this is for jilly hunter of my realm (her blog @ her-relm.com)
in preparing for this class, i spent a decent amount of time surfing for blogs that i thought my students might appreciate – jilly’s jumped out at me … i love her style! so, i put her blog in the ‘blogroll’ for ‘college blogs’ because jilly and her content fit the bill … jilly not only maintains her own blog, but is also “co-owner of the Hip-Hop site B-girl.net” – jilly’s efforts impress me
after reading a comment (in her blog) about my selection of her site, i commented there – and, i just thought jilly and her readers deserved to know why i selected jilly and what my goals are for the class. this also helps me to continue to examine just how this is going to work out – where we are going
first, the blogs and CMS are a small part of the overall class (maybe 5-10%) – the class is PR Style & Design – PR Messages. we cover layout, graphic design, several software packages (Adobe/Macromedia products, and more). students spend the semester familarizing themselves with the software and their application in a PR environment
as for a*’s concerns (see under scrutiny…sorta – look in the comments section, “blogs as a merchandising tool”) – no, we won’t be looking at blogs in that manner – solely … i do think students should try to understand, if not embrace, blogging and online mediums – yes! … i want the students to install and maintain and post in their own blog to understand how they might implement it for their own ‘pr musings’ and perhaps for a client, one day…
i tend to emphasize pr tactics for non-profits (i worked for Easter Seals for about 10 years). to me, the opportunities for non-profit blogs are quite promising – following the efforts of the organization, seeing the frustration of volunteers/fund-raisers, parents/care-givers of recipients of the services (re: disability service organizations, and others) … the list is very long
i see ‘good’ corporate blogging as something like ‘googleguy blog‘ … the blog is truly penned/typed by a google engineer and not controlled by the PR dept. they answer questions in that blog and, yes, it is a ‘geeky’ blog, but so what? slashdot is a powerful presence – they are ‘geek’ and justifiably proud of it (slashdot is actually more mainstream than some people give them credit for, in my opinion)
or, on the other side, pete blackshaw’s ‘hybridbuzz’ – his personal ordeal with a honda hybrid car
what an excellent example of a blog that the manufacturer failed to recognize, properly respond to, and appreciate for what it could bring to their hybrid marketing challenge
those two blogs are good examples of business using a blog (or learing from it – as in Honda with Pete’s blog).
i do feel that blogs ‘can’ be utilized by corporations – but, not as a scripted tool, rather as a true exchange with consumers, or ‘stakeholders’ – (and the blog should NOT be scripted and not owned by the PR dept., but encouraged by them). see the links on my site re: ‘CEO’s that blog‘ from theNewPRWiki, for instance. those ‘can’ be good experiences for the company, but not always … students need to understand the good applications and the ‘not-so-good’ ones
another great example of a blog being utilized for ‘community feedback’ (nation/world-wide) is cornell university’s ‘cornell.edu redesign‘ – a wonderful implementation (especially since they are willing, if not eager, to accept criticism)
there are some blogs that can work for straight promotion, though – jane blog … although predictable, it is kinda funny … and, as jane says, “by the way, I’m not actually real, I’m a fictitious character on the TV series ‘Good GIrls (sic) Don’t.'”
finally, look at the long list of ‘pr personas’ in the blogroll to the left – it is filled with pr practitioners that blog daily and share their expertise, experience, frustrations and more …
so, it is in the vein of all those blogs (and many more) that we will consider the pros and cons of blogs in public relations practices … how’s that?
what do you think?