Thursday, December 25, 2008

'Tis the season...

And 'tis time for a blog update! The presents are wrapped, the cookies are gone, and the young ones are looking ahead Christmas. I was going to whip up a list of my "Top 10 Least-Favorite Christmas Songs Ever" but in looking though other lists posted, I've found that it is a surprisingly sore subject (really, it is. I found a post with close to 100 comments bashing and defending the "tear-jerking" Christmas Shoes). Then again, I love any Christmas song sung by a former-Beatle, so what do I know?

I do, however, need help with another list. I'm leaving for New York tomorrow to celebrate New Years and have absolutely no game plan. As I've only been there once, it's up to you to make my trip a success! Here's the list thus far:

1. Ice-skate in Rockefeller Center (I'm a sucker fore Serendipity!)

And... that's it. So let me have it; comments are a girl's best friend

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Love knows no limits..."

(The "Christian the Lion" story)

I came across this the other day and thought it was definitely worth sharing. It sounds so cheesy but it really is amazing the power that love has. So, watch this; if you skip Barbara talking, overlook the haircuts, and ignore the sappy music, there really is a powerful video underneath!

Thanks for reading, and remember: comments are a girl's best friend.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The power of young minds..

...never underestimate it.

    Last year, I took an idea from Jeff Foxworthy and decided to head to my old elementary school to get some advice for a "Younger Years" centerspread I was creating for my school newspaper. Although it started as just a sidebar expected to generate a few "awwww"s, it actually turned out to be pretty insightful. Insightful in the fact that these small, "innocent" (depending who you talk to I suppose) minds had life figured out in the simplest way. It's amazing when I think about young adults my age and older who still don't know this stuff. Here's what Ricky Eberle, age 9, Rebecca Burk, age 9, Rachel Davis, age 9, and Mackinzee Dunning, age 8 (and a half, she made sure I noted) had to say. You may want to write this down:

“The worst thing about being older is that you can’t get away with some of the stuff you could get away with when you were younger.”

“If your friends are being mean you should try to be nice to them but if they’re still mean, you should stay away because they’re probably not real friends.”

“When you’re younger you should try to have fun as long as you can because soon you’ll be busy and working.”

“Sometimes people can be really mean but if you can ignore it, you should.

"It's safe to wear your seatbelt in a car. Also, little kids have to sit in the back."

“Be nice to your friends. If they do something bad, tell someone. If they hit you, don’t hit them back.”

"You should always try your hardest at whatever you do."

    Simple? Yes. But tell me how many adults you know that still can't seem to get it right.

Friday, December 5, 2008

From the Vault: "Servers are people too"

    Since my recent return to my hometown from Athens, I have picked up my old job as a waiteress at a local restaurant to pay for college, as well as to pass the time. In the short time that I have been back, I have realized why the job of serving and I have had a "love-hate" relationship over the past couple of years.
    That being said, I thought it appropriate to break out an opinion story I wrote for The Cougar's Roar last year about why the general population should remember that servers are, indeed, people too.

