Friday, September 30, 2011

I told you so.

For my Interviewing class we had a success interview assignment. The guidelines were to find someone over the age of 50 and talk to them about success, being successful, and their definition of the word success. I chose to interview my high school French teacher, Mrs. Davis.

During my interview with Mrs. Davis, we discussed things that made a high school student successful versus a college student. Since we hadn't talked in a while we went off on a side tangent. This other topic was about things that I learned after being in college for two years that I didn't know prior or didn't listen to while I was in high school.

My purpose in writing this is to compare what my thoughts were in high school about motivation in college and how they held up with what actually happened when I got here. I had quite a few ideas in my head as to what college and personal motivation would be like and how I would hold up, but the biggest rude awakening I got came from my opinions on study habits.

Thought: I studied sometimes in high school and turned in my homework on time. As long as I keep up this habit, I will be a golden student.
I was wrong times a million and then some! When I started my freshman year here at ONU I had every intention to listen to what my high school teachers told me about studying and reading for classes, but that's always easier said than actually done. Here is a perfect example. I studied harder than I ever did in high school for my first college Psychology test. I felt like I knew the information; i was confident and then my teacher handed out the exam. I started skimming through the test to find that what I had studied wasn't in depth enough or at all what was in the questions. I finished the test feeling ok and thought I had completed a "B" test. Again, I was wrong. I completely failed that test. Even though it was a hard lesson to learn, Introduction to Psychology was what I needed to "self-motivate" into a proper study gear.

In high school, concepts and basics ideas are primarily what is being tested on, but college is a whole different ball game. The professors want their students to dig deep into the material being taught and invest both their class and outside-of-class time. This includes readings (side notes, footnotes, etc.), homework, looking at the links given as references, and asking questions as soon as something doesn't make sense. Basically, utilize everything offered to you. 

My conclusion from this interview was that the word "self" is a very powerful thing in the college realm. This is very true especially when adding it to the word "motivation." Finding my "self" in college was what really changed my outlook on the path that I was taking to my career and individual goals. Also, what I am getting out of my time here at Northern is only worth the amount of effort that I am putting in, so I might as well make my time worthwhile!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's your future, do something worthwhile!

My freshman year, I had no idea what Public Relations was or what the importance of it. As I transitioned my major from nursing to PR, I found that I could have these questions about the unknown answered by simply going to a once a week meeting.

These meetings were held by PRSSA, or Public Relations Student Society of America. Here I started to gain a realization of what I was getting into and all of the areas of Public Relations that I could eventually shift my career path towards.

Below is my tribute to PRSSA and the amazing accomplishments that they have made!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oops, I did it again!

My biggest pet peeve is being unorganized. I like to have plans, back up plans, and back up for the back up plans. To me, this is essential for any PR practitioner, especially ones focusing in crisis communication. Even with the best crisis communication practitioner, there is always going to be something that happens where there isn’t a plan waiting to put into action. An example would be: What does one when the media gets it wrong?  
Good news, I found an article that gives seven things to do when the media gets it wrong! This article is by Brad Phillips and was posted on in the media relations section named "7 Things to do When the Media Gets it Wrong." Below I have decided to give my rendition/ shorter version of what Mr. Phillip had great insight on.

1. Show it to a neutral party. Tell the real story to a neutral group or crowd. They will be the ones with an unbiased opinion and will be able to reach the audience in a more positive and accepting manner. Compared to a party who is close to the story or company may just be stuck with the negative thoughts and opinions. Sharing the real story with closed minded people is like beating a dead horse; completely not worth your time or efforts.

2. Talk to the reporter/ editor. As the forefront of the company’s brand or image, you need to utilize the relationships with any and all reports to get the truth out in the public eye and hands. Get ahold of the media that reported the false story and when you get ahold of the reporter who published the wrong story, calmly tell them the facts and leave any emotions and opinions to the side. After you discuss the real facts of the story with the reporter to be republished, talk to the editor so future mistakes on story coverage can be avoided.

3. Write a response. Self-explanatory. Even if the reporter does reprint with the true details, it is better to be safe than sorry. Write a letter-to-the-editor or op-ed. Make sure to state what the real story is and do not repeat the false information, even for clarification. The repeating of the errors will gives them more media attention.

4. Cut off reporter/ Use social media.  Stop using the reporters to get to your audiences and just go to your key audiences yourself. Using social media is the best way to continue communicating with your key audiences. This includes your company’s: website and blog, and YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
Obviously, there will be different ways to handle each individual case, but if these tips are followed the wrong doing will be a lot easier to handle and hopefully reverse any damage that was an outcome of someone else’s (outside the company’s walls) error.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

You can't double stamp a triple stamp.

