Posts filed under ‘Uncategorized’

Nashville, TN: Where I Want To Be

Studying abroad in Brussels, Belgium this past summer gave me a new outlook on life (refer to my post “Study Abroad Experience: Life-Changing”). Although I love Clemson and home (Flowery Branch, GA) I am realizing that I often fall victim to living in a “bubble.” I am in the process of searching for summer internships. Before studying abroad, I probably would have settled on finding an internship in either my hometown or commute to Atlanta. Although Atlanta has much to offer and I may end up there one day, I am ready to embark in another adventure in my life….

I have an exhilarating passion for country music. So I have decided to look for internships in Nashville, TN, often referred to as “Music City” for this summer. Although I have never been to Nashville, I have heard wonderful things about the city and I know that I would fall in love with the atmosphere. It caters to one of my biggest loves: country music! I figure if I cannot be up on stage as a country music star (which is one of my dreams) I might as well surround myself in the environment. I have looked into interning with CMT, UMG, Ryman Auditorium, and a couple small record label companies. I would love to find an internship that works directly with country music somehow. I have talked to a few people who have interned and a common job responsible for interns would be to help manage the website and other communication outlets with the public, help plan and manage special events, and the most fun… enjoy free concerts and possibly even meet the stars J That doesn’t even sound like work to me!

I am excited to see where this new path takes me. Right now my mindset is to experience anything and everything while I can. Nothing is holding me back. I am excited and anxious to see where my Nashville dream takes me…

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December 8, 2008 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

Munsea Case Study

In my 2 day visit to Munsea, I will investigate the college campus to determine what areas of the campus are most populated with student life and at what times during the day. I will also gather information by asking students questions about upcoming activities or big events they are aware of that many students will be attending. By doing this, I can plan on where to market and promote the MADD chapter where several students will be present.

Research:

  • Why did the campaign fail?
  • Research Methods:

Ø      Surveys to college students

Ø      Survey to community

  • Research media coverage
  • Research ages of people affected by drunk-driving

 During the Presentation, I plan to:

  • Introduce myself and provide my background with Munsea (add to credibility)
  • Present the potential drawbacks for why Munsea’s MADD program is not successful
  • Tell about how I evaluated/researched
  • List the potential upcoming events where MADD can be promoted
  • Promote on college campuses
  • Ideas: Basketball Games (competition, promotion)
  • Student and Community Events

November 10, 2008 at 11:09 am Leave a comment

My Summer Study Abroad: Life-Changing

I studied Abroad in Brussels, Belgium this past summer for a month. My Dad was a pilot for 35 years and my Mom was a flight-attendant for 10 years, so needless to say my sister and I have been raised on the saying, “the world is your playground.” My parents have always encouraged me to travel whenever I have the chance and to soak up every experience I encounter. I decided to step out of my “comfort zone” at the time and study abroad for a month. (I thought a month was a long time going into the trip, but a month flew by!) I was asked to reflect on my experiences while abroad… and I feel my responses to these particular questions help descirbe why my experience was life-changing, enjoy…

Why did you choose to study abroad in Brussels?

I chose to study abroad in Brussels for a number of reasons. First, it was very desirable since Clemson has the CUBC center located there, so I was able to earn 6 direct credit hours. Often, people decide to study abroad in other big cities such as Paris, but many do not realize that Brussels is the capital of the European Union, so there is a great deal of activity and rich culture! Also, Brussels is a desirable city to study abroad in due to its location relevant to other countries.   

What has been one of the most outstanding moments since you’ve been abroad?

I have had too many outstanding moments since studying abroad to mention just one. But to narrow it down to three, I would say spending evenings in the Grand Place (Brussels’ Beautiful Town Square) with friends was among one of the best! We would bring bread, cheese, and wine and all sit together in a circle while laughing, people watching, and admiring the beautiful architecture surrounding us! We would all look to each other and say “We are in Europe!” The second most memorable moment was sitting on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower. The first 10 minutes of every hour starting at 10:00pm the Eiffel Tower is illuminated with twinkling lights, it is definitely an “a-ha” moment and a sight to see!  A third outstanding moment was when a group of girls and I traveled 2 hours on the train to Cologne, Germany for the weekend. Once we arrived at our hotel, we were invited to the hotel owner’s 50th Birthday Party being held in the hotel lobby. We decided to go and enjoyed an authentic German dinner, open bar, and live German music. We spent the evening dancing and meeting a  wonderful German family who spoke little English!

How do you enjoy the school environment in Europe as opposed to here at Clemson? Better? Worse? Why?

The school environment I experienced was on a more personal interactive level. I enjoyed the change mostly due to the wonderful Communications professor I had. He is a highly recognized Belgian Journalist who writes on International issues. He shared many personal stories with our class which added to the level at which we got to know him.

 

Are the students your age relatively similar to those in the US, or are they significantly different?

The students our age were surprisingly similar in the activities they enjoy and classes they take. However, one major difference is that they are expected to become fluent in at least three languages as opposed to our one! Also, I realized from studying abroad that although it seems you are worlds apart, there are similarities amongst people that unites us all and brings the world together.

