Monday, December 12, 2011

Semester's End: What I've Learned

So, this will be my last blog post on this blog, and lately I've been reflecting on all the wonderful and helpful things I've learned in my social media class. Yes, I knew about websites like Facebook and Twitter. I knew about some of the ways in which these sites could be utilized, but through the readings I had for this class I learned so much more. Social media and the technologies that are a part of our everyday life our constantly changing. But, it isn't these changes that are important. All of the books we read this semester stressed the importance of relationships. Whether it was how to measure them or how to enrich them, at the end of the day it is the interactions with our key publics that determine our success in the social media sphere. According to Groundswell, we need to listen to, engage and excite our key public. David Meerman Scott helps us utilize all of the new facets of the social media world to interact with our key audiences in real time. Whether it's through podcasts, blogs, viral videos, Twitter, Facebook or any other myriad of social media sites, we need to stay focused on our relationships. And it is easier than ever before to do that. Technology has brought us back to the times of the open-aired market. People create forums where they can discuss topics together from across the globe. Stories can spread like wildfire across the web. I can't wait to put in to practice all of the things I have learned from these books and also see how social media changes. I know that this class has prepared me for it.


Lauren


food for thought: "Kisses are a better fate than wisdom" - E.E. Cummings

woah, that's neat: www.stumbleupon.com << The first addicting site of all addicting sites.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lauren Tennet: Your Future Employee

So, I would like to encourage all of you to go take a look at my online resume! While I am not seeking employment right now I know that this online format of all of the stuff I've done plus my resume will be useful. I can constantly update it and it is a really easy program to use. Unfortunately, the website I created my resume on in going down in a few months, but I plan on creating a new and improved one in the near future. Hopefully employers will see my resume and pick me up for employment or bookmark me on a social site. I would especially appreciate it if you would pass my resume along to your friends or anyone you know that works in the PR industry!



Lauren


food for thought: "God is closest to those with broken hearts"- Jewish Saying

woah, that's neat: www.plumparty.com << A really neat party website!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Very (Unmerry) Christmas Beginning

So, I am very stressed. I think that has been pretty obvious in some of my previous posts. I am swamped with work and yet no matter how much I think I accomplish, there is still a big pile of work waiting to be done. I've had emotional breakdowns these past two days. One was to my dad, who reminded me that I'm not superwoman and I need to prioritize everything I do. He reminded my I'm only human and life is too short for me to worry about how things will end up. Today, when I thought that I was doing great I had another meltdown in my voice lesson. Thank God that my voice teacher is a wonderful man who sat me down with a box of tissues and reminded me to breath. Needless to say, I am not in the Christmas spirit at all. I just want that warm and feeling to overcome me. I want to be excited for Santa Claus, 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family, sipping hot cocoa, looking at Christmas lights and church on Christmas Eve. I want it to snow (surprisingly). I want to relax and sleep all day and snuggle in my warm bed at home. I love Christmas time, it's my favorite time of the year. But, as of right now, I can't focus on being happy. I just have to work, work, work like a little elf to get everything done. I pray that God gives me the strength, patience and foresight to know that my semester will end up ok. I wonder if Santa's elves feel this way the few weeks before Christmas?


Lauren



food for thought: "Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home."  -Carol Nelson

woah, that's neat: www.google.com << Ok, I know, pretty generic. But seriously, Google is amazing. Their email, their calendars... their applications. I'm seriously so obsessed with Google and all the cool things they do.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Technological Advancement's Effect on Relationships

So, I know I talk about the future in most of these posts, but I guess that's because my blog is mostly based on technology. And, technology is the future. According to our Groundswell text technology is constantly changing and as PR professionals we need to understand how these new technologies are going to affect our relationships. I think it is really funny that some of the examples in Groundswell seem so outdated. In the text they seem ecstatic and intrigued that companies are "starting" to create their own Facebook pages. Now it seems that every company or group has their own Facebook. Not only that, but our text refers to Twitter as a new technology! This book was only written four years ago and there has already been so many changes to our availability of technologies and social media. Sites like Pinterest and weheartit appeal to girls who want to have their own portfolio of inspiring images. Stumbleupon acts as another tagging site.  These technologies are going to continue to grow, but we need to make sure that our focus as PR professionals is not on the technology itself but how it will affect our relationships. The Groundswell provides some questions we should ask ourselves when evaluating new technology:


  • Does it enable people to connect with each other in new ways?
  • Is it effortless to sign up for?
  • Does it shift power from institutions to people?
  • Does the community generate enough content to sustain itself?
  • Is it an open platform that invites partnerships?


When I look at these questions, they seem pretty obvious. Who would want to be a part of a network that requires you to jump through hoops or costs a ton of money? Who would join a site nowadays if they knew they were going to be constantly monitored or bombarded by corporations? I am really excited for the future of technology and the way it will effect our relationships. I think that as more social networking sites become available people will start to categorize their relationships in different ways. Certain sites or circles will be used for their families, friends and even relationships with corporations. 


Lauren


food for thought: "Shun idleness. It is a rust that attaches itself to the most brilliant metals."- Voltaire

woah, that's neat: www.reddit.com/r/pics << I love reddit. I also love reddit pics.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Music and the Internet: The Future

So, I am very interested in the future of music and the music business. With the advent of the internet and file sharing websites it is easier than ever to download all of your favorite songs for free. There is undeniably about to be a change in the way that the music business works. First, the way music is shared is going to change somehow. It is hard to find a Gen Y kid that still buys there music. After the advent of Napster, music has been "free" in someway. Of course this violates copyright laws and causes troubles, but I don't see this changing anytime soon. Artists still make tons of money and still create great music, but they need to rethink the way they share their songs. Some artists have already started to make this change. One of my favorite electronic artists, Pretty Lights, is light years ahead of other artists. He has his whole discography online for free. This astonishes me. I was able to download eighty-eight songs without spending a cent. This is a genius ploy. Not only does Pretty Lights entice new and old listeners alike with free music, but once they get hooked they can't stop. Not only that, but Pretty Lights generates all of his revenues from shows. He has an amazing set up and is amazing live, so it's no wonder that people flock to his concerts. This is the future of music. The internet will increase music sharing and artists need to realize that they will no longer make as much money from record or song sales. Another artist, Mac Miller found fame and fortune through the internet as well. He is an independent artist but has made viral videos that have rocketed him to fame. Here is an article that details Mac Miller's rise. I'm so excited to see where the future of music goes, and who knows? Maybe I can be apart of it!


Lauren


food for thought: "A huge is a great gift- one size fits all, and it's easy to exchange."- Author Unknown

woah, that's neat:  www.instyle.com << This magazine is my obsession. I steal every on from my grandma because I don't have a subscription.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Home Stretch

So, there are only three more weeks of this semester left. It's actually pretty stressful. It seems like the less time we have left the more work that keeps piling up! I have so many presentations, portfolios, tests and projects due before it's even finals week. Honestly though, the transition to semesters has seemed pretty beneficial. Yes, the classes seemed to drag on, but the material was really able to sink in. There seemed to be more opportunities to bring grades up or to work on semester long projects. I also really enjoyed getting to know my professors. I'm excited for the semester to end though so I can start up my classes for next semester. It doesn't help that the weather outside is dreary and cold and damp. I hate this kind of weather because all it makes me want to do is sleep. I just want to crawl under my covers and hibernate until these next three weeks are over. Obviously, this does nothing for my determination to get things done. I'm pushing through though and I know that everything will turn out OK in the end. I've kind of learned in these past few years that there is no reason for me to get stressed about school or projects or my life. I know that if I plan everything out and work hard, I'll get done what I need to and to the best of my ability. So, I'm just going to try to relax, get my work done, attend my DZ events, get PR practicum hours and hopefully make it out alive!



Lauren


food for thought: "Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also."- Carl G. Jung

woah, that's neat: www.foodporndaily.com << Absolutely and utterly obsessed with this website. It's just picture after picture of delicious looking food!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Putting it into Practice

So, I have the privilege to be the account executive for one of our Firm's new campaigns and I am so excited. It is a campaign called Theatrics and we have to try to get a certain percentage of our school population to upload videos to a website. Whilst brainstorming with the Firm and setting our course of events/action plan one of my peers brought up how important it is that we measure the metrics for this campaign. Other schools are larger than we are and will have a greater number of entries. While our percentage may be higher, the fact that they have more entries may look better. There are so many other things that we need to measure because we are a smaller school with a completely different population than say Florida State. It is necessary that we show the progress we made through views of the videos, uploads and actual numbers of entries posted. We should also see how well our messages got across, maybe send out a survey to the student body asking whether they even heard about our campaign. These steps are so necessary to the implementation of this campaign because we can use the results for future projects. Even if it isn't the Theatrics campaign, it would still be beneficial to know what audiences we reached and how well we communicated what we wanted. If we aren't successful in this campaign our metrics will hopefully help us to reach out to those that we didn't target last time.... But I already know we're going to win so that isn't even a problem. :p



Lauren


food for thought: "If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want."-Elbert Hubbard

woah, that's neat: www.lonelyplanet.com << A really neat and informative travel website!

