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Chick-fil-A Giveaways

2 Nov

PR Connection 2322

Today, on campus at Southeastern University, Chick-fil-A came and did their annual giveaways for the students. They had a table set up outside of Chartwells that had a fortune drop game set up. You would put the Chick-fil-A chip into the slot and whatever slot the chip falls on that is what you win! So, everyone is a winner! You could win Chick-fil-A sandwiches, desserts, fries, drinks, or your pick. Personally, I love to get free giveaways, I mean, who doesn’t, but I especially like it when Chick-fil-A has giveaways for a couple of reasons.

Chick-fil-A started in Georgia in 1946 and has been growing ever since. They are privately owned chains. Chick-fil-As have excellent marketing skills especially with the cow as their mascot saying to “Eat more chikin”. I remember when I first saw Chick-fil-A‘s mascot and just started laughing because of the concept. They are a great company to have children’s parties at or for any occasion. They do great catering for graduation parties or what have you.

Chick-fil-A has a special place in my heart because that was where I officially met my fiance when we were back in high school together. I gave him my phone number on the back of a Chick-fil-A coupon I had been given on my senior cruise the week before. I am telling you Chick-fil-A seems to market everywhere. At least, they are pretty popular in the western Pennsylvanian area.

A new flavor they have out is the peppermint chocolate chip hand spun milkshake. I have not been able to try one yet, but their milkshakes are very tasty normally. Their motto is to eat in moderation, which is something that many companies do not normally promote. The reason being, the companies want you to buy more of their product, which Chick-fil-A does too, but they are saying to just make good choices with how much you consume.

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Public Relation Professional Interview- Gary Kimler

25 Oct

Today, I had the honor of interviewing Gary Kimler a public relations professional at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla. He graduated from The University of Southern Florida with a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism. He just had his one year anniversary working at Southeastern University and is proud to present his 24-page-tabloid about Southeastern University‘s 75th year anniversary that will appear in the Lakeland Ledger on November 4, 2010.

A typical week for Kimler is not typical at all. The hours posted for him are from 8a.m. until 5p.m. everyday. However, that varies with the different tasks that arise for him throughout the week, especially when needing to carry two different phones in order for life to run smoothly. Kimler starts out his day looking for local news by reading The Ledger, obtaining global news from The Drudge Report and other news sources. He continues on with his day by working on various projects. As I mentioned before, one project he just completed is the enormous project of the 24-page-tabloid about Southeastern University 75th Anniversary. It is a project that he is very proud of. Kimler wears many hats in his field. On this project, he created the idea, did the research, design and all the different aspects of writing.

Being a public relations professional, Kimler has to remain current in the public relations industry. He has gained significance connections from his previous jobs from working at The Tampa Tribune to The Lakeland Ledger. Then, 24 years after leaving the newspaper world, he entered the private companies’ world and worked in their communication department. Throughout this journey, Kimler taught himself graphic arts and became a graphic designer. He learned programs such as Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. All of these things, he wished he could have known before he started in the field, but had not come into being yet. The field is a continual learning curve with new technologies and programs.

Plus, Kimler expresses that writing is very important in a public relations career. Especially, coming from a journalist and editor background. Kimler emphasizes how important writing skills are today for the industry. He says, “Everything is press releases.” Since he has been on both sides, from the journalist to the public relations professional, he understands the viewpoints or attitudes that are being expressed. The main part of a public relations professional’s job is to be that medium between the president of the organization and the media. He graciously gave me the 10 Commandments of Media Relations. They are:

  1. Thou shalt be open and cooperative. Never lie.
  2. Thou shalt personalize Southeastern University as much as possible.
  3. Thou shalt develop media contacts.
  4. Thou shalt take good stories to the media.
  5. Thou shalt respond quickly.
  6. Thou shalt never say “no comment.”
  7. Thou shalt know: it’s OK to say, “I don’t know” (but I’ll find out).
  8. Thou shalt know: if thou screweth up, confess and repent.
  9. Thou shalt use “Big Dump” when thou havest bad news to dump. Dump it all at once; don’t let it dribble out. That will prolong the stories and multiply the damage.
  10. Thou shalt prepare, prepare, prepare.

