Intern Journal #2

Into week number 3 with my internship with Ky3, Inc. I’m finding I’m learning something new everyday and my supervisor is talking faster everyday, two things I’m working hard to retain in my brain.

A recent project I helped work on was a 30 second commercial promoting a story about Springfield CrimeStoppers and how local residents can help fight crime and maintain a safe community for their family. Many counties have adopted this hotline that encourages citizens to report crimes they’ve witnessed in exchange for cash rewards. The story is very appealing and truly does apply to everyone in the viewing area. The actually story itself is beside the point though.

My duty was to help create a 30 break to advertise the story set to air later in week. These types of ads are very common in any city so chances are you’ve seen this type of commercial before. My responsibilities included taking video and audio shot by one of the reporters, find the best shots with the best quotes, edit down audio and generate background music that wraps the story into one.

I wasn’t expecting the process to be so collaborative. For example, my supervisor and I could not have edited tape down had the reporter and camera man not provided extensive amounts and various types of angles and shots. It’s not the Promotions department to get those quotes or find the best light for an excellent shot, it’s our job to make the quotes and shots look awesome. The reporter, cameraman and Promotions department work hand in hand.

I have not located the actual video of this story but I do have the URL for the Facebook page describing the CrimeStoppers mission.

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A few tweeks to… Italian cruise ship mishap

The events that lead up and followed the tipping and partial destruction of the Costa Concordia cruise liner off the coast of the Tuscan island on January 15th, 2012 were horrific and quite possibly preventable. Reports of the boat’s captain attempting to bring the liner close to shore to allow locals a better view have surface as have rumors of a boat staffer attempting to communicate with family members on shore. Whether these allegations are true or a different alibi arises, one issue stands true: it was a tragic event.

What do events like these call for? Crisis communication, of course.

As this story has been covered by every major news (even Entertainment Tonight) outlet in the world, I have not been able to read up on every account. Yet from what I’ve gathered from TV broadcast and on-line reading I’ve produced two major tweeks that may benefit the Carnival Corp. representatives, their publicists and possibly the survivors of the accident.

Facts, facts, facts: Every boat has its own set of numbers such as length, weight, speed, number of rooms, number of life jackets, napkins in the dining hall at dinner, ect. Important numbers such as how fast the boat can travel and how many stories tall the boat is are vital digits the public deserve to know. An image of the capsized boat is not enough without the proper numbers and measurements to back up how the accident happened. Giving the public information such as how many feet under water the boat is under or how much rubble is left in the ocean would give the public more pieces of the puzzle to put together thus making them more informed.

Survival stories: Just this morning I saw a report on USA Today about the survivors of the cruise ship only having 19 more days to make property claims on personal items that were lost of destroyed in the ship’s tipping. Several interviews were aired with survivors telling how horror stories of that terrible days and they still suffer from the trauma. I think by giving the tragic accident a face (or faces) the general public will be more willing to listen to the story and relate. For instance, one interviewer spoke about how they knew a woman who was killed on the boat who was celebrating her honeymoon. The individual’s story could spark an entire series hosted by Dateline or 20/20 spotlighting the personal lives of those most affected by the boat.

Referring back to my first tweek, the following link will direct you to USA Today’s breakdown of the most recent financial setback the two cruise lines will see and how they plan on handling the situation.

Once again, our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost family members in this unbelievable tragedy.

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Intern Journal Entry #1

In between making comments and tweeks about entertainment news, I’ll be blogging about my experiences and daily activities at my internship(s). Right now I am an intern with KY3, Inc. in the Promotions Department where I assist the Senior Promotions Director is creating advertisements, commercials, PSAs, web content, break ins, ect. KY3 is a NBC affiliated news station and much of what I work with is promoting local Ozark/ Springfield area material.

Today I tagged along on my first KY3 video shoot to The Plaid Door which is a resale store owned and operated by the Springfield Junior League. Two anchors from ABC affiliated (we share a building) news station KSPR were being filmed in an ad promoting the Junior League’s annual Oscar watch night. The Oscar watch night is an upscale opportunity for viewers to get dolled up and celebrate like the stars watching this prestigious award show.

I can’t let out information about the shoot or its content but I can say that I learned a few things from the experience.

1. Let the talent try. My supervisor and te director of the shoot came prepared with a script that the anchors had seen and approved but as shooting rolled one the anchors would chime in ideas. These ideas were usually quirky and kind of goofy, allowing them to show off their personalities a little. And what do you know? They worked really well.

2. Work with the elements. This shoot was filmed inside a resale store so there were racks and racks of donated clothes positioning everywhere. One angle was need that required some height and a downward sloop. Using the top of a book-case, my supervisor was able to prop the camera up using his wallet to give the camera a downward slope.

3. Lots of options. One scene in particular was really funny and to ensure maximum funniness, it was shoot in about four different angles. Once from the female perspective and once from the male, for example. I think this’ll give the director a lot fo different frames to work with which is key for a 30 second commercial.

More to come on my experiences with my internship(s)!

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A few tweeks to… The 2012 Golden Globes

This past Sunday night, the Hollywood foreign Film Association hosted the 69th Annual Golden Globes Awards at the Beverly Hills Hilton in California. The prestigious red carpet was rolled out for stars of the big and small screen accompanied by a sprinkling of entertainment news reporters such as Giuliana Rancic and Carson Daly.

I’ve always been an admirer of award shows having a severely soft spot for judging gowns that costs as much as a year’s tuition and books at Missouri State, yet this year I paid attention to what the stars were wearing and also what they were saying.

