Mini-campaign transition and online portfolios

The last few weeks in my MC 4001 class have been busy preparing for the transition from our group to the SCVNGR company taking over for our client, the Baton Rouge Zoo. I also have been working on my online portfolio for the class by using Jobrary.

As for the SCVNGR project, we have been busy preparing the last few elements for our client. Our first objective was to create an instruction guide of how to use SCVNGR so the employees at the Baton Rouge Zoo would be able to communicate properly how to use the application and how to claim the rewards for the trek.

Our next idea was to create a video of footage from the zoo. This could be used on Youtube or the zoo’s website to help promote SCVNGR and show people how easy and fun the application can be to use.

We have also been working on our mini-campaign book. We need to collect all of the materials used and finish completing the transition over to the SCVNGR representatives. We also need to create our presentation for next week and invite our client representative to the presentation.

As for my online portfolio, I have been adding files and creating the resume part of the website. I feel as though this will be a good thing to show employers so they can get a feel for how I write and for them to see my creative side. Employers can only learn so much about you from looking at your resume and cover letter. So I believe for them to get a chance of looking at your actual writing style and how you organize your paper is a great advantage over other potential employees. We are required to put 10 items in the portfolio so I am currently going back and correcting all of my papers from this semester. Most of my papers are about Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. The other papers are from our group, Roaming Tigers PR, and were included in our SCVNGR mini-campaign.

I plan on giving my profile a very professional feel to it. It needs to be organized very well and include only my best writings.  It needs to be edited to the best of capabilities to ensure that there are no errors when showing it to a potential employer because that could turn it from an advantage to a glaring disadvantage.

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A day at the zoo

Last week for our 4001 public relations class, we created a trek and challenges using SCVNGR. We met with the Baton Rouge Zoo to get our challenges approved and had them activated by Thursday. We also gave them a press release for the media outlets of their choice and the SCVNGR swag that we received. They placed the SCVNGR logos at each challenge so that users would know to use the application there. They also placed the posters at various locations, including the train station, so zoo-goers would know that the zoo was using the application.

On Saturday, we divided our Roaming Tigers PR group into two shifts for the Zippity Zoo Fest. From 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Mia and Karoline went to the zoo to hand out fliers and explain to zoo-goers how and what SCVNGR does. Then, Jessica and I took over from 1 p.m. until the zoo closed. We were there to answer any questions the users might have. The zoo chose the reward of 15 percent off the customer’s purchase in the gift shop  if they completed all of the challenges.

Overall, the zoo-goers seemed very enthusiastic about doing the challenges. We had a total of 35 people that participated in the trek and the zoo is excited about continuing its use. We developed it as an engaging and educational tool that can be modified to the zoo’s needs. Obviously, we would have liked to have had a lot more users do the trek, but this weekend was a good way to see what the main problems or questions that the users had.

One minor problem I noticed was the actual downloading of the application. People with Sprint did not have good service at the zoo and got frustrated with loading times. Also, we were located next to the first challenge so that meant people had to wait around until the application was downloaded to start the trek. If it did not download quickly, we usually told the user to complete the other challenges and then come back to the globe because they did not have to be completed in order.

Our next step is to continue to develop the SCVNGR application at the zoo by increasing user awareness. The more people that know about the application, the more people we will have complete the trek. We also plan to write a press release reflecting on our first run of the application this weekend. We hope to increase our results by the time we have to present our project to the class.

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Treks and PSAs

This past week in my mc 4001 class we continued working on our SCVNGR project with our non-profit. Our group is making great progress and we are heading toward our goals for the semester.  We also created radio and television public service announcements for our presidential candidate.

Public service announcements play a vital role informing people about important issues or choices. I chose abortion as my topic because Rick Santorum has strong pro-life stance. I felt as though this was a public service announcement that Santorum would really support in real life. We had to create a storyboard including pictures, background music and dialogue for the television public service announcement. As for the radio public service announcement, it had to be 30 seconds long and included dialogue.  My public service announcements had a strong emotional appeal and  also included statistics about abortion. I really enjoyed this assignment because I used to be a broadcast journalism major, so I was very familiar with the format.

