Monday, October 31, 2011

Personal PR

The resume is one of the most referenced and utilized items during networking and job searching. It is a nice recap of accomplishments, skills, education and previous experience so that potential employers have something to reference. The last thing anyone wants is to have is a grammatical error, misspelling or a formatting inconsistency that stands in the way of getting a job or an interview. So from PR Daily, I found an extremely helpful article on 12 dangerous resume mistakes.

1. Goofy or inappropriate email address 
This one is really self-explanatory. Leave behind the email address you made when you were ten years old and move on to a more professional one. If the email address is not professional then there is a potential the employer will not take you seriously as a job candidate.

2. Including an objective statement 
Applying to a job is more about the company seeing what you can do for them and what you have to offer not knowing what you want. 

3. Not “theming” your document with keywords 
Don't use words over and over again. Keywords are a huge deal in resumes! A common first stage to interviews is a computer scan for job keywords and if the resume doesn't have them then it is the end of the road for the job possibility.

4. Forgetting skill sets 
Skills sets are extremely important especially with keywords added! As you can see, keywords are becoming a trend.

5. Placing awards and top achievements at the end of the document 
Keep awards and achievements in a separate section and not with the job(s) and the description(s). 

6. Lumping multiple jobs at one employer into one position 
If there have been multiple positions with the same employer make them distinct and separate from one another as they were able to give different experiences and skill enhancers.

7. Stretching your employment dates 

If you started on 11/2007 and left in 2/2008, that does not mean you can put “2007 - 2008” on your résumé. That’s called lying. Never lie. Always include the month and date because the possible employer will find out one way of another. 

8. Upgrading your job title 
Make sure the job titles are the most recent and properly reflect the job duties. 

9. Including employer address, phone, supervisor name, and email 
How eager are you to “prove” that you’re legit? Employers have this thing called the Internet to research your previous companies. Don’t look insecure by listing everything. This actually calls the wrong kind of attention to your employment history. 

10. Listing your job duties 
Listing the job duties isn't enough. Every job has them, but what employers want to see is what you did to see through the duties; giving the resume value and substance.

11. Getting employers to “assume” things about education 
Either you got the degree, are in the process, or took program coursework..Don't let them think you completed the degree when you actually only took a few courses on the subject matter. This is also constituted as stretching the truth and lying/

12. Not keeping up to date 
Careers are constantly changing and making improvements to positions to keep up with the times. If a resume has experiences from 1999 it may not be as relevant since it is out dated and may no longer apply to what the job entails. Also, companies are always looking for subject matter experts and constantly looking for employees to go to development classes, workshops and conferences related to professional growth and experience.   

These are common mistakes made by everyone. This is why having workshops and practice with writing resumes and cover letters is very important for future success. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Procrastination Methods: 101

College is a time to learn professional skills, build networks and find the ultimate procrastination methods. In my two and a half years at ONU, I have come to find there are in fact more reasons for me to not do my school work and the top contender are websites. These websites include: Damn You Auto Correct, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Dear Blank Please Blank, Texts From Last Night, Reddit and the list goes on! 

The amazing amount of free entertainment on the Internet is really ridiculous, but there are ways around it. In my search of some procrastination relief I found a blog from Positivity Blog entitled, "How to Stop Procratinating: 7 Timeless Tips." I found all of them to be  useful so why not share them with you all :)! 

