Reflections from the Other Side of my Junior Year

Man… What a year! Generic way to describe it, I know, but there aren’t enough words to describe it.

Let’s start with Baylor Athletics! Baylor Football goes undefeated at home and has a 10-3 season. Students rushed the field twice this year, such a treat! We ended the season at the Valero Alamo Bowl, conveniently in San Antonio, ranked 12. Let’s not forget Robert Griffin winning the Heisman, RGIII is the man! It looks like I’ll have a few new teams to cheer for this coming fall – RGIII with the Washington Redskins (even if I am a Dallas Cowboy fan by default), Kendall Wright with the Tennessee Titans and Tarrance Ganaway with the New York Jets. Baylor also announced plans and funding to build a football stadium on campus. I’ll be looking forward to Homecoming games as an alumna! Then there are Baylor Basketball and Baylor Lady Bears Basketball. Men went for a 30-8 record, making it to the Elite 8 when they lost to tournament champs, Kentucky. The Lady Bears went for their second national championship title this season, going undefeated (40-0) this season – FINISHED BUSINESS. Brittney Griner went on to win the Wade Trophy and more. New reports yesterday reported that she broke her shooting wrist longboarding. Better make a full recovery before November, Brittney! And my personal favorite, Baylor Baseball. I’m co-captain of Baylor Baseball Diamond Girls, their promotional group and bat girls. Just last week, Baylor Baseball was named the Big 12 Champs, even in the middle of the season, because we went on an 18-game winning streak in conference. Currently we are 18-3, in conference. UT is to come this Thursday-Saturday, so hopefully we will remain undefeated in conference. Omaha? I’m crossing my fingers!

In November, I ran my second half-marathon, Rock and Roll Marathon Series in San Antonio. It was a poorly routed run through my pretty hometown, and I got to run it with two of my roommates, my high school running buddy and a camp co-counselor. We carb-loaded at my house the night before with my family’s homemade Italian feast then celebrate the following night with chicken-fried steaks, my post-race treat! I’m happy to report I improved my time by over 10 minutes, finishing in just two hours and five minutes. I am even happier to report that I completed my third half-marathon, setting a personal record for two hours flat, at the annual Bearathon through the beautiful Baylor campus and Cameron Park in Waco. I couldn’t have done it without Shelly who set the fast pace for me! I have my roommates and family to thank also for their companionship and support.

As you can see, I’m really into sports, which made my fall internship all the more enjoyable. I had the opportunity to intern with ESPN-Central Texas, and its sister stations Mix 92.9 and 104.9 The Beat. In the spring, Mix changed formats and added a Texas country station. My job as the fall intern was to help with office tasks, write press releases and pitch letter and to help with promotions and contests, among other things for the three stations. My favorite thing about interning there was combining my love for sports and music with my journalism major. Do what you love, it and working comes more naturally.

My classes both semesters were demanding, but I have progress and improvement to show from it. I created a public relations portfolio through my Advance Public Relations course and the internship. From Public Relations campaign, I have this blog, an online portfolio, a 20-page image repair paper for politician Newt Gingrich, and promotional group project for Waco Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness. For my marketing minor, I completed and presented an innovation (family meal packages for online purchase) for H-E-B with my group members, winning best concept in class, and another group project researching and improving Baylor business for Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home. I created an online photo portfolio for my photography class. Through all these projects, I got a taste for a career in public relations, far more in depth than just writing a press release or sending a tweet. It’s demanding work, but I enjoyed it – proof that I chose the right major.

I had the opportunity to travel to new places – New Orleans and Gulf Shores, Alabama. I was invited by the Baylor chapter of Society of Professional Journalists to attend the SPJ National Conference. Dr. Stone, Caitlin and I traveled together to attend the conference with all types of journalists from around the country. During the day we heard speakers like Soledad O’Brien and Linda Ellerbee, among others. At night, we had time to explore New Orleans – French Quarter, Bourbon Street, Café Du Monde, the waterfront and great seafood! Then, over Spring Break, a Kylie, Tierney and I went to the beaches of Gulf Shores and Pensacola. We enjoyed a week in the sun and meeting Spring Breakers on the beach.

