Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Who is Mae?

As many of you stumble across this site, you see that my name is Rachel. I list that in my bio and in the web domain. But I often use Mae when I am thinking of clever names for my blog. My middle name is Mae, Rachel Mae. But what's in a name?
I always loved my middle name, but it was just there and I never got to use it. Then, I got a job as a waitress at Viva Maria's in Ada, Ohio. At the time, there were two other girls working there named Rachel so my boss asked me if I had a nickname. I didn't. So she asked what my middle name is and, confused, I told her it was Mae. Ever since that day, I am called Mae by all of my coworkers. I write Mae on my tickets that I give to the kitchen and I tell my family that if they want to request me as a server, I am not Rachel.
I work with several people that I also interact with around school. Some of them, who knew me from school first will call me Rachel. Others, who knew me first through work, call me Mae. It is funny when I am at school and here someone yell Mae down the hallway. I also get a chuckle when I see people struggle to call me Mae at work. Whatever the case, it works out.
It's also intriguing to me that I was able to adapt to having two names without a blink. When I was young, I would create imaginary characters for myself and would never be able to remember what my name was. When I am at work, I don't even turn when someone says Rachel because I assume that it is not me. Funny how that works out.
Anyway, there's the random story about how my middle name became such an important part of my life. Do you have any similar stories with a nickname or name change? Comment below!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What is a Stage Manager?

When I explain to people what my majors are I often get the question, "What is that?" Everyone has a general understanding of what Public Relations is, however, very few have heard of International Theatre Production. I usually respond with, "It's all of the backstage stuff," and people can accept that, when in reality it is so much more. 

International Theatre Production covers a wide range of lighting, sound, scenic design, costuming and stage management. Most people have one or two sections that they focus on throughout their training. I am focusing on stage management. 

The stage manger is responsible for the cast and is the right-hand man or woman to the director. In short, the stage manager will help run auditions, keep track of all paperwork, take blocking notes, cue the show and keep the actors in line. 

Most often, the stage manager is the only person left once the show opens. Directors and designers will move on to their next show and it is the job of the stage manager to maintain the creativity of the show after the creative people have left. 

During the show I am currently working on, our phenomenal director, Michael Licata, has been very organized and patient with me as I am learning to do this job for the first time. This experience that I have had with this show and my stage management class is what drove me to change my Theatre major to International Theatre Production. 

I have been pleasantly surprised with how many stage management skills are interchangeable with PR. I look forward to continuing my education in both majors and becoming a very versatile employee!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Measuring Relationships with your Communities and Neighbors

As I mentioned in my previous blog, relationships are vital to having a successful career. Not only do relationships boost you as an individual, but relationships are beneficial to companies as well. Good relationships with a target market can create a loyal audience and a successful business. Below are a few tips to maintaining and measuring those relationships.

1. Agree on Solid Measurable Goals

Make sure that your entire team is on the same page regarding what goals you have for this project.

2. Define your Publics

Who may play a role in your companies success? Make a list of anyone who may be a stakeholder for your business. 

3. What are your Benchmarks?

Compare yourself to businesses similar to yours in other towns. Ideally, you want to benchmark against your competition. 

4. Set your Audience Priorities

Who and what is most important to measure?

5. Choose your Measurement Tools

There are different strategies to measuring results:
  • Relationship Surveys
  • Local Media Analysis

6. Analyze the Data

When analyzing data, be sure to consider:
  • When it comes up for a vote, it's too late to change anything
  • How your company is viewed by an outsider
  • Nonprofit Measurements
  • Government can plan ahead
  • Campus Opportunities
As we all learn, relationships are very important to the success of a person or company. In order to ensure that your company stays successful, make the target audience your top priority. By following these steps, you will be on the right track to pleasing your audience!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It Really is All About Who You Know

As we grow up, it is extremely important to not burn bridges. When I applied for my first job, I had no experience but one of my references was a friend of the owner, so I got the job. The longer I am in school, I realize that it is valuable to make connections with everyone you know. Someday, that person could be a CEO or hiring you for a job you really want.

The fact that connections are so important has taught me some lessons. I am not a quick to dismiss a relationship or quit on a project because I know that I might need those people for a reference someday. People are satisfied with my work because I am aiming to please them.

Relationships are your key in the door of the job you want, however, don't become absorbed with another person. A connection can make a great path for you in your career but you also need to have skills and a personality that sets you apart. Your relationships may get you the job, but you have to maintain it. Nobody wants to hire someone that isn't actively seeking to go above and beyond everyday.

My advice is to make and maintain as many relationships as you can. While you are working on those, work on making yourself the absolute best candidate so that your references will be the last thing getting you the job.

Friday, April 21, 2017

International Play Festival

This past month I have had the opportunity to stage manage "Prometheus: The Beginningin the International Play Festival at Ohio Northern University. It has been a blast to work from the beginning of this project and watch everyone grow throughout the rehearsal process. 

As much fun as it is to watch my cast grow, I have also learned a lot about the professional theatre world. I got the chance to work with our guest director, Michael Licata, who has worked on Broadway shows. Michael has been very professional and I have learned what directors expect from me. 

The International Play Festival will be running Thursday, April 27, 2017, to Sunday, April 30, 2017. The two shows will rotate every other day, starting with Prometheus on Thursday. I am so proud of what my cast has accomplished this past month and I hope the audience enjoys all the hard work and creativity the cast and crew put into the show. 

If you aren't busy next weekend, consider stopping by The Freed Center to see the show!

Monday, April 17, 2017

What are KPIs?

In the book I am currently reading, the author often uses abbreviations for business terms. One that is reoccurring is KPIs or key performance indicators. The book, "Measure What Matters", discusses measuring a company, different types of measurement and tips and tricks for a successful program. KPIs are a huge part of measuring your company's success.

KPIs often measure engagement. KPIs can be used to determine what is important to your audience, making that important to you. Once your company has set goals, KPIs keep track of if you are meeting those goals or not. recommends using the SMART technique.