Media use to be an easily kept up with tool for someone with a nine to five job. Now, media is a 24/7/365 ordeal. There are so many tools that it is impossible to stop news from running. This is how media is operating in real time which means everyone who wants to keep their company under wraps needs to stay with real time too.
Have you ever heard of a journalist or blogger not writing up the latest story or not posting opinions because the company or person wasn’t aware of the issue or mistake? Of course not!  Current news and media is what sells and gets the public eye’s attention. The need and desire for these media outlets to be the first to publish these stories or thoughts is tremendous and the only way to not be caught in a crisis is by staying active in your company’s image.
The best way to stay in the loop for current outside information about your company is to utilize the sources that publish said information.  This includes: Facebook, Twitter, blog sites, CNN, journalist (local and national), the community your company is in, and anyone else who is directly affected by the company and its decisions; both good and bad. Also, be the first to broadcast or respond to the new information about your company. The last thing you want to happen is hearing that you’re company is being investigated due to some scandal that happened on Saturday evening, while you are brushing your teeth getting ready for work on Monday morning. Don’t be like the “uncool” kid in high school that was always the last to find the latest gossip out. Even more importantly, you don't want to be known as the company that pushes the problems under the rug. 
Last, you need to be proactive in all media aspects. Even if the new information you have on your company isn’t that big of a deal, make it out to be a big one. Put on a live video stream, a press conference, press release, and tap every social media resource there is out there. It is better to be open and honest about all of the happenings in the company while you, as a PR professional, are keeping a watchful eye on it, than having someone else misconstrue what they “hear through the grapevine.”  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

ONU Pride

Someone once told me that Ohio Northern is a very good school, but the pride is lacking. You hear OSU students boast about being a Buckeye, but have you heard people bragging about being a Polar Bear?! I was a little taken back by the statement, but then again I had really never heard of an overjoyed population of Polar Bear alumni.  Thankfully, this opinion was changed quickly when I went to Homecoming events my freshman year when I actually got to meet alumni who were truly in love with Northern.

My absolute favorite event at Ohio Northern is Homecoming and the entire weekend in general. There is just so much excitement in the air with the football game, parade, carnival rides, and so much more. To me, this weekend is to celebrate who we are as an ONU community and those who have made the university what it is today.  

One of the best things about Homecoming is meeting the alumni. They have so much to offer and advice to give that not taking advantage of their time here would be silly. You could meet people in your profession and find internship opportunities. If the connection between you and the alumni is strong, there could be a potential for utilizing them as a resource for when the time comes to find a grown-up job as well. The networking possibilities are endless on event days like Homecoming. 

What I've come to learn as I approach my third Homecoming experience are the types of alumni that come back have a lot in common with each other. Yes, they all have various careers and live everywhere, but the similarity is they were all very active on campus. There are those rare few who only did school work (which is okay because that is what we are here for), but for the most part they had given a lot of their time to making the campus better. Being active and contributing so much of their undergraduate time to the university and its organizations seemed to give them motivation to come back and help out current undergraduates as well as check out how their Alma mater is doing. 

Last, it is also really nice to know that others have made it through schooling here. Personally, graduation seems a little far off because of how tough some of the classes can be, but seeing others who have made it from where I am to their professional and successful careers. All in all ONU pride is prevalent and can be seen at any alumni event. The best thing to do is get out during these events and socialize because you’ll never know what can come out of a simple conversation. See you all at Homecoming on October 1st J ! Peace. Love. ONU!

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's the motion of the ocean...

Looking through the “social media/ PR” blogs from classmates, I have noticed a trend…Facebook. As one of the biggest and most popular social media sites, it has to keep up with just about everything and at every angle possible. Seeing that Facebook hits a variety of areas of interest, who would want to use any other social media tool? The funny thing about these social media tools is one has to actually learn how to utilize them. You can’t use a the shiny new car if you don’t get in the driver’s seat and get an idea for how it works, runs, and all of the kinks that comes along with the new automobile. The same concepts apply to all social media tools.
This is where I completely agree with the authors of “Real-Time Marketing & PR.” They stated, “It’s not the tools, it’s the mind-set behind them.” How can something that seems like common sense be overlooked so easily? For me personally, I was just unaware of the capabilities and powers of these uprising communication tools. When I say power, I mean the power to make a complete transformation on how a company or person is marketed to the public. From flyers, billboards, and newspapers to emails, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, marketing and PR have really taken a huge leap in the media realm.
My conclusion of social media tools and their powers is simple; you utilize the communication outlet/ tool to its full potential. If you don’t know how to use it or what it has to offer, take time to figure it out because how you use the social media tool can make or break your marketing or campaign efforts. So don’t waste any time and use one of the biggest procrastination methods out there… SOCIAL MEDIA! J

