Digest After Dark – Ya’ll Thought We Weren’t Going to Roast Roland Martin?
  

We discuss last week’s social media smoke with journalist Roland Martin, and the future of HBCU media relations. Special Guests – Howard University Philosophy Asst. Professor Dr. Yolonda Wilson and Howard University Political Science Asst. Professor Dr. Keneshia Grant.

4 comments
  1. Totally disagree. The assumption that a lack of coverage means a lack of outreach is completely wrong. The Digest is a reflection of how much work HBCUs put in to get information out. Many outlets just refuse to publish the stories HBCUs pitch because there are other stories they want to publish. Martin’s comments could not have been more filled with assumptions, misinformation and unnecessary criticism.

  2. As a former HBCU PR director, I respectfully disagree. It’s not as easy as “HBCUs need to…” I can tell you–both as a former PR man and as a former media man–that many media outlets have their minds made up about what they will cover.

    Quick story: Two national media outlets came to cover Southern Univ. at New Orleans when I was there. In both cases I spoke to the producers and interviewers about productive ways of positioning their stories. Note that I neither begged nor threatened them because both would have made the university look silly. In both cases, the outlets had their minds made up and were careless in their coverage. I made up MY mind that I would rather pitch to small outlets that were interested in our stories than big outlets that would put our “name in lights” their way.

    There are other issues that may not be HBCUs’ fault but believe that it’s about as complicated as every other issue surrounding HBCUs.

  3. Jarrett and crew, I enjoyed listening to Dr. Wilson talk about this. Without getting into the roasting, she brought up an important point about media training. I actually tried to implement this at the institutions where I worked, but my time was limited as a one man show in both cases. I managed to train one staffer who specifically asked for it.

    I wonder if a larger issue is the difference in mentalities. From what I experienced and saw, some campus communication folks can be creative, flashy, and practical; and some academics can be process-oriented, measured, and theoretical. I can’t tell you how many times comm colleagues (from various universities) and I would talk about how slow admins and faculty were while admins and faculty would come after us about wanting to move too fast (unless THEY wanted to get the word out about something). That’s right, I said it! LOL

    Here’s an uncomfortable truth. Campus politics can also be an obstacle. Martin may very well have some presidents within reach, and those presidents may play gate keeper about who gets media exposure and who doesn’t. I fought this battle and it gets ugly internally.

    Great episode!

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