Last time, I discussed word choice in the catch phrase of this blog’s theme, Behind the scenes of RIT University News.
This time, a broader perspective on the theme.
Following a recent University News staff meeting, Karen Black, NTID director of media relations, wrote to say that it seems our new-media ventures—including this blog—are taking off.
Knowing that Karen’s a blog skeptic, I responded by saying that while the blog is gaining momentum, we’re still trying to convince more people to become regular contributors—but only through meaningful blogging (not blogging for the sake of blogging).
My response gave Karen an opening to share additional thoughts about the purpose of this blog (I suspect she had been holding back out of politeness). Because our dialogue would’ve been ideal for this forum, here’s an edited transcript:
Karen: I’m not against meaningful blogging. My sticking point is this: Why do we think the rest of the RIT community is interested in behind the scenes of RIT public relations? I just don’t get it. I would look into things that are more relevant: behind the scenes at graduation or some of the technology we do here. I think it would be valuable for us to invite behind-the-scenes perspective and open it up for ideas (for me, it could be behind the scenes of interpreting). Then, we all get a sneak peek into the colleges, jobs and functions at RIT. Sure, public relations can be one aspect, but I don’t see the appeal. How much can we talk about our own business? It feels silly. My three cents.
Mike: You make good points, Karen—and we could possibly broaden the scope somewhat. However, my concern is consistency. We need to have a unique selling proposition—which, at least for now, includes a PR focus. My thinking: If we broaden out too much, giving behind the scenes of this, that and the other thing, we would run the risk offering something for everyone . . . and, consequently, nothing to anyone (by offering too much of a mishmash).
A radio analogy (it all comes back to radio for me :~): Have you heard any of these new ‘Jack’ radio formats? (Rochester’s version is “Fickle.”) They’re trying to please everyone, and in the process pleasing no one (or scant few, as reflected in ratings). Having said all that, I understand your point—and it remains to be seen if anyone (primarily outsiders) has any interest in reading our musings. (If you haven’t read it, Paul’s post on the Saunders’ gift is a good example of a broader issue that ties into public relations.) Come to think of it, this conversation would be a great one on the blog!
Next time: This conversation continues. (In the meantime, you’re welcome to join this discussion—and help shape the role of this blog—by adding your comments.)