The Love Story Behind the Garden of the Coastal Plain

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 In 1916, after many years of courtship, Dan and Catharine Bland were married. As a wedding gift, Dan’s father gave the couple 60 acres of land to begin farming and creating a life for themselves. After the donation, Dan began his ventures as a dynamic farmer and environmentalist. Together, the couple grew plants, corn, pecans, peanuts, cotton and tobacco, among other crops. Dan completed his duties tending to the couple’s farm while Catharine tended to the couple’s chores, chickens, cows and hogs. Catharine stored food in an outside refrigerator, built by her innovative husband, which sat on a block of ice. Oftentimes, the couple’s neighbors would visit their home to buy milk, eggs and meat. In fact, the couple made a business out of selling their products to local farmers and community members.

After years of simplistic Southern living, Catharine Bland passed away in 1980. Dan Bland passed five years after his sweetheart. Before his death, he managed to donate the remaining 6.5 acres of his farm to the Georgia Southern College Foundation for use as a botanical garden. This was the birth of the Georgia Southern Botanical Garden, which opened its gates to the public in 1990. Since its establishment, the Garden has been a community resource by sponsoring educational tours, workshops and festivals.

Today, the flourishing Garden prides itself on preserving the Blands’ traditional values with their initiative to encourage people to be environmentally friendly. Although their mission is promoting sustainability and educating about the native plants and animals of the Coastal Plain, the Garden also aims to connect people to their pasts. Many of the plants Dan planted, like Magnolias and American Hollies, still thrive today. These flowers are a fundamental part of the Garden’s plant collection.

Kathy Tucker, the Garden’s Education Coordinator, has worked at the garden for X years. “I absolutely love what I do. I get to educate people about our past, while experiencing our future expansion,” said Tucker.

An often-overlooked gem, the Garden’s indescribable beauty is the perfect attraction for weddings, special events and a place of relaxation. Its rich pastime makes the garden a historical landmark one would be fortunate to experience.

Southern Company Blog Post (Assignment #10)

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After reading the Southern Company’s New Release, it reiterates what Mrs. Mallard has been saying about how quality of the content in a news release trumps format. The release is appealing because it highlights the long-standing history of the relationship between Alabama Power, The Birmingham City School System and The First Tee National School Program companies, which establishes credibility. To the reader, this says “we have partnered before and this is not new to us”. The fact that over 2.6 million children nationwide are participating in the program also reinforces the credibility. As a parent of a child participating in the First Tee National School Program, I would be confident that it would undoubtedly benefit my child.

The release is also a heart-warming piece to read and spark human interest. The fact that its release is based on a program that will benefit children’s physical education appeals to the reader’s emotion, and even makes you want to be a part of the experience.

GSU Magazine Blog Review (Assignment #4)

Article #1:

“Student Volunteers Train Future Guide Dogs on Campus” – by Sandra Bennett

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If you’ve ever been on GSU’s campus, you’ve seen your occasional fellow classmate with a guide dog from the Guide Dog Foundation (GDF). The GDF is connected to GSU because they have reached out to GSU for student volunteers. The article reveals that a college campus is an ideal place for puppy guide dogs to grow up because of all of the activity it exposes them to. I have always been curious about the dogs’ training processes.

The article is targeted towards GSU students. Although it is primarily informational, it also features a story about GSU Junior, Ariel Vipond, and her experience with the Guide Dog Foundation. Ariel’s story makes the article relatable to other GSU students, especially those interested in participating in the GDF’s program.

I believe this story “made the cut” because it is localized, it was written in everyday English, it engages the reader immediately and the lead is direct. In terms of news values, the article impacts GSU students and is a human interest piece. Proximity also comes into play because the program uses student volunteers on campus.

Besides the obvious reason of being able to train a puppy for the greater good of the visually impaired, I believe this article will be important to other undergraduate students because they can also get the community service hours that many of them need.

Article #2:

“Student Lands First U.S. State Department Internship”– by Sandra Bennett

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The article is a profile on Reilly McJury, a GSU student who currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland, working in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. As a GSU student, it is inspiring to read an article about Reilly’s successful internships. It makes me hopeful that I could have a similar opportunity and experience in my field of study.

The article is targeted towards GSU students. It was published to open students’ eyes about the unlimited possibilities for experience, even while in school. I believe this story “made the cut” because it is localized, it is an engaging profile to read and it has (indirect) impact on other GSU students. In terms of news values, the profile is a human interest piece.

I believe this article will be important to other undergraduate students because they can relate to Reilly. She is a regular girl from Carrollton, GA who has gotten the opportunity of a lifetime. It could happen to anyone. The article is also interesting to read because it focuses on Reilly’s current and past internships, as well as how she is showing her True Blue spirit while away from home.

