Last dance.

Dear World:

Alas, we meet again, for the final time (before my blog gets graded). It has been a pleasure talking to you on here whilst providing visuals and other things you can look at, while letting me in to your mind for the last few months. I hope it has been worth your time – Tim, I am looking at (typing to?) you!

I am still on the fence as to whether or not I will continue posting to this blog with frequency. I have another blog out there which I have neglected for some years now. This blog is definitely more representative of my life and how it is. School is just getting so busy, and between being an intern and working part-time, it is sometimes challenging to keep up. I have really enjoyed my experience here on WordPress, as well as being able to document and share parts of my life and mind. I enjoy story telling and being creative at the same time since nothing I can write on here can be considered ‘wrong’ in the black and white sense. I see blogging as the grey area of all discussions we have with each other, as well as my personal therapist. You’ve been a good therapist. Although you don’t say much 🙂

In other news, Tim is currently lecturing on Brand Journalism. I wonder if he can tell that I am still listening to him intently, while getting this fare-thee-well in. I hope he’s not mad at me.

Until next time …

Love,

Dani

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Interviewing a Journalist.

Hello World:

A requirement of this blogging assignment was to post a blog on the class’s blog, ‘PR@Mohawk.’
pr at mohawk logo.pngWe were asked to decide on a blog topic relating to the class and material being taught, and to ensure the blog topic would create discussion promoting the PR Program in a positive light. When Tim assigned us the ‘Interview with a Journalist’ assignment, I was really excited to reach out to the mainstream media, almost ‘going behind the scenes.’ My blog post is below. Feel free to click on the above image for a direct link to my blog post about this, where you can view a video and some other content for that blog.

Happy reading.

‘Interview with a Journalist’ – The Importance of Media Relations

When our class was tasked with interviewing a journalist for our Media Relations course, I was thrilled! It is one thing to merely be a viewer, but how often do we think about the personality of who’s behind the story, and how the journalist perceives their role in what they do? Our professor Tim allowed us to reach out to any journalist from the mainstream media, from anywhere! From the moment we were given the assignment, I knew I wanted to keep it local, be unique, and have fun with it. More specifically, the first journalist who came to my mind was Phil Perkins from CHCH News. He is one of the ‘younger’ personalities, and if you have ever seen his delivery style, he is quirky, friendly, and appears to go beyond the boundaries of the stoic feel we typically expect to see from broadcast journalists. I have always enjoyed watching Phil report – from an optics standpoint, he can easily adapt to the tone of the news story, and you can see he is really thinking about the nature of the news he reports. You can see his personality and work ethic shine through here:  (video) 
I knew I was taking a risk by relying on Phil to agree to the interview as I had not reached out to any other journalists. In addition, he is a well-known television personality – how would he have the time for a Mohawk student, and why would he think I was worthy of his time? As it turns out, Phil almost immediately responded to me after tweeting to him, and after I sent an e-mail to CHCH News’ requesting the interview. Surprisingly, the Mohawk College Twitter account also helped me out by re-tweeting my tweet to Phil. I cannot describe to you my level of excitement when I realized how great of an opportunity this was going to be.


It is important to note as PR practitioners, media relations is a large facet in the realm of our industry. As professional communicators, it is our job to continuously facilitate good relations with others, and many of these relations involve the media especially when we are spokespersons for an organization. More specifically, the focus is on the relationship between your organization and the media; between you and the reporter. Media influences public opinion – the opinion of our audiences. Therefore, it is imperative to build strong relationships with reporters in order to increase our organization’s credibility and trust with our stakeholders. The ‘Interview with a Journalist’ assignment allowed us a chance to supplement learning about these concepts by asking the journalist questions about (how they do) their job. This exercise was an opportunity to allow us to think like a reporter, in order to appreciate and understand the reporter’s needs.

