Morning Writing and Writing Better

Chapendra / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Chapendra / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

For as long as I have taken writing seriously, it has been something I do best primarily in the morning.  Although I have found evidence that writing in the morning has its benefits, I am posting today to share some personal experiences with morning writing.  If morning writing isn’t the key to unlock your chest of creativity, I have included some other gems about how to be a better writer.

Curious about other early birds taking to their word processor, I went on a search for their story.  Luckily, I came across a blog post by Roxana Robinson, “How I get to write.”  In this post Robinson describes a relationship with morning writing that helps to explain its benefits and even something deeper.

“The reason the morning is so important to me is that I’ve spent the night somewhere else,” Robinson states.

If you need more than a whimsical post detailing the connection between the inspirational strings weaving your dreams together and morning writing, then you should check out the blog post “ON WRITING IN THE MORNING FOR NIGHT OWLS,” by Kevin Eagan.  In this post, Eagan poses the questions “If I call myself a writer, shouldn’t I write first thing in the morning?  Shouldn’t it be the reason I get out of bed everyday?”

If it isn’t enough to trust Eagan’s inspiration for night owls who want to catch the early bird’s book worm, then let’s explore some technical aspects as to why writing in the morning could be your best bet to better writing. In the post “How to Write First Thing in the Morning,” by Peter Gene, he provides some insight as to why you should write in the morning and tips on how to begin doing so.

Gene includes these two lists in his post.

Why Write So Early

  1. It’s quite.
  2. Work hasn’t gotten in the way.
  3. Life hasn’t gotten in the way

Tips for Writing Early in the Morning

  1. Wake early
  2. Get a glass of water or coffee
  3. Focus

If all this isn’t enough to get you to start writing in the morning, remember what it’s like when your brain is ready to slow down.  This doesn’t happen in the morning.  In the morning, your brain is getting started for the day and it only speeds up.

timsnell / Foter.com

timsnell / Foter.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just to say that I understand that writing can be done at other times than the morning, I wrote this post in the evening.  Although I could take a nap, it wasn’t so bad.

Good luck and good writing to ya’.

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Twitter for Dummies

: The Next Web / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

: The Next Web / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

At the beginning of February I set out to complete seven tweets in one week.  Sounds difficult, right?  For those of you who are like me and don’t Twitter or have had no interest in Twitter in the past, the answer is yes, Twitter can be difficult.

So what do you do if you wake up one day and realize that Twitter is where the communications world is going and that having a presence on Twitter might be beneficial to getting a job or being a communications professional?  If you aren’t in the position to take a course in strategic message design, look online and you will find how-to’s on creating a Twitter account that can be used for a variety of reasons, as well as guides to building your followers.

On Mashable I found the post, “Twitter Guide Book-How To, Tips and Instructions by Mashable,” written by Pete Cashmore, a blogger on the topic of social media.  In this post Cashmore created 30 links to different ways twitter can be used, including several for professional minded individuals.

SIX LINKS FOR PUTTING TWITTER TO WORK

  1. Find a job using Twitter
  2. Twitter tips for executives
  3. Twitter best practices for brands
  4. 40 of the best big brands on Twitter
  5. Using Twitter for customer service
  6. The media maker’s guide to Twitter

But wait, there is more to it than just writing the right stuff on Twitter, and being connected to the right networks, you must have followers too.  Although Cashmore does provide links on how to get more followers, I found an article in ADDICTED 2 Success, written by an article poster that goes by Joel, that makes gaining followers an easy process: “ 11 Ways To Get More Twitter Followers.”

Now that we have examined what is necessary to make Twitter work for our professional lives, aren’t we relieved that it as easy as following every step and repeating three times a week, if not daily?  If you’re like me, your answer is no, but don’t be discouraged, it will get easier the more you do it.

Good luck!

Culture for Performers: Not Always a Given

BortmasPhoto

BortmasPhoto

Ask the group of stilt walkers and performers I work with if they have culture and your response would be, “more than enough.”  Ask them what the culture of our performance group, The Amazing Giants, is and you would probably get some blank stares and fluffy answers like “it’s the loove culture.”

Love culture aside, where does our concern with our presentation, how we behave at events and during other performances begin, and why is it so important?  Answering this question is a matter of examining our internal communications.

In the NASHVILLE POST article “Internal communications greatly influences a company’s corporate culture“, Paula Lovell, a local chief executive officer, explains that it is easy for the person in charge to forget all eyes are on everything thing they do, say and write.

Although professionalism and enthusiasm is a part of The Amazing Giants culture, the voice of its founder must reinforce these qualities by possessing them as well.  Lost sometimes in her enthusiasm, our founder can forget the professionalism part in her internal communications with The Amazing Giants.

