Best of COMM 270

Kelley is a stellar example of what COMM 27o requires! She completed every assignment well within the time frame, and with great attention to detail. She included multimedia: links and videos were sprinkled often on her site and made a blog that was both enjoyable and organized. Her blog had a unique blend of websites and images.

Rocco did an amazing job with his WordPress blog. He fully utilized all of the capabilities of WordPress to make a blog that was free of any errors, organization or otherwise. For his white paper, his ideas were achievable and cost-efficient and original. I think any business would be lucky to have him as their PR professional!

First of all, Pauleen has a great graphic on the very top of her blog. She had pictures nestled between text throughout her blog which broke up the content and had a very distinctive writing style, too. She also won the Fisher Fund video contest, which demonstrates her talents are beyond the ordinary classroom!


Public relations is more than required!

5 reasons why COMM 270 means more than 160 minutes a week:

For 62 years, St. John Fisher College has been a symbol within Pittsford for a small school with a big presence. In this class, I saw the way Fisher students have created that reputation themselves. Our Public Relations class has demonstrated to me the way a true Fisher class can work.

Public relations is an important part of organizations. Every business relies on a public relations department, whether they would like to admit it or not. Surprisingly, many people outside of the Communication world are unsure of what Public Relations is.

In this video, PRVideo tried to show people’s misperceptions of the Public relations field.

In a hilarious spoof I found on YouTube, public relations is compared to journalism.

1)    Transferable skills: In this class, we learned how to make an appealing blog. Blogs are different from websites in the sense that we had to market ourselves just as much as we had to market a business that we picked. Branding, a concept I learned of in my Media Issues class, came up in the creation of my blog. In this blog, the author Jacob Share gave a list of his tips to brand ourselves online. We saw, first-hand, that the blogs with the most pizzazz generated the greatest amount of viewers. To this end, students added videos that were relevant and made connections between our class and the assignments. This screen shot is of a blog created by one of my classmates who demonstrated the different functions of the blog and what can be done within a simple blog if it is organized well.

2)    Connecting the class with Interactive media: We used social media networks to work with each other and the instructor to find and share useful information. In our class, we saw this movie:

which gave a subversive look at what really happens behind “real” news. During the movie, we used Twitter to tweet to each other our thoughts and ideas about what the movie might mean to Public relations. Some people used Twitter to describe how our professional careers would be impacted by the content in the movie, if we work or plan to work in the news industry.

3)    Event managers/Promoters: Within this class, I learned how to plan and run an event. I am a member of the Service Scholars program here at St. John Fisher College, and our program is putting on a service trip to Jamaica to help Camp JASY. I put together an event where the class of 2011 Service Scholars did yard work for some professors from the College. Our instructor allowed me to promote my own event, and even ask for helpers from the class.

4)    Conduct Proper Research: To complete many of the assignments, we had to go digging through books such as:

In these books, tactics and ideals of some public relations figureheads were shared. Beyond that, there were also anecdotes and personal histories included to make for a clear representation of who those people truly were. We learned about the real public relations professionals. By reading these books and finding other material individually, we learned from their errors and things they did well to make an accurate assumption of what we should do to become true professionals ourselves.

5)    Look at two sides of every story: Our class got off to an interesting start, when we collectively made some blunders. But as we moved on in the class, we became comfortable with each other and with our capabilities. We learned, as every person in public relations knows, that there is always another side to the story. We learned how to bounce back, too, from our hideous mistakes, and create a truly enjoyable class. Our class was incredibly helpful and fun to be around…and made the 160 minutes pass by quickly.

White Paper Rough draft

Tara Ashraf

Kyle F. Reinson

Intro to PR

White Paper Assignment

                For my White Paper Assignment, I’d like to focus on a bagel shop near my house. The shop is called Bagel Jay’s, and has two locations in two places in Buffalo, New York. Bagel Jay’s is a local business. They serve a variety of bagels, juices, and other assorted breakfast items. Their platters are gorgeous and taste delicious. Obviously, I am a huge fan of their products so I will be a good spokesperson for the event.