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The 12 Commandments: Email Edition

I came across an interesting article found on titled, "12 Unnecessary Email Mistakes." The basic idea of the article was to inform every one of the stupid mistakes that people make in emails and the big consequences that follow their email actions. It is one thing to just read through and see the dos and don’ts of email "netiquette", but to actually take these suggestions and utilize them in everyday message interactions is a totally different story.

Below are three of my favorite of the 12 commandments

1. "Thou Shalt Keep it Clean." There is a time and place for profane language, slurs, or slang, and in the workplace or professional setting is definitely not it. It can cause confusion and misunderstanding on the receiver’s side of the message, leaving the message worthless. Keep the casual conversation and language for after work between friends.

2. "Thou Shalt not SHOUT AT PEOPLE." This is where the sender tries to emphasize a point with cap locks. I get that there are some important statements or sentences that need to be the focus, so do just that. Make the email revolve around the focal point. If it isn't worth its own separate, important email then maybe you should back off the shift and cap locks keys and rethink why you are sending it.

3. "Remember that email is never the first/last/only communication tool." With so many tools of communication it is silly to not take advantage of them. I know from personal experience, when someone is trying to get a hold of me just email or just a text message doesn’t always do the job. In the workplace or organization surroundings it would be a good idea to actually get up and get out there! Meet coworkers and make sure that your message is being properly portrayed. It is very easy to misunderstand or misread a text or message, but if you get out of your own cubicle or leave the comfort of your technology the response and level of comprehension will more than likely be improved.

Overall, this was a very informative article. I think from now on I will be more conscious of the amount and substance of the emails or messages I am sending. Maybe a future Career Services program?  

Thursday, September 15, 2011


So I believe that in kindergarten we were taught to: “Keep to the right in your lines. Stay on this side so you don’t get run over by the people coming from the other way.” I feel like this is a basic rule, but maybe I’m wrong?

Story time: I was walking from the freshman complex to the affinity village. On my happy way over, I was walking on the right side of the side walk. I saw someone in front of me, so I decided to be a creeper and text her. (Not in a stalker way, just to be funny) I was texting, continuing in my lane, and heard a bike getting closer to me. It isn’t uncommon for bikes to zoom around walkers, but there was something different about how close this bike was getting to me. All of a sudden, the bike ran into me. I turn around because I was shocked and it kind of hurt. As I turned to look at this upperclassman, he just fell over; bike and all. I offered a hand and asked if he was alright. If I were the biker, I know I would be embarrassed that I just ran into someone who was walking. Did I get an apology? Nope! Instead I got, “I thought you were going to move.” All I know is I pray to the lord that this man doesn’t have his driver’s license!

I think this little rant will turn into an instructional blog. 1st- if you are on a bike, it’s like driving a car. Pass around the left side of the person. 2nd – Verbalize what you’re doing. I know it’s scary to talk to people you don’t personally know, but as a walker, we appreciate the cues that you’re coming around the side of us quickly. 3rd – Please, learn what the brakes are there for. I promise you, that the person or pole you are going to run into will be thankful you are using them. 4th – Last, if you honestly have hit someone or something more than once or twice, maybe reconsider the bike, leave a couple minutes earlier, and walk. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

That's the recipe for making.. A VIRAL VIDEO!

“The formula is a combination of some great (and free) Web content (a video, a blog entry, or an e-book) that is groundbreaking or amazing or hilarious or involves a celebrity, plus a network of people to light the fire, and all with links that make it very easy to share.” The New Rules of Marketing & PR
Viral videos are almost as addicting as Facebook. For companies these viral videos can be planned to promote products, advertise existing ones, or changes in the company or industry. The planned videos aren’t the ones that need to be monitored; it is the unplanned videos ran by the consumers that really trigger a negative or positive effect on the brand and market.
The reason these unplanned videos are so influential is because of the authenticity that real people on the web can give. As a consumer/ potential buyer, I would much rather here an opinion of the results of buying the product than some catchy or clever ad the company posts.
Personally, I believe that this is where companies need to incorporate real people and realistic positives of giving into their brand or product. If and when a company discovers this tactic and can insert it into a video that goes viral, they will be set with a positive brand and an increase of sales. The trick is getting all of these aspects into one. Once you get it viral, it can only be uphill from there… because people like me love procrastination; what brings procrastination, Facebook and the ever growing YouTube!  


