Category Archives: Blogs

The Blogs of PROpenMic :: Students, Faculty and Practitioners … Read ’em

Recently, to help promote the blogs of PROpenMic, I put out a call to all members. Share your blogs. We want people to find you and read what you’re interested in re: public relations.

Well, we got quite a response. Students, faculty and practitioners responded.

The list below represents the post I shared on the front page of PROpenMic. I hope you’ll go check them out, too. And, join PROpenMic if you haven’t already. We just crossed the 2,000 members mark and well on our way to 2,100 and beyond. Continue reading


Quick Question :: Has EPIC come true?

More fragmentation of audiences seems to be taking place.

Just thinking out loud, here. What do you think.

Is a trend developing, or continuing? Does the trend sound familiar?

Techmeme tweets: “Key News Audiences Now Blend Online and Traditional Sources (Pew Research Center)”.

Is this an example of research that shows why all this stuph we’re doing in classes is important?

Key News Audiences Now Blend Online and Traditional Sources : Audience Segments in a Changing News Environment (Pew Internet Research).

And, a question. Has Epic come true? Just askin’.

FlackLife Reveals Foolish Astroturfing Campaign from Hunter College and Coach Handbags

Definition of astroturfing:

Astroturfing refers to marketing / public relations campaigns which attempt to create the impression of being spontaneous and true, genuine (and representations of *real* people and their opinions) when, in fact, they are not. In all of the standards of practice listed below, this practice is considered to be unethical.

Astroturfing is an interesting topic. I see PR practitioners that defend it as a valuable tool. Others decry it as unethical and bad practice. I’ll place myself in the latter group.

FlackLife blogger, Bob LeDrew, has the story in two posts so far. They are “Now we flacks get students to astroturf for us” and an interview with Hunter College faculty member and “PR expert Stuart Ewen on (the) ‘Heidi Cee’” astroturf blogging, social networks and YouTube video fiasco.

This example from Hunter College and Coach goes beyond simple astroturfing, though. This involves the following (Sources: here and here):

I simply cannot imagine a more definitive example of bad practice than this case. The interference by the president, the campaign tied to a donation to the college, the creation of a course solely to accomplish the deceit, the students (it seems) happily joining in, the faculty and department chair encouraging them along … it just boggles the mind. How stupid can these people be?

Read the links, watch the video. Fake vs. Fakes | Center for Media and Democracy. What do you think of all this? I’ve already seen two PR practitioners in a listserv group defend the practice. Oh, brother.

Update: Ya’ gotta read this great post by Clemson’s Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu. In particular, see the class blog she came across for the course. Yikes!

Continue reading

The Real Driving Force Behind Social Media :: Might Surprise You

Previously, I mentioned the question I received during the HighEdWebDev conference. I was asked the always difficult question, “So, what’s next? What is the next thing on the horizon?” Again, if I knew (if any of us knew), we’d invest in it and reap the rewards. I did not have the answer, because I don’t know what is next.

It did remind me of something that I’ve thought about for a long time. The relatively unsung true driving force, in my opinion, of social media’s growth. Surely, the overall contributors are the users. But the initial force was (and continues to be) a relatively small group of young people that had an idea, a lot of curiosity, and the ability to write code.

The developers of the various open-source platforms would be excellent candidates for honors as The Real Driving Force Behind Social Media. Most were college students when they spawned their ideas.

I’m talking about the people that launched WordPress, LiveJournal and CivicSpace, for instance. Aside from Tim Berners-Lee, who did start it all, these people have been the agents of change: Matthew Mullenweg of WordPress, Brad Fitzpatrick of LiveJournal and Zack Rosen of CivicSpace Labs (blog) are the best examples.

Another is Drupal. and the remarkable story of then-student, Dries Buytaert. Continue reading

Memes, memes, memes …. Eight Random Bits

Kelli Matthews, of PRos in Training, and teaching PR at the University of Oregon, has tagged me for the 8 Random Bits meme.

Kelli was tagged by Nedra Weinreich. Nice to meet you Nedra. My iPod is in the truck, so I’ll foresake the song titles, although I like that idea, too. And, OK … I know this is link bait … but, what the heck. I’ll keep it in the family, so to speak. Here we go … Continue reading

Student Digital Resumes and Portfolios :: Summer 2007

Note: All student digital resumes and portfolios are featured at

This summer’s digital resumes and portfolios are complete. Emily2The project wound up being a bit different than usual, due to the short five week mini-mester term. But, the projects have some new aspects which, I believe, make them more appealing.

I appreciate the work of these fourteen students. Hire them and/or select them for internships.

Justin2Each project contains two major sections. First, there is the resume, an HTML version of the usual Word document. Second, you’ll find the digital portfolio. It contains samples from the work product Keriof these students over their college career. Continue reading

Summer 2007 Class PR Blogs

This summer, all my classes are mini-mesters. Think about it. A class that usually takes 15 weeks, all packed into five weeks … pretty much in class all day.

Well, despite the flurry of activity all packed into five weeks, we will still be blogging. In fact, we will be video blogging. Yeppers! More on that later.

This is the complete list. Students began blogging today, so please check in and comment. They will appreciate your support.