Body Language and the Art of Public Speaking

As a public relations major, I am often faced with the challenge of speaking in front of a large group, be it my peers or a client that I am pitching to. For me, public speaking is not difficult and I actually enjoy it. I am no stranger to expressing my ideas to a large group of people and I have taken enough communication classes to understand the tools needed to present effectively. Although I feel that public speaking comes naturally, I do enjoy having my speeches critiqued, on bases other than just the quality of my creative language. Things such as body language and postures go easily unnoticed and can cause major distractions to those listening to you. I find myself critiquing my professors on their public speaking, they are either great orators or they squirm around so much that their lectures and course materials equally make me nauseous. I also often find myself judging the speeches of my peers, be it in class presentations or group projects and cringe after hearing the 50th “um”  or “like” in their speeches. As you can see (or read), I am a stickler for grammar and effective public speaking, so I embrace any opportunity I have to improve my communication skills.

 

After watching Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk on body language, I learned a few things about myself that will come in handy as I prepare for future job interviews, class presentations and even my maid-of-honor speech. In most situations, I see myself as expressing high power through my non-verbals. I do notice after watching recordings of my speeches that I talk with my hands a lot, which can sometimes be distracting. The only problem is that when I try to control my hand movements, I often have awkward postures and poses. It’s like I don’t know what to do with them whenever they are not moving along with the speech. I also show “closed” positions whenever I try not to move my hands. Because this is awkward, I feel that I should practice my speeches in the mirror or tape them prior to my presentations, as to review my skills and then make the adjustments when necessary. All in all, I definitely enjoyed the video and look forward to enhancing my visual communication skills. 

Powerade: Land of the Giants

In 1988, Coca-Cola added a sports drink, Powerade, to their list of drinks. Powerade, which is a staple beverage used by athletes all over the world has been a world leader of sports drinks, providing essential electrolytes and other supplements needed to facilitate active activity.  Powerade was created by Coca-Cola to combat Gatorade, which was and still remains a leader in the market, controlling over 75 percent of the market for sports drinks.

As a Coca-Cola product, Powerade has many sponsorship advantages. At universities that are sponsored by Coke, Powerade is the official drink of athletics and is served to the athletes during their games, trainings and practices. Powerade is also the official sponsor of The PGA Tour, NCAA and the NBA. The company does well in the sponsorship market, but also uses its advertising resources to reach the everyday athlete. These range from print ads to television commercials. Most recently, Powerade launched its “Land of the Giants” campaign, which shows hundreds of athletes running on a track, but one who is bigger than the rest. The ad symbolizes the strength and “larger than life” abilities an athlete can get by drinking Powerade and giving their body the necessary nutrients to refuel. At first glance, this is a rather weird ad and if the “bigger athlete” wouldn’t be holding a blue drink and the Powerade logo wasn’t on the bottom. you really couldn’t tell that it was a Powerade ad. This is both effective and ineffective for the company. On one end, it  is very effective because you realize the benefits that the drink has, allowing you to refuel and push yourself to be “bigger and better,” but on the other hand, you have to make your own assumptions as to what the ad means versus it being obvious and easily relatable.

Personally, I think it works for a print  ad. Most advertisers are gearing away from traditional, bland advertising and adding a new flare to the industry, where consumers are allowed to interpret their creative and different advertisings. Also, with such a recognizable product, it is easy to play around with creative ideas and expand upon the ideas that consumers already have about the product. Naturally, not everyone is going to get the ad or even choose Powerade over Gatorade simply for this ad, but it does a great job of catching one’s attention and drawing you into the product.

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Brandz will make her dance

Everyday, we are exposed to hundreds of brands and their advertisements. From commercials, billboards, Facebook ads and radio spots, most of the content we hear on a daily basis is trying to trying to sell something rather than just provide information. Most of the advertising I see and hear annoys me and I could praise the creator of DVR because now I can fast forward straight through the fluffy stuff. You see getting my attention is easy but keeping it is a challenge– and most fail at that challenge. But there’s always that one company that does a great job and not only do I applaud their marketing strategies, I just may buy their product.

