Apr. 28: Finish Social Media Critiques/ What is Next in Emerging Media?

Finish presenting Social Media Critiques.

Class discussion on “What’s Next in Emerging Media?”

Apr. 21: Social Media Critique Presentations

The class will start presenting Social Media Critiques. (Half the class will present today, and half the class will present on Apr. 28.)

Readings for Apr. 14: Making a Podcast

Please read Chapter 7 in Briggs and be prepared to discuss it in class on Apr. 14.

Social Media Task 8: Making a Podcast

You will make a 5-minute podcast using software we learn to use in class and post it to your blog. It’s due on Apr. 21 or Apr. 28, (depending on when you are presenting your final project.) Post your podcast on your blog when finished and please tweet about it.

Grading: This assignment is worth 20 points.


Readings for Apr. 7: Content Curation/ Social Media Task –Twitter Lists

Please read the following articles and write about them by answering the following questions in your blog post for April 7. Be prepared to discuss the readings in class. Please tweet about your blog post.

What is curation? How can curated content be used as an effective journalistic tool?  How can curated content be used as a tool in public relations and marketing? How do Twitter lists work as a curation tool?

Why Curation is Important to the Future of Journalism (Mashable)

A Beginner’s Guide to Content Curation (Hootesuite)

10 Content Curation Tools Every Marketer Needs (Hubspot)

Social Media Task 4, part 2: Twitter Lists

For this assignment, you will continue to build a social media network on your class Twitter and creating at least 5 lists to organize them. It is due on Apr. 14.


Follow at least 30 new accounts on Twitter. You should already be following at least 40 SHU orgs, clubs, media, your fellow classmates, and @Bollshu.

The new accounts should include:

—  At least 10 more Seton Hall accounts than you’re not already following, including Seton Hall student media accounts — WSOU and The Setonian. This must be the main account, not the account of an individual student.

— At least 10 non-Seton Hall news organizations. TV stations’ news divisions or news shows, wire services, newspapers, magazines, or online news sites.

— At least 10 Twitter accounts related to public relations, advertising, journalism, social media, and/or digital media. It’s fine if a few of these are individual journalists or PR professionals (especially if they are journalists or PR pros who are social media “stars”), but several of them should be the accounts of organizations, bloggers, or individuals who write about the journalism, PR, advertising, social media and digital media industries.  If you need inspiration, a Google search will turn up several “journalism/PR accounts that students should follow” types of lists.

You can also go to search.twitter.com and search for journalism, PR, social media and digital media. When you find a post that looks interesting, click on the profile of the person who posted it, if other posts from that person seem interesting, you can follow that person.  You can also see who that person is following and decide if you want to follow any of them, if they have something to do with journalism, PR, social media and digital journalism.

All of this helps to get people to follow you. Often when you follow someone, that person will follow you back. The best way to build a network is by posting good content and promoting people you follow. The more good you put out there, usually the more you receive.

You can also follow other people who don’t fit into any of the above categories — but those are in addition to the 30 followers for this assignment.

Create a minimum of 5 Twitter lists:

Organize each of the Twitter accounts you’re following into public lists

— Create a public Twitter list of our class, and add me and all of your classmates to that list.

— Create four more public Twitter lists of the categories named above, and add followers to each one.

— If you get stuck, there are tons of articles online that provide instructions for creating Twitter lists. Here are two:

 Wired: How to set up Twitter lists

Twitter Help

Grading: This is the second part of Social Media Task 4 and is worth 10 points. Part 1 was making a Twitter Profile, which was also worth 10 points.


Readings for Mar. 31: Social Media Press Releases/ Social Media Task 7

Here are the readings for your blog post due on Mar. 31. Please be prepared to discuss them in class. Don’t forget to tweet about your post.

Traditional Press Release — Out — Online News Releases are IN

How to Write a Social Media Press Release

Questions to discuss: How have news releases changed in recent years? What are keywords and why are they crucial in crafting effective releases?  What are effective strategies for reaching and pitching journalists:  How do releases on social media differ from traditional releases?  What are some mistakes to avoid when writing a social media release?

Social Media Task 7: Writing a Social Media Press Release

This assignment is due on Apr. 7. Please post your release on your blog when you are finished writing it. Be sure to include a disclaimer on the release saying it is a class project and not a real press release.

Description:  You will apply the skills you have learned and the tools you have used this semester to craft a Social Media Press Release.

