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The Semester Ender

October 25, 2009

It seems so fast that this semester is about to end in two days; however, that doesn’t stop us from proclaiming the good intention that social media is trying to tell everyone, right?

Last week, our lecturer gave us the summary of our whole semester. Imagine all of the concepts discussed for a few months discussed in less than hour! Seems hard, right? Nah. The lecturer made it all simple.

The lecture revolved around four things, four things that make social media what it is today, and four things that would make social media stand the test of time. He gave us these concepts:

Communication. Ah… The essence of being social in social media. It is a no-brainer that people should communicate; however, people should also know what, when, where, and how to communicate properly. This is the challenge that communicologists share to everyone. This is what we are learning up till now, even after four years of being soaked with this core concept.

Collaboration. A primary factor why net was given a 2.0. People working together to achieve a common goal is vital resource of social media. It gets people thinking, and working, and developing together. It leaves no one behind. It makes a standard that everyone agrees to. Collaboration is not new, but collaboration in the Internet is something worth exploring by everyone for their own personal development.

Education. People want reliable and informative stuff. That is what we aim for. Though we may know the w’s and h of communication, we must also learn the effect of that communication to people. Will it benefit them? In what sense? Many business professionals seek the answer to this, but we must also take note that these are not for the business-minded only.

Entertainment. If you want to entertain people with some information that is at the same time relevant and helpful, you may want to explore your creative side. Better yet, use collaboration to get that infinite talent that is available over the Internet. Entertainment is essential, especially of you want to have a striking message to have a striking effect to the people.

These 4 simple concepts are what makes social media a new foundation for everyone to step on. Let us see the possibilities of this technology, and reap the rewards for letting ourselves in the world of social media.

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Our Yehey! Lecture

September 30, 2009

Yehey!

Last Saturday, September 20, our class had a special lecture on social media. This was handled by Mr. Gian Paolo Pangan. He talked about plenty of things regarding how Web 2.0 and the social network sites have brought upon a change to the Philippine society.

Yehey!, as we all know, is a Philippine version of Yahoo! It provides Filipinos with a contextual indexing of items. From being a website, Yehey! has transformed itself into an online marketing firm. Since then, Yehey! has been helping companies achieve good reputation, and market potential from the public. They have improved brands such as Tide, Boy Bawang, Goldilocks, and many others. They have also helped politicians to be present online. Politicians such as Mar Roxas, and Manny Villar are just a few of those whom they have helped.

While discussing, he mentioned three important steps in doing an online marketing plan.

1. Create buzz – creating a buzz over the internet is either easy or hard, depending on the topic. If you’re trying to make a buzz that isn’t even buzz worthy, then don’t try to make such a buzz at all. If you think your ideas got potential, share it over internet forums, make a video about it, engage people into reacting to your idea, and wherever you think your audience broods. If it is interesting, people would surely go there. I don’t believe that making multiple accounts and talking to yourself would be a legit “buzz.” A buzz must have complete strangers involved.

2. Generate hype – hype is something that is generated when people are continuously talking about a certain topic. As  communicologists, it is a challenge for us to create that “honest” hype. How do we do it? Let us take note of what our idea is all about and how it can make a change for society, then we would know how to make that hype. Hype could also be attributed to the skill of the communicologist to be consistent in giving regular updates to the customers/people regarding the organization’s idea/product/service.

3. Craft strategy – again, strategy is essential. Strategies are specific, objective, and rational. A good online marketing/advertising plan would have a specific target audience, no matter how explosive a plan may be to the other demographics. The plan should also lay out the objectives one by one, and how these objectives are to be measured later on after the execution of the plan.

Some facts regarding Philippine online activity according to mr. Pangan:

1. 28,000,000 – number of internet users
2. 83% – those having social networks
3. 86.4% – have uploaded photos
4. 98.6% – have watched an online video
5. 90% – have read a blog

Based on the data, we can say that Filipino online users are rapidly spreading out the word to everyone. It won’t be a matter of time before we will be named as the “social networking capital of the world.”

The Public 2.0

September 26, 2009

400_istock-social-network
This is 2009. Everyone whose daily life is spent 20% of the time surfing, updating their profiles, and watching videos online probably knows what web 2.0 means. The generation came suddenly and pervasively, same as how technologies came upon Web 2.0. The speed and convergence by which people now interact also forced companies to act out proactively. Big companies now have high value for the people online, primarilly because major controversies, rumors, praises, opinions, and other organizational reaction come from this group. The people online constitute what I call public 2.0. Because of this, it is inevitable that PR practitioners also go to the web, but their real-life practice of PR is not anymore working efficiently for their organizations. They must adapt as fast as the bandwidth upgrades once to thwice a year (Philippines’ excempted from this of course).

These are some of the new rules of PR for all of us. I picked the top five from the bounty that our lecturer gave us.