I took on larger responsibilities in each campus organization I’m involved in. I was voted to be a Baylor Baseball Diamond Girl co-captain alongside Caitlyn. Together we recruited 20 new members, organized Burgers on the Berm fundraiser, our spot in the Baylor Homecoming Parade, a Christmas dinner with Diamond Girls and the baseball team, and attended every home game and traveled to close away games. In addition to our game day responsibilities, I updated our social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. I served as Vice President of Media Relations for the Baylor chapter of Society of Professional Journalists. I helped organize meetings and call attention to upcoming events through our Facebook page. My leadership roles emphasized the importance of efficient communication and team effort. I’m glad to say that I will be a Diamond Girl co-captain again with Elizabeth and Meagan, and I will share SPJ presidency with Mallory in the fall and Caitlin in the spring.

I’ve continued to build and maintain lasting friendships. Ashley moved into our apartment for the year while Emily and Abby studied abroad opposite semesters. Abby, Emily, Kylie and I are looking forward to living together again for senior year, but we enjoyed having Ashley this year! Having roommates reminds me how many different ways there are to do the same thing, a reminder to keep my mind open to new things. If anything, we have become better friends since living together.

My younger brother, Landon, started college this past year. I enjoyed hearing about his college experience at UTSA. Though we chose different paths for our college years, we have both found happiness and belonging we are.

One of my favorite things is returning home after I’ve been away. I like seeing how people grow, but at their core they are true to their roots. I’ve been able to look back since college, and I’m looking forward to doing the same after I graduate and see their lives after graduation.

It’s hard to believe that we’re getting old enough for independence, real jobs and marriage. I have a number of friends who have gotten engaged this year. I’ve helped several friends celebrate their twenty-first birthdays, responsibly of course! I’m looking forward to celebrating my own in August in Las Vegas with my family before beginning my senior year and celebrating back in Texas with friends.

When I was younger, I could hardly fathom what adulthood would be like, and now I have a partial taste. I am amazed at opportunities people around me have earned, and I hope I have the chance for something incredible too, out of the ordinary that requires me to step out of my comfort zone. My junior year was full of blessings, but I’m looking forward to seeing what my senior year offers me. Stay posted!

Image Repair Study for Newt Gingrich

I’m currently working on an image repair campaign for presidential candidate Newt Gingrich to fulfill my course requirement for my Public Relations Media Programming class. With the presidential election coming up in November, I thought it was the ideal opportunity to focus on a presidential candidate.

Choosing my subject at the beginning of the semester, I was unsure of where the race would stand by April when a majority of my paper would be written. Now that approximately half of the primaries have been held, Gingrich is in third place for Republicans, ahead of Ron Paul but behind Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. At this time, it is unlikely that he’ll gain a majority of his party’s nomination, but it won’t hurt to protect his image so he can work to become a highly compensated conservative political analyst if he doesn’t move onto presidency.

I chose Gingrich as a subject not necessarily because I plan to vote for him, but because I thought he could have potential with implemented image repair tactics. Three I noticed in particular are his family life, his role as a lecturer versus a leader, and his Contract with America campaign.

Politics aside, many people are concerned with Gingrich’s familial relations and marriages. Gingrich is on his third marriage, two ending in divorce due to infidelity. Gingrich married his first wife, Jackie Battley, at age 19. They had two daughters, Jackie and Kathy, before their split in 1980. He remarried the following year to Marianne Ginther. They divorced in 1999 when he was simultaneously leading charges against the Clinton Affair, only admitted in 2007. Currently, Gingrich seems happily married to Callista Bisek Gingrich who is among his top political supporters. While you can argue that his personal life should stay private, Americans are not looking to be represented by a person who has a history of infidelity, not just once but twice. To counter his marriages, I suggest that he emphasizes a healthy relationship with his current wife Callista, and genuinely showing the importance of family with his two daughters and two grandchildren (Jackie’s children – Maggie and Robert).

