We Make A Difference

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Tonight, I attended the PRSSA Meeting, like I do every Wednesday. The two guest speakers were Nicolle Racey from Susan G. Komen For the Cure Columbus and Jessica LaBarge from Dress for Success Columbus. They shared with us what they do in their current jobs and explained what it’s like to work for a non-profit. I really appreciated their perspectives and everything they had to share. They talked about how there is a lot of tears and tissues in non-proft PR and that if you’re in it for the money and not the heart, then you’re in it for the wrong reason.

PR professionals sometimes have this mean and conniving stereotype. That all they do is twist stories and lie to benefit their own agendas. Yes there might some story twisting every now and then but more often, they make a difference. They help people every day. A public relations professional probably isn’t the first person you think of when thinking about selflessness and helping others… but PR professionals work on behalf of other people or another entity, all the time.

PR professionals help someone launch their product. They help people fight for a cause they believe in. They help hospitals fundraise money to find cures for diseases. They help you choose what movie to see or where to go on vacation. They help you select your favorite brands. But more importantly, they make a difference. They make a difference because they provide opportunities and experiences for people that they might not have a way to access them, otherwise. PR professionals are good, talented, hard-working people that push themselves every day to make a difference and help others in their own unique way.

This non-profit-helping others mantra really hit home for me today and I thought it would be a good way to close my blog for this class.

I leave you with this.

Think about what’s important in life. Do what you love. Love what you do. Help others. Make a difference. Everything else will fall in line.

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FOR THE KIDS

 

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On Saturday, I went to the BuckeyeThon Fashion Show. BuckeyeThon hosted this fashion show in partnership with shoe designer, Sam Edelman, in order to raise money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The event took place at 7:30pm in the Archie Griffin Ballroom and admission was $5.00. All of the proceeds went to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

DESIGN CONTEST
Students took part in a shoe design contest prior to the show and the winner was picked by Sam Edelman the day before and announced during the event. Melissa won for her butterfly inspired ankle boot. As the winner of the competition, Melissa gets to go on a two day trip to New York City all expenses paid and have dinner with Sam Edelman himself!

PRODUCTION
The models for the show were OSU students that are leaders in other student organizations. I thought it was a nice way to highlight the student body and not put all the focus on BuckeyeThon members (even though they did an excellent job executing this event). The models looked like they had all done some runway modeling before or at least practiced a lot! I was impressed.

I thought the production elements of the event were also very professional. The lights, music, clothing, makeup, hair and models were all legit.

SOCIAL MEDIA
They had a hashtag for the event #SamFTK and posed an Instagram contest during the event.

They displayed the live tweet chat during the event on the side screens. Every time I glanced over, I always saw one of my posts because only a few other people were tweeting during the event.

BuckeyeThon retweeted me twice, which was exciting (I think because I was one of the few people live tweeting, ha!)

It’s just interesting how Twitter participation can vary from event to event…Sometimes the event thrives on Twitter participation and sometimes…it doesn’t.

LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST…
Perhaps the best part of the event, was watching the Miracle Network kids walk the runway with their siblings and fellow models. It was such an amazing moment to watch each kid walk out on that stage and feel like an absolute rockstar. They got to have a good time stepping into the spotlight and for that hour and a half, everyone forgot that they are sick and recovering from cancer. It was a celebration of joy.

It brings tears to my eyes, even now, just thinking about how they danced up and down, blew kisses, twirled in their sparkly dress and grinned from ear to ear when they saw everyone cheering for them.

I didn’t expect much going to this event, to be honest, but I left with a warm heart and I was glad that I went. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

MY TAKEAWAYS
Events like these really put your life into prospective. Does it honestly matter that you got a C on your exam or you were given the wrong coffee, when there are people in the world, especially children, fighting for their lives every single day? Your perspectives and priorities really shift after hearing their stories.

I was deeply moved by these kids, their families and everyone involved with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and BuckeyeThon. I admire the people who do all they can to help someone else’s life be a little better, even if it’s just for a fleeting moment.

