Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Revenge of the Xmas Cards

Card #1 arrived in the usual fashion, a week or two before Christmas with the enclosed annual family letter. This year, John and I responded in a different way. We distributed our annual "Christmas Card" via the internet. We sent it to friends and family via Facebook and email.

It was a nice little experiment. It was by far the most eco-friendly card we could have produced, it had loads of pictures, and I enjoyed the interactivity of it as friends commented back about the content. Little did we know at the time, that we would call down the wrath of the Christmas Card Gods.

We arrived home one evening to a huge stack of Christmas cards in our box. As John started to sort through, he told me we got a card from Elaine Bryant. Yea, Aunt Elaine.

Um, wait. Another card from Elaine Bryant. And another, and another. John delicately asked, "How old is Aunt Elaine?"

Aunt Elaine is not old, so what the heck is going on? I begin opening cards. Here's an exact transcript of what we found. (messages placed in proper order for clarity. We did not open them in order which added to the confusion/hilarity)

Card #2 2009
Dear Bonnie and John,
You don't get away with the e-card! I'm sending you all my extra cards to keep your Aunt Anna employed and my mother's pensions intact. MWAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

Card 3-2009
Matt shares his mother's madness but won't commit in writing! MWAHAHA!

Card 4-2009
Love,
Elaine & Mike

Card 5-2009
Suitable for framing!
And More Christmas Cards for the mantle. That's why I save mine to make sure I cards to display!
Love,
Elaine

Card 6-2009
Just saw the 1991 Keeping Up Appearances Christmas show. Hyacinth was up to 112 cards (most sent by Hyacinth to herself).
Cards Rule!
Love,
E & M

Card 7-2009
Love,
Elaine & Mike

Card 8-2009
Love,
E, M & M & M

Card 9-2009
Your card has been printed and hung from the mantle! Loved the Ireland pics.
Love,
E, M, M & M

Card 10-2009
Buy stamps & Burn them in the fireplace.
Love,
E, M, M & M

Card 11-2009
Megan's a smart woman - I know she will support me - she's the third M.
Love,
E & M
M & M

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

APR Flash Card: "Mutual Understanding" Era


Our industry trends began with the "Public Be Damned" era and the "Public Be Informed" era. As we enter the "Mutual Understanding" era, we start to see a shift to a two-way communication model.

Category: Trends
Front: "Mutual Understanding" Era

Back: post-WWI
  • WWI period, 1917-19: focused on promoting patriotism
  • Booming 20s, 1919-29: shift to promoting products, change, politics and charities
  • Roosevelt and WWII, 1930-45: dominated by Roosevelt and his counselor Louis McHenry House
Bonus: Louis McHenry Howe is an important figure in the history of PR. He was Roosevelt's adviser until 1936. He realized that mutually beneficial public relationships could be built only by coupling responsible performance with persuasive publicity.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

APR Flash Card: "Public Be Informed" Era


The APR Flash Cards continue with more history of the industry. I don't have a lot of explanation or commentary on this one. It was a relatively brief time frame in the history of PR, but the industry turned a corner here and began morphing into the more information-based industry we have today.

Category: Trends
Front: "Public Be Informed" Era

Back: a.k.a. "Seedbed Era"
1900-1917

This era is characterized by muckraking journalism countered by defensive publicity.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

You Can Be a Microlender, Who Knew?

This week, John and I joined Kiva.org and made our first "microloan." I learned about Kiva from Stuff You Should Know.

Kiva is an online community that connects individuals willing to back small loans with entrepreneurs around the world (mostly in third-world countries). A Kiva Field Partner (the financial institution administering the loan) pre-distributes the money, then Kiva members backfill the loan. The entrepreneur pays back the loan, and the Field Partner pays back the Kiva members.

If that's not cool enough for you, you get to pick your businessperson. You can search by gender, industry and region of the world. You can see a short bio and description of the loan need. You can also see the other Kiva members financing the loan.

Loans start at $25. It doesn't seem like much, but a dozen or more members come together on each loan. John and I contributed $25 toward a $1200 loan to tailor in Lebanon who needs to buy a new sewing machine to meet the growing demand of her business. Her repayment starts in February, so I'll let you know how it goes.

Here, Josh and Chuck (my favorite Stuff podcasters) taunt the Cobert Report. Whose Kiva will make it to $100,000 in loans first?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

APR Flash Card: "Public Be Damned" Era


Part of understanding where PR is today requires understanding where we came from. Some of the industry's historic roots are the source of its not-so shiny reputation today.

Category: Trends
Front: "Public Be Damned" Era

Back: Post Civil War to 1900

This era is characterized by early attempts to manipulate public opinion.

Examples: Samuel Adams, the Federalist Papers, B.T. Barnum "There is a sucker born every minute."

Bonus: Samuel Adams is an excellent example of early American PR. In the late-1700s, he used variety of tools to manipulate public opinion. His organizations included Sons of Liberty and the Committees of Correspondence. He excelled at employing symbols, slogans and staged events.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pros & Cons of Being a Lifer

At the Library, I'm considered a "lifer." It's not that I plan to work here the rest of my, it just seems (to me and to everyone else) that I've already been here a lifetime.

I've been at the Library for more than 14 years. Most of my friends have worked several places by now, so it's a little strange to have such a track record at my age. Sticking with the same organization for this long has its benefits and its drawbacks.

3 Benefits of Being a Long Term Employee
  1. People Trust You.
    It can be difficult to earn widespread trust in an organization. If you stick it out, you'll find often your internal years of service count for more than the same amount of experience somewhere else.

  2. You Can Work the System.
    It can take years to figure out the corporate culture at a new place. Once you have it down, you can really get things done. You know exactly who to talk to, when to ask for things, and who you need on board to push through new ideas.

  3. You're More Insightful.
    When you really know a place, it gives so much context to the way you think about your job. Intimate knowledge of the organizational history means your ideas are developed within the landscape they will be executed.
3 Drawbacks of Being a Long Term Employee
  1. You Get Comfortable in the Box.
    When you are new, it's easy to "think outside the box" because you don't know where that box is yet. After a decade of nos, it's easy to start pitching yes ideas instead of the best ideas.

  2. You Become One of Them.
    How quickly you go from one of us to one of them. If you stay long enough, eventually you will realize you've become "the man" whatever that means for your organization. It's kind of creepy at first. You get over it, or you leave.

  3. One Word: Burnout.
    I've suffered more than one bout of burnout in my 14-year career. The outcome is not always a bad thing (burnout has pushed me to earn my APR, be involved in my professional organization, give presentations and ask for a promotion), but it makes for a sucky couple months while you work through it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

One Christmas Down Four to Go

Today was our first official Christmas dinner of the year. I'm blogging this from a very foggy Turnpike in southern Oklahoma.

