New Year Resolutions Done Right

After reading my friend Valerie’s blog post about not making new years resolutions, I was inspired to write my own post about them.

I think new year resolutions are a good thing, if done well. I won’t say there is a correct way to make goals, but there are ways to better help you reach your goals. Thanks to my PR classes, I’ve learned some helpful hints:

1. Break down big goals into smaller, manageable pieces. In the world of public relations and marketing, campaigns have goals and objectives. Goals are the over arching idea that you want achieve, whereas the objectives are more specific actions you will take to achieve the goal. If you want to get healthy, break that down into work out and eat healthy.

2. Make your goals measurable. In a PR campaign you need to say more than just “improve brand identity.” One objective we created our senior year in campaigns class, was to “create and publish 3-5 promotional pieces over a 12-month period.” This is measurable – you can look back and see if you created a minimum of 3 pieces and how long it took you to do so. For our work out objective, this could mean go to the gym for 1 hour 3 times a week.

3. Create a game plan. In addition to objectives, PR campaigns have strategies- essentially the  game plan on how to make the objectives possible. The strategies for our work out objective could include joining a gym within 5 miles of your home. Another area you may want to address is obstacles. Come up with responses to obstacles so you will know how to tackle the issue when it comes up, instead of making excuses.

4. Evaluate. Throughout the year, you should measure and evaluate your goals – like a benchmark study in a PR campaign. Are you keeping up with your work out plan or are you slacking off because your work out is boring? This will help you recognize what is working and what needs adjustments in your plan. Also, at the end of the year look back on your resolutions and take time to reflect on your progress throughout the year! Reflecting will help you gain insight and prepare you for when you make goals next year.

I believe setting too many new year’s resolutions could set you up for failure by being overwhelmed. Instead of only setting new year’s goals, I would set monthly goals – similar to the Happiness Project – focusing on one area each month.

Good luck with your new year’s resolutions!


Recap: Media Relations Associate at Operation Christmas Child

The last 6 months have been quite crazy in the world of Operation Christmas Child!
Some highlights of my experience:

  • New York City Shoe Box Blitz
  • Family Day
  • Media Day
  • Completing my first pitch to the media via telephone
  • Recording hundreds of media hits that I helped make happen
  • Interviewing Tyler Weeks and sharing his dream of packing 100 boxes on his own (did I mention he is 10?)
  • Hearing Oksana, Vladmir and Livia give their testimonies on how a simple shoe box gift can change a life

Charlotte Processing Center

As media relations associate for the Lower Mid West and TX/LA regions, I’ve learned a lot about communications, pitching to the media and event-planning.

When pitching to the media always have numbers to back up your claim, know the local angle, and know your facts. These three things may seem obvious, but they are crucial in getting your story to the public.

  • Know your numbers – for example, whenever I had to explain what Operation Christmas Child does, I always used to show how big the project by saying the 2011 goal is 8.2 MILLION shoe box gifts. That got the attention of journalists.
  • Know the local angle – even though I was in Charlotte, NC and pitching to media in Houston, I would the media a local volunteer who they could speak to in their area.
  • Know your facts – like when National Collection Week is happening, what the hours of operation are for the local drop-off location and how many boxes will be collected in a specific community.

Franklin Graham

When writing your press releases and email pitches make sure your writing is fit to print. Many outlets just publish the press release you send them as is – especially when it has event information in it. So make sure your writing is easy to understand, and to the point.

As far as event-planning, be flexible and be as prepared as possible. Accept that lots of things will go wrong, but it is okay! Take notes so you will remember for next time! Smile. Even if you are not happy 100% of the time during the event, smile because it will put you in a better mood and help staff/volunteers to continue to be positive.

It has been an incredible experience working for an international nonprofit.

Packed shoe box gift

So…what’s next?

Well, I am still searching for a full-time position…but I am going to start interning at the Democratic National Convention Host Committee in the fundraising department in January!




I Will Make the Most of Jesus

This week I’ve learned a lot about taking time to enjoy the holidays and stress less.  I’ve been known to stress often (just ask my former roommates), but I am starting to cast my anxiety toward God rather than others. It helps that I no longer have research papers or a certain number of chapters I have to read each night, but it is still stressful working a full-time job.

At Elevation this week, Pastor Steven began a series called I Won’t Survive the Holidays. The mantra he opened with was: I won’t get lost in lesser things, I will make the most of Jesus. This time of year is crazy with buying gifts, attending parties, wrapping up projects at work and traveling, but I hope to spend more time this season in Jesus’ presence. Rather than being distracted by things that mean nothing, I want to focus on what means everything – Jesus. You’ve heard the sayings  “Jesus is the reason for the season” and “keep Christ in Christmas,” and they are completely accurate. Christmas is about celebrating God’s love for us, that He sent His only son Jesus to be with us on earth. Emmanuel – God with us. God is not in high above us looking down at us, He is right here with us on Earth.  He wants us to spend time in prayer with Him, communicating our worries, fears, hopes and dreams.

I attended Forest Hill’s Women Under Construction on Monday night and it was a powerful lesson on prayer. Marilynn Chadwick is an incredible woman of God and she truly inspired me.  She gave 5 steps in prayer:

  1. Be alert – pay attention to the people around you, be intent about listening to others so you know what to pray for.
  2. Be specific – pray for specific things, whether it’s worries or dreams, big or little.
  3. Pray with Biblical authority – Read the Word and pray  using scripture.
  4. Agree with others in prayer – Jesus says in Matthew 18 that when 2 or 3 are gathered in His name He is with them. Pray with your family, with your friends.
  5. Answer God’s call – Act on what God is telling you. Life is too short not to have moments that count.

I have grown in my walk with the Lord significantly since moving to Charlotte. Reading my devotion every morning reminds me to focus on what is important.  I hope you are encouraged and challenged by this like I have been. Pray continuously, but also listen for His voice and direction.