Back to school reminder: Social Media can be dangerous

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I made a list… a selfie list

I take a lot of selfies, no doubt. But am I worthy of this list? NOLA.com thinks so. For the record, most of my selfies feature me AND other people on the set during newscasts. Anyway, here’s a list. I’m on it. Enjoy.

Social Media Boot Camp with Southern Miss student-athletes

Media | Social Media training at Southern Miss

IMG_0928Hattiesburg, MS – It’s been far too long since I visited this campus. The University of Southern Mississippi was home to me for four great years from 1993-1997. If I didn’t realize how long ago that was, it was hammered home today. Another freshman class is moving in — one that wasn’t alive when I was here. But the feeling in the air is the same — excitement and anticipation. The smells are the same. Heck, some of the people are the same.

I walked around campus and marveled at how much greater it has become in the 17 years since I left. Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, a new campus cafeteria, an improved football stadium and new dorm buildings are some of the highlights. IMG_0933This is a great place and it’ll always be like home for me. I met my wife here and my sister and brother followed me to Hattiesburg. I’m happy to see the experience on campus is constantly improving. I walked out on the football field this afternoon. It, and the stadium, looks fantastic.

Now, the reason I’m here — I’m doing a Media/Social Media training session for new student-athletes tomorrow morning. I look forward to meeting with them.

The social media aftermath of Michael Sam being drafted

Here we are on Monday, two days after openly gay defensive end Michael Sam was drafted in the seventh round of the NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams. Some players jumped on Twitter to vent, which led to my post on Sunday about how many still have no clue about the power of social media.

Then former Ole Miss basketball player Marshall Henderson struck this morning. Henderson is very outspoken and his diatribe about Sam held true to his persona. After Sam was drafted, he kissed his boyfriend and it was shown on ESPN’s draft coverage. That scene has been the lightning rod for much of the criticism coming since Saturday, including Henderson’s. But Henderson took things to another level… then tried to backtrack and explain himself. Based on his twitter mentions, not many people are buying it.

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NFL draft proves some are still clueless about the power of social media

Leave it to the NFL draft to bring out the worst in some current and retired NFL players. Memo to you all: In case you haven’t figured it out, when something noteworthy or historic happens — like the St. Louis Rams drafting the NFL’s first openly gay player — the media is looking for a reaction. We know you’re going to react. If you react in a negative way, it WILL blow up in a bad way and reputations will be tarnished.

Let’s begin with former NFL running back Derrick Ward. After seeing defensive end Michael Sam kiss his boyfriend on ESPN following Sam’s selection by the Rams, Ward ran to the Twitter machine and threw darts.

Ward’s Twitter mentions went crazy.

Ward later backtracked and said even if Sam would have kissed a woman, he would have said the same thing — but it was too late. Google “Derrick Ward” now and he’s forever associated with his instant, negative response to Sam’s kiss. When you’re a retired player, you can’t count on many new stories coming out to bump those search results down.

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Now we move on to Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones.

When he heard Sam had been drafted by the Rams, the second-year player tweeted “OMG” and “horrible.” The tweets were quickly deleted, but, again, it didn’t matter. He also locked down his account and “protected” his tweets. Again, too late. The damage had been done.

Now Jones’ and his team are taking heat and his general manager is being forced to speak about the issue, distracting from the Dolphins’ draft.

“I was disappointed in those comments,” Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said. “That’s not what we stand for as an organization. The draft weekend is the culmination for so many players of their lifetime achievement of their dream to achieve their goal. For Michael Sam, for all the other players, it’s such a great celebration as they begin their future. We’re going to sit down with Don Jones and address (the tweet) appropriately.”

It’s unfortunate that anyone has to address anything, but social media lessons are painful and the medium’s power gets stronger every day.

Update: The Miami Dolphins announced Sunday night defensive back Don Jones was fined and excused from team activities until he undergoes sensitivity training.

>> Click here to read about Scott’s Social Media Boot Camp

PayPal executive fired after Twitter rant during Jazz Fest

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Rakesh “Rocky” Agrawal, PayPal’s Director of Strategy, was fired after calling out co-workers on Twitter, including PayPal’s VP of Global Communications who he called a “useless middle manager,” among other choice words. 

After having “the best night of his life” at Jazz Fest last weekend, Agrawal went off the rails.

This tweet from PayPal quickly followed.

Then there’s this from the President of PayPal. He’s not happy.

“Since his tasteless tweets first became public, Rocky has posted positive remarks about myself and other PayPal leaders. Thanks but no thanks, Rocky. When you attack and insult my team, you attack, and insult me and the rest of PayPal.”

Here’s the rest of the statement.

Another career up in flames because of social media carelessness.