This year, John and I have four family Christmas dinners to attend. Some folks might think this sounds horrible, but I love it. Of all the stressors the holidays bring, I don't count the actual family gatherings among them.

Family dinner is the best part, and this year, I get four times the fun.


Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Friday, December 11, 2009

Planning, Planning, Planning, Regional Conference Planning, Rawhide!

In the midst of my Christmas prep day off I swung by OKC for the 2010 PRSA-SW Conference planning committee. I have to admit, I'm getting a bit excited about this conference. Too bad I'll be missing half of it for a Library fundraiser, but you should mark your calendar for April 15-17.

The conference is going to be jam-packed with content. We had so many speaker proposals that we added another time slot for break out sessions, and we still won't be able to fit in all the great speakers. It'll be fun, too. We're kicking off with a dine around town, and there are some pretty great sounding receptions in the works.

I can't wait to see the website (thanks Sam) and the blog (ala Valerie) launch in January.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This Week I Heart: Mittens


If you are living in Oklahoma then you too have been subjected to some ridiculously cold weather lately. That is why, this week, I heart Mittens!

I am probably the only person over the age of 7 who regularly wears mittens, but I assure you they are far superior to gloves. I'm sure someone has scientifically proven this; I pretty sure I read that somewhere.

I'm cold on a regular day. What most people consider room temperature, I consider chilly. If I had my way, no office building, restaurant or movie theater would be set below 78'. So you can imagine how I have suffered this week when every morning tops out around 9'. I mean, seriously! The wind chill yesterday was zero! It just isn't right.

While, my tushy may have froze on the 5 minute walk from the car, my fingers were snug as bug, encapsulated in their thinsulate mittens. In fact, my hands were actually sweaty by the time I got into the office. At least one little part of me was warm.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

From the APR Flash Cards: 8 Types of Crisis

While I was studying for the Accreditation in Public Relations exam, I made extensive and detailed flash cards for key concepts, definitions, theories, trends etc. Here's your APR study tip of the day.

Category: Crisis
Front: 8 Types of Crisis

Back:
  1. Natural-Acts of god, fire, flood, earthquake, etc.

  2. Technological-Can range from breakdowns to technological attacks

  3. Confrontational-Based in discontent, examples include picketing, boycotts, sit-ins

  4. Malevolence-Criminal or extreme methods are used to express anger, such as product tampering, kidnapping, or terrorism

  5. Skewed Management Values-Most often, this means management get greedy and stakeholders suffer

  6. Deception-Information is concealed or misrepresented

  7. Management Misconduct-The illegal or unethical behavior of management impacts the organization, examples are sexual harassment or embezzlement.

  8. Business and Economic-Financial or business factors damage the organization's reputation, such as bankruptcy, layoffs, product shortages, etc.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baby Elephant Recipe: One Trip to T-Town, Bake for 22 Months

Holy cow, how cute is that?!

Two of the lady-elephants from the OKC Zoo have been on an extended date in Tulsa, and it appears love is in the air because Asha is now pregnant.

The OKC Zoo is using the time Asha and her sister Chandra are spending up north to renovate their elephant digs for the new arrival. The girls will return to their new home in August 2010, and baby should be here the following spring.

Yes, that's right, spring 2011. Evidently, elephants need to bake for 22 months before they are ready to be born. Geeze. I suppose that gives the PR crew at the OKC Zoo plenty of time to plan a birthday bash. I'm looking forward to it already.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Go to Bed, Annual Report

Once again, the OSU Library's fiscal year 2009 annual report reared its head and ate a small portion of my day.

This report is a project that refuses to be put to bed. I've tucked it in, sung it a lullaby, brought it a cookie, and read it a story. The dern thing won't hush up and leave me alone.

Today, I prepped a report of all the ways we are telling people to go read our awesome annual report about how awesome we've been in the last year. You should go read, skim, at least click on the link too, because my team and I spent 100s of hours on it. When you see it, you'll know why it took so long.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas is in the Bag

In the shopping bag that is.

Today's mission: Christmas shopping. It was a complete success. Not that we have all our presents for everyone, but we took a serious chunk out of the shopping list. As a shopping team, John and I only have 4 more gifts to buy.

I'm feeling pretty good about it because typically I'm a last minute Christmas shopper. In fact, one year I did all my shopping on Christmas Eve. In my defense, I had all four impacted wisdom teeth removed on the first day of break. So, I spent most of the week and a half leading up to Christmas in a pain killer stupor.

Surprisingly, if you hit the mall first thing on Christmas Eve, it is dead. I guess if you wait that long to do your shopping, you're likely not a hop out bed and hit the ground running type.

But there will be none of that for me this year. Out of town gifts are shipped, online orders are placed, John's "big present" is tucked away. Preen.

Friday, December 4, 2009

APR Flash Card: Benefits of PR

It's been a while since I've posted an APR flash card. I decided it was time to bring them back.

Category: Trends
Front: Benefits of PR

Back:
To Management
  • develop and maintain relationships with audience
  • anticipate and respond to shifts in public perceptions and opinions

To Society
  • make information available
  • mediate conflict and build consensus
  • help complex society make decisions

I think often we focus too much on the value of PR to management. As I point out in some of my posts on ethics, PR at its root is a public service. The public is just as much a client as the organization paying us, and we have benefits to both parties.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ancient Pictures of Aliens Carved in Rocks

Last week I posted a pretty undescriptive post about how I was on my way to Petroglyth National Monument. John and I stopped on our way to AZ and spent an hour or so on one of the dog-friendly hiking trails through the monument. Here are the pics.

Rocks are everywhere, we're on the lookout for petroglyths. What will they look like?

Boogie loved hiking through the desert. She especially liked to smell the sage.

Some of the carvings were just geometric patterns. I wondered what they were meant to be.

But then there were faces too. You can totally tell what that is!

Um, yeah. And then there were the aliens. I mean seriously! That is totally an alien. Awesome.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

PRSA-OKC Looks to the Future

Today I joined 20 other local PR professionals as we gathered to plan for the future of PRSA-OKC.

It's an exciting time for our organization. Our chapter is growing. With just 10 more members, we'll receive another assembly delegate and OKC-area professionals will have a little more say in how our industry is run on the national level. We spent a lot of time discussing how we will recruit those 10 new members.