Twitter is honestly one of those completely love or absolutely hate kind of social media sites. Personally, I am not a constant tweeter. I will occasionally let my followers know what is going on, but nothing too intense.

Since I'm not a twitter fanatic, I really don't know what all it has to offer. Don't get me wrong, I know the basics like: tweeting, following, followers, tagging, and trending. Really though.... what else is there? Maybe it's just because I haven't taken the time to get to know the site like I have given facebook time, but I'm not sure if anything I have discovered has made me want to learn more.

I know one of the biggest turn offs for me on the Twitter site are some of those (very few) people I follow update me on EVERYTHING. From what I gather, Twitter is a site to share ideas, thoughts, frustrations, excitements, news, etc. I must have been oblivious to the other Twitter reasons: to have an audience know your every move. A perfect example: "Woke up", (15 minutes later) "Used the restroom and now my hands smell like the apricot soap my mom bought yesterday", (25 minutes later) "Eggs and bacon.. YUM!" OK, I get the point that those users truly love Twitter, but COME ON! If your best friend wouldn't want to hear these updates or care about said updates, your followers will more than likely not like them either.

To end on a happier note, I think I might start using Twitter for what it's there for and hopefully cut back my Facebook addiction by giving into another.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Secrets, Secrets are no fun!

Little did I know how much Northern really has to offer. I've never actually taken the time to just wonder around campus. So, tonight (with the little free time I did have), I walked around campus with a friend. I walked around Taft (the technology building for those of you that don't know what that is) and back around to the football stadium. I knew of the green track, but if one veers off said track, there is much more that can be found.

On my escapade, there were tons of statues that have pieces of history attached in their meanings and embedded on the base, weeping willow trees, sweetheart benches with great views of the fountains, and my favorite.... peacefulness. Unless there is a football game or someone rollerblading/running/walking the green track, there really isn't a whole lot going on in the back of ONU's campus. The great part about all of these things is this was only one side of campus. Think about all of the places and nuances that can be found if the all the buildings and entire campus was explored!

So, basically what I'm saying is even if you feel like you don't have time, take 30 minutes every once in a while and explore what is around you. During the exploration you might find a good spot to study, to relax, or to just get outside and enjoy what we have around us and utilize it. We might as well take advantage of everything we are given because a.) We pay to take advantage of everything the university has to offer and b.) Everyone on campus chose to go to Ohio Northern for specific reasons; finding all of these extra little places and secrets on campus can only enhance our reasons to stay.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Creeper's preference?

Social media has become such a big part of my life that sometimes I can't remember what it was like without it. The thing I do in the morning, at night, in between classes, and sometime even in classes is check all of my social media outlets. Over the past few years it has seemed that while Facebook became the thing to check, Myspace was pushed down in the priority list. My curiosity got to me, why does it seem that Myspace is falling in ranks? My original thoughts on Myspace's downfall: 1.) Pre-teen/ teen aged groups were the only ones to use it, 2.) Facebook offered more possibilities (i.e. groups, personalized privacy, event postings, applications, etc.) 3.) Not as updated, if you had a Myspace that was used more than Facebook, you weren't up to speed with the technologies, therefore..."less cool." These may seem silly now, but at the age of 12-16 (2002-2006) when social media started to become big and expand, it was a huge deal to have the latest profiles. To curb my curiosity, I did some research on how Myspace is doing in comparison to Facebook and some reviews about Myspace.

After reading through a good 5-6 web pages, I have found that Myspace isn't so far behind after all. On a review page for social networking sites, Myspace is ranked 2nd, only trailing behind Facebook. These two neck-to-neck social networking sites have very similar uses now including things that Myspace originally lacked, prior to the Facebook competitor. According to the earlier mentioned site, the biggest difference between the two is Facebook is more “friend focused” and also can be used professionally (at least more often then Myspace would be). Essentially, Facebook is more popular for "creeping" purposes. Who could deny that?