1. Is your objective Specific?

2. Can you Measure progress towards that goal?

3. Is the goal realistically Attainable?

4. How Relevant is the goal to your organization?

5. What is the Time-frame for achieving this goal?

With these helpful tips, I hope you are able to use KPIs effectively and grow towards your goals!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Easter Break

One of the things I love about going to a private college is that we get a lot of breaks. Larger schools may have a fall break, Christmas break and spring break, but we get extended weekends around every holiday as well as seasonal breaks. Towards the end of the year, it is really easy to get burnt out and have no motivation to do anything. This makes breaks especially nice so we have a chance to catch up on our sleep, spend time with people we care about and come back refreshed.

Every year, my church has a sunrise service and breakfast on Easter Sunday. After church, we have lunch at my grandparents' house and visit with family. Even though my cousins and I are all college age, my grandmother insists that we have an Easter egg hunt every year.

For the past two years, I have spent Easter evenings at my boyfriend's house. We typically eat dinner, play euchre and watch whatever sports game is on TV. I see my boyfriend's family a lot because they live close to ONU, but it is still nice to spend a relaxing day together.

This year, I will be working on Good Friday and spending the rest of my vacation at home cuddling my cat. I am hopeful that this small break will be enough to motivate me to push hard through the last three weeks of school.

What are your Easter plans? Do you have any special traditions with your family? Comment below!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Helpful Apps to Get Rid of Clutter

When you enter your late teens and early 20s years, there is often a lot of moving that takes place. You might be moving into a college dorm or apartment. Most times, you won't be in a living facility for more than a year. As you prepare for these days of living off of the basics, there are a few apps that will help you minimize the items moving with you. 

1. letgo

This app allows you to post and buy secondhand items. Pieces range from house appliances to clothing. Letgo also allows you to verify sellers that you have bought items from before. 

2. Poshmark

Poshmark is an app mainly used for clothing, shoes and accessory sales. You can follow pages and selling items will appear on your feed. 

3. BookScouter

Do you have multiple textbooks that you will never use again? BookScouter will purchase your textbooks from you. All you have to do is enter the ISBN number and the app will give you a price they would buy the book for. 

4. Decluttr

If you are anything like me, you have purchased DVDs and CDs that you have not used since the creation of the iPod. Decluttr allows you to sell movies, CDs and electronic devices. 

I hope that you are able to try a few of these apps and make some money in the process!

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Seven Steps to a Perfect Measurement Program

As I mentioned in a previous blog, measuring your company is very important and can save you money in the long run, but only if you are measuring correctly. Below, are seven steps to the perfect measurement program as described by Katie Delahaye Paine in her book, "Measure What Matters". 

1. Define your Goals and Objectives

Why are you launching this plan or pursuing this strategy? Typically, marketing goals fall under sales, message or public safety and education. The flaw with most objectives is that they combine the categories. Try to be as specific as possible with the company's goal. 

2. Define your Audience, Environment, and your role in influencing them

Keep in mind that your advertising is seen by more people than just your target audience. Examine all the possible target audiences and determine what will benefit the most relationships.

3. Define your Investment

What will this strategy cost? What is the goal return on investment? Do not overlook the free tools available to you. 

4. Determine your Benchmarks

Paine states that ideally a company will compare themselves to their goal company, a peer company and an underdog who is just beginning. Also, compare this strategy to your company's past performance. 

5. Define your Key Performance Indicators

What are the metrics you will report with? Each objective may require different measurement. Remember awareness is not the same as visibility. 

6. Select the Right Measurement Tool and Vendors and Collect Data

You should collect three types of data: content analysis of social or traditional media, primary research via online, mail or phone and web analytics. 

7. Turn Data into Action

Data does not mean anything unless you are actively using it to improve your company. 

Now that you have the perfect measurement program, watch your company grow!

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Snapchat Story not just for Snapchat

Snapchat, created in 2011, became a widely used social platform by millennials. As time went on, people of all ages began to use Snapchat and fell in love. 

Snapchat has a feature called My Story, where an individual can post a photo for all of their friends to see for the next 24 hours. The addicting part of this feature is that you can see who has viewed your story. The introduction of My Story has increased Snapchat usage, making Snapchat competitive with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for most popular platform. 

Not long after the creation of My Story, Instagram added the same feature. You can edit and write text over your picture and it will stay visible for 24 hours. When Instagram introduced this feature, an outrageous number of millennials posted to their Instagram story with their Snapchat username as a mockery to Instagram. It took almost a month for users to even consider using their story on Instagram. Now, Instagram stories have become a regular for adults and celebrities, however, it is rare to see a young person post on their Instagram story. 

When Facebook discovered that adults enjoyed the story feature, they introduced the same thing to their site. Now, you can edit and write text over images that will be visible on Facebook for 24 hours. Sound familiar? I haven't seen anyone on my personal Facebook use the story feature, but I presume that will come eventually. The Facebook generation might not know how to use it and it might not be as simple from a desktop, which most Facebook users use. Whatever the case, Facebook has some work to do if they want to be competitive with Snapchat. 

Often, it doesn't take long for our generation to experiment and accept new features on our social platforms, however, Snapchat appears to be the most popular and used story feature to this day. With Twitter as a millennial-driven platform, they are the only site refraining from introducing this feature and they seem to be the smart ones for doing so. In this case, no one can beat Snapchat for the feature they created. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

Moving out of a comfort zone can be really challenging. As a child, my family moved every two to three years until I started school. You may have experienced a change like this when you moved into college. You could've been afraid that you wouldn't make new friends. You moved into a new space and are going to a new school. For me, change became a natural part of life. My past of constantly moving has taught be how to be ready for change, accept it when it happens and to find comfort in the change. 

When I was growing up, I don't think my dad knew what career path he wanted to take. I was born in Tiffin, Ohio, where my dad was a minister at a local church. At the time, Tiffin was experiencing an epidemic of unsafe circumstances and my parents decided to move. 

Next, my parents bought a house down the street from my grandparents in Findlay, Ohio. My dad was now working as a truck driver, and I was working on learning my alphabet before my big brother. 

