Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Little Things That Mean A Lot

Last night, I had the chance to speak to the OSU chapter of PRSSA It's probably my favorite group to speak to. They were an awesome audience with lots of questions when we finished.

I discussed making a good first impression, specifically during a job interview (since that is on the mind of most of the students). Here are some highlights.

Be prepared

  • If you're job hunting, have a interview suit ready to go, and keep it dry cleaned.

  • Research the organization, so you can give specific answers to questions. Everyone knows they should do this, but lots of people skip this step. Use it as an opportunity to set yourself apart.

You had me at hello...

  • Know the interview starts the moment you talk to anyone from the organization (30 minutes before the interview or 30 days before the interview).
  • Be nice to the front office staff, they can make or break it for you.

You can't predict the future... or can you?

Obviously, you won’t be able to guess every question they are going to ask you. But you can guess a few. Regardless of whether you script answers or basically wing it, there are a few standard questions you will want to moll over beforehand.

The standards include "What is your greatest strength?" "What’s your greatest weakness?" and "Why are you interested in this position?"

Time to turn the tables

You’re going to be given the opportunity to ask questions. If you want to impress the interview you need to prepare something more think-y than "Do you have a dental plan?"

Ask questions that will help you decide if this job is right for you. Just because they offer you a job doesn’t mean you have to take it. You are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you. Ask questions about the culture, the job, and goals and strategy of the organization.

Put your best foot, and hand, Forward

The last thing we covered was how to give a good handshake, a key to making a good impression.
  • DO stand up and move out from behind any desk, table or chair.
  • DON'T be afraid to initiate the handshake.
  • DO keep your drink in your left hand so your shake isn't cold and clammy.
  • DO grasp thumb webbing to thumb webbing, DON'T shake with just your fingers or the front of your hand.
  • DON'T give the "crusher." Press palm to back of hand instead of top to bottom to ensure your shake is firm, but not painful.
  • DON'T give the two-handed shake to anyone you wouldn't hug. It's too intimate.
  • DON'T give the palm-down handshake, it's domineering.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Make that 5 Weeks!

The 20 minute jog went awesome. Around minute 14, John and I started joking that every step was new personal record. Personal record for distance run, personal record for time run.

You had me at "jog skirt." This is what I look like after running 20 minutes. (I'm probably a bit cuter at the starting line.) How could I not love a sport I can do in a mini-skirt. This skirt is big, BIG part of my motivation.

Special thanks goes to my EVO for the combo of the C25K app and the distracting tunes that helped keep me going (thanks for the tip, Rachel!)

Victory time! I get a high-five from Boogie on my A for effort, then I dash to the L-store in full workout gear.

Including my Buff (a new piece of runner-ly gear, that keeps hair out of my face and breeze out of my dainty ears all while not making me more sweaty). I'm sure the owners thought I was a bit weird, but they are teetotalers who own a liquor store. Who's the weirdo now?

I just couldn't let this momentous victory pass without a champagne toast. To Personal Records!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Four Weeks and Counting!

A month ago, I started a pool: How far into the Couch to 5K workout could I make it and how long will it take me. My bet was "giving up at Week 2, but taking a month to get there."

Well, it looks like I've already lost my own pool, because I have now completed 4 2/3 weeks of the program on track. My record for the most running in my whole life is now 2 8-minute intervals with a 5-minute walk break.

Today I am slated to run 20 minutes straight. If I'm successful (so far, so good!), I will have completed Week 5 in 5 weeks. So, freakin, awesome. Already, I've done so much better than I ever thought possible, and it's been easier and more fun than I expected.

I plan to employ some of the mind games I have learned over the last month to get myself through it. Here are some of the things I tell myself as I'm running.
  • I am a runner
  • My head feels fine, my neck feels fine, my shoulders feel fine, my arms feel fine...
  • Shut up calves! I am in charge of you!
  • By the time I reach that tree I'll be done
  • I look so cute, I look so cute...
  • 1 (step, step, step), 2 (step, step, step), 3...
  • Halfway there, one more minute, 20 more seconds...
  • Ring, you mother cussing bell, RING!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm Starting a Pool...

