Saturday, October 25, 2014

Realizing How Important "Real-Time Marketing and PR" Actually Is

"Real-Time Marketing and PR" is a book about, well, real-time, marketing and PR. Real-time is what social media has brought to us. Back in the day, when a crisis would erupt, people would wait to hear about it on the news or in the newspaper the next day. Now, because of social media, if a crisis breaks out, people know about it right away.

Not only can people know about a crisis, they can also talk about contribute to it by tweeting or using Facebook to talk about the crisis. In some situations, this could make the crisis worse.

I knew about real-time before reading this book, but I had not understood it as much as I do now. Because of real-time, PR has vastly changed. The need for public relations specialists has increased by a large amount.

Marketing demand has also gone up because there are many different channels to market through now. There are Facebook pages for businesses, pop up banners on websites, blog options and so much more. Being in the professional world as a public relations specialist or a marketer is an honors.

After reading "Real-Time Marketing and PR" I have realized just how lucky I am to be a public relations major. I am very thankful.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

I heard an amazing quote today, "Worrying won't stop the bad stuff from happening, it just stops you from enjoying the good." While I do not know who said this quote, I do know that I will be reminding myself of it from now on. It is a very true statement. We shouldn't be wasting our precious time worrying about something we cannot control.

I am guilty of being one of those people who does this. I have spent too much time on stressing about things I cannot control than I have looking at the good things in my life. This blog is a dedication to some of blessing in my life.

I am very lucky to have such a close family. I am close with all of my grandparents and see them often. I also have a 2-year-old niece that I am obsessed with. Family is the most important thing in my life.

My niece, Brinley, with her first slinky.

Aside from an amazing family, I also have wonderful friends that I can always count on. I have some who have known me my whole life and I have others who have been by my side through college. They are all important to me.

Some of my friends with me for my birthday last year.

I have been blessed with good health. That is something I remember to be thankful for every single day. I am also thankful for the opportunity of attending college. A hectic as things are with deadlines, applications and broke college problems, I would not trade a single thing about this crazy, fun and beautiful life of mine.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

When Is a Crisis a Crisis?

There's one thing that seems to be on everyone's mind recently: Ebola. Ebola is a very serious illness that is causing serious problems. I am not here to talk about the illness itself though, I am here to talk about Ebola crisis plans.

Ebola has finally set foot in the United States and it is scaring people everywhere. Hospitals have more people coming in afraid that they have Ebola because of symptoms that may just be from the common cold. With this very serious illness going around, it is important for places to have a crisis plan set in place in case someone acquires Ebola in their vicinity.

The only question about this is, does everyone need a crisis plan? My stepfather is manager of a state park in Indiana and he was recently asked my a camper if he had an Ebola crisis plan. Is it really important for a state park to have a crisis plan for Ebola? I would say yes. It is important that employees and visitors of the park know what to do if Ebola finds its way into the state park.

There should be a plan for everything. Recently, residents of Putnam County were in a bridal shop at the same time a woman with Ebola was there. After finding this information out, Putnam County gathered in a meeting to figure out what their plan of action would be about this situation. If they had jumped on the unfolding crisis before realizing that it could actually hit that close to home, they would have been more prepared.

So the question is, when is a crisis a crisis and should everyone have a plan for it? The answer is yes! If there is one major take away from public relations, it is to be prepared for anything.

Monday, October 20, 2014

In the book, "Real-Time Marketing and PR," there is a section about responding quickly on websites. This section of the book is vital to making it in the Internet world. There is an example provided about a young boy who dances to the Beyoncé song, "Single Ladies." His father catches it on video and posts it to YouTube. As soon as the video hits it big, the father creates a website called "Single Babies" where people can donate money to the boy's college fund.

The website took off so fast and successfully that they even sell t-shirts on it now. This is just one example of someone becoming famous because of their quick reaction to a situation that brings them a lot of attention.

When you think about Kim Kardashian, you know she did nothing to become famous, she just is. It helps that her father was a famous lawyer, but when you get down to it, Kim Kardashian has no talent that she should be famous for. Another example of this is Jenna Marbles. The girl makes a few videos with great personality and she sky rockets to fame.

This section of the book gives good lessons on how to rapidly respond when necessary. In the public relations world, it is all about timing. If you do not take advantage of good timing, you may miss out on a great opportunity.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Good Old Fashioned Pumpkin Carving

Over Fall Break, I carved pumpkins with my family. This was something I was so excited to do because we hadn't done it since we were much younger. My mom was complaining that it would make a mess, my step brother was playing his video games and seemed uninterested, but my step dad jumped right up and got everything set up.

