Monthly Archives: November 2011

My First Business Trip

On Monday, November 21st and Tuesday, November 22nd I took my first business trip with my internship to Kansas City, Missouri to WDAF Fox Kansas City to do a segment on the morning show with Silver Dollar City’s Culinary Mastercraftsmen. We spent roughly 8 hours on the road for approx. 4 minutes of television. With two spots of timing in at two minutes each  our Mastercraftsmen Debbie had to demonstrate how to cook a holiday tea ring and Christmas casserole.

If you’ve ever seen The Today Show’s cooking segments, it’s the exact same thing.

What I learned: It’s all about what you’re selling.

It was my first time being on an actual tv set and it was everything I thought it would be. Robotic cameras, green screens, male anchors that stand on wooden blocks because they’re too short for the camera… very cool. I stood next to Silver Dollar City’s Executive Publicist as we watched Debbie talk on one of the screens. I was surprised in that my publicist was not concerned in the least how to tea ring turned out or if it was cooked, but she was solely concerned with how many times our Mastercraftsmen could say “Silver Dollar City”, “Culinary and Craft School”, “Branson, Missouri” or “An Old Time Christmas” in two minutes WHILE cooking.

But that’s how it’s gotta be. It doesn’t matter if you’re constructing a space rocket on CNBC to promote NASA or sewing Ralph Lauren’s newest dress on Good Morning America, as long as you plug your source, that’s the impact you’re going to make on your viewers. Viewers don’t care why you’re teaching a morning talk show host how to milk a cow, but they’ll care if you’re giving away free tickets to Grant’s Farm during Easter… because that’s what you’re selling, Grant’s Farm not the anchor milking a cow.

I truly loved my first business trip and the whirlwind of learning it was. I’m very thankful to have been able to tag along.

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To quote an age-old saying… “Any PR is good PR.”

I agree. Whether it’s a scandalous front page story splattered across every grocery store tabloid or a feature story inside a hometown journal, any type of press is good press because it puts your face (and other appropriate body parts), your name and your cause in the public’s eye, i.e. the Hilton sisters.

On Monday night I noticed the ad wall in one of my academic buildings had been reorganized and was now legible. I took a closer look at one flyer promoting the Theatre & Dance Department’s Fall Dance Concert. As a member the Theatre & Dance Department (I have a minor in dance, fun fact), I already planned on attending the concert, in fact, I was supposed to be a performer but had to pull out due to prior time commitments.

Here is a copy of the flyer.

Take a look at the sentence sequence at the bottom of the flyer. In order from top to bottom they read:

– Production Name

– Department

– Performance Month

– Performance location

– Performance dates and times

“NOVEMBER” was so inappropriately placed that it destroyed the flow of information, breaking up the time and date flyer portion making it more difficult to read. Granted this is a minor flaw n the grand scheme of things when it comes to advertising for the dance concert, but as a Public Relations major it’s my responsiblity to notice mistakes like this.

I may be being a little critical and nit-picky.


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By far the best experience I’ve ever gotten is with my internship at Silver Dollar City. I work with three of the best Publicists this side of the Mississippi and I truly look forward to going to work and being around them every time I go in. What started as a summer internship flowed into a fall and winter internship as well. I received very high remarks and a 100% on my employee evaluation (which is very unheard of ver Herschend Family Entertainment employees because no one is “perfect”) and an invitation to come back at the beginning of 2012’s festival season starting in March.

With that being said, I’d like to explain the longest day I’ve ever survived with my internship and how I surprised I was to see how much information from the classroom I actually use (and do not use) in the “real world”.

I reported to SDC at 4:45am on Thursday, November 11th to begin setting up for the filming of Gov. Mike Huckabee’s visit with 15 veterans on park in honor of Veterans Day all to be aired nationally on Fox and Friends. I’ve never met a politician before and I was very excited. As I was setting up flags, making coffee and trying to keep my toes from getting frost bitten I continually thought of how in my Public Relations Techniques class with Jerri Lynn Kyle I’d heard from other PR pros about this type of work. One gentlemen told my classroom that he slept with phone in his hand just in case someone needed to get a hold of him. It was that extreme and the extreme of waking up at 3:30am that brought my life in PR a little more full circle.

As the day continued (and my toes defrosted) I was met with another Public Relations challenge that I college has not yet prepared me with. Thursday, SDC welcomed radio personality Ron Seggi of Universal Studios on Orlando, Florida to do a live broadcast from the park interviewing various Branson show entertainers for his show. It was my duty to wait at the front of the park for the entertainers and escort them to where the broadcast was taking place. Our line-up of guests was as star-studded as Branson could manage, the first guest being the owner of Liverpool Legends and sister to the Beatles member George Harrison’s little sister, Louise Harrison. In this situation I wished I’d learned about talent hospitality a little more in class because I was not prepared in how to react when a 80 year-old English woman scolded me for not having an electric wheelchair prepared for her arrival. As any good PR practitioner would do, I quickly thought on my feet and made a few discreet phone calls and retrieved an electric wheelchair for her while managing to make her call time with Mr. Seggi too.

By the end of the day, I’d met a wide variety of interesting individuals and came to several conclusions about the world of PR and publicity. The first being that 12 hour days do happen, and the only way to get through them is to layer your socks and make sure everyone is cared for, well feed and happy.

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I’d like to poll my COM 509/609 friends (and the always helpful Melinda Arnold) on how everyone is starting their job searches. I’ve been applying for internships like a mad woman and each time I’m finding that I’m struggling with my approach.

Which is odd because I work in commission based retail, so you’d think I’d be pretty good at approaching stranger who have something I want. But this time I don’t want their money, I want their employment.

So any suggestions on how y’all are approaching employers? Particularly ones that you do not know, like what are you saying in your e-mails when you send out cover letters and resumes? Besides, “My name is Senior Student, please hire me!”


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MICHELLE’s Resume on


via MICHELLE’s Resume on

Hey COM 509 friends, PRSSA members and fellow PR seniors! Just stumbled upon this website and it literally set up my profile for me just by uploading my resume!

I think it’s going to be an amazing resource, I encourage everyone to give it a look!

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I recently read an article published on and written by Lauren Indvik entitled “Oscar de la Renta Sells Perfume Ring as Facebook Exclusive”. Two key words caught my attention in this post: Oscar de la Renta and Facebook. One of the world’s largest and most respected brands, known across the globe for designing top-notch, above and beyond clothing, accessories and footwear has begun a campaign on Facebook? Really, Facebook? This company clothes hoards of Hollywood starlets every award season, with people literally drooling over the patterns, fabrics and designs… and they need to boost themselves on Facebook? You don’t have to be a fashion guru to know that Oscar de le Renta does need Facebook’s assistance in promoting its new line, or perfume ring for that matter.

I believe that Mashable and Ms. Indvik was as surprised as I was to read that the house of de le Renta was using it’s Facebook fan page to sell a cocktail sized perfume ring for the horrendously low price of $65. And yet, fans were not surprised as most (according to Indvik) were already familiar with de le Renta’s Facebook sampling campaign. An interview conducted by Mashable with the CEO of Oscar de le Renta supports that the company that Facebook will become “a major channel of commerce” for the company.

Well Oscar, good for you. The PR hype and buzz around this Facebook exclusive was wildly successful and proved once again, that Oscar de le Renta knows how to do it big.

As if he didn’t already know how to make an entrance… #butseriously

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