Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fast Times at Missouri State University

I must admit, the first time I saw social media applications on Missouri State's homepage I was shocked. I thought Missouri State had deemed social media un-scholarly and moved on. That being said, I was happy to be proven wrong. I think Missouri State's move into social media applications was a good one. Additionally, as Missouri State officials decide social media is useful and devote more time and resources into developing applications the more useful it will become.

I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Mitchell's speech and found it extremely interesting. I also believe that Mr. Mitchell's job is extremely necessary to help Missouri State continue to recruit undergraduate and graduate students. Specifically, I believe the Itunes application is a wonderful recruiting and public relations tool, if officials chose to utilize it completely.

Personally, I would love to have a job similar to Mr. Mitchell's but like Keshia I have reservations based on my media skills. That being said, it has given me another job search term to include in May.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

PR and the Almighty Podcast

According to a definition on podcastalley a podcast is "a term that was devised as a crisp way to describe the technology used to push audio content from websites down to consumers of that content, who typically listen to it on their iPod (hence the "pod") or other audio player that supports mp3 at their convenience ". An interesting fact about podcasting is that a former MTV VJ (Adam Curry) is cited with it's creation.

Although podcasts have infinite possibilites, I would agree with Keshia that their usefulness for Public Relations practitioners is questionable. I say that because although podcasting allows you to push audio files, software updates, pictures, and videos using RSS technology, it is most commonly used to disseminate audio files. However, the use of corporate podcasts can allow an organization to build goodwill among their followers. For example, CBS offers podcasts of Soap Operas to their fans free of charge, so a fan can keep in the loop by downloading that days podcast. Interestingly, higher education has also branched into the world of podcasts, in fact Open Culture contains a list of free educational podcasts. It would have been extremely helpful if Missouri State had podcasted it's lectures during my undergraduate career.

Therefore, while I do not believe podcasts can be used by public relations practitioners to fulfill everyday PR functions, I do believe they can be used to increase goodwill towards organizations.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You say potatoe, I say patatoe

I believe the differences between public relations and marketing are mere nuances. Explicitly, I believe that public relations and marketing are different methods that share the same goal. Several years ago, during my undergraduate work in the buisness college, I was taught the standard definitions of marketing and public relations. Marketing was defined as "the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals." Public relations then, was the strategic management function that adds value to an organization by helping it to manage its reputation. Further, my defintion of the two concepts would have been that marketing efforts are paid forms of communication whereas public relations communications are free. However, by the time I was enrolled in graduate marketing classes, the internet had begun to change those standard definitions. Further, as viral marketing efforts increase,the lines between the two fields have blurred. Viral marketing efforts, while occasionally are the product of paid communications, often times result in free publicity. Some of the most popular examples include: Burger King's Subservient Chicken, Smirnoff Tea Partay and Green Tea Partay, and Folgers Coffee.
Integrated Marketing Communications is the advocation for all marketing messages to be integrated so that they tell the same story in the same manner to their target markets. Additionally, marketing communications can be integrated horizontally and vertically. Horizontal integration refers to consistent communications across the mix and the functions. Vertical integration refers to when marketing and communications objectives support the higher level corporate mission.
Therefore, as the marketers continue to integrate all communications across the board I believe the gap between public relations and marketing will continue to narrow. Interestingly, many companies include the public relations function within their marketing department.