Lend a Helping Hand

I must first start out by tipping my hat to those who so courageously fight the cold by gearing up and running through campus. These people are the true runners and will never have a full understanding of what it’s like to have that kind of motivation. Although today’s weather isn’t particularly inspiring, receiving information about the upcoming “Girls on the Run” season seems to do the trick.

When I last left you, I was discussing the world of PR from a company and political standpoint. I would now like to shift my attention to the realm of PR that I feel is very important to our society. This is of course the non-profit realm. As mentioned in my first blog entry, I’ve been in touch with the GOTR of Monongalia County director Laurie Abildso and she’s been kind enough to provide me with information on what they need to get ready for their season. GOTR is now recruiting coaches. They still need two coaches for the Brookhaven Elementary School for the Tuesday and Thursday slot from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. They are also recruiting participants. Of course these young girls will need some serious fuel for their workouts, so snack donations will be requested as well. These snacks must be healthy, store-bought and individually packaged. However snacks alone won’t do these girls much good if they don’t have a “running buddy”. According to the email I received from Laurie, each of the girls participating in the end-of-the-season 5K is paired up with an adult female running buddy. This is a volunteer position that requires them to run or walk the race with them and offer some serious encouragement. “Way to go!” and “Keep it up!” are phrases greatly appreciated. Finally the program is asking for “SoleMates” charity runners. These are volunteers who raise money for the GOTR council through participating in a race of their choice. It is important to remember this program is a non-profit, so it can always use an extra hand.

I hope all of you reading this will consider helping out this organization or consider helping out any non-profit in your community. It’s very important to keep these types of programs running because they do make a difference. For more information please visit the Monongalia County GOTR website.

Supreme Court Decision

Yesterday I spotted a pretty interesting article on the Daily Dog Report. (CLICK TO READ ENTIRE ARTICLE)It was a story about the Supreme Court ruling that now grants corporations unlimited political voice. This essentially means that companies can publicly offer up their support for political candidates. The 5-4 vote did overturn the 20-year-old ruling, but left in place the “prohibition on direct contributions from corporations and unions.” 

This article made me wonder how PR reps and others in the field 


would handle a change like this. First I thought about how it would directly affect the daily jobs of PR people. I can only assume it will cause them to have more in-depth research on their hands. They will want to know who the company is supporting and for what reason they chose to go with that particular candidate. This could mean a few more hours at the office during the weekday. They will also want to know the ins and outs of what the law actually says so they won’t run a risk of overstepping this change. 

Then I started to think about the people associated with “damage control.” They must ready to discuss any possible conflict the public or associates of the company may have with the actual support. Knowing how to negotiate is obviously a skill that is largely used and this also ties into the research aspect of what PR people do. 

The people in the PR department of these companies won’t be the only ones who have to stay on their toes. The PR reps for the candidates will also need to have a keen sense of what can be done for the companies in return for political support. Having these types of knowledge will save a lot of time and effort when peak campaign season rolls around. 

"I think Sarah Palin's speech at the Republican Nation Convention was brilliant."


I think this could be trouble for some companies. Although I’m sure it will bring in a decent amount of media for them, I’m worried that vocalizing these types of support could be more of a mess. For instance if a conservative candidate is being supported by Nestle, could this possibly cause them to be seen as conservative? I don’t think companies really should have that kind of a voice. Its kind of like sitting down in a nice restaurant with a party and then bringing up your feelings on the Republican party. It just makes for awkward conversation. Why not keep the company’s support of a candidate on the “down low”? I could be way off on this entire matter and the companies could turn out to have a great plan to boost their businesses, but it does make me wonder. 

Let me know what you think. I could definitely use a second, third or even fourth opinion on this!

Saturday Cooking

As I’ve mentioned in earlier blog entries, I like to spend Saturdays and Sundays cooking and preparing for the week ahead. Yesterday, I decided to cook my go-to meal, beans. I like spicy food, so I got this “recipe” from my dad, who also shares the desire to have flames shoot out of his ears. Hope you enjoy!

Cajun Style 16 Bean Mix


  • 1 package of Kroger brand Cajun style 16 bean soup mix
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos
  • 2-2 1/2 tsp of oregano
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of chopped onions
  • a few dashes of onion powder to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Follow directions on the back of the bean mix and begin cooking.
  2. After around 10 minutes, place can of tomatoes in with the bean mixture.
  3. After around 20 minutes, add in the spices and onions.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover and let simmer for around 1 1/2 hours or until tender.


Serve with tortilla chips or crackers and enjoy!

Additional Blog

I’ve been recently working on an additional blog  for one of my public relations classes this semester. As part of the class, I first had to find an organization to work with this semester. I chose the Monongalia County Girls on the Run program, which is a non-profit located here in Morgantown. The next step was to create a blog about whats going on in this particular industry and to post information about upcoming events hosted by the organization. So far I’ve really enjoyed diving into the research about whats happening in the world of PR, locally and globally.

So here is the link to my other blog. Feel free to check it out and I do encourage questions and/or comments!


Social Networking Rears Its Ugly Head Once Again

I have Facebook. You have Facebook. We all have Facebook.

Three years ago, if you would have asked me if I thought it would be this big, I would have said no. My firm belief was that people would get bored with it. I thought people who graduated from college would delete their accounts after the constant teachings that potential employers did in fact check them. Unfortunately, I knew as soon as my mother asked me, “Do you have one of those MyFace accounts?” it would be a bigger deal than I could ever imagine. That’s precisely what happened. I began getting “friend requests” from old high school teachers and even stumbled onto my 80-something-year-old grandmother’s account. That was it. I knew the pristine nature of this online feature would be forever tainted. I knew it would be a way for people to meddle in each other’s lives, and I knew that people would put up information that they wanted to be discovered. Now the online network has started to affect the business world as well.