Freedom of Internet

So, recently in the United Arab Emirates a young blogger and four other activists were sent to jail. The five were said to be "insulting the UAE's rulers and endangering national security." The five activists signed a petition in March that called for political change in UAE and this led to their arrests. Along with this petition, Mansour (the main defendant) was arrested for having a website that spurred others on this political activism. People were given a platform to discuss the government they want to see in UAE. This story has already created a social media buzz, even with it's own Twitter hashtag: #UAE5. I think that this is an amazing story about the changed social media has had in our lives. All across the world we are seeing more and more protests, and I think that social media is starting to play a larger role in this. It is harder for those in countries without laws on their freedom of speech or freedom of the use of the internet. We are so lucky in America to have the right to speak our mind, even if it is against the government, and to use the internet. However, even  in America the government is trying to stifle the use of the internet. Recent bills have been sent to Congress to give the government control over the internet and the ability to censor it. It seems that the internet is posing some threat everywhere because no one truly owns it. The internet, and social media, have the capability to cause revolution and camaraderie around certain groups of people. This is why Mansour and his four companions were arrested. They were using their blog to try to change their country, and the government in UAE was not happy about it. It's amazing to think how far we've come in the political arena too. We've gone from town forums to televisions debates and now to blogs. People are able to gather together online and express their opinions in what seems to be a safe environment. I personally am very sad for the five that were arrested because the internet should be free for everyone's use. However, I know in other countries freedom of speech is stifled and it is up to the people in those countries to change it. I just hope that someday in the future everyone will have the free access we all deserve and will not be imprisoned for simply owning a blog.

Here is where I found the article so you all can read it: http://thenextweb.com/me/2011/11/27/uae-blogger-sentenced-to-3-years-in-prison/

Lauren


food for thought: "A book is like a garden carried in the pocket."- Chinese Proverb

woah, that's neat: http://www.livingsocial.com/cities/1/cyber-monday << It's cyber monday y'all!! Go here to find some sweet deals :]

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Pinteresting Thanksgiving

So, I get to go home tomorrow for Thanksgiving. I can't wait. Seriously, every holiday is so much fun for me. I love to go home and see my friends. I love spending time with my family. I love attending church. I love to eat good food. Everything about this time of year is perfection. And, Thanksgiving melds right into the Christmas season. I am so excited to go eat a ton of delicious food and sit around. I just want to relax, at least for one day. I do have some homework to do over the holidays, but it shouldn't be too intensive. I also am excited to use some of the great ideas I've found on Pinterest to make Christmas gifts. I'm not going to say them on my blog, but I'm stoked to make these handmade gifts for my family. I think a handmade gift means so much because you took the time to ACTUALLY make it and to think the idea up. I hate giving useless Christmas gifts that will never ever be used. So this year I'm hoping to make something beautiful and functional for each of my family members. Thank God for Pinterest. So, my Thanksgiving is going to be filled with love and good food and crafting. Sounds like a perfect week to me :]



Lauren


food for thought: "Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures"- Jessamyn West

woah, that's neat: http://anniespandex.com/diy/how-to-make-tank-tops-out-of-t-shirts-without-touching-a-sewing-needle/ << A really great DIY :]

Friday, November 18, 2011

Katie Paine: Measurement Genius

So, we finally finished Katie Paine's book Measuring What Matters. This is probably one of the most helpful and insightful books for my future in PR and my future in general. Paine goes all over the map in measurement from social media, events, crises to academia. I think this is a great example that nothing is impossible and you actually have to do work to be successful. I feel like people in companies often get so bogged down in their day to day work that they don't see the impact it makes on the company. In the same respect, executives often do programs or have yearly promotions because it is "just what they do." Rarely do these executives do the measurement that is required to see if these programs actually WORK. The seven steps that Paine sets out for each set of measurement are simple to follow and the more you use them, the more you get used to following these steps. Paine shows that measurement is a necessary process that we must all do to make sure that we are enacting programs that are profitable, saving money, engaging our target audiences and coming out of crises somewhat unscathed. Measurement helps with everything and every company would be smart to use Paine's tips.


Lauren



food for thought: "Ability is of little account without opportunity." - Napoleon

woah, that's neat: www.nastygal.com << I'm seriously in love with some of the clothes on this website!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Catvertising: The Future of Social Media


So, I love this video. It is a great take on the future of social media and how it has already changed our lives. Cat videos are so popular on the web and this agency took a prime opportunity to turn it into another web phenomenon. This is a funny take on how people are trying to get viral videos to get their name out there. I love cat videos and think they are always so entertaining. Websites like "kittehroulette" feed into peoples love of cats. This agency is so hilarious and their work environment must be so fun. I think this is a great idea not only for the agency to get their name out to the public but to also show us our social media habits. I just wish I had come up with this hilarious idea first!


Lauren


Food for thought: "The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing"- John Powell

woah, that's neat: www.kittehroulette.com << I know I mentioned it in this post, you have to go to this website and have a great time :]

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Conduct of ONU Students and the Treatment of our Native Wildlife

So, there have recently been some events on our campus that I have found unsettling. I recently wrote a letter to the editor of our newspaper, below is the article that I wrote.

Normally, I would consider the students on Ohio Northern University’s campus to be a high-standing, educated, mid-western kind of a bunch. I imagine the students on this campus to be the kind of people with hearts of gold and love to play corn hole after a long day of work. But a week ago an issue was brought to my attention that worried me about our student body’s conduct and the fate of our native birds on campus.

This incident entailed a student terrorizing one of the black swans on our lake. The student grabbed the swan by the neck and violently shook him whilst bragging to his friends, as if holding a prized goose. The swan had made no indication of attacking the student. In the past there have been no cited incidents of native wildlife attacking our students. I wonder why this student felt the need to terrorize something that poses no threat to him.

You may think I’m silly or overreacting to this issue, but the birds on our campus are a part of our culture at ONU. Everyone on campus seems to have some story regarding the multitude of ducks, geese and swans that we encounter on an almost daily basis. However, there are stories passed down that refer to our mistreatment of these birds. We are all aware that there are only three black swans on campus. When I was a freshman, I was told that one of the original four swans was run over by a truck. Some people have even heard that the bird was stoned to death. When people hear these stories the usual reactions seem to be sad, however many times people seem to react to the birds negatively. The black swans are referred to as mean individuals who only want to attack us. It seems sad that our few precious black swans on campus have a bad name. They are constantly referred to as “evil” and “scary,” often causing groups of freshman to run in panic when the trio starts to make their way over or cause noise.

Not only are the black swans on campus important, but there are also multiple other groups of fowl on our campus that need attention. We have geese with broken wings, a native flock of ducks and a new pair of white farm ducks that love to be around people. These animals are what make our campus unique. Rarely do I hear of friend’s school’s having a population of birds, or any other group of animals that make such an impact on their campuses. We have stories surrounding these animals. We have a history with them. These animals need to be protected so that we can prevent harmful or poor treatment in the future. Our lake has become a haven for different types of fowl and I can’t believe no one has had the thought of taking care of them or noticing them before. I am not only shocked by the inherently evil action of our peer, but worried about the welfare of our native wildlife to campus. Is there a representative for the animals that live on our lake? Would this be a good program for the biology students or environmental science students to take on? I think we as students at Ohio Northern have a very prime opportunity to become even more proactive in our environmental and leadership efforts. Something must be done to protect our animals from harmful students again.


Lauren



I am shocked and appalled by the actions of my fellow students. Another incident occurred like the first one today of all days. It involved two students throwing rocks at our poor black swans. This harm needs to stop and I hope the letter I wrote to the campus newspaper can help out in some small way. My friends and I have also contacted thought leaders on our campus, and the president of student senate to see what can be done about this matter. I'm sure that people will laugh about the cause I am supporting, because they probably don't think our animals are that important, but I'm an environmentalist at heart. These animals have done nothing to harm us and cost our university tons of money (at least the black swans did). I just hope the future is bright for our animals and that our students learn to stop acting like them.