1. Stop thinking. Start doing.
“To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.”
Eva Young
There is no such thing as a perfect plan, but that doesn't mean one can't have a basic idea of a priority list set in place to be more efficient. 
2. Don’t blow a task out of proportion.
“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”
Olin Miller
This quote explains it all. The longer you put off a task the harder it seems to do and the less willing one is to just sit down and get it done. The longer it stays on the to-do list the more it weighs on our minds. Get it done and check it off! 
3. Just take the first step.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
When you start to look too far into the future any task or project can seem close to impossible. And so you shut down because you become overwhelmed and start surfing the internet aimlessly instead. That is one of the reasons why it is good to plan for the future but then to shift your focus back to today and the present moment.
Looking at all of your tasks may seem overwhelming. This is why the best is to just focus on one thing at a time ranging from the most to the least important.
4. Start with the hardest task of your day.
“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
Dale Carnegie
If you start the day with the most difficult task and it gets completed when motivation is the highest the rest of the day's to-do list doesn't seem as heavy.
5. Just make a decision. Any decision.
“In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Theodore Roosevelt
Being indecisive is against human nature and it can wear on how we feel about ourselves and our already finished work. If a decision can be made as to where to start or what to start with, everything will fall into line and get completed. Getting started is key.
6. Face your fear.
“Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the “someday I’ll” philosophy.”Denis Waitley
Its normal for people to have a fear of failing and this fear can ultimately lead to putting off assignments until a later time. The sooner an assignment is began, the more information can be learned about it and the   better the finished product will be. 
7. Finish it
“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.”David Allen
Completing a started project can alleviate a lot of stress and allows it be taken off the list for good. When you start something, finish it and feel better about accomplishing something in its entirety. 

Hopefully these tips helped you as much as they did for me! Enjoy and happy not procrastinating! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

More Friends = More Smarts?

Sometimes I feel very unproductive and that procrastination has gotten the best of me and the central problem is Facebook. Most of you probably aren't surprised by this as a lot of others are in my procrastination boat with me. I don't feel as bad after reading the article "Study suggests Facebook makes you smarter."  In this article found on it states that there seems to be a correlation with the number of friends one has on Facebook and the proportion size of the brain being used. 

This was actually a Reuters study and it found that the evolving of social media might evolve our brains and how we think as well. Even though this would be an amazing thing to have a proven fact with research behind it, it is not possible to say whether having more Facebook connections makes particular parts of the brain larger or whether some people are prone to have more friends. This study has, however, given a just reason to no longer believe that being online a significant amount is negatively affecting our brains.

So next time you go to get on Facebook or on the internet in general and feel guilty about not using your time wisely, add two more people to expand your "friends." Therefore you are better utilizing your time by growing parts of your brain. How can this not be a good idea? Exactly!

So maximize your smarts and time management and go get on Facebook!  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What are you going to do with that degree?

When I first came to Northern my plan was so set on being in the nursing program, going to graduate school to become a practitioner and then working at a children's hospital. I picked this profession for job security, I really enjoyed anatomy and more specifically I wanted to help people. I started taking a nursing class my freshman year and knew it just wasn't the right fit. 

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life... I was always set on being in the medical field that I had never given the time of day to anything else that could've potentially suited my interests better. In my search I found the communications department. I changed my major during spring quarter to Public Relations. To be completely honest, I had no idea what PR was all about. I heard event planning, public speaking, etc. Obviously, there is a lot more to it than that and I still wasn't sure if being a PR practitioner was where my passion was at. 

By the end of my sophomore year, I knew I did not want to be in the PR department anymore, but yet again I had no idea what I wanted to do. The more I thought about a profession I would love waking up every morning to do the easier it became to realize what my true passion is... student life.

During my time in high school and now in college I have always been very active in multiple and a variety of organizations. I love everything organizations have to offer. They help develop: leadership abilities, a strong network of people who share similar thoughts, a sense of responsibility and personal growth. I gained a lot of wonderful friendships, professional mentors, confidence in my abilities as a leader and group member and tons of time and efforts that connect me to campus. Student life is what made my high school years memorable and is making my college experience enjoyable and the best it could possibly be. 

Over summer, I looked into how I could eventually work with a student affairs office. I found graduate schools that offer college student personnel and higher education administration degrees. The beginning of this school year came around and I made my final switch to communications studies as my major and started getting information on the GRE and the graduate schools/ programs I was interested in. I am completely confident and excited that I have found what I am supposed to be doing with my life. My passion is with student life and colleges. Even though I do love Ohio Northern I cannot wait to move onto graduate school, get experience working with students and then starting my future on a college campus in a Student Affairs office.

Is it 2013 yet?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I might have trust issues...

I really don't have them with my everyday relationships. My trust with friends, family, significant other, etc. is actually very strong, but that seemed to be the point in the webinar today during class. 