A different job came along and we traveled to Anderson, IN, where my dad worked as a youth minister. My older siblings started school in this city and I started preschool. However, the school systems in Anderson, IN, were falling apart and my parents decided to move again. 

At a young age, my family moved so often that I wasn’t sure where “home” was. During this time, I learned to value my relationship with my parents and siblings. I realized that they were the one constant thing that I would have through all the changes.

Somewhere along the way, we ended up in Findlay, Ohio, for a temporary stay at my grandparents' house while my parents were house-hunting. 

When I was near the age of four, my parents bought a house in Jenera, Ohio. My dad started truck driving again and I started school at Cory-Rawson, where I would graduate 13 years later. While living in Jenera, I made some of my closest friends. 

After my 10 years in Jenera, I discovered that moving doesn’t mean you lose the friendships that you make. It taught me to appreciate the technology I have to keep in contact with my friends that are farther away.

In junior high, a new opportunity came by and my dad began preaching in McComb, Ohio. We bought a house next door to my crush at the time and that is where my parents, and occasionally myself, are living today. 

As you can see, starting over was my thing. I am confident that my siblings and I will be able to take any changes to come with ease. When we are young, we experience many changes, whether welcome or unwelcome. It may be challenging to place yourself out of your comfort zone, but that is all a part of learning and growing as an individual. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Measuring a Company

Since 2009, companies have gone through many changes with the wave of social media. It is easier to measure results of campaigns and advertisements, and individuals can network with people across the world!

However, an early myth caused companies to believe that measuring results would cost too much and they would only lose money. Katie Delahaye Paine, author of "Measure What Matters", crushed this myth by stating that businesses will only lose money if they aren't aware of an unsuccessful tactic.

Today, more resources have become available and most are free! Companies should easily be able to afford these tools; all it takes is time to set up.

So what do you measure? Typically, companies will measure a Return on Investment, or ROI. This can be measured by taking the total amount earned and subtracting the project's budget. Also, many social media platforms have tools that allow you to see who is engaging in your posts and what posts are the most popular.

Once you are able to determine the people you are reaching and the money you have made, you can successfully prepare for your next campaign by basing it on the appropriate target audience!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Arguing on Social Media

Last year was a big election year for the United States. We were either going to have our first female president or our first non-politician president. Through the entire election process, I saw individuals in heated conversations, trying to convince their friends to vote for someone. But why?

Do people actually think that opinions will be changed by saying mean words and belittling their beliefs? If anything, you should try to establish a good relationship with the person and then persuade them. So often we let our emotions press 'post' before we have had a chance to think about what we are saying.

The saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all," is especially relevant today. Only kindness will make people listen. Nobody wants to be told that they are wrong, especially on opinions. 

Next time you post, think to yourself, "What am I trying to do?" and "What are the chances that I will succeed?" If the chances are not high, save yourself the trouble and risk of hard feelings among friends and refrain from posting.

Older generations are always bashing social media, rightfully so, because we have abused it. Try to encourage more, complain less and disperse positive energy.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Only in Your State

As an Ohio native, I get very defensive when people bash my state and say there is "nothing to do". While there are a lot of cornfields, I was never bored as a child. I used my imagination and grew up to love Ohio. Aside from the occasional misfits, nobody complained about living here. Then I went to college. All I see on Twitter is complaints about being in the middle of nowhere and stuck in run-down Ohio. I wished that people would be able to see the same beauty in this state that I do. It was then that I discovered a website called Before the next time you complain about having nothing to do, check out this website and be amazed. Below are a few of my favorites!

1. Landoll's Mohican Castle 

Or as I like to call it, my wedding venue. This luxurious bed and breakfast castle offers 17 intimate suites, a cavern-like pool area and entertainment gigs. For less than $200, you can enjoy a night in a Jacuzzi tub and sit by the fireplace. The best news is, this destination is only two hours away from Ada!

2. Hocking Hills

If you are into nature, Hocking Hills has beautiful trails that lead to some of God's astonishing art work. If you have a camper, stay at the campsite! My family traveled to Hocking Hills when I was younger and those were some of the best times of my life. Nothing beats the memories made when you are stuck in a small space with five other people!

3. Swensons 

You wouldn't be in Ohio if you didn't get to experience all the great food options we have! Most restaurants are family owned and small in size, which makes the experience even better! Swensons, in Akron, Ohio, has only nine locations. Unlike most restaurants, Swensons is a drive-in. All you have to do is park your car and turn on the lights. Workers always rush out to you with a smile and ask if you would like to try their signature Galley Boy sandwich. After you have finished your meal, treat yourself to one of their irreplicable milkshakes!

These are only my favorites and it was hard to narrow it down to three! Ohio is a state unlike any other. We pride ourselves in the hard work and kindness that you see around every corner. So next time you try to bash my state, get to know it first and I will do the same with yours. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Flowbee

This weekend, my mother's side of the family decided to celebrate my parents' 25th anniversary. My mom's oldest sister was visiting from Pennsylvania and her youngest sister came from Ashland, Ohio. After the festivities were winding down, my nana decided that she needed a haircut. It was then that I was introduced to an interesting object, the Flowbee. 

The Flowbee is a vacuum that cuts hair; created by Rick Hunts. The Flowbee offers a variety of extensions based on your hair length that can be attached and removed. Once you have decided the length you want, the Flowbee sucks your hair into a shaft with trimmers at the end. By slowly moving the Flowbee closer and farther from your head, it trims your hair to the length you chose. The Flowbee is a little over $100. I can attest that it does work, however, I personally would not use it because of the noise. 

If you are someone who doesn't like to leave the house, don't have time to get a haircut or are looking to save money, then the Flowbee might be an ideal option for you. For more information, check out their website here. If you do decide to try it out, comment below and let me know what you think!

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Professional Side of Pinterest

Recently, I got the chance to explore Pinterest differently than how I use it on a regular basis. There is a whole world of professionals out there who are using Pinterest to post their business ideas and tips.

