Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Awards & Honors: Wachovia

Being recognized through publications is the best achievement one could have...right? Well for Wachovia, they pride themselves in their accomplishments. The following is a list of awards they have received to a best in class and diverse workforce:

"Working Mother magazine has again named Wachovia one of America's 100 best companies for working mothers

DiversityInc has named Wachovia one of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity for the sixth consecutive year.

For the seventh time, LATINA Style magazine has recognized Wachovia as one of the top 50 companies for professional Hispanic women in the United States.

Wachovia's solid reputation for hiring and promoting African American women has won the company another honor from Essence magazine. For the fourth time, Essence has named Wachovia to its list of the 25 Great Places for Black Women to Work.

Wachovia is one of the “Elite Eight” named to Pink magazine’s inaugural list of the Top Companies for Women.

Military Spouse magazine recently ranked Wachovia fifth on its list of the nation's "Top 10 Military Spouse Friendly Employers

The Black Collegian's Top 100 Employers Survey included Wachovia among its major employers in industry, government, and business examined for hiring trends.

For the seventh year in a row, Training magazine has named Wachovia one of the best companies in North America for employee training and development. Wachovia ranked 31, an increase of 17 positions over last year

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption recently recognized Wachovia as one of its Top 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces. " (http://www.wachovia.com/misc/0,,498,00.html)

Wachovia uses their awards and recognitions to show the public the diversity within the work place, background and their involvement within the company. These recognitions help the public awareness and the actions the Wachovia company is taking to help better serve its neighborhoods and it's employers. I think that a company's recognition is vital for its reputation and should always be apart of their social media presence. The website only shows a partial list of awards and recognitions they have received, but the list they have is yet again diverse in content and useful. I was actually shocked at the vast ethnic awards and recognitions they have acquired and commend them for their commitment to fair work place values.

Based on my research, I am more likely to want to work for the Wachovia Corporation. My decision to want to work for a company like wachovia comes solely from what I've dicovered about the company. For instance, the awards and recognitions would be on the "Pros" for wachovia. A diverse workforce shows the companies willingness to practice fairness in the work place. Additionally, I really admire Wachovia's efforts to help it's clients, customers, investors and etc through a tough transition, as well as thier community involvement through educational programs and other funding that is needed in our communities.

Using the Groundwell: Wachovia

The Groundswell has become an increasingly growing means for corporate companies. The Groundswell is something that many companies are adopting. What is it? The groundswell encourages the use of social media networks in order to get more feedback and to see what people are saying about your company. In this generation, Social media has become a part of our everyday lives.

My fortune 500 company choice was Wachovia and in order to examine to what extent they are engaging in the use of the groundswell…I hit the internet! Immediately, I went to search Google for “Wachovia twitter” and up pops the Wachovia Company via twitter! Surprised? I think not! Twitter also includes a list of Companies that uses social media and those that do not at the following link: http://twarketing.com/tag/fortune-500/

Wachovia engages with their audiences on twitter, Blogs, myspace and other networks. I'd have to say that Wachovia is getting use to the Social Media and how it's important to participate with the audiences watching you.

As a current account holder at Wachovia and an active person in social media I am always looking for news about the company...especially since they are in the midst of a transition. I'd recommend that Wachovia continues the use of the groundswell due to the technology trend of social media. It's engaging and always good to receive feedback, but to utilize the data one receives will be the ultimate test for the company.

*A condensed version of my previous blog Wachovia and the Groundswell

Wachovia: Newsroom

When one is searching for information online about the current events within a specific company, they often look for something that is user friendly and easy to get navigate through. With Wachovia, I'd have to say that their current newsroom is extremely user friendly and organized. They provide users access to press releases dating to the year of 1997 to the present. I firmly believe that Wachovia's newsroom is highly effective as well. They provide press kits for individuals seeking information in the following categories:

"Community Media Connection
Loss Management Media Center
Wachovia Security PlusSM
Way2SaveSM ", According to the Newsroom of Wachovia.

Each of the categories provide some sort of back ground, related press releases, biographies, fact sheets and other vital information that may be seeked from specific publics. As a Public Relations practioner, I would enhance the awareness of the above categories for customers using social media outlets via Twitter, MySpace and Facebook, but treating them as indiviudal services could help with the outcome and use of these particular services. My rationale for a more enhanced awareness is the increase in social media with today's technology. Social media has become a fast growing advancement and many companies are adopting this new trend in order to have more of a prescence and reach within communities.

Wachovia: Career Opportunities

Have you ever wondered what other opportunities the Wachovia Corporation may provide outside of finances? Well, Wachovia offers a wide variety of possible careers within the company.
Below are some of the types of jobs that make up their daily operations:
Contingent, Contract, and TemporaryCorporate Administration
Customer Service
Fiduciary Management
Finance and Accounting
General Services
Human Resources
Industry Research
Information Technology
ManagementMarketing and Product Development
OperationsProject Management
Risk Management
Teller and Financial Center
Trading " (http://www.wachovia.com/inside/page/0,,137,00.html)

As a potential person of interest for the company Wachovia's website provides users a webfriendly search engine that allows for individuals to search for potential jobs "inside/outside the U.S., Campus Recruiting, Contract Employement, Calendar of Events, Benefits for those that are hired, Career development, Workplace Dversity, Hiring Process, and even interview tips." The help and encouragement that Wachovia offers has helped them as a company earn the repuatation as a great place to work. Wachovia also prides themselves "to being an inclusive company where all people are treated fairly, recognized for their individuality, promoted based on performance and encouraged to reach their full potential,"according the Wachovia Careers.