I've never been a runner. Dancer, yes; rock climber, yes; mountain biker, yes (although not a very good one); annoying girl at the front of aerobics class who can keep up the whole time, yes. But a runner? Never.

Once every 9 months or so, I see the girls in their cute little running clothes jogging down the road and something inside me clicks on. I think "I have cute little running clothes! I could put them on and run! I could be her!" This is a lie I tell myself.

I put on my cute little running clothes and head out. About 4 blocks later, I head home, dejected and wanting to die. I am not a runner, never have been.

This time, I can't blame the cute little running girls, but a perfect storm of other motivators (not the least of which is my former-runner of a husband deciding to run again) have inspired me to give it a real go.

I wanted to blog this this morning, before we officially get started. (So, you can see how pathetic realistic my optimistic stage is) John and I are starting Couch 2 5K tonight. I am going to try really really hard, honest I am. I totally expect fail miserably. I may keel over and die tonight. And, it will most likely take me 2 weeks of 3 workouts/week to complete the week 1 workout.

Here's where the pool comes in. C25K is a 9-week program. In the comments, weigh in as to how far you think I'll get in the program and how many weeks it will take me to get there. I know I have several lurking friends and family members (Daddy I am looking at you). So everyone chime in.

Will I finish Week 2 in 4 weeks? Maybe, stall out at Week 5 after 2 months? Will I complete the 9 Weeks in 3 months, but never run an entire 5K? Or, can I pull out a personal workout miracle and complete the program in 3 months, and run my first 5K?

Seriously, you won't hurt my feelings. I, personally, am going with giving up at Week 2, but taking a month to get there. I promise to do my best, and really shoot for the goal of running a 5K in 3 months. I may even scrounge up a prize for pool's winner. So make your best guess!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bad Day to Be Boogie (and Bonnie)

I was startled awake at 4:30 a.m. by Boogie crying and spinning in circles at my bedside. Before I was even conscience enough to comprehend the ruckus and the strange burnt chemical smell in the air, John called it. Boogie got skunked.

We both popped out of bed, but what the heck do you do with a skunked dog? Commonsense would say don't let her run circles through the house and periodically drop to the ground and writhe around like she's been maced. Too late there.

Should you find yourself in a similar situation here's how to handle it with poise and dignity.

1. Feel like a total scumbag as you refuse to cuddle and comfort your traumatized animal who wants nothing more than to cower at your feet.
2. Chase said animal through the house as she ping pongs out of control. Finally, baby gate her in the kitchen.
3. Googled how to de-skunk a dog.
4. Sink into despair as you realize you do not have tomato juice or peroxide and they won't unroll the sidewalks in your small town for another 2 hours and oh-my-god-that dog-smells.
5. Snap into action and attempt de-skunking step one: blot dog with paper towels to remove excess skunk oil pre-bath.
6. Try to cheer yourself when you realize there is no excess oil; your dog must have received an indirect hit (perhaps through the fence?) albeit an indirect hit straight in the face. Despite now feeling like you yourself have been maced, this could be worse!
7. Sink back into skunk fume induced despair as you convince yourself (curse you new Google knowledge!) that your dog could be blind from this face on hit.
8. Go to the living room and call the emergency vet line.
9. Clear head in time to tell answering service to NOT wake the vet at 4:30 in the morning, and settle for just checking the opening time.
10. Snap back into action, and strip down naked (Google told me to!)
11. Whisk the dog into the bath where you scrub her down twice, as if that's not bad enough convince dog she is being drowned as you water-board attempt to wash her face.
12. Open all the windows in the house and try to go back to bed. Fail miserably because your house now reeks of skunk. Tell yourself it could have been worse.
13. Wake up 2 hours later, tell yourself the dog and house don't smell that bad and head to the vet.
14. Pick up the vet approved de-skunk miracle recipe. Sink into despair when the tech explains that you won't be able to get enough of it on her face to de-skunk that area.
15. Stop at 2 different stores to pick up supplies. Return home to resume puppy torture.
16. Realize you were wrong about the house not smelling too bad.
17. Wash the dog again in Head and Shoulders, let soak 5-10 minutes. Dip dog in icy cold mixture of 1 quart peroxide, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 tablespoon dish soap.
18. Feel like a complete scumbag as your dog loses all faith in humanity and begins crying non-stop.
19. Congratulate yourself when you realize that except for her muzzle the dog smells pretty ok.
20. Spend the next 12 hours sweating it out with every window open as you scrub floors, cover every soft surface in Frebreeze and burn more incense and candles than a Wiccan on Halloween because evidently, that's all you CAN do.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

EVO: First Impressions

This week I upgraded my beloved blackberry to the new Sprint EVO. I've only had it for a few days, so I'm still figuring a few things out. Here's a quick run down of the pros and cons I've found as a first-time user.

