Taking a Swing at Storify: Pine Tar Pitching

For my first ever Storify, I wanted to be sure I was incorporating something that was interesting to me yet still relevant to the news and social media. So why not cover America’s pastime: baseball.

As an avid New York Yankees fan, I’m always following what’s going on with the team whether that be receiving ESPN updates on my phone or following their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

When the news broke that Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was using a pine tar-like substance during a game against the Boston Red Sox, my initial thought was “so what? Isn’t this really common?” Although that may be the case, it still doesn’t make it right. Pineda’s proclamation that the substance was “dirt” really made social media blow up even more. When watching Pineda’s next start versus Boston on April 23, no one could believe their eyes. How could Pineda try the same trick twice and think he would get away with it. The news was buzzing all over social media and the jokes were flying.

To check out what people were saying regarding Pineda’s pine tar slip up, check out my Storify: https://storify.com/ReganNewcombSHU/yankee-pitcher-ejected-for-pine-tar-in-game-vs-bos


Cities I love to be

This map shows three cities that mean a lot to me. The locations on the map show the two towns where I grew up and another city that I would love to visit and maybe eventually live there.

Twitter Chats: A Whole New Type of Networking Event

Twitter. The social network that many users think is simply just a place to post random thoughts and status updates to their followers and beyond. However, to communications professionals, Twitter has become the go-to place to gain ideas, knowledge and interact with people and is the hottest tool right now for communicating. One interesting aspect that many Twitter users are unaware of is Twitter Chats, a place where users can share ideas and discuss a common topic of interest all by utilizing a hashtag.

On March 6, I participated in my very first Twitter chat with the PRSA New Pros. The topic of discussion was crisis communication and used the hashtag #NPPRSA.

With it being my first Twitter chat – I can definitely say that I learned a lot. It was confusing at first, but once I got the hang of how it worked and how the formatting of the discussion was put into place (question and answer) then it really benefited me and I feel like I put in a good word for not only myself, but PR students at Seton Hall. After discussing crisis communications, a field that has always been of interest to me, I learned many new things regarding work place policies in handling a crisis, what are best practices for preparing for such a crisis and the best handled crisis communication cases. Following the chat, I received a lot of feedback from fellow tweeters and it definitely made me consider participating in even more twitter chats in the future.

My tweets from the #NPPRSA Tweet Chat on March 6:

Here are some of my favorite tweets from other participants in the #NPPRSA tweet chat!

These two tweets were my favorite out of the twitter chat because they were unlike most of the other responses, but they made the most sense to me. Those that respond quickest and most efficiently to a crisis have the opportunity to stop the publicity to a crisis before it even begins. Also, as for the saying goes, “if you don’t learn history, you are doomed to repeat it,” applies to just about any field, and communications is no exception. One must be totally knowledgeable of the industry they are in, including any past problems so that they are fully prepared if a similar situation occurs again.

Hits and Misses of Public Speaking Advice

Think of your biggest fear. Heights? The dark? Spiders? It seems hard to believe, but the world’s biggest fear is public speaking. It’s amazing that something so common, something that everyone partakes in multiple times throughout their lives, is something that people are so fearful of. As a future communications professional, public speaking is something that I have definitely encountered problems with. As a child, I was very outgoing and had no problem being a performer and in front of a crowd. As I got older, I started becoming fearful of crowds and groups of people and dreaded even answering questions in class. When I came to college as a communications major, I knew that my fear of speaking in public was something that I had to overcome. The very first class I took at Seton Hall was Oral Communication, a class focused on public speaking and giving speeches.

One of the things I learned were ways to get rid of the nerves. Although I learned a lot, there were some pieces of advice that I didn’t think were the best techniques because they had not really worked for me in the past.

Here are the five worst pieces of public speaking advice:

  • Picture your audience naked
  • Practice in front of a mirror
  • Start with a joke
  • Tell the audience you’re nervous, drunk, hung over, etc.
  • Do not look them in the eye; the forehead will do.


Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström via Compfightcc

One of the most notorious tips for public speaking is picturing your audience naked. Now I never really understood this concept. I know that the goal of this tip is to make the speaker feel as if they are in control and that they are not vulnerable. However, picturing a naked audience does nothing but make me feel uncomfortable.

