Featuring Feedback:

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It is always important to pass along other ideas and opinions from my peers. Check out these interesting blog posts written by fellow Georgia Southern PR professionals:

Blog: http://bwindaily.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/end-of-the-semester/

My Comment: I was the person who followed Holiday Inn all semester actually, and I completely understand what you mean about dying over the weekly reports. Their corporate representative was serious on their social media presence… Although it was unnerving, I feel like keeping my blog has helped me open up. I didn’t hate it either.

Blog: http://shannonwanco.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/lastblogpostofthesemester/

My Comment: #LoveYourPost. Class this year was amazing. We learned so much about social media. Mr. Thomas was great, but my favorite guest speaker was Peter Shankman. Even if the audio was a little screwy, he was hilarious. Every class was fully of that PR energy. I hope we all stay in contact as we move forward in our careers.

December Starts the Season to Remember

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As the semester draws to a close, I feel a nagging sense of loss.  This is my last semester of taking class at Georgia Southern University.  I decided to knock out my final credit hours before I start my internship.  That winded up being six upper division courses, including: International PR, PR Campaign Strategies, PR Publications, Social Media PR, Rhetoric of Social Movements and Communication Theory.  Needless to say, these classes kept me preoccupied this fall.  I never had a chance to think about how much I am going to miss this place.  The reality of everything is finally setting in now.  The drive to the library doesn’t seem to take as long now.  It’s as if I can’t stop looking around campus feeling nostalgic from my younger years.  How quickly the years go by.

This semester seemed to fly.  I guess I blinked and almost missed it.  The highlight was learning I was accepted as an intern at Carriage Trade PR, Inc.  I will be working with Marjorie Young, a highly recognized PR professional in Savannah, Ga.  I was supposed to start in January, but I volunteered to start right after the semester ends.  The most challenging part of the semester was trying to time manage everything.  Every week I was on a strict schedule.  It was fast paced, but I loved it.  In fact, if I could do anything over, I would take this many classes the entire time I was in college.  I would have been done in half time. But I can’t really complain; I enjoyed every minute of my undergraduate experience.  I’ve learned so much, and I feel like I have finally grown into myself.  As I finish finals off and head onward to Savannah, I will remember the lessons learned these last five years.  I will remember the amazing people I met.  And I will remember who I grew to become.

Photo provided by: savannahnow.com

Photo provided by: savannahnow.com

Featuring Feedback

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It is always important to pass along other ideas and opinions from my peers. Check out these interesting blog posts written by fellow Georgia Southern PR professionals:

Blog: http://prprep1.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/for-this-i-am-thankful/

My Comment: This is an awesome tradition. I really want to make my own poem with all my thankful thoughts to read at my thanksgiving dinner now. Your words were so personal to your life, but so sincere anyone can relate. How cleaver. I am very impressed, and thankful that I read this post! 😉

Blog: http://rl00942.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/topic-13-thankful/

My Comment: Girl, I hear you on the “thankful for almost being done with school”.  It has been a long journey, but we are almost to graduation now.  Have a happy Thanksgiving as well.  I hope you and your family have many blessings this year.

Photo provided by: blog.freepeople.com

Photo provided by: blog.freepeople.com

Thank You, and You, and You, and You…

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Photo provided by: www.nharmony.org

Photo provided by: http://www.klce.com

Thanksgiving is next Thursday, but before the turkey can go on the table, it is tradition to take a moment and thank The Lord for the special people and opportunities in our lives.  Many people make elegant blessings to speak over their meal; however, I wanted to take my thankfulness to the next level.  Beginning Nov. 1, I used my Facebook profile as a billboard to express what I was thankful for each day.  I was not extremely dedicated to post something each and every day, but the practice did get me thinking.  I was constantly telling myself, “well, I am thankful for ____ today” or “wow, what a great opportunity, I wish I could do _____ more often” or even, “____ is so inspiring, I am lucky to know them and be a part of their lives”.  Everyday, I became aware of the people, the opportunities, the blessings that surround my life.  The more I became aware, the more I realized I had to be thankful for.

Here are some of the posts I wrote on my Facebook:

Nov. 1st: I’m thankful for friends who celebrate holidays for the entire weekend. — with Holly Muhlhan and 2 others.

Nov. 2nd: I’m thankful for my Dad, who taught me to love the game of football, win or lose.

Nov. 3rd: I’m thankful for my fluffy bed and all of my pillows; sometimes it’s just nice to take a “mental health day”.

