National Organ Donation Awareness Campaign

I have been given the incredible opportunity to compete with a group of four other Olivet students in the National Organ Donation Awareness Campaign. This campaign has been designed specifically to promote organ and tissue donation awareness and to encourage the discussion between friends and family.

My group and I wanted to reach a broader spectrum than just our college campus. We wanted to expand this idea and further it to the community. My group and I are doing our NODAC campaign within the location of the Kankakee County community. Our official launch day of our campaign will be towards the end of April and we are very excited as the time approaches. One of our main details that we wanted to make sure that we implemented was our faith in Jesus Christ. We all attend a private Christian university and our faith is very important to us. We believe that incorporating our faith into this campaign would be very beneficial and impactful.

Without getting into too many details we are excited to say that we are also partnering with a great Christian nonprofit in the community to help us expand and promote our campaign. Life is better when we do it together. Being able to partner with such a positive, supportive, and active organization in our community is a huge blessing for our campaign. We are also excited to say that we have two other outreach opportunities that we are planning to implement within our campaign surrounded by our Christian faith. There is a huge possibility that we will be having some special guests promote our campaign at one of sites that we are in the process of finalizing. We are sure that these special guests will by far not be strangers to our targeted audience.

As time continues to move forward we also continue to take another step forward accomplishing another strategy and tactic to reach a successful campaign. We are very excited to reveal our overall plan, but without releasing too many spoilers we will patiently wait for the right timing. We look forward to achieving our successful results and for the day of release.

 

Graduation Tips for PR and Communication Graduates

As time continues to get shorter the class of 2017 becomes another step closer to finally put their skills and mindset that they have been studying and practicing for the past three years into action.

Life after college can be an intimidating stage of life. After our freshman we thought that we had almost everything up our sleeve to get us past the next assignment, exam, or even presentation. Unfortunately the college life is almost over and pulling a few “all nighters” will not cut it in the working world.

PR Daily gives great insight to soon to be graduating seniors on what to expect after graduation and how to prepare for life after college.

  1. Experience
    • Having references and connections are great. However, unless you have some type of work relationship with these people having experience is what will take you far in the workforce. Sometimes recent graduates also don’t even have clue on what they think that they want do after college. Putting yourself out there and doing an internship, volunteer project, or even a small side job might give you an idea on what you want to do- or won’t want to do. Either way experience is essential and very beneficial to excelling after graduation. And you never know who you may come in contact with during an experience. You may just meet your future employer to a company that you are absolutely in love with.
  2. Strong Writing Skills
    • If you are in the world of public relations, communications, marketing, or anything business related you will need strong writing skills! Whether you are working on campaigns, speech writing, social media management, brand management, pitching, or any other type of field that you can think of- you will need to be a strong effective writer. One highlighted idea that this article also pointed out was being able to capture the attention of your audience quickly. If you are unable to be creative in any of your written pieces how do you expect your audience to stay engaged? Continue to practice and strengthen your writing skills. Practice makes perfect.
  3. Clean up Your Social Media
    • One of the main purposes that many of us like to use social media for is to keep in touch with those around us. Unfortunately, some people forget that a lot of employers and recruiting companies often look at social media accounts to review their prospective candidates. If your social media account is not a representation of what you want your future employer to see in you then clean it up: delete the pictures, monitor the language, and review the pages that you follow.
  4. Network
    • Networking may seem like an overused word if you’re pretty involved within this environment. However, if you want to try something new or experience a new area of PR or communications how are you going to accomplish that without meeting new people? Network and meet people. Put on your best smile and your best foot forward because people everywhere are looking for someone like you. You just need to go out there and meet them!
  5. Never Stop Learning
    • Sometimes we can get into a habit of getting comfortable and settle. When we settle there is no growth. We are never going to accomplish anything more unless we take the chance of getting uncomfortable every now and then and try something new. Find a new program to learn, advance your marketing techniques, or just stay on top of the new trends. Never stop learning and don’t stay comfortable.