Was it difficult to acclimate to the lifestyles/culture in Brussels? Why or why not.

At first it was difficult, but it was mostly fun and interesting to acclimate to the many lifestyle/culture differences. For instance, their reliance on the metro system made us learn how to navigate our way around the city. Also, most buildings, such as our hotel, was not air conditioned. However, we solved this “problem” by simply opening the big windows and used fans to get fresh air! The dining experience was a change because it is viewed as a much more relaxing outing spent with friends rather than a rushed experience. Overall, their lives are much more fast-paced; however they still make time for an afternoon beer or lunch break with friends.

Did you have any off-time in order to explore? If so, where did you go?

We had classes Monday-Thursday, so we were able to travel on the weekends. Within Belgium, I explored Bruges, Oostende and Antwerp. Weekend trips included: Amsterdam, Cologne (Germany) and Paris. We traveled to these places by the very reliable train system! It was wonderful exploring other countries, but it was always nice returning to Brussels, our “home away from home”, at the end of the weekend.

 Did you make many friends while abroad? Did you encounter any other Americans, other than students?

We made “Belgian” friends mostly while spending time in the local bars and restaurants. Most spoke conversational English and were very willing to give advice on fun places to go and things to do while in Brussels! They were always excited to hear we were from the United States and enjoyed asking questions or making comments about the upcoming presidential election. We also encountered other American students studying abroad as well as other Americans. While singing karaoke, we met two different groups of Air Force Officers stopping through Brussels on their way to the Middle East.

Would you study abroad in Brussels again, or would you prefer to study somewhere else? If so, where?

If given the opportunity I would love to study abroad in Brussels again! Although Brussels is a smaller city, there is so much to see and I would find it fun to return to a place in order to discover even more! Traveling to other cities also gave me an opportunity to discover where else I would like to travel in my lifetime. Paris is such an amazing city with an incredible amount to see, so I would definitely enjoy returning there for more than a weekend!

 Has studying abroad influenced your view on education/studying?

Travel has always been an important aspect in my family, but after studying abroad with other college students and having to acclimate for a month, I definitely believe studying abroad is an experience everyone should try to incorporate into their college years. It made me realize that even students across the world are having to study hard for an exam, which made me appreciate the education I have been given. Also, studying abroad made me realize education is so much more than memorizing definitions or formulas. Educating yourself is about exploring the outside world, placing oneself in sometimes unfamiliar situations, and learning as much as possible from the people and situations you encounter along the way.

 Has studying abroad given you a different perspective on living in the United States?

Studying abroad in Brussels was a wonderful experience, but one that made me appreciate the United States. It made me value the freedoms America provides as well as the comfortable lifestyle. Although Europe has its many prides, being away from my country made me even more proud of my homeland and to call myself an American!  A famous person once said, “But all of them rang true, and reminded me of why I travel: to learn and grow, to challenge myself, stretch my limits and foster an appreciation of both the world at large and the chair waiting in front of the woodstove back home.”

October 23, 2008 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

New Buzz on Clemon’s Campus

On October 13th the excitement on Clemson’s campus would have made an outsider think something extraordinary had happened… were exams canceled? Were all students given A’s in their classes? No! Tommy Bowden had “stepped down.” This news spread like wildfire around Clemson’s campus and created quite the buzz. I have never played football nor do I understand the game beyond the basics, so therefore I do not claim to be a pro of the sport. Although many times people voice their opinions on heated matters even if they are not knowledgeable (like the Bowden issue) many Clemson Alumni, football fanatics, and those who truly understand the sport all agreed it was time for Tommy Bowden to leave. He was said to be a mediocre coach and that his coaching tactics were no longer working for Clemson. Clemson Football was ranked high in the pre-season rankings and was projected to due very well this season given the incredible talent we had on the team. The first major stomping that Alabama gave us was a rude awakening and seemed to “set Clemson in its place”, but little did fans know this was just the beginning. The season continued to go down hill and Clemson lost games we were projected to win. Not too far into the season, there was major talk that Bowden needed to be fired. Some devoted Clemson fans even wore T-shirts that said, “Fire Bowden.” The buzz started and this seemed to be the only thing on Clemson fans minds.

I stayed out of the heated Bowden opinions, since I am not a football expert (as stated earlier). And anyways, who are the lazy fans in the stands to say if Bowden is a good coach or not? We’re not the ones out on the field. Was it really Bowden making all the bad calls? I was interested to have these questions answered so I asked a few of my friends that play football for Clemson. They were all very complimentary of Tommy Bowden and were also careful in how they answered my questions. They commented on how they respect and like him so much as a person; but that they thought it was time for him to leave. His coaching methods were not “clicking” with the players and the plays he called were obviously not working either.  They said all of the players were in a “rut”, no longer enjoyed football, and sadly dreaded most games because of the negative outlook they had. After speaking with some of the players, the people who are directly affected by Tommy Bowden, I then too agreed that if Clemson wanted to end the season at all on a positive note, it was time for him to go.