Here is a list of things to consider when writing in a professional setting (especially if you’re the boss):

  • Use (correct) punctuation, good grammar, and spell things correctly.
  • Have beginnings and ends to your sentences, and don’t be afraid of making another paragraph.
  • If you are making requests and you have someone in mind, address them by name or individually.
  • Above all, be clear and concise.

Online Hotel Booking Nightmare

Photo credit: quinn.anya / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: quinn.anya / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Now that I have several bad experiences booking hotels online, I know better than to book the first inexpensive motel I find and then hope for the best.  This brings me to the booking nightmare of planning the trip I will be taking my mother on.

Desiring this four-location, California vacation to be comfortable for my mother, yet affordable for me, has proven to be logistically challenging.   My recent nightmare is sifting through poorly designed hotel booking websites, nonsensical rating systems, and reviews, reviews, and more reviews.

CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS ABOUT BOOKING HOTELS ONLINE

  • As seen in The New York Times article,  “Lost in the Stars of Hotel’s Rating,” written by David Segal, trusting hotel booking websites rating’s blindly may land you in an undesirable Hotel.  Knowing that each website may provide different reviews or ratings from the next shows that doing more research on the hotel you’re booking can help to clarify what you are booking.
  • Trusting the first good or bad review as the basis for which hotel you choose is unwise.  Consumer beware, reviews can be fake.
  • Detecting unreliable reviews can be a matter of communications wizardry, so check out this Mail Online article, “How to tell if a TripAdvisor review is fake…Researchers reveal how to spot bogus comments which hotels pay for,” written by Danielle Bates, and learn how to sift through unreliable reviews.  As this article points out, hotels can purchase good and bad reviews from a secondary party, so learning how to detect the fakes helps ensure that you get what you want when booking a hotel.
  • The right booking website is the one that makes the process easiest, provides the most information about the room you are looking for and at a price that fits your budget, (know your budget).

Good Luck!

Blog Comments

Comment 1-MCCORMICK 252- Alyssa McCormick,

0 thoughts on “Blog Comments”

I am writing this comment about two things, your post and your blog. I will start with the blog. At first I really liked the simplicity, and the balloons where even cute, but the balloons over lapped the text at times. Other than the balloons, the text seemed to be floating in a sea of grey and the large gaps between paragraphs didn’t seem to help the floating either. Other than the blog, your post seemed relevant, however when you are referencing APA style, I wonder if you meant to say AP, as in Associated Press.
I agree that AP style can be trying at times, but I hope that it gets easier for you and that this class may help to contribute to that. When in doubt about any word, I just look it up in my AP style guide. Even if not in doubt sometimes I look things up.
 
Comment 2– Brian Crawford
0 Responses to “Blarg and Brian talk: facebook friends”
I have witnessed a lot of this sentiment over the last couple of years.  People say, “I’m cleaning up my facebook,” as a post every body thats about to be deleted can see and then Facebook world goes on.  Nobody notices anything different and this sentiment is lost in the menutiae of what people think is important enough to post on Facebook.  So just do it if you are, but my advice is don’t announce it.  Those who do care are likely the ones you are keeping and those who don’t, well, saying you are going to delete them is likely the last contact you’ll ever have with them (forgotten, but on a negative note).  That said, being a little older and for the fact that I only accept friend request with those that I am intrested in, I have realized that social media is great way to keep connected even if you may not see much of these people, or just don’t have the time to be friends with everyone.  In the future maybe you won’t have to do a clean up because you haven’t made fb friends with those that you have no intrest in.  And if you ever did have intrest in them, maybe think about why you did before you delete them.
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Comment 3– Emily Ellis-Emily Ann

powell609February 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm#

For me, reading posts like yours are like watching Suze Orman.  You want to learn more about getting your finances together or in this case how to do a better interview, but then you just start thinking about the fact that you have no money or the fact that you are new at going on interviews and that you may likely have done or will do some of your don’ts.  For example, I am fidgity enough that I have to almost sit on my fingure tips some times, and have had to do that in an interview before.  That said, it is good to be reminded of what the person hiring you is thinking and you’re right, most wouldn’t want to hire somebody that fidgits. Watching shows like Suze Orman or reading blog posts like this one are good for looking to the future, even if they do cause a little anxiety over what your not doing or have already done.
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Comment 4– caitscaf, Caitlyn Scafaria

Twitter: Before and After

powell609 says:Your comment is awaiting moderation.