As for our SCVNGR project, we created the trek for the Baton Rouge Zoo last friday. Today, we received the information from the signs posted around the zoo. With this info, we will create challenges for the zoo. The client has already given us their ideas for rewards and which areas of the zoo they want to emphasize. Our goal is to highlight the strong points of the zoo with a fun spin to the challenges.

We plan on coming up with a draft of challenges this week and hopefully meeting with them early next week to get their approval. We need to have everything up and running for Zippity Zoo Fest. This event will be a good time for us to show the visitors how to use the application and answer any questions they may have.

Here are a few examples of the exhibits that are planned to be highlighted in the challenges: realm of the tigers, otter cabin, giraffes, pelicans, rhinos and many more.

There will be challenges that require visitors to take photos or answer questions about the animals. The main goal in our challenges will be to teach the visitors something about the animals that they did not already know. Also, awareness about some animal’s endangerment is one of the priorities of the zoo. Therefore, we plan on making that a top priority so visitors can learn about what they can do to help save certain species.

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Creating a 5-“star trek” and branding ourselves

This past week in my PR 4001 class, we created our own personal marketing profile. The idea was to brand ourselves by creating a folder with all of the work we’ve done so far this semester. This included a cover letter, resume, reference sheet, business card (that had our branding statement on it), our blogs and a brand identity document. The brand identity document was very interesting because it really helped each of us to define ourselves and our goals.

As for our side project with SCVNGR, we took a personalized trip to the zoo last Friday. Mrs. Mary Woods, marketing director for the Baton Rouge Zoo, gave us a golf cart tour of their facility. Their zoo is way more than I could have imagined and they have plans to make it even better. Our group is really excited to start creating their treks on SCVNGR this week and hopefully make the whole campaign a great success.

At Roaming Tigers PR, we now know that their  primary goal is to educate people about endangered animals across the world. Their zoo is set up in regions as if you were taking a “tour of the world.” Each animal is in their respective “continent.”

Our job is to incorporate treks and to advertise SCVNGR at the zoo. We will create whatever the zoo believes will be most efficient in advertising our efforts. The items could be flyers, news releases, brochures or many other different visual items to catch the customers’ attention.

One big event in which our group plans to help demonstrate SCVNGR is Zippity Zoo Fest. This is one of the zoo’s biggest events and a lot of families will be attending. This is a great time for us to target multiple age groups and hopefully make our SCVNGR project a success. We hope that the treks will help educate all ages and be a fun family adventure that families and individuals can partake in. Hopefully, we can find a good reward for completing all the treks that all ages can enjoy.

Zippity Zoo Fest will be March 31 and April 1 from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. This event is in its 42nd year and will include the EdZOOcation Station.  The station’s purpose is to allow kids to get close to feathered,slimy, scaly and furry friends. Normal zoo admission will apply for Zippity Zoo Fest and is $8.25 for adults and teens, $5.25 for children 2 to 12, $7.25 for senior citizens and children one and under are free.

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Searching for a political candidate and finding more

We recently had to choose a presidential candidate for a project in our 4001 class. For me, this was a very difficult task since I’ve never had much interest in politics. I have actually never voted and could not have even told you who was running in the upcoming election.

I thought about taking the easy way out and doing mine on Obama because I figured there would be more information about him. I actually got the idea of doing mine on Rick Santorum from by girlfriend’s dad. He knows a good bit about politics, and I figured he would be a good starting interview for the first paper due.

Throughout the process of writing our news releases, I learned a lot about Santorum, and I am starting to become slightly more interested in the presidential election. I feel as though I am becoming more confident in who I would vote for if I choose to do so. I believe Santorum has strong beliefs, especially when it comes to abortion.

I also feel as though you really should not chose a candidate just because he or she has the same beliefs as you. The candidates are not always as they seem and you really have to research your candidate of choice to make sure they back up their stances.

As a public relations student, I know how images of people and organizations are not always what they appear to be. A lot of organizations hire people to make sure they keep a good reputation and never have their image tarnished. Obviously, everyone has seen political commercials where one candidate bashes another candidate in the “nicest” way possible, but I believe as a voter you really need to do your own research to find the right choice for you.