   "Typically, waiters and waitresses are friendly and hospitable towards their guests, but eventually they are all pushed to utter the words, “I hate people.” Not to say that all customers of the average food joint treat their server as a food slave, but the fact is, many people enter restaurants without the proper knowledge of how to act.
   For the sake of servers everywhere, here are some brief tips on how to make your dining experience a pleasant one for all who are involved. Feel free to cut this out and store it in your wallet and/or purse to refer to as needed.
   If the restaurant puts up a sign that reads “please wait to be seated”, they are expecting you to read it and follow directions. Seating yourself will only make things difficult for everyone. Hosts try their best to rotate tables so that each server gets an equal amount of tables; this is to ensure that your waiter or waitress does not get overloaded and can give you the best service possible.
   When a server walks up to you with a smile and asks “Hi, how are you doing today?”, “coffee and ice tea” or “we’re not ready yet” are not acceptable answers. Servers are humans too. That’s not how you greet people on this, or any other plane.
   If your server asks you if you are ready, be honest. It may seem fun to make your server stand at your table while you actually decide what you want, but he or she does have other things to do and could be serving other customers. Also, if you tell them you’re not ready, please keep in mind that they can not read minds and may not come back the second you’ve decided.
   Your server puts in your order, brings you your food, and furnishes you with all the utensils, napkins, and extras your little heart could desire, but he or she does not cook your food. If there is something wrong with it, please let them know, but do not take it out of their tip. Your food is being made by someone who will get paid hourly regardless if your food is correctly made or not while your server makes what you give them.
   Take into consideration your surroundings. At 7 p.m. on a Friday night, chances are your food may take a little bit longer than usual. If your server comes out juggling drinks, napkins, silverware, and another table’s check, the questions “is our appetizer ready?” is irrelevant.
   If you’re sitting in a large group and you insist on splitting the bill, please have at least enough consideration to tell your waiter or waitress upfront; also, sit by those on your bill. Chances are you’ll end up paying for something that’s not yours if, after the bill has came and everyone has played musical chairs, “he’s on our bill, and those three are on their bill, and the boy with the blonde hair is on our bill”…
   If your server is serving another table, it is both rude and inconsiderate to flag him down, shout at him, or come up and tap him on the shoulder. You don’t interrupt others when they’re talking, this rule does not change as soon as you enter the four walls of a restaurant.
   When you bring children along, it is not cute to let them open things and dump them all over the table. Sure, you don’t have to clean it up but someone does; namely, your server. Also, it is not safe to let them get up and run around the restaurant like an animal when servers are carrying out hot food.
   When you feel that it is necessary to stay longer than fifteen minutes after your meal is finished, consider this in your tip. If you are sitting at a table, that means that other customers are not, and your waitress can’t make any money. Also, if you feel that it is necessary to come in ten minutes before close, please remember that your waitress must stay there as long as you do. Closed means closed, not sit and continue to talk. Servers don’t come into your work place and sit on your desk long after you should be home and in your slippers.
   Tipping: the times have changed. As it is no longer 1853, the minimum amount you should be tipping your server is 15%. Yes, there are times when your waitress is not particularly friendly (although you have bad days at work too) or you didn’t make them run that much, but keep in mind that after you leave they must clean your area , fill various containers, and do other jobs to clean up the store, all for around $3.15 an hour.
   Also, it is nice to get verbal praise, but compliments do not pay bills. Neither do prayer cards or religious pamphlets; it is also insulting for you to think that your server is without religion. If it is Sunday and they are not a church, it is because they were required to work on Sunday because everyone goes out to eat after church.
   Sure, the majority of restaurant dwellers are considerate; if this weren’t the case, the job of waiteressing would not be an easy one to fill. Although it is stressful to serve the public, most servers continue to do the job because of their love of the people. So don’t be the reason a poor waiter or waitress gives up on humanity. Do your part: smile, acknowledge that they are human too… and, oh yeah, don’t forget to tip."

   Okay, so maybe I came home from work and wrote this after I had waited on one table too many, but, I think you get the point.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

When you say "that's so gay"...

"When you say 'that's so gay' do you realize what you say? Knock it Off."

Setting: A mall, a grocery store, a pizza place
The players: a group of girls or guys, a semi well-known actor or actress such as Hilary Duff or Wanda Sykes
The reason? A "think before you speak" ad asking, or rather, demanding, that the general public refrain from using the phrase "that's so gay".

Now, although this message is indeed an imporatant one, I think that there are many flaws in this ad. One, I feel that this ad is simply doing what it is trying to stop: it is associating the word "gay" with words such as "bad" or "stupid". In these ads, the famous character says something like "don't say something is gay when you mean it's (insert negative adjective here)". Now, in my mind, this is only telling me that the word gay is used to mean "bad or stupid" (even though gay is not even an adjective at all, but that is an entirley different battle). Second, saying "knock it off" at the end only makes me, as a consumer, feel a little threatend. I, personally, don't like when television ads/public service annoucement boss me around.

