Archive for PR Connections

PRSSA Regional Conference

      This years Southeastern PRSSA Regional Conference will be held here at Georgia Southern University. All the PR majors and even non PR majors have gotten the opportunity to participate in planning this event. There are major PR professionals coming to our university to speak to the PRSSA members and all that would like to attend. The person that we are most excited to have come speak during this regional conference is Peter Shankman!!

      In order to plan this Regional activity the members of Georgia Southern University’s PRSSA have been split into small groups. Each group has been assigned certain aspects of event planning such as sponsorships, GSU liason, and logistics just to name a few. Each small group is working hard to make this vision a reality this coming March.

     The committee that I have been assigned to is the Logistics committee. The logistic committee is basically the event planing committee for this event. We are responsible for all the details of the conference. It is our job to make sure that there are venues for this event, that the other PRSSA members from different regions have a hotel to stay in, and taking care of the guest speakers that are coming in from different states. The logistics committee is responsible for making sure that every other committee has everything that they need to continue with their part of the project.

     We have been planing and talking about the regional conference for a little over a month now and I have learned tons in that short amount of time. When the positions available were first announced the logistics committtee was the furthest from my mind. I wanted to do something completely different. Now that I have gotten involved with my committee I have realized that this is something that I genuinely enjoy doing.

     Through being on this committee I have realized that I enjoy planning and making sure things are in order for big events. I believe that when March comes we will be the ones running around like chickens with our heads cut off making sure that all the last minute details are take care of and I’m ok with that. Last minute rushing is an adrenaline rush to me, I love the pressure.

     The PRSSA Regional Conference is going to be a huge success and I believe that people will take away from this wonderful experience. The conference is months and months away and I have already learned so much about my major and what it takes to be a real PR Professional!

Initiative

Last month at the 2010 Fall Leadership Conference hosted by Georgia Southern’s Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement I got the opportunity to learn many different aspects on how to become a good leader. As a public relations practitioner I believe that it is necessary to have leadership skills in order to help your client progress and make the right business decisions in the glaring eyes of the media.

The leadership conference was very beneficial and I learned a lot of new things about leadership but the most important part of the entire experience for me was getting to meet Fred Stokes. For some that may not know, Fred Stokes is a GSU alumni. He played football for GSU and then went on to win a superbowl championship with the Redskins. Fred Stokes was our keynote speaker at the FLC (Fall Leadership Conference) and his message was inspirting. We also got the opportunity to learn more about Mr. Stokes during one of the smaller sessions during the day.

Through this smaller session I learned that Mr. Stokes not only went around speaking at different high schools and colleges but he also has a childrens ranch in Vidalia Georgia. Fred Stokes and his staff mentor the young adolescents of Vidalia and help them reach their dreams and realize their goals. While listening to him speak I realized how interesting his work was and how I wanted to learn more.

After the program I walked up to Mr. Stokes and shook his hand, my organization and I took a few photos and I asked for his business card. As soon as I got home I sent a thank you message from our organization with the pictures that we took attached (I love technology) but furthermore, and most importantly, I sent him my own personal message. Basically, I sold myself through an email and told him how interested I was in working with his ranch and doing some interning as a PR practitioner. Mr. Stokes contacted me and says that he might have a position for me this summer!!

Through this experience I have learned that as a PR practitioner it is so important to take the initiative and put yourself out their. Public relations is all about selling the product and I believe that a good practitioner must first be good at selling themselves. So my advice to my fellow upcoming practitioners: Practice on selling yourself before you attempt to get a job selling somehting/someone else! 🙂

Event Planning

As a public relations major one thing that I am interested in that is not focused on much at Georgia Southern is event planning. I pride myself on being the most organized, unorganized person that I know. I find that I work well under pressure and time constraints. I am very good at delegating tasks and making sure that people are doing what they are supposed to be doing when they are supposed to be doing it. In my family I am the person that coordinates family outings, trips, and other things like that. (It may be an easy job when you are dealing with a family of 4-5 people, but when dealing with 30 plus individuals this can become a real task)

Two weeks ago my boyfriend turned 21. About three months ago his friend offered him an opportunity to throw  a joined birthday party with her at her fathers expense. Of course my boyfriend hopped on top of the opportunity to have a free birthday party and without much delay party plans were underway. The plan was for the party to start off at Retrievers Bar here in Statesboro, but because of date issues the venue was changed to ULounge club which is also here in Statesboro.