Overall, I'm gathering that Myspace was cool when I was younger (or when the user is younger). Then Facebook became a public thing and started taking over all of the users. Everyone (users) adapted to the Facebook way and simultaneously, Myspace was expanding and getting updates to even compare to its new competitor. A majority of people were and still are more comfortable with Facebook and didn't feel that it was necessary to go back and re-learn Myspace. Facebook is the popularity winner and it definitely has my vote!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Market vs Company

One of last week's reading assignments in Marketing in the Groundswell by Li and Bernoff had a section that really jumped out to me. The section was a direct quote from a man named Ricardo Guimaraes, who was the founder of Thymus Branding in Brazil. This quote said that branding belongs to the market (consumers) and not to the company. It continued with, the company is a closed-structure and the brand is an open structure. The point I got from the section seemed to be a rhetorical question: "how could something that has a closed structure and mind set manage something that has such an open structure?"

My answer to this not so rhetorical question is: companies CAN manage a brand, but not by themselves. I am definitely disagreeing with Mr. Guimaraes. It is not just the market that brands a company or product; it is a team effort that starts with the company and ends with the market. The company put all of the beginning work into the product or line by advertising, marketing, press releases, etc. They form what they want the product to be known for, giving the consumers or market a basis of whether to buy the product or not.

After the product or line is released, it is then the company's responsibility to try and maintain the original brand it had in mind. In my view, the company is responsible for the initial brand and maintaining it. A good example of new branding can be seen on infomercials. During an infomercial, they do previews on new products, other customers' reviews, and how much it will benefit the buyer. These positive outlooks from the company to the market allow the market to be more comfortable with investing in the product. If the company has high expectations and a lot of faith, it will be seen from the public view, resulting in higher sales.

Now for the market... I do believe that out of the company and the market, the market has the most influence on how the product's brand will end up. The market or consumers are the ones who give into the first brand set out by the company and invest in the product or line. The consumer buys and uses products that have caught their eye by the way the company first portrayed the line. This is the part where the ball called branding is thrown into the market's court. Now the market has the product and EVERYONE seems to have his or her own opinions.

After using the product, whether a good or bad experience, people will have something to say in regards to the product and the company. These thoughts are put into blogs, Facebook statuses, Twitter updates, letters to the company, and sent through the grapevine. These different outlets allow for the market/ consumer to shape the brand even more because they have such a huge impact on future sales. To continue with the infomercial example, when the buyer receives the product they have high expectations of this new item because of what they saw and heard on the ad. If the product reaches their expectations (which often it seems infomercial products do not), then it might be portrayed in the earlier mentioned outlets. Most of the time, if the market/ consumer is happy the companies will not here any feedback. Sadly, if the product does not match the hope the market had in it, then the disappointment will be heard about from every angle possible. Maybe no news is good news?

Even though Marketing in the Groundswell has a lot of accuracy and great support to back up beliefs, I stand by opinion that branding is not a market only thing. Branding is a team effort from the company's initial brand idea and marketing process to the feedback of the market/ consumers both good and bad. Both sides keep each other in check to make sure that ultimately the consumer is happy and the company is putting out the best product it possibly can.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Do you want to "Be More"?

This school year seemed to come out of nowhere! I feel like school work just stopped and now here we are week two of the first ever semester at Ohio Northern and yet, the work load is the equivalent to week 6 of last year's fall quarter. My hopes are that it is due to all of the extra events going on around campus.

The event on campus that is taking over most of my time is the one and only...SORORITY RECRUITMENT! Formal sorority recruitment is an exciting, busy, stressful, and adventurous time. This year's theme is "Be More, Be Greek." This theme is to show not only how proud we are to be Greek, but that there is more to becoming Greek than just being in another organization.

My job during this year's recruitment is to help counsel freshman women interested in joining our Greek community through the 4 individual sorority chapters on campus. This is known as a recruitment counselor a.k.a Rho Gamma. I am beyond excited, thrilled, and am so proud of my new women that I helping go through recruitment, so much that these next two weeks are going to drag-on.

I definitely can't say those are the only emotions running through my mind right now... I am so scared. I have fears of them not enjoying their time during formal recruitment, dropping out, or not liking me or my two other Rho Gamma partners. Thankfully, all of our women going through recruitment have complete faith in us (their Rho Gammas), want to continue and join a sorority, and most of them want to have hold leadership positions. After hearing them share their excitement at one of our weekly meetings, I am a little less overwhelmed with concerns and I have nothing but faith that the next two weeks will be wonderful and a time to remember.

Peace, Love, and Happiness,

"Letters today, Leaders tomorrow."