Focus Group on Mass Communications Majors

April 6, 2009

 The journalism/telecommunications focus group lasted approximately 45 minutes, andh, 2009. Team 1 used a video camera and Skype to record the data.

took place on March 9t

Members from Team 1 were assigned specific participants to observe and transcribe information.

Team 1 participants and mass communications sequence:

Leslie: Journalism

Jennifer E: Journalism

Olivia: Telecomm

Jessica: Telecomm

Jennifer: Telecomm

 

 

 

RESULTS

Students choose mass communications and the telecommunications/journalism sequence

because it is a broad field and they are interested in TV production.

Mass communications is a very broad field with many different avenues. Some participants

were introduced to TV production in high school. This helped stimulate their interest in mass

communications.

 

 

 

 

“I want to work behind the scenes and I first got into it in high school.”—Leslie,

journalism major

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I first got into it in high school with T.V. production and thought the whole

outlook of mass communications is really interesting and it didn’t require much

math or science.”—Jennifer, telecomm major

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I like writing and I know there’s a lot of writing involved, but not too much and

it’s easier than being in straight journalism.”—Jessica, telecomm major

 

 

Prospective journalism and telecommunications students hope to learn through hands on

projects that relate to real situations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many students don’t exactly know what they expect to

learn. They prefer learning more about the career outside the classroom rather than through

traditional lectures. Learning how to work a camera intrigues the participants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think this is a pretty cool thing for you guys, I would like to do this when I get

Public Relations Practitiioner Interviews

March 25, 2009

PR Practitioners Interviews

 

Purpose

The overriding goal of this project is to give students a perspective on the public relations field from a professional’s perspective. Through these interviews we hope to find ways to make the transition process from student to public relations practitioner easier as well as give students insight into what skills they need acquire while in school.

Objectives

• Through these interviews we hope to discover key training or job skills that could benefit students entering the public relations arena.

• Given the current economic climate determine what attributes employers are searching for.

• We also want find out what students should be doing in school to get prepared for their career.

Methodology

The research conducted on this study was done through a series of interviews. Two public relations professionals were interviewed to determine what they saw as the most prevalent opportunities and difficulties currently present in the profession. The process began by seeking out professionals in the field, developing questions that would fulfill the objectives laid out above. The following practitioners were interviewed for this project:

Andrea Farmer 

Public Relations Manager – Delaware North Companies. Interview was conducted February 27th, 2009 and lasted for 21 minutes. Interview was done via a telephone and transcribed via a laptop computer.

 

 

C. Nicole Pierce 

Gholson Group PR Representative and C. Nicole Public Relations, CEO. Interview was conducted February 28th and lasted ten minutes. Interview was done via Google talk, recorded with Audacity and transcribed via a laptop computer.

 

 

Results

Results show that practitioners currently working in the field believe that students just entering the field should maximize their experience potential with internships, co-ops and other apprenticeship-like training courses. Moreover, it is recommended that once students pick out a particular field of interest that they research it through their professors, field magazines, field-specific public relations organizations and groups such as the Florida Public Relations Association and the Public Relations Society of America. Public relations today require practitioners with a wide range of experience – therefore it is recommended that students get internships with non-profit, private and government agencies to broaden their understanding of the field. Given the status of the economy, potential employers are seeking to maximize the usefulness of potential employees. It is therefore prudent that students entering the workforce diversify their background as much as possible.

 

“Employers in this volatile market seek to maximize their earnings by employing people that have a diverse background and therefore multiple skills they can use.”  

– Andrea Farmer

 

“I think that there are so many opportunities left. I think that practitioners have to be talented in a lot of areas especially in the economy we are in today because now there is a need for less people to get the same job done.” 

      C. Nicole Pierce

 

Both respondents agree that there are a lot of opportunities available in public relations for students currently entering the field and those who will be graduating in the future. It is also important for students to be well-rounded. 