Thumbs Up:
  • Seven home screens mean I have tons of room to load and organize shortcuts. Apps are pretty easy to get to without a shortcut, but I'm using the screens to organize similar often-used apps.
  • Apps, duh. The Sprint saleman told me "Any goofy weird thing you want your phone to do, just search the app store, you'll find something." So far, he was right on. An app review deserves it's own post.
  • Dual-facing camera lets you see and shoot towards yourself. You can even use it as a mirror. I haven't fiddled with the video and camera much, but I'm looking forward to it.
  • The video is awesome. Not only is the screen huge by mobile device standards, but everything loads super quick and the video is so so crisp and clear.
  • My phone is as cool as yours and I don't have to use AT&T. I'm doing an excellent job of holding a decade plus grudge-fuled boycott of AT&T, and there's no way I'm backing down for a stupid iPhone.
  • My phone is as cool as yours and I didn't have to buy an Apple. I'm a PC. I heart Google, Adobe, and I heart my PC. The Android hearts them too.
  • While my Blackberry total changed the way I thought about and used the internet, in comparison, the mobile experience on the EVO is like angels singing. So freaking awesome. See above, I heart Google. If you like Chrome and iGoogle, I think you'll like Android internet.

Thumbs Down:
  • Touch keypad is kind of hard to use. I am getting better after just a few days, but texting is a little hard and impossible while you're driving. Um, what? I didn't say that.
  • Voice to text, while awesome in concept, is working about 75% of the time for me. Maybe it's my twang. Other voice apps work great for me, but 1 out of 4 voice texts pops up gobblity-gook. The longer the phrase, the more likely this is to happen. But, hey, I have voice text. Sweet!
  • I haven't figured out how to delete music in the player. I listen to a ton of podcasts, and I delete them after listening. On the Blackberry this is easily done in the player. For now, I downloaded a file manager app, and I have to exit the player, remember which file I heard, navigate back to it, and delete. There must be a better way! But this is a first-time user review, and this is one of my first-time user problems.
Well, as you can see the pros are definitely outnumbering the cons at this point. I'm pretty happy with my new device.

What kind of mobile device are you using now, and what your favorite thing about it?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lopped for Locks of Love

A few years ago, my sister Sarah chopped off about a foot of hair and sent it off to Locks of Love. I was intrigued. We're used to giving money and giving time, but this was a new way to give. I decided I would do the same thing.

It wasn't hard work, but I certainly invested more time in this particular gift than I have in anything else I've ever donated. If I hadn't been waiting for my ponytail to hit 10" (the minimum donation for hair to be used in a Locks of Love hairpiece) there is no way I would have put up with it for so long. I'd forgotten what a hassle long hair was!

I was so excited to chop it off in one long ponytail. How often do you get to do that? (about once every 3 years!) I felt instantly lighter. Here's what it looks like after you whack a ponytail off the back of your head. Well, what it looks like when a very talented hairdresser ties it up, then whacks a ponytail off. Don't try this at home! Jeanie has the magic touch.

TaDa! I'm pretty pleased with the final product and I'm excited to have my short hair back. Jeanie even left me room to go shorter next time. (She likes her clients to take a couple cuts to get to a change this dramatic).

You can see here, it's pretty short in the back. Hopefully this ponytail will help a little kid feel as beautiful as I feel today.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Vacation Week... Oh, Shiney!

