twitter.

Posted: Sat, Dec 3, 11 in PR Connections (COMM 2322)

Twitter is changing the world. Whether you want to believe it or not, this statement is true. Every company has almost picked up on the fact that Twitter can help them with their advertising, and they now use can use the hashtag feature of Twitter to their advantage.

Here’s a little video below that show us that Twitter is everywhere we go.

mexico.

Posted: Sat, Dec 3, 11 in PR Connections (COMM 2322)

On November 25, I had the privileged to travel to Mezcales, Nayarit, Mexico as a part of a missions team. This missions trip was connected to Camp Sonshine International, an organization that “collaborates with children’s ministries around the world to create exciting, fun-filled camp experiences where children get to experience God’s love and find His purpose for their lives.”

I got to be apart of this amazing experience and I hope that I have influenced the children’s lives in a way that they have influenced mine.

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To find out more about Camp Sonshine International and how you can get involved in this great ministry, click here.

hope.

Posted: Sat, Dec 3, 11 in PR Connections (COMM 2322)

God has a plan for our lives. Sometimes he leads us down certain paths to make us stronger. God never gives us more than we can handle, and that has become evident in the life of 19-year-old Fermin Saja. Saja is amazed at the fact that he is still alive today, and knows that it’s only because of God’s grace; and the fact that God isn’t finish with him yet.

“Growing up we never went to church,” Fermin starts. “I never knew anything about church; I never knew anything about God.”

Around the year 2000, Fermin’s parents began to have really bad marital problems. They ended up getting separated and he lost one of the key people in his life, his father.

“I never had a relationship with my mother,” Saja states. “And this just made me enter into this rebellious stage against her. I didn’t like to be around her. I just felt that she was taking all this stuff away from me as if it was my fault.”

After the divorce was finalized, Fermin’s father lost all rights to his children. The Saja family then became homeless.

“Seven kids and a single mom, and we were moving from motel to motel and we would stay there until the cops pretty much came to kick us out. Then it was on to the next one.”

When Fermin was ten, his family moved from Miami to a shelter in Tampa, FL.

“We had gone weeks just living off of bologna and peanut butter, so I’m thinking this is great. But when we got there these people were just rude. At five in the morning they would slam the door open and just start yelling like we were in boot camp, and to me it was just really demeaning. But eventually my mom got the next best boyfriend, and we moved to Sebring, FL.”

For the first time in his life, Fermin stayed at the same school for all of fifth grade and again for sixth grade, and at the end of sixth grade, he had his first experience with cigarettes.

“One day my cousin and I were walking home with my brothers and his friends. They were curious as to how we would react to a cigarette. I remember taking the first puff and coughing so hard that it hurt, and my cousin did the same. After that we started stealing cigarettes. We even stole from my brother’s stash of weed until he found out and beat us up. Then we had to find friends that smoked all the time and when we did, that exactly what happened…nobody wants to get high alone.”

Not only did Saja start smoking marijuana, but he also began to sell it.

“This was a rebellious stage where I just hated my mother. I know kids say that but there was just this deep, deep evil there. The thoughts of her death would excite me.”

At the end of seventh grade, Saja ran away from home. He ended up in Cape Coral, FL with his uncle. His uncle forced him to stop smoking marijuana, even though the smoking of cigarettes was still allowed.

“I was thinking this was a pivotal moment for me; maybe I could change my life. But there was still no God present.”

For eighth grade, Saja was enrolled in a charter school. There he met his soon to be girlfriend, Holly Potter.

“Everybody has that girl in their life, and this was that girl.”

Potter influenced Fermin to start smoking marijuana again, and after that he was drinking more and eventually he lost his virginity to her. Potter also introduced him to cocaine.

“I didn’t even know what cocaine was, but when I tried it I got hooked fast, and for the little guy that I am I don’t know how I survived. It was the worst drug I’ve ever done. Cocaine strips your personality. I was nervous and paranoid all the time. To me, this is the worst years of my life. I didn’t see any purpose in living.”