How is the role of earned media evolving? This question held my favorite answer of the hour long question and answer session. Earned media is the consumers' thoughts on the product, brand, company, etc. Earned media is always evolving especially with the new social media tools updating all of the time. The wonderful thing about social media in the role of earned media is how quickly it grows. Prior to social media sites the public had to "trust" the advertisements, the journalist, or word of mouth; now, with social media opinions and word of mouth is spread faster reaching more potential consumers. 

There is always a catch. How can social media make that big of an impact on earned media? Let's go back to the trust issue. Usually, we have instilled trust into our friends and family leading us to have faith in their opinions and judgment. Using this fact, if a company can get someone to Tweet, Facebook or blog about their personal experience with the company or products then as a result the social media friends will see this newly formed earned media. If what the posting individual had to say was good in nature then the 400+ friends they potentially have, see it and form their opinion or brand of the company based off that one opinion... all because of trust.

In the long run companies are looking for the trust of their consumers or potential buyer. They can get this through positive reinforcements on various social media sites. The companies must become a personalized focus on which audience they want to target, find a way to get earned media and continue evolving in real-time. 

1. On social media sites we have our friends added.
2. Friends = Trust, therefore what friends say is trustworthy and believable. 
3. Friend says something good about Company X. 
4. I believe that my friend is being honest about the company.
5. I then jump onto the bandwagon of thinking positively about Company X. 
6. In conclusion, pleasing my friend with a product or service has now made me a believer in the company because my friend would not steer me wrong.
7. Company X rocks in my eyes.
8. I will now invest my time/ money.
9. After my investment, I tweet, Facebook and blog about my experience.
10. Repeat 3-10

Congratulations companies, you now have an on-going earned media cycle!  


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

To Read or Not to Read that is always the question

Every college student goes through a debate every time they sit down to crack open chapters to read... "Will I really need to know this," or even better, "What is happening on Facebook?" I feel like sitting down, actually reading for classes and then enjoying it is a rare occasion that it is hard to even begin the readings at all. Don't get me wrong, I completely agree with the idea that you get out of college what you put into it, but seriously? I get teachers want us to utilize books and other resources, but when is the use of the book sufficient enough to actually buy it? We have lecture, notes in class, discussions and so on. I just wish that the substantial amount of money I use to buy these books that I "need" (excluding my core classes books) for classes were worth it. 

If the material is sooo important for students to know and understand concepts maybe it would be a good idea to take out the extra paper or project thrown in and to add it into all the "extra" time we have during semesters. Don't get me wrong, I do see why some books are worth the purchase, as teachers utilize them in class, reference them, make the lecture follow with what the student just read the night before, etc.; but for those teachers that don't, maybe rethink getting a book; especially if it is a general education class. 

Now that my rant is over here is some advice: 1. talk to upperclassmen who have taken the class already, see if the "required materials" are actually necessary, 2. if you MUST have the book for class, check out the bookstores new renting option, it actually has saved me money this year, 3. if renting is not an option then going online to, or is the next best choice and 4. when the book is a must and the teacher gives reading homework my suggestion is to sit down and read it. More than likely the reading will be a struggle and a tad drawn out, but at least skim through the material.  You bought/ rented the book and the professor wants you to understand the material being covered, so why not get use of the money you are spending on the books and more specifically your education and just read. I'm going to pull a Nike and say, Just Do It. If it's not worth it or you didn't get anything out of the reading assignment, start a blog and vent it out. 

-Peace, Love and Happy Reading

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What would a false [North] be?

I am directionally challenged, but I had absolutely no problems finding my True[North]. This discovery happened when I visited Ohio Northern University in the eighth grade. I came to the campus for a M.I.S.S.L.E: book reading competition. Basically, we read books through out the school year and at the end of the year, the surrounding schools all met at ONU for a competition. During our visit, I got to see a sneak peak of the campus and I was    excited from then through high school about college, college life, my future and more importantly, Ohio Northern University.

A few weeks into my junior year  I visited Ohio Northern. Everyone was very welcoming and organized. Being a very busy junior, I made the visit only a day in advance and I was still able to meet with the nursing department. My visit was wonderful and I can say that  I was completely impressed with everything I saw; from the buildings to the fountains and ponds, I loved what ONU had to offer me in academics and looks.

