Making the Best of Your Spare Time

Hello everyone!

It has been a while since I last posted, but fear not! I have not forgotten about you. Today’s post is about taking advantage of free time. I would like to assume that we’ve all had those days when nothing is written on our to-do lists and boredom is at an all time high. Take advantage of these days! If you aren’t on vacation, days that you aren’t working to become a better person are days wasted. “But, Ms. Ford, I’ve already done everything I can think of,” you say. This may be true, but have you already done everything someone else has thought of? I typed “Productive things to do when you’re bored” into Google and approximately 2,790,000 results were found in 0.36 seconds. That is 2.79 MILLION results. Your options are endless! I challenge you to do something meaningful with your spare time. Get ahead on a new project. You’ll have a better idea of what preparations to make. Take inventory of your personal items. You might end up saving some money next time you go shopping. Learn a different language. There are perks to being bilingual. Do something today that you are going to be thankful for tomorrow. Need more motivation? Allow me to lead by example. If you look below, you will notice that I created an online resume using Prezi (note: If you are unable to see the embedded slideshow, you may click on the provided link). I took advantage of my free time by working on my personal brand. If you like my presentation, why not make your own? Create your own slideshow and send me a link in the comment section. I’ll post any presentations I receive in my next post! Well, ladies and gentlemen, that is all I have for today’s post. Remember to use your time wisely. Thanks for reading!

 

http://prezi.com/gak9fb7hqjuk/my-virtual-resume/?kw=view-gak9fb7hqjuk&rc=ref-39464125

Entering 2013 With a Bang!

2013 PicturePhoto provided by http://www.etsy.com

Hello everyone and HAPPY NEW YEAR! Yes, I do realize that it is February (It seems that my mini-hiatus was longer than I planned. Sorry!). Nevertheless, here I am in 2013 ready to give you information you did not even know you needed. However, first, I’d like to take this time to thank each and every one of you that took the time to read one of my posts in 2012. I am thankful for every comment, every like, and every follow. I received my “Happy Anniversary” notification from WordPress this past January, and each of you motivate me to continue blogging month after month. Cheers to all of you!

As for my new comers, thank you for showing an interest in my blog! Hopefully, I can persuade you to return.

Now, if you all noticed, I have entitled today’s post “Entering 2013 With a Bang!” I believe that this is MY year. Cliché, I know, but I have my reasons. Here are my Top 5:

1. It’s my SENIOR YEAR! This year, I will graduate from Georgia Southern University with a BS in Public Relations.

2. I will obtain an internship this summer. I already have options.

3. I WILL have a new car by May (I am speaking it into existence).

4. I have several opportunities to volunteer and develop my PR portfolio.

5. Did you not see my number one? I’M GRADUATING!

Needless to say, I am very excited about what 2013 has in store. On the other hand, while I am happy to share news about myself every now and then, I want you to get more out of this post than a list of my short term goals. I want to inspire you. I informed you that it was my senior year to reassure you that what ever you’re working on can be achieved. There are going to be days when frustration, stress, and tiredness win out. However, it is your job to be determined enough to pick back up the next day. Set achievable goals, and be your own motivation. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t depend on others. In fact, due to the connections I’ve made, I was offered more than one internship. I cannot say this enough: Network, Network, Network! When it comes to jobs, it is who knows you first, who you know second, and what you know third. Sure, there are ways around this rule, but it couldn’t hurt to try. If you still haven’t reached your goal after all of this, then maybe you should change your mindset. Speak it into existence. Sometimes, a little optimism and positive thinking can go a long way. You do not have to settle. Acknowledge what you want, believe that you can get it, and go for it!  If all else fails, volunteer! Don’t be in a rush to get rich. Volunteering can help you improve upon your skills, build your portfolio, and boost your confidence. Sooner than later, you will be exactly where you want to be. Our resources are endless. Don’t allow yourself to get in your own way. This can be YOUR year, too.

Author’s Note: I’m currently not taking a class that is requiring me to write a blog, and, as a result, I may need help coming up with topics from time to time. If you would like for me to blog about a particular topic, feel free to comment below or  follow me on twitter and tweet me. I can also be reached on LinkedIn.
 
Twitter: @Simply_LeKae
LinkedIn: Alexandria Ford

Comments: Final Blog for Class

http://britjolley.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/topic-of-the-week-14/#comment-41

This is definitely one of those classes where you leave and feel as if you’ve learned something. I really enjoyed this course.

 

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http://brittanyngodwin.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/the-end-of-social-media-as-we-know-it/comment-page-1/#comment-78

I agree. Having a client made me feel more comfortable with being in public relations. There have been times in the past when I’ve taken a class and actually questioned if I was in the right field. This class helped to confirm that this is what I want to do, and I am really going to miss it.

