Archive for March, 2010

Balancing Work Life and Student Life

By Julia Fennelly

When I made the decision to go back to school and pursue a graduate degree at Marquette, I knew it would be hard work. Balancing a part-time grad school schedule with working full-time is tough. Period. Along the way, I’ve learned ways to balance work, school, and a personal life and maximize my student experience at Marquette.

Here are a few best practices that work for me:

Learn how to manage your time. Put simply – there are 24 hours in the day and you have to make every minute count. When you have an agency presentation to give, a client dinner after work, and a paper due the following day, it can seem impossible to get it all done. Plotting out the semester in advance can help. Scheduling work meetings, social activities and academic deadlines all on the same calendar helps prioritize what needs to get done.

Adding schoolwork to a brimming workload also means finding time to squeeze in studies whenever possible. Plan out your day during your morning Starbucks run, finish papers on your lunch break and call your parents on your way to class. Make the most of every minute! Continue reading ‘Balancing Work Life and Student Life’

Protecting Brand Identity with Social Media Monitoring

By Amanda Eggert

If you’re not controlling your brand online, someone else is. This simple concept is the backbone for social media monitoring.

Social media monitoring involves mining online content (blogs, forums, social media sites, etc.) for complaints, compliments, competitors, and general customer touch points. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of comments on any given topic at any given time makes monitoring a daunting task. Luckily, the increasing popularity of social media spurred the creation of several monitoring services, both free and professional.

I’ve been fortunate enough during my time at Laughlin to use Cision’s Social Media Dashboard (powered by Radian6). Cision’s platform aggregates content around brand related keywords from a variety of source. This content can then be analyzed visually and numerically to demonstrate ROI, intercept customer comments, or prevent potential PR crises. While the tool hones in on a keyword, a degree of sorting comments (especially for sentiment) is still necessary.

Now, not every brand can afford professional social media monitoring services. For those brands, it’s best to experiment with the free tools out there. To get started, develop a list of key terms including competitors, high level employees, and product or service lines. Next, enter these terms into Google Alerts, Twitter Search, Social Mention, Back Type or a Google Blog Search. From there, it’s as simple as sorting through the results.

Social media monitoring is quickly becoming a must for brands. People are out there, and they’re talking.

Amanda Eggert is a senior studying advertising and communication at Marquette. She currently interns for Milwaukee advertising agency Laughlin Constable in the company’s online and digital department. Amanda will share her experience interning in the advertising world throughout the course of the semester.

Why I Think Interns are ACEs!

By Sheena Carey
I am the internship director for the Diederich College of Communication and I have a secret. It’s not a well-kept secret because I tend to tell it to anyone who will listen—every student should have at least one internship experience in their chosen career field before graduating into the world of work.

Why is it important? Who would you rather take care of your health needs—someone who has read a lot about medicine or someone who has a proven track record applying what he or she has learned in medical school as medical resident? The difference between the two is experience.
When you sit down with a prospective employer and are asked to connect your skill set with specific behaviors and experiences, how will you respond? What will you draw upon to convince that employer that you can do the job?

  • An internship experience can provide you with a strong and specific response.
  • An internship experience can set you apart from other candidates.
  • An internship experience provides you an opportunity to make an informed decision about your career choice.
  • An internship experience helps you grow a network of contacts, advisors, and advocates.
  • An internship experience is a necessary good in your pursuit of your career dream.

Why should you do an internship? I can give you reasons all day long about why you should. What reasons can you give for why you should not?
Internships are part of the educational experience the Diederich College of Communication is committed to providing its students. My commitment is to ensure that you have a complete educational experience and that includes providing you with opportunities to apply classroom theory in real world settings.

Diederich College of Communication interns are ACEs—they have access to networks and professional resources. They can make informed choices about their career paths. They graduate from Marquette with valuable experiences that position them for success in the job market.

Sheena Carey is the internship coordinator for the Diederich College of Communication.

Graduating Students: Tips for How to Propel your Job Search in an Uncertain Economy

By Jennifer Janviere

With the spring season now upon us, soon-to-be college graduates face the somewhat daunting prospect of searching for those coveted full-time jobs. This is traditionally a time of excitement and anticipation of the future; a time when the hard work of the last four years culminates in the accomplishment of earning that piece of paper proclaiming readiness to start the next phase of life. But continued news of low employment numbers around the country and competition for jobs are enough to cause even the most confident new graduate to break into a cold sweat.

What are students who will soon be leaving the familiarity of college for the “real world” to do?

While it’s important  to be aware of the challenges that a graduating student faces, it’s equally important not to allow negative news reports to be paralyzing. The best defense a student can arm himself or herself with is a good plan of action before leaving school. Having a current and professionally-written resume is a good place to start. Continue reading ‘Graduating Students: Tips for How to Propel your Job Search in an Uncertain Economy’

E-Readers: The End of the College Bookstore as We Know It?

By Jennifer Janviere

The current generation of college students grew up in a world defined by the Internet and electronic information. Digital technology changed the way information is delivered and digested, and is now poised to institute a change in the university learning environment. A rapidly shrinking print industry combined with an increasing demand for the electronic delivery of information means that electronic reading devices such as the KindleNook and the new iPad could soon become staples of daily life. As E-readers become widely available, this shift will predictably change the way that we read everything from daily newspapers to literary masterpieces.

Not to mention college textbooks.