If you are a PR professional or in a related field, here are a few reasons you should consider being one of our new members in 2010.
  1. Professional Education. The foundation of every chapter meeting is professional development and your membership provides discounts on the great workshops and teleseminars offered by nationals.
  2. Commitment to Ethics. Each member commits to abide by the code of ethics, but it doesn't stop there. By regularly interacting with other professionals who work to embrace ethical practice, you learn to not only apply the code to your day to day work, but also how to discuss our code of ethics with others.
  3. Camaraderie. Many people will say "networking," but I find a lot of value in simply meeting people who have jobs like mine and understand the rewards and the challenges I'm faced with.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear Philip Pullman, I Believe I Like You Very Very Much


I have found a new author that I am very much in like with. The author is Philip Pullman and you should run now, quick like a bunny, and read something he has written.

Sometimes, I develop this sort of obsession for a particular author. I go on a jag where I read absolutely everything they have written. This can go pretty quickly for new authors (like Joshilyn Jackson, whom I love, love, love) or it can take years, like the first author I did this with waaaaay back in elementary (Christopher Pike, whom I have long since outgrown, but still holds a dear place in my book-loving heart).

My newest author kick is Philip Pullman, and he is awesome with a side of kick-ass. My Pullman obsession started with the Golden Compass series (which the movie does no justice). On our recent road trip, John and I listened to a short story called "Once Upon a Time in the North" and now I'm wrapping up the first in his Sally Lockheart series.

On his website, Philip (he and I should be on a first name basis, right?) says,
"As a passionate believer in the democracy of reading, I don't think it's the task of the author of a book to tell the reader what it means."

He sounds like a pretty cool guy to me. I can't wait to read all his books and figure out what they mean to me.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

For weeks, I've been planning that today would be the day I decorated for Christmas. John documented the entire process. I, literally, rolled out of bed and got started. So, even through I'm still recovering from yesterday's 17 hour car ride and look like complete poo, I'm sharing the pics here with you, loyal reader. (Imagine if you were married to me, you too could be treated to this sight each morning.)


A trip to the attic yields all my accumulated Christmas booty. Yea, decorations! John said we have too much. I disagree. Only 2 medium tubs, 1 large tub and 2 trees. Not enough if you ask me.

First things first, I switch out my fall wreath for my winter one.

Hey, look! Non-frog decorations! I have a few of those.

The giant frog tree goes up, next. Hoppy Holidays!

Then we take a break to dance.

The OSU tree is crazier than ever this year, thanks to a Crazy Days sale at the Alumni Center.

I headed out into the cold and wet on my own to hang lights on the house. John was "working" something about a book deadline, blah blah. So you won't see any pics of me on the roof.

It got incredibly cold as the day went on, so we called it quits after 10 strands, but the front of the house looks pretty awesome if you ask me. (blame a very slow low light shutter speed for the blurriness.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

5 Ways to Procrastinate

A work-related writing assignment that I really was not feeling inspired this post.
  1. Go for walk. At work it seems I always need to jump up to check on something when I not into whatever task is at hand. Of course, I may just notice it more when I'm procrastinating. In general I tend to pace around a lot as I work.
  2. Do something else that really needs to be done. Because as long as you are being productive, it doesn't count as procrastinating, right?
  3. Clean. Does anyone else do this? It's like I'm punishing myself for not doing the task at hand.
  4. Be genuinely distracted and forget what you're doing. Oh, shiny!
  5. Blog! and speaking of blogging this is part of the second go-around of the 30-day blogging challenge.

Friday, November 27, 2009

100th Post!

Happy 100th post to me. To celebrate here are 100 things about me.
1. My favorite color is yellow.
2. Orange is a very close second favorite.
3. I love the Harry Potter books.
4. I've worked as a grocery checker
5. I've worked as a nursery attendant
6. I've worked as a camp counselor
7. I've worked at a library for the last 14 years
8. I've worked in PR for 10 years
9. I'm accredited in PR
10. I am often accused of being perky
11. I'm a natural redhead
12. I enjoy being the center of attention
13. I don't enjoy spending extended periods of time with other people who need to be the center of attention.
14. I have two sisters who look just like me.
15. I've been happily married for 4 years, 4 months and some change.
16. I have a bachelor's degree in environmental science
17. I have a master's degree in mass communications
18. My master's thesis was a discussion of PR ethics in government communications.
19. I think it sounds more impressive than it is.
20. I'm a home owner
21. I named my house "Little Blue" the day I saw it.
22. I was born in Germany.
23. Next summer I'm visiting Egypt.
24. I would not even consider eating a pickle for $500,000.
25. My husband thinks I'm an excellent cook.
26. I'm growing my hair out for locks for love.
27. I have a dog named Boogie Woogie.
28. I almost always have my toes painted.
29.I took ballet lessons for over 10 years.
30. I took belly dancing lessons for almost 2 years.
31. I graduated from Westmoore High School in 1995.
32. I'm now on the WHS Alumni Association Board.
33. My husband calls me "Boo"
34. I love gummi anything
35. I've send the Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert 3 times
36. The next concert I'll see is Billy Joel/Eton John
37. I have season tickets for Cowboy Wrestling
38. I came in 3rd in an Iron Kids Triathlon when I was 12.
39. I collect all things frog
40. I have an entire xmas tree decorated in frogs
41. I wear mascara every single day.
42. I once went 2 and a half months without shaving my legs.
43. I still shaved my armpits, though, because that's just gross.
44. I'm a certified Irish Whiskey Taster.
45. My husband keeps me in fresh flowers.
46. Coming up with 100 things takes a long time.
47. Maybe I was just kidding about the whole 100 things.
48. Does anyone really want to read 100 things anyway?
49. No probably not.
50. How about 50 things to celebrate my 100th post. Yeah, I think that sound good.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

This Week I Love: Thanksgiving

Need I say more? While Thanksgiving is not my absolute favorite holiday, it's pretty darn good. I means what not to love about a holiday that is basically food-based. I think every holiday should have a food component.

My favorite Thanksgiving dish is green bean casserole. As my sister Sarah said as a toddler, "Bean Beans!!"

What's your Thanksgiving fave?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Internship Best Practices

Over at the PRSSA blog they summarized the newly released PRSA Internship Guidelines. I can't wait to read through the complete report. (How dorky is that?)

Based on the summary PRSSA provided, it looks like really good stuff. From my own personal experience, I think these are some of the most important things to get from an internship. We'll see if my thoughts line up with the PRSA report.

1. Build a mentoring relationship. You should leave an internship with at least one relationship that will continue to foster your professional development after the internship is over. This means you have someone you can call for advice as well as a reference.

2. Do real work. I hear what I consider horror stories about interns doing noting but fetching coffee and filing. An internship is certainly going to be a time to pay some dues, but you should be doing professional-level work as well. Yes, you'll run errands and wash some dishes, but you'll also participate in planning meetings and write stories for the annual report.