The countdown until vacation is in the single digits, and I'm just not sure I'll be able to keep a thought in my head for more than a moment until I am in the airport. My brain is a jumble of unrelated (mostly vacation-focused) randomness.
  • Can I make it 11 days with no internet, no phone, no GPS, no email? Sure, I can.
  • Will it cause a panic attack at some point. Likely, but it will probably be as I board in Houston, then I'll be fine.
  • Will we be able to see the oil spill from the plane? We depart the USA from Houston, but I'm not sure of the exact path of the plane. I find the possibility simultaneously fascinating and heartbreaking.
  • Even if we do our dead set best to NOT DRINK the water, will we still get sick? I give myself even odds, John's odds probably aren't as good.
  • Will we like the rest of tour group? Will they be fun? Will we be the only non-AARP members? Hopefully, fingers crossed, and quite likely.
  • Will the dog miss us? Will she even care if she's at my mom's house? Which is sadder?
  • Can we really pack for an 11 day trip in a carry-on suitcase each?
  • Will doing laundry from the road suck the fun on a daily basis?
  • Will we get the whole Egyptian tipping thing down? Seriously, a tip for opening a door or pushing the elevator button? Geeze. How many 5 cent bills am I going to have to carry around?
  • That's right a nickle bill. Man, if euros were confusing at times, this is going to be downright ridiculous.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Egypt Here We Come

Last year when we visited Ireland, we heard over and over again, "That's the trip of a lifetime!" Well, we've decided that we should take a "trip of a lifetime" every year. This year it's Egypt, and we're finally getting close enough that it's starting to feel real.

I've been planning for months, but I've been disappointed in the amount of information on modern day Egypt. This trip is sure to be filled with surprises. There are tons about ancient Egypt, but just not that much (comparatively) for today's traveler. I guess not too many people actually go there. You'd think it would be more popular. I mean, it's Egypt! Who wouldn't want to go? Sure, it's part of the middle east and it's hot enough to kill you, but they have pyramids. We're talking the real deal. John and I are going to see the last standing wonder of the world.

If we thought Ireland was a culture shock, this is going to be a full-on culture stroke. I can't wait. Bring on the strange food, signs I can't read, baffling customs, marketplace bartering, and neck-to-toe cover ups in 120' heat. My world view is ready for it's next adjustment.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How a Politician Gives You the Bird

A few weeks ago, a candidate for House District 31 stopped by the house. She missed us, but left a handbill with a handwritten personalize sticky note. "{phone} {email}Beautiful orange door! Sorry I missed you. AJ Jones."

I'm impressed. We are more politically active than your average family (not hard!), and John and I know firsthand how hard it is to walk the ward much less the district. So I take a look to learn more.

AJ bills herself as a "Common Sense Conservative." Um, what does that mean? Are you a democrat or a republican? In Oklahoma "Common Sense Conservative" could mean either. I keep reading.

On the next page, there is a typo that is so bad I honestly didn't understand the sentence. And the kicker: the longest bullet on the entire handbill describes her husband. Evidently, he is proof of her "values." All this tells me is that she values her husband's qualifications over her own.

Ok, so I'll go the website to see more about her. Only, there is no website. The first day I checked, there was only a hosting page that stated the domain was purchased. A week later a "Coming Soon" splash image appeared. As of this writing, the page is still coming soon.

Then this shows up downtown:

Are you kidding me? This billboard is in the historic district! I soon learned I wasn't the only one annoyed by this. I explained this to AJ in an email on May 31.

People in Guthrie are talking, but I doubt it's in a way you hoped. Everyone is intrigued by your campaign. You've been out in the neighborhoods--I know you stopped by my home--signs are starting to go up, and I've even heard Chuck introduced you to some folks at the coffee shop.

The only problem is the very, very large sign--more of a billboard, really--right smack dab in the historic district. I'm not the only person upset by this. One of our civic leaders has already spoken to the city attorney about this. It seems since you are political candidate, your sign is somehow exempt from our historic preservation regulations. So no one will force you to remove the sign on the White Rock Cafe. That is until the sign ordinance our city council has been working on for more than a year passes this summer.

Our beautiful Victorian downtown is our number one attraction and we are heading into tourism season. If you would like to impress the people of Guthrie, please have some respect for the integrity of our historic regulations and the community itself.