These reasons alone makes me as a soon to be Public Relations graduate want to work for the Wachovia Corporation. They have proved themselves to operate on the basis of its publics in which I admire about the company. The power of the content that Wachovia has available on its website has helped them to establish a credible reputation, as well as their proactive inlvolvement within their enviroments.

Currently in News: Transition for Wachovia

Recently, in news, Wachovia is the talk of the media. However, the concerns for the new transition of the company ownership has created alot of questions regarding its current client/customers with accounts, investments, and other financial services.

Talk of a Merger:

Circulating in the media is the talk of the new merger. "Citigroup buys the bank operations of the Wachovia corporation. They will assume about $42 billion on losses tied to Wachovia's riskiest mortgages and will pay the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation $12 billion in preferred stock and warrants" according to the NewYork Times September 30, 2008, (E. Dash & Andrew Ross Sorkin).

The reason for this merger was "to prevent what would have become the second largest big bank failure in lesss than a week." "Previously, the government seized Washington Mutual and sold the bulk of it's operations to JPMorgan Chase. " (E.Dash & Sorkin)

According to Shelia C. Blair, the chairwoman of the F.D.I.C., in a statement that "This action was necessary to maintain confidence in the banking industry given the current financial market conditions."

All these stern measures in order to protect whom exactly? Well for some, these measures will alot of the current account holders within the company. It seems that they are taking all of the necessary actions in order to protect all of it's clients.

Ms. Bair also added that, “There will be no interruption in the services and bank customers should expect business as usual.”

These actions have conclusively showed the efforts of the Wachovia Corporation to help make an easy transition to adapt to the current changes in ownership. Keeping customers informed of the changes is not only the right thing to do, but it also shows the responsibility of the company and its clients. But, others still want to know what does this transition mean for the customers and how will they relay this change to it's customers?

Wachovia Corporation advises to its publics that it "will remain a public company with two main operatin subsidaries: Wachovia Securities, the nations 3rd largest brokerage firm, and Evergreen Asset managment, a leading provider of asset management services." (http://www.wachovia.com/)

"The merger is "simply an incredible fit that will result in an immensely strong, stable financial services company that will carry on Wachovia's proud tradition of being one of the very best financial institutions in the world. Wachovia also states that "This isn't a bank failure. Wachovia's banking operations has been acquired by Citigroup, but will continue to operate as an open bank."(http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/business/10bank.html?_r=1)

How to Deal with the Crisis...
The circulation of rumor that Wachovia is closing has become turmoil for the company. With the current economic conditions the country is facing, yet again another company is needing a "bailout." Don't fret Wachovia customers, clients, investors, stock/stakeholders...You have Citigroup to the rescue.

Wachovia also "encourages employees and vendors to continue to operate business as usual and that shareholders of Wachovia's stock won't be wiped out of this deal." Also, there are "no current changes to Wachovia's board of directors however, two Wachovia directors will be joining Citigroup's board." (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/business/10bank.html )Furthermore, Wachovia stresses that "customers of both companies to continue banking as usual, and to feel confident that their deposits are secure." With an increase in uncertainty amongst customers, Wachovia has "temporarily extended customer service call center hours in order to help participants during this time of financial market volatility." (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/business/10bank.html)

Wachovia and the Community

Have you ever wondered about the involvement Wachovia has within it's communities? Well if not, this blog will be a great chance to introduce you some of the current involvements the company has within its community. Wachovia has become a part of your community and has undoubtly proved themselevs with top customer service, and educational programs to better the lives of the community.

Wachovia offers:
- "a committment to the building of "strong and vibrant communities, improving quality of life, and making a positive difference where we live and work." (www.wachovia.com) "They have focus in resources and employee talents on two key priorities within the community:

Improving education

Strengthening neighborhoods

Wachovia currently invests billions of dollars in order to improve neighborhoods and expand education in the 49 states where they have a banking or brokerage presence. "

According to the Community Involvement of Wachovia, 2008 they also provide:

"Provide hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours for national and local efforts

Encourage employees to take four paid hours per month for volunteerism through our Time Away From Work for Community Service policy

Help hundreds of lower-income families achieve the dream of home ownership every week

Partner with local and regional non-profit organizations to deliver services and programs

Donate over $ 1 million a week to charity."

For those who thought that Wachovia was nothing more than a bank where you handled only financial transactions...you are highly mistaken.

Wachovia assists in improving education through the following programs:
"Reading First®
Teach For America
Teacher Development and Support
Wachovia Student Experience
Scholarships "http://www.wachovia.com/inside/page/0,,139,00.html)

In order find more information regarding the programs above, click on the hyperlink to find out more about how Wachovia is involved in its communities.

Wachovia Blog Series: Table of Contents

Wachovia and the Community

Currently in News: Transition for Wachovia

Wachovia: Careers

Wachovia: Newsroom

Using the Groundswell: Wachovia

My Social Media Policy

[A Standard for Social Media]

1. Connecting: [Before I connect, Introduce]. My name is Rena Heard and I'm currently a Public Relations major @ Georgia Southern University who is expected to graduate 12th of Dec 2008. I want to connect to others for professional as well as educational purposes that would help advance me in the Public Relations field as well as others.
[I require an introduction from those who would like to follow me. As well as, the reason they would like to connect and what they hope to gain from connecting]

2. Follow, add, friend: [Know who is following you and who you are following]
[My policy for friending is to follow with the intent to connect and gain useful information. You may add me to follow you, however I only reciprocate a follow or add if their is a posssible benefit of being more informed about a particular subject]

3. Privacy, boundaries and safety: [Set your limitations]
[My boundaries vary depending on the relation in which I share with others. For friends and family, I allow for them to have more access to my personal life, rather than my coworkers and employers. I prefer that my family/friends access is more open access to my information than those i place into my coworkers and employer...this access is closed or limited because my business and personal life are two separate entities]

4. Signal to noise: [STOP...are you disregarding what I prefer?]
[I seek those interested in all social media experience. Nothing is off limits. However, I am more likely to disconnect to those who ramble about useless information and constant updates with no beneficial information.]