Final Blog for Social Media and PR

TOPIC OF THE WEEK: Last blog of the semester! What have you learned this semester in this course? Did you discover things you didn’t know before about social media? If so, what? What would you add to the course?

I have learned so much throughout the course of this semester. Social Media and Public Relations can easily be placed among my top three favorite courses. In the past nine weeks, I have learned how to analyze social media practices, effectively brand myself, the difference between traditional and non-traditional means of communication, and more. I also discovered some new social media sites. I was not a fan on online engagement before this class. I was comfortable just having a Facebook and Twitter account. I admit that I am on social media a lot more now than before this class. I now log onto social media sites for the entertainment aspect. Before I enrolled in this course, I had no idea what Pinterest was. I didn’t know the purpose or even how to manage the site. Now, I am practically addicted. It is interesting to see how many people share your views. Sharing a post or liking a status ensures the creator that they are not alone. This course provided me with information that I can use during and after college. I can’t say that for a majority of the classes that I have taken over the years. This class reminded me that learning can be fun, and I’m thankful for the experience if nothing else.

If I were to add anything, it would be to incorporate a vlog (video blog) into the course load. One of the last articles that we read for class pointed out that graduates are now using video posts to stand out among competitors. PR is, once again, evolving. I believe creating at least one vlog  would be a nice addition to the course.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed today’s blog! Don’t forget to subscribe/ comment/ like.  Happy Holidays!

Comments: Clash Scandal

http://timsvoboda74.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/culture-clash/#comment-24

I agree that they will simply find a replacement. Hopefully, they will decide not to alter Elmo’s voice. My Grandmother can do a great Slyvester (the cat) impression. I’m sure they can find someone to mock Elmo’s current voice. I also agree to Clash stepping down. Sesame Street could have fired him, but I’m glad they chose the more graceful route.

 

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http://brittanyforrester.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/elmos-future/#comment-85

I agree with Clash’s resignation, forced or not. I believe Sesame Street would have kept him on leave until the matter died down had not a second accuser came forward. Their second statement implied that they were moving on. On another note, Sesame Street knew about the matter in June. They would be lying if they said they didn’t know anything. Five whole months had passed.

PR in the News: Sesame Street Edition

TOPIC OF THE WEEKIf you’ve been watching the news at all over the past couple of weeks then you have heard about Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who brings Elmo to life (if you haven’t, Google it). With Clash’s exit, what does it mean for Elmo? Is Elmo tainted by Clash’s actions – guilt by association? If you were a member of Sesame Street’s public relations team, how would you suggest they handle this crisis? Do you agree with the way the handled it? In your opinion, what is Elmo’s future?

This is a case that requires a strong dose of crisis management, and I believe Sesame Street’s Public Relations team delivered just the right amount. For those of you who do not know, Sesame Street puppeteer, Kevin Clash,  is trending in the news lately after being accused for having sexual encounters with minors. Clash, who is better known as “the voice of Elmo,” faces three allegations of underage sex. I will not use this post to argue Clash’s guilt or innocence. I am not a lawyer, nor am I an expert in criminal justice. I only wish to discuss the actions taken by Sesame Street’s PR team. With that begin said, please allow me to begin by identifying their actions.

Situation: The first accuser states claims against Clash.
PR’s Response: “We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action. We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. We met with Kevin, who denied the accusation. We also conducted a thorough investigation and found the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated. Although this was a personal relationship unrelated to the workplace, our investigation did reveal that Kevin exercised poor judgment and violated company policy regarding internet usage and he was disciplined.” (You may view the full response on the Sesame Workshop blog.)

Sesame Street’s PR team did not ignore the accusations. First, they released a statement assuring readers  that steps were being taken. Then, they followed up by giving details on how they addressed the issue. I also noticed how the team avoided using the accuser’s name. Perhaps this was a subtle attempt to prevent readers from feeling sympathetic. Perhaps there is also a reason behind using Clash’s first name throughout the statement.  This is not a coincidence. I believe this was a well, thought out response.

A day after their original response, Sesame Street released another statement.

We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode.

It appears they jumped the gun a little with this one. However, their intent was to support their employee, and encourage people following the story to move on. Again, I believe every word in this statement was chosen for a reason. “Unfortunate episode” is an interesting choice of words.

Situation: A second accuser comes forward a week after Sesame Street’s second statement.
PR’s Response: ” Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street.  This is a sad day for Sesame Street.”

The PR team announced Clash’s resignation in a sympathetic manner. They did not redefine the “controversy,” yet they did establish that  the issue was separate from Sesame Street. The PR team also implied that Clash, with a hint of expressed emotion, agreed to step down from his position.

Overall, I feel as if Sesame Street’s PR team did a great job. They distanced themselves from the issue without distancing themselves from their client all together. Yes, Clash resigned, however Sesame Street did not bash or further incriminate him. That is important.