Bonnie Ann Cain, APR (registered Republican)

I received no automated response. The next day, nothing. The next week, nothing. Maybe Team AJ is as good at checking email as they are at updating the website. But, today I got a surprise. She wrote back. Here was her response:

Dear Ms. Cain:
Thank you so much for your thoughtful concern about our beautiful town. I too love our Victorian downtown. I apologize for not responding to your e-mail sooner, but I was researching and conversing with some people regarding your concern about my campaign sign. I have made every effort to ensure that the sign is only temporary. It will be removed after the July 27 primary. In making the decision to use the sign, I sought several people's opinions. They assured me that since we are in the political season, the temporary sign would not be offensive. They pointed out several other signs which are larger and have permanent placement. Again, thank you for your concern. Please do not hesitate to phone me or e-mail if you wish further information.
AJ Jones

Now that is how you give someone the bird. At least she's got one thing down.

I'm not sure who these people she talked to were. I'm guessing it wasn't the code enforcement office, or any downtown business owner who has struggled to remain in compliance, or the economic development office. And I thought I'd made it pretty clear the people I've talked to do find the sign offensive. As for taking the sign down after July 27, I'm hoping she won't have a need to campaign after that day.

And what are these larger permanent signs? Is she talking about these?

These couldn't be it. These are actually adding to the historic district. But these were the only other billboards I saw in downtown. Maybe I'm just so used to these other larger permanent signs I've tuned them out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

APR Flash Card: 5 Stages of Adoption

The second of three flash cards on Adoption Theory.

Category: Theory
Front: 5 Stages of Adoption

  1. Awareness-general knowledge exists, but lacks details.
    (You've heard of the hoozeewhatsit, but you don't really know how it works or how it might fit into your life. )
  2. Interest-information gathering.
    (You start seeing ads for the hoozeewhatsit, and some friends are talking about it. You get a better sense of its value.)
  3. Evaluation-mental trial.
    (You begin thinking about how you might use it, what it might replace, how it could make things easier.)
  4. Trial-experimental use.
    (You take a hoozeewhatsit for a test drive, maybe borrow one from a friend. You may even go ahead and get one of your own if it's free or not cost-prohibitive. But you're not completely sold just yet.)
  5. Adoption-continued use.
    (The hoozeewhatsit has stood the test of time. You are fully on board and loving your newest innovation adoption.)
Try thinking back to when you first used Twitter. You had heard people talking about it. Maybe you were annoyed by all the buzz, or maybe you were intrigued. Either way you were in stage one awareness.

Stage 2, your friends on Twitter start to tell you more. They berate you over coffee, preaching the wonders of Twitter. You see Twitter feeds on a few sites, maybe on the news.

Your mental trial begins when you find yourself wondering what you might tweet about, or if the twitterverse could help with this question from work or maybe a dinner recommendation.

So you pull up the site and create an account. Why not, its free. You follow a few news outlets and the handful of friends you can find in the search. You're in the trial stage.

After a few weeks, you get over the initial fear of what to say, you have a small network in place and you can finally see the value. How did live without this? You've hit the adoption stage.

If you're not a Twitter user which stage did you reach before you decided it wasn't for you?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Friday's Orange Letter Day: OSUF Launches a Campaign for OSU

The entire OSU family is invited to tune in this Friday as the OSU Foundation hosts the launch of the campaign for Oklahoma State University. I've been looking forward to this event for a while (although not as long as my friends at OSUF). It's going to be so exciting!

The main event will be on the Stillwater campus in the Student Union at 11 am, but each of our branches is hosting a watch party as well. If you can't make it to one of our campuses, you can watch it live at

As an event planner myself, I love the opportunity to sneak a peek at other people's parties. This one is sure to be packed with fun ideas. There will be a big unveil of the campaign theme and logo (very top secret until then!), and our campaign fundraising goal (game changing! dare we say "audacious" Burns did). There will be a major gift announcement. I'm so excited about this one, I might just bust. It is so inspiring, so generous, just so wow. And, the OSUF will be announcing the winners of the contest.

I was super honored to be called in as a last-minute preliminary judge for the OKC and Tulsa text entries. And just as exciting, I'll be pushing out the social media content on behalf of the Foundation on Friday. If you are looking for tweets, twitpics and Facebook updates from me during the event, you'll find them on the Foundation's account. Better yet, as you are watching live, run a twitter search for #okstate, so you can see what everyone has to say about it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

APR Flash Card: Characteristics Promoting Adoption

In grad school, I was fascinated with adoption theory. It's really interesting (no really!), and you can read more about it here. It also makes an appearance on the APR exam. Here's the first of three flash cards on adoption.

