Monthly Archives: December 2011

And we said ‘OK’…

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A couple days ago I received an email from my lovely grandmother.

On it, she had pasted this commentary that written and then recited by Ben Stein on CBS Sunday Morning Show.

You know, Ben Stein: the terrible, monotone-voice teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

I was first introduced to him, actually in, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a truly fascinating documentary done by Stein, in which he examines academic freedom in universities and areas of academia when it comes to the topic of intelligent design. I highly recommend it.

Anyway…Back to the beginning:

So I read Stein’s CBS Monologue and was really impressed by his words and wanted to share them with you.

Enjoy and be moved.

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“My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish.

And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees…

I don’t feel threatened.

I don’t feel discriminated against…

That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me.
I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto.

In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year.

It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu…
If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.

I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.

I have no idea where the concept came from: that America is an explicitly atheist country.

I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way:

Where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we    understand Him?

I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too.  But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different:

This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Hurricane Katrina)…

Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said:

I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.  And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out.  How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

In light of recent events (terrorists, school shootings, etc.)…

I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.  The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself.

And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide).  We said an expert should know what he’s talking about…

And we said OK.

Nowwe’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.

I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
Ben S.

{Isa’s Note: All emphasis marks (bold, italicized) are mine.}

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It’s stuff like this that I sometimes want to yell from the rooftops. To show the world the truth.

Sometimes, when I get frustrated over how twisted the world is, I have to remember that they are blind.

Blinded and deaf to the Truth, the Light and the Life of the Word.

Without Christ, their “eyes” are spiritually unable to see or perceive goodness. For them to understand, comprehend and accept is absolutely impossible.

Sad. But very true.

Question is, what are we gonna do to change that?

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Eye On the Tig…errr…Cheese?

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Someone showed me this video a couple of years ago:

I thought it was hilarious!

It was brilliant marketing on the part of the Nolan company!

They use familiar & catchy tunes that people will hum, sing along to and remember. They throw in an adorable mouse, a dash of comedy and a hint of drama, thus creating an advertisement that you’ll kinda’ enjoy (admit it!) and  want to see over again (you pressed ‘replay,‘ didn’t you?).

They do another one with a squirrel and nuts that I found when looking for this one, but I didn’t think it was as good.

“And now it’s time to talk about what we’ve learned today.” (TOW15- Last One)

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Bob and the Wiggly-Turtle-Toobees (Source)

(PS: I hope you all know that my title is created from a quote from Bob the Tomato. After every VeggieTales show is concluded and he and Larry the Cuc are standing by QWERTY (the kitchen counter desktop computer), that’s Bob’s famous line. It is always closely followed by Bob’s worst nightmare of a song: “And so what we have learned applies to our lives today; and God has a lot to say in His book…” I am a VeggieTales nerd, if you can’t tell…)

Q: Create a list of the top ten things you have learned about public relations this semester.

(Source)

(*Note: the orange hyperlinked phrases lead to my other posts that discuss that topic. Enjoy!)

1) I learned that Twitter is more applicable today than I thought. The new acquaintances help network and connect you to others who are like you and then others who are very different from you. If you use this tool of expression as a way of learning about people and taking every opportunity to engage your community, you may even win a trip to Nascar or something :-).

I'm mildly addicted... (Source)

2) When reading chapter 9 of “Think: Public Relations,” I realized there is a lot of rights and copyrights and legal stuff that needs to be taken into consideration, especially with marketing! Checking to make sure you have permission with photos, images, phrases, words, logos, colors, celebs, etc. it’s a lot to remember. It almost seems restricting, but if you think if it was your stuff being used without your permission, you’d be pretty upset too!

3) Reading and writing about the differences in title, job description, and experience between a PR practitioner who works for a PR department or one who works for a PR firm.

4) I am so glad I was introduced to the wonderful world of blogging! I had no idea it was so super fun! I love to write in the first place, so any opportunity to just gush over random topics, I find to be so enjoyable and almost therapeutic for me, especially when I haven’t gotten to write in a while. I enjoy sharing things like this and then finding fun pictures and creatives titles that go along; its just a typical playground of fun for me. ;-D And then not just creating my own, but also reading others’ blogs; learning about them, what interests them and makes them tick.

