Welcome to JOUR 451

This is the course site for JOUR 451 Digital Media Innovation for News & PR. Students enrolled in the fall 2017 course will need this site to access the following information:

  • Course syllabus and schedule
  • Assignments and readings
  • Sample work
  • Community resources

If you’re enrolled in the course, click the “follow” button in the bottom right hand corner of this screen. This will allow you to receive course updates via email each time new content is posted.

I’ll be posting content to this site approximately once a week as we progress through the semester.

Course resources are also accessible via the course folder in the Mac Lab.

Any questions? Just post comments here or shoot me an email: dejohnson@csuchico.edu.

Best,
Debra Johnson

Personal Data as a Business Model

Greetings DMIers. In class today we’ll be taking a deep dive into Facebook. Specifically, we’re going to further explore how you are being tracked digitally, the types of data collected, who is tracking you and what you can do about it.

As we all know, there is no such things as privacy if you’re a user of digital products like websites, social media channels, web-connected TVs or other smart devices that may fall under the Internet of Things (what Fast Company terms Privacy Hell).

This digital tracking is a business model that generates lots of money for companies, and it’s a business model for you to consider for your startup. It’s sometimes called infomediary, but today it’s more commonly known as remarketing, which is the result of the digital tracking.

To explore how this tracking works and methods to try to protect yourself, check out these sources:

Please share in the comments if you have other resources you think students in the class should consider on this topic.

Best,
DebraJChico

Image source credit: Creative Commons Zero License, Unsplash, Fabian Blank.

Design Dabbling & Exploring Hoodline

Good morning, DMIers. We’re just over a week away from spring break, so I wanted to give an overview of deadlines and tasks we’ll be completing prior to the break.

Today: DMI Brief 4

We’re going to be reviewing how to effectively name products. It’s a tricky proposition to name your product: it’s got to be creative, connect with your market and not already owned by someone else. Here are some tools that might help you with this task:

  • Name Robot: this site offers some free elements including tips on naming, how to research ownership and tools that might help with the creative process.
  • Sticky Branding’s article The Power of Symbols in Branding provides a good review of symbolism and how the eye processes visual info.
  • Startup Stash has a long list of tools focusing on various aspects of product naming.

After our naming exercise, we’ll review Homework 6, which leads us into Monday.

Monday: Dabbling in Design

Deadlines:

  • DMI Brief #5, which focuses on money and how to get your market to part with it.
  • Mini-Pitch #1: You’ll present your Problem – Solution segment to the class in 60 seconds. Remember, you’ve got to tell an interesting story, not just spew data.

Most of this class session will be open lab time to work on two big design projects:

  • Developing your company color palette, font sets and logo.
  • Creating your product mockup via wireframing tools.

If you’re new to design principles, you’ll find these sources are helpful:

Wednesday:  An Introduction to Hoodline

Brittany Hopkins

J&PR alumna Brittany Hopkins will be joining us March 8 to talk about Hoodline, a San Francisco based digital media news company. Hoodline started in 2010 as a blog about the Lower Haight and has built itself into one of the “largest news sites in the city, with dozens of freelancers writing about their neighborhoods.”

Hopkins joined Hoodline in 2015 as a neighborhood editor and is currently the associate San Francisco editor. Photo above from her LinkedIn profile.

Homework 5 Deadline

The outcomes of your market research must be submitted no later than 3 p.m., Friday, March 10. This is a change from the course schedule. You’ll be submitting it via email.

Depending on the file sizes of your interview recordings or video sessions, you may need to provide this segment of the assignment via Dropbox or loading it into the course dock in the Mac Lab. Let me know if you have any questions or problems in this area.

Best,
@DebraJChico

Featured image source: Unsplash.com; CC Zero License

 

Starting to Define The Problem

Greetings DMIers:  I hope you found our design thinking challenge around the gift-giving experience insightful and entertaining. We’ll continue to use design thinking concepts throughout our course. If you’d like to learn more about those who designed the challenge we did, please explore the Institute of Design at Stanford.

Course Website Updates
I’ve made a few adjustments to our website:

  1. Homework page: I’ve reorganized the order of the assignments to represent the order in which they’ll be accomplished. There are no new additions, just hopefully a clearer order to help you meet deadlines.
  2. Guest Speakers: We’re going to have four guest speakers in the coming weeks and you can find initial details about them on this page.

Looking Ahead to Monday’s Class
You should be in the process of finalizing DMI Brief #3 which has you identifying specific innovators in the industries you are most passionate about. It’s my hope that this brief will help you to start contemplating your digital media product concept.

Monday in class you’ll start putting into writing and sketches some initial concepts for Homework 1. A key point to keep in mind about this product concept creation:

  • The most successful products solve a specific problem the market feels. It will be key for you to be able to clearly define The Problem your market faces. I often refer to this as your customer’s pain point. Example: Here’s the link to the Instagram founder’s comments on finding the problem we saw in class.

I have two resources to share this week to help you find some inspiration in your work:

  • Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies to Watch in 2016 highlights innovators across a wide range of industries including fashion, health, business services, tech, recreation and food. This is a great resource for a quick dive into entrepreneurs in specific industries you’re passionate about. Who knows, you may find a competitor or two in this feature.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’ll see you Monday.

Best,
@DebraJChico

Art Credit: Unsplash.com, CC Zero

Getting Started In Entrepreneurial Journalism

Happy Sunday DMI: This week in Digital Media Innovation we’re going to start exploring how entrepreneurial perspectives are influencing news media companies and the overall industry.