I think it is safe to assume most of us who watch the news expect that the nature of the industry involves many competing personalities who are blood-thirsty for being recognized as ‘the one’ to bring the most newsworthy stories. In addition, we may also assume journalists are looking for adulation through viewership statistics and building a strong reputation in their industry. I must admit I was expecting Phil’s goals and attitude to somewhat align with those assumptions. However, I was proven more than wrong. First, I was expecting to conduct this interview through e-mail as we have been taught journalists are some of the busiest, deadline-driven people – Phil requested a telephone interview. Second, I was expecting him to simply answer the question as quickly as possible in order to ‘get it over with’ – he provided more insight than I was expecting, which he took the time to explain in detail. Due to the quality of his answers, the interview was long and would make for a lengthy blog. Accordingly, I would like to highlight just a few responses I found valuable to understanding the media:

  1. What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

PHIL PERKINS: I think the biggest thing is I learn something new every day … Entertaining people and informing people – that is fulfilling.

Phil’s response here speaks to my comment earlier on assuming reporters are out for recognition. It was really nice to hear he values the intangible benefits of being able to continuously learn new things, and being able to educate others on what he feels is important.

  1. What do you not enjoy about your job?

PP: [W]ell it’s not just like the job, it’s almost like the industry. The industry is changing for sure, and that’s fine – change is good. I think change is very good. But at least I find in this country – in Canada – no one seems to really be solving the problem that doesn’t include firing everybody.

I was expecting to hear something about not always being able report on or find ‘juicy’ stories. However, Phil was referring to the big cuts at CHCH last year right before Christmas. I could tell by his tone of voice that he was truly angered by these actions since many of his colleagues were victims of the cuts, which went deeper than just a matter of losing a job. His response confirms that journalists are not only objective, but many do still have a human side to them when it comes to personal feelings about their industry, and how ruthless the industry can be to their own.

  1. What elements make up a good news story?

PP: I think emotion’s key, and I think relatability is key because I feel that everyone has Twitter, everyone has Instagram, most people have Snapchat, Facebook, and they get updates really quick, in 140 characters. But if it’s something that shows emotion and relatability people would want to sit down if it hits that hard, personal level – I think that makes up a great news story.

I was surprised to hear Phil acknowledged the reality of social media having a vast impact on our ability to traditionally communicate with others in person, and being able to exemplify that emotion without the stroke of a key. It was interesting to hear this despite the media’s ever-increasing reliance on social media to communicate their messages.

  1. How do you see as your role as a reporter in society?

PP: I think it’s … telling other peoples’ stories … I feel especially nowadays, people are so consumed in their own lives with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, all that, and people forget to look around and be like, “Look at the area I live in! Look at the cool business that’s around the corner! I wouldn’t have known about it if Phil didn’t talk about it or do a piece on it.” I think that’s important. I think it is right to inform people of what’s going on in the world, of course. Because the world at the moment is going through a lot of stuff so I think that’s important.

His response here validates a few of his previous answers. I really got the feeling he believes it is his duty and obligation to ensure people stay informed due to the public’s reliance on reporters to deliver local stories that matter.

I noticed Phil has been anchoring more lately, likely reflecting his dedication to the job and his ability to deliver. After speaking with him, I can certainly confirm a promotion to anchor from sportscaster/community reporter was reflective of his hard work and dedication.

I would like to offer some concluding thoughts after completing this assignment. Primarily, it was so enlightening to speak with Phil. I gained valuable insight into what he does, and his responses provided a greater understanding and appreciation to me of the journalism industry. Although his responses may not reflect the views of other journalists, he did debunk some myths:

·       Reporting is just for reputation and viewership – he wants to bring awareness through reporting news, and telling peoples’ stories that matter to his community;
·       All reporters are self-absorbed – he was so nice, open, and transparent with me, willing to divulge information about the industry I never thought I’d be privy to as a ‘lay person.’
The fact that Phil was willing to speak with me – a student – answers my earlier questions: “How would he have time for a Mohawk student, and why would he think I am worthy of his time?” Phil’s agreeing to speak with me further demonstrates he knows how important it is to be available to anyone who requests your time, regardless of who they are – that being available to connect with anyone is a gesture of goodwill and contributes to maintaining good relationships through two-way communication. Learning about how he deals with the industry helped me to understand it is not difficult to maintain good relations with the media as a PR professional so long as you understand each other’s needs. I recognize that understanding of the media is an important aspect of media relations, and respect for each other can go a long way.