Correspondence

One of the recurring themes that appeared throughout the course of the interviews was one that diversification was key to success when entering professional life as a public relations practitioner. Crafting a focused curriculum of classes that compliments the goals of the student was also described to be very important. While in college, students were encouraged to participate in as many internships as possible to gain “real-world” experience. Strong writing skills were also stressed. Even though the economy is in a downturn, respondents feel that there are a lot of opportunities in the field for graduating students.

Email Correspondence

February 22, at 2:32pm

Hi Andrea,

I have to interview a PR Practitioner about the challenges facing students entering the public relations arena. I was hoping you could spare a little time to answer 5-8 questions? I would really appreciate it. I’m in my final semester and want to complete my degree on top.

Sincerely and with thanks, Jason

Andrea Farmer:

February 27 at 12:07am

Hey Jason,

I’ve got a few minutes tomorrow morning — 321-449-4318. Thanks for thinking of me for your interview.

Take care!

Andrea

 

Jason Rhian:

February 27 at 12:19am

I’ll give you a call tomorrow morning. If you have a specific time you’d like me to call, please let me know.

Thank you for taking the time to assist me.

Sincerely, Jason

Jason Rhian

February 27 at 12:00pm

Andrea,

Thank you so much for taking the time this morning to speak with me. I always feel bad when I call someone to help with my assignments, so I didn’t want to talk to long, I didn’t want to take up too much of your time.

Thanks again!

Sincerely, Jason

Andrea Farmer

March 1 at 8:39pm

Anytime, Jason.

 

 

 

From: C. Nicole Pierce <cnicolepr@gmail.com>

To: kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com>

Sent : Wednesday, February 25, 2009 2:25:33 PM

Around 7pm

On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 10:16 PM, kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com> wrote:

Hi,

How are you? I wanted to know what time is best for you tomorrow?

Thanks for your time

Kimberly Brimm

C. Nicole

The PR Girl

C. Nicole Public Relations

http://www.cnicolepr.blogspot.com

“I C Stars Before They Reach The Sky”

http://www.myspace.com/chanethanicole

Trey Songz “READY” Coming Soon!

ALDRIDGE PUBLISHING PRESENTS

“DON’T TRIP” The Urban Anthology featuring

“Twisted Fate” by C. Nicole Pierce

Mocha Chocolate Taste A Piece of Ecstasy at Amazon.com ft. The Coffee Shop by C. Nicole

From: C. Nicole Pierce <cnicolepr@gmail.com>

To: kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 4:04:18 PM

No problem!

On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 2:45 PM, kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com> wrote:

Google talk is fine. I just downloaded it. It will most likely be better for me as far as taking notes. Thank you so much I really appreciate it

Kimberly Brimm

From: C. Nicole Pierce <cnicolepr@gmail.com>

To: kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 3:38:26 PM

Subject: Re: Interview for class

I don’t have skype but we can do it via cellphone or google talk because I have that. Let me know which one it doesnt really matter. My number is 773 562 5929 and I don’t mind doing things like this. It definitely helps!

On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 2:36 PM, kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com> wrote:

It will be a phone interview or we can do it on skype if you have that program. Thursday is perfect for me. I only have morning classes then. Thank you so much

Kimberly Brimm

From: C. Nicole Pierce <cnicolepr@gmail.com>

To: kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 3:21:07 PM

Subject: Re: Interview for class

Would it be a phoner or more like a questionnaire? I’m open to do it and Thursday afternoon or evening may be the best time for me as of now.

On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 1:43 PM, kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com> wrote:

Good Afternoon,

I am a student at USF and I am working on a project for my public relations research class. For the project, we have to interview a PR professional and make a podcast for our class blog. Would you be available for an interview sometime this week?

Thank you for your time

Sincerely,

Kimberly Brimm

Media Intern

Florida PIRG

 

 

Andrea Farmer Interview

 

What do they think is important to tell PR students about the field?

They should participate in as many internships as they can. It gives you real world experience and compliments your studies! I can’t say enough about that! Having varied companies, organizations and institutions in your background helps – it adds up for the job interview process.