When I read the book, "The Art of Social Media", Guy Kawasaki suggested linking blog posts to Pinterest. Originally I thought, "Why would anyone do that?", because I figured Pinterest was only a place for designing rooms, clothing and nails. Below are a few interesting topics that I found on Pinterest.

1. Budgeting

If you run a business, great! Pinterest has suggestions on how to save money when you advertise. If you are a college student like myself, there are multiple pins on how to budget through college. Also, there are tips for planning a budget wedding or event. 

2. Networking

Pinterest has a lot of great advice on the "Do's and Don't's" of networking and things that you can say to make yourself stand out. Not only do they give tips on how to succeed, but there are also pins on what you might be doing wrong in your networking. 

3. Social Media

Pinterest also has pins about how to be successful on all of your other platforms! They truly want their users to be successful!

I hope everyone gets the chance to discover all of the wonderful and unique tips Pinterest has to offer. If you don't have one, sign up for a Pinterest account today! You will be amazed at what you can find.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Creating a Promotional Video

Growing up, I always played around on Windows Movie Maker to make glorified Power Point videos to show my parents. My aunt was more of an expert at videography and photography and would make cool videos whenever someone in my family graduated or died. After seeing her videos at every family event, I tried to replicate them. 

When this project was assigned, I thought I knew exactly what I was doing, however, I have a MacBook now and I had never used iMovie. I played around with it and was able to upload my videos in the order I wanted with transitions. I spent the next few days calling my boyfriend to ask how to get my music to show up on the app and asking my brother to remove me from Family Sharing so I could purchase music without his credit card. 

After locating music that was a fit for my video, I discovered that iMovie has some elevator music already on the app for you. I added some background music and uploaded the video to YouTube. 

I find myself continually learning that pride comes before the fall. Hopefully now, I will be better equipped and prepared to make more videos. My advice would be to familiarize yourself with a program before you use it for something important! To check out my project, click this link!


Friday, March 17, 2017

My Live Tweeting Experience

Thursday evening, I had the opportunity to live tweet Ohio Northern University's PRSSA meeting. Our guest speaker, Lexi Messenger, works for a boutique agency called Geben Communication. Lexi had a lot of great advice which you can check out on my Storify! Below, I am going to talk about things I learned from this live tweeting experience.

1. Type fast and Summarize

Lexi had a lot of great things to say, so it was hard for me to pick and choose what I wanted to feature in each tweet! If possible, try to narrow each tweet into one or two main points. 

2. Inform the Speaker

This was something I failed to do beforehand and I felt extremely rude to be live tweeting while she was talking. The next time I live tweet, I will be sure to make the speaker aware of what I will be doing during their speech. 

3. Notify your Followers 

This was something I didn't take into consideration until I was given this assignment. Your followers need to know if you are about to blow up their feed! Send a few tweets out the day before or even one hour before so your followers can tune in. 

4. Have a Conclusion

When your event is finished, let everyone know and thank the speaker. 

It was wonderful to get to meet Lexi and learn tips about internships, finding jobs and the general workplace. Be sure to check out my Storify for this awesome advice!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

What Your Waitress Wants to Say to You

In August, I was hired as a waitress at Viva Maria's in Ada, Ohio. As my first serving job, it has been an experience learning the menu, how the business operates and how to work with customers. As someone who came from one small town to live in another, I thought most people would be very nice, however, I have encountered more rude people than I would like to admit. Below are a few things you can do to be a courteous customer and have an enjoyable dining experience. 

1. Split the check early

Are you out with your four best friends and all want to pay separately? No problem! Just please mention that before you order. At Viva Maria's, we all write and add the checks by hand. I'm sure a machine has its complications too, so please make it easier for your server. 

2. Address the appropriate person

So often I will have customers complain and pout about their food being overcooked or not tasting right. While I can relay that message to the kitchen, they often roll their eyes when it comes from me. Our manager is always happy to speak with customers about what may or may not be wrong with their food. Also, we do not have a say on whether you get a discount or free food so don't ask. 

3. Place the bill vertically when you are ready to pay

I do have other tables and I can't constantly check and see if you slid your credit card into the book. To grab my attention and have the bill taken care of efficiently, place it vertically when you are ready to pay. 

4. Be patient

On the weekends, we get very busy and I may have tables waiting for food for up to an hour. Please understand that I also want you to have your food so I can take more tables, but that doesn't always happen. The only way to ensure you eat quickly on the weekends is by getting the buffet. 

5. Tip Kindly

This should be obvious, but unfortunately people have not caught on. Currently, the appropriate tip is 15 to 20 percent. The majority of people still think it is 10 percent. I understand that a tip is not a fun thing to write out, but our minimum wage is half of what the standard is and our pay is mostly tips. If you can't afford a standard tip, you can't afford to eat out. If my service was bad, tell me, but don't leave me thinking you tipped poorly because you are just a terrible person. 

Now that you know a few courtesy rules for dining out, try them out and watch how wonderful your dining experience is!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Do Boys Use Pinterest?

Pinterest is the land of online shopping and do-it-yourself projects. However, it is mostly only used by females. I personally use Pinterest to look up hair and nail designs, bridal shower ideas and dorm room hacks. Since the population has always been largely female, no one ever posted stuff for the guys.

Before we can understand why nobody is posting for the male gender, we need to think about what boys would gain from Pinterest. The dorm room hacks are usually feminine, but the general idea can be repeated in different designs. Boys might also use Pinterest for tattoo ideas. If they are into fashion or need help refining their look, they can use Pinterest to see visuals of outfits. Last, the most common thing boys use Pinterest for is to get ideas for what their significant other wants.

There is a definite stigma around males who use Pinterest and it is something that needs to change. I also think, Pinterest could try to appeal to males more by pinning things that they would be interesting in pinning. So to all the boys out there: if you start creating pins for the male environment, you might be surprised with the response and growth of your page. It would also be cool to say you increased a community on a social media platform.

