Class Reminders 4/23

For next week, we will have a short class just to wrap things up and give you time to work on projects. We will do it online only since it will be short, about 30 minutes. If you want to talk about your project and get some feedback from me or the class, you can do so.


Note on late work: This semester, because so many people had the Meeman plague and all kinds of other issues, I’ve been pretty lenient about deadlines. But at some point, the semester is, well, over. 🙂 If you aren’t going to be able to catch up on any late stuff by the last day of class, then you should give me some kind of update on if/when you are planning on finishing stuff up so I know what is going on. I can give incompletes but I can’t guarantee I can grade all work that comes in after the deadline, because our grading deadlines are very tight and strict.

 Other assignments for Wed:

Write a post on your topic blog in which you round up links of interest to your audience and offer a short summary of them.

Work on final project

Readings for next week are pretty basic. You don’t have to summarize them in your topic blog, but I’d do them. I think you’ll enjoy them. Most people tell me they did.

Google+ – At least get it set up and looking a little spiffy and send me a link.


I will send Joelle’s PowerPoint when I’m on my laptop.


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Joelle Pittman of Memphis Yelp will speak to #SocialJ 4/23

Joelle Pittman of Memphis Yelp will speak to Dr. Brown’s social media class April 23 at 5:30pm in Meeman 206.

Joelle is none other than a former #SocialJ student herself and a fellow MA student here at the U of Memphis.  She parlayed her hard work in this class into a pretty cool gig where she gets to visit lots of fun Memphis places and hang out with interesting people. She’s back by popular demand after being rated as best speaker by last year’s social media class.

Her blog, Mem to Lax, has been featured by BlogHer.

You can follow her on Twitter @MemphisYelp Joelle Pittman


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Class reminders 4/16

For next week:


Google Map Assignment – see handout 


On your journal blog, describe to me how you might utilize data, interactive databases and/or data visualizations to enhance your topic blog. What could you offer to your readers?


Read for next week and reflect on the journal blog.



Coast Guard Recruiting and Social Media: A Facebook Content Analysis

On Tuesday, April 15 at 1pm Central, MA student Charly Hengen will present the results from her final project that evaluates the effectiveness of Facebook strategies for her job recruiting for the Coast Guard.

 All are welcome to hear her presentation using Adobe Connect software – you can sign in as a guest, just be sure to mute your mic so we don’t get feedback.

Here’s her abstract:

More and more businesses and organizations are using social media channels to market, advertise, and engage with audiences.  Military branches are catching the social media train and creating splashy content to promote their brands.  The Coast Guard is the smallest military branch and uses social media channels, mainly Facebook, to report, promote, and advertise news and its brand.  The recruiting branch uses Facebook as well.  One office in particular, Coast Guard Recruiting Office Hampton Roads, uses Facebook to try to meet its accession mission and standards.  This content analysis determined the recruiting office’s Facebook page’s return on engagement and analyzed a variety of specific techniques for reaching goals.  It ascertained if a specific audience, minorities and females, used the recruiting office’s Facebook page before he or she took the next step to enlist into or submit an officer packet for the Coast Guard.  The results were inconclusive in determining which race used the recruiting office’s Facebook page the most; however, females did engage the most with the Facebook page.  The largest audience engaging with the page was mothers and spouses of Coast Guardsmen.  Also, Facebook fans engaged more with humorous photos and when they were challenged to complete a task.  It does prove beneficial for a Coast Guard recruiting office to utilize a Facebook page as it can drive potential applicants to call an office or come into the office to discuss future career opportunities.

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Glen Thomas of Memphis Airport speaks to #SocialJ

Students in my social media course were in for a treat on Wednesday: An engaging and informative talk from Glen Thomas of the Memphis Airport on how he utilizes social media to engage with customers and the local media. Before joining the airport in September, Glen was an architect of MLGW’s social media strategy, which was recently named the top utility company in the nation on social media.

