Soledad  O’Brien is best known for her award-winning and critically acclaimed documentaries on some of  the most important news stories facing the world today.  One of her most popular documentaries is the  Black in America series. The two-part series  began in 2008.  O’Brien also hosted Latino in America in 2009, a spin-off of  Black in America.   Currently, O’Brien is the anchor for the CNN morning show, Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien, which started in January 2012 and airs every weekday 7 am to 9 am.

Aside from being a brilliant reporter, Soledad O’Brien does a great job of promoting  her TV show, work,book and the CNN network  through her use of Twitter .  O’Brien’s feed is a full update of what she did in her professional life for the day and also a comprehensive summary of various news stories that were covered. O’Brien has more than 16,000 tweets and 217,000 followers.  She tweets ever couple hours and the majority of her tweets include a link to were you can find more information about a certain topic. She retweets her colleagues and  mentions she receives.  

The thing I most admire about O’Brien’s twitter feed is that it is  professional, but not too  journalism centered that it is not accommodating to the everyday person.   It is difficult to maintain a professional tone while only having 140 characters, but O’Brien does it well. Her Twitter feed enhances her image and supplements for her show and documentaries.

Anyone with a Twitter should follow Soledad O’Brien, especially aspiring journalists.  One reason is because she is one of the best at what she does and seeing what she tweets about allows people to see the types of things she finds both interesting and news worthy.  Reading her tweets will be  benficial to a young and inexperienced journalist.

Another reason why O’Brien is worth following is because she uses Twitter to promote her brand in a genuine manner.  Often when a person is promoting themselves on any social network  they tend to over promote, which is damaging.  It’s all about how you word what you say.  O’Brien promotes herself throughout her entire feed in a tactful and tasteful way. 



Recently, President Obama came to BGSU.  Regardless of your political views, having the President of the United States visit your school and talk to students  is a honor. Unfortunately, several of my professors did not share this view and, because of the election,  I noticed changes in the teaching style of some of my professors.

One example occurred recently.  My marketing professor  is a great at what he does and is accommodating to students, so I was surprised by the way he clearly displayed his political views when President Obama came to my school.  Not only did he rescheduled a test for the day Obama was speaking,  he also gave extra credit to the students who showed up to his class on that day.

To me, this is totally unacceptable and  is not professional.   As a professor, he should never have shown favoritism to the students who missed Obama’s speech to go to his class, whether for political reasons or not.  Though, attendance is important, so much more is a visit from the President.

His actions made me think about how strongly a professor’s  political views should be expressed during their teaching.

This topic depends significantly on the class the professor is teaching.  Since I am a journalism major and a senior, most of the classes I am taking do not deal with politics directly. However, many students take a more varied classes during their first couple years of college.  Classes such as political science, international relations and  history usually discuss politics.

I don’t believe that their is anything wrong with expressing your views.  The problem comes into play when your teaching is one sided because of your political views.  It can be a challenge to maintain a non-biased tone in the classroom, especially when you have strong opinions about politics.  However, as a professor you are not doing your job if your teaching is one-sided.

It bothers me as a student when professors use up valuable class time expressing their views on political issues that have nothing to do with the class subject matter.  Students pay to learn, not to spend class time hearing all about their professor’s political views.


By: Simone Jackson

The Weather Channel has done a thorough job in covering Hurricane Sandy.  They have strong content on their website as well as a substantial presence on Twitter.

I was most impressed with articles on the Weather Channel’s website. The articles were not just on the storm itself and the damage it did. The articles were also how the storm was affecting things that were not closely related to the storm, such as the election and how it will impact voters.   there are also articles on how the storm is affecting traffic, bus routes, and weather in other areas. These stories were embedded with videos from CNN and MSNBC and were able to be commented on by using Facebook.  The Weather Channel also uses many interactive maps to help explain Hurricane Sandy

I like how the Weather Channels reports on aspects that affects everyone instead of just focusing on the direct damage from Hurricane Sandy.  This tactic is a good way to get more people to their site and thus get them sharing the articles on their personal social networks.