3. Be treated like a professional to learn how to be a professional. When you are held to professional standards, you learn to meet those standards. So even though you probably are the lowest paid employee in the office, you should be treated like everyone else. This can mean you get some pretty critical feedback. You'll prove you're a professional, if you learn from it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Time I Met Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson of NOVA/Origins fame was our 2009 speaker for the Cobb dinner. One of the perks of my job is when we bring in these "super famous" people, I get to act as the media escort. When they are nice and fun and motivated to fulfill their contracts, this is a really fun job. When they are rude, stuck up and generally don't seem to care if they get the other half of the speaking fee I'm holding onto until after the event, this can make for a miserable evening.

In case you're wondering, Neil probably falls somewhere in the middle for me. Not the best (I love you Ken Burns!), but certainly no where near the worst.

Emily and Dad got to come this year! I was so excited for my family to get to see one of the biggest events I coordinate each year.


I like when the authors come prepared for the book signing. I always have backup pens ready for them, but I'm impressed when they bring their own. Neil had an arsenal of various colors and inks.

Here I'm trying to explain to Neil why he needs to follow people on Twitter. I don't think he was impressed with my explaination of two-way commincation tools.

Here's my awesome team that worked hundreds of hours (yes, really) to make sure this was a great night for our 232 guests.

At the end of the night, Neil took us outside for a private tour of the night sky. There was a very impressive laser involved, but it's hard to explain without sounding dirty.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Holidays Begin... Now!

It's officially Thanksgiving week and I've spent the last 30 hours getting my house ready to start holiday season. This is such fun time of year; there is so much to look forward to! Here are some of the things I'm most looking forward to in the next 6 weeks.
  1. Lights on houses, especially my house
  2. Holiday blockbusters
  3. Yummy "holiday" flavors at Braums, Starbucks, etc.
  4. Office parties
  5. Seeing family that I only get to see once a year
  6. Seeing family that I see all the time
  7. Snow tubing at the ballpark
  8. Ice skating at the Civic Center
  9. The nutcracker (even if I don't get tickets, it makes me happy just knowing it's there)
  10. Presents!
  11. Stuffing, it is prime stuffing-eating season
  12. Santa Claus
  13. Mistletoe
  14. Pets get snuggly because it so cold outside
  15. My frog Christmas tree
  16. Road trips, to go see some of those family members from #5
  17. Cajun-fried turkey, I really hope I get some at some point
  18. The Christmas Story, it's good no matter how many times you see it.
  19. Time off of work
  20. Our annual John and Bonnie Drinks and Treats!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hello, Vacation!

Today is the first day of my nine day vacation. It feels wonderful!

No matter how much you may love your job, there are always times when it gets to be a bit a much. And that's what vacation leave is for! One of the best parts of my job is the very generous leave allocation. In fact, I get so much vacation time I'm often in peril of losing it. And, I'm a firm believer that you can't be a good employee if you don't take care of yourself first.

This week I'm taking care of myself and my husband and some family too. It's a bit over due.

Today, I launched a full fledged attack on the mess that has become my house. John was in full support and has been right there with me as we wage war on dust and clutter.

I consider it the start of Christmas decorating. Because you can put up all the glitterly light-up clutter until you clear out the dusty, dirty, where-the-heck-did-this-come-from clutter.

Friday, November 20, 2009

How Quickly I Become One of Them

So yesterday I complained about OSU sports, and today I get to put on my Posse hat. John and I are starting the weekend with the Cowboy Wrestling opener.

We've been season ticket holders for three years now, which officially makes us Posse members. But we are nowhere near the level that we would get to kick someone out of their parking space. Moot point anyway since they would never rearrange campus for a wrestling match.

Which is completely backwards! Because our wrestling team is awesome, and our football team is, well, you know.

So cross your fingers for the Cowboys! They take on Arizona State at 7 pm tonight!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

OSU Wants You to Know They Care...

...about football, and posse members, and television schedules, and donors who support our mission, students, research, academics, football.

If you work or go to school at OSU then today you lost your parking spot (which you paid for) to Posse Parking and were relocated to overflow lots along the perimeter of campus. I was "lucky." As a staff member I was able to park in a new parking garage on the north edge of campus and only had to walk 5 blocks to get to my building. One of my interns parked over a mile away and will still need to be out of the lot by 3:30 pm.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's Your Favorite Car Game?


The holidays are here and that means we'll be driving here, there, everywhere. Sometimes short drives and sometimes looooooong ones. Like any planning planner, I'm looking for some cheap and easy ways to entertain in the car.

Maybe I have it easy (or maybe actually I have it harder) because the folks I need to entertain in the car are only me and John. No kids for us, a puppy perhaps, but no kids.

On the agenda are
  • Books on CD, whatever I can find at the public library the day I stop by.
  • Podcasts, whatever I've managed to save up on my MP3 player. Stuff You Should Know and This American Life are good for road trips.
  • Who Am I? Guessing game much like 20 questions, but we don't play with a limit.
  • The Alphabet Game, locate the entire alphabet in order on any item outside the car.
  • Slug Bug. Need I say more.
  • Trivia Pursuit, minus the board.

So what's your favorite car game?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Dog Has a House Key

It seems everyday John and I treat the dog more and more like a real kid. Yesterday we gave her a key to the house.

Not the kind of key you're probably thinking, but an infrared key to her dog door. Boogie's dog door (the purchase and installment of which was a saga worthy of several blog entries) is very fancy and it allows us to lock, unlock or limit access.

The limited access means only an animal wearing a programed key can open the door. It's designed to keep out vermin. We use it to keep the vermin in, namely the bad cat, Mr. Mojo.

It took a bit of training to get Boogie comfortable with the door. At first she was afraid of it, then she'd sit and wait to use it until we gave her permission to use it, but finally she comes and goes as she pleases. So, we decided it was time to start using the key.

We'd put off this part because the locking mechanism makes a noise and there is a slight delay in the unlocking all of which were hindering our doggie-door-training efforts.

Boogie's first attempt at unlocking the door went a little something like this: I take out a treat and ask her go outside. In her enthusiasm to be treated she charges at the door and totally wipes out cartoon-style as she slams into the locked door. After a dazed moment, it unlocks and she pops right through. Surprisingly, her first rough encounter with the limited access door hasn't fazed her, and she's only unlocked the door for the cat once.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas Train is Coming to Guthrie


The Christmas Train is coming, the Christmas Train is coming! I love riding the train, and soon it will be coming to my hometown, Guthrie.

The Guthrie Chamber of Commerce has been working with ODOT and Amtrak to set up a special visit to Guthrie by the Heartland Flyer. The Heartland Flyer is scheduled to arrive in Guthrie December 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th: the first weekend of the Territorial Walk.

If this year's Christmas Train is successful, there is a chance we could have train service for all of Guthrie Festivals. Amtrak has agreed to provide this year's service for at no charge to the city and use it as a pilot for future endeavors.