According to a recent blog entry on the PR firm Bite Communication’s website, the concept of peer-to-peer review of products is being utilized on networks like Facebook and Twitter. Basically people are buying specific brands or products based on the “hype” of

"Did you hear about the 'Perfect Brownie Pan'?!"

them being the “fastest growing” or “best in review”. This isn’t a new concept for advertisers and PR firms. In fact the concept has been utilized for years now with the increase in the demand for celebrity news. Agencies and companies alike have been placing celebrities, such as Jessica Alba, in their commercials and essentially selling their product like hotcakes. I mean who wouldn’t buy a mascara that Jessica Alba promotes?

Although this is still a useful tactic, buyers have taken it upon themselves to promote specific products for absolutely no gain. You see it all the time too. For instance, I noticed once that a few girls had posted information about the “Perfect Brownie Pan” product. As soon as I saw more than three comments about it, I knew I had to “Google” it. This was peer-to-peer marketing in action. I didn’t have a great desire to purchase the product, but it did get me hunting.

So could this Facebook and Twitter revolution be more useful to businesses? We already know they use a great deal of space for online ads, but could this be a big break for them? Unfortunately, this could potentially be bad. If peer-to-peer marketing gets too popular, it could mean the elimination of certain promotional jobs in the business world. It could also take a great deal of business away from the underdogs, simply because Lindsay Lohan doesn’t use their particular products. Although I don’t particularly think this will cause massive amounts of unemployment among PR people and advertisers, but I do think that companies are going to have to start acknowledging the shift to a more consumer driven demographic.

Let me know what you think about the issue and please check out the BiteMarks for more information.

What is the Rush?

What’s the rush? Who are these girls? Why are they running? To answer these questions, I must first introduce the non-profit organization I will be working with this semester as part of my PR 324 class here at the P.I. Reed School of Journalism. Girls on the Run is a national organization that was founded by MSW and four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete Molly Barker in 1996. This program is intended to help promote healthy living and fitness habits for young girls at an early age. It also provides these girls with role models who can help them make better choices throughout their lives. Not only does this program encourage healthy lifestyles, but it also helps them prepare for the 5K race that is held every year. Since I am located in Monongalia County, West Virginia, I decided to work with their chapter, which is one of 140 located around the U.S.

I had stumbled on to this organization when I was looking through a list of non-profit organizations that were listed on The Center for Civic Engagement website. I became even more interested in this organization after speaking with a friend who had been previously employed by one of the schools that hosts this organization, Brookhaven Elementary School. She said the program was designed for girls in grades 3-5 and seemed to be quite successful. I started thinking about how this program could positively affect the lives of young girls and how I have been a devoted disciple of fitness and healthy living for two years now, and I was hooked. I knew I had to get involved somehow  with this program.

So now that I’ve talked about a little bit about the program, let me finish up with a general summary of what you can expect from this blog. Although this organization will be the focus of the bulk of my entries, it won’t be the entire focus of this blog. I will be posting information about things going on in the world of public relations and news stories about the field itself. I will post writing assignments I have completed in the class and ask readers to critique my work. Feedback is essential to the functionality of a blog, so comments or questions will be encouraged. Finally I hope to present some information to you, the reader, that can help you get involved in your community and with this organization. It’s a great program and can always use extra help.

I hope you enjoy this blog and encourage everyone to visit my personal blog that deals with healthy living as well.

Dark Chocolate

Original Blogspot Post: Friday, July 17, 2009

Dark Chocolate

Although my consistency with posting has been questionable, my consistency with consuming dark chocolate has not.

I’ve always been someone that worships sweets. In fact, when I was younger I would eat as little as possible so I would have room for dessert. I was so addicted to sweets that in junior high and high school, my breakfast usually consisted of Smore Poptarts or a bowl of Reese’s Puffs cereal. These facts alone can be attributed to the bulk of my weight gain in my early teen years. So you can imagine how difficult it was for me to accept the fact that I could no longer eat such sugary meals. That was before I discovered dark chocolate.

According to an article on http://www.naturalnews.com/, dark chocolate contains flavonoids that may lower the risk of heart disease. This article also points out that even though dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate, it is still high in calories and must be consumed in moderation. I recommend Hershey Dark Chocolate Kisses that are about 20 calories per piece. I like to have no more than three about 4 times a week. They’re so rich in flavor that I usually can’t eat anymore than that anyway.

So opt for dark chocolate whenever you have a sweet craving and know you’re not only assisting that sweet tooth, but your heart too!

Beans: They Don’t Just Make You Toot

Original Blogspot Post: Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Beans: They Don’t Just Make You Toot

Last night I met up with some girlfriends I went to high school with. They are really the only people I went to high school with that I really try to stay in touch with. It’s so difficult for us to see each other these days because of our busy lives, but we always try. We had dinner and decided to watch a movie after so we could utilize as much of our time together as possible. We decided to see Julie and Julia, which was an excellent choice. Not only did it motivate me to start posting more, but it also motivated me to start experimenting more with my diet.

I’ve tried for several years to maintain healthy eating habits, but it wasn’t until recently that I really started exploring my dietary options. For instance, I’ve started straying as far away from red meat as possible and substituting beans, mushrooms, and other “meaty” vegetables in it’s place. I’ve also made it a habit to order fish at almost every meal. I reserve chicken for salads, and try to even go vegetarian at least one day a week.

Since I’ve started eating beans more, I’ve noticed that I feel fuller longer and I don’t feel weighed down, like when I eat breads and pastas. Not only are they good, but they are relatively easy to prepare. Most beans that come in a bag can just be added to water and simmered for an hour or two. Plus, they’re cheap! Garbanzo beans or chickpeas are also another great option that don’t even have to be cooked