Explanation:  Part 1 —  Research events that are going on at Seton Hall or South Orange on FB, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or another platform for the subject of your social media press release. Select one that is worth publicizing. You are the organization’s public relations representative. The news should be recent (within the past few days or coming up in the next few weeks.) The news may be an event, announcement, anniversary, opening, or other milestone, campaign, product launch, etc.

Due to the situation with coronavirus, you obviously can’t go out and find something to write your press release about. I recommend you pick an event on SHU.edu.

Part 2:  Write a social media release publicizing the news.

Length: The body of the release should be at least 400 words. The release should also include: Contact information, a headline and possibly a secondary headline; a lead/summary; body; pullet-point facts; multimedia links; keywords.

It should also include at least one image (either original photos that you shot or images downloaded from the organization’s website or social media accounts) and/or a link to a YouTube video. Take advantage of the range of features of the social media release.

Information: Do some research to write the release. Make sure all the information is accurate. You can interview someone to get quotes, or you can quote yourself as the public relations representative for the client. Do not write the release in the first person (I, ours, we) — use the third person.

Style and Format: Portray your client in a favorable light, but don’t exaggerate. Assume you’re writing for a general audience that might not be very familiar with your client. Make the headline informative and “tweetable,” and search engine optimized. Use keywords in the headline and body.

Keep paragraphs short and succinct. Pay attention to spelling, grammar, punctuation and AP style.

Post your release to your blog and tweet about it at least twice. Feel free to use other social media platforms to publicize your news, or post your press release. (Be sure to identify it as a class project since it will go out to the public and you’re not really the PR representative for the client.)

Grading:  This assignment is worth 20 points.

Social Media Critique Assignment due Apr. 21.  See posted assignment guidelines.

Final Project Assigned Mar. 31: Social Media Critique

This is your final project for the class. It is due on Apr. 21.

Description:  Working in teams of two, critique a brand, company, or news outlet’s media presence.

Explanation:  Select a national or international brand, company, or news outlet and critique its social media presence. Compare and contrast its presence on at least three social media platforms. Critique the brand or outlet and its social media strategy and make specific recommendations for improvement.

  1. Identify your brand, company or news outlet. Submit the name of the company you have chosen to critique to me via email or tell me in class by Apr. 7. I will need to approve the brand or company you have chosen.
  2. Decide whether you will critique the brand, company, or news outlet through the lens of a specific demographic, or in general. I recommend you choose a specific demographic. (Does this brand, company, or news outlet appeal to college students?  To young adults? To women who want careers in business? To consumers between the ages of 35-50? To conservatives? To liberals?)
  3. Research your brand, company, or news outlet. Identify the social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, YouTube, etc…)  the brand or news outlet has chosen to embrace as part of its strategy. Of the platforms the company uses, select three to focus on for your paper. Also identify the platforms that are not used or are underutilized by the company.
  4. Write your paper following the instructions below. (You will lose points if you don’t follow them.)
  5. Introduction – no more than one page. Describe your company, why you selected it, and in general how the brand or the company presents itself on social media overall.
  6. Compare and Contrast Social Media Platforms — about two pages. Identify the social media platforms you have chosen. Describe each. How does the brand or company use them? What seems to be the overall purpose? (Customer feedback, marketing, promotion, etc…) How do these channels appeal to your selected demographic or the public in general? Include screenshots of photos as examples.
  7. Suggest areas for improvement — about two pages. Now that you have provided a comprehensive review of the company’s platforms, take some time to make recommendations for ways in which their social media performances could be improved. How does the brand or company relate to your own demographic? What have you not seen that would appeal to you? What seems to be the target audience for the company? Are they missing a key way that they could be relating to more consumers, clients, or members of the public?
  8. In your suggestions for improvement, include at least two specific social media platforms that could be added to the company’s strategy.
  9. Also include at least two specific tactics that could be used on these platforms and explain them (live video, live tweeting, Twitter Live, Instagram Stories, Snapchat  Stories, Twitter Lists, Crowdsourcing, etc…)
  10. Conclusion – no more than one page. Provide your overall summation of what you found and recommended. How will the brand or company benefit from your advice?  What new outcomes can be expected? How might the changes allow the brand or company to grow?

Class Presentations: You will present your Social Media Critique to the class on Apr. 21 and Apr. 28.

Grading: Your final project is worth 50 points, broken down as follows: Each of the 10 items above is worth 5 points.

Readings for Mar. 24: Photo and Video Sharing/ Instagram vs. Snapchat vs. TikTok

Please read the following and be prepared to discuss the readings and your blog post in class, and please tweet about your blog post.

