COJR 3002: Special Topics
Social Media in Journalism
and Public Relations
Seton Hall University, Spring 2014, Mondays, 6:30 – 9 p.m., Fahy 321
This tentative schedule is likely to be modified and updated during the semester. Changes will be announced in class or posted on the course blog or Blackboard site. Please let me know if you encounter any dead web links. Readings must be read by the date on which they are listed.
Jan. 13, 2014 – Introduction to the course
Assigned: Challenge #1 (Setting up and posting to a blog)
Jan. 20 – NO CLASS (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
Jan. 27 – Social media and the future of news and PR
- Scott, Chapters 1 (The Old Rules of Marketing and PR Are Ineffective in an Online World) and 2 (The New Rules of Marketing and PR)
- Briggs, Introduction (pp. 1-6)
- “The people formerly known as the audience,” The Economist, July 7, 2011, http://www.economist.com/node/18904124
- Counterpoint: Seth Ashley, “Beyond Gingras: Tech innovation alone will not democratize media,” PBS MediaShift, Sept. 10, 2012, http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2012/09/beyond-gingras-tech-innovation-alone-will-not-democratize-media254.html
- Counterpoint: Nick Kristof, “The Daily Me,” New York Times, March 18, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/opinion/19kristof.html?_r=0
- What are the “old rules” and “new rules” of marketing? Of PR? Under the new rules, to whom are organizations or companies talking?
- How have social media changed the ways in which news is produced and consumed?
- According to Briggs, why does journalism have a bright future?
- What causes for concern about the growth of the Internet and social media are raised in the readings by Ashley and Kristof?
- Terminology: one-way interruption, the “long tail,” “the people formerly known as the audience,” gatekeepers, “The Daily Me”
DUE: Challenge #1
Assigned: Challenge #2 (Tweet week)
Feb. 3 – Collaboration, conversation, crowdsourcing
- Briggs, Chapters 3 (Crowd-Powered Collaboration) and 10 (Managing News as a Conversation).
- Scott, Chapter 10 (Marketing and PR in Real Time)
- What are some strategies news organizations can use to tap the wisdom of the crowd?
- What is meant by “news as a conversation,” and how does it differ from the way news traditionally has been presented?
- What steps can a news organization take to keep conversations civil, ethical, and accurate?
- What is meant by operating in “real time”? What are some strategies that advertisers and public relations professionals can use to develop a real-time mindset?
- Terminology: crowdsourcing, open-source reporting, pro-am journalism, beatblogging, the 1-10-100 rule for participatory online communities, real time
DUE: Challenge #2
Assigned: Challenge #3 (Twitter scavenger hunt)
Feb. 10 – Blogging
- Briggs, pp. 12-18 (on RSS feeds) and Chapter 2 (Blogging for Better Journalism)
- Scott, Chapters 5 (Blogs: Tapping Millions of Evangelists to Tell Your Story) and 17 (Blogging to Reach Your Buyers)
- What are the characteristics that define a blog?
- How can you build an audience for your blog?
- Why is it unfair to compare bloggers to mainstream journalists? Why is it unfair to compare blogs to newspapers or magazines? What is a better analogy?
- What are the four main uses of blogs for public relations and marketing?
- What should you blog about? How do you find a topic?
- Terminology: RSS feeds, blog post, permalink, trackback, blogroll, tags
DUE: Challenge #3
Assigned: Challenge #4 (Blogging and RSS feeds)
Feb. 17 – Microblogging
- Briggs, Chapter 4 (Microblogging and Social Media: Publish, Distribute, and Connect).
- Steve Buttry, “10 ways Twitter is valuable to journalists,” The Buttry Diary, Aug. 27, 2012, http://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/10-ways-twitter-is-valuable-to-journalists/
- Counterpoint: Matt K. Lewis, “Why I hate Twitter,” The Week, Jan. 30, 2013, http://theweek.com/article/index/239379/why-i-hate-twitter
- What is meant by “ambient awareness” or “ambient intimacy,” and how does it relate to microblogging sites such as Twitter?
- What factors have contributed to Twitter’s popularity?
- What are some of the main ways that Twitter can be used by journalists?
- Why does Lewis say Twitter has become a “dark place”? Do you agree or disagree?
- Terminology: microblogging, the 80-20 rule of microblogging, tweet, retweet, direct message, hashtag
DUE: Challenge #4
Assigned: Challenge #5 (Twitter lists and chats)
Case study presentation (Ryan and Elicia)
Feb. 24 – Microblogging (cont.)