His motivation to make this happen put a big smile on my face and ended up convincing my mom and step brother that it could actually be a fun experience. My step brother came outside and quickly drew his pumpkin face with a Sharpie. He then cut it with a knife and hurried back to his video games. Normally I would have been upset but I was too preoccupied laughing at his hurried creation.

My mom is a perfectionist so of course her pumpkin was a classic, perfect pumpkin face. She drew it and my step dad cut it out for her. They make a good team. Next, it was my turn. I decided to get creative and make Marilyn Monroe's face. For some reason I was convinced this was a good idea.

I spent ten minutes drawing the face and then twenty minutes cutting it out. I knew I was kidding myself when I saw it finished and my mom laughed. Her exact words, "Aw honey, you tried so hard." That's when you know your mom is trying to make you feel better.

I honestly do not care how my pumpkin turned out because that was not what I was aiming to accomplish. I was aiming to spend time with my family doing a great American tradition. I am so thankful this happened and we got to make a family memory!

My step dad, my mom, my brother and I right
before we carved the pumpkins.
We had a beautiful scenery to look at while
we carved pumpkins.

These are the finished masterpieces.
Can you guess who's is who's?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Let's Talk About Yik Yak

As most of you reading this are probably already aware, there is a new phenomena out and it is called Yik Yak. If you do not know, Yik Yak is an app that you can get on your smart phone that allows you to post anonymous comments on a live feed. The app shows you comments from other people based on your geographical location.

This app has been popular for a short time now and remains popular among college students. Yik Yak was created by two college students that wanted to create something where people could anonymously complain about anything and everything. The way I see it, this could go one of two ways - really well or really poorly.

There have been issues raised about the app fueling bullying. Yik Yak has set up the app so that if two or more people report a "yak," or screenshot it and email it to Yik Yak, it will be taken down. This helps prevent bullying from happening.

Another issue that has been raised is how it affects college campuses. Trine University in my hometown, Angola, Indiana, has blocked this app so that it cannot be downloaded on their Internet server. This shields the university from any liabilities caused by the app.

It is obvious that students are not the only group of people on Yik Yak. Many adults are using Yik Yak as a tool. Marketing departments can use this app to monitor how their surrounding audience is responding to their services. This is why universities are taking precautions. If they see that someone is going to commit a crime and they do not do anything about it, they can be at fault, but if they have it blocked, they cannot be liable.

This app can be a very helpful public relations tool if it is used the right way. If it is not used as a positive tool, it can cause hurt feelings and may be more harmful issues. It will be very interesting to see where this unique app takes us in the future.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Twitter as a Tool

As it has been obvious in my past blogs, a majority of my blogs are about a book. This is because I am also writing these blogs for a social media class, not just for sheer enjoyment. The last book we read was called Share This. We are now onto a book called Real-Time Marketing and PR.

This book is my favorite so far, not only because of the content but also because of how the book is set up. Each chapter is broken up into sections so you know what you are going to read about before you even start to read the sections. If I would have picked this book up in a book store and skimmed through the pages, I would have instantly known what the content was and bought it right then and there. As you can tell, I am excited about this book.

The first topic in this book that I would like to discuss is how Twitter is being used as a tool when it comes to crisis communication. The book explains how you can use Twitter to talk to the company causing the crisis or journalists about the crisis.

It is explained that you can do this is multiple ways. You can use the hashtag tool or the mention tool (@) to mention a company or journalist. I feel that the hashtag would be the most useful and productive way to get someone's attention about a crisis. If you use the hashtag, more people are going to see the tweet.

It amazes me how much Twitter can be executed in crisis communications. It can be used to report a problem, to quickly apologize and let your audience know that more information will follow about a crisis, to send your audience to a link where more information can be found and so much more.

Twitter is a HUGE tool and if it is executed in the right way, it can benefit a company in more ways than one.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fall Break

Today marks the first day of Ohio Northern University's fall break. Technically yesterday marked my first day because I did not have any classes but for everyone else, today is the day everyone has been excited about. Some people planned mini vacations, some are visiting family and some are going home.

I am one of the people who is just going home for this fall break and I could not be happier about this. I am spending two nights at each parent's house. I will be able to see my grandparents and get home cooked meals made for me.

The first half of this weekend will be spent at my mom's house. We live in a state park so there is always something to do to keep busy. We hike, have camp fires, walk around the campgrounds and so much more. Summer is better than winter because there is the beach and kayaking during the warmer season. I know I will have a fun time still though. My family also enjoys going to the movie theatre so I am sure I will get to do that sometime.

This is a picture of my front yard.

The second half of break I will spend at my dad's house. This is in my hometown where I grew up. I have a childhood friend who will be home that I cannot wait to see. I have a dog here also. This is the town that my grandparents live in so I will also get to see them.

My hometown is small, but it is definitely home. I do not have any plans for fall break but I know that I will not run out of things do to or people to see.