Qustions to think about: What makes Instagram unique?  What makes Snapchat unique?  What benefits do social media channels like Instagram offer to photojournalists?  To professional photographers?  To brands?  What fears to professional photographers have about platforms like Instagram?  How can photo and video sharing social media platforms be used as tools in public relations.

Please watch the following YouTube video by Neil Patel:

 Instagram vs. Snapchat

And read the following:

Rihanna hits Snapchat where it hurts

Social Media Task 6: Instagram Slideshow or TikTok

Instagram Slideshow or TikTok Due on Mar. 31.

Instagram Assignment Overview:

  • Work in teams of two.
  • Decide on an interesting topic or a brand to write about. It doesn’t have to be Seton Hall related. It can be political, or have something to do with entertainment, or sports — any topic or any brand you want to choose. You are to measure public opinion on campus on that topic or brand.
  • Write three questions you will ask all of your participants about the topic or brand you chose.
  • Interview at least eight students on Instagram video or on your phone camera and post to Instagram. (Eight total — so four each).
  • Create a slideshow with your video — each video can only be 60 seconds or less.
  • Write a caption that summarizes how your participants felt about your topic or brand.
  • Try your best to find eight interesting views on the topic, which may mean you need to interview more than eight people. (So ask their views on the topic before you shoot the video.)

Conduct Your Interviews

  • Tell your participants you will be posting their responses on Instagram.
  • Identify the fact that you are participating in a class assignment.
  • Ask each person being interviewed to identify themselves (first and last name, class year, and where they’re from.)
  • Ask each person the same three questions.

How to Make an Instagram Slideshow:  

How to Post a Slideshow with Videos

Grading: This assignment is worth 20 points.

TikTok Assignment:

Readings for Mar. 17: Too Good to Be True? Is It Fake News?

Here are the readings for your blog post for Mar. 17. Be prepared to discuss them in class, and don’t forget to tweet about your blog post.

How to Spot Fake News

Here are some questions to think about while you’re doing this reading: What are some fake news sites and how can you spot them? Name some other ways to spot fake news?

Fake News Experts on How False Stories Spread and Why People Believe Them

Here are some questions to think about when doing this reading:  What are some things Mark Zuckerberg said FB is going to do to reduce the spread of misinformation on its platform? How do the Macedonia sites spread fake news on FB? Who runs theses sites?  What is FB’s role in fake news? What is Google’s role in fake news?


Readings for Mar. 10: Privacy/ Do We Have Privacy Online?

Here are the readings for Mar. 10. Please be prepared to discuss them in class.

Readings for Feb. 25: Algorithms; Online Silos; Live Tweeting ideas

Here are the readings we will discuss in class on Feb. 25. You must also have your idea for your Live Tweeting assignment by today. Please tweet about your blog post before class begins.

How Do Social Media Algorithms Affect You?

Forge and Smith.com

Questions to Consider:  What are social media algorithms?  Is there a way to get around the algorithm so you can see everything you want to on social media? What are online silos and how can you avoid getting trapped in one?


Readings for Feb. 18: Microblogging/ Twitter profiles/ Live Tweeting/ Going Mobile

Here are the readings we will be discussing in class on Feb. 18. Please write your blog post offering your opinion and analysis on one or two of the readings. The post should be at least 400 words and should contain artwork. Please write your copy for SEO, and please tweet about your post.

Twitter for Public Relations: Fact and Fantasy


Briggs, Chapter 2 – Become a Pro on Twitter, pages 75-81, pages 79-85; Chapter 4 — Going Mobile, pages 123-128, pages 130-136.

Twitter Isn’t the Voice of the People, and Media Shouldn’t Pretend It Is

The Columbia Journalism Review

10 Ways Twitter is Valuable to Journalists

The Buttry Diary

Should Journalists be using Twitter

The Columbia Journalism Review

Questions to consider:  How has Twitter become an invaluable tool for some journalists?  Do all journalists need a presence on Twitter? What are some innovative ways to attract followers and build an audience? How can Public Relations practitioners incorporate the use of Twitter into campaigns? How can one guard against sharing facts and information that are not verified?

Social Media Task 4: Twitter Profile

Social Media Task 4, Part 1: Twitter Profile; due Feb. 25. (Part 2 is making Twitter Lists, which is due later in the semester.) Here’s a video about writing your Twitter profile. We will watch it in class on Feb.18.

Twitter profile video

Social Media Task 5: Live Tweeting

Assignment Overview:

This assignment is due before class on Mar. 10, so you have three weeks to complete it. You must tell me in class or by email what event you will be live tweeting by Feb. 25.

