Sarah Wilson's PR Blog

December 2, 2009

Diversity Choice – International Film

Filed under: International PR — swilso37 @ 10:59 pm

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly was shown in the theater of GSU’s Russell Union. The admission was $3 for students. There were not that many people there, and the crowd was not diverse at all. I would say the crowd was not even a good representation of the diversity that can be found at GSU.

The film is about a French man named Jean-Dominique Bauby. Bauby was the editor-in-chief for the well-known fashion magazine and one of my personal favorites, Elle.

I have never been to France before, so I cannot say that it was an accurate representation of the French culture. However, from my belief, this film did a phenomenal job at interpreting the story and tragedy Bauby dealt with which is understood in all cultures and countries. I did like how it gave a taste of the French culture, but I always say that one can never know a culture until they go experience it themselves.

What I learned from this event was that some students do actually take advantage of the theater in the Union. I wish the movie was publicized more on GSU’s campus though. A good place to advertise for an international film would be in the language department or international studies department which can be found in the Forest Drive Building on GSU’s campus.

I would love to attend another international film event again. I enjoy getting a glimpse of other cultures and often wonder what it would be like to visit them or even work in them.

I would compare this event to going to see a film that is about the life of someone famous who led a very interesting life full of drama. Two movies that come to mind are Walk the Line, a film on the life of Johnny Cash, and Ray, the film on the life of Ray Charles. Both films are based on the lives of two famous musicians who had struggles and how they overcame those struggles.

I felt very comfortable at this event because it was in a theater, so it was a very laid back atmosphere, and someone from a different culture could go unnoticed in a dark theater. Not to mention, the majority of people there were from my class, so I was used to being around them!

I thoroughly enjoyed the event, but I’m afraid that if GSU doesn’t start to advertise more about these types of films being shown on campus, then the attendance will lack in numbers. The only time I ever hear of a film being shown on our campus is when I walk into the Union and see what is playing. This is a problem that could be fixed easily! Yet, there could have been flyers, and I just don’t see them because I only go to Veazey Hall when I am on campus.

Full Summary/Synopsis of Film


PR Practicum Top Ten List

Filed under: Uncategorized — swilso37 @ 2:47 pm

Over this semester, I have learned everything that I actually WANTED to know in my PR practicum class. This class taught me so much on what I need to know about entering “the real world”. It is a scary thought that I am about to do so in less than two weeks with my graduation approaching. Although all points made during this class were very important,  I have composed a top ten list for what I found most important to me when preparing to enter the PR industry as an aspiring professional.

Here is a link to the power point I created: PR Practicum Top Ten

Or click here to view it on Slide Share

Top Ten List for Publications

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 10:12 am

During this fall 2009 semester, I have been enrolled PR publications. This class has helped me learn numerous things that I will need to know before entering the PR industry. I have created a Top Ten List of PR Publications to show a few of my favorite activites and lessons.

1. InDesign

  • Learning how to work InDesign was extremely important to me because I had never used the programe before. It is difficult to understand at first, but with more practice and the creation of more documents, I am sure to fully understand it soon!

2. Personal Business Card and Letterhead

  • I loved making my own personal business cards! They really are a good thing to have on hand, especially since I am about to graduate and begin looking for a PR entry level position. This is a good thing to hand someone so they can have quick access to your contact information. It also makes you look professional and well organized.

3. Brochure

  • Creating the brochure for Save-A-Life, Inc. of Savannah, GA was extremely helpful to me learning the ins and outs of InDesign (#1 on list). I never realized all the elements and design principles that go into creating a brochure before.

4. Fonts

  • Learning how to use different fonts was also fun for me.  I am notorious with playing around with fonts for hours, so I can get whatever I am designing to also look the message that it is presenting. It is very important to fit the image of what you are presenting.

5. Eagle Print Shop

  • Our class took a trip to the Eagle Print Shop which is located on GSU’s campus across from the University Book Store. This trip taught me numerous things, but most importantly to me…PRICES! The Eagle Print Shop prides themselves on offering the same services as OfficeMax, but for much less $money$. A student couldn’t ask for more!

6.  Best Practices Presentations

  • During the best practices presentations, I learned many different things that I did not know before about InDesign and my WordPress blog. I presented on how to convert your InDesign file into a PDF file.

7. WordPress Blogs

  • I have never had a blog before, and I honestly never thought I would have one. This blog has helped my google search rate go up. I used to type in my name and hometown since there are so many Sarah Wilsons’. I could go all the way to page 10 and find nothing on me. Last time I searched, I was number three! Thanks to twitter and my wordpress blog!


