Thursday, November 20, 2008

Journalists and Public Relations: Domestic Partners

At Belmont University, I lead the New Century Journalism Program. We are teaching students new media, ethics, writing and storytelling across multimedia platforms. In other words, we are training them to be flexible journalists. In addition to journalism,Public Relations is also a major. Students often have a difficult time deciding which one to choose. I often say if you are sure you never want to be a journalist, choose PR. However, if you are remotely interested in journalism, major in it. The reason being that many of the most successful PR people are former journalists. Now former MSNBC executive and on air personality Dan Abrams has launched his own company using an arsenal of journalists and other media professionals as consultants. In the article, some argue that to use journalists as advisors damages the overall credibility of journalism. And that supports my point, that former journalists often make better PR or media relations strategists because they intimately understand the media and have many contacts as a result of their employment in the industry.

I respect and embrace that position that there should be separation between journalists and PR people. But in these rough economic times, people have to do what they have to do, ethically and legally. Abrams says that he will not compromise a reporter's integrity by asking them to work with a potential news source. The article notes that others like Arianna Huffington's Huffington Post have been successful using the shared resources strategy. We are in an open source, networking economy. It is critical that people pool resources. Those who are more collaborative are faring much better than those who are still trying to survive autonomously.

If anybody thinks Dan can use my expertise, hook a sistah up!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Radio by George

Just finished doing a radio talk show with former Tennessee Titan Eddie George. We talked quite a bit about new media, social networking sites and the overall nature of virtual communication. The show should be posted on the Voice America site soon. People always ask me if I get nervous when I speak, well I had time to have a butterfly and then the conversation began. It was just really cool just to flow on various topics and now that I'll be a regular contributor, you can catch me on some Monday afternoons between 3-4 on the aforementioned website. I keep telling people, don't push, don't pull, God will let things happen in His time. Years ago, people told me to do radio. Who knows, I could have been Sybil Wilkes on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. Nah, it's so much more fun just being me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rating your Website

One of my students in Mass Media class turned me onto this site, Website Grader. It's an easy way to assess your website. I plan to try it and see how it works.

What is Dr. Syb doing?

I've had my head buried in yet another book by Harvard University Professor, Clayton Christensen. The book is called Disrupting Class. It's a really good look at the public education system as well as the entrepreneurial opportunities that exist and that will exist someday. One of Christensen's main points is that a disruptive technology finds an area of non consumption or in other words an area where there is nothing at all and fills the void. Online education is serving that purpose right now. Many people do not have the time to go to a brick and mortar building but they will sit down in front of a computer and take classes. Likewise, many schools can only offer so many AP classes, so Apex Learning is filling the void. In other words, as many of you try to identify additional revenue streams look at areas where nothing exists. If Apex didn't offer the additional AP courses, where and how would students get them? Well, enough for now. I'll try to read some more today and share some more kernels of wisdom. I'm saving you time and money aren't I?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Newspapers Net Gain, At Least for a Day

This from
TV Spy.

Newspapers a Hot Commodity After Obama's Win

Post-Election Newspapers Fly Out of Stores

From Richard Perez-Pena at the New York Times:

For a day, at least, newspapers were cool again.

Cool enough for people to try a dozen places in hopes of finding one, and then line up around the block for it. Cool enough for the seekers to call friends for help in finding copies, and for the finders to put them up for sale online.

The election of Barack Obama produced a clamor for newspapers that publishers said they had never seen. From The Cincinnati Enquirer to The Charlotte Observer to The Dallas Morning News, papers accustomed to years of declining sales pumped out extra copies by the thousands, and could not keep pace with demand.

But these were not papers to be consumed and crumpled as usual.

"Oh no, no fingerprints on this one," said James Allen, a delivery man from the Bronx, who stood in line for half an hour outside the Manhattan headquarters of The New York Times to get a copy. "This goes straight into a plastic bag. This is a black man becoming president. This is history, to show my grandkids some day."

Many buyers posed for pictures holding up the front page. Copies of Wednesday's major papers sold on eBay and Craigslist for more than $200.

Newspapers anticipated some extra demand, but they underestimated. The New York Times had printed 35 percent more than the usual number of copies for individual sale on Wednesday, an increase of about 150,000. Later, it printed 75,000 more.

On an average weekday, The Washington Post has single-copy sales — newsstand and store sales, as opposed to subscriptions — of about 100,000. It printed 30,000 extra on Tuesday night.

"It sold out almost instantly," said Steve Hills, president and general manager of Washington Post Media.

On Wednesday morning, The Post ordered up 150,000 copies of a special edition of the day's paper, charging $1.50, not the usual 50 cents. As the day wore on, it raised that to 250,000, then 350,000. "I've been here for 21 years and I've never seen anything like this," Mr. Hills said. (more)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Professor Rick Hancock on Social Media

When Professor Rick Hancock spoke at Belmont University last month, I interviewed him about the impact of Social Media. Ironically, I finally posted the interview on yesterday and today Professor Hancock talks about a website that he mentioned during the interview on Rick's RSS. Multimedia minds think alike.

Newspapers ROCK!!!

Today of all days, every newspaper in the country should celebrate. After such an historic event, thousands if not millions of people want a newspaper. Take advantage of this opporutnity and showcase your deep investigative pieces, your archives and your research. Make sure your website is updated all day long especially today. Link to other resources, you will not be the only destination for the majority of users.

I called my parents to tell them to save the Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune so that we can frame them. An enterprising news organization will sell the framed front pages. They'll sell mugs, t-shirts, hats and compete with other entrepreneurs. However, the newspapers have what the unknowns do not, they have a brand.

As another business strategy, newspaper execs need to think monetization as well as customization. How can we personalize this opportunity? How can we help more people think about us when they need the initial, original content that everyone else comments on after the fact?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Credit Union Scam

Yesterday, I received the pre-4am phone call, today I received this email.

In our terms and contidions you have agreed to state that your account must always be under your control or those you designate at all times. We have noticed some activity related to your account that indicates that order parties may have tried gaining access or control of your information in your account.

Therefore, to prevent unauthorized access to your Southeast Financial Federal Credit Union Internet Banking account,you are limited to five failed login attempts in a 24-hour period. You have exceeded this number of attempts.*

To reactivate your debit card , please call: +1(732-XXX-XXXX)

John Simmonds, President Southeast Financial Federal Credit Union.

© 2008 Southeast Financial Federal Credit Union, All Rights Reserved.

So, I finally called my Credit Union to learn that they are working with state officials and other credit unions to get to the bottom of this. Apparently, the scam artists running this scam have gotten access to home as well as cell phone numbers and clearly email addresses too. I called my local tv station and understandably, they have their hands full with the election. Well, I'll stay on top of this to the best of my ability and let you know what happens.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Middle of the Night Phone Call

When the phone rings at 3:47am, one wonders,"whose dead?" I grabbed the phone and received a recorded message from the Southeastern bank saying that my bank card had been tampered with and to press "#1" on my keypad. Fortunately, I had the sense and time to gather my faculties and hang up the phone. Scam artists are running rampant. Blogs are a way to expose them. Warn someone today.