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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Coaching the Coach

In my exercise for my PR Theory  class I had the opportunity to play both a media coach as well as the client. On the client side of things I role played the captain of the Carnival cruise ship crisis. My media coach was tasked with insuring that my responses and tone with the press shed a sympathetic light on the deaths of the respective passengers. I found that as a person the receiving end of the coaching it is very difficult to accept people telling you what to say , especially when you believe that your actions were correct.

It is frustrating and even startling to hear another person  critique how you are coming off to the general public. I played the role of being indignant and not wanting to take responsibility and accountability for the deaths of the passengers and I was in the mind frame of attempting to protect myself and to be myself , rather than to admit any wrongdoing , or to have to be tactful .

On the side of being a media coach , I had the monumental task  of being the public relations coach for Jerry Sandusk , played by my Professor. I found that it was imperative to be as specific as possible when speaking to a client. Inflection , demeanor , word choice , and body language all have to be taken into consideration. I had to mentally take myself out of the role as a public spectator, and I really had to be very objective and honest with Mr. Sandusky. The importance of using words in the most precise manner became very evident , very quickly.

Words like attached, love, boys , like, mine , and feel all became hot-button words that we needed to be mindful of. I also found that it could be frustrating for some media coaches to engage clients , as some may be too stuck in their way of thinking to actually take heed to professional advice. Ultimately I enjoy the exercise from both sides and really was able to get a taste of real life scenarios.

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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Scapegoating Social Media

At some point in time everyone needs someone or something to place blame upon. It is much easier and harmless to point the proverbial finger at an idea, concept or platform rather than to demand that individual take accountability for their perceived incorrect thoughts, speech, and actions. Currently , blaming social media for the pitfalls of society seems to be the safe thing to do for many pundits and journalists.

As of late, I have stumbled upon a series of articles blaming  social media networks and platforms for a variety of social issues. There have been reports that social networks cause users to exhibit signs of Tourette’s Syndrome, commonly referenced as “twitching”. Critics have speculated that social media users twitch , tic and have uncontrollable outburst unexplainably , and that by posting videos of their conditions through social media  makes the symptoms of the disorder spread.

Also, last summer there was allegedly an epidemic of so called flash mobs throughout certain areas of this United States that have been stated to have its origins through Facebook and Twitter communication. This then lead to false claims that these sites could potentially be used for non constructive purposes by so called ” urban youth”. None of these claims came to fruition.

Currently, the tragic shooting of Travon Martin in Florida has apparently caused a ” social media outrage”.  Trayvon was a teenaged black male that was  unarmed and shot by a neighborhood watch captain. There are many signs pointing to racism as the motivation. Many journalist are attempting to spin the reaction and calls for justice  as a social media movement for Trayvon – rather than general outrage being expressed through all platforms and venues.

In the “twitching” incident , the high school students reporting these symptoms should be viewed with strong scrutiny – people often times imitate what they see. In the so called flashmob epidemic , much of the media was creating hysteria and paranoia and using social media as a scapegoat for potential wrong doings. Finally , the tragic death of Trayvon Martin impacts people in both the digital and physical world. Attempting to label the reaction to the incident as a “social media movement” certainly marginalizes the reality and gravity of the incident. There is nothing tragic about social media as a platform. As a platform, it’s neutral and a reflection of the people that use it.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Uncategorized