Archive for the ‘ISC Topics’ Category

ISC Topic 2   Leave a comment

Somehow this one slipped through the cracks… well I suppose that it is better late than never.  Anyways, Shirley Sherrod was a government official working for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  As an African American, Sherrod was asked to help many farmers who were on the brink of bankruptcy.  At a later date, Sherrod was filmed addressing an audience at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and telling a story about how she did not provide the full assistance to a specific farmer because he was white. 




The details on the story are somewhat vague, my guess is because the story is over a year old, and that a great number of politcal groups were involved with the ordeal.  However, both Fox News and MSNBC agree that Sherrod was not providing full assistance to the poor white farmer.  The video was posted on a number of blogs, and like a wildfire her ‘racism’ was ringing throughout the blogosphere.  The government asked her to step down, but upon further examination of the full video appologized to her and offered her her old position back.

It is important to know as a strategic communicator that you need to have all of the facts.  Seitel says in his book many different times that the cardinal rule of public relations is to remain honest.  I think that it was unfortunate that she was forced to resign, but it really shows the full power of the blogosphere.  By spreading information at an instantaneous rate, (even if the information is false), public opinion can be influenced faster than ever.  That is why it is critical to keep healthy relations with the press, which now includes those who maintain popular blogs.  While it seems silly that people that are not actually employed to be journalists can bolster such influence, but that is the reality of our world today and it is the job of strategic communicators to monitor these relationships.




Posted June 29, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in ISC Topics

ISC Topic 7   Leave a comment

So you have decided to take Comm 306 eh?  Good decision and I promise that if you stick with and put in genuine effort, you won’t regret it.  This is a class that really stretches your ability to think critically, add a certain creative flair that will help your work stand out from everybody elses, as well as testing your close reading skills.  While this might sound a bit unnerving at first, don’t worry I will share some advice with you that helped me succeed in the class.

  1. Stay on top of the workload- The hardest part about this class is the freedom that you are given.  You can complete assignments at your own pace and Dr. McArthur will still give you credit for them, but that will leave you with a staggering amount of work to do at the end of the session/semester.  That and you will loose points from the weekly upkeep section on your blog
  2. Read the entire chapter (including the examples)- There is a reason why the majority of the assigned homework is chapter reading notes.  The chapters themselves provide a lot of great examples that will help you with other assignments in the class, and if you take notes as you go, then you basically have a study guide for the exams as well!
  3. When the prompt suggests creativity, don’t be afraid to try something new- This class provides some great opportunities to get your hands dirt, metaphorically speaking of course. Don’t be afraid to try something new, or to include different types of media in your presentations.  Even if your attempt isn’t the best work, Dr. McArthur will apreciate you testing your limits and trying something new.
  4. Read the articles and posts that Dr. McArthur provides you with- Dr. McArthur is definitely a pro at all things involving media and communications.  I have asked him probably a million different questions this summer term, and he has always provided quick, friendly, and helpful responses to my questions.  He also posts a lot of helpful informationt that will help you with your blogs.
  5. Put your best effort into all of the assignments- Don’t just try to finish all of the projects, actually put effort into them.  You will be surprised with what you end up with.  If you put your best effort into the class, then at the end of the semester/term you will have an awesome portfoio that you can use if you are trying to get a job in Media Communication.

For some helpful tips check out some of these links:


Posted June 29, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in ISC Topics

ISC Topic 6   Leave a comment

It seems like such a long time ago when we first started this class.  I can tell that I have progressed a lot because I didn’t even mention strategic communication in my post… whoops.  However, I do know that I didn’t have much of a definition for it, it was something along the lines of “carefully considering the wording of a specific message”.  I was pretty much dead wrong.  Now that the class is pretty much done, I realize that strategic communication is more of specifically tailoring a message that will have the most likelyhood to influence a targeted audience.  While there is much more to strategic communication then just one sentence, I would say that is a pretty decent way to summarize it. 

I think that the most beneficial part of this class was the blog.  By reiterating what I read in each chapter, and completing lab assignments and ISC topics that required creative thinking, I think that really applied what we were learning to a real life example of how strategic communication is done.  I know that I really enjoyed the lab assignments the most because it allowed for a certain aspect of creativity and freedom that weren’t really there in the chapter notes section. 