                The good thing about this project is that Bagel Jay’s does not have an existing website. Their number and address are searchable on the Internet, but there is little beyond that. I’d like to include some reviews that I found online:

There is no finer place to get a great bagel in town. Their cream cheeses are superior to their rivals, and also, what they call an everything bagel is much closer to the mark than anywhere else around. Definitely the preferred bagel place. – Rachel Z.

Bagel Jay’s is normally never too busy when we go. They staff is always helpful and you are in and out in no time. Their new edition is their drive-thru. They have a great selection of fresh bagels, drinks and platters.—Beth Gosch

Both of those reviews are both informative and positive.

Though Bagel Jay’s has been around for several years, they only recently started to advertise on television.

After measuring capabilities of website-making software, I’d like to use Wix. The interface is simple and straightforward, and they make it easy for technologically-inferior people (ie: me) to use it. I will include links to ArtVoice (a local magazine that reviews restaurants, concerts, and events going on in the city of Buffalo), and include a Google map of how to get to each of the locations.

What I need to do:

–          Get menu/prices

–          Speak to a supervisor about approving the website

–          Find out backstory of Bagel Jay’s

–            See if they do catering (maybe they can book catering events online)

I’d like to make the site interesting. To this end, I will ask the supervisors of Bagel Jay’s if I can tape the store front, and then maybe some other parts of the store. I’d like to capture some interesting footage, so I’d probably want to get some close shots of the bagel-making process. I’d like to set up a feature that you can leave feedback—make a pretty generic e-mail address so that customers can get in contact with the workers. If it’s possible, I can add in “testimonials” and stand-ups of the owner.

Looking at other bagel websites: I’d like to add in an interactive map that shows where Bagel Jay’s is located. Since it’s only in New York, I’d add in a small map of the state, and pinpoint where the stores are. Bruegger’s already includes this so I’d put in a feature that if you sign up for the newsletter (generate more publicity!), you get a free bagel. That should be a good incentive to get more people interested in the store and maybe get more future customers. Maybe I’ll talk to the owners and ask them to make up t-shirts and hats with the Bagel Jay’s logo, and set up a webshop. Since good health is a major issue to many people, I can set up a menu with nutritional info on it. It might be a pdf or it might be listed with the prices. And if they do not have healthy options, maybe I can ask them to set up some “under-100” calories. If they do not already provide this, I can ask them to make a line of coffee that can be sold at Dash’s supermarket (another local business!)

I will set up a few different sections to the website: “about” “general info” “menu/prices/nutritional info” “employees” and then the interviews with employers at the site. I’d like to include an attachment where people can put in applications to work there!

What are they doing now?

Today, Tom Kelleher and Barbara Martin lead very interesting lives. Kelleher has a blog that goes beyond the content of his book. His resume is posted right on the University of Hawaii website.

Kelleher, part 2

When I looked around, I found a recent study done by Thomas Kelleher and Barbara Miller in 2006. They conducted a study to see the advantages of blogs over traditional websites. Additionally, they examined the way interactive websites work to create a following for their site or blog visitors.

I found Kelleher’s official website, and the link to his personal page. He is currently teaching several Communications classes at the University of Hawaii. He even has the syllabi up for each class. He has a Twitter too: tkell is his username. He is not a regular tweeter, but always seems to respond to tweets. He could probably add more tweets, and maybe have his students tweet during movies, like we’ve done. He is on Facebook, but it is locked, and I’m sure that if he opened up the privacy, more fans of his book would friend him.

Barbara Miller was a little trickier to find. Google searches didn’t turn up results for several pages, although I eventually found her. Her Facebook, also locked, was much easier found than her affiliation with the college. I even found her dissertation. She should publish more work or receive more local publicity so that more people can find out more about her. I think she might benefit from a LinkedIn page, because she has published several pieces, and maybe for her next study, she could ask others.

Kelleher quiz

1 a. 

Nordstrom- If you look up you will see one of the most well-known clothing stores in the fashion business. At the bottom of the home page, there are a few links that  “contact us” demonstrate the Dialogic loop. There are several different people that you can get in contact with, should you have any problem. Customers can even get in contact with a beauty or wedding stylist. There are numbers provided for credit card assistance, and e-mail addresses (which they promise to answer within 48 hours), and even mailing addresses for the headquarters. The people at Nordstrom have implemented other measures to meet the needs of their customers, including a policy that allows customers to return merchandise at any time.

