PR, Social Media, and Everything in Between

Archive for the ‘Topics of the Week’ Category

Connecting the Dots: Public Relations and Web Development

When I first heard about VISTE, I was eager to take on a new challenge and do my best as an intern. In just under two months, I have learned more than I could have possibly imagined. I’ve written a proclamation for the City of Lakeland to declare April Volunteer Month, a press release with another on the way, and started planning the Annual Volunteer Luncheon.

My favorite task to date has been working on the new VISTE website. After taking a cursory glance at the website, you’ll know why we need something more. Our website tells you about VISTE, but lacks pictures, a press information, a calendar, and the general ability to adapt as the organization changes.

The new website will be launched in April. Stay tuned to the blog to catch a glimpse of some of the changes. The website will be more user friendly for volunteers, clients, and supporters. If you have any suggestions to improve the website, please leave a comment. The more feedback we can get, the more we’ll be able to help you.

Later this week I’ll be posting an interview with client who worked in television during the 50s.


Guest Blogger: Joe Citro – “Google:1 Facebook:0”

This post features guest blogger Joe Citro. Joe is a senior at Florida Southern College majoring in Advertising. You can read the original post on his blog. Joe talks about google’s newest foray into social media with the +1 button.

Google : 1

Facebook : 0

Today everyone asks did you “like” my status or “like” my pictures? The real question is will “like” still even be used?  Today Google announced its rival version of the like button, the +1. This Google button will allow anyone to basically “like” something when searching for it.

The results from searching for something on Google are in the thousands, but with this +1 system you will be able to see how many people found a certain site helpful.  These tips will not only make your life easier but will give you the motivation to +1 a site that not many people have visited.

The goal is to +1 every site on the web allowing users to make an easier decision when it comes to questions of uncertainty while surfing the internet based off other peoples recommendations and +1′s.  You not only share this information with your friends and family but with the world, telling everyone I approve of this website!

I’m sure there are some kinks, such as how to regulate who +1′s a site more than once or how do you + 1 something if you want you identity to be private. So is time running out for the  facebook “like” or is +1 going to sink? Time will ultimately decide for us but until then I think people will use both services.

Guest Blogger: Whitney Gonzalez “Twitterville Review”

The following post was written by guest blogger Whitney Gonzalez. You can view the original post on her blog. I choose to share this blog with you in light of the recent changes Twitter has undergone.

Twitterville Review

What could be better than a book all about Twitter? I picked up Shel Israel’sTwitterville as part of a social media book assignment and enjoyed reading it. I learned a lot about Twitter’s beginnings and the different ways in which it was adopted.Twitter can be more of a listening tool than people think. One can Twitter search their name or company’s name and obtain accurate results of what’s being said out there about them or their company. It can be just about as accurate asGoogle Alerts.

Although it may seem like you are tweeting to the entire twitterverse, by using @replies and DMs (direct messages) one can make Twitter as intimate as a telephone conversation.

One thing that stood out from Twitterville was the Google “sucks” test. If you type your name or company’s name in Google and type “sucks” after it and a lot of results return, you just may “suck.”

Overall, Twitterville was a great book and anyone that has an interest in social media can benefit from reading this book. By learning about Twitter from a slightly different angle, students can benefit upon searching for a career in social media because they will be familiar with everything Twitter.

Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife: Viral Videos are here!

Viral videos – those videos that you watch on YouTube at least five times, and share with your friends as soon as you find them… and so does everyone else.

From Rebecca Blacks sad attempt at music video to Auto Tune the New’s hit “Bed Intruder” viral videos are as varied as the people who watch them. One of the simplest videos to go viral is “David After the Dentist.”

To go viral, a video needs authenticity (keep it real) and humor (make us laugh).

Authenticity – keep it real! Don’t play it up by begging for it to go viral. You have to create quality content before anyone will share your video (hint: sharing is a huge part of going viral)

Humor – make us laugh. By us, I mean who ever your target audience is. Don’t try to appeal to everyone. You will fail that way. Viral videos can be used as a marking strategy if you figure out the formula for your audience.

You can’t really plan a viral video. You can try, but there’s never a guarantee of success. Smart Water took a chance with “Jennifer Aniston Sex Tape”


My favorite videos are actually music videos.

  1. Bed Intruder

I love this video because the song is so catchy! Who can resist the lines? I think the Gregory Brothers are very talented (proof seen below). Antoine Dodson (the main singer in the video) received a  lot publicity after this video. The song can be found on iTunes where it’s a hit too.

  1. Swagger Wagon

I think Sienna’s swagger wagon video is interesting because it was create over a year ago, and recently made it around the web again. People have been talking about it on the web these past two months with increasing frequency. Compared to the 70 million hits Bed Intruder has accumulated, this video is a lightweight. I like it because it’s atypical. I haven’t seen anything quite like it anywhere else on the web. Plus, I can easily imagine my parents stepping in a swagger wagon when I was six years old.

