Monday, February 21, 2011

Call to action—include incentives!

Above is the amazing video a group of us made for UGA's Bateman team: Live Financially. Making it was quick, easy and fun. The best part: we got extra credit for our PR Research class! And if our video gains the most views, we get even more credit (so watch it about 14 times, please)!!

Incentives can definitely drive people to go a little out of their way to participate—like me including the video in my blog post. In today's high-speed world driven by multi-media tactics, it is becoming nearly impossible to gain an audiences attention and get volunteers to partake in your campaign efforts. That is why focusing on your target audience and offering relative intensives is as important as call to action.

I have found this true in my efforts as Philanthropy Chair of Zeta Tau Alpha, as well. Because there are constantly activities and programs going on, not only within our sorority, but on campus, too, it is more than understandable when my cry for help gets lost. That is when incentives become valuable.

A great way to fundraise for our cause (breast cancer awareness and education) is by mailing out donation letters. While it only takes about 10 minutes to print out the letters, jot down a quick note and address the envelopes, that is 10 minutes people could devote to another cause demanding their attention. Therefore, I have enforced the incentive of lowering each girl's fundraising goal by $25 if they mail out 10 letters. My hope is that by mailing out these 10 letters, they will in turn raise well over the original goal.

When creating campaigns and asking an audience to participate, it is important to include benefits that create motivation for their involvement. We see this alot in social media when businesses offer deals or discounts to fans or followers of their Facebook or Twitter pages.

The opportunities are endless, but it is key to target your audience and offer an incentive they will find useful. Does anyone else have examples we can learn from and keep in mind for the future?

Monday, February 7, 2011

A RISK, A PASSION, A CHALLENGE.

It is hard to believe that just 12 months ago I was attending my first PRSSA meeting and taking a huge leap of faith in my professional career by attending Real World PR—alone!

I had just been accepted into Grady College as a PR major, and I could barely tell you what public relations was. Considering myself a go-getter, however, I decided to dive right in to the unknown territory of PRSSA, and oh, how naive and clueless I was... here is a a video I took at the conference, still so unsure of what I was doing:

video

Well, that's embarrassing! Looking back on the people sitting around that random table I sat down at, I laugh at the fact they some of them were members of PRSSA who later encouraged me to run for a position myself; an opportunity that has stirred in me a passion and opened doors I had never dreamed would exist on that day of uncertainty at Real World. 

Saying all that, my challenge to the few people who end up reading this blog (and this excludes you, mom) is to be confident in yourself, trust your instincts and take a change on your future. If you don't, I can guarantee no one else will. 
It may mean taking on that second major, attending a professional conference, applying for that challenging internship, joining a committee or maybe just attending class! Regardless of your major, you have one life to make something of yourself, and it starts today. Will you go for it?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How I maintain the balancing act I call life

I know I am not the only person who has a crazy schedule full of classes, internships tasks and multiple leadership rolls. Therefore, I hope I am not the only one who thinks life can sometimes feel like a circus, and you are the main act expected to walk a tight rope, while juggling flaming balls and hula-hooping all at once.

Encyclopedia Britannica
<< This guy got pretty close to how I felt yesterday, juggling a million things while trying to keep balance in my life.

In a recent interview I had, I was asked if multitasking was a skill I possessed. I did not want to come off as pretentious, but of course I can multitask—I am a college student! Good luck finding someone at UGA who can't maintain grades, hold a job, participate in extra committees and still keep up with their social life...okay, so you may find a few. But, for the most part, we know that time management is a necessity for success in college.

I definitely recognize, however, that it does not come easily or perfectly-ever. The best methods I have found for managing a busy schedule efficiently include a good calendar (or two), a smart phone and premade meals.

1. The calendar. 
By far the most essential tool for keeping track of daily tasks, meetings and deadlines is a good calendar. It allows you to breakdown and organize your day in order to fit in everything... kinda like the game tetris! A contacts section means you are always able to jot down important names and numbers for future access. My favorite part about my calendar, however, is the notes section. I cannot tell you how many running to-do lists I keep on a daily basis. By being able to write everything down, it relieves my brain from having to keep up with it all!

On a side note, I also keep a separate calendar for my position as Philanthropy Chair of ZTA. Because I plan and execute 5-10 events each semester, my calendar has been a great way to track what needs to be done each step of the way. I can keep the necessary contacts and to-do lists together and have it all in a neat package in order to pass-on to the new Chair next year!

2. The smart phone
Having temporarily been without my Droid a few weeks ago, I have an entirely new appreciation for all of the capabilities my phone offers me on a daily basis. Being able to access my email saves me an incredible amount of time. I can read and respond while riding the bus, waiting line at Jittery Joes to get coffee or even while walking from class to class. Looking back on today alone, I have received 15 emails that I replied to with my phone. Instant communication makes life run smoother and more quickly—a key aspect of time management.

3. The TV dinner... minus the TV 

Okay, so while the picture above is more nauseating than it is appetizing, but it gets to the point. I love cooking, but some days there is just not time, and I am not willing to sacrifice a hot meal in order to save time, and eating out gets real expensive, real quick. Therefore, I have discovered Trader Joes' prepackaged meals! They are so easy to fix and I don't have to miss out on a yummy dinner. 
What is important to note here, is that by being satisfied in the areas of your life you may otherwise have to sacrifice allows you to stay more motivated and work more efficiently. Thus, you are able to devote more time to each element that is demanding your attention.

30 minutes on a treadmill, a tasty meal and taking time to maintain my personal sites and blog are all ways I refocus myself and boost my energy in order to balance my life better.
Taking care of business as it comes, and quickly responding to others, as well as physically organizing the hours in my day all allow me to meet deadlines, and still stay sane... most of the time ;-)