While in the process of conducting research regarding social media in the higher education curriculum, I have discovered that I do not have nearly enough time on my hands! Many of the social media gurus (such as Brian Solis and Chris Brogan) suggest that public relations professionals, marketers, and business owners need to maintain a visible presence on the Web. This requires a significant amount of time online, listening to the conversations about your brand/company and contributing to the conversation via blogging, microblogging, and social networks.
Keeping in line with traditional business practices, it is also suggested that you stay up-to-date on the various ways that social media can enhance your business or brand. With a TON of social media tools available, this becomes a daunting task! There are hundreds of books written strictly about Facebook and Twitter alone.
So, as I am developing the graduate course in Social Media for the University of Memphis, I am working to develop a list of books that students need to utilize within the course, their profession, and their life. While putting this list together is very important for the class, I am having a hard time selecting books without actually having read them! Although I would love to be able to read all of them, I simply do not have the time in my life. This is where you come in.
The following is a list of some of the books that social media folks have suggested. Of course, I will not make this entire list mandatory reading for the class, but pulling at least a few staple books together for the course will need to be done. Please let me know if you have read any of these, your thoughts on some of them, and any other books that you feel might be helpful in adding to the list. Note that some of these are directed more toward PR and some are more of a marketing-based framework. What I’m truly lacking is a good list of social media from a journalistic perspective.
“I am at Starbucks Coffee” via foursquare. “Chris T. is the mayor of Buffalo Wild Wings” via foursquare. “Kristi T. just checked-in at Range USA”.
As a social media nerd, I spend a lot of time using various social networks, social media tools and location-sharing apps. In doing so, I seem to be inundated with constant updates from friends letting me know everything from what they are currently reading to their relationship status. Now that apps like Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places have become more popular with my friends and followers, I am also privy to the endless amount of check-ins that my contacts provide.
Although some can get pretty annoying (I really don’t need to know that you are at the Alabama State Line on your way to a Bama football game), these location-based services have now proven to be significant not only to consumers and marketers, but also to journalists! I have come across a few blog posts that explain how journalists are chomping at the bit to use location-sharing apps to help them in their profession.
While this has been a subject that I have been meaning to explore further, something happened last night that reinforces the possibilities for journalists as well as citizen journalism. My sister-in-law (Kristi T.) and my brother (Chris T.) were at Range USA, a local shooting range (and one of my favorite places). This morning I noticed that Kristi had checked-in via Foursquare at Range, which uploaded to her Facebook status feed. About an hour later, she posted some pictures of a “crime scene” in the parking lot of said shooting range.
Apparently, someone had attempted to break into a vehicle in the parking lot. Now, I would imagine that breaking into a vehicle in the parking lot of a gun range would automatically be a bad plan. However, what this criminal mastermind did NOT know is that the vehicle he was attempting to get into was a police officer’s private vehicle. Doubly whammy for him! Long story short, Kristi checked in via Foursquare, updated to Facebook and then documented the event on Facebook using pictures and comments.
So, what does this have to do with journalism? Well, Kristi and I use mobile apps and social media for different things. Although I get annoyed with how many Foursquare updates my friends post, this situation led to a “what if” scenario in my brain.
What if: Kristi was able to get this information to local media.
What if: Kristi used Twitter to let her followers in the area know that something was going on in the area.
What if: Range USA was able to use her photos and comments to let customers know that they handled the situation in an effective manner and the venue is a safe place to be at night.
How do you think Kristi could have used Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and the local media in this situation?
While I am a student, graduate assistant and mommy first, I also spend a significant amount of my time working with various non-profit organizations around the Mid-South. Recently, I was asked to be a part of the Marketing Committee for the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis. I was sought out by this group due to my reputation with social media and research, and a few weeks ago, we had our first meeting.
Not knowing much about the organization, I was interested in meeting some of the bright minds that the group pulled together for this newly formed committee. And bright minds they were! After an extremely effective meeting, we were charged with assisting in critiquing some of the marketing collateral that the organization is currently using. The video listed above is one of the videos that the WFGM is currently using.
Since you’re here…Maybe you could help??? We are looking to gather some insight as to what people think with regards to branding messages and the overall organizational brand. If you have a few minutes, please take some time to help this great organization get some feedback on this video! They would like you to think about the following questions:
Please think about the Women’s Foundation. What comes to mind from this video?
What message is emphasized in this video?
What does this video persuade you to do? What is the call to action (if any)?
Who is the target audience?
What would you add to make this media more interesting to the target audience?
Feel free to leave any other comments or information that you think might be helpful to the marketing committee. With your assistance, this wonderful group of leaders can help the WFGM organization create a clear and concise message for each of its target publics.
Hello and welcome to the Social Media Educator blog! Over the next few months, this blog will serve as a “travelogue” for my journey through the development and examination of courses in social media for journalism majors at the University of Memphis. For the past four months, I have been researching a select group of syllabi used across the country to educate journalism and PR students on social media. While all of them provide insight to the structure of the course, resources used and possible topics of conversation, I am in search of additional information that will make this course the greatest social media course to hit the journalism and PR landscape!
The quest for additional information leads me to the next step in the process…Interviews! I am looking for journalists & PR practitioners currently using social media within their field to participate in in-depth interviews for my research. I will also be interviewing the professors that are currently teaching courses in social media at the university level. My hope is that the information that these interviews provide will assist in adding even more relevant content to the course syllabus, resources and topic selection.
Finally, I will be assisting Dr. Carrie Brown-Smith during the Spring 2011 semester as she teaches social media to undergraduates and graduate students at the University of Memphis. While I was originally only interested in developing the course on a graduate level, this experience will provide the opportunity to evaluate the difference between the two groups and determine the most effective methods of teaching and learning for each of them. Additionally, I’ll be able to talk to students to find out what they liked and disliked, wanted but didn’t get and got but didn’t find relevant. All of this information will help Dr. Brown-Smith and myself get some valuable opinions from the individuals taking the course.
I am super-excited about the next couple of months, and I can’t wait to share all that I learn with you! Get in, sit down and hold on! This is going to be an amazing ride through social media, public relations and journalism that you do NOT want to miss!!