As for Elmo’s future, I think it is safe to say that he will remain a Sesame Street character. However, let it be known that I do not agree with changing Elmo’s voice. Kids have no idea that this scandal is even taking place. Elmo’s voice is not going to haunt them in their dreams. Sesame Street should hire someone who can imitate Elmo’s voice. Hiring a replacement should serve enough satisfaction. Hiring a “new voice” for Elmo is just extreme.

Communication Tools: Old Habits Die Hard

TOPIC OF THE WEEK: Compare and Contrast the use for Public Relations Practitioners of modern communication tools and traditional communication tools.

As a Public Relations Practitioner, I feel it is beneficial to be familiar with both traditional and modern communication tools. There are going to be times when you have to use one of the two to accomplish a task. I’m sure most of us will agree that social media has really stepped to the forefront of communication. However, traditional methods cannot and should not be forgotten. For instance, thank you letters are created by traditional communication tools. According to an article by Christy Hanson, Director of Career Development, thank you letters should be hand written and mailed using the postal service. The following is an excerpt from the article:

“While e-mailed ‘thank-you’s’ are becoming more popular and acceptable to many employers, I still often recommend a professional, hand-written note. Because hand-written notes are now seen as a thing of the past, anecdotal feedback from a sample of employers reveals that they have potential to stand out because of this.”

The telephone is also a great traditional tool that many Public Relation Practitioners still use today. Below is a video from BoxcarMarketing on how telephone “shouldn’t be overlooked.”

On another note, modern communication tools such as email, video conferencing, and social networking are all popular today.

 

Comments I’ve Made: Thankful

http://ek00555.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/give-thanks/#comment-33

“So many things to be thankful for. I definitely should have included “laughter” on my list. Congratulations on your call backs! Good luck on your interviews!”

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http://virginiastieghan.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/only-a-season-to-be-thankful/#comment-55

“I LOVE your page layout! Just thought I’d throw that out there. LoL! You have a lot to be thankful for. Many of us do take these for granted. Hopefully I’ll be able to appreciate #8 more in the future.”

Thankful

TOPIC OF THE WEEK: With Thanksgiving approaching in a couple of weeks, take a moment (or two) to give thanks for the people, places, things, etc. you are grateful for (minimum of 10). Why did these make your list?

First and foremost, I would, and always will, like to give thanks to God. I’m not fortunate. I’m blessed. I was raised believing that, and I’ll die believing that. The rest of my list will be in no particular order.

I am thankful for my family and friends from home. Georgia Southern is four hours away from everyone I love most. I could have loss touch with old friends. My parents could wait until I’m home for my breaks to reach out to me. Still, they make it their business to provide me with a strong support team.

I am thankful for my health. I take my health for granted a lot. I don’t always eat healthy. I like steak, pork, fried foods, and pasta (with meat of course). I don’t drink a lot of water. In fact, the only water I enjoy drinking is Dasani. Weird right? I’ve never cared for taking vitamins, yet I probably should because my joints creak like weight on old floors. Oh, and I’m also overweight. So, why, might you ask, am I thankful for my health? Because, it could worse. Someone right now is dying in a hospital bed without the slightest idea of what is wrong with them. I know exactly what is wrong with my health. I know how to increase my health. How can I not be thankful?

I am thankful for my job(s). I currently work as a student assistant for the Literature and Philosophy Department on campus. During my breaks, I work as a temp with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. There are so many people without jobs, and I am blessed with two (three if you include my role as a full-time student).

I am thankful for mistakes. I am human *insert dramatic gasp*. I make mistakes. Making a mistake should be a learning experience. If you haven’t grown from a mistake, then you’ve probably made another mistake by choosing to ignore it. “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” ― Salvador Dalí

I am thankful for Georgia Southern University. There are times when I want nothing more than to leave and never return. However, I know that I never would have met so many amazing people without Georgia Southern. I have never would have discovered my love for D.I.M.E.S. Fashion Organization. I never would have got the chance to participate in so many great things. I’m thankful.

I am thankful for Public Relations. I felt lost, discouraged, and unmotivated before I declared Public Relations as my major. I’m very happy I discovered the field.

I am thankful for my ability to learn. Some people are restricted on what they can and cannot learn. Some other people suffer from disorders that make learning difficult. I’m blessed.

I am thankful for Professor Groover. I love her class. This class is challenging, yet entertaining. Without her, my readers would have nothing to read, and I would have no topics to rant about. Thank you.

Comments I’ve Made: Apps

http://britjolley.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/topic-of-the-week-10/#comment-35

“I just got an instagram. So far, I like it! I’m not crazy about apps, but they come in handy.”

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http://rgn17.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/my-apps/#comment-48

“You’re the second person to mention that WordPress app. I knew nothing about it. I’ll have to look into downloading it. Thanks!”

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