1 b. The creators of have clearly kept their customers’ needs in mind. They have gone above and beyond the traditional ‘contact us’ buttons and added ‘How to’s and ‘Best’s as subheadings, to make their website more user-friendly. My favorite feature of the website is a simple pull-down menu that says, , and takes you to a link that asks you specific questions about those questions This is one example of how they try to meet their customers’ needs. They give you recommendations on what to do to alleviate the cravings, and what will satisfy you just as well. Although they offer links to Facebook and Twitter, I don’t think I’d ever use them, because I don’t see the need in it.

1 c. When I first started reading, it was a rinky-dink little site without many graphics and a horrible interface. Today, they provide calculators to help customers work the spots they need help with. Here is one calculator they provide to help customers. Their customer feedback has also showed them that customers need help with more than just fitness.

1 d. has a website that isn’t very customer-driven. Though they rotate the photographs of shoes they display, they do not easily meet the needs of their customers. Men have to click onto their own subcategory; those shoes do not appear right away. They have this handy FitFinder but it is not easily found. If they placed it in the forefront, more customers would probably appreciate it better. Their website does promise an e-mail alert for every sale, which is something I did not see elsewhere.

1 e. is my favorite website for a magazine. Though I do not read the magazine regularly, I find their website very fascinating. The website, updated almost hourly, has several interesting blogs that are written by different people (men, too!) coming from different perspectives. There are links to update Twitter and other social networking sites. Here is a photo of one of the regular bloggers, who writes a humorous column about her dating life. Blogger;Single-ishHer posts, often broken up by photos of her travels around NYC, never fail to make me laugh.

2. This study appeared in PUBLIC RELATIONS REVIEW, a peer-reviewed journal. This journal aims to accomplish a few objectives through its publication. Porter and Sallot conducted a qualitative study, to examine the way that people use the web, and which people specifically use the web. Users of the web within public relations use it to discover their “publics,” in order to create a working relationship with their customers. They hope to see the audiences without discrimination based on gender, race, or any monetary factor. They also found that women and men use the web equally, and that the Internet has become a great “equalizer” in creating an interface that is easily accessible for all audiences. They used their study to examine the people who use the web and what they use it for. If they did the study in 2010, they should show the specific sites that receive the most traffic, but instead of using charts, use hyperlinks. They should also include at what age children use the web, and whether they use it solely for entertainment or education.

3. The book’s lasting concepts are how to adapt media for society. They include the studies conducted and the differences in the way people approach media today. I will use the way he approached different websites and their visitors to see how to maximize the impact of my website. I liked the Dialogic Loop idea as a critical part of a website (of any kind), and will be sure to include a way for people to contact the site. I want to give an image captured from Google maps to show where the business is located and a phone number for people to call (because I don’t think there is an email address yet). I will create a generic e-mail address that they can use.

Captains of industry (predecessor to ch. 5)

As the chapter begins, the men of oil companies are at their peaks. Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Vanderbilt all basked in piles of money! But were they oil barons or captains of industry? Depends on who you asked.

According to Shell, the men stepped over others to get their money. This video demonstrates what many of the American people felt.

Can there always be a democracy?

There can always be a democracy, because the ultimate goal of democracy is to fulfill what the majority wants. As much as it is “for the people,” it is not for all people, which we can see in our fractionalized audience. Since democracy’s definition is so often lost in what it has come to mean, this website describes what its original intentions were. Democracy, in 2010, is manifested in different ways today. This video shows how our system of government came about. Maybe it’s because I have lived in America my whole life, but I have a rosy outlook on democracy and what it means. Democracy can exist when there is not a clear public opinion. In elections, only the person that gets the majority of electoral votes is elected. With all the different opinions and values out there, it’d be impossible for anyone to get every single person’s vote.democracy would fail its supporters. However, democracy depends on what is known. If it is only people who are never seen who keep democracy in place, then the democracy will not be a true one. Democracy thrives on the interactions of people; many people would not vote if they were not encouraged to do so, and many people like to see those they know elected into positions of power. Polls, such as the Gallup poll, are effective because they measure what the people measured want and don’t want. Today, we do put the most stock in emotional appeals, much more than anything else. In this election commercial, we can clearly see the influence of the emotion. Democracy, as it is today, is a combination of what you know, who you know, and how you market yourself.