In the middle of my junior year I started to have doubts about staying in Ada to go to college. My thoughts were that college is supposed to be a time to leave the family's nest, start becoming a grown-up, adventuring and seeing the world. With doubts about wanting to stay in the ever growing Villiage of Ada that I lived in my entire life, I began looking at other schools. I looked at Emery University in Georgia, Arcadia in Pennsylvania, OSU-Lima branch, and the University of Toledo. While on my visits I asked a ton of questions while visiting the nursing department, and when I was with the admissions counselor. All four colleges I looked at or visited had outstanding programs, great professors, and a lively campus, but I felt like I just didn't fit. I would go on visits and compared what the universities offered to ONU.

In the end I picked ONU. I'm not sure if it was the constantly mowed grass, the nursing professors, or my tour guide, but I was drawn in and I've loved every minute of it!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I think I've lost my Marbles!

Hello. My name is Paige and I am an addict…. A YouTube addict. I have a problem with looking up videos to occupy my "(non-existent) time. This includes typing in keywords, funny sayings or topics of interest. While on another great time killing page, Facebook, I found a Jenna Marbles link. This link opened up a whole new world of video watching for me. 

Jenna Marbles is a mid-20s woman who speaks her mind about any and everything. Not only does she give her opinions, but she does it in a way that makes it realistic, applicable and completely hilarious. I have never spent so much time on a YouTube channel nor have I ever "subscribed" to one either. The thing I would like to touch base on is how powerful one person (i.e. Jenna Marbles) can be with a mere video blog channel.

Facts about Jenna Marbles: she posts every Wednesday, she has two small dogs, she has a Masters degree and has a lot of very influential and powerful opinions. After only three days of her most recent video being posted titled "What Disney Movies Taught Me," she acquired 1,239,243 views. Whether or not everyone who viewed it liked the video blog they still watched it.

To me, Jenna's channel is the epitome of a viral video. She gets instant hits and can get the word out there like no one else I've ever witnessed. My suggestion to a company PR person trying to get their name or brand heard: become friends with Jenna Marbles or any other highly viewed YouTube channel or blogger and get them to like (or even have a strong opinion for or against) what your company has to offer. I feel like with technology, social media and viral videos growing in popularity being friends with a video blogger can be more powerful than having a relationship with the local reporter. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm SO needy!

In Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis Wilcox there is an entire chapter dedicated to the art of persuasion. I knew persuasion was important, but a whole chapter? Well, of course it was all very important and had details to get the job done, but one part in particular stuck out to me...the Hierarchy of Needs.

Even though psychology class and I didn't get along, I really enjoyed learning about the topic. One of those topics was the Hierarchy of Needs. A basic break down of the Hierarchy of Needs: 1. Physiological needs involve things that are a necessity of life. (i.e. water, food, shelter, rest, etc.) 2. Safety needs include not compromising health, restricting freedom or losing life. 3. Social needs are ones that show acceptance from others, having friendships or experiencing love. 4. Ego needs canopy over self-esteem, self-confidence, recognition, or the respect of others. 5. Self-actualization needs represent the wanting to be a “well-rounded” person. This would include things like learning another language or volunteering.   

These are arranged in a pyramid form ranging from physiological at the base and all of the others falling on top in numerical order. The placement on the pyramid is how important the need is to be met in comparison to the rest; physiological being most important and self-actualization being fulfilled after all other needs have been fulfilled in some way.

I strongly believe every person is a little selfish, whether it pertains to money, time, efforts or religious matters. These needs have to be utilized in one way or another when trying to reach the targeted audience as a PR practitioner. Therefore, the reason the hierarchy is so important: People are needy and somewhat selfish. To get these people to listen a company should focus their advertising, marketing, and whatever else they use as promotion towards what people want to see and hear; how will this product make their life better and why can't they go any further without having it become a part of their lives? My conclusion is if a company can make someone genuinely believe in the product and make them "need" it there shouldn't be a product sales problem. GO PERSUASION, GO!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Nice Gesture or A Complete Flop

I began to follow Hallmark Greeting Cards about 3 weeks ago due to the fast approaching holiday season! I am obsessed with holiday cards and since Hallmark adopted Halloween as an official card giving holiday my interest skyrocketed! I thoroughly enjoy reading the ranging card genres from humorous to sappy love poems. I then realized, why not use Hallmark Greeting Cards as my project subject? I was obviously way more interested in finding the newest cards and cutest sayings than looking at the same old information I continued to find for my first choice company. I switched my focus company and began from square one: research!