What do you feel that employers are looking for in a new PR Practitioner?

The more skills you bring to the table, the more knowledge you bring the better. You need to know about how marketing/public relations work together. Find classes that compliment your field. There’s a synergy that is built from all these practices worked together.

Which courses, (or types of classes) do you feel would be of greatest benefit to students seeking a career in public relations?

I am not up to date on what classes are available these days.

Are there many opportunities are there in public relations?

I think there are still opportunities, companies may still be reducing budget, but smart ones aren’t going to limit PR or marketing.

Are advancement opportunities good and what can an entry-level PR practitioner expect to earn?

FPRA has a bench mark survey on that question.

This assignment is designed to attract students to the field of public relations – What would you tell students about public relations to make them interested in pursuing a career in PR?

I think this a very dynamic career. No day is the same and you never can predict what will happen from one day to the next. – It’s challenging, more of a science.

How, (or rather where) would you recommend that students go to learn more about their professions? FPRA? PRSA?

Either, if there’s a particular industry they are interested in, maybe that industry has an organization that covers public relations where they can find out more.

What things do you personally find rewarding about this career field?

It boils down to the people; I enjoy working with people – either external or internal the media, visitors it doesn’t matter, I just like working with people. I enjoy telling the NASA story. Moreover being able to collaborate to solve challenges and benefits.

 

  

C. Nicole Pierce Interview

 

Kim: What do they think is important to tell PR students about the field?

C. Nicole: Well first off It is not all about working with celebrities. I do work for some celebs but I also do work for non-profits. If you want to be successful you have to work at it. Internships are a must. It is also good to be a well rounded student. Participate in extra-curricular activities. Just Do the things that help compliment your major and spend time at school.

Kim: What do you feel that employers are looking for in a new PR Practitioner?

C. Nicole: Strong writing skills are a must. The ability to communicate effectively. These are the two most important. I think that being able to navigate social media is going to be an important skill because it is taking the world by storm and it is an excellent way to get to know your audience.

Kim: Which courses (or types of classes) do you feel would be of greatest benefit to students seeking a career in public relations?

C. Nicole: Well most of the classes that emphasize strong writing, speaking, research, some planning and management but it really focused on making students strong writers

Students should definitely take as many writing classes as possible. It is important to be a strong writer. I also think students should take a class that helps them understand the fundamentals of pr and the business world.

Kim: Are there still many opportunities in left public relations?

C.Nicole: I think that there are so many opportunities left. Um practitioners have to be talented in a lot of areas especially in the economy we are in today because now there is a need for less people to get the same job done.

Kim: Are advancement opportunities good and what can an entry-level PR practitioner expect to earn?

C. Nioole: Well With any job right out of college you are not going to come out starting at six figures. I mean it is a livable salary. But it also depends on what industry you work in and where you work. If you work very hard and diligently you can make a very decent wage after years of experience.

Kim: This assignment is designed to attract students to the field of public relations – What would you tell students about public relations to make them interested in pursuing a career in PR?

C. Nicole: Well I think that you have to be a people person. Good communications skills is a must. (It is not all about) events. You have so much that you can do in the field of PR.

Kim: How, (or rather where) would you recommend that students go to learn more about their professions?

C.Nicole: Well For public relations specifically they should definitely get involved with their chapter of PRSSA. Because PRSSA puts them in contact with students that are interested with the same things that they are in and it also allows them to have contacts with professionals in there area. And their chapter of PRSA is also a good source of information. I think they should also talk to their professors.

Kim: What things do you personally find rewarding about this career field?

C.Nicole: I get to work with a lot of different people. I love my job. Love what I do. Everyday there is something different for me to do. Since I work with a wide variety of clients I come in contact with people from all walks of life. I do some writing and modeling outside of my job and it gives me the chance to network with a lot of people.

Kim: You do? What kind of modeling do you do like spot thing? Or do you do you know when… you say write I am not giving you an chance to answer. Is it something you wanted to do or is something to supplement your salary?

