Posted by: Paul Jenkins | April 15, 2008

Our Alma – What Would You Do? – Part IV

I recently received an e-mail from Ontario’s Minister of Culture, Aileen Carroll – more specifically, from her Orwellian titled, “Correspondence Unit.”

Apparently, “Minister Carroll would be pleased to respond to [me] in writing.” I received this message 12 days ago and am still waiting for her letter to arrive in the mail. I bet her penmanship is stunning.

The tardiness of her response, however, has convinced me that her request for my address was just a way for big brother to better track my agitating actions. When her words arrive, rest assured, they’ll be posted.

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Posted by: Paul Jenkins | April 3, 2008

Ms. Elaine Eias

Original Blog Art by Sandra PoczobutThe Globe and Mail reported last week that bloggers don’t create news; instead, they opine on news published by mainstream media. This seems to suggest that bloggers editorialize rather than produce fact-based reporting of their own. That assertion is both ridiculous and offensive.

In other news, the Canadian Press reported Tuesday that women are increasingly outblogging men – in quantity, at least. The blogs I regularly read are mostly female written – although, this is more a symptom of my profession than the opinions available in the blogosphere – roughly 80 per cent of the students in my PR program are women.

Was anyone else getting a bit sick of last Saturday’s Earth Hour? Kudos to Tara Wood (a Centennial grad) and the WWF for their successful promotion of the event itself, but what were the key messages? Turning off the lights is a good idea? Symbolism is necessary to show public support for climate change initiatives? What exactly was I supposed to have learned because of the darkened hour?

I have many opinions concerning the TTC and its labour dispite, but I’m not going to share them now. Instead, I’d simply like to observe that the colour maroon is a poor brand choice for an organization dealing with claims of chronic filth. Maroon looks dirty even when it’s not. If cleanliness is next to godliness, then the TTC’s maroon dress has turned it into the devil’s mistress.
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Posted by: Paul Jenkins | March 23, 2008

I am a tiger lily – hear me ROAR!

If I hear one more person refer to himself as a budding PR professional I’m going to be sick. How about aspiring PR professional? PR professional in basic training? Or, pubescent PR professional instead? I demand more creativity, blossoming students.

And to the word bud – yes you, occasional adjective and frequent noun – meet me at the bike rack in five minutes. I’m going to throw haymakers in your general direction.

Adjective bud doesn’t describe the growth of my communication education antlers, nor my newly ivory tusked PR skills – at best it forms a middle class description of marijuana or shapes the name of Rudy’s neighbourhood friend on the Cosby Show.
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Honourable Aileen Carroll:

Tomorrow is an important day for the citizens of my hometown, St. Thomas, Ontario. Your immediate intervention is required to stop the demolition of Alma College.

I would like you to apply the powers of your authority to not just save a heritage building from unnecessary destruction, but to show how it can be done through public and private partnership

Your decision could be the catalyst for the foundation of Ontario’s newest university. Alma College is a significant asset to its city – its storied history demands the Liberal government take leadership of it. Read More…

Posted by: Paul Jenkins | March 7, 2008

I have a man-crush on Barack Obama

The interior of the suburban restaurant is cast aglow by lights keeping cars safe in a parking lot on the outskirts of Tampa. I am an unusual guest, so my entrance, fiddling the truck keys in my pocket, makes me look like a pervert.

I spot him immediately; he’s at the far end of the bar; his posture is commendable. There’s a long table set out in front of where he stands. On it are t-shirts, buttons and stickers with his picture and message.

It’s true, even if cliché, that this presidential candidate is nothing short of tall, dark and handsome. His offer of hope isn’t bad either.

I’m at a plaza pub because I’m smitten by the message of a man I’m only recently getting to know. His campaign exemplifies the possible manifestations of our digital world.

Barack Obama is using our online connections to bring grassroots action to fruition. He has, in the words Washington Post columnist, E.J. Dionne, “exploited the social networking sites (and built one of his own), and understood the interaction between virtual communities and real communities.” Read More…

Posted by: Paul Jenkins | February 29, 2008

Wayne’s Got My Back

The Great One

Perhaps I’m distracted by the Florida sunshine –
Or, in translating the thermometer’s Fahrenheit hieroglyphics into the Celsius language I understand –
But today, well, I’ve got little to say.

This is an exact reversal of the challenges I faced in producing my previous posts. Then, I wanted to say everything and right away. Now, I struggle to even finish

My disinterested mood, (thanks Inside PRoper English), is holding my blog’s punctuality hostage. It’s not writer’s block – there’s nothing struggling to come out. Neither is it laziness – my first day of reading week is being spent inside in anticipation of lucidity.

Alas, all I can think to do is quote the Great One. “You miss every shot you don’t take.” I hope Mr. Gretzky’s correct, or else I’ll owe the four or five readers of my blog an apology for their time in reviewing this post.

It’s sunny outside and either 25 or 80 degrees depending on the language you speak. My goal this week is to find an Obama ’08 button. If you’d like one, please let me know.

Posted by: Paul Jenkins | February 22, 2008

blogs – what are they and how did they get here?

I feel like an Albertosaurus – sorry, I’m in Toronto now, a Velociraptor – here, engaging the world with media called blogs, wikis, podcasts and networks. It’s a list that sounds Orwellian and straight from the future. And, to be honest, technology gives me the heebie-jeebies.

This, what you’re reading, is a blog. In the end, it’s also just a recital of my opinions. There is no caveat to that truth. Yes, I would like to share my ideas with an audience larger than my online public relations class, (that’s at Centennial College), but I’d be similarly content to write the six entries required of me and then run away from the medium.
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Posted by: Paul Jenkins | February 15, 2008

Our Alma – An Example of Social Media – Part I

Built in 1877, Alma College in St. Thomas, Ontario – 200 km southwest of Toronto – is easily as impressive as the buildings of Toronto’s university or Montreal’s McGill. The entire site was once spectacular. Over the past decade, however, it has fallen into disrepair.

Alma College was a private boarding schools for girls. On January 13 of this year, the Ontario Municipal Board decided that its demolition be approved.

This is the start of my public relations campaign to stop that from happening. Although not pretty, I’ve even started a wiki:

Step one, publish a letter to the editor of the St. Thomas Times-Journal.

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Posted by: Paul Jenkins | February 12, 2008

An Introduction to Social Media

-Marshall McLuhan-

It has been said that the development of social media is the most significant revolution in the history of the world – one of them, at least.

The moniker, social media, describes media:

  • Blogs like the one you’re reading now, public diaries
  • Podcasting, portable on demand broadcasting
  • Wikis, collaboratively produced opinion

And, social applications:

  • YouTube, your home to every sort of video-recorded entertainment
  • Facebook and MySpace, networks of people

To name just a few.

Said succinctly, social media describes the capabilities available to humanity as a result of our new digital age.

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