You are what you publish. PR practitioners are not representatives, but individual advocates of their organizations. Their positions are now covered with usernames that make them only a part of the web, not superior corporate citizens.

Participation, not propaganda. Public 2.0 is a very participative and reactive demographic. PR practioners could get to know more about them by actually immersing themselves into that public. Call it phenomonologcial.

Lines between PR and marketing is now blurred. This raises the challenge for PR practitioners because not only must they be able to communicate effectively with the public to raise reputation and image, but also know how to market their product/service. They must know that people only react online when they are interested with something that they’re seeing; therefore, there must come some marketing strategy to seal the deal.

Spam is coutnerproductive. Spams are like the billboards in Guadalupe. They’re nice to see, but you’d rather see more of the beautiful river down the bridge during sunset than Willie Revillame, with three girls, proclaiming his chick-trapping man-scent. PR practitioners should know that Public 2.0 is further divided into subcultures, and they mus be able to target those subcultures that they deem important for the organization.

Public 2.0 looks for benefits, critically. As technology becomes better, so are people’s rationalizing powers getting sharper. Public 2.0 doesn’t get fooled that easily nowadays, and that is a great thing. PR professionals, in turn, must be able to assert the personal benefits and social relevance of what product/service they are pitching over the net.

These days, it’s hard for people with online capabilities not go online. Not only must organizations observe this phenomenon, but also react to it. Same with organizations, PR practitioners should realize the great potential that web 2.0 offers for businesses and society.

It’s the Corporate Soup

September 18, 2009

It's the Corporate Soup!

Last summer, I had my internship at one of the biggest corporations in the world. I must say that I really had fun learning what it’s like to be out of the house for 14 hours. I saw a lot of things, lots of buildings, lots of people, and lots of attitude. The company I worked with is much like a crab and egg plus corn soup, with a bit of cabbage and tomato. having different kinds of ingredients makes the experience worth having. Come to think about it, these variety of relationships that people create, maintain, and destroy reflect even our internet activities, but however the confusion and mixtures made, the internet still makes up a pretty good whole. That is what I think wiki stands for.

Corporate wikis are basically a collection of what people know regarding a topic, much like ingredients that has been from many places. The only thing that differs between cooking soup and creating a wiki is that in wikis, intrusion is highly acceptable and recognized. Wikis have this advantage over other web applications that makes it stand out and be as profitable as the hunderd million Wikipedia. Corporations , on the other hand, see wikis not for its profit-over-the-night solution, but for its functionality and business strategy. In my internship, my supervisor asked me to join with her in creating a wiki site for the company. Though I must say that I didn’t find the wiki to be a full wiki because of administration moderation over the contents passed, it was still a giant leap for my supervisor to think of ways to let her colleagues try to find their place in the company through idea contributions. In comparison with soup, contribution from different farmers and animal raisers is a must for a person to have a wonderful mix of soup.

Much like the soup, wikis are as are collection of some things. In corporations, wikis are a collection of ideas, ideas that neither good nor bad, just plain raw materials. If we put all those ideas together, much like mixing them up on a heated pan, those ideas start to smell good and turn to something delicious. Many companies are now experimenting with wikis. Nokia, Citigroup, Pixar, and LA Times are four of the many companies that test the waters of wikis.

Common Rules of Wiki Etiquette….

These do’s and don’ts were lectured to us by sir Barrientos, and can be found here.

The Do’s:

  • Be bold – if you know you’re right about a certain topic in a misinformed wiki page,  do improve it! That’s how organizations improve through initiative.
  • Make notes – make sure you have your reasons why you changed something or else your fellow employees will get mad at you.
  • Give praise – a praise doesn’t mean that that person is an ass-kisser. It only means that a useful contribution deserves respect.
  • Build structure – structure doesn’t mean a person needs to create content. The person may be an editor only and be part of the structure as well.
  • Be polite – being the opposite of rude, it may be just the line between getting a promotion from editing your boss’s contribution and a resignation which you don’t even want.

The Dont’s:

  • Take it personally – it’s all business after all, and bet the day will come when another would feel the same with you.
  • Ignore questions – inquiries are the first step to development, so don’t dodge them.
  • Delete useful content – someone with evil motives would surely be the only one who would do this.
  • Be chatty – sticking to the essence of wiki is the key, and the essence is: information for all. It’s not even close to chatting personally in wikis.
  • Keep it secretan idea is like a genie. It needs to be released from its lamp.

Before Posting Two Blog Updates…

September 18, 2009

Here’s a video of how Internet almost equated convergence.

Corporate Blogging Here

August 29, 2009
Exactly why some orgs don't like corporate blogs

Exactly why some orgs don't like corporate blogs.

Blogging has been popular since the dawn of 21st century. From the rich to the not-so-rich, blogging, in one way or another, helped majority of bloggers cope with the stress of daily living by posting online journals to which people can read and participate. But is this the only use of blogging? Not so. Corporations here in the Philippines are starting to take a dip into the universe of corporate blogging, and the results are, to some extent, not that impressive.

