Sunday, October 26, 2008

Meet Kate Miller from the Neck Up

Opening night for The Cover of Life is now less than 3 weeks away. Things are really coming together; I'm so excited to a part of this one. We're going off-book (no more scripts for rehearsals) today. I've been doing my research on 40s-era hair and makeup. Below are some shots of my hair and makeup test run.

I introduce to you, Kate Miller (from the neck up).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Homecoming: A Photo Blog

Homecoming 2008 came and went. John was out of town for the weekend so Sarah and my buddy Victor hit Walk Around with me. It was a blast as always, house decs, fair food and tons of pokes. What's not to love.Orange Never Dies was the first dec we saw. They did great with their theme, but I'm not really sure what it had to do with the overall theme Generation Cowboy. Note the crowd; this was taken before Walk-Around had even officially began.

The Indiana Jones dec was next. Who doesn't love Indie? Victor and I thought the stadium front with "Temple of Boone" was particularly clever. Too bad the mine train never worked. That would have put them in my top picks.

It was so crowded I didn't even notice the Fain Family was in my shot. Hi Lisa!!

The 80s-themed dec was a huge hit with everyone. Victor and I both put it in our top 3, and Sarah's crew all loved it too. They don't even remember the 80s! Nor do the kids who put this together. But, it was great just the same. The Polaroid picture of Old Central slid in and out of the camera, there was a moving Tetris game, and 80s music played the whole time.

I decided this one was my favorite. Not only did it have the Library, which really put it over the top for me, but also it was by far the prettiest one. Sarah and I snuck around back and touched it. Hey it's not like we're Greek; we don't know what pomp feels like!

Some other decs had moving books, but this one was by far the best execution of the concept.

Pick number 2 (in the very unofficial Bonnie-poll): Dr. Seuss! How could you go wrong with that We loved the turtles with pistols firing. Go Pokes!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My First Media Interview for "The Cover of Life"

If you haven't heard, I've been cast in the Stillwater Town and Gown's latest production, The Cover of Life. It's written by R.T. Robinson and directed by Kevin Worley. I'll be playing Life reporter Kate Miller. We open on November 13, maybe I'll see you there.

My title is a bit tongue-in-cheek. Joyce Cox, one of the regulars at the theater, is putting together an article for the local papers. She emailed the whole cast and asked a few questions. Here are her questions and my responses. Consider it a There's Only Ever One Bonnie exclusive.
  1. What will the audience find "special" about this play?"
    The script is amazing. Not many people have heard of the play, but everyone I know who has read it loved it instantly. The characters are great; each one has its own story.
  2. The set is in the round...Is being this close to an audience difficult or rewarding?
    I try to tune out the audience. It’s easy to do on traditional stage because you can’t see anyone with the house lights down. In our theater it takes some concentration to ignore them.
  3. How have you approached your character?
    We can really only know what the author gives us in the script, but I’ve spent a lot of time pondering Kate. I’m trying to fill in the blanks so she’s a whole person to me, not just a couple hours of dialog.
  4. Does your character "change" during the show...if so, how?
    Most of the characters change. There is a shift in how they see themselves and their acceptance or rejection of how others see them.
  5. What is the most difficult thing for you as an actor to get across to the are you going to try to do this?
    I hope for the duration of the play, the audience won’t see Bonnie playing Kate. I want them to just see Kate. This is especially hard when you know so many people in the audience. I’m not sure how I do that, really. I guess when you’re in character you think more about how the character feels than what they are actually saying. I don’t think I’m much like Kate, so that helps separate how I would behave from how Kate would.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

PRSA-OKC Advocates Clean & Fair Campaign Communication

Just one example of why PRSA-OKC rocks. Today, we received this from our fearless leader, Danielle Walker, APR.

I wanted to let you know about an exciting initiative that the Oklahoma City Chapter, Public Relations Society of America, is undertaking.

PRSA-OKC is taking part in a national effort to challenge local political campaigns to agree to uphold the highest standards of ethical practice in every facet of their campaign communications. This dovetails with the PRSA national office's challenge to the McCain and Obama campaigns, which launched last month. PRSA formally requested that campaign communications directors Robert Gibbs (Obama for America) and Jill Hazelbaker (John McCain 2008) sign a pledge obligating them to abide by the PRSA Code of Ethics in their campaign communications. Specific guidelines relevant to campaign communications policies under the PRSA Code include: being honest and accurate in all communications, acting promptly to correct erroneous communications, investigating the truthfulness and accuracy of information released on behalf of those represented, and avoiding deceptive practices.

