Comment #2

This week I read an article on PR Daily which was discussing if education or experience was more important. I enjoyed this article, but have found that in my own experience, a person’s attitude is an important factor when discussing success. I realize this may be an idealistic approach, as some people are quite awful and successful; however, the success I am referring to is more than just monetary success.

Here is my reply to the article:

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Topic of the Week #2

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Meet Amy Tuckett. Amy is the Communications Coordinator for the Manitoba Metis Federation, as well as the Metis Economic Development Organization. I chose to do a telephone interview with Amy for this assignment, as she is part of the reason I am here today. Amy and I met many years ago, and were on the same path. Amy was a massage therapist, and I, social services worker. We were both doing jobs that we knew we weren’t going to sustain, and we both needed a change. Three years ago, my dear friend Amy decided to go back to school and pursue her dream to take Creative Communications at Red River College. For me, this lit a small flame, an inspiration that continued to burn slowly until an opportunity was able to present itself.

Last year I started into the PR and Marketing Management diploma program, and Amy was heading into her last year of Cre-Comm. It was great to see what she was going through, so I could anticipate what was to come. During her second year at Red River, Amy was required to do an IPP (Individual Professional Project), which would help hone in on the skills she learnt over the past two years. This is where “Hell on Heels” was born.

 How was Hell on Heels Conceived?

I started out thinking I was going to do a documentary on the health problems that arise from wearing high heeled shoes. The focus is on mandatory heel height policies for female workers in restaurants, and why government needs to develop legislation to protect the female worker.

What were your initial objectives, and how did they change as the campaign progressed?

My initial objective was to create a documentary and pass my class (laughs Amy). No, I wanted to show the health risks associated with high heeled shoes. As a massage therapist, I often treated patients with issues directly related to high heels. However, I quickly realized that it was more of an awareness campaign, and that I wanted to start a conversation about the issue of mandatory heel heights for female workers in the restaurant industry. My main objective was to educate, but now it is to create change. This shift in campaign direction affected my messaging, and it became more than educating people; I wanted to create change.

Can you describe the strategies and tactics behind the campaign?

I wanted to target young women, and let them know that they don’t have to do this. There is a culture of women who are scared to speak about the issue because they’re afraid of losing their jobs. Many of the women who are speaking up about the mandatory heel heights are women who knew they are leaving the industry and don’t fear the repercussions. I started a Facebook Page, as well as a Blog, which let people know about the campaign. Once it generated some interest, the newspapers picked up on the press releases. I also did some targeted pitches to journalists I knew had interest in the issue. My panel and documentary release night coincided with the news releases and my panel night sold out in under an hour.

What’s next with the campaign?

Within the next few months I am launching into the second part of the campaign. This is where I am going to meet with key people in politics, such as Jennifer Howard, to discuss getting legislation towards banning mandatory heel heights.

What have you taken away from this experience so far?

BE DETERMINED. Keep on it even when you want to give up. Stick to your key message, and know who you are pitching it to. Need to have consistent messaging or it won’t get off the ground.

Any advice for your old pal Carley?

Do what you believe in. If you have passion for something, it shows. People want to get behind things they are passionate about. Have the guts to take a stand and be a voice. Be responsible for yourself.

Amy’s words resonate with me as I write this blog.

Do what you believe in.

If you have passion, it shows.

Have the guts to take a stand and be a voice.

Be responsible for yourself. 

Simple words, harder application.

Do you have any words of advice for me as I head into my career?

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RACE Formula and the PR Campaign

I have spent the past year learning about Public Relations (PR), and the mandatory steps one needs to take to create a successful PR strategy.  I am a passionate communicator, excited by new ideas and creativity. However, I constantly have to remind myself that there is more to PR than just good ideas, and catchy key messages.

When embarking on a new PR Strategy it is important to remember the RACE Formula, to avoid making some critical mistakes. What critical mistakes, you ask? Jumping to tactical ideas for a campaign before putting in the leg work of research and analysis (action). Was that a communal groan I just heard?!?! Yes, research and analysis(action) can be challenging, but it is the only way a PR professional like yourself will understand the basis and reasoning behind your campaign.