Moving forward, I think we should all consider the benefits of Pinterest and try to make it as inclusive as possible. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Using Time Efficiently

Procrastination. We have all done it and it is a very hard habit to break. When I arrived at college, I thought I was an expert at getting assignments done ahead of schedule and preparing for future assignments far in advance. When I arrived here, I realized that motivating myself to get up everyday and do something meaningful would be more challenging than I originally thought. In college, it can be tempting to procrastinate assignments and take naps all day because no one is telling you what you can and cannot do. Since then, I have learned a few strategies that I use to get my daily tasks done, prevent me from procrastinating, and keep a healthy lifestyle.
Before you can begin to plan your day-to-day productivity, look into purchasing a few calendars. I like to keep a large wall calendar as an overview for my month, an everyday planner for appointments, work, and family events, and an assignment or “to-do” notebook.
It is important to prepare your schedule in advance by adding due dates to your calendar as soon as you receive them. This is so you can prepare how much time each day needs to be devoted to each assignment.


Patrick Forsyth, author of “Successful Time Management”,  recommends to highlight first priority items; things that may have a short time to be completed and do those first. 


Accuracy in recording events is also important so you can ensure that the task will be fully completed when you run out of time. Forsyth also recommends to prepare for interruptions in a task that may cause one activity to run into another. 

Keep To-Do Lists

Be reasonable with what you can accomplish in a day. If you have a lot of homework or have to work that day, maybe just straighten up your room or take out the trash. Leave the longer tasks for a slower day. One tip that my mother told me is, “If it can be done in 5 minutes, do it immediately!” This will prevent little tasks from building up. 

Now that you know how to use your time efficiently, I’m sure you are all eager to book your schedules to the fullest, however, it is important to remember to take care of yourself.

Take time for yourself

Brett Hilder mentions that it is okay to say no to a task. In college, we can’t always say no to assignments, but we can be aware of how much we are capable of working at a part-time job or how much time we can dedicate to extra-curricular activities. 

A productive person, is a happy person. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and leaving time to eat and socialize with friends and family. At the end of the day, it is the people around you that are your motivation to do something with everyday. 

It may be hard at first to break yourself of the habits that you have already formed here at college. To start, try picking one thing to try to do differently for a month and watch the change happen.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Will We Need Television in the Future?

So often, we see videos on social media. Whether it is sports recaps or the Oscars, most everything can be found on YouTube the next day.  Now that everything can be found on YouTube for free or Netflix for a small cost, why is it that we still have cable television? Hulu provides all the shows you need and Facebook can give you small recaps. I can't even remember the last time I have watched something live because I have the mentality of, "it will come to Netflix eventually."

Lately, I have wondered why television companies cost so much. Do people realize that they aren't using their cable so often? Personally, my parents keep cutting our cable package back because we only use Netflix anymore. If I can't find something I want to watch then I usually forget about it. There isn't an urge anymore to see something that is in theaters. 

I am sure that cable companies are aware that people are not using their package-deal landlines and cable. I am curious to see what steps they take in the future to show people why they need this product. What does cable television offer that no other site does?

Now that I have gotten my thoughts out, I am going to watch some Netflix!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Open House

Today, my brother had an open house for the house he just bought. 
Caleb and Courtney in front of the house.

My brother is 22 years old. He didn't go to college and bought this house by himself because he had no debt and remarkable credit. I am so proud of him for such a huge accomplishment! The house has three bedrooms and one bathroom. The inside is updated and very clean for an older house. The neighborhood is small, but they have everything they will need: gas station, grocery store and great Chinese food!

Caleb and Courtney are getting married in September on their seven-year anniversary.  I am looking forward to being in the wedding, but I am also excited for them to start their lives together. 

It was nice to see my family today and how proud everyone is of Caleb. It is because of him that I have started to slowly build credit and save money so I can buy a house when I am out of school!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Twitter for Marketing

When my friends and I first got Twitter, we only followed people we knew. Everyone had a private account and Twitter was very exclusive to only acquaintances. As we got older, we began following pages for humor and entertainment. Twitter was a social app, strictly for people.
 As time went on, companies began to discover how interactive they could be with their customers through Twitter. Personally, I didn't follow companies because I didn't want advertisements filling my feed. The fact that companies were joining Twitter and seeing results in their marketing plans made me question how they were doing it. How are they getting people to voluntarily click to be advertised too?
Then I discovered their secret: interaction.

People LOVE the fact that they can message a successful business and receive a response. Once these companies respond to an individual, that person is taking a screenshot of the funny response and sharing it on their own feed. Multiples of people began mentioning their favorite companies and anticipated their response. 

One company that has particularly stuck out to everyone is Wendy's. Their witty and sarcastic responses have captured the attention of millennials and are rapidly gaining followers. Not only do they respond to every negative comment they receive, but they actively participate in current memes. 

Here is a link to some of their best: 

Lately, these companies have created their own personality and their pages are becoming a friend to follow. Twitter can now be great for advertising as long as companies are fitting into the culture correctly. It is nice to see that advertising can be fun!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

When You Have Said Too Much..

Often, I find myself on social media thinking, "Why would they post that?!", when someone may have shared too much information. A lot of people struggle with finding the balance between sharing and sharing too much. Below is a list of things I personally would not share on social media.

1. When you fight.

Posting angry rants about someone will not solve the problem. If you disagree with your spouse, child, family member or friend, try to keep it off Facebook. People will only get way too involved in your personal life and make judgements about how you handle disagreements. 

2. An announcement that is not yours. 

There is nothing worse than sharing photos of a baby before the parents or relaying the message that a friend has passed before the family has had a chance to make comments. Recently, I've seen that friends are posting congratulatory posts on a friend getting engaged and the friend becomes upset because they wanted to be the first to share the news. This is partly about knowing boundaries. I know you might have an itch to share the exciting news, but share it when it is your time. 

3. Inappropriate photos.

Although less common now, I think some people forget that employers DO check your media sites. Refrain from posting pictures of you with alcohol (especially if you are underage) and try to keep your language clean. 

