Taking Flight: “Best Of” Student Blog Posts from Winter 2014

Happy kid playing with toy airplane

My Strategic PR Writing students blogged twice a week for seven weeks this term. It’s a feat to get all those posts done! I picked a “best of” from each blog to share with you. You can learn more about the background on the students’ assignment here.

Congrats to all 16 of my students on their blogs! In no particular order… here are this term’s best ofs:

Continue reading “Taking Flight: “Best Of” Student Blog Posts from Winter 2014″

Best of… Student Posts Take Center Stage

My students were rock stars this term. They all completed the blog assignment and did so with flying colors. I had lots of favorite posts and enjoyed reading their blogs. But I picked out a few to share (in no particular order).

Courtney Parks shares some Words to Live By and discusses a great post on Ragan.com about getting the most from a PR major. She ruminates on her own experience and adds to the original author’s advice.

Shannon Sloan in bound for Portland and the SOJC’s Senior Experience program this spring. She shares her hopes, fears and goals with readers in this post: Portland Experience, Here I Come. (Shannon, you will be GREAT!)

Ashley Aronson is one of two students who blogged about event planning (and did so very well!). Ashley shares some advice on Keeping Your Guests Happy. Good advice on some oft-overlooked details.

Lindsay Lake, the other event planner blogger, shares this post – Time to Re-prioritize Your Plan of Events – noting that the event starts well before the event thanks to social media sharing.

Dawn Noufer blogs about delicious adult beverages from a PR perspective. I liked this post a lot – Hip Hop & Liquor: An Affair to Remember. Product placement in music is such a weird concept.

Aundria Hanset-Clark didn’t focus on the beverage industry, generally, but had this post – How Much Wodka Vodka Did They Drink? – about a marketing misstep by a Vodka company who thought it was being funny.

Students (like the rest of us) have been interested in the Penn State crisis from a communications perspective. Mostly, they had questions (like the rest of us) and, as young professionals, imagined what it would be like to represent the university at such a time.

Austin Clark’s post, Joe’s Woes, asking if it’s possible for Joe Paterno to leave any kind of positive legacy with the way his career ended.

Joe Schiller’s So Long JoePa breaks down Joe Paterno’s apparent role and also wonders about a solution.

Gun Kang offers some pretty solid crisis management advice to Penn State in his post From Linebacker U to Pedophile U.

Related, but on a much different note, Rachel Gehr looks at Ashton Kutcher’s decision to hand his account over to his social media team after his “mistweet” about Penn State firing Joe Paterno. Rachel’s post, With 8 Million Followers It’s Important to Know the Whole Story, is rightfully critical of Kutcher’s decision.

Darby Rousseau blogged about politics this term and specifically about the GOP nomination horse race. Her post, The Rise of Newt, looks at … well, the rist of Newt Gingrich. Will Newt’s performance in the debates and public appearances help people forgive his political baggage? We shall see.

Antonia Gomez added her perspective to a Ragan.com post on PR lessons learned from cartoon characters. Like me, she’s a fan of How To Train A Dragon and her post What Dragons, Monsters and Dogs All Have in Common shares some lessons learned from that movie and a couple of others.

Kathryn Beck shares her review of Seth Godin’s The Dip by way of a personal “survival” story.

Micaela Sicroff blogged about hospitality PR and her post, The Increasing Importance of Social Media in the Hotel Industry, shares some tips and observations.

A few students posted about a recent study on sarcasm. I was intrigued by Katherine Allred’s title, To Tear Flesh Like Dogs, and her observations.

One of the class’ fashionistas, Allie Hawes shared how first-person perspectives of fashion week events are changing the way brands communicate in Fashion Week from Yours Truly.

I found Tracy Reiss’ perspective on this post, Presentations and Social Media, so interesting and very different than the reaction many of my friends and colleagues had to the original about how social media is changing presentations. Most people said social media made it scarier to present at conferences or events. Tracy, who is, by her own account, a nervous presenter, took the opposite view.

Lots of students blogged about the Kardashians in some form (and many of the posts were very good). I thought Erin Kelley’s post, Petite Fashion, was a nice take on this theme about the work of a fashion publicist to promote the fashion choices of a toddler.

Olivia Johnston opened my eyes to an interesting task and time management system in her post, Food for Thought. As an aside, Olivia also had among the best headlines all term.

Hannah Longo’s posts were about PR from a “newbie” perspective. Her post, A Trip Down Easy Street Provided By Career Centers, is a good reminder to students of all the amazing resources available.

