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Rachael Siefert
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Today and tomorrow, we will be attending the Media That Matters 2012 conference and providing live updates on InSites, Twitter and Facebook. Follow along on our Facebook page at facebook.com/vanguardcomm, on Twitter at @vancomm, and follow the Media That Matters hashtag, #MTMDC, to join the larger conversation.

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Last weekend many media outlets had to make official retractions after falsely reporting that Penn State football coach Joe Paterno had passed away. Onward State took it one step further when the 21 year old managing editor published a personal apology letter on the publication's website and Facebook page. Professional communicators need to be as transparent as Edwards in all communications activities–especially apologies–in order to be effective.

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The January 18 blackouts in protest of SOPA brought a lot of attention to the legislation and the issue of plagiarism. Today on InSites, our editorial director takes a look at what constitutes plagiarism and why citing your work completely is the responsibility of all communicators.

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Most of these perfectly describe me and my life.

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Yesterday more than 10,000 websites participated in blackout protests against SOPA by making their sites inaccessible or posting messages encouraging visitors to contact Congress. The initial success of the blackouts shows how important understanding your audience is, including what they care about and where they are. Internet users are constituents, and removing their access to content or interrupting their Web routines with SOPA and PIPA protest notices compelled them to get involved in the protest in their own way.

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Having set social media guidelines can help prevent a crisis like the one Governor Brownback's staff caused by overreacting to one person's tweet. I wonder how many people would have seen or cared about Emma Sullivan's tweet if Brownback's staff hadn't demanded an apology. My guess is it wouldn't have gone much further than her 65 Twitter followers and Emma certainly wouldn't be commenting on first amendment rights on CNN!

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My latest blog post about the internal memo from the AP reprimanding its reporters for tweeting news before it hit the wire. Does it really matter if we see the news from AP on Twitter before it's on the wire? It seems like the AP is missing the opportunity to break news to its followers by saving news for the wire
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