(Source)

5) We watched this video in class about this guy who invites these 2 professional marketers over to his studio to create 3 marketing pitches/posters for a strange taxidermy store. Little did they know that they were being set up. The studio had surreptitiously placed certain images relating to taxidermy marketing over and over again in places that they passed in the car during their drive over to the studio. When they were done creating their 3 ideas, the marketers were shocked when the host brought out the studio’s own pitch idea to compare with theirs. The pros’ ideas were almost identical to the studio’s sketch. The host informed the 2 marketers that their ideas had been unconsciously influenced by the car-ride images, which were bits and pieces of the studio’s pitch poster. Pretty cool and creepy, huh?

Taxidermy...ehhh. (Source)

This goes to show the unrealized psychological power of product, logo or image placement in movies, in commercials, in stores, in windows, in magazines. It might be oh-so subtle, but if you even see or hear anything, even just a fraction, your brain has unconsciously made a mental connection with that product.

6) Never, EVER throw live TURKEYS out of a helicopter… do your research about any assumptions you have about a marketing strategy idea you have. Check with all the authorities involved, get needed permits and make sure you run your idea passed at least one other set of eyes and ears, before you actually commence with Operation: TurkeyDrop… (Referencing the “WKRP” episode

WKRP's Mr. Carlson...(Source)

I couldn’t find the full episode but here’s the short 30-second version so you can get the gist.

Smile Now. Vent Later. (Source)

7) Then a tag-along with #6 is to be ready for out-of-the-box situations. Plan A might turn out to be a flop, so always prepare a possible emergency Plan B. A unique or sticky situation may force you to suddenly be very creative with resources. And learning how to do this while still remaining calm, cool and collected is a must.

This goes the same for extreme emotional situations. Your emotions must be put away and hidden until later. That’s why it’s so important to practice self-control and anger management now. You can add that to your mental resume‘ as one of your strengths. 🙂

8) Sounds silly, but I learned how to attach/add hyperlinks. I felt like such a pro! 😀

9) Regarding a news release: It is necessary to include “For immediate print” or write “Embargo date” plus the date that was agreed upon for release. I didn’t know about those.

10) Another thing about news releases that I didn’t know: At the end, it’s important to signal the end the page with one of the following: –###–, –END–, –XXX–, or –30–. These I have never heard about before either.

This is the END! (Source)

“Be…our…guest… Be our Guest!” (TOW14)

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I love vivid imagery, colorful photography and questions that make you think some, so when I found this specific post by Alexander Velickoski, I knew I wanted to use it for my guest blog assignment. I gained his permission and decided to use it.

You can find this post at http://www.myrandomstuff.se/?p=1565.

It’s located under his blog section “Random Stuff From My Daily Life”— it includes some other very interesting and good posts.

Enjoy.

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“25 BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTIONS”

by ALEXANDER on SEPTEMBER 8, 2011 in PHOTOGRAPHY with 14 COMMENTS

25-thought-questions

A QUESTION THAT MAKES YOU THINK IS WORTH ASKING…

At the cusp of a new day, week, month, or year, most of us take a little time to reflect on our lives by looking back over the past and ahead into the future.  We ponder the successes, failures and standout events that are slowly scripting our life’s story.  This process of self reflection helps us maintain a conscious awareness of where we’ve been and where we intend to go.  It is pertinent to the organization and preservation of our dreams, goals and desires.

Remember, these questions have no right or wrong answers.  Because asking the right questions is the answer.

Here’s a sample of 25 recent thought questions posted on the site:

Thought Questions 1

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Thought Questions 2

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Thought Questions 3

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Thought Questions 4

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Thought Questions 5

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Thought Questions 6

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Thought Questions 7

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Thought Questions 9

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Thought Questions 11

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Thought Questions 12

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Thought Questions 13

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Thought Questions 15

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Thought Questions 20

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Thought Questions 21

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Thought Questions 25

Finally: #25!

Prezi-ntation (TOW13)

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Q: Write a post about the aspect of public relations that you have chosen for your presentation this semester. If you have created a PowerPoint or Prezi, embed it into your post.

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My presentation, which I gave on December 6, 2011, was how PR is relevant and used in the three levels of government today.

Click here to view my Prezi that I showed as I presented.

This is the page that will appear when you click the blue "here"... press that "Play" arrow and Enjoy! 🙂

(Quick Free Advertisement: If you’ve never ever used Prezi, I recommend that you do! It’s fun, different and easy to figure out and use. If you do decide to use it, give yourself plenty of time to play around with it as you create your masterpiece.)

Below are my speech notes so that you can make sense of each click on the Prezi.

