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Category Archives: News

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.

 

Monsters, MySpace, and Viral Movie Campaigns

With the advent of social media, movie marketing campaigns have become even larger and creative than before. It used to be enough to interview the actors on late night shows and release film trailers to the public to increase buzz about a film. Marketers are now having to find new, innovative ways to draw attention to blockbuster movies. The most interesting trend, I’ve noticed in recent years, is the viral movie marketing campaign. Many films have made worthy attempts into the field,such as “The Dark Knight”, but I don’t think any have perfected the art.

The best viral marketing campaign, I’ve seen done so far, is for the film “Cloverfield”. “Cloverfield” is a 2008 monster movie, produced by J.J. Abrams. The film had one of the best marketing campaigns in my opinion, because it was built upon mystery and seeking out clues. When the trailer was first released, no one knew what to expect.

The original movie website at the time even made for an eerie viewing.

Then, slowly, more details started to come out about the plot of the film. Fake websites were made for organizations featured in the film and even fake MySpace profiles for the main characters. The use of MySpace was great because the actors involved with the film were relatively unknown at the time, therefore, it gave a feeling of realism. Their profiles are still up if you want to check them out.

This marketing campaign was fantastic because it stimulated people to actively seek out more information about the film. My favorite part about this film was two people could watch it and come out with two different experiences about what they watched. If someone participated online, the story had even more twists and turns than it did for the average moviegoer. The use of social media and websites became as important to the story as the film was.

 
 

The Future of Interactive Technology

I’m a complete nerd when it comes to reading and learning about futuristic computer technology. When I watched the movie Iron Man, I was more impressed with the holographic computer system than his lame tin suit. I’ve also been known to daydream about having the interactive computer system from Minority Report. So, when I read about this news presentation through Poynter, I was definitely interested. The video is called “The Storm Collection”, and it comes from Matt Thompson and Robin Sloan.

According to the Poynter article, Robin and Matt presented this video at the annual convention of the Society of News Design in St. Louis. The subject of the article and the video fascinate me, because of the predictions they make on how news will be presented in the future. I created my own iGoogle homepage this semester, and I can’t believe the amount of time it saves me to look up news information. The way technology is becoming integrated though, that’s no longer efficient enough. It reminds me of the presentation in my COM 509 class, when a KSPR news reporter discussed tweeting a news story as new information became available. The reporter was tweeting updates, while simultaneously uploading photos of the news story. That story shows where our news system is headed.

The article discusses how our news could be moving towards a more personalized system. People will no longer read the news, rather the news will be explained to them, in context of what they’re reading. Because of the technological advancements in news, a explanation will be necessary, due to the speed and amount of information being presented.

The video also touches on the idea of augmented reality. According to Dictionary.com, augmented reality is “an artificial environment created through the combination of real-world and computer-generated data”. Some magazines, such as Esquire, have already made moves into augmented reality with their publications.

I’m more interested though, in how augmented reality will affect technology the public doesn’t use yet. For example, will there one day be augmented reality glasses, which can be tailored to keep us connected to the Internet at all times? There is a slightly eerie line at the end of the “The Storm Collection” video. Thompson describes not being able to turn off the flow of information. Sloan responds “Well, you never could”.

 

Review of Audacity

After the presentation in my social media class on podcasts, I decided to download the program Audacity to see if I could teach myself a few things with the audio editing program. I’ve used the video-editing program, Final Cut Pro, in the past, so I assumed the learning curve for using an audio-editing program wouldn’t be too dreadfully steep.

The installation process is easy, along with knowing how to access the different areas of the program. I read through the FAQ on the Audacity website to get a grasp on what exactly the entire system is. At first glance, the system reminds me of the other freeware program Gimp. Gimp is a photo-editing tool, similar to Photoshop, that is unique for offering an intricate program that rivals high dollar photo programs. Audacity strikes me as having that same high quality at no cost.

