at least three times a week.

Many thanks to PRSA’s Diversity Committee for this event.

Resources for Getting Connected

How to Market To Hispanics (Like Me)

2010 Hispanic Social Media Guide (sign up to be among the first to receive this free guide)

List of Resources About Hispanics and Social Media by PRSA

Hispanic PR Blog

Manny Ruiz on Twitter

PRSA’s Diversity Committee on Twitter

PRSA’s Diversity Today Blog

PRSA Diversity Case Studies, Surveys and Tips

About Manny Ruiz (verbatim from PRSA’s promotion)

“Manny Ruiz is co-publisher of the Hispanic PR Blog , the leading marketing trade journal of the Hispanic public relations and social media industries, and the founder/organizer of the Hispanic PR & Social Media Conference . Both are business units of Hispanic Media Trainers, LLC.

Prior to launching the blog and national tradeshow, Ruiz was President of Multicultural Markets and Hispanic PR Wire for PR Newswire. Prior to PR Newswire’s acquisition of Hispanic PR Wire, Hispanic Digital Network and LatinClips in 2008, companies he founded, Ruiz was Chairman and CEO of HispaniMark, the parent company of these three businesses.

A media trailblazer, former journalist, award-winning PR professional and dynamic keynote speaker on media trends, Ruiz is often sought after for his expertise on media, PR and public affairs. A longtime member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Ruiz is the immediate past co-chair of PRSA’s National Diversity Committee and the host/co-founder of the organization’s national monthly podcast ‘PRSA Diversity Today.’ He has also served as a board member of the PRSA Miami Chapter.”

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There are plenty of good reasons why students should publicly participate online. Although I strongly recommend public participation for reasons described by outstanding University of Oregon graduate Staci Stringer and University of Georgia professor Karen Russell, students should not be required to participate by their teachers, at least not in an identifiable way (see the bottom of this blog post for a discussion about alternatives). The following arguments apply to requirements to share one’s writing or identity online in an identifiable way.

1. Giving students control over their privacy and self-presentation is the right thing to do.
Students’ grades should not suffer from their preferences to avoid sharing their writing or identities online. We should not impose our ideas on others about what constitutes safe and comfortable participation online nor should we require others to follow our beliefs about where to draw the line on privacy. We can, however, share ideas about these topics as part of a conversation. Will students who want to be public relations practitioners be disadvantaged by not publicly participating in social media? Yes, as Staci and Karen have explained in detail. I suggest, however, that we present the arguments and let students make the decision for themselves for the reasons expressed in this blog post.

2. When students believe we are asking them to do something that violates their privacy, the relationship suffers.
Strong relationships are built on mutual understanding and respect. When students believe we are asking them to do something that violates their privacy, control mutuality (satisfaction with the amount of influence one has in the relationship) suffers. With required courses, students are coerced into publicly identifying themselves online or having their grades suffer. We do not know students’ histories and reasons for wanting to have a private identity. Simply wanting privacy is enough. In terms of the relationship argument, there would likely be more leeway in an elective course titled “Establishing Your Digital Footprint” that presented expectations on the syllabus because students have chosen to take the elective and there are alternatives they could take while still pursuing their intended majors.

3. Requiring identifiable public participation online is legally questionable.
I am basing this third argument on my untrained review of the law, Web site documents I’ve found by other universities, and two blog posts by a credible source (including mixed comments by her readers). With the qualification that I could be wrong, for now, it looks like requiring identifiable public participation online could be prohibited by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Exhibit A: Joann Golis wrote a blog post and a follow-up post about this topic. I find her to be a credible source because she wrote these blog posts in preparation for a workshop she was giving at Educause Learning Initiative’s annual meeting. In addition, she works for the Instructional Design and Development Department at DePaul University. I am reliant on speaker credibility because I am not an expert in this area.

In response to a blogging requirement scenario, Golis wrote

“Another land mine in this scenario is the fact that the blogs were not necessarily made private, so anyone could view them and associate the student’s name with the course they are taking and reveal that they are students in a particular course, term, and institution. Requiring the student’s name to appear on the front page is also a red flag.”

It should be acknowledged, however, that some comments to her first blog post indicate an opinion that identifiable blog posts are fine as long as an instructor does not comment on them. Even with these responses by other credible sources though, I return to the excerpt by Golis quoted above.

Exhibit B: A guide to FERPA by Auburn University suggests that requiring identifiable participation online could violate FERPA.

