Review Of Dean’s List Vox Box

voxbox1Dean’s List Vox Box, pictured above.

I’ve been on Influenster for a few months now. For those that are unfamiliar with it, Influenster is a company that sends out promotional boxes to users. Users receive new products and items for free. In turn, the users complete a number of social media challenges to promote the products in the box. Each box is themed so that different kinds of social media users will get the opportunity to participate.

A few months ago, I received the Surf’s Up Vox Box, which included all kinds of summer-themed accessories. My two favorite items in that were the Sinful Colors nail polish and the CoverGirl mascara. Now I’ve been selected for the Dean’s List Vox Box, which is intended for college students across the country.

The Dean’s List Vox Box includes:

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In the last day, I’ve faithfully gone through the box, testing almost all the products. Of the goodies, I’d have to say the Softlips Cube and Sinful Colors are my favorite items. The Softlips Cube, which includes a soft coat of vanilla, moisturizes lips and contains SPF 15. The Sinful Colors nail polish, one of my weaknesses, gives off a strong, cherry-red color that lasts longer than most brands. I still have a Sinful Colors nail polish from my last Influenster box, which I continue to use.

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SoftLips Cube and Pilot Frixion Clicker pictured above.

Other cool goodies include the Watermelon Throat Drops and the Airhead Bites. The Airhead Bites, which are chewy without the normal resistance of Airheads, make for a great candy treat. The Watermelon Throat Drops, though an unconventional flavor, are also handy for the upcoming fall season. Finally, I’m a fan of the Pilot FriXion Clicker pens, both of which I will use for class.

Thanks to Influenster for the box! I’m one thankful grad student for the cool products.

Disclaimer: I received these complimentary products to review. The opinions expressed are my own.

The Inevitable Drawback of Blogging

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Blogging is a blast. You get to self publish your thoughts. You don’t have to wait for an editor’s approval. You can get your message out at any time of day. It’s you in your truest form, completely uncensored. Most of the time, you come at blogging with a passion. You want to express yourself and you get excited about the possibilities that blogging offers. However, in order to find success, you have to post on a consistent basis. Readers don’t care about abandoned blogs. I’ve learned that blogging is a slow and steady race.

I take on new projects all the time. The projects could be making a craft, learning to play an instrument or writing a story. Multiple things race through my mind at once. With blogging, I tend to have intense, creative periods. I’ll post every day for a week. And then suddenly, I’m barely posting. I’m lucky if I get out two posts in one week.

I could blame grad school for the decline of posts, but I won’t. Instead, this is how I am with creative projects. I work on them heavily, then tend to lay off them for a while. My goal is to share posts at least once a week, but more if I can. So far I’ve done just that. If you happen to see more, then it’s just a sign of a creative period.

My Reading List

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I tend to get ahead of myself when I make reading lists. I want to read everything as quickly as I can, making it difficult to read one book at a time. As a communicator, it’s important that I’m constantly reading and writing. If I stop doing both, my writing may become rusty or sloppy. I try to always have one book I’m reading, even if I jump from one book to the next. I’m always racing to finish what I started.

Most of the time I buy books directly from Amazon or a local bookstore. I try to get to the library too, but I find it easier fully committing to a book. Even if I haven’t read it yet, I like giving a book a new home. If I enjoy it, it’s hard returning a novel after two or three weeks.

Right now I’m working on three books: “The Green Mile”, “Gone Girl” and “Breakfast of Champions.” I’m hoping to complete them by early October. I want to keep my reading list going strong. After these books, I plan to read “The Opposite of Loneliness” and “Not That Kind Of Girl.” Any recommendations you have? Share them in the comments below!

PR Fact Sheets

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Image via i.poweredtemplates.com

In one of my grad courses right now, Public Relations Foundations, we’re reviewing fact sheets and how to write them. For those that are unfamiliar with fact sheets, they present the basic who, what, when, where and why of a company  or event. It’s a stripped down source of information to supplement press releases and media kits. Fact sheets are for journalists who want the nuts and bolts of an organization.

I’ve assembled a number of fact sheet templates from around the Internet. They’re here for any PR practitioner who needs a quick download to prepare for their client. Simply download and begin filling in your company’s information. Happy writing!

1. Fact Sheet via PR Helper

2. Fact Sheet via Capelin Communications

3. Fact Sheet via Fujita and Miura Public Relations

4. Fact Sheet via Sarah Wollman

5. Fact Sheet via Convergence Coaching

Public Relations Society of America

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I’ve been following the updates from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for a while now. They offer conferences, jobs, seminars and career advice to their members. They’re committed to excellence and ethics in the field. With all they offer, PRSA is a great source for public relations practitioners.

Now that I’m in grad school, I decided to go ahead and officially join. PRSA membership costs an annual fee, although the price varies on which membership you pick. I decided on the full-time graduate student membership. It’s less than the amount I would pay if I were right out of college. Prices also go down depending on how many years of experience you have.

After signing up, PRSA sends a membership packet and daily emails. The emails include news about upcoming conferences. They also round up significant PR articles so that members are always in the loop. Other perks include:

  • Free Professional Development webinars
  • PR news, events and case studies
  • Professional Development programs.
  • Networking and career mentoring
  • Regular job alerts to your email

GenSocial: Social Media Advice For Twenty-Somethings

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The popular blog GenTwenty offers advice, stories and insight into the world of twenty-somethings. It’s a blog written by and for millenials. Since early August, I’ve been serving as a columnist for GenTwenty. The column, GenSocial, gives professional advice to the younger crowd, those starting out in the workforce. It’s a safe assumption to think that most millenials know how to use social media. However, many continue to make rookie mistakes that reflect poorly on ourselves. If you’re interested in reading more,  the first five articles are on the site!

Introducing General Social

Establishing Your Social Media Identity

How To Network Yourself On Twitter

The Importance of LinkedIn

How To Measure Your Social Influence

Think Before You Post

September Social Media Roundup

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It’s only a few days into September. There’s still plenty of recent social media news to share. Browse the articles below to see the hottest topics in social media. Key topics include the ISIS social media manager, Joan River’s death and Twitter’s filtered feeds.

Twitter May Be Moving Closer To Filtered Feeds — But Don’t Freak Out Yet via Mashable

Elgin cop on leave over posting about Ferguson via Chicago Tribune

11 Successful Entrepreneurs You Should Be Following On Twitter via Social Media Today

How Brands Are Winning With Vine Videos via Social Media Examiner

The American Suspected of Running ISIS’s Social Media is a Northeastern Grad via New York Magazine

Engage, Educate, Excite, Evangelize: 4 Keys To Social Media via Forbes

Arrest made after school’s social media threat via KSDK

Joan Rivers: A social media maven via HLN TV

Social media should be an essential part of new social workers’ toolkits via The Guardian

State Department Winning at Social Media via Media Post