Let’s take a moment to review the 4 pillars of the RACE Formula:

    1)  Research: Every good PR strategy begins with some strong, solid research. By research, I don’t mean the first 3 websites that show up on a Google search. The goal is to find out as much external and internal information on the company as possible. Who are you targeting? What is the landscape of the market?  What is the current public opinion?

    2) Analysis (or Action): Once the research is done, you need to understand how you are going to put this information into action. This is where the goals and the objectives are stated, and the PR campaign starts to take shape.

    3) Communicate: Yay! My favorite part. This is where the strategies and tactics are decided. The meat and potatoes, if you will. Just remember: strategies and tactics are different. Strategy is the plan of action to attain a goal, tactics are how you’re going to get there.

    4) Evaluate: Measure the success of your hard work through evaluations of the campaign. The evaluation should be both quantitive and qualitative, and include recommendations for the future.

That’s it! Four easy steps to a successful PR campaign. Seems easy enough, right?! Wrong. Companies seem to struggle with this concept all the time.

Busting the ‘Block

Blockbuster is a prime example of a company that implemented tactics before doing the proper research. In 2003, Blockbuster came out with a campaign saying good-bye to late fees. I distinctly remember the campaign they rammed down our throats about the much awaited abolishment of the late fee. The problem was that there were late fees… sneaky ones. Economically, there idea was a bust. Plus, by the time they tried to salvage it, they were too late. Blockbuster failed to take into consideration companies like Netflix, and ended up losing their market share altogether.

So, use this tale as a precautionary one. Tactics before research is like putting on sunscreen for an indoor event. Useless. Be sure to follow the RACE Formula, and I’m confident you will find the success you are looking for.

What’s your favourite story of a PR Campaign gone awry?

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Comments

I was reading an interesting article on spinsucks.com which discusses “The Success Trap and Regrets of the Dying.” I found this article really resonated with me, based on things going on in my own life.

Here is my reply to the post:

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Dear My Back

Health-Back-Pain

Dear My Back,

I write to you as a desperate plea,

Could you please start working with me?

I can’t help but notice  you’re such a pain,

Let’s end this right now, before you drive me insane.

I’ll stretch you, I’ll ice you, whatever you want.

But you’re not quite getting it, I think you’re a savant.

I don’t want to lie here all day and night,

So please listen closely as I tell you my plight.

You’ve already caused so many kinks in my plan,

I was so close to becoming the next Jackie Chan!

So starting today let’s call off this battle,

I’m starting to feel I resemble the cattle.

Let’s wipe the slate clean, I’ll give you another chance,

I’d do anything to improve my interpretive dance.

Yours Truly,

Carley.

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An Ode to My BFF

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My best friend is turning 30 tomorrow. I thought it might be nice to share a story from the “best friends vault” as a way to celebrate her, and our fabulous friendship.

I met Michelle (*name changed) in the 7th grade. I wish I could say that we were best friends from the get-go, but unfortunately this was not the case. In fact, I was so jealous of Michelle in the beginning, that I think it would be safe to say that I wasn’t very nice to her at all. She was easy-going and fun to be around, and all the guys seemed to enjoy her company. Me, I was more the annoying loud girl, with crooked teeth and home-cut bangs. Let’s just say the boys weren’t banging down my door….

I don’t remember how, or why, but Michelle and I became good friends over the course of grade 8. We did everything together. I was so grateful to have her in my life, as I was struggling in the friends category. However, at the end of grade 8, I was faced with the devastating news that Michelle and her family were moving to Ontario.

For the next 6 years, Michelle and I had a long distance friendship. We talked on the phone, sent letters to each other, and even got to visit each other from time to time. Her friendship was (and is) so special to me. Looking back, I am so proud that we were able to stay in such good contact, as the only distance between us were kilometres.

After her first year of university, Michelle, like many others, was struggling. School wasn’t a fit, and she was unsure what her next move was. After coming up with a plan, Michelle and I decided that I would fly down to Ontario to pick her up. We were going to pack up her car, and bring her back to Winnipeg. At the time, I was in a dead-end relationship, and wanted nothing more than to have my best friend by my side.