Before I tell you about one of my favorite brands, I think I should mention that I absolutely love this product and would probably still purchase it even if they had the most horrible advertisements.

So, let’s get started…drumroll please… SNICKERS!! The “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign does a great job at not throwing the product at you, but rather making it funny to watch. Stars such as Aretha Franklin, Robin Williams and Betty White are featured in their commercials and act as the alter ego of the “hungry person.”

Snickers uses three integrated marketing strategies that are effective, but should seek other non-traditional ways to reach their audience. For example. they use of commercials with clever skits and themes allow viewers to watch their commercials in its entirety without hating the brand or rushing to change the channel. Commercials are one of the most traditional forms of advertising, but changing the status quo of content will connect you with you an audience that will actually like your strategies and take part of your brand.

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The next integrated marketing strategy that Snicker’s uses in their campaign is the actual product itself. Snickers features a line of products with the name spelled wrong with the idea that “you can’t think straight when you’re hungry.” This is a subliminal strategy in a sense because if you’re not paying attention, you could easily miss it.

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The third would be their print ads. Snickers makes a two-fold add that when looking at the ad from one angle you see one person, but at the other angle, you can identify another person. This continues with the theme that “You’re not you when you’re hungry” and shows a grotesque man as the hungry party, but a nicely shaved, everyday guy as the “full party.” This is eye catching because it’s unexpected and shocks customers.

snickers1Last but not least, I think they should add an interactive Facebook page. This campaign is obviously successful, but needs another platform to just produce simple content. They should make their Facebook page speak for itself, similar to what Oreo did during their SuperBowl ads. It allowed people to say if they were “cookie” or “creme” and it became like a competition for people to post pictures of them eating the oreos the way their prefer.  Snickers could have users upload pictures of them when they’re hungry and then when they’re full and make a similar competition. This could entise more consumers to participate and try their product.

Overall, I think that Snickers does a great job with this campaign but could take it one step further and make it sore. 🙂

Creativity: A Child’s Playground

A wise Pinterest user once pinned, “The creative adult is just a child that survived.” Although I’ll never know who actually wrote that quote, I’m glad that it made its way to my timeline. Growing up as the only child, I was the most creative person you could ever meet. I didn’t have siblings to entertain me, so every drawing came alive and all of my imaginary friends had  first and last names, but we were on a first name basis of course. I’d pretend I was a movie star at an awards show or a teacher with a class full of animals, anything you could think of, I imagined. I even talked to myself for a few years…changing voices for each character. If you could describe creativity from my seven-year-old perspective, I was it. But, as I grew up, my level of creativity decreased and I was as creative as one of those local car commercials where the owner just yells and hits the hood of the car when discussing its gas mileage.

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Taking the CORE analysis showed me just how creative I am, on an actually, less judging scale and I was happy to see  that I still score highly in my openness to ideas and my energy to make things happen. However, I learned that my ability to take risks and my curiosity levels scored much lower. Naturally, it is no surprise to me that my risk levels are low because I’m often afraid to express my ideas, worrying that they will come across as stupid…and sometimes they are just word vomit that doesn’t even make sense to me, so I can understand that feeling. This is where MC 3031 comes in, because well, let’s face it, my grade requires me to take risks, so what better time than the present. Especially where designing is concerned, I’ll have no problem expressing my ideas through an advertisement or flier I create on InDesign and I’m open to constructive feedback. And by constructive feedback I mean listening to what others have to say about my piece without wishing I could disappear in my chair with each word. The good thing is that I have the energy to complete the project, so that means I’ll give it 100%, so hopefully the criticism won’t be too cruel.

My goal is to change my risk level and challenge myself to take the risks associated with how creative I plan to be in each project. I’ve learned that I’m stuck in the middle of wanting to be creative and not wanting to be judged by my creativity, so if I just step out a little, I’ll be just fine… and hopefully make an A. Starting today, I challenge myself to writing down every idea I think of and not shooting them down without a legitimate reason. Of course this will require baby steps, but I accept the challenge.

