March 18, 2010

Week 7: Spreading the word, mapping success

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediations @ 3:02 pm

Today we look at some case studies, paying particular attention to integrating social media tactics into broader communication plans.

We will also look at ways of using maps to add richness to online content.

Let’s start by looking at a presentiation given by leading social media commentator Neville Hobson, who made this slideshre presentation for colleagues at WCG: Insights into 10 Trends that Matter and the Impact of Social Media.

One way of getting noticed is to produce content that goes viral. Here’s an example:


Clever, and the key element is that you can make your own version, so are much more likely to show it to friends.

Innocent on YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter

How would you publicise the launch of a new mobile phone.

Here’s how Wolfstar used blogger relations to create conversation around Sony Ericsson’s Xperiance did it: case study

One of the distinguishing characteristics of what some call Web 2.0 is that it’s features can be endlessly reconfigured and recombined. The blog- or site-designer can ‘mash-up’ a huge range of features, often known as widgets or web-widgets, partly to give freshness, partly to meet more strategic objectives.

One of the most obvious ways of adding richness to a blog is with photography. Here’s a list of useful resources. And here’s a list of picture editing tools.

Part of the reason Facebook has been so successful has been its willingness to allow other developers to add applications (of various degrees of usefulness, functionality and privacy!). Almost by definition, no two people’s Facebook page looks the same – customisation is central to a platform which allows the user to create an online identity and personality.

Think about your favourites examples. Do you consider the security and privacy implications when you add a new element to your profile?

Think about Twitter. Have you found applications that improve it for you. Tweetdeck is a must for me, but there are many, many others. Ideas?

For story-telling (for PR as much as for news) the flexibility and richness offered by maps and geo-tagging allows much scope for innovation.

Have you used Google earth? To buy a pizza, to organise an exercise routine (motion based)- or to illustrate a who owns which dog in the USA. Here are some more examples, including an application used to tell the story of the 2012 London Olympics.

One of my favourites, showing dog owners (and other vital statistics) in Cincinnati. I think I found it through Map Hawk.

Have a look at the Google Earth Community Forum. Look for ideas, and also think about the wealth of user-generated content that is powering the project. People are doing Google’s work for it. For free.

Here’s a demo.

The hosting browser in the demo for Twitter can be any default web brower, I.E, Firefox, …etc.

( iGETi ) Twitter Add On Tool For Google Earth Desktop

Imaginative use on telling news stories. Examples here

How can PR use Google Earth?

Finally, how can we pull all these elements together? The Oresund Bridge, which links Denmark and Sweden, celebrates its 10th Jubilee in July.

How could the Bridge’s communications team use social media to engage with key publics?


March 12, 2010

Week 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediations @ 3:05 pm

The defining characteristic of Web 2.0 is that users can contribute content. Websites are no longer static, under the control of a ‘webmaster’/organisation, but dynamic, with many creatoprs actively encouraging others to add content.

At its most basic level this may mean allowing comments, probably moderated, to a blog post, or inviting stars and reviews. The most vivid example of user-generated content (UGC) is perhaps Wikipedia, almost entirely the creation of volunteers who contribute content for a wide range of motives.

UGC turns websites from adverts and noticeboards into conversations, it invites audiences to actively engage with products or services. But at the same time, Web 2.0 creates an easily accessible platform for criticism, even ridicule. From the beginning, this was the great fear of felt by any organisation considering puttin a toe into these uncharted water.

“What if people say nasty things about us?”

The answer of course, was that if people wanted to say nasty things about your product or service, they woy would do, and unless they broke the law, there was little an organisation could do top stop it. The advice of most social media experts was something along the lines of “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

At a deeper level, the debate highlighted one of the fundamentals of public relations, namely that reputation comes from what an organisation does, rather than what it tries to say it does.


As wellas allowing people to comment, Web 2.0 is ideally suited for redistribution and repurposing. If we can still accept a traditonal definition of PR that it is concened with acquiring third party endorsement of a product or service, then the ability to pass on messages is of great interest to organisations. Once, endorsement meant (positive) coverage in a newspaper, now it may just as usefully mean a ‘like’ on Facebook, a re-tweet, tagging or social bookmarking.

At one level, we might edit a tweet before retweeting, perhaps adding opr detracting from its meaning. Or we might take a more complex message and make adaptations that enhance, detract or mutate its meaning.

A related concept is that of the mash up, where two or more devices, often widgets or platforms, are combined to create a new meaning. A good example might be the various uses to which Google’s mapping function can be used (subject of a future session).

One of the most amusing examples of purposing is video editing. Take Downfall, a rather good, German film which tackled the rather touchy subject of the last day’s of Adolf Hitler. In one famous scene, some understandably nervous senior generals pluck up the courage to tell Hitler how serious a situation Germany faces. Hitler does not take this well – and the ensuing ‘rant’ has been repurposed many times, using the simple device of subtitles. Background: The Hitler Meme, New York Times,


I have tried hard to convince you of the value of social bookmarking, particularly Delicious, and the concept of tagging. Tagging offers a very useful perspective on reputation as the aggregation of individual comments. It can also create communities in the most unusual places – http://11j.ta0.at/

Reviews, ratings and UGC

A couple of our bloggers, Amy and Hannah are watching movies – have a look at Green Issues and Amylockhart18’s Blog . Amy is asking us to vote on which film she should watch and review – go there and offer a helping hand.