5. Personal data and sharing: [I share. You share.]
[I keep my most personal data for me. I'm looking to connect according to those who share the same or like interests and similar or related professional goals. Personal information is private]

6. My networking needs and uses: [Distinguish the uses for all of your social media outlets]
[MyFacebook and MySpace is primarily uses for connecting with my college friends and family only. However, my Linkedin, Twitter, careerbuilder account are mainly for professional uses.
Facebook: Network with friends, family, college associates
MySpace: Network with family and friends, however more leisure purpose
Linkedin & Career Builder: Network to help establish the job markets available and potential listings
Twitter: Network and connect with those with similar interest and beneficial information]

7. Your criteria here: [My Standards]
[These criteria were set to help establish the likes/dislikes, purpose and requirements for my social media policy. I place these restrictions to help sift through the spam related content]

8. Your criteria here: [Restrictions]
[I feel it's important to state your policy for social media in order to set a standard in which there will be no violations of what you individually prefer. Be stern and implimant your Standards and Restrictions according to your personal media policy.] This policy has helped me to create a standard to live by in my social media worlds and I encourage others to set a standard as well.

Monday, December 1, 2008

About Wachovia

When it comes to banking it's important to choose a company wisely. Are you currently an account holder, stockholder, stakeholder or etc with the Wachovia Corporation? Have you recently had concerns with the current transitions facing the Wachovia Corporation? If so, chances are you are one of those individuals who likes to stay current with the news at your current place of banking services. A series of blogs with the “411” or the “Scoop” about Wachovia’s transition of ownership and other news within the company may be of interest to you, but first a little about Wachovia:

Wachovia was "founded in 1879 in Winston, NC and First Union was found in 1908 in Charlotte, NC which merged on September 1, 2001 to create the Wachovia Corporation. It is considered to be the third largest U.S. full service brokerage firm, the fourth largest bank holding based on their assets, provides 21 states currently with full financial services. Furthermore, it’s considered to be the #1 financial services provider to middle market businesses in the western U.S. and a national presence in commercial banking (29 states), largest bank owned U.S. insurance brokerage Currently, Wachovia employs about 117,000 individuals. The company affects 15 million households and businesses, 16.1 million online product and service enrollments, and 5.3 million active online customers." (http://www.wachovia.com/inside/page/0,,1051_2180,00.html).

The Wachovia Corporation offers the following services: "wealth management: online services, insurance services, business services, trust and philanthropic services, treasury services, update alert services, personal and business finance services along with many other services." (http://search.wachovia.com/selfservice/microsites/wachoviaSearchEntry.do?searchString=services&micrositeId=MS_INSIDEWACHOVIA_1_1&locale=LA_eng_US&usemicrosite=true&evaluateRF=true).

Fun Fact: According to the About Wachovia section, "the name Wachovia came from the latinized form of the name Wachau, which was given to the tract of land in the Piedmont region of North Carolina settled by Moravians in 1753. The name honored the settlers' connections to the Wachau Valley along the Danube River."

For more information regarding Wachovia, visit www.wachovia.com

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wachovia and The Groundswell

Using the Groundswells has become an increasingly growing tool for corporate companies. The Groundswell is something that many companies are adopting. What is it? The groundswell encourages the use of social media networks in order to get more feedback and to see what people are saying about your company. In this generation, Social media has become a part of our everyday lives.

My fortune 500 company choice was Wachovia and in order to examine to what extent they are engaging in the use of the groundswell…I hit the web! Immediately, I search Google for “Wachovia twitter” and up pops the Wachovia Company via twitter! Surprised? I think not! Twitter also includes a list of Companies that uses social media and those that do not at the following link: http://twarketing.com/tag/fortune-500/

It seems that the Twittering Fortune companies can be measured using a couple of categories that I've created based on how active they are or aren't.
Regular and Active: those that are using Twitter regularly and are engaging with others, or Irregular and Inactive those that have acquired the name of the company and aren’t sure of the uses of social media via Twitter and has little engagement with others. The process of figuring out the best way the groundswell can benefit them takes some research and there is a WRONG way to engage in Social Media.

To “successfully” use twitter - I’ll define what success means to me for using twitter. It's posting as often as possible in quicktime to a ample audience[a few hundred or more is expected]. Additionally collecting and responding to feedback using your Twitter Account measures your success.

Wachovia engages with their audiences on twitter, Blogs, myspace and other networks. I'd have to say that Wachovia is getting use to the Social Media and how it's important to participate with the audiences watching you. As a current account holder at Wachovia and an active person in social media I am always looking for news about the company...especially since they are in the midst of a transition. I'd recommend that Wachovia continues the use of the groundswell due to the technology trend of social media. It's engaging and always good to recieve feedback,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Up til’ Dawn’s “Write for a Bit”

Awareness week for Up til’ Dawn consists of one theme each on a different day with different events starting Tuesday until Friday.Up ‘til Dawn is a student organization at Georgia Southern University with the goals of raising money and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

“The purpose is to raise awareness about St. Jude’s through fundraising,” said 23-year-old Team Coordinator, Joey Tripp. “We do this through St. Jude’s solicitors,” he said.