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Bringing the Heat to Social Media

Since starting my Sports PR/Marketing internship in Atlanta, I have become a new found sports fan. Don’t get me wrong, I love sports and would watch and attend games before I started interning here, but lately it has gone to a whole new level. Let’s just say Game 5 of the NBA Finals was on at the same time as the new episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and I didn’t even reach for the remote. Yep, I watched the entire game and could probably give you a decent overview of what happened. Luckily for me, my interest peaked at the right time, during the NBA Finals and 80 or so days until the start of football season. I’ve been glued to the TV during every final game so far and as usual, have a lot of thoughts about them. Naturally, because I can’t tell a rebound from a layup (ok, that was a minor exaggeration), my focus has been less on basketball and more on the PR aspect and would like to share those said thoughts. But, before I dive into my thoughts, let me say that although I am enjoying the Finals action,  I am in no way a Miami Heat or San Antonio Spurs fan. My basketball allegiance lies with the Los Angeles Lakers now and forever…AMEN.

 As you already know, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs are currently competing for the 2013 NBA Championship Title. As of Game 5, they are 3-2, with the Spurs leading. On the court, both teams have had their good plays and bad plays, but nonetheless, they are onto Game 6 in Miami and tonights game will tell who will take the W. But enough of that basketball talk, let’s get to the fun stuff: social media. Social media has advanced over the past few years and with each new platform, users are opened up to a new world of information and opinions. It is so easy now to follow your favorite athlete or celebrity and see what they are up to. My favorite platform, Twitter, makes it very easy to start a conversation, share thoughts and opinions and even read reviews on products, movies and pretty much anything. Especially with such a big event like this one, Twitter users are following their favorite team and players to stay updated on the latest finals information or just to tweet their joy or frustrations about the game.

Because I’m a nerd, I thought it would be cool to find out just how much of the impact social media has on an event like this. What I found was very interesting. First, Gregg Popovich, head coach for the Spurs has had 35 percent more buzz via social media than Miami Heat’s head coach, Erik Spoelstra, with 33 percent of that interaction coming from women. This little fun fact should be music to the NBA’s PR teams ears because it means that more women are getting involved with the sport and with more involvement, comes more ticket sales, merchandise purchases and money for the industry. We all know that naturally men would be interested and loyal fans, but this increase in the number of women actively participating in basketball fandom should be highly noted and appreciated by their marketing team.

Next fun fact is that the Heat has gotten six times (165,350 vs. 27, 755) as much buzz as the Spurs on social media. Now this could be because Florida has more active social media users or a larger fan base, but either way, those numbers are astounding. Keep in mind though, that this is overall interaction, so it does not necessarily mean that it has been positive.

With the idea that the Heat has had six times as much buzz, I had to find out how much buzz “the big three” were creating. From the infographic, it seems that the big three of Miami, LeBron, D.Wade and Bosh have been talked about twice as much as the Spurs’ big three, Parker, Duncan and Ginobili, with LeBron alone having 26 percent more interaction than the Spurs’ big three combined. This is crazy and obviously shows who are fan’s favorites.

Ok, only a few more and I’ll wrap it up! Fun fact #oh hell, I’ve lost count: LeBron James has gotten two times more buzz than Tim Duncan, even though Duncan has four times the number of championship rings than LeBron. At first I couldn’t believe this but Tim Duncan(37)  is much older than LeBron(28) and has been in the league longer (1997 vs. 2003). Duncan proudly wears championship rings from 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007, and depending on tonight’s performance, 2013. You go, Duncan!

And last but not least, Chris Bosh. I didn’t intentionally save him for last but his awkward ostrich like demeanor deserves a paragraph all to his own. So for the last fun fact of the day, let’s give a round of applause to Chris Bosh for having 27.5 percent negative buzz on social media. Keep in mind, he is in the big three and on the star team, who has gotten the highest buzz thus far, but has a whole lot of negative comments and posts via social media.

