I'd been thinking for a while that I really need to try Storify, so last Wednesday night as I watched the story about student journalists at the Red and Black, the university's independent student newspaper, blow up on social media, I decided now is the time. On Thursday at 11 a.m. I had class with my honors intro to PR students, so I logged on and created a story in no time -- it's very simple to use.
Since it was a PR class, I organized it around how people were using social media from newsgathering and dissemination to offering opinions. Because the links are embedded in each tweet, status update and blog post headline, as we talked I clicked on the elements the students were interested in seeing for themselves (for instance, the resigning editor's blog post about her decision). If you're not familiar with last week's events, here's the Storify link -- just scroll through the "news dissemination" section to see how rapidly the situation developed and spread through social and traditional media:(The embed code appears to be wonky, so here's the story.) The class discussion was far-ranging. We talked about censorship and the First Amendment, the quality of the newspaper's content, the marketing imperative that drove the paper's board of directors to make changes in the first place, and the PR implications for some of the organizations and individuals involved. I've continued to add to the story since Thursday morning, and I'm looking forward to hearing what the students think about what's happened since then. The class agreed that Grady needed to make a statement, if only to say that the college doesn't have control or oversight over the board or the paper, so I'm sure they'll be glad to see that the Dean's statement not only did that but supported the students' right to control content. There are many ways to use Storify, but I can recommend it if you want to organize a breaking story or crisis situation to discuss in class. Not only do the links work better than those on PowerPoint (which keeps opening new tabs) but it's much easier to add and edit materials on the Storify platform. I didn't watch this video prior to creating my story, but it provides a quick explanation of how Storify works.