Scenario: “I want my students to create an account at a wiki/blog/similar webpage where they will complete tasks required for class.”

Auburn University response: “FERPA may be violated unless students are provided with anonymous computer aliases and only faculty has the key to identify students by their aliases.”

Exhibit C: A student disclosure form from North Carolina State University suggests that requiring students to have public blogs is a violation of FERPA.

“Under the Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and NC State’s FERPA regulation, a student’s education records are protected from disclosure to third parties. Because of the public nature of weblogs (blogs), students must provide written consent for blog participation in a course setting.”

Concluding Thoughts About the Legal Argument
Despite the legal questions, social media assignments should not end. There are alternatives we can share with students. As Michael Staton wrote:

“FERPA is in place to make sure that institutions are careful with and respectful of a student’s right to privacy, but it was not intended to hold back education in the 1990s before there were things like APIs and the social Web. No school has ever lost federal funds because of FERPA, which is the only punishment that can occur for being in violation (besides being tied up in a lawsuit). Privacy, security, and personal control over information is more than a valid concern, but let’s not let it be a brick wall of anxiety in the face of the march towards user-friendly, interoperable, and multitudinous educational solutions!”

I agree with this statement while insisting that we provide alternatives for students who choose privacy.

I am establishing the following alternatives to my assignments.

Blog: Give students the option of establishing a blog that is only visible to themselves. For the commenting requirement, provide the option of turning in the other person’s blog post with the comment they would write.

Electronic portfolio: Give students the option of hosting the electronic portfolio on a blog that is only visible to themselves. Students can use Google docs to host their work and only provide access to me.

Twitter: Give students the option of signing in and tweeting from a generic class account.

LinkedIn: Give students the option of submitting their resumes.

delicious: Let students complete a tagging assignment from a generic class account if they do not want to set up their own accounts.

PR Open Mic: Present a recent discussion forum topic or blog post topic from PR Open Mic and require students to write a response to it in Word (like a traditional assignment) if they do not want to set up a PR Open Mic profile and submit the response to the online discussion.

I will no longer require students to set up a Google Alert. Although it is not publicly identifiable, I don’t see that the requirement is justified. Students can learn enough for classroom requirements by watching my demonstration. They can sign up for their own account within minutes if they wish.

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Picture from Travel Portland

Picture from Travel Portland, Creative Commons Attribution License

I found this news release about Portland’s Twisitor Center:

February 9, 2009
Contact: Deborah Wakefield, Travel Portland, deborah@travelportland.com
Contact: Martin Stoll, GoSeeTell Network, martin@goseetell.com

Nation’s First “Twisitor Center” Launches in Portland, Oregon

Portland, Ore., has become the first U.S. city to launch an official “Twisitor Center.” This cyber-style cousin to the more traditional walk-in visitor information center relies on Twitter technology to connect travelers with those who can answer their questions and help plan their trips. (Twitter is a free social networking service that allows subscribers to send and receive short, real-time updates, messages and questions.)

“Other cities are connecting with visitors through Twitter,” explained Martin Stoll, CEO of GoSeeTell Network, the company that created Portland’s Twisitor Center concept. “But Portland is the first city to set up a virtual visitor center to which people can direct travel questions just by adding a simple tag to their tweets [messages].”

Twitter-users seeking information on Portland can add #inpdx to their questions. Tweets tagged with this code (also called a “hash tag”) are sought out by Twisitor Center staff members who then send back suggestions. But the beauty of Twitter is that other users who aren’t affiliated with Travel Portland can also chime in with additional tips. So, if a traveler tweets “Need a good BBQ place in Portland #inpdx,” she could end up with suggestions from not only the Twisitor Center but also from anyone else – Portland residents, foodies, fellow travelers – in the Twitter community.

“With Twitter we can be more conversational and responsive,” said Jeff Miller, Travel Portland’s president and CEO. “And this is how a lot of people make travel and entertainment decisions these days. Twitter lets us talk to travelers who prefer social networking and who wouldn’t normally visit an official travel website.”

In addition to responding to questions from visitors, Travel Portland’s Twitter stream will include several proactive tweets per day, covering such pre-defined topics as dining, green travel, special deals and recreation.

Because Twitter is relatively new to many travelers, Travel Portland’s website features a Twitter page that explains the service and connects to Twitter in Plain English, a fun, two-minute video that covers the basics. The page also links to Travel Portland’s Twitter stream, where visitors can see what others are tweeting about and sign up to “follow” Travel Portland.

