Sunday, November 28, 2010

Time flies when you're blogging

It's probably due to the fact that it's my last semester at Oklahoma State, but time has gone by so much faster this year. I can't believe Thanksgiving is over and I have about three weeks left at this school I love. Along with the semster, my Advanced PR Media class has flown by. My last blog post for the class has arrived.
I usually talk about London, or something having to relate to it, but this week is focusing on what I've learned about blogging throughout the semester.
Blogging is not as easy as it may seem at first, but at the same time it's not complicated. Pick a blog hosting site, come up with an idea and start writing. I thought I had cool ideas to blog about, then would get to writing and find that I didn't actually have a lot to say about the topic, or it would be more about one thing rather than the informational direction that I wanted to stick with in this blog. Some of the elements or requirements for the blog limited what I could talk about, but if you are just blogging because you want to, that shouldn't be a problem. Another area I wish I would have had more practice in before starting my blog is adding video. If the internet doesn't have a fast enough connection, it can take a very long time for videos to load, or they will not load at all.

So, if you're starting a blog, here are a few tips:
-Pick a topic you have a lot to talk about or you love
-Have a plan for what you want to write about each week
-Share your blog with other people through Twitter, Facebook or other sites to get your reader base up
-Add pictures and video to your blog- it makes it more interesting and fun to look at
-Be consistent in your post topics
-Be consistent with the time you post your blog-people will know when to look
-Remember- you can blog about anything and everything- don't be afraid to talk about something you are interested in- your blog is only limited by how much you want to put in it

Want more tips? Check out these TIPS from the Blog World Expo.

Monday, November 22, 2010

L Magazine

Throughout the semester, this blog has been about London. As a project for PR Media, we had to create a digital magazine. I chose to do it over, you guessed it, London. These are the 5 things I think everyone should try to see or do when in London.
Check out L Magazine and the top 5 things you must see in London.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

People to Watch

If you ever want to find people or organizations in or around London, Twitter is a great resource. Businesses, attractions and people are growing in number in the social media world and it has never been easier to find what you are looking for or to ask directly for information.
        Interested in the London Eye? Check out their Twitter page.
Twitter is also a great place to help look for jobs.
        Trying to find a job in PR or Advertising? Many firms have Twitter accounts where you can find updates and information. Here are two you can check out:
                    Saatchi London
                   Ogilvy PR London
LinkedIn is another great resource when looking or posting jobs. You can check out the UK site
Don't be afraid to look- make use of the search bar and get looking for that company or organization you want to work for. Or, if you just want to know more about it, click "follow" and you're all set.
Good luck and happy tweeting!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Keeping those Memories

A great way to keep your photos and things you've gathered on your trip is a scrapbook. Here's a quick vlog showing one I made after my last trip to London. It was a fast, simple way to have something to look at and share with my friends and family. Happy Traveling and Scrapbooking!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

London Vlog

Vlogs, or video logs, are a great way to share what you've been up to when traveling. You can film what you've seen and your thoughts for the day, share them with friends and family or post them on YouTube or another site for other people to check out. I found this vlog on YouTube. It shows a first trip to London. He decides to sum up the day in the beginning of the vlog and show video or what he talked about after. Each day he filmed video and that night, put the vlog together. After the end of the week, he has a collection of videos to remember his trip. Check out the video. If you like it, the rest of his vlogs are on YouTube.

Happy vlogging!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Oklahoma State Flashmob- Extra Credit

As I posted previously, T-Mobile created a campaign, "Life is for Sharing," where they got people to participate in singing to "Hey Jude" and spontaneously burst out in dance, flashmob, in the middle of a train station.
My Advanced PR Media class decided to create our own flashmob to create awareness about the name change to our school. Oklahoma State University's School of Journalism and Broadcasting is now the School of Media and Strategic Communications.

We split into groups based on different tasks that needed to be accomplished, such as sound, helping pick the music, choreographing the flashmob, video and others.

Together we recruited members from the School of Media and Strategic Communications and other students from OSU. We sent media advisories and pitch letters to news contacts in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Stillwater and ESPN.
Our class used social media to recruit members, inform those involved, and create interest in the public by tweeting such things as "the mob is coming." By the end of the process we had a flashmob twitter, OKStateflashmob, an email address and a Facebook group.

The day of the flash mob was a success. Unsuspecting people watched as a group of seemingly random people all started doing the same dance. More people joined in as the dance progressed and we managed to catch some great reactions from the crowd.