Contrast, Repitition, Alignment and Proximity

  • Learning about these elements will help anyone when they are designing.

9. Presenting to the class

  • I learned that a presenter must ALWAYS be prepared, not matter what happens. The presenter should also have full control over the audiences’ attention.

10. Designing overall…

  • This class really made me realize that more thought needs to be put into designing publications. It is not just about making things look pretty.

Link to SlideShare: PR PUBS Top Ten on SlideShare << Click to view power point.

December 1, 2009

Components of Culture – Jailed for wearing pants?

Filed under: International PR — swilso37 @ 10:04 am

In the United States, our culture is one that women and men are free to wear what they please. Of course there are dress codes within businesses and organizations, but U.S. citizens still have the right to choose what they put on before they head out the door in the morning. It is unheard and bazaar to know that a woman journalist in Sudan was put in jail for wearing pants. (Just so happens that I am wearing pants right now!)  This can have something to do with public relations on a global scale because countries around the world have various cultures and beliefs and various different views on what is right and wrong. Being a woman in the United States, we have so many privileges compared to women in other countries across the world, such as China. After doing an in-depth analysis of Hillary Clinton’s 1995 speech in Beijing, China at the U.N.’s 4th World Conference on Women, I truly understand the horrible conditions and treatment of women in other cultures. In some, women are not even seen to have the same rights as a human being. If a woman was to get involved or even get a job within international public relations, she would have to do a great amount of research about the country and cultures within a country before she were to work or visit the country. I believe this story can open a lot of eyes to the fact that every country and culture can be different in so many ways. In international public relations, a practitioner needs to be aware of the diverse cultural aspects within a country.

Link to article: http: Sudan Woman Imprisoned for Wearing Pants

Hillary Clinton’s 1995 Speech: Hillary Clinton at World Conference on Women

Tabloid Junk: The President and the Framing Theory

Filed under: International PR — swilso37 @ 9:43 am

In a guilty-pleasure of mine, the tabloid, I read about President Obama’s supposed “relations” with a man named Larry Sinclair. Sinclair claimed that President Obama and him had acts of intimacy in a hotel and in a limo back in 1999.  Sinclair also states that the president and himself consumed cocaine during this time. Sinclair is a convicted felon with drug trafficking and is now planning to run for office in the senate in order to take over President Obama in his rise to power. (Oh, the crazy stories of the tabloids!)

In the view of public relations, Sinclair’s claims were taken care of by putting an end to all of them. They did the=is by giving the audience (the country) a portrait of Larry Sinclair. They painted and told everyone the type of person he is (in my opinion, crazy). This was to keep Sinclair from persuading the county’s view of the president. This is what the media knows as the framing theory. The framing theory shapes or frames information that is given to the public to include those ideas that shine good light on what they want and ignore or downplay the bad parts of something or someone. This is known to other communication specialists as intensify and downplay.

It is sad to say that in the U.S., something with no validity or credibility, such as a tabloid, can be believed by our citizens. This shows that our media is not as controlled as other countries’ media outlets.

In other cultures where the media is controlled and owned by the government (like Nigeria – learned from interview), these types of developments would never reach the public, especially a controversy surrounding the head of the government like the president.

Technology is a social trend. With the development of technology, feedback is given faster  and more often which results in more of diverse public. Then others can log on the to the Internet, read these opinions of people, and it can persuade the opinion of that person reading the blog or article. This creates empowerment of the public. Publics now feel that they can do some research themselves and find the truth. Unfortunately, we cannot believe everything that is presented to us! (Which is a big problem in today’s society.) Needless to say, the media and the outlets surrounding them have a heavy influence of shaping people’s opinions, and in a  nutshell, explains the framing theory.

Article on Sinclair & Obama

Sinclair’s video he posted on youtube

November 30, 2009

PUBS Brochure for Save-A-Life, Inc.

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 12:05 pm

While making my brochure for Save-A-Life, Inc. of Savannah, GA, I kept in mind the brochure basics that I learned in my Publications class from the professor. She taught us the necessities and process for making a brochure and what should go in it. The following information is what I kept in mind while designing my brochure:

According to The American Heritage Dictionary, a brochure is “a small booklet or pamphlet, often containing promotional material or product information.”

I would like to correct the American Heritage Dictionary.

For one thing, brochures aren’t always small. Sometimes they’re quite large. As for brochure contents, they vary greatly depending on the situation. A brochure definitely can be more than a pamphlet or small booklet, coming in all shapes, sizes and a range of folds.