Crashing borders (Megaquiz#2)

black and white; photographEvery now and then, people shape our lives with their words. Ferdinand Tönnies, notable German sociologist and contributor to the field of social sciences, will be visiting St. John Fisher College and mesmerizing us with his rhetoric. Due to the fame we hope to bring through this event, we are asking for e-mail confirmation of classes and/or professors that hope to attend (individual RSVPs are not needed). We have asked WHEC, WOKR, WROC, WUHF, and WXXI to televise the event, and CTV will host an exclusive interview with the famed writer, as a special “catch-up session” for interested students. Next week, the lecture will air in full on CTV with running commentary by Tara Ashraf.

This Thursday night, our campus will host a very special guest. His findings have been very significant for the field of sociology and communications. Over 900 pieces hold his name in the byline, but he will present from only one of them. His most recent piece, Schriften zu Friedrich von Schille, will be available for autographs and purchase after the presentation. His ingenuity and eclectic personalit, two traits that do not transcend literature, will surely be apparent in person. Through this visit to the campus, we hope to bring understanding to students and faculty alike of the vast contributions of Tönnies.

Parking is available in lots A & B. This is a campus-wide event and open to the public, but sociology and communications/journalism majors are strongly encouraged to attend.

For more info see:,%20Ferdinand/toennies,_ferdinand.htm

Contact: or follow ta05208 on Twitter!


1. How were we, in the 1950s, moving from a public to a mass? Do you think we are in a state of public or mass today, in 2010? Is the public the people you interact with on a daily basis or is it a collection of polls?

2. What comparison does Lippman use to talk about how media is changing, and is it effective?

3. In “Conference Humiliation…” the author coins a few new terms to describe how Twitter is changing. Tweckle (twek’ul) vt. to abuse a speaker only to Twitter followers in the audience while he/she is speaking. “virtual lynching”- verbally abusing someone online. How/why is Twitter becoming too personal, in 2010?

This comical video shows the way Twitter has become more TMI than just a good time.

Twitter reflection: War Movie

Before our Intro to Public Relations course, I had only heard of Twitter. I had never actually used it. Instead of taking notes, our “notes” were to each other about what we heard. Because what we heard was so provocative, many people quoted the movie and added either a link or an opinion. Jessica Walter, one girl in the class, posted this: #war “The longer we stay, the stronger our enemies become”-John Weiss. Several people expressed exasperation at what was going on in the movie. Phil Martello, another classmate, tweeted: “#war civilians account for 90% of deaths?!? are our soldiers blind or are they just defending themselves?” His opinion seemed to follow what the majority of the American public think today:

Although we are still involved with the war, popularity and support for it has gone down drastically. Watching this movie and seeing other people’s reactions reminded me how biased the news truly is.

This YouTube video:

also explores the way news sources are not always impartial. Using Twitter during a class was a totally new experience!

The washington center

So, I’ll admit it.  I’m scared.   I’ve never been far away from my family for more than six and a half weeks…and this time, it’ll be even longer.  But there are plans, trains, and buses.  Add that to the fact that my roomie has already started looking up times to come down, and I think it’ll be easy-peasy to overcome homesickness.

But I’m excited, too.  I’ll be interning at the Near East South Asian Center for Strategic Studies (which is totally a mouthful, but looks like an amazing opportunity for someone like me).  It’s my last semester, too, at my undergrad institution, but instead of feeling sad or nostalgic, I feel kinda like this guy:

This semester, I took a bunch of last-minute classes and let some of the socialization slide in favor of the work…I don’t expect that there won’t be a lot of work, but getting back to the city life—that will be a treat after three and a half years of suburbs.  Now, it’ll be a whole different ballgame.