Home Tour: Grad Student Style

On some of the blogs I read, I’ve seen a number of home tours. Essentially home tours are virtual walkthroughs of someone’s living space. They’re intended to inspire and share readers to do the same. This month I moved into a modest, one-bedroom apartment in my college town. I’ll be living here as I pursue my master’s degree. Now I’m giving readers a glimpse inside my apartment!

Moving into my own place reminded me of a quote from the movie St. Elmo’s Fire. Mare Winningham’s character Wendy moves into her own place after years of living with family. She says, “Last night I woke up in the middle of the night to make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And ya know, it was my kitchen, it was my refrigerator, it was my apartment. And it was the BEST peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I have had in my entire life.” I couldn’t agree more. Check out my modest digs below. As readers can see, I’m a sucker for pop culture, vintage furniture and vinyl.


photoboard

IMG_8536

IMG_8535

record

futon

blackkey

Public Relations Misconceptions

ID-100214279

I’m now one week into my new graduate program. In one of my courses, Public Relations Foundations, we discussed the major misconceptions of the public relations field. While public relations is a bigger umbrella term, there are certain stereotypes associated with it that don’t always belong. Each company organizes its PR, marketing and advertising differently. Therefore a number of broad images of PR practitioners exist. Below are some of the biggest stereotypes about the PR industry. As PR continues to evolve, I hope to see a greater public respect for communicators.

  • Glamor. The public may think of TV’s Samantha Jones when they think of PR. However, public relations isn’t about glamor. Many times the work is data driven and full of strategic planning.
  • Spin doctors. People think of manipulation and deceit when it comes to PR practitioners. They think that PR pros can spin stories to best represent their organization. Unfortunately this unfairly negates the hard work of those in the communications industry.
  • PR and advertising are the same. There’s a great overlap between PR, advertising and marketing. However PR is its own speciality underneath communications. PR practitioners can work with advertisers on campaigns, especially when it comes to building environments and relationships.
  • Being a people person. In any workplace environment, it’s normally beneficial to work well as a team member. Cross-functional projects are the norm nowadays. However, PR is much more than working well with others. You also need to be a strong writer, editor and businessperson to succeed in the industry.

Thankfulness Thursday

2

Photo via Eyes of Style Blog

I don’t say it enough, but I lead a charmed life. I have supportive family and friends. I’m in a new graduate program. I’m working and living in an apartment. I’m writing on a regular basis. And last but not least, I’m able to call Athens, Ga. my home.

Most of the time I focus too much on my troubles. I hone in on the stressors in my life and blow them out of proportion. Instead I should be thinking about the fortunate opportunities and the kind people I know. It’s with these things in mind that I pursue thankfulness and gratitude. Below are some tips for myself (and readers) to appreciate each day a little more.

-Call up a family member (or friend) and let you know you’re thinking of them. The unexpected gesture will likely brighten his or her day.

-Volunteer your time. Time is arguably more valuable than other resources you can offer. Show your care and concern by offering to help someone you know.

-Make a list of highlights in your life. Things may not seem so bleak after counting your blessings.

-Savor the little things. Read a book you’ve been eyeing. Drink lemonade on your porch. Sit and listen to a record. The small things are capable of changing your day.

Master’s In PR, Semester One

unnamed

Journeys start with a small step. Today I took my first small step when I started classes in my graduate program. I’m working towards a master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. Today was the first of many days spent pursuing that goal.

I’m pleased with how well the first day went. I’ll be taking three classes and working this semester. I’m used to juggling school, jobs and internships in undergrad. However, grad school is an entirely different experience. I’ll be interested in finding my strengths and weaknesses this semester.

This fall I’ll be taking Public Relations Foundations, Proseminar in Mass Communication and Research Methodology in Mass Communication. It’ll be an intensive period of researching and writing. However, I’m looking forward to it! This is my chance to go outside my comfort zone and meet a new group of people. I’m excited that this chapter has finally begun.

August Social Media Roundup

9

Photo via Eyes of Style Blog

It’s almost halfway through August! It’s time to do a recap of social media news this month. Check out these interesting articles to learn more about social media news, trends and guides.

How to See Messages in the Facebook App Without Downloading Messenger via Mashable

How to Budget for Social Media Activities via Social Media Today

A Scientific Guide to Posting Tweets, Facebook Posts, Emails and Blog Posts At the Best Time via Huff Post Tech

Robin Williams’ daughter quits social media after abuse via CNN Tech

On Twitter, Mourning Is Collective via New York Times

Social Media Management Acquisitions Rage On As Sprinklr Buys TBG Digital via Forbes

How social media is playing a role in Ferguson via St. Louis Biz Talk

Ebola Frontline: Social Media Is Raising Ebola Awareness in Sierra Leone via Newsweek

Vatican social media guru: Catholics should give Internet ‘a soul’ via Los Angeles Times

What To Do About Facebook

facebook-messenger-apk

In the PR world, Facebook is practically a necessity. With over a billion active users, Facebook offers the opportunity to reach a huge audience. PR professionals regularly manage public pages to communicate with the audience of their brands. However, Facebook has thrown in a few obstacles recently.

The biggest challenge seems to come from the Facebook Messenger application. Facebook recently announced that it would removing the messaging feature within its main application. Users would now have to download the separate Facebook Messenger app if they want to message on their phone.

However, the Facebook Messenger App comes with a few hitches. If downloaded, the app can delete people and messages from the user’s phone. It will also be able to access a smartphone’s camera, taking photos and videos without approval first. This invasion of privacy has produced a public outcry from Facebook users. Many have opted to not download the app and only message when on a computer.

So what should PR professionals do with Facebook? They should mainly use it for work. On a personal profile, communicators should skip private posts and intimate messages. PR pros should instead Facebook just for public relations. As Facebook becomes more shady in its practices, it’s important to use it conservatively. While Facebook is necessary for brands, it is slowly becoming outdated due to its policies and communication with users.

 

Moving Time

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 11.01.34 AM

Records and stereo all packed up!

It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost moving time. After a great and productive summer in Atlanta, I’ll be heading back to Athens to begin my graduate program.

It’s an exciting but intimidating time. I always entertain the fear of the unknown. However, since I know Athens and UGA so well, I’m not as worried as I normally would be. I love the city and I love the school. I imagine that my next few semesters will be challenging, yet manageable.

Before the semester begins (and I lose track of time), I’d like to make a few goals. Since I’m starting a new chapter, I’d like to work towards a few things. This post will help me keep track of them!

1. Give it my all in my classes. This should sound like a given. However, I want to start off the program strong. I want to really commit myself to my schoolwork.

2. Attend more concerts. Athens offers so many options when it comes to live music. I should at least attend a few per month, especially since I’ll be so close to venues like the 40 Watt and Georgia Theatre.

3. Plan mini trips. Since I’ll be staying in Georgia for at least another year +, I need to get the travel bug out of my system. Whether they be trips in driving distance or are far away, I’ll need at least a few excursions over the next five months.

4. Enjoy the moment. In undergrad I often found myself stressing out too much. I would blow exams or papers out of proportion. In hindsight, I don’t remember those specific papers or tests. Instead I remember the moments I learned or spent time with friends. I want to go into grad school with a new mindset. I want to enjoy school in the present.