So, as you can see, social media can have a big impact on events and can show the publics perception of individual players, teams and the organization as a whole. Just to make sure you guys believe my random fun facts, I’ve included the infographic for your reading pleasure. Don’t forget to tune into the game tonight! And certainly don’t forget to tweet your thoughts! Let’s see how impactful your social media interaction is tonight! Your thoughts help the PR and marketing team gauge perception on the organization and plan events to increase the positive perception of the organization and the players.

…well,that’s a wrap! Just downloaded a new book to my iPhone today, so a blog post about my PR summer reading journey will be up soon. xo

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Benched and Broke

While putting gas today, $3.50/gallon mind you, I realized just how broke I really am. I mean, yes I saved as much as possible before quitting my job, but with every swipe of my debit card, I see my money depleting. As I waited for the dreaded receipt to print at the pump, I remembered that I’m not the only one who is broke. A few days ago I watched an episode of ESPN’s 30 for 30, called ‘Broke’ and could not believe the number of past and present NFL players that are bankrupt or heading toward bankruptcy. Oddly enough, after making more money than most Americans make in their lifetime within a few years, many athletes find themselves in financial despair.

According to the documentary, “by the time players have been retired for two years, 78 percent of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress and within five years of retirement, an estimated 60 percent of former NBA players are broke.” These numbers are hard to wrap my head around. How can a multimillionaire blow through so much money, in such a short span of time. Well, after working a “real” PR job for almost a month and reading a few gossip articles, I think I have the answer and a few suggestions to help rookies not make the same mistakes.

First off, most rookies start their football career in their early to mid 20s. As a girl in her 20s, I can say that this is a crucial time for all of us– it’s the time when we make the most mistakes and blame it on being young and dumb or at least on the latest rap song that excuses our reckless behavior. (for the older readers, I was referring to YOLO) But I digress, anyone under 25, 30 even, can not make smart choices, especially where money is concerned. As far as these athletes are concerned, they are given millions at 22 and told to have fun, which they do and five years later, they are as marketable as products sold on “As Seen on TV” commercials. I mean, let’s be real, the average NFL career is three to five years, which means the money you make within that time has to last you the rest of your life. And honestly, most college athletes don’t take their educations seriously, so once their athletic talent hits a halt, they don’t have a chance of earning big bucks. So, with the few pennies left in my bank account, my advice to future NFL players is to Spend Wisely. Use your money to hire financial advisers and invest your money well… or at least trust your mom to make the decisions for you.

My second piece of advice is more of a command than advice: STOP HAVING KIDS! Aside from my Christian beliefs and moral compass, the common sense in me knows that having dozens of children out of wedlock isn’t exactly the smartest idea. Especially if you’re having these said children with one night stands, groupies or women that you’d never take home to momma. Bottom line, be careful. Before your John Hancock is even dried on that contract, money hungry females are already planning what to do with your money. They will lure you in and trap you, similar to what a spider does when an insect gets caught in its web. Don’t get me wrong, having a baby is a beautiful thing, but having child support payments higher than my annual salary is far from beautiful. Be careful, be safe and be smart. They aren’t seeing your looks, they see dollar signs and will stick you with a court order faster than you think.

Lastly, Shop Smart. I mean, do you really need three Rolls Royce’s, two mansions and a yacht? No! I understand that your new found money entices you and as the saying goes, ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’ but the Romans won’t be too worried about you when your career is over and you have not a cent to show for it. You are a millionaire now, so feel free to buy more lavish things, but don’t go overboard. Use your financial adviser to your advantage and plan your future wisely. Just remember, you have about five years to make the money that will sustain your life for the next 40+ years. You aren’t invincible and one too many injuries and you’re out. Out and replaced by a much younger, faster and more appealing you. So make sure you control your finances while you can.