C.Nicole: Well it was something I wanted to do. I always ventured of into writing and modeling in back high school. So yeah it was something I wanted to do. The extra income does not help, I mean does help.

Kim: Well that is always good. Well I think that is the end of my questions yeah that is pretty much everything. I thank you so much you don’t know how much of a help you are especially in my research class.

C. Nicole: You are welcome.

Kim: I hope I get a good grade.

C. Nicole:I hope you do too and keep in contact.

Kim: I will. We are Facebook and Myspace friends so when I update you will know

C. Nicole: Ok.

Kim: Well thank you and have a good night.

Public Relations Practitioner

March 4, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ƥublic Ɍelations Ƥrofessional Interview

ƤURƤOSE

The overriding goal of this project is to give students a perspective on the public relations field from a professionals perspective. Through these interviews we hope to find ways to make the transition process from student to public relations practitioner easier as well as give students insight into what skills they need acquire while in school.

ƠBJECTIVES

• Through these interviews we hope to discover key training or job skills that could benefit students entering the public relations arena.

• Given the current economic climate determine what attributes employers are searching for.

• We also want find out what students should be doing in school to get prepared for their career

METHODOLOGҰ

The research conducted on this study was done through a series of interviews. Two public relations professionals were interviewed to determine what they saw as the most prevalent opportunities and difficulties currently present in the profession. The process began by seeking out professionals in the field, developing questions that would fulfill the objectives laid out above. The following practitioners were interviewed for this project:

Andrea Farmer

 

 

, Public Relations Manager – Delaware North Companies. Interview was conducted February 27th, 2009 and lasted for 21 minutes. Interview was done via a telephone and transcribed via a laptop computer.

C. Nicole Pierce

 

 

, Gholson Group PR Representative and C. Nicole Public Relations, CEO. Interview was conducted February 28th and lasted ten minutes. Interview was done via Google talk, recorded with Audacity and transcribed via a laptop computer.

Ɍ

ESULTS

Results show that practitioners currently working in the field believe that students just entering the field should maximize their experience potential with internships, co-ops and other apprenticeship-like training courses. Moreover, it is recommended that once students pick out a particular field of interest that they research it through their professors, field magazines, field-specific public relations organizations and groups such as the Florida Public Relations Association and the Public Relations Society of America. Public relations today require practitioners with a wide range of experience – therefore it is recommended that students get internships with non-profit, private and government agencies to broaden their understanding of the field. Given the status of the economy, potential employers are seeking to maximize the usefulness of potential employees. It is therefore prudent that students entering the workforce diversify their background as much as possible.

“Employers in this volatile market seek to maximize their earnings by employing people that have a diverse background and therefore multiple skills they can use.”

 

 

– Andrea FarmerBoth respondents agree that there are a lot of oppurtunites available in public relations for students currently entering the field and those who will be graduating in the future. It is also important for students to be well-rounded.

“I think that there are so many oppurtunities left. I Think that practioners have to be talented in a lot of areas especially in the economy we are in today because now there is a need for less people to get the same job done.”

 

 

-C. Nicole PierceThe more skills you bring to the table, the more knowledge you bring the better.”

 

 

Andrea FarmerOne respodent stressed that it is important for students to undertand that there is a wide variety of things to do in public relations. She also stressed that everyone does not work for celebrities.

“It is not all about working with celebrities. I do work for some celebs but I also do work for non-profits. If

 

you want to be successful you have to work at it.”- C. Nicole Pierce

ƇONCLUSION

One of the recurring themes that appeared throughout the course of the interviews was one that diversification was key to success when entering professional life as a public relations practitioner. Crafting a focused curriculum of classes that compliments the goals of the student was also described to be very important. While in college, students were encouraged to participate in as many internships as possible to gain “real-world” experience. Strong writing skills were also stressed. Even though the economy is in a downturn, respondents feel that there are a lot of opputinunities in the field for graduating students.

