Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Three Hours and Counting....

Poster design by Hide Kameya,
 Marketing/Strategic Communication major
In about three more hours, the Ozarks Communication department will make history by broadcasting the first-ever live coverage of election returns from the county courthouse and hosting an election watch party at Fat Dawgz BBQ restaurant across Fulton Street from the courthouse.

This will mark the second time Ozarks has had live coverage on Election Night. In 2008, the department had a live program in the Walker Hall studio. This year, however, thanks to the Tricaster equipment the department acquired last year, the coverage can be broadcast live on location over both KUOZ Channel 6 and the university's UStream channel.

The event this year also includes a community watch party, with a live band (the Write-In Candidate Ramblers) and other entertainment while the returns come in. The event is a cooperative effort among all members of the Communication department. Susan Edens' Backpack Journalism class will broadcast the event and make live reports as election returns are announced. Dr. Heather McFarland's Political Communication class will provide content, with stories filed from the class trip to Chicago over fall break and with political analysis of local and national returns. Greta Marlow's Event Planning class has worked to coordinate the social side of the event with Fat Dawgz. This marks the first time all facets of the department have come together for a single event.
The KUOZ crew sets up the equipment tent in early
afternoon to prepare for tonight's event.

The live broadcast will start at 6 p.m. and continue until the presidential race is decided. However, students from all three classes have already been hard at work today setting up the necessary equipment, decorating the venue for the party, and planning for the live interviews scheduled with city officials. The set for the event will be on the northwest corner of the courthouse lawn, and it will include a stage from which Sherrie Arey, the host for tonight's program, will hold interviews and introduce the packages and the commercials for local sponsors.

Those local sponsors include Cecil's Hardware, Clarksville Pharmacy, El Parian, Fat Dawgz, Hollyhocks, Johnson Regional Medical Center, Morgan's Fashions, the Rogers Conference Center, University of the Ozarks, and Whitson-Morgan Motor Company. Thanks to all our sponsors for helping make this historic event a reality.

I'll check back in this evening with updates as the event goes on! If you can't join us at the courthouse square, watch the coverage on KUOZ Channel 6 or on the U of O UStream channel.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

KUOZ Holds Live "News Night"

By Alejandro Cordoba
RTV/SCM major

KUOZ News Night is a night where students of the U of the O present news (pardon the redundant wordiness) for the people of Clarksville. The freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior Communication majors got together, voluntarily or for a course, to deliver the packages they have been working on for the classes so far, among other broadcast experiments. All of us with the following big picture in mind: the Election Night Coverage.

Let me tell you some background information about the Election Night Coverage to understand the purpose of News Night. As you know, big television stations nationwide cover the elections the day of in a very thorough long show, including all sorts of topics; a big production is behind this. Here at Ozarks, the first Election Night Coverage was held for the last 2008 elections. The final product was a three-and-a-half live broadcasted news show where interviews, and local numbers played a role where the students focused to bring in this to and for the community. That’s the soul of the department, we believe in our duty to bring LOCAL news to our people, and we are doing it again and even better!

We are not just another news program, we are not CNN, MSNBC or Fox News; we care for the community of Clarksville, and Johnson County. We do this for them. We do this for us.

Last Monday’s KUOZ News Night is a big opportunity for students to explore, polish, and put into practice a “simulation” of what is coming: the Election Night Coverage. The overall producers Corey Snyder, Andrea Avalos, and Ryan West in conjunction with our very own devoted Broadcasting Director Susan Edens mastered a show that with the help of the students was a complete success.

The pre-production behind KUOZ’s News Night was exhaustive (took at least almost-three weeks, and buck loads of coffee), but it was all worth it. Cables everywhere, cameras, microphones, scripts, lights, audio, teleprompt, and action! commanded the crazy learning nightly experience to help the overarching production to pin point any possible drawback on the actual day of the coverage.

We are now moving on to our next journey before the big day comes. The Backpack Journalism, and the Political Communication class are working on the trip to the re-election headquarters in Chicago; this is another major piece of the Election Night Coverage puzzle.

