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Archive for March, 2008

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After my own brief 5 a.m. boot camp at the Summa Wellness Center in Hudson Friday morning (consisting of a mile run, Core Crunch class and a bit on the elliptical– I know, not much of a bootcamp for most, but certainly for me), I headed to Kent State University for the 7:30 check-in to the You Too: Social Media Boot Camp.

I mentioned that I was excited to have the opportunity to refresh some of what I’d learned during my Online Tactics course at Kent State, and I wasn’t disappointed. The three opening presentations will soon be available on SlideShare, which you can link to from my former professor’s blog, but I don’t mind summarizing what I took away from each.

  • Bill Sledzik: Social media/Web 2.0/etc. and additional means of opening and supporting two-way communication are nothing new.  Certainly technology aids us in our quest to truly listen and respond with our audiences, building conversations rather than just dumping our information out to carefully selected masses.  But we’ve always known it’s what we should be doing, and we’ve found other ways to do it in the past.
  • Dino Baskvic: All of these shiny new things (namely, online conversation builders like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) are exciting and at times overwhelming, but at the end of the day, the Internet is not going to crash. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.  
  • Michele Ewing: Although social media is a new means of communicating with key publics, it should not completely take the place of traditional methods.  Instead, we should use one to support the other and work to incorporate the two together. Although there are a number of case studies to support the effectiveness of social media, it’s not appropriate for every client. (Side note: I found this article on a similar thought… online public relations being much more than just blogs and blogging and how online public relations techniques can lead to ‘traditional’ results.)

After the initial opening remarks, groups were sent to different seminars on blogging and podcasting.  I was amazed at the number of PR practitioners in attendance who had not at the very least dabbled in one or the other.  The sessions were very hands-on, allowing individuals to set up a blog and explore different features available to them depending on whether they chose to use it for personal as opposed to business purposes.  We also had the chance to try out different recorders for podcasting and then, using Audacity, editing ready-made files for a complete piece.

I’ll tell you about the lunch and afternoon sessions just as soon as I go dig my car out of the snow…

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