Everything seemed to be going as planned until about a week before the party. Firstly, there were no hand bills for us to pass out because the people responsible for making them did not give them to the girl on time. We did not receive the hand bills until the night before the event. Secondly, between my boyfriend and his friend they were only allowed to have 20 V.I.P guests and all of the other guests were required to pay a fee. Third, although the girls father had paid for the venue another entertainment group was given permission to promote for a different party on the same night as their party. and lastly, the guests of honor were charged for parking.

Needless to say this was a poor business deal and it should not have been done. Unfortunately, I did not have much hand in helping planning this event because I believe that certain things would have been handled differently. As a PR major I have learned many things about contracts and business deals from an even standpoint that definitely would have come in handy during this instance. The people of the ULounge were very unprofessional and had the business been handled correctly all these things could have been fixed and/or avoided.

It goes without saying that I don’t recommend the ULounge as a venue for anyone to throw an event. The “business” people running the facility are unprofessional and very rude. There was no accommodations for the paying guests of honor and there were no apologies received after the terrible experience.

Bishop Eddie L. Long

The pastor of New Birth Christian church in Atlanta Georgia, Bishop Eddie L. Long, has been accused of having sexual realtions with multiple young men. These alligations came out to the public in late September. Bishop Eddie Long has been preaching at New Birth Christian Church for over 10 years and has gained many faithful members and followers in his congregation. The young me alleged that Bishop Long took them on trips and put them up in fancy hotels under various aliases, bought them expensive gifts, and introduced them to infamous people (such as Tyler Perry) in exchange for sexual favors. Although the allegations never hinted towards sexual assault some of the boys were minors when they first started having these relations with the bishop.

Of course, living in the 21st century, I got wind of this issue through Twitter. People had turned Eddie Long into a trending topic and the news spread like wild fire. Some people were shocked and appalled that a “man of God” would even do such a thing and other people, such as comedian ‘Lil Duval’, made jokes about the situation. Regardless of  how the message was conveyed, it was definitelyspread throughout the Twitter nation.

When allegations were first released to the media Bishop Eddie Long would not comment on anything. He just simply continued to tell the press that his lawyers suggested that he not say anything at the time. Heading closer into Sunday morning throughout the week the question was if Bishop Long would speak out to his congregation on Sunday morning. There were many speculations that he would have a guest speaker and not even show up to address the people of New Birth, but to much surprise he announced to the public that he would in fact be speaking on Sunday morning.

From a public relations stand point I believe that Bishop Long’s speech to his congregation was horrible. First, instead of holding a separate press conference with the different news stations, he allowed the media to come into his church and film his message. So, although he blocked his normal Sunday morning UStream from his website everyone got to hear what Bishop Long said to his congregation on that Sunday. By allowing the media to invade someones place of worship is simply disrespectful and he came off inconsiderate. Secondly, because the media was there it was obvious that Bishop Long’s speech was very rehearsed and very impersonal. These are people that look to Eddie Long for guidance and counseling and peace of mind and he gave them a dry, rehearsed, cold speech.

I believe that the way the issue was addressed was unprofessional and rude. I believe that because Bishop Eddie Long does have such a strong dedicated group of church memebers that they deserved a proper, intimate explination of the issue at hand. I believe that it was necessary to separate the chrch from the media in the issue of this case.

One thing that will stick with me until this case is over is the fact that the entire time Bishop Long was addressing his congregation, not once did he deny the allegations. When he spoke, he spoke about fighting the allegations and prevailing over the issue, but he never said “I didn’t do it.”

Is ALL Publicity GOOD Publicity?

The buzz around the news media world this month is the big news of Lindsay Lohan. Yes ladies and gentlemen Lindsay is supposedly going to jail!

E! News did a story on her last day and court and Lindsay Lohan looked terrible. She looked like she was strung out and the new discovery is the message on the her middle finger nail. It simply reads “f*c* you” on both of her middle fingers.

People are trying to read into this as gesture as much as possible. I’m starting to believe that Lindsay is just giving the media something to talk about. She’s acting out against all of her morals and values just to get some attention. I believe that she is going the absolute wrong route.

If Lindsay Lohan doesn’t get her act together quick she will be just another name that nobody remembers. I am not a up and coming PR practitioner that believes that all publicity is good publicity. I believe that there is a such thing as bad publicity and Lindsay Lohan is giving out the best example right now.