News or Feature Story

Exercise 1

  • Who
    • The Olivet Nazarene University Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Team.
  • What
    • The Swimming and Diving Teams brought home the NAIA national championship title. This was the second time for the men’s and the first time ever for the women’s team. The two teams are the first ever to bring Olivet home a national championship title.
  • When
    • The teams won the national championship on March 4, 2017.
  • Where
    • The national championship meet took place in Columbus, GA.
  • Why
    • The hard work, effort, and self discipline of both the men’s and women’s teams paid off with the reward of winning the national title.
  • How
    • The highly talented teams collaborated and performed the best of their abilities and succeed to the final rounds.

Exercise 2

  • Blind Lead
    • Olivet Nazarene University continues to hold national titles.
  • Umbrella Lead
    • The Olivet Nazarene University Swim Teams bring home the NAIA champion national titles once again.
  • Identification of Impact Lead
    • ONU Swim Team Tigers bleed purple and gold at NAIA nationals bringing home the championship win.
  • Anecdotal Lead
    • Olivet’s men and women’s swim team have trained and prepared all year for this upcoming vital event.
  • Descriptive Lead
    • About exactly a week ago, Olivet Nazarene University’s men and women’s swimming and diving teams forego the NAIA national championships and bring home more than the satisfacion of an award. The men and women’s swimming and diving teams continue to bring Olivet their contribution to national level competition and impact through Christ centered athletics. Both the men and women’s swimming and diving teams brought home many new school records, personal bests, and an overall national win.
  • Quotation Lead
    • “Our greatest team strengths are our hard work, our love, and our passion. The thing that stands out the most is our love and sportsmanship. We know we are the best and we perform that way, but we are humble”, said junior swimmer Austen Marshall.

Mini Multimedia Story Reflection

My most recent project that I have completed for my multimedia storytelling class was to create a mini multimedia story package. During this process I had learned quite a lot about multimedia, storytelling, and the importance of collaboration within a diverse team of communication majors.

My team created a mini multimedia package called Life After Olivet. We wanted to reach an audience of current and future Olivet students. Our main purpose behind creating this specific package was to highlight the importance of one’s college years at Olivet Nazarene University and what to expect upon graduation. During this process we began to work very well with each other from the start. We all have different strengths in our group and we were able to contribute to our overall goal very well because of that. We had two multimedia majors and two public relations majors.

One takeaway that we learned was understanding the importance of not being afraid of trying new things. Half of our team members were already very knowledgeable in the editing and technical side of multimedia. The other half of our team was very trained in the brand development and audience outreach side of communications. Both sides of the team had to learn how to navigate a new site, create attractive content, and develop relationships with recent ONU alumni to help polish off our final product.

One highlighted area of interested that we all were very passionate about was making sure that we had recorded interviews with ONU alumni that were impacted through the university. One difficulty that we came across was the obstacle of distance. We all had significant people that we wanted to interview but distance of current living situations made this a bit difficult. We were able to find an application that let us record Skype interviews online to use for our project. This was such a helpful tool. However, by the time we were able to navigate it well we did not have enough time for the best editing. For future improvement on our final multimedia package, I think it would be best to keep in mind exactly how an application works and how to navigate it ahead of time before we apply it. Overall I am beyond satisfied with my group and the work that they all have done with Life After Olivet.

5 Reasons to be a PR Major

There are only about two months left in the academic calendar.

What this means for the class of 2017 is that we are finally about to graduate.

At my university I had the incredible opportunity to be a founding student member of the public relations major in my department. I was able to get the initial experience of the PR world first hand and finally connect my strengths to something that I have fell in love with. Occasionally I will get the follow question, “So what are you going to do with that?”, referring to my degree.

Today I am going to tell everyone my top five reasons why one should be a public relations major and why it is so rewarding.    

