Category Archives: PR Higher Ed

Update of PROpenMic’s Activity and Membership

PROpenMic will have been in existence for nine months at the end of January. We launched on, of all days, April 1, 2008.

Previously, I’ve shared two updates on PROpenMic’s activity. The first was after six months, PROpenMic celebrates six months online :: How are we doing compared to other sites? More recently, I posted a mini-update Update of PROpenMic’s Activity and Membership.

Today I’m sharing the latest news.

First, I want to offer up some caveats. If you don’t want the caveats, then go ahead to the numbers.

These stats come from the available online resources and Both sites are used by advertisers to determine site popularity and traffic with regard to ad buys. That said, the sites do not collect exact information. They even recognize this and provide good explanations of the positives and negatives related to their reports. Further, both sites tend to focus on their paid clients and those sites that are in the top 100,000 rankings for their best statistics.

So, the information offered below is food for thought. It does show some compelling evidence that, at the very least, our free community driven social network is engaging our audience as well as, if not better than, other sites are engaging their audiences.

There really isn’t any other site / social network like PROpenMic. The sites I’ve selected to compare us with are similar in that they are (for the most part) focused on communication and public relations. They are (with the exception of & social networks.

Some require a subscription to participate. Others use the site to promote their other fee-based offerings. All of the other sites have a business model that includes either a subscription price or promotions/ads and offers for their paid conferences, seminars and other resources.

PROpenMic, on the other hand, is all free and does not carry ads. Finally, all but, have paid staffs and paid promotional activities or resources (in varying degrees). PROpenMic essentially relies upon word of mouth., by the way, is focused on much more than just PR. They have a great deal of information on Web design and other aspects of university communication practice. Karine Joly does a great job with that site and she also participates here from time to time.

I offer all of that to both explain the difficulty of fairly comparing the sites, yet still making an argument that PROpenMic performs quite well for an unfunded community based social network.

With that, I offer the latest numbers.

The first set of traffic ranks and pageviews below are the three month averages for each site. This is the standard statistic reported for each site by

Alexa Traffic Ranks and Pageview Per Visit

Note: For Traffic Rank, the lower the number, the better the performance. has a traffic rank of: 275,773 (Source)

Page Views per user for 11.8 has a traffic rank of: 491,984 (Source)

Page Views per user for 2.5 has a traffic rank of: 704,022 (Source)

Page Views per user for 2.2 has a traffic rank of: 952,463 (Source)

Page Views per user for 2.5 has a traffic rank of: 1,007,734 (Source)

Page Views per user for 2 has a traffic rank of: 258,697 (Source) (A PR news site.)

Page Views per user for 2.3

Unique Visitors (stats from

Note: For Unique Visitors, the higher the number, the better the performance.

“The Unique Visitors metric only counts a person once no matter how many times they visit a site in a given month. Unique Visitors are typically used to determine how popular a site is. Recommendation: To best understand the popularity of a site, you should consider additional metrics beyond Unique Visitors.” (Source) – 4,028 – 2,616 – 2,620 – 2,187 – 2,769 – 6,505 (A PR news site.)

Monthly Rank (stats from Compete ranks the top one million websites in the U.S. based on the number of People the domain attracts each month. Note: For Monthly Rank, the lower the number, the better the performance. – 320,921 – 433,734 – 453,272 – 453,862 – 522,866 – 217,845 (A PR news site.)

Monthly Visits (stats from The number of visits made to a site. A person can only be counted as one person in a month, but can make multiple site visits. Note: For Monthly Visits, the higher the number, the better the performance. – 21,434 – 13,704 – 2,933 – 2,909 – 2,547 – 9,503

Page Visits Monthly (stats from The number of pages an average person views on each visit to a domain. Note: For Page Visits Monthly, the higher the number, the better the performance. – 9.7 – 15.0 – 3.5 – 1.6 8.1 7.9

As you can see below, all sites fluctuate in their traffic over time. PROpenMic’s seems to follow academic terms, to some degree.

There are other statistics. PROpenMic’s average time on site for the 30 day period of Dec. 30 through Jan. 29: 5:05 Avg. Time on Site (Google Analytics) I reported the other stats from Google Analytics in the previous post.

What I take from these findings are that a social network targeted to the right audience, even without significant funding, can be a viable community organizing force. Further, despite all of the additional resources one might have to focus on their social network, some audiences may be engaged by the simplest of means.

Of the above sites I’ve compared PROpenMic to, some of them have remarkable resources and staffs devoted to their online endeavors. Some are million dollar businesses. Some survive quite well with advertising on their sites and subscriptions – enough so as to support those staff writers and IT professionals.

My point is that you, the PROpenMic community, have built something quite remarkable. You make it all happen, after all. I, and the volunteer administrators, just try to welcome you and make you feel comfortable in what is really your site. Sure, there is some management involved, but without your contributions … the site wouldn’t exist and thrive the way it has.

No, PROpenMic isn’t blowing the doors of site rankings and traffic compared to others …. but, that’s not the point, is it. The site is doing what it is supposed to for you the community. And, you’re the ones making it all happen.

I believe this is a good time for a case study. I’m particularly speaking to students here. You know, we’ve been told along the way that PR agencies have built such social networks / sites for clients and billed them out for significant fees. If PROpenMic can succeed for the right audience, imagine what you could do for a client in the future if you have the right audience targeted and the right offering. Could you start a social network like this? I think maybe you could. ;o)

Numbers aren’t really all that important, are they? We have 3,400+ members now and our traffic is equal to or exceeding those that are really reaching out to audiences of 100,000 or 200,000 people. I just find that interesting.