Lauren


food for thought: "Once you choose hope, anything is possible." - Christopher Reeve

woah, that's neat: www.retailmenot.com << A SWEET online coupon place, most of the time their online codes work!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Event Planning

So, I never real thought about the impact that events or a sponsorship have on a company until we read a chapter about it in Katie Paine's book Measuring What Matters. I find it so amazing that this woman can literally measure anything and everything that can affect a companies ROI or engagement with the public. Events and a sponsorship are no different. It's important to measure these events in tandem with everything else your company does to make sure you aren't wasting money or time by participating in these events. Paine puts together a simple seven step plan for companies to use to measure their participation in events or a sponsorship. The plan goes as follows:

1. Define your objectives
     Your company must come together to have consensus on what your goals on holding a booth or participating in an event are. You must be specific with your objectives and if there are multiple audiences involved make sure that you have different lists and objectives for each.
2. Determine your measurable criteria of success
3. Decide upon your benchmarks
     You need something to compare your results to. You could pick another company or even pick your own company from years past. The benchmarks must be defined on the decisions you need to make.
4. Select a measurement tool
      The most reliable way to measure your results from an event is through an in-depth phone survey using the Grunig Relationship Survey, however the next best options are a post-show online survey or creating a hashtag on Twitter.
5. Define your specific metric
     Depending on what your goal is, you will have specific metrics you will want to measure for.
6. Choose a measurement tool
     There are numerous online tools and tools that you can use in your booth or at a sponsorship.
7. Analyze results
     You need to determine what specific elements from the event engaged people with your brand. You also need to look at the big picture and determine if events are even the best way to go about doing things.

I think this is an awesome and pretty simple way to determine if you are getting your bang for your buck out of events. Some companies just sponsor events sometimes or get booths at expos because it is what they have always done. However, it's important to measure the success of these events because they may be using up money that could be better spent elsewhere. Katie Paine's book is an awesome help to those of us who are just starting out in PR because it gives us the ideas that we need to use for measuring in the future.


Lauren


food for thought: "It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong"- Voltaire

woah, that's neat: www.livingsocial.com << If you don't already know about this web-site... you should. You can find awesome deals in all of the major cities surrounding you or the one you live in!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Growth of Facebook

So, I know I always find files on TheNextWeb.com, but I seriously find the coolest articles there. This neat article that I found is about the growth of Facebook and their global reach. Not surprisingly, Facebook expects there largest market to soon be India. Facebook has the largest imprint on the US market, where a fourth of the company finds its users. However, India is predicted to soon move into the number two spot. What is so amazing about this growth is that most of the users in India are not using desktop computers for the social media site. The article states that "More than twice as many people login to Facebook from mobiles than desktops globally." To me, this doesn't seem like such an amazing statistic in America, but overseas I can see how this is a really cool concept. Most of my friends have smart phones with the capability to access the internet and other social media sites through applications. Overseas they are just now starting to see a mobile boom. They are making cheaper phones with more capabilities so that people in lower income areas can interact just like those over in America. Facebook has also done great PR over in India, making sure that they have the governments approval to work in the country and teaming up with other companies to ensure that they have a positive image in India. I think that this article not only speaks to the great image Facebook has set up for itself but also Facebook's success at becoming a global company and playing into the new mobile trend. Who knew that a small networking site for college students would become all the rage worldwide? Facebook is changing people's lives and now cell phones are too. I've heard multiple times that mobile is the future, and I'm starting to believe it. I use my phone to type notes, to write reminders, to keep a calendar and to use social networking sites. This is not just a local phenomenon, because mobile phone usage is increasing world wide. People will start using their phones for a myriad of reasons. I think it's great that Facebook has found a successful market in India and I am also glad that they have seen the trend of mobile phones becoming more popular. This shows that Facebook is a perceptive company that wants to stay current.


Lauren



food for thought: "Computing is not about computers any more.  It is about living."-Nicholas Negroponte

woah, that's neat: www.behance.net/gallery/Pictogram-music-posters/1834313 << Great pictures made from songs!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Grocery Shopping, Or How I Became a Big Kid

So, I think I have kind of realized that I am an adult now. I know I turned eighteen almost two years ago... but I was just a baby then. I was in high school living a spoiled and rich life. My dad was retired when I was a senior in high school, so I had it pretty good. Every morning I would wake up to breakfast and a packed lunch. I never did my laundry or took out the trash. My father always did all that stuff for me. Sure I made my bed every day and would take my dog on a walk every now and then, but that really is nothing. Now, I'm in college and reality is hitting me square in the face. I have to do the dishes now. I have to go grocery shopping. I have to make my bed, do my laundry and make sure I fill my car up with gas. I don't have my parents coming into my room at 10:30 every night to tell me it's bed time (yes, 10:30 was my bed time until my senior year of high school). I have grown up, or would like to think I have. Not only are these petty tasks starting to pile up on me, but the tough decisions of life are starting to face me too. Will I get into law school? Will I be able to provide for a family in the future? Will I make enough money to not have to live at home? Even in the face of life decisions, I'm still just a kid. I have so much ahead of me and so much to learn about life. I've started to learn to not sweat the small stuff, to focus on the bigger and happier picture of my life. Now, I just need to get that pile of laundry out of the corner before I run out of underwear!


Lauren



food for thought: "Knowledge is the true organ of sight, not the eyes." - Panchatantra

woah, that's neat: http://www.seatguru.com/ << Find the best seats on your next flight!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Content Analysis

So, as I've been learning, measuring social media is a difficult task. You have to determine specifically what you want to measure and make sure that you set actual measurable goals. One of the ways to measure goals is through media content analysis. This is nothing new to the public relations field. PR professionals have done media clippings for years, analyzing the times a company is named in an article and how much space the article measures. But, in an online world there is so much more content to measure. There are now multiple sites that companies need to consider monitoring. You may have great face time on Facebook, but almost no presence in the blogosphere or on Twitter. Quantity isn't the most important thing to measure however. Companies also need to be aware of the quality of the messages that are being posted about them. Are they being mentioned in a positive tone? Are they prominently featured in the article?Are their key messages communicated? Is the source of the article a prominent person in the companies sphere? These are all questions that need to be accounted for and measured. It is also necessary to not rely on computers. Computers can only help us so much. They can find the articles, but when it comes to measuring the quality of the articles they fall short. Computers do not understand colloquialisms such as "wicked" or "sick." This is why a combination of computers and human readers is the best combination for a media content analysis. I think this is a great way for companies to figure out their image online and the type of presence they have. This kind of analysis is telling of the steps a company needs to take to make a more positive image for themselves.



Lauren


food for thought: "A dream is a wish your heart makes"- Disney's Cinderella

woah, that's neat:  www.whatshouldireadnext.com << A great website that suggests what you should read next based on past reads

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Apple

So, I am really excited by this announcement that I received from TheNextWeb. The article reports that Apple is planning on making major changes to the next generation of iMac, iPhones and Macbook Airs. Apparently, the company will be releasing Macbook Airs with a fifteen inch screen, a major change to the device. There are also rumors going around that an Ipad 2 and Ipad 3 are in the works. I am so excited about these changes. I personally don't have an Apple device but this provides an opportunity for me to get a smart phone that actually works for a change. I will be able to access all of my social media sites that I love and I can keep up to date on news through apps and Twitter. I think this is great PR for Apple as well. The company is still making sure to stay current and updated in lieu of Steven Job's death. The company took a sad ordeal, dealt with it well and are making sure that the company still lives up to the original computer genius's memory. Apple has always had high standards for themselves, and I am so excited to see the new updates to all of their products. I'm hoping that I can actually afford one in the near future!