There are many more things that I personally do not post, but these are the big ones. I try to keep my Facebook page full of happy news (not to say that life is happy all the time) and important information for my friends and family to know. Consider these items next time you make a post!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Paying for Social Media

Social media has become a very vital part of success in today's advertising world. Not only are people using social media to connect with friends and family, but people are able to set up pages and sites for businesses to enhance sales. In a book I am reading, the author discusses the value of purchasing social media accounts. The goal behind this is to gain access to more tools and grow your business. While there is value behind this, it is not something I am interested in doing. 

In "Social Media Marketing", by Jason McDonald, he expresses that individuals should look into purchasing a LinkedIn account because it "looks better" to employers. The issue I have with this is that the stigma of purchasing websites to be more successful was man-made. This is encouraging young people that they can buy their way to success, and not necessarily work for it. 

While I understand that media companies need money to operate their sites, the extra tools offered with a purchased account are usually analytics about who is watching your page. On Facebook, you can have that analysis for free and more information.

Depending on what your business needs and where your target market is, LinkedIn might be the best option for you. My only suggestion is to take advantage of all free tools given to you before you purchase a page. 

I'd love  to hear your thoughts on this! Comment below with how you feel about purchasing social media.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Why I Prefer Apple Products

Everyone has a type. Some people like Windows or Android; I prefer Apple. Growing up, I became used to a Windows desktop and how it functioned. I had a "dumb phone" until I was a senior in high school. In junior high, I received my first iPod. I came to enjoy the functionality of Apple products. When it was time for me to get my first smart phone, I chose the iPhone. In preparation for college, I knew I would need a laptop to complete assignments. I decided that I wanted a MacBook because I was already familiar with Apple. Below are a few reasons why I prefer Apple products.

1. They all link together.

When I take photos, they appear on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. For other companies, a secondary program, like Google, is required to transfer information from one device to another. On Apple products, information automatically transfers without a secondary program. 

2. They use the same apps.

By using Apple products, I am familiar with the calendar, Safari, notes and music, which are all the same on any device I am using. Also, I can receive text messages on my MacBook, which is nice if I am in class! ;)

3. You can still use Microsoft.

Although it does not originally come on a MacBook, Microsoft Office can be purchased and downloaded onto your MacBook. It has the same functionality as it would on another computer. 

4. Offer new tools.

One program I discovered that I enjoy is the Pages app. Through this app, I can create programs, invitations and cards. MacBooks also have an app called Numbers that can calculate student loan debt and help you budget for an event. 

Those are just a few reasons why I love my Apple products. Some generations may argue that nothing will beat the originals, but I think Apple is a very neat and beneficial invention. Ultimately, whatever you decide, make sure that it is something you are comfortable with and enjoy using. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

When Did Google Take Over the Internet?

I spent some time starting a book about Social Media Marketing and was shocked by how much Google has to offer. Aside from Google searches, you can create an entire company on Google alone. Here is a long list of everything that Google can do. 

1. Gmail

Through Gmail, you can create a free email and send and receive mail. 

2. Google Drive

In Google Drive, you can create word documents, slide shows, forms, sheets and many more. Google Drive also gives you the option to download free external links to drive so you can create programs, invitations, and cards. 

3. Google Calendar

Through Google calendar, you can create multiple schedules and also have the option to share a calendar with multiple people. 

4. Google+

Google+ is the social side of Google. You can +1 other members, similar to liking on Facebook. 

5. Google Contacts

Since Google has a social side, they need a place where you can store all of your contact information to contact people through their texting service (see Google Allo). 

6. Google Groups

Google Groups is similar to the instant messaging system associated with other email providers. 

7. Google Maps

Get directions to anywhere in the world and receive an estimated time and mileage for the trip.

8. Google Translate

Although it was not trusted by my Spanish teacher in high school, Google Translate provides a near translation of words and phrases. 

9. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a video chat feature. While you can simply hangout with friends, Google also provides the option to have a Hangout shared to YouTube.

10. Google Photos

Unlike smart phones, Google Photos has no limit to the amount of photos that can be stored in this drive. 

11. Google Classroom

Google Classroom was used in my high school. It provides teachers with a way to post assignments and have students submit responses virtually. 

12. AdWords

On the business side, AdWords provides keywords for companies during their market research so they can have a successful attendance on their social sites. 

13. Google News

Similar to MSN and Yahoo, Google News provides the latest happenings in the world. 

14. Google Chrome

Google Chrome is Google's version of Safari. Chrome can be downloaded on MacBook, Windows and smart phones. 

15. Google Play

Here, you can find any music or video that you would like to see or listen to. Like most music providers, some options are free and some cost money.

16. ChromeCast

In ChromeCast, you can create and post podcasts for your Google+ friends to see.

17. Google Allo

Google Allo is a texting service provided by Google. Yes, there is an app for that.

18. Google Duo

Google Duo is the Skype of Google. Both users are required to have a Google account and a webcam. 

19. Google Alerts

If you are a person that receives a lot of press, Google Alerts is here for you! Set alerts on your name or brand and receive notifications when people are posting about you. 

20. Gboard

Google decided that any old keyboard was not enough, so they decided to create their own. 

21. Google Fit

Through Google Fit, you can track how active you are each day, calories you are consuming and much more. 

22. Google Scholar

If you are doing a research project, a typical Google search might not get appropriate sources for you to use. Google Scholar provides information from reliable sources. 

23. Google Wifi

Although this is not an app (yet), you can purchase a small device that Google created to be your personal wifi router.

24. Google Input Tools

Google Input Tools is a form of Google Translate that works through speech. Speak into Google Input and receive a translation back in the language of your choice. 

25. Google Earth

Google Maps offers directions and time estimates. If you click on satellite view, you might see a blurry photo of the destination. Google Earth provides clear satellite photos of anywhere in the world. 

Although Google offers everything you could ever need, it is hard to specialize is so many areas. Keep in mind that Google can be helpful, but sometimes other programs can be of more help to you. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Making Connections with Intimidating People

Everyone has been there; whether you are attending a conference, interviewing for a new job, or visiting professionals, making connections with experienced people can seem intimidating. Below are a few things to remember when you are faced with this challenge. 