Description:  This challenge requires you to live-tweet an event to your followers.

Explanation:  Find an event that is suitable for live tweeting. Lectures, speeches, and public forums work particularly well. Routine meetings, workshops, and performances do not work very well. Check the SHU calendar on the website to find upcoming events on campus.  You might also choose an event that is not related to school that takes place either in South Orange, or your hometown, or anywhere else. That’s fine, but you may not live-tweet an event in which you are an active participant.

If you can’t find an event on or off campus to attend, you may live-tweet a televised event.  However, this should be a last resort and you will automatically lose 2 points for not live-tweeting an event in person. (See “Grading” below.)  If you live-tweet a televised event, it should be a competitive reality show or a televised sports event or awards show. You may NOT live-tweet a scripted comedy or drama series or movie.

You are responsible to check that you are allowed to live-tweet your selected event.

Use the Twitter account you created for class to live-tweet. Make sure to follow the advice for live-tweeting discussed in class, including the following:

— Select an appropriate hashtag and use it in every tweet. Also use our class hashtag — #Boll3422.

— Send out at least one tweet before the event to announce that you will be live-tweeting that event.

— There is no set number of tweets (but 4 or 5 is probably too few.) Generally, the longer the event, the more tweets. Post enough tweets to give people a clear sense of the event and its highlights. The tweets serve as a narrative of the event. Don’t omit important information.  Tweets should be spread out throughout the event.

— Write in the third person. (Do not use the words I/me/my.) Include your observation, not your personal opinion. The focus must be on the live event, not on you. Show, don’t tell.

— Each tweet should “stand alone” as best as possible. Tweets should make sense to people who aren’t attending the event. You are their eyes and ears. If people “had to be there” to understand your tweets, then the live-tweeting wasn’t helpful.

— Accuracy is crucial.  Do not make any factual errors. If you do, fix them by sending out a new tweet.

— Use appropriate attribution, including Twitter handles where appropriate.

— Use correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

— Include at least one photo and/or video. This photo can be in your original tweet announcing that you will be live-tweeting the event, or during the event.

Submitting the assignment:  When you are finished live-tweeting the event, send me a DM on Twitter with the name of the event, the time it started, and the hashtag you used in your tweets. The DM must be sent prior to the beginning of class on Mar. 10.

Grading: This assignment is worth 20 points. It will be broken down as follows:

Readability/organization (5 points): Is the stream of live tweets informative and easy to understand?  Are the tweets organized well to create a strong narrative?  Is attribution used appropriately to make it clear who is being quoted or paraphrased?

Reporting (5 points): Is the stream of tweets complete and accurate?  Does it reflect good news judgement? Is every tweet relevant?

Tone and presentation (5 points): Is the tone of the tweets professional and engaging? Are hashtags used appropriately and consistently? Was there at least one tweet in advance announcing that you would be live tweeting? Is there at least one photo?

Mechanics (5 points):  Do the tweets use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation?

There will be an automatic 2-point deduction if you live-tweeted a televised event rather than an event in person.


Readings for Feb. 11: SEM vs. SEO/ Optimizing Your Copy

Here are the readings for Feb. 11. Please post your blog post before class and be prepared to discuss the readings. And don’t forget to tweet about your post.

Discussion Questions: What are the leading web analytics that should be tracked? Why is measuring deep interaction more meaningful than “likes” or “followers?” Is chasing followers productive? What are some effective strategies for search engine marketing? What are some successful strategies for arriving at the most useful keywords for search? What is search optimization?

SEM vs SEO: What’s the difference and Which is Right for My Brand?

How to Sell the Importance of Engagement Over Fan Growth on Social Media    

Readings on Optimizing Copy:

Writing Meta Description

Researching Key Words

Adding photos with alt text & captions


Readings for Feb. 4: Blogging/ Present Crowdsourcing Results

Here are the readings we will be discussing in class on Feb. 4. Please write your blog post offering your opinions and analysis on the articles. Please do not just quote or summarize the readings. The post should be at least 400 words and should contain artwork. Please tweet about your post at least once before coming to class.

Ghost in the Machine: Will Facebook Break Democracy?

The New Yorker

Blogs as Excellent Public Relations Tools

SEO Chat

7 Ways to Build Your Brand In the Blogosphere


Key Strategies for Using Blogging to Build Personal Brand

Sarah Green

Something Extra:

12 PR Blogs Your Competitors are Reading

Assignment Presentations: Present your crowdsourcing results to the class.