However, just as the reporter says in the video above, these advertisements really sway voters. Even though Santorum could possibly defeat Mitt Romney in the Republican race, he could still lose to Obama because those advertisements hurt his Independent voters’ support for him.

I am very excited to continue writing the different papers for our class so that I can gain even more understanding about the candidates. This could actually encourage me to vote in this year’s presidential election. One of the main reasons I have never voted was because I felt as though I was not educated on the subject and therefore felt as though I did not “belong” voting. However, these papers have forced me to become more interested in politics and now I’m a little more knowledgable in the subject.

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And the SCVNGR hunt begins

We recently began our public relations group project in my MC 4001 class. The project involves introducing the SCVNGR application to a nonprofit organization in Baton Rouge. I feel as though this is a good project because it lets us get a feel for what it is going to be like in the real world when it comes to dealing with clients.

SCVNGR is a geolocation-based application that allows users to do challenges and earn rewards at local businesses. The rewards are usually simple things such as a discount or a free give-away. People are always more interested when there is something being given away for free, and that is why I believe SCVNGR could potentially attract a lot of business for a company.

We immediately came up with a couple of good ideas for clients for the project. Our first two thoughts were the Swine Palace and the Baton Rouge Zoo. We finally decided on the Baton Rouge Zoo because we felt incorporating prizes and challenges would fit better with their business.

I called the zoo on Monday to get ahold of the marketing people so we could begin communicating with them immediately. I got a chance to talk to their marketing director, Mary Woods, and she said they would be interested learning more about our project.

Our group, Roaming Tigers PR, put together our brochure today, and we are starting to look into ideas on how to pitch SCVNGR to the zoo. We need to make sure they understand how much of an asset SCVNGR can be to their business and show them examples of how other businesses have strived from incorporating the app. The businesses can keep up with things going on with at our class Facebook page for the projects.

A lot of people may not know how or what the app is. I found this video on the SCVNGR site and it looks like a good way for a SCVNGR beginner to learn how to use the app.

The app is available for the iPhone on iTunes and on the App Store. The app is also available for Androids on the Android Market by searching for SCVNGR. The app also works through SMS if you do not have either of those phones.

I think SCVNGR reaches a broader audience than most nonprofits are currently targeting. For example, the zoo probably focuses mainly on families and kids. However, if you add SCVNGR to the equation, college students that are always on their phones could see the deals.

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Ricky Williams Run Comes To An End

Ricky Williams has had quite an interesting career. It began when the New Orleans Saints traded all of their 1999 draft class to draft Williams with the fifth overall pick. This was the first time in history that a team only had one pick in a draft.

Williams spent three seasons in New Orleans and played pretty solid for the Saints. He then got traded to the Miami Dolphins, where he had the most productive back to back seasons by a Dolphins running back ever.

He had an unusual way of dealing with interviews. Williams would wear his helmet that included a visor to shield his eyes. He never would make eye-contact with reporters. He was later diagnosed with clinical depression and social anxiety disorder.

That, along with drug issues, is why he retired the first time in 2004. He returned in 2005 but after being suspended by the NFL, he ended up playing for Toronto in the Canadian Football League.

When he came back to the Dolphins in 2007, he finally had his life turned around. It’s really great to see someone turn their image around and get their life on track. Because of all the drug issues and odd behavior, Williams was always a player that was hard to pull for in my opinion.

ESPN did an incredible documentary on Williams. It was very interesting and I’ll post a link to the preview for it here.

Now that he has retired and I’m seeing all these stories about how his current teammates and coaches love him, I wish I would have paid more attention to his final years in the league.

He has been a solid backup for Ray Rice the last few years, and I feel like everyone should hear his story about how he turned his life around. Stories like that inspire people around the world to do amazing things in their lives.

It’s hard to imagine how much better he could have been if it was not for all of his off the field issues. He ended his career as the 26th leading rusher of all-time, and if you think about the couple years he missed, he could be way higher on that list. Teams also would have believed in him more and could have possibly ended his career as a starter. It’s crazy to think about how much someone’s image in the public can take effect on their career and life. Hopefully young players around the world will learn from his mistakes and make sure not to let drugs ruin their dreams and goals.

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