I learned very informative tips to keep in mind. Starting out in public relations, the positive stories journalists will call in about go to the top. But, that is why he is paid the “big bucks” to deal with the negative stories journalists will want to know about. These moments are when the public relations professional is that medium to protect the company, but still tell the truth. I like how Kimler puts it, “We are the professional firemen who are always putting out fire

The Blog Review – Sam Mooty

21 Oct

PR Connection 2322

The blog that wins the award in my book of being one that stands out from the others in our COMM 2322 class is Sam Mooty’s blog. You can visit it at http://sammooty.wordpress.com/. He uses a variety of techniques to make his blog interesting to read and follow.

One of the techniques he uses is adding in visual aids. He has a picture or video inserted into his posts that correspond with the topic. As a fellow blogger, I understand the extra time it takes to search for those pictures or videos and then document them properly as well. As a blogger, you have to insert the links that go with the picture or video you post. That is one of the reasons why I chose Mooty’s blog because he went the extra mile.

Plus, Mooty exercises good judgment as to what topics he writes about. They are very interesting or even sometimes humorous choices. I like how his blog topics are not just all about health or politics, but he keeps up with current news or other interests. A couple of posts I would suggest others to read are:

  1. Too much love? a post about the show “Sister Wives” and how teh police are investigating them. He includes a video with it as well.
  2. Justin Bieber makes up 3% of Twitter another post that is current with the times.
  3. Era in PR

Lastly, I must say I cannot stand when you go onto another person’s blog and you cannot find anything on it. It just looks like words are everywhere. That is why organizing your blog is so important. Who cares if you can find everything on it, but if someone comes to your blog and they cannot navigate easily through it, then you might want to rethink the formatting.

Mooty has done a great job with organization. From easy to read reading notes, not reading notes that just as long as the text to clear titles and formatting to clear language usage. Overall, this blog is my number one pick for the blog review.

Class Skyping with Richard Laermer

12 Oct

PR Connection COMM 2322

Richard Laermer is a renown public relations professional, CEO of RML PR, known as the “Media Guy”and writes the blog called Bad Pitch Blogs. He is involved with so many more things that the list would be very long. Today, in Barbara Nixon’s COMM 4333 class we had the opportunity to skype with Richard Laermer and ask him a variety of questions. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties we were not able to cover that much material with him. However, it was a great learning experience of what to do when technology fails you.

First, always test your equipment to make sure that it can work when the time comes. Professor Nixon made a test skype call and it worked great ahead of time. Then, make sure you have a back up plan. The back up plan for this class was to use the iPhone and just plug it into the speaker system in the classroom. This back plan even failed in the end. Initially, we could hear Laermer thru the speaker system, but then for some reason it cut out and would not work anymore. So what do you do when all technology fails even your back up plan fails?

You pull a Barbara Nixon. You make sure that you have the guest speaker’s cell phone number ahead of time, so that if anything goes wrong they are not left hanging. You prepare, test, run, test again, try and try again and when the technology fails you text them to keep them in the loop. But, when you realize it is just not going to work, you would want to not just send an e-mail to thank them for their time, but a written letter to thank them. I think today’s class was a huge learning experience because I am sure one day at least one of us from COMM 4333 will have this problem, but now we know what we can do in these situations.

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes

25 Sep

PR Connection 2322

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes is one of my favorite places to eat. They have a new promotion which is “Taste the World in Eight Weeks.” The dates are August 1 – September 28 so hurry in and try the food from all over the world before the eight weeks are up. Do not forget to bring your coupons that they send out weekly via e-mail such as buy one get one free and other great deals!