BuckeyeThon is a valued part of Ohio State and a true reflection of Paying It Forward.

I look forward to being a part of their dance marathon this February and doing what I can to help fight childhood cancer.

If you’re looking for more detailed information on the event check out The Lantern article.

You can follow BuckeyeThon, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Sam Edelman on Twitter: @BuckeyeThon, @nationwidekids, @Sam_Edelman

 

#TheShoe

Sports fans are known for the loyalty and passion they have for their team. Fans have watch parties, buy season tickets, tailgate all day and paint their chests, so why wouldn’t they show their team spirit on social media too? “YouTube is an endless source of video highlights and bloopers. Twitter is a gigantic news wire. And Facebook is a place for trash talk with friends,” according to an article from Mashable. On game days, fans from all over blow up your news feed.

Now at Ohio Stadium, on football Saturdays, Ohio State Athletics is promoting the use of their hashtag, #TheShoe, before and during the game. On the side television screen banner in the stadium it shows fans’ tweets that they posted using #TheShoe. Also, on the scoreboard, they occasionally show pictures that fans have posted on Instagram using #TheShoe. This allows fans to engage even more with the team and other Buckeyes by showing off their team spirit on a larger scale.

One of my friends that I sit with at the football games, tweeted with the hashtag and waited to see his tweet show up on the screen. The whole game passed and he never saw it. I don’t know how often they cycle through the tweets or if they have to filter through them before they select which ones to put up, but I don’t think it’s very often. Still a cool idea though.

The prompting of social media use is something new that Ohio State Athletics is promoting. I didn’t notice them doing it until the first Big Ten game of the year versus Wisconsin. I’m sure it will continue to grow throughout the season and into next year.

It makes sense that Ohio State Athletics is trying to stay relevant and engage with their fans in the best ways possible. According to Mark Evans, a social media blogger, in his post titled, “Social Media Lessons from Sports Fans” he shares that, “Sports is not only a part of many peoples’ lives but it is something that elicits a lot of opinion, emotion and passion.” Users post of out excitement, anger, frustration and fear all the time. Sporting events are just another aspect of life that elicits these emotions from people. From these emotions, people feel compelled to share them with all of their friends and followers. An important aspect of social media is that it allows feedback. Fans can share their excitement or disbelief with each other and heckle the competitors at the same time, from across the country.

Here is an infographic from the Mashable article that explains social media use when it comes to sports:

 

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Evans also talks about how “Sports is a constant hot topic in the digital world. Sports marketers need to always be monitoring along with publishing and curating content. They might be the best example of how to meet the high demand that comes with a social media fan base.” Sports happen so frequently and in a live setting so, site administrators and social media users have to stay on their toes and be ready to update and upload content in order to stay relevant. Which in turn, inspires fans to react, reply and share.

Perhaps even bigger than the 8-0 Ohio State football team on social media lately has been TBDBITL and their amazing halftime shows. Their Michael Jackson tribute from last week has been featured on national news sites. Here is their halftime show from last night if you haven’t already seen it!

Go Bucks!

Living the PR Life

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Ohio State PRSSA has been tweeting some really great things lately.

PRSSA tweeted this PR Daily article a few days ago. It is an article about how a career in Public Relations teaches you lessons that can be applicable to your whole life. Mickie Kennedy came up with these from working in the industry. Here are the five he listed…

  1. People are funny.
  2. Words are important
  3. Making friends is better than making contacts.
  4. You can never be too careful
  5. Being yourself is important

Let’s explore these further…

 People are funny
He talked about how people don’t fit into stereotypes and once you get to know someone, they can really surprise you. I definitely have realized this over the past year as an RA. You don’t know what someone has been through or is dealing with until they tell you. It is important to listen to what they say and not pre-judge them based on their physical presentation or your first impressions.

