Podcast: Side notes With Shannon

April 30, 2010 at 1:34 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

This podcast was based on a previous blog post I wrote titled “Brownies are Not Cupcakes.”

Show Notes

 

Show Title

Side Notes with Shannon

Topic

Miscommunications and Public Relations

Table of Contents

0 – 26 seconds – Theme Music

27 – 1:07 seconds – Show Introduction

1:08 – 1:35 – Background of Topic

1:36 – 2:01 – Miscommunications of Intent: Brownies are not cupcakes

2:02 – 2:20 – Brownies, Cupcakes, and Public Relations

2:21 – 2:56 – Point about Miscommunication by Angeliki Tzane

2:57 – 3:18 – E-zine Article “Why Miscommunication Creates Personal Conflict”

3:19 – 3:37 – How to Improve Communication

3:41- 4:05 – Asynchronous Communication

4:06 – 4:23 – Closing Remarks

4:24 – 4:49 – Closing Theme Music

Sources 

Angeliki Tzanne – Talking at cross-purposes: the dynamics of miscommunication

Ms. Tzanne’s bio at the University of Athens, Greece

E-Zine Article – Tristan Loo – Why miscommunication creates personal conflict?

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Blog Responses

April 8, 2010 at 8:13 pm (Uncategorized)

Comment # 1
Social Media is a Double-edged Sword, Allison Almon
April 8, 2010

When we were assigned the blog on social media I never thought of its hiring possibilities, only the hindrances we face with our many media accounts. Thank you for the different perspective. I took your advice and I viewed the mashable website and I think I’m going to apply some of the 7 tips, like searching for people and adding blogs that have career opportunities. I’m finally going to get a twitter, just not today. I completely agree with you on social media being a double-edged sword. While it’s great to put yourself out there it is scary that you lose a lot of your privacy too. I totally agree with Haley my resistance to social media is because of the stalkers. I’ve never had one, probably won’t have one, but who wants to risk that kind of creepiness?

Comment #2
PR Open Mic, Meghan Beytagh
April 8, 2010

I’m glad that you went over what PR Open Mic was. I have one and I don’t use it. I honestly thought that it was something only Georgia Southern had so I wrote it off. Now I think I might begin to use it. I think I could use the blogs to find answers to my questions or provide a different perspective on something related to public relations and marketing. It’s really nice to have a social media site that is dedicated to solely to our profession. It’s like a public relations linkedin. While typing this response I went to the website to look at blogs and it had me sign in. the first time I had both my password and email wrong, the second time I had just my password wrong. I like this site for the simple fact that it told me which one was wrong.

Comment #3
Internships, Kristen Bixby
April 8, 2010

I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said.  I have found that this has been a lesson in culture shock. The transition from going to class for three hours to working eight hours a day in one place was tough. At my internship I’m expected to work and I like it. The only difference with what you said is while I’m expected to know how to do the basics I’m still allowed and expected to ask questions. You mentioned good grades and that jogged a memory of a conversation I had with one of my co-workers, she said that what matters most aren’t always the grades you have but the job experience you obtain. She encourages all students to do multiple internships.

Comment # 4
Podcast: “J.Cam’s Hour”, Jessica Cameron
April 9, 2010

I don’t listen to many podcasts, but I read your play list and was intrigued. Working at a non-profit that is considered an attraction (the Atlanta History Center), we plan several big exhibits a year and I wanted to know how you engaged the public. So that maybe I could apply what you do for your sorority to the History Center’s exhibits. From listening to your podcast I personally gained more from when you talked about not worrying the day of the event. I’m applying that with aspects of my internship. I get so stressed about whether or not professors are giving their students the information that I’m providing ( I want our exhibits to be a success), but I have to remember that I did the best that I could. Thank you for bringing up the point of not stressing.

Comment #5
Internship Advice, Micaela Carter
April 9, 2010

Graduation is less than a month away, are you so excited? I know I am. I totally agree with your statements on how much you grow during your internship. After this experience I know that I can do and handle so much more than I thought I could. I had always doubted my pr abilities while on campus. Now, after my internship I’m confident in the skills that we’ve learned from Georgia Southern. Also, having a mentor is fantastic. I know that when I leave my internship I not only have one person I can call for advice but several different people. One of your tips was to create a daily log, my log is emailed to my boss everyday so that she knows what I’m working on and it keeps me accountable. You can’t slack off when your boss sees your work every day. My daily reports will also help me write my end of term paper. Thank you for the extra internship tips.