At fourteen years old, Fermin began to contemplate suicide.

“Whenever I wasn’t with Holly, I was planning what the best route of death would be.”

Fortunately, Saja never successfully went to hang himself, but he got as close to putting the belt around his neck and looking down. Every time he would try, he was interrupted by a phone call or someone knocking at the door. Little did Fermin know that God was protecting him and saving his life for a much greater purpose.

Saja moved back to Sebring to live with his mother, but after only two weeks was kicked out again because he didn’t get along with his mom’s new husband.

“This guy was trouble for me. I didn’t like him at all, I didn’t like the way he treated my family, and I didn’t like the way he presented himself.”

The only place he had to go was his brother’s girlfriend’s house. There he met Taylor, the sister of his brother’s girlfriend, and they began to date. Taylor didn’t like Fermin smoking marijuana or cigarettes, so he decided to stay away from it, even though fornication and alcohol drinking was still occurring.

But this is when this tragic story begins to take a turn.

Fermin’s little sister, Venus, accepted Christ as her savior, and he could see that something changed inside of her.

“She found light in all of the darkness,” Fermin begins. “She had lived the same life I had minus the drugs, but she found light, and God really started to move in her life. I could tell that she was doing better because she was smiling.”

But what really broke Saja was a dream that his sister had about him.

“She was walking up a flight of stairs and as she was, she saw everyone that she knew that was saved walking up also. At the top of the stairs it was majestic. Just beautiful. She wanted to go that way and she could tell that it was the right way. When she looked down she saw me. She called my name a couple times but I didn’t answer. Finally I looked up at her and she asked me where I was going because everyone was going up the stairs. I told her I didn’t want to go that way, I wanted to go this way, and she was stuck right there. For a moment she didn’t know if she should follow me because of the love that she had for me or if she should go the way that she knew was right. And after that she woke up in tears.”

Saja started to go to church when his sister invited him, but classified himself as nothing more than a pew filler. Eventually he realized that he didn’t love Taylor anymore and he broke things off and moved back to his mother’s house. He started to attend church more, but there was something about breaking up with Taylor that caused him to go back to drinking. But after waking up in a bathtub in a house full of naked women, Saja realized that there had to be something better in this life.

“This couldn’t be the ultimate plan for my life, just doing stupid stuff like this over and over again.”

Fermin realized that it really wasn’t the plan for his life one Sunday night when he found himself at the front of a church, crying and weeping out loud.

“This guy was praying over me and all of a sudden it felt like God just touched me, and everything in my past was still. I closed my eyes and I just felt God telling me that everything was going to be okay. I trusted with all of my heart and I knew that whoever this person was, I wanted to get to know Him.”

Saja is currently working to restore his broken family and plans to attend Christ For The Nations Institute located in Dallas, Texas next fall. He feels God has called him to be a missionary and has accepted that call.

With such a powerful testimony, Saja has the ability to reach many people, because even in his short 19 years of life, he’s been through what most are going through, and he has overcome.

“God is not only able, but He’s willing to make a difference in people’s lives.”

top 10.

Posted: Fri, Dec 2, 11 in Topics of the Week (COMM 2322)

Top ten things I learned about Public Relations this semester in Mrs. Nixon’s COMM 2322 Public Relations Applications Class is as followed:

1. It’s a changing field! There is no such thing as a ‘typical week’ because things are always changing, and new projects come about.

2. Social Media is very important in the field of Public Relations. They use these medias to connect with the public and to make sure that they public is getting what they want.

3. Good communications skills are needed in this field. One has to be able to write effectively, and they need to read pretty frequently.

4. An aspect of Public Relations deals with helping people or companies develop a good image and relationship with the public.