Having read a bulk of the articles from the Spring 2013 issue, my suggestion for the Fall issue would be to keep the articles relatable to the students. The writers did a great job of that in this issue. I would suggest that they spotlight newsworthy campus events and important information regarding the Fall 2013 semester. It would also be a good idea to feature an article on success tips for the incoming freshmen. Students are likely their biggest target audience, so the magazine’s main goal should always be catering to our student needs to give us stories that impact us.

A #3 PR Blog Review

Blog word.After exploring 9 blogs devoted to the topic of Public Relations, I chose the 3 that would be the most beneficial resources for any Public Relations professional.

Holtz Communication + Technology – I like Shel Holtz’s blog for a number of reasons.

  1. Holtz’s blog focuses on the rising trend of social media and social networks. This is currently one of the most prevalent topics in today’s society. Holtz highlights what companies are doing to improve their social media presence and become more interactive with their audiences.
  2. I also like that Holtz keeps up with the most current events and information. His blog is like CNN for Communications. Holtz even has “Quick News” and podcasts in most of his posts, to make it easy for the reader to determine what information is most important to them. This blog would be a useful resource for anyone interested in keeping up with Communications’ current events, especially pertaining to social media.

Spin Sucks

  1. “Spin Sucks” combines the current events in the formal Communications world with occasional informal posts, like “Beer Blogging: If Your Blog Was A Beer…” (The post suggests tips on how to keep your blog relevant and engaging to your viewers.) This, to me, makes the blog more relatable  to people my age (in their early 20’s) because it has a business, yet casual feel to it.
  2. I like that the blog delves into the worlds of both Public Relations and Marketing because they almost go hand-in-hand. With PR as my major and Marketing as my minor, these are topics especially beneficial to me and others in my position.
  3. “The Three Things” – The 3 things is the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books readers should know about. It’s similar to a recap of the week’s most important (and sometimes random) articles.
  4. Follow Friday includes the Twitter pages of PR, Marketing and Advertising professionals. These professionals give you a first-hand look at the world of Communications. This blog would be a useful resource for anyone looking for a fun “spin” on the PR field.

Brian Solis – Defining the Convergence of Media & Influence

  1. Brian Solis’ blog explores the effects of technology on business, marketing, and our culture as Americans. Solis is a digital analyst at the Altimeter Group. His blog features articles on almost anything relating to business or marketing, from sources like the Wall Street Journal and other experts.
  2. Like Spin Sucks analyzes both Public Relations and Marketing, Solis’ blog merges the worlds of Public Relations and business. His updates are not just on issues in the PR field, but issues in the business world as well.
  • The article that grabbed my attention was “Angel Investor and Entourage Actor Adrian Grenier Starts Music Incubator“. Entourage is a favorite of mine, so I was interested to read anything involving Adrian Grenier. To my surprise, Grenier is the co-founder and entrepreneur of a number of his own companies. This blog would be a useful resource for those interested in what is going on in the PR and business worlds.

Comments on Other Blogs

Comments on Classmates’ Blogs:

  1. “Knowing the Basics of PR Is A Must” (Lindsey McCormick)http://lm02155.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/knowing-the-basics-of-pr-is-a-must/

    • Lindsey, your post is spot-on. Many people think that PR is just that, but the tasks of PR professionals overlap with other fields such as journalism, advertising and marketing. Understanding every element of PR is something you can only obtain through an introductory course.
  2. “All Should Take a Look into Public Relations Despite their Major” (markowitzhay)  – http://markowitzhay.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/all-should-take-a-look-into-public-relations-despite-their-major/

    • You made some very good points in this post. Intro courses will help people considering a PR job, as well as those who are unsure about PR, clear up any misconceptions about the field. I never thought about the fact that it makes you a more conscious consumer/ PR audience member.
  3. “Topic of the Week 4” ()- http://thedevilwearspradablog.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/topic-of-the-week-4/
    • I also believe an introductory course definitely helps you more than it can hurt you. You learn skills applicable to any field. Also, for those who are undeclared, they can get a glimpse into what PR consists of, and possibly declare it their major.
  4. “Scandal: Is it Good for PR?” (Shauntel Hall) – http://sh04090.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/scandal-is-it-good-for-pr/

    • As a Scandal fanatic, I agree 100% with this post. In fact, I wrote a similar post. I think that Scandal shows people more than the glamorous aspects of PR. It shows all the nitty gritty elements, especially relating to crisis management.
  5. “Blog Post #3” (stefsmalls8) – http://stefsmalls8.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/blog-post-3/

    • This sounds like an incredible experience! When you first think diversity, you don’t think musical diversity. I enjoyed reading about this event! :)
  6. “The Portrayal of PR in Mass Media” (sethdonahue) – http://sethadonahue.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/the-portrayal-of-pr-in-mass-media/

    • Seth, I agree with this 100 percent! PR is only seen as a glamorous job. The long hours and hard work put into planning, strategizing and creating an effective tactic are rarely showcased. I think people lump Communications professionals together because there is a general misunderstanding about what each of these jobs – Journalists, Advertisers, Marketers and PR Professionals – are about.