Comment #6
Home for the Holidays: Listening to Your College Student, Barbara Nixon
April 9, 2010

Thanks for posting your parental perspective about returning college students. Your post was focused on your son’s freshman year, but as a senior I never thought I would ever come home just to do laundry (it’s a $1.50 a load, plus the basements a little creepy, and I was a little homesick). While there’s no pecking order at my house I was dropped from the voicemail and a riding lawn mower took my spot in the garage. Your last point about listening is so true, just in reverse. At times I find myself talking to my parents more as an adult and it scares me just as much as it probably scares them too.

Comment #7
Practicum Blog Comments (25), Marie Walker
April 12, 2010

This is in response to blog response 13 “In Vogue at the Interview” by Allison Allmond.

I think with what Allison’s post is trying to say is that fashion moves forward and this includes interview attire.  I agree with you on the leeriness of wearing geometric patterns, I’m thinking Pucci here. But, if a person were inclined to wear these patterns they could go for muted colors or earth tones, or maybe just not at all. I agree with you Marie, the challenge does become knowing or trying to figure out what the job interviewer considers as non-traditional. Maybe there could be a healthy balance between the bright colors, ruffles, and conservative suits. Like a traditional suit with a brightly colored bracelet. Coral and Turquoise are not necessarily bright colors but they are brighter than just the standard black, blue and white. Both of these two colors are both bright and conservative creating a fashionable balance.

PS. I love the number maker you used for your response to my blog, it made me smile.

Comment # 8
Resume & Cover Letter Tips, Marilyn Lintel
April 12, 2010

I agree with you comment about not lying on your resume. With your tips on having several people read over your cover letter I would have one of those people at least be familiar with how you convey ideas verbal and written. For instance, my best friend edits and revises most of my work with me; she knows (or can figure out) what I’m trying to say and “translate” so to speak. Do you find that you have a hard time writing cover letters? I have a few bullet points on my cover letter, what is your opinion on this?

Comment #9
Reaction to a Career Services Event: Dining for Success, Marie Walker
April 12, 2010

Thank you for the information on how to appropriately place your silverware at the end of a meal. This past weekend I was indirectly confronted with placing my silverware properly. A family friend was slightly reprimanding her son about proper placement of his dinnerware. I was waiting to see what I was going to do, just out of curiosity and because I myself didn’t know. So thank you. The wine situation is all together baffling, so many to choose from beyond just the simple white or red.  You brought up the tip, its origins are cool. But would you consider tipping as a way of supplemental income, regardless of service? Of course the tip would be higher the better the service.

Comment #10
You Can’t Fake Nonverbals, Allison Allmond
April 12, 2010

While I don’t have enough hair to twirl I do catch myself trying to tuck my hair behind my ear, maybe its phantom hair (at one point I had shoulder-length hair)? I personally love nonverbal communication because it tells so much more than words. The crazy thing about most of these nonverbal cues and reactions happen so quickly that we ourselves don’t notice them. Sometimes the person looking at us doesn’t ‘notice’ them put does pick up subconsciously. I believe that I read somewhere that the unaware but noticed body movements occur with the eyebrow raise. We quickly raise our eyebrows when we are truly interested.

Comment # 11
Reading Notes, Lauren Parr 
April 16, 2010

 I should have read this book, because I find social media so overwhelming. I enjoy blogging, but that other stuff, I just find so time consuming to want to be bothered with it. But, I’ll do it to build my brand. Tags are really nice. It was cool just reading a blog and seeing that one of my posts had come up in the other relevant posts box, because of the tags I had used. As I was reading you post it occurred to me that as a society today we are giving up so much of our personal lives to make these digital connections and it made me resent some of the social media out there.

Comment #12

Tiger Woods and PR… What Will It Do? , Lauren Parr  
April 17, 2010

 I agree with Brittany, this is a PR issue. I also think it breached the boundaries of good taste. Changing a person’s opinions is tough. I don’t think that this commercial changed my opinion of him. I don’t feel like he’s been absolved in the court of public opinion. I understand that they were trying to make him look like he was truly sorry, but I don’t buy it. Why not have his mother as him those questions. It wasn’t a man that hurt, it was the women closest to him that hurt, his wife, mother, and daughter. I think his PR team should have had him take a little more time away from the game, only dropping bits of media in regards to how he was trying to build his family life back. Things like taking his mother to lunch or playing with his kids in the park.