St. Jude provides a prewritten letter and all that is required is that you fill out the information and anyone who knows someone that may help donate is mailed the letter. More so, there is no obligation to donate.

“There are definitely benefits for the children of St. Jude Children Research Center,” said Tripp. “All the money raised goes to St. Jude’s which supports the family and children which includes treatment, a place to stay and other costs that they may accumulate,” he said.

According to the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, students can become involved in a variety of volunteer and leadership activities on campus through this department.

If I must add, this is a great opportunity for students to give back to the community and I would encourage everyone to participate in these activities to increase awareness.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Media Relations & Public Relations

New sources of media are becoming more popular in this day and age for the influencers of social media. For instance, You, "joe the plumber", and me are potential influences for the media content for the world. According to PRSA 2008 New Influences of Social Media Marketing, we are all able to report, publish, comment and create content and distribute it among mainstream media. The content of this blog expresses the declining nature of the traditional media. I believe this to be true due to the nature of my surroundings. For instance, more companies, organizations and etc are turning to the social media to rely on conveying messages through social media networks. The author suggests 10 secrets from Paul Gillin author of the New Influences of Social Media. As PR professials, understanding how people are a influencer of media marketing and will become more successful in our marketing and media strategies.

"1-Don't fear negativity.
Except criticism even if it's negative! Admtitting to your mistakes is best.
2-Start with the goal not the tool.
Inform and show your product through the best tools possible. Tools for conveying your message: "podcasts & online videos, blogs & etc)
3-Embrace niche markets.
Those spenders who are knowledgeable, engaging, responsive, and helpful are key to your product.
4-Empower your people to speak for your company.
Give your employees the chance to speak for your organization so they are able to inform others about your company.
5-Master Search.
Know how to search for your companies reputation through search engines.
6-Think like a publisher.
Spread your brand through online sources such as Twiiter, blog posts, RSS feeds and etc.
7-Ditch the 13 week campaign.
Social media lasts longer than campaigns ad allows you to see what people are talking about with your brand.
8-Don't be afraid to try something new.
Change how you usually approach things.
9-Use it straight.
Take your feedback and utilize it.
10-Give to get."
Asking for their needs ad wants may help you build what's important.

These tips are reasonable and will enable a company to succeed and figure out what's important to you as an influencer. If you rely on this tips you will help your company and brand. Additionally, the blog Strategic Public Relation focuses on the public relations strategy within integgrated marketing communications. (Kevin Dugan; July 2002.) This blog talks about how public relations professionals should tap in technology to pitch to a larger mass of people. Isn't that what we as PR practionioners have help influence with in the markets? Incresing search engine relevance as it increases audience engagement is the key idea for social media.

Conclusively, both articles conclude that using social media is a great tool for tracking your popularity and to seek what people conceive your product as. I think this is useful for companies to explore in order to find the answers that they need. Moreso, feedback is the result companies were looking for from their customers.
Tags: Public Relations, Social media

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Article Review

Source: http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-9301631_ITM

I was recently was asked by my Corporate P R professor to review an article on public relations and to express what I’ve learned from the article that I read. In my case, I’m happy that I stumbled upon this particular article that stresses the importance of being socially responsible. In public relations, we are taught that in the beginning all you have is your word…your words are your credibility and shows people who you are or what people will think of you. With that being certain, the article talks about the importance of having a public relation practitioner in your corporations that stress that relationships of "corporate citizenship" in relation to all of its constituencies (Bovet, Fry; 1994). Also, the article talked about that in order for us practitioners to earn our seats at corporate tables we have to start informing corporations of the importance of being socially responsible. Socially responsible for their actions financially, developmentally, and so forth. Furthermore, it will become more common for public relations practitioners to actively engage in corporate decisions to ensure that the company maintains it’s relationships weather it’s between its stock holders, investors or customers(Bovet, Fry; 1994). All these entities of a corporation will be valuable and for the companies to miss the importance they will see what it is to maintain and secure the business. This article stays on the mainstream problems of companies whether it is environmental issues or internal. These issues become more aware within the environment and those who deem them important, however if a company has created a problem they must address them to save face.
The most shocking thing in this article for me to read was how public relations professionals have to “earn” our spots at the corporate table. In my opinion, public relation professionals and practitioners are key for businesses, especially in their research and development department. I’ve recently, realized the image “we” P R people have gained…and I disagree with the “spin doctor” term. Most companies are only somewhat concerned with the attitudes and problems their publics or potential publics have, however in public relations I’ve learned that “this” profession is key to success. I’m more shocked with how P R practitioner’s are always accused of being “whiners” when in fact that our part is to help inform and maintain key messages. Understanding those messages is key to success with publics within a company.
Furthermore, I want to learn more about how other professionals view the current public relation field and how we relate to various other fields of professionals. Knowing this will help me feel more comfortable gaining entrance into the public relations field and ensure me that me as a P R practitioner I have a place in the corporate world. Also, this could be related to the Wachovia Company that I’ve chosen for my fortune 500 company, in the event of being socially responsible for their actions. Also, how the company relates to the public with the current change in ownership will be vital to it’s current clients and potential clients.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Review of P R Blogs...

When I began my search for Public Relations blogs, I wasn't sure what topic I'd explore within those blogs or how much it would relate to my Fortune 500 company. However, I quickly realized with my search that a blog about media relations and how the P R world is operating was great for me explore.