As a person who doesn’t have a sweet spot for Twitter I have to say, I won’t be suprised when twitter goes the way of myspace or maybe even Facebook.  I know, this sounds like the words of a history major, but at last I am a strategic communications major, probably just like you.  However, a big difference between me and you and most communications people for that matter is that I don’t believe hyper connectivity is necessary.  Personally, if thats what would land me a job, I am positive that I wouldn’t want that job.  That said, I have no problem with people wanting to partake in a fad, but I just don’t want any body to get caught up in it being the end-all-be-all, because Twitter is not that.  There will be something new and exciting and we will all think that it is necessary to exploit it to the furthest extent, and then, as is the nature of fads, it will become passe. Harrumphs aside, I understand the benifits of Twitter and social media, I just think that the current state of social media is a plateau.  Although my claims could be considered unsubstantiated, it’s just a hunch that there will be something better that helps cut through the menutiae of unecesary user content that seems to be intrinsic with Twitter.

Comment 5- Paige Florie

powell609

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Although I have never used instagram to look up anything other than pictures my friends have posted, I belive that you are correct when saying that Steve Madden is on to something here.  Althoug I cannot embed a link about this post I found about fives ways to use instagram for marketing, I will list it any how: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-ways-marketers-can-use-instagram/ In this post it describes not only those five reasons, but it also talks about why using Instagram is a good idea for marketers. All though I have been reluctant to get into social media (including blogging) for promotion or self promotion, I have really begun to see its benifits, especially since our generation (as collge students) have a leg up on those who didn’t have to learn about the benifits of social media and marketing.  That said, I have been reluctant to do so myself, but am quickly realizing that my increasing knowledge about social media is going to be something that will help me in the job market. Good post.

Comment 6– Emily Ann PR

One Response to “Got Ad Recognition?”

powell609April 3, 2013 at 6:38 am #

While your article brings up some good points about central and peripheral processing I believe that both the “just do it” and “got milk” adds rely strongly on the peripheral. Both use celebrity endorsements and catchy phrases and both are very successful, although neither give much reason as to why they are so good. As far as milk is concerned, it is still very popular and the “got milk” add is supported by more central processing adds that explain how milk is so healthy and necessary (which like Nike and the bad press it gets for, lets say, how it produces its clothing, milk has bad press concerning the validity of the claims that it is so healthy). All I am saying is that I don’t see much difference between these adds. However, anything is up for interpretation and I respect that you have a different view from mine.

Comment 7– Harvey3332013

powell609
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

April 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Although this post obviously is in support of gay rights, it would be hard to tell how sincere this post is based off of the use of the term “the whole homo thing.” Now I wouldn’t say that I am particularly sensitive to phrases such as this, but I will say that many would be and would maybe even stop reading your post at this point (and leave your blog with a bad taste at that).
Along with delicate issues should come considerate wording.
You are right that Kobe Bryant may be a hypocrite (and to go further, may not even care about gay rights and just felt the need to cover up the sullied tracks of his use of anti-gay slurs when scolding a ref) and that any support is good. I will say that when athletes support things such as human rights, a whole other demographic is reached that may not be influenced any other way. To that point I hope that athletes continue making stands like these.

Comment 8- Michelle Nath (Thoughts of a Twenty-Something)

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April 6, 2013 at 5:19 pm

powell609

I have to say, I really like this post and your blog space. I just finished writing a post about my experience with tweeting for class and it was not nearly as informative as this one.
Although it seems like you are a much more enthusiastic Twitter user than myself, you make a good case for why and how to use Twitter.
I didn’t quite follow these guidelines for how I did the live tweet, but had I read these first I may have used them. Even if I didn’t, this post would have put me a little more at ease with the process.
I really like how you prompted commenting with the question at the end, I think I might have to try that out for myself. It definitely made it easier to comment here, and it made me want to do so at that.

Reply

Blog comment 9-Hope Blunk (Hope and Communication)

No Responses to “Are Brochures Still Effective?”

powell609April 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

I would agree in the sense that brochures are less needed than they used to be, but I would disagree that the are no longer important. As important information can be buried in the internet sometimes picking up a brochure is better than digging through the web. On any one of the vacations I have been on I have picked up a brochure or two to help guide me to hotspot dinning, locations, and entertainment. Additionally, brochures give a professional and polished tone to communications provided by an organization that might require it. Lastly, for those who use coupons, brochures sometimes provide them when you don’t have access to a printer.