Ok so I realize that I’m just a 21 year old who watched a documentary, so my advice isn’t award winning or based on extensive research, but I think it is pretty sound. Since I’m not an expert, I’ve provided a nice little info graphic which shows specific players and their struggles with being…well, broke. Learn from their misfortune and don’t end up like them.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my random thoughts on athletes and their finances. Have a great night! 🙂

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The Start Of Something New

Hey there– it’s definitely been a while since I’ve written a blog post. The struggles of school, work and life have taken over, but luckily for me, there’s three nifty months of summer to help me catch up on life. Since my last post I’ve turned 21, finished my sixth semester of college, became director of PRSSA at LSU’s student-run PR firm, quit my job, moved to Atlanta and started a sports marketing internship. Nothing too big, right? Wrong. These last six months have been an absolute crazy roller coaster and although scary at times, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. So, since you’re dying to know, I’ll give you a brief synopsis of my life in 2013.

First, after 21 years, I finally turned 21! (Just so we’re clear, that sentence made sense in my head.) On February 14th, I turned the age that you wait your entire life for. Ok, I’m sure that is a bit of an exaggeration, but 21 is a huge deal and requires much celebration. Besides the fact that I can now do everything, legally, 21 meant so much more to me. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always made goals for myself. Short term and long term, daily and sometimes even hourly goals. Thankfully, I am exactly where I expected to be at this age and have accomplished many of the goals I set out for myself. Although I know I have room to grow, I’m proud of my progress and the amazing young woman I’ve become, if I may say so myself. So, cheers to me and my progress. May I continue to grow, learn and continue being this fabulous in 21 years.

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(Celebrating my 21st birthday with my first LEGAL drink!)

Aside from turning 21, I also became one of two new directors of ImPRint Communications. Just a little history, ImPRint Communications is PRSSA at LSU’s student-run PR firm. After joining PRSSA in the fall of 2012, I became more involved in all things PR and decided to dabble in a leadership role. As the co-director, I am responsible for a group of 30 students, gathering clients and running a full-service communications agency. Since this new title officially came into effect on May 31st, my fellow co-director, Megan and I have been researching other student-run firms and preparing our paperwork to become a nationally affiliated firm. I’ve also been working on our new website, which will be published at the end of the summer. This firm is literally my baby for the summer and I am completely loving this new responsibility. Look out for the new site, soon!

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Next, I quit my job! I know, I still haven’t processed it, either. After two years of working at the Venue at Northgate, I am officially unemployed. The decision to quit came when I decided to take the next step in my career and take an internship, instead of working part-time. Although I don’t plan on being a leasing agent any time in the future, I could not be more thankful for everything I learned, while working there. Working with college students and their parents, creating monthly marketing strategies, maintaining resident retention and executing leases while facilitating daily office duties is not as easy as it looks. I’ve had so many frustrating days and completely overwhelming moments, but I learned how valuable patience can be. Besides learning those little things, I also made lifelong friendships with my coworkers and managers. No matter where I end up in life, I will never forget my first “big girl” job and what it has done to make me the person I am today.

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And finally, the best thing that has happened to me this year… MY SUMMER INTERNSHIP. Currently, I am interning at Dow Lohnes Sports and Entertainment, as a PR/Sports Marketing intern, in Atlanta, Georgia. On May 13th, just two days after I took my last final at LSU for the spring semester, I moved to Georgia for the summer to start my role as an intern. This was by far one of the scariest things I’ve done in my life, especially because I’ve never been this far from home for such a long time. In a few days, it’ll be one month since I moved here and started my new job and I must say, I’ve done a great job. I’m still adjusting to my new environment, but I love the city and I’m so thankful for this opportunity. But enough of the fluff, let me tell you about the internship. At DLSE, I work with over 30 NFL clients, managing their Facebook fan sites, assisting with the coordination of events, sponsorships and endorsements and drafting pitch letters, press releases and communication efforts. Basically, every day I walk into the office, sit down with my boss, the VP of marketing and PR and make a to-do list of one million and five things to accomplish. So far, I’ve made new connections, successfully pitched to large companies and organizations and worked closely with the VP to enhance the player’s experience, off the field. With a month behind my belt, I can honestly say I love the craziness and fast pace of my internship and can’t wait to see what I accomplish.