 

Follow Phil, and or CHCH News on Twitter: (links below)

Neglect.

Dear Blog,

I sincerely apologize for neglecting you for many weeks. Life has seemingly been somewhat of a whirlwind the last while. This one will be relatively short as I must attend to other things today shortly.

I finally interned with my classmate Lohralee this past Friday. I was really looking forward to this as I had not yet interned with her – she went home for Reading Week, I was caught up at work, and we could not coordinate to do any shifts together. But it was great to finally intern with her. With the departure of one of our other classmates from this internship opportunity, we now have to keep each other afloat. The game on Friday would have been a decent shift had the ‘dogs won … but they fell to Sarnia, 5-2. Lohralee told me the last game she worked, she noticed people running down the hall in the gondola. I asked her why – she did not know why initially either, but apparently found out it was to ‘get out of the way’ of the owner’s path after yet another loss … I immediately understood what she meant by that. I think I have worked only one game where the ‘dogs won. Not sure what’s happening, but maybe just young nerves acting up on these guys. After all, they are being scouted at every game. I can understand how that may contribute to some nerves … but shouldn’t these kids (I call them kids as I am easily a decade plus older than them) be used to the scouting pressure by now?

Continuing with the theme of school duties for this post, I would just like note I have been particularly enjoying Tim’s lessons on Ethics. I have been finding it very interesting to learn the theories behind what guides human decision making. It has also made for some pretty good class discussion material. Plus, these lessons have been bringing me back to my good ol’ Sociology days at McMaster … some literal food for thought.

Adios for now, as I try to take on the world once again.

Current mood:

minion-lemons

Scared.

Dear Blog,

I feel it necessary to document my terrifying experience in the shower today.

I was minding my own business, when I looked down at the tub and saw a black spider the size of my face (OK, maybe not the size of my face, but almost the size of a dime). Needless to say,  I was not having any of it due to my extreme arachnophobia. Of course, Brian was not present to assist me. I therefore naturally freaked out a bit (OK, freaked out ALOT), and proceeded to send a heavy stream of water toward the spider’s direction. This, however, ended up being an epic fail; the spider ended up being washed underneath the shower mat, and I could not locate said spider after the fact. Perhaps I deserved this for trying to send a spider down the drain.

At a loss for any further comments. Other than, I AM VERY SCARED AS TO THE WHEREABOUTS OF THIS SPIDER NOW.

Will provide updates if located.

 

Noticing a link.

Before I try to sleep, I just wanted to quickly touch on the good customer service I received at Shoppers in Lime Ridge Mall.

I was there the other day looking for some new makeup when I was approached by a Cosmetician who asked if I needed help. Usually when I shop, regardless for what, I prefer to be left alone. It is just a particular preference of mine because I have experienced and oftentimes continue to experience horrible customer service on a daily basis, just about everywhere – ironic since at my current (paid) job,  I am encouraged to actively approach customers and ask if they need help. Further, I politely declined a need for assistance. However, I had a few thoughts to myself:

  • This employee has approached me on several other occasions, and has always been very polite, friendly, and non-aggressive (sales-wise) which is consistent behaviour I have noticed from her;
  • When I declined assistance, she moved along without hesitation to the next customer:
  • She seems very knowledgeable about makeup, and;
  • I actually did need her help.

I went looking for her and found her being extremely helpful to some customers in the shampoo aisle, so I waited for my turn. She proceeded to spend a good amount of time with me, recommending products based on what I stated were my needs. I left with some new makeup and a smile as she completed my sale at the checkout.

