Letting go and focusing on what’s important

18 Nov

I think I realized something over the past few weeks. I have spent energy worrying about what certain people think of me, and I realized that those same people really don’t care about me at all. You walk into a place after several months of not being there and get strange looks from certain people. Some people aren’t really that excited to see you at all. I send out messages only to have them not answered. I reach out to apologize when I tried to think of what I needed to apologize for (not sure I really needed to apologize), and the person decided to rehash the past and then tell me at the end of it that she would rather not talk to me but “best wishes.” So why do we waste so much time worrying about people who obviously don’t care about us and didn’t really make the effort to be your friend? I didn’t do anything horrible, but you would think I did. I left a group a couple of years ago, and those same women still keep up with me and invite me to stuff. They not only supported my decision, but they didn’t take it personally.

Why do we focus on things we can’t change? Or why do we even care so much what other people think, especially when they have proven that their “love” for you is artificial? If you really cared about someone that much, you wouldn’t make their struggle about you. I have no regrets for signing my membership at The Village this week. This experience proved it.

 

 

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11/10 class

12 Nov

I really liked this class period! I am interested in going into the nonprofit sector, so I really enjoyed hearing each speaker’s insight. After this class, it only confirmed that nonprofit is the area for me.

Stephanie Norsworthy was my favorite speaker because I am interested working for a nonprofit that concentrates on women’s or children’s issues. She is also looks super young, so it was refreshing to see someone close to my age in a management position like that. It shows that age does not necessarily have anything to do with the position. Sometimes I feel like there is a bit of age discrimination in the workplace when it comes to younger professionals being put in management positions. I also liked to hear that a lot of her background was in web development and web content prior to joining the Women’s Foundation. This is what my background is in too. I hope that I can be where she is at in a couple of years at an organization I am passionate about. I don’t have much experience in designing newsletters or HTML like she mentioned in class, so I hope that won’t keep me out of the candidate pool. The foundation sounds a lot like the way Denton County Friends of the Family (my client for this class) is structured. For example, they also have one big annual fundraiser where they get most of their donors and volunteers, DCFOF is also trying to reach out to the 30 something market and most of their donors are in their 40’s and 50’s.

I also enjoyed hearing Wayne Larson speak about the City of Mesquite. I was impressed with his extensive background in working for different cities. I have also considered working for a city. While I was working on my undergraduate degree, I picked the city of Lake Dallas to do my final project on in one of my PR classes. I enjoyed the work I did for them, and it felt rewarding to help out a city like that. That experience was kind of the gateway into my decision to eventually choose the nonprofit sector.  I like what he said about the city’s Facebook launch. I thought it was a good, strategic move on their part to do a soft launch at first, then promote it through other media.

I really liked hearing about Vin Hoey’s campaign for Robert E. Lee High School. I am from the Houston area, so I am pretty familiar with that side of town. I remember the school’s reputation changing while I was in high school (99’-03’), perhaps because of this campaign? It also helped to hear his ideas about not using teacher-centered images in logos, such as apples because they need to focus on students. I help with some of the department’s websites on UNT’s campus and even though we don’t specifically design logos, we do help with pointing them in the right direction. I will keep this in mind the next time we take on another department’s site.

11/03 Class

10 Nov

I am sad that I missed class last night. I heard that two really great speakers came AND pizza was ordered. Even though I was not there in person, I researched the two speakers to get some perspective.

I read about Rusty Cawley’s experience and background online and wish I would have been able to meet him. I think it would have been beneficial for me since I work on communication deliverables at a university. I read in his biography on the Texas A&M website that part of his responsibility as communications coordinator for homeland security is to help maintain the weekly audio newsletter. Prior to reading this, I had never heard of an audio newsletter. I am still not too sure what it is, but based on what I was able to find on it, it seems like it might follow the format of a podcast or audio clips. I am interested to learn more about this concept because it seems like this might be where the future of newsletters is heading. It seems like his background is very well-rounded, and he has experience in both public relations and the newspaper world. I would have loved to hear more about his experience as Levenson and Hill because some of his clients seemed like areas that I would want to work for.  For example, I would have liked to hear about what he did for the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, the Town of Addison, Zale Corp. and ABC Radio.

