Erika Brewington’s Blog

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The following is a list of all entries from the Assignments category.

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Twitter Update

I have really began to enjoy using twitter throughout this semester. Although I wasn’t too crazy about the idea at first, I will admit that its hard to resist getting on my blackberry during class, on the way to class, while I’m studying, when I should be asleep-well you get the point-to check my twitter updates. I have grown with the craze of twitter, and I love turning on the TV and seeing how popular it is everywhere and thinking, “wow, and this started as a PR assignment for me.” You can find me on twitter @erikabrewington

My second experience with twitter was definitely a lot smoother than the first! I didn’t really have any questions about how to use my account, and I think this had a lot to do with why I enjoy it so much more. It was hard to get the hang of things the first time around, but I’ve overcome my twitter anxiety and I will certainly continue to use it.

Twitter is a social media networking service that I wouldn’t be familiar with at all, if it were not for my Public Relations professor. She introduced us to the service in class, and actually made an assignment out of it by having us create and use our own personal account. I think it’s safe to say I’ve never done anything like this for class before, but I can already see the benefits I am receiving from twitter. It has connected me with my class mates, professors, and PR professionals, which will be very helpful in the near future. I am very surprised that twitter has been so beneficial to me and I will continue to use it for my networking purposes.

One thing I would like to become more familiar with as I continue using twitter, is the different applications you can upload to your twitter account. There are so many and I would like to learn more about them.

While using twitter, I have managed to find very interesting people with a lot of helpful information redarding the PR, marketing, and mass media profession.

  1. Scott Stratten is a virtual marketing “Jedi” as he refers to himself. He has made 60 online movies and combined, they have pulled in over 60 million views. He knows exactly how to target an audience! Find him on twitter @unmarketing
  2. Alisa Agozzino is a PR Professor at Ohio Northern University. She is a social media lover, and often has information regarding the PR industry twitter updates, which are usually interesting and beneficial to anyone interested in PR. Find her on twitter @alisaagozzino
  3. Mark Ragan is the CEO of Ragan Comms and the creator of from Chicago. He often has information regarding social media on his twitter that will benefit every student studying communications. Find him on twitter @MarkRaganCEO

Interested in twitter? You can create your own account at

Interview with a Public Relations Professional

For an assignment in my Intro to PR class, we were asked to interview a public relations profession in order to find out about various PR jobs and what they might entail. I chose to interview Scottie Brown Davis, a friend of mine that is currently the Marketing Manager at Pineland Telephone Cooperative, located in Metter, GA. Scottie graduated from Georgia Southern University with a major in Public Relations. Here are some of the topics that Scottie and I discussed:

  • A typical week in for Scottie includes designing an ad or promotion, updating the website and any pricing as needed, meeting with business associates and co-workers, dealing with customer problems, and finally, meeting deadlines. Then the week starts all over again.
  • A project that Scottie is most proud of would have to be her recent re-creation, design and development for the new Pineland Telephone website
  • The importance of writing in Scottie’s career is somewhat significant. Although she is not required to do it everyday, having the skills to be able to definitely come in handy sometimes.
  • 3 tips Scottie would offer someone who is just starting out in PR would definitely include 1) realizing that even if you think you know everything, you really don’t 2) always pay attention to your surroundings, and if you have the opportunity to learn something new, take advantage of it…You can never know too much! 3) Always learn from your mistakes and use them as a growing process.
  • One thing Scottie wishes she had known while she was in college is that in the business profession, the more you know, faster you will be promoted. College students always learn the bare minimum to get by, but every situation should be taken advantage of when you are in a learning environment.
  • The most useful piece of information that Scottie learned in college was how to use the Adobe Suite in her PR Publications class. She uses the Adobe Suite every day at work, and it has given her skills that will help advance her career.
  • What surprised Scottie the most about working in PR is the importance of deadlines. She realized that they are applied to almost everything and meeting them has to be a top priority in order to be successful.

Marketing Over Coffee

We were asked to listen to a podcast in my Intro to Public Relations class and discuss what we learned. I choose to listen to Marketing Over Coffee, a podcast that takes place in a Dunkin Donuts shop that discussed classic and new marketing. Here are a few things that were discussed.