My first instinct was to Google Hallmark Greeting Cards. My research led me to a very particular article discussing the new line of cards the company was going to start printing. This new line of cards is geared towards job loss. Personally, I don't think I would want a card that was trying to console me after I lost my job.

I continued to look through opinion articles and blogs about the new condolence cards, but nothing really changed my mind and convinced me to go spend money on a card for someone who lost a job. Maybe just give the person the money you would've spent instead of spending it? This at least seems more logical than sending an "I'm sorry you don't have a job anymore" card. Obviously, none of the cards actually point out that the receiver no longer has a job, but the situation is still very touchy and a card probably won't do the trick! 

Even though I personally think it's a bad idea and it will probably flop doesn't mean that there isn't a positive side to having cards like these. I read an article from Creative Loafing Atlanta where the title described the new addition as "Don't Commit Suicide Quite Yet" greeting cards. The title itself was a tone setter for how the rest of the article was going to be.

To my surprise, the opinion piece wasn't all a bash on Hallmarks innovations. The article quoted Derek McCracken, creative director with the Hallmark Greeting Card Company. The statement was from when McCracken talked to NPR, "A job, like any loss, is a grieving process. We offer more ['you'll get through this' cards], versus dwelling on the loss of the job itself." This statement allowed for me to see the justifications the company had while developing the new product. Even though I understand why Hallmark started this line, I still hold strong in my belief that it will flop within a couple months. 

Sorry, Hallmark, but Every company has their bad ideas and execution plans and this will more than likely be yours!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Perfect timing. Phew.

Thank the good Lord that fall break has started! I can honestly say I've never been more excited to go home, do homework without distraction and sleep. Even though there have been other postings about semester opinions, I feel like it can't hurt to have reinforcement. I'm not going to lie, I was one of those students last year that was completely in support of semesters and even tried pep-talking a few fellow students. My thoughts: fewer classes, less books that have to be bought, less finals... just less in general. I was completely wrong! I've never felt so swamped with work nor have I ever been this busy! Some of the busyness is my own doing as I am involved in numerous organizations, but those are secondary to school work. So comparison time: quarters versus semesters.

Quarters: More classes/ less time vs. Semesters: Less classes/ more time
In quarters we had more time to explore classes we wouldn't have prior thought of and now we don't have a sufficient amount of time to take classes outside our major that are still of interest. Since the general thought seems to be there is so much more time that can be utilized in the classroom, why not go so much more in-depth and pile on the projects, papers and homework? Don't get me wrong, I'm not a mathematician by far, but semester classes do NOT have a lot more class time in comparison to quarters. Quarters classes = four hours per class per week. Four hours of class times 10 weeks of class = 40 hours of class time per course. Semester classes = three hours per class per week. Take three hours of class times 15 weeks of class = 45 hours of class time per course. This gives us a grand total of five more hours of class in the entire semester per class.  How exactly is this ample time to go deeper into the class material and get a larger outside-of-class work load? I'm not seeing how this is supposed to work quite yet. 

I have found one benefit of semesters: the break schedule! On quarters our Thanksgiving break was wonderful because we hadn't started our new classes yet, but winter break was a totally different story. I hated how I would have tons of work to do over winter break. I would convince myself that I would actually do the work, but how many students do a large amount of work over the holidays? I like that time for my family and to celebrate the different days without having to drag along my book bag. I am completely willing to do work over Thanksgiving break to have a carefree three weeks off for winter! My conclusion, I dislike the transition period from quarters to semesters, but I do enjoy the break lengths and placements. Hopefully, next year the kinks will be worked out with class' schedules and both teachers and students will be adjusted to this new system because honestly, what other choice is there.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Let's Get Fired UP!

