Wow, it has been quite a while since my last post so bare with me, this might be a lengthy one! 

So much life has happened since I last wrote. I hardly know where to begin.

Since college has ended I have been focusing on my career and life goals. I have tried new things in both the professional and personal aspects of life.  On a professional note, I continued with my internship at Truck Centers, Inc. briefly after graduating. As a curious new graduate I wanted to explore all of the options my field of study had to offer. 

With that being said, I left my internship to take on a position at Abstrakt Marketing Group. It was an awesome experience and I met some amazing colleagues but I still felt like something was missing. After 6 months i moved on to a Marketing Coordinator position at Data Unlimited, Inc. Data Unlimited is a full service Direct Mail company. This has been a fantastic experience thus far. I have my hands in so many different projects at once. I am able to work closely with an impressive list of clients as well as create direct mail materials. I have experienced with social media aspects and continue to strive to add responsibilities to my job description. This position has taught me to multitask a billion projects at once. I love the experience this has given me but….is it wrong to still want more?  

In a short 2 1/2 years I feel as if I have gained an amazing amount of experience that will shape me into the professional I want to be in the future. I am beginning to understand why so many job descriptions immediately out of college required more, than what I thought necessary, years of experience. While I have been frustrated at times and have asked myself when am I going to be satisfied at a position, I have realized what a great decision I have made with my degree choice.

Communications is such a broad area of study, there are so many places the degree can take you. It is so much different than going to school and studying to become a teacher. With a communications degree, you have so many options, so many career paths you can find  yourself on. I think that is why I am always striving to move on to the next thing. I am constantly wanting to learn more and get involved in all areas of the field. 

I believe more than ever a Communications degree has been the best thing I have ever done. It continues to make me want to strive and grow within my profession. 

So while I continue on my search of what is next in my professional life, I have been planning for my personal life. 

I have tried many different things since I have last posted. I have become an avid outdoors lover. I have gone from running only on the treadmill to running 5K’s and going on long bike rides. Thanks to my wonderful fiancé, that’s right I also got engaged during my absence, I have seen the beauty of the outdoors. He has shown me life through a different lens. I have even gone hunting with him. For those of you who know me, I am sure you find this shocking! The peace and quiet of the woods was amazing. My love for nature might also be a reason for the lack of my posts. Usually if I am not working I am outdoors or planning our dream wedding! The wedding will be in October 2014 at Tower Grove Park Music Stand with a reception following at Windows on Washington Ave. in St. Louis, MO. 

While I continue to plan for the wedding and explore my next career moves I hope to write more again. Until next time! 


I have an interview today with an impressive marketing firm in the St. Louis area and I can’t help but to have butterflies! I am thrilled to gain this opportunity with such a prestigious company. It has always been a career goal of mine to work in the downtown St. Louis area with a marketing or PR firm. It just sounds so exciting to handle different clients in different industries everyday. I believe it is a career someone could never become bored with. 

While preparing for my interview I have been researching the company and it’s employees using not only the website but social networking sites as well. It is while I was looking through LinkedIn profiles, Facebook pages and Twitter I asked myself what it was like to search in the career field without these sites. 

The job market is tough right now, that’s for sure, but we are so lucky to have these social networking tools to utilize and prepare us for an interview. Even if this job does not work out, I think the experience I have gained while preparing for this interview, will only help me in the future. 

More to come soon! 

It’s been way too long

I haven’t been utilizing my blog nearly enough since finishing the class I initially had to make it for. Now that I am graduated from SIUE and in the process of searching for employment in my future career path I figured it was time to get back at it! 

While in college, I never imagined how fast the four years would fly by. I remember I started off wanting to major in Business. After taking some courses I realized I needed a major with more focus on communication and interactions. That is when I decided to change to Mass Communications with a Speech Communication minor. 

Along the way I realized the Speech Communication courses, especially those intended for Public Relations, were more up my ally. I immediately swapped my Mass Communications major to my minor and Speech Communication minor to my major. I decided to focus on Public Relations. 

With all the changes I was making, I never imagined I could actually graduate in four years. Although it took me taking 12 credit hours over the summer before my senior year in college, I was able to surprise myself and do just that.

I miss college now that it is over, but I am excited for the new ventures to come. Now I am on the road to  seeking employment and so far it has been quite difficult but I know if I continue to improve on myself and my skills, something will come along! 

