Technology and Collaboration

featured photo credit: City of Seattle Community Tech, https://flic.kr/p/Sss9BA

Technology in Advertising and Public Relations (CAP 105) was not what I expected at the beginning of this semester. I expected an overwhelming amount of information that I would have an incredibly difficult time keeping up with. I prepared myself for serious confusion about technology and certain platforms. I even stressed looking at the number of projects on the syllabus that first day. Instead of all these worries, I instead learned many skills that are directly applicable to my future career.

We used a multitude of platforms and creation styles over the semester. These were beneficial skills to have, and I will use these skills and platforms as I move on into my professional career, but these were not my most valuable lesson.

The most important lesson learned in this course was about collaboration and working to a deadline. Most of the projects in this course were individual, and there was no assigned collaboration. This created a unique class atmosphere. All interactions between students were by choice which made the interactions more positive and beneficial. I collaborated specifically with a girl sitting beside me, and she and I helped each other to understand platforms and finalize creative ideas.

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photo credit: AJ, https://flic.kr/p/6VyCDu

We were also given many strict deadlines. Juggling these due dates with the work forced us to pay attention and organize our projects with schedules. The many due dates caused me to create a work calendar that has become an essential part of organizing my week, and I likely would not have made it without this course.

These life skills came to a head in on class activity in particular. We were assigned to design an app as a team with six screens in 50 minutes. This included concept art, creation, and cohesive planning. Each of the group members fell into roles quickly. After a brief discussion over who was most comfortable in Photoshop and InDesign, we split off. Five of the group members designed while I took the role of general design on InDesign and ensuring brand continuity with font, coloring, and screen build.

The project was fast-paced and incredibly fun. My team worked together with ease and it was exciting to get an understanding of what a day might be like in my future career.

This course was based on technology, but the most beneficial aspects for me were learning about how people can use technology for collaboration and simplification of tasks. It was a course that fulfilled all of my expectations and taught me lessons that I did not expect to learn. I am pleased to have taken CAP 105.

Twitter and Public Relations

Featured Photo Credit: Atlas Social Media, http://flic.kr/p/RXgna9

Twitter is a social media platform that was founded in 2006, but most millennial users didn’t begin to actually use the platform regularly until about 2012.  It has become a useful platform for brands to connect with users, especially in the field of pr.

When a website goes down, I always check their twitter page first to see what the problem is. Normally, brands will post the problem or give a time frame for an issue to be fixed.

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Photo Credit: Todd Smith-Salter, http://flic.kr/p/6K7ctG

A Forbes article by Robert Wynne listed what he considered to be the truths and lies of working pr on Twitter. He mentioned that there were three general reasons for a brand to engage on Twitter specifically; Announcements, research, and networking. These three labels are consistent with everything I have seen on Twitter. He also highlights the importance of hashtag engagement. When a post has a hashtag, users often scroll through every post with that hashtag if it interests them. This increases overall engagement with the brand campaign.

Shonali Burke in her article “How to Use Twitter for Public Relations” emphasises a few new key features of Twitter that anyone in PR should become acquainted with. The use of Twitter lists to track people, phrases, and hashtags is something not to be overlooked. It helps monitor trends and general opinions with user bases which is an invaluable tool for someone in PR. She also emphasizes engaging in Twitter chats.

Twitter is an essential part of PR. Direct access to users creates a unique relationship that can’t be overstated. The tools and techniques can be utilized by brands to reach out and spread their message.

Currently not all brands are using the platform effectively. They post too much, use the platform incorrectly, or don’t use the platform at all. With a few changes to their social media strategy, they could increase their public image and have a more effect PR strategy.

Articles Referenced:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwynne/2014/09/22/twitter-for-public-relations-fact-and-fantasy/#4ba333c083b3

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/how-use-twitter-public-relations

 

Virtual Reality and Therapy

Photo Credit: Samsung Newsroom, flic.kr/p/pEiv8C,   Ruben Alexander, flic.kr/p/dhxaNo

Oftentimes when hearing the term “Virtual Reality”, the first thought is video games. However, psychologists have begun using the technology to treat anxieties, phobias, and other disorders. Find out how in the video, podcast, and photo gallery below.

The technology continues to grow, and different fields and professions are exploring the ways to use it to benefit their own field. Virtual reality in therapy is an excellent example of this.

The future of therapy looks especially promising with the use of  virtual reality. Hopefully other fields will notice the success and discover their own ways of using this very cool new technology.

Use the link below to view a gallery of photos related to virtual reality in therapy.

https://goo.gl/photos/iGxtpCJnh8LzyFwQ9

 

How Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations are Connected

Photo Credit: Frederico Sebastionelli, https://flic.kr/p/dbYWwW

Advertising, public relations, and journalism are three different fields that often work closely together. The three are separate tools that a brand or company might try to use to achieve their goal. An example of how the three can work congruently was all over the news recently in the form of an exploding smartphone.

Samsung Mobile Galaxy Note 7

  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is more often known as “that one samsung phone that keeps exploding”. This particular phone, according to Samsung during a press conference, had an issue with the battery inside. The casing was too small for the inner workings which caused it to short circuit, and in essence catch fire and explode. Worse for Samsung, airlines banned the phone from both carry on and checked luggage due to the risk of fire. Samsung was eventually forced to issue a mass recall for the phone, promising refunds for all returned devices.

