Digital Media Literacy and the 2008 Presidential Campign

15 Nov

Below is a research paper I wrote for my Writing for Comm. class. It relates to how Digital Media Litercy, and how having a good grip on it, will benefit you in many ways. For President Obama, it may have won him the Presidency.


Chapter 18. The Internet Transforms Communication

15 Nov

The Internet …where would we be without it? I don’t even want to think about it. I grew up in a world where because of all of the media, and social medias, and IMing, and blogging, I know nothing else now.

The “world wide web has transformed the way we work, the way we buy things, the way we entertain ourselves, the way business is conducted, and, most important to public relations professionals, the way we communicate with each other” (Seitel, Page 361). This is completely true, and die to the change in communications, the PR field has had to transform as well to fit into this new frontier. There are specialists who only work on how to do this the right way for all organizations.

E-mail has become less interesting to teenagers, because most of them use social networking sites to get their information and communicate with people – texting being the most prevalent.

There are also a list of web-based communication vehicles including; intranets, extranets, wikis, podcasting, RSS, and second life (Seitel Page 374).

Online communication also leaves room for the bad side because of how open and large it really is. Discussion groups can go sour and rogue websites seek to confront organizations by using negative information, along with urban legends. These are all things that have to be monitored.


All of the reading notes in my blog are taken from the eleventh edition of The Practice of Public Relations, by Fraser P. Seitel.

Connection 6. Times have Changed Corso.

13 Nov

As we are about to begin our Twitter Lab, we need to think about why it is important. In our class, not many people use Twitter — even if they have an account. They say it is stupid and they don’t get it. I think that is partially due to the fact that our age group is still in an obsession with Facebook and networking to friends and knowing what they are up to. I also do not think that people are as up-to-date with Twitter as they could be and do not know how it could benefit them.

This commercial, for instance, is a tell tale sign that times have changed — dramatically — in the communication world. The typewritter? Not good enough — obviously. Even e-mail and newspapers and magazines do not cut it for up to date, second, eye catching information. We want everything fast, and with Twitter we will get it, about anything we would want to know about.

Tips for E-Mail Subject Lines.

9 Nov
This is a Blog by Kivi Leroux. She has a non-profit Blog. We talked in class about the importance of subject lines in e-mails. Well, I came upon this, and I think it is very beneficial.
7 Tips for Email Subject Lines
by Kivi Leroux Miller on November 3, 2010

During the online marketing bootcamp I presented for a local AFP chapter recently, one of the participants asked, “If we have been sending out terrible email newsletters and I want to revamp them, how do I get all those people who have been ignoring them to give us a second chance and start reading them again?”

Here are seven tips for how to get there, from her blog.

1. Make the Short Version Work

You’ll find lots of conflicting advice about whether shorter or longer subject lines work best. But there is no arguing with the fact that many of the programs people are using to read your emails (including mobile, desktop, and web-based services) are cutting off your longer subject lines. Put the most important words in the first 30 characters, and make sure that those words make enough sense on their own, without the rest of the subject line that may be cut off.

2. Highlight Everything and You Highlight Nothing

If your newsletter covers six topics (which is too many, but that’s another blog post), you might be tempted to include one or two words in your subject line for each article. Don’t — you can’t really give readers enough information about any of the topics that way. Make a strategic decision and focus on one topic (or two, tops) in your subject line.

3. Include Your Response Words

People are skimming, looking for words that pop out at them. These are often called your “response” words. They are the timely, hot-right-now words that haven’t yet degraded into jargon or trite buzzword status.  It may take awhile for you to discover which words resonate most with your readers, but when you learn them, use them anytime you have related content in the body of the email.

4. Avoid ALL CAPS and *Crazy* Punctuation!!!

It just looks like sales or spam, neither of which is likely to be opened. And it makes you look like a crazy person.

5. Play It Straight with Strangers; Clever with Friends

If the people on your list really aren’t that familiar with your email newsletter or aren’t really that engaged with your organization, a clever or quirky subject line can backfire. You are better off using your subject line to simply state what’s inside the email. If your list is more familiar with you (e.g. they are members of your organization or current donors), you can try more clever, funny, or quirky subject lines to get their attention.

6. Don’t Get Too Pushy

Here’s another area where you’ll find conflicting advice: Should the subject line be a clear call to action or not? Rather than framing the question that way, I’d fall back on the “Tell It, Don’t Sell It” approach. Sometimes an urgent call to action in the subject line is exactly what you need to motivate people. Letting your readers know that something is truly urgent is part of telling the story. But other times, when the urgency is really of your own making, a call to action in the subject line can feel like a pushy sales pitch.

7. Promise and Deliver

The bottom line is that every subject line is a promise that you are obligated to deliver on with the body of the message. That’s how you build trust and readers who will open every email you send, regardless of the subject line.

I’ll be sharing more tips during our webinar Getting Your Emails Opened and Your Links Clicked on November 10, 2010. Can’t make it? Register anyway and you’ll get access to the recording for two weeks. All-Access Pass holders get access for three months.

Chapter 9 and 17. PR and Traditional Roads to Media

8 Nov

Chapter 9 generates the idea that if all PR people and journalists got along, the world would be perfect. However, that would be an illusion. Journalist’s jobs are becoming harder and less entertaining because of the internet and cable. People would rather watch their news and read it online than pick up a newspaper. Although we saw that many people still do read the paper, they still visit other places first (Seitel, Page 174). We, as PR professionals, will need to deal with the media in many different situations, and know where to search for accuracy and information. Better relationships between media information experts will account for better practices within the field, and better media for publics in the long run.

