Archive | May, 2011

It’s time to spruce up your portfolio!

29 May

Newly-graduated, journalism-type majors need portfolios. I don’t care what you say or what you do or don’t want. In fact, I’ll say it again. Newly-graduated, journalism-type majors need portfolios.

Journalism degrees (e.g. public relations, advertising, any sort of writing, etc.) are not nearly as much about what you know, but rather what you can produce. It is not enough to say “I compiled a thirty-page research document” or “I monitored coverage and produced a PowerPoint clip report.” Having work to show is crucial. Anyone can write thirty pages, and PowerPoint isn’t hard to learn. Doing it and doing it well are two very different things.

Likewise, saying “I can write a press release” is not impressive. What PR grad can’t? Rather, can you write an engaging press release that attracts media attention? (I can, and I can prove it!) So when you go to include a press release, or thirty-page research document, or PowerPoint clip report, also include some form of evaluation. What media attention was earned? How many people in your target audience were reached? What was the estimated ad value had you purchased that same media coverage?

While having an online portfolio (see mine here) is convienent and a LinkedIn is crucial (connect with me here), there’s something to say about having a traditional, tangible portfolio. It’s almost like receiving a handwritten thank you note instead of an email–personal and genuine. Hint, hint: a handwritten thank you note is equally important.

I found this while Googling "thank you notes."


Meeting the Media

22 May

Two Fridays ago I had the opportunity of meeting with and working alongside local media and TV personalities from Fox 12 Oregon (KPTV and KPDX), News Channel 8 Portland (KGW) and The Oregonian and Oregon Live.

Ron Tonkin Auto‘s new car selling campaign recognizes Zombie Awareness Month and consists of zombie-themed television and radio commercials, a guide to “Fighting Zombies: the fun and easy way” and a zombie flash mob in Portland’s popular amphitheater, Pioneer Courthouse Square.

So on Friday the 13th zombies invaded Portland.

R/West, the agency behind Tonkin’s zombie apocalypse, purchased segments from Fox 12 Oregon’s and PDX TV’s news anchors Joe V. and Chloe Houser, who came on set, got bit and transformed into zombies over the course of their segments. Hair, makeup and filming went from 2 a.m. until 9 a.m., then the zombies had a break until their flash mob at noon. During the break they caused havoc at the Pioneer Place Mall, Starbucks and on the Metropolitan Area Express (MAX). Around 11:30 a.m. the Tonkin zombies, as well as nearly a dozen other Portlanders in their best zombie attire, made their way back to the amphitheater.

At noon sharp the dancing flash mob commenced.

Word of the flash mob caught The Oregonian’s print and online publication’s attention; they arrived just in time with a group of five reporters/camera crew. News Channel 8 Portland, whose studio has windows onlooking Pioneer Courthouse Square, saw the flash mob occurring, came out to watch, then asked for a second, staged flash mob so they too could cover it!

free media coverage = success

Although I was star-struck at first, all the newscasters and representatives I met were down to earth and friendly, making for a relaxed first media experience. Fox 12 Oregon was the only station “in” on the advertisement, but after the others found out, they still filmed and aired our spots, and congratulated R/West and Tonkin for coming up with one hell of a Friday the 13th campaign:

Fighting zombies is hard. Buying a car shouldn’t be.

At Tonkin, we make both easy.

Me with Joe V. from Fox 12 Oregon!

For your ghoulish pleasure, view all event photos here, News Channel 8 Portland coverage here and Oregon Live coverage here. Fox 12 Oregon coverage must be purchased.


15 May

This afternoon I got a text from a close friend and up and coming blogger Jake Espi, more commonly known as The Kid Espi. He asked if I was free at 7 p.m. and if I would be willing to host a “Twitterview,” an interview via Twitter, for his online magazine and blog, We Out Here. We texted back and forth with details, before I was forwarded three emails with login passwords and potential interview questions.

I was given twenty questions and one hour with Portland-based DJ, DJ Fatboy. I ended up selecting my favorite questions from the list and jumped around, asking them in the most timely order.

Hi, I'm DJ Fatboy.

Sure, I asked questions about his career as a DJ for the past eleven years, but I also picked his brain about his personal life. I found out that the “tough guy” DJ loves Arizona watermelon-flavored iced tea and Raphael the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Needless to say, the interview was well-rounded and a success.

At the end of the hour, We Out Here was so impressed with my take on the interview and spunkily-phrased questions that they asked me to return next Sunday to host a second artist interview and also noted that a more permanent guest-interviewer position could possibly be arranged! Given my fervor for PR-music fusion, this freelance gig could be the perfect resume experience I didn’t even know I was looking for!