This past fall, six universities around the country participated in an experimental trial of using the Kindle as the primary source for textbooks. It stands to reason that as more universities embrace this technology electronic, readers could eventually become a regular part of the academic environment. What impact will this have on the way that students buy and read text books? And will this mean the extinction of the traditional college bookstore? Below are a few pros and cons of the switch from printed to electronic texts.

Pros
Versatility of multimedia information. With some books offered as both text and audio versions, the student could digest information in multiple formats. Some devices offer text to speech recognition technology, allowing users the option of listening to an audio version of a book. Information can then be absorbed while driving in the car or riding the bus home, not just sitting and reading in a stationary spot. This also opens up more options for people with learning disabilities or visual impairments, who might otherwise have trouble with reading in a traditional format. Such versatility of information distribution could ultimately provide a richer and more well-rounded experience for users.

Cost Savings. Over the course of four or more years in school, the cost of downloading digital textbooks would likely cost substantially less than their physical counterparts.  For many students, the one time purchase of an electronic reader would cost about the same as (or possibly less than) a semester’s textbooks.

Space Saver. With a single device that holds up to just over a thousand books worth of data, students could access the materials from all of their classes without the hassle of lugging heavy texts around for studying. More libraries now offer users digital content available to download, making the process of reading while on the go a lot easier.

Cons
Initial Investment. The kindle and devices like it require an initial upfront investment, often in the range of several hundred dollars or more. With college costs on the rise, some students will undoubtedly find this device expensive. Not to mention what happens if the student breaks or loses a reader and must replace it.

Legibility. With small, backlit screens, some users argue that the electronic readers currently on the market are not yet optimized for all users. This is already changing, however, as devices like the iPad become introduced to the marketplace.

Limited viewing options. Many electronic readers currently on the market display only black and white information, preventing information such as diagrams and charts to be seen in full color. This is fine for plain text, but what about a science or art history book that requires color for the viewer to fully experience the content? Again, something that is already beginning to change even if it’s not quite there yet.

As the print declines and the digital world becomes more integrated into our lives with each day, it seems inevitable that textbooks will eventually be delivered exclusively in electronic format. Whether this change will be gradual or dramatic, and how the transition will ultimately change the learning experience still remains to be seen.

Jennifer Janviere is a multimedia specialist and instructor in the Diederich College of Communication.

Up Close and Personal: How Media Relations Differs Across Cultures

By Alise Buehrer

It’s 8 a.m. and already 26 degrees Celsius.  You grab breakfast from a street vendor and hop a sky train to work–battling traffic by car would take at least two hours.  When you arrive at the office, printed news releases are delivered to your desk, along with gift certificates and a bouquet of flowers.  After finishing your meetings and assignments for the day, you head out for Japanese with your friend, a local PR specialist.  Your friend pays for dinner, and you decide to feature her client in tomorrow’s news.

Welcome to life as a journalist in Thailand.

When I visited the country over winter break, I had the privilege of staying with one of the best PR practitioners in Bangkok.  While most of my time was spent sightseeing and shopping, I did have a chance to visit her agency and observe the local media scene.  The experience opened my eyes to a different realm of public relations.  In Bangkok, clipping still involves scissors, tape and hundreds of magazine subscriptions.  News holes are larger, stunts are grander and presenting gifts in exchange for media coverage is completely acceptable.

When considering the hours I’ve spent making cold calls at my PR internship and the difficulty of grabbing (let alone holding) media attention, I’m convinced Thai culture creates a better platform for relationship building than the individualistic American way.  While widespread gifting to spur coverage would pose a problem in our country, the practice seems to work effortlessly overseas.  As a consumer of American media, I’m glad most media outlets don’t operate in this fashion.  As an aspiring PR practitioner, I can’t help but think how much easier my job would be if they did!

There are always lessons to be learned by observing other countries.  While we’re not likely to match the personal bonds of Thai professionals, programs like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and events like the Journal Sentinel’s Meet the Newsroom are evidence that practitioners and journalists are starting to connect amidst the changing media landscape.  Social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn are also helping to spur interactions on personal and professional levels.  Perhaps soon we’ll all be having dinner together … but in true American fashion, we’ll elect to split the bill.

Alise Buehrer is a junior studying public relations and marketing at Marquette. She currently interns for Cramer-Krasselt, the nation’s second largest independent marketing communications agency.  She also enjoys writing and blogging for the Marquette Journal, Marquette’s student life magazine.

Journalism 2.0: The Evolution of News Delivery and the Fate of Media in the Digital Age

By Jennifer Janviere

The past year has brought a lot of discussion about the decline of print media and what this means for the newspaper and magazine industries. A downward trend in readership threatens the viability of industry giants and small hometown publications alike. The FCC blames this trend on the rise of blogging and citizen journalists, and many media outlets point a finger at the internet in general as a primary cause.

It’s not hard to understand why, of course. The internet satisfies our insatiable appetite for immediacy, and one has to look no further than the welcome screen of any web browser for an instant and free stream of current events. The appeal of internet news over a traditional print format is the ability to deliver the latest happenings to the reader with the click of a mouse and track a breaking story as it unfolds. To an increasingly younger readership used to the digital age of internet headlines and ten second soundbites, the idea of sitting and reading an entire newspaper seems like an anachronism.

After all, why wait to read about what’s happening from the evening paper when the internet lets viewers see the aftermath of an earthquake or Tiger Woods announcing his return to golf as the events happen in real time? Continue reading ‘Journalism 2.0: The Evolution of News Delivery and the Fate of Media in the Digital Age’