Thursday, March 27, 2008

pr 101

I can't tell you how many times I have had the following conversation:

Person: So what school do you go to?

Me: I actually graduated a few years ago.

Person: Oh really? In what?

Me: PR-Public Relations.

Person: Oh! So what are you doing now?

Me: I actually got a new job last fall.

Person: Doing what?

Me: PR.

Person: Yes, but what do you actually do?

I've come to realize most people don't know what public relations is and people I talk to (including my own parents) don't really know what I do. If you are one of these people, don't worry, you're not alone. I figured since people are asking me about it fairly often, I might as well try to explain.

I had a professor once tell me PR is like trying to find ways to advertise for free. Though the statement doesn't cover all areas of PR, I thought that was a really clever way to describe it. Public relations and publicity are not the same, although publicity is one function PR people usually perform. A lot of people hear "PR" and think of celebrities' publicists. Publicity is defined as the spreading of information to gain public awareness for a product, person, service, cause or organization. The American Heritage Dictionary defines PR as "the art or science of establishing and promoting a favorable relationship with the public." This is usually accomplished by promoting favorable news for your company. Here are some of the ways to do this:

-Write press releases to send to media contacts when something noteworthy happens at your company-- the goal is to provide information and generate coverage for the company.

-Pitch story ideas involving your company to media outlets. For example, I knew about a story a magazine was going to include in a future issue about office workspaces and interiors. Since the company I work for puts a lot of time and effort into its interior, I called up the reporter in charge of writing the story and pitched ideas on how the company could be included in the article. Obviously you have to know what is a good fit because reporters do not like you wasting their time.

-Submit/nominate your company for awards

-Write bylined articles for publications

-Secure speaking opportunities for executives from your company for conferences, etc.

In case you're just dying to learn more, here are some other typical PR duties:

-Tracking the media coverage your company is receiving
-Creating case studies and other collateral materials
-Crisis communications: basically trying to minimize damage in the event of a disaster or getting the truth out in cases of misinformation
-Creating press kits (basically a kit of helpful information about the company to give to reporters, etc.)
-Creating content for the company newsletter and Web site

The list could go on and on with all sorts of odds and ends, but I think I hit most of the main duties. I do have to say I love PR and I love my job so I consider myself very lucky. Class is dismissed!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Silk tie eggs

Last year we learned how to dye Easter eggs in an uncommon but very cool way. What you do is cut up old silk ties into squares and wrap them around an egg. Then you wrap the egg in a square of white fabric (we cut up an old t-shirt) and use twist ties to secure the fabric. Finally, you boil the eggs for 20 minutes with 1/4 c. vinegar in the water and voila! Unwrapping the eggs is the best part because you never know how they will turn out. Sometimes the ugliest tie makes the coolest egg. We like dying them this way because we aren't left cleaning up a big mess and the eggs turn out way cooler than when we try the traditional way. Plus, we have a fun new family tradition of going to the D.I. to pick out new ties to try out every Easter. Here is my favorite of the eggs from this year's batch:
If you want to try it out, go here for step-by-step instructions! Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Weekly Funny

This is hilarious. My cousin Rachel showed me this clip this past weekend. I believe this should be shown to EVERYONE. Andy Samberg is a comedic genius! I'm planning on contributing what I am going to call a "weekly funny" every week. Go figure. Yayuh!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sin City

We decided on a whim to head to Vegas for the weekend to spend some time with family and get away for a few days. Of course we made sure to fit in some time for shopping and good food. We always love spending time with Rachel and Diane and they were so nice to let us come crash with them on such short notice. Here are some of the other highlights of our trip:

LOVE the Cheescake Factory at Ceasar's Palace. Our food was amazing and as you can see, my entree was large enough for a family of 10. And yes, it was delicious.
Since BYU was playing UNLV for the Mountain West Conference title on Saturday, we thought we'd check it out. Game was fun, even though BYU fell on its face the second half... We did learn though that UNLV fans are CRAZY. I mean seriously CRAZY. Although I was afraid we were going to be jumped, it was highly entertaining. I enjoy trash talking fans when it relates to game play. Unfortunately some people were saying really ignorant, stupid things. For instance, we had a woman with a chain smoking man voice sitting behind us who screamed the entire game, "Retreat back to your temple!" I kept thinking, I should turn around and say something equally stupid such as, "Retreat back to your stripper pole!" I'm pretty sure she would have killed me.

Love the shopping and especially love the new “Townsquare Las Vegas” with the brand-spanking new H&M (aka the best store ever).

The best. I think APX's slogan applies here: Often imitated, never duplicated. Amen.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I feel like chicken tonight!

My mom bought me a cute little cookbook last time I was home. I tried out this recipe and both Sean and I LOVED it. In fact, Sean asked me to make it for him the very next day. I didn't, but already know it is going to be one of those family recipes that lasts forever. Since it is just the two of us, I halved the recipe. Try it out sometime and tell me what you think.