The train holds 200 passengers. It will leave from OKC, Thursday December 10 at 9:35 p.m. and arrive in Guthrie at 10:55 p.m. Passengers can expect an after-hours reception before they take a walk through town for a little late night shopping. There are plenty of hotels or B&Bs where you can stay over. You be able to get around town via the trolley or rental car, or weather permitting, even a horse drawn carriage.

Amtrak tickets are currently $7 per person for one way, the price could go up to $11 the longer you wait! For Tickets Call: 1-800-USA- rail or visit www.amtrak.com (use the code GUT to bring up the Guthrie Christmas Train).

What a great way to have some holiday fun and do your part to show the powers-that-be that Oklahomans want and will use a light rail system.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Book Recs from SchipulCon '09

Not only did I learn so much my head nearly exploded, I got some very interesting book recommendations at SchipulCon '09. Here what some of the presenters plugged:

From Ed Schipul
From Deirdre Breakenridge
From Kelsey Ruger
I think I may have broken a record for links in a There's Only Ever One Bonnie post.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oct. 24 is International Day of Climate Action-Even in Oklahoma


At SchipulCon '09 I learned about so many great things I want to share here, but I decided this one needed to come first because it's actually coming up really fast: October 24!

The International Day of Climate Action is coming to communities all over the world thanks to a group called 350.org. This is what they do:

"350.org is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis--the solutions that science and justice demand.

Our focus is on the number 350--as in parts per million, the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. But 350 is more than a number--it's a symbol of where we need to head as a planet."

It's a pretty awesome movement and it is everywhere even here in Oklahoma. So maybe next Saturday I'll see you at one of these events:
  • Local Food Dinner for 100: 4-10 pm
    5900 CR 90, Red Rock, OK, 74651
    100 people will gather at Turtle Rock Farm Retreat Center to eat local foods along Doe Creek. We'll raise a glass of local wine and a 350.org banner to a healthier planet and take a photograph.
  • 350kies Take a Stand for Climate Change: 2-4 pm
    6th & Peoria Centennial Park,Tulsa, OK
    Fun activities planned, such as bike ride at 2 p.m. around downtown Tulsa and an interactive art project. Learn ways to reduce carbon emissions and take action by contacting your legislators. Join the picture at 3:50 p.m and show your support for this momentous international day of climate action!
  • 350 Climate Action Festival:
    Muskogee, OK, 74434
    Jean will wear her Polar Bear costume, she has 2 other Polar Bear caps...Hold signs
    that say "350" outside the electric power plant..Wave, smile and be friendly.
  • 350 Climate Festival and Contest: 10 am
    Norman, OK
    Bike Riders Festival and Costume / Decoration Contest

Wheel! Of! Fortune!


Last weekend, I got a last minute invite from my sister to go audition for the Wheel of Fortune. Never one to pass up a once in a lifetime opportunity, I said "Heck, Yeah" and we were off the next morning.

We drove out to the Kickapoo Casino in Harrah, Okla. (I think perhaps "casino" is a bit grandiose for this place. It's more like the Kickapoo Small Warehouse with Slot Machines.) We were worried when we arrived. The line was huge. But it was so super fast to get through. We filled out quarter-sheet applications and dropped them in a box. The line was simply to keep people orderly as they turned applications.

Then we waited--along with 100s of others--for our chance to play a speed around and audition live. Unfortunately, we never got called. Which sucks because we would have been so much better than some of the lame-os that did go up. It was still quite exciting and lots of fun.


There were several people who did great; I'm sure WOF will be calling them back for final auditions. Sarah and I still have a chance, though! They will randomly draw from the applications that weren't picked for a live audition and invite those folks back the finals. Wish us luck.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Need a Social Media Makeover?

Last week, Valerie and I presented to OSU-PRSSA about managing and maintaining your online reputation. I just love working with this group. The students are all so interested and interesting. It was a fun talk, and the best part was all the questions we got at the end.

Here are a few highlights from the presentation:

Who is watching your online reputation?
Future employers tend to be the focus when we worry about this, but it extends much further. After you have the job, you need to continue to be proactive about maintaining a positive online image.

In our office, we investigate someone’s online profile almost weekly. If you apply for a job with us, join another department in our organization, give a presentation we attended, submitted a media inquiry, or talk about us online, we’ve probably done at least a superficial search of your online presence.

Where do they look?
When someone is looking into your online reputation, anything is fair game. More often than not, people put too much stock in their privacy settings. You have to assume, that even if your accounts are locked down, people will find a way to see what you’ve posted.

The most common and basic searches are going to include Google, a sampling of the most popular social networks and your open records.

What are they looking for?
Regardless of how it might feel at times, most people are not out to dig up dirt on you. (not that they won’t discover the dirt if it’s there to find)

What they are doing is: fact-checking your resume, looking to see if you are talking about them, getting a sense of how you communicate, and feeling out your personality.

The Case Study
Our wonderful intern Marissa Chavez volunteered to be our case study. She made a great example because not only is she well established online for someone her age, her profiles are squeaky clean. Valerie took the students step-by-step through an audit of Marissa's online footprint.

The Take Aways
  • Establish a reputation. Chris Brogan has an excellent post on how to get started.
  • Monitor. Start by Googling yourself; search the web, news and blogs. Run a Twitter search for your handle, and any terms you might be strongly affiliated with. Once you’re satisfied with the structure of these searches, set up an RSS feed to alert you to updates in the results.
  • Maintain your reputation. Keep it clean; be honest and thorough. Watch out for controversial topics. Be active and interactive; and, use profiles and links to point people to the stuff (your blog, twitter, etc) you want them to see.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Measurement Mixer at Mickey Mantle's: Say that 5 times fast


Last night I hit my first IABC-OKC (International Association of Business Communicators) meeting. It was an after-hours event that combined both professional development and networking. Because as my friend Holley put it "Work isn't going to pay for us to just get together and drink beer."(Disclaimer-I went on my own dime)

I was impressed with the group. They were younger professionals, mostly 20s and 30s, very friendly and welcoming, and they all seemed very active. It's a much smaller group than my beloved PRSA-OKC, so I guess you kind of have to be active if you want to keep things going.

Our speaker, Johna Burke, seemed very knowledgeable and was really entertaining (which can be unexpected for someone talking about measurement). At the end of it all I was left feeling more like she'd given us a motivational talk about measurement rather than a tactical talk.

Measurement is something I think many in PR have a love-hate relationship with. We love to have it, but hate to do it. And really I think so much of what we do is very difficult to measure. We can write obtainable goals with measurable objectives, but often times I'm left feeling like we are forcing ourselves to measure indicators, not our true and secret goals.

