Category Archives: TOW COMM 2322

Not-So-Secret Google Tools

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"Google Logos" by La Ignorancia Mata

Google sure has a universe of tools available to its users. But Adam Vincenzini of PR News Daily describes 10 that most people probably have never heard of in his post here.

Most of these tools I had never heard of either, but some of them (based on their description) seem like they would be extremely useful for a Public Relations Professional.

1. Google SketchUp– I love graphic design, but I have never heard of this free tool! Apparently, one can create anything in illustration form into a 3D illustration. This would be a great visual addition to company websites or blogs.

2. Google Correlate– This tool enables its users to discover patterns in sample data, which would be very helpful from a Marketing perspective of locating target audiences, enhancing an email marketing campaign, discovering complimentary products/services, etc.!

3. Google Sites– This tool enables its users to create a website that groups can communicate through, which speeds up the older process of phone-trees and call lists to spread news and communicate within a group of people.

4. Google HotPot– This tool provides rates and reviews of places/ businesses and its users can get recommendations from others. As a marketing/ PR student, it seems like it would help me see how public opinions develop, change, and what attracts large groups of people to certain products/ services.

To find out more about these tools and learn about other lesser known but seemingly useful ones, visit Vincenzini’s blog link above!

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PC Bridal Exhibit

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I am an intern for Linda Marie Weddings and Events, and I love it! I was able to partake in the PC Bridal Exhibit last month with the business, and if I were given the opportunity, I would help love to help market the next bridal exhibit that is being hosted by the same company in the same place this coming September.

PC Bridal Exhibit

This exhibit is open to anyone and is extremely helpful for people just engaged or for those that are looking for ideas, advice,  businesses, etc.

To help market this event, I would assist with their social media connections and marketing strategies, such as emails, blogs, tweets, etc. I also am handy when it comes to graphic design and can help make the exhibit’s web page more attractive, design postcards, and print or web advertisements to help advertise the event.

At this event, one can expect to experience fashion shows that example wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and tuxedos; cake tastings; free stuff; vacation give-aways; raffles; wedding and event decor ideas; floral designs; food tastings– and— attending the event will give one the chance to meet with vendors; vendors which range from wedding planners to bakeries to limo rental businesses.

Attending a Bridal Show such as the PC Bridal Exhibit gives a bride or groom and his/her family a first hand chance to get ideas and makes hiring the right vendors easier.

The next PC Bridal Exhibit will be on Sept., 30, 2012 and will run from 1-5 p.m. It will be located in the Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Fla.  Admission is free with online preregistration before Sept. 28, otherwise admission is $8.00 at the door.

To preregister or to find out more information about this event, check out their website here , or connect with their Facebook page.

 

 

Lobbying and Social Media

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Lobbying is commonly known as groups of people attempting to influence the decisions made by government and/or legislative officials.

I do not follow along with politics enough to “have a view” and determine if the group is exercising undue influence in shaping legislation. But what I can discuss is how certain groups utilize social media to influence people and grow their support/fan base.

"Tent City Actions Capitol Hill" By by 99inDC

Lobbyists can utilize social media in a similar way small businesses can. Some examples are stated below.

1. Blogging- Lobbyists can utilize blogs to promote their ideas, events, news and/or accomplishments.

2. Twitter- Tweeting about events, news, politicians, current or past feats or  struggles can encourage others to get involved and see what is happening within the group.

3. Facebook- Facebook is a great site to get all of the followers on at once and maintain a group communication about current events, news, ideas and schedules.

4. YouTube- Posting videos is also a great way to get a bigger fan base because YouTube reaches a wider audience. Plus, more people are likely to watch a video describing a cause rather than reading about it.

5. Pinterest- Posting any kind of visual aid about the cause the group is lobbying for will attract more eyes than words, thus, Pinterest’s use of gathering and sharing videos and pictures such as event photos or infographics is a great way to spread the idea and attract supporters.

