Tuesday, April 6, 2010

St. Edward's University - Completion of the 10 Year Strategic Plan


Last Month, the president of St. Edwards University held a meeting in celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the school. The president focused the meeting on the completion of the 10 year strategic plan, completed this year, and the journey to success. In 2000 the university began to pursue their vision of making St. Edwards one of the best small universities in the country by 2010. Their goals in 2000 were to offer the St. Edward's experience to more students, increase faculty and staff to ensure academic excellence and a personalized educational experience, innovate in academics and campus life, and enhance the facilities and technology on campus.

By 2010 they have accomplished these goals and many more. The enrollment has increased from about 3,700 to nearly 5,300 students. Although the university wanted to increase the population on campus, they also wanted to preserve the personalized education by making sure the student to teacher ratio was appropriate for small classrooms. With the increase of students the faculty was increased with a student/faculty ration of 14:1. My favorite improvement of the school was the globalization of the campus, offering student the opportunity to study abroad. The university has created new partnerships in Mexico, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Edinburgh, Scotland, Seville, Spain, Angers, France, and Koblenz, Germany.
The most beneficial improvement made which is available to all students is the improvement of facilities and technology on campus. With an investment of $147 million dollars in facilities, the University has constructed a new set of dorms and has made a completely wireless campus. They have also added 88 'smart' classrooms, increased the number of public computers from 271 to 729 (WOW!!).
Along with those amazing accomplishments (in just 10 years), St. Edwards has also started to go green! They began a campus wide recycling program and build their new facilities using green principles. The university completed its mission by raising more than $81 million in only 10 years, exceeded annual giving of $1 million, created 79 scholarships.
These improvements to St. Edwards have only enhanced the excellence that was established 125 years ago. I am truly proud to be a student here and am excited to see what the future will bring.

This week my Social Media group created a video celebrating these improvements. check it out!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


The location-based social networking website called Foursquare has been on my radar for the past few weeks and I finally got myself to check it out. The website and mobile application allows users to connect with friends and get suggestings about restaurants and entertainment in their current locations. The website also connects with your Facebook and Twitter account to connect with friends on either of theose websites. A Phone application can be added to iPhones and now blackberry's which find your location through GPS and suggests you listings in your area that have a review written by other users.

Users of the site can also create a "To Do" list for their own use and add "Tips" to venues that other users can read, and are suggestions for things to do, see or eat at the location. I have only had my Foursquare account for a week now, so I have not completed my profile but I am excited to check in on my phone the next time I go somewhere on my "To Do" list.

Viral Videos

Give Orang-utans A Break

This week in my Public Relations class, my group was assigned a project to make a viral video. When thinking about viral videos the first thing that comes to mind is YouTube and the hilarious videos that have come from it. People like Chris Crocker have actually become famous for making a video blog of silly videos. Although the famous videos such as 'Muffins', 'Shoes' and 'Charlie bit my finger' have made many of us laugh several times; I learned this week that viral video's are not only used for our entertainment, but also to draw attention to a social cause. Organizations have been using the Internet and viral videos to create awareness without spending as much money as needed for a commercial. Viral videos are a very easy way to spread the word. Once someone has seen it and shows it to a few friends, maybe links to it on their Facebook, the message has already reached at least 20 people. And just like that, the video becomes viral.
Greenpeace has made several videos doing just that. Currently they have made a video about the manufacturing of Kit Kat's and how it is endangering the rain forest. According to Greenpeace, Nestle uses palm oil from companies that have been "trashing" rain forests in and threatening the extinction of orang-utans and resources of the locals. Initially the video was put on YouTube, but since the video had so many viewings it was taken Nestle demanded it be taken off. However, the video is still available on the Greenpeace website


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Podcast: St. Edward's 125th Anniversary


A few weeks ago Michelle, Julie and I created a Podcast for the 125th Anniversary of our school, St. Edwards University. We attended the President's meeting and learned about the 10 year strategic plan that was completed this year. We also got an exclusive interview with President George Martin who told us about the plan for the next 5 years which focuses on the globalization of our campus. Check it out and learn about what makes St. Edwards one of the top small schools in the nation. Also, to learn about the history of the school check out the website made specifically for this celebration.

show notes:

Introduction- 00:35

History of St Edwards- 00:55

Information from Presidents Meeting- 1:35

Inside Scoop into 2015/ President’s Interview- 4:10

Globalization of St. Edwards/Study Abroad programs -5:00

Last words- 7:20

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Get Glued

Ever wish there was an easy way to hear about and share the latest music, books and movies with your friends? GetGlue.com, which was originally created as a browser add-on, is a social recommendation service that gathers this information from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and lets you know about the latest entertainment your friends and are talking about. The GetGlue add-on is an application which is downloaded to your browser and when visiting supporting sites such as IMDB or Amazon.com, a "Glue Tip" icon appears on the browser that gives you recommendations of other songs, books or movies you might like.
I just recently opened an account with Get Glue and am currently building a profile of movies and songs I like. I have yet to connect with my friends from Facebook, but I am interested to see how the website takes off and how it connects with all of my friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Google Chrome

After many months of struggling with my browsers, I finally decided to check out Google Chrome and see what all this buzz is about. And let me tell you, I will never go back to Internet Explorer. Almost instantly after downloading Chrome my internet service became faster and has really made my life as an internet user much easier. Not only does this browser allow you to pick a cool theme for the boarder of the screen (mine is leopard and sponsored by Dolce&Gabbana!!) but it also allows you to add several extensions to the tool bar that make searches quicker and more reliable. So far I have added an extension called WOT(Web Of Trust) which warns you about risky sites before you take a chance. While on a website WOT tells you how trustworthy the site is, how much privacy you have on the site, how safe the site is for children, and for websites such as Ebay and Craigslist, WOT lets you know how reliable a vendor is before you even consider them. My favorite of all however is the Mini Google Map extension which allows you to find directions without having to open a new tab or even interrupting your current search. After downloading this feature a button is added to your tool bar and whenever you need it you simply click the button and a small window opens up overlapping the current screen allowing you to type in an address right then and there. Sadly I have not had time to check out all of the extensions for Google Chrome, but there are many more available that make other browsers seem like ancient history. The Google Chrome team is constantly updating the browser making it the most advanced way to use the internet. They have also created a Google Chrome Blog to keep the public up to date on latest news and advancements for Chrome.