On the local level, today our chapter is sending letters to campaigns for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, U.S. House and U.S. Senate, asking them to take a pledge to commit to the principles of the PRSA Code of Ethics in these last weeks before the elections. We have also distributed to the local media an OpEd article regarding our challenge to Oklahoma's candidates to make a formal commitment to accurate, truthful and respectful discourse.

The OpEd article also communicates that PRSA-OKC is responsible for representing, educating, setting standards of excellence and upholding a stringent code of ethics for not only our members, but the public relations profession within our state. In that role, PRSA-OKC is committed to advancing ethical communications practices and the free flow of accurate and truthful information. These principles not only guide our members and the profession, but also support fundamental rights of free speech and the public good.

Many thanks to you all for what you do each and every day in upholding the standards and ethics of our profession.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Social Media & Service Delivery: Part 3

The final installment of my social media presentation...

"My second example I wanted to share is the Library's online pressroom. I developed this with the help of my Communications Intern, Maggie Kierl. Again, we started by researching online pressrooms, and we used the Library's delicious account to share our research as we went. We found examples of other pressrooms that we liked and we found several great articles on how to build a pressroom. All of those links are still there in our delicious account, so if an online pressroom is something you are interested in, you can go check out our research there.

First we have the media contact information front and center, then we added links to the documents we get the most media requests for: our mission statement, organizational chart, stats, directions, past releases. We included basic information we thought would be useful: hours, personal directory, policies. Under Background, we have items that help our beat reporters generate story ideas: a link back to our current headlines, events calendar, high res photo and logo to download, and links to our current publications. Then you can also choose how you want to receive news from us: you can be a fan of our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, get an RSS feed from our Twitter account or an RSS feed from anything we tag as news in our delicious account.

The real highlight of our online pressroom and the piece that I was really excited to get off the ground is our electronic press kits. Each one is a little different; some are more in depth than others. But we've been trying to do one for all major events (and we leave these posted for about a month post-event) and we have some on our special collections.

If you pop one open and take a look, you'll see we start with contact information and a standard media advisory. Then we have links for more information. We try to present electronically the kind of things you might include in a more traditional press kit. So, there are links to photos, online invitations, online ticket sales, a full press release on the topic, and we try to include in each press kit a purpose-built delicious page, which means that link will take you directly to the Library's delicious bookmarks and open a list of everything we have tagged for this topic.

The great thing about using delicious as opposed to including the list of external links in the press kit is that you can send it out and still continue updating. So I can email an electronic press kit at 5 pm, and then find 3 more great links. I tag those new links in delicious and I've just update a press kit I already sent out. And if you have a really big story or something that is going to play out over time, people can subscribe to an RSS feed of your delicious tag and get an update anytime you bookmark a new page.

Just like our Facebook page, there are several big things I'd really like to add the press room, but I got it to the point that I thought it was a valuable tool for our reporters, and I put it up there. I really think you can't obsess over the idea of being finished, because it's never finished. You have to think of it as a living document that will continue to evolve. You put out something that is quality and worthwhile even if you don't consider it done."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Social Media & Service Delivery: Part 2

If you missed part 1, just scroll down. The Social Media presentation continues...

"We're talking today about using these tools strategically. I think one of the keys to doing this is to go where your audience is. At the Library we have several key audiences; one of our largest constituents is undergraduate students. Any guesses what social network you might find undergrad students using?


I checked this week and there are over 24,000 OSU students on Facebook. That's a lot of students that are already part of a community we can join. Our foray into Facebook began a few years back. My boss and I were at presentation on Millennials. We came back and she told me to go figure out the Facebook thing the kids are using. I logged on, built my profile invited a couple friends and started looking for other people who were talking about the library.

For while, we really just lurked, and that a great way to learn about the culture before you invest too much. I was really excited to see how many people were already talking about the Library and were already building their own groups around a Library-theme. It gave me confidence that this would be a good place to try to connect with people.

We started by placing ads with Facebook. It's a great place to start experimenting with online ads, because they make it very easy. You can customize who see your ads and can choose between pay per click fee structure or a pay per impression fee structure. Facebook will track for you how many impressions and clicks you get each day.

Then Facebook started their business pages. Until that point an organization was not allowed to have a profile. So we started researching how we could make this work. My staff and I looked at every other Library business page out there and took notes on what we liked, what we didn't, how many fans the other libraries had. We used this information to brainstorm ideas of our own and we started putting together a page.

This is a good time to mention how helpful it is to identify existing expertise in your organization. Many of the new tools you're thinking about implementing for your organization are already being used by someone who works with you. It will be worth your while to spend the time to find those people and employ their help. I have a young staff in the communications office. Four people work for me and they are all in their 20s. Facebook is their world, so I really just handed this project over to them and encouraged them to be creative and experiment.