Widgets, and badges, and more: Oh my!

It’s not as much fun to say as lions, and tigers, and bears, but I’ll explain why they can be more helpful than carnivorous mammals.

lions and tigers and bears

Image Credit: "Pick me! Pick me!" By captainxo

A few things you should know before we get started…


First, according to Wikipedia, a widget is “a stand-alone application that can be embedded into third party sites by any user on a page where they have rights of authorship (user can edit coding of page).”


I use widgets a lot on this blog. If you look on the right side, each of the different items is a widget enabled by the blog theme. There’s a widget at the bottom of the page too! (See word clouds.)


Second, also according to Wikipedia, a badge is “a small image used on websites to promote web standards, products used in the creation of a web page or product, to indicate a specific content license that is applied to the content or design of a website.”

Think of badges as bling or flair. You can show of all the cool stuff that means something to you.


HTML5 Powered with Connectivity / Realtime, CSS3 / Styling, and Graphics, 3D & Effects

I got this badge off the HTML5 logo creation site. You often have to click on the badge to find out what it means. Maybe you should do that for this one too! 😉


For a company or nonprofit, the use of badges and widgets can come in handy. A company can create a badge or widget for others to display on their website. For donating to a cause, someone could get a “giving badge” to share.

A widget can be created to provide a special service to either clients or potential customers. Think industry news! Or a countdown till the release of a book, movie, or event. People love to display widgets (gadgets for windows) on their desktop and blog, so make sure whatever you create is versatile.

Sharing Your Favorites

In 1999 the web was new, and AOL was the one of the major internet providers. In comparison to today, I feel odd anytime I use Internet Explorer. We’ve come a long way in the evolution of internet browsers, although favorites/bookmarks are still a staple.

Poppy Wedding

Image Credit: "Poppy Wedding" By Sarah Parrott

The days of pressing the little heart to add a site to your favorites have passed. It’s no longer practical to connect your bookmarks to single web browser or computer. These days we have something new: Social Bookmarking.

How It Works

Step 1: Create an account on a social bookmarking site. (I use Diigo!)
Step 2: Surf the web, and find relevant content (It’s up to you to define relevant.)
Step 3: Using the bookmarking service, bookmark the link.
Step 4: Add tags to the bookmark, so you can find it next time you’re looking for it.
Step 5: Share these links with others by using public settings or connecting with your friends.


Benefits for Students

As a college student, I can use anywhere between 2 and 5 different computers in a single day. Some of the school computers connect through a common user name, but they still don’t connect to my personal laptop.
Group projects become simpler and easier when group members have a common group on a social bookmarking site to post links relevant to the project. I like to use social bookmarking in combination with Google Docs (it also has a chat feature). I can link to a reference material and the project assignment page.
Additionally, you can have one tag for an organization or your school website. For instance, I have a link to the library page, career center page, registrar office calendar page, and school intranet. I also have links to course pages (i.e. professor’s blog and textbook companion website).

Do you use social bookmarking? Why and how?

Side Note: I love using StumbleUpon. When you like a page, you actually save a bookmark for the page. StumbleUpon is different from other sites because it recommends new sites for you. Also, a great cure for boredom.

Your Time To Speak

solider with mic

Image Credit: "master chief sings" by Ayton

PR OpenMic is a website that connects PR students, professors, and professionals. The site has a number of features that can give voice to and connect the users. The areas I liked most are explained below.


PR OpenMic has a great section on videos. One of my favorites illustrates Obama’s proposed budget cuts in pennies. This video makes Obama’s budget cuts seem insignificant in light of the overall budget. I especially enjoyed the side commentary that made the video really captivating.

I also found a video by Kent State that spoke to professors about PR vs. Marketing. I thought the video was informative and explained both sides well. My favorite part was defining PR and marking in under 10 words.

PR Web in Plain English was another video I found on the site. I’ve found that Plain English does an excellent job of simplifying complicated issues. This video explains how using the service PR Web can increase the exposure a single new release receives.


PR OpenMic devotes a lot of content space to blogs. After accessing the home page, you can click on the blog link to blog posts by users. One of the down sides is that PR OpenMic seems to limit the number of words each blog can be. I was unsatisfied with the short posts. I did find that some users linked back to another blog site where a longer blog appeared.

One blog that I particularly enjoyed was Platform Magazine. I posted a comment on “Sarcasm So Works Best” by Katherine Baker. The blog talks about the recent success of Jennifer Aniston and her viral video for Smart Water. Read the blog and watch the video = time well spent!


On their main home page along the right hand side, there’s a small section entitled “Music”. In this space you can find PR related podcasts. When I last accessed the site (March 10, 2011), there was a number of podcasts from “Inside PR.”

I also found a podcast by NPR on Social Media in the military. The podcast from Talk of the Nation interviewed Price Floyd from the Pentagon. He talked about the social media policies that the military adheres to.

What do you think?

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