Email Correspondence

February 22 at 2:32pm

Hi Andrea,

I have to interview a PR Practioner about the challenges facing students entering the public relations arena. I was hoping you could spare a little time to answer 5-8 questions? I would really appreciate it. I’m in my final semester and want to complete my degree on top.

Sincerely and with thanks, Jason

Andrea Farmer

February 27 at 12:07am

Hey Jason,

I’ve got a few minutes tomorrow morning — 321-449-4318. Thanks for thinking of me for your interview.

Take care!

Andrea

Jason Rhian

February 27 at 12:19am

I’ll give you a call tomorrow morning. If you have a specific time you’d like me to call, please let me know.

Thank you for taking the time to assist me.

Sincerely, Jason

Jason Rhian

February 27 at 12:00pm

Andrea,

Thank you so much for taking the time this morning to speak with me. I always feel bad when I call someone to help with my assignments, so I didn’t want to talk to long, I didn’t want to take up too much of your time.

Thanks again!

Sincerely, Jason

Andrea Farmer

March 1 at 8:39pm

Anytime, Jason.

From: C. Nicole Pierce <cnicolepr@gmail.com>

To: kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com>

Sent : Wednesday, February 25, 2009 2:25:33 PM

Around 7pm

On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 10:16 PM, kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com> wrote:

Hi,

How are you? I wanted to know what time is best for you tomorrow?

Thanks for your time

Kimberly Brimm

C. Nicole

The PR Girl

C. Nicole Public Relations

http://www.cnicolepr.blogspot.com

“I C Stars Before They Reach The Sky”

http://www.myspace.com/chanethanicole

Trey Songz “READY” Coming Soon!

ALDRIDGE PUBLISHING PRESENTS

“DON’T TRIP” The Urban Anthology featuring

“Twisted Fate” by C. Nicole Pierce

Mocha Chocolate Taste A Piece of Ecstasy at Amazon.com ft. The Coffee Shop by C. Nicole

From: C. Nicole Pierce <cnicolepr@gmail.com>

To: kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 4:04:18 PM

No problem!

On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 2:45 PM, kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com> wrote:

Google talk is fine. I just downloaded it. It will most likely be better for me as far as taking notes. Thank you so much I really appreciate it

Kimberly Brimm

From: C. Nicole Pierce <cnicolepr@gmail.com>

To: kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 3:38:26 PM

Subject: Re: Interview for class

I don’t have skype but we can do it via cellphone or google talk because I have that. Let me know which one it doesnt really matter. My number is 773 562 5929 and I don’t mind doing things like this. It definitely helps!

On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 2:36 PM, kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com> wrote:

It will be a phone interview or we can do it on skype if you have that program. Thursday is perfect for me. I only have morning classes then. Thank you so much

Kimberly Brimm

From: C. Nicole Pierce <cnicolepr@gmail.com>

To: kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 3:21:07 PM

Subject: Re: Interview for class

Would it be a phoner or more like a questionnaire? I’m open to do it and Thursday afternoon or evening may be the best time for me as of now.

On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 1:43 PM, kimberly brimm <kdbrimm@yahoo.com> wrote:

Good Afternoon,

I am a student at USF and I am working on a project for my public relations research class. For the project, we have to interview a PR professional and make a podcast for our class blog. Would you be available for an interview sometime this week?

Thank you for your time

Sincerely,

Kimberly Brimm

Media Intern

Florida PIRG

Andrea Farmer Interview Transcription

What do they think is important to tell PR students about the field?

They should participate in as many internships as they can. It gives you real world experience and compliments your studies! I can’t say enough about that! Having varied companies, organizations and institutions in your background helps – it adds up for the job interview process.

What do you feel that employers are looking for in a new PR Practitioner?

The more skills you bring to the table, the more knowledge you bring the better. You need to know about how marketing/public relations work together. Find classes that compliment your field. There’s a synergy that is built from all these practices worked together.

Which courses, (or types of classes) do you feel would be of greatest benefit to students

seeking a career in public relations?

