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May 3, 2006

Interview With Jameson Bull

Jameson Bull recently contacted me about his blog, and we decided to conduct an interview about his background in PR. Jameson runs his own blog

John: Could you tell me a little about your background in PR and blogging?

Jameson: Well academically, I graduated last year with my B.A. in PR and completed internships with Special Olympics Connecticut and the Outdoor Life Network. Right now, I am in the final stages of finishing up my Master's degree in Syracuse. I was a part of a group blog for a PR writing course last fall and have been blogging on my own since I launched my website around February.

John: That's interesting, how many posts did you have to write for the course?

Jameson: It was a weekly blog, so I think the number was between ten and 15.

John: Did you also have to comment on other people's blogs as part of the course?

Jameson: Commenting wasn't a part of the course, but it was something I did on my own.

John: I've been talking with quite a few students lately and many of them are now blogging as part of their courses.

Jameson: Yeah. It is nice to see that the academics are picking up on the trend in the industry and teaching it so early.

John: Can you tell me more about your experiences with the internships?

Jameson: Sure. At Special Olympics Connecticut, I worked in a small PR department so I was able to get my hands on a lot of different things, did a lot of writing (some of it you may have seen in my portfolio) and pitched a few stories as well as organized media that attended different events that we held. At the Outdoor Life Network I was responsible for tracking all of the media clips with Burrell's, built media lists, helped find opportunities to pitch...

John: What did you learn from those experiences that you think will help you in your future career?

Jameson: They both taught me how important it is to know the industry that you are working in. They were both very different organizations and much of my time was spent learning more about each of them so I could better pitch stories to journalists and find some creative angles for new stories. I think that is something that will be really relevant no matter where I work.

I think the most beneficial part of my Master's program has been its professional focus. I've worked with a local art gallery and the SUNY college of Environmental Science and Forestry doing research and creating campaigns. Beyond just the creation of each project, they both gave me some really valuable experience working with real clients, understanding their individual organization and it's problems, and finding ways to solve them. It gave me a lot more than any theoretical project could have.

We conducted research for the art gallery. We did survey research to better understand the types of people that would attend show openings, what types of art they liked, what their price ranges were, then made recommendations based on the results. We used to conduct the research, as well as intercept interviews.

John: Was it tough to get people to take the survey?

Jameson: Very. The client was not open to sharing his mailing database out of the fear of offending his customers. The sample we got was not as big, or as representative as we would have liked, but it was all we had to work with.

John: Tell me about your blog. What is your content strategy on the blog?

Jameson: Well my original idea was that the blog would supplement the website, so people could see the kinds of PR issues that I was thinking about at the time, and I could voice my opinion, and let employers know that I am serious about PR and communication. I think I briefly outlined the genesis of my blog in the first post, but I wanted to encompass a lot of what I was learning about in class as well as the things that were happening in the real world.

John: Makes sense

Jameson: Yes. I didn't want it to become too academic or stuffy and wanted to be able to show some personality, so I think it has loosened up a little since I fist started

John: Then would you say your blog has been a learning tool?

Jameson: Completely, at the very least, I knew it would be a good experience to have control of my own blog, hopefully build up a readership, and decide what direction it would eventually take.

John: How has your audience helped you learn about your profession and industry?

Jameson: Unfortunately the commenting has been pretty light, so it hasn't helped me as much as I would like, but most of my posts originate from things I am reading about in the news or from other blogs. Using my RSS reader as a way of keeping track of a whole slew of PR blogs has been really educational.

John: Do you conduct outreach to other blogs?

Jameson: I have, but it is something that I am definitely looking to expand in the future. You went to that Historic Roads conference this weekend, the ability to meet bloggers whose posts I've been reading is important, its gets my name out there, cross post with other blogs, that sort of thing. Generally take advantage of the community aspect of blogging.

John: What are your plans for the future?

Jameson: Short term, I will be moving to the Boston area sometime this month and will be working in PR at a yet to be determined location. Long term, I think that I would like to one-day start up my own technology PR agency.

John: Well it's been good to chat with you online, thanks very much for the interview

Posted by johncass at May 3, 2006 9:12 AM

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Jameson sounds like a very interesting public relations candidate. Can someone tell me if he is employed or looking for job opportunities? I would love to have him on my team.

Posted by: Don Takaya at May 3, 2006 11:16 AM

Hi Don, Yes, I was impressed with Jameson's motivation, an inspiration to us all.

Jameson is looking for work at the moment.

Posted by: John Cass at May 3, 2006 11:29 AM

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