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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Three Steps to Creating a Podcast

For my personal learning project, I chose to focus on podcasting. I’d researched the program Audacity earlier in the semester, but I didn’t get in-depth with the program, besides tinkering around with the editing tools. For this project though, I’ve learned far more about podcasting than I ever thought I would want to know.
Before starting the project, I decided to change the program I would use for podcasting. I like Audacity, but after playing around with GarageBand, I felt more comfortable. GarageBand is a more user-friendly option for mac users and has quite a few similarities to the video editing program, Final Cut Pro.
The interesting thing I’ve learned about podcasting is the many steps needed before you can upload and publish your podcast.
1. Create a Podcast
This step took much longer than I thought it would. I anticipated that since the process was audio-based, it would be easy to edit. I noticed that with just audio; I became much pickier about what I wanted to publish. I wrote a script and edited it to sound more casual. I also added music to avoid hearing only my voice for five minutes. I found the editing process to be fun in a strange way. It’s interesting to assemble a podcast, piece by piece.  After I edited my podcast,  I uploaded the file to my iTunes so that it could be uploaded to the Internet as an MP3 file.
2. Upload your podcast
Finding a reputable website to upload podcast files took some searching, but there are plenty of sites to choose from. I originally started with archive.org, but the embed application wouldn’t display within my WordPress blog. I switched to podbean.com and WordPress still wouldn’t display the media player. As you can see above, I’ve settled for the link that will transfer you to my PodBean media player.
3. Publish your podcast
I chose to publish my podcast to my blog on WordPress. I would generally recommend doing this so you can reach your current audience. I think I may have been able to have a media player in my blog if I wasn’t used the template WordPress system.
 
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Posted by on November 13, 2011 in Blog, Public Relations

 

Politics in Search Results

I recently came upon a blog article from the New York Times, that discusses a new digital campaign technique being utilized by the campaign for Republican presidential hopeful, Herman Cain.

Photo courtesy of blogs.telegraph.co.uk

After the recent sexual harassment scandal involving Herman Cain, his campaign team used a new way of drawing bad press away from the Republican candidate. The Cain campaign purchased ad space from Google to help dispel the allegations.

Screenshot taken of Google search

Just by searching for “herman cain” or “herman cain scandal”, a Google user is greeted by two sponsored websites in support of Herman Cain. This is an interesting and good strategic move by the Cain campaign. It’s easy to tell that the links are provided by the Cain campaign, but it accomplishes its task by planting an opposing idea in your head. This article also brings up a good point on how our news is being dispersed.

Political campaigns, and business campaigns to a certain extent, no longer have to go through the typical channels of media to access the public. Typically, a candidate when faced with accusations such as these, would have to make a  public appearance to dispel the rumors and the allegations. With the advent of social media and the internet; multiple channels have opened for a candidate can express his or her opinions on.

The New York Times blog also details Cain’s campaign team utilizing Twitter to reach the public. By searching for Herman Cain on Twitter, members are directed to a tweet from Herman Cain that references a Washington Post article detailing Cain’s response to the harassment allegations.

By utilizing social media, politicians have opened up new ground to spread their message. Many believe Barack Obama’s popularity in his presidential campaign was due to the extensive use of social media; specifically Facebook. The interesting thing about this story is that many companies aren’t quite sure yet how social media fits into their business plan. Political campaigns though, appear to have discovered an excellent way of utilizing social media.

 

Sean Dixon on Social Media Platforms and ROI

Social media dashboards, such as HootSuite, provide an easy way to update statuses across multiple platforms. After using them myself, I can say they are a definite time saver. A guest lecturer for the COM 509 class made me look differently at how dashboards are being used.

Sean Dixon, the Interactive Media Manager for the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, provided many  interesting insights on social media during his lecture. He presented ideas for Facebook, Twitter and Blogging from his personal and work experience. I’m disappointed the lecture came after having just finished my social media campaign; I would have loved to incorporate some of his ideas into my own campaign. He presented a convincing argument that social media outlets should be used individually rather than using an application, such as HootSuite, to control them all at once.

I’ve used HootSuite before, but I feel it gives off an impersonal tone when used to update across multiple social media outlets. Because the message is being mass-produced, it doesn’t translate well across the different social media platforms. It does, however, save time in updating different social media outlets and it can be helpful when organizing multiple timed tweets. Dixon recommends though, using the individual networks to disperse information. He said that using HootSuite isn’t necessarily bad, but the presentation of information is clear and well polished if presented over its native network.

Dixon’s discussion of the ROI on social media was informative and the subject is currently a hot topic within the public relations world. Todd Defren, author of PR-Squared, recently posted on his blog how companies are presenting the ROI of social media. I’ve been searching up for an effective way to present the ROI of social media until Dixon’s lecture. The excel sheet Sean provided serves as a good template for how a social media oriented employee should present the information. It lists statistics for the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau Facebook, Twitter and blog account. Under the heading “Social Media Statistics” it displays the amount of new followers and “likes” on their Facebook and Twitter account. As public relations comes to the forefront of companies, it will become more important for practitioners  to show how their efforts are contributing to the company.

 

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Three Essential Research Steps for a Public Relations Campaign

I recently conducted research for one of my PR classes, and it made me think about my future in the public relations field. The question asked was, “What are the key elements of a research campaign?” I thought it would be a simple question, but I  stopped to think about how I would do this in a real setting.

The key elements of a research program for a public relations campaign are the examination of the client, examination of the stakeholder and problem opportunity research.

1. Examination of Client

Client research, according to “Public Relations: A Values-Driven Approach”, should be focused on “discovering an organization’s size; the nature of the products or services it offers; and its history, staffing requirements, market and customers, budget legal environment, reputation and beliefs about the issue in question.” Extensive  research is necessary to ensure a public relations campaign aligns with the client’s strengths and reputation. In my opinion, the more a public relations practitioner knows about their client, the better the campaign will be and crisis events will dramatically decrease.

2. Examination of Stakeholder

Stakeholder research concentrates on any public’s who are important to the success of the client. This is an important step because many public relations campaigns have been discredited due to poor examination of their stakeholders. An example of this is the Nestle baby food controversy, which occurred in the 1970’s. Many children in non-English speaking countries were given Nestle baby formula by their parents, who were not able to read the instructions properly and were unintentionally providing inadequate nutrition to their children. The lack of stakeholder research for non-English speaking countries, in relation to Nestle, has made the organization suffer from negative publicity in the present day.

3. Problem-Opportunity Research

Problem-opportunity research focuses on what stake does the client’s organization have on a particular issue. It essentially looks for the reason that a client should act or react in a certain scenario. Its like if an animal spots a predator. It has to decide whether the best course of action is to run, fight, or do nothing in hopes the predator will allow the animal to go unnoticed. An organization examines its course of action in a similar way, by determining what it stands to lose or gain by participating on an issue.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2011 in Public Relations, ROI

 

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