The complete interview can be traced on We Out Here‘s and DJ Fatboy‘s Twitter accounts and will be made available soon at

UPDATE: Read the interview here.

UPDATE: On 5/22 I hosted my second Twitterview, with internationally known street basketball player Grayon “The Professor” Boucher. You can read that interview here.

Company Blogs…my personal opinion.

14 May

(I guess everything on here is my person opinion though, isn’t it?)

For two main reasons, I think companies, specifically PR/advertising agencies, should have blogs:

  1. To keep current clients happy and updated
  2.  So potential clients can “get to know” them

Company blog material should consist of event photos and stories so clients can view their reports in a fun manner, instead of just as clips and coverage numbers. Aside from clients, anyone that attended the event might also like to read the post as well. Such posts could also be updated on the company’s Facebook page and tweeted so that the re-cap reaches people beyond their normal network–gaining even more publicity for the client!

Other blog material should be news/industry related–a reply to a Mashable or New York Times article, for example. Creating new material based off of a controversial or impacting topic will show the agency’s knowledge and expertise in the field. This is comforting to potential new clients.

Finally…optional, but beneficial…employee spotlights. Highlighting account executives, interns or developers who oftentimes do not interact with clients will allow both current and potential clients to “get to know” the company.

Example: R/West

When they make time to post, the Portland, Ore.-based and full-service PR agency R/West does a great job! Photos feature employees in the office and showcase various client events. (Allow me to politely suggest that they could work on frequency and adding PR-specific content, however.)

...R/West employees.

...R/West event.

“Google doodles”

8 May

“Google has put up at least 16 different doodles on its home page to celebrate the 76th birth anniversary of English author and illustrator Charles Roger Hargreaves. Hargreaves is best known for his series of Mr Men and Little Miss books for children.”

(Full article and doodles after the jump.)

Roger Hargreaves

Can I just say I love when Google does this? (My favorite homepage being from Michael Jackson’s birthday a few months after his death.)

Although Google is headquartered in California, their homepage must be set to change on east coast time since I’ve seen two different themes today. For Mother’s Day the homepage simply read “Google,” but the “l” was a long-stemmed daisy. Now, it depicts a different Hargreaves image with each refresh.

I understand having a themed logo for a national holiday, but for an artist’s 76th birthday? So my question is:

Who decides which days deserve a special Google doodle?

I want that job!

Ta Kala Diokomen

7 May

As cliché as it may sound, I cannot imagine what my college experience would be like without Kappa Delta. Being in a sorority has taught me more life lessons than any textbook ever could have.

Growing up I had always been a tomboy and got along better with the guys than girls. I definitely never imagined I would go through formal sorority recruitment! My mom and aunts, all Chi Omega legacies, encouraged me to go through the process—to at least give it a chance so I could make my decision based on personal experience instead of stereotypes.

Put nicely, being on that end of recruitment was an unpleasant experience. Hundreds of girls were judging me, and in my mind I had already judged them. I either wanted to be a Chi-O or I did not want to be in a sorority at all. (Of course, the Chi-Os thought I was a desperate wanna-be and after the first day of recruitment cut me.)

Kappa Delta was my second choice.

The women in the house—although not the most attractive on campus—were warm and welcoming, down to earth, silly, good listeners, well-rounded as a bunch and had an adorable house mom with sweet cinnamon breath and who gave me a hug the second time I met her.

By the end of the week of recruitment Kappa Delta became my first choice. And after four years, the women and house became my sisters and home.

I won’t dismiss that being in a sorority can have a negative connotation, however. Binge drinkers. Promiscuous. Immature. Anorexic. Fake.

Nationally and at the University of Oregon, Kappa Delta is not this type of sorority. Kappa Delta has more philanthropies (four) than any other nationally recognized sorority. All Kappa Deltas must be involved in an activity outside of the sorority and school. We each serve five hours of community service per term (and many serve more!). We have a mandatory GPA of 2.7 or higher. And on Friday nights, alcohol-free sisterhood bonding events are common at the house.

Although some do contribute to it, I strongly believe that the general stereotype of sorority women is wrong. Like any club, we are inevitably social, but the exaggerated and yet also oversimplified ideals of sororities is just wrong. I’m not the only one who feels that way, journalists at USA Today College agree.

Kappa Delta introduced me to my best friends. Kappa Delta networked and bonded me to thousands of other strong women nationally. Kappa Delta nurtured me into the woman I am today, like our five pillars of excellence: Confident. Philanthropic. Socially successful. Intelligent. A leader.

Senior year and my last time on the "KD" side of recruitment.


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