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Numbers correspond with each click: (Un-Bold Words is my Speech Commentary)

Personal Introduction: Greeting, Name and Chapter being presented:

1) Today I am presenting to you how PR is important in and demonstrated by the 3 areas of government:

2) (PIC of Branches) Many of you automatically thought of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches…But NO, I don’t mean those three!

3) I am referring to the Federal, State and Local Areas, or levels, of governments.

4) The first level is the FEDERAL GOV.

Now the Federal Government includes/is comprised of the Federal Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches and all of their entities. That means, the president, Congress, Supreme Court, and the like. It is one of the world’s greatest collectors, distributors and circulators of information is the US governmentAdvertising is a key activity: Without advertising, opportunities to grab potential voters are lost. They want to prove that they are worth the vote, the volunteer effort or the donation. Federal agencies spend several hundred million dollars each year on public service advertising. Now, CAN ANYONE GUESS what is considered to be “The Apex of PR efforts” for the Government?

5) The…. WHITE HOUSE! Yes! 🙂 and this is inclusive of both the president and his staff and it is the most prominent area of the Federal Government.

6) It is habit, almost unspoken policy, that the president of the United States receives the most media coverage and receives more FACE TIME than Congress and all the federal agencies combined.

7) Looking back through US history, its easy to see that each president had his own personal styles of PR and ways of communicating with the public and media.

To prove this, I will be providing a few examples.

8) First president we will review is… (Reagan comic PIC)

9) REAGAN

10) Reagan was a master of communication! We know he had an acting career before politics, thus giving him lots of time and practice of speaking in front of a camera, which was evident in his ease and effectiveness on television. His speeches were always memorable and full of substance and real emotion. And just personally, as an-all-about American man and husband, father and actor, (which can be evidenced by his involvement in Hollywood), his personality and personal appeal gained him many loyal supporters 11) Next is… (Bush comic PIC)

12) Yes, that character was our President BUSH.

13) Like Reagan, Bush had some gifts in manners of stagecraft. As president, he had at his disposal the available skills of a complete TV and Video Expert Team to help him. However in comparison to other presidents, his communication was relatively limited. Not only did his Administration keep a tight control on information that was released, but he also had fewer press conferences than both President Clinton and President Bush, Sr. combined.

14) Moving on: we have President Barack OBAMA.

15) Now, being in this day and age, being up to date with how the media works as a public figure is important because it is instant and you are the one making the news. Obama definitely knows this and has shown himself to be very capable many times as a master of media. He is a skilled orator, with a riveting presence that, whether you agree with his policies or not, makes you want to believe everything he says. As demonstrated time and again with each of his seemingly convincing speeches, they tend to be style over substance. Many people have compared the manner, technique and the graceful sophistication of his vocal delivery to those of Reagan, Kennedy and MLK.

 16) The Federal Government has a whole team dedicated to producing news releases to inform and hopefully sway voters in their favor. The government knows that in order to reach today’s society, an outreach must be made ELECTRONICally. And they certainly do use it, to their full advantage. It was recorded that in only 9 months, $3.5 million was spent on political and campaign emails alone.

17)  (News Phone PIC) For the Federal government, I think that PR is much more relevant and necessary today than in the past because of the immediate-ness of the press with stories and news.            

18) (And Social Net Outlet PIC) The constant instant-ness of information that we have access to—through our social networking tools, online news websites and live televised press releases—almost speeds up the reactions and, consequently, the final outcome of any happening event.

19) (Courier and telegraph PICS) In the past, say sometime in the 19th century, if a company, celebrity or businessperson was going through a time of failure, scandal, injury, bankruptcy, unethical blunders or anything that could potentially damage its/his reputation with the public, it/he would have time to take measures to hide the problem and perhaps even fix it or provide a distraction before the public or any newspaper reporter even knew about it.

20) (World Hands PIC) Even then, for the news to travel far, it would take extra time and effort through currier or telegraph just to reach a big city in the next state over; and that’s not even considering the journey a message had to take to get to another country around the world. Then it had to be typed and printed in a newspaper or given to a town crier. Even then, not everyone received the paper or was in proper social gossip circles. For instance…

21) The American Public Never Knew (PIC) about President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his constant struggle with illness. Even after his extensive 4 terms as president—that’s 12 years and 3 months in the White House!—America had no idea that he suffered from cardiac problems, skin cancer, tumors, and polio that made him a paraplegic in a wheelchair. How in the world did they not know he needed a wheelchair?!? (Source)

22) (News web//Tweet it PICS) The possibility that something like this could happen again is next to impossible. If it happened today, someone would find out, and send out a Tweet. Next thing you know, some news scout hears about it, and its on the air as breaking news within the hour, and every station has their journalists popping out web articles within the next few minutes announcing, “The US receives the blow: the President has Polio. Is he still fit to lead?” And his administration would be attacked and come to shreds.