I switched back and forth from E!’s and NBC’s coverage for the star-studded arrivals, Glam Cams and interview, watched the entire show and the post show progressions as well. The following are just A FEW items I would have considered before airing The Golden Globes:

Educate the Actor: When Ryan Seacrest spoke briefly with actress/presenter Reese Witherspoon he immediately complimented her on her dress. In Witherspoon’s reaction to Seacrest’s question of if her dress was red (it was, very much so) she responded by laughing about how she didn’t know what color red it was. As with all awards shows, the dress worn by the actress is sometimes more talked about than their work they’ve been nominated for.

   If I was Witherspoon’s publicist I would have fully prepared her for questioning about her chosen dress. The gown was stunning and the designer probably worked extremely hard to get his creation on such a big star like Witherspoon and deserved to have his masterpiece properly promoted. Perhaps a statement proclaiming the dress as “fire engine red” or “candy apple red” would have made a bolder statement to the audience thus making the designer more appealing.

Tag the Talent: During E!’s post Golden Globe coverage of the stars milling around the Hilton, waiting to attend various parties there were three commentators posted up in the lobby narrating the goings on. I could place one face (Ross the Intern) and recognized a second from her role on Are You There, Chelsea? but could not figure out the third girls identity. By not identifying themselves and possibly giving a little background or name tag, it left viewers wondering why they were watching these no names talk about celebrities. I could have appreciated their comments so much more had I simply known who they were!

They’re pros, let them talk! I was so pleasantly surprised at how tasteful Ricky Gervais was in his job hosting. Although he did not disappoint and did indeed let a few crude comments fly, but overall he wasn’t as horrible as the previews had made him out to be. What I was upset about was the allotted time each presenter was given to introduce their award.

I was very excited to see Jimmy Fallon present because I’ve watched him on SNL and Late Night for years and knew that he’d ham it up with co-presenter Adam Lavinge but their banter was cut much too short. It’s the interaction between the stars and the light-heartedness brought on my harmless joking that makes viewers truly relate to Hollywood.

Overall, I really enjoyed the 2012 Golden Globes, and believed every aspect with off without a hitch. From the viewpoint of my couch in small-town, Missouri I thought it was a great success. These are just a few tweeks I would have made and they come strictly from a Public Relations perspective.  Here’s a little taste in case you missed it!

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Student Advice for Finals Season

Whether you’re an 18 year-old freshmen experiencing your first departmental exam on an early Saturday morning or you’re a seasoned graduate student preparing for days for a 300 point comprehensive final for graduation, when it is finals season, everyone suffers.

Just like the dreaded flu season, finals season creeps up on us. In month leading up to it, we’re all aware of its presence, we’re given study guides and helpful prep sessions like their antibiotics. And just like waking up one morning only being able to breathe out of one side of your nose, your finals shock you to your core disrupting every plan you made after Study Day.

In case Study Day wasn’t the 24 hours of dedicated homework time as you’d plan, here are a compilation of a few tricks and hints gathered over the years that have proven successful. Give them a try this finals season and hopefully you won’t be bed stricken when the next comes around.

Assess your situation: Compile all your finals, what subject is what day and at what time and this why you cannot forget about any of them. Rank the finals in order of most difficult and time-consuming to those that do not require as much preparation. Your hardest subjects will demand the most time dedicated to studying and should be put first on your priority list.

Make a schedule: Starting Study Day map out your every move you’ll make until your first big final. By scheduling down to the hour you leave a small margin of error that will lead you astray while studying. Factor in one to two-hour study blocks with 15 minute intervals. Stay true to the times and break times because you may get cabin fever and you’ll learn to utilize the break time.

Seclude yourself: Perhaps during mid-terms studying with friends or roommates was fun and made the time past, but did it help you earn a decent grade?  If the answer is no, then you may want to reconsider relocating yourself to a more private studying area. Being a non social hermit crab during finals preparation days is not unheard of and will do more good than damage in the long run. Find what type of study environment works best for you, whether it’s complete silence or plugging in soft music over your headphones.

Reward yourself: For every time you get through your seven page study guide without picking up your phone or answering a text message, reward yourself with five minutes of technology. Get on Twitter, check our Facebook or return a few text messages, anything to give your brain a mental breather will help you in getting motivated and reenergize for another long study session.

While these tips have proven helpful for some, they may not be the exact saving grace you need this finals season. Similar to when you would call your mom for advice on what type of flu medication to take, consider consoling friends and classmates about their useful study habits. Professors often are more generous during finals season and are an excellent resource for study guide help or answering questions.

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On Saturday, December 3rd Silver Dollar City hosted the 8th Annual Coaster Christmas with ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts). A group of roughly 55 roller coaster lovers were granted park entrance an hour before opening to experience 3 of SDC’s most loved and enjoyed coasters.

A very chilly afternoon spent fling high above the tree tops of Branson, Missouri and the folks at ACE were given a home-cooked Christmas feast at the Reunion Hall where they dined on classic country fixin’s like fried chicken, mac n cheese and a delicious ham carving station.

During their lunch, ACE members were entertained by representatives from some of Missouri’s greatest family attractions like Six Flags St. Louis, Worlds of Fun Kansas City and Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, KS. Presenters brought exciting news about future park improvements and thrilling new additions that are sure to create family memories galore.

At the closing of the presentations, Silver Dollar City was thanked and given a round of applause for being so generous as to allow competing theme parks to present. I think this is an excellent example of good sportsmanship in the PR world. It’s a strong reflection on SDC’s character of always being welcoming and supporting others in the family entertainment business.

I’m very honored to be working for such a wholesome company.

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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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