Lessons in PR: Saying ‘No’ to Winter Break Doldrums

The New Year starts tomorrow. My New Year’s resolution? Not to waste the time I have right now.

As a PR student, I’ve learned that it is important to take advantage of down time. So, this winter break, I’m going to do just that by acquiring skills that will help me market myself as a young PR professional. Listed below are my top four goals this winter break that I hope will help me in preparing for my career. Hopefully, these goals can inspire you, too!

Winter break can be more than just hanging out in the snow. Take the time to improve your skills in PR. – Photo Credit: The Hope Scholarship blog

1)      Learn Adobe Creative Suite 6

Before the past semester, I hardly knew what InDesign was. I definitely did not know much about the other Adobe programs that exist. Thank God for college. After completing the “News Editing for Public Relations” course, I have gained a lot of insight and a huge admiration for quality design work. We dabbled with InDesign and Illustrator in class but I know that my experience merely scratches the surface of things that can be done with CS6. To accomplish this, I’m going to be utilizing these cool videos by designer Terry White on how to explore CS6 as a beginner.

2)      Perfect my online portfolio

As a PR kid, I have observed how important professional online portfolios are. Having a good, professional online presence makes a huge difference today. So, I decided to really work on mine over winter break. Even though it would be easier to create one through WordPress (I mean I have my blog here), I decided to go with Weebly. Weebly allows HTML coding freedoms that WordPress does not allow, which brings me to my next goal… Continue reading

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Lessons in PR: Learning from Disaster, 9/11

9/11.

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Communication served as a vital means of restoration during 9/11 – from the press, from businesses, from people and from PR practitioners. – Photo Credit: Imani Lewis at the Newseum

For any person in America, these numbers convey the horrific events of that day in 2001. This weekend, I  visited the Newseum’s 9/11 Gallery and experienced some flashback moments of my own. Despite feeling sad, I left inspired. The press showed heroic dedication to document what happened that day. History is grateful for them.

 After visiting the exhibit, I was curious to know about similar actions of PR practitioners during 9/11 and how crisis communication played a part in the recovery process. After a bit of research, I found an article by the Harvard Business Review, “Crisis Communication: Lessons from 9/11” discussing the key means of crisis communication during 9/11 that were critical to connecting with employees and reconstructing business life. The author Paul Argenti listed several steps in successful crisis communication of which I have the three following takeaways. Continue reading

Music Find: Logic x Westwood Crib Sessions

I love when I stumble upon amazing artists who are true to themselves and their audiences.

One such artist is the rising star (and MD hailing) rapper, Logic.

Logic combines hard-hitting lyricism with solid beats that keep you engaged. His style is quick, progressive, and personal.

I feel that he has potential to be one of the greatest rappers of our generation.

Check out his freestyle session with Tim Westwood’s “Westwood Crib Sessions” below.

You’ll be blown away. Trust me.

– Imani

7 Signs You’re a PR Major

PR students stay connected. Photo Courtesy of Apple.com

Every college major or department comes with its own inside jokes and quirks that only its students and faculty understand.  Public Relations is no exception. In fact, PR is probably one of the least talked about majors in college. To take away from the “mystery,” I want to let you all in on the inside story of the PR major’s life.

Here are seven signs that you’re a PR major.

7. Sleep is the one thing that never gets crossed off your to-do list. No rest for the heavy-laden and PR majors, contrary to popular belief, are.

6. When lstening to students form other majors talk about they’re lives , you struggle to reesist kriticizing there grammer. Brownie points to anyone that identifies all the grammatical errors in this sentence. Double points for proper editing marks.

5. You understand how a 500-word news story can take just as long to write as a 1500-word essay. First, you write then you edit. Then you write again and edit. Then you send it off to the editor who edits it and gives it back to you to write … again. See a pattern forming?

4. You’re so literate in SEO that you can find info on anybody. Literally. See that hot TA in the English class? Got his email, LinkedIn and Facebook in less than five minutes with some constructive “Google” searching (don’t pretend like you don’t do this — fact checking at its finest).

3. You get the “It’s not what you know, but who you know” lecture at least 20 times in a given semester.  Friendliness and gratitude go a long way when making professional connections (those thank you notes make a difference!).

2. Your professors reprimand you for NOT using social media in class. “Twitter for Good,” anyone?

Finally…

1. You start blogging solely for the purposes of building up your online presence. I’m just kidding with this one, but honestly, if I wasn’t a PR major, I wouldn’t be blogging. I am so grateful that it inspired me to start.

Did I leave anything out? Let me know what you would put on a list of  the life of a PR major in the comments below.

Thanks!

– Imani

Music Find – Kishi Bashi

About four months ago, I discovered one of my now favorite musicians, Kishi Bashi. He’s a Japanese-American singer and violinist with this really cool electronic/acoustic sound.

I was preparing for Finals Week at UMD when I found his music and listening to it was great for lifting my tired-college-student spirits.

The song I listened to the most was “Chester’s Burst Over the Hamptons” off his 151a album. This particular song is really great for all-nighters. The beat is fiery; it makes you want to jump around the room, brilliant for warding off that sleepy haze.

The greatest thing about Kishi Bashi is that he adds complex musicality to every one of his songs, which is rare.

If you want to take a listen, I placed the video below.

Thanks and I hope you like it,

Imani

Hey there, Internet

Hey Everyone,

I’ll start off with an apology for not “officially” introducing myself before starting to post to this blog.

I hesitated to make this blog my main one but then I thought it might be cool to share with you all the many unique facets of my life.

My little “sharings” for this blog are going to be pretty far-reaching as I have a ton of different interests.

Fashion and beauty, family life and education, politics and social change are some of the main issues that I like to talk about.

However, right now I am really interested in another topic.

Music.

My first “review” will be featured in the next post.

Stay tuned for more of my musings.

Thanks,

Imani R. L.