  1. You can work in almost any field that attracts you.
    • Public relations is not restricted area of interest. Public relations expands beyond the many work opportunities that it brings: brand management, social media marketing, communications, development, event coordinating, crisis management, speech writing, storytelling, etc.
      • One can work in any area of interest within any of these opportunities: healthcare, education, non profit, entertainment, retail, agencies, and more.
  2. Creativity is ENCOURAGED
    • When I began my college career I would often get frustrated in certain classes when I could not be creative or try a new style to things. What I really love is that there is not really a black and white answer to everything in PR. Most things are what you make of it, trial and error, or even just trying something new. This is your opportunity to SHINE.
  3. Experiences are limitless.
    • There are hundreds if not thousands of opportunities that companies and agencies are waiting for college aged students to work with them and develop a passion for their organization. Professionals LOVE college students because of our fresh eyes, driven personalities, and creative minds.
      • You can be offered an internship to work in Hollywood and contribute ideas to potential campaigns and charity events.
      • You can be offered a field experience to shadow an agency for a possible job.
        1. Again, there are SO many opportunities.
  4. Networking events can possibly lead you to your dream job.
    • In the world of PR there are tons of conferences that go on throughout every year. Networking at these events is the key to your future. You may not know who might make their appearance and go home with your business card- and then be hiring for your dream job the next week.
      • Don’t be afraid to meet new people and shine the light that you hold. That light might be exactly what someone is looking for.
  5. Wake up in the mornings and go to a job that you love doing what you do.
    • One of my largest pet peeves is when someone does a job just for the money. I don’t understand why some people work hard to get a degree at something that they know that they will not enjoy, continue to work at that career, and live life not happy. Why would one not want to be happy at what they do?
      • In public relations you can work for any organization, agency, or field of interest that you are passionate about and be good at it!
        1. I used to think that I was just good at communicating with people and understanding them. I knew that I was good at public speaking and working with events and projects. However I did not know how to intertwine everything. Public relations lets me do that and do it for any organization that my heart desires.

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Bradley Got the Candy

This past weekend our very own Bradley, Illinois made the headlines.

Early 2,000’s teen heart throb sensation Aaron Carter brought the candy to Kankakee County. Carter has currently been making his come back from his 14 year break off the charts. Carter released his most recent single last April Fool’s Day entitled, Fool’s Gold. Carter had been working hard on rebranding his new image, and album. He even has worked his way up in directing and producing music himself while on his break from performing. Carter’s most previous album that was released before his current one was Another Earthquake,  released in 2002.

Over the past few months Carter has been touring and trying to get back into the groove of living life on the road and performing again. Carter was scheduled to perform in Bradley, Illinois at the Looney Bin on February 17th and the following Sunday. However, because of the recent incident the Friday night show was cut short and the Sunday night show was completely cancelled.

Carter was not shy at all to express his opinion upon social media. However, this may have not been the best decision considering it seems to be that a publicist does not really monitor his personal interactions online. Carter personally tries to defend himself against every tweet posted against him online. Therefore, it is hard for audiences to completely understand the full situation unless they research the news online or were personally there at that scene.

According to the headlines, Carter was annoyed by one of the stand-in opening acts and made a comment towards him that made him feel discriminated. As the member was exiting, Carter said, “Bye Felipe.” The opening member felt that the comment was racist and was offended especially because he was Hispanic. The offended opener pushed Carter down and situation continued to what was explained as a “bar fight”.

This recent event hit the news everywhere including TMZ, Perez Hilton, and Billboard Headlines. It was also featured on Kankakee County’s very own Daily Journal. This event had already brought a lot of attention to our home town area as it was with Carter making his comeback. The activity that had taken place with it was icing on top of the cake for journalists and headlines everywhere else.

Carter continues to debrief and defend himself especially on Twitter. From a public relations perspective, Carter’s choice of words may not be the best for his rebranding image and for his comeback era. We know that he wants to gain the attention of his followers. However, maybe rising above the influence may be a better route for him to follow.

On the flip side of things, Bradley made the headlines! This event may have not been the best for a PR outlook on our community in regards to character, but we did reach attraction from many big time headlines.

a-carter

 

The Grammy Awards 2017

Tonight was the night of the 2017 Grammy Awards.

It was not a huge shock when this year’s celebration had their own voice of opinion over our country’s current political standing. From the very beginning hostess, James Corden, spiced up the 59th Grammy Awards anniversary. Towards the beginning of the show, Corden opened with a personalized rap that included political views towards our current president, Donald Trump.

Corden raps, “With President Trump we don’t know what comes next. We can survive by sticking together,” he finishes. However Corden was not the only celebrity to voice his public opinion during tonight’s event. Jennifer Lopez came up right behind Corden while presenting an award and stated, “At this particular point in history, our voices are needed more than ever.” This implication was definitely pointed towards something more than the events ceremony and more than likely towards our current events in society. Following Jennifer Lopez was Katy Perry. Katy Perry performed her turn on the stage with one of her latest singles and the words We The People written behind her and persist on a wrist band that she was also wearing.