Speeches are obviously a major focus point because an effective leader must be a strong communicator. Since Gingrich is a teacher by profession, he naturally he has a lecturing tendency. He taught history and environmental studies at West Georgia College for eight years before pursuing politics. The best way to avoid this is to focus on using ‘we’ instead of ‘you.’ Gingrich should also avoid verbal attacks on Obama when possible. At times, it is necessary to bring up an opponent and their approach so you can offer your suggestion, but it often can be taken wrong. Gingrich has been known to do this during speeches and with tweets. Instead, Gingrich should focus on his strengths so he can be best remembered as confident and respectful, even towards his political rivals.

The Contract for America originally came out in 1994 and was written by Larry Hunter with help from politicians like Gingrich, inspired by Ronald Reagan’s State of the Union addressed delivered in 1985. Republican were glad to regain majority in the US House of Representatives after 40 years. This contract was an attempt to gain support and ensure the House stayed in their favor. In his campaign, Gingrich has revamped the contract, especially stressing his drill in America campaign. Social Security for the future is another hot topic that the public wants to know each candidates ideas for.

My study will especially focus on how the mainstream media perceives him. It’s common knowledge that people will focus on your shortcomings before they credit you with your strengths. At the moment, Gingrich is in third place. Although Texas and California Primaries are still to come in addition to nearly 15 other states, I’d like to build up Gingrich’s image so he can remain active in politics whether he moves forward as a presidential candidate or not.

Stay tuned, a lot can between now and the completion of my 15 page paper due next month!

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Journalism Guest Speakers

Mr. Jay Hicks came to speak to my Public Relations Media Programming class about the importance of interactive marketing, especially as upperclassmen wanting to distinguish ourselves as we enter the workforce.

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Mr. Hicks is the Director of New Media at News 10 KWTX, a CBS affiliate located in Waco. He oversees the KWTX’s efforts in online and new media content for the company website and mobile site.

His seven main suggestions are to:

  • Create an interactive resume, consider using a QR code; a video resume is another option
  • Create a “me blog” that acts as an online portfolio like Mr. Hick’s
  • Have a “passion blog,” separate from your personal blog. Mr. Hick has a track and field website called Prerace Jitters.
  • Create a Twitter list and RSS feed of the major players in your field
  • Conduct informal interviews with professionals in your field, network of key industry players, have mentors
  • Know your a game plan

Lucky for me, I have an additional year to market myself to employers, using advice from professors and professionals like Mr. Hicks. I am glad to say that I have a quality resume, I’m continuing to build up my portfolio and personal blog, and I’m strengthening my social media use through my personal accounts and for Baylor Baseball Diamond Girls. I’m also networking and in contact with professionals in the field of public relations who can provide valuable advice for me. I’ll have an interactive resume before the end of this month, and I would love to generate a QR code for my resume that links to this blog or my online portfolio. I enjoy having a blog to publicly share what’s on my mind. I would eventually love to start another blog about my interests, including sports, fashion or food. Tweeting for Diamond Girls is a small step in that direction in the mean time. I use my personal Twitter account to keep up with friends and interests, but I would like to find public relations experts to follow. As for the game plan, I think it will continue to fall into place after a summer internship and as my senior year progresses.

It’s all becoming real to me how close I am to the real world. As much as I hate to think about leaving Baylor behind, I know I’ll be ready for a new experience with different responsibilities.

 

That same class, Mr. Carvin Eison invited us to a screening of his newest documentary:

That night, I also attended the public screening of Shadows of the Lynching Tree. The award-winning documentary was researched and produced by Mr. Carvin Eison. The documentary lasted approximately an hour and focused on the idea of lynching and racial tensions. Two of the lynchings were of two young Waco boys in the early 1900s, and both were largely publicized throughout the town.

The Waco public screening, held on the Baylor campus, was largely attended by Wacoans, Lead LLC, multi-cultural student associations and students. It was a difficult film to sit through because the idea of hanging seems hard to fathom in today’s society. In reality, Mr. Eison produced the documentary to combat issues and idea of lynchings. Mr. Eison says lynchings still happen today, just unpublicized. Mr. Eison hopes his documentary will help people understand lynchings and why they should be discontinued altogether.