That’s it! If you are a student (or a reader) and had another favorite from the term, I’d love to hear about it.

Ducks in a Row: New Student Bloggers Join the Blogosphere!

A new slate of student bloggers in my J452: Strategic PR Communications class are taking to the blogosphere! Please welcome them. If you’re interested in the why and how of this assignment, you can get the skinny here.

 

 

Ducklings Take Flight! My Favorite Posts from Winter Term Students

My Strategic PR Communications students were immersed in blogging this term. In fact, they wrote a minimum of fifteen posts over the course of about eight weeks. And they did a great job. Keeping up that kind of schedule is demanding, as you bloggers know. I want to showcase some of my favorite posts from the term. I have at least one favorite from each student.

Best of the Best

These six students really took flight with their blogs. The posts I’ve selected here stand out as the very best.

Daniel McCrone had two great posts. Daniel’s a really good writer, so I encourage you to hang out on his blog and check out some of his other posts, but these were my two favorites:

In Twitter Symptoms May Vary, Daniel explores the five stages of twitter from an older post by Rohit Bhargava. And in Behind Every Success There are Hundreds of Failures, Daniel philosophizes a bit on the psychology of “dead week” and how the spectre of failure ultimately drives so many students to demand the best they have from themselves.

Rachel Koppes‘ post Recipe for Twitter Success is an insightful look at how to make the most of Twitter and be someone worth connecting with. Rachel strives to make each tweet “epic” (which I love!), but also finds ways to share her personality and make meaningful connections with people. Whether you’re brand new to Twitter or just want to refresh your thinking, this is a great post.

I love Mackenzie Davids‘ blog. I know from having her in class a couple of times that her love-hate relationship with social media has not kept her from jumping in and trying things out. So her post Social Networking Relationship Status: It’s Complicated was a perfect description of how Mackenzie, and many young professionals, struggle with how much to reveal and how to use these tools effectively.

Mackenzie had a second great post recapping her experience in the portfolio review process – Practice Makes Perfect. She gives some great advice by sharing what she learned. I can tell you from looking at the evaluations from her reviewers, that whatever she did, worked.

Caitlin Jarvis has a passion for nonprofits and helping them communicate more effectively. Her blog was a terrific platform for exploring this passion and digging into how nonprofits are using social media. It’s for students like Caitlin that this assignment really “clicks.” It was clear that she has a knack for blogging and she had some outstanding posts. I encourage you to read more from her blog, but my favorite of the bunch was her recap on the Red Cross’ “rogue tweet” – Going Rogue: Mistweets Happen. Caitlin went out of her way to connect with someone at the Red Cross on Twitter to provide an added perspective to her post.

I’m not much into sports – especially professional sports – but Nicole Hyslop knows her stuff and did an outstanding job of bringing PR into her discussions. One post I particularly liked was @ProfessionalAthletes: #PleaseRead. As you might guess from the clever headline (love it!), this is a post with some Twitter tips for the pros. She has four easy tips ostensibly for pros, but are really useful for even us mere mortals.

Andy Jenness, one of the grad students in the course this term, brings such a unique perspective to his blog. As an active member of the Grande Ronde tribe, Andy took his blog as the opportunity to apply the principles we talked about in class and explore other stuff on his mind. His post Tribal Ethics was an outstanding one to me. Andy ponders how, if at all, social media changes the way the Tribe needs to think about how its ethics standards (passed pre-social media) might need to change to include online behavior. Interesting food for thought.

Also Awesome

Every one of my students this term had stand out posts. Here are some more of my faves.

Like many seniors, Stephanie Sahaigan is excited and nervous about the job search. Her post, The Real World is Approaching, takes the advice from The Hiring Hub and applies it to what she’s thinking and feeling about post-graduation.

Heather Lee loves event planning and her blog focuses on that as a career aspiration. Her post Top Keys to Success in a Hard Market has some great advice whether you are a small business owner or, like Heather, are planning a career providing services to them.

Katie Brennan, the other grad student in the course, has a diversity of interests and used her blog to share them. I really liked this post about creativity in business – What Do You Know about Mr. W? (watch the video Katie links to, it’s great!).

If you review the students’ blogs, you’ll find lots of them talk about the dreaded job search. Crystal Barce does a good job recapping and applying six tips in her post Interview Tips Every PR Rookie Should Know. A tip post is good if the tips are applicable. Crystal show how to do just that.

