Should PR students be forced to blog? We think so

May 4, 2009
With apologies to National Lampoon!

With apologies to National Lampoon!

No, we’ve never threatened to shoot anyone’s dog. But if you want to study PR at Kent State, you can’t pass “PR Online Tactics” without writing a blog and putting it up for the world to see. If that bothers you, you’ll want to find another major.

As PR professionals, we know that blogs are part of the communication landscape. Not all organizations participate, but all are part of the social-media game — even if they don’t play. So a new PR grad must understand blogging — and what better way than learning by doing?

Some disagree with our blog-or-else policy. In her excellent article in JMC Educator, Shearlean Duke reports on a Delphi study involving top-level PR professionals. The Delphi panel lists blogging as one of the key new-media skills PR students should develop. But the panel also insists PR educators SHOULD NOT REQUIRE students to blog, as “forced content skews the transparency of the blogosphere.” Student blogging, they say, should be voluntary. Read the rest of this entry »


Bad Craziness: How Kent State Failed ‘Crisis 101’

April 28, 2009
Report say 125 police officers were called to quell the Kent State riot on April 24. (Daily Kent Stater photo by Katie Roupe.)

Media reports say 125 police officers were called in to quell the Kent State/CollegeFest riot on April 24. (Daily Kent Stater photo by Katie Roupe)

This post supports a lesson on crisis management and crisis response. Maybe it can help us all. It’s a long one, so go get some fresh coffee.

(Update, Friday, May 1) President Lefton has broken his silence with a lengthy email, but it focuses not so much on last week’s events but on the upcoming two days — traditionally the biggest  party weekend of the year. Wasn’t sure of the best way to share Dr. Lefton’s email, so I’ve opted to post the complete text as “Comment 17” of this post.)

Talk about timing.

It’s the final 2 weeks of PR Case Studies class, and the topic is crisis management. I need a fresh case to underscore key points from the readings. Where to turn? Read the rest of this entry »