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes is known for three specialities the salads, soups and bakery. They believe in making everything from scratch and “farm fresh” as food is prepared in a healthy way. They have their own Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Blog where updates and fun recipes are posted. Plus, this health conscious restaurant provides the opportunity for non-profit organizations to fundraise. They will give 20% of the proceeds to the non-profit cause. It is a great way to spend a night out with family and friends and enjoy some great food as well.

The whole atmosphere of the restaurant is fun bright colors where when you first enter the building there is a gourmet salad bar. This salad bar is stocked with multiple lettuce choices, all kinds of vegetables, croutons, cheeses, eggs, and so forth. There are multiple stations of food from soups, salads, desserts, breads, fruits and pasta. All of which you do not want to pass up. Sweet Tomatoes as I like to call it are located in 15 different states across the country and are, “#1 in fresh produce and salads, made-from-scratch soups, hot-tossed pastas, freshly baked breads and muffins, fresh fruit, frozen yogurt and more.”

If you live here in Lakeland, Fla. the closest Sweet Tomatoes is in Brandon, Fla. and then the next closets Sweet Tomatoes is in Tampa, Fla. It is not only a great night out and family and a casual date night atmosphere to be in, but the food there is high quality and reasonably priced.

SEU TNL (Thursday Night Live)

25 Sep

PR Connection 2322

On Thursday September 23, 2010, the student body leader council (SBLC) at Southeastern University put on the production called Thursday Night Live with the theme being SEUTube. This event is a spin off of the show Saturday Night Live where Southeastern Students have the opportunity to show off their humorous talents to the rest of the student body through skits, music, live band, commercials, etc.

The doors for the event opened at 9pm, but students started to line up outside of Bush Chapel at 7:30pm. There were over 600 people that showed up for TNL. It is one of the most well attended events that SBLC (Student Body Leadership Council) puts on every year for the rest of the student body.

As the students walked thru Bush Chapel’s doors there was a live video feed camera where once inside Bush Chapel you can see all the audience members coming in behind you. Then the hosts Lizze Charlton and Zach Whitt entered from the back of the auditorium.

One of the most anticipated acts of the night is Shake N’ Bake where 12 male students perform the choreography from dancing to bicycle riding to stunts. This act is the last act of the night that is the icing on the cake. A surprising excellent performance was done by Seth Spencer and three other female actresses reenacting the El Prado pick lines or techniques that guys will do in order to meet the ladies on campus and the outcomes of those scenarios.

Overall, Thursday Night Live was a major success with lots of laughs and a great time to come together as a community away from the stresses of class and work that students may experience through their college experience. There were many popular videos shown from Youtube such as Charlie Bit Me and Scarlet takes a tumble to name a few. Great job to all who contributed to make Thursday Night Live happen.

Over 2,000 American Flags on the Field

15 Sep

PR Connection 2322

There were over 2,000 American flags outlining the numbers 9/11 on the Southeastern University Intramural field. These flags were placed there by the Young Republican’s Club here on campus to remember the people who died on September 11, 2001.

The members of the Young Republican’s Club placed all 2,000 flags with such precision that when I walked out on the balcony pathway of Destino Hall it was very clear as to what the flags said. It really was a sobering moment of remembrance for me.

I still remember exactly where I was when I first heard the news that the Twin Towers had been struck. I was in seventh grade at the time at my locker on the second floor of my middle school. The home economics teacher came out in the hall telling us to get back to our homeroom classrooms because the Twin Towers had been struck. She further tried to answer all of our curious questions, but a quite rebuke to head to homeroom ended the conversation.

Personally, seeing all those American flags out there on the field made me think of all the people and so many more who on this day remember loved ones they lost. Plus, currently I have a brother in the Marines who could be heading over to Iraq. What if he never comes home again? So many questions go through my mind, but I cannot imagine what those family members must feel on the day that they lost their loved ones.

This memorial display of September 11, 2001 really brings the campus together to not forget the men and women that died for our country and our freedom. No matter what political view a person has these are the times that bring us together. These are the times that put things in perspective. These are the times we remember.