public relations

Exams Are Coming: Are You Ready?

My official exam week starts in eight days, but I actually have exams this week. In the Algonquin College public relations program, exam week is notoriously known as “Hell Week,” where students are assigned to teams and have a week to complete a campaign. I’ve had graduates tell me stories of people crying and fighting, and others tell me not to worry and manage your time well.

I’m not going to worry and manage my time well. I am pretty calm and level-headed, but if you aren’t, you may be feeling a lot of anxiety this time of year. Here are some tips to stay cool as a cucumber:

1. Stay organized. This may seem obvious, but a lot of people don’t bother to write due dates or exams in a calendar. You need to have a plan! I use a Macbook, so I schedule everything (exams, major assignments, group meetings, work, networking events, bill due dates, etc.) in iCal, and also have a list of homework and exams in my reminders section to the right. This way, I can see everything by date and can plan when to work on things accordingly.

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2. Relax and focus. This is a lot easier to do if you are organized, but you really need to relax. Take a deep breath and have a cup of tea, take a quick nap, or hit the gym. People who are always stressing and panicking stay in an endless cycle: they stress out about how much work they have to do, complain to other people about how stressed they are, stress these other people out, and stress themselves out even more.

Try to relax, focus, and just sit down and get the work done. If you’re organized and have lists of what’s due, start with the most important things first. You won’t get anywhere if you’re running in circles like a chicken with its head cut off.

3. Don’t procrastinate. So you’ve made a calendar and schedule, have relaxed, and are sitting down to focus on your work – but it’s due at 8 a.m. the next morning. Don’t leave things until the last minute! This will only stress you out (as discussed above). Some people say they work better under pressure, but if you’re rushing to get things done you will make careless errors, not have time to properly proofread your work (or have someone else look at it for you), and not have time to ask for help. I like to finish assignments early so I can come back with fresh eyes the next day.

When it comes to exams, it’s easier to study for 30 minutes a night than for seven hours the day before. You will also remember the material better this way. When you’re out of time and stressing out, you’re not going to retain information or perform as well for the exam. The best exam tip I can give comes months before the exam – pay attention and be active in class. I don’t speak out a lot in class, but I pay attention, listen, and think. If you’re engaged in what you’re learning, you will retain it and not have to study as hard later.

These are things that help me be successful during exam time, but I would love to hear your tips and tricks. Personally, my method comes down to self discipline and good time management skills. I make a plan, start things early, and force myself to sit down and get things done. These are skills that will also benefit you in your career once exams are behind you.

A Purrfect PR Campaign

Friskies did something last week that made me really excited – they hosted the first annual awards show for Internet cat videos called The Friskies.

It was hosted by one of my favourite YouTubers, Michael Buckley (WhattheBuck show).  Attendees dressed in their finest (cat ears included) and gathered to honour the finest cat videos the Internet has to offer.

According to Friskies, the purpose of the awards were to honour the art form of the cat video. Over 1,400 videos were submitted, and a panel of judges narrowed it down to 12 finalists in four categories. The general public voted for the winners over a three-week period. The best cat video winner received $15,000 and a year’s supply of cat food, and the winner of each category won $2,500.

I think this campaign was very creative and fun. They incorporated cats into all aspects, including:

  • A nyan cat interpretive dance
  • A cat treat bar
  • Catuettes (the coveted award statues)
  • Live entertainment in the form of humans meowing classical music
  • Elegant cat food chandeliers
  • An app, Catify
  • A hashtag, #TheFriskies

Friskies encouraged public engagement by announcing they would donate a can of food for every vote, like, and share. This resulted in 250,000 cans of cat food being donated to 25 animal shelters in the United States.

The best cat video winner was Mick Szydlowski for his video, “Oskar’s First Toys,” featuring his cat which was born with no eyes. Szydlowski says he hopes all the attention his Oskar videos have received will help convince people that cats with disabilities can still make great pets. The video has over 4 million views. 

From a brief Google search, it appears the event received a good amount of media coverage, including:

To learn more about the campaign, check out the links below. What’s your favourite PR campaign?

Website: http://www.thefriskies.com/ 

Blogging Newbie

Image from gabrielweinberg.com.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. This is my first venture into the blogging world, although I do lurk around frequenting other blogs. Being a public relations student wetting my feet in the field, I plan to share what I am learning at different events, conferences, in class, my personal opinions on current news, with some more personal posts thrown in.