 

Tonight, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) hosted guest speaker Mrs. Teddy Orr in a monthly joint meeting.

Mrs. Orr was the most inspirational speaker I’ve heard this month. She has been in entertainment journalism as an interviewer, or as she prefers, conversationalist, with celebrities. She graduated from Baylor before moving to Washington D.C., Nashville, North Carolina and now lives outside of San Antonio. She had such fascinating stories and advice to share. I loved her stories involving country music singers and her strong faith most.

She has interviewed celebrities including Harry Connick Jr., Garth Brooks, Dennis Quaid, Liza Minnelli, Steve Martin, Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Christopher Reeve, Reba McEntire, Phyllis George, Tony Bennett and Jay Theismann to name some.

Mrs. Orr’s top advice is as follows:

  • Know your strengths and stick with them
  • Think of all interviews as conversations to they are more personable and genuine.
  • Be overly prepared, including finding a common ground with them or knowing what they like or what is unique about them
  • Put your subject at ease, making them the most comfortable so it’s easier to talk to them
  • Ask short and direct questions that are easy to comprehend and answer
  • Be likable and respected by your peers
  • Think of the camera as a person, and you’ll come across far more relaxed and comfortable. Think of the celebrity as another person, which they are and wish to be treated like.

Mrs. Orr remembers and still follows advice of Phyllis George, the first female sports anchor and former Ms. America. 1) Strike while the iron is hot, 2)Always look your best and do your best because you never know what may come next (be prepared).

The most important qualities she mentioned having are flexibility, balance, ambition, professionalism, cleverness, ability to improvise and thick skin in a competitive field.

I loved that Mrs. Orr brought her Christian faith into her presentation and how she is able to incorporate it into her interviews. This includes usually mentioning faith or Jesus in interviews and praying over subject prior to the interview. Her employers and co-workers are aware that her faith is of utmost importance. Her latest project is writing a book about witnessing, entitled Can I Get a Witness?

She talked about old-school journalism, remaining neutral and selfless, no matter who or what you’re talking about. Matt Lauer, Dianne Sawyer, Bill O’Reilly and Barbara Walters are among the best in her opinion.

While I’m not interested in entering television journalism, interviewing skills are pivotal to understand in any field of journalism and interacting with people in general. It’s refreshing to hear such great advice from a journalist who enjoys their career and gives glory to God for their wonderful opportunities. Her ambition, passion, liveliness and stories made her so fascinating.

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SBXII in Gulf Shores

I’m a few weeks behind on this post, but better late than never!

Well, Spring Break is already over, and we’re now in the last month of the semester. This part of the year is my favorite at Baylor between baseball season, Easter and Diadeloso (A.K.A. days off from school). I know Spring Break was originally intended for a week of relaxation, but a vacation never ends up being quite that.

I had the opportunity to roadtrip with two of my best friends to Gulf Shores in Alabama. Kylie, Tierney and I barely made the 11-hour drive, one long day. Tierney’s family generously hosted us at their home in Fairhope, about 25 minutes from the beach. It was nice to be away from the Spring Break chaos on the beach near condos and houses, and this way we got to see more of that area.

Gulf Shores was the first white sand beach I’d seen. Growing up in Texas, I only knew the beaches of Port Aransas and South Padre Island. The beach was beautiful, the water was clear, and there were hardly any seaweed or jellyfish. However, I noticed significantly fewer waves in Alabama than I remember in Texas. Since it’s only March, the water was still cold, but after laying out for an hour the water felt better. Most people resisted getting into the water, but since I was with Tierney, who we joke is part mermaid, we made several swims out into the ocean.

A majority of the people on the beach were college students, from Alabama according to their accents. We also hung out with boys from Kansas and a girl from New Jersey.