In short: good idea, bad advertisement. Then again, I don't have any better ideas, so who am I to critisize? I guess that's why I'm not on the career path to a job in advertising. My full (officially) quarter as a journalism student, however, has brought me to look at television ads with a much more critical eye (knowing that all ads must be relevent AND memorable, never either/or).

So what do you think? Let me know about some ads that you think are missing their mark, I'd love to hear it/discuss it with you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The F Word

How do you spell stress? Why, F-I-N-A-L-S of course. Only one exam into the four that I am scheduled for this week, and I firmly believe that my high school may have failed me. You see, at my high school, we were rewarded for good grades, attitude, and attendance with what was called a "Rennisance Card"; you recieved a Gold, Red, or Silver card depending on your achivements (Gold being the highest, and so on down the line). Along with the perks that came with this card was the oppurtunity to exempt exams (Gold- 3 exams, Red- 2 exams, Silver- 1). Now, by the time you exempted three exams, most high achievers were left with one semi-hard class, but most likley there "easiest" hard class, and elective classes. Sure, we had to take the exam if we were in AP, but besides all of that, my point is that I've never had to study for four equallly challenging exams all at once; this may be obvious, seeing that I still have three more exms to go and instead of studying, I've decided that blogging is a better use of my time. I guess this will just give me an oppurtunity to learn how to better manage my time while studying though, right?
Any suggestions, drop them my way!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

"If I could change the world..."

Although I wouldn't call this blog political, it seems to be the theme lately (and for good reason). The recent election seems to have brought the good and the bad out of everyone. Although my political preference may be obvious, I'm going to try to keep this post as neutral as possible. So here goes:
In my opinion, "trash talking" the current president-elect is pointless. The Democratic candidate won (and by a fairly large margin) and any arguments that can be made about why he shouldn't have been elected will not change the results. As someone who believes that the best form of  election publicity is to promote one's strengths rather than expose the opponent's weaknesses, I don't believe that this kind of talk works before election day, much less after. Both candidates had, in my opinion, good and bad things to offer, and now all that America can do is see what happens. 
Also, while I'm on the subject, although I'd like to believe that every person who voted is educated about the decision they made, I know that this isn't the case. It makes me think of one of the possible essay questions I could have answered in a local pageant I was in. Although I didn't choose to write about this question, I think about it a lot; the question was:

"Do you believe that a woman is capable of being the next president of the United States?"

Now, although I know that this question was asked because we were young high school women expected to write about woman's rights, I think that this question was very irrelevant. Do I believe that a woman is capable of being the next president? Of course, a woman is just as capable as anyone else. Would I choose a candidate because she's a woman and I want a woman to be president? No way. President's should be chosen for one reason and one reason only: their stance on the issues and what they plan to do. Picking a president should be done with eyes closed. I wouldn't vote for someone because they were white or because they have something in common with me, and other voters shouldn't either.
Then again, these ideas are all pretty irrelevant now that the election is over. Promise me you'll keep it in mind for in four years?
Until then, here's something funny to ease all the post-election tension! Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Caught you off guard didn't I? We're so use to hearing "Vote", "Rock the Vote", "Get out and Vote", that the thought of someone encouraging us not to vote is almost crazy. I personally don't think I could make a strong case to anyone as to why voting would not benefit them. Although individual reasons for voting may not be the same, the outcome is: change. Change: a chance to have a say in what's happening where we live, where our parents live, where our children (will) live. 
As a PR student, I found this particular YouTube Ad to be pretty powerful. Maybe I was first drawn in because of the big names in it, but I continued watching it because it is real; real passion, real ideas, a real message. Sure it's humorous at times, but the message is such a serious one. Today is  November 4th 2008, have you voted yet?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Whatever you like.."