Ayan Jama uses her blog to demonstrate her interest in integrated campaigns. Her post Pistachios Get Celebs Crackin was useful and insightful, showing how the PR team complements advertising and branding. The particular celebs on this campaign are pretty risky, it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Ayan has some great insights.

I love music. My favorite parts of Julia Neff’s blog were her links to and video embeds of the music she loves – which ranges from Bluegrass to Dubstep. Julia also has some great PR and communications advice for musicians, too. In her post The Seven Deadly Sins of Playing a Live Gig, she riffs on another blog of a similar title and adds her own take. The advice isn’t necessarily intuitive, which makes Julia’s insights that much more valuable. You should also see her recommendations for Bluegrass tunes to turn your frown upside down.

Reality shows about PR make me cringe. A lot. Isabelle Morse-Dias shares her guilty pleasure and ponders Kell On Earth: Beneficial to the Industry?. Isabelle raises some good questions and while she may not have an answer, it’s clear that these shows are popular as much for the PR as for the glam industries they service (like high fashion). I have to say that Kell on Earth is not nearly as bad as PoweR Girls, that show was horrid.

In You Can Pay for School, But You Can’t Buy Class, Alaina Revoir talks about George Clooney, the celebrity statesman. She has an interesting perspective and ends by saying that she hopes her future will include work for an individual or company with a vision outside themselves.

Photo by Dave Briccetti

Ducklings in the Water! We Have New Student Bloggers

It’s that time again! My class of Strategic PR Communication students take to the water and launch their blogs. For many of them this term they’ve blogged before – although not on a topic of their choice, more of a multimedia journalism endeavor. So this is new territory!

If you have a moment, take some time to read a few and say hello (what blogger doesn’t like comments?).

Crystal Barce

Katie Brennan

Mackenzie Davids

Nicole Hyslop

Ayan Jama

Caitlin Jarvis

Andy Jenness

Rachel Koppes

Heather Lee

Daniel McCrone

Isabelle Morse-Dias

Julia Neff

Alaina Revoir

Stephanie Sahagian

As a bonus shout-out for last spring’s class & hopefully some inspiration for this term’s ducklings, here are my picks for “best of” from Spring 2011.

Celebrating Success: The Best Student Posts This Term

My J452: Strategic PR Communication students have been blogging all term. As I grade their blogs today, I’m finding a lot of great stuff and wanted to highlight the best of the term’s posts. I encourage you to check them out!

One thing I have loved this term (and I need to explore more with my classes) is the beautiful cross section of interests. Whether it’s sports and PR, fashion and PR, public health, or art and PR – these students are focused and clear on what they love and how PR will help get them there.

***

Lance Heisler: And Post!…Slow Down, Champ
Lance’s post about finding your voice & getting comfortable with blogging is has some great insights and some tips for doing it right.

Jenna Starkey: Overcoming Nerves and Procrastination
Jenna, like many over-achieving PR students, has a lot on her plate and at the beginning of a particularly challenging week, she spent a little time reflecting and (lucky for us!) sharing tips she’s learned.

Joani Jones: Is There Ever a Time for Sports and Politics to Mix?
Joani does a nice job of combing two things she passionate about – sports and PR. This post was an interesting take on how teams were reacting (or not) to the controversial immigration law in Arizona.

Kathleen Sumagit-Rivera: Emerging Social Media Apps
Kathleen has a lot of great social media basic (and even not-so-basic) tips on her blog. I liked this post. I enjoy using foursquare, but haven’t started using Gowalla yet. This was a handy breakdown of the two services and how they compare.

Lauren Switzer: Trending Topics, An Analysis
I’m a huge geek and I love when students can dig in a little on geekish topics. I learned something new here and think “twitter bomb” is a going to catch on as a phrase.  And this post on portfolios is one of my faves of all time.

Ana Stgar: How To Practice Sustainable PR
Ana’s taken a sports bent with her content, which is terrific. But she also has a depth of opinion and interest in sustainability. I suppose the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive… Anyway, this is a great post on sustainable PR.

Kate Malinoski: In Defense of Multiple Identities
Kate talks about how we all have multiple “versions” of ourselves based on our audience and for her (and many), Facebook is mostly social. She makes a good argument, although I’d say the more comfortable you become with yourself, what you have to offer, and your place in the world, the urge to keep distinct personas abates.

