Here is the abstract from my master’s thesis, Anatomy of a Netroots Movement: A Case Study Analysis of the Join the Impact Campaign to Organize a Nationwide Protest:
In November 2008, JoinTheImpact, Inc. (JTI) launched a grassroots movement using social and new media tools to organize a national protest against an anti-gay marriage referendum passed in California. This study identified the social media strategies and technologies used in the JTI campaign and assessed their effectiveness. The study found that JTI effectively used four principles of successful online civic engagement developed by Smith, Kearns, and Fine (2005) to create an environment that was favorable for executing an online-based grassroots movement. The analysis also found that JTI leveraged social media technologies that empowered its constituents to create content, connect with each other, and collaborate with others.
A colleague of mine recently indicated that she refuses to associate herself with social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace because she is concerned that they can adversely affect her career and chances of ever getting a seat at the executive table. She cited Simon Dumenco and his article, “Facebook: Too Creepy, Childish for the Workplace” to support her apprehension.
Dumenco asserts that Bill Gates gave up his affiliation to Facebook because he was being bombarded by friend requests and finding too many “weird fan sites about him.” That argument is null and void because a man like Bill Gates will likely never be able to participate in normal activities, including those on social networks sites. He is too susceptible to fanaticism and criticism because of his status in the world.
The one of the first crucial steps in public relations planning is to conduct research. Dumenco fails to provide any empirical evidence to support his claims. Strategic decision should be supported by valid data, not generalizations derived from a few obscure incidences. Doing so is to fly in the face of public relations planning principles. And it’s that kind of flawed thinking that could be detrimental to your career. Continue reading →
The social media movement is almost palpable. Everywhere we turn we are bombarded by messages about or from this phenomenon. As public relations professionals we are being inundated by imperatives to embrace the movement that surrounds us and threatens to set our organizations asunder. So we scour the virtual bookshelves at Amazon.com and find an infinite volume of books on social media technologies like blogs, wikis, podcasts, and their ilk.
Many of us are familiar with the technologies, but learning about social media and implementing the technologies can be an overwhelming endeavor. Some of us have become reluctant to delve into the realms that lay beyond our web domains because of one simple question: Where do I begin?
Stephen C. Harper and David J. Glew discuss specific factors that impair organizational learning in the April 2008 issue of Industrial Engineer. In their article, “Is Your Organization Learning-Impaired,” the authors deftly summarize what we have been learning in this program: The key to organizational management and success is centered on an astute understanding of the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This awareness will foster learning at every level, and, in turn, foster the ability to change to the environment. However, there are two major reasons why change efforts fail. Continue reading →
Robert Maurer, a clinical psychologist at the UCLA School of Medicine, discusses why stress does not really exist in the 2002 issue of Men’s Health. He believes that what we perceive as stress is actually an emotional response to fear. In order for us to escape the symptoms of fear, he explains, we must admit that we are afraid. Only then can we begin to get a handle on our fear. Continue reading →