Many say a coach should not leave his team during the middle of the season, but I think it was a very smart and well thought out on Tommy Bowden’s part to “step down” as head coach. In the end, Clemson fans respected him more for stepping down when he did rather than continuing his dedication to the team. One of the bad calls Tommy Bowden made that did not do much for his image was when he made the announcement to bench Cullen Harper. During a press conference, the interviewer asked if Harper was aware of this, and Bowden stated, “I left him a voicemail.” NOT a good decision Tommy.

As soon as Dabo Swinney was named interim coach, Clemson’s overall atmosphere became much more spirited, for a new hope was on the rise. The student body support Dabo and we are all anxious to see how this season will turn out…. Clemson is in full support of Swinney as of now…

October 15, 2008 at 8:52 am Leave a comment

My PR Response

Is PR in its own little world? (Caroline Trotter)

I am the “webmaster” for Clemson’s brand new chapter of PRSSA which means I handle and maintain most of the information you find on the internet(which I find a little intimidating)   I do blog posts and update our twitter account but all of this got me thinking.  As individuals interested in PR we talk a lot about Twitter, however I don’t think anyone I know outside of the PR world uses it…if they even know what it is in the first place.  My question to you is …. Do PR practitioners live in their own little world convincing each other this is a great way for people to stay communicated when in actuality no one uses it?  How are we to know?

My Response To: Is PR in its own little world?

Unfortunately I do not have an answer to the question, “Do PR practitioners live in their own little world convincing each other this [Twitter] is a great way for people to stay communicated when in actuality no one uses it?  How are we to know?” I find merit in your question and often wonder the same thing about Twitter. You have more hands on experience with Twitter than I do; however, I have heard about it through PRSSA meetings and I have heard mention of Twitter by PR practitioners we have had speak at monthly meetings. Previous to being a member of PRSSA, I had never even heard of Twitter, nor do most people I talk to have any idea what it is today. I find your question very valid and also wonder if Twitter is solely used by PR practitioners to stay connected. My only offering is perhaps Twitter will one day be the new form of AOL Instant Messaging and it will reach a “tipping-point” overnight… I guess we will have to wait and see if that day ever comes.

October 2, 2008 at 11:27 am Leave a comment

VOGUE India

I believe that VOGUE India’s decision to feature average Indian people wearing designer clothes could have served as a very beneficial move creating a positive impact; however, Ms. Tanna’s response to the unsuspected backlash inhibited this. This call for strategic public relations was not handled correctly. She did not positively brand herself in response to this issue and it is apparent by her defensive interview responses that she had not explanation for the choice she made. Her response of, “Lighten up” and “You have to remember with fashion, you can’t take it that seriously” minimizes readers concerns and opinions about the issue. Making concerned people who question a decision you made (such as the choice to have Indian people wearing designer clothes) feel like their voice or opinion is ridiculous and not worthy is NOT a smart PR move.

 

She seems to contradict herself during the interview. Her response about Vogue realizing the “power of fashion” and that the shoot was saying that “fashion is no longer a rich man’s privilege. Anyone can carry it off and make it look beautiful” made me hopeful at first. I thought for a second she was on the right track to shedding a positive light on Vogue and offered that making a statement was their purpose to do the shoot. Then, however, she contradicts herself by saying, “We weren’t trying to make a political statement or save the world.”

 

I would have first made the people who raised unsettling feelings towards the shoot feel their concerns and opinions were valued. I would have also admitted that I could see where the confusion and anger came from after analyzing people’s perceptions of the shoot and would have said something like, “Vogue’s purpose of doing this shoot was not clearly communicated to the public.” I would have cleared the confusion by saying that, “In actuality, Vogue’s purpose for doing this shoot was to make a statement that any woman, regardless of culture or social class, can carry it off and make it look beautiful. For fashion is no longer, and should never be, regarded as a rich man’s privilege.”

 

If Ms. Tanna had responded in the way I suggested above, the first step for VOGUE India would be to stick with this “statement” and message they are trying to communicate. The next VOGUE India issue should feature a woman of a different culture or social class wearing a fashion item. However, this time the message should be much more carefully communicated. The feature could even include VOGUE’s purpose for the shoot somewhere on the page, stating something around the lines of “Real Fashion. Real Beauty.” This would better help to communicate the statement they are in fact, trying to make.

September 26, 2008 at 3:26 am Leave a comment

What is Social Media?

Social media can be viewed as interactive websites that allows uses participation, inhibiting the sharing of opinions, information, emotions and much more. Common examples of social media include Facebook, YouTube, Eharmony, blogs etc. Social media differs from older media such as newspapers, magazines, radio, television, books, C.D.’s, or a box of photos because of several reasons, but among the most notable is because social media can be changed and updated constantly. The exciting new world of social media offers endless opportunities to enact in the real world, and stay up to date in every aspect of one’s life and current events. An interesting point to make about social media draws upon what you are reading right now, my blog. I don’t have to convince a committee to publish my opinions on issues, unlike other media forms, but rather can freely publish my thoughts on the internet for others to view and even comment on. Anyone is free to post anything (within the terms of agreement). If you think a personal video of a friend falling down stairs is hilarious, you have the opportunity to post the video on YouTube, instead of having to walk into CNN and convince them to publish it for the public to see.

September 18, 2008 at 6:34 am Leave a comment

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