Why is this so? I thought of five reasons why many Philippine organizations don’t use corporate blogs .

  • Blogging is relatively young. Its age is more or less half of its users, and with that premise alone, we can see that blogging needs more time to drill into “conservative” walls of capitalist organizations.
  • People have wrong notions of corporate blogs as websites. Just because an article is part of a corporate website, doesn’t mean it’s a blog.
  • Blogging is stereotyped. Blogging is paralleled, if not equated, to an online journal, and to that only.
  • Philippine market is not a blog reader market. Market researchers and communication professionals would rather spend time on interacting with consumers and audience, rather than posting a blog that no one would be reading; and lastly,
  • Professionals are just plain lazy. Come to think of it, why would we want to blog if the company doesn’t want it? We still need to shine those shoes!

It seems only right that companies, with those arguments, wouldn’t want to post something about the company for tow paragraphs twice a week. However, they are missing out on the

Everyone says "blog." Even organizations.

Everyone says "blog." Even organizations.

opportunities that blogging may deliver on them.  Blogging is not just about sharing your hidden desires for somebody or letting the world know that your mom’s an emo, but for communicating with the world about anything, and with anything comes organizations and their respective thrusts in life. With more and more proactive and critical people going online, organizations should try to get adventurous and start typing something good (and honest) about themselves. It is beneficial that organizations start to share a part of them and enable others to talk to them back. That, I think, is the main essence of blogs-pure interaction. Also, there is this challenge for us to discover what corporate blogging means for us and how we can step up beyond our ordinary roles. Its benefits are still up for grabs. What are its benefits to organizations? I’ll give five.

  • Management gets to interact with the youngest demographic-the NetGen. The Net Generation is definitely a new class to research upon, and these are the people that usually have the resources to support organizations.
  • Online reputation is balanced out with the real life ones. Take a look at Willie Revillame. He’s adored by many of our citizens from the marginalized sector, but he got suspended because of online forums going ballistic over his . Maybe the ABSCBN president or head of corporate communications could write a blog stating their insights on the August 3 incident.
  • Blogging saves a lot of money. Blogs are as cheap as P20.00 of an employee to publish his or her own corporate blog.
  • Blogs have more content. Since the general rule for blogs is to keep it short, brevity, conciseness, and accuracy could help corporate bloggers be more meaty with their posts.
  • Adaptability through times is a characteristic of organizational communication. In Goldhaber’s definition of the term, it is implied that organizations need to cope just as frequently as they communicate with people, mainly because people change. If organizations want that adaptability, then they’d better start studying about the possiblities of corporate blogging for their company.

Corporate blogging sure is unpopular to Philippine organizations, but as communicologists (not just me but everone of us, since we communicate every second of the day), we should consider changing times, and how these changes will impact our lives. We already know how blogging impacts our personal lives. Now let us take a look at how it affects our organizational life as well.

Resumes will be a thing of the past? [Part Two]

August 22, 2009
You never know who's looking at your Facebook profile.

They're seeing your naked pictures all over the Net.

To complement and support my arguments regarding how social networking sites have been a resource jungle for HR professionals out there, I’ll be sharing an article by Jacqui Cheng that features how Internet profiles can be career-changing. I got it here. I highly recommend her article, so if you have the time, please do read it.

What does it say?

To do justice on her piece of work, I’d like to highlight some of her findings on the work done by CareerBuilder, a jobseeking company much like Jobstreet and JobsDB, who made the study in the United States regarding searching for a job candidate on their social networking profiles. To go to CareerBuilder’s site, just click here.

  • 45% of US employers look at potential employees’ social networking sites to look for more information about them. Facebook ranks first, followed by LinkedIn as the hottest sites employers look at.
  • A third of the survey’s respondents (US employers probably) said that the they don’t hire people with “provocative or inappropriate photographs” on their social networking profiles.
  • 16% of employers don’t hire people who use text language in their profiles.
  • Employers get a feel of a candidate’s compatibility with the organization through the candidate’s online posts. “Other employers said that they found the profiles supported the candidates’ professional qualifications or that they discovered how creative the candidate was (Cheng, 2009).”

So What?

For the organizations – The survey reflects how online social networks could confirm or contradict what is inside a candidate’s resume. Companies here in the Philippines could try to emulate this by searching for their potential employee online and take a look on how compatible is the person to the organization’s principles and standards. Even though there are less of Filipinos who use the Internet and social networking sites than US, most young professionals in Metro Manila use Friendster, Facebook, and many more, so it’s a good thing to start searching for them online.

For the people – The survey is a wake up call to start cleaning your profiles and posts! If you want to get hired by the best of companies, make sure that you make your reputation clean, especially online because that’s where they gauge your reputation in real life. This also calls for social networking participation. As young professionals, we should always update our profiles so that what organiztions see is your present and better self, online that is.