1. They started out like you.

When someone holds a lot of power, they may seem non relatable or too sophisticated to be in your circle of professionals. One thing I like to remember is that everyone had to start somewhere. Most likely, they have been in the position you are in now. Take advantage of their knowledge and ask what they were doing in your position and what you can do to better yourself. 

2. Don't try to impress them. 

People will notice if you are going way out of your way to impress someone. There is no need to bluff or lie to make yourself seem like you know more than you do. People are much more impressed by someone that is eager to learn than a know-it-all. 

3. Be yourself.

Just because someone holds a high position, it doesn't mean you have to agree with everything they say. The key to successful, professional relationships is to be respectful in your disagreement. Don't trade your values and beliefs to try to get into a circle with someone that you do not agree with. That will only halt your philanthropy and make your personal causes seem fake. 

As stressful as powerful people can be, remain confident in who you are, what you have to bring to the relationship, and be open to learning. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Girl Behind the Blog

I have been blogging for about a month now and I figured it's time to do a little 'All About Me' blog! Here are the things that make me who I am today:

My Family

My parents were married in 1992. My mother, Jen, is center front and my father, Rob, is second-to-left in the back. My oldest sibling is my sister, Lauren, who was unfortunately working the night we took this picture. Next, is Caleb (back left) and his fiancĂ©, Courtney (bottom left). Then, there is Noah (back, second-to-right), who is currently studying music at Bowling Green. The bald guy is my boyfriend, Jordan. We will celebrate our two year anniversary in two weeks. I am also lucky enough to have three loving grandparents and multiple aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

My Pets

We have a Siberian Husky, although my mother thinks she is an Alaskan Malamute. Her name is Akela, which means leader of the pack. The black cat is my cat, Presley, named after the king. The black and white cat is my sister's cat, Thea. 

My Education

I attended Cory-Rawson Local Schools from kindergarten to graduation. Currently, I am a freshman at Ohio Northern University studying Theatre and Public Relations. 

Well, there are the basics. If there are any unanswered questions about me, please comment below and I will be happy to respond!

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Science of Dressing Professionally

My boyfriend recently got an internship at a company called Titan Tire in Bryan, Ohio. The other day, we were discussing what your boss means when they say to dress business casual. Below, is a breakdown of what is appropriate to wear based on what you have been told. 

Business Casual

For men, business casual usually means khakis and a polo, or a button-up shirt with no tie. Depending on the company, you might be able to get away with jeans. This is the case at my boyfriend's job. For women, business casual can be anything from slacks and a sweater to a skirt and blouse. The goal is to be professional and still comfortable. 


Semi-formal for men would be slacks with a button-up shirt and tie. Women would wear what is referred to as a cocktail dress. 


Formal attire for women is always a dress. The safest thing to wear would be a long gown.  For men, full suits or tuxedos. 

Other Tips

In every circumstance, closed-toe shoes are safe. If you work closely with a factory, you may be taking trips through the machinery and don't want any injuries. Often, a business will inform you if there are any special requirements for your job. For example, my boyfriend is required to have steel-toed shoes at work because they work closely with tires. 

In any case, if you are unsure of what to wear, ask employees who have attended the event before. If it is your first day on the job, dress semi-formal for men and a nicer business-casual for women. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Tips to Maximize your LinkedIn Account

LinkedIn is a professional social site that employers use to research potential employees. As someone who hasn't started looking for professional jobs, I didn't think that having a LinkedIn account was necessary. Over winter break, I attended a job shadowing day at Curiosity Advertising in Cincinnati, Ohio. After talking with Stacie Dastoor, account supervisor and hiring staff manager, I discovered that I needed to create an account as soon as possible. Below are a few tips I learned about what employers look for on a LinkedIn account.

1. Updated Information

This may seem obvious, but many create their accounts and neglect updating it with current information. There are sections on your profile for skills, classes, hobbies and organizations. Employers want to see what you are currently involved in. Also, you may have acquired more skills which will only look more impressive. 

2. Actively Engaged

What many people forget, is that LinkedIn is a social network. While being careful to not post anything inappropriate, employers want to see you occasionally share an article that you thought was interesting or some insight that you have gained. 

3. Portfolio

Along with blog posts, share recent works on your account. Some recommend creating your own website as an online portfolio and leave the link to your website on your LinkedIn account. This way, employers will know if you are capable of doing tasks in the job description before they interview you. 

The most important advice is to be present; especially if the job you are applying for is in any way media related. An active account shows employers that you are aware of current events, tactics, and changes in the media. 
Sources: Curiosity Advertising employees

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Roommate Horror Story

I came into Ohio Northern University only knowing one person from my high school, who is an upperclassman. I searched the new student Facebook page for someone that could be my potential roommate, only to find that most people already knew their roommate from high school or a sport. I accepted the fact that I would be randomly placed with someone. I told myself that this person could become my best friend or it could not go well, and I would seek other arrangements. I went into school with an open mind to whoever this person could be. Things went well for the first month. We got along, respected each others space, and talked occasionally about our days. That soon changed when my roommate fell very ill and my room became an uncomfortable and unsafe environment for me to live in. The process of moving into a different space was long and stressful, but there are a few things I took away from this experience. 

1. Don't be Afraid to Ask for a New Room

For me, I didn't want to cause any inconvenience to the residence life staff, so I kept quiet while I was miserable. If I had spoken up sooner, my freshman year could have been a better experience. It can be hard to admit that things didn't go how you had planned. I was so worried about hurting my roommate's feelings, that I didn't realize how much stress I was putting on myself. 

2. Stand up for Yourself

I had to email my resident assistant and my resident director multiple times, only to receive responses that there was "nothing they could do". I knew the physical and emotional toll that my living situation had on me and I went to the Residence Life president to let her know how difficult is has been. She was able to move me immediately. Residence assistants and directors are students too. Sometimes they aren't sure how to handle a situation, so they ignore you and hope you resolve it yourself. After so long, I knew that those responses were not acceptable for my situation and took it into my own hands. If something is affecting your education and well-being, it's okay to be a little selfish. 

