Fox 26 News Feature: Mythbusters

27 07 2010

Fox 26 News in Houston interviewed me for a story on the Houston Independent School District’s new web feature labeled “Mythbusters”–in which they address the “rumors” circulating the school district.

Not a bad report, though, I will say that I had offered positive advice as well as the constructive criticism that they featured in the report. In fact, it sounded quite a bit more negative than I explained it. I guess that whole “the media is unbiased” thing has gone out the window?

The point I discussed with the reporter was that too many organizations see the internet as a place to promote, and this is problematic, because internet audiences see it as a place to get correct information (the “if it’s printed it must be true” perspective). This creates a problem for organizations like HISD, who 1) choose the topic to be discussed, 2) do not provide a place for feedback or interaction on their site about the issues, and, 3) perhaps worst of all, label the issues as “myths” from the get go. Frankly, it’s not a very symmetrical relationship they’re trying to create.

On the flip-side, the bias in reporting can’t be ignored either, and I was disappointed in the obvious negative slant the piece had. The way it was produced, HISD was the obvious bad guy. It would have been nice to get some opinions of teachers in the school district or others involved.


Smith Paper selected as Top Student Paper in Montreal

11 03 2008

Montreal, Canada. This May, I’ll be presenting a paper on PR and Marketing at the International Communication Association conference in Montreal. The paper, entitled,
Creating Recognition for Employee Recognition: A Case Study on Marketing Persuasion, Public Relations, and Branding, was selected as one of the top student papers submitted to ICA. 

Yes, I’m fairly excited about the accomplishment, especially since it was the first paper I completed in my Ph.D. program about a year and a half ago.

The paper outlines O.C. Tanner’s extensive integrated communications program that emphasizes PR as education, and I like to think it has the potential to add to the growing understanding of the role of PR in marketing communications….or at least, it seems ICA to thinks so.