So, without further ado, here is the OKState Flashmob of 2010:

Check out Behind the Flashmob here..

London: Viral Video make up

"Charlie bit my finger-again!" has become the number three most viewed video of all time on YouTube. Going viral quickly, this video is of two brothers from the UK, sitting together and being filmed by their father. Little did they know it would become a hit, literately, with more than 245 million views.
Made to send to the boys godparents and family friends, the video is now quoted and copied by people of all ages. The video shows older brother, Harry, stick his finger in his younger brother, Charlie's, mouth. From there, Harry says a round of funny lines that I could probably say to a number of people and they would know exactly what I was talking about.
The boys' father has a YouTube channel where he puts other videos of Harry and Charlie, frequently asked questions and other tidbits you might want to see or know. Harry, Charlie and their family have been on talk shows, locally, and have a blog and Facebook page. The two help Born HIV Free, a campaign to fight for and AIDs-free generation, by starring in YouTube videos about the organization and its efforts.

So, are you ready to see some cute kids?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Social Media with Gina Noble

This week we had to talk about social media. Our group decided to interview Gina Noble, a professor at Oklahoma State University in the School of Media and Strategic Communications. Check out what she has to say about keeping up social media as a student and other great tips about social media.

Social Media with Gina Noble

Want to know what we asked Professor Noble? These are the questions:
  • How has social media impacted your life thus far?
  • How have you seen social media transform your job from when it was non-existent to increasingly popular?
  • What are some problems you see in social media?
  • What advice would you give college students for maintaining a professional social media presence?
  • Do you recommend using social media when applying and searching for jobs? Why or why not?
  • What is your favorite social media site and why?
  • Where do you see social media moving to in the future?

Hope you enjoy the blog!
Thanks to Gina Noble for taking the time to talk to us!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The power of podcast

If you are visiting London for the first time, podcasts can be really helpful. They range from short 3 minute clips of places to visit, to more detailed and descriptive pieces you take with you and listen to as you visit different areas of the city. When traveling, you can also upload them to your iPod or mp3 player and take it with you. Podcasts can also be in audio form only or video.

Podcasts are great to have because they can give you a persepective of London from people that have traveled there before or even those who live in the city. Having varying points of view, whether from the traveler or the eyes of a local, enhances what you are seeing, or planning to see, because you get the little facts and tips that not everyone is privy to. 

Although I didn't use a podcast when I traveled to London over spring break (luckily I had my own form of personal tour guide in my father who's been there enough times to know the ins and outs of the city) my parents used one when they went to Paris and loved it. They were able to learn about the historic parts of th city that they would not have gotten by just walking by. 

I went searching for a couple podcasts to share and found 2 short clips that give an overview of different things to do and see in London. A couple I've mentioned before, but other places are new. Check them out if you'd like. These are in video podcast form but podcasts about London can be found in audio form, too. 

One is from Visit London Podcasts. These guides are organized by different sections of London.

The second one is from Visit Britain Podcast. Check it out on YouTube here.

So, get out there, see the sights, and, if you want, create your own podcast about what you saw and the things you learned about London.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Social media, video, and other trends are changing the way we do PR and advertising. Public Relations and advertising in London is no different.
T-mobile created a "Life's for Sharing" campaign, where they got a large group of people to sing together and flashmob in the middle of a train station. And where did these occur? London.
I first saw the videos in my Advanced PR Media class.
In the first video, microphones were given out to people in Trafalgar Square, while giant screens showed the lyrics to "Hey Jude" by The Beatles. People of different gender, race, age, background, and so on came together to sing while life went on around them. Double Decker buses drove by, bicycles passed, and people got on their cell phones to share the moment. T-Mobile's name got out. Check out the video:

T-Mobile Sing-along

In the second video, T-Mobile got a group of people together to do a flashmob, a spontaneous choreographed dance, in the middle of Liverpool Street Station. This video alone has more than 23 million hits on YouTube.