Our true and secret goal is to foster strong positive relationships. It's a heck of a lot easier to measure attendance, click through rates, comments, donations, placements, use, sales, etc. These are indicators, sure, but are they really telling us what we want to know about our relationships?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Heart My Public Library

As you may have guessed working in a library for 14 years has made me a big library fan, but it's not just my beloved OSU Library. My library-love extends to my awesome public library as well.

I serve on the Guthrie City Library Board, and our fantastic library director, Linda, ask the Board if we could share some info about a cool new resource at our library.

--Press Release from GPL---
Free Courses and Practice Tests Online at Guthrie Public Library

GUTHRIE--Improving the job search process, preparing for career certification, raising college entrance test scores and improving 21st century basic skills are all possible with just the click of a mouse at your local library!

Visit www.guthrielibrary.com and enjoy free, unlimited access to interactive skill-building courses in math, reading and writing as well as a broad range of practice tests based on official exams such as the ACT, SAT, GED, ASVAB, Allied Healthcare, Firefighter, Police Officer, Paramedic, EMT Basic, U.S. Citizenship, Postal Worker, Cosmetology, Real Estate Agent and Broker Exams.

This valuable service is available 24/7 from any internet-enabled computer—in your library, your office, and even from your home!

To find out more about how you can access LearningExpress Library, call Linda Gens, 405-282-0050 or stop by and ask any of your friendly library staff for more information.

The LearningExpress LibraryTM online learning platform provides more than 770 of the most up-to-date test-preparation and skill-building resources, helping both students and adults prepare for a wide range of academic and career-oriented exams as well as to improve basic skills in reading, writing and math. In addition, job-skills tutorials are available to assist in creating a great resume, expanding job search and networking skills, honing interviewing techniques, and improving business communications. Patrons also have the option of selecting from more than 130 e-book titles to help learners of all ages prepare for success. The innovative platform includes self-paced study, instant scoring and diagnostic feedback and can be accessed from any computer that has an Internet connection.

###

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A String Quartet That Rocks

I don't know what I was expecting when I finally got to see my friend Amanda perform with her string quartet, The Stringents. I'm pretty sure I wasn't expecting a selection of rock hits from today and yesterday.

The gals played Beatles, Coldplay, The Cure and Led Zepplin. They were even taking requests. They definitely rocked. And you need to go see them perform the next chance you get.


video

Monday, August 31, 2009

Moore War Run Number 1

When the WHS Alumni Association decided to host a joint 5K with our rival school's Alumni, I thought it sounded like a great idea. I also thought there is no way in hell I'm getting out there to run. Sorry guys.

I did show up at an ungodly hour (6:45 am!) to volunteer, though. And it was awesome!

I think it may have been the best volunteer experience I've had. I was told where and when to show up, and I got a reminder the day before. Once I got there, the gals running the show gave me instructions on what needed to be done. They doled out tasks one at a time, so it was easy to keep track and not get overloaded with information.

I got a t-shirt and lots of thank yous the day of and after. They even let me wear this nifty orange vest. How'd they know I love orange?


I want to say thank you to Kelly and Holley for organizing before and the day of. These ladies did an amazing job, and the first Moore War Run was a huge success in my opinion. We had more than 250 runners!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to School

Ok, so technically, I am not "back to school," but all the OSU students are. After 14 years of living/working/going to school on a college campus, I still love the start of the fall semester.

How could you not feel the excitement in the air. The start of fall term marks a new beginning for so many people and it always reminds me of my first week here on campus. It makes me nostalgic as I see all the new students navigating campus.

For a college campus, the start of term is a little like a second New Year. It's a fresh start for everyone: new students and returning students, even the staff and faculty. I love working at a place that has this kind of annual reset as part of the culture.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Homeless in My Own Home

This week John and I had a some construction project completed in our bedroom. Which means all week my living room has been filled with our queen size mattress, and all our bedroom stuff is piled high in the breakfast nook.

It's a little like being a house guest in my own home. I have no alarm clock and no nightstand. My routine is completely off. And the huge light-up Jesus cross across the street is keeping me awake at nights.

But it'll all be worth it tonight! Our bedroom has a beautiful new ceiling and all new grown-up bedroom furniture is being delivered as I type this. Tonight John and I have a date to assemble a bedroom suite. Pretty romantic, huh?

A spacious living room is dramatically reduced by a spare queen-sized mattress.

Where did all this come from? I had no idea we were hiding so much stuff in the bedroom.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My First Meme

One of my favoritest bloggers posted a meme the other day. I thought, hey, a meme! I was hoping to do one of those during my 30 day blogging challenge, when I was trying out new blog tricks! Well, the 30 day challenge is over, but I'm finally getting to post my first meme.

Here's the deal. You (in this case me) post a casual around the house photo of yourself. Then follow it with pics of celebrities you've been told more than once that you look like. Bonus, if you can post the most flattering celeb comparison and the least flattering celeb comparison.

Here's me, at my desk. I took the photo with my blackberry at arms reach. Doesn't get more casual than that.

Here the first celeb comparison I get: Cate Blanchett. I actually haven't gotten this one in a while. I think it's because she hasn't been a redhead in a movie for a bit.

And the next one I get (I think more now because she has been a redhead lately), Kirsten Dunst. But really, I think my sister Sarah looks much more like her than I do.

Your turn. Post a link to your celeb comparison in the comments.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hiking up to Howth Head.

We spent the better part of today exploring a little fishing village north of Dublin called Howth (pronounced Hout). It was really fun. There's a series of hiking trails that trace the coast and run up to a summit. There was wind, cliffs, rain, sea gulls; it was beautiful. On our way back down, we found a small cemetery with plots ranging from the 1700s to today. We also made our way over to the town's castle. You couldn't go inside because people live there. In a castle!

Then it was back into Dublin, where we hit the Bram Stoker Dracula Experience. We weren't sure what to expect, but it was fun. Part museum exhibit, part spook house, with a documentary screened at the end.

We wrapped up our time in Dublin by visiting Temple Bar. Honestly, I wasn't that impressed. It was by far the most touristy place we've been (boo). It's also basically a bar strip (boo, again). We did find an only moderately crowded pub with live music, so that was nice.
Waiting for my Guinness to settle. It takes about 3 minutes to pour one and another 2 minutes for it to settle into the foamy black and cream goodness.

All my Ireland photos are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonnieann/sets/72157620775704825/.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Jet-Lagged Report on Day 1 in Ireland

It's hard to believe we landed here just 14 hours ago. John and I packed so much into our first day in Ireland, but the jet lag has seriously kicked in and we are fading fast. I'm uploading some pics from today to my Flickr photostream, so you can follow along here.