Lauren


food for thought: "Courage is the power to let go of the familiar"- Raymond Lindquist

woah, that's neat: http://thebeautydepartment.com/ << A wonderful beauty blog that I found!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Future

So, I am pretty stoked, excited and scared about my life right now. I have a lot of great things going for me and I have no idea where my life is headed. At the beginning of this semester I had wanted to transfer to University of Texas, but I have since decided to stay where I am. I am content at ONU. I am in a phenomenal, awarding winning and rewarding public relations program. I am a member in tons of clubs and get to be super involved on campus. I can still perform, even though I am not a musical theatre major anymore. I still get to take piano and voice lessons. My professors know me by name and are willing to help me in any way they can. This is a great environment for my to be in at this stage in my career. However, there have been some pretty crazy surprises in my schedule for the next year. It turns out I'll be graduating after three years of college. I am not doing this on purpose, why would I try to speed up growing up? But it is virtually pointless for me to stay here a fourth year, unless I decided to pick up a minor or another major. So, I will graduate in the Spring of 2013 and hopefully, be attending law school soon after. Yep, you heard right, law school. I honestly just decided on law school this summer. I want to be able to provide for myself and for my family. I don't want to depend on my husband (if I ever get one) for money. I want to use my brain power for the rest of my life. I know that I can excel in whatever I try to do, but this change is going to be a scary one. Life seems to be moving so fast and I can't believe that the end of school is so close. I know I'll still have law school for a few years, but after that it's real life! I am excited and scared and worried and elated that all of this is happening right now. I just have to keep my eyes on the goal, keep making good grades and hope for the best!


Lauren



food for thought: "When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge."- Tuli Kupferberg

woah, that's neat: www.loseit.com << A really neat weight-loss site!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Measurement Myths

So, measurement in social media is a big deal. How are we supposed to know if foraying into the Facebook world or starting up a Twitter account are benefiting our company? I recently started reading Katie Paine's book Measure What Matters and it is chock-ful of insight for the new ways we need to start measuring our online data. I love that Paine says that there are so many other ways to measure social media success besides ROI. Companies now need to set more specific and measurable goals to meet. A great part of Paine's first chapter is the many myths that surround measurement. I think this is a great topic to learn as a student, because I don't really use measurement much in my daily life. When I go to the workforce however, it's going to be extremely important that I use measurement correctly and know the bias's I will face when it comes to measurement in the future. Paine's list has seven myths that she has come across in her years as an evaluator:

#1: Measurement=Punishment
#2: Measurement Will Only Create More Work for Me
#3: Measurement is Expensive
#4: You Can't Measure the ROI, so Why Bother?
#5: Measurement is Strictly Quantitative
#6: Measurement is Something You Do When a Program is Over
#7: "I Know What's Happening: I Don't Need Research"

Some of these myths really made me angry because it amazes me that people actually think this way. Measuring the success or failure of a program will help in so many ways than one. Telling a manager that a program isn't working and showing them the results isn't going to get you punished. If anything it will help you get a raise because you are helping the company be more profitable. And in today's world full of technology measuring has become easier and cheaper than ever before. Just because measurement can be expensive, it's probably a better investment than wasting all of your money on unsuccessful programs. I think myth's five and six hit close to home for me. I have never been able to think of measurement as anything other than quantitative data, so that will definitely help in the future. And evaluation has seemed to be an end result for most people. In our RACE model, evaluation comes at the end of a project. Measuring is so important throughout the process of a campaign. It is important and beneficial that Paine dispelled these myths because they will help all of us future evaluators in the long run!


Lauren



food for thought: "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent."- Eleanor Roosevelt

woah, that's neat: http://www.fredflare.com/ << One of my favorite stores for buying cute gifts and unique knick knacks.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Social Breakdown

So, I haven't had internet access on my phone for about two weeks. I can't get on Facebook. I can't get on Twitter. I can't check in on my FourSquare. Life is pretty rough right now. But, in reality, I can't tell if this is such a bad coincidence at all. I always seem to be on Twitter when I'm bored in class, or replying to Facebook messages. I find myself being more productive and getting more things done. True, I can't reply to the funny tweet that my friend posted about something relevant that day. I can't get my daily fix of Disney quotes, but this break from social media has been wonderful. Sometimes the amount of information that you receive in one day can be tough. Not only that, but sometimes I feel almost forced to make sure I tweet enough in one day, or make sure my Facebook status is updated regularly or that I am checked in everywhere I go on FourSquare. It is taxing to keep up with all of my social networks at one time! Now I see why it is so important for companies to keep up with their networks as often and as much as possible. If I was my own company, with my phone broken down I couldn't see what my friends are saying about me or to me at this moment. I wouldn't be able to update my Facebook as regularly as possible. I am also really surprised at how much my phone is a part of my life. I do so much on it and always have it on me. I feel naked without my phone in my hand or close by. As humans I think we feel the need to be in constant contact with people, but sometimes we truly need a break. I'm glad that my phone isn't working at the moment. Yes, sometimes it's annoying when I get on my computer and have 50 new tweets, but I'll get back on the social media train soon. For now I'm gonna kick back and relax and finally finish reading that book I've always wanted to instead of reading my Twitter feed.


Lauren


food for thought: "If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies." - Anonymous

woah, that's neat: www.studyblue.com << A great website for making online flashcards and study tools!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

All Hallow's Eve

So, Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday. Notice the all caps? That was on purpose, because I am so obsessed with Halloween. You're probably thinking something along the lines of Mean Girls. "Oh Lauren, you just like Halloween because you can dress is slutty clothes and get away with it." I mean, there is some appeal to this aspect of Halloween but that isn't just it. Halloween has so many really neat traditions and history. Like candy corn, pumpkin carving, trick or treating and all of the ghouls and monsters we associate with Halloween. Halloween even has other counterparts in other parts of the world. El dia de los muertos in most Latin American countries is very similar to our Halloween. Halloween always has a sense of mystery and mischief. You get to be someone else for a night, whether you're a ghost, or a power ranger or a character from Alice in Wonderland. You get to partake in all of the things that you normally can't do during the year. You can hoard candy. You can be a masked character that no one knows. You can throw eggs or toilet paper peoples houses (although I do not advise doing this I feel like this has been in every Halloween movie I've ever seen). Monsters like Frankenstein and Dracula come from the dead to haunt us and scare us for one night a year. We take so much pleasure in being frightened this one night and then the next morning all the monsters are gone from view. I can't wait for Halloween. I can't wait for the little kids to come to my dorm room door for candy. I can't wait to dress up. This year I'm going to be a day of the dead doll and a vampire. I got custom fangs to put in. I also bought a Halloween vest for Monday. Halloween is my one time to go all out, and I'm definitely ready to howl at the moon this weekend!


Lauren


food for thought: "When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, 'tis near Halloween." - Anonymous

woah, that's neat: www.favim.com/image/60503/<< This is my Friday night Halloween costume. Told you I went all out!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The ROI Problem

So, I just had the opportunity to watch a really great webinar. It posed 15 questions to 30 social media thought leaders. A topic that really interests me has been how to measure the ROI of social media integration. This seems to be a problem that everyone faces when using social media. It's difficult to physically measure how much  money a single tweet can rake in or how that Facebook "like" really affected your sales. In the webinar, Heather Wholing pointed out that you need to measure your social media successes based on bigger business goals. You can't use a one size fits all metric system because it is so difficult to really measure the specific impact of only a few tweets or facebook posts. She does point out however, that it is easier than ever to track results of a campaign.  Analytics tools are essential to figuring out how many viewers or followers you have. This is a difficult way to measure however because views doesn't always mean that you're making money back. I however feel that we shouldn't take such a literal minded approach to the ROI from social media. If you are using social media in a creative way and using it to reach your key publics, you are always making a good investment. A company is based on making money, but they should also value social media's ability to harbor conversations. These conversations increase customer relations and the ability to create future consumers. I love that social media is bringing back a social science approach to analytics. Because it is so hard to figure out the actual ROI of social media I think that new and cooler technologies will come around to track customers spending habits. I'm excited to see where researchers and software developers take the ROI problem.


Lauren Tennet


food for thought: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." - Pablo Picasso

woah, that's neat: www.swiss-miss.com/2010/02/rainbow-pancakes.html << I want to make these SO bad!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Twitter Bird

So, I found this article on theNextWeb.com detailing a contest of ugly twitter birds. These birds are hilarious illustrations of all of the ways the twitter bird could've gone wrong. I think this is a great way to show how much this social media site has changed out lives and how even social media platforms need to be branded. Had the twitter bird icon been different, would we have reacted to the site differently? I feel like we could have! I honestly can not think of the facebook logo not being in that boxy type with a blue background and I can't imagine my blogger icon not being that weird-fonted orange thing. How did they even go about picking a bird as their icon? Branding for websites seems to encompass so many of the same things that businesses must worry about. They have to pick a catchy url, a really great layout and cool features. Just like a business these sites have help centers for customer service and constantly update to keep modernized.I have never really thought of social media sites needing branding because they seem to help with the branding of so many other businesses. It is so necessary to keep these sites updated and modernized so that fans of these sites stick around. Who wants to be using the interface of yesterday?


