Tag Archives: communication

Social Photography

As a public relations practitioner, you may be expected to take photos for the client you work for. Professional or not, you’ll have to do it and now is a better time than later to do so. That’s why this week’s PR assignment is to learn social photography by taking at least 3-5 photos, taking into consideration the framing, the background, alignment, and overall composition. We also had to make a Flickr account and understand its functions.

Because I went home for the weekend, I was able to play around with my brother’s old Nikon D60. Please note that I have no expertise in photography, nor do I know how to use such a camera. Rather than use the lens the camera originally came with, my brother suggested I use this other lens which allows me to play around with the aperture, causing a more artsy effect by blurring.

What I’ve learned is that I’m terrible at framing. I took quite a lot of shots. It was a little frustrating as well that the camera kept auto-focusing on the wrong spot. I was told later how to manually do it though. I definitely don’t have the artistic vision, so I’ll stick with writing and running. Regardless, it was a fun experiment. I’m sure clients that need you to take pictures for them don’t expect something overly spectacular, but knowing how to do a simple and decent job is a plus.

In terms of Flickr, the site is really easy to use. Uploading is made simple by either dragging photos in or going directly to your folders and selecting the one you want. Flickr offers quick edit options as well through a partner company called Aviary. You don’t have to make an Aviary account. It’ll just open up within Flickr and you can do basic edits such as cropping and changing the orientation of the photo. I don’t know what companies can do with Flickr, but I imagine they can use it as a hosting site for their event photos or give a chronological history of their company through pictures.

Below are a few pictures I took while I was at home. You can find additional photos on my Flickr page.

Palm Tree

Palm tree in my backyard

Lemon

Lemon Tree

Diving Board

Diving board

Green Lantern vs. Trunks

Green Lantern vs. Trunks

Literature Books

Literature books

Medals

My running medals

Magazines and Social Media: Runner’s World

For this week’s post, I’m looking at how a consumer magazine is using social media: what platforms are being utilized, what information is being provided, and how successful and social the magazine is in relaying its messages and interacting with its publics. I’ve chosen to focus on Runner’s World.

Runner’s World (RW) has many platforms. It’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr and has forums and multiple blogs. Beginning with the first three, there is very little dialogic communication that occurs. Tumblr just posts pictures of their magazine covers, beautiful running-related pictures, or pictures with running-related mottos and quotes. While this is fun to look at occasionally, there’s not much going on there.

Facebook and Twitter pretty much post the same information: links to articles, blog posts by fellow RW employees, quotes, tips, and basically everything you’d expect from a running magazine. RW occasionally asks questions, like what was your favorite sign you’ve seen during a race, to engage its public. There are many fans that comment, “like” Facebook posts, and retweet amazing, motivational stories provided by RW, but RW doesn’t reply. Rather, it just spills out information and the public responds. I find the employment of these social media platforms okay and mediocre. The stories provided are interesting and inspirational, but RW could use more two-way communication to pump runners up. However, RW does make up for the lack of dialogic communication in different ways.

Though RW’s twitter is only informational, it does direct you to employee twitters or another division of RW. For instance, RW directs you to RW columnist Alex Hutchinson, who provides information on the science of running and will reply to any questions. He also has his own blog on the RW website. RW also has the twitter account @RWHalf, where people can talk about the Runner’s World half marathon in Pennsylvania. So while the general RW social media platforms are mainly informative, you can find twitter accounts that are catered to certain areas like health and training, which are more dialogic.

In addition, RW does blogs really well. Instead of having one blog, it actually has a specialization of blogs. There is a blog for beginners, trail running, nutrition, blogs where you can asks questions, and so forth. You can find them here. These are helpful as you can narrow down which blog you actually want to read about. Some of these bloggers have twitter accounts as well, so you can go and talk to them directly. Aside from blogs, there are also forums on the RW website, which have different categories. There, fellow runners help each other out and share stories.

Being the biggest and leading running magazine company, I think RW does a good job. It’s not excellent, but if you’re a running fanatic, you’re probably following their social media to be hyped up and motivated by reading such articles like this and reading tips. If they want to really chat with other runners, RW does direct them to the right people. It just takes a little more work to find, but it’s not that difficult.

The only other running magazine I can compare RW to is Running Times, which has a Facebook,  Twitter, and a few employee blogs. Running Times utilizes Facebook and Twitter the same way, however they have less activeness by fans. While Running Times has about 27 likes on a Facebook post, RW will have likes in the thousands. Though this may have to do with Running Times being a much smaller magazine. The blogs on Running Times aren’t specific either like how RW has a blog for such topics as tips, nutrition, and trail running. Running Time blogs are more general.