 Words are important
Kennedy shared that what you say and how you say it is key to successful PR. Every single word is crucial.

Knowing how to communicate the same thing in different ways such as an instruction manual, a tweet, a blog post and then a press release is important to keeping you a diverse employee.

In your everyday life, it is important to filter what you say and be conscious of who you’re talking to and try not to offend or mislead anyone.

 Making friends is better than making contacts
Kennedy said that “Contacts help you create a business; friends help you create a life.” He explained the importance of catching up and making the time to talk with people you might not see all the time. You never know when you may need help or advice so it’s good to continue to nurture those relationships and not just be the person who comes around only when they need something. Something as simple as shooting an email or asking them out for coffee shows that you still care about your relationship and about them as a person. There’s no excuse not to stay connected, especially if you live in the same area. This will make your job easier and your relationships more valuable.

 You can never be too careful
Plan and strategize before you do everything. Before you make that pitch, before you post that tweet, before you buy that new car and move to that new city, always plan ahead and think strategically. Then they’ll be nothing to regret.

I do this with everything. Maybe a little more than I should…

Being yourself is important
People want to hear from real people. If you are the face of a business they want to interact with you as a person not as a spokesman on a soapbox who is insincere and speaking strictly with an agenda.

PR is a career where being yourself and being unique is encouraged.

Also, employers will be able to tell when you are being yourself during an interview. It’s important that your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn and personality all match and reflect the true nature and beauty of you.

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet

I participated in the Ohio State PRSSA tweet chat tonight from 6:00-7:00pm during their weekly meeting. Tonight’s guests were PRSSA alums, Heather Bartman and Jenn Cartmille. Bartman went to Ohio University and now works as an Account Associate at Fahlgren Mortine. Cartmille graduated from Ohio State and is an Event Planning, PR and Communications Specialist at Kegler Brown Hill & Ritter.

I thoroughly enjoyed what these two ladies had to say. It was helpful to hear job search advice from women who graduated recently and understand how the market is currently. Listening to them speak about their journeys and give advice from lessons they’ve learned, made me a little less stressed about graduating. I realized I am doing some of the things they said to do like ask people out for coffee and I seem to be on the right path, despite my worries. I left tonight’s meeting feeling even more excited about graduating and entering the professional world in the spring!

I had participated in PRSSA tweet chats before but never this actively. I realized that the more you get involved in a conversation the more you’ll get out of it. I received a decent amount of activity after this tweet chat. I tweeted six times and in return, I got two favorites, two retweets, one mention and two new followers. That’s very successful for one night for me, considering I’ve only had my Twitter for a few months.

I plan to be more actively involved in the PRSSA tweet chats during the meetings for the rest of the year because I thoroughly enjoyed my experience tonight.

Girl Power

I’m loving this fall weather I don’t know about you. All I want to do is snuggle inside and read. While under a blanket on my futon the other day, I found these two articles on Mashable, a website that is a news, technology and social media blog. This site was introduced to me at my internship. Mashable partnered with New York Women in Communications for the WiCi Awards. In the articles I read, they introduced the 10 winners of the WiCi awards and shared a little bit about them. The recipients also gave their advice to other women in the communications world. The article stresses that these women and the WiCi Awards are adding to the conversation of the importance of women in powerful leadership roles in the digital world today.

I found these women inspiring while reading what they had to say and I hope that you do too. You can find the list of women here.

Here are their career tips for other successful women like you…

  • Remember you earned your seat at the table – Jenna Wortham
  • Either you’re comfortable or you’re growing – Abbey Klaassen
  • Stay grounded – Maria Cristina Marrero
  • Make the leap forward – Kendra Bracken-Ferguson
  • Be the first – Deborah Brenner
  • Identify your passions – Rachel Haot
  • “Aha!” moments are very real – Lauren Bush Lauren
  • Live up to others’ expectations – Dustee Tucker Jenkins
  • Perception is reality – Kass Lazerow
  • Establish your own definition of success – Sara Haines

In the more extensive interviews with the women that Mashable shared, I connected with what two of the women had to say; Dustee Tucker Jenkins, the VP of Public Relations for Target and Sarah Haines, ABC News Correspondant. I want to share with you their tips and beliefs that resonated with me.