Thank you for all you do to make PROpenMic successful.


Digital Portfolios :: Some basics about how we do, what we do, with digital portfolios and resumes

Email provided two requests for information about how we create our digital portfolios in class activities. So, I thought I’d share the information I sent them.

I’ve shared this information with numerous academics over the years. Just realized, I’ve never really posted all of this information in one place. Well, aside from our class syllabi.

So, in a very conversational tone, here we go. Critiques and suggests are, as always, appreciated. I’ve pretty much pasted the email I sent below. Continue reading

Wonder why we do local reporting in class activities? Look at CNN … if it’s good enough for them …

OK, I’ll admit. This is a little bit of a personal rant. I don’t do this much, but I’m kinda fed up – just a wee bit – so, I’m venting. :o)

Local news reported in a social network / emerging digital media kinda way.

When I first thought of this for classes, some time ago, I’ll admit to having that image of Al Franken’s SNL faux coverage of politics flashing through my mind. But, today it really is possible and provides students with realistic and valuable experience.

As we embark on our class activities at The Loveliest Village, students may wonder why we’ll be doing all this local reporting using lil’ cameras, laptops and social media / social network software platforms to publish.

Well, if it is good enough for CNN, it’s good enough for us, right?

Now, imagine using the skills my students develop in these exercises and then share those stories, videos, photos and more with news outlets online and print.  Hey, they are seeking content. Get the drift? This is how we all may be doing a good portion of media relations in the future.

Actually, forget the future.  I had students doing it today.  This summer they pitched and delivered stories, video and photos.  This semester they are collaborating with multiple news outlets to place stories they will create for class.  Yep, it is not just what they post in The Loveliest Village.  These news outlets have actually sought us out for content.  No kidding.

So, students will create content much the same as CNN is now doing.  Pretty cool, huh.  ;o)  And people said I was nuts.  Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Well, some people said I was crazy.  Didn’t know what I was talking about. Why show students how to do this?  Hmm?  If it is good enough for CNN, I guess it’s good enough for us. :o)

According to that PRWeek article, at CNN journalists “…will report for broadcast and digital mediums with lightweight kits, including wi-fi-enabled laptops, cameras, and editing tools.”

So now, our students will be able to understand how major media works – the new way.  They’ll be sharing the content that reporters are looking for in this new world.  Not only ‘are’ we way ahead.  We’ve ‘been’ way ahead, for some time.  Update: And, by the way, it isn’t just major media.  Local … local … media has sought us out to create content for their sites.  Hello?

What CNN is now doing is what we’ve been talking about and doing for a long time now.  :o)  Just sharin’ …. just sayin’.


PitchEngine :: Social Media Release Building Tool

Jason Kintzler created a new site devoted to the building and distribution of social media releases (SMR). It is private now, in the Alpha development stage, but he shared access to the site with all the members of PROpenMic. Many thanks, Jason.

I imagine he’s slowly adding to his alpha testing group. Who knows how many have looked at it so far, but with the PROpenMic membership and his own group at MediaPitch / PitchEngine, Jason now has almost 2,000 people to poke and prod the site in an effort to help tweak and and share suggestions.

Jason describes PitchEngine, in part, as follows: Continue reading

Rick Murray :: President, Edelman Digital at the New Media Academic Summit ’08

Rick Murray kindly agreed to an interview at the recent New Media Academic Summit in Chicago.

Rick Murray shares why Edelman Public Relations has taken a leadership role in helping academia better prepare students for the future of public relations.

This conference is an excellent model for others to follow. We need all the help we can get, folks. I appreciate Edelman’s leadership in this area. The Summit, along with their Bootcamps, shows that Edelman is clearly in the lead. I wish more of these types of opportunities were taking place now. We don’t want to have to catch up, do we?

Video from the Edelman/PRWeek New Media Academic Summit held on June 26-27, 2008.

Find more videos like this on PROpenMic

Can Involvement in PROpenMic Lead to a Job? :: Allie Osmar’s Success Story

Shared from my post to the front page of PROpenMic

My goal in starting PROpenMic, the social network for students & faculty, was to provide a resource that would help all of us.

I’m happy to report one particular success story from that site. I’m looking for others, too. So, if you have such a story, please share it in the comments or write to me. See the post and video below. Continue reading

Live Blogging the Edelman / PR Week Education Summit in Chicago

In Chicago for the Edelman / PR Week 2008 edition of the Education Summit on New Media and PR.

I brought my laptop with webcam, as well as my Flip camera and cell phone for Utterz. I’m going to try and use the <a target=”_blank” href=”
COVERITLIVE.COM tool to bring you some info from the event.

So, here we go! Edelman/PRWeek New Media Academic Summit 2008

Visit the Summit main page for more information.

OK, I admit this attempt at using CoverItLive was sad. :o( Sorry. I found out, upon arrival at the event, that the Northwestern University Law School folks were not giving us access to their wifi. So, bummer.

I do have videos galore and will begin posting them tonight (Sunday, June 28).

It was a great conference and I thank Edelman and PRWeek for putting it on. Hope this has a long running life. We need more of these for edcuators. Edelman & PRWeek are, truly, leading the way in outreach to higher education.