Category: Theory
Front: 5 Characteristics Promoting Adoption

  • Relative Advantage-does this innovation do something better than what I am already using?
  • Compatibility-does it fit in with my current activities/needs/life
  • Trial-ability-is it easy to experiment with it? Can I try it out?
  • Observability-can I see other people use it? How does it work for them?
  • Complexity-how hard is it to understand/learn/implement?
Think about the latest gadget or activity you really bought into. Maybe it was a different cell phone or a fancy kitchen gizmo. Chances are, several of these characteristics had to come together before you really adopted whatever it was.

For me personally, I find relative advantage and trial-ability are often the most important. Does it work better than what I already have, and is it easy to test it out before I commit.

Which of these characteristics is most important to you?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

APR Flash Card: 10 Components of a Plan

There are 10 key components to a comprehensive PR plan. I've found everyone nestles these in a slightly different order within the 4-step process. And, most of us combine/collapse a few because really there is quite a bit of overlap. But for the purposes of the exam you need to know all 10.

Category: Planning
Front: 10 Components of a Plan

1. Goals-desired end results
2. Audience-groups with whom you communicate
3. Objectives-phrased in terms of audience, outcome, attainment level, and time frame
4. Strategies-how in concept objectives will be achieved
5. Tactics-how to use resources to carryout strategies
6. Activities-specific actions to perform tactics
7. Evaluation-how you know if you achieved an objective
8. Budgeted Items-out-of-pocket expenses
9. Materials-what will be produced or purchased
10. Time Table & Task List-who does what when

If you're wondering about my choice of order, I list them this way because I use the phrase "Great Aunt Olga sometimes tells Alice 'Eat more buttered toast!'" Silly, yes. But 10 items is a lot to remember come test time.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

APR Flash Card: Audience

We talk a lot about "audience" but your PR plan needs to define what exact you mean by that.

Category: Planning

Front: Audience

Back: Groups or sub-groups with whom you need to communicate
  1. who need to know and/or understand
  2. who needs to be involved
  3. whose advice and/or support is needed
  4. who will be impacted

Friday, February 5, 2010

This Week I Heart: OSU Foundation's

My friends over that the OSU Foundation are full of interesting ways to secure donations and then pass those dollars on to students. This newest project is so fun, I'm kind of a little obsessed with it. (see already how clever it's title is?) began last week and runs until Feb 20. Students enter for 10 chances to win a $1,000 scholarship. Students answer a question "How do you define success at OSU?" with a 300 word blog entry, a 30 second video or a high-resolution photo.

Easy, right? Where were these kind of scholarship applications when I was in school?

Winners will be announced on Feb. 26 (more about this special orange-letter day, later), and they receive the scholarship that day. So, even graduating seniors can enter. The best-of for each category will be selected (3), then one randomly drawn entry from each campus (4), then the remainder are drawn randomly from all entries (3).

Here where the obsession comes in. You can watch the entries as they are submitted via a live feed. Too fun.

Photo Feed

Video Feed

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Polish Your Presence with the PRSA-SW Student Post-con

The PRSA-SW District Conference is coming to OKC in 2010. This is typically a great conference full of wonderful speakers, networking and events. I may be a bit bias (I'm on the planning committee) but this year is going to be especially fantastic.

The conference is April 15-17, just in time for graduating seniors to network their little hearts out. And obviously, all PR students are going to want to take advantage of the extra low student registration rate. But wait there's more!

There will be a special post-conference session on Friday designed just for students. Polish your presence with a luncheon session designed to help you make the best of your first impression. Then learn from both your peers and the pros during small resume breakouts led by seasoned OKC-area professionals. Bring 8 or more copies of your resume and see what sets you apart from the crowd. Each post-conference attendee will also receive a packet of exclusive content on the job hunt process.