The link above is a great example of the uses of P R blogs. This blogger in particular talks about twitter (a social media outlet) taking over the corporate world with its social media and people buying into this social media frenzy. The key points were on what uses a company could get out of twitter if used properly and how companies can effectively benefit using twitter. He lists 6 useful rules to abide by:
1- Don't have your PR firm set up and be your Twitter account.
2- Don't follow everyone willy nilly.
3- Get Tweetdeck.
4- Be engaged. Be personable. Be responsive.
5- Be a person.
6- Twitter is not for everyone.
As you explore his concepts more in depth, individuals should began to have some understanding of the utility of twitter and for companies use. I agree that the PR firm should have people set up the account for you, because waiting on a message and having to get approval to respond isn't quick time responses and one wouldn't be fully utilizing its tools. Also, when following people, one should follow with purpose, not for number count. Be a person is the best advice that the blog offers. People like to be able to relate with others, companies with no face, bio, and or name to their account defeats the purpose of the social media, which results in ultimately no presence for the company.


This blog was surprising for me to see how wide spread social media has become for individuals. In my final P R classes that I'm currently finishing up before graduation this Dec 08, I've learned that the demand for a presence in social media networks is immense. It's almost as if people must be connected through some type of social media in order to operate a normal life. I find this P R blog to be beneficial to my fortune 500 company (Wachovia)in which I'm researching for my Corporate P R class. One, must note the change in it's current ownership, possibly something to do with the current state of the "economic crisis." More so, this blog is something Wachovia could utilize. For instance, ensuring that they have a personable presence on twitter and actively interacts with others in a timely manner could improve their image and how people view how much they live up to their purpose.

Furthermore, another blog that was eye catching was the blog post about how individuals and companies have become slaves to technology.http://pop-pr.blogspot.com/2008/09/slave-to-technology.html
This blog elaborates on the things that could possibly help you out in the long-run when dealing with clients and using your media relations skills. There are 3 important factors:
1-Put away your keyboard; emphasizes are placed on putting away your key board and pick up the phone. You are able to have a conversation via telephone and it personalizes relationships more than e-mails
2-Call up a reporter and offer to meet for coffee or lunch; getting to know reporters and finding out what they would like to report on can bind networks.
3-Pick up the phone; again emphasis is placed on phone calls. People finalize via phone not texts or e-mail, but by phone.

Wachovia could utilize these tips and create a better relationship between themselves and their customers. During their current change of ownership the company could make their clients feel more comfortable by calling them and informing them of the new changes and ensuring them that their assets are still insured.

The most surprising thing about this blog is how emphasis is being placed on not taking advantage of the social media, but to utilize it. For instance, not using the Internet, however these days, it's important to use technology, but to be sure to stick to the old basics of connecting with people to stay personable.

Related Links: Public Relations

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My 1 Week of Twitter

Well...my 1st week of twitter has been a new learning experience. When I was first given the assignment I wasn't quite sure what I had gotten myself into. However, I'm really glad that my Corporate P R professor had given us an opportunity to explore this GREAT social network. Twitter has taught me an entire new way to be connected to people. I never thought I'd keep my account until I started to truly utilize the features of Twitter. I enjoy the fact that I'm able to connect to real people and send messages and get feedback from a company's representative and others...and in due time! I also admire the fact that you are in control of who is in a particular network without useless information. I'm able to add those with a particular interest and follow them and collect beneficial information. I'm hoping that my twitter experience will contine to grow and help me to learn something new everday. I'd recommend everyone to start a professional twitter account and to utilze its features!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I deserve A Grade of...

I deserve the grade of an A' in my Online Journalism course. I feel that I took an active role in completing my Blogs biweekly and adding links, pictures and videos consistently. I wrote the 3 stories required for the course. However, I had to redo a story, but I feel it made me more responsible for my writings. I knew that I had a weak story so I was happy to redo what I did wrong and make it right. I took this class serious, just as I did my other classes and I believe that says more in itself. I placed an effort and did my best and I feel that's all I can ask of myself...the best.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Rights of Indigenous People

The rights of Indigenous people have been an increasing issue over time. There are approximately 370 million indigenous people spanning 70 countries, worldwide. Historically they have often been dispossessed of their lands, or in the center of conflict for access to valuable resources because of where they live, or, in yet other cases, struggling to live the way they would like, according to Anup Shah.
Indigenous people have been the cause of deforestation and the dying of large animals. The conflict comes in where people believe that they are working with nature more than harming it. However, the opposing side has a different view exactly vice versa. Sadly, these traditions are fading due to govenment patents for food and other items. These people have been living this way for centuries and due to government involvement are having to find other resources which is already limited.

Crisis in East Timor

~August 1999 saw a vote on self determination in East Timor.
~Leading up to this and after the vote where there was an overwhelming majority who voted for independence, Indonesian military-backed militia and paramilitaries went on a terror campaign with slow international reaction.
~Much of East Timor was destroyed and at some points there were estimates from 200,000 to 300,000 refugees created with up to 600,000 people displaced.

Every country has their issues, however who'd thought that the recovery period would be so long though. Well, for these people they were and probably are still subjected to brutality from the Indonesian military which has been know to be somewhat communists. Although we know that "History repeats itself," we as global citizens never seem to "truly" get the tradgedy of our actions.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Arms Control

In the U.S.there are restrictions and laws governing the use and control of fire arms. Unfortunately, other countries don't have a policy. More so, the fact that 6-year-olds and other young children who don't understand the impact or effects of guns are able to buy these items of a black market. The arms trade is a large portion of the causes of human rights abuses. Leaving governments to spend more on military expenditures than on social development, communications infrastructure and health combined.

