The teaching job at Kent State is officially posted…

November 25, 2008

…so pass the word, OK?

I’m trying something a bit different this time — a job blog for PRKent.

picture-11Why a blog?  Because it’s so easy, and I don’t need any geeks to give me server space or to figure out why my links don’t work. If you want to learn about the teaching job at Kent State, or if you want to apply, just click here.

Truth in advertising. A good friend in the ad biz thinks I may be overselling the benefits of this job in the original post — you know, the June, July and August time off and the funded pension. Maybe he’s right.

Our faculty at Kent JMC get along exceptionally well compared to most academic cultures. But we also work our butts off, grading papers on weekends and answering emails at odd hours — even tweeting with faithful alumni. Seems like it never ends — at least until May 15!

I’ll warn you: If you’re looking for 9-to-5, this isn’t the job for you. For the 9 months you’re on contract, it’s full-time and then some. But if you love the idea of helping young PR professionals get off to a flying start, I hope you’ll consider joining us.

Oh yeah. The goofy guy in the black hood?  He’s chairing the search committee. Humor him.

PR ramblings: The consequences of free speech

November 23, 2008

Last week, two of my Facebook friends joined “cause” groups on the social-networking site. One signed up for “DEFEAT Proposition 8,” the other enlisted with, “Stop Abortion!” I have a diverse group of online pals.

While the Internet is a great place for self expression, how often do you consider the consequences of flashing your politics in public? After all, people judge us by the company we keep — in the office, in the community and online.

cooperarmsIt was Dan Cooper who got me thinking about the consequences of free speech. Until a few weeks ago Dan was president and CEO of Cooper Firearms of Montana, a manufacturer of high-end rifles used by discerning sportsmen. But Dan also was a supporter of Barack Obama, and he said so publicly. I suspect many of you did the same. Read the rest of this entry »

Some positive spin on a nasty recession

November 13, 2008

Rather than mourning the demise of my 401K, I’ve decided to put some positive spin on the economic collapse. I am a PR pro, after all. And a PR pro can always find a positive story if he turns over enough rocks. In my case, I simply looked in the mirror and counted my blessings.

5 positives I found in this recession.

poorguyMy job is relatively safe. No job is totally secure in these times, but according to this story from MyEdu, education is rated the #1 employment category likely to endure these hard times. And there’s a bonus in it for me, since the #2 category is accounting, my wife’s vocation. This is such welcome news I’m thinking of buying a Hummer and extending my sabbatical until next June.

My university is in better shape than Harvard. Because Kent State’s endowment is under $100 million, we stand to lose a whole lot less than Harvard as the market tanks. Havard’s endowment is/was at $37 billion, and administrators there depend heavily on endowment income for operating expenses. Kent State does not. Read the rest of this entry »

Hanging out on Twitter for Election 2008

November 5, 2008

Like most Americans, I spent last evening watching the election returns. CNN was my network of choice for national news. I watched the local ABC affiliate for state & local races.

To add a little spice, I opened the laptop and bottle of Cabernet, then I joined the conversation on Twitter. It was a nationwide chat, worldwide at times. But most of all, it was a fun way to exchange information and impressions on the most historic election of our lifetimes.

I began tweeting at about 10 a.m., foreshadowing the Obama victory in Ohio based on 70-degree temperatures and “blue” skies. I would post 36 tweets over the next 15 hours, many of them reacting to others on the network and some just goofy random thoughts like this one:


Read the rest of this entry »

A laggard returns to Twitter

October 30, 2008

It’s funny, but my friends think I’m a digital wizard. After all, I maintain 3 blogs and have a life in 6 social networks (not all are on FriendFeed). For a 55-year-old geezer, some think I am seriously connected. Now I add one more network.

After bailing out of Twitter more than a year ago, I have returned for a look around. And I like what I see.

This isn’t a post to extol the virtues of Twitter. I’m still learning my way around the application and observing the culture. Nor is this a mea culpa for my occasional criticism of “twits” over the past 15 months.

But I will say this: Twitter is more useful and interesting than it was in the summer of 2007, when I sampled it then dropped out. I didn’t get it then, but I am no earlier adopter. Today, I find on Twitter has a critical mass of interesting people I can learn with and learn from. It makes an old professor smile. Read the rest of this entry »

What defines the ethical organization?

October 26, 2008

I’ve been studying public relations ethics for more than 20 years and leading seminars on the topic for 15.

My favorite seminar exercise asks participants to identify organizations they consider “ethical” and those they consider — well — less than ethical. I won’t be naming the bad guys in this post, but I’ll describe the exercise and some of the conclusions I’ve drawn since 1993.

I call this exercise the “Ethical Organization.” Participants break into teams of 5-6 and spend 20 minutes identifying organizations the consider “ethical” and those they consider “unethical.” Teams establish their own criteria for labeling the organizations. We don’t define ethics in advance.

Each group nominates an organization in each category, “ethical” and “unethical,” and they list reasons to support their nominations. A spokesperson from each group then presents its nominees. As moderator, I post the names and the reasons on the whiteboard.

Over the years, the Ethical Organization exercise has produced a list of “usual suspects” on both sides of the discussion. Read the rest of this entry »

Redneck and proud of it! What’s wrong with this picture?

October 23, 2008

Unlike many of my left-leaning colleagues, I like to keep politics out of the classroom. Ditto for those thorny social issues. We don’t discuss abortion or gay marriage in my classes unless it’s somehow in the context of the day’s lesson.

Well, it’s a good thing I’m on sabbatical this fall. Were I in the classroom today, campaign strategy and communications would certainly have been dragged into the discussion. And I would almost certainly have been ranting about this…

Yesterday, at a political rally in nearby Greene, Ohio, Gretchen Wilson sang her hit song, “Redneck Woman,” after which she introduced VP candidate Sarah Palin as someone with that “same maverick attitude.”

I applaud the “maverick” label for the McCain campaign, as it helps to separate the ticket from W’s administration. And McCain has earned the badge. But “maverick” and “redneck” just ain’t the same thing, dadgumit.

To the gathering of her faithful here in Ohio, Palin opened by saying: “Someone called me a redneck once and I said, ‘Why, thank you.'” Read the rest of this entry »