The Twisitor Center is one of several online initiatives that Travel Portland is undertaking. Another among these is GoSeePortland, a social-networking website where Portland residents and visitors share tips, ratings and reviews – as well as get customized travel recommendations. GoSeePortland launched in 2008.

For more information on Travel Portland’s Twisitor Center, go to www.travelportland.com. To follow Travel Portland on Twitter, visit twitter.com/travelportland.

Link to Twisitor Center images: http://flickr.com/photos/35211583@N02/
Link to Twisitor Center video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-uLPX3NPkY

Travel Portland is the official destination marketing organization for Portland and the Greater Portland Region. Its mission is to strengthen the local economy by marketing the metropolitan Portland area as a preferred destination for meetings, conventions and leisure travel. For more information on Travel Portland, visit www.travelportland.com.


Readers, what do you think of Travel Portland’s social media efforts? What other exciting uses of social media have you seen in the travel and tourism industry?

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jprr-pic1“The first page is a cover letter that states that the findings reported are original, contribute to the broad body of knowledge in public relations, and have not been published previously.” — Journal of Public Relations Research.

Many journals have similar cover letter requirements. The question of discussing my own research and my colleagues’ papers from conference presentations has been on my mind and in my blogging queue for some time. Would I disqualify my work or my colleagues’ work from journal publication by discussing it on my blog? Can I video record my conference presentations and place them on YouTube without disqualifying the studies?

Last week, Tim Penning released his study’s results on his blog and started a discussion on PR Open Mic about this topic, so I thought that this would be a good time to discuss the issue.

Last November, I contacted Concetta Seminara from Routledge, the publisher of Journal of Public Relations Research and the International Journal of Strategic Communication, to ask for her opinion. She replied on Nov. 7 with the following e-mail.

Dear Prof. Gallicano:

I contacted our permissions coordinator for his experience with this type of question before responding. As the publisher of JPRR, Routledge’s first question would be “are these conference papers not yet published?” If they are not, then we do not think that it would preclude us from publishing the papers at a later date (since we would still receive a signed transfer of copyright form from the author), unless the blogger somehow tried to claim copyright on the transmitted material.

If the papers are already published, then it’s within the author’s rights to present them at a conference. The question becomes what the conference attendees are entitled to do with that presentation.

In many ways, the blogging in question is similar to “press coverage” of breakthrough research, which could fall under the realm of free speech. As long as the blogger would not try to CLAIM COPYRIGHT of the original material or post the full text of the paper online, then this act would not be seen as harmful aside from promoting the research and the journal.

Best wishes,

In my reply to Concetta, I wrote

Thank you for your quick response! I want to make sure that I understand you correctly. For the case of a conference paper that has not yet been published in Journal of Public Relations Research

  • Is it okay to write a blog post about part of the results before the entire paper is published in the journal, as long as no copyright is claimed?
  • Is the answer to the previous question the same, regardless of whether we are talking about our own paper or someone else’s paper?
  • Is it okay to post a video of our own or someone else’s conference paper presentation before the article is published in the journal?

Concetta wrote

We would reply “yes” to your first two questions per our previous discussion on this subject. Regarding the video posting question, again, we don’t think we can stop someone from doing this if we currently don’t have copyright on the paper. However, if the author first copyrights the video, that action might prevent us from freely publishing the article at a later date without first getting a transfer of copyright.

It sounds like we have the green light from the Journal of Public Relations Research and the International Journal of Strategic Communication to blog about our results online, in addition to posting a video of our conference presentation on YouTube, as long as we don’t claim copyright or post the entire paper online. Who knows if other publishers will be as flexible as Routledge.


I e-mailed Daniel Riffe, editor of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. He offered the following comments on the issue:

Like most organizations/publications that copyright material (AEJMC owns copyright for articles in Quarterly), and like most scholarly journals, we assume something submitted to us is not under simultaneous consideration for publication elsewhere, nor has it been published elsewhere.

From what I gather, mentioning the results of a study (e.g., 55% of folks surveyed in Ohio favor regulation) in a blog post doesn’t constitute prior publication. It’s more like an observation made in casual conversation.

Putting a full manuscript up online, though, would arguably be prior publication.

I invite you to participate in the polls below about publishing your results on a blog and on YouTube prior to journal publication.

I also invite you to share your thoughts in the comments area. Do you feel ready to take the leap by posting results online prior to journal publication? Do have concerns about the erosion of blind peer review?