Comments on Mrs. Andrews’ Blogs:

  1. “5 Advisement Reminders”http://practicalissues.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/5-advisement-reminders/
    • Mrs. Andrews,
      These were very helpful tips. I did all of these things before my advisement appointment and I was in and out in about 10 minutes.
      I suppose this would go under “Bring your tentative schedule” but my only suggestion would be to ALWAYS have back-up classes. I’ve learned that you can never ensure your spot in the classes you want, no matter how badly you need them.
  2. “Ethics vs. Job Obligations: The Internship Experience”http://practicalissues.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/ethics-vs-job-obligations-the-internship-experience/
    • This is a slippery slope. I personally feel that to an extent, it would be “making up” a quote because those specific words did not come out of that person’s mouth. But I feel that with their thorough examination and approval, it is okay to use that quote. I would tell this person: If your BOSS is the one who has directed you to create a quote, it should make you feel a little better about it on a professional level, because there is little room for you to be seen as faulty. But if it personally makes you feel uneasy, I’d say try to find a happy medium. You could send the person to be interviewed a short e-mail detailing the topic and they could send back a number of quotes for you to choose from. (No one is too busy to e-mail.) I would also suggest not to continue the trend working for any future companies because normally you do not make up quotes at all, as that is a very serious offense in the Journalism community.
  3. “Are you the Next Public Relations Student of the Year?”http://practicalissues.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/are-you-the-next-public-relations-student-of-the-year/

    • If I had a portfolio worthy of this award, I would definitely apply this year. Because I am only in my Introductory courses, I have a very small and unimpressive portfolio, but I do hope to apply for this award in upcoming years. It would be a great achievement!

TOTW 4: Securing a Job in PR

tumblr_inline_mkhkaxXRzY1qz4rgpThree things that I have done to secure a job in Public Relations:

  1. Internships- I have already completed 3 Public Relations-related internships. My first internship was at City Hall, working for Council member Aaron Watson. My second internship was for an Atlanta-based online magazine, Layllah Magazine. And I am currently working as a Public Relation/Marketing intern at Merritt & Merritt Law Firm here in Statesboro.
  2. Networking- These internships have enabled me to network with numerous people who may assist me in the future. These people are contacts for potential employers, as well as the employers themselves.
  3. Job Postings- This may not seem like a way to secure a job, but I constantly check job postings, especially on Craigslist. Checking the postings help me to figure out what types of positions will be available when I graduate, and in what cities. I constantly receive e-mail updates from Creative Jobs Central, who post Marketing/Public Relations jobs. I also follow Market Jobs USA on Twitter, who post Marketing jobs and internships daily.

3 things I must do in the future to secure a job:

  1. Networking- I will continue to network anywhere that I can. I can never meet too many people, as they could all be of assistance to me at some point. As people say, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.
  2. Portfolio- I can continue building my resume with projects my current and future internships and classes. The more quality work I add to it, the more impressive it will be.
  3. Business cards- I want to create my own business cards to portray myself as a professional. This is the easiest way to network. I can always have them with me. If I happen to hand my card to the right person/people, it could land me a job.

Topic of the Week 3

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Last Friday, I attended the annual “Gorilla Thrilla” event. Gorilla Thrilla is a step show hosted by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Although it is hosted by an African American fraternity, everyone is welcome. In fact, I thought this year was the most diverse turnout yet. One of the step show finalists from an Atlanta high school included an Asian boy, which impressed the crowd. Another one of the performers, an Alpha, drove from North Carolina to perform by himself. The crowd was a bit shocked to see that he was white, because he is a part of a fraternity with African American roots, but he was one of the best performers of the night. Additionally, an entire section of the crowd was Caucasian, which I have never seen before. I think these elements of the show that promote diversity and show people that you don’t have to be a certain race to enjoy the show.

I found out about the event through word of mouth and an event invitation on Facebook. Because it was the fraternity’s 22nd annual event, the event was already widely known and required less press than if it were the first annual event. I did not see posters plastered all over campus, or on the campus website. I attended because I have been going since freshman year and the event always seems to get better. I believe that certain aspects of public relations should have been used to increase to event’s success rate. For example, in terms of persuasive communication, I feel the organization could have used more channels to spread the word. Also, the message on the flyers was more vague than clear. It only featured the name of the event and the date, which I suspect was to invoke a curiosity. However, I feel that by releasing more information on the flyers, people who had never been to or heard of Gorilla Thrilla would have been more likely to come.