What I have learned from starting my own blog

keyboard with fingers

Courtesy of webdesignz.net

Becoming a blogger was never something I dreamed of. I don’t know if it’s something I will keep up once my coursework at the SOJC is over BUT, it has been an eye-opening experience. Producing content about what ever I want has been surprisingly freeing. I have learned a lot about how difficult it can be to come up with topics to write about but I also have seen how satisfying it is when you are proud of what you are posting and excited to talk about something you are passionate about!

This week I thought it would be a fun idea to share some of the life skills I have gained through blogging, and maybe inspire some of you to start your very own!

Writing. Certainly blogging has helped refine my grammatical skills (less vs. fewer, affect vs. effect, etc.). But far more importantly, blogging has forced me to formulate arguments and communicate inspiration using the written word.

Risk-taking. Every time I hit “publish,” I take a risk. There is always going to be a sense of risk associated with good writing as it seeks to advance a particular ideal. But the more practice one gets in expressing their opinion, the easier the risk becomes.

Reading. It’s true what they say, “Writers read.” (Here are some of my favorite blogs: Huffington Post, Post Secret, Cara Loren)

Being Entrepreneurial. I’ve never considered myself the entrepreneurial type (one who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture). But blogging has allowed/forced me the opportunity to do just that… and discover the excitement that comes with it.

Balancing. Friends, work, rest, blogging, other classes, exercise. Striking a healthy balance among each of them is required for long-term success in any of them.

Promoting self. There are hundreds of millions of websites. Your blog may provide valuable information to readers. But if nobody knows it exists, it isn’t helping anybody. At some point, you are required to promote your work to others… and that requires the confidence and humility to engage in healthy self-promotion.

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5 Ways for PR Pros to Relax, Slow Down and Reclaim Their Creativity

Augh! So much to do! So many clients! No time for fun or thinking outside the box, there’s just too much! Oh geez, another email! What do I do!

I know I have been feeling a little overwhelmed as finals approach and my senior year starts to come to an abrupt end so I though it would be helpful to share some ways I have dealt with the stress but kept my creative grind going.

Here are five ways you can reclaim your life and your creative mind.

1. Take 15 Minutes

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Courtesy of: Chris Kesser

What do you do when you first wake up? Grab your laptop? Check your phone for messages (guilty)? Start writing down things on your calendar?

Consider this: starting your day on such a hectic note makes the rest of your day the same. Instead, take fifteen minutes when you first wake up and do absolutely nothing. And I mean nothing! Don’t check your phone, don’t jot down notes, don’t even think about work.

You can even do this by waking up a little earlier than you normally would and taking a longer shower! Play your favorite music, hang out in the warm water a little. It helps me sort my thoughts and wake up a little before I have to take on the day. Sometimes I come up with my best ideas while I’m hanging out under the shower head.

2. Look Around You

Instead of burying your head inside your desk all day long, take a minute to look at your surroundings. Try and find something you’ve never seen before, or try and see your work area in a whole new light.

When traveling, don’t focus on the destination so much as the journey! It sounds like a cliché, but it’s certainly true. Remember, we work with people – so pay attention to them when you’re venturing around the world! Talk to the people next to you in your classes, relate to their struggles and share your own. I guarantee you’re not the only one who is feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

3. Find a new place to get work done

Change up where you are completing your work and taking on tasks. If your assignment doesn’t involve you sitting at a desk than get outside if it’s nice out (Vitamin D) is healthy! Or go to a local coffee shop down the street where you can people watch while you work. Sometimes a change of scenery or environment can get your mind in a clear space and help you creatively work through your tasks. I love heading to places like Vero in Eugene that involve great coffee and some good music, it not only makes me feel more comfortable but I get excited to go their and get work done.

4. Laugh!

The-Power-of-Laughter

Courtesy of: Evolution Zine

Laughter really is the best medicine. Take time out of your day to find it! Bookmark some good websites for jokes and funny stories. Find a few web comics or sign up to receive your favorite newspaper comics in your email.