Lauren Tennet


food for thought: "Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun."- George Scialabra

woah, that's neat: www.weartodaygonetomorrow.com << A neat site like "bag borrow or steal" but for clothes! Just rent for a week and send back... pretty cool idea.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Missing Home

So, I never thought this day would come, but I seriously miss Ada, Ohio. I miss the biting cold wind. I miss the non-stop chatter in the sorority house. I miss walking to class with friends. I miss rehearsals. I miss meetings. I miss fraternity parties. I miss waking up in the morning dreading to go to my 8 AM lab. I miss the groggy car rides to my 8 AM lab. I miss eating lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with my sisters. I miss going to my friend Derek's house to goof around on a school night. I miss late night White Bear runs. I miss quick trips to the convenience store when I have no time to eat a meal. I miss staying up later and talking with my room mate to all hours of the morning. I miss laying in bed and reading my book with my side lamp. I miss my bill boards. I miss my mini-fridge. I miss Internet that actually works. I miss the quiet nights where the stars shine brightly. I miss the black swans, the geese, the ducks and the new white farm ducks. I miss my professors. I even miss my classes. It is really funny that only being away for two weeks has made me so "home sick." I never thought that I could call Ada, Ohio my home, but for these next four years it will be. I will have so much in common with the people that I meet there. I will learn so much from the classes that I take. I can't wait to go home tomorrow. It is really, really true that absence makes the heart grow fonder.



Lauren


food for thought: "Steve Iseman, the Dumbledore of the public relations field."- My dear friend, Joseph Sasak

woah, that's neat: www.gethuman.com <<  A really sweet website that takes you through all the automated voice systems so you can actually talk to a REAL person.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Social Media Etiquette

So, I think our generation is becoming ruined by social media. Nowadays we tweet at whomever we feel like we have any sort of connection with. I recently had a conversation with a peer who stated that he hated when people direct message him whenever they have just had a handshake, and I can't agree more. Facebook and Twitter have desensitized our relationships. We feel like any person we have spoken to once warrants a Facebook friend request or a Twitter follow. I am completely at fault about this as well. I think that we are so eager to be friends with everyone and not really strengthen or deepen relationships with people. We judge them from their profile pictures or get annoyed by their over sharing tweets. I think that the best way to get around this subject is the new social media "circles" being introduced. If I add someone on Facebook or Google+ I think that I will start to place them in a category labeled "professional." I think the use of these filters will really help with my interactions with these people. I can share the things that I think are considered professional or pertinent to the field of public relations. Not everyone needs to know that I am going to a concert over the weekend or that I will be at home over break. I just wish that Twitter would institute this circle tactic. I would love it if I could have filters labeled, "PR", "News," "Celebrities", and "Friends." So when does adding or following go to far? I think that a direct message or chat is too personal for someone I have only had a brief conversation with. A mention on Twitter is completely fine for a presentational speaker, a celebrity or even a shout out to a new acquaintance. I think that we just have to be careful to not go too far and consider new people best friends on social media right off the bat. We need to have just as much concern with exposure as ever before. Who knows who these people have connections to or who they are friends with? I need to get on reorganizing my Facebook and Twitter settings to make sure that I'm not over sharing or annoying people who could be new professional connections!



Lauren


food for thought: "It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall"- Mexican Proverb

woah, that's neat: www.straightupheadlines.com << An amazing news site that accumulates many news sites top stories onto one site

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Social Media Movements

So, today I went to the most amazing session at PRSSA National Conference. There was a wonderful speaker from Brains of Fire named Geno Church. I went into the session thinking it would be your typical social media talk. "Well, Facebook is really neat for these reasons: blah blah blah and you know Twitter is a really cool interface too. Foursquare is a great way to....blah blah blah etc." I already know enough about Social Media. I'm a Generation Y baby for crying out loud! Geno Church however, blew me away. He barely even reference social media. The only real time he spoke about using it was when he wrote the acronym "WTF" in the Wordpress, Twitter and Facebook logos. Church encouraged us aspiring practitioners to create movements. Campaigns have an end, they're sort of like an off and on switch. Campaigns are wars with our customers, trying to change their perceptions of us by force and with useless and impersonal tactics. A movement however, inspires change. It encourages our followers to take it upon themselves to spread our message. A movement is like a volume dial, sometimes it is just a hum in the background while at other times it is as loud as possible. I loved this way of thinking. So many times in PR we do things because we're told to and because it is the "norm." We are encouraged to make a Facebook and a Twitter and a blog because we are "PR people" and that is just what we do. I want to make a difference and a change in this profession. We need to start crafting REALLY compelling and personal messages with our customers. We truly need to have conversations with them. They are the ones crafting our messages, we just need to set up the basic principles and let our customers run with it. They are the ones who will help to advocate us in the long run and who will be the ones promoting us through word of mouth. It we can make a movement sexy or life-changing or just worth sharing I think that is a step in the right direction. Mr. Church's talk today really made me realize why I am so excited to be in this field. We are creating and truly maintaining conversations. I am so excited to see where my profession takes me.



Lauren Tennet


food for thought: "One must never look for happiness: one meets it by the way"- Isabelle Eberhardt

woah, that's neat: http://wonderopolis.org/ << a movement that Mr. Church set up to encourage literacy and connect teachers, parents and students

Friday, October 14, 2011

Where Dreams Really Do Come True

So, I'm currently in Orlando, Florida for our National PRSSA conference. I am so excited to be here and I am so excited for what this week is going to hold. I love to learn, and the conference presentations look really great. I can't wait to attend the Fashion and Entertainment seminars, because we don't really discuss these PR careers at my school. Yesterday we went to Disneyworld, a.k.a the most wonderful place on Earth. It was my sixth time to go to the park and it never ever loses its magic. This was the first time I have gone without any sort of family or chaperone around. It was great to pick whatever attractions I wanted to go to or park hop wherever I wanted. We went to three out of the four parks yesterday: Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and, my personal favorite, Epcot. Disneyworld never ceases to amaze me. The staff there is always courteous and the atmosphere is always so welcoming. I never feel rushed or pushed around at Disneyworld. They have truly built an atmosphere of pleasing and helping people. What I love the most about Disneyworld is that they care so much about inviting there audiences to play. Whenever you walk through a line for a ride, the decorations always reflect what's instore for your ride. On Star Tours there are robots that interact with you, before Toy Story Midway Mania Mr. Potato head picks out kids to chat with and before you get on Tower of Terror videos explain the past to you. At the Epcot world pavilions they hire people from the native countries and encourage them to speak in their native languages. Disney is all about the experience. They care so much about their reputation as a company and care about their customers. They have built up a brand that will live on for generations because of their great customer service and fantasy worlds. I love Disney more than anything and I can not wait until I have children that I can take there!!


Lauren


food for thought: "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."- Walt Disney

woah, that's neat: http://www.dubstepeden.com/2011/06/08/skrillex-the-mothership-download-mediafire-zshare-zippyshare/ <<  A sweet Skrillex download for all you fans out there :]

Friday, October 7, 2011

Changing Times

So, it is amazing how much social media has affected Public Relations practices in these past few years. I can't believe all of the advances that have happened in only a short time. Twitter, FourSquare and a ton of other Social Media sites seem to have just sprung into being. What is the coolest part though is that all of these sites are about forging relationships. Twitter is used to follow friends and see what they're thinking or doing. Facebook helps you keep in touch. FourSquare allows you to be a creeper and see every move your friends make. What I love most is how social media has affected PR. Public Relations has always been about getting in touch with people. As PR practicioners we seek to have relationships with our target publics, and social media is a great way to keep in touch! Brian Solis puts it greatly when he says, "...it was also an opportunity for those who didn't buy into this process of PR, to find a new channel to connect with people and get back to the basixs, which was all about cultivating relationships.' PR has and always will be about relationships." It is convenient for people to use technology. It is fun for people to use technology.  People have now gained back the voice that they once lost. We directly get to contact those who love our brands or hate them. Social media provides with so many great opportunities to contact all of those in the great open market that is the internet!


