I want to share my first byline with you! I was a contributing reporter for the story regarding Adderall abuse on the Cal Poly campus, and my interview made the lead. Gaining experience with investigative reporting was both challenging and rewarding. Most of my planned sources didn’t work out and certain people and campus organizations refused to speak with me, but that only made my experience that much better; it forced me to break down my barriers and approach uncomfortable situations head on.
As many of you PR fanatics may know by now, Rachel Maddow, the host MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, aired a segment on Thursday, March 5 that shall I say put Burson-Marsteller in a less than favorable light. Maddow explained who Burson is by naming a number of seemingly questionably current and past Burson clients. I fail to see why Burson’s involvement in AIG’s PR campaign is “evil” when it will help to build consumer confidence, repair a company that she says the US owns 80% of, and essentially save thousands of jobs and billions of dollars. Also, her list of campaigns and clients failed to include the Tylenol tampering case (one of the most successful PR campaigns in modern history) or the anthrax crisis communications. Mark Penn, CEO of Burson, replied to Maddow in an internal memo that was leaked to PR Week, which Maddow then responded to last night in yet another segment.
But this is not a post promoting Burson-Marsteller, Mark Penn, or any of Burson’s clients.
This post is about the continuing battle between journalism and public relations. It’s no secret that PR practitioners and journalists are occasionally confrontational with each other, but I am appalled at how Maddow blatantly mocked the entire public relations profession — twice. So I ask, “why can’t we all get along?” Let’s work with each other and not against to help make all of our lives more pleasing. Rachel, if you don’t understand the importance of PR, then please don’t put it down on national television as something that just helps “shine up” a company’s image to “spin us”. Haven’t we come far enough to move past the term “spin”. And if we haven’t, then I at least think that journalists should be able to determine when to appropriately use the horrible term “spin”.
The “tiff” between journalists and pr is kind of like the chicken and the egg. Did it start in higher education or in the “real world”. Well wherever it started, I can say from personal experience that it is definitely prevalent in colleges (or at least the two that I have attended). PR is constantly shoved to the side and disregarded as less important than the other journalism fields. Let’s work on respecting one another where it all starts — in universities — and maybe then we won’t have as many problems in the “real world”.
So again I plead for us to get along… or at least to act with dignity and respect on national television.
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Tags: AIG, Bailout, BM, Burson-Marsteller, Economy, Higher Education, Image, Journalism, MSNBC, PR, public relations, Rachel Maddow
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This week’s #collegejourn chat is yet another example of how great minds can come together with great ideas (if you’re unfamiliar with #collegejourn chat, read more info here). After an extra hour of chatting, a small group of dedicated #collegejourn chatters have devised a plan to get college educators on board with the 21st century:
What: “Bring a professor” Chat
Who: Educators, professionals, journalists, students
When: Sunday, Feb. 22 (8-11 p.m. EST, 5-8 p.m. PST)
Why: To discuss ways to modernize college journalism education
A common theme that arises from each #collegejourn chat is a general dissatisfaction with college professors’ unwillingness to think forward. Put simply: j-professors are stuck in their ways. And we want to change that.
Next Sunday, Feb. 22 from 8-11 p.m. EST (5 -8 p.m. PST) we’re inviting journalism professors to join a discussion with students worldwide. The topic: how to prepare your students for the real world. We’re not just suggesting, but demanding an education that prepares us for the real world of 21st-century journalism.
We’re also working to bring this topic to a panel at the Associated Collegiate Press convention on Feb. 27 that will be updated live on the web. Check back soon for details.
How you can help us
We can’t do this alone. We need your help to promote the chat and come up with topic ideas. By tomorrow — yes, tomorrow, Feb. 16 — at midnight PST, please write a blog post about:
- How good journalism can be made better with new media tools
- How your j-school program could be improved
- What is going right at your school, or at other schools
- The one thing you could change about j-school
- What prevents professors from embracing the web
- Why learning the business side of the journalism industry will help us all
Contact Suzanne Yada (the chat moderator) with a link to your blog post: suzanneyada at gmail dot com or twitter.com/suzanneyada or post a link to your blog in the comments. We will aggregate the posts to send to participants.
Spread the word
We want everyone to be get something out of our discussion. The more, the merrier. Here are a few ways you can promote the cause:
- E-mail your professors
- Retweet the information
- Post our flyers (or make your own) in your journalism department (if your professors are unresponsive to e-mails)
- Approach your professors/faculty face-to-face
- Tell your journalism friends
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