I am pleased to announce I accepted a summer internship with INSPIMIND in Paterson, NJ. In this position, my major duties include coordinating video production activities, editing footage, adding subtitles to videos, promoting on social media platforms, photography, planning & scheduling shoots, and collaborating with both the Production Team and Content Development Team.
Things kicked off to a great start last week with a video shoot at Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, NJ. We ended the evening with a team-building hike at Mills Reservation in Upper Montclair / Cedar Grove. One of the things that struck my interest with this organization is its ongoing commitment to the community. INSPIMIND aims to continue the cycle of higher education and foster leadership, particularly with young minorities. I’m thrilled to be able to document its activity through film and social media, while exploring SEO and developing an online visual strategy to promote INSPIMIND as it reaches out to colleges/universities, high schools, and middle schools.
Take a look at my face in this pic *gasp*
I can laugh about this experience in retrospect. At this precise moment, the teleprompter became possessed in Professor Winkler’s TV Production 1 class. I was Producer [slash] Talent A in this newscast and there was no opportunity to STOP the production and have a do-over. Luckily for me, since I wrote the copy and tweaked several times … I practically had it recited. Everything turned out okay.
Even though this is a clearly a case of things going WRONG (and this semester had plenty), unintentional learning provided some of the strongest lessons I’ll take away came from these experiences. My crew encountered last minute scrambling and schedule changes because our Spring semester was Winter Wonderland and we had freak snowstorms several times. We booked equipment for an outdoor shoot on GREEN environmental initiatives, but our campus was winter WHITE. Oh, and I can’t forget the clicking sound of my hard drive going dead the day before I had to submit final edits or my SD card going wonky in the middle of a photoshoot.
What skills have I developed? RESILIANCE, PROBLEM SOLVING, PERSISTANCE, FLEXIBILITY, IMPROVISATION (and countless others). These are what I like to refer to as positive side effects from the collegiate experience.
Photo Credit: Professor Christopher Winkler, Rowan University
Date: May 2, 2018
From: The Gun Debate (Producer: Steve Nuzzo, Director: Alexander Compta)
Many social media options exist for strategic communicators to deliver messages, and for companies to brand itself. A few options available include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+. Focusing on Facebook and Instagram specifically, there are advantages and disadvantages associated with each platform.
With Facebook, there are many ways a company can benefit from using this site. Recent statistics indicate Facebook exceeds two-billion users. Instagram is at about 800-million. This provides companies with incredible reach potential. On Facebook, people use their real-names and have personal connections which lend to sharing and can help from a credibility perspective. Instagram has less personal “real-life” connections, aliases are common-place and profile information is often fabricated. On Facebook, business can target users based on profile information, engage and ask questions, provide links, schedule posts for optimal effectiveness and add eye-catching visuals. Facebook also has a solid website and mobile platform, whereas Instagram is primarily a mobile destination. On Instagram, there isn’t as much of an emphasis on sharing and re-posting the way you’d find on Facebook. However, there is an opportunity to use stunning visuals and short-videos. People “read” on Facebook, but they visit to Instagram to “see.”
From a business perspective, a downside is that people don’t use social media to view advertisements. Ad placement on Facebook is easy to ignore. On Instagram, ads are integrated on the feed in a way that makes it natural to view. Ideally, both sites can be used for engagement to build relationships with target audiences by posting relevant content. While many possible benefits exist, there are also many ways social media can stand to hurt a business. For instance, there is pressure to actively use the platform. Having infrequent posts can be considered even worse than not having a page at all from a branding perspective. Also, you are giving content to each site your business is active on. For some businesses, this takes away from the time and dedication spent on developing its own company site. A business shouldn’t drive traffic to another platform for its products and services. More content on social media can translate to less e-newsletter sign-ups, less reporters utilizing its newsroom, less target audience web traffic and ultimately, less backend data it has access to. Social media should be used as a tool to drive people to the company website and events.
Another disadvantage is lost control of the message. People start to share and change the message, leave comments, create memes and so forth. Social media also forces public customer service because you have direct communication with reporters and your audiences. There is pressure to respond to items expeditiously, and during times of crisis – there is an incredibly fast pace. Analytics is an area that served as an advantage primarily for Facebook, but now the playing field is almost even. Facebook has distinctive business profiles that allowed advertisers and businesses access to promotional tools and additional information on traffic (number of visitors, time spent, links clicked, gender) etc. This information is now available on business profiles in Instagram.
I am super proud to announce that I am now part of the illustrious sisterhood of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. I gained seven sisters who are equally dedicated to the community and scholastic achievement.
I completed this edit using cell phone footage curated from a variety of sources.
Public relations and advertising copywriting are closely related. Strategic communicators often decide between the two, but successful campaigns generally include both. The difference between the two is a matter of control, credibility and media use. If a company desires ultimate control of the message, wording, graphics and channels, advertising is the preferred technique. With advertising, emphasis is on control since this method allows you to select the audience, message and channel. With public relations, emphasis is placed on the credibility provided by having stories picked up by a third-party source. Public relations translate to forfeiting control of the MAC triad (message, audience and channel). There is risk associated with this method since you lose control of the message. You have no idea if the message will change, remain in-tact or if it’ll be covered at all.
In the PR Writer’s Toolbox (2013), we are provided with a quote from John Elsasser, Editor of PR Tactics, “Advertising is what you pay for, PR is what you pray for” (Basso, Hines and Fitzgerald, p. 140). Public Relations is usually thought of as unpaid and “earned” while advertising is “paid-for” publicity (139). PR writers use paid messages to advocate for a position. The common types of public relations advertising include advocacy / issue, cooperative, house, cause-related marketing (CRM), public service announcements (PSA) and institutional. With advocacy / issue, messages are used to take a position on an issue. Cooperatives feature collaborative messages that mutually benefit two or more companies. House messages are in-house. A common example is a television station playing commercials for network programming. CRM includes sponsorship and cases where a company aligns itself with a cause or issue impacting its demographic. PSA is publicity for public service / public good. Institutional refers to image ads for the company. These messages don’t promote a specific product or service, but rather the business as a whole.