Hurricane Sandy's Devastation

The Weather Channel also has a section called the  Hurricane Tracker, which has a very detailed map of the hurricane’s target locations and the severity of the storm in certain areas.  There is a place were you can search the weather by zip code and it will tell you wind speeds and the affect of Hurricane Sandy in that particular area.  Also in this section , are videos of the storm and the devastation it has caused across the country.

The Weather Channel’s Hurricane Tracker also offers articles that has tips on preparing for a natural disaster.  Some of the topics for theses articles are how to best prepare your home, best hurricane shutters and the best emergency pet homes.  Lastly, there are archives of past hurricanes, sorted by the ocean they occurred near.

The Weather Channel’s Twitter account was updated every few hours during Hurricane Sandy. The Weather Channel’s twitter told people where they could  donate money to help victims , linked to articles on the Weather Channel website and retweeted people who posted pictures of the disaster.  They also consistently used the hashtag #Sandy, which made their tweets easy to find.

“The Pizza Turnaround”

October 19, 2012

By:Simone Jackson

Two years ago, Domino’s Pizza decided that it was time to re-evaluate its recipe and marketing strategies.

For years, customers complained about the lack of flavor and quality in Domino’s products, but the criticism heightened when two Domino’s employees made a YouTube video of them handling the food in a unsanitary manner. The video got more than million views and left Domino’s’ President , Patrick Doyle looking for solutions 

Because of the popularity of the video, critics also began expressing their dissatisfaction with Dominoes.  ” The crust tastes like cardboard,” “The pizza is mass produced, boring and bland”, along with other negative comments filled timelines and news feeds.

Domino’s  launched “The Pizza Turnaround” campaign in 2010, but  this campaign was notably different. Instead of trying to cover-up what customers were saying about their food products, Dominos faced the critics head on.  This tactic was risky, but the campaign  turned out to be a success.

Domino’s improved its recipe and took the advice that their critics gave.  they redesigned their pizza boxes and included information on how their customers could give feedback. 

As apart of “The Pizza Turnaround Campaign,” Domino’s also aired documentary styled documentaries which had actual Dominos chefs talking about the changes the company was making  with their food products.The commercials were captivating and and showed the personal side of the company, which helped customers see that Domino’s was trying hard to improve.

There was a series of these types of commercials during “The Pizza Turnaround” campaign.  One my favorites  and what I believe was the best for Dominos’ marketing was when the company delivered its new recipe pizza to its critics.  The commercial showed those who had made nasty remarks about Dominos’ recipe trying the new pizza and their thoughts on it.

This tactic showed follow-up on Domino’s part and also shows customers that Domino’s cares enough about the people who criticized their recipe enough to take their advice and make some changes.

The Pizza Turnaround campaign was quite the success, with a 14% increase in sales and an increase in online orders.


Check out “The Pizza Turnaround” website

Keep Calm and GRADUATE !

October 4, 2012

By: Simone Jackson

So far, this semester year has been going well. Although this has been my busiest semester so far, it has also been my most productive.  I am graduatuing next December, and lately I have been preparing for my plans beyond BGSU.  I am certain that I am going straight to graduate school, but I don’t know exactly why for yet.  It is interesting to me how my career plans have changed since I began college. 

When I first came to BGSU,  I was certain that I wanted to be an international reporter.  I planned to graduate from BG and get a master’s in ethnic or international studies and travel the world.  I never considered public relations as an option. Then I took the prerequisites for my specialization, and I quickly realized that print journalism was not what I wanted to do.  The field was appealing, but only up to a certain point. I began looking at other majors that were similar to journalism.

Last semester, I happened to be taking both Introduction to Public Relations and Reporting classes.  I found myself comparing the two classes and my level of enjoyment in each.  Public relations was far ahead.  I saw a lot more opportunies to advance in the field and to make a lot more money.   It took me awhile to adjust to the fact that changing my mind is okay. The whole semester I went back and forth on what my plans were.  I eventually decided on public relations, and  I know that was the best decision for me.

I am excited to see were my career in public relations will take me. College is such a wonderful thing and I think that everyone should get the chance to expereince it.  Never again in your life will you have the time a resources to explore any subject of your choosing.   Its okay to change your plans and to discover new interests.

