Dr. V Speaks to My International P.R. Class

Dr. Michaela V. is a professor at the College of Technology at Perdue University. She is trained in Communication Arts and teached public relations courses at both Clemson and the University of Dayton in Ohio. She recieved her PHD and Masters degrees at Perdue University and is now back to her roots teaching there. Dr. V hails from Romania but has been in the states for quite some time now.

One of the first points Dr. V made was that she absolutely loves social media and what it is doing for the P.R. world specifically. She now spends a lot of her time researching this ever-growing phenomenon. Her PowerPoint slides were entitled “Social Media in the World”.

Dr. V began her discussion with some incredibly interesting “guessing games” as she called them, where she would ask the entire class a question and after hearing our answers show us the correct response through statistical data. The first question was what continent has the most internet users? We actually got this one correct, Asia. Asia has the most internet users with 42%. Europe is second with 24%, then the North America with 14%, the Middle East and Africa tie with 3% each and South America and Australia tie with 1%. These numbers show that there is not a direct correspondence between population and internet users.

Dr. V then began to discuss the social media aspect of the internet and how there are three main types of social media:

  1. Social Networking
  2. Reading Blogs
  3. Watching Videos

Dr. V told us that all three of these are incredibly important to public relations. She then gave us the top 6 social networking sites in order of most popular to least:

  1. Facebook
  2. Myspace
  3. Friendster
  4. Orkut
  5. Bebo
  6. Skyrock

I personally had only heard of the first two, so this made me wonder how much social networking is going on outside the U.S. Which lead to Dr. V’s second “guessing game”. What country uses social networking the most? We answered U.S. however the top countries using this medium is the Netherlands, UK, Taiwan, and South Korea in a 16-54 age group. Next, what top 5 countries are reading blogs?

  1. Netherlands
  2. South Korea
  3. Spain
  4. USA
  5. Japan

Dr. V then informed us that overall, people worldwide like watching videos online more than reading blogs or participating in social networking sites. So, top countries watching sites like YouTube and Hulu?

  1. Brazil
  2. India
  3. China
  4. US
  5. Germany

Finally, Dr. V listed the top social media use countries which were Netherlands, USA, and South Korea. She then decided to focus on the differences between the social media of South Korea and the U.S. She pointed out 4 different aspects:

  1. Blogging is very personal in South Korea, whereas in the US, blogging is used more often for professional means.
  2. In South Korea, people have a high trust in company information and public relations. This was found by Edelman South Korea which places an ethical responsibility on the P.R. practioner
  3. South Korea is fine if companies ask them to give technological or gadget reviews through their social networking
  4. Finally, South Koreans find pitching through social media an invasion of privacy since it is such a personal thing. She gave us the example of a door to door salesman.

Dr. V finished her discussion by discussing Social Norms and how one must cultivate a relationship through social media with those from different cultures. She explained that there must be a fusion between social media norms and local cultural norms. She says the P.R. personnel must be familiar with both to be successful through social media. She advises doing research on this, “what do they want” and “what do they want to talk about”.

Dr. V ended her discussion by saying simply, “We(the U.S.) don’t own social media!”

Dr. V was a great speaker and I will definately be reading her blog at Socialconnections.com!

 

 

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November 19, 2009. Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. Andrews replied:

    The stats she presented was an eye-opener. Her blog is prconnections.net

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