With the recent Honey Maid "It's Wholesome" campaign, I felt inspired to share some videos of campaigns I have noticed throughout the past year. From quirky to unique to creative, these are the sort of videos (and campaigns) I would want to spend hours and hours making and producing to further an organization's goal. Because I can't do that (just yet), I'll rewatch and rewatch for inspiration:
Dumb ways to Die >> A PSA for Train Safety
By far one of the cutest, most creative PSAs I've ever seen, this metro safety campaign turns a seemingly boring and quite dark problem into a catchy tune. This sort of ingenuity can be admired across all planes because of its creative approach to a problem.
The Recycling Campaign >> Keep America Beautiful
Once again, creativity takes the cake. For people to pay attention, campaigns have to be unique. Recycling is something we've all heard about and, yet, people still aren't doing their part to the fullest extent. By tying creativity with an emotional appeal, this campaign serves as inspiration for any green (or ignored) effort.
Cat Nip Ad >> Direct Mailer
Direct mailers are dead, right? Not quite. This catnip advertisement is one of the funniest things I've seen in a while. Worthy of a case study, this campaign must have employed admirable targeting strategies to its recipients. Do we know the effect of capnip on dogs yet? I would love to see how sales were affected by this approach.
For college students, I believe New Years comes second to new beginnings. Coming in first is the beginning of the school semester. Without further ado, here are some items and inspiration to help make this semester successful.
Oh Kale Yeah Tote >> West Elm // Thank you Tote >> BodegaPress via Etsy
Screen-printed, canvas tote bags are perfect for carrying books and notepads for those light course load days. The size matches a laptop case snuggly, and the canvas material makes the totes sturdy against your work. While West Elm's tote is the right kind of punny, Etsy's handmade bag adds the perfect twist to the common "thank you" bags.
Kate Spade Library Card Phone case >> Nordstrom
Nothing pairs better with internships and college like the iPhone. Kate Spade gets this and has created the perfect fit to the academic, digital lifestyle. With this fun play on a library card case, phone-addicted students may remember to actually, you know, use the magical place with books.
An Organized Desk
The key to success starts at the desk. At least, I like to think so. Get Buttoned Up has a useful tips to keeping your desk refreshed in 25 days. Pair those tips with the photo above for inspiration, and a clean, organized desk is sure to come.
Calendars >> Jasmine Dowling, Jillianastasia, Oh the Lovely Things
What better way to stay on track than some beautifully designed calendars? The best part is that they are free printables. Pick and choose which style fits you, and then get to plotting out the rest of your semester. It's a no-fail plan.
This originally ran in Sidelines' print and online edition and can be viewed here.
There is no sound sweeter after all-nighters and term papers than stapling the final draft together. The library’s ever-present sounds — students shuffling, pages turning, keyboards clicking — dim as you reach for the shiny black beast.While you may not take notice of this beautiful moment, instead scurrying away to beat the clock to class, someone does. His name is Jason Vance.
Vance, an assistant professor, is the creator of the “Dead Staplers” Tumblr, documenting the birthdates and death dates of every stapler that comes across the James E. Walker Library’s first floor reference desk.
“Just for my own curiosity, I decided to start keeping track of how many [staplers] we threw away,” Vance said, gingerly turning a stapler in his hands to show the neatly written “14” in Sharpie.
This stapler, along with the other 13 lining the windowsill in his office on the library’s second floor, is “dead.” Cause of deaths: repeatedly jammed or simply broken in two.
Soon, his curiosity bloomed into a quirky phenomenon. He began snapping photos of the staplers and posting them on Tumblr with such humorous captions as, “STAPLER 11 IS MISSING. It has gone missing two previous times (on April 1 and June 28, 2013). I am not worried. It will come back when it’s ready.”
Without any advertising since the blog’s creation in January 2013, people began to take notice of the quirky site.
“It just kind of took a life of its own … it’s really bizarre,” Vance said, laughing at the notion he may be a library celebrity.
Working in bookstores and libraries during and after college, Vance has found a home in our university’s four-floored beauty.
“Libraries are no longer just about books — or staplers,” he quipped before describing his love of libraries. “There is so much technology …. It’s much more than just books. We still love books, but it’s just become so much more.”
He not only works at the reference desk, but also spends a majority of his time teaching research classes for a span of majors in the library.
“There is a lot of learning, a lot of research. You get people from all different disciplines — the math people coming in and working out big complex formulas on the white boards, and the literature people coming in and reading books and typing papers, and you have the people coming in and taking naps,” he said.
It’s hard to imagine this academic taking a nap in the place he knows so well. Vance has worked at the library for five and a half years, but it’s clear he enjoys libraries from all decades. He pulls a book written in the 60s from his desk. As he flips through “What Does a Librarian Do?,” dust flutters from the pages to show pictures of card catalogs and librarians stamping cards.
Hanging on his office wall is a poster dedicated to the Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky, who delivered bags of books on horseback in the 1930s. These librarians were a topic of one of his many published research papers.
He has even turned his dead stapler project into a satirical article for “College and Research Library’s News” magazine, which will be published this fall or winter.
When he started the stapler project, the desk had three. After 19 deaths and two missing, the desk is left with seven. The three original staplers did not make it.