More to come soon!

Thoughts on Black Friday Events

I heard on the news this morning that a woman actually pepper sprayed other customers during a Black Friday sale at Walmart in LA. Authorities said the woman was trying to keep others away from the merchandise she wanted to purchase. She left 20 shoppers with minor injuries from the spray. It’s nice the stores want customers to get good deals but at what costs? Missing Thanksgiving dinner and family time because they were camping out to be the first inside the door?

This was the first year that many stores, including ones in the local malls, opened their doors at 12:00 p.m. the day after Thanksgiving. This would mean that employees working that shift, would have to be there before Thanksgiving Day was even officially over. I used to work in the retail world and if I was that associate that had to come in at that time I would be pretty upset. With that shift starting at midnight I wonder what time employees had to get to sleep that afternoon in order to be prepared for the madness of the event? Wouldn’t retailers consider that this could cut into their employees family time, which that is what Thanksgiving is supposed to be all about, isn’t it?

After thinking of this, I got to thinking of all the college students that work in their college town area but are originally from hours away. How did they have to spend their Thanksgiving break? Did they even get to go home in all the madness over Black Friday? if not then I hope employers at least gave some extra incentives to work those hours or with those out of control shoppers like raises or some kind of benefits.

On a brighter note, I was happy to see the Target Black Friday commercials were back. The crazy Christmas “champ” that was in it to “win” has 12 new spots this year. I think these commercials are honest and hilarious. They do the job of allowing customers to know about the 2 day sale but also to warn them of the crazy customers, like the woman in the commercials, that might be around when they do go Black Friday shopping. You should check out the videos on youtube. com or!

Chapter 19: Success Measurement

In the book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, chapter 19 discusses the importance of measuring success. There are many reasons why you should measure success and it’s importance listed in the book. Some of the reasons the reading lists are to document if PR efforts actually achieved objectives, apply lessons learned to future PR efforts, to demonstrate the practitioners are actually doing their jobs, and show the impact PR had on the organization.

The book goes on to discuss how important it is to first have the management and PR professionals agree on criteria that is used to evaluate. This can make a big difference on how you structure your campaign. It also makes readers aware that they shouldnt wait until the last minute or the end of the campaign to determine how successs will be evaluated. Another good thing  to remember when thinking about measuring success is to ensure your objectives are not vague.

There are many ways to evaluate and measure success of a campaign. One of the ways is to focus on the measurement of production and distribution. This method focuses on the number of news releases, feature stories, photos, etc. that were produced for the campaign. This is not a great method always because it lacks meaning. Instead of focusing on quality of materials produced, this method focuses on quantity.

The most common way to evaluate PR programs is to measure the message exposure. This is a compilation of print stories, broadcast mentions, and number of visitors to websites. Many use the media mentions to evaluate success but today it is becoming more relevant to know who is being reached by the message and what they are doing once they are reached.

The book lists many ways to play “the numbers game” when measuring success of campaigns such as media impressions and advertising value equivalency. These are important but now there are more systematic content analysis that can be done thanks to computer and various software programs known as systematic tracking systems.

Measuring audience awareness is important when evaluating PR success. This can be done using surveys asking audience what they remembered about the message. Measuring audience attitudes is extremely vital because it will decided if audience actually changed its attitudes and opinions. One way to do this is to conduct benchmark studies, which means to sample the opinions of the target audience before and after the campaign.

Measurement of action is also discussed in the book. While it is hard to accomplish this it is easy to measure. By using sales figures, market share, or voting results one can see the results of measurement of action.

Once a campaign is over and you have finished with the evaluation stage, you need to report the results to the client. When you are reporting to your client you need to refer to the original plan and state what you accomplished under the categories of situation, audience, objectives, strategy, tactics, timing, and costs.

While chapter 18 and 19 in the book were important , I think the tactics are the most important part of any public relations campaign. These are the tangible materials that you decide to produce because it was the medium you decided best for the objectives. It is always good to go back and look at what other publications or materials might have accomplished your objectives differently. It is also good to remember what you could have done differently or better so you can make those changes for future campaigns. Since we spent a lot of the semester discussing types of tactics and how to produce materials, I think everyone would agree that is a huge part of all PR campaigns that everyone should take tactics seriously.