- Scott, Chapter 23 (Newsjacking Your Way Into the Media)
- Heather Whaling, “The PR pro’s guide to Twitter,” Mashable, April 14, 2011, http://mashable.com/2011/04/14/pr-pro-twitter-guide/
- What is newsjacking, and what is its goal?
- What are some strategies for newsjacking?
- How can you find news stories that are suitable for newsjacking?
- Besides newsjacking, what are some of the other ways Twitter can be used by PR professionals?
- Terminology: newsjacking
Case study presentations (Brecken and Regan; Rich and Elisa)
March 3 – Live blogging and mobile reporting
- Briggs, Chapter 5 (Going Mobile)
- Steve Buttry, “Suggestions (but not standards) for live tweeting,” The Buttry Diary, Sept. 6, 2011, http://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/suggestions-but-not-standards-for-live-tweeting/
- Andrea Cook, “10 reasons live event coverage should be a PR service,” Social Fresh, Oct. 13, 2011, http://socialfresh.com/10-reasons-live-event-coverage-should-be-a-pr-service/
- What types of news stories lend themselves well to mobile reporting?
- What format should a live blog follow — a single post for all your updates, or a separate entry for each update?
- When live tweeting an event, what preparation should be done in advance? What sort of information belongs in the first few tweets? How should hashtags be used? What are some other tips for live tweeting?
- How can businesses benefit by using live event coverage?
DUE: Challenge #5
Assigned: Challenge #6 (Social media project proposal)
Assigned: Challenge #7 (Live tweeting an event)
Case study presentation (Jacqueline and Amanda)
March 10 – NO CLASS (Spring break)
March 17 – Social networking sites
- Scott, Chapter 16 (Social Networking Sites and Marketing)
- Counterpoint: Justin Peters, “On Facebook and freedom: Why journalists should not surrender to the Walmarts of the web,” Columbia Journalism Review, November/December 2011, http://www.cjr.org/essay/on_facebook_and_freedom.php?page=all
- What are the four most useful ways to deliver information and ideas on Facebook for marketing purposes?
- Why is Google+ an essential component of personal branding? How does Google+ differ from Facebook?
- In the Peters article, what does he mean when he says Facebook “succeeds by disempowering its users”? What does he mean when he says Facebook is leading to the “Walmartization of the web”?
- Terminology: liking and tagging, Facebook Groups, Facebook Pages, Google Hangouts, the open web
March 24 – Media pitching and social media releases
- Scott, Chapters 7 (The New Rules of News Releases), 20 (How to Use News Releases to Reach Buyers Directly), and 22 (The New Rules for Reaching the Media)
- Ian Capstick, “Social media release must evolve to replace press release,” PBS MediaShift, April 23, 2010, http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2010/04/social-media-release-must-evolve-to-replace-press-release113.html
- How does Scott differentiate between press releases and news releases?
- What are some of the “new rules” of news releases?
- What are keywords, and why are they important in crafting news releases?
- What are some effective strategies for reaching and pitching journalists?
- How does the social media release differ from a traditional news release?
- Terminology: disintermediation, social media release
DUE: Challenge #6 (due by noon Monday, March 24 – The proposal must be submitted to the Google+ community.)
Assigned: Challenge #8 (Social media release)
March 31 – Photo and video sharing
- Scott, Chapter 18 (An Image Is Worth a Thousand Words)
- Olivier Laurent, “The new economics of photojournalism: The rise of Instagram,” British Journal of Photography, September 3, 2012, http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/report/2202300/the-new-economics-of-photojournalism-the-rise-of-instagram
- Jen DeAngelis, “How we can use Instagram in public relations,” InkHouse, August 24, 2012, http://www.inkhouse.net/how-we-can-use-instagram-in-public-relations/
- Daniel Terdiman, “Watch as Vine becomes the next great news-gathering tool,” CNET, Feb. 5, 2013, http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57567570-93/watch-as-vine-becomes-the-next-great-news-gathering-tool/
- Humayun Khan, “7 creative ways brands are using Vine,” Ragan, Sept. 19, 2013, http://www.ragan.com/PublicRelations/Articles/7_creative_ways_brands_are_using_Vine_47296.aspx#
- What makes Instagram unique? What makes Pinterest unique?
- What benefits does Instagram offer photojournalists and professional photographers?