Comment #13
The Viral Video Phenomena, Lauren Parr
April 17, 2010

 It is amazing, how many people just watch the video. Thinking about it now, all of the viral videos that I watched were because someone told me about it. Word of mouth is still the best form of publicity it seems. Do you think that viral videos really only work when the intention isn’t to go viral? People are smart and they know when they are being sold to, that is what I feel like when PR boutiques try to make a viral video to sell something. As frustrating as this concept is, PR firms making viral videos; I think it’s pretty cool that the videos are taken into consideration and included into marketing plans.

Comment # 14
Interview with a PR Professional, Lauren Parr 
April 17, 2010

 That’s really cool that you have Rich as a contact. I’m glad you chose him to interview to give us students a different perspective about public relations. This interview shows that sometimes the job you do isn’t necessarily the degree you have. For instance, I know a lady with a degree in sociology and she’s does logistics for corporate events like conferences. Of the three pieces of advice Rich gave I think busy work is my favorite part of the day. My busy work happens to be scanning the newspapers and magazines, updating the publicity boards, and tracking coupons. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy writing press releases and fact sheets, making press kits, and things like that; but it’s seeing the media run a piece on your company that’s exciting for me.

Comment # 15
Delicious Thoughts, Lauren Parr
April 17, 2010

My roommate mentioned the web site Delicious once when she was in a programming or technology class. To me delicious was just another word associated with food. I wonder what the programmers reasons were for naming the site Delicious. It’s nice to know that there is a site out there for sharing web information easily with other people. There is such an array of web content that is designed to help us, but keeping up with everything does become overwhelming. And something that was designed to be a tool, something to help us, ends up becoming a time consuming burden. I also agree with you and marielorelei about knowing what my favorite sites are. The only reason I could see using Delicious besides for a group project would be to find the websites that people of similar interest visit.

Comment #16
Internship Advice for Beginners, Lauren Parr
April 17, 2010

 I was intensely stressed with the thought of having to find and complete an internship. Fortunately, I attended the Mocktails event, networked, and landed my internship. While at my internship I have a better understanding about what I want to do in public relations, if I choose to stay in this field. I work at a non-profit that has a small marketing department so this has allowed me to have a lot of responsibilities as if I were at a start-up. When I saw the tip to ‘be the go to person at all times’ I thought, “Well, that’s really hard, when you don’t have much time to build the trust of your employer.” Sometimes I wish my internship were longer just because I’ve finally gotten into a workplace groove and feel secure in what I’m doing and I finally feel comfortable asking questions.

Comment #17
PR Reality Shows, Lauren Parr
April 17, 2010

 Reality shows are never really the reality that you experience. Glamour and drama bring rating and that mainly what investors care about. People who watch these shows don’t want to see someone sitting at the computer for 8 hours a day creating contact databases or stuffing 200 envelopes with long range calendars. That stuff isn’t necessarily the most fun stuff to do, but I can guarantee that it’s definitely not fun to watch. I’ll do the tasks, but I won’t watch someone else do it. I guess it depends on where you intern or work, as the marketing intern I don’t plan or even attend events if I don’t want to. It would be nice to see the shows participates sit down a la “Housewives of ________” and talk about what actually happened when the cameras weren’t rolling.  I know that these shows really affected my perception of public relations.

Comment #18
Lauren Parr’s Comment # 6: “Meh or Shmy, 2010 is Just Another Year”, Jeremy Popper
April 18, 2010

 So I read a little bit of your comment about Jeremy Popper’s blog post, then I read his post to understand why you were refreshed. And I agree, it was really refreshing to have someone not sugar coat public relations and social media. I disagreed with you both on social media changing the world, not that it won’t because it already is. Look at how news on CNN is presented, we can send in our own iReports, follow our favorite anchors on Twitter, and receive mobile update of story coverage. While things might be changing I, like you, enjoy regular blogs, more than I would ever enjoy twitter or other forms of social media. I feel that they’ve become clutter, in turn doesn’t help anyone. Thanks for finding this blogger Lauren.

 Comment #19
What Makes a Video a Viral Video, Marie Lorelei
April 18, 2010

 Like you, viral videos don’t impact my life unless someone else mentions it. Still, I most likely won’t watch it. I didn’t see the “Charlie bit me” video until Professor Nixon showed it in class one day. It’s crazy to think that some companies actually study viral videos. Your comment that a viral video makes “viewers feel duty bound to pass it along,” this backs up a comment stated in another post that I thought viral video worked mainly because of word of mouth. One of the cooler things is when a video goes viral to the point of other people making their own viral video spin-off or it even gets picked up on network television like the Office.