Stress Over GPA

This afternoon I was having a difficult time when dealing with stress of finals and final papers coming up. I was freaking out about what my final grades would be because I have worked hard all semester to achieve A’s and want to keep them but seem to be having a bit of trouble in one of my classes. I decided to take a research break and check out what was going on at and I am glad I did because it turned out to be just what I needed at the moment.

I got onto the website and an article popped up titled, “Students the 9 things that matter more than GPA.” Wow, it was exactly what I was looking for. The article explains that while GPA is important and you should take your classes seriously, it will not be as useful as some people think without other important skills.

The article goes on to suggest there are other things that will be important and will matter when trying to find a job. Some of the things the article listed is knowing how you learn, applying theory to real life situations, time management, relevant personal experience, portfolios, the ability to give and receive feedback, presentation skills, writing skills, and your network.

I think all of these things are true and should be remembered by students when they are stressing over school and grades. I know this from experience because since I have started my internship I have learned so many things a classroom never taught me. With the hands on experience I have gained in my internship such as putting together a canned food drive and working with contests for promotions as well as sending out press releases via email, I have become familar with all the steps necessary that I wouldn’t have completely understood until being able to do them myself.

In my mass communication courses I have learned to handle constructive criticism and peer reviews of my work as well as give professional input of my own on classmates work. I have also learned this through working with my boss at my internship and realized that the first product usually has to undergo a lot of changes and edits before producing the perfect final one.

As I said before this was a great read and I suggest for other students who are feeling the stress of finals to read it as well.


Chapter 18: Program and Campaign Planning

In the book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, chapter 18 is about planning and organizing campaigns. Throughout previous chapters the book discusses tactical aspects of public relations, this chapter focuses more on the campaign management and programming. An important thing to know before beginning the planning process is when making plans for a campaign it is important to make a written plan because it improves effectiveness overall. The campaign has a greater impact as well if utilizing a written plan.

In the stages of development the book suggests consulting with the client or management first. This gets them involved and gives you the basic information you will need to make your plan. The next thing one should do when planning a campaign is research. There is never enough information you can know about your subject. When researching there are various sources to utilize. One source the book mentions is surveys. These will make you more in tune with the target audiences attitudes and perceptions. Another good source to utilize is the organization itself. The organization can provide you with marketing research that has been conducted, it can also help you to understand why certain things have happened or how they have been done. Other resources the book lists are references, questions, analysis of communications, focus group interviews, media databases and demographics.

The book goes on to discuss the elements of the plan. In every PR plan there should be eight elements. These eight elements include situation, objectives, audience, strategy, tactics, timing, and budget. First the situation part of the plan. The situation refers to summarizing the organization’s relationships with it’s publics. This is where the PR professional should get an idea of why the program is needed and may be the most important aspect of the planning process since it is your job to ensure the campaign is necessary and a good thing to spend money on.

Objectives are the next part of the planning process. The book explains that the campaign may have many objectives if it is large enough or it may just have one. There are two basic kinds of objectives. Informational objectives increase awareness of an issue, event, or product. This can be harder to measure than the other kind of objectives which are motivational objectives. Motivational objectives are meant to change attitudes and opinions with the idea of modifying behavior. These are more bottom line oriented.

The next part of the plan is the audience. It is vital to know the audiences and that there are primary and secondary audiences to consider. The book then goes on to explain the strategy part of the campaign. This relates to what the campaign will be based on and keyed directly to the objective. Strategy should reflect audience key interests and key selling proposition.

The fifth element in the plan is tactics. This is the actual execution of and materials produced in the campaign. Timing is the sixth element and all campaigns should be done in a timely manner relative to what is going on surrounding the campaign. Another important element of planning a campaign is the budget. There are staff expenses to be familiar with as well as out of pocket. The eighth and final element of the PR planning process is evaluation. Did you meet your objectives? A good way to find this out when using informational objectives is to conduct before and after surveys. For motivational objectives a way to figure out if you met your goals is to see if there is an increase in sales since the campaign began.

Chapter 18 was really important because it taught students and those who read it that there are more than just tactical aspects to the PR career. There must always be a plan first and reasoning behind the types of tactics you are using. Planning takes a lot of time and I now know how important a well written and though out plan is in advance before tactics. Now I know when I am in my profession the written plan is extremely important to utilize and should always be thought of when conducting campaigns.