Dustee Tucker Jenkins

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Jenkins graduated from the University of North Texas and worked her way up to being the Vice President of Public Relations at one of America’s most popular stores. When asked about the best advice she’s ever received, she spoke of her grandmother. Jenkins shared that her grandma used to always encourage her success and tell her, “Come early, stay late, work hard, give back and always let ‘em know you’re there.” When asked about her keys to success, Jenkins explained, “I’m passionate and known for jumping in with both feet, I’m always up for a challenge, and, most importantly, I’m not afraid to fail. These are incredibly helpful traits in the PR industry.” I admire her work ethic and fearlessness.

Sara Haines

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Sara Haines graduated from Smith College in Iowa and used to be a production correspondent for the Today Show before becoming a New York correspondent for ABC. When asked about what she wishes she would have known when starting out she said, “I wish I had known…that there isn’t really a “destination” in life, professionally or personally. Life really is about the journey. It is as much about the frustrated-confused-what-the-heck-am-I-doing-with-my-life days as the days when you think you have it all figured out. Each day, each step, each moment builds and shapes a picture that is your journey. You don’t “arrive” though. It isn’t about a perfect job, perfect partner, or perfect weight. It is about living every day with a sense of duty and integrity. If you can put your head down at the end of a day and stand behind your words and actions, you nailed it!” When talking about success, Sara shared, “Too often people are looking down the road at what they ultimately want to do rather than embracing the moment and seeing their present role in the bigger picture. If you can take any job in your life, put your head down, and work to the best of your ability, you will succeed.” Sara’s enthusiasm for her work is contagious and I realized from what she said that I really don’t have to have my whole life figured out right now. I am just starting my professional journey and I need to open myself up to experiences and see where they’ll take me.

I was inspired about what these women had to say and the amount of success they have had in their careers while both being under the age of 40. Women are showing the communications world how innovative, powerful and impactful they can be and I couldn’t be more excited to join all these women once I graduate in the spring.

To find out more about these ladies, follow them on Twitter: @sarahaines @DusteeJenkins

#hashtag

Recently, the hilarious duo of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake, posted a video about how ridiculous people sound when they overuse hashtags. Within the last week, the parody has gone viral.

Here is the video if you haven’t seen it yet #i’mstilllaughing

I thought this video, while hilarious, brought up a good point because some people do get ridiculous when using hashtags and go overboard. It doesn’t really benefit someone to use a million hashtags. You can get the word out, sometimes even better, if you use one or two meaningful hashtags. I feel like most people don’t understand the real use for hashtags and use them just to be funny.

So because of all this current attention on hashtags, I wanted to look at beneficial ways to use hashtags and what advice Twitter professionals have for users and companies.

Last month, Twitter released a hashtag tutorial on Mashable.com that displays a graphic on what steps to take in order to decide what hashtag to use. Their advice includes, “Make your hashtag memorable, integrate it with other marketing activity like ads or campaigns, and don’t be afraid to piggyback on a popular term or phrase.” A hashtag should be adding value to the conversation and not be over-used like what Fallon and Timberlake parodied.

An article on Attendly.com explains how using Twitter during a live conference can make the guests’ experience more dynamic. The author suggests creating one hashtag for the event which guests can use to tweet their thoughts and pictures from the event and also, ask questions to the presenters. This is a way to connect everyone in a large room and gauge the opinions of the audience. This will make the presentation more interactive and it then can be tailored to the audience based on the live feedback.