Choose one of the films and see what you can find out about it, paying particular attention to fan sites, apps, games, YouTube etc. Spend some time investigating and report back with a detailed comment, including links.

February 19, 2010

Week 3: Getting noticed

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediations @ 8:29 am

Although a lot of your background for this module can be done online you should also be reading three key texts, Naked Conversations by Scoble and Israel, We the Media by Dan Gillmor, and Online Public Relations, 2nd Ed by Phillips and Young.  The first two (and arguably all three!)  are  beginning to show their age but they give an idea of how we got to where we are today. Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky is another very useful way into some of the issues we will be discussing as the module moves from the practicalities of getting online ourselves to gaining some understanding of the  theoretical implications that come from the rise of social media.

OK, let’s start by having giving our course blog a facelift. What should it look like? Clearly the starting point is to consider its purpose – who do we want to talk, what impression do we want to give?

How much attention do we need to pay to wondow dressing, and how much to useability?

What colourrs should we use? What shall we call it? How important is visibility and searchability?

Have a look at the templates offered by WordPress and add a comment to this post with a recommendation that addresses these issues.

Next we will look at the way some other PR students and researchers are approaching social media. Next week I will be in Ghent, Belgium for Euprera Spring Symposium, and presenting the Euprera Social Media Awards.

It’s too late for you to enter this time, but you might like to become involved in the PR OpenMic network. If you join, remember this will connect your work to that of students, educators and potential employers across the world, so be professional.

As we look at new blogs, think about this  Taxonomy of Weblogs I drew up as part of a paper presented to Euprera’s 2005 Lisbon Congress.

About me: people who write about their daily lives for micro-audiences of friends and family;
Focused interests (niche/ hobbyists): people who use blogs to communicate with fellow enthusiasts/ with shared experience ie workplace. Usually amateurs and generally recreational.
Campaigning: political blogs, pressure group, protests
Networking/ Education/ Development: people who use blogs to debate professional subjects with fellow practitioners
Personal marketing: people who use blogging to promote their expertise to clients, employers and others who can influence their careers or businesses.
Commercial: organizations which use blogs to promote goods and services, (including news organisations); these can include employee blogs (moderated) and blogs that encourage customer participation

Does this list need updating?

Back to your own blogs…  You face two big challenges: one is getting started, the other is keeping going! Luckily there are quite a few people out there willing to share their expereince. Let’s start with the prolific online journalism blogger Paul Bradshaw who offers 12 Ideas for Blog Posts.

February 12, 2010

Week 2: Time to explore

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediations @ 4:10 pm

Yesterday brought the sad news of the death of fashion designer Alexander McQueen. It will be on the front pages of today’s newspapers, and featured prominently in television and radio , but it will also generate a great deal of comment through social media.

How did you find out he had died? Were you personally upset or affected by the news? Spend some time looking at the way this event has been covered by non-establishment websites and blogs, and microblogging sites (Twitter, Facebook), then write a picee for your blog. This can take the form of a personal comment, a news feature, or even an academic case study. Use delicious and other tools to organise your inquiry.

Tell us what you found out about McQueen but, more importantly, think about the way in which the social media community reacted. Remember, too, that many other people will be doing searches on McQueen, and they may well stumble on your work so make sure it reflects well on you and your university! When you have finished, add a comment, with a link, to this post pointing us to you post, and including a couple of sentences summarising your impressions.

In the second half of the lesson, we will work on building the number of interesting sites you follow, adding them to Google Reader and to the blogroll on your own sites, and, following your recommendations, to this course blog. I suggest you create to sections in your blogroll, one for media – PR or journalism sites, and one for sites that will be of wider interest to readers of your personal blog. Both PR Studies and Online Journalism have extensive lists that will get you started. Go for quality not quantity – write a short post saying you have begun to build a blogroll, and saying why you have chosen to include five named and linked sites.

We will also decide between your recommendations for an appropriate template for this blog – it will have a new look by the end of the session.

So a busy couple of hours – get going!

Welcome to MACM69!

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediations @ 8:10 am

This blog will be at the heart of teaching on MACM69 – add it to your Newsreader (Google Reader?) straight away.

You should already have a Delicious account and a Twitter account, and you should have begin to think carefully about Personal Reputation Management.

What did you think about Twitter?Are you starting to find it useful? Add a comment to this post – and don’t forget to include your Twitter name.

Then let’s have a look at a couple of blogs – Mediations and micromediations, from Philip Young, and PR Studies, by Richard Bailey.

January 21, 2010

Who are we talking to?

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediations @ 9:26 am

January 18, 2010

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediations @ 1:44 pm

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