Two posts in two days! No, I'm not going crazy... I just came across something that I thought was worth sharing. Click here to see why I still believe that America has a promising future. Please still check out my last post "My First PRSuccess" story. I know it looks long and the title is a little bland compared to my previous posts but I think that you just might learn something from it...or if you knew it all already, maybe you have something I can add!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 27, 2008

My First PRSuccess Story

Twitter, Facebook, Typepad, LinkedIn: with so many ways to connect being thrown into the world of Public Relations, it’s enough to make any PR major’s head spin.
However, PR students need not be afraid. Although some may choose to focus their studies on all aspects of Social Media, many PR students will find that in their personal affairs, in their future careers, and in most major companies, utilizing one or two methods of Social Media is the most beneficial.
PRSSA President, Paul Matson, prides himself on the time he spends going through new Social Media sources, researching what’s being used, and trying to find new, effective trends in the Social Media world. Matson agrees that focusing on one or two of the many means is a smart choice.
“Just because you have a message, you don’t have to use every social media outlet,” Matson said, “if you want to put something in media, you need to figure out what will reach your audience.”
For Ohio’s PRSSA chapter, two mediums are utilized that Matson feels are the most efficient in reaching the local college-age chapter, as well as other PRSSA chapters. According to Matson, most PRSSA information is sent out through Twitter and the blog,, because they are the “easiest to update”.
When engaging in Social Media, individuals and companies alike must realize that not all outlets are for everyone. For example, Matt Dickman, VP of Digital Marketing for Fleishman-Hillard of Cleveland, Ohio, stresses that “not everybody should blog”.
“For some companies, blogging would be a terrible idea; they would have absolutely nothing to blog about,” Dickman said.
Although blogging may not be for everyone, it is evident that Social Media of some sort can benefit any and every company. Not all organizations, however, are ready to accept Social Media as a part of everyday life.
“People don’t take the time to understand [Social Media] because they’re not use to it,” Matson said, “The older a company is, the more they’re going to try to resist. We are threatening because we are really the first digital generation”.
Many companies are afraid to engage in certain Social Media mediums because many give anyone the chance to give comments about a company, product, or person. According to both Matson and Dickman, however, the fear of “citizen journalism” is a pointless one because “the discussion is going on whether you are there or not”.
“Good or bad, information spreads quickly,” Dickman said.
“They don’t call it viral for nothing”.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sweet Emotion

Well I just got back from my PRSSA meeting where the main topic was (what else?) social media. What is social media you may ask; well, you're reading it right now. Social media is me, the consumer, promoting products, ideas, and emotions through my (personal) websites such as Facebook, Blogspot, and Twitter. I have a Journalism midterm tomorrow and one idea from my Mass Communication book that comes to mind when thinking of social media is the idea that you can make an idea, person, or object important no matter how you portray it. That is why social media is really  a great thing. I mean sure, anyone can post whatever they want about anything, but even if someone is talking about a product that he or she dislikes, at least he or she is getting that product's name out there. I guess that's looking at the cup half-full though

Just a couple thoughts, but like I said, I have a Journalism midterm tomorrow! I will however leave you with this video that Matt Dickman, the Vice President of Digital Marketing at Fleishman-Hillard in Cleveland showed us today to prove that PR and marketing does emotion best:

You felt bad for the lamp didn't you?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Oh baby, baby it's a wild world"