 Comment #20
Lauren Parr’s Comment # 12: “Foursquare: a New Way to Track Waldo,” Jeff Carter
April 18, 2010

 Your comment was so funny, my sentiments exactly. While I do have an internet enabled phone I never use that feature, it kills my battery and a computer is really never more than a few feet away at a given time. Like you I don’t think I would every use Foursquare. I’m not dumb, but I just don’t have the mental capacity to stuff one more piece of social media into my head. There’s also the time factor. When everyone else begins to wonder where their privacy went, those of us who didn’t share our entire lives with the world should toast to privacy. I foresee where one day reality will be like walking around in the SIMs, those who are supper connected will have giant glowing gems atop their heads; the rest of us who knows, maybe flowers.

Comment #21
Social Media Resume?, Mackenzie Stratton
April 18, 2010

 I love the idea of having a social media section on resumes. The question now is how you find the space; I have a hard time getting all of the pertinent information to fit on a single page. The nice thing about social media is that you can link back to you online resume. I think linking my social media like blogs, Facebook, and LinkedIn back to my online resume and vice versa is a good way for students to build a stronger online and interpersonal brand. While I use one of my blogs to let friends and family know what I’m doing and the other for school, I reference both because they show the diversity of my writing and the array of topics that interest me.

 Comment #22
T.O. W #8 – Podcasting, Mackenzie Stratton
April 18, 2010

 Thanks for the information on Podcast. I’m in Nixon’s Practicum class and we had the option of doing several types of portfolios or none at all. I opted to a digital portfolio in the form of a website; because I think knowing how to create a website is beneficial as well as building a brand. But, the one part I’m dreading the most is having to create a podcast. All of the positive things you said still couldn’t change my mind. Podcasts man can I not stand them, it’s like listening to one long radio commercial. For me the only positive thing about podcasting is the ability to easily take it with you. Sorry for the rant.

Comment #23
The Visibility of a Search Engine, Jeff Carter
April 18, 2010

 I think one of my favorite phrases today is, “just google it.” I have seriously called a friend up to ask them a question, if they don’t know, I frustrating tell them and myself that I’ll “just google it.”  You know something’s major when a product becomes a verb. The astonishing thing about the statistic you presented is that it’s only the percentage of adults who use search engines, but not how often. Could you image what that number would look like? Or the number of searches performed in google every second? Very true, I don’t think I make one major purchase without looking to what other bloggers have said about the product or the company. Jeff, I love how you said search engines are proving that social media is taking over our lives.

Comment #24
Correct Body Language In Your Interviewing Process, Jessica of Planet Jess
April 18, 2010

 I totally agree with kdwhigham about men giving weak handshakes. I find that either a man will give me an extremely weak handshake or a death grip; it doesn’t help that I wear two rings on my shaking hand and they squeeze so tightly that it causes my rings to pinch. Instead of leaving a positive impression they leave a memory of pain. It’s kind of unfortunate that 55% of first impressions are based on body language. I would think that future employers would like to see a bit of nervousness in a potential employee. There’s the possibility of it showing that the person values the position.

Comment #25
Tips for Writing Cover Letter, Candice Hall
April 18, 2010

I know how you feel with trying to cram everything on a single page. Working on my resume has made me a master manipulator of Microsoft Word. Like Jessica, I always thought that I was mediocre until I applied for a part-time job and the hiring manager said that I was very diverse and well qualified, big confidence boost. I applied the point that you wrote about cover letters needing to quick and easy to read, by writing first and bullet pointing some of the skills and projects that I’ve done on my internship. I also like how you added the slide on the language that should be used in your cover letter. I’m going to change mine right away. Thank you.

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24 Hr. Bangkok Special

April 8, 2010 at 6:55 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Democracy Monument BangkokOne of our online class’s blog assignments was to attend a session presented by Career Services. My concern about this assignment had been growing since the beginning of the semester, “How am I going to fulfill this requirement when I’m 4 hours away from school?”

I didn’t want to take a day off of work for a program that I didn’t feel would be truly beneficial to me (and the fact that I was a little nervous about asking to take the day).  

The semester was drawing closer and closer to a close and I still hadn’t attended an event. I had missed the major career fair of the semester (How was it? Were there many PR jobs?)  I should not have feared Career Services came through!

