Early last year, invited by prof. Maria Russell, I visited Syracuse University for a lecture. Following this, as I was having my usual, unrepented, ‘fag’ outside the Newhouse Building… …I was approached by a young student who had been stimulated by some remarks I made on the Internet and Social Media (didn’t call it as such, then). His name is Eric Hansen and, as we conversed, it happened that I mentioned some papers and documents. He subsequently emailed me and asked me to send these papers to him, which I did and he thanked me. That was the last I heard from him, until the other day when he sent me a note (and then commented on one of my posts) which I strongly recommend you read and -most of all- link to the site he mentions.You must also know that, following my (at least for me) very satisfying first ‘global relations and intercultural communication’ teaching assignment this winter at NYU’s Master of Science in Public Relations and Corporate Communication, I agreed to do a repeat course from June to August of 2007: but an on-line one! The reason is twofold: a) the most serious is that in 2006 I spent (with my great enjoyment, mind you!) far too much time on academic work and (to the chagrin of my professional partners) far too little on the market. Now that I have, with my partners, recently sold Methodos (my change management consulting company) to highly reputed Doxa (the oldest and most established Italian research company), I am committed to an intense three year consulting contract as Senior Counsel (copied this title from my friend John Paluszek at Ketchum!) and I must demonstrate that I am still useful…otherwise… I get no salary…. b) The other reason is that I wish to experience hands-on what it means to transfer knowledge on line and engage students in improving their (and mine too) skills and competences. So, I accepted to try this out and am beginning to prepare my course materials keeping well in mind (but for the moment only guessing) the radical difference of the two relationship and learning environments, in order to be ready for the June/August period when that course is to be implemented. I tell you this story because of all the online courses I have visited so far to understand what this is all about, this link to Eric’s six sessions truly opened my mind as to the many flexibilities and opportunities which today are available. And even more so… if you suspect you might even be more ‘luddist’ than I am, I very much recommend you spend some time on this. Not only for the structure, the format and the various array of tools, but mostly for the contents. If you ever wondered if the time hadn’t come for you to begin to understand what all this ‘social media’ stuff was about but….didn’t have the guzz to ask your colleagues or neighbours or sons and daughters for fear of being ridiculed…here is your great opportunity to do so.. quietly, on your own time and when you prefer. Make sure, of course, you download all the right software as you go along (only a few minutes and the instructions are idiot proof). Let me know…Here below is Eric’s accompanying note, his flyer ( NNMS and Speakers Flyer.pdf) and please link to the indicated url:Greetings, this is Eric Hansen, a student from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Since August of 2006 I have been working on an independent study project that addresses the deficit of educational guidance left in the wake of a communications industry significantly changed by new and social media. Today I am pleased to share with you the current progress on this endeavor and to receive your feedback. On February 7, 2007, I will deliver the first of six sessions on new media and public relations. I have titled this project the Newhouse New Media Series and it will cover blogs, podcasts, online video (YouTube et al), social networks (MySpace et al), and online monitoring with RSS. (A flyer is attached.) During each session I will introduce and explain the new medium/technology, answer/discuss participants’ questions, and review the lessons offered by recent case studies of organizations failing/succeeding?at using new media to accomplish their PR goals.
The address is http://newmediaseries.syr.edu. The current status of the Web site is “ready for prime time,” but it will be frequently updated with additional information over the semester. Online versions of sessions 5 and 6 will be added closer to their scheduled date. One of the most exciting aspects of this project has been the response of the PR department at Newhouse. They have organized the “Use of Social Media in Communications” guest speaker series that includes Steve Rubel (of micropersuasion.com and Edelman’s Me2Revolution), Jen McClure (Society for New Communications Research), Mark McClennan (VP at Schwartz Communications), Aedhmar Hynes (CEO of Text 100), and Michael Terpin (Terpin Communications Group). These speakers will complement and enhance the educational sessions perfectly. I welcome and encourage feedback on this project, either via e-mail or commenting on the project blog, and thank you for your time. Best regards, Eric Hansen, Student, Syracuse University:Public relations, Information management and technology, Jazz drummer firstname.lastname@example.org