The End is Only the Beginning

The semester is winding down (sigh of relief…almost). While the thought of summer lingers in the forefront of our minds, students like myself are also powering through the last two weeks of class. These last 2 weeks are some of the hardest of the semester. Final projects, evaluations, papers and research all seem to be due around this time.

The final presentation for my public relations writing course is next Wednesday. With this presentation means the end of the non-profits & SCVNGR project. Red Rovers Relations will present what we accomplished for Capitol Park Museum through our mini-campaign.

There’s 2 sides to this final presentation.

The bitter side: We had many delays in finding and then starting work with a client. The delays really set us back in the schedule laid out for us by our professor. Because of layers of red tape and some confusion, we’ve been pretty stressed and unsure of how well we completed the project. We had a few mishaps and struggled with launching our SCVNGR treks. Hopefully, we can show that despite the mishaps, setbacks and downfalls, we really worked hard to try to get things done.

The sweet: The class will be over, and the project will be done! With the stress of this project and my final grade, I can’t wait to be finish. Working with SCVNGR really gave me a new set of skills that I can transfer to the future. The class also helped me get really excited about a career in public relations. I’ve taken away a better understanding of the industry and gained some valuable tools. Aside from the project, I produced some really awesome public relations writing pieces which are also a benefit.

I’ve learned a great deal about what things could be like in PR from working on this project. Here’s a list…

1) Working with a team will be difficult. Multiple personalities and ideas will make you have to work harder to focus and achieve the main goals

2) Working with a client will be difficult. If a client has multiple channels of administration, getting task done will take longer than usual; and if the client needs a lot of help, short timetables will feel impossible to work with

3) It takes practice to be a PR pro. The first few campaigns and clients will try your ability as a PR practitioner. Things will go wrong, and you will be unsure of the next step. You may get a bad “grade” on the first few, but eventually you’ll find your way to the A+. And time management is a skill that needs great finessing.

It’s been an interesting semester. It’s also been highly informative. Personal branding, writing tools, mini-campaigns, SCVNGR and social media competency have all been of benefit to me through the semester. I’ve come a long way from the beginning of the semester.

And since I’ll still be updating these things even after my course ends, check me out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Internships…The Biggest Struggle of the Semester

Spring semester is normally the most hectic for a college student.

While most of us are solely focused on how many bathing suits we need for the beach and which artists will top our road trip playlist, there’s another half of us taking up more studious consideration related to school and summer plans.

I fall on both ends of the spectrum. I’ve purchased the 4 bathing suits required for 5 days in Panama City Beach. FL, but I’ve also spent the last few weeks drafting cover letters, editing my resume, sending emails and making follow up phone calls. All of this is being done in hopes of landing a PR internship for the summer. I’ve made little progress but I’m determined to keep pushing until something comes along. I’ve decided to forego summer classes, and I refuse to spend my summer days in front of a TV instead of better preparing myself for life after graduation.

This is my last summer before graduation. I have to make it count for all it’s worth. I’ve spent a summer vacationing. I’ve spent a summer in school. I’ll be spending this summer in a PR office in Chicago or Houston.

Though the internship search has been trying and disheartening at some phases, I’m remaining positive that I will come across something. I’ve submitted about 11 resumes and cover letters. I’ve started making follow up calls (and emails for those companies that specify “email only”). I’ve learned that my skill set is pretty decent if I must say so myself. I owe most of that credit to the Manship School. The Manship School truly equips their students with the tools necessary to enter into the mass communication work force.

I’ve also learned how to make my internship more effective as time went along. I started off browsing regular old Google, but i eventually turned to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to learn about internship opportunities and how to apply. I’ve also noticed the difference between the first cover letter I drafted and the latest one I’ve written (which was yesterday). I research something new almost daily on how to make my search more productive.

Dedication and willingness pays off in the end. This is the first time I’ve ever taken on a task like this but it’s given me experience for next semester when I start looking at after graduation opportunities. It’s also made me realize how excited I am for a career in PR!

I’ll be taking next week off from my search to enjoy the surf and sand of Panama. It’s nice to have a little vacation from Baton Rouge. I’ll soak up all the sun and fun that I can. Once I get back, it’s wrapping up internship searches, finishing our SCVNGR project with the Capitol Park Museum and prepping for finals. The month of April is the home stretch for my junior year which has been my most challenging so far. But, hey…..I’m up for it!


Trekking through LA history with SCVNGR


The time has finally come. Red Rovers Relation has a client and is ready to kick some public relation’s small campaign butt!

Red Rovers Relations is a student-created public relations firm. Megan Guidry is the account liaison. Hillary Tuttle is our design director. Nick Guarisco is the writing director. Claire Samford and I are serving as strategy directors. Red Rover Relations was formed as part of our public relations writing course at the Manship School of Mass Communication.

Like a lot of startups, Red Rover Relations had a hard time securing their first client. We had to really pound the pavement of Baton Rouge. What we learned in the process is that a lot of businesses are so busy or overworked that even hearing “free publicity using SCVNGR” doesn’t make them want to hop on board.

After weeks of trying and a little frustration, we secured a client. Red Rover Relations will help residents trek through Louisiana history using SCVNGR.

The Capitol Park Museum, formerly the LA State Museum in Baton Rouge, has agreed to let our team come in, plan a trek and challenges, manage social media outlets and create publicity tools to help them get the word out about the name change.

The Capitol Park Museum is located downtown Baton Rouge and provides visitors with a unique chance to experience Louisiana history and culture, beginning at the Louisiana Purchase.

With Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne being the overall supervisor of the museum, we have some big expectations to meet. They are expecting a lot from us, and I’m super confident that Red Rovers Relations will deliver.

With 4 weeks left to deliver measurable results, Red Rover Relations is up for the challenge.

You can find all my team members blogs under my blogroll.

Check me out on: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn


The Future of Communication & Where PR Fits

The Future of Communication & Where PR Fits

Communication changes every day. Communication drastically changes every year. Public relations—a communication intensive profession—has to meet these changes continuously and integrate them into its arsenal.

The future of communication is upon us, and the public relations industry is well aware of this nugget.

Public Relations Society of America, or PRSA—the knower, creator and ruler of all things PR—has released a new definition of public relations after completing their PR Definition campaign, also known as #PRDefined on Twitter. This is the first change since 1982.

““Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

Another sign that the world of communication is changing fell into my lap this afternoon.

In an email, the Manship School of Mass Communication announced changes in degree requirement. The Manship School is moving the curriculum into the age of digital and social media. New digital design classes are being added, and traditional pen-and-paper courses are being moved to electives. Manship faculty—who, by the way, are some of the greatest communicators from across the country—understands the changes taking place in our world of communication.

In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed the boom of the internet. The necessity of the World Wide Web in daily life is extreme. We check emails, tweet tweets, post statuses, write blog entries, send instant messages and receive news. Information that once took days to transmit through paper and the postal service can now be shared within seconds. Brands are built in minutes through retweets and shares.

This change in how we communicate is nothing new; but as our world becomes smaller and more globalized, the need to understand and take full advantage of the changes is necessary.

The traditional way of pen-and-paper, television and radio communication may never go away, but they will play second best to social media and digital content.

With the good also comes the bad. The instantaneous communication that social media allows us also allows for issues to spin out of control at lightning speed. The true PR pro has to learn to keep the social network storms at bay.  That my friends is why PR is not for the faint or weak at heart.

And since we’re talking about the importance of social media, check me out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Inside the PR classroom

Sales pitch letters, marketing plans, brochures, press releases, social media releases…I’ve done it all in the last few weeks. Dr. Jensen Moore-Copple, my public relations writing instructor at LSU, is making sure we know how to do it all when we walk out of her classroom in May.

The class is essentially split into three parts.

1)      Traditional public relations tactics-we are using a political candidate of our choice to use as the focus of our writing this semester. News releases, social media releases, feature releases, TV & radio ads, media kits, and speeches are all being written with our candidate in mind. Barack Obama is my candidate of choice. The best part of the political perspective is that I’m learning and gearing up for this year’s election!

2)      Service learning- we are partnering with local non-profits in Baton Rouge to create a promotions campaign using SCVNGR. Although this part of the class is extremely time consuming, I’m excited about the experience that I’m going to walk away with. The “DiscoverBTR with SCVNGR” will definitely give me a leg up as I make my way into the professional world of public relations.

3)      Personal branding- Dr. Moore has really stressed the importance of building a strong, recognizable brand. In the world of public relations, a brand is very important. It is what distinguishes on PR pro from the next. Building a brand while in college gives us a competitive edge in the job market. Check me out on: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

I’m torn between which aspect of the class I love most.

I love love love media writing. It can be hard work sometimes-especially when there are interviews involved, but I really enjoy it.

On the other hand, the service learning component of the class makes it extremely unique. SCVNGR is new technology that I’ve never used, nor is it a platform that is readily taught in most mass communication colleges. Before this class, I had never even heard of SCVNGR; but I see geo-location gaming becoming a big part of public relations and promotions, so I am excited for this opportunity.


waking up to the magical world of PR

In just three short weeks, my crash course in public relations practices have stirred my mind and peaked my interest. Like a strong cup of black coffee, my public relations class at Louisiana State University has definitely opened my eyes.

What is public relations? What type of public relations do I like? What is my brand? Is my resume right? What do I have to offer that is unique?….These are questions I’ve had to think about or answer during the past weeks.

At the beginning of January, I was a PR major going into the 2nd semester of my junior year…..yes, that was the sum of the parts. I had put a little consideration into practicing PR in  international, tourism and travel and corporate realm. And by a little, I really do mean little. Now, only one month later, I’ve put a considerable amount of thought into the profession of public relations, including research in each of the many areas. Who would have thought that so shortly I would have found a direction for my career and have so much passion behind it?!

Hello, hospitality and lifestyle public relations! How I love thee! Food, clothes, restaurants, hotels, jewelry, and foreign countries…..a girl can’t complain if this is what I have to look forward to working with.

I give credit to two major sources for this newly roused interest:

Since being introduced to this blog by my professor, I’ve read through a bevy of post and made great strides in creating my personal brand. I even have a logo and some branding keywords. Along the way, I’ve had some “AHA” moments and some “what have you been doing all this time” moments. Thank you, Dan Schawbel for your great insight and knowledge! You’ve probably helped a few people realize their inner rockstar.

Twitter  also deserves the other half of the credit. I’ve followed an assortment of PR pros, firms and news sources. I find myself following someone new on a daily basis. I get giddy reading tweets about the events or campaigns being handled by pros in both Chicago and Houston (front-runners for my future residence). Even though I’m living it up in Baton Rouge, LA, I can still be tuned in to what’s going on-as it relates to public relations- in the cities I love dearly. How cool is that!!

So what’s next for me? Well, once I finish putting together a stack of internship applications, I’m going to pour myself another big cup. I want to hammer out this brand identity, try my hand at more blogging, and devour even more about hospitality and lifestyle public relations.