Lately, I’ve been considering a career with the government, so imagine my excitement when I checked my GSU email at work and in my in-box was an email about a Department of State info session. So,I called my dad to tell him about it (we talk a lot about job and career stuff), he rather colorfully told me to get my butt in the car as soon as possible, tell my boss I would need the next day off for job stuff.  I worked up the nerve and asked my boss for the day (she was really supportive). I was off to my info session with the Department of State sometimes referred to as the State Department.

The Department of State does three things, protect American security, increase American prosperity, and promote American values.

They do this by overseeing and implementing the U.S.’s foreign policy in five different areas: Management Affairs, Consular Affairs, Political Affairs, Economic Affairs, and Public Diplomacy (or Public Affairs).

During the hour-long session the current Diplomat in Residence, Paul Rowe, went over all of the many places he had served. While interesting it wasn’t what I had initially come for. I wanted to know more about public diplomacy, the ins and outs of the application process, and would he be there to guide us through the process like a career counselor?

It was here in the middle of his sales pitch that he mentioned one of the benefits of Bangkok, their 24 hour suit special; he was even wearing one that day. This was one of the funnier points in the hour-long information session

By the end of the session I had learned some pretty interesting facts about the Department of State, but none of what I initially came for. Did you know that a Diplomat in Residence is the equivalent to a Two Star General? The only time the five departments were addressed was when he explained that when you take your entrance exam you choose the department that you would be working in for the rest of your time as an officer with the department. That scared me, what if you chose wrong, you’re stuck.

While the information session wasn’t all that I thought it would be it did help me in another career area of my life. Coupled with the information I had received at the session and my experience at my internship it helped me solidify that I definitely wanted to do public affairs for the Air Force.

Career Services can be more helpful than you think.

http://www.state.gov/www/budget/2000-01_sshow/sld002.html

http://future.state.gov/what/career/139242.htm

http://students.georgiasouthern.edu/career/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Department_of_state

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Brownies are NOT Cupcakes

April 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Tuesday I went on my first collegiate visit. It didn’t go quiet like how I planned, but things never seem to go as I expect (side note: must expect to expect the unexpected).

Essentially, there was a miscommunication in the intention of the meeting. Here is how my boss Leigh explained it how miscommunications happen, you go into a bake shop wanting to trade a cupcake for a cupcake, but the shop only trades brownies. You’re not going to trade your cupcake for a brownie and the brownie guy isn’t willing to trade his brownie for your cupcake. Both might be sweet and delicious, but it’s not what you want. That’s when you say, “oh, can you tell me who the person is that trades cupcakes?”

I went into that meeting expecting to trade cupcakes for cupcakes and ended up with brownies.

Miscommunication happens, you learn from it; here’s what I learned from it:

– In the initial communication (e-mail, phone, in-person, etc.) be explicitly clean are about the intention of the meeting. “I want to tell you about “xyz” and what I have going on there and how I would work with you to get information that is potentially beneficial to your audience?”

– Sometimes you have to snoop around after your meeting to find more pertinent information. So don your goggles and scarf and become the Flying Ace.

– The importance of keeping to the details of the meeting. Stick to the purpose and time of the meeting.

I still have several questions, like what to do when a meeting goes severely off-track?

What do you suggest? Have you ever had a meeting that didn’t go as planned? What was it, how did you get it back on track, and what did you learn to apply to your next meeting that was similar?

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Professional Interview-Brandi Wigley

April 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm (Assignments) (, , , )

I’m fortunate enough to be interning at a place with so many talented individuals I thought I might try doing a series of sit-down interviews with the marketing team at the Atlanta History Center because of the diversity of their PR education, personal background and internship experience.

To start the series I have decided to first interview my boss Brandi Wigley. Mrs. Wigley is the Community Initiatives Manager with the Atlanta History Center and Margaret Mitchell House.

The opportunity to sit down with my boss never arose until this assignment was presented. I’m glad that I was able to talk with her more about the different ways I see her perform her job. Here are some questions Brandi answered during our chat:

What’s a typical week like?

No week is ever typical for me, which I love.  I have never been one to like a monotonous schedule.

Last week I setup meetings with several different hotels in the area.  I met with some last week and will meet with others this week.  These meetings served and introductions to their staff to the offerings we have on our campus.  I also wanted to build relationships with them so that we are on the forefront on their minds when visitors come and stay with them.

I serve as the main link to the “outside world” for the AHC and MMH – building relationships and working as a facilitator.   Most partnerships are waged by me.  These partnerships can include hotels, convention and visitors bureaus, travel organizations, and other cultural institutions in the area.