By: Simone Jackson

In January, McDonalds decided to start their own hashtag, #McDStories, on Twitter.  The purpose of #McDStories was to promote a larger campaign that shared stories about the farmers who grew food for McDonald, said Rick Wion, director of social media at McDonalds USA , in a comment to a Forbes post about the hastag.  Unfortunately, this hashtag was not used in the way that McDonalds had anticipated.

Instead of tweeting about positive moments at McDonalds,  many tweeters used the hashtag to describe horrific experiences that they had had over the years. Tweets describing  low food quality, bad customer service and dirty restaurants filled timelines. Many were replying to other’s tweets and even workers at McDonalds were engaging in the online discussions and  not in a good way.

These are examples of some of the tweets: 

McDonalds quickly pulled the campaign after the company saw the amount of negativity that was being tweeted with the hashtag. McDonalds should have seen this coming.

The concept  was actually a good idea, but it is obvious that McDonalds  created #McDStories without giving much thought to it’s consequences. When a company creates a hashtag, they are giving people the freedom to say whatever they want and then link their thoughts directly to a particular company. This can be a useful concept, but it is not appropriate for all  companies or campaigns.

In McDonalds case, social media should have never been used to promote the idea of anecdotal moments in the resturant.   The use of Twitter for this campaign only added to the many negative thoughts that people already have about the restaurant. Whether or not what was being tweeted was true does not matter.  Thousands of people saw these tweets and it all could have been avoided.

A better idea would have been to have a contest of the best McDonalds stories and whoever won would have their story printed on McDonalds’s bags or something similar. This way, McDonalds would have been able to control the message that people were getting.

By: Simone Jackson

With the increase of social media use for marketing and public relations, many companies are looking to hire people whose sole job would be to control the company’s online content.   Should companies hire a recent graduate who knows a lot about social media, but not much about the company itself or a current employee who has worked in the company for some time, but is older and not as experienced with social media?

The article said that the younger generation will not do the best job representing a company on social networks, because of immaturity and not being able to distinguish between what is appropriate on a personal profile and a company profile.  As a future graduate and a heavy social media user, I do not believe that theses notions are true in most cases.

Who should your company hire?

There are recent graduates who are not be fit to monitor a company’s social media during any circumstance. However, for the majority of companies, other factors should be considered when determining whether a recent graduate should control social media or not.

1) Who is the company’s target audience?

If your company is a new clothing line for teenage girls, a younger person should be in charge of the online content for the company.  But if this is a social media site for AARP, a company should put a more mature person in charge who is able to relate to the audience the company wants to communicate with.

2) How will the particular social media tools be used?

Sometimes organizations have many pages that are designed to target varied audiences. For example, different people should control  the BGSU alumni Facebook page and the BGSU Class of 2016 Facebook page. The page that best suits a particular interest, will need to have certain components.  Whoever is hired to monitor these pages will need to communicate well with that particular audience, and depending on the page, a younger employee may be more effective.

3) How serious is the organization and the topics it posts online? 

I am not saying that some companies are not are serious, only that some companies communicate more serious topics than others.

Back to the teenage fashion and AARP scenario, the teenage clothing company will have a lighter tone in most cases, so the maturity level of the person in charge of the posts does not need to be super high.  AARP, on the other hand, communicates important concepts about improving the quality of life to the 50+ audience. Someone who understands concepts concerning this would be the best fit  for this organization.


By: Simone Jackson

Recently, I was asked to be the editor of the “Obsidian,”  a multicultural publication  for  BGSU students.  I was very excited because I knew I would gain great experiences.

The “Obsidian” has been operating on campus since the 1970’s. Historically,it was a publication that targeted African American students. Today, our target audience is anyone of minority status.  The “Obsidian” has not been an active organization on campus for a few years.  Because of this,  My co-editor and I were uncertain of how we were going to get the word out about our publication.

I decided to start a Twitter page in hopes of making students aware that the “Obsidian” was back. I knew that a lot of BGSU students, especially multicultural students, use Twitter extensively. I figured that this would be the best way to gain support and to find students who were willing to get involved.

