Posts Tagged ‘students


interview with kami huyse


first day at uga connect: social media roundtable

We’ve just wrapped up our first session of the day at UGA Connect, a roundtable discussion of current issues in social media. With so many educators and professionals present with such diverse backgrounds, the conversation stayed lively and interesting! Both the educators and professionals at the roundtable had some great suggestions for organizations looking to engage through social media. One of the most engaging social media discussions brought up by Dr. Karen Russell was “Stupid Things PR People Do,” which is briefly summarized below.

1. Sending Spam

  • Many organizations think “opt-in” e-mail lists are an invitation to send spam; they aren’t.
  • Bloggers usually don’t appreciate being sent press releases (the Chris Anderson incident, of course, was mentioned). Don’t send them press releases unless you have engaged them personally and they have granted you permission.

2. Spam commenting

  • e.g. “I loved your post! Now check out this [irrelevant] link!
  • It’s easy for bloggers to see when comments are not authentic. To appear legitimate, it might be best to e-mail the blogger instead of posting this type of comment.
  • Josh Hallett warned against using the cliche ice breaker “I’ve been following your blog for a long time…”, as many bloggers can easily tell if a person is lying.

3. Bad Pitches

  • Don’t send a pitch that’s not pertinent to the blogger or his/her audience. Period.
  • Hallett argued that there is very little difference in pitching bloggers and traditional media gatekeepers; relationship-building is a must.
  • Besides, social media makes it easier for ticked off bloggers to call out people/organizations using lazy PR tactics.

4. Using irrelevant social media tools

  • Some clients want the “bright, shiny” new social media tools regardless of how relevant it is to their audience. Avoid client pressure, and only use the tools you need.

I had the opportunity to pick Josh Hallett’s brain about some of the current ethical concerns over social media in journalism, and here’s what he had to say.

More UGA Connect attendees with be joining us tonight for dinner at the Foundry Park Inn, and the rest of the Connect team and I are looking forward meeting everyone and getting some great insight on new media from keynote speaker Peter Himler.


Attend UGA Connect… even if you’re not in Athens

Connect is only two days away now, and we’ve set up a number of different ways to attend the conference virtually. Of course, you can watch this space for regular updates on the blog. Grady students will be posting audio and video in addition to text updates. Our Flickr photostream is ready to go, and the most recent pictures will show up here on the blog. (@hyku, this one’s for you.)

You can also follow @UGAconnect on Twitter. Our hashtag will be #connect, so you can watch Twemes for Connect-only updates from all the attendees — we expect @paullyoung to be particularly active, but we’ll be encouraging all the attendees to register, so be prepared for an active Twitter stream.

Speaking of streaming, Dr. Kaye Sweetser is going to live video/chat stream her presentation at 11 a.m. on Saturday, so check in here for instructions on how to watch.

“See” you on Friday and Saturday!


Announcing student attendees and bloggers

The following students have been selected to attend Connect ’08.

Graduate students: Donna Wilcox, Connie Braesch, Gina Rigler, and Haley Binowski

Undergraduates who will help provide social media coverage of the event: Debbie Ebalobo, Jessica Slevin, Mallory Perkins, and Christie Patterson — Christie gets a special shout-out for blogging her application!

All the students are from the University of Georgia… we were disappointed not to receive any applications from other schools. Next year we’ll have to see about having a reduced registration fee for students from other schools. (That, and not hold the event the day of the LSU-Auburn game.)

If anyone has noticed that there are only 8 names listed here, there are a couple more students but we’re working out the details with them.

Congratulations, students! We promise you’ll walk away with a new understanding of PR and social media.


Connect registration for students

Although the Connect conference is designed primarily for public relations educators and professionals, a large number of students have also expressed an interest in attending. We love that enthusiasm and therefore have reserved 10 seats for students.

We’re looking for students who can join the conversation. In particular, we’d like to identify at least a few students who can help live blog, tweet, take pictures, podcast, and get more experience using the social media we’ll be learning about at Connect. So, we’re asking interested students to send us a page—250 words—describing your social media experience and explaining why you’d like to attend. (If you don’t have social media experience, you’ll be able to attend the Friday bootcamp to learn the basics.)

Students (even those who get put to work providing social media coverage of the conference) are responsible for the $150 registration fee, plus travel/hotel expenses for those not from Athens. Grady College students, if selected, can apply to the Yarbrough Fund to cover the cost of registration.

Please send your one-page application, which should include your name, school, and e-mail address, to karenm (at) uga (dot) edu by Sept. 2, 2008. The lucky 10 will be informed by Sept. 5, 2008.

For more information on Connect, visit the Web site,, or watch for Twitter updates at

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