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Comment 10- Majorie Iwler

powell609 says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

April 10, 2013 at 9:10 pm I find this post interesting because I was just reading a portion of the Sunday newspaper that talked about how etiquette posts and YouTube videos are becoming increasingly popular. As I was looking for a blog prompt in reading the paper, this article brought up some good points I considered blogging about. In the article it talked about the hand shake from the elbow not the rist and how to be polite in different situations, but I really like your tie-in to what we were taught when we are younger – great way to bring intrest to the yp demographic. It also brought up that nice posts are now trending where as snark is less popular and that this is apart of the reason etiquette posts and “do’s and don’ts” posts ect are becomming more popular. Very nice, nice post.

Hello WordPress

I am writing here from my blog account I created last semester for my strategic communications course.  In that course I did most of the crisp writing that would constitute as my experience in the communication field, as of yet.  That said, I am currently taking a nonprofits writing course in which I am spending two hours a week at Columbus Shelter Board writing for their mass media communications and various emails and newsletters to donors and potential donors.  This nonprofits course will provide me with the experience I need to say that I have experience in the communications field.  Writing for CSB fits with my future goals to work for a nonprofit as a public relations specialist or fundraiser. Between the knowledge I will obtain through this internship, the internship I will do for my professional writing minor, and my strategic communications degree, I will be fully loaded to handle the responsibilities that pertain to working in public relations or fund-raising for a nonprofit.

In regards to maintaining this blog, it not only keeps me current with what professionals in the communication field are doing, but it keeps me writing.  The more I write the easier it is to write…well.

Snackwise for Healthier Snacking

Snackwise for Healthier Snacking

Bringing back Snackwise for OSU vending machinesjj

BRINGING BACK SNACKWISE FOR HEALTHIER SNACKING AT OSU VENDING MACHINES

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Tuesday, Dec.11, 2012-When no mandatory health or wellness courses exist at Ohio State University, bringing back The Snackwise Nutrition Rating System to vending machines is the least that can be done.

“Obviously we want to try and educate rather than try to force healthy food on students” says Steve Lambeth, vending coordinator and food buyer at OSU.

This is the reason Snackwise was used with OSU vending machines. The Snackwise system posted a sign above the vending machine that assigned a color to the snack options available inside them.  Green was best choice, yellow, choose occasionally, and red, choose rarely.

“The best approach is providing education and guidance to the food choices students make,” says Zia Ahmed, Master of Business Administration and senior director of dinning services at OSU.

Although the signs for Snackwise are still posted above the vending machines, the snack options are no longer labeled green, yellow, or red.  Without these labels, students can’t easily figure out which items to choose as a best choice, occasionally, or rarely.s

The sign for the Snackwise program fixed above the vending machine here, shows the colors and their labels, but the snacks aren’t labled anywhere.

“If you fill the vending machines with all healthy stuff, they will get used less,” says Becky Kingseed, criminology major and senior at OSU.

Lambeth claims that there has been talk of changing OSU vending machines to 100 percent healthy foods, but that keeping junkfood in vending machines is important because it adds to their profitability.  Lambeth added that students need to be able to make the choice to snack healthy or not.

Whether for profit or to allow students to make their own choice, junk food will remain a staple in OSU vending machines.  If educating the students about healthy food options is important, why has OSU stopped labeling vending machines snacks with Snackwises’ green, yellow, or red?

“The Snackwise program has seemed to trail off here recently,” says Lambeth.

Lambeth explains that the predecessor to his position at OSU was responsible for the Snackwise start up and that he has yet to begin to work with the program.

“I don’t have any official word on what the status of Snackwise is,” says Lambeth.

Since Snackwise is currently not in operation, what can students do to insure their healthier snacking?  They can use their smartphone to pull up the Snackwise calculator online, plug in some data from their favorite snack, then the color rating will be calculated and displayed.

“The Snackwise program is the most efficient way to teach students about healthier snacking options,” says Taylor Cooper, business marketing major and junior at OSU.

Help bring Snackwise back to OSU by emailing or calling university residence and dining services or OSU purchasing.  Let them know Snackwise is necessary for the continuing health education and healthy snacking for OSU students.  Let them know you want Snackwise back.

About Snackwise-The Snackwise Nutrition Rating System for vending machines at OSU is a program where labels for the nutrition density of snack options are created and placed below the item.  According to the sign fixed above every vending machine implementing the Snackwise program, these labels include the green, yellow and red.  The green label is given for best choices, yellow for snacks to be chosen occasionally, and red for snacks to be chosen rarely.  A program created by Nationwide Children’s Hospital, “the Snackwise algorithm utilizes 11 parameters to determine nutrient quality, intended to reflect current scientific support for limiting sodium and calories while emphasizing nutrient density” (according to the Snackwise website).

For more information contact

Patrick L. Powell

Ohio State University Purchasing

(555)-555-5555

powell3@osu.edu