The graduate of library sciences from Simmons College described scenes of people placing papers in the stapler and then stomping on them to get the papers to join in metal-enforced matrimony. Other times, he’s witnessed students using the staplers as actual hammers.
This epidemic is felt around the nation. Vance unintentionally touched a sensitive spot for librarians with his blog and has even received emails from Canadian librarians who support his efforts in bringing awareness to dead staplers.
This is a screenshot taken from Simon Christen's video, "Adrift." Everyone needs to view it at least once. And then ten more times.
I'm too connected. While this may be something I can later place on a resume, it's not the best feeling. I use Instagram, I tweet, I begrudgingly post on Facebook, I occasionally blog, I watch television via Netflix (though I know that's not a "skill"), I pin to Pinterest, I have five working email accounts, I check LinkedIn (still don't know what I'm supposed to actually do there) and if I'm not on my MacBook Air, I'm looking at my iPhone.
This is bad.
I can't write because I'm too overwhelmed. My brain seizes, and the words won't come out. It's because I won't focus. It's because I can't focus. I'm missing it all because I'm staring at a screen.
Last night, I read half of a book, and I forgot I had a Twitter. While that may sound silly, it's true. I genuinely forgot about my computer and my feeds, and this morning, when I awoke to countless emails, a few Facebook notifications, a direct message from Twitter and I was 16 hours behind my feed, I wondered how I had gotten so behind. And then I remembered that I had honestly forgotten to get caught up because I was reading a book about a militant feminist.
I'm a reader, more than anything else. I don't care about what people have to say on Facebook. And while I love Twitter, most of what I see there I could easily find out by just reading a newspaper -- just one newspaper during only one period of the day. Why do I feel obsessed? Why must I know what's going on all the time?
This is what I want to do. I want to read and write. Sure, I want to connect with people and interact, too, but not in the same way as I want to read. I love to read.
Also, I want to notice things. I want to see the world, not a filtered image of it through Instagram. I don't want to hear about it in 140 characters. And I certainly don't want to see it or hear about it through some poorly written, garbled version on Facebook (if you can't tell, I don't like Facebook, at all). And can I just add that I don't care about a six-second version either?
Most importantly, I'm tired of living my life for others. While this may seem dramatic, it's not entirely incorrect. When I [insert correction action for particular social media], it's to an audience. What if instead I lived my life the way I want to? Without caring about people seeing it. I don't want to feel constantly watched.
Instead, I want to watch things. I want to go adventures. Who cares if other people don't see it? Who cares if I don't Instagram my rock climbing trip? Do people really care that I went to a concert and was five feet away from the band? How about I stop caring what people think. How about I stop caring about the outside view and look for myself.
I think we're all missing it. The world, the view, the ideas, the feeling of being alive, all of it. I think we're so bound by these rules and social media and sharing and connecting and liking and favoriting and double-clicking for hearts that we have no idea how to just be.
I have no idea how to wait in a line anymore. I have no idea how to sit still. I don't know how to have a clear head. I don't know how to not have my hand clenched around my phone "just in case." I don't know how to not feel an overwhelmingly pressure to appease and please. And so quickly, too.
I want to end this by sharing a video of a world I probably would never have seen before. Because eventually, I'll stop looking up at the sky. And I'll stop seeing the world. But this guy did, and he did it for two and a half years, and it's beautiful.
The other day, I felt like I was living in an episode of "Sex and the City." In this particular episode (start at 2:40), I would have been Carrie Bradshaw (I'm really more of a Miranda) because she and I lived through the same experience: backing up.
Carrie had been given the worst news -- she was probably going to lose all her work because her computer had crashed. While my lovely MacBook Air didn't cross that same fate, its screen had a glitching, red line on it and had to be taken in for repairs. I was told that I could potentially lose all my data and that I couldn't blame Apple, though the Genius said this much more eloquently.
"When did you last back up?" he asked me, and I felt like an idiot. Or at least like someone stuck in the 90s.
"No one talks about backing up. You’ve never used that expression with me before ever. But apparently, everybody is secretly running home at night and backing up their work," Carrie said to Miranda over the phone after she'd met with what would now be considered an Apple Genius. I wanted to say the same thing my Genius.
He was right though, I couldn't blame Apple. And I couldn't blame society for not talking about backing up. If anything, I should know better because I'd seen the SATC episode enough to quote Carrie's mini-rant. I guess I'm slowly realizing I need to embrace the tech world a little bit more.
So that same night, I bought the external hard drive an Apple employee recommended, and I sat in the food court of the mall, eating a pepperoni pretzel and waiting for my work to be backed up. An hour later, I turned in my laptop for repairs, signing a document to ensure I knew the past two years of my life could be erased in one swift move.
A day later, I got my computer back, documents, photos and portfolio in tow. And now I have a shiny new external hard drive and a new-found sense of comfort.
This originally was published on MTSU PRSSA's blog and can be viewed here.
What are ethics? And what are we, as PR professionals, doing to uphold a code of ethics? Well, look no further because the app is here. “PRSA Ethics” is a free app that has it all: professional values, code provisions, PSAs, a forum to ask ethical questions, posts about ethics and an ethics quiz. In an attempt to be honest, I made a 9 out of 10 (ironically, I missed the one where the answer was public relations professionals benefit from ethics).
We’re curious, what are some ethical quandaries you’ve found yourself in?
Member Code of Ethics:
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