I am not up to date on what classes are available these days.

Are there many opportunities are there in public relations?

I think there are still opportunities, companies may still be reducing budget, but smart ones aren’t going to limit PR or marketing.

Are advancement opportunities good and what can an entry-level PR practitioner expect to earn?

FPRA has a bench mark survey on that question.

This assignment is designed to attract students to the field of public relations – What would you tell students about public relations to make them interested in pursuing a career in PR?

I think this a very dynamic career. No day is the same and you never can predict what will happen from one day to the next. – It’s challenging, more of a science.

How, (or rather where) would you recommend that students go to learn more about their professions? FPRA? PRSA?

Either, if there’s a particular industry they are interested in, maybe that industry has an organization that covers public relations where they can find out more.

What things do you personally find rewarding about this career field?

It boils down to the people; I enjoy working with people – either external or internal the media, visitors it doesn’t matter, I just like working with people. I enjoy telling the NASA story. Moreover being able to collaborate to solve challenges and benefits.

C. Nicole Pierce Interview Transcipt

Kim:What do they think is important to tell PR students about the field?

.C. Nicole: Well first off It is not all about working with celebrities. I do work for some celebs but I also do work for non-profits. If you want to be successful you have to work at it. Internships are a must. It is also good to be a well rounded student. Participate in extra-curricular activities. Just Do the things that help compliment your major and spend time at school.

Kim: What do you feel that employers are looking for in a new PR Practitioner?

.C. Nicole:Strong writing skills are a must. The ability to communicate effectively. These are the two most important. I think that being able to navigate social media is going to be an important skill because it is taking the world by storm and it is an excellent way to get to know your audience.

Kim: Which courses, (or types of classes) do you feel would be of greatest benefit to students

seeking a career in public relations?

C. Nicole:Well most of the classes that emphasize strong writing, speaking, research, some planning and management but it really focused on making students strong writers

Students should definitely take as many writing classes as possible. It is important to be a strong writer. I also think students should take a class that helps them understand the fundamentals of pr and the business world.

Kim:Are there still many opportunities in left public relations?

C.Nicole: I think that there are so many opportunities left. Um practioners have to be talented in a lot of areas especially in the economy we are in today because now there is a need for less people to get the same job done.

Kim:Are advancement opportunities good and what can an entry-level PR practitioner expect to earn?

C.Nioole:Well With any job right out of college you are not going to come out starting at six figures. I mean It is a livable salary. But it also depends on what industry you work in and where you work. If you work very hard and diligently you can make a very decent wage after years of experience.

Kim:This assignment is designed to attract students to the field of public relations – What would you tell students about public relations to make them interested in pursuing a career in PR?

C. Nicole:Well I think that you have to be a people person. Good communications skills is a must. (It is not all about) events. You have so much that you can do in the field of PR.

Kim: How, (or rather where) would you recommend that students go to learn more about their professions?

C.Nicole:Well For public relations specifically they should definitely get involved with their chapter of PRSSA. Because PRSSA puts them in contact with students that are interested with the same things that they are in and it also allows them to have contacts with professionals in there area. And Their chapter of PRSA is also a good source of information. I think they should also talk to their professors.

Kim:What things do you personally find rewarding about this career field?

C.Nicole:I get to work with a lot of different people. I love my job. love what I do. Everyday there is something different for me to do. Since I work with a wide variety of clients I come in contact with people from all walks of life. I do some writing and modeling outside of my job and it gives me the chance to network with a lot of people.

Kim:You do? What kind of modeling do you do like spot thing?. Or do you do you know when… you say write I am not giving you an chance to answer. Is it something you wanted to do or is something to supplement your salary?

C.Nicole:Well it was something I wanted to do. I always ventured of into writing and modeling in back high school. So yeah it was something I wanted to do. The extra income does not help, I mean does help.