Some of the skills that I frequently used throughout the course of this class were close reading, analytical thinking, creativity, as well as organization.  I think that the organization part was the most important for me.  With so many different types of assignments all due at the same time, it was important for me to write out what was due each week, so that I could keep track of what I had already completed.  After organization, I thought that creativity was the most important skill to utilize.  With all of the projects that included media presentations or one page visuals, I needed to think of a way that would say everything that I was trying to say without boring people to death.


Posted June 29, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in ISC Topics

ISC Topic 5   1 comment

When I found out that we had to make a Twitter account for this class I was very skeptical.  I didn’t really think that Twitter was very significant, and I thought of it as just another way for teenagers to say that they are bored online.  Part of my initial reaction to the assignment was because I had already tried to make a Twitter account, and I didn’t really see any point to it.

I think that the main reason why I quit Twitter was because I wasn’t using it to be helpful and to spread information, I was basically using it as another Facebook status update.  However, when we started the week of Tweeting, I purposefully waited for others to start so that I could get an idea of how they were using this account.  Much to my surprise, and pleasure, this was not just mindless meaningless babble, but it was actually stimulating. 

When I first started my account for #comm306, I wasn’t really sure where to start.  I mean, how can you pick one story out of everything on the Internet, and then summarize it in less that 140 characters!  I thought that my tweets would take no more than 15 minutes to complete, but my first 10 probably took me about an hour each.  While that seems excessive, I was trying to ensure that I didn’t polute the tweet-osphere with more junk. 

Overall, I really enjoyed my time on Twitter.  It is something that you need to take an active interest to get anything out of it.  Just like school, you only get out of it what you put into it.  I think that I am going to continue tweeting, but I think that I will probably change the name so that people don’t think that I am just doing this for class credit.  I’m not saying that I am going to be posting 4 things a day, but I will definitely attempt to continue providing the world with what I deem interesting or funny.!/Harris216/status/85728730353381376!/Harris216/status/85392663544725504

Posted June 29, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in ISC Topics

ISC #4   Leave a comment

As people begin to rely more and more on technology for their everyday lives, more and more time and money is spent on sending messages to these people.  Specifically on the Internet and on Television, hundreds of companies and corporations compete daily to try to expose their messages to the viewer audience.  There are three prominent ways that information reaches people, and they can normally be categorized into either Public Relations, Advertising, or Marketing.  All three of these methods are very similar and hold a number of shared ground, but they are in fact very specific.

Public Relations is not so interested in selling a product or service like advertising and marketing are.  Think of it as public relations professionals are more concerned with selling an individual rather than a specific thing.  From as early as Rockefeller, high profile individuals like politicians, CEO’s, and even athletes have employed public relations professionals to help bolster their public support.  Think of individuals like Shaquielle O’Neal.  Shaq is notorious for being energetic and well, goofy.  He was often seen joking and laughing with teammates on the court where he ruled as king.  Off the court, Shaq updates a Twitter account very regularly, which help people foster a better opinion about him.  Just try to harbor a grudge against a guy that can produce something like this:

Advertising is an attempt to show a specific product or service in a light that would convince others to buy it.  More simply stated, basically any kind of commercial that appears on your TV screen would qualify as an advertisement.  There are many different strategies involved with drafting a successful advert, and this has evolved into a multibillion dollar industry.  One such company that has thoroughly established itself as an advertising king is Budweiser.  Notorious for their hilarious Super Bowl commercials, Budweiser has successfully convinced millions of Americans that Budweiser is a beer worth buying.

Marketing is very similar to advertising but they differ in that marketing is a much more strategic, long term campaign rather than a simple commercial.  While single advertisements may make up a specific Marketing campaign, all of the commercials involved would portray the same underline thing.  For example, make-up commercials will usually highlight some celebrity to show that everybody uses that specific product.  While the product or celebrity spokesperson may change, the message is clear that women who want to be beautiful should use this product.  Another great example of a successful marketing strategy would be Nerf.  In an attempt to sell more dart guns, Nerf devised the “N-Strike” campaign that would show younger boys playing with their friends in a tactical, war-like scenario that looks downright fun.  There are multiple commercials and products that make up “N-Strike” but they all have the same underlying message.  Check out this commercial for a better look:

