Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twitter offers more languages: Hello, hola or ciao

As a member of PRSSA, I receive emails that keep me up to date with all things PR. I occasionally scroll through the updates and click the headlines that catch my eye. Twitter happens to be my new social media networking site obsession, so anything Twitter related is of my interest.

Last week, PRSA's Issues & Trends email included the headline 'Twitter Now Supports 21 Different Languages.' Naturally, I clicked the link and read on.

I found out, within the article, that Twitter has been slowly adding more options to its language settings since 2008, when it added Japanese. You would think that Spanish would be its first option other than English, but it was not offered until 2009. As of December this year, Twitter added four new languages including Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Polish.

All in all, Twitter supports 21 different languages. As a Spanish minor, I find it interesting to have the ability to tweet in Spanish. It is intriguing to see a social media networking site such as Twitter offered in other languages. Offering such a wide variety of languages opens doors to PR professionals across the world,  especially global companies because it provides them with another platform for communicaiton. It makes me wonder if my future PR career might include tweeting in Spanish. Es posible, ¿no?

Monday, December 12, 2011

A research paper...about Twitter

Research paper: two very scary words for a college student. They require hours of searching for relevant sources, though our generation luckily has access to computers that do this task for us. Anyway, I was assigned a research paper in Communication and Society, a course that mainly focuses on media and its influences on today's society.

Our guidelines for this research paper involved selecting a form of media (for example, a TV show, a book, a social media outlet, a movie you consider your favorite that you have seen more than a reasonable amount of times) and then choosing a theory we discussed in class, which would be too complicated to describe in detail.

I selected social media networking sites for my form of media: Twitter, obviously, with a hint of Facebook. I'll provide a shortened version of the theory I chose to give you enough information to understand how I looked at Twitter and Facebook.

The uses and gratifications (U&G) theory views audiences as active receivers. Instead of traditional theories of media that see audiences as being dummy consumers of media who cannot resist its influence, whereas the U&G theory shifts the focus to audiences. Audiences, within the U&G theory, have the ability to select which media they wish to consume according to the gratifications it offers. Thus, audiences participate in the selection of their media to satisfy their media needs.

How does this connect to social media sites? Well, Twitter gives users the option to 'follow' other users while Facebook offers the option to 'friend request' others. The decision process behind these actions of 'following' and 'friend requesting' interested me to the point of wanting to write an entire research paper about it!

Details of my lengthy paper would bore you, so I'd like to give you some food for thought instead. I found that friend suggestions drove people to not only join Twitter, but to follow other users. Here is an interesting infographic I found giving you lots of information about Twitter:

Picture credits to Lab42. It was featured in a blog post by Mashable, which can be found by clicking here!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What is PR?

PR: a field all those studying Public Relations here at Marist hope to enter upon graduation. It is unspoken that we should all be able to spell out a distinct definiton of the field we'd like to pursue, but it is really that simple?

PRSA set out on a campaign to define public relations in November called PR Defined initiative so in the future when your family asks what you do at your job, you can answer appropriately. During the beginning of its initiative, PRSA asked the public to submit opinions for the definition of PR.
The most popular word cloud, taken from PRNewser's post,
highlights four words: public, communication, organization, and relationship.

The next step of this initiative involves an analysis by PRSA and its twelve global partners that can be viewed here. According to its timeline, PR will be defined in late January after the public votes on three definitons that will be posted to the PRSA website.

Be sure to pay attention to timeline updates in relation to the PR Defined initiative, as it is extremely relevant to the profession we Marist PRSSA students wish to enter in the future.

The beginning of Marist's student-run PR firm

Last year, a senior's capping project inspired the student-run PR firm on campus called North Road Communications, a fitting name. Our new Hancock Technology Center transformed this capping project into a start-up business entirely run by students in PRSSA spearheaded by Charlotte Catania, our Firm Director. As supervisor of our Client Research team, I was extremely excited to take part in this opportunity. Other colleges have created successful student-run PR firms that even make a profit. To be a part of the beginning stages of something that can develop into a profitable PR firm is truly amazing.

Fall semester proved to be the beginning of North Road Communications. Charlotte organized weekly meetings to brainstorm ideas about every aspect of the firm: potential clients, service offerings, etc. As this semester comes to a close, we are anxious to get started working with our first client in the spring.

We have the chance to receive real world public relations experience through the completion of tasks that will be carried out entirely by our group of communciation students with guidance from a few professionals. It will be a learning experience beneficial not only to our résumés, but to our knowledge of the public relations industry. I am looking forward to working with our team of PRSSA students to contribute toward our goal of providing our first client with exceptional work.