In my opinion, one of the most awkward things a speaker can do is start off with a joke. Unless this joke is entirely clever and relevant to the topic of the speech, it rarely works. If the joke goes bad, it leaves the speaker even more nervous than before and the audience will be confused. Best bet is to just ask a question and try to engage the audience – don’t try too hard!

Another tip that I had frequently heard was not to feel the need to look the audience in the eye, but look sporadically around the room, at their foreheads, etc. Now one of my biggest pet peeves is when people do not look me in the eye when speaking to me. Someone can tell when you are not looking directly at them – which makes not only you but the audience feel uncomfortable.

The number one thing to remember is to be confident. If you feel satisfied with yourself after speaking in public and it shows, the audience will feed off your confidence. This is the best way to get your message across and truly speak to the audience.

#JRLweb Connects Universities Across the Country

This week my partner, Brecken Swanberg, and I worked on a Twitter Scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt has participants from colleges and universities across the country. Brecken and I wanted to showcase how awesome Seton Hall University is and all the great things it and the surrounding community has to offer.

Here are the tweets that we posted along with photos to give people outside the SHU community a feel for what it’s like to go here:

Tweet #1

Tweet #2


Tweet #3


Tweet #4


Tweet #5

Tweet #6


Tweet #7

Tweet #8

Tweet #9


Tweet #10

Top 5 Tweets From Other Schools
After sifting through tweets that used the #JRLweb hashtag, we decided that these were our favorite tweets from other colleges!



5 Responses to Students from Other Schools
Here are some of our favorite responses that we made to student’s tweets from other participating colleges

The #JRLweb twitter scavenger hunt was an awesome experience for both of us! The highlight of this assignment was definitely the interaction with other students across the country. We loved being able to see what their college experience looks like through their eyes and what they believe makes their university special. It was also great to see what other #SHUsocialmedia students were tweeting about and how we all have a different perspective on the same campus. The biggest challenge of this assignment was definitely trying to fit quotes into the tweets along with the photos and hashtags. We tried our best to cut down the amount of characters per tweet without taking away from the voice of the student. Overall, the scavenger hunt was a wonderful experience and is a really awesome way to bring like-minded students across the country together.


The New Age of Media: The Good & the Bad

As we all know, the world is changing as such a fast pace that we can barely keep up with the latest trend, technology, etc. The mass media is no exception to this. As stated in Briggs’s Journalism Next, “the future is now” and “media is now at a point where it will always be changing.” This is a great sign for future journalists and public relations professionals because they are more assured that they will be landing a job in their field of study following graduation. However, current professionals are more worried about potentially losing their job to someone younger and with more knowledge of the new technology. A sign that points to journalism and public relations having a bright future is that fact that the field is in the middle of a transformation. Another reason to be optimistic, especially for future journalists, is that your ideas will be listened to. Many seem to think that at a recent graduate’s first job, they are not asked about their opinions or ideas. However, as times are changing, people in higher positions want to hear the fresh, new ideas of a young colleague. Another reason to be optimistic which some journalists may not quite believe, is that social media is not a threat, but one of the best assets that a journalist can have. Journalists and editors are necessary because there needs to be someone that can sift through the mass amount of information pouring in through social media and be able to report the facts and truth of the story.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are also those who do not think that the new media world is a good thing for journalism and public relations. For example, according to Richard Gingras, the head of news products at Google, “there are not barriers to publishing – everyone has a printing press. There are not gatekeepers.” Meaning that people will put what they want out on the web regardless if it is factual or not. In the article by Seth Ashley, he also goes on explain that big companies, such as Google and Apple, are dominating the media by putting  every aspect of media and technology out on the market with their name on it. He believes that the web is not a “democratizing force” that everyone thought it would be. Much of the news that we see is put out by global corporations. Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia University, is also pessimistic about the new media. He believes that new communication technology becomes controlled by powerful agents and goes from an open to closed system – he calls this “the cycle.” Another aspect of the new media that does not show for a bright future is that people will search for information that coincides with their own prior beliefs. As Nicholas Kristof states in his opinion article, “there’s pretty good evidence that we generally don’t truly want good information, but rather information that confirms our prejudices.” In this type of media world, people do not necessarily look at all sides of the story. Rather they will go to a news outlet that will report the sides of the story that they want to hear.

In the new world of journalism and public relations, there are many positives and negatives. However, it is up to each individual to decide how they take in and interpret the information they receive.