I oftentimes refer to my experiences in the real world as a reflection of the type of society we live in. Whether or not my experiences are indeed an accurate representation of society, that is in the eye of the beholder to discern. But after my experience at Shoppers with the Cosmetician, it occurred to me that (retail) customer service is a lot like PR – the objective is to maintain good relations with clients, and to represent the company in a favourable manner. To this, I felt the Cosmetician  has consistently represented Shoppers in a positive light: she was professional, made herself readily available to those who may have had questions, and she was helpful/resourceful. All of this is conducive to maintaining good customers relations = PR!

A customer compliment is indeed waiting for this employee.

Good night.

 

A night at TSN.

Hi. I am writing through tears after that third Jays loss … kind of speechless about that at the moment.

As previously mentioned a few days ago, I had a date with my internship coordinator Peggy tonight at TSN Radio in Hamilton. She invited me to attend the Bulldogs’ play-by-play announcer Stew Kernan’s radio show from 7pm to 8pm.

We started my (internship) shift today at the arena by framing some in-game photos of Bruiser, the Bulldogs’ mascot, and the players themselves. That was interesting since the office walls were bare until we hung up the new photos.  The Bulldogs underwent a new branding of their logo and official colours, so it was time for an update around the office I suppose. Image result for hamilton bulldogs logoApparently, it was important to make sure the frames were aligned and centered decently in case Mr. Staois were to have more than a gander. It has certainly been interesting observing the degree to which Peggy has to ensure Mr. Staois’ standards are met regarding everything, from the Bulldogs to personal logistics. I witnessed her booking a hotel for him for an upcoming game in a different city via phone today. She requested a room with a king-sized bed, “something nice like that.” I want a king-sized bed.  Anyway …

At around 6pm, Peggy drove us up to Lime Ridge Mall which is beside the radio station. I met two of tonight’s radio guests: Greg Williams, Store Manager for Eastgate Mall’s Shoppers, and Roger Ali, a member of the Juravinski Cancer Centre Foundation. They were both there to talk their organizations’ involvement in the upcoming Bulldogs’ fundraiser called ‘Pink in the Rink’, coming up this Sunday October 23, 2016. All proceeds will be going to the Juravinski Cancer Centre in support of (women’s) breast cancer research, funding for new mammography equipment, and educating others by providing awareness through special programs, etc. I sat in on the radio show in silence, feverishly taking notes. It was a great experience to be behind the scenes as I have always been interested in the production side of media broadcasting.

Good experience all around. I will come back in a bit to talk about my experience at Shoppers in Lime Ridge Mall the other day, coincidentally.

attsnwithstewkernanThat’s Mr. Stew Kernan on the left, and your resident dork/intern on the right. Photo credit: Peggy Chapman.

Vanity.

We will just get right to it. I am tired and want to paint my nails but it is such a task to do right now, and always for that matter. I was thinking of taking a nap and then painting my nails. In other actual important news, I have to meet up with my internship coordinator Peggy in a few days to attend Stew Kernan’s (Bulldogs play-by-play announcer) radio show on TSN in Hamilton – the station is right beside Limeridge Mall on Upper Wentworth. I’ll let you know how that goes.

I also received some nice customer service at Shoppers in Limeridge Mall the other day too that I wanted to talk about. More on that at later time. For now, a feeble attempt to go to sleep on yet another sleepless night. Alas, I am hungry. Late night poutine? Bad idea.

Good night.

Let the games begin.

Hello, and welcome to my blog. Designed for my PR studies at Mohawk, here you can find my thoughts on food, sports, and my shuddering disdain for the incorrect uses of “your” and “you’re”, just to name a few.

Contributing to this blog shall be a relatively enjoyable endeavour, I concur. I used to blog a lot, when I was a lot younger … am I still considered young? I continue to struggle with this question since turning 30. Umm …

It is very cool that I can blog for my studies. Very cool. Thanks Tim.

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