3. Get an Outside Opinion

Some people like to live alone. I am a person that functions well when I have my own space to go to, away from everyone else. In order to make sure that I wasn't exaggerating the situation so that I could have my own space, I asked for others' opinions. I talked with my parents and kept them updated, being the least bias as I could. I brought my boyfriend over to see what was happening. The responses were unanimous; I needed to move out. 

Now that I am in a new, comfortable space, my mood has improved and I am not as stressed. I have learned so much about what I require to help me have a successful education. This experience has taught me how to get elders to respect your needs even though you are much younger. At the end of the day, nobody knows your needs better than yourself. Stick to that and don't settle for anything less. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Twitter Etiquette

In this week's reading, Guy Kawasaki discusses Twitter etiquette. For me, these things were common sense. However, Guy wouldn't have dedicated a spot in his book to it, if people didn't have a problem with it. Here a few points I have noticed that people my age often do on social media. 

1. Don't be belligerent

Social media is an interactive site. Also, if you are an American, you have freedom of speech. Telling someone what they can and cannot post is not your place. If you are unhappy with someone's posts, unfollow them. 

2. Don't announce when you have unfollowed somebody

Congratulations, you have finally unfollowed someone instead of trying to change them! Now that that person is no longer on your feed, there is no reason to continue discussing them. Telling others why you unfollowed someone or asking them to also unfollow that person, will only make people want to unfollow you. 

3. Don't swear

This is more for professional sites, however, if you are applying for jobs, a company may be viewing your site and choose to not give you an interview because of all the swear words on your feed. Also, as a personal preference, I don't see swear words as necessary for making a point. It will make you seem less intelligent than others. 

Those are just a few things that I see regularly on my feed from my peers. If you are considering becoming a role model to anyone someday, then I would recommend cleaning up your feed! 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Podcast with Ada Local Schools Superintendent

Today, I had the pleasure of talking with Meri Skilliter, superintendent of Ada Local Schools. I wanted to ask her a few questions about what it is like running social media from a position that is always watched and judged. Prior to being Ada's superintendent, Meri has worked as the superintendent of McComb Local Schools, elementary principal of Gibsonburg Schools, and a 5th grade teacher at Bluffton Schools. Below are some of the key points from the conversation I had with her this afternoon and an attached is the podcast. 

So I know you previously used to keep a blog for McComb Local Schools. What topics did you find yourself writing about that seemed to be enjoyable for the community to read?
Things that were enjoyable to the community were always the human interest stories of things I wrote about either graduates or students who were doing something interesting or out of the ordinary. I used the blog more for informational things; if I heard rumblings of something that had some misperceptions or misunderstandings on a topic, then I would blog about that to get the facts and correct information out to the community. 
When you are posting on social sites, are there any privacy concerns for the students that you have to be aware of?
Most certainly. I'm a superintendent of a K-12 school, so the majority of my students are younger than 18. At the beginning of a school year, we send home a paper and the parent has to approve any posting of their children on social media and on the school website. Here at Ada, we have a list of 15-20 students whose parents have denied us the right to post pictures of their children. For example, when I was taking pictures of Ohio Northern's dogs, I took a picture from the back of the students. You could see the dog, but you couldn't identify the students. I always have to screen those photos and show them to the principals here because they know the students that cannot be shown. Anything that I post needs to be compliant with FERPA, which is a federal law that protects student privacy. 
I know that you manage the Facebook page for Ada. So, if someone were to post a comment that you felt was inappropriate, how would you handle that situation?
I also handled social media for McComb and only a few times did somebody post something on Facebook that was inappropriate. If  felt it was inappropriate, I usually deleted it because I didn't want to expose other students to that. When parents and community members post something that is critical of us, I don't feel like I can delete those comments because Facebook is an interactive site. If I start deleting certain posts, in essence, I feel like I am censoring people. Sometimes when a parent has posted based on misinformation, I have actually called that parent and asked them to take it down once they understand that what they wrote was inaccurate. [The parents] posting anything lets us know where the misconceptions are in the community and whether we need to put out more information to correct the misinformation. 
What is your role in articles that local media posts about the school?
In Ada, we have five newspapers that follow us and they really follow us closely. All of the newspapers that cover us follow us on social media and they watch for us to post information and then they will repost that information or they will call when they've seen something on Facebook and they want to ask more about it. Sometimes it will generate a story for them.

Check out rbreitigam on Podbean for the whole podcast!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Rare Disease Day

February 28th is Rare Disease Day. You might be thinking, "So what?", because you have been lucky enough to not have a rare disease impact your life. Two of my cousins were diagnosed with Gangliosidosis 1, also known as GM1, at a young age. GM1 is a lysosomal storage disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord and is always fatal in children. 

Growing up, I noticed that my cousins, Kat and Morgan, weren't able to do some of the things that I could. Tasks like walking and talking were difficult. The disease got progressive with age, ultimately causing them to not be able to function without assistance. Now, they must be fed and bathed; taken care of like a newborn. 

Through all of this, my aunt, uncle, and cousin (sister to Kat and Morgan) have remained so strong and loving. Some people give up, some send their kids away, but they have done their best at giving their girls the best life they can have, everyday, and remaining positive through it all. 

Photo By: Jenene Hanlon
With the photo above, my aunt posted:
"You want a drink so you lean over to the table, pick up the glass and take a sip, you have an itch so you scratch it, you want to talk so you open your mouth and speak, you want to stand so you do and stretch, you want to leave the room so you walk out the door, you want a big cuddle so you walk to your mom and put your arms around her ..... all these things are so easy and simple ...... now take a minute and imagine your body doesn't work, you cannot move, you cannot speak, you cannot eat, you cannot scratch that itch, you depend on others for such simple things, you are trapped, ... every minute of every day ... imagine ... my child is at war with her body every day ... my child is my hero ..."

Here is the link to a video that explains their story

This month, I will be wearing a jean bracelet to represent finding a cure for this terrible disease. These girls haven't had the opportunities that so many of us get every day. I support this cause because I support my family. If you find it in your heart to do the same, I would love to show you where bracelets can be purchased. 
"Together, we can make a difference." -Jenene Hanlon