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

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