I'm not going to lie, when I was a freshman in high school journalism and politics were not on my mind. Sure, I was in American History where I memorized facts about the three branches of government and tried to have intelligent conversations, but let's face it: I was clueless when it came to real politics.
I became aware of this fact today during Journalism 101, where we watched a grad-student produced film entitled "How Ohio Pulled It Off". Now, I could go on and on about the smart and well-organized journalism that went into this piece or the amazing amount of appropriate footage collected, but what really made this film memorable to me was that it made my blood-boil.
Four years ago (when I was shielded from the complex problems of the government in my conservative hometown), millions of black, underclass voters were denied the access to vote due to limited polling booths. Hopeful voters waited in line anywhere from 3 to 7 hours to vote and countless were turned away due to lack of time, mysterious "you're name is not on our list" incidents, and even threats (not to mention the amount of people who came, saw the line, and left). With a Republican Secretary of State (Blackwell) who undeniably pulled for Bush, nothing was done to prevent or right this wrong. 
Although it is obvious that if it had not been for this situation, we could currently be living with a Bush-free government, it is nearly pointless now to take action. What I wonder, however, is : what will they do this year to alter the results of the election?  I mean, I think of myself as a fairly clever person but I know that I would have never thought that doing away with a poll booth or two would turn our "democracy" upside down; so, what will they do this time?
I would like to think that I can trust what's going on in my country, but it has lately become evident to me that most politicians work to benefit either (1) themselves or (2) their constituents. What does this mean? What is being done is not focused on what is best for the nation, but on who it benefits in election. I understand, but do not agree with this process.

That's all I have for now. If you have the documentary channel, I recommend checking out "How Ohio Pulled It Off" at eight p.m. on Monday night.   

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Stop, hey, what's that sound?"

"There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. 
It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher"
-Henry Van Dyke

Sounds like an innocent statement right? On a personal level, it might be easily done, but it was apparent to me today in my Political Science class with Prof. Suzuki that the world has a long way to go
The prisoner's dilemma. Although many forms of this situation were discussed today (one of which involved stags and a can understand why I came up with my own version), I couldn't help but think of the old, low-budget television show Friend or Foe.

As with any game show, the major premise was to (what else) win money. How they went about filling their bank account is not relevant to my point but in the end, the top two contestants had to make one of two choices which, combined, came out to four outcomes. The choices were friend or foe and neither contestant knew prior to their choice what the other had or would pick. 

If both chose friend, they would split the money. If both chose foe, neither would get the money. If one chose foe and the other, friend, the contestant who chose foe would get the entire prize to himself. 

So what would you chose? For a single contestant's ideal outcome, he would chose foe, although this is in hopes that the other contestant would chose friend. For the best outcome for both, one would chose friend, but this is taking the risk that the other will not chose foe and, thus, take all of the winnings. 

The point is, you can never count on what the other person will do. So is it every man for himself, or do you try to be the "better" person? Is this situation proving the idea that "nice guys finish last" or is re-enforcing the fact that we can all come out a little bit better if we compromise.

If you've kept up, you can understand that the "prisoner's dilemma" is very similar to the world's "security dilemma".  Or even the world's struggle with capping ozone-eating smokestacks. In any case, it's hard to count on what 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"We are living in a media world"

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
When I was younger, my "aspirations" changed from day to day. Whether on a given day I was fighting fires in my mind or chasing down vicious criminals, one factor remained unchanged: I wanted to help people. Now, twelve plus years later, here I sit, beginning my journey to a degree in Journalism. I must admit, upon making this decision, I felt a little selfish; I felt as if I was taking a path that would lead me to doing anything but helping mankind. Turns out, I was extremely wrong.
After my first Journalism 101 class today in the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, I remembered why I had chosen the field in the first place. The media is all around us. If not for the media, how would the average citizen be able to hear and understand the views of candidates running for election? If not for the media, how would organizations like the Humane Society or campaigns like the "Live Above the Influence" campaign against drugs get their message out to the masses as they do with newspapers and television ads?
Although the media is obviously changing, I believe that it is not withering away, it is simply upgrading. In fifty years from now, whether I'm checking the weather for my grandson's soccer game or looking to adopt a new pet, I'll still be receiving the amount of information I need and demand (even if it is through a chip in my arm); and in fifty years, I'll look back at my first few days as a college student and be glad that I chose a major that could help me make a difference.