Mullen’s Intro to PR

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When signing up for Into to PR with Jennifer Mullen, I was pretty confident that I would enjoy the class. The previous semester I took Comm 101 with her and after that class I declared a Communication major with a concentration in Public Relations. I enjoyed the class so much because it wasn’t like I was doing work; I actually got the concept and liked learning more. After taking a three semesters of foundational studies classes something finally clicked.

In Intro to PR Mullen really pushed social media skills on us. For the class we were graded weekly on blog entries, tweets, and our LinkedIn profile. At the beginning  I wasn’t so sure of this approach, but I figured it would be an easy A, so I went along with it. About half way through the semester I got an E-mail about a really awesome internship opportunity with The Campus Special, and applied. One evening I got on my LinkedIn and saw that one of the Account Managers from The Campus Special had looked at my profile. I had no idea what to do. Then, the next day I had my first phone interview with the company. Three interviews later, an intense venting about my nervousness and resume building session with Mullen, I had the position. Now I am leaving for training this Friday in Chicago, and who knows if it would have been possible without Mullen having us make a LinkedIn profile! We also did things such as write press releases and campaigns for actually non-profit organizations. I had applied these skills to my other classes and it has been a great help already having the knowledge, and even a template to help along the way. Being in a class that offers real world experience gives you a feel for whether or not this is a field that is for you.

Aside from that, Mullen is one of my favorite professors I have had at Indiana State. She doesn’t bore you with busy work. She tells you how it is and doesn’t waste your time. She also doesn’t let you waste hers. She gives clear deadlines for assignments and sticks to them; which I like. It might not be nice the night before it’s due, but in the real world, especially the PR world, there are real deadlines. Mullen is also so passionate about what she does that it shows through in her teaching. Having a professor that is a cheerleader for your success makes all of the difference. After being in one of her classes for the past two semesters I’m not sure how I feel about her not offering any other courses! If you are a student at ISU thinking about taking her class, I highly recommend it.

photo credit: blogging4jobs

Spring Week – ISU

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Its Spring Week and Indiana State University! That means the competition starts and the fun and games begin! Each year ISU organizations participate in Spring week.The theme for this year’s Spring Week was “We Heart the 90’s!” This year the organizations include Residence Halls, ROTC, and Greek Life. They participate in activities such as Remix, sculpture contest, a carnival, and service days, to name a few. All activities that are participated in are judged and the organizations are given points. At the end of the week the students with the most points are given a trophy and deemed the winner. There are also awards given for each winner of the individual event. I will describe the events below. 

Speaker: This year’s Spring Week is provided a speaker to speak on the importance of advocating against rape victims. Students gathered around the fountain, received shirts, and listened. 

Remix: Every year the organizations that participate in Spring Week are given a song and are supposed to make up a dance to the song. The songs given this year were songs such as Livin Lavida Loca, Hammer Time, The Mocarana. There are judges at the event and the organization with the highest score gets the points for Spring Week.

Sculpture Contest: This year since the theme is the 90’s, organizations were to build a sculpture out of Leggos into something from the 90’s One example was that Alpha Sigma Alpha made a giant Mario out of their Leggos. 

Carnival: Among all of the events held, there is also a carnival. At the carnival they held activities such as face painting, bingo, snacks, and door prizes. The prizes included games and movies from the 90’s, a flat screen TV, and a Wii. 

Tandem Race: This event is the most demanding of all. Each organization builds a team for the tandem bike race. The tandem bike has to go around the track 50 times. To prepare for this the teams practice up to two months before, holding team practices multiple times a week and going to spin class at the Rec Center at 6 am. 

Awards: After all of the work put in the week comes to a close where the organizations find out where they placed. For such a long, and hard week they find out how well they really did. 

Photo credit: loveheartshirts

Moving Forward

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Everyone remembers the Toyota brake recall. The incident first started when a family of four was traveling on the highway in California and their when their breaks stopped working. The crash was fatal to all four occupants. A month later it was concluded that the wrong floor mats were put in the cars, causing the gas pedal to stick. After that, Toyota had two separate recalls that included 3.8 million cars, including eight models. The company that became the world’s largest and most profitable automakers in the world, now holds the biggest recall since 2000. 

For the most part, I think that Toyota responded correctly. At the time of the crisis, they had just recently gotten a new president. He publicly apologized to the family, and all that were affected by the accident. Toyota then sent out letters to all customers with the affected vehicles notifying them of the recall. The media was still all over Toyota saying that their letter wasn’t detailed enough, and also that the company has been hiding problems from their customers. After any bad situation it is expected that the media is going to speculate and pull some publicity out of any situation they can. Soon after this, Toyota announces that it is shutting down the assembly lines for those models, and they are immediately stopping production of them. Toyota totally changed the way that the accelerator pedal was made before making any more cars. While it was a pricy decision, I don’t think there was any other way they would have been able to remake their name.

I think that Toyota Handled the crisis the best they could. It wasn’t an easy situation to handle because of the way lives were affected. I think, in general, the brand has become okay in people’s eyes again. With their new slogan of “Moving Forward”, I think they are directing people in the right direction. 

Photo credit: Fast Company

So You Want to Blog?

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Every blogger knows that you can’t just sit down at your computer, write a bunch of nonsense and be a self-proclaimed blogging guru. The more you look around and research, you will find that there are specific strategies that bloggers use. Here are my most important rules:

1. Be Authentic. Use your own voice. In other words, type your words so they come out naturally as if you were speaking. People can get their information from anywhere (duh, Google) so you have set yourself apart and make these people come back every week to read what you have to say. Also, you have to find your niche. When you come across a successful blog, you will notice that it is a style blog, a stay at home mom blog, a craft blog, or a makeup blog. You are more likely to write better about something you enjoy. Keeping your blog consistent with a subject like the ones said, but not limited to, you will help you in developing a strong reader base.

2. Post Consistently. Giving your readers a guaranteed post to look forward to every week gives you more hits on your blog. By picking a day of the week and posting on that day gives your readers something to be excited about and want to come back. Even if they don’t like a particular post, you already have them hooked and they will likely be back next week to check on things. By posting every week, you are forcing yourself to write even if you might not feel extra motivated that day. The only way you get better at things is practice, practice, practice!

3. Allow Comments. Open up your comments section, and make sure you are commenting back! Yes, people can be mean, but they can also be positive, helpful, and give you a new idea for your next blog post. By commenting back to your readers you are giving them the sense that they know you and that you are some sort of cyber friends. I think you know what is coming next… which means more readers!

While these are my top three tips, there a plenty more to make yourself a highly effective blogger. I chose these three tips because these are the things that make me go to the blogs that I regularly read.

The Small Things Blog

Lauren Conrad

Makeup by Alli

photo credit: creativity den