I ate seafood for the entire week so I’m sad now to be away from such fresh seafood. A few of the restaurants we ate at were The Hangout, Lulu’s and The Oyster House – fish tacos, a shrimp wrap and a combination plate with my favorite types of seafood!

Our day trip to Pensacola was our favorite day. I had a phone interview in the middle of the day so I spent an hour in the car preparing and talking. When I made my way back to the beach, clouds were rolling in, bringing fog. So for an hour, a thick haze surrounded us about 500 hundred feet in every direction, it was the strangest thing. That day we made friends along the beach in time for dinner at the Crab House, where I obviously jumped at the chance to eat crab cakes. After dinner we headed to the Fish House, yes, another seafood house, to hang out and listen to a live band. Tierney started a dance party with the single-middle aged crowd with our help too, just in time for a college-aged group to roll in. McGuire’s Irish Pub was our next stop with great Irish drinks and desserts. It’s known for the $1.5 million  in dollar bills with customers’ signature hanging on the ceiling and walls!

We spent one night at a local country dancehall in Fairhope called Double Deuce. A majority of the people there ended up being far older than us, but we still had a good time taking line dancing lessons and dancing. The DJ loved us, and kept playing songs he thought we’d like, including songs about Texas and the song about the Heisman! I lost count of how many times he played the Cupid Shuffle and the Wobble. For liking country music as much as I do, I have plenty of improving to do on my country dancing. I like to think the red boots make me a better dancer though!

I got my fair share of beach music on our roadtrip playlist, more Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffet and Kenny Chesney than most care to hear in one sitting. After four enjoyable days on the beach it was time to head back to school. Our Saturday drive day happened to be St. Patrick’s Day, and apparently the city of Baton Rouge takes it very seriously. As we were driving through on our way to The Chimes restaurant near the LSU campus, we got caught in traffic as the parade ended. I’ve never seen so many people wearing green before! Luckily, the parade going college students were heading to the bars instead of to our lunch destination. The Chimes’ crawfish etoufett made our time lost in traffic worth it. My turn to drive came shortly after, and of course, I got stuck driving through the small towns and slow-speed limit places from Beaumont to Waco. We made it back all in one piece, and we still love each other. Our biggest problems were sunburns, but lucky for me, my olive skin absorbs the sun with pealing or blistering. Looking in the mirror, my new beach tan reminds me of a wonderful trip with my girls! Looking forward to my senior Spring Break now.

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In-training

Just registered for the Baylor Bearathon this week, and no, I don’t mean the 5K! That’s right, in less than a month, I plan to complete my third half-marathon. I was able to run 7 miles this morning, unfortunately, not as smoothly as I would have liked to. Two halfs later, I don’t feel like I’m running distance unless I’m getting double-digit mileage. Crazy, I know.

My first half-marathon was the Bearathon last spring. I finished the race in a bit of pain, but I felt so accomplished. Then I went with blistered feet to work a baseball game as a Diamond Girl in the Texas heat. Before my first half, I never understood the phrase “addicted to the pain” like I heard people say about getting tattoos (don’t worry, not my style) or other things. I crossed the finish line, in just over two hours, and almost instantly thought about running another half.

I happened to come across running in middle school. I was playing basketball at the time when a random coach commented on my natural running form and told me I should consider running competitively (such an ego booster!). So naturally, I couldn’t say no to joining the track team that spring. Reminiscing, I like to gloat about my value to the team in my variety of events – 1600 meter run (1 mile), 4×100 meter relay and triple jump. When I do decide to talk about it, it’s only because it means nothing now, just funny how that combination even worked out. For some reason I was always drawn to long distance running. Like they say, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.” Personally, I’m about long-term goals and progress then short-term results. Then in high school, I ran cross country and track – good times.