23) (PIC of FDR in his car) But no, FDR and his family and staff kept it a secret from the people (Source). They even made him a special car that could be operated by hands only, and a special podium and if somehow someone did find out about it, they kept it a secret too, (perhaps out of respect for his position as the nation’s leader).

24) Another example is…President Johnson and His Secret War in Vietnam (TITLE). If you didn’t know anything about this time period or this war or this president: In a nutshell:

25) (PIC of Book with SUBTITLE: “Lyndon Johnson’s Secret White House Tapes”)

  • We go to war with China in Vietnam.
  • Things start to go badly.
  • President Johnson begins to lie blatantly to the country about our progress.
  • He even has secret taped conversations with some staff members about the war’s negative results.

26) (TITLE: The Pentagon Papers, a Study by the Department of Defense).

  • The Department of Defense decides to do a completely confidential study on Vietnam relations & the war.
  • Both Johnson and the rest of his administration don’t know about it.
  • The study reveals the President’s lies.

27) (PIC of “Top Secret” over Vietnam Map)

  • Also reveals that Johnson had taken measures to extend the war deceptively despite his campaign promise not to.
  • The DOD realizes that neither the American public nor the media have been notified or aware of any of this.

28) (PIC of TIME Magazine Cover titled “Pentagon Papers: The Secret War”)

  • An aide to the study’s taskforce leaked the report, now dubbed the “Pentagon Papers,” to the NY Times, exposing Johnson and his secrets.
  • (Source)

29) I don’t believe that things like this could happen anymore, because we demand more transparency today, than before; we’re more curious and suspicious. And because of Twitter, Facebook, blogs, AOL/Yahoo news flashes, YouTube video documentation, news websites and even texting, once someone gets a clue or a leak, that information spreads instantly like wild fire across a nation (and then globally) within a few minutes, creating massive public opinion. And all you need is access to a smart phone, TV, or computer.

30) Now, moving on from the White House, we come to another area of Federal Government…  The Agencies. (TITLE)

31) As defined by Oxford American Dictionary, a Federal Agency is “an administrative unit of government.” These government-run organizations across America are put in charge to oversee and govern particular functions generally related to government duties.

32) (Comic PIC of “Federal Agency to Eliminate Federal Agencies”)

33) (PIC Rainbow Agency Chart) This image is only highlighting 45 government agencies. And the majority of these are involved in law enforcement: the CIA, Coast Guard, the DOD, Homeland Security, FBI, and Secret Service.

But there are also many more, in both number and variety. Congress, for example, is considered an agency. Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Energy, Department of Justice, and the Drug Enforcement Administration and Treasury Command are a few other examples.

34) Here are a couple of other agencies you may be familiar with: Public Affairs Officers, The United States Postal Service, Food and Drug, National Weather Service, Census Bureau…etc.

35) (VIDEO) …So you’ll see these types of commercials pop up randomly every once and awhile from different states: and its because they’re all competing first hand every day for your business, your money, and your loyalty—They know that if you come once, you’re likely to come back again or recommend your wonderful new vacation spot to all your friends.

36) That video was done by South Carolina’s (emphasis on>>) STATE GOVERNMENT, (TITLE) the second layer of government.

37) The state government is the collector and distributor of information from, for and to its residents and constituents. As I mentioned before, there is constant competition for tourism among the states, all wanting to attract new families and boosting the state’s economy with the extra revenue coming from outsiders. Also to help their economy, state officers are given the job of finding ways to encourage business growth for the whole state. So it can prove that it’s worthy of residents and tourists alike, the health and safety, with issues like bragging low rates of crime or a drop in air pollution, of the state is often targeted by PR campaigns.

38) And finally the last level: THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT. That means the individual governments of our cities, counties and provinces that employ information specialists to distribute news and information to the city’s inhabitants. They’re there to inform the people about (and take care of) all the public issues and procedures that make the city tick and make sure they are done properly. And like States, City governments (think LA, Las Vegas, NYC, Orlando!!) will promote themselves to attract new residents, businesses and tourists.

39) State and Local Government Agencies (TITLE) include…

40) …Organizations like Airports, Theme Parks, Visits Bureau, Police and Fire Stations and City Council.

41) (FULL VIEW) The End…Thank you for listening!