Getting to the Hotel
This was adventure in its self. Note to future Ireland travelers: you cannot get out of the airport with out cash (euro cash!). Eek! I really thought we'd be able to buy shuttle passes with a credit card, but noooo. Culture shock #1.

Then we had a hellava time finding the DART station because there are NO street signs and even if there were, places don't have addresses. No seriously, no addresses. You might get a street name (which won't be labeled), but no number. Culture shock #2. Everyone is really friendly and happy to give a hand, though which is nice. But Irish people can't give directions (might have something to do with the whole no street signs and no addresses thing) and in their minds everything, even a few blocks, is "a reeeeeeally long walk."

A REAL Irish Breakfast
We got a real taste of Ireland right off the bat by sharing a "Jumbo Breakfast" at a local pub. It included tea (for me) or coffee (for John) toast, fried egg, baked beans, mushrooms, sausage (a lot like little smokies), rashers (thick cut bacon), white and black pudding (not pudding at all! more like a cross between sausage and polletta), hash browns and fried tomatoes. See why we shared? It was all good, a little strange, but good. I have to say it was definitely meat overload for me, but a fun experience just the same.

Kilmainham Gaol
This stop was awesome! We had an amazing tour guide and she packed so much Irish history into this tour of the oldest jail in Ireland.

Dublin City Hall
We saw the beautiful rotunda and looked through an exhibit on the city's history. The highlight though was when we asked to see the Council Chambers, and we got a special sneek peek. John even sat in the Mayor's chair.

Dublin Castle
We weren't even planning to go here but we were on a roll and it was on the way. We miraculously snuck in with the very last tour of the day just as it was starting. Another stellar guide took us on a tour of this "castle" (technically not a castle anymore, long story with explosions!) that served as the Irish white house when the country was under British rule. It's still used for official state business.

Random Observations
There is no smoking in indoor public places, but everyone seems to smoke. I even saw a pregnant lady smoking. Culture Shock #3

Even though technically, they are speaking English, half the time I can't understand anything they say. Culture shock #4. John is doing a bit better and caching at least 2/3rds. After checking in we literally both looked to other and said did you understand anything she said? I'll never again get frustrated with a foreigner who just nods when they really don't understand you. Sometimes, it's just easier to figure it out later.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pitching to Bloggers: Hey I Did That!

Lately, I'm seeing a lot about how to pitch to bloggers. I find it interesting because I've actually had good luck with this. So, I thought, it's really not that hard, why not share what worked for me.

1. Be Super-Targeted in Your Pitch
First off, I don't pitch everything to bloggers. I look for stories that are a good fit for the medium (these may not come up often), and I only pitch stories that fit with a certain blog's niche. Which brings me to #2.

2. Research the Blogs
Every industry has blogs, good ones and bad ones. I found library blogs by asking librarians. Radical, I know! I found someone in leadership who reads a lot of blogs, comments on those blogs, and even personally knows some of the bloggers. She helps select the right blogs for a certain story. Then I go and actually read the blogs I'm pitching. I read the "about the blog" section and the "about the author" sections, too.

3. Get an Introduction and Start Building a Relationship
I was lucky that I knew someone who knew the bloggers and was actually connected to the first story I was pitching. She e-introduced me and set up the story I was sending. Then I send a personalize hey-this-is-why-you-care bit and then included the press release.

Side note: yes I send bloggers a press release, and yes they actually run it. It works because I still send a personalized pitch. The release is added to the bottom of the message, with a "If you'd like a little more background, here's our official press release" note. I'm mostly pitching to info tech blogs and they do semi-regularly run a release and cite it as such (which I knew because I'd researched them)

I follow up and thank them when they run the story and ask if they'd like to hear about similar stories in the future. I've always gotten an enthusiastic "yes, please." Bloggers often have quotas, so just like traditional media they need story ideas.

In my limited blog-pitching experience (about 3 stories, so far), I've had about 150% success rate. That's because not only has every blogger I pitched, picked up the story, it'll also cascades into other blogs I hadn't even contacted. Got to love that.

Monday, June 29, 2009

My Sister Ran Off: Part 2

Here's the video I mentioned in the last post. I'm not sure how good it will turn out. I shot it with my Blackberry and it was very noisy in there.

Sarah may be hard to spot. She's part of the pack, wearing a red shirt and short black skirt. If you can make out the numbers, she's 314.
video

If you want to see some stills of the Angels of No Mercy, you can check them out in my Flickr photostream.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Sister Ran Off with the Roller Derby


Today, John and I are trekking to Stillwater to watch Sarah's second "bout" with the Angels of No Mercy Stillwater roller derby team. Pretty wild, huh?

You'll be relived to know that the current roller derby revival is not as rough and dangerous as it's earlier reincarnations were rumored to be. But it is still very much a contact sport. There are 5 women to a team and they skate around a flat track. The jammer, or scorer, attempts to lap the pack and earn points by passing skaters an additional time. The remaining skaters are blockers. They--you guessed it--block the jammer and the other team members.

The sport is extra fun for players and spectators alike because of the alter-egos and related costumes each skater adopts. Sarah skates as Sarah Bellum, and this month she's featured on the poster! It's a Greece theme, she's the Sandy.

Maybe tonight I'll get some video of Sarah skating and share it tomorrow!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

APR Flash Cards: Foreign Registration Act


In a way the law section of the APR exam is difficult, because if a particular law doesn't effect your corner of PR then you are unlikely to be familiar with it. On the other hand, there are only a dozen of so laws you really need to remember and since it's the law, it's pretty black and white. Here's one I had to learn.

Category: Law
Front: Foreign Registration Act
Back: All persons working as foreign agents (govt. company, or political party) must register within 10 days with the US Attorney General and report under oath every 6 months the names of foreign interests working for, activities carried out and how they spend their money.

Pretty hard core, huh?

Monday, June 22, 2009

This Week I Heart: True Blue Spa Line



It all started with a quest for the world's thickest body butter. In the winter, my skin is so dry I can't moisturize enough. I've found body butter is the way to go, if you can find one that's thick enough.

I was at a Bath and Body Works, sticking my finger in every sample tub of body butter, when the "friendly" sale girl asked if she could help. I told her I wanted thick, thick, super thick body butter, the thickest you got, as thick as Crisco, and thicker than that if you have it.

She kind of smirked and handed me a tub of the Too Shea body butter and said "Try this," but she said it in a sarcastic-you-don't-know-what-you're-asking-for kind of way. It was perfect (and she was shocked I thought so). When I read the ingredients I knew I'd found the only body butter I will ever need. Ingredients: Shea Butter. Too Shea and I have been living happily ever after ever since.

A couple weeks ago, I won a spa-themed basket at an auction. In it was a bottle of the Shea It Isn't So foot cream and Look Ma New Hands hand lotion. I am sold. This stuff is awesome. And now I can't wait to try more of the True Blue line.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hey Runners, You Totally Want to Do This!