I followed through with my goal to keep running half-marathons. My roommates plus Margaret and Haley all ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon in San Antonio in November. It was Kylie, Margaret and Haley’s first half, but Abby and I ran the Bearathon together the semester before. Running together seems like the ultimate bonding experience with so much time to talk. In fact, that’s how Haley and I became friends in the first place. On the first day of practice, summer two-a-days I remember well, we were given two options, a shorter or a longer route. I was the slower runner in the fast group. I wanted to go a longer run, but I didn’t want to run alone. That’s when Haley showed up, thinking the same thing, such a God-send. When you run over an hour together everyday, you have plenty of time to get to know another. Needless to say, we’re still best friends today. I had so much fun spending the weekend in my hometown with some of my very best friends! Did I mention I earned my personal best time, 2 hours, 5 minutes? It was a really hard run on my shins and knees especially since it was all on pavement. It was also the ugliest run I’ve ever been on – renovated buildings, incomplete construction and back-roads with virtually no music at the ROCK ‘N’ ROLL race. I’m sorry to put you down, San Antonio, but that race did my hometown ZERO justice. If I do another race besides the Bearathon, I will make a vacation out of a pretty destination and provide my own music, thank you.

After all of that, I’m registered and training for my third half, back where it all began. The Bearathon is my favorite race so far because I love the campus participation and the beautiful route along the Brazos River and Cameron Park. Many Baylor organizations line the route to cheer and provide hydration and carbs. Back at the San Antonio race, a group sponsored a carb-loading station with beer. Beer is the last thing I’d like to drink while running. Of course a beer stand won’t be anywhere near the Baylor-sponsored race. The difficulty of the Bearathon hasn’t entirely escaped my mind though. Cameron Park hills are no friend of mine. Check out this elevation (and by elevation, I mean incline of hills):

They don’t call it the “toughest half in Texas” for no reason! I suppose I’m up for the challenge.

Ultimate goals? Well a sprint-triathlon is next on my list! I’ve got the running down, I’m enrolled in a biking class and I’d like to pick up swimming soon. I have swam nearly a mile along the Frio River a few mornings at camp. A road bike is among next investments on my list. I am also determined to run a full marathon in my lifetime. Obviously my time and ability are ticking! First, I ‘ll need a running companion for motivation. I had a friend who ran her first marathon with the support of dad, running miles 15-20 with her, and her boyfriend, running 20-26.4 beside her. Any takers to help this girl out?

Happy training to my fellow Bears. I’ll see you at start on March 24, and I’ll be sure to bring my a-game – going for personal record under two hours this time!

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February

I love February for a number a reasons. For starters, it begins with my parents’ anniversary, a sweet reminder of their love for each other, making me hopeful that I will one day find a great guy to experience that with. On a less romantic note, the rodeo comes to San Antonio. It’s a good excuse to slide my cowboy boots on (my newest pair are red) and enjoy quality country music with people who appreciate it. My family and I just went last week to see new artist Chris Young. Then of course, Valentine’s Day is on the 14th. Since I’ve yet to have a boyfriend on this sentimental holiday, I look forward to the chocolate-dipped strawberries and a new perfume from my parents. This year, my roommates and I did receive a bright, beautiful bouquet of flowers, sent anonymously. We suspect it was from a thoughtful mutual friend of ours. The 18th marks my half-birthday, but more importantly my grandmother’s birthday. As of tomorrow, I’m only six months away from 21, also the age I’ll be when I graduate from college. I never imagined being this age, crazy! Besides all that, college baseball begins.

I’ve loved baseball for as long as I can remember. I grew up around the exhilarating spring sport. I loved experiencing games with my family, on a freshly manicured field on crisp spring afternoons. Baseball became a bigger part of my life when I joined Baylor Baseball Diamond Girls last spring, and became co-captain for this season. Baylor Baseball kicked off the season tonight with the QTI Classic against Oral Roberts University (yeah, the only reason I know that school is because we play them opening weekend). Friday starting off, and seems to be ending now, with rain. The weather pulled through just long enough for a pretty afternoon for the opening game. The team also came through to show off their hard work at practice when they won the game 3-2. I’d say it was a perfect afternoon. I sold programs and welcomed fans for a half-hour before working the entire game on the Baylor side. Fortunately it only lasted 8.5 innings since we had the lead, because I was hungry and thirsty after jumping into full-game responsibility. I can honestly say that I love the action and view from the field as much as I love greeting loyal Baylor fans at the gates and working with my organization. I’ll get to experience it again tomorrow, again on Sunday, and for the remainder of the season! I love what I do, and I’m so proud to be part of the Baseball program, representing Baylor this way. It’s completely worth those four hours of my day when game days roll around.