Nov. 4th: I’m thankful for my roommate Kara who enjoys decadent cupcakes just as much as I do.

Nov. 6th: I’m thankful for my persistent pup who wakes me up just in time to get ready for class!

Nov. 7th: I’m thankful for having the opportunity to go to Georgia Southern University where everyone comes together for homecoming. #GATA

Nov. 11: I’m thankful for the brave men and women who have defended my freedom. 🇺🇸Happy Veteran’s Day. 🗽

Nov. 21: I’m thankful that my Thanksgiving break starts TODAY. After a completed 115 pg campaign and several 20 pg papers, this week has been… challenging. Savannah has been calling my name for months and I finally get to go home.

Photo provided by: www.stephenhicks.org

Photo provided by: http://www.stephenhicks.org

I was surprised by the response I received on these posts.  The majority of them got several “likes” and comments.  Something that started out as personal practice, turned into something that my friends and family became involved with.  Although I still have a couple of days left, the most important thing I’ve learned from this experience is to be thankful every single day for the amazing people who surround my life with laughter and love.  It is these people whom I owe every blessing to, because without them, my daily journey would be but a shell of an existence.  The Lord has truly given me an extraordinary life.

Photo provided by: www.nharmony.org

Photo provided by: http://www.nharmony.org

Featuring Feedback

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It is always important to pass along other ideas and opinions from my peers.  Check out these interesting blog posts written by fellow Georgia Southern PR professionals:

Blog: http://ashleylaurenprice.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/171/

My Comment: “If Macy’s doesn’t have a campaign that targets young mothers with tactics using social media, they need to. A lot of moms are in charge of the clothes shopping for the entire family. If Macy’s knows that their target is going to be on Facebook, that is where they should focus their marketing efforts.”

Blog: http://whatjodijothinks.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/moms-and-social-media/

My Comment: “What a great idea! Mother’s day is already dedicated to honoring those strong women in our lives; it would be a perfect time to really highlight all they do. The campaign could have emotional appeal that relates to all women. I know a lot of kids who love donuts, so it makes sense for Dunkin to target moms along with the professionals. They might be cutting their reach by not including this public in their marketing strategies.”

Marketing towards Media Moms

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According to new data from Experian Marketing Services, women who have children under the age of five are more active on social media sites than any other demographic.  This research also suggested that these mothers will check Facebook three or more times a day.  This information is not very shocking to me.  Facebook has recently been criticized for making people narcissistic.  Individuals post idealized images for their ‘friends’ to get this idea that they have a perfect life.  Of course, new mothers would feel the appeal to broadcast their ‘perfect family’ to the world.  I mean, what new mother doesn’t want to post cute baby pictures all over the internet? It’s almost a subconscious effort to make your ‘friends’ jealous of your life.

As self-serving as this habit has become, companies can use this information to reach this key public.  For those corporations who specifically target women with children, such as Pampers, Gerber, or Fisher Price, why not use this media platform to push a new marketing strategy?  Also, it is understood that women are primarily the shoppers for groceries and clothing purchases in the household.  If a company knows where their key public is going to be at certain times of the day, they can push messages directly to them.  This is the plan of any marketing mix, but who would have thought that Facebook would be the new, hot mom hangout…  It seems to me, social media is around to stay and should be included in integrated marketing strategies.

Photo provided by: blog.thepitagroup.com

Photo provided by: blog.thepitagroup.com

Round and Round We Go

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Photo by: everythinggirlslove.com

Photo by: everythinggirlslove.com

When the weather chills and the harvest has begun, communities across the nation set up county fairs for locals to enjoy.  It is an American tradition.  Friends and families gather together to enjoy the festivities and escape the stresses of day to day life.  Setting up shop on a patch of dirt, “carnies” bring around 15-30 rides.  Every ride is covered with small bulbs that flash and flicker.  These lights give that normally dark field a faint glow that can be seen for miles.  Sweet smells of funnel cakes linger in the air.  And the screams coming from the Fireball ride can be heard even outside the gates.  Just describing the magic created by this tradition makes me nostalgic.

For you see, the fair symbolizes so much more than a night out on the town.  It represents our childhood, our parents, our kids, and our first loves.  We can track our entire life by the series of fair adventures we have had and who we have shared them with each year.  I can remember going to the Savannah fair with my dad and my brother.  When I turned 15, I was finally allowed to go with a group of friends (very exciting at the time).  Then the next year, I had my first boyfriend take me, just the two of us.  It was so romantic in a childhood innocence way.  I remember he won me a teddy bear and I just knew he was “the one”.  Later, I came to college and went to the Statesboro fair.  It was a completely new experience, even though it had the same rides.  What made it special was the group of friends I went with.