A simple Google search for Audacity tutorials provided me with a great how-to video on Audacity for recording podcasts. My MacBook has also made a recording setup easy, as it already features a built-in microphone. Here is an example of what the main screen looks like after I uploaded an MP3 file from my iTunes.

After fiddling around for an hour or so, I found the system easy to use. I can’t do any complex tasks yet, but tasks, such as cutting audio files and restructuring, are simple to learn. Using Audacity is much easier to learn than using Final Cut Pro, simply because I don’t have to make sure the audio syncs with any other data information.  I would include an example of my audio work, but I don’t think my skills are good enough yet for it to be worth anyone’s time to listen. For anyone looking for more information on the tutorial, I would examine this website and download the Audacity program. I highly recommend at least giving the program a try. It costs nothing, is easy to learn and you will learn a beneficial skill to add to your public relations toolbox.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Blog, News, Public Relations, ROI

 

Home Security Issues with Social Media

A report on Time.com says burglars are now regularly checking Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare to scope out potential houses to vandalize. There’s no need to immediately panic though, only 50 former burglars took part in the British survey. The author, Grame McMillian, says that many burglars also utilize Google Maps to get a better visual description of the house they would like to burglarize. The article does raise some interesting questions about the current use of social media in updating our location and giving out information.

This may sound like an old man talking, but it seems the general public use to worry about Big Brother constantly peeking over their shoulder. Now, people willingly give away their information over social media platforms without a second thought. I’m not saying that using social media means you no longer want privacy in your life or that I’m pointing fingers.  I’m as guilty as anyone of updating my location or personal information into the social media world. I also realize technology that shows our housing location or gives away personal information, such as Google Maps, is out of our control. I’m simply pointing out that this article draws attention to a fact about social media along with ideas about security.

We need to think about why we do things on social media platforms before we do them. I know this sounds simple, but many students and adults have yet to grasp how permanent information posted in the social media world is. In my opinion, I think people sometimes become so preoccupied with what we can do, with new social media technology, that we don’t take the time to stop and ask if we should.  In the PR field though, I understand  if you’re not on top of new and upcoming technology, you will be left in the dust. We need to find a way to strike a balance between utilizing the social media we know and experimenting with new technology.

Source: http://techland.time.com/2011/09/27/burglars-now-using-twitter-facebook-against-you/

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in Blog, Facebook, News, Social Media, Twitter

 

The KY3/KSPR Social Media Presentation

In Monday night’s class, Brad Belote, Director of Digital Content at KY3, and Lauren Matter, Anchor/Reporter at KSPR gave a presentation on social media as it relates to their career field of news. I’d like to thank them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to come talk to our class.

The topic they discussed that I found particularly interesting, was the different uses of Facebook and Twitter from a news perspective. In class, we’ve discussed how Facebook, in a college setting, is typically used as a means of entertainment or social engagement, while Twitter is used to update friends about our day or to post interesting links. I hadn’t considered until the presentation that Twitter serves as a news feed system for reporters, while Facebook serves as a means of directly communicating with news reporters or the station.

I participated in broadcast journalism in high school and I remember the difficulty of finding news worthy stories on short notice. This idea of now having a direct communication with the public, to be pitched story ideas or the ability to establish immediate contact for an interview, appears to make life much simpler for a journalist. At the same time though, it is more challenging to be a journalist with the invention of social media because of the constant stream of information needed to keep the public updated about current events. It’s no longer enough to report a story at ten, but now reporters have to tweet the moment they find out about an event and continuously release information as it becomes available. Lauren discussed how she reported on a car wreck and was tweeting new information as it became available, while also uploading pictures of the event. Brad also discussed how he must keep an open communication between the public and KY3 through Facebook, to have a successful and accessible social media side to the news. To be successful, you now almost have to be constantly reporting or be on your toes about what it is coming up next.

I’ve always known journalism to be a stressful occupation, but it appears to be even more time-consuming when all the pieces are put together to make an effective news broadcast. It seems with new technologies were given great opportunities, but also more responsibility in order to utilize it effectively.