While being studious and looking through notes for my social media exam tomorrow, I came across the beginning section of "Groundswell" about energizing. When I first read through the energizing notes and via the book, I really didn't understand how just word of mouth could be such a powerful source. I was obviously misunderstanding the importance of word or mouth because 83% trust work of mouth and 50% trust online reviews from strangers. 

The point to energizing is to tap into the power of word of mouth. This can be done through connecting with your most committed customers. This can be done through special coupons and offers given directly to them for recommending the company to a friend, or maybe even suggesting someone "like" the company's page on Facebook. There are so many ways a company is able to utilize the customers they already have hooked to reel in more reliable and consistent buyers. 

Why does energizing work so well? Energizing is a lot of what buyers look for in products and companies. It's believable! A perfect example would be an infomercial. The company has testimonials about how great the product or service worked and how it is 100% worth your (the person lying in bed/ getting ready for work) time. If the company is lucky enough to get picked up by a blogger or by an influential person, then the beginning is usually history is the product gets good reviews. 

Basically, energizing in the "Groundswell”’s view is just like a pep rally in the high school cheerleader's view: enthusiastic, gets customers (or students) geared and excited towards the product (or game), participation in and energizing online communities (or the stands) of your brands (or teams) enthusiast. Taking something that a corporate office may do and comparing to a high school football cheerleader may be a stretch, but it really is a similar situation and outcome. You put in enthusiasm, have a group of people backing you up, and then sway others to join you're side and give in to whatever is being offered. Overall, energizing is a simple strategy with a lot of end benefits if utilized to its full potential.  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

He deleted me from Facebook.... :(

I have really come to enjoy articles. More specifically, the social media tab section. The newest article I found is titled "12 ways to be likeable on Facebook." I understand that the site as a whole is geared towards professionals, but I decided to make this one a more personal level. I took the corporate level Facebook tips on being "liked" and changed it to a how to keep your Facebook friends.

Here are the 3 of the 12 most effective ways to get your virtual friends to like you:

1. Corporate: Use a landing tab to offer a compelling reason for people to “like” you. Personal: Use fun information about yourself to have friends wanting to continue visiting your page.

Who doesn't like having a friend that can speak sarcastic pirate? Exactly, it is entertaining. Also, having a fun profile picture or having a different tab be the default screen for when others visit your page. This tab could include videos or photos that a funny or a serious topic that you would like to discuss. Facebook is used more often than not as a procrastination tool (whether to catch-up on friends' lives or to just waste time checking out what your high school crush is doing), so be that frequently visited page for good reasons. Examples: Good page visits: Witty statuses, entertaining likes, etc. Bad page visits: latest break-up, how much you struggled Homecoming weekend, etc.

2. Corporate: Respond to the positive comments, too. Personal: Interact with all virtual friends.

 If you have them as a friend, you must know or at least like them a little, therefore engaging in what they're doing or something they posted will have a higher return rate. If you have those people that you just have to Facebook creep, then maybe it's time to clear some of those negatives out of your life, save time, and let them do their own thing.

3. Corporate: Be short, sweet, and conversational. Personal: Keep the statuses and posts appropriate and what others would want to hear about.

Looking through updates, you always know which friends it is a good idea to avoid checking up on. These are called Facebook's very own Debbie Downer. The woes and problems of their lives are consuming their Facebook wall and your news feed. You want to know why five people have deleted you as friend in the past month; either you really made a group of people mad or you need to reevaluate what you are posting.

Facebook is a fun communication tool that nearly everyone uses from corporate levels to fan pages of a color. There is a difference between utilizing this communication method for keeping up with friends, boosting networks, or letting others know about your life and being the person that everyone virtually avoids. Personally, I delete those people to avoid after a while; so, if keeping virtual friends is an important goal of yours, maybe look through how you use Facebook and all it has to offer. I promise that if someone deletes you off of Facebook, it isn't the end of the world. I feel like bigger question is: Why has it become such a big deal to be "Facebook official"? This question honestly could never be answered fully.