Lauren Tennet



food for thought: "Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all."- Stanley Horowitz

woah, that's neat: www.livingsocial.com << If you don't already use Living Social START!! It's such an awesome website for getting deals all around your town!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Weather in Ada

So, this may seem like a really lame post, but I am seriously in love with this weather we are having. For the past few days the sun has been out and the grass has been so green. The leaves are all starting to turn. This is totally my favorite time of the year. Fall always brings back so many memories. It remind me of apple cider, hay rides, Halloween and snuggling. You can smell fall on the air and hear it in every crunch of a leaf that you step on. It makes me miss my old convertible, because on days when the sun was shining and the wind was just right I would go ride around Houston with the top down. I've been making sure to keep my blinds open these past few days, because I know that winter is coming soon. I really wish it could stay like this forever. Then again, if it was this nice all the time, I don't think I would appreciate it as much. I think that's why God made the Fall and the Spring. They're the most wonderful times of the year and I appreciate them so much.

I'm really excited for these next couple of weeks of my life too. This weekend I get to go home to see all of my wonderful friends and family. I've really missed Texas, and it will be nice to get to see everyone, even if it's only for a few days. Then next week I'm going to be attending the PRSSA National Conference in Orlando Florida. I am SUPER pumped to go and learn so many wonderful new things about PR. Then when I return I'm going to dayglow, the weekend after that is homecoming and the weekend after that I'm going to see one of my favorite DJs- Skrillex. My life is jam packed full of wonderful things right now, but lets just hope I can stay on top of my school work!



Lauren



Food for thought: "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."- Steve Jobs

woah, that's neat: http://i.imgur.com/0Vv1j.jpg << a hilarious comic in honor of the late and great Steve Jobs :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Twitter Rampage

So, today I retweeted an article that sounded interesting to me on Twitter. It was called "The 5 Most Annoying Things People do on Twitter." It sounded like a great article, because sometimes people truly do some very annoying things on Twitter. I couldn't access the article through my Blackberry, but when I got to my computer I checked it out. Upon reading the article I realized that a lot of the things the author was saying were "annoying" were actually the opposite of the case. Here is my take on Dave LeClair's article.

1. LeClair first says that it is annoying when people constantly hashtag. He also thinks that when people do extremely long hashtags that it is annoying. I have to disagree with LeClair. Hashtags are one of the most important facets of Twitter. It is how companies track their brand name. It is how journalists find information about breaking news.  Hashtags allow the community of twitter to trend topics that are important or even funny. Although long hashtags may be annoying, I agree with LeClair on this point, they still have their place on twitter. I personally use hashtags in almost all of my tweets. Sometimes the are jokes, but a lot of times they are used to partake in conversations in the twitter-verse.

2. LeClair next says that people who follow thousands of people are in the wrong. He thinks that this is some weird ploy that if you follow thousands of people, they will follow you in return. I think this is bogus. Sometimes you like to follow a lot of people. My ratio of followers to following is almost equal. It's important to me to know what my followers are saying so that I can participate in conversations with them and react to what they have to say about me. Also, not all of the people I follow are the people following me, in fact, I would say most of the people I follow are not following me. Just because some follows thousands of people does not make them an "annoying" tweeter. Why does that even matter to LeClair anyways? It's not like people are flaunting the people they follow, they are flaunting the number of people that follow them.

3. OK, I have to agree with this next point. I absolutely hate it when people have discussions on Twitter... or any other social medium for that matter. People do not need to know your entire conversation with your best friend. Two or three witty tweets are fine, but seriously, if you are making dinner plans via Twitter, I really don't care.

4. I think that LeClair's statement in this has some validation. People are pretty annoying if all they do it retweet. However, I don't think retweeting all the time is necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes I like to retweet a lot of things about a certain news story or event I'm going to. Maybe it is annoying to my followers... but they can just skip my tweet. A tweet is less than 130 characters. It does not take that much energy or time to read a little blurb. Who knows? Maybe amidst the many retweets someone does there is an amazing story hidden in there.

5. LeClair's last point is that it is annoying when someone uses Twitter purely for advertising. He backs it up by saying if someone is following this person going in knowing that that's what the Twitter is used for then it is OK. I think this is a great statement. Twitter is not just an advertising tool. If you want people to look at your stuff, then you better interact with them. If you retweet a link to a cool tool or a neat product, tell people what you think about it. Don't just blindly post links. But, on the other hand, Twitter is a great promotion tool. You can reach thousands of people by putting in the correct hashtags or links.


Overall, I did have a few problems with this article. LeClair seems to attack many of the fundamental principles of what Twitter is. I also think that it is bogus for someone to tell you how to use your Twitter. If you are doing stuff that people don't like then you won't have followers. If you have interesting tweets, they can have a million hashtags or be only retweets for all I care. I follow people on twitter for their individual content, whether or not they are doing some of LeClair's supposedly "annoying" methods.



Lauren


food for thought: "Breathe.  Let go.  And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure." Oprah Winfrey


woah, that's neat: http://www.c3presents.com/ << I haven't really been able to find any cool websites or web-junk lately... but this is a company I would LOVE to get an internship with in the future!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How Social Media will Change the World

So, we just finished Real Time Marketing & PR by David Scott. I found this book to be very influential and insightful into how companies should be using social media and online tools. These real-time tools are essential to the growth of a company's brand name and reputation. The book ended with a big bang too, telling readers many success stories of how real-time tools have helped many people. I think businesses would be surprised how well online tools can help them. People are doing amazing things with social media and a great example from the book is Amanda Palmer. Palmer is a singer and was stuck in Iceland during the volcano a few years ago. Instead of whining and moping in the airport, Palmer went straight to her social media following- asking for rides and places to stay. She set up a concert in only a few hours and got free drinks to boot. If companies took every opportunity they could to use real-time media, the corporate world would change rapidly. I think that consumers would become more well-informed. Not only that, but consumers would have more allegiance to their brands because of the statements and interaction companies have with them. In a world that is moving a hundred miles a minute, it is important for companies to keep up the pace. The corporations must realize that we are moving back to the days of old where interactions are essential. People are saying things online about companies and these companies need to take notice!


Lauren


food for thought: "Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away."- Arthur Helps

woah, that's neat: http://rcrdlbl.com/ << A really cool site with free music downloads!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Public Relations Love

So, I love my major. I love the possibilities that I have with Public Relations. Everyone, every company, every person, needs to have an image that they portray to audiences. Every industry needs Public Relations professionals to carry on an image or a brand, to respond to crisis, to drive web traffic. I can't wait to see where my major takes me. At first, I thought I wanted to work in corporate PR for an oil company. Oil has been the only thing I've known my whole life, and the crisis and law aspect are so interesting to me. Then I thought about my artsy and creative side. So I moved on to PR for theatres. They always need help in selling seats or bringing in artists. It's so important to bring in audiences and donations in theatres and since I was a theatre major, I think I would have a passion for that. Now, my interests have changed again. At the moment, and I'm SURE this is going to change, I'd love to work for a music event company. Some company like C3, Insomniac or DayGlow would bring me so much joy. A) I love music, B) concerts and events are what I thrive on and C) these companies host events across the US (and even the globe). Music is such a huge part of my life and I have always loved throwing dance parties. I think being a PR major and working in (or starting up) a company like this would be so wonderful. But really, who knows? There are so many possibilities and options open to me. I've met people who do PR for the agriculture industry, the food industry, the travel industry,  the fashion industry and even the sports industry. I know that this major will prove fruitful to me in the future. I have so many opportunities to network with professionals and to pursue areas of interest. I can't wait to see where life and PR take me!


Lauren



food for thought: "Hakuna Matata."- Timon and Pumba

woah, that's neat: www.reddit.com << I know a lot of you know this website. I am obsessed with all of the subreddits that are available!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PRSSA Video


So, for my social media and Public Relations class we had to make a video to represent PRSSA! Here is my video and I hope you guys enjoy it. It is pretty plain and straightforward... nothing too fancy. Just wanted to give a general overview about what PRSSA is about. It leaves something to the imagination... doesn't it?


Lauren



food for thought: "Pretending that we live doesn't make us alive." Serj Tankian

woah, that's neat: http://vimeo.com/15489389 << An amazing docmentary about music changing
Cuba. Please take the time to watch it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Personal Bubble

So, I feel like corporate America has become to full of themselves. After reading a few chapters in David Scotts, Real Time Marketing and PR I've realised how out of touch so many companies have become. They are literally dinosaurs. All of the little mom and pop shops out there know how they should interact with their customers. They are continually thanking their customers for their business, because they know without them they would flop. Huge corporations now are starting to take advantage of our business. We need to become smarter consumers. We can't keep letting companies with poor customer service degrade us and make us wait hours for a phone operator or jump through loopholes to get something fixed. In today's economy we have so many options available at our disposal, I don't see why people aren't switching loyalties to have the best experience they can. If a company is contiually shutting you down or ignoring you... why would you even want to be associated with them? If we have friends who treat us like crap we aren't going to be friends with them anymore, so why is it so different with companies? Companies need to learn to put a human face on their giant industries. They need to let customer service help you out instead of given the chosen few some "perks." It is all the more important to reach out to current customers today when there are so many options available. I just hope when I am starting to interact more with corporate America that they will start to actually want to value me.