I also would have loved to hear about Anita Foster’s experience at the American Red Cross. Based on her credentials, she seems like a very passionate and dedicated communications professional. Not only does she help communicate what the organization is doing, but she is also involved in the clean up and disaster relief efforts. This tells me that she truly stands behind what she is promoting. Based on my background working here at UNT with developing alumni story ideas, I think she would make a wonderful alumni profile story for her alma mater, University of Texas at Arlington! I guess I should not say that since I work for UNT, but she seems to have worked very hard to get where she is at today.

 

Response to 10/20 class

3 Nov

I enjoyed meeting at Public House for class this time, and the fact that I did not have to drive very far. Even though I am not a big baseball fan, I was still a little upset that the Rangers did not win that night. It is so easy for me to jump on the bandwagon sometimes!

I liked hearing about everyone’s clients and what they plan on doing for them. We all seem to have different types of clients, which illustrates the diversity of our group. The most unusual project seems to be Pelpina’s. I am looking forward to hearing about her communications plan for the guinea pig rescue group. I believe just like there is an iPhone app for pretty much anything, there is also a nonprofit for pretty much anything.

I feel that Kali and Jillian both have really big opportunities to turn their clients’ communication strategies around because their clients are so small. I look forward to hearing how each of their projects turn out.

I liked the foundation that Angela is involved with, and her connection to the foundation was moving to hear. I think it is great that she still wants to be involved with it. I was also impressed with Amanda’s and Sharmeen’s clients. They seem very passionate about helping these clients succeed and backing their causes.

I was able to meet with my client the following Monday to discuss some of the things they feel will be crucial to include in the communications plan.  I learned that they are getting a new building for the organization and will be moving into it in February. Right now, their focus is on raising money to pay for the new building. I am going to help them figure out what new audiences they can reach out to for this and how to engage them. I also learned that they are currently working on a new website, so I will adjust my analysis so that my plan includes suggestions rather than an entire redesign.

I am looking forward to working more with Carol, the director of community relations, and Hillarye, the community resource coordinator, on this project! They were very helpful in the meeting, and I feel like they want to use the ideas I bring to the table in my plan.

Response to 10/17 class

3 Nov

The guest speakers seem to be getting better and better as the semester progresses! I really enjoyed this group of speakers because they all had different things to bring to the table.  Each one was from a different industry, which made the class interesting. Also, this group followed a non structured style of presenting, which I liked.

I enjoyed listening to Reace Smith because I was totally unaware of what was involved in hospital and health care PR. I really liked what she said about getting physicians to explain stories and concepts like they would to their children. I would never think to say it like that, but it makes complete sense because I know how it is to deal with people with a strong science background. I had this issue last year when I started as a graduate assistant in URCM at UNT. I was interviewing a researcher for Research Magazine, and most of the concepts were Greek to me. I had to constantly ask him to dumb it down for me.

Morgan Lyons had a really interesting story! I felt so bad for him when he talked about the Texas/OU game last year. I think I remember seeing some things on the internet last year about people wanting him fired. I noted when he said he has a seat at the president’s table, which went along with our class’s previous discussion about how PR professionals can help make the profession more credible.  I also liked his comment about him starting a Facebook page to protect the DART brand. Most companies feel like they will destroy the brand by starting a Facebook page because it allows for so many people to comment.

I really enjoyed listening to Lauren Benson because she is around my age, and it was interesting to see how her career has progressed. I really enjoyed her input and discussion about what it is like to work at an agency. She seems like she has to deal with a lot of customer service issues due to people not knowing that she does not actually work for the companies. I appreciated hearing about how she handled those situations. I also really loved her quote, “some people just live to bitch.” This was the funniest part of the class.