I am the main contact for festivals and community events.  Last week I secured a sponsorship for the Decatur Book Festival.  I have to logistically plan for any presence we might have there. 

Last week I also received the contract for the Midtown Festival of the Arts – which we are also a sponsor.  I have begun coordinating with all of the departments for logistical priorities that will take place during the festival including planning the Children’s Literary Component of the Festival, Free Admission for all attendees, Docents that will lead the tours, planning for the Cultural Arts Kids Section of the festival, Security, and Special Events.  A ton goes into the planning for these types of events.  It is my job to make sure that the event goes smoothly.

Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.

There are two projects that I would like to highlight.

One being “Atlanta’s Gone with the Wind Tour.”  This tour has been me and my partners’ “baby.”  We have been working on the planning process of this tour since conception.  The tour allows groups to purchase a packaged tour which includes tickets to Road to Tara Museum, Stately Oaks Plantation, Gone With the Wind City tour of Jonesboro, Margaret Mitchell House, Atlanta History Center, Atlanta Cyclorama and Mary Mac’s Tea Room.  This tour is the largest Gone With the Wind tour that has ever been put together.  It has required a lot of planning with the other organizations, and a ton of promotion.  We have gotten International attention and the State has been very supportive of this endeavor – helping us to spread the word about the tour.  We just know that it is going to be a huge success in the group tour market.

The second one I would like to highlight is one that is currently going on.  I have worked closely with the Boys and Girls Clubs in Atlanta to do a huge promotion, reaching out to ALL locations in Atlanta. It’s in conjunction with our new exhibition, Let Your Motto Be RESISTANCE: African American Portraits. 

I have worked with all of the clubs to get them “activity sheets” which encourages the kids to draw a picture of themselves and write “their motto for life.”  All entries will receive “One free child’s admission” and the winner of the contest will receive a free summer camp at the Atlanta History Center as well as a family membership. 

It’s exciting to get the kids involved and give them a chance to experience the exhibits in a different way. 

What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

I read blogs, attend industry meetings – and ask my interns what they are learning in classes.

What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?

I wish I would have known more about the importance of networking.  If I had known how far networking would take me, I would have begun collecting business cards in college.

How important is writing in your career?

EXTREMELY important.  Knowing how to write (and write well) makes such a difference in my career. From media to relationship building, writing is the main link that tells people what you have to offer.

What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

  1. Every organization is different.  Don’t be set in your ways.  Learn how the organization works and then be flexible.
  2. NETWORK as much as possible
  3. Its okay not to know everything.  Ask questions.

Did your education prepare you for working in PR? How?

Yes, very much so I would say.  My education taught me how to build mutually beneficial relationships.  It taught me the importance of a company’s reputation.  It taught me how to interact with media… and as much as I hated doing them – media contact lists have served me well. 

A great deal of my role here at the Atlanta History Center has to do with relationship building and presence in the community – from public speaking, PR Writing, PUBS, to event management… all of these classes have served me well.

You started your career in hotels, how did you make the switch to non-profits especially museums?

If you had asked me high school or college if I thought I would ever work in a museum, specifically a history museum – I probably would have laughed at you… and so would my teachers.

I actually did my internship with the Cobb County Convention and Visitors Bureau and immediately I knew that I liked the travel and tourism industry.  I was lucky enough to land a job at a local hotel as Director of Sales.

While I was there, I learned even more about the tourism industry.  I became involved with the Regional Tourism Association, the Atlanta Metro Travel Association (AMTA) and began networking with other tourism organizations.  I met my future colleague with the Atlanta History Center, Sean at one of the networking events and the rest is history (pun intended).

What are the similarities and differences of community initiatives and public relations?

Public Relations is all about building mutually beneficial relationships while maintaining the reputation of the organization through communication.  This is exactly what I do. 

What are some things that you wish people knew or understood about community initiatives or public relations?

Many people don’t understand what I do as Community Initiatives Manager.  They think I push flyers or just attend festivals.  While I do distribute collateral and do attend festivals, I also wear many other hats – I promote every department, serving as a sort of “walking talking billboard” for the History Center.  I am involved with special events, education, historic houses… It requires me to think in broader terms.  I have TONS going on at all times.  Our department has several different “plates spinning in the air” at once. 

This isn’t a job that I am ever going to become rich off of, but its definitely rewarding.

Brandi Wigley and Miss Piggy from the exhibit Jim Henson's Fantastic World

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