Chapter 17 is best summed up on page 341, as it says, “while traditional advertising and marketing can build brand awareness, public relations establishes credibility and tells the brand story more comprehensively” (Seitel). Although PR is becoming very popular, traditional advertising is still very important. Like I wrote in my ISC Topic 3, I still believe our class should be called Integrated Strategic Communications, because it incorporates all of these ideas. In advertising, you “pay to place your message in more traditional media formats”. Marketing is “the selling of a service or product through pricing, distribution, and promotion”, and public relations is “the marketing of an organization and the use of unbiased, objective, third-party endorsement to relay information about that organizations products and practices” (Seitel, Page 342). No matter how you want to relay a message or sell a product or service, you should make sure you utilize all avenues to do so.


All of the reading notes in my blog are taken from the eleventh edition of The Practice of Public Relations, by Fraser P. Seitel.

Connection 5. You Could Make Some Money if you Worked for Presidential Candidates for the 2012 election. How? By being a Social Media Guru.

6 Nov

Watching the 2010 midterm election proved that social media is taking over politics even more than in 2008, when Obama won a good portion of the youth vote due to (some say) social media.

Outlets and ways to use social media are even changing already in the political arena. Facebook is phasing out and Twitter is becoming more prominent and proving to be more useful to candidates and parties as a whole.

The article below displays some research done from the 2010 midterm election concerning social media.

Social Media in the 2010 US Midterm Election: What Worked (And What Didn’t)

Posted by Lauren Dugan on November 3rd, 2010 2:03 PM

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Did you watch election results come in live on Twitter last night? Did you use Foursquare to checkin at the polling booth? Social media was front and center for the 2010 midterm elections yesterday in the United States, with both old and new media relying heavily on social media to augment their coverage. We take a look at the different news organizations’ approaches to election coverage, and make some predictions about what will be reincarnated for the 2012 presidential election two years from now.

Nieman Journalism Lab did a fantastic job of rounding up the multitude of approaches that new and old media took to election coverage. We’ve divided up their list into traditional and new media, and provided an overview of what each outlet did to make their election day coverage unique.

Traditional Media

The Washington Post – Anyone who was on Twitter over the past few days will have noticed the #Elections promoted trend on their homepage. The Washington Post purchased this trend, making it the first news organization to do so on Twitter.

The New York Times – The New York Times created maps and charts that monitored yesterday’s elections that are viewable on the iPad. They also created a Twitter visualization that tracks election talk on the social network.

The Wall Street Journal – The Journal did 6 hours of live coverage of the election last night, available online as well as on the iPad.

Pollsters – The plethora of stats that come out of elections has a new challenger: sentiment analysis. Using real-time data gathered from cell phones and the internet, this is a new, and still un-perfected, way to measure the nation’s feelings towards an election.

Social Media

Twitter – Twitter itself took an active role in this election. While not covering news, the social network did encourage voters to report their experience at the polling booth using hashtags #votereport and #NYCvotes for those in New York. Twitter users could also post the #ivoted hashtag to encourage their followers to vote.

Foursquare – Foursquare took the same angle as Twitter, and used the power of social to get people to vote. It offered an “I Voted” badge to anyone who checked in at a polling booth yesterday, and created a real-time map showing who voted and where.

Facebook – The social networking behemoth targeted all 18+ users in the US with its 2010 election participation, posting a note to their walls reminding them to vote, and giving them a polling location finder.

The biggest thing we noticed when examining the media roundup for the 2010 midterm elections was the prevalence of social media. It’s self-evident that social networks would be using social elements in their participation in the election coverage, but traditional media relied largely on social media, too. Twitter and the iPad come out on top as the two most-used new/social media by traditional media this election season.

It looks like Facebook is on the decline in terms of political use. Not to say that reaching out to voters and reminding them to vote isn’t a productive use of the social network – but just that traditional media didn’t seem to think it would be effective to utilize Facebook heavily in their coverage. As traditional media still paves the way for journalistic standards and political coverage, it’s safe to say that Facebook wasn’t the social network of choice for the 2010 elections.

The variety of ways that Twitter was used to monitor voters and the voting process makes it the social network of choice for politics. Users can choose to follow a number of hashtags, as we discussed earlier today, which give insight into different geographical, political, and institutional takes on the election process and results. Twitter is also useful for sentiment analysis, the pulse of the nation, in real-time. And finally, Twitter Places could be a viable source for mapping voter turnout at the polls.

Foursquare did some pretty interesting things with mapping voter turnout, but it needs to grow its userbase in order for the visualization to track more closely to the actual turnout.

In the upcoming 2012 presidential election, it will be interesting to see what social media experiments from this election season are upgraded, modified, and implemented. Foursquare has made it clear we can expect to see another voter visualization map, and, if promoted tweets and trends are here to stay, we can expect Twitter to have an even larger impact. Mobile media is also something to watch, as iPad and other similar devices become more ubiquitous.

There is no doubt that if someone were to be experienced enough and want this job (campaigning online with social media), they couldn’t make a lot of money and help their candidate be successful in 2012. People should start thinking ahead of the game.

This class talked about public opinion, and that is an important factor in social media. People want to make sure the messages and images they put out there are putting a positive look onto themselves.

Also, you need to think before you broadcast a message to just anyone. Who are your publics, and why do you want them to hear you? Will they understand you?

President Obama knew (in 2008), he could capture the youth by using social media better than his Republican opponent. He knew the message he wanted to send (“hope and change”) and he sent it consistently to the publics that he could reach.

Lab 10. Going Global at MAC’s Active Wear

3 Nov

Below is a link to a prezi presentation that was designed to hypothetically convince the CEO of our company (MAC’s ACTIVE WEAR) to go global…to Latin America, because of the increased amount of PR.