As I have gotten older, I have skipped out on the annual event.  Instead of seeing the beauty of the fair, I convinced myself that that place was not for me.  I focused on the things like that creepy guy who smiles at you with no teeth from the control panel, or the mud that covers your feet and pants no matter how carefully you step, or the puking girl standing beside the twirling tower of terror.  I must have lost the magic.

While watching the Notebook last night, I was reminded of how long fairs have been around.  Every American has experienced at least one fair.  It is something that unites us together in some weird way.  Our shared experiences of the chaos are what create the magic.  One day, when I have more years under my belt, I can’t wait to take my kids.  I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on the wonders of the night.

Featuring Feedback Week 8

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It is always important to pass along other ideas and opinions from my peers.  Check out these interesting blog posts written by fellow Georgia Southern PR professionals:

My Comment: “Who doesn’t like free stuff, right? Airlines could definitely use this tactic to engage customers. I like your ideas on what strategies they could run in a campaign. They could get creative and try something like “Southwest Superheros” where a mobile game could have Superman compete with their airplanes. If the customer won, maybe they could receive a cocktail during their flight, or perhaps an upgrade to first class. That would be incentive enough for me to play!”

Blog: http://rl00942.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/week-8-mobile-gaming/

My Comment: “It’s definitely becoming a trend to use mobile apps to push sweepstakes. Kellogg’s could offer a chance to win free cereal, or a chance that Tony the Tiger (or other classic Kellogg icons) could visit your school. Children are just as active on mobile devices as adults.”

Blog: http://rhianaelyssa.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/mobile-gaming-strategy/

Crafty Campaigns: Winning the Game

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COSI LOGO

Photo Provided by: http://www.reuters.com

The restaurant chain Cosi has started a new “Fall into Cosi” campaign that will run until October 31st.  The ultimate goal of this campaign is to increase foot traffic into the restaurants.  One strategy was to use technology to reach potential customers.  For this particular campaign, Cosi wanted to think outside of the box.  So many companies use social media tactics that now it seems customers are becoming immune to their effects.  Their campaigns are becoming part of the norm, and not very unique.  Cosi’s public relations team wanted to figure out a way to break the mold and start something that was original.

According to a report presented at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo this week, mobile applications used in marketing strategies are becoming a business trend.  (For more information on new trends in business and technology, visit http://www.thewhir.com/web-hosting-news/gartner-identifies-top-10-strategic-tech-trends-for-2014).  It seems that Cosi is ahead of the game.  For the “Fall into Cosi” campaign, the company decided to engage customers in a mobile sweepstakes.  Customers receive “game pieces” through either the mobile site or the webpage (depending on their preference) and then redeem these pieces at the local restaurant.  Prizes include gift cards or deals for dining, and a grand prize of a trip to Paris for two.  These incentives entice customers to eat at Cosi, and as a result, the restaurant’s new menu receives publicity. (To learn more about the “Fall into Cosi” campaign, read more at http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/cosi-drives-in-store-traffic-with-mobile-sweepstakes).

This type of promotion is going to be the new rage.  (Well, at least until a better idea comes out.)  This tactic creates a bridge between the online world and the in-store atmosphere.  Engaging customers this way makes it appealing to come back to the business repeatedly.  I mean, who doesn’t like to win free stuff?  As long as the mobile app is creative, this tactic could be beneficial to creating awareness or engaging consumers.

Featuring Feedback- Week 7

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It is always important to pass along other ideas and opinions from my peers.  Check out these interesting blog posts written by fellow Georgia Southern PR professionals:

http://rhianaelyssa.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/a-few-of-my-pet-peeves/comment-page-1/#comment-53 – “Grammar has been most of our classmates’ pet peeves.  It makes sense that we would pay attention to spelling and technical errors, because as PR professionals it is our job to pay attention to such matters.  So professionally, your pet peeve might pay off.”

http://shannonwanco.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/text-lingo-is-driving-me-nuts/comment-page-1/#comment-72 – “Girl, I hear that! My cousins are world famous for mixing up their letters. What’s really scary is that this behavior will become a habit for people if they don’t watch out…”