As you can you see, it keeps getting better for the Communication department, the University of the Ozarks, and the City of Clarksville. We are proud of the job everybody is doing, and we will continue to bring in the very best for the community.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ozarks Hosts Newsweek's Eleanor Clift

Eleanor Clift in Backpack Journalism
with Susan Edens
Well-known journalist Eleanor Clift was on campus last week as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, sponsored by the Walton Arts and Ideas Series. While at Ozarks, Clift delivered two public presentations; on Monday, Sep. 10, she spoke about the 2012 presidential campaign, and on Tuesday, Sep. 11, she was part of a panel that discussed end of life issues. RTV students shot both presentations and made them available on the university's Ustream channel.

Clift also spoke to Susan Edens' Backpack Journalism class on Wed., Sep. 12. She told the students what it takes to get and keep a White House press pass, and she discussed the current campaign coverage. She also told the students about her own career path, moving from a secretary for Newsweek to a reporter and columnist for the magazine. However, Clift also turned the table on the students and asked each of them to talk about their story assignments for the class.

"It was a one-time experience to interact with a figure directly plugged in to the field we spend class time studying about," said Corey Pintado. "It brought all the material we discuss to life with her insight and stories."

"I found Miss Clift's life story inspiring because she made it in journalism at a time when it was hard for a woman to get a job in that field," Kourtney Risher said. "She also didn't start with a background in journalism. It's amazing how successful she has become.

"She was also very cordial and is a great listener as well as a great speaker," Risher added.
Anaeli Rodas and Eleanor Clift

Cory Snyder said, "It was a great opportunity to hear about the experiences and perspective of a highly-regarded political journalist. It's not the kind of chance you always get."

KUOZ has posted both of Clift's public presentations to the university Ustream channel.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Assessment Day at Ozarks

Today was the semi-annual Assessment Day at Ozarks, on which we focus all our attention on the process of evaluating whether students are learning what we say we are teaching them.

The Communication department met with students this afternoon to administer a survey and report on last year's assessment results, followed by a viewing of the documentary "Mashed Media."

Part of the feedback loop for assessment is reporting results to interested constituencies. If you're interested, here's a brief run-down of the results of assessment of the Strategic Communication major for 2011-12.

Three assessment instruments were evaluated for last year: a career goal essay, the capstone exam, and the senior portfolio. Six career essays from the Strategic Communication Planning class were read and evaluated by an external evaluator. All the essays were judged to be either "Proficient" or "Highly Proficient" on the dimensions of goal-setting and planning to achieve the goal. Although the essays were judged to be weak on the dimension of career awareness, that may be a result of a mismatch between the Intended Student Outcome in the assessment plan and the assignment from the SCP class.

Nine seniors took the capstone exam, which covers terminology and concepts from the major's core classes. The average score on the exam was 80 percent, which was below the target score of 85 percent.

This year was the first year for the rotating assessment of the senior portfolios, which are now evaluated every three years. All the portfolios for the past three years were collected and a random sample of 10 portfolios were submitted to a PR professional with more than 10 years of experience in the field. The portfolios consisted of four items: a press release, a planning document, an example of promotional copy, and a recording of a presentation.  For each of the items, the majority of student work was judged to be either "Proficient" or "Highly Proficient"; press releases, 70 percent; planning documents, 60 percent; promotional copy, 80 percent, and presentations, 100 percent. The main weaknesses the evaluator noted were the need for more detail and additional information, especially in the press releases and planning documents; some errors in using AP style, and a few grammatical errors. However, the evaluator also was very complimentary of some of the documents and presentations.

The RTV assessment report is still in progress. We'll publish results from that report when they are available.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Eagle Exhibit!

Every year, the Ozarks Student Life office sponsors the Eagle Exhibit in which student organizations can let new (and returning) students know the kinds of extracurricular opportunities available on campus.  The Communication department is represented by SCM Studio (the organization for Strategic Communication majors) and by KUOZ Channel 6/KUOZ 100.5.
SCM Officers for 2012-13 take a break to pose for the camera.
KUOZ staff is ready to answer questions.
Both KUOZ and SCM Studio will be having a number of activities this year, and we hope students will take the opportunity to be involved.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

KUOZ - Another Great Year Ahead!

Students met this afternoon for the organizational meeting for KUOZ Channel 6 and KUOZ 110.5. Here's a report from Susan Edens, Director of Broadcasting:

We had a great meeting this afternoon, led by Corey Snyder. It was kind of an “all call” for students interested in working on radio or television production projects this fall and we had ten new students there as well as several veterans.