Laughing and smiling instantly improves your mood and health, so make sure each day is filled with at least a little laughter! Even with the busiest schedule in the world you can always squeeze in a joke or two.

5. Make Home Your Sanctuary

When you get home, change into something comfy! Your house should be your relaxation zone, even if you’re doing work. Mentally separate your work and pleasure areas by physically changing your outside appearance or even putting on some different smelling lotion or cologne to make your brain realize you are home to relax. Even if you work from home, restrict your work to one room so when time is up, you can get out of there and start to unwind!

How do you relax and reclaim your creativity?

Infographic Time!

This week in class we learned how to present data visually! Overall it was a rewarding experience creating my infographic but I did face some road blocks along the way. Throughout the process I would say I picked up some vital tips that I thought would be useful for my followers.

So here they are:

  • DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! I’m not talking about the quick ‘google search’ that everyone is notorious for doing when they want information. You really have to go in-depth and find articles with substance and relevance. Meaning, that these articles are original sources of information. If you have good data to start out with it helps with telling the story and understanding the point of your infographic.
  • MAKE FRIENDS with someone who is talented at design. If you’re good at the design, congratulations…but for those who are slightly lacking in this department (aka myself) being buddies with someone who has a keen eye for what looks good is a huge help. I was able to come to a design that was simple and effective but still has style and some personality to it.
  • TELL A STORY with your data. Make what you’re presenting visually relevant and important. The data you decide to use should lead you to your “call of action”. What are you trying to get people to do when they see your infographic? These are questions I had to ask myself when I was planning what to include within my graphic.There are some things I would have definitely done differently if I were to do it again but that’s why it’s a project for a class and an overall good learning experience!Erin Nobach Infographic

A day in the life of a Quack Caver

I work in the Quack Cave. “What is that?”… you may ask.

UNIVERSITY OF OREGON | Quack Cave from SQUIDDL on Vimeo.

Courtesy of Squiddel

The Quack Cave is the social media command center for University of Oregon Athletics. Think “Bat Cave” with all the technology and screens and cool logos but for everything and anything UO Sports. The cave is somewhere where I feel my almighty public relations skills truly being utilized. I have the power to influence over 14,000 followers with one tweet and that is a pretty cool feeling. I also get to combine my love for all things social media with sports! Not a lot of people can say their job involves sitting and watching ESPN and looking up sports news so I feel pretty lucky that I have this opportunity. Not only is the Quack Cave something I enjoy but U of O has really broken ground for a lot of big teams and companies to create their own social media centers. In order to stay relevant in today’s digital world you have to keep up with the trends in communication or you will fall behind.

I thought it was important to give you guys a little peak at what I do and what sparked the idea for the theme of this blog!

So here it is:

I go in to the Moshlofsky Center next to Autzen Stadium 3 days a week for my shifts where I follow a pretty simple but powerful routine.

1. Grab a delicious coffee and sit down in front of the 12+ screens and monitors

2. Check breaking news on Google, GoDucks.com, ESPN… basically check if there is anything creating a stir in the sports world related to U of O

3. Get on Tweet Deck which is basically a beefed up version of the Twitter app. There I can follow hashtags like #GoDucks, #SuperMariota, NationalBrand etc. I can also retweet content sent in by fans and make interact with them about any comments or questions they have to share. My goal is to create quality content that generates a ton of response in the form of favorites and retweets.

4. Next I hop on Postano where I filter thousands of different pieces of content directed our way. If I see something cool it will post to a live feed: here

5. Lastly I hop on each athletic teams specific Twitter and Facebook accounts to make sure that they are up to date and posting regularly.. which is then recorded up on our fancy whiteboard, also containing all the information on our current hashtags and other noteworthy info for the other Quack Cavers.

So there you have it. A day in the life of a Quack Caver. It is a little known club on campus but boy, do we make a big impact. It helps having such powerful branding from an establishment like the Ducks and I hope to continue to see it grow as the years pass.

Hope you enjoyed!

Australia strives for more female sports fans

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via: getty images

It seems it has come the time on my blog to discuss the topic of women and sports. We have seen the shift for greater quality for women in the athletics world with measure like Title IX and more youth teams and programs made available to girls.