The 2 1/2 hour post conference is $50 for PRSSA members and $65 for non-members and includes your lunch at the Bricktown Brewery. If you can't make it to the full conference you can still register for the post-conference. Registration opens soon, so mark your calendars and plan to be there!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

APR Flash Card: Strategy vs. Tactic

Strategies and tactics are probably the two most often confused terms in PR. Many people use them interchangeably. While they are very similar, they aren't the same thing.

Front: Strategy
Back: How in concept an objective will be achieved; how you will approach a challenge; devices you will employ; core messages

Front: Tactics
Back: Specific activities that put strategies into operation; how you will use resources to carry out a strategy. There may be multiple tactics per strategy.

Strategy-Utilize outposts to drive traffic to the blog
  1. Install RSS application on Facebook page
  2. Post blog entries in Twitter update
  3. Post blog entry in Facebook update
  4. Post career, APR, giving, and PR posts in Linked in profile.
  5. Link back to One Bonnie in comments on other blogs

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

APR Flash Card: Goals vs. Objectives

There is very little that I can say for sure will be on your APR exam. But I'm willing to go out on limb and say there will be questions asking you to identify a statement as a goal or an objective. There will also be questions asking you identify strategies versus tactics, but I'll get to that next week.

It can be difficult at first to write measurable objectives, I think if you understand the difference, it's quite easy to identify goals vs. objectives on the exam

Category: Planning
Front: Goals
Back: In general terms, what you hope to accomplish.
(Chris Brogan has a post here about setting SMART goals. Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely)

Front: Objective
Back: Desired end results stated in terms of audience, outcomes, attainment level and time frame. There may be multiple objectives for each goal.

Increase reader interaction on There's Only Ever One Bonnie

  1. I will post at least three entries per week in 2010.
  2. I will utilize at least two outposts for each entry in 2010.
  3. I will comment on at least 2 other blog each week in 2010.
  4. Readers will visit the to the blog 10% more in 2010.
  5. Readers will comment on the blog 25% more in 2010.
  6. I will respond to all comments within 24 hours of posting.

Be bold in your goal setting. I think too often we hold back out of fear of failure.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pet Pics Can Win Prizes

Think you have the cutest pup or kitty? Snap a picture and you could win $100.

FOGAS (Friends of the Guthrie Animals) is hosting a Cool Cats, Dashing Dogs Photo Contest this spring. The contest is open now and the deadline is April 15. (That should be an easy deadline to remember, I think something else is due that day...)

It's $5 per entry; enter as many times as you like. The extra money goes to support FOGAS's low-cost spay and neuter program.

John and I plan to enter a couple times. You should, too. If you think your pet can beat out that cute face above.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

APR Flash Card: 4 Steps of the Planning Process

This flash card is really the basis of everything we do in PR. It all comes down to the 4 steps. I've heard many students try to smush these into some awkward acronyms, that really just end up confusing what the steps actually mean. There's only 4 of them. Even though I'm a huge fan of the memory tricks, I'd recommend just remembering these as is.

Category: Planning

4 Steps in a Planning Process

  1. Research-what's the problem, how do we know, do we need more facts
  2. Planning-who is the audience, what do we want to accomplish
  3. Execution-the "to do"
  4. Evaluation- did it work, why or why not, how well, what would we change

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

APR Flash Card: "Mutual Adjustment" Era

This is the final flash card on the eras of PR (for now). The "Mutual Adjustment" era is what most people agree to be the era the industry is in currently.

Category: Trends
Front: "Mutual Adjustment" Era

Back: ~1950 on
  • Post-war era, 1945-65: We moved from a war-oriented economy to a postindustrial service-orientated economy. PR became an accepted and professional organization.
  • Global Information Society, 1965 on: Multiple technology communication channels are developed. We shift from a national economy to a world economy. PR focuses on mediating conflict and building mutual adjustment.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

How to Create Facebook Ads That Work

Bet you thought I was going to share some great Facebooking secret with you here. Nope, I'm just going to turn you on to this free Webinar.

It's from Schipul, so you know it's going to be awesome. Kim is going to talk about
  1. Facebook ads vs. Google ads
  2. Designing your ad to convert
  3. Targeting your ad
  4. When keywords are good and when they are bad
  5. Testing your ads
  6. Tweaking your ad campaign and pricing