Corey talked to them about all of the planned events we have coming up, including high school football, the WAIS Lecture series, his sports show, radio opportunities, and opportunities for them to create their own programs. He emphasized the importance of gathering material leading up to our election night coverage, saying,  “I want us to get together with SCM and Poli Sci majors to put together something ongoing, leading up to the election.”

Corey also pointed out the opportunities available to freshman or new students: “We want to use these show concepts as a way of introducing you to the program and the equipment.”

Here's a short clip from the meeting:

As Susan said, it's going to be a great year!

Monday, August 20, 2012

New Year, New Faces

Some of the top events for orientation today were the "Professional Preparation" meetings, in which students can check out their interest in a particular field of study. We had 15 or so new freshmen at the meeting for Communication, along with several current students. The session gives students an overview of the two majors, as well as a glimpse into the type of activities they may have the opportunity to be part of - "paraprofessional" activities, as Susan Edens called them.

Welcome to our new students! Here's hoping we all have a great year!  

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Customer is (Almost) Always Right

(This is the first of a series of guest posts written by students in the PR Writing and Design class this semester. Today's guest is Zach Doty, a senior Marketing and Strategic Communication major who will be graduating in about three weeks. Zach is pursuing leads on three positions with different advertising agencies. For a look at his internships and other experiences, visit his portfolio site at zldoty.com .) 

Recently, I approached a local small business for an opportunity to redesign their website. During the site building process, the client and I had a few instances where we disagreed on design of the site. In this experience, I learned firsthand a lesson taught at my advertising agency internships. The customer is almost always right. Allow me to explain myself before blatantly going against a customer service adage.

As a marketing or communications professional, you’re often faced with a challenge the client cannot do, or is unable to do themselves. For example, a local small business needs a new website. However, they do not have the expertise to make a new one. Keep that in mind as a professional. When working with a client, make sure it is a partnership, not a benevolent dictatorship (this goes both ways).

If the client doesn’t know about what they’re getting themselves into, educate them. If you don’t understand what it’s like to run their business, dive in. Like communicating to a consumer, the client relationship should be a level playing field based on mutual transactions. In a roundabout way, if a client asks for falling snowflakes on their website, politely say no. Just make sure to explain why and drive deeper into what they want out of a website.

To sum up, the customer is not always right. However, always make sure the client’s needs are addressed, but in the most suitable manner.

Monday, April 16, 2012

We're Back!

I'm sure it seems pretty ironic that someone who teaches about social media and effective communication hasn't posted anything since October. It's not that I haven't had anything to say - quite the opposite! We've had a lot of exciting things going on in the Communication department since October. Here are a few highlights:

  • The RTV program purchased a TriCaster 300, a portable 13-channel HD live production system which makes it possible to stream video on the web. The TriCaster arrived on campus at the end of January, and its first job was a simulcast of an interview with the gospel blues band Brick Fields live on air and as an internet video stream through UStream.
  • Dr. John Dailey was hired as Assistant Professor of Radio/Television/Video. Dr. Dailey has taught in the multimedia program at Ball State University in Indiana and brings expertise in web design for television to our program. He will begin teaching at Ozarks in the fall.
  • Two Strategic Communication students, Hidenobu Kameya and Naima Lopez, were part of the presentation team that won the regional competition for the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) organization in March. The team will now go to the national competition in May.
  • Communication students and faculty joined together for a Mardi Gras-style luncheon on Assessment Day in February. Faculty members provided the food, including a pair of king cakes, complete with plastic baby.
There's more excitement to come in the weeks ahead. Of course, everyone has a lot of projects to finish between now and finals week. Plans are in the works for a celebration/awards dinner April 24. Graduation is May 12, and we have our largest group of Strategic Communication graduates ever. Then Monday, May 14, summer school begins, with three unique offerings from the Communication department.

I promise to do a better job keeping everyone up to date with what's going on!

Here's a picture of the virgin run of the Tricaster:

And a shot from our Mardi Gras luncheon:

We'll be back later in the week with a series of guest posts written by students in the PR Writing and Design class - look for them!