World Military Spending

With so many problems around the world, a major concern is military spending. There are so much more that the money that is spent on military excursions is immense.The cost of war particularly (Iraq and Afghanistan) is estimated to be about $170 billion for the 2009 spending alone according to Christopher Hellman an expert on military budget analysis.
Christopher Hellman and Travis Sharp(budget expert) also discuss the US fiscal year 2009 Pentagon spending request and note that “Congress has already approved nearly $700 billion in supplemental funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and an additional $126 billion in FY'08 war funding is still pending before the House and Senate.

These prices are outrageous. This world has more important issues than war...what about the starving, diesease stricten, and homless. It seems as if instead of caring about humanity and civilization for all, our governments are too concerned with "continuing war efforts". A sad but true realization!

Public Relations Writing Presentation

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ethiopia & Eritrea Conflict

Every country has its problems. However, these countries are fighting and backstabbing for control...the major reason for the recent conflict is the fact that Ethiopia no longer has a border along the Red Sea and therefore relies on going through other countries such as Eritrea in order to ship and trade goods along that line.

Furthermore, Ethiopia and Eritrea have been accused of gross human rights violations. For example, Amnesty International points out that in Ethiopia, a large number of Eritreans are being detained just due to their Eritrean origins and that use of child soldiers on the front lines continue.

While, these wars are continuing both country's governments have been accused of starving the people and continuing war efforts instead of helping the welfare of the country.

Below is a video of this devastating conflict:


Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Personal Response to Die! Press release! Die!Die!Die!

The bluntness of Tom Foremski's opinion of the Press release and his suggestions were a little shocking. I've always heard alot of criticisms of the PR industry and I've just thought it was because of the behind the scenes role the industry would play in media messages. Although I think the PR world is slowly making changes to the way they send press releases, I don't think it's that imperative to change things so quickly. The "top spin" press releases send out are to catch the attention of the journalists and therefore, they need to be convincing. I also feel that he is making the "spin or angle" seem like a competition between PR professionals and journalists. Furthermore, I think he suggests that the press release should be more informational however, i think if they are interested in the story than they would further investigate the press release to see if they'd like to cover it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Morocco's Fight for Human Rights

There has been an ongoing fight for human/civil rights in Morocco. Within that fight there has been several violations to simple living within their country.

For instance:

lYoung girls working as live-in servants in private homes are especially vulnerable to abuse, including sexual abuse, and frequently must work up to 100 hours a week without access to education or adequate food and medical care
lSource: http://hrw.org/englishwr2k8/docs/2008/01/31/morocc17617.htm
lWorking children in Morocco face a very high level of exposure to work hazards.
lEighty-four percent are involved in farm work and 85 percent work for their families and not for wages. This, however, is primarily a reflection of children’s work in rural areas, where almost all economically active children are involved in family agricultural work.
lSource: http://www.ucw-project.org/pdf/publications/report_morocco_draft.pdf

Another issue within Morocco:

lThe family law enacted in 2004 have raised the minimum age of marriage for women and men from fifteen to eighteen
lThe wife is no longer legally obliged to obey her husband
lThe right to divorce is a prerogative of both men and women, exercised under judicial supervision;
lThe principle of divorce by mutual consent is established.
Source: http://mondediplo.com/2004/04/02morocco

In short, the women and children of Morocco have next to no rights that the men have. Additionaly, they have seemed to continue to be the oppressed ones due to the lack of government involvment. At age 15, children shouldn't be getting married to men 30plus years of age. Sadly, their is not enough global involvement.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Terrorist or Not

When one thinks of a terrorist...they may think of associated events. However, in some cases other people see those "we" call terrorists "freedom fighters." Depending on your geographic location you may call the leader in charge of a civil or political movement a terrorist or freedom fighter. According to wikipedia, The use of violence for the achievement of political ends is common to state and non-state groups is known as terrorism.

Controversy of the Term:
The application "terrorist" is therefore always deliberately discussed.
Attempts at defining the concept invariably arouse debate because rival definitions may be employed with a view to including the actions of certain parties, and excluding others. Additionally, each party might still subjectively claim a legitimate basis for employing violence in pursuit of their own political cause or aim. (Wikipedia)

In short, there may be legitimate reasons for the rebellion of certain groups of people. Many people are often confused of the reasons for specific actions, however the idea of a "terrorist" is frightening. What one perceives as a terrorist action, another may see opposite depending on the cause and ethic morals.
The two links below give a better insight of terrorism:

Abortion in Mexico

As an American, we take it as a "right" for women to abort thier fetus for valid or non-valid reasons. However, in Mexico it's a crime for women to have an abortion and they are prosecuted for it. Whether you are pro-choice or not...every individual should have a say when it comes to their body and it's physical being.

  • The Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM) published a study estimating that approximately half a million girls and women undergo abortion (both legal and illegal) every year in Mexico.

Furthermore, the right to abort a fetus always have some exceptions: In the case of a rape for instance.

Waiving the penalty for abortion are: (http://hrw.org/women/abortion/mexico.html)

the abortion is the result of negligent behavior on the part of the pregnant woman (valid in twenty-nine states);
  • to save the life of the pregnant woman (valid in twenty-seven states);

  • the fetus has serious genetic malformations (valid in thirteen states);

  • to protect the health of the pregnant woman (valid in ten states);

  • the pregnancy is the result of non-consensual artificial insemination (valid in eleven states); and

  • where the woman already has three other children, for economic reasons (valid only in Yucat√°n).

  • Although these may seem fair for this circumstances other women are being prosecuted for something that is a liberty in other nations. TheCatholic church has also had a major influence on the abortion laws in Mexico.