Friday, October 10, 2014

ONU Homecoming Football Game

I live tweeted for the first time during the 2014 Ohio Northern University homecoming football game. This event was fun to live tweet because something was always going on; there was always something to tweet about. I have made my tweets into a story. Please follow the link to see my story.

Thank you!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Read Share This

When we think about the Internet, we usually think about the most popular sites such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc. What we do not think about is what types of sites are on the Internet. The types of sites are vital to know when trying to figure out how to get information out to the correct audience.

I suggest you read Share This if you do not know the terms. I was assigned to read this book for my social media class and it taught me so much. I learned that the number one networking site right now if Facebook which is something everyone in public relations and marketing should know so they can build relationships with their audiences.

Share This also taught me different types of sites on the Internet. First there are microblogs. These are sites like Twitter that only have 140-200 characters per post. These are very good sites for news channels to use because they are one of the quickest ways to release breaking news.

Another type is collaborative communities. These are wiki sites such as Wikipedia. They collaborate to achieve one goal. Wikipedia is a great site to look things up on but you have to be very careful because anyone can change the information.

There are also communities and forums. These are discussion based sites, DIY communities. Pinterest could be classified as a community forum. Not all companies should use Pinterest though. A bank would  not want to market themselves on Pinterest because no one would be interested in their pins.

Content-sharing communities is another type of online site classification. An example of this would be Youtube. Someone wanting to promote a special event or product may create a video about it and share it on Youtube for more audiences to view. My mom works in the marketing department at a university and recently created a video that promoted their upcoming Homecoming game.

There are also geo-social networks which include the location you are posting from. Four square is a great example of this. Instead of advertising on this kind of network, people can do the advertising for you by letting everyone know they are at your location.
At this time in life there are so many different ways to market a brand or product. It pays to know the different ways. After reading the book Share This, I suggest everyone buy it and read it. It can only make you stronger and smarter.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Meet My Best Friend

In life, you have people who  bring you down and make you feel small and then you have people who lift you up and inspire you to be the best that you can be. My best friend, Kate Sims, inspires me to be the best that I can be every single day. She supports me and she makes me a better person.

Not only is Kate an amazing friend, she is a two time Ironman triathlon competitor. For those of you who do not know, an Ironman is a 140.6 mile race. It starts out with a 2.4 mile swim then goes on to a 112 mile bike ride and finishes with a 26.2 mile run. Ironman triathletes are some of the strongest people you will ever meet, emotionally and physically. Kate is proof of that.

Kate and I's friendship began at Ohio Northern University's freshman orientation. Her and I and one other girl became really close in that one day. Over the summer we exchanged some text messages but that was about it. When we got back to school the friendship progressed.

This picture describes our friendship perfectly.

After three and a half years of friendship, Kate and I have become very close. I think this is because of how different and the same we are. Our personalities reflect one another perfectly. We have been through some very tough times together and each one has proven how much we can count on each other.

I have never laughed with another person more than I have with Kate. I would not trade my best friend for the world.

At this time in my life, I know that it is not as important to focus on how many friends I have, but on how many real friends I have. Kate is just one of the amazing friends that I have in my life and I am thankful every day for each one of them.

"Life is nothing without friendship." -Unknown

Sunday, October 5, 2014

SPC Country Night

As I stated in a previous post, I am a member of the Ohio Northern University Student Planning Committee. This committee puts on events for the students on campus. My first event, Hawaiian style mini golf, was an absolute success. This past Wednesday, October 1, I had my second event. I had to create a spirit week event.

As I sat brainstorming event ideas, I ran across a mechanical bull on a website. Instantly I wanted to make this the event. After working out the logistics, the event was called Country Night and we began advertising.

My group and I took care of the usual advertising: a-boards, the mac board and our secondary advertisement. This time we handed out caramel apple suckers to students with a sticker on each one that described the event. At our event we had free chicken wings, raffle prizes, sweet tea, lemonade, corn hole, can jam and yes, the mechanical bull.

This event was another success. I was beyond satisfied with the way it turned out. There were around 100 students in attendance and 71 of them rode the mechanical bull. We poured the drinks into mason jars so the first 50 students in attendance got to take one home with them. I think people really enjoyed the mason jars.

The raffle prizes were all country themed. For example we had a camouflage chair, a camouflage hat and camouflage play cards. These were just some of the fun prizes. We handed out a prize for the person who stayed on the mechanical bull the longest also.

Although the event went well, there is one thing that I would have changed about this event. I did not order enough chicken wings. People were coming to the event and expecting to get wings but we had ran out. I ordered 100 wings but people seemed to be very hungry. Next time this event is put on, we will know to get more than 100 wings.

My awesome SPC group!