So, with little more than a good plan in mind, I set off to pick up Michelle in Cambridge, Ontario. Much to her parent’s chagrin, we packed up her little Honda Civic and headed back to Winnipeg.

That road trip was 8 years ago, and Michelle has lived in Winnipeg ever since. I have been blessed with 18 years of the most incredible friendship. We have been through highs and lows. She has seen me at my worst, and has celebrated with me at my best. I can laugh with her, cry with her, or just sit there in complete silence. We know what the other is thinking from a glance across the room. I would drop anything for her, and she has done the same for me.

So, as she heads into her thirties, with me right behind her, I am inclined to take a trip down memory lane. I couldn’t be more grateful to have a friend like her, and I will shout it from the roof tops how important she is to me. I can’t wait to see what the next thirty years are going to bring us. Life is much easier with a best friend by your side.

Happy 30th Birthday, Best Friend. You are a beautiful, smart and dynamic woman. I will continue to stand by you on this life journey, as I am your #1 supporter and fan.

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The Day I Jumped Out Of A Plane

Picture this:

I’m 21. I’m travelling for the first time internationally with my dear friend Anne. Somehow I convinced her she should drop out of university, and we should go on a life-changing adventure (and boy did it change her life…that’s another story).   We had just arrived in Cairns, Australia and we were looking to make some memories.

I managed to convince Anne that we should sign up for a skydiving/white-water rafting adventure on Mission Beach. It didn’t take much convincing, as Anne was always up for a good time. The jump was 12,000ft, and it was over the Great Barrier Reef.

We arrived that morning, and I was full of excitement. To be honest, I had given little thought to how scary or dangerous this little adventure might be. Lack of forethought seemed to be a  common theme throughout my twenties…

Anyways, we finished our hour training seminar, met some guys who were jumping with us, as well as our tandem partners and we were on our way to the airplane.

It wasn’t until we pulled up to the airplane that things got a little shaky for me. I went from giving a lot of high fives and smack talk to second-guessing myself and my impetuous decisions. However, it was too late to back down. So, with the only courage I had left, I hopped on the plane, gave another high five, and up we went.

I distinctly remember watching the altimeter, as we went from 1,000 to 10,000ft. The guys that were with us were jumping at 10,000ft, and I watched in horror as they were sucked out of the plane into the oblivion. Fear hit me hard and fast.

It was my turn to go. I was shaking. Tears filled my eyes as I slowly crawled to the open door of our small plane. I was so nervous, I thought my heart was going to beat right out of my chest. With my knees hanging over the edge of the plane, I put my arms across my chest, put my head back, counted to three and plunged off the edge.

As soon as I was out of the plane, my adrenaline kicked in. As we free fell for a minute, every care and worry was gone. I felt the air plunging through me, as I tried to take it all in. Everywhere I looked there was bright blue water, beautiful white sand, and luscious rainforest. A tidal wave of gratitude swept over me, as we glided down over the beach and back to reality.

I tell this story to encourage you to try new things. Try things that are out of your comfort zone. Would I ever skydive again? No. But, I would trade that experience for anything in the world.

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
― C. JoyBell C.

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Welcome!

Hello!

Welcome to my blog!

I must admit, this is my second attempt at writing a blog. My first blog was about braids. I love doing hair, and thought it would be cool to showcase all the beautiful braids I do on my friends. The problem is, that I don’t have as much to say about braids and hairstyles as I thought I would.

So, here I am thinking about what people want to hear from me. I am supposed to think of an audience, and then tailor my writing for that audience. This is easier said than done!

I fancy myself a storyteller. So, in keeping with that theme, I will share stories from my own experiences. Some will be happy, some will be sad, some might make you laugh, and some will be just plain weird.

The stories are in no chronological order, and I have changed some names for privacy sake. These stories are 100% real, and have been experienced by yours truly.

Your feedback and comments are encouraged and welcomed.

Enjoy!

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