A prime example of a group that has successfully utilized social media to advertise their campaign is the Occupy Wall Street movement.

For more information about Lobbying and social media, google’s search engine brings up some interesting links.

 

 

Spin Control: Ford and the White House

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I think it is safe to say most of us watch TV, in which case some of us have probably seen the old Ford commercials where Ford dealers would put “real life” Ford owners into surprise press conference rooms where they would be asked questions about their new Ford purchase.

If you can recall these commercials, perhaps you can remember the one aired in Sept., 2011, where a buyer says, “I wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by the government. I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That’s what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta’ pick yourself up and go back to work.”

If you do not remember this commercial, it is probably due to the fact that the commercial was allegedly requested to be pulled from TV after a call to Ford from the White House. (View the commercial in the below video).

 

 

Although shocking at first and seemingly a strike at our right to the freedom of speech, I believe Ford might have blurred the line that separates a press conference and paid advertisement. Because the government does have the right to regulate TV, I believe that the White House’s request to pull the Ad from television was not out of line or without reason.

The comment the man said in the commercial,I , myself, find offensive anyway. Sure it is his opinion, and everyone is obligated to one, but I think that a very historically prominent American company’s advertisement of the government’s “bad decision’s” has nothing to do with the value of the car ( in that it doesn’t help it run any better) and that it is also in bad taste (or in other words, poor PR planning) to air it as if the legalistics of the government had anything to do with making cars run better.

Overall, I’m glad that this commercial is no longer being aired on public television, but whether it was taken off the air or not, it does not affect me personally other than turning off my appreciation for the long-term American qualities of Ford.

To find out more about the situation surrounding this incident, click here.

PR Pro Interview

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For this week, my Public Relations Applications class required for me to interview a Public Relations Professional. Many of the professionals I tried to get into touch with did not respond back, stop answering my calls, or stopped emailing me!

At first I though it was rude, but now I look at that kind of common response as a lesson of how busy PR pros are!

Luckily though, I had the honor of interviewing a fellow classmate who works in PR instead. Her name is Katie Reilly and following below are the interview questions I asked her and  her responses to them.

Me: How did you know you wanted to pursue PR? When did you decide that that is what you’re going to pursue in college?

Katie:  Honestly, I didn’t really decide I wanted to pursue PR. I wasn’t really aiming to do so. I’m more of a journalist/writer, so the reason I’m pursuing a Journalism/PR degree is more for the journalism than the PR. However, last semester when I actually started on campus (previously I had been taking online classes) I applied for a job in the Advancement Office, working under Dana Davis. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting into, I knew I’d be writing for Southeastern’s alumni magazine and I figured that it would be great experience. At first it was mainly just writing articles and such, but as I’ve done more office work I’ve been taking on more jobs and tasks that are more PR related. These past few months especially have been pretty much devoted to all sorts of PR work and I must admit that I have enjoyed it quite a bit, despite it not being what I expected. So, even though I’m still really focusing more on Journalism, I have definitely gained more appreciation and interest in PR as I have worked this job. And I wouldn’t mind continuing it even after I graduate.

By enriqueburgosgarcia

Me:How are you involved in PR now?

Katie: 2. I work for Dana Davis in the advancement office here at Southeastern. Advancement office is basically a fancier way of saying PR department (I’ve come to realize). I do things like help promote events, help organize events, write press releases, edit thank you letters, help make sure that when there are important guests visiting that all their needs are met. There was one point where I was making quite a few phone calls trying to see if local churches would help promote the Forum. Also, there have been times where I have helped with alumni relations, such as visiting an alumni, so that they keep good connection with the university and maybe even support it. That is actually one of the reasons why the alumni magazine was started, to keep alumni in the loop and to help them feel like they’re still part of the SEU community. So, I write articles for that as well as do editing for it. There really is a lot of fostering relationships. And a lot of the jobs (including some little ones that people don’t really think about) are done with that focus in mind.
Me: What’s you’re favorite responsibility of what you do now?