Amy Shelton: Social Media Strategists Gamble with ChatRoulette
Amy’s interest in public health campaigns is clear throughout her blog and this post does a great job of combining her two interests (PR & public health) to show how one organization used ChatRoulette as the channel for an HIV campaign.

Samantha Luthra: When the Internt Becomes the Playground – Teens and Social Media Bullying
Sam’s passions are fashion and PR. This post veers slightly from that, but has a great anecdote and tips for being smart about cyberbullying. Sam, your sister is lucky to have a big sis watching out for her.

Nicole Perkins: Creating Community and Managing the Unmanageable: Fostering an Online Community.
Nicole’s focus on the arts makes for very interesting content on her blog (Nicole, I think you got over that “boring” thing you were worried about). Nicole is also gearing up for a year-long process managing an online community next year, so these two posts for her are timely and valuable ways to think about her role. For the rest of us, we just get to tag along and enjoy her writing.

photo via Flickr by edensgate

UO Takes Over PROpenMic

[note: my J452 strategic PR communication class is taking over PROpenMic next week. I’m pretty excited for them and think they will do an amazing job. Tune in, join the conversation and participate! The text below is from the email the leadership team (Nicole Perkins, Ana Strgar, Allison Moran and Samantha Luthra) sent out today]

To the PROpenMic Community:

As a class of aspiring public relations practitioners from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, we’re looking forward to serving as PROpenMic community managers all next week (May 3 – 7).  We will be providing content, asking questions, initiating discussion and encouraging you, the PROpenMic members to share your experiences.

Our theme is “The Many Faces of PR,” and we will be posting articles, podcasts or videos each day to correspond with a new daily topic. PR is multifaceted and we hope to provide a glimpse of that throughout the week.

We would love it if you would join our conversation! We invite you to respond to our content, use our topics as inspiration, or join the discussion on the daily discussion board. The more voices that contribute, the more we will all learn from this experience!

Here is a peek into what we’re planning for next week:

  • Monday: What is PR?
    Open dialogue: What is your personal definition of PR?
  • Tuesday: Our skills
    Open dialogue: What skills have been valuable in your work or school experience?
  • Wednesday: A day in the life
    Open dialogue: What memorable cases have you read or worked on that have inspired you?
  • Thursday: Landing the job
    Open dialogue: What has been your best or worst interview experience?
  • Friday: The future of PR
    Open dialogue: How do you try to stay current and aware of new trends?

New Paddle of Ducklings Take to Blogging

A new bunch of students from J452: Strategic PR Communication is taking off on a blogging adventure. Students in this class post twice per week: one on a topic of their choice & one based on prompts that I post under the title of “linky love” each week (my best-of for the week). I’m sure my students would love it if you dropped by and read a post or two or even leave a comment.

In no particular order… my spring term paddle of ducklings:

Ana Strgar

Lance Heisler

Lauren Switzer

Joani Jones

Alison Klapper

Colette Bryant

Sara Hamler-Dupras

Brandon Watt

Kate Malinoski

Kathleen Sumagit-Rivera

Allison Moran

Jenna Starkey

Amy Shelton

Nicole Perkins

Samantha Luthra

Teaching Them to Fish…

Between Professors Tiffany Gallicano, Tom Hagley, and myself, we’ve required well over 100 students to start a blog in Advanced PR Writing. I don’t feel like doing math right this minute, so that number will have to do as an estimate.

Over the two years we’ve done this, most students see it as a requirement and then move on once the term is over, but a few students have really taken to it and continued to blog well after the final grades were entered. I know this isn’t a comprehensive list (please tell me if you’re still blogging and I missed you!), but here’s a go at rounding up the talented young professionals (and Duck alums) still active in the blogosphere:

UPDATES (You knew I’d forget some):

Check out these talented folks and let them know you’re listening.

Did I miss you? Let me know!

Hey Newbies! Step Up to the Mic

School’s back in session and we all survived week one. I know I have some new readers and I want to encourage anyone who has not to join PROpenMic. Seriously. All the cool kids are doing it.

About PROpenMic:

PROpenMic? A metaphor. Step up and speak your mind. Our goal is to be the social network for PR students, faculty and practitioners worldwide. We are ad free and nonprofit with an education focus. Already, we have members from over 40+ countries and 140+ universities worldwide. Meetup and share. From future internship & job searches to discussions about class projects and activities … PROpenMic is your network for connections and learning. Ultimately, the network is about you helping others. Our focus is to help students & faculty explore answers to their questions with a perspective from around the world. Enjoy!

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