A blogger named Jeff Hurt, wrote a post titled “35 Tips to Successfully Use Twitter for Your Event”. He lists advice starting from creating your Twitter account, to creative ways for presenters and guests to interact during the event. My favorite tip he mentioned was to put guests’ Twitter handle on their name badges! The picture is below:

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So after reading these three articles and forming my own personal opinions, here are some ideas on how to use Twitter at your next event:

  • Schedule tweets to be sent out days before the event and the day of to spread the word
  • Give guests nametags, place cards or programs with the event’s hashtag on it
  • Your hashtag should have to do with the title of the event or name of the speaker.
  • Make your speakers aware ahead of time that you plan to do live Twitter questions; make sure they are well-versed in how to use Twitter.
  • Have people on hand to assist guests who might not be Twitter savvy.
  • Include the speakers’ Twitter handles on the screen or somewhere so guests can start following them
  • Have awards at the end of the event for guests who used Twitter in a fun, creative or impressive way
  • Put guests’ Twitter handles on their nametags
  • You can display the live Twitter stream on a screen or wall inside the event.
  • Have someone designated to monitoring the feed throughout the night
  • Set aside times during the event for guests to tweet pictures, thoughts and questions.
  • If using more than one speaker, have individual hashtags for each presenter to keep things organized
  • Have the speaker use their own mobile device to read questions off of.
  • Retweet other guests and presenters to share memorable thoughts and experiences from the night
  • Have someone from your company tweet a play-by-play of the event so those who couldn’t make it can still feel like they’re a part of the event

Thanks for reading and remember, use your hashtags wisely!

Let’s Chat

I went to the OUAB event “An Evening with Josh Radnor” this week. Josh Radnor is a TV/Film actor famous for playing the role of Ted Mosby on the hit show, How I Met Your Mother. Radnor was inspiring and entertaining. You could tell he felt so comfortable talking to the crowd. It was a very special homecoming for him since he’s originally from Bexley, OH. It was cool to hear someone you watch on TV every week talk about going to the North Market and explaining where things are on High Street.

The event was during the season 9 premiere of HIMYM so as a special treat, he brought a copy of the new episodes with him and played them for us without commercials. I thought maybe we’d watch the live feed with commercials but it was so awesome that he had his own legit copy. It was really cool to watch the show with a large crowd and all laugh together. Also, knowing he was there sitting with his family watching it too, was neat. It is an experience I will never forget.

During OUAB events, they commonly have question and answer sessions with the celebrity at the end of the event. It normally drags on forever and people ask stupid embarrassing questions. The OUAB event I was at last was the “Winning Gold” event with the three Olympians and that was the first time I saw them do Twitter questions. Attendees could tweet their questions to the celeb using a specific hashtag that was displayed on the screen prior to the event. At the “Gold” event, OUAB members read the Twitter questions into a microphone.

Radnor handled the Twitter questions differently. He took out his phone and scrolled through the Twitter feed on his own. He could filter out the questions that were dumb or he didn’t want to answer. The fact he was doing it all himself made it feel more informal and led it to being more humorous. We could see that it was really him using his Twitter. It was an unspoken confirmation that it was truly his account.

It was charming because you could tell he was still new to Twitter and was asking us how to do certain things. He also posed the question to the audience if we thought that Twitter really helps celebrities get the word out about their projects? He said he’s spoken with friends in Hollywood and they felt like it didn’t work too well. The audience consensus was that Twitter does help promote things like movies, events and products but that it can’t be all hype and buzz, the substance and quality of the thing you’re promoting has to be there too.

I think that having the celebrity use their own account for Twitter based conversations during an event is going to be way more common in the future. It makes the event more engaging and interactive. It adds an ounce of realism and relatability towards the celebrity because they use Twitter on their phones just like everyone else.

The hashtag they used for the event was #JRadnorOSU which I thought was kind of long and generic, but it worked. I bet that OUAB will continue to incorporate Twitter in their pre-show and post-show activities. Also, I’ll be curious to see if future events will have the same format of the celebrity reading the tweets themselves or if that was just unique to Radnor. I hope they keep that up because I don’t like the interjections of the OUAB members, I think it detracts from the event.

