Thursday, November 29, 2007

Promised Podcasts

Thanks for all of your suggestions for podcast topics, but I came up with one on my own. I originally posted these on my class blog Social Media.

When we talk about social media and public relations we constantly talk about engaging our audience and having a human voice. We are documenting our human voices everyday when we digitize "who we are." We are creating a time capsule. Have you ever thought about social media this way? Listen more about this here.

You should listen to the second podcast in the series where I put this time capsule talk into action. I interview college students and ask them what they are thinking about these days. Now it is linked here in the black hole of the Internet for years to come.

New Media...Douche Bags

This has been all over the place, but I still want to post it for those of you who haven't seen it yet. It gave me a good laugh.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Seven Facts Meme

Ashley B of There's a Mouse in My House tagged me with her Seven Random Facts meme, so here we go ...

Here are the rules of this particular Meme:
Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven Random Facts about Me, Kelly J.
I am absolutely ridiculously stupid when it comes to driving directions, and therefore I have a dependent relationship with my GPS. I really am a good driver when it comes to the act of driving, but getting there is my battle.

I love game shows! I would love to be on one, and I am pretty confident I would win. If my boyfriend and I were on Amazing Race we would be very stiff competition. But what about the above fact you say? Josh is a fantastic navigator so the fact that I am directionally challenged wouldn't make a difference, and I'm not afraid to try/eat anything they'd throw at me. Other game shows I enjoy: Cash Cab, Lingo, Chain Reaction, Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy. Loving game shows brings me to my next fact:

My family and I used to watch Jeopardy every night after dinner. Now that I don't live at home anymore I try to catch Jeopardy every chance I get. It's kind of sad though because I play by myself in my living room, and it's no fun when there is no one there to hear your correct answers! It is also a pet peeve of mine when people talk to me while I am trying to watch Jeopardy, it's just not right!

People I would like to meet: Larry David, Ira Glass, and Natalie Portman. There are others, but I really think these people are pretty cool. Obviously other historical figures would be interesting to meet, but that is too typical of an answer.

Something that grinds my gears: when girls dress provocatively on Halloween just because they can. What a great day of the year to be creative, and some people ruin it with mindless costumes where the only asset is cleavage.

Food is important in my family. (For reasons other than survival) It has always been an outlet of creativity and topic of conversation. Growing up, we ate dinner together every night, and if you couldn't make it you'd make some people pretty upset.

In another life I want to be one of Justin Timberlake's backup dancers. That would require talent that I could only posses in another life because it doesn't exist in this one.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It Takes Two to Tango

Media Guerrilla responds to the question, "How do you know when to talk back?" The answer to the question in regards to blogs seems tricky to me. Media Guerrilla seems to do a good job of creating a three pronged test, so to speak.

    1. "Is the post factually accurate?

    2. Is the post a fair expression of opinion?

    3. Is a relationship with the author important?"
When the answer to these questions is "yes" Media Guerrilla gives some good food for thought:

"If yes, then you have to go one step further and ask yourself if talking back
via comments or the back channel will augment and extend the relationship. Only
you can answer that question.
If no, then you still have to go one step
further and ask whether or not the blog post itself can impact and influence
people's perceptions. In most cases, if a relationship with the blog author
isn't a priority, neither is the blog's readership, and therefor there's no need
to talkback. Case closed."

When the answer to the prongs are "no" it takes careful consideration on a case by case basis of what to do next. In another post, Media Guerrilla says the best way to direct your consideration is to maintain focused on what types of conversations suit your goals best. He says,

"Listening is important, no doubt, but when it comes to response and engagement, you really need to pick and choose which conversation will have the best returns and outcomes - i.e., which conversation will serve your purpose best."

I agree with this, but by no means should this be applied as a cut and dried approach. I don't think Media Guerrilla intended it to be either. Engagement is all about connecting on a personal level. You don't just do it because it benefits you. I understand you need to prioritize your resources, but social media is ideally about the two-way benefits-- not just converting trust into dollars.

Chris Schroeder relates Media Guerrilla's approach to the saying, "keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." Again, I think this may be a superficial way of looking at social media. Call me unrealistic, but why not strive to minimize your enemies by giving your audience a reason to trust you.
*Photo from at

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving Wake-Up Call

The nearing of the holidays is directly proportional to how busy we are all getting. However, it is also a reminder to how we should handle all of this stress. There was a great post on The Bad Pitch Blog a while back entitled, "Dudes, Stop your Belly Aching." Richard Laermer outlines advice for PR types to stop their complaining.

While I (almost always) struggle to control my road rage, 'tis the season to realize there is more to life. My favorite of Richard's points is that we need to stop acting like everything is so urgent. While there are deadlines and due dates, the assignments will get done whether I stress over them or not.

Also remember to compliment more and stop complaining. It's way too easy to complain. Going with the flow whether it is leading up to the holidays or during those sometimes stressful holiday family dinners beats being a negative Nancy any day!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Podcast Newbie

For my social media class I have to create two podcasts that are around three minutes long. I am trying to brainstorm different ideas for topics. I am thinking along the lines of a short NPR's This American Life podcast. This American Life is self described as:

"The radio and TV shows follow the same format. There's a theme to each episode,
and a variety of stories on that theme. It's mostly true stories of everyday
people, though not always. There's lots more to the show, but, like we said,
it's sort of hard to describe."

Actually, it sort of reminds me of Lizzie's blog, "Five Questions for Everyday People."

In one of my favorite This American Life episodes, they went to a jail that was performing a version of Hamlet. They interviewed the actors who played a murderer in Hamlet and who were convicted of the same crime, and then delved into how this situation shaped the role like no other playhouse had.

While I obviously cannot make a podcast this in depth or sophisticated, I am trying to think of a theme to tackle from different angles. If you have any great ideas please let me know! Otherwise stay tuned for my very first podcasts.

*Photo Credit- Antonis Papantoniou

Monday, November 12, 2007

Whole Foods--A Halfway Attempt at Communications

Whole Foods has banned their top executives from online forums. The amendments to their business code of conduct is in response to the scrutiny they faced in July. Their CEO posted unfavorable comments on a forum under an alias about their competitor, Wild Oats, and now they are banning any such activity to regain control. According to their code, "
no member of Company Leadership may make any posting to any non-Company-sponsored Internet chat room, message board, web log (blog), or similar forum, concerning any matter involving the Company, its competitors or vendors, either under their name, anonymously, under a screen name, or communicating through another person."
Kristin Maverick from "Bitemarks" says, "In my opinion, Whole Foods made a mistake and took the heat. They shouldn't ban online forums completely from their company but rather move forward and set an example that transparency (the one thing that their CEO didn't comply with) can actually be positive for your company and something that they are striving to improve upon."
I also think it shows a complete misunderstanding of social media. It is a great thing to take responsibility for your mistakes and even helps to cultivate the idea that is at the very heart of two-way communication: letting the consumer know that you aren't holier than thou. Corporations make mistakes too, and the best way to correct a mistake is to improve in the future. Whole Foods has completely taken that option off the table. Plus, if they see how they can leverage social media, and decide to change their policies in the future, they may catch even more flack for their "duh" moment.
Maybe this post is useless because there will be no response from their side of the story, at least from someone in a leadership position. Is this just another example of social media misunderstood and a desire for control or does Whole Foods have a valid need for their ban?