Kim:Well that is always good.Well I think that is the end of my questions yeah that is pretty much everything. I thank you so much u don’t know how much of a help you are especially in my research class

C. NicoleYou are welcome.

Kim: I hope I get a good grade

C. Nicole:I hope you do too and keep in contact

Kim: I will. We are Facebook and Myspace friends so when I update you will know

C. Nicole:Ok

Kim:Well thank you and have a good night.

Apple iPhone Social Media Monitoring

February 11, 2009

Jason Rhian – U11335464

Frank Wyszynski – U53739093

Social Media Monitoring Assignment

 

 

Apple iPhone Social Media Monitoring Assignment

 

 

 

 

PURPOSE:

While the media’s perception of a particular product may be vital in determining how it perceives the product, a very useful tool to gauge the public’s perception is readily available in the form of social media. These can run the gamut, from sites such as Facebook/MySpace to message boards that allow for user discussions and blog sites that are specifically set up to review certain products and services.

 

We chose for our product the Apple iPhone. Since this item’s release last year there have been a wide variety of social networking sites that have either sprung up to discuss the iPhone or have opened pages or reworked existing pages to discuss the phone, its applications and its problems. A review of a wide range of these sites displayed some similarities as well as a wide range of differences from site to site. Checking on these sites to see how people feel about the performance of the iPhone allows for a more critical understanding of how the iPhone is perceived.

 

Apple’s CEO is Steve Jobs, recently his health has been a cause for concern within the corporation. The iPhone was unveiled at the MacWorld expo under a massive amount of interest…and hype. When the iPhone was released on July 11th, 2008 it immediately was met with excitement, and annoyance. Although every product released these days goes through rigorous testing it appears that the makers of the iPhone had not done quite a thorough job checking how well the phone worked as they should. The iPhone had numerous technical issues that caused many tech fans consternation and down right anger. This anger rolled over, (quite rapidly) onto the blogs and other social media.

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

The research was conducted using a simple Google search for iPhone review and looking at what the blogs were saying in regard to the product. To verify the credibility of these blogs and social network sites both Quantcast and Technorati rating of these sites was employed. In some cases, (such as Facebook) this was not possible and instead a more general evaluation was made as to how many members/friends that the site has.

 

 

RESULTS:

The results of the review and evaluation of both social networking sites and blogs indicated that while consumers were upset that the iPhones had a litany of technical issues, upon resolution of said issues the iPhone exceeded consumer expectations. Some interesting pieces of information were uncovered during the research phase. These include, but are not limited to the following:

 

·       iPhone users were impressed with the seemingly unlimited number of applications or “Apps” that the iPhone was capable of incorporating/utilizing.

·       Users expressed interest in how to “unlock” their iPhone’s various features.

·       Blogs were remolded to provide information specifically for the iPhone.

·       Owners of the iPhone on one site rallied to find a cause, (and solution) to the problem of the Safari application’s repeated crashing.

·       Before the iPhone’s release a large amount of people followed the buzz that Apple’s rumored existence created, this buzz in the “tech” community created a firestorm of interest in the product which led to long lines at retailers.

·       The Facebook iPhone Fans site became a hub for users of the product to communicate with other users from points around the globe regarding problems and future applications that were to be released for the iPhone.

·       Users could follow the iPhone’s release, all the way from rumor, to its unveiling at the MacWorld expo, to its release through assorted social networking sites and blogs. This allowed for an almost unparalleled amount of interest and hype.

·       Most blogs that were iPhone-specific had numerous links to sites providing advice, assistance and iPhone dealers. This provided a potential boost to iPhone dealers, increasing exposure of their product and sales.

·       On Facebook videos of the “unveiling” of the iPhone were posted on the site along with boards allowing members of the group to resolve problems without going to dealers – thus providing a more comfortable environment to resolve issues and lessen expenses incurred by dealers resolving these same issues.

·       By and large the release of the iPhone can be broken down into three separate phases, the first is the hype and interest around the iPhone’s release, the second phase is the iPhone’s release and the problems cropping up regarding the iPhone, the last phase is the resolution of the iPhone’s problems and the extreme interest in the iPhone’s capabilities.