To help you start learning more about life as an entrepreneur I suggest you start following news media outlets that cover this specific area. Here are a few great places to start:

Sign up for the free enewsletters offered by these organizations. This gets you great news headlines delivered right to your inbox. You’ll want to start a collection of key content focusing on the industry areas you are most excited about. For example:

And, you’ll want to track approaches to entrepreneurial journalism:

Have fun diving in this week. Use these resources to start contemplating The Problem you’ll dive into in a few weeks.

@DebraJChico

Image Source: Unsplash.com, CCZero license

Marketing & PR Strategy for Your Startup

Happy Friday, DMIers. We’ve made it through week 9, which means we’ve only got 4 weeks until the drafts of your Make $ Plan and product mockups are due.

Next week we’ll be focusing on Section 7 of the Make $ Plan, which is all about how to market your product.

GUEST SPEAKERS MONDAY

inkhousealumni
We have two J&PR alumni visiting class Monday from InkHouse PR in San Francisco. Julianna Young and Kayla Wilkinson will be sharing what it’s like to handle PR for startups and venture capitalists.  This is a great opportunity for you to throw questions their way that can help you be successful with Section 7 of your Make $ Plan.

HELPFUL RESOURCES
Here are a few items from Start Co that might help with your tasks:

Enjoy!

DebraJ

 

Life as a Content Producer

Greetings DMIers. Happy Monday and welcome to week 5 of the semester. We’re having our first guest speaker this week.

Amanda Hasaka will be joining us via Skype from Los Angeles on Wednesday. She is a content producer with Time Inc. and a former digital producer with Disney ABC Television Group. Amanda has been working in the entertainment industry for more than five years.

Amanda is going to talk about Time’s INSTANT video platform, a mobile-first site she helped to launch earlier this year. I think you’ll find that Amanda is a great example of an intrapreneur. In LinkedIn chats she mentioned that her job is in a space that’s constantly changing and the platform she’s working with now didn’t necessarily exist a few years ago.

In addition to INSTANT, she’ll talk about:

  • Her career path: how did she move from Chico State’s J&PR program to her current position with Time
  • What her job as a content producer involves
  • How she measures the effectiveness of her product
  • Q&A

 

Check out some of the news coverage about the product:

 

Do your research and bring lots of questions.

 

Best, @DebraJChico

 

 

The Value of Talking to Your Market

Greetings, DMIers. I’m glad most of you fund the Sticky Test exercise helpful in brainstorming your initial product concepts. It’s interesting to see the direction that everyone is moving in.

When we did the Sticky Test many of you reported that the “Unexpected” and “Story” traits were a challenge at this point. For the story component, take a look at Entrepreneur’s Five Blueprints for Your Brand’s Story. Good one to bookmark for future reference.

Monday we’ll be focusing on conducting original research with your potential market. This research will help to identify if your customers experience The Problem in the same way that you. It may also help to determine if your idea is just that — an idea — or if there is potential to make it something more. This is a crucial stage for any entrepreneur.

Be sure that you take a look at Mashable’s How to Solicit the Customer Feedback Your Startup Needs before class.

The NiemanLab is also fantastic source to dive into. Remember that your final concept must have a significant news element built into it. As you continue to develop your idea think about how you’re going to include traditional journalistic elements: news storytelling, generating original content via blog posts or other news content formats, perhaps partnerships to showcase great content from other journalists. And, some of you are looking at localization issues – how can you build a hyperlocal news element into your idea?

Lots of great stuff to contemplate this weekend.

Best,
@DebraJChico

Image Source: Realistic Shots, Creative Commons Zero license

Find Inspiration: Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies to Watch

Good afternoon DMIers. I hope you had a fantastic Labor Day weekend and are ready for week 3.

Tomorrow we’ll be diving into your digital media product concepts with Homework 1. We’ll be putting each product concept to the Sticky Test and brainstorm options for further development. We’ll also review Homework 2 and 3, which require you to start identifying details about your competitors and your market.

Here are some resources to help you find some inspiration in your work:

  • Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies to Watch in 2016 highlights innovators across a wide range of industries including fashion, health, business services, tech, recreation and food. This is a great resource for a quick dive into entrepreneurs in specific industries you’re passionate about. Who knows, you may find a competitor or two in this feature.

Enjoy exploring your industries and fine-tuning your business ideas.

@DebraJChico

Welcome to JOUR 451: Digital Media Innovation for News & PR

Greetings DMIers: I hope you had a successful first week of the fall 2016 semester.

MONDAY’S CLASS
We’re going to do a Design Thinking activity that was created by the Institute of Design at Stanford. In our class session you will:

  • Brainstorm the gift-giving experience with a partner.
  • Based on that brainstorm you’ll develop a product prototype.
  • Then, you’ll test that prototype with your partner.

The pace will be quick and that’s intentional. Remember to spend some time before class thinking about your last gift-giving experience. Think about the process, not just the person you gave a gift to and what the actual gift was. Also, think about your personal motivations in this activity.

Bring to class any tools that will help you with creativity. I’ll bring sugar and something healthy to snack on.

START FINDING THE PROBLEM
You also want to start your brain churning on your DMI product concept task. A few ways to help you jump start your creativity:

  • Google search entrepreneurs and startup companies in the industries you’re most passionate about. Start looking at what innovation is happening now in those areas. Also, research the companies you most want to work for. Who are the intrapreneurs at those companies and what innovations are they creating?
  • 1 Pager: Now That’s Innovation (due Wednesday).
  • Homework 1 (due Sept. 7) forces you to put into writing some initial product concepts.

A key point to keep in mind about this product concept creation:

  • The most successful products solve a specific problem the market feels. It will be key for you to be able to clearly define The Problem your market faces. I often refer to this as your customer’s pain point.
  • Here’s the link to the Instagram founder’s comments on finding the problem we saw in class.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’ll see you Monday.

Best,

@DebraJChico

Twitter image source: Startup Stock Photos, CCO license