What exactly does a brochure do? Here are some basic principles that a brochure may need (depending upon business or organization):

  • Provide product and service information
  • Provide news about product, situation, company & industry
  • Build company identity
  • Educate Prospects and customers
  • What are you trying to accomplish with your brochure? Once you decide your brochure’s objectives, then you are ready to begin putting it together.

Although a brochure can do a lot, try to keep it simple. Consider the format, page size and how the brochure will fold. Decide on visuals, fonts, colors, paper stock and other design characteristics. As for copy, put a strong headline on the cover. Capture the right tone, and make sure copy has a logical flow. As a rule, keep sections short, incorporating plenty of subheads.


Best Practices – How to Turn an Indesign File into a PDF File

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 11:50 am

Here is the step-by-step process on turning an InDesign file into a PDF file.

Step 1: Make sure that your document is saved as an InDesign file in case you need to go back and make changes, because you will not be able to change it once it is in PDF.

Step 2: Go to File….Click Export under file.

Step 3: Make sure that the file type is in PDF format.

Step 4: Click Save

Step 5: Click Export

Sarah Best Practices Presentation <<<Click on this link to see a power point with images of these steps to make them easier to follow.

November 16, 2009

Diversity Calendar Blog

Filed under: International PR — swilso37 @ 9:34 pm

picture of the menu taken by me from my Blackberry

On Monday, November 16, 2009, I attended Georgia Southern’s International Week: A Diner’s World Tour. The event took place at Landrum located on GSU’s campus. It was hosted by the Department of International Studies. After talking with the food services manager at Landrum, I found out that the event is held every year, and the department submits recipes to the cooks of Landrum, they make the food themselves.

The menu was made up of:

  • Jerk Chicken – a Jamaican barbeque
  • Tonkatsu – an Asian style pork chop
  • Bobotie – a South African original which is similar to meatloaf
  • German Potato Salad – vinegar based
  • Rice with Herbes de Provence
  • Korean Squash
  • Brazilian Collards
  • Baklava – a rich, sweet pastry featured in many cuisines in the area once controlled by the former Ottoman Empire, in Central Asia and in the lands in between. It and its variants are thus popular in Turkey, the Balkans, Cyprus, much of the Arab world, Iran, the Caucasus, Afghanistan and the lands of the Turkic peoples of Central Asia.

The majority of people at the event were GSU students. From my observation, most of the students appeared to be freshmen. I did not notice anyone who looked as if they were of a different nationality other than American. The food was a good representation of each culture that had an item on the menu; however, I believe the presentation of each cuisine could have been better. It was presented like any other cafeteria food that’s served at Landrum. Maybe they should consider having each dish on a small table of its own decorated with the nation’s flag. Also, a brief history/cultural tradition of the dish could also be displayed on the table. This will create more of a diverse feeling/scenery at the event.

Some information that I learned from the event is that Bobotie is almost exactly like a meatloaf, but with a strong taste of curry. I find it very interesting how one distinct spice can change the classic American meatloaf into a rich/flavorful South African favorite.

A similar American event that the World’s Diner Tour reminded me of is a “pot luck dinner”. At a pot luck dinner, everyone brings their own dish and samples everything else that was brought by other individuals. I believe pot luck dinners can relate to the World’s Diner Tour because at the event, people of different heritages and cultures sampled other nation’s cuisines.

At the event, I did not feel any different, or out of place because it was a diverse event; however, as I mentioned earlier, the majority of attendees were American GSU students. The only culture shock for me was being surrounded by freshmen. I truly felt overwhelmed by that, because I am used to Veazey Hall, the communications building on campus or what I like to call my second home. I am senior about to graduate in a couple of weeks, and all of my classes have been in Veazey Hall for the past three semesters. Most students in this building are juniors and seniors.

I believe the event needs to be publicized more. If it were better publicized, maybe more people of different cultures would come and have suggestions about how to make the event more diverse, but honestly, how diverse can an event be in South Georgia?

November 11, 2009

Crowd Surfing – surviving and thriving in the age of consumer empowerment

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 4:31 pm

The title of the book simply explains exactly what this book is about. The authors, Martin Thomas and David Brain, have done an excellent job at describing consumer empowerment and what it means for businesses and corporations today. The book is informational because not only does it explain how the consumer has changed, it tells a business what they should do in order to reach/satisfy the customer of today. This is rarely explained in most books on this subject! They will just explain how the customer has evolved over time, but never tell you what to do, or how to go about adapting to these changes. Blogs, review sites and chat rooms, create consumer empowerment. Consumer empowerment is the term the authors use to describe how people no longer have to rely on what a company says about their products and services. They can read what others think about on what they have bought or the services they had, and make their own decisions while keeping those views in mind. The result of this is consumers knowing exactly what they want and where to go to get it.