Along with the speakers and performers who definitely had direction towards their use of speech and actions there were also celebrities who made their voice heard through their choices of clothing. Artist, Joy Villa, wore a dress to the red carpet event highlighted the American flag with the statement Make America Great Again down the front of the dress. The back of the dress had Trump’s name down the back as well. This dress drove a lot of controversy but regardless of the comments, Villa stood strong with her opinions. Villa explained, “my whole artistic platform is about LOVE.” She conclude with an Instagram post that explains how one should forget about their problems and focus on the future.

Coming from a public relations perspective, celebrities live in the EYE of public relations ever single day. This event was a huge opportunity for them to spread the word and create bigger awareness about whatever they wanted. This event was about celebrating the many celebrities and their work that they had done. However a lot of them used this opportunity ignite unity and remind others that we our a nation living life together. The ones that did take this opportunity to ignite change and unity made a huge impact from the PR perspective and it was very admirable to see people who live everyday in the public eye trying to satisfy the needs of their audience wanting to make a difference.

A Multimedia Guest Speaker

About a week ago my Multimedia Storytelling class had a great opportunity to have a guest speaker Skype into our class.

Our guest’s name was Melody Alexander. Melody was a past coworker of our professor, Professor McLaughlin. One of the most interesting takeaways that I had learned from our guest speaker was how much multimedia actually works throughout all areas of communications and business. Melody currently works for the University of Kansas as a marketing strategist. One of the of different projects that she had worked on with KU was the KU150. The KU150 was a huge campaign where KU celebrated their 150th anniversary. For this specific campaign, Melody helped make an emotional connection leaving the audience inspired about KU’s future.

Within Melody’s department and their part of the campaign, they were able to receive over 1,500 likes and 2,000 shares on Facebook and resulted in success in T.V. development with more than 2,000 hits on their site. What I found most fascinating was that Melody’s department worked with many other partners and departments to reach their level of success. They couldn’t do this alone. Melody also had a highly skilled and talented team of her own to accomplish their goals. Her team included a writer, an art director, an editor, and a project manager. The multimedia field is not just a one man job.

One of the concepts that I do wish to learn more about is how can public relations work more within multimedia. I have always been a huge fan of mass communications, but I am currently focused on the public relations side of communications for my degree. Upon graduation I would like to learn more ways how to incorporate the two more to increase success within any campaign, project, or event.

Melody’s presentation with my class greatly helped me see another side of communications and to remember the importance of all aspects throughout the entire field- corporate and media.

Morals, Ethics, and Today’s Politics

In the world of public relations, our job of being storytellers and creators holds us to a high standard. We are given a responsibility to protects and support the organization that we work for. This includes both the good and the bad. However, this also means that before we make that decision to begin our careers at whatever workforce we choose, we need to come to an understanding of what exactly we are willing to support morally and ethically. Each one of us has the responsibility in and out of the workforce. And at the end of the day our career choices define a large part of who we especially concerning large decisions.

About a week ago Sean Spicer delivered his first presidential press conference and it was far from admirable. Spicer’s speech was solely focused on that was not appropriate for a professional conference, let alone for a presidential and government standing. Spicer was clearly unprofessional in regards to his strategy of negatively pointing fingers towards journalists, comparing Obama’s status to Trumps, and also his tone of voice throughout the entire conference. Spicer also highly targeted the media which was extremely unprofessional and disrespectful, especially considering his reasoning to do so. Almost every single comment that Spicer had made was irrelevant to what the conference was really purposed for and it seems more as a moment to air out dirty laundry and personal opinions. Shortly after this conference PRSA released their own perspective upon such matters. PRSA  was professional and reminded those in the world of public relations, business, and professionalism the importance of morals and the code of ethics. They reminded their audience to take under consideration what it really is that you are supporting and is whatever that you are doing for your profession really worth it? If so then one must continue to follow their own morals and what they believe in to fully excel that what they want personally and professionally in a career.

Personally, I am a firm believer in working for a bigger purpose. If something that you are working for does not add up to your own personal standards or morals, I do not think that the profession is worth it. I think that this press conference truly opened up the eyes of the working world and reminded us to reevaluate what we want in our futures and what we are willing to do so for it.