Katie:I honestly probably like writing the articles the most. I really am a writer at heart. However, it is kind of fun to help keep the events on track and just run errands so that everything runs smoothly. (that’s writing the articles for the alumni magazine.

Me: What do you hope do with your PR/Journalism degree when you graduate here?

Katie: To be honest I’m not entirely sure. I do want to do freelance work because I like the freedom and think I would work well with that. However, I wouldn’t mind continuing work with Southeastern, maybe even become a permanent part of the advancement team, not sure if that would actually happen, but I wouldn’t mind that.
Me: Is there anyone/ anything from SEU that has helped you as you move toward your PR degree?

Katie: Dana Davis, my boss, has actually been a huge help. She has taught me so much, both in regards to PR and writing. She is an excellent editor and really is a go getter. It has been a learning process for both of us since she was relatively new at this as well, but I have learned quite a bit about what all is involved in PR from her. She really has been a great role model for me.

To read some of Katie’s work or get in touch with her, visit her blog at http://applyingpublicrelations.wordpress.com!

Armenianism vs. Calvinism

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As a Christ follower, I have experienced that common argument between other Christ followers in terms of what is right to believe in in terms of the theological opinions of Armenius and Calvin. I never really had an answer, though, thus began my search for the truth. What follows below includes excerpts from an essay I wrote about this topic for Theology (I got an A+, so yes, it is based off legitimate research).

Asking any knowledgeable Christian about Armenianism will most likely leave one with the answer that this theology deals primarily with the idea of free will to lose one’s salvation. Similarly, if one were to ask any knowledgeable Christian about Calvinism, one will most likely be informed that this theology deals primarily with the idea of predestination or universal pre-determined salvation. As most assumptions are, however, these generic views of these theologies are misleading and fail to take into account the surrounding aspects of their theologies.

by mugley

In short, Arminius believed that the main difference among those who are saved in Christ’s universal salvation verses those who are not are the ones who consciously choose to commit sins, do not repent, and shun Christ as their Savior. Arminius, the remonstrant, and Armenians today believe that salvation can be lost if a believer or the doubter consciously sins and doesn’t repent or acknowledge Christ devoutly.

by knowhimonline

Calvin, on the other hand, focused on the question of sin than most other schools of theology. He believed there is a direct connection between Adam’s sin and all humanity throughout all time, and in some way, Adam’s sin isn’t just the sin of an individual but is also our sin. All persons are guilty of Adam’s “original sin“. Because we participate in that sin, all people from the beginning of life receive a corrupt nature, an inherited tendency to sin, and a guilty conscience when we do it.

In short, all human beings are entirely degenerate to do anything spiritually good (as is the common belief now and was in the sixteenth century reformation) including exercising a good will toward God.

Therefore, Calvin concluded that people are designated (predestined) to either salvation or damnation.

by Lawrence OP

The Calvinist and Armenian positions are based off of different interpretations of scripture as well as theological concepts such as original sin, Paul’s descriptions of Adam in Romans chapter 5, and the relationship between humanity, Christ, and God himself.

Calvinists base their beliefs off of a very literal and serious understanding of original sin: Through one man’s sin, all became sinners. As in Romans chapter 5:12-19, Calvinists believe that Paul’s statements about Adam and sin indicate that all sin entered the world through Adam. Because sin is death and death is begotten by sin, death passed to all individuals because all sinned by Adam.

Armenians agree with this interpretation of Adam’s original sin, as described by Paul, however, Armenians view man’s wickedness as a spirit of sin, and because Christ removed the faults from sinners’ sins by freely dying the on the cross for all humanity, Christ’s grace—a prevention from death— is extended to everyone and in effect neutralizes the corruption received from Adam’s original sin.

Overall, I found that when obtaining a truthful and unbiased understanding between the polarity of Armenianism and Calvinism, I related my struggle with an anonymous blogger known as “The Heartist”, who, when switching churches realized how many misconceptions both sides (Armenians vs. Calvinists) have of each other.