The page has been active for four days, and so far, we have received great responses. Students are  mentioning our organization and are telling how they would like to get involved.  As the editor, I was excited  by the turn out, and it  was all because Twitter.  I was most surprised at how fast we were being mentioned. Our first mention was posted 3 minutes after the page was setup, which was great publicity.  I never realized how powerful social media was until that moment.  It is a useful and beneficial tool when used correctly.

My experiences with Twitter this week  have given me a new appreciation for social media. If organizations, especially not for profit groups, learned how to use social media correctly, there is no limit to what it could do for their organization.  It is nice to talk about social media’s role in PR and journalism in class, but to see how quickly it can help with promoting, made me realize how we could use social media to gain readership.

The  responses the “Obsidian”  received from Twitter over the last few days, helped me to  redirect my plans as editor. As a campus publication, we face the challenge of making students want to connect with us and read our pieces.  Twitter and other social media sites will be a  great tools in helping  to ease this process.  Social media is convenient  and students check their profiles  through out the day, giving them many opportunities to see our posts and read our stories.

Check out out our Twitter page 

Use these tools to benefit you and your future career

By:Simone Jackson

The fact that there are people questioning  whether or not potential employers should consider  your online social accounts during the hiring process is ridiculous. There is a reason we post pictures,tweet, like, tag, and retweet.  Obviously,we do it because its enjoyable, but we also take advantage of it  because we want to display a certain message of who we are to the those who may not know us personally.  I feel one of the reasons why social media has become so popular in recent years is because it gives people the opportunity to be someone else.You can reinvent yourself online, and this is appealing to many people.

Anything you put online, you put there for a reason.  You would not have posted something if you didn’t want other people to see it.  Therefore, to be upset that a potential employer is looking up information that you voluntarily posted  is crazy. Employers who do not search their  potential employees on Facebook and Twitter are doing themselves a huge disservice.  If you are upset about an employer looking at your online profiles, then there must be something on there that you do not want them to see.

The bigger problem is that too many people are too relaxed when they tweet and post statuses or pictures.  To me,social media accounts are a true indication of who you are as a person and they tell a lot of  other things about you as well.  The conclusion that others come to about you from looking at your online profiles has a lot to do with your own actions. As a student, I try to be as careful as possible of the things I post because I do not want anyone getting the wrong impression about who I am as a person.  If more people were cognizant of what they posted, maybe employers wouldn’t feel a need to “creep,” but because they know that most people post and tweet whatever comes to mind, social media sites are a helpful tool to employers and they are smart to take advantage of them.

I believe that if you post or tweet something you should stand behind it, especially if you are questioned about it by an employer.  If something was worthy of a tweet or Facebook status, then it must be something that you thought was important.  I would recommend telling a future employer about your posts on social media, if you feel that the topics are things that could easily be misleading.  Explaining your views on why you chose to post a certain status or tweet could help them to understand you as a person and to learn about your personal thoughts and beliefs, which could be an advantage during the hiring process.

On the other hand, there have been cases of potential employers requesting  the passwords to their future employees Facebook and other social network pages.  This is not ethical. I do not believe that anyone has the right to require that they have your personal passwords before they will hire you.  No job is that serious, and if an employer insists that they have the passwords, it is probably not a job you want anyway. A better method would be to say”no,” if an employer asks for you passwords, and to offer to log into your accounts  and let them look through the pages while you are at the interview.

At this day in age, we have to be aware of the  power that social networks have and the role they play in our lifestyles. Potential employers have to the right to search you and they should in order to make sure they are hiring the best person for their company’s needs. As users of social networks, we have to be mindful of this at all times.  Think responsibly about the decisions you make online, because they could come back to haunt you.

About this Blog

August 29, 2012

My name is Simone Jackson. I am currently a senior at Bowling Green State University, majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing. This blog will be used as a platform for my views on social media and the role it plays in public relations.  The blog postings are assignments for my Social Media and Public Relations class.  I’m excited to share my views, while learning new things about this subject matter.