Public Relations and Social Networking
The course discusses current issues in the media, PR and social networking. It compares western thinking and practice with Russian reality.

John Harrison
Editor-in-Chief in Passport Magazine.
Has extensive experience in Media and Public Relations areas. He has worked in Russia for over 15 years and is currently the managing editor of Passport Magazine.

Goals and Purpose of this Course
  • To fully understand how the internet has changed the rules of marketing and PR. This means becoming thoroughly familiar with what is meant by the 'New Media' and the 'Social Media', 'the media', 'marketing' and 'PR' in general. In class, students will look into, in depth, the main products: facebook, twitter, Yahoo, YouTube, LinkedIn, Plaxo, MySpace, Blogger, Microsoft MSN, ICQ and others. Understanding of these services will be helped by analysing how companies such as Ford, Coca-Cola, and celebrities have promoted themselves using the new media.
  • To understand what social networking actually is through studying the philosophy behind this 'new' phenomenon, along with the commercial applications of viral marketing. Students will gain knowledge of the limitations of using these products in Russia, as well as their potential.
  • To become familiar with the key players on the market: Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Microsoft and Apple through analysing how each of these companies is structured, and how they encourage innovation (if they do!). To a certain extent the way in which these companies operate has determined the nature of their products.
  • To understand the limitation of the New Media in dissemination of news material. The difference between good-quality journalism and not-so-good journalism will be discussed. Students will discuss the success or failure of the current 'pay-wall' experiment around The Times and certain other news outlets.
  • To understand that the New Media is constantly changing. The New Media refers users back to the more 'traditional' web sites, such as those used in the travel industry, where the majority of ticket sales are now carried out on-line, both with the airline itself or with an agent. The impact of direct sales on traditional retail needs to be understood.
  • To understand the advantages and disadvantages of recruiting in Russia using the New Media. Many aspects of the New Media cannot yet be fully adapted for use in Russia, so it is important to understand how the market is changing, how quickly, and what will happen next.

Course Materials
The reading list includes:

  • The New Rules of Marketing & PR, David Meerman Scott.
  • NEW MEDIA, A critical Introduction, Martin Lister, Jon Dovey, Seth Giddings, Iain Grant, Kieran Kelly.
  • When the Press Fails, Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina, Lance Bennett, Regina Lawrence, Steven Livingston.
  • Converging Culture: Where Old and New media Collide, Henry Jenkins.
All students will have the opportunity to start their own blog, and experience for themselves the limitations and freedom of this new media.

An AIBEc facebook page will be created and administered by students on this course.

Grading of this course will be based on assignments, examinations and class participation.

Each week, one or more students will make a presentation on a New Media product. Grading will be caried out by judging the quality of the presentation, the level of creative and critical thinking, and the ability to engage the audience in a meaningful discussion.

Students will need to pass a written examination at the end of the course.

Course Topics
  1. Introduction to PR, a little about the history of the new media
  2. The New Media: web sites, emails, Social Media, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Youtube, etc.
  3. Google and other major internet companies
  4. How to sell using the New Media
  5. The roles of PR manager and marketing manager in the new media situation
  6. The Old Media
  7. The rise of PR and the fall of advertising
  8. Advertorial and editorial
  9. Standard PR tools
  10. Traditional events, "press-conference" events, writing press releases, etc.
  11. New media events
  12. Strategic PR
  13. The job of the PR manager today with and without a charismatic leader

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