Sunday, November 30, 2008

Technology Rules the World

Everyone knows technology has taken over the world and has forever changed the way we communicate, connect, share information, make purchases....the list goes on and on. Technology has helped professionals, students and every-day people develop and foster a whole new level of creativity. It's even drastically changing entire industries...some for the better, others for the worse.

I have to give a shout out and thanks to Lauren W. for finding and sharing the video Did You Know 3.0. The video (credited to Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod and Jeff Brenman) is brimming with stats about how technology has revolutionized the world. The video also forecasts some future cause and effects of technology. It repeatedly asks the question "did you know?" followed by stats and facts related to technology from countries like the United States, India and China. WARNING: The music may cause waves of nausea and force you to believe you are at a rave with 100 strobe lights beaming around you. Check it out, perhaps on mute!

Here's the YouTube link.

I was amazed by this video, but what I found to be the most mind-blowing is:

  • The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004.
  • 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met online.
  • The number of texts sent and received each day exceeds the total population of the planet.
The video concludes with a thought-provoking question: "So what does it all mean?" It simply means that technology is changing the way we live our lives so rapidly that once we get accustomed to one thing, it's outdated and we're moving on to the next phase. So is true for professionals working in creative industries such as PR, marketing, journalism and anything Web-based. The way I started doing my job nearly two years ago is definitely NOT the way I do my job today. And...I'll probably say the same thing six months from now.

So how we do handle all this? My two cents: Embrace (don't fear) new knowledge and learn as much as possible about how to utilize these technology-evoked changes to advance your personal and professional life. Simple, right ;)

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Scene from The Notebook in the City of Milan

Looking back at recent posts, I realized that I've been neglecting the second-in-line theme of my blog - love. I've focused my writing efforts quite a bit on creativity, so now I've found the perfect story to bring me back to el amor. I've actually had the link to this article saved in my e-mail inbox for a few weeks, so I've finally found some time to share this tear-jerking story.

I'm a huge fan of The Notebook (I know, typical girl). So if you're familiar with the flick, you know that Noah and Allie move on to the afterlife together wrapped in each others arms in bed. Ideally, that's the way to go...simultaneous with your soul mate so neither person has to bear the pain of living alone. This near exact phenomenon occurred in a teensy town called Milan, Mich. Jo Mathis from The Ann Arbor News wrote this touching article about Emil and Genevieve Schultz, who passed away within hours of each other two months after celebrating their 73rd anniversary.

To sum the story up, the couple met and fell in love at the tender ages of 12 and 14. Emil and Genevieve were extremely close with their family members and placed a high importance on setting a good example for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Fast forward 70 some years, and Emil is lying in a hospital bed with no hope of recovery. On the other hand, Genevieve is perfectly healthy at the age of 92. So it was a shock when the couple's son found Genevieve dead of a heart attack. Their children believe she simply couldn't cope with the thought of losing her husband, who peacefully died the next night at the hospital at the age of 94. Emil and Genevieve's caskets were separated by two heart-shaped wreaths and they are buried right next to each other at a Milan cemetery.

Now, maybe it's grim that I'm writing about death, but this story is a beautiful testament to the unexplainable powers of love. I wish every person on the face of this earth could find a love as real and rare as Emil and Genevieve's. This story really affected me because it's not like I was reading about it in a typical Nicholas Spark book. It's a true tale from a city not far from my own. And while fictional stories about love make readers sigh and think "I want this in my life," stories like the one about Emil and Genevieve prove that blissful love truly is attainable.

And with that, I've just secured my place on the "Biggest Sap" list. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

How the Circus Explains PR

I was tweeting earlier today about how the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents Bellobration train was rolling into town and how busy the show is keeping me this week. The circus tweet reminded Ari B. Adler (a fellow Tweeter, blogger, PR/social media pro...and client!) about a creative definition of public relations that he shares with his students. I remember hearing this way back when in IPR 101 at CMU and I'm sure the majority of PR pros have come across this analogy at some point. I think it's fantastic and helps break down the distinction between various aspects of communications.

If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying 'Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday', that's advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that's promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor's flower bed, that's publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it on the evening news, that's public relations."

I wrote a similar post awhile back about a creative and humorous way to explain the differences between advertising, PR, marketing, etc. No matter which way you look at it, there's no denying that differences DO exist within these related fields!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Make an Impact - Volunteer!

As citizens of the state of Michigan, we are inundated by sorrowful and negative news on a daily basis. From the Big 3 woes, home foreclosures and homelessness, many families and individuals in the mitten state feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

There are so many amazing organizations throughout southeast Michigan that work diligently to help those in need. With the holidays sneaking up on us at lightning speed, many people will be seeking assistance. So what can you, as one single person, do to make a difference? Volunteer.

I, along with my gal pals Lauren (@metrogal84), Sarah (@sarshie) and Kendall participated in Panera Bread and United Way for Southeastern Michigan's Impact Your Neighborhood program on Saturday at Gleaners Food Bank in Warren, Mich.

DISCLAIMER: If you read my blog or know me well, you know that Panera is my client. I am not writing this to promote or publicize Panera. I am writing about this because volunteering and giving back to my community makes me happy :)

Impact Your Neighborhood is a regional initiative aiming to build stronger communities in metro Detroit. The program offered one-time volunteer projects on select Saturdays in September, October and November. The Gleaners volunteer day was the last project this year, but due to overwhelming interest in the program, we're hoping to expand it next be on the lookout for more details in the future!

So what did we do to make an impact? We helped sort a variety of goods into boxes, then packaged individual boxes for families to take back home with them. Simple, right? All it took was a few short hours and what we did will give happiness to people who are suffering. It was so great to see how many volunteers got up early on a Saturday and took time out of their precious weekend to make a difference.

As I previously mentioned, there are a TON of organizations throughout metro Detroit aiming to help struggling families and individuals that I'm sure are in need of volunteers now and throughout the holidays. Here are a few:
That's just a snippet, so feel free to comment about different organizations that you feel passionate about or ones that need volunteers.

Next up on the volunteer schedule -- ringing bells for The Salvation Army. More to come on that...