Tag Archives: Waco lynchings

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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