Another extension I read about in an article on Mashable! website is called Chrome SEO which gives you Search Engine Optimization Tools that "help you with Competitive Analysis, Keyword Research, Backlink Checks, PageRank Checks" and more. The current features available for Chrome SEO are keyword research tools, the number of pages indexed on the site, current traffic and rankings and social bookmark counts on sites like Delicious and more! This browser is probably the most well rounded and up-to-date tool for anyone using the internet. I recommend it to you all!!

Check out the commercial ---> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6iLf9BiI4w

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Man in the Box Reads His Rules

Watch live video from Man In Box on Justin.tv

Man in Box

1 man is blindfolded, taken to a disclosed location and locked in a steel box for 30 days and 30 nights with nothing but a few web cams. What's the point? The world has a month to find this man using Google Maps and wins $50,000 if they do. However, if he can't handle it then the game is over. But how can we find him?? The man is told that the place he has been left is somewhere that is meaningful to him, where he has been before and a place of personal significance in the United Kingdom.

For thirty days this man will be live streamed on the internet for 24 hour hours a day, 7 days a week. He will be given a "cryptic/unusual object" every day, each of which are relevant to his location. The Man in Box will be helping the viewers find him by relating these objects to his life and speaking about the people and places which he has encountered the past 35 years.

I've watched a few clips of the Man in Box, and I am not sure what to think of it quite yet. I'm not sure if it is a cleaver way to promote Google Maps or just another "reality" show.

Above is a clip of the Man in Box on the first day reading the rules. Tell me what you think!


Reality star Kim Kardashian has really showed the world how to turn bad press into good business. She has turned her name into a brand and now with the new production of 'The Spindustry' on E!, she gives the public a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of the media. The main focus is Jonathan Cheban and his Public Relations firm called Command PR. In the first episode which aired tonight at 9pm on E!, the firm was challenged to host an event for the launch of a "luxury lollipop" in just 24 hours. They first had to convince Mel B, aka. Scary Spice, to be the international face of the new lollipop. Then the team of interns were told to find a venue in L.A. in less than a day. Seemingly impossible, no? Well with the help of a few connections, the ladies were able to find a venue and write a press release announcing the event.

Now I'm not saying that sitting home and watching this show is going to give me any insight to the future of my career, but I do think it pretty accurately documents the life of a PR intern.
The firm has three interns, two new and one which has been with Command PR for a year. Right when the show started, one of the new interns hands Joathan Cheban, the creator and owner, a sandwich that is immediately thrown on the ground in disbelief. Cheban then starts yelling at the intern, appalled that this was the second time he has received a sub with mustard on it. THE AUDACITY!... I thought this industry would be harsh, and this show confirms my predictions. Maybe by watching the show I can warm up to it before hitting the city Probably not.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking has created a whole new spin on research and has made my life as a student so much easier. Before learning about this amazing new tool, I spent hours doing research at the library or using the Internet, and now I almost literally can sit back and wait for information to come to me.

"Social bookmarking is a way for you to save your favorite blogs and Websites in a public space the same way you might save them using your own Web browser." – A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization by Deltina Hay

However, using a bookmarking site, you are able to find your favorite websites with ease from any computer with Internet access. You are also able to find other fellow book-markers who share your same interests and see the sites which they have bookmarked. After learning about social bookmarking I was excited to know that my hours spent researching will now be faster and easier than ever before.

For about a month now I have been testing out sites such Delicious and Digg and I am seriously addicted. I have always had so much trouble searching for specific topics on the net, never knowing what key words to use or what search engines are most efficient. I could never get the quality of information that I was looking for, and many times the sources were not up to date. With these websites I am able to find varying opinions and links to blogs and media sites from around the world. I feel more connected than ever!

Try it out and let me know what you think of this technological phenomenon.

Venezuela Protests via Twitter

I never realized how much of an impact a networking site such as Twitter could have on a society. These sites have become a great tool for businesses to communicate with their consumers and cater their needs with an interactive relationship. It has connected the world in a unique way that allows anyone with access to the Internet a chance to share their opinion and sometimes even make a difference.
Just last week my PR professor, who has quite a bit of following on Twitter, was able to solve her dilemma of receiving an iPhone by Tweeting her frustrations with AT&T and customer service representatives. She told us that after a bit of research on Twitter she finally got the attention of an AT&T representative who was able to help her unlike anyone she had spoken to on the phone. Now that’s what I call customer service!
Twitter has not only created a new way of communication with with the viral world, but has also given a voice to citizens of oppressed societies such as Venezuela. Recently, Twitter has caused a buzz in the Venezuelan government as the people have been publicly protesting threats to journalism and freedom of expression. The hashtag #freevenezuela has become one of the most popular Twitter topics and has quickly caught the attention of the government. People have been tweeting about their hopes for a change in the government and the resignation of the President. This network has allowed Venezuelans to attract attention from the media and outside world that has not been possible due to their long lasting oppression.
Hugo Chavez plans to regulate the Internet and has even suggested that Twitter could be considered a terrorist threat. This social networking service has given Venezuelans a chance to protest freely