Lauren


food for thought: "Action makes more fortune than caution."- Charlotte Whitton

woah, that's neat: http://yourhau5.blogspot.com/ << I hate to shamelessly plug, but this is a new blog I started up for my interest in electronic music. I do wish and hope that you will follow it :]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Recent Facebook Changes Upsetting Users

So, Facebook has been making a lot of changes lately. They most recently changed the chat bar on the side of the screen and many of my friends have been complaining lately. The chat bar now features a Twitter like updating station where you can see all of your friends most recent activities on Facebook. When you scroll over the picture in this sidebar you can actually see the conversation taking place between people commenting on each other statuses or posting on others walls. The format for viewing pictures has changed as well as many new capabilities in photo "tagging." There are new status bars for "recent stories" versus "top stories". I've also noticed that facebook has been starting to add some of the features that Google plus came up with. You can now set privacy settings like "acquaintance" or "family." This sounds and looks very similar to Google+ social circle system. I think that by the recent popularity of Google+ and other new upcoming social media sites, Facebook is starting to get scared. The onslaught of all of these changes is leaving users stressed out from having to figure out what everything is every week. Although these things have all left users distressed, the new technology is pretty incredible. Facebook now has smart lists and preferences your chats through who you interact with the most. Also the idea of a cleaner looking page with groups and lists on the side is a great way to categorize who you interact with. I'm very excited for the changes coming in Social Media- but Facebook seriously needs to let up on the changes.


Lauren



food for thought: "You have to dream before your dreams can come true."- Abdul Kalam

woah, that's neat: http://hypem.com/#!/popular << One of my new favorite websites for listening to new music online!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Show Must Go On

So, my show is over! This weekend was our schools performance of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and it was wonderful. The show is A) hilarious and B) so much fun to be in. Its about a group of misfit kids who enter a spelling bee with crazy hosts, lively music and funny situations. I was so lucky to be a part of this show. It was really one of my first times to ever really be showcased as a lead, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to shine! I was also extremely lucky because my school brought in an outside director for the show. She is from New York and was such a great creative mind to work with. She was always prepared for rehearsals and always expected the cast to do their best. She was the reason that the show was so well put together. She had great vision and worked with us until everything was perfect. During the run of the show this weekend and during some of our later rehearsals she cried a lot. She showed how much she cared about us and how proud she was of our advancements as performers and people. I know that I grew as a performer from working with her! She forced us to be smart, thinking actors and to pursue excellence. The cast was also so perfect. Every person fit their character well and ran with their funny quirks. One of the characters was supposed to be extremely ADHD and you would've honestly thought that this kid was in real life too. He was so believably funny and well-cast. The performances this weekend were stressful, but so worth it. In total I had six performances from last Thursday to this Sunday, and spent an accumulated 50 hours in the theatre this past week. I don't think people sometimes realize how much work we put into productions. The kids on our campus that are in athletics always complain about a two hour practice or having to go work-out at the gym. I'm not saying that they don't have dedication or that their schedules aren't difficult, but I literally will be in a theatre for five hours a night sometimes in rehearsals. Its a difficult process to put on a show, but the end outcome is so perfect. The audiences that came to see our show ate it up. They laughed with us and cried with us and had an all around great time. I was so excited because my mom and grandparents had a chance to fly up to come see it! They came to five out of the six shows, and it was nice knowing that I always had fans in the audience. This was a bit of a bittersweet performance, because I don't know when the next time I will get to perform in a show will be. I've dropped my Musical Theatre major and will now just be pursuing Public Relations. Although I may not be taking up theatre as a career anymore, I will never stop performing. The thrill I get from singing, dancing and acting is too much for me to ever let go. But, for now it is on to the next big project that I can get my hands in to!


Lauren



food for thought: "All men of action are dreamers." - James Huneker

woah, that's neat: http:/www.videojug.com/tag/accents << For all of you aspiring actors out there! This is a great place to work on your accents :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Want You to Take Over Control

So, companies need to stop being old fashioned. Our world is changing, and it is changing fast. In David Scott's, Real-Time Marketing & PR he stresses the fact that companies need to take action fast. There are so many opportunities in today's virtual world to make an impact. Every important and shocking event or viral video provides some sort of opportunity for some niche market. What I find so surprising is that the people that are making the most impact online are not the huge corporate giants that we associate business with. It's the little people, specialty craft-shops, interesting new music artists and people that have passions for the weirdest things. The Internet has become a specialty shop that caters to different people. What the big companies need to learn is that when an opportunity arises they need to strike. As Scott says, companies need to start letting their employees act like adults and take steps to help the company expand its horizons. In the case of United Breaks Guitars, Dalton cases and Taylor Guitars grasped a prime opportunity to expand their businesses. Now, not every single viral video can be capitalized on, but I truly believe that monitoring the web is essential to a company's relevance today. While big business still reigns in America, it seems like it is the little guys who really have it figured out. Hopefully corporate America will take some steps to modernize themselves and grasp the many opportunities available to them on-line!



Lauren


food for thought: "Independent media can go to where the silence is and break the sound barrier, doing what the corporate networks refuse to do"- Amy Goodman

woah, that's neat: http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/06/100-portraits-of-iconic-people-of-all-time/ << An awesome article about photography of iconic people and history (two of my favorite things) :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Social Media Site

So, there is a new social media site that I am really excited about. This new site is called "Ayloo" and it has a really neat premise. This site builds off of the premise of creating conversations. People can join feeds about anything, say theatre or photography, and if a feed isn't available you can create one. Whenever you post something in one of these feeds it not only contacts the other people following this interest, but also the people you are friends with. One of the coolest features that I've found is the "sprout" option. You can take a comment someone makes and then sprout another idea off of it! Ayloo also has privacy features like Google +'s circle function, you create lists of people that can see specific things or comment on things that you set for them. The sites layout is also extremely stream-lined and cute. I am really excited about the possibilities of this site. It allows you to express yourself through blog form and to reach the target audiences that matter to you most. Users are able to interact on subjects that they are truly passionate about, which is awesome. The new advances in Social media are remarkable. There are so many exciting sites out there to try out. I don't know if I will be joining Ayloo, but its presence is definitely exciting to the Social Media Sphere!


Lauren


food for thought: "You cannot avoid peace by avoiding life" - Virginia Woolf

woah, that's neat: www.ayloo.net < here is the link to Ayloo! I suggest you try it out. I know I'm gonna snoop around it!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Delta Zeta Bid Day

So, yesterday was Bid Day for my sorority. If you know absolutely nothing about Greek Life, this is the day when we get our new members. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to any of the events to meet the girls because of rehearsals for the show I'm in. But, yesterday I was able to attend a portion of the wonderful welcoming of our new sisters. The day started off with the reading of the list of our new members on the porch, we then proceeded to make them posters and bags of goodies. When we got to King Horn to see the girls, the excitement in the room was enthralling. Everyone was taking pictures and smiling all over the place. Getting these new girls (and our RGs) is almost like Christmas. They are each gifts to our sorority! When they finally ran into our huge group of women cheering for them I understood why I'm part of this sorority. It truly is a family that loves you no matter what. My sisters are always there with a hug and a smile when I'm down. We have fun together. We laugh together. We live together. I just hope that our new members take this experience and run with it. Being in a sorority can be frustrating at times (I have never really been a big "girly-girl") but it is so worth it in the long run. Sisters are forever, and I'm so glad that we have a new group of girls to show that to!



