April 2009

After being super frustrated for pretty much the duration of this course because of my issues with computers I finally decided to meet one-on-one with my instructor Barbara Nixon to get some advice. I am not completely computer illiterate, I mean< I grew up in the 90’s, but this blogging stuff really had me down. At one point my posts only consisted of paragraphs of boring information and links to websites that were not even embedded into the post. One night (actually, it was morning… 4:00 am to be exact) I was so upset and frustrated that I started crying. Embarrassing, I know.

ISee full size imagen the session with my instructor she calmly explained how to use some of the media applications so that my blog mights actually come to life. It was so easy to do, I just needed someone to actually show me how. I guess I am just a visual learner. I was only in the computer lab with her for about 10 minutes… but in that 10 minutes I was cleared of all anxiety.

Here are some simple things that I learned that might be of interest to new bloggers or other students in our class.

  • To put a picturein your blog:
    • Go to google images or any other site that you are interested in and find a picture relevant to your post. Right click and copy the picture. While you are editing your post Right Click to paste the pic where you want it. Then click on the picture and two buttons will appear. If you choose not to use the pic then click the right button that looks like this , if you want to use the picture click to the left on the button that looks like a landscape. A box will pop up and here you can change the size and position of your picture. Copy and paste the URL from where you received the picture and even change the caption. EASY AS PIE. Then click update.
    • To embed a youtube video click SHARE at the bottom of the video. Below that will pop up a link in a box that you can copy. Back at your post click the button that says add video above your toolbar. It looks like film. Click from URL and just paste the link into the blank box. It should be ready to update. It will not show up as a video while you are editing, but it will show up once the post is published.
    • To make a link to a website be embedded onto a word like Kappa Delta find the site and copy the URL. On your post highlight the phrase or word that you would like to link then click the button on your toolbar that looks like chain links See full size image. Paste the URL into the box and click the drop down menu so that it opens a separate window when the link is clicked. Then update!
    • If your toolbar looks like it is missing elements click on the button that says show kitchen sink.

I hope this helps anyone out there that gets frustrated with this stuff! After I learned how to do these simple steps I had such a better time BLOGGING. Thank you Professor NIXON!!!  Barbara B. Nixon


Here is an informational snippit on how to develop your own personal pitch when meeting new and important people. It is called “The Elevator Speech,” and is designed to help you boil down who you are and what you do to a less than thirty second phrase. Have you thought about what you would say if someone asked you how you spent these last 4 years?

From the Textbook “Public Relations: strategies and tactics” by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glenn T. Cameron.

Three social medias that are important to the field of PR are News releases, media alerts, and pitch letters.

A news release (press release) is a document that is made to provide the information of a firm to a mass media publication such as a newspaper. A media alert brings attention to an event or news conference for reporters and stations so that they can be available to cover the event. A pitch letter is a short letter or note to the editor in hopes to grab their attention. This form is usually accompanied by a media kit.

  • In all cases it is important to follow some simple rules.
    • Do not describe products with words such as “unique.” These phrases are over used and dry. Reporters want to know actual characteristics and uses of the product. Not opinions.
    • Avoid words such as “world class” and “leading Provider”- anything that tries to position your company.
    • Be direct and to the point.
    • Use the inverted pyramid style of writing to make sure important information is not cute by the editor.
    • State the 5 W’s: Who What Where When Why.

In my PR 3130 class at Georgia Southern University, we were asked to interview a public relations professional to gain some insight on the real world and what we could possibly be getting involved with in the future. Luckily, my best friend Allie Banks takes us to her family’s farm house in Metter, GA every now and then to have an awesome home cooked meal. The reason this is so lucky is not only because they normally spoil us with steak and wine, but also her Aunt Donna is a very well rounded business woman, and has worked in the field of PR for most of her adult life. She always has interesting stories and neat pictures to share. Aunt Donna gives us hope that our work will not be boring later in life, and that maybe the best years are to come.

All of us at the farm house with Aunt Donna.


Sarah Kemp (another student in the class/best friend) and I decided to interview Donna Jernigan without even thinking twice about it. Sarah and I, with the help of our teacher’s tips, put together a series of questions that interested us. Here is the story we collected.