Since 1988, Lions and Jaguars have sparred against one another in a race to determine the big cat in town. When it comes to Moore War, rivalries run deep and emotions run high.

Saturday, August 29th, alums from Moore and Westmoore, as well as members of the community, will put aside their differences to come together for a common cause--current students. The Moore and Westmoore Alumni Associations are excited to team up to present the Inaugural Moore War Run.

This 5K run through downtown Moore will benefit the scholarship funds for both high schools. This run is sanctioned by the USATF and will be timed with ChampionChips. Registration packets will be available for pickup on Friday, August 28th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Old School Business Center, 201 N. Broadway, Moore. Timing chips and packets will be available the morning of the race beginning at 7am.

Advance registration open through August 15, 2009. You can register online here. Your support will help both Moore and Westmoore Alumni Associations present scholarships to their graduating seniors in the coming years.

Disclaimer: I will not personally be running in the 5K, but I do plan to be there working the event. Tell me if you are racing and I promise I will cheer extra loud for you!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

They Hate Me for Being Tall (See How Ridiculous That Sounds)

It seems plus sized women now think Ann Taylor is discriminating because the chain has cut size 16 from the stores (although it is still offered online). This article was pretty interesting. It explains the business decision behind such a move. If you read the comments you'll see many people still refuse to accept the "excuses."

If Ann Taylor is discriminating against big gals, then 95% of the stores out there are discriminating against tall ones (ridiculous, right?). At 5'9", it's nearly impossible for me to find a pair of pants and shirts all look like they are 3/4 sleeves (but, really I just have gorilla arms). It's not uncommon to find an entire section of petites or even plus sizes, but when have you ever seen an entire tall section? You haven't; they don't exist.

While this is frustrating, I refuse to jump on the crybaby-I'm-discriminated-against-bandwagon. I have an unusual size/shape, I got over that a long time ago. After a dozen years of shopping for this body, I've figured out where I can buy certain "problematic" items (slacks and blazers). And I, like the plus-sized ladies, am often forced to rely on catalogs. It's not a big deal.

Here I am looking very hot, if I do say so myself, (and very tall) in my orange Ann Taylor shift.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

APR Flash Card: All Publicity is Free

We all have our little linguistic pet peeves, something people say that grinds our nerves a bit. One for me is "free publicity." It's like saying "ATM machine" or "GOP party." It's redundant because publicity by definition is free.

Category: Terms
Front: Publicity
Back: Disseminating purposefully planned and executed messages through selected media, without payment to further the particular interests of an organization.
ex. Submitting a press release to the local paper announcing an upcoming fundraiser.

Honestly, this particular peeve only gets to me when it's used by people who should know better. For example, if you are, say, writing a book on publicity and speaking at conferences about the topic, you should probably understand the definition of the word. IMO

Friday, June 5, 2009

Family Vaca Starts with a Splash

Yesterday afternoon, my MIL, GMIL and I arrived at family vaca 2009 (my husband was in Indianapolis, long story). The rest of the crew arrived the day before, so we settled in and went to the pool to say hi. We were just dropping by, so I didn't bother to change into my suit.

I enter to screams and squeals of "Aunt Bonnie get in the pool. Aunt Bonnie come in the water," and "Where's J.R.?"

Decided to be a good sport. I took my shoes off and stuck my feet in so I could talk to everyone and maybe even get in a few hits on the beach ball making its way around the pool.

Then Cousin Carl starts towards my end of the pool, humming the Jaws theme song. Honestly, I thought he was teasing. Carl is a big teaser. And when he grabbed my ankles and gave a little tug, I still thought he was teasing. But when he tossed me over his shoulder and start wading into the deep end, I started to wonder if he was actually going to dunk me.

And of course, he did. I was tossed into the middle of the pool fully dressed (in a white t-shirt, no less). Luckily I was wear a bra, so we were able to keep it PG for the kids.

This is me and Carl. I didn't stand a chance.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Mom Always Knows How to Make You Feel Better

I was at my parents' house the other day and showed my mom how my incision was healing. She took a look at my soon-to-be-scar and said, "That's probably going to look better than the one on your face."

Ah, thanks mom.

If you know me ROI, you're probably thinking "what scar on your face?" Which is exactly why this wasn't actually a mean thing to say, but it sure was funny.

It got me thinking a about the last time I had three stitches. I don't actually remember it because I was only 2. I cracked open my chin jumping on the bed. The railroad track scar (which luckily lines up pretty well with the natural crease in my chin) is an inch long, and it got 3 stitches. My new incision which is a quarter of an inch long also got three stitches.

It seems illogical to me, but more stitches per inch=less scarring. Dr. King admitted he was being a bit "stitch-happy" last week, but he wanted the incision to heal as neatly as possible since it was in a spot that would show in a swimsuit.

So, thanks Army Hospital for taking such great care of my face. I'll remember you every time I look in the mirror.

Boo, Army Hospital

Hooray, Dr. King

Friday, May 29, 2009

PRSA-OKC 2009 Professional Day

Today, Valerie and I turned in our travel requests for the 2009 PRSA-OKC Professional Development Day. It's always great and I'm looking forward to it. Maybe you'll join us?

9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.-Session 1
Twitter: How To Use Twitter as an Advertising and/or Public Relations Tool in Business
Presenter: Nora Burns, SPHR, Insightful Endeavors International, Inc.
Twitter, one of the power-players in this era of social networking is a force to be reckoned with. Learn how to use this tool to your organizations advantage.

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.-Luncheon Session
Is the News Release Dead?

1:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.-Session 3
Crisis Simulation Training: How Would You Really Perform in a Crisis
Presenters: Dan O'Hair and Shari Veil, MBA, Ph.D., Center for Risk and Crisis Management, University of Oklahoma
Discussion on relevant risk and crisis theories, research and best practices in risk and crisis management.

For full program details visit prsaokc.org.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We're Walking for Autism Research. Want to Help?


On June 6, the Cain family is once again joining the Oklahoma City Autism Speaks Walk to raise funds and awareness for Autism Research. Our team name is The Penguins, and you can visit our team home page at http://www.walknowforautism.org/oklahoma/penguins.

One in 150 children is diagnosed with autism. With a statistic like that you often hear of families being "touched by autism." That always sounds kind of mushy to me. We’re not a mushy kind of family. I prefer to think of it as a poke, a quick unexpected jab that demands your attention. Our family has been poked by Autism.

Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S. It's time we started poking back. You can help us raise awareness by joining our team and/or participating in the June walk. You can also help support Autism research by making a donation from our homepage: http://www.walknowforautism.org/oklahoma/penguins.

Thanks!