We have seen this push in America for the past couple decades but the movement has recently moved “down under” to Australia where women in sports= big business.

Anthony Everard

Anthony Everard BBL CEO: via Twitter

Senior manager of Cricket Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) Anthony Everard told the Asia Pacific World Sport and Women Conference that T20, a shorter and faster version of Australia’s so-called favorite sport, was specifically introduced to attract women, children and a wider ethnic mix to cricket.

He said the aim was to make BBL a “favorite form of entertainment for families” by attracting women who may have never attended a cricket match.

women's soccer

Australian National Team via: Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images

Football (Soccer in the U.S.) is also looking to for a fresh change, according to David Gallop, chief executive of the Football Federation Australia . He told the conference there has been a spike in women playing in over-35 competitions.

Women are attracted to soccer because it is a game where you “play the ball not the man” and in which physical and body shape are no barrier to entry.

Soccer is known as a rowdy sport amongst fans with rivalries that can result in violence at matches. The FFA is looking to change the atmosphere in order to encourage more females to attend and get them excited about the sporting events.

The goal of Australia’s campaign to get women involved in sports is not just to create greater equality but ultimately revive the economy. Women make so many of the household decisions about where they spend their money and how to use their families free time and focusing on attracting them would bring in a significant amount of dollar signs.

Isn’t money the goal of everything though?

Redskins PR ‘No means No’ Outburst

Monday night football definitely brought the drama! The Redskins-Cowboys game was filled with excitement, exhaustion and merriment after a hard fought victory by the Redskins and star quarterback Colt Mccoy.

Although the game was over, the real drama happened after the game when Tony Wyllie, Washington senior vice president of communications, who was in charge of escorting Colt McCoy’s journey from the field to wherever he was going after that.

Wyllie proceeded to talk to reporters saying, “No, no no, we gotta go guys, we gotta go,” as he was physically moving McCoy past eager reporters waiting to talk to the him after the win.

The interaction escalated into a memorable moment where Wyllie finally shouted “No means No!” This moment has become a humorous late-night joke for many on the internet.

Eventually….. the interview did occur.

Do you think Wyllie overreacted, or is it necessary to protect players and give them time after competition before having the microphone in their face?

NFL makes moves to saying ‘No More’ to domestic violence

A group of public service announcements from a new campaign against domestic violence from the NFL were posted to YouTube on Thursday with appearances from current and former NFL players including Eli Manning, Cris Carter and Jason Witten.

The videos are supposed to appear during NFL broadcasts on Thursday evenings.

The PSA program comes soon after the NFL has come under investigation for its handling of the Rice case after video was made public last month of Rice knocking out his then-fiancée. Rice, who was entered into a pretrial intervention program to avoid felony charges in New Jersey, initially received just a two-game suspension; punishment NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell later said was too lenient. Rice was cut by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the NFL after the video was made public.

The NFL has made a really smart move with these videos considering how many issues they have had with their athletes and domestic violence. It is important to indicate the seriousness of the issue and the zero-tolerance stand the NFL should take when cases occur. These videos should help repair the damaged image the NFL has due to how they’ve handled these problems in the past.

In addition to the videos the NFL really needs to step up and set an example for their fans and perspective athletes alike.

Why the NFL needs to crack down:

  • The athletes are in the spotlight on a daily basis, not only during the season. If anything, they are under more scrutiny off-season as fans wait patiently to watch football again
  • There are many ages of football fans. Young children are looking up to these athletes as role models for where they want to be in the future and it is important that they portray a positive image of how to behave for these younger fans
  • They’re getting paid RIDICULOUS amounts of money. With this amount of money and fame comes a ton of responsibility and it is undeserved if the athletes are getting in trouble with the law and behaving poorly. What does that say about where the teams are spending their money?

The NFL has since hired seven senior advisors with experience in domestic violence and sexual assault to help handle the crisis; craft a new personal conduct policy and education programs. The PSA’s are just one of the programs being put in place and it was definitely the right move.