Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Using Social Media Productively

February 21, 2010

Article by: Jonathan Daniel

Julia Clay and Kristina Rhoades, communication professionals from Brenau University, shared various tips and suggestions at the Georgia Communication Association for using social media to one’s advantage in the ever evolving field of communication.

Social media is an all-the-rage concept that is growing more and more every day, and individuals should be focused on disseminating important information rather than sharing erroneous happenings such as which fast food line he or she is waiting in.

“If you find that ‘Stuart Blakely’ is always posting, ‘I had a hamburger at Wendy’s,’ or ‘I just bought my new swimsuit for my Bahama vacation,’–If that’s what he’s posting, drop him [or] unfollow him,” Clay said.

One of the most common misuses of social media networking is the dissemination of irrelevant information, and this must change, especially among communications professionals who are being trained to use social media networking to an advantage.

Using social media to one’s advantage is important because it helps establish ways of implementing social media tools to market an organization or brand, but there is a flip-side to that coin. An interesting and fundamental point noted during the presentation is that users of social media should offer information that is valuable to the audience, not just to the organization or individual disseminating the information.

“Come to the table with the mindset, ‘What can I offer my followers’, not ‘it’s all about me and what I’m doing,'” Rhoades said.

What communications professionals must focus on regarding social media is seeking sources of quality information as well as disseminating quality information that may benefit other professionals.

“Follow people [on Twitter] who are providing that good, quality information,” Clay said. “That’s what you want, and that’s what should prompt you to provide good, quality information.”

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Five Students Discuss Reality Programs and Their Portrayal of Women

February 20, 2010

Saturday morning 5 female students from Brenau University conducted a presentation titled “Reality Programs and Female Aggression and its Effect on Women’s Identity and Connection.”  The presenters were Bernadette Keith, Chenelle Morton, Kristin Reed, Anastasia Rose, and Rashida Wright. The women introduced three reality t.v. shows that are centered around women who live lifestyles that may seem to go against the grain of the societal norm. The television programs that were studied were “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “Bad Girls Club,” and “America’s Next Top Model.”

In Real Housewives of Atlanta, the women are shown regularly engaging in physical altercations with other women and using vulgar language, all while engaging in a lavish lifestyle full of shopping sprees and live-in mansions. The students conducted focus groups using peers from their university as participants. The results from the focus groups showed how the participants envied the material wealth of the characters on Real Housewives of Atlanta but thought that their actions were a poor depiction of an average American housewife.

At the end of the session, the presenters conducted an open discussion to gather the opinions of the students and scholars in the room. Some offered suggestions for further research and many offered comments on the work that the girls did. What I found wonderful and inspiring is that the 5 Brenau students took it upon themselves to do this research and formulate the presentation. They searched numerous scholarly articles, conducted focus groups and compiled their findings to create their presentation. This was not a required assignment, but a project that showcased the true drive for knowledge that some students possess. The girls have not written a paper on this yet, but plan to do so soon. Follow them on twitter!

@uniquenchill

@seebacklabel

@chenelle88

@livelyivy08

@rwright

Ohhhhh, The Things They Say…

February 20, 2010

On Friday February 19, I attended a discussion on “fine young scholars and their classroom excuses.” The Georgia Southern University presenters leading the discussion included : public relations professor, Urkovia Andrews, communication studies professors, Dr. Abby Brooks and Dr. Chris Geyerman, and theatre professor, Kelly Berry. This panel lead a hilarious conversation about common student excuses and ways to deal with them.

The professors recounted their favorite excuses they have heard:

  • “I regret not doing the final paper, but I just don’t understand why you failed me.”
  • One student claimed their mother died… THREE TIMES!
  • Students at a christian university often ask: “Will you show me some grace?”
  • One student claimed to have amnesia and even produced a bogus doctors note

Dr. Geyerman came prepared with some example e-mails he has received from students in the past, as he read them out loud the major theme he addressed was responsibility. He expects his students to be mature adults and to take responsibility for their actions. Professor Andrews talked about the recurring “family issues” excuses and the struggle professors often have on how to deal with them. Professors want to be compassionate but they also have to be fair to the other students. Some suggestions for how to deal with these problems are:

  • A coupon that allows a 24 hr extension on ONE assignment for the semester
  • Establish common ground, every student will have roommate problems and family issues sometime during this semester. that is life, not an excuse.
  • When approached about turning in late  Ask the student “Put yourself in my position. How would you handle this while still being fair to the other classmates?”
  • If a student asks for an extension, refuse them in front of the class. This reinforces that fairness is being applied to everyone in the classroom.

Welcome to GCA 2010

February 19, 2010

One addition to the Georgia Communication Association conference this year is the opportunity to connect via social media. This blog is designed to connect and inform conference attendees on the exchange of ideas and research at this years conference, along with attendees experiences at the conference.

We look forward to interacting with you.