PR, Social Media, and Everything in Between

Well my first two weeks are done, and I’m excited for what’s in store. I have plans to add more posts about my internship, and I wanted to share them and get ideas from you.

This Saturday I’m volunteering with my sisters from Alpha Omicron Pi to clean a house of a woman confined to a wheel chair. I’ll write all about the event and include lots of photos.

Earlier this week, I met Julia on a home visit. She is wonderful client who suffers from dementia. Julia worked in television before colleges offered degrees in television. She’s going to tell me about her career when TV was new. Expect that interview soon. Do you have any particular questions for her?

VISTE Ball is going on next Saturday, so I’ll be writing all about that event and posting tons of pictures as well.

Now for my questions to you… What would you like to know about my internship? Do you have any ideas for future blog posts? What would you like to know about working for a non-profit?

Thanks for reading!


Delivering the Goods

The first week at my new internship at VISTE is complete. I had a fantastic week of planning events, meeting clients, and the ever so challenging data entry. The highlight of my week was meeting and talking to clients.

Soup Can

"Soup Can" by stevendepolo

On Tuesday, Ashley Miller and I delivered commodities to seven clients. Commodities are the basic needs for survival and includes food staples, frozen meat, bread, and on rare occasions fresh produce. I met a range of clients: those with cleans home and those without, those who could drive and those who could not, those who lived with spouse/child and those who lived with a pet for their only company.

The one thing that stuck out in my mind was how grateful everyone single client is. The thanks was overwhelming. I got back to the office with a sense of enlightenment. One client, an elderly woman, was in tears when she discovered we walked into her home while she was sleeping to deliver food. You see her home has been neglected for some time because she can’t clean it when she’s stuck in a chair. Ashley and I have a plan to get home cleaned up. No one she cry because they’re ashamed of the way their house looks.

Since I saw her tears, I’ve made an effort to listen. To listen to what people around me are saying. To listen for silent tears we weep as our pride keeps everything inside. And hopefully if I listen I’ll be able to create the change I want to see in the world.

This week I start the cool PR internship out there. I don’t make this statement lightly. I know there are a variety of agencies and corporations of all sizes that have outstanding internship programs. Likewise, I’m there are also a growing number of non-profits that have outstanding programs.

However, I’m secure in my knowledge that I have found by far the coolest and most rewarding internship to be had in a 100 mile radius of Lakeland, …and dare I say it… in the whole country!

So why is my internship the coolest?

Holding hands

"aliment" by alkaline mouse

1. I work for VISTE (volunteer in service to the elderly), and their misson is to allow people over 65 to live safe and independent in their homes. On my first day at work, I met countless volunteers and heard from clients who spoke about the amazing things VISTE is doing for them. Simple things like bringing a 70 year old man a hot meal because he can’t stand long enough t cook for himself. I work at organization that makes a difference in people’s lives.

2. My internship supervisor is invested in my future. From the day she hired me, Ashley Miller (the volunteer coordinator for VISTE) has been a rock star. She’s curious about my life, my growth as a professional, and ensuring that I have a good experience at VISTE. Ashley is everything you want from an internship supervisor. Flawless she’s not, but she’s pretty dang cool.

3. Because I work at organization that makes a difference in people lives, I know that what I’m doing makes an impact t00 I’m not sending out a press release so someone somewhere can have a little glory. Part of working at a non-profit means that every dollar we make goes back into helping the elderly. My coworkers share this knowledge of empowerment, and together we create a warm environment. You can’t walk down the hall without having someone say hello.

For those three reasons and more, I have the coolest internship this semester!

Fat Kids Ask Why

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life campaign features obese children uncomfortable with their weight.  The ads feature obses children with headlines such as “WARNING: It’s hard to be  a little girl when you’re not.”

At first glance, these ads are shocking, and I wonder if they can actually work. What would the ads do to a child’s self esteem? According to an NPR article, critics warns that children who felt uncomfortable with their weight are less likely to engage in social activities with their peers, like playing outside.

But the point of these ads aren’t to scare kids, but rather their parents. In the TV spot, a child asks “Mom, why am I fat?”

The scare tactics reinforce a sense of alarm among viewers, which I think could be effective. The state of Georgia did their research and found that 75% of parents deny that their kids have a problem. Do you respond to scare tactics in ad campaigns?

The growing amount of criticism surrounding the ads could cause serious problems for the campaign. Most parents genuinely care about their children, and I hope they care enough to curb poor diet habits as well.

DIY Maps

Google has taken the next step forward with maps. Google Map Maker has come to the United States. People can now add locations, edit locations, create routes, and more.

Google Map Maker expands Google Maps from an infomative media with potential for users to share, to media that relies on collaborative use. Imagine if Google Map Makers partnered with a LBS like Foursquare. Users could create trails to follow, and remove fake locations. I think there’s a great potential to introduce its own LBS system as well.

One of the features Google Map Makers advertises in the short Youtube video is the ability to map out a campus. I added the Chatlos Communication Building to the Florida Southern College campus. Check back in a few days to see if you can find it!

I imagine that with the summer quickly approaching, more of my peers will add locations to our campus. To date, there’s one specific location mapped on the campus. Do you plan on adding any locations?


Image Credit: "Ridiculous" By victoriafee

Fake Twitter accounts can be annoying, and sometimes they can be ingenious. The idea of a fake twitter account is acting like someone believable enough that everyone thinks you are that person.

Everyone wants to follow them to see what amusing tweets they post next, so they end up having real influence. @BronxZooCorba has an influence on Klout of 88 with over 50,000 unique tweets. @Darthvader has a Klout of 78.

These fake twitter accounts (see also parody twitter accounts) work because the voice is unique and authentic. Imagine if a school mascot, like Florida Southern‘s Mocise, talked about campus events in a voice unique to the mascot.

Take for instance @BronxZooCorba. The Bronx Zoo had a corba escape. The Twitter account is the corba’s encounters throughout the city. Even after the real corba was captured, the tweets continued.

The snake visits ball games and comments on tourists. This account has the potential to be a great asset to the NYC bureau of tourism or business.

I think there is real potential for a business with a mascot or spokesperson to create a fake twitter account to generate publicity and leads.

What’s your favorite fake twitter account?

UPDATE: PR Daily posted an article that gives the 3 social media lessons from @bBronxZooCorba. You can read the article here.

This post features guest blogger Joe Citro. Joe is a senior at Florida Southern College majoring in Advertising. You can read the original post on his blog. Joe talks about google’s newest foray into social media with the +1 button.

Google : 1

Facebook : 0

Today everyone asks did you “like” my status or “like” my pictures? The real question is will “like” still even be used?  Today Google announced its rival version of the like button, the +1. This Google button will allow anyone to basically “like” something when searching for it.

The results from searching for something on Google are in the thousands, but with this +1 system you will be able to see how many people found a certain site helpful.  These tips will not only make your life easier but will give you the motivation to +1 a site that not many people have visited.

The goal is to +1 every site on the web allowing users to make an easier decision when it comes to questions of uncertainty while surfing the internet based off other peoples recommendations and +1′s.  You not only share this information with your friends and family but with the world, telling everyone I approve of this website!

I’m sure there are some kinks, such as how to regulate who +1′s a site more than once or how do you + 1 something if you want you identity to be private. So is time running out for the  facebook “like” or is +1 going to sink? Time will ultimately decide for us but until then I think people will use both services.

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