Category Archives: Public Relations

Hoola for Happiness


One of my favorite people in this world is my friend, Carissa. She is probably the most joyful and exuberant person I know..always leaving some of her joy wherever she goes. I met her through one of my best friends, last year and was quickly drawn to her not only because we quickly became friends, but we also share the same passion: missions. But what’s cool is that Carissa combined her love for missions with another of her passions, hula hooping and started a not-for-profit organization last year called Hoola for Happiness. Carissa calls herself the first “hula hooping missionary” because she takes hoops overseas on missions trips and uses them as a way to meet people and share the Gospel. In the last two years, Hoola for Happiness has taken hoops to over ten countries and multiple cities around the US.

Right now, Carissa is in Haiti working with a few different ministries, putting on hooping performances, playing with kids and sharing the Gospel. Every where she goes, she leaves a hula hoop behind with the local people she has met or with an organization. This trip in Haiti is extra special because it’s the first trip she’s been able to share the new hand-made Gospel “wordless” hoops. Each hoop was handmade with different colors, symbolizing the Gospel story which can be shared with children and adults around the world.Part of this trip also involves exploring the possibility of moving production of the hoops down to Haiti, to provide jobs and training. In missions, it’s important to be leaving people with the help they need, alongside giving them the fruit of life.

Last year, I took hoops to Cambodia and Liberia, representing Hoola for Happiness. It was so exciting to see the reaction on the kids’ and adults’ faces as they came face to face with a hoop for the first time. There was so much joy and laughter as they each tried out the hoop, not realizing how difficult it can be at first. Most of the kids in Liberia picked it up right away, probably due to the fact that they are great dancers! I love being able to work alongside Carissa and seeing her heart and passion for this organization continue to develop. She has a heart not only for the world, but mobilizing those here locally to make an impact in their communities and beyond.

Check out this video below to see some of the adventures Hoola for Happiness has taken around the world this past summer:

TOW: 10 Twit Twit Twitter


I actually needed someone to explain to me what a Twitter chat is, because I had no idea. I’m still relatively new to the world of twitter, and seldom use it. I enjoy reading tweets from other people, but I usually have to remind myself to tweet, because I will forget.

This week we were supposed to participate in a public relations twitter chat. I think twitter chats are especially useful for people heavily involved in using twitter.  They can also be good for students like myself who are interested in learning more about PR and this is a fun way to do so.

I participated in one, but was so confused I didn’t end up saying anything, and actually didn’t stay long through it. The twitter chat went super fast and I had a hard time keeping up with it all, especially since I came in late. The one I participated in was #blogchat with Mark Collier. Tonight’s topic was about blogs and how to make the most of yours. This was interesting to me especially since I have a blog that I’m keeping for my PR class and I want to make sure it isn’t boring. There was some good information shared like changing up your blog every once in awhile to give it a fresh look, having an “about me” page that is especially unique to fit with your personality and of course, building up relationships with other bloggers. It was cool to see “how it all worked” but I didn’t find that I especially benefited from the chat. All of the information shared was stuff I already know that has been taught to me in either I know a lot, or my professors are doing a good job. That’s good either way.

For me, I just didn’t enjoy the twitter chat as much as I thought I would. It’s all about what each person likes, and for me, I’d much rather read someone’s blog then participate in a fast-paced chatting experience.


NOTE: This is a TOW for week 7, but posted on week 10.




HARO–Help a Reporter Out, is a service set up for journalists to get quick feedback from the public. It’s a way for journalists to work together and to get opinions from each other. I’d never heard of this website until it was pointed out to me by my professor this week. HARO claims that over 29,000 journalists use this site, so if that’s the case, then I definitely need to get involved somehow!

On first glance, it seemed a little overwhelming to me because the site looks like you have to know how to use it in order to glean some information. But after searching a few other websites and scrolling through the HARO site, I became a bit more familiar with its content. I also listened to the 3 minute overview of the website by Peter Shankman, which gave a great overview of everything the site is comprised of.

HARO is a way to improve as a journalist or company owner. Once you sign up, the site sends three e-mails a day which give an overview of information which could be beneficial to you or your organization.

Some of the different media that use HARO include Fox News, CNN, The NY Times, The Huffington Posts, authors and small blog writers. Over 100,000 journalists have been serviced, and over 130,000 sources are available for use! That’s pretty good info. HARO is also free, so that’s an extremely important asset to journalists around the US and the world.

