Six months of studying and 177 questions later, I am back to studying for an APR exam retake in December. Amazing that I can pass the LSAT without batting an eye and yet miss the APR pass rate! It makes me wonder...
Last night, I taught my very first college class, Marketing Communications 101. I am teaching the class from the standpoint of integrated communications efforts.
Biggest lesson learned? Get a classroom with wireless access and a projector! The majority of the class had never heard of a blog, no one had a blog of their own or understood RSS aggregators. This posed a problem because the textbook readings are listed on the hard copy syllabus (Download mkt208vargas_ftworthterm5061.doc) and additional readings and assignments are found on the class blog, Marketing Colloquy. The students are required to create their own blog, post on their blog a minimum of twice weekly and must comment on other blogs a minimum of six times during the semester. So, if one of the students comes across your blog, please welcome them virtually with open arms!
I am extremely proud of the students who have already posted their personal blog locations on the class site. Many of these students were the most hesitant to venture into this new culture.
This past Saturday, 21 October, I finally took my APR exam. While taking the test, I could not help but think, why is this not harder? I might have spoken too soon. I received a computer print-out of the percentage correct/areas to improve upon and I was shocked! I multiplied the percentages by the weighted average and totaled. I think this might be my score, but the print-out does say that the scores do not reflect my overall score. I am skeptical. Does anyone have any insight about the prelim scores? I sent the question to the PRSA Chair. Nervously awaiting response.
Is the practice of PR so black and white? I do not think so, but I have to admit the APR studying process was well worth the time!
Confused about what materials to study or if the online course is worth the money? I HIGHLY recommend Effective Public Relations by Cutlip, Center and Broom - Prentice-Hall, 1999.
Today's Daily Dog PR Spotlight is Doug Dome. I must admit I was not familiar with the Dome name until reading this article. Instead of the common advice to the younger crowd, Dome offers his two cents to the senior execs. This man not only advocates creativity and growth, but lives it - and he is a 24-year PR vet! Dome has recently joined Carmichael Lynch Spong (CLS) as managing principal and chief creative officer.
Now this is a man I would like as my mentor or boss.
What’s your advice to PR execs thinking about breaking into the online conversation?
"It’s simple: Get out of the way—let it run. And contribute where you can."
But is hiring the right people enough—what can execs themselves to get a handle on this?
"It’s about practicing what you preach...So you can’t stand still. Be dynamic and let go of pre-conceived notions."
Another tall order since many execs get in the way of that process—your parting advice?
"It’s the “Shadow of the Leader” concept. The leader casts a shadow across the entire organization. That shadow is either positive and reinforces the value system or culture—or it contradicts it. So, if you’re a boss or owner, look at yourself. If you want to be creative, then get involved in the creative process. You can’t just dictate creativity. Others will follow your lead.
So not only do you have to have the right people educating you in this area—but you also have to try it yourself. Try blogging, for example. Read them every day. What definitely won’t work is buying a simple list of blogs you want to communicate with. Breathe it and be it—don’t think you can buy your way into it.
If you tell your sales people to go experience the market and then never leave your desk, that’s what you’ll get. So practice the value system and share it so it cascades through the organization. Commit to it. Don’t leave the culture to chance. This requires a high level of discipline, courage and discernment. It also requires a lot of listening, and most execs aren’t so good at that.
A great way to send the signal that you’re committed to creativity is to celebrate it. Praise risk taking. Allow mistakes. And finally, create a learning organization where people aren’t fearful of losing their jobs or status when they step out on a limb. It’s not easy. But it’s doable if you can learn to let go of controlling everybody’s output."
October 12, 2006, we will meet at Text 100 island in Second Life from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT (US), networking will begin at 12:30 p.m. PT. You can use the World Clock Converter to get the start time wherever you are.
If you would like, feel free to add this event to any calendars, blogs or other tools in order to broadly get the word out.
The half-hour of networking will allow people to get acquainted and practice moving around (something that I have to do). The main presentation will be 30 to 40 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A session. To join the meeting, log on to Second Life, hit “Search” and type “Text 100” in the search bar. Once it finds the entry, select it and his the Teleport button. You will then arrive at the meeting place.
Let Kami know in her comments if you plan to attend.
What a slam to the PR industry! Daily Dog op-ed by Jerry Schwartz claims, "Once again, the PR industry, specifically agencies, is about to lose a major new business opportunity, a real revenue source and strategic marketing tactic, not to mention an important image builder for the profession. That opportunity is digital marketing."
Now, I agree our industry needs to catch up with education of new media, but we must understand the mediums are an expanded distribution channel. Is this what the article is alluding? Perhaps Mr. Schwartz is confusing public relation tactics with marketing? The article jumps back and forth with no concrete point. What is Mr. Schwartz's solution?
"The few PR agencies and PR people who are really good at this stuff does not change history or the future."
Great, now why don't you clue us in? Why should we bother?
One more point, there are those of us 20-somethings that do give good counsel.
"I think the Internet is just one communication vehicle. You have to look at it as a channel. It’s a new channel and it’s powerful—but it’s not the only channel. These things work best when integrated with other vehicles. We didn’t have any blogs prior to this year. We’re trying to learn and refine what we see as a listening tool. To engender trust and credibility, we have to use PR as the two-way communication mechanism it’s intended to be."