Lemon Chicken Italiano:

6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c. flour
7 TBS. butter, divided
1 TBS. olive oil
2 c. marinara sauce of your choice
4 TBS. chopped onion
2 TBS. fresh lemon juice
2 TBS. chopped fresh (important!) parsley

Pound chicken breasts between sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap until flattened. Put flour and chicken in a plastic bag and shake to coat chicken. Melt 3 TBS. of the butter and the 1 TBS. oil in a large skillet. Place chicken in skillet and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 mins. per side. When cooked through, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place marinara sauce in the bottom of an oven-proof serving dish; top with chicken. Place chicken in a 250-degree oven to keep warm while preparing the lemon sauce.

To make lemon sauce, melt remaining 4 TBS. butter in the same skillet, scraping up brown bits from the pan. Add onion and saute until tender. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and parsley. Pour hot sauce over chicken and serve.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Moment of Truth (or acting?)

So have you seen the ads on T.V. for this new show on FOX called "The Moment of Truth"? It's the one where contestants answer questions while strapped to a lie detector to determine whether or not they are telling the truth. Apparently the questions get harder (a.k.a. more scandalous) as you go. We have not actually seen the show, nor plan to. In fact every time we see the stupid ad for it we re-emphasize just how awful it looks. The show is a shining example of how low T.V. execs will go to shock an audience. It's also an example of people's pleasure in seeing other people's dirty laundry exposed. Seriously, what are you really getting out of the type of show that asks one of the contestants, "Have you ever cheated on your wife with one of her friends?" I can't even imagine the warm, fuzzy feelings you'd feel after watching an entire episode. I feel like I need to shower after seeing a preview!

Apparently this show is a spin off of others from around the world that have been very successful. Get this: Colombia had to cancel its version of the show after a contestant won $25,000 after admitting she had hired a hit man to kill her husband. Sounds like a stellar person to be rewarding with prize money.

We did hear about an episode here in the US where a woman "confessed" she wished she were married to her ex-boyfriend instead of her husband while (gasp!) the husband sat dumbfounded in the audience. Well, turns out these two really had been a couple, but were on the outs way before the show and agreed to do the show for money. So... it was acting. Sean later discovered this same woman lost all of the money she had "won" when she answered "Do you think you are a good person?" with "yes" and the lie detector said she was lying. Haha! Hope the humiliation was worth all that money you made... oh wait, you went home a loser-- same way you came in.

Stepping off the soapbox now.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Things that must go

We like to listen to X96's morning show with Kerry, Bill and Gena. They do a segment that we love called "Things that must go." We thought it would be fun to compile our own list of things that must go:

1. Advertising campaigns (and mimics of these campaigns) that are long past their prime and are now just annoying. For example... who honestly still thinks it's a good idea to copy the slogan 'got milk?'. Or how about the bizillions of livestrong silicon bracelet knockoffs? And Mastercard, we were still in Jr. High when you came up with those 'priceless' ads. Finally, Subway, we all know by now that Jared lost 9,000 lbs. eating only Subway-- it's been 1o years for heaven's sake and he's an annoying spokesperson anyway! Let's work on some creativity here people.

2. Dogs used as accessories and the people who think it is ok to tote their pet around in their purse/jacket in places like restaurants and malls.

3. Rolling backpacks-- 'nuff said.

4. Pot holes. If you live in Utah, you know what we are talking about. It seems like we need to get our car realigned every time we drive somewhere.

5. Girls with giant ROXY stickers on their cars (who also frequently dote flower leis hanging from the rear-view mirror). We wonder, do all these girls truly love ROXY? Do they have a closet full of ROXY clothing/products that they just love so much they want to proclaim that love to the world in the form of a sticker? Or is it really more of a "look how cute and preppy I am" or "I am a wannabe hardcore surfer/snowboarder" type of thing? Seriously, have you ever noticed how many cars have these on them?
6. Along the same lines as #5, the little family people stickers plastered on nearly every SUV in Utah County.

7. Swimming with Dolphins... never done it.... never will. If you saw the Discovery Channel special we did, you wouldn't even think about it.

8. LDS comedies. Do people actually pay to see these movies? We should mention we do enjoy "The Work and the Glory" movies.

9. Used car license plate covers advertising the business of where the car was bought. For example, we don't really know of any make or model of car that looks better with Low-Book Sales' license plate cover on it (you know, the ones with the flourescent yellow smiley faces on it).

10. People who after asking you where you went to school (we tell them BYU) say, "Which one?". We have nothing against BYU-I, we just find it odd we have to clarify so much.

11. Cumin (the spice) and cottage cheese. Some people just don't have a palate for some things, and for Jenny, cumin is of the devil. For Sean, it is cottage cheese.

12. Applebees restaurant. We're just not fans.

13. Wearing a bluetooth headset when not in use. It screams, "Hey, look at me! I think I'm so awesome and important." The giant ones that look like they are taking over your ear are especially hilarious, and yes, we are laughing at you.

14. People who try to rush into an elevator before letting others out.

What are some of the things you would include in your list of "Things that must go"?