Friday, May 4, 2007

Thoughts on blogging

I created this blog as a part of a class assignment and I greatly underestimated the challenge. I thought it would be so easy to just write my thoughts and keep up with it, but it was a lot harder than I thought!

Actively participating in the blogosphere is difficult because it entails fully emerging yourself in it. It was also hard because we were asked to blog about PR. We had free reign over those topics, but it had to involve PR in some way which added a twist to what I thought would be just blogging about whatever I wanted.

I am so glad we were required to start and maintain a blog. I think that having this skill and being familiar with the technology will give me a leg up on other applicants that don't have the same skills and knowledge about it. Hopefully, I can direct potential employers to my blog to showcase everything I've learned!

Only 3 more classes

I only have three more classes standing between me and my graduate degree. I can't believe that I'll be done with school forever at the end of July!

Grad school wasn't exactly as I had expected it. I had assumed that I would learn more about how to practice public relations rather than actually studying theories about it. This is partly my fault because I hadn't realized that there were "practical" grad schools and "research" grad schools. I've learned a lot, but I had hoped to have more practical skills by the time I graduated.

Overall, I'm really glad I pursued a graduate degree here at the University of Georgia. I got the chance to be a TA, I've met some amazing people, and I expanded my knowledge base to (hopefully!) make myself more appealing to possible employers.

Reflections on being a TA

Today I wrapped up my second and last semester as a teaching assistant for the Introduction to Public Relations class! It's been a wild year working with undergrads and I can't help but wonder if I asked as many questions as they do when I was in undergrad? Of course I did, I was that girl.

My first semester as a TA was extremely overwhelming, but I got through it and I also realized that there is no way possible to make 300 students happy! They have four different options as to how their grade can be calculated, projects, attendance, and extra credit that has forced me to become much more organized! Originally, I was so nervous because I knew that I was responsible for the grades of 300 students. Once I realized that, my organization skills kicked in and it has carried over into other parts of my life.

I am so happy that I had the opportunity to be a TA. Not only did it pay for my graduate degree but it also gave me the opportunity to meet so many more people than I would have otherwise here at UGA.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Campaign Success!

Our campaign is over! I wasn't sure how it would turn out even though our group worked together fantastically but the presentation went even smoother than I had expected. The four of our members that presented were well prepared and practiced and I was so proud that they represented us.

And as a bonus, our client began on one of our tactics, an internship program, immediately after our presentation, which I thought was a good sign!

Overall, it has been a great experience. I believe that this class reinforced everything else I've learned so far in my graduate studies by actually putting it into practice. I'm glad this course is a requirement. Even though it's a lot of work, I learned a lot!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Using social media for emergency alerts

In the aftermath of the massacre at Virginia Tech, there will obviously be analysis of the crisis response applied by the University. Whether you think they handled it well or just the opposite, the fact remains that technology evolves faster than we can keep up with and crisis response strategies should as well. Let's face it, students check their Facebook and MySpace more than they check their e-mail (guilty as charged). Using these social networking sites to send messages could be one new way to disseminate these messages quickly.

In a recent post, The Diva Marketing Blog cited Marianne Richmond's post advocating the use of social media in crisis planning. I had thought of the use of text messaging, MySpace, and Facebook, but she mentioned a new technique that I had never heard of, Twitter.

Twitter is a mobile text messaging system that allows groups to be formed, no matter who their cell phone service provider is. This could be the most effective way to disseminate information quickly in times of crisis. I NEVER leave home without my cell phone and, frankly, I almost feel naked without it.

There are so many lessons to be learned from the devastating events at Virginia Tech, from crisis response to recognizing signs of instability in troubled students. And that is what we must do, LEARN those lessons and grow from them in an effort to avoid a situation like this again in the future.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Campaign coming to an end

The book draft for our campaign for The Home Depot Foundation is due today and while I'd like to say I'm relieved, I was never really anxious about it. Our group has 11 people in it, which seems like too many to make the group functional. However, this is honestly one of THE best groups I have ever worked in, including my years in undergrad at Clemson. Tasks were delegated, we constantly communicated through e-mail, we broke into small groups to accomplish tasks, and our group leaders, Chad and Whitney were excellent. This seems to be contrary to other groups' progress, according to Dr. Russell.

I think that everyone pulled their own weight, but there were others that went above and beyond to get this task completed. Through this process I have learned so much about the different aspects of developing a campaign and made nine new friends (and no, I'm not excluding anyone, I already knew Nikki!). Now, all we have to do is pitch the client on Monday and we'll be home free!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Today, we are all Hokies

I'm from Williamsburg, Virginia and what happened yesterday at Virginia Tech really hit home. I haven't watched the news this much since 9/11. I was very happy to find out that my loved ones at Tech were safe, but my heart goes out to those who lost theirs yesterday. I can't believe that something like this could happen. Although it is a devestating tragedy, it's uplifting to see how our nation has come together. I want to send my thoughts and prayers to all of the Hokie Nation.