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My alma mater for graduate school, the University of Maryland, is holding the first annual Grunig lecture in honor of two of my mentors and dear friends Jim and Lauri Grunig. They are visionary. If you have not had the opportunity to meet them in person, I especially recommend that you attend if the location is convenient. Make sure to introduce yourself to them. They are engaging and genuine. The lecture will occur on Oct. 30, 2008, and the keynote speaker will be Richard Edelman. (By the way, I’ve included this blog post by him in my course packet for my Mass Media and Society class). The theme of the evening is social media, and activities begin at 4:30 p.m. If you have questions, send them to Elizabeth Toth at eltoth@umd.edu. If you want to sing the praises of Jim and Lauri Grunig or Richard Edelman or if you would like to share a fun story, feel free to leave a comment.

Here is a sneak peak at my upcoming posts:

  • An update on UO graduates who landed public relations jobs
  • An update on UO graduates who are seeking public relations jobs
  • Advice for graduates seeking public relations jobs

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PCS Picture

What are you thinking? Diane (Antoinette LaVecchia) tries to keep it together as her client Mitchell (Brik Berkes) threatens to flush his career (and her commission) down the toilet over a crazy little thing called love in The Little Dog Laughed, playing in the Portland Center Stage Studio through June 15. Behind the scenes blogs, information and tickets are available online at http://www.pcs.org/.

This blog post concludes our discussion with Trisha Pancio, publications and public relations manager for Portland Center Stage.

Some employers are concerned about the time required to engage in social media. What is your response to this concern?
Well, yes, if you’re just blogging about your belly button lint or what you had for breakfast, then that would be a huge waste of time, of course. But if you are creating content that is of direct relevance to your customers, sharing and reinforcing the brand message, and developing relationships with potential lifetime patrons, I can’t think of any time that could be better spent, especially in service and relationship-based industries (like entertainment or real estate or law or insurance or whatever.) Let’s say it was an hour a day three times a week that key members of your company committed to blogging. And each time you sat down to blog, you framed the question, “What could our patrons most benefit from knowing about us right now?” And you answered that question in three sentences or 30, whatever came to mind. I guarantee it would be time better spent than your coffee break, rearranging your files, checking the news headlines, whatever else it is that you waste three hours a week of your work life doing.

Let’s give an example. My future mother-in-law is trying to build a practice as a parenting coach. She has some contracts with the state for court-mandated kind of things, but she would also like to build her practice with clients who are choosing her services to help them with tricky transitions in their children’s lives. She can afford some advertising, but she’s having a hard time getting people to trust that she’s a qualified professional (because she’s new to the market). I told her, “Create a blog. Have a parenting tip of the day. Share your successes and failures from your court-mandated work. And then join sites like Café Mama and other places where parents meet seeking advice. Become a trusted voice (and a useful and entertaining one.) It’s cheaper than all the alternatives and allows people to sample, in a less intimidating way, how they might be able to benefit from her services.” I don’t know any businesses that couldn’t benefit from establishing themselves as a trusted voice in their industry.

The caveat: Building your blog readership is just as important as creating content. Yes, you need good content, but if nobody’s reading it then you are wasting your time. So maybe half an hour of that three hours a week should be spent finding out how you can build invitations to your blog into your other business practices (and on other social media). Is it on your business card? In your email signature? Are you “adding” friends to your MySpace account regularly (friends of your current friends is always a good starting place that doesn’t feel “spammy.”) Do you participate in the websites, blogs and listservs that are relevant to your industry? Somebody in the company’s got to be officially tasked with doing that. Are you requesting reciprocal links? And most importantly, does your blog site also contain an easy path for people to go from avid reader to avid consumer of your service? That’s the crux of the issue. In my experience, people are really good at either one or the other but not always both.

If you got great content, but you’re not routinely reminding people of how the content relates to what you do and inviting them to become a customer, you are diminishing the power of your work. It can be very subtle — a standard series of links at the bottom of each blog where people can find out more about you and your business. But it needs to be there.

Right now I’m working on the “increasing viewership” problem on our MySpace, Flickr and YouTube pages. We have great content there, but we haven’t invited enough people to participate in it yet. So that will be a summer project – whom do we approach and how do we invite their participation on our channel/photostream/page in a way that is honest and authentic (and most importantly, entertaining from the word “go.”)

Trisha, thank you for taking the time to share your insights with the readers of The PR Post!

Readers, do you have any questions for Trisha? Are there any suggestions you would like to make for improving Portland Center Stage’s social media? Do you have compliments to pass along?

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