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(This is the beautiful building I work in, in downtown Atlanta.  Amazing, right? The view of the city is even better!)

Well, that’s a wrap! I’ve enjoyed writing all of this out. Writing is such a great release for me. My goal for the summer is to blog frequently, at least once a week, so I can have a written account of my internship and summer in Atlanta. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, so be on the look out for my weekly updates, struggles and success stories. Talk to you soon! xo.

On remembering

In life, we all feel lucky for one reason or another. Everyone thinks they have the best parents, coolest siblings and the fanciest necessities. Growing up, I always knew I was blessed and had more than others could dream of, but I never realized just how valuable those things were to me, until they were gone.

For seven years, I sprinted from class to class, enjoyed late lunches beneath the oaks and gathered memories amid the cane. You see, my parents sent me to Episcopal School of Acadiana for my middle and upper school years. There I made lasting friendships, established relationships with my teachers and learned integrity.

I always knew my school was much different from others, but never understood how much. From writing a short novel in 7th grade to re-inact Agetha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” to reciting the first 18 lines of Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” I knew my school was special. There were so many unique things that set ESA apart from other schools and I realized that early on. The love for the students, the closeness to my teachers, the fellowship with my peers, made ESA that special place for me.

Sadly, on a gloomy day in August, I got a phone call that would break my heart forever. On August 27,2012, my favorite teacher, coach and example died of a heart attack and my small school bubble shattered. The man who had made field day the day to look forward to for years, the man who made his annual Christmas poem the most anticipated chapel of the year, was gone. This was by far one of the hardest pills to swallow and four months later my heart is still not healed from it. I have so many bottled up emotions, but instead of cramming in the obvious reasons why I’m sad, I want to finally thank him with this letter.

Dear Coach Rhoades,
To say you made ESA what it is, is an understatement. You are the definition of what ESA and the ESA experience are all about. Thank you for always having a smile on your face and being a genuine person. Thanks for the horrible jokes and puns, that we always laughed at even though they were never funny. Thanks for always coming up with the craziest baton to use at our field day relay races– the cows tongue was my favorite. Thank you for the Globetrek ghost stories that kept me awake all night. Thanks for helping me climb my first mountain, shoot my first bow and arrow and conquer my zip lining fears. Thank you for always being a motivator, a pusher to keep going. Thanks for always loving each one of us and showing that every day. Thanks for being extremely tall, trust me, we all looked up to you. Thank you for always making non-athletic PE fun. I am confident that I could be an Olympian in Wiffle Ball. Thank you for the funny pictures above the water fountains, I spit out quite an amount of water all over the floor… And sometimes my friends. Thank you for creating Cyone’s best dance crew. I never knew I could laugh that hard. And thank you for being gentle, generous, truthful, kind and brave. No amount of words could explain the sadness I feel now that you’re gone and no number of thank you’s could display my gratitude. Just for knowing you, I am a better person. I know ESA will never be the same without you, but I know you’re always in us. Thank you for making ESA such a magical place. I love you, Coach! I hope you’re enjoying Heaven… hope you didn’t hit your head on those pearly gates.

If you’re reading this, I encourage you to be thankful. In PR, we learn that stewardship is the most important part of the ROPES process and you must always remember to give back. My coach was a great steward of ESA and has given each student something invaluable to cherish forever. Always remember to smile, be helpful and appreciate everyone around you.

Happy Holidays! Hug your loved ones and tell them that you love them. Say thank you to your friends and coworkers. Be thankful for your blessings and always remember how precious each day is. 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Although school is over and my MC 4001 days are long gone, I wanted to peek in and do a little blogging while enjoying my break. So far, my post-finals life has been consumed with sleeping, eating and catching up on a whole lot of television. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my laziness and relaxation, but my brain has not been off of the world of mass communication and public relations.

Last Friday, December 14, 20 children along with six adults lost their lives during what seemed to be a normal school day. When this tragedy arose, news stations and social media sites began buzzing with updates and information on what was going on. Americans were dismayed and an entire nation was saddened by the event.

