Posted by Taryn Epstein
It’s no secret that public relations and media have become mutually dependent. This symbiotic relationship continues to develop and will only strengthen over time as new forms of media continue to emerge.
As young adults living in a digital age, we tend to text, tweet and run web searches as if it’s second nature because that’s how we’ve been brought up, but it wasn’t long ago that the companies providing us with this kind of technology were no more than a mere idea. Now that we are constantly engaged in the services that new media provides, it’s difficult to imagine our lives without them. Modern culture has been completely transformed by this kind of media on both a private and public level as individuals and companies alike use these tools to interact with constituencies. More than ever before, it is becoming necessary to be fluent in advancing methods of technological and social communication.
Boston University recognizes that these skills are essential, and will introduce a Master of Arts program in Emerging Media Studies next fall in order to explore them further. Additionally, in the fall of 2015, the University will launch a PhD program in the same field. These programs of study are unique in content and research, as participants will study a field that hasn’t really been explored to any significant depth as of yet. The program will utilize hands-on research methods to aid students in navigating the field as well as classroom instruction to ensure a thorough understanding of the way in which emerging media operates in our modern society.
The PhD program in Emerging Media Studies will be the first of its kind in the Boston area, which is exciting both for BU and for the field of public relations—which continues to develop and expand in different ways as new media come about. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Emerging Media is the versatility; almost any company could use employees with additional expertise in this area, making way way for multiple new career opportunities.
What are your thoughts on the addition of an Emerging Media Studies program?
Posted by Amy O'Connell
Throughout all of the presentations I’ve heard, and everything that I’ve learned so far about PR, one of the things that has stood out to me the most is the importance of knowing how to reach your target audience. Differences in age, location or other factors require that people get their information from different sources. Some people are dedicated newspaper readers, some prefer magazines, and many people now get information from the internet. Knowing the medium, however, is not enough to truly target your audience as it is important to narrow it down even farther. What newspaper does your audience read? What magazines do they flip through? What sites are most popular for receiving accurate news? It’s important to understand your audience and know how to properly reach them in order to get your message across more clearly.
Why is location important?
Depending on the location of the audience you’re trying to reach, different newspapers or magazines are likely to be more or less popular. Chances are, if the audience you’re targeting is in California, The Boston Globe is probably not the best choice of Newspaper to get a message across with.
What about age?
If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, online sources are the best way to circulate a message. Online news sites like Buzzfeed or CNN.com are great choices because the stories can easily be shared and spread through social media outlets.
One component that is important to look for when choosing the right medium for your message to be spread across is credibility. While Twitter or People magazine may be a great way to get an idea trending, an article in a reputable newspaper such as the New York Times or in a magazine such as TIME could be taken more seriously by the audience you’re trying to reach.
Ultimately, though, the main goal is to get people talking. Whether they’re talking online or in person, word of mouth is an excellent way to spread a story or idea. No matter what medium you choose, if it gets people talking, it’s a good choice.
Posted by Phoebe Bowe
On Thursday October 17, Boston University’s PRSSA chapter welcomed guest speakers Carol Cone and Megan Boyle from Edelman, the largest global public relations firm.
Cone, the Global Practice Chair of Business + Social Purpose at Edelman, is considered one of the pioneers of Corporate Social Responsibility. She is a Boston University alumna and former PRSSA member. After three years in the public relations field, Cone opened her own firm, Cone Inc.
Edelman, like Cone, is dedicated to corporate social responsibility. Cone named just a few of the companies and campaigns Edelman has worked with: Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, American Heart Association Go Red, Unilever, Healthgrades, and more.
Boyle, a recruitment coordinator at Edelman, told students about Edelman’s summer internship program. Interns who are selected work in one of several specialty areas offered at Edelman such as digital, technology, health, consumer, corporate, business and social purpose, and others. She noted that Edelman’s summer internship program is great for recent graduates, as Edelman likes to hire from amongst its interns.
Boyle describes an environment at Edelman that fosters growth for young professionals. She and Cone both mentioned, in addition to traditional mentoring, the practice of “reverse mentoring” at Edelman—when new, younger employees teach senior employees about digital and social media.
Cone told students that they shouldn’t expect to know what they want to do with their lives when they first graduate, and that that’s not a bad thing. She ended the meeting with a few words of encouragement: “Just don’t give up. It’s not a straight line.”
Posted by Amy O'Connell
At the beginning of the semester I started working with one of Boston University’s online magazines by managing its social media presence. As I began tweeting and posting to both Facebook and Instagram on behalf of the magazine, I realized that one of the most difficult parts of the job for me was to maintain a balance between professional and casual content. With social media emerging, linguistic expectations have really changed. Hash-tags and abbreviations are commonplace, while grammar and spelling seem be compromised at times. It might be okay for me to craft a post that doesn’t include a single capital letter, but the standard of writing in a professional setting must obviously be much higher in order to succeed. The key to keeping the balance isn’t all that difficult, though. Nobody wants to read tweets that sound like they’re being written by an automated robot. They want to feel a genuine connection to the brand.