Social Media Boot Camp at Brother Martin High School

I recently spoke to the senior class at Brother Martin High School about the benefits and pitfalls of social media. It’s an important subject I enjoy speaking about, and as the students wrap up their high school careers and set their sights on college, I think it’s critical for them to realize how easily a 140 character tweet, Facebook post or Instragram picture can haunt them, literally, forever.

When it comes to social media, you never know what’s going to stick. I use numerous real-life examples (including one that involves me) that are certainly attention-getting.

I enjoyed the talk and the students were attentive, receptive and responsive. For anyone interested, I can customize my presentation for any size group.

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Scott’s social media boot camp

social_mediaSpeaking about the benefits and pitfalls of social media in life, family and career is something I’m very passionate about. Too many good careers and reputations have been torched because of an ill-advised Facebook post or tweet.

CEOs, student-athletes, professional athletes, teachers, broadcasters, Public Relations executives and other professionals have all screwed up. Social media stupidity is far-reaching and does not discriminate.

I’ve won several social media awards and am active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram daily. Plus, I actually work in the media… unlike a lot of the people who claim to be social media experts. I like to say I have a lot of experience practicing what I preach.

My social media presentations can be customized for any group, large or small — high school, college or pro athletes, high school seniors, college undergrads, recent college graduates, professionals and more.

I believe that no matter what stage of life we’re in, we never stop learning about social media. It’s constantly evolving and we should always be getting better at it.

My presentations typically last 60-90 minutes and cover social media platforms, statistics, branding, responsibility, stupidity and more. The real-life examples I use are informative, entertaining and, often, gasp inducing. Timing of the presentations can be adjusted and, as noted earlier, they are fully customizable.

Here is some feedback shared on Twitter from the last presentation I did for the Senior class at Brother Martin High School:

  • “I loved your talk today and I got to be in your selfie which is pretty cool!!!”
  • “Great having @ScottWalker6 come talk to our class today. Thanks for coming!”
  • “Thank You to @ScottWalker6 for giving us an amazing presentation today.”
  • “Enjoyed listening to @ScottWalker6 talk to Brother Martin senior class today about social media!”

Contact me for more information. Fill out the form below or shoot me an email.

Monday Night’s Suit: Based on Your Tweets, You Hated it

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Last night I tweeted that there hadn’t been this much talk about my wardrobe since I did a live shot with my zipper down in 1995. Viewers had a field day with this ensemble which, in hindsight, could have looked better. My kids hated it. My wife hated it. One viewer tweeted that it was “the worst shirt/tie combination in the history of haberdashery.”

Here’s video from the end of the newscast.

And here are viewer tweets:

https://twitter.com/charelno5/status/341761486064074752

Guest Post: 10 Tips for Breaking Into Broadcast News

By Chris Pollone
SWTV Contributor

Scott’s note: Chris Pollone is a freelance correspondent for NBC News Channel. Prior to moving to New York City he worked at the NBC affiliate in Birmingham, Ala. for 11 years where he did both news and sports reporting. Before that, he worked four years in Jackson, Miss. That’s where we met and became friends. He had more hair back then, but the knowledge he has gained over the years far outweighs the hair that he’s lost. He’s one of the good guys in this business, despite his affection for the Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots. Chris graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and is a native of North Andover, Mass. Today, he shares his 10 tips for breaking into broadcast news:

1. Network, network, network.

Every contact you meet could help you down the line when you least expect it.

2. Use online tools wisely.

Use LinkedIn to stay in touch with people in your network. Reach out frequently to just “say hi”. Google and LinkedIn are also great ways to research potential job sites to find out who the hiring people are and their contact info. On LinkedIn, you can put in something like “ESPN” and find all the people who work there who are on the site. Or people who went to your school who might be willing to help. Start trolling job titles, then contact folks who look like they can help. Some will probably be willing to point you in the right direction.

3. Start asking people to look at your work and to mentor you well before you need a job.

That way, you don’t seem like a pest just using the relationship to get a job, and when they have a job available, they’ll think of you because you already have an established relationship.

4. Always have an updated resume tape loaded on YouTube or Vimeo ready to go if someone asks for it.

 

5. Even if you don’t have a job, make business cards that have links to your latest reel and “paper” resume to hand out to potential bosses.

 

6. INTERNSHIPS!

Working at campus TV, radio or newspapers are great, but nothing beats real, professional experience. Do as many as you can afford and your school will allow, and focus on places where you’ll actually get to do things. I have a friend who could have interned in Birmingham or at Fox News in New York one summer. She really wanted to go to NY, so she went to Fox News. When she got there, they put her in promotions, not news, where she helped edit promos all day. The experience added nothing to her ability to find a sportscasting job in local TV.

7. Take a job. Any job.

If you’re looking for your first job in news, 99% of the time you should take the first thing that’s offered. It’s hard to break into this industry, but you can often find the role you want or a new job once you have real, paid experience. So if someone is willing to let you work in a real, professional TV or Radio station, and you don’t like the money/location/hours/role, too bad. Someone else will take that job and you could be sitting on your parents’ couch for 8 more months. People with multiple offers, of course, have more discretion, but unless you’re some sort of wunderkind, that’s not likely to happen.