“One side scares people with the thought that you could at any time “lose your salvation without a moment’s notice” while the other scares people with the thought that all one has to do is “pray a little superficial prayer and then can live ‘like hell’ ” when neither represents the other with even a remote sense of accuracy.”

These two schools of thought have indeed become such a delicate issue between their corresponding constituents that people either avoid discussing what they believe or they build walls between understanding their beliefs and the beliefs of their rivals.

With the help of the knowledge I obtained from my own journey in search of what I believe in, I can now evade the event of ignorantly responding offensively when someone confronts me with the argument-eliciting question, “What do you believe in?”, and describe why I mostly agree with

So…what do you believe in?

To check out some opinions other than my own, check out this poll, but I highly recommend searching for the truth yourself.

 

 

Graphics Can Communicate Better Than Words

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According to the online encyclopedia website reference.com, Information graphics (infographics) are visual representations of information, data or knowledge. Infographics can be used where a lot of complex information needs to be communicated quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. In newspapers, infographics are commonly used to show the weather, maps and site plans for newsworthy events and/or graphs for statistical data. Some books are almost entirely made up of information graphics, such as David Macaulay’s, The Way Things Work. Although they are used heavily in children’s books, they are also common in scientific literature, where they illustrate physical systems, especially ones that cannot be photographed (such as cutaway diagrams, astronomical diagrams, and images of microscopic or sub-microscopic systems).

When you were a kid, did you want to read the book with no pictures? No, of course not. Everyone appreciates a picture that compliments or helps communicate the story the words give.

Thus, infographics are important to Public Relations professionals because of this picture psychology. People tend to be more drawn to  pictures than words, and it is the job of the PR professional design, or work with a graphic designer, to create something that will draw a greater audience toward their client’s page. I’ve had a lot of experience with graphic design because it is one of my many passions and something I hope to get more professionally involved with in the future. Assembling infographics are an important concept for graphic designers to understand because they, if done well, can essentially communicate information more effectively and faster than words. Readers are far more likely to read a story with lots of visual stimuli than a page with none. Graphics also can entice a person to want to further investigate the information around the graphic; thus increasing the successfulness of the information that is being advertised.

Listed below are some examples of successfully or poorly designed infographics:

"Burj Dubai (Burj Khalifa)" By GDS Infographics

The Dubai Tower graphic displayed above is great because the viewer can instantly tell that this picture was designed to give facts about the Burj Dubai. The secondary information (the scale along with the stats and facts) doesn’t overcrowd the subject but successfully compliments the main idea so that the Burj Dubai remains the main focus.

"American Presidents:Length of Inaugural Addresses:Infographic" By sacks08

This graphic had an interesting and original concept, but it was poorly executed. At first glance, the microphone would seem to be the central theme because it is the biggest image in the visual. It takes a more in-depth look to see that the graphic is meant to display information about the length of all the past presidential speeches. Also, the large amount of information in this graphic is so crowded that the designer had to shrink the font so it could all fit in the picture– so a viewer has to either squint or enlarge the picture three times in order to read it. Lastly, the semi-circular shape of the graph makes it difficult to see the differences in scale between the smaller speeches.

"Infographias" by juanpablobravo!

This graphic has both good and bad aspects about it. Although it is in a different language, any viewer can tell right away that it is describing a space module and the aspects of its journey to another planet. It provides a visual representation of the shuttle’s transformation to a terrestrial ship as well as a scale the gives the onlookers perspective of its size in comparison to a human. Lastly, it uses bright colors and high contrast which is visually attractive. However, the bottom graph and its images are where this graphic becomes confusing. This section doesn’t visually establish what the main idea of the information is about; in other words, one would have to speak the language in order to determine what information is being communicated.

To learn more about assembling infographics, how they can be useful communication tools or beneficial to Public Relations professionals, check out Randy Krum’s blog about Cool Infographics.