Here’s to a promising and enjoyable baseball season and spring season!

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ABWK Campaign Update

After a few group meetings and a thorough discussion of our campaign with Waco Habitat for Humanity, our project is heading it the right direction. We are scheduled for completion in just two weeks from tomorrow on our campaign for A Brush with Kindness. My group members and I have plenty to accomplish, but we are completely capable!

We have completed background information and research. Our latest project was a Twitter directory – a list of organizations or businesses, their Twitter ID and the numbers of followers and following. A large portion of these names are campus organizations, including sororities and media outlets. We hope to extend to fraternities, honor societies and service organizations as well. Baylor also has the first collegiate chapter of Habitat for Humanity that should be included. Other names listed in the directory are involved and supportive of local non-profits. My idea is to team up with a radio station like Mix 92.9. I worked with Mix 92.9 and its sister stations as a public relations intern. They have a strong, middle-aged following that seem like ideal candidates to volunteer time or donate money to the program.


My major task for the overall campaign is to create a public service announcement. I have only written one PSA in the past for the Turkey Trot, an event that Mix 92.9 was helping to sponsor. My plan for this PSA is to introduce ABWK and its launch set for later this year. I plan to write a script, make a video slideshow and record a voiceover. I can publish it on YouTube, but it is intended for the website and social media outlets to introduce the Waco Habitat’s newest program. If we are able to partner with a radio or news station, like Mix 92.9, then the PSA can be aired.

Our group is doing our best to divide the workload evenly since we have such a short time frame. At this point, we are working quickly to produce sufficient documents before we focus on editing and compiling for our final product and presentation. I also plan to contribute to designing a flyer, social media and a mockup additional tab for their website.

Time is ticking on our deadline set for March 1. We’ll keep you updated!

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A New Project – Working with Waco Habitat for Humanity

I’m glad to say that Waco Habitat for Humanity has agreed to work with my group members and me for our Public Relations Programming course project this semester. Our project will be entered into the 2012 National Zenith Awards, due in March. I am working with Emilly, Gloria, Lauren and Leah. It was Gloria’s idea to work with Waco Habitat since she is taking a class with Mr. John Alexander, the executive director there. We met last week with Mr. Alexander and Mr. Tim Moon, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, to discuss major goals and objectives for our project.

The focus of our project is to promote Waco Habitat’s newest program, A Brush with Kindness (ABWK). ABWK is an exterior preservation service, primarily painting and landscaping, for qualifying homes and families. It will be implemented later on this year after legal issues are worked out, mostly due to lead-based paints. ABWK already exists in larger cities, including Greater LA and Birmingham, Ala.

Since this program is new to our area, Waco Habitat is in the beginning stages of promoting. We will be working from the start to create awareness of Habitat’s newest service. Luckily, Waco Habitat has an established website, in addition to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube accounts. They stay current with hundreds of followers, and they upload post almost daily. Mr. Alexander mentioned that the most valuable items we can produce are flyers or brochures and create a link and mockup for the program’s own page on their existing website.

I applaud Waco Habitat for Humanity’s effort to stay current with social media, especially with a small staff of less who stay busy running the office and building or revitalizing homes. It will be beneficial to them and our group that their fan base stays well connected through these outlets. We will be able to reach this group with information about ABWK easily. I would like to improve their public relations efforts with tangible information, presented in flyers or mailouts to the less tech-friendly generation who are likely to volunteer or donate to these efforts. Churches and community organizations are ideal groups to appeal to.

I am looking forward to working with the hospitable staff at Waco Habitat for Humanity and my creative and insightful group members. I am new to the business of nonprofit organizations, but I believe my experience in working with for-profit companies has prepared me. I’m willing to take on a challenge. One month to do this, we’re ready!

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