 

CONCLUSION:

Social networking media and blogs in the case of the iPhone closely mirrored the media’s representation on the iPhone, starting with interest, then dismay and then excitement again as the iPhone finally began to live up to its hype. A wise course of action for Apple to pursue would be for it to operate a public relations team that actively participates/communicates on both social media such as Facebook/MySpace, message boards (such as everythingicafe.com) and on the web’s assorted blogs. Showing this level of care and concern–that Apple is willing to work with users on their level–could only improve their perception and their bottom line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple iPhone Social Media Monitoring Report

 

Source

Source Credibility

Date/Time

Feedback

From the iPhone Blog:

http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/1590/

 

 

From Quantcast:

126 rank equivalent

This destination reaches over 7.6 million people monthly, The site attracts mostly young males of average wealth and education.

 

From Technorati:

Rank: 6,675

Authority: 415

 

January 30, 2009

The author states, “While Apple holds a fairly small percentage of the global cell phone market (as it does the global computer market), it happens to enjoy among the largest percentage of profit in the market (also, as it does with computers).”

iPhone Fans on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/s.php?q=iphone+fans&n=-1&k=400000000010&sf=r&init=q&sid=c284522ae1b60cab859aa452fc6ddea1#/group.php?sid=c284522ae1b60cab859aa452fc6ddea1&gid=53995550365

593 Members

 

iPhone Fans on Facebook was opened by Charl Norman a huge fan of the iPhone who is eagerly awaiting the release of the 3G version and who assists other users with technical questions regarding their iPhones.

 

The iPhone Fans page on Facebook has video displaying the unveiling of the iPhone at the Apple Mac conference, as well as numerous vendors and owners from around the globe that offer advice and assist in technical issues.

 

 

From: Hackaday.com

http://hackaday.com/2009/01/01/iphone-3g-unlock-released/

 

From Technorati:

Authority: 1,106

January 1, 2009 at 12:31 p.m.

With some of the issues with the iPhone, one key thing that most owners wanted to know was how to “unlock” the phone’s assorted features and possible applications. The topic is covered at this blog.

From the: Webkit.org

http://webkit.org/blog/324/css-animation-2/

From Technorati:

Rank: 2,509, 352

Authority: 1

February 5, 2009

Expressed some frustration over the Safari Application crashing and was surprised that others had had the same issue.

From the: IPTIB

http://weblogs.redeyechicago.com/

 

From Quantcast:

Site reaches approx 11,586 U.S. citizens and attracts young, educated, males.

 

From Technorati:

Rank: 14,714

Authority: 235

 

February 6, 2009 at 10:52 a.m.

Author runs a comprehensive blog covering all the various applications and news regarding the iPhone. Expressed a lot of enthusiasm over new information coming out regarding the iPhone.

 

From: The Unofficial Apple Weblog

http://www.tuaw.com

From Quantcast:
Site has an average monthly audience of 219k.  The audience is majority affluent, white males from 18-49. Rank- 7,845

 

Jan. 2009

One of the most trafficked unofficial general blogs, the site discusses all apple products, but tends to focus on the iPhone. The site discusses rumors regarding new editions of the iPhone, and “App” reviews.

From: EverythingICafe

http://www.everythingicafe.com

From Quantcast: Site reaches over 195k in the United States.  Audience is young, affluent, educated males.

Jan. 2009

This site provides a forum for iPhone users to discuss the product.  Main topics on the site include, unlocking the phone, iPhone accessory reviews and news regarding the product (such as the iPhone Pro.)

From: Apple’s iPhone Discussion Board

http://www.discussions.apple.com

From Quantcast:

Rank: 5,276
Reach: 343k

 

Site attracts majority youthful, well-educated, affluent females.

Feb. 2009

Apple’s official support website.  Majority of the content in the message board relates to issues with the product. Some issues include: dropped calls, problems updating the iPhone’s firmware and error messages.

Hello world!

January 22, 2009

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!