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Photo Credit: portal gda, https://flic.kr/p/HQs4gV

Advertising and Public Relations – The role of both ad and pr is to bring awareness to a company in a positive way. Both also often target a particular audience.

  • The pr nightmare that is the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is likely to have an impact on future sales for the brand. Recently, with the news of the launch of the Galaxy S8, Samsung released a video that they called “Quality Assurance: Extensive Tests”. This video took the new phone and put it under intense circumstances to prove that it would not explode like its predecessor. Not only did this video prove that the old issues had been dealt with, it also advertised features of the newest phone. Samsung looks better and the newest phone is being talked about.

Public Relations and Journalism – Public relations and journalism are often thought of as similar fields, though not the same. Both journalists and public relation representatives must be able to communicate effectively, but this does not always mean that they work together willingly. Oftentimes the two fields frustrate each other – Public relations hopes to spread only positive information about their client, while a journalist is looking for the best story. The two are not always aligned when it comes to their overall purpose.

  • Samsung depended significantly on journalists to help spread information about their efforts to renew their image in the consumer’s eyes. Journalists, on the other hand, did not want to drop the story of the exploding phone. From October 2016 up to January 2017, articles about the devices flaws and critiques about the efforts of Samsung to get in front of the problem circulated. With the release of their newest phone, news and media outlets continue to revisit the Galaxy Note 7 and discuss it in comparison with the Galaxy S8. The flaws of the Note 7 and the failures of Samsung aren’t going away.

Journalism and Advertising – A journalist may not do it purposefully, but much of the time press for a company helps spread awareness and information through a trusted and reputable source. This spread of information can function as advertising for a company. Sometimes, like with Super Bowl ads, the articles are about the ads themselves and how they have an impact.

  • Samsung was the topic of many articles as they apologized for the scandal. The Guardian newspaper wrote an article about a full-page ad that Samsung put in a newspaper. The ad by Samsung was an apology to users for the defects in the Note 7, and the articles in papers like The Guardian helped to spread this message further. This created awareness  for Samsung and their outreach to their users.

Advertising, public relations, and journalism all played a key role in restoring the reputation of Samsung and their future smartphones. Their work is ongoing, and these three tools will be necessary for their success.

Smart Home, Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence

Featured Photo Credit: abdullah.khan2012, https://flic.kr/p/bo1R92

A new year means a new season for advancements in technology. Some of the most anticipated advancements are in Smart Home tech, Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence.

Smart Home Technology

Smart Home tech functions like a Siri in your house – Current examples normally respond to a voice command and speak back. They can tell you the weather, news, and play music on command. Some examples that people already use are:

  • Alexa
  • Echo

The Forbes website listed Smart Home technology as a trend likely to dominate the market in the upcoming year. From where it is now, Smart Home tech can grow exponentially. Potentially, Smart Home tech could be used to order groceries when the fridge is low, change the temperature based on the weather outside, and even work as a sort of technological servant. Think of the Black Mirror episode – it could be in charge of everything from your schedule to your toast.

The current version seems unnecessary to me. Then again, I don’t actually have one of my own. If future adaptations of the technology advance as far as expected, then I could see the appeal.

Virtual/Augmented Reality

Virtual or Augmented reality is a computer generated three dimensional environment according to virtualrealitysociety.org. Most people think of gaming potential, but there are other practical applications. It could be used in:

  • Video games
  • Architecture
  • Medicine
  • Therapy

The technology is so new that there is almost endless room for advancement. One of the most promising areas of potential is in fear exposure therapies. Oftentimes people with fear or anxieties face small amounts of exposure proctored by a professional to help become used to the stimuli.

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Photo Credit: William Cromar,  https://flic.kr/p/8CGdTH

Virtual reality is a way to accomplish this without the potential risk of physical interaction. For example, a person with a fear of spiders could be in a virtual room with spiders but physically be completely safe. This opens doors for advancements in this field and many others that are similar.

Virtual Reality sounds like a really good tool for everything from entertainment to therapy. There are a lot of interesting uses for Virtual reality outside of gaming, and I can see it being a beneficial part of everyday life in the future.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the technology where a machine is programmed to work in a way that mimics human thought. Stanford University explained that it is the idea of creating computers with intelligence. We already use some examples today:

  • drones
  • siri
  • face recognition
  • spam filtering

There has been a lot of buzz in the media about self-driving cars and the potential they hold. While the technology is not quite ready yet, companies continue to test prototypes and implement smaller aspects into modern cars already on the market. Self-parking cars have already hit the roads.

A more practical application is in the world of medicine. The website medicalfuturist.com cites artificial intelligence as a future benefit to medicine. It could act as a tool for organizing patient schedules and  creating a treatment plan without the lengthy paperwork. It is already being used in some hospitals and doctors offices.

In addition to these practical uses, artificial intelligence has a future in social media as well. Snapchat has become an excellent example of this. The Snapchat filters use facial recognition already, and users love them. This could be a cue other platforms to use the tech too.

I’m normally open to technological advances, but in this case I’ve seen Avengers: Age of Ultron. That movie plot revolves around artificial intelligence going rogue and becoming a threat to the world. Then again, this seems far-fetched and artificial intelligence has the potential to help the world in a lot of ways. For now I’m trying to stay open-minded and not worry about the future machine overlords. Time will tell.