The T-Mobile Dance

With a little time and a lot of inspiration from what T-Mobile did in London, my Advanced PR Media class created our own flashmob. As soon as we have the video I'll post.
The PR/Advertising by T-mobile impacted London. When watching that video, you recognize the surroundings and can later pick them out. Because I had gone to London before I saw the campaign videos in class, I immediately could connect with where thousands of people sang "Hey Jude" in unison. For people that see the video first, they might go by the National Gallery, see the architecture, stairs, and other statutes around it and think, "I've seen this on YouTube- it's where they filmed the T-mobile campaign!" It's like seeing some place you've been on television- it gets more exciting because you can connect with it and share your experience there with others.
After all, Life is for sharing.
Share it in London like T-Mobile did.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mind the Gap

While taking a car is an everyday thing for most people in the US, it's not as common in the UK. When visiting London you may occasionally take a taxi, you'll certainly do a lot of walking, and you'll definitely want to use the London Underground, or the tube.
The tube is an underground network of trains that can take you pretty much anywhere in the city. There are stations all over. Just look for this sign. 
There are many options when buying tickets; what you get may just depend on how long you are staying for. You can purchase tickets by the day and depending on what lines you are going to take, or you can buy what is called an Oyster card. The Oyster card is a blue, plastic card you can add credit to and pay as you go. This may be a better option if you are staying for a longer period of time. 
There are usually maps at each station to help you find what stops you need and which line to take to get to your final destination.
To check out prices and get a tube map, check out the Transport for London website.
The tube wasn't always just used for travel. During World War II, London subway stations were used as shelters during bombing raids. This past weekend, Aldwych station was opened to the public to mark the 70th anniversary of the Blitz. Staff dressed in period clothing and walked visitors around the station. Tickets sold out before the event even started. You can read the whole story from the Associated press here.
Whether getting from one point to another or commemorating events of London past, the tube is great resource to anyone visiting London.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mixing it Up

I'm changing it up a bit for one blog this week. For my Crisis Communications class I had to interview a Pro. I interviewed Larry Nation, the Communications Director for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. To go along with the London theme, I asked Mr. Nation what his favorite thing about London is:

"I Have been to London only four times, which means I have only scratched the  surface of what that world-class treasure has to offer. Usually stay in the St. James area, which is near Parliament/Buckingham Palace and the Tube takes you everywhere in minutes. Besides the usual suspect places is the "bunker" where Churchill broadcast his great radio speeches and was the Hq for all military ops, (which is near Parliament). But mainly, as always, I enjoy engaging with the "real" people who live and work there (which is the same answer where I go - ).

So, guess my main answer would be talking with interesting people."

I also want to say thanks for taking the time to talk to me. 
So, here's the interview, in overview form, as turned in for class:

    Larry Nation is the Communications Director for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. My dad works at AAPG as the Director of Global Development and Conventions and arranged an interview day with Nation. We communicated through email to find a time that was best. We spoke on the phone and I learned what being the communications director for an association is all about.
    Larry Nation received a bachelor’s degree in Radio/Television Journalism at the University of Tulsa and took master’s courses in Rhetoric and Writing. From there he was a reporter on oil and business, crime, politics and other topics for the Tulsa World. He became the Tulsa World’s youngest State Editor at the age of 24. Nation joined the University of Tulsa Division of Continuing Education as the Marketing Director and later became the Assistant Dean of Continuing Education. Now, he works as the Communications Director for AAPG.
    A typical week for Nation is not typical. It is more of a typical month. He works on the website as well as the monthly publication, AAPG Explorer. Because of this, mid-month is slow, then it “crescendos” up and up until the deadline. Once the deadline is met it starts all over again. He also works on other projects that keep him busy in the down time such as marketing pieces, exhibit design, and other special publications. The number one thing Nation lives by is deadlines.  A deadline is a “promise.” He said you can’t be efficient or economically responsible if you can’t meet a deadline.
    There isn’t one specific project Nation is proud of, but he is proud of their award-winning publications. They work with scientists, who report on what they are doing, and target other geologist. He described the publication as a “common pond in the jungle where all animals come to drink,” because there are many different types of geologists who read the APPG Explorer.
    Nation reads to keep current in the industry. He also makes calls and talks to people. Once he has information, he goes to meetings where they read and discern the important news items.
    As a JB student, Nation wishes he was better at math at the beginning. He said you use it more than you think you will. He would have also liked to learn more scientific aspects.
    Nation said writing is crucial in everything he does. Even in everyday communication, writing is crucial. Writing should have clarity and brevity, and you should be able to use language correctly; being able to communicate well says volumes.
    When I asked Nation for three tips he would offer someone starting out in PR, he paused. He said there were so many things he would share, it was hard to narrow it down to three. The first was to find a mentor, somebody in the business who can guide and assist you. He even mentioned that, although employers may want you to, you’re not supposed to know everything right at the beginning. Second was to get experience on your resume. The third was to make contacts and get to know people. It’s the key to opening doors. Those who are more outgoing are more likely the ones out front while the shy people tend to be more on the production and editing side.  Nation said he could not have been happy on the production side because of his personality. I received an email from Nation after the interview where he gave me one more bit of advice- “when communicating, always consider the target audience and tailor that message for their maximum understanding.”
    Because AAPG is a petroleum and geology association, when the Gulf oil spill occurred its employees had a lot of work to do. Nation worked on getting AAPG positioned to answer questions and be a reliable, unbiased source for the media. The AAPG president has 30 years experience and could talk about was going on. AAPG is an association, therefore it was not labeled as a spokesperson for the industry. Some of the things they shared may not have been what people wanted to hear, but they were honest. This allowed them to make friends with the media. From May 30-Sept. 21, 2010, AAPG has been quoted 519 times in 103 newspapers in the United States and 123 times in 20 international publications. To attract attention in the beginning, he sent out a news advisory saying who they were, contact information and that they were ready to answer any questions. They also sent a release relaying that it was an accident, though it probably could have been avoided. Nation said it snowballed from there. They appeared on CNN, NBC Nightly, in New York Times and other newspapers. Whenever new developments were made in the Gulf, the media already knew who they were. Nation said he is proud how they reacted to the oil spill and assisted the media.
    After the interview with Nation I’m more likely to want a career in PR, but probably not in the petroleum geology field. The answers I got from him were what I was expecting, especially when it came to the importance of writing. It was interesting to hear about the Gulf oil spill and learn a different side of PR and communications based in petroleum.