Oh and I said I would blog about The Social Network last week! It was a really good movie. Very interesting to see how Facebook unfolded. I am not going to lie, I don’t have a great opinion of Mark Zuckerberg now. The movie totally depicted him as someone who is all about fame and money, and he will screw over anyone to get there.

Response to 10/07 class

3 Nov

I really enjoyed Steve Lee’s lecture last night. It was not at all what I expected it to be about. Based on the past three guest speakers, I assumed he would discuss how his company handles PR for its clients. It was good to hear his take on social media and how it applies to our careers.

Some of the things he discussed I already knew about social media, but there was a lot of information that was completely new to me. For example, I did not know that internet access was a right in Canada and that everyone has access to it. I am not sure if the United States will ever get to this point, but it would be awesome if we did.

I heard about Digg, Mixx and Reddit prior to his lecture, but I never knew what they were used for exactly. Reddit seems like a pretty useful tool for keeping up-to-date on recent news. I will probably start playing around with it to see if it helps me keep up with current events.

I was also surprised to hear that e-mail is the most valuable marketing tool. I would have thought that social media has surpassed it in the past few years. When he mentioned this, I thought of an article I read in Forbes the other day about the top upcoming careers. It discussed how e-mail marketers will progressively be in high demand. It also mentioned that social media strategists will continue to be hired by companies.

I was aware how useful blogs were prior to listening to Mr. Lee, but I did not realize the extent of the various purposes they can serve.  For example, it was cool to hear about the New York City bloggers group. I just visited the city this past weekend, and I was so overwhelmed by all of the people. If I ever move there, I feel like this would be a great tool to get connected to the city.

Speaking of social media, I am going to see “The Social Network” tonight! I have heard really good reviews for it. I will blog about it next week!

 

 

10/27/2010 class

29 Oct

I enjoyed the discussion about issues management last night. I was not aware that this was a branch of PR prior to the discussion. It seems so obvious and relevant now. Both speakers were very knowledgeable on the topic.

I liked Stan Levinson’s insight into managing expectations. He explained how carefully defining expectations in the beginning and letting people know it is a process will help eliminate a PR disaster later. I do not have any experience as an issues manager; however, I was able to relate some of what he talked about to my first job out of undergrad where I worked as a project coordinator for a web marketing firm. Many customers would get angry at the results they would get from a campaign, but it was part of my role to help educate them on how marketing works on the internet. It seems like customer service and knowing how people will evaluate you goes hand in hand. When dealing with people in the past in those positions, I have found that explaining your company’s or organization’s process upfront helps eliminate any surprises later on.

I also really liked listening to David Dunnigan talk about his role and his experiences. I was really excited to hear that he helped with the media training for the pilot who landed the U.S. Airways plane in the Hudson River. That seems like a very challenging yet rewarding job to be a part of. I also found the discussion about getting bonds passed interesting because I was not aware that that was part of issues management. I have considered working for school district PR so it was good to hear the process that the other end goes through in order to get people on board.

The Yes Men campaign was really shocking to me. It seems like people are growing more…, wait, I mean getting braver over the years. I guess the whole shock value thing is better at getting people’s attention. I agree that people need to know the truth. However, it almost seems kind of childish, though to go to that extreme to educate the public. I agreed with Dunnigan and Levinson that Chevron should invite the Rain Forest Action Network to their company to get their feedback on what can be done better, but I was also evaluating how the Rain Forest Action Network could have handled their campaign better too. Instead of making fun of Chevron’s campaign and running the risk of burning bridges, it would have been smarter to educate the public in their own way. Don’t they have their own creative marketing talent? Why copy the campaign? I can’t speak for everyone else, but if I am on the freeway in need of gas, I am going to stop at the nearest gas station whether it is Chevron or not. I would not think to boycott them at that time because of a mock campaign I saw.