    Below is a video documentary link:




    Thursday, March 13, 2008

    Rwanda: Genocide

    Genocide Facts:

    a) The total number of people killed has never been systematically assessed, but most experts believe the total was around 800,000 people.
    b) The genocide in the tiny Central African country of Rwanda was one of the most intensive killing campaigns -- possibly the most intensive -- in human history.
    c) The involvement of women in the genocide and murder of Hutu political opponents failed to attract national and international attention, precisely because of the construction of women as the universal victims of that particular catastrophe." (Lentin, "Introduction," pp. 12-13.)
    d) A substantial number of women, and even girls, were involved in the slaughter in countless ways, inflicting extraordinary cruelty on other women, as well as children and men.
    e) In Rwanda itself, some 120,000 people were jailed on allegations of participation in the genocide, and thousands died in the brutal and unsanitary conditions of the jails.
    f) In September 1998, the Tribunal issued its first conviction on charges of genocide, against the former mayor of the Rwandan town of Taba, Jean-Paul Akayesu
    SOURCE: Jones, Adam. "Case Study: Genocide in Rwanda." Genocide Watch. 1994. 11 Feb. 2008

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    Children Joining Insurgence Groups in the Philippines

    Children living in conflict areas of the Phillipines and other area are more easily influenced to voluntarily join and support armed insurgent groups after suffering traumatic experiences, according to a UNICEF study.

    To my interest, I decided to take a more in depth look at the children who join armed insurgent groups. As a result, I found that "The Philippines is home to two of the world's longest-running armed conflicts, yet a credible accounting of their human and economic costs has not been available, until now," said Emmanuel Soriano de Dios, the Report's Lead Author and Professor of Economics at the University of the Philippines. "This Report is the first quantifiable documentation to show that cultural isolation, discrimination, and a lack of basic services, such as electricity, water, roads and education, can be predictors of armed encounters," said Professor de Dios.

    As an ongoing problem, these children are dying at the hands of other children who do not fully understand the meaning of life or what it means to take a life.

    Orphaned by AIDS...

    There is a world where orphaned children have to live on the streets and fend for themselves...That is THIS world today. The tragedy of the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been continuously increasing the media's attention of one the most troubling aspects of the AIDS epidemic:the long-term impact on sub-Saharan African societies. Over 12 million children in sub-Saharan Africa have been orphaned by AIDS. Leaving some to live with elderly grandparents or relatives and others have been taken in by neighbors or to live on the streets in child run households.

    * The overall situation has reached alarming proportions also because women have moved from the periphery to the epicentre of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa:

    * Averaging over 55% of all people living with HIV/AIDS, girls and women are disproportionately affected.


    Although the efforts to stop this outbreak is immense. The Spread of AIDS is faster than our efforts!

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    Hunger in Africa

    The chain of hunger in sub-Saharan Africa starts and ends with poverty. Poverty is the incapability to grow or purchase food which causes malnutrition and poor health, later resulting in the inability to earn income and to move deeper into poverty.

    It is estimated that one in three people in Africa are currently undernourished.
    Initiative to End Hunger in Africa (IEHA) is a multi-year effort to help fulfill the Millennium Development Goal of reducing the number of hungry people on the continent in half by 2015. IEHA is taking steps to decrease Africa’s dependence on food aid by almost $2.6 billion by the year 2015, and is helping to lay the foundation for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction on the continent. The initiative focuses on promoting agricultural growth and building an African-led partnership to cut hunger and poverty. The primary objective of the initiative is to rapidly and sustainably increase agricultural growth and rural incomes in sub-Saharan Africa. (http://www.state.gov/g/oes/rls/fs/2003/18796.htm)

    Although, we, as global citizens hosts canned good drives and collection of non-perishable items there are many that are suffering from hunger. With the amount of wastes the USA of food has in a year, we could feed many of the dying suffering from malnutrition and starvation in Africa.
    As a global citizen...couldn't we as humans lower this problem of famine.?

    Monday, March 10, 2008

    Sedan and its Civil War

    To my surprise, I was unaware of the essential needs of the people of Sudan torn from a civil war ongoing for nearly 2 decades. More so, many of them are dying from diseases or murder due to the lack of government(s) involvement. I think it’s important for us to get involved in foreign affairs in Sudan to help improve humanity and not allow them to destroy innocent people just because they are black Muslims. More so, the effort that the Bush Administration is seeking is a start for helping this war torn country is a step to advocate this problem.

    Sudan has two distinct major cultures--Arab and Black African--with hundreds of ethnic and tribal divisions and language groups, which makes effective collaboration among them a major problem. (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/sudan.htm)
    As many could assume, this diversity caused many problems for the people of Sudan.

    Internet...an International Danger?

    Technology has played an important role in the increasing problem of children being exploited. Specifically, the internet has become an excess median to the manipulation of children by internet prowlers.Internet technology has offered essential tools of help and obstruction. However, the internet has supplied internet prowlers with the infinite chance to commit crimes. Internet exploitation seems to be abundant in current news reporting involving pedophiles and internet prowlers using the internet as entry to innocent victims. Sexual exploitation of children is continuing throughout the world. The methods perpetrators are using to exploit children have become immense. The magnitude of commercial sexual exploitation of children is unknown, however both sexes are exploited, but majority are girls. ABRAPIA, a non-government organization for childhood and youth protection has operated a toll-free national reporting line of more than 5000 reported cases; 63% were of sexual abuse, 37% of sexual exploitation, (70% child prostitution, 25% internet-related, and 3% sex tourism)

    Thursday, February 28, 2008

    Sierra Leone Diamond Conflict

    The "Blood Diamond" conflict has been an ongoing concern for Sierra Leone and opposing countries. The conflict in Sierra Leone has children working in dimly lit mine shafts working countless hours...ALL just for a piece of carbon that will be worth and mean nothing to them. People have been raped, had limbs amputated and permanently scarred due to rebel groups mainly the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). The RUF has become tainted by those just seeking a profit for diamonds regardless the cost...Even if that cost is a LIFE.