Lauren


food for thought: "A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life"

woah, that's neat: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/ << okay, so I'm totally into food blogs right now and this one is WONDERFUL. The pictures are gorgeous and the recipes look so yummy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

There Will be Blood

So, I recently watched the movie "There will be Blood". It was A) an absolutely phenomenal movie (everyone should watch it) and B) actually had a cool lesson about Public Relations in it. You may think this is sort of a stretch, but Daniel Day Lewis's character was a very brilliant, if not conniving, PR man. He used what he had to his advantage. The character had an absolutely adorable son that he would take around with him to influence property owner's. He also used his son to portray a "family-man" image, making land sellers more inclined to use his services. Lewis's character also showed up to every well he had in progress. He wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty or to work hard for what he wanted. Lewis also made sure to converse and make himself known to the people in the towns he worked in. He held "press conferences" where the whole town showed up and he interacted with the locals. At one point in the movie he even buys a little girl a dress. Although in the end Lewis was extremely corrupt, I think this movie had a great story about the way PR used to work. People had to set out to create their own distinct images, just like they do today. Lewis's character set himself apart with a completely different image and mentality than other oil men at the time. He wasn't afraid to work with his men, showing that he truly cared about the business. He made himself available to the people in his town. These tactics were all used to Lewis's benefit (even if he did manipulate the townspeople slightly). As PR practicioners today we must use the resources we have at our fingertips to reach our audiences and create new images for ourselves.

Lauren


food for thought: "Lost time is never found again"- Benjamin Franklin

woah, that's neat: http://www.nutelladay.com/nutella-recipes/ < Um, world Nutella day? Can't wait to make every single one of these recipes

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Viral Infection

So, Youtube is really great. It is always so fun to go online with your friends and share funny videos you've found. Videos found on Youtube even have effects on our culture. Rebecca Black's viral video: "Friday" became a hit and now has over 7 million views on youtube. Even though Black is not talented (in my opinion) she still has managed to perform at the VMAs and make an album, all through her viral youtube video. This isn't the only person who has managed this, the evolution of dance guy, Chocolate Rain's "Tay Zonday", cute sneezing panda and many other videos have all had their time in the spotlight. In The New Rules of Marketing and PR Scott states that viral videos are a great way to gain publicity for your company. I cannot agree more with this statement, however I think that a "viral" video should not be a companies goal. Millions upon millions of views isn't targeting a specific audience, its just providing entertainment of some sort. Also, many of the people who are the stars of viral videos only have ten minutes of fame. Whatever happened to Scarlett from Scarlet takes a tumble? Has David from "David goes to the dentist" all grown up? A company that strives for a viral video will only gain ten minutes of fame. To properly use videos I think that a company should strive for quality contacts through the use of video. They can contact those that are truly interested in their services and interact with them in a way never before seen. Like Scott says, "There is a feedback loop that didn't exist before." You never know who is going to see your postings or who will react to what. I think it is also impossible make a video go viral. If it is a successful, entertaining video that has some lasting impression on people, it will be a hit. But intentionally creating a video to go viral will never work. Just put out into the Youtube sphere whatever stuff you can come up with and see how it works. Hey, its free, and who knows who its going to reach!


Lauren


food for thought: "Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward." - Victor Kiam

woah, that's neat: www.reddit.tv < New to me!! A sub-reddit with videos :]

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

You are what you Eat

So, my schools cafeteria is awful and everyone knows it. Everyone dreads eating at "MAC." The food is either super greasy or completely unappealing. The meals they serve are made up of mystery meat, colorless vegetables and TONS of carbs. No wonder people on campus complain about putting on weight. We have absolutely no healthy options available to us. You may disagree and say, "Oh, but ONU has a salad bar." I agree that eating at the salad bar is a good option, but only if the vegetables are fresh. Half the time I'm eating wilted spinach with over-ripe cherry tomatoes and soggy cucumbers. I may seem to be overreacting- but if I'm paying so much money for a meal plan that I don't even want, I should at least get to eat something appetizing. It seems that the only things people enjoy eating in MAC are the desserts and pasta. Bread, bread and more bread. There have been times where I have walked through the lunch hall and gotten sick to my stomach looking at my options. I just don't know what can be done to change this.... Could student senate bring something up? Should someone talk to the president? I hate to rag on MAC, but its the only place we have to eat on campus. I'm a poor college student and shouldn't have to be wasting my money on meals off-campus or using my extra dining dollars every day. I just hope by the time I graduate things in the eating hall change. I can't stand one more day of peanut butter and bananas or cereal for lunch.


Lauren


food for thought: "The best way out is always through"- Robert Frost

woah, that's neat: www.piccsy.com << Another website like pinterest, however this is geared more toward the "tumblr" crowd

Friday, September 2, 2011

Facebook

So, Facebook changed the way my generation looks at Social Media. At this point in time, Facebook serves as a home base for most of our online lives. You have a profile, you have friends, you can show your likes and dislikes. People flock to facebook because it is easy to use and has loads of new interesting features that have sprung up in the past few years. Chat is now available one on one, but also in group settings. You can play games through Facebook and even access other websites through your facebook account. Facebook is also a great tool for businesses, believe it or not. Businesses are able to use Facebook to directly interact with their customers. They release information, stories and pictures about their business. Heck, even my University has a Facebook! Musicians sell merchandise through facebook and release concert dates. Nowadays if you don't have a facebook, something is wrong with either you as a person or you as a company. It is the new way to keep in touch with clients, old friends and new acquaintances. Facebook has changed our Social Media landscape completely, but I think they need to make some changes to compete with the new up-and-comers. Google + (which I have yet to be invited to) and Twitter are starting to dominate the media scene. Who knows if the next generation of computer users will flock to Google + and if Facebook will fall. I definitely have to say that the site has lost its "cool" factor to me ever since my mom and grandma got facebooks. Still, it is a powerful tool in the way our society works and has made a huge impact on my life. Facebook me :)

Lauren


food for thought: "We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets"- Marilyn Monroe

woah, that's neat: www.polyvore.com < A site for fashionistas the world over. Create your own outfits, browse through clothes and access new designers!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Can Digg it

So, I have known about the website "Digg" since I was in my Junior year of high school. My best friends would chat in our Theatre 4 class about all the crazy and awesome articles they saw on it. Then whenever I began to look at websites they started to pop up with these little buttons with a D on them. I've been hearing about Digg for years and never fully understood what it was until I entered my Public Relations and Social Media class this year. We've been reading and discussing a book called The New Rules of Public Relations & Marketing. This wonder of a book has opened my eyes to how much the world wide web, and websites like Digg, our changing the way we think of public relations. Traditionally practicioners had to send loads of press releases to the media. But now, we are able to skip these traditional channels with the use of blogs, twitter and other social media devices. Websites like Digg, Technorati, Reddit (my personal favorite) and Mashable are helping journalists develop stories without having to receive thousands of useless press releases. We are in a new era of "pulling" journalists and the media to our stories. We no longer have to push (or beg, if you will) for our stories to make it into major magazines, television shows or newspapers. Not only that, but websites like Digg and Reddit already have thousands of subscribers, so those stories reach readers without even having to touch a traditional media source. I can totally Digg that :)


Lauren

food for thought: "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

woah, that's neat: www.8tracks.com < Do you like music? Then you'll love this website.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Mama, I'm definitely not in Texas anymore

So, I go to school in this tiny village called "Ada." That's right. This is a village, not a town, not a city... a village. I'm used to a city of over six million people running around in cars all day. Here, we're lucky to get a traffic jam when the local high school football team has a game on Friday night. We're surrounded by corn and it takes me over an hour to drive to the closest Target. Still though, there are so many wonderful things about this place. I am never worried about walking around by myself, one thing I can hardly do in my neighborhood back home. I also feel like I know so many people on my campus. If I went to a larger university I wouldn't be able to interact with nearly as many kids. I feel so connected to everyone here. I see the same people in the eating hall (a completely different blog post all together), in class and at parties on the weekends. It's truly a home atmosphere. It may seem a bit like high school, which can be annoying sometimes, but I feel like this small town is an escape from the hectic life I lived back in Houston. I only have eight choices for restaurants, I'm not blowing all of my money on shopping and I am not wasting gas to go get fro-yo every night. The nights on campus are so beautiful this time of year as well. You can see all of the stars and it's so lovely to just go sit on a bench in the middle of campus. There's so much light pollution in Houston that it is almost day time all of the time.

This is a really busy time on campus. . My sorority is about to start recruitment, the local PRSSA chapter just put on a fundraiser and I'm in rehearsals for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. All of the fraternities are throwing really great parties and classes are starting to hand out more and more homework. I can't wait for the semester to get going to make more memories with my friends here and to cram some more knowlegde into my noggin.


Lauren


food for thought: "I don't have the time to hate people that hate me cause I'm too busy loving the people that love me."- Drake

woah, thats neat: www.pinterest.com < a great website to go to when you're bored, an artsy-type or a woman