Thomas and Brain suggest that businesses need to make themselves more tansluscent. By transluscent, they mean for companies to use social media tools to reinforce their brands and create a relationship with the customer.

More about authors:

Martin Thomas – Martin has led some award-winning media, PR and sponsorship teams and is also known to be one of the pioneers of integrated brand and communications planning. For the past 2 years, he has been a marketing consultant, trainer and writer, and works with brand owners and marketing agencies.

David Brain – David has worked in PR, corporate communications and advertising for about 26 years.  He is now based in London where he runs the European operations of Edelman, one of the top 3 PR firms in the world and the only one that remains independent, and he continues to consult with some of the world’s top companies and their brands.


Informational Interview with St. Joseph’s/Candler Special Event Coordinator

Filed under: PRCA 3339 — swilso37 @ 4:14 pm

On Monday, November 2, I had the pleasure of interviewing Menzanna Blakley, the special events coordinator for St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital of Savannah, GA. During our interview I asked a series of questions about her opinion on public relations and how to prepare for entering the public relations industry. Mrs. Blakley has a great insight about the field because she has held her position at St. Joseph’s/Candler for over 20 years. The series of questions that I asked Mrs. Blakley were:

  • How did you decide to work in this field?
  • What is a typical workday like?
  • Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.
  • How important is writing in your career?
  • How does technology affect your daily work?
  • Did your education prepare you for working in public relations? If so, how?
  • What do you do to keep current in the PR Industry?
  • How has PR changed since you entered the industry?
  • What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
  • What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

During my interview with Mrs. Blakley, I learned a great deal about the field and what to expect. She informed me that she wasn’t even prepared for the job she has today. Her major in college was criminal justice, which has no relevance to PR. She has worked for St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital for over 20 years, and was promoted to different areas of the company along the way. She finally ended up in the Marketing & PR department of the hospital. “There is no typical work day for my position” according the Mrs. Blakley. An example that Mrs. Blakley gave me of this was how one week she worked all seven days, because there was an event for the hospital that weekend. On the day of the event, Mrs. Blakley worked a solid 21 hours!

When I asked Mrs. Blakley to tell me about a particular project that she is proud of, she told me of an event that St. Joseph’s/Candler partnered up with the Savannah Morning News in the recent Paint the Town Pink campaign. The campaign was to raise awareness of the importance of getting mammograms. She also told me about how St. Joseph’s/Candler joined forces with the Hunter Army Airfield this year for an event that was recently held on Friday, October 23. That day, they had over 500 soldiers run from the Hunter Army Airfield to St. Joseph’s/Candler’s Nancy Lewis Cancer Center located on the Candler campus to support the Paint the Town in Pink campaign. Mrs. Blakley said that it was “truly heartwarming.”  

You are able to see a clip of this at

After hearing about the Paint the Town in Pink campaign, I asked Mrs. Blakley about the importance of writing in her career. She quickly informed me that there are several people in the PR department of the hospital that are solely dedicated to writing. “Luckily, I am not one of those people!”

The role of technology is not large right now for her particular position right now; however, Mrs. Blakley knows that social networking is extremely important to most companies these days, and she knows that the PR team will soon be implementing those tools; which goes on to the question on how PR has changed since she entered the field, Mrs. Blakley believes that social media/networking has turned the marketing and PR business upside down. She said PR used to be spread primarily by word of mouth. Now, one blog or tweet can spread the word to the world.

To keep current in the PR field, Mrs. Blakley uses trade publications and websites for help. She told me that they give her another perspective into the industry.

I asked Mrs. Blakley if she could give someone who is entering the PR industry any tips to aid in their success. She said:

I think one of the most important things is to know your industry.  If you are on the journalism side of the business make those contact.  Know the reporters at the TV and paper.  If you are on the event side know your vendors.  Networking is the key to success.

 I found this interview extremely insightful and helpful. I will take a lot of what I learned from Mrs. Blakley with me into the “real world” and while I job hunt in order to pick out the career that would be best. I have been considering event planning for the past month, and this interview helped confirm that it is for sure something I would enjoy doing.

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