If you want to find out more about AAPG, check out its website,

Sunday, September 19, 2010

View from the Top

Hello all!
London is a big city with a lot to see and do. But, if you really want a great view of the layout, the London Eye is a must.
The London Eye is located right on the Thames river, just a walk over a bridge and to the left from Big Ben. Standing about 443 feet tall, the London Eye allows you to see a 360 degree view of London. You can see anything from Big Ben and Parliament to Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace off in the distance on a clear day.

The first time I went to London we didn't get a chance to go on the Eye because the line was so long-during peak visiting season and holidays make sure to get there early or be prepared to wait in line for a while. (Also, make sure you check the times the Eye is open, because its hours depend on the time of year.)
This past spring break we decided it was something we were definitely going to try to do. We got up pretty early and made our way over using the Underground and some walking. If you get off on a stop early enough, you also get to see great landmarks on the way over.
You can buy tickets in a building near the Eye. Regular tickets and fast track tickets are available. After getting our tickets, we stood in line, were given 3-D glasses and sent into a 4-D theater. We watched the "4-D experience" (I wont tell you the whole story here) and then made our way over to the London Eye line.
The line only lasted about 10 minutes, then we were ready to board. Now, to board, you literally have to just walk on quickly as the capsule, what you stand in, goes by. They lock you in and, at this point, you are free to walk around the capsule and see the great views of London.
 The Eye takes about 30 minutes to make its way back to where you have to swiftly walk out of the capsule, again, as it keeps moving.

My family paid £17.95 a ticket for the standard day flight, or about $28 each, but prices vary if you buy fast track, online and so on. It's totally worth it. You see a view of the city you'll never get from just walking around or taking a bus. You'll get great pics and an experience to talk about. Its also the London Eye's 10 year celebration, so even more is going on this year! I definitely recommend checking out the London Eye.

If you want to know more about prices, times or just fun facts, check out the London Eye website,

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Loving London

I'm Alyson, an Oklahoma State University Advertising and PR student, who, as you may have guessed, loves London. Though I've only been there twice, most recently for spring break of 2010, it's one of my favorite places. I have to create a blog for my PR Media class so I decided, what better topic to talk about than my #1 vacation spot- London? So here you have it: Live.Love.Laugh.London.

I'll be looking at things to do in London, places to see, food to eat, and even a few tips about the underground (with a few stories mixed in here and there.) I would by no means call myself an expert on the city by the Thames, but I would hop on a plane this minute if I could and go- that's why I chose this particular topic to talk about for the semester (and maybe even longer if it turns out okay :) )

Thinking about going to London or have something you want to know about? Post a comment or ask away and, if I can, I'll try to help you out.