Glen Thomas

Glen Thomas

Big, big thanks to Glen for talking with us. Several students told me how valuable they found the information. Not to mention that I’m pretty sure

A few takeaways:

  • Engage with your biggest detractors as a human being. Memphis Airport has its share of critics, especially after Delta decided to de-hub us, drastically cutting the number of flights and raising prices. Glen joined the Delta Does Memphis page and occasionally posts there, responding to criticisms and sharing information as warranted. He does so as himself, believing that appearing as a human being rather than a faceless bureaucratic organization can foster better dialogue.
  • Use to check and see if your desired username is still available at dozens of social media sites. I had forgotten about that one!
  • Social media and especially Twitter is often the best way to communicate with local media. It’s fast and short. Press releases are more likely to get lost in the flood of info and aren’t as useful in a media environment in which real-time communication is prized.
  • Conferences are a great way to meet counterparts, learn best practices and find ways you can work together to leverage strengths. (I second this big time. Well worth the money)
  • When you are really short on time, at least spending a few minutes retweeting other’s relevant posts is a good idea.
  • Before a big event announcing a major change at the airport that involved consolidation and closing some areas, Glen had some of his tweets written and saved in advance that he could release as the announcement was made – again ensuring that his communication efforts were as real-time as possibly.
  • Quickly address questions and concerns via social media. This was a big lesson he learned at MLGW; residents often tweet at the utility during big storms and expect an immediate response. If your employees are going home for the night and won’t be available for a  few hours, be sure to tweet that, too. Social media can be a useful way to turn your critics into advocates by providing good customer service.
  • Job tip, good for students: When interviewing for the airport job, Glen went through each of the items in the posted job description and created a document showing how he could deliver on each of the items in a specific way, with examples and visuals. He had this printed up at Kinkos in color and distributed it to the group he interviewed with.


There was more good stuff, but those are just a few highlights. Thanks to Lurene Kelley for introducing us, by the way.

Another interesting fact for Memphians: Before Delta de-hubbed us, flights here were 70 to 80 percent transfer flights, just passing through. Now that has completely flipped and we are 70 to 80 percent origin and destination flights. Wow, that’s a big change.

Last but not least: Thanks to Toni Zoblotsky for bringing us COOKIES.


photo (22)


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Reminders from class 4/9


  1.  In your journal blog, reflect on how you will use your knowledge of social media demographics and your understanding of uses and gratifications/motivations for social media use in your social media strategy for your topic. Who is your target audience? How do they use social media?
  2.  In your journal blog, describe what your Facebook strategy and goals might be. Be as specific as possible. If you would like, you can set up a Facebook group or page for your topic area.
  3.  Do readings for next week and reflect on them in the journal blog.


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Teen Appeal Coordinator and Beale Street Chic Blogger Elle Perry to Speak 4/2

Elle Perry was in your shoes as University of Memphis Journalism Department MA student not so long ago, but now she works full time for the Teen Appeal, our city-wide high school newspaper. Elle not only mentors students and edits the paper but also has been instrumental in planning a number of fantastic events for the students that introduce them to professionals and college life. Elle has a background as a newspaper reporter and is an avid social media user. For four years, she maintained a blog, Beale Street Chic, that got her invited to fashion events all over Memphis and helped her to meet people in her field. Elle was recently named one of the top 20 under 30 in Memphis.

Elle Perry

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Reminders from class 3/26


1. Create a list of specific goals you have for your social media presence, tailored to your needs and what you have learned so far about what works and doesn’t work with your topic area.
2. Decide what metrics you will be collecting about your blog/social media presence that will measure progress toward those views, using the readings for guidance. Make a specific list or spreadsheet. Begin collecting this info on a regular basis.
3. Create some kind of challenge for yourself and describe it on your journal blog. Maybe you will try to post a photo on Instagram every day. Maybe you will try a “30 days of blogging” challenge, or similar. Maybe you will try to write a post at least once a week. It’s up to you, but the first step in boosting your metrics is learning to create a regular stream of content.
4. Read next week’s readings and reflect on
journal blog.

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Quick way to embed video on your WordPress blog

Underneath your video on YouTube, you should see a “share” tab. Click on “embed”. It will give you a chunk of code. You don’t need to understand that code in any way…just copy it.

Go to your blog post you are working on in WordPress. You will see two little tabs on the upper-right side of the text box where you are typing. It will default to “visual” but click on “text.” Simply paste that embed text anywhere you want it, and boom, this should work. You can hit “preview” to see if it worked right before you actually publish the post.

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Class Reminders from 3/19

Due next week:

Experiment with using at least one of the location-based check-in services for one week. It may be difficult, but in doing this, remember to try to find ways to, again, be relevant to your topic of focus. Reflect on class blog on the experience; what do you see as the best opportunities for journalists and public relations practitioners in this space?

Write a review for Yelp and browse some other reviews; leave some tips for others on Foursquare.

Read for next week and reflect in the journal blog.

And don’t forget to promote your YouTube video!

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