- What are the main fears or concerns that some photographers have about Instagram?
- What are some ways that Instagram can be used in public relations?
- How can Vine be used in journalism? How can it be used by brands?
DUE: Challenge #7 (due by noon Friday, April 4 – send a Direct Message on Twitter after you have live tweeted an event)
Assigned: Challenge #9 (Vine video)
Case study presentation (Glo and Ashley)
April 7 – Linking, aggregation, and curation
- Jeff Jarvis, “New rule: Cover what you do best. Link to the rest,” BuzzMachine, February 22, 2007, http://buzzmachine.com/2007/02/22/new-rule-cover-what-you-do-best-link-to-the-rest/
- John Souza, “Content curation vs. content aggregation: The basics,” Social Media Today, February 21, 2012, http://socialmediatoday.com/johnsouza/559293/content-curation-vs-content-aggregation-basics
- Steve Buttry, “Curation techniques, types, and tips,” The Buttry Diary, July 19, 2012, http://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/curation-techniques-types-and-tips/
- Becky Gaylord, “How brands (and PR pros) can take advantage of Storify,” PR Daily, Sept. 6, 2012, http://www.prdaily.com/socialmedia/Articles/12575.aspx
- In the Jarvis reading, what does he mean when he says, “Cover what you do best. Link to the rest”? Why has this been a struggle for news organizations?
- What is the difference between content curation and content aggregation?
- How can a curator add value to content that has been collected?
- What is Storify, and how can it be used by brands and PR professionals?
- Terminology: aggregation, curation
DUE: Challenge #8
Assigned: Challenge #10 (Using Storify as a curation tool)
Case study presentation (Katherine, Brittany, and Chris)
April 14 – Numbers and maps: Data, geolocation, Web analytics
- Briggs, pp. 252-259 (beginning with “Map Mashups”) and Chapter 11 (Building a Digital Audience for News).
- Scott, Chapter 24 (Search Engine Marketing)
- Shane Snow, “7 ways journalists can use Foursquare,” Mashable, May 14, 2010, http://mashable.com/2010/05/14/journalists-foursquare/
- “5 geo-location tips for PR and marketing,” BurellesLuce, May 2012, http://www.burrellesluce.com/newsletter/2012/may_2012
- How can map mashups be used in journalism?
- What are the leading web traffic measurements that should be tracked?
- What are some keys to writing effective, search engine-friendly news headlines?
- What are some strategies for effective search engine marketing?
- Why are landing pages important?
- How can geolocation services such as Foursquare be used in journalism and PR?
- Terminology: pageviews, visits, unique visitors, engagement, referrers, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, search engine advertising, landing pages
DUE: Challenge #9
Case study presentation (John and Kelsey)
April 21 – NO CLASS (Easter Monday)
April 28 – Whom can you trust? Rumors, lies, and hoaxes
- Luke O’Neil, “The year we broke the Internet: An explanation. An apology. A plea,” Esquire, Dec. 23, 2013, http://www.esquire.com/blogs/news/we-broke-the-internet
- Mathew Ingram, “It’s not Twitter – this is just the way the news works now,” GigaOm, December 15, 2012, http://gigaom.com/2012/12/15/its-not-twitter-this-is-just-the-way-the-news-works-now/
- Craig Silverman, “Best practices for social media verification: Some tips and thoughts from the experts,” Columbia Journalism Review, June 3, 2011, http://www.cjr.org/the_news_frontier/best_practices_for_social_medi.php?page=all
- In the O’Neil reading, what does the author mean when he says, “We broke the Internet”?
- In the Ingram reading, what does he mean when he says, “This is just the way the news works now”?
- Who or what do the authors blame for the spread of false information via social media? Do they offer any solutions?
- What are some practices that can be used to verify information on social media?
DUE: Challenge #10
Case study presentation (Christine and Marinna)
May 5 – Using social media to promote your personal brand
- Steve Buttry, “Use digital tools to showcase your career and your work,” The Buttry Diary, May 30, 2012, http://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/use-digital-tools-to-showcase-your-career-and-your-work/
- Counterpoint: “I am a ‘brand,’ pathetic man says,” The Onion, November 29, 2012, http://www.theonion.com/articles/i-am-a-brand-pathetic-man-says,30545/
May 12 (Exam week)
Social media projects due; presentation of projects
NOTE: There is no final exam, but we will meet for presentation of your projects.