04 May

A few final notes

The last labs of spring 2017 met this afternoon, and everything should be posted to your websites by now. (You won’t be able to make any changes after noon Friday, so be sure to get it all finished up by then. This also means that if you want access to any of your final project content for your personal portfolios — and you should! — you should screenshot it or make PDFs now. It will all be archived, but I won’t have easy access to retrieve anything for you.)

So, that means we’ve just got the pitch meeting, and you’re done!

Here are some things you should know about the pitch presentations, which run from 7:45-9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, May 10, in Vilas 2195 (our Monday morning home for the last few months):

1. Meredith and I drew a random order for the presentations:

1. (You)trition

2. Tür

3. BrandGram

4. Unleased

5. PoD

6. Canine Connect

7. MadLocal

2. There will be three members of the angel investor pitch panel:

· Dennis Chaptman — former reporter and former news and media relations director for UW-Madison, now principal at Chaptmanconnsect

· John Lucas — former reporter, now director of University Communications at UW-Madison

· Jenny Price — editor of On Wisconsin alumni magazine

Meredith and I will also be sitting with them at a table toward the front

3. Please email me an updated copy of your one-page backgrounder memos so we can have revised copies for the pitch panel.

4. There will be three awards given at the pitch Wednesday:

· Pitch panel choice — this is the one the panel would choose to fund — the prize is bragging rights and the Tompkins Cup
· Best pitch

· Best website — this one will be decided by Meredith and me and will be announced Wednesday

5. Attendance at the final pitch presentations is MANDATORY — as the J202 website makes clear, you will receive a zero instead of the group grade for the final project grade (awarded to your full section) if you do not attend the final pitch. Your TA will take attendance at 7:45 a.m. — there will be no exceptions if you miss it or are late. So, make a phone tree, plan to meet for breakfast or gather for an early-morning run — whatever you do, have a plan to make sure everyone in your lab is up and there!

Is there anything I’m missing?

Finally, my J345 class did their own pitches tonight, and the best ones were those where the presenters were simply having a conversation with the audience. But you can only achieve that with lots of practice. Good luck putting the final touches on everything!

30 Apr

Pitch practice Monday!

Monday, May 1, is the day when you’ll practice your pitches — you’ll have a chance to run through your pitch as if Stacy, Meredith and your TA are the panel of experts. All Pitch teams will attend the full lecture session from  9-11 a.m. The other members of each lab will attend for that lab’s assigned pitch time. After a lab’s practice pitch is over, you’re welcome to head to another room to go through feedback and talk about how to improve.
Here’s the schedule:

  • 308: 9:00 a.m.
  • 307: 9:15 a.m.
  • 305: 9:30 a.m.
  • 304: 9:45 a.m.
  • 303: 10:00 a.m.
  • 302: 10:15 a.m.
  • 301: 10:30 a.m.

P.S. If your lab hasn’t submitted the backgrounder that was due at 5 p.m., please send it to Stacy, Meredith and your TA ASAP.

21 Apr

Platform team meetings Monday, April 24

We’ll look forward to seeing the Platform teams on Monday morning for some quick meetings. You don’t need to prepare anything formal — just be ready to show us what you have so far on your design and websites, and we’ll offer any feedback we have. Note there’s a change in venue: We’ll meet in one of the J202 labs. Here’s the schedule:
304: 9:00 a.m.
305: 9:15 a.m.
307: 9:30 a.m.
308: 9:45 a.m.
301: 10:00 a.m.
302: 10:15 a.m.
303: 10:30 a.m.
18 Apr

Important note about IS projects

I’ve been spending some time over the last week looking at your IS sites, and I’ve been so impressed by all that you’ve done with your projects!

However, there is one issue that concerns me, and I’m going to ask for your help in addressing the problem.

You may remember that one of the ethical issues we discussed in the first weeks of class was the idea of recording a source reading a written statement rather than capturing authentic audio. As the directions for the IS audio story explain, this isn’t ethical because we have no way of knowing whether the source actually made that statement, or if the author of the story made it up and had someone read it — the source or someone else entirely.

But as I’ve been listening to some of the audio stories and audio slideshows, I’m concerned that there are some that sound as if the sources are reading statements rather than simply talking in an interview, and I want to be sure that the audio stories and slideshows don’t cross any ethical lines. The syllabus makes it clear that this is considered academic misconduct.

I am asking that everyone in the class upload the raw audio files for interviews used in the audio slideshows or audio stories to the Learn@UW dropbox so your TAs can regrade them. Please upload your audio by 11:59 p.m.. Tuesday, April 18. If you no longer have your audio, you must email your TA, Meredith and me by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday with the names and contact information for your sources so we can check with them about the authenticity of your audio. (Note: You do not need to upload the audio of your narration — just the interviews that you might have used in either piece.)

I’m happy to talk with anyone about this — please come see me if you’d like to discuss it in person.

10 Apr

Finishing up your Portfolio Site

As you are putting your finishing touches on your Portfolio site, just wanted to remind you that the branding impression and required elements portions of the site are graded by Stacy and Meredith.

You’ll find the final prompt about ethics in media and more detail on the required elements on the portfolio blog assignment sheet.

The sites will be graded as though we were looking at you as a perspective employee—not a J202 student. So, here are some questions and tips to keep in mind:

Does your website easily convey the career path you’re striving for? For some this will be more broad (e.g., PR, journalism), for others this might be more specific (e.g., music PR, specific style of news outlet). Either way, within 30 seconds of being on your site, we should have a clear idea of who you are and/or what you’re striving for based on the introduction, images and other design choices.

Are you putting forward your best work? In-class writing samples (e.g., Stoughton pieces) are not the best examples of professional work and should not be used on the site. Instead, try to include examples related to the field you want to be in. For example, if you want to work in film, either include sample work or make sure your blog posts are tailored to that topic.

Is the website user friendly? Remember that you’re one of 105 “applications.” Things that make the user do all the work are generally not well received. These include:

  • Having to download a Word version of your resume instead of hosting it on your site (or another service).
    Listing links with no context or explanation on a page. (For example, writing just “resume.”)
    Not linking to a new window for outside sites, linking your own pages to new tabs.
  • Is the material appropriate for your audience? Related to this, think about:
    – Providing enough context: Make sure you provide enough of an explanation for your audience to understand what’s on your page. For example, had you ever heard about the IS prior to taking J202? Would someone outside of the J School know what an IS ASF is?

Photos: Are photos of yourself appropriate for your targeted working environment? Do you really need a photo of yourself on every page? Are the photos you’ve selected of yourself appropriate for a professional presence?

Language: Does the tone of your site match your career goals?

Social media links: What’s on your Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat? Is this something you would feel comfortable sharing with an Human Resources director or your future boss?

Personal information: You want to show that you’re savvy. There’s no need to include your home address on the version of your resume that’s hosted online.

All this isn’t to say that you can’t have personality. What you want to aim to do, though, is present yourself as a smart, dynamic professional who understands what they are communicating through their web presence. If your dream job is working at Vice or the Daily Show, your site will look dramatically different from someone who wants to be the next Olivia Pope.