July 29, 2014
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How to give yourself a headache PR musings

I’ll begin my post about ”how to give yourself a headache” with a little illustration.

Yesterday the University News team met to discuss the next issue of News and Events, as well as several “global issues.” The main issue for discussion was the always alarming truth about technology and today’s youth. Silandara attended a web conference last month, and brought back details about new trends that we (may) need to get on board with.

We spoke about wikis, podcasts, rss, blogging and other networking tools until people’s heads began to reel. You should’ve seen the looks on some faces. Information overload. And sugar overload (we’ve had about five trays of cookies delivered here already.) The two factors merged during the meeting, and I think the info/sugar combination was almost lethal.

There were two terrible realizations:

1.) Millenials can design Power point presentations at age 7 (complete with sound and animation), while listening to podcasts, while blogging, while having 10 conversations on instant messenger at the same time. OK-I’m exaggerating. But seriously! What’s a higher education public relations professional to do?

2.) It is not Silindara’s fault that the Millenials’ aptitude for information technology may far exceed our own. We have no one to blame for the fact that we really do need to examine all of these new technologies.

That’s the thing though. We need to examine the technologies, but not necessarily adopt each (since the world will not necessarily adopt each.) In list format, the new stuff looks scary, especially since young students have perhaps already surpassed our own skills in the realm of electronic communication. But when you sit back, take a deep breath and look at them casually, one at a time, something happens. Potential is realized. Instead of pain and distress about keeping up, there is hope and expectation of harnessing powerful tools.

So—let’s recap. Recipe for a headache:

1.) 15 cookies

2.) One large cup of cappuchino

3.) A scary quote: “Fifth graders are blogging. Eighth graders are podcasting. What are you doing?”

4.) A large list of new technologies that we need to get on board with

5.) A sense of urgency (negative)

6.) Dread

Don’t let it happen to you. Take it easy and realize (as we did in the end) that new technology is not as overwhelming as it looks. It’s a great thing.

Our meeting closed with a positive message from Bob and Paul: The department is doing remarkably well in our task to represent RIT, and as a smart bunch—maybe we can do this job even better by checking out these new technologies.

 
  1. Silandara
    Dec 20

    You're awesome Becca. Pretty accurate too - I probably did eat about 15 cookies yesterday. And I'm getting close to that today.

    It should be noted, however, that the trays of cookies are technically delievered to University Publications by printers that have (or want) accounts with them at RIT. University News is just merciful and gets in on the cookie action, to save our neighboring department from cookie overload. It's all in the holiday spirit.

  2. Jack
    Dec 31

    Hi Folks,
    I guess I'm a little behind times. In my day, we wrote a news release, sent it out, followed up with a phone call to the city desk, TV news room, etc. That took care of the outside world. Next, we typed a stencil, and hand cranked it out and BINGO: News and Events was born on the fourth floor of the Administration Building. In those days there were no computers, printers, or even copiers for that matter. Everything was done via the magic spinning ball of the IBM Selectric. Eventually somebody gave us a used Xerox 914, which made interoffice communications a little easier. So if you get depressed, give me a call and I'll tell you about the days of the Brown Boot Army when journalism was exciting, challenging and fun, but not very electronic.
    God bless you all. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. -Jack

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