  • 2-Dimensional bar codes are being used in order to store much larger amounts of information. One example of how they are being used is in Tops Baseball Cards. The card has a 3-dimensional picture of the player and the bar code holds a link to a web-cam. Using the link, you are able to play games on-line and much more while being navigated with a full voice-over of the player. 2D bar codes can also be used as Mp3 players, hold all database information used at work, and can also store all of your phone information.
  • The hosts of the podcast, John and Chris, announced that they have almost 9,000 people following their podcast, and some of the topics they discuss may include student loans, personal finance, and marketing.
  • Twitter was a topic of discussion, and John and Chris stressed to listeners to always keep everything on twitter professional and NOT personal. This is true with any social media network because the internet is open to everyone, and anything you put on the internet becomes public property. An example of this is Facebook. Any picture that is uploaded on the network becomes the property of Facebook and can be used for anything they see fit.
  • Twitter CRM is a new tool that allows users to keep track of the number of times a name or title is searched or mentioned and also links users to any replies or comments that have been made.
  • Also, John and Chris warned listeners to use discretion when linking social media networks to marketing sources. If this is not done properly, or in good taste, people may think it is unusual or even creepy.
  • The idea of a swipe file was also introduced, and it was explained that professional marketers copy and paste any advertisement or campaign ideas they like into a useful reference file. This can come in handy in many situations.

Where’s Your Tribe?

In this video, Seth Godin discusses his book, “Tribes,” and explains what is meant by this term and how tribes are impacting society today.  Here are a few things that I learned, and what surprised me from this video.

Tribes are groups of people who share something in common, whether it is a movement, a connection, or a message. People choose to participate in tribes because they want to belong and this simply makes them feel good. The Internet has made finding tribes extremely easy. A few examples of tribes in today’s world include:

  1. Sports Fans
  2. Shriner’s
  3. Red Hat Ladies
  4. Country Music Fans
  5. Gangs

Although TV and mass media have tried to minimized the need for tribes in today’s culture, it is the nature of human beings to enjoy doing what other humans do. Godin explained this by asking his audience to clap, then to clap slowly in unison and in rhythm. Giving only those directions, his audience was clapping together in a matter of seconds, even though no specific instructions were given.

The feeling of needing to belong to an organization is part of human nature because it makes a person feel better about themselves. Godin gives the example of a sports fan to illustrate this. He says that people aren’tfans of the players, because they change every year, so does the management of a team and everything else. It is obvious the fan is not passionate about the stadium the team plays in, so it becomes apparent that in actuality, the fans are rooting for themselves and using the team and organization as means to do so. The uniforms are a prime example of connecting people that want to belong.

Throughout history, the have been three major tribes that people were able to identify themselves with. These include church, work, and community. Godin explains that work is not just a job, but work defines who a person is and what they stand for.

Money can buy a crowd, which Godin defines as just a group of people, but tribes are much bigger and although they are more difficult to form, they are much more effective than a crowd of people with nothing in common. This is effective in marketing because as the quality of tribe connection increases, so does brand power. Tribes should be the focus of marketing because they are a powerful community of people that want to make things happen. Godin also explains that being affiliated with a tribe is an expense because it is a time commitment and a huge effort, but the result is that tribes are much faster, longer lasting, and more powerful than any crowd of people. Leadership is marketing, and elements that leaders should have when working with a tribe include:

  1. Challenge
  2. Culture
  3. Curiosity
  4. Charisma
  5. Communication
  6. Connection
  7. Commitment

These elements are essential because tribe members want to:

  1. Connect
  2. Create Meaning
  3. Make a Difference
  4. Be Noticed
  5. Matter
  6. Be Missed

The purpose of Godin’s book, “Tribes,” is to inspire people to be inspiring. People can make a difference for their tribe, or to their tribe. Everyone must understands  the obligation they have to finding their tribe and making a difference in their tribe. When this obligation is met, your world and your life will be better.

This video was very insightful, as I was unaware of the impacts my affiliations have on my life and the world I live in. I would like to know more about tribes among college students, and how they play a role in the lives of young adults. This is a topic that I have found very interesting and feel it is worth more research and exploration.