8. Be patient and persistent!

People have busy lives, and it might take them a while to respond, so don’t freak out if you don’t hear back right away. But it’s also fine to send a “reminder” if you haven’t heard back from someone after 4-6 weeks. If they’re like me, sometimes the inbox gets a little crowded and your email gets lost in the flood.

9. Showcase unusual and innovative work.

Oh, you covered the President coming to your town for a rally once? Yeah, so did every good small and medium market reporter/photog or producer. The President doesn’t impress news directors. Strong writing, incredible digging, and uncovering something new, does.

10. NEVER burn a bridge.

The kid you’re treating like crap in Broadcast News Writing today, could be the guy tossing your resume into the trash at a big market TV station in 10 years. Being nice pays off.

- Follow Chris on Twitter and Facebook. He can be reached by email at chris.pollone@gmail.com.

Twitter Analyzed: The Farther Away We Are, The Happier We Are

Some brainy people at the University of Vermont studied “37 million tweets from 180,000 individuals in 2011 that also gave their location. They then characterized the movement associated with each individual.”

The study basically concluded that the farther we are from our average tweeting location, the happier we are.

The researchers say tweets authored thousands of kilometers from from an individual’s expected location are more likely to contain the words “beach,” “great,” “restaurant” and so on and less likely to contain negative words such as “no,” “don’t,” “hate” and the suchlike. However, when people are closer to their average location, they are more likely to laugh using words like “hahaha.”

Read more HERE.

> WDSU is Hiring a Digital Editor

The WDSU web team is hiring! For the successful applicant, you’ll be doing what you already do — playing on the internet all day — but getting paid for it! What a deal.

Here are details about the job:

The mandate of the Hearst Television Digital team is to deliver timely and accurate news and weather coverage across the station’s multi-platform offerings, optimizing user engagement. The DIGITAL EDITOR supports this mission by writing stories and publishing content from various origins, including WDSU editorial staff, wire services and other news sources. Material is presented on multiple platforms. The DIGITAL EDITOR reports to the Digital Media Manager.

And here’s what you’ll get to do:

Writes and edits material for target audiences, integrating engaging and creative text, still images and video components; links to relevant Internet resources in an appealing and thoughtful presentation for multiple platforms, including online, mobile, tablet, and social media (Facebook, Twitter and e-mail). Updates, revises and expands developing stories. Collaborates with station management, reporters, photographers, assignment editors and producers to build daily web and mobile content. Provides added content and social media value to reports initially developed by broadcast journalists. Executes digital content plan on station-guided big events and major breaking news and weather. Provides digital content/social media/operations support to complement station programming, marketing and sales efforts. Integrates user-generated content as part of “crowd sourcing” to complement our professional content.

And the guy pictured below is who you’ll get to work with — Clint Durrett, the best in the business. Or at least the best within 25 feet of my desk. He also promises a labyrinth of computers and a bottomless supply of Post-It Notes for his future co-worker.

[ CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THE WDSU DIGITAL EDITOR POSITION ]

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When Did You Join Twitter? Find Out Here

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Ever wonder when you decided to take the Twitter plunge? I stumbled upon this website, which shows your start date in an instant.

I joined Twitter on September 21, 2008..1,569 days ago. It seems like it was just yesterday.

Another Social Media Misstep: Donald Trump’s Twitter Tirade

Twitter is a very powerful tool. And the more followers a person has, the more powerful it is. Lady Gaga has 31 million followers. President Obama has 23 million. Ellen DeGeneres has 14 million. Twitter provides a large audience. One misfired tweet can cause a firestorm of controversy and billionaire Donald Trump is the latest celeb to get caught in the crossfire.

Trump has nearly two million followers and he gave them quite a show on election night, calling for a “revolution” at one point because of the re-election of President Obama. He has since deleted a number of the controversial tweets, but the wheels of social media were already spinning. Hitting the delete button doesn’t really get rid of a tweet. People have already retweeted it and reacted to it within seconds of the tweet appearing on their timelines.

NBC’s Brian Williams critically mentioned Trump’s epic rant during election coverage and that sent Trump into more of a tailspin as he railed against Williams, ratings and Nightly News.

Trump’s twitter behavior on election night should be yet another example to celebrities, athletes and business leaders of what not to do on social media when you’re a public figure. You hurt your name, you hurt your brand and, most of all, you hurt your reputation. But I’m guessing at this point Trump doesn’t really care about that. He said as much yesterday — in the third person.

“The fact is that there’s a large group of people who like Donald Trump and what Donald Trump says,” says Donald Trump. “I have no regrets.”

 

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