Posted June 22, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in ISC Topics

ISC Topic 1   1 comment

Hey everybody, my name is Brandon Christopher Harris.  I was born in Orange County, California and have lived there since then.  As you can all figure out, I attend Queens University of Charlotte.  I love it in Charlotte, and especially at Queens.  My mother’s side of the family is originally from Virginia, so she always told me that I would eventually end up in the South.  I think that Queens is an incredible University because it offers such a unique college experience.  I have compared my experience with those of my friends that attend schools in California, and I would take mine over theirs any day of the week.  Constantly, they tell me horror stories of lecture hall classes that can be as large as 400kids, to their smallest classes for their majors that run at around 40-50 students.  My largest class at Queens has been no larger than 30, and that was Freshmen Core.  I am so thankful that I go to a school where I can just drop by my advisor’s office if I have a question, and he actually has time to sit and chat, and he even knows who I am without having to look at my record first.  I am pursuing both a major in Media Communication as well as English Literature.  I really like  the Communication department, there are so many opportunities to do hands on, real world projects.  I took Middle East Media last year, and the opportunity to skype with classes in Jordan and Cairo was simply phenomenal.  I think that I am drawn to the creative outlets in which professors use to teach their classes.  I decided to take this class because it was taught by Dr. McArthur (sorry if that comes off like a teacher’s pet), but the excitement and enthusiasm that he brings to all of his classes is a breath of fresh air from the monotony of lecture based classes. At Queens I have tried to become involved with as many things as possible.  I have run for offices in SGA, and have joined the chapter of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.  Through my time with Pi Kappa Phi, I have served for two years on the Inter Fraternal Council, and I hope to branch out to organizations like CUB and the Order of Omega.  If you have any questions, or want to get to know me better, than here is a link to my Facebook profile:

Me in a nutshell

Posted June 2, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in ISC Topics

ISC Topic 3   Leave a comment

Mitt Romney is officially running for president as of June 2nd 2011.  This is an exciting moment for Republicans and Conservatives everywhere given Romney’s successful political background as the governor of Michigan.  During his time in office Romney was able to successfully cut the states $3 Billion dollar deficit  without raising taxes, as well as signed legislation that helped organize a new form of health care.  In 2008 Romney ultimately lost to John McCain, a candidate who’s more experienced political career and veteran status were considered enough to battle the youth and charisma of Barack Obama.  However, we all know that that plan didn’t really go as planned and Republicans everywhere are crossing their fingers hoping to get one of their own into the White House.  Naturally the coverage is completely different from different websites.  While Fox News offers a more inspirational and uplifting spin on the story, MSNBC depicts Romney as a cocky and disrespectful individual.

Fox News was very favorable of Romney's decision to run

CNN is much more unbiased, which is evident in the fact that it posts the longest article with the most facts.  This makes sense, as CNN is known as the middle ground in which Americans can gather around for unbiased and truthful news coverage.  The editors at CNN promote this reputation by diving deep into Romney’s political and private sector background, explaining the significance of Romney announcing his eligibility for presidency in New Hampshire as a strategic move.

As expected CNN remains neutral, leaving their readers to make their own informed choices

MSNBC, a notoriously left wing news source is quick to pounce on Romney’s criticism of Obama.  Statements like, “blistering critique of President Barack Obama” litter the article contributing to the general disapproval of the political candidate.  It is natural that MSNBC would be harsh on the front runner of the presidential campaign.  With the economy leaving many Americans in a state of fear, the presidential election of 2012 is going to be very bitter and competitive.  MSNBC is quick to comment on Romney’s political “flip flopping” already, something that foreshadows a long year of campaigning for all candidates.  however, MSNBC is the only website that offers the full video of Romney’s speech on the same page as their article.  I’m not entirely sure why they would do that, considering that neither Fox or CNN does so.

MSNBC already launches their campaign against Romney

While CNN and Fox both offer the video of the announcement on their respective websites, it is not on the same page as the article.  Either way, all three websites live up to their generally perceived political stance through their coverage of Mitt Romney’s decision to run for president.

Fox News article:

CNN article:

MSNBC article:

Posted June 2, 2011 by Thinking&Drinkin in ISC Topics