5. Professionals need to be careful about what they say or write to avoid possible defamation of character lawsuits.

6. Edward Bernays is known as the “father of public relations”.

7. Public Relations is similar to journalism, advertising and marketing, but it is also different in many different ways.

8. Public Relations goes global, and many organizations use global public relations as a way to market.

9. Public Relations plays a very big role in event planning, and they use these events to help promote their company or organization.

10. Twitter can be very important in the life of public relations professionals.

jessi.

Posted: Tue, Nov 22, 11 in Topics of the Week (COMM 2322)

For my guest blogger, I wanted to shine the spotlight on Jessi Ellerbe. She’s a really great friend of mine as a great writer as well. She is studying Communications at Southeastern University and will be graduating in December of 2012. Below is one of her blog posts that I particularly liked. You can visit her blog page here.

 

“Getting the Word Out” by Jessi Ellerbe

It’s amazing to me exactly how incredible social media can be when it comes to PR. Our professor, Barbara Nixon, recently went through a tragic loss when her oldest son, Kyle, passed away. Through Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, her students, fellow teachers, family, friends and even strangers were able to send her their condolences for her loss.

I know that I utilized Twitter specifically to reach out to her, but others used Facebook to do this. Both of his services, one in Auburn and one here in Lakeland, had events made on FB to invite others to come out and share a moment of sweet remebrances of Kyle and to love on his family.

Though the events are taking place at the end of this week (Auburn) and the beginning of next week (Lakeland), the estimated turn-outs are already large in number. It’s just incredible how, through sites like Twitter and Facebook, we are all able to communicate and reach out to one another. And it reminds me that, though it’s great to do use them during times like these, it’s also great to use them regardless of what’s happening.

After seeing my professor handling the stress of working, getting ready to travel, and dealing with a painful loss, it really made me realize the things we take for granted in life. Professor Nixon informed us that we should keep in touch with our loved ones because we never know what could happen. And I 100% agree with her. So whether we use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress or any other social media site, let’s all make a promise to keep in touch with those we love.

To find out more about Kyle’s Lakeland memorial service, please follow the hyperlink:

Memorial Service Information

camp sonshine.

Posted: Mon, Nov 21, 11 in PR Connections (COMM 2322)

The best summer of your life is still awaiting you!

Camp Sonshine is a summer day camp located in Silver Spring, MD and they are currently accepting applications for their 2012 Summer Camp. If you want to build relationships with great people, influence the life of children for the better and strengthen your relationship with God, then a summer in Maryland may be right for you. It’s not easy work, but it’s worth it.

Visit the Camp Sonshine website.

Apply here.

-cw

global pr.

Posted: Fri, Nov 18, 11 in Topics of the Week (COMM 2322)

For our Public Relations presentation, we were assigned the topic of Global Public Relations. Under Global PR falls Public Diplomacy, which is defined as the process of information dissemination. Public Diplomacy was used by the United States in order to portray a good image to the world.

The United States Information Agency (USIA) was the primary agency in doing this. It was created by President Dwight Eisenhower and was successful until the Soviet Union began to fall. Congress and other critics didn’t think it was necessary for the U.S. to have such a large profile anymore, and in 1999 the agency was abolished.

Nongovernmental Organizations, or NGOs, also fall under the topic of Global PR. NGOs are dependent on international support for their programs and causes. These organizations are also trusted more that the government or corporations because their work is more moral-driven than profit-driven. A few examples of NGOs are Greenpeace, which focuses its resources on global warming and deforestation and Doctors Without Borders, which helps victim of war, no matter their religion or ethnicity.

Global Public Relations make for a great career, especially for those who may like to travel. If one wanted a career in Global PR, some things they may want to do to prepare are as followed:  take classes in global marketing techniques, foreign languages, cross-cultural communication, etc., attending graduate school, study abroad or serve an internship with a company or organization in another nation and apply for the Fulbright Program. These tips can help current college students that may want to pursue a career in Global Public Relations.

-cw

Information from Think! Public Relations.