Overall, I absolutely loved this event and was sad I had to leave early to get to my staff meeting. If you ever get a chance to see Josh Radnor speak, I highly suggest going.

In the meantime, check out the hashtags at the next event you go to and how they’re used.

You can follow @JoshRadnor and @OUAB on Twitter.

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Fans of All Ages

On Friday, my friend and I went to see Michael Bublé in concert in Pittsburgh. It was one of the best concerts I have ever been too. Bublé is truly an all-around entertainer who made us laugh, cry, dance and sing along for his 90 minute show.

From the moment we arrived at the arena, it was apparent that my friend and I were two of the youngest people attending the show (minus the 8 year old girl Bublé later pulled up on stage with him). We were half the age of most concert-goers there. We didn’t think much of being 21 year old Bublé fans before the concert, but it made us laugh a little once we were there and saw all of the middle aged people and those even more elderly with their canes.

We sat in our seats waiting for the show to begin and this lady a few rows down from us came up to us because she wanted to ask for a favor. She exclaimed that her husband didn’t let her bring her camera inside because he didn’t want to get in trouble. She was heartbroken because she had no way of taking pictures of the event. She said we looked like nice girls and saw we had smartphones so she politely asked if we wouldn’t mind taking down her email address and sending her a few photos we took during the concert.

I ended up sending her a few of my photos today, like she had asked, because I wanted to be nice. It just made me realize that yes, we live in a digital world today but not everyone is neck deep in it like the media or my generation makes it seem.

Like I said before, the crowd we were surrounded by were much older and this came into play during the pre-show activities. They played recorded music before the show from the era a lot of the standards Bublé sings are from. The stage was set and the two television screens on either side displayed a classy gold “MB” on a black background. Only a few times did a message come across the screens to ‘Like’ Michael Bublé on Facebook and use the hashtag #MBWorldTour with your photos on Instagram. This was a little bit shocking to me because a lot of the concerts I have been to in the past are almost obnoxious about asking fans to tag their thoughts, questions, posts and pictures so they’d show up on the screen.

Nothing came up about Twitter which really surprised me but then I thought to myself, would the majority of this audience even understand Twitter, let alone have their own? The key point most communications students hear over and over is “target to your audience” and the Bublé PR team really did. They had to consider what would be most likely for the concert attendees to actually do.

Thinking about the newer forms of social media though left me a little confused about why they chose to promote Instagram? After checking up on all of Bublé’s social media sites I noticed that he has a significant Instagram presence. He posts at least a picture from every city on his tour displaying a gift or sign from a fan or a greeting with a celeb he met before the show. Also, recently Bublé has started using the Instagram video attribute and posting pre-show warm-ups of him singing with his band. So then it made more sense that he wants to connect with fans on Instagram because he frequently uses it. Feel free to check it all out here.

Even though Bublé’s concert wasn’t flagged with social media like a Justin Bieber concert would be, it still had hints of a digital presence making its way into the forefront of high-profile events. Social media is and will continue to be a norm at concerts as a way to bring the fan base and artist closer together. It’s just up to the event promoters and PR teams to decide what social media sites to include based on the audience.

Here are some pictures I took at the concert. Enjoy!

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Welcome!

Hello! Thank you for checking out my blog! I have just started blogging and this is a new endeavor for me. I’ve never blogged before but always wanted to. This semester, I just got the starting push I needed from my Comm teacher.

I am interested in pursuing a career in Public Relations and Event Planning after graduation. I plan on going into the entertainment world because entertainment has always been my passion. As a real-life learning experience, I am going to observe how people promote a variety of entertainment events and look at the steps that go into coordinating and planning one. I also want to focus on the integration of social media in today’s digital society and how important it is in the communication world now.

I welcome all insights and comments you wish to share. I will not tolerate any bashing or unnecessary, uneducated responses. I hope that you enjoy what I have to say.

Happy Reading!

Lauren