We have all the basic information on the page: hours, contact info. some photos. We post notes: there are couple right now about upcoming hours changes, there are links to our Chat & IM services, create event pages, and occasionally we send out notice to our fans. And we still have so many good ideas we'd like to implement. With social media it's an ongoing time commitment, you have to update and keep things fresh. It's never going to be done, that's something you have to get comfortable with.

For our office and what we do, the one feature that has been the most useful for us is the event pages. Any of the administrators can go in and create an event for the library. The event basically gets its own Facebook profile. You can upload photos, we usually post the invitation or a print ad we've already used, you can link press releases or external sites about the topic or speaker, and there's a wall where guests can talk about the event.

Then you invite people. The response I got from the first event I created for the Library blew me away. It was 3 days before the event when I posted the page and invited 24 friends. By noon the day of the event over 900 invitations had been distributed. Now, I'm not going to try to tell you 900 people showed up, in fact the vast majority declined. We had about 24 yeses and 50 maybes. But it was an amazing example of how quickly and how far our message went by using this network."

Stay tuned for the second case study...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Social Media and Service Delivery Part 1

Last month, I was very excited to be invited to serve on a panel for the YWCA Regional Conference in OKC. I was a bit of a last minute emergency fill in, but it was still an honor to be asked.

I can do this, I thought. It was a low-tech crowd with little marketing experience. Our job was to get ideas flowing. They wanted concepts, not technical how-to. With just 2 1/2 days to prep, I frantically scripted my 15-20 minute remarks. Now I have an 18 min talk on Social Media & Service Delivery. What to do with it? Ah-ha I'll put it on my blog.

I had a great co-presenter, Shane Kempton of Phase2 Interactive. He started us off with an overview of social media: what is it, how is it different, how did we get here. Then I gave some examples of how the library is employing social media in our service delivery.

This is what I told them: "In way of introducing myself and telling you a bit about my background, I put together a list of new media tools I use personally. Now, obviously this isn't everything I've ever tinkered with, but this are the ones I tried and liked and stuck with: Twitter, Delicious, Facebook, Oklahoma Social Media Club, LinkedIn, Flickr, MyRagan, AIM, a family Web site, personal blog, and MySpace.

I show you these also because long before I implemented any of these tools to promote the Library, I tried them out for myself. To use these tools strategically, we have to start by doing our research, and that in part means learning about the community you want to join. There are cultural norms within these communities. If you want to be effective, you need to understand what's appropriate there. My personal accounts often started as research for work projects.

When I was preparing this talk, I started by making a list of all the new media tools we use at the Library. I was actually kind of surprised at how many things kept occurring to me. If you sit down and think about it, you are probably already using some new media at work. So you might try thinking about ways to expand or improve what you are already doing.

I took what we do, and broke these up into internal and external tools. Internally, we publish a twice-a-week email newsletter for employees, we use personal text and IM accounts to facilitate our work flow, we use delicious to share research on joint projects, We have an intranet and our Reference Librarians have built a wiki to share information and build a collection of commonly asked reference questions.

But what are we doing externally to communicate with our audiences about Library services? We have a Facebook presence, and I'll talk in more detail about that in just a second; our librarians answer questions via chat and instant messenger; the communications office uses blogs. And I want to mention here that to utilize blogs, you don't necessarily have to have an organization blog. We have one department in our library that has an "official" blog, but we also
have several employees who blog and they will occasionally blog about our services. We've also had some luck pitching stories to external bloggers.

We use Google Alerts to monitor external conversations, the Library twitters, I mentioned that we use delicious internally, but we also use delicious externally in our electronic press kits, we send a monthly email newsletter to the University Faculty, and we are starting to develop video tutorials. Not all of these I would consider successes. And in Q/A I'd be happy to talk about what didn't work well and why I think that is, but now I'd like to focus on a couple success stories..."

Actually, this blog entry is just a teaser. I went over two examples-our Facebook presence and our online newsroom. I'll blog those in Part 2 and 3.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Blog Breakup with Yahoo

Basically, I given up. I have been defeated by the craptacular piece of junk blog-thingie that came along with our Geocities site. I think Yahoo has given up on it too. They don't even seem to be supporting it at this point.

So if you found me from and are looking for those fascinating few entries from the original J&BLog, they are supposedly archived at If you are looking for John's blog, it's on his MySpace page.

Drumroll, here it is: There's Only Ever One Bonnie.