10 Tips for Job Interviews

Here are some tips for a successful job interview that we discussed in class this week. An audio clip from the lecture with this information can be found here

  1. Prepare for the Interview- research the company to find out what the company is about.
  2. Appearances Matter- dress appropriately for the interview; make sure you are comfortable but look professional at the same time.
  3. Have Good Body Language- make sure to keep eye contact with your interviewer and keep good posture.
  4. Ask Questions- make sure they are appropriate, but ask your interviewer any questions you may have.
  5. Bring Your Resume- always bring a copy of your resume to an interview.
  6. Have a Firm Handshake- this will show the interviewer that you are professional and gives the impression that you are ready to get to business.
  7. Leave a Business Card- this will make sure the company has all of your contact information.
  8. Keep Conversation Professional- avoid talking about things that are too personal.
  9. Be on Time and Turn Your Cell Phone Off- being a few minutes early shows that you are prepared and always remember to turn your cell phone off.
  10. Follow Up with the Interview- write an e-mail to your interviewer immediately thanking them for their time, and then mail a hand written letter to make it even more personal. 

Wag The Dog

Last week in my PR class, we watched the movie Wag the Dog. I had never heard of this movie before and I really enjoyed watching it. The movie is based on a PR practitioner, played by Robert De Niro, who hires a famous Hollywood producer, played by Dustin Hoffman, to distract the American public from a sex scandal involving the president. De Niro hires Hoffman to create  false footage that makes the country believe a war that has broken out between the U.S. and Albania. De Niro does this hoping to create the image of a hero for the president and bring his ratings up just before re-election by getting the American public to focus on the “war.”

In this movie, the PR practitioner embodies the situational value orientation. This is evident throughout the movie, as he goes to every extent to make sure that the president’s image is kept clean. His decision to hire the producer, in his mind, was in light of what would cause the most good out of the situation. He believed that the ending result of his actions would be justified because the American public as a whole would be benefited.

According to the PRSA Code of Ethics, the PR practitioner was unethical in many ways. He was not a good advocate of the president because he did not act responsibly in his decision to hire a producer in order to make the public believe there was actually a war between the U.S. and Albania. He was also very dishonest, as he led everyone to believe something that was completely fabricated.

The logic behind the phrase Wag the Dog is mocking the fact that dog wags its tail because the dog is smarter…if the tail was smarter, it would wag the dog. This phrase is relevant to the situation in the movie because the PR practitioner represents the tail, and the American public represents the dog. Throughout the movie, the practitioner (the tail) is always one step ahead of the public (the dog). He continuously feeds the pubic false information and does everything in his power to steer the attention away from the sex scandal involving the president, and towards the idea that he is saving our country in a time of despair.

The negative stereotypes that this movie gives PR practitioners is that they are dishonest and will do anything to make the client look good to the public. It also gives the stereotype that PR practitioners can be a negative advocate to have because they will not always make decisions that are in your best interest and may act in an irresponsible way. The movie Wag the Dog is a prime example of why there is a PRSA Code of Ethics that must be followed.

My Week Of Twitter

When Dr. Nixon told our Intro to PR class that we were going to be signing up for a twitter account and using it throughout the week, I had no idea what she was talking about. I had never heard of twitter before and I had no idea what to expect.

Once she had given our class a few tutorials on how the networking system works, I began my week of twitter. At first, I was very confused and it just seemed like people used it to update their status exactly how you would on facebook. Then I realized that you could reply to a persons update and basically have a conversation with them. You can also send a person a Direct Message, which is kind of like an e-mail. Dr. Nixon showed us that we could search for anything pertaining to our class by using the hashtag #PRCA2330 and this was very helpful as well.

We were given a list of people to choose from to “follow” and it did not take very long to figure out that many of these people could be future resouces to us as we begin looking for internships and job searching. Many of them replied or sent a Direct Message to me and seemed very helpful and enthused that we were learning to navigate twitter and use it to our advantage.

At the beginning of the week, I was not looking forward to doing this assignment. It seemed tedious and I did not understand how it could be of any use to me. However, by the end of the week I understood how helpful twitter can be and I will most likely continue using it for networking purposes and just as something fun to do when I have spare time. I’ll just have to stay away from it when I have homework or studying that needs to be done..