As an inspiring PR professional and mass communication student, I was horrified by the tragedy, but disappointed in the coverage. Although getting the story out first is important for your network, it is extremely important to get the story out, right. Last Friday, I read incorrect facts, heard misquoted information and witnessed downright disrespect for the parties involved.

When it comes to journalism, it is important to get the story out and fast, but not at the risk of exploiting or providing incorrect information. Many fact checks and answered questions later, the truth of the situation came out and the public was informed on what really happened.

Honestly, in my opinion, I feel that it is a journalist’s personal and moral responsibility to provide correct information. Hearing that innocent children were killed at the hands of a stranger was a hard enough pill for Americans, relatives and parents to swallow and hearing different and untrue stories certainly didn’t help.

It is my hope that aspiring journalists learn from this experience and commit to writing and reporting correct facts and stories.

Happy Holidays! Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! I promise this wont be the end of me, I’ll be blogging in the New Year!

PResentation: Experiences and Outcomes through service-learning with Susan G. Komen Baton Rouge

When I signed up for PR writing with Dr. Jensen Moore last semester, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew that PR writing included writing press releases and creating media kits from previous writing courses, but I didn’t realize exactly what I was getting myself into.

This semester has been a challenge with many ups and downs.  Learning to juggle schoolwork, class obligations and adhere to the client’s needs, while working a part-time job and being involved with other campus organizations has not been easy.  I’ve had my share of small breakdowns, anxiety and even shed a few tears, but I got through it.

Since I did get through this semester, I’d like to give my advice to upcoming PR juniors and seniors who are deciding on future courses.

  1. Don’t let the syllabus scare you. It’s rather long, 34 pages to be exact, but it’s there to help you. Any questions you may have will be answered in that, rather large document.
  2. Take a service-learning class. Yes, they do require you to do a lot more work than your more traditional classes, but the experience you will gain and the confidence you will build will be worth it.
  3. Take your writing seriously. Since PR requires a lot of writing, you need to seize this opportunity to improve your writing and learn your strengths and weaknesses as a writer.
  4. Get involved. While taking PR writing, I joined the communications team of PRSSA at LSU. This required me to write even more, but this time, outside of the classroom and away from a grading rubric. I got to practice the skills I learned in the classroom and develop my writing.
  5. Have fun. Although it may get a little stressful, have fun and enjoy what you’re doing. You will be advocating for a great cause and working with your peers, who will become your coworkers in the future.

Now that you know my five tips that I’ve taken away from this course, I have a few people I’d like to thank.

First, I’d like to thank Susan G. Komen Baton Rouge for allowing five PR undergrads to help your organization spread awareness for such an important cause and participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities. You have given us a first hand look at what it takes to spread a message to a large group of people, taught us how to conduct ourselves professionally and have given us invaluable experience.

Secondly, I’d like to thank Dr. Moore for the late nights, the tears, the stress and the rubric. This semester has taught me just how strong I am and shown me first hand that I can conquer anything I set my mind to. I feel more confident in my abilities as an aspiring PR professional and I know now, more than ever, that this is exactly the field I want to be in.

Third, I’d like to thank my agency, Cinq Communications for all the hard work each of you has done this semester. We have had our share of roadblocks and late nights, but each of us has worked hard to complete each task and conquer each obstacle. Not only am I walking away from this class with more knowledge and experience, but also with four new friends and a few late night Starbucks memories that will last a lifetime.

And last, but certainly not least, I’d like to thank you, the reader. Thank you for listening to my complaints, successes, struggles and triumphs. You’ve had a unclose view of my journey in PR writing and have helped spread breast cancer awareness. I hope that you continue to follow Komen Baton Rouge on Facebook and Twitter and participate in their upcoming events. Don’t forget to register for Race for the Cure, you might get to meet a few Cinq Communications members.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Live, Laugh, Love…PR,

Cyone

PS, made a special video just for you. Click here to watch.