Basically, HARO is a way to learn, engage and build relationships with other journalists and PR professionals. In this field, relationships are key to success. You not only have to build good, strong relationships with your clients, but also fellow workers in the field. PR and Journalism are fields that are constantly changing and require a good amount of engaging to learn and keep up.

This website below was a good resource for me and helped explain things a little better:

5 Tips to Use HARO for Media Coverage

Warby Parker: Buy a Pair, Give a Pair


A company I absolutely love and have to give a mention to on my blog is Warby Parker.

Image Credit Warby Parker

Never heard of em?

Well, allow me to tell you!

Warby Parker is a company that sells trendy glasses and sunglasses, yet with each purchase, customers are helping to empower those in need around the world. For every pair of glasses bought, Warby Parker donates a pair to someone in need. They have distributed glasses to over 85,000 people in countries like India and Cambodia. Warby Parker works with non-profit organizations to train low income individuals in developing countries to start their own business selling glasses, and provide them at an affordable cost to those in need.

You can’t beat the $95 price for great glasses + frames and helping someone in need.

Check out this video below to learn more, or visit their website and learn about the Home try on program!



TOW: Week 13


This week, my group had to give a presentation on Chapter 13 in our book, Think Public Relations. Our presentation was about event management and planning big events like banquets, conventions, cocktail receptions, meetings and open houses.

Before reading and putting this presentation together, I had no idea how much work goes into planning an event such as a meeting or banquet. Granted, banquets are big deals and require months of preparation, but meetings require quite a bit of planning as well! One of the biggest things that stuck out to me was the fact that acquiring a speaker for a large event, such as Conan O’Brien or Sarah Palin can cost upwards of $100,000! This was especially surprising to me since most banquets are held in order to raise money for a charitable organization, yet booking the main speaker costs so much money! Surely, that money could be spent better…but to each his own I guess. This was a very informative chapter–be sure to check out the slideshow below to learn more about putting on events, big or small!

TOW 11: Blog Review


Image Credit: Ragan's PR Daily

For this issue of our Topic of the Week, our assignment was to participate in a social media twitter chat. Since I’m still quite new to the world of twitter and probably quite incompetent to figure out how to participate in a chat, I decided I’d work on the alternate assignment of reviewing a PR blog.

When I think of a PR blog, the first thing that comes to my mind is Ragan’s PR Daily. This site is a fantastic resource for all things public relations, from current news to crisis’ and marketing. When I need to find some information on a current PR trend, or simply to gather more information for my blog, this is the place I turn first.

What sticks out the most to me is the fact that Ragan’s puts out news every day that is informative and not boring. The posts are short and to the point, just like we learn about in Journalism classes. The staff at Ragan’s writes many posts, but also shares a lot of other posts from other various PR blogs, to give more information to their readers.

One of my favorite posts is their daily Job of the Day section. If I was serious about going into Public Relations, I would definitely keep my eye attuned to these daily posts as the jobs vary from small organizations to corporations such as Dunkin Donuts!

Another part of Ragan’s I also enjoyed was their daily tips. I learned many new things from the top 10 tips for public speakers to the 12 outrageous job losses due to mishandling social media.

Ragan’s PR Daily is a great place for beginning bloggers or PR professionals to tune into to stay advised of the latest trends in the PR world. I signed up for their daily news feed and each day my inbox would have¬† a new e-mail with related PR news or information about upcoming conferences or seminars.

I have very much enjoyed learning about the world of public relations via the great blog of Ragan’s PR Daily.

Cleaning Up the Swamp…ahem, Language


Photo Credit Tim Casey

According to an article in ESNP College Football, Florida Gators Coach Will Muschamp is cleaning up his language. This past weekend, Coach Muschamp was caught on camera using some rather inappropriate language. The coach was caught voicing his displeasure after one of Auburn University’s players allegedly tried to interfere with a pass, but was later repealed by referees. He continued to lash out at referees during the game in which his team lost 6-17. Nicknamed “Coach Boom,” Muschamp came out today apologizing for his language and is making an effort to clean it up…

Thanks for apologizing for your behavior Coach… and thanks for demonstrating a great example of how to handle a PR crisis.

War Eagle!