The first time Lindsay was caught doing inappropriate things it did get her some attention that she needed but now people are just getting disgusted with her actions. Audiences will only put up with someone doing terrible things for so long before they decide to write someone off.

Lindsay and her PR team better get it together before they all find themselves out of a job. It is not cute to go to jail and it doesn’t gain anyone more friends. The bad girl image has gone entirely too far and it needs to stop NOW!

BET Awards 2010

I am very late about posting this but, I just watched the BET Awards tonight and I believe that I MUST speak on one performance in particular: Chris Brown’s tribute to Michael Jackson.

For those of you that do not know 18 months ago Chris Brown beat up his ex girlfriend, hip hop sensation, Rhianna on their way to an awards show. The news went wild with this story painting Brown as a monster woman beater. Once pictures of Rhianna’s badly bruised face hit the media Chris Brown’s fans and supporters started dropping like flies. He lost his endorsement deals and other music moguls such as rapper Jay-Z and Kanye West refused to work with him ever again. Needless to say this incident seemed to have killed Chris Brown’s career.

On June 27 loyal Chris Brown fans were pleasantly surprised that his fall from grace was very short lived as Brown lead the one year tribute to the King of Pop Michael Jackson. The performance was EPIC! No one was expecting what BET had in store for us that night! Even more shockingly Chris Brown started to break down in sobbing tears in the middle of his performance.

The question of the month from critics all around is “Were the tears genuine or was it a publicity stunt?” Well I’ll tell you this much, if it was a publicity stunt, IT WORKED! I do not believe it was a publicity stunt. Chris Brown has expressed his love and adoration for The King of Pop way before his incident with Rhianna and I believe his emotions were 110 percent genuine. Did it work out well for his image? Yes. But I personally believe that that was just an added bonus for Chris Brown’s PR practitioner.

Chris Brown also won the Viewers Choice Award that night and I believe it was well deserved. It is time for the Hip Hop world to move on with life and forgive and forget. There is no doubt that what happened in the past was wrong and very upsetting but that does not change the fact that Chris Brown is a phenomenal artist. Everyone deserves a chance to make things right and I believe it is about time the media give Chris Brown a break! Lastly, KUDOS to Chris Brown’s PR practitioner if that was a publicity stunt because it was beyond believable!

Fundamentals of Multimedia

For Term B of summer school I registered for Fundamentals of Multimedia (Jour 3631). Just like any other Public Relations students close to the end of there college career I was looking for something new and exciting to take that would help with my major but also be outside of the everyday PR classes that I am used to taking. Not once did I even think about the prefix for this class which CLEARLY states that this is a JOURNALISM class!

When I got to class the first day and Professor Boyter passed out the syllabus and told us that we would be multi skilled journalist red flags just went off in my head! “Not another journalism class!” is what I was thinking. At that point I wanted to run out of the class and never return. I am a PR major and I’m sick of writing news articles. My job is to write press releases and media releases, NOT journal articles.

It took me about two days to realize that my Fundamentals of Multimedia and my PR Writing classes go hand-n-hand and both have been wonderful classes for me to take. In Jour3631 I actually had to create a news website using Google Sites and it is just like creating an SMNR! The site that I created The Make-Up Artist Corner incorporated APA Format, hyperlinks, tags, and tons of other things that are discussed in my PR Writing class.

I am amazed at how much I have learned with these two classes and how much they overlap. Both classes stress APA format which has helped me enhance my writing skills. It is interesting to see how far the media has come in such a short period of time. The things that Public Relations practitioners and journalists can accomplish are amazing. Technology is opening all types of doors for creativity in the news world and creating more opportunities for college students to have a job.

Through these two classes I have realized my passion for my PR major and I am excited to go out into the real world and start applying my techniques. It is exciting to learn something new and be inspired everyday and that is exactly what these two classes have done for me!

Defamation

While reading about libel and Defamation in Chapter 3 my mind wondered into the confrontation between Jay-Z and Chris Brown. For those of you that don’t know the story behind pop sensation Chris Brown and Rihanna it is simply this: The two were dating and Chris Brown beat her up before an awards show about 18 months ago. After beating her pretty bad fellow rapper Jay-Z said some harsh things about Chris Brown and said that he would not perform in the same arenas as Chris Brown. By doing this Jay-Z cost Chris Brown a lot of money because Chris Brown lost concert dates and endorsement deals from some important companies. Could Chris Brown sue Jay-Z for his actions? Or is that not considered defamation? (I’m going to look into that more)