    As a global citizen is it not the responsiblilty of All countries to place some effort to save humanity for the innocent?...Several celebrities have made an effort for this world issue to become known. Fo instance, rapper Kanye West wrote in his song about how the diamonds he has shine, but do we know what happened to the innocent lives for this luxury. Additionally, the movie Blood Diamond -starring Leonardo DiCaprio was made and perfectly depicts the true reality of conflict diamonds.

    Kanye's Video:

    Blood Diamond:

    Women as Suicide Bombers

    Today, it is not uncommon for women to be the front of terror. The first female suicide bomber in the Palestinian -Israeli conflict was Wafa Idris. Middle Eastern terrorists are using suicide bombers more commonly today because they are inexpensive, lrequire little to no technology, and a low risk weapon loss. The success of suicide bombers depends on the tactic used and the vulnerablilty of their targets. It's easy to be fooled by these women bombers because they can impersonate a pregnant woman, or a victim of the Palestine/Israeli conflict, in which many soldiers lose their lives.

    Suicide bombers are said to believe that God sends them on their missions, and by the time they are ready to be stopped with explosives, they had reached a hypnotic state.

    Source: (http://www.israelinsider.com/channels/security/articles/sec0049.htm)

    Whereas, it is stated that suicide is in fact forbidden in Islam.

    Fighting oppression is commendable, harming innocent bystanders, even in times of war, was forbidden by the prophet Muhammad.


    Lastly, suicide bombers are never justified in their actions. Most suicide bombers are said to have been affluent, well educated and from middle class backgrounds and not motivated by psychological imbalance but by the foreign policies of the countries they attack. The women who give their lives to support an unjust cause will have to suffer for thier actions. Some of these women do this to bring back dignity and honor upon thier families in the conflict.

    Below is a link to a video that shows how unjust these acts are: (Material may be innappropriate)
    This 1st video is about 6:58mins long



    Wednesday, February 20, 2008

    Drug Culture-Colombia

    -- The effectiveness of the multibilliondollar U.S. anti-drug campaign in Colombia is being questioned by many. People want to know if this fight on drugs in Colombia is worth the U.S. dollars. The U.S.-Colombia strategy, which targets cocaine production at its source, is aimed at reducing supply and driving up prices and thereby discouraging consumption in the United States according to sfgate.com

    Colombia's Problems:
    *Drug trafficking
    *Coca Cultivating
    *Colombia’s role in the international drug trade has shifted from a grower/exporter of marijuana in the 1970s to a processor/shipper of cocaine in the 1980s to a major grower/processor/transshipper of coca and heroin today. (http://www.fpif.org/briefs/vol4/v4n30colo.html)

    --The mainthreats to the environment are deforestation caused by clearingthe fields for cultivation, soil erosion caused by severalfactors, and chemical pollution from insecticides and fertilizers.

    --Additionally, the process of converting coca andpoppy into cocaine and heroine has adverse effects on theenvironment as well.
    If there is no progress in Colombia's Drug War, why should we continue to spend U.S. dollars on a growing war that could go towards the U.S. education system, Social Security, and Health Care?

    Thursday, February 14, 2008

    Killing, an Honor?

    When you hear about people killing, it's unlikely they think it's an honor. However, the reality is many muslim countries participate in honor killings. An honor killing is almost exclusively associated with the killing of females by close family members with the aim of undoing the dishonor upon the family name caused by offensive behavior. Chiefly in terms of sexual immodesty, including adultery, refusal to accept arranged marriage, being a victim of rape. If victims are male, then the male is likely to be the family of the woman with whom the victim is accused of having a relationship. Unfortunately, sons, fathers and male family are often forced to rape their own mothers, sisters, and daughters as a form of punishment. Today, their are organizations that are trying to improve the life of women, and little girls in middle eastern countries. The murder of females in the Middle East is an ancient tradition. Prior to the arrival of Islam in AD 622, Arabs occasionally buried infant daughters to avoid the possibility that they would later bring shame to the family. Many women are killed and buried in unmarked graves and along with their untimely death... their very existence is removed from the community and records. The fact that so many murders go unreported is a strong indication of the status of women and the role of culture in fundamentalist Islamic countries.

    Below is a video that gives a better insight!

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008

    Street Children: Brazil

    Street children in Brazil and several other countries has been an ongoing problem for many years. There are 2 types of street kids: The first are called children on the street. They actually live with their parents, usually in a slum or shack, but they work all day in the streets begging, or finding odd jobs. Then there are the children of the street, who live here day and night. Many of them are runaways, escapees of abuse, or drug users. Many steal to survive or to support their addictions. It is common in Brazil for the kids to get high off of glue and other potential fatal inhalants. Sadly, some of the street children are targets for the rebel governments to seek out and kill these children unless they join these rebel groups. As a global citizen, the responsibilities of these lives should be in everyone's hands.

    Below is a link to a video that is 9mins and 4 secs long that talks about Street Children in Brazil, which gives a better insight of the problem.


    Tuesday, February 5, 2008

    Advocate for World Issues

    Welcome, to my advocate blog spot. I'll be addressing world issues dealing with child soldiers, gangs, and other worldly issues affecting "us" as global citizens. Issues may be distrurbing, however these world issues are not always noticed by the ordinary citizen(s) and should be discussed.