Most students here will be interested to know that Aunt Donna graduated from Georgia Southern University in 1974 with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and has had a very successful career since then. She is now the Southeast Account Director for Architectural Digest Magazine headquartered in New York City. The parent company, Conde’ Nast Publications, is affiliated with other brands such as Vogue, Glamour, Allure, style.com, and many others.

  • S&S:

    What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?)     

    • AUNTIE:A typical week is a balancing act of client meetings, internal brain storming to develop smart solutions for customers, as well as numerous pricing/forecasting/ budgeting/proposal development conversations and meetings.It is always a juggling act involving airplanes, interstates, phone calls and computer time (both laptop and pda)

  • S&S: Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of…

    • Auntie: A little known, but very high quality, leather upholstery company was wanting to elevate their brand among designers and high end consumers. I developed a plan for them that involved 2 exhibit areas at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in NYC. They received over 200 designer requests for product samples, and for their other business in the second exhibit space, they sold over 90 of their leather travel bags with an average price point of $500. They are ecstatic! ( I have others here Sarah….just got a client’s fabric as the curtain for the new Tonight Show and they are also giddy!)

  • S&S: How important is writing in your career?

    • Auntie: Communication is the key to success. Written communication and verbal communication are equally important. To be able to express ideas clearly and succinctly are critical. It is also important to know how to communicate when you are wrong or when the client is not happy!

  • S&S: What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR/ Marketing? 



    • Auntie: 

      1. Develope a great network

      2. Nuture that network

      3. Realize that “no” is not always “no”



  Unless you are a guy hitting on a girl- then “no” means “no” and bug off! haha 

  • S&S: What do you do to keep current in the PR/ Marketing industry?



    • AUNTIE: Read every pertinent newsletter, magazine, book, or blog that relates to your clients business…as well as keep involved in PR/Marketing organizations that offer real value.




  • S&S: What do you wish you would have known before starting your career?




    • AUNTIE: I wish I had embraced technology earlier!!




  • S&S: How does technology affect your daily work?




    • AUNTIE: In every way imaginable… It is the greatest productivity tool imaginable.




  • S&S: What’s your most and least favorite part of your job?




    • AUNTIE: Most favorite part of my job is dealing with a client that is happy….knowing I have done my job well! Least favorite part of my job is the numerous forecasts that have to be done for my management…, but that is part of the gig.



This interview was one of the most insightful and entertaining interviews that I have ever given for school, or anytime for that matter. I am so interested in what she has to say because she is such an accomplished business woman and all of us really connect with her.


Thank you so so much Aunt Donna for giving us your time and guidance over the past 3 years! Can’t wait for the next time we get together! We’ll be eatin’ Ramon Noodles ’till then.

The United States is often referred to as the “Melting Pot.”  This means that there are so many different types of people here from an array of backgrounds, cultures, and countries. It is important that PR firms maximize their abilities to reach all different types of publics. This is most important for clients that host international relationships. The norms and values vary from culture to culture so customers in one country may have completely different perceptions than another. Utilize the steps of the PR process when dealing with a multicultural audience.

From the Textbook “Public Relations: strategies and tactics” by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glenn T. Cameron.

An Audience is defined as a complex intermingling of groups with diverse cultural, ethnic, religious, and economic attributes whose interests coincide at times and conflict at others. Sometimes firms will generalize audiences into categories in order to more easily direct  campaigns.

Some Generalizations:

  • Women are an important part of the public and make about 80% of purchasing decisions.
  • Health interests are more likely to concern the Baby-boomer generation.
  • The public is becoming more visually oriented with a shorter attention span.
  • Diversity is the most significant aspect of the U.S.

Emerging audiences include but are not limited to:

  • Catholic and Evangelical  Christian Groups
  • Gay/Lesbian Community
  • Disability Community
  • Women

By evolving production campaigns, over coming language barriers, and learning local business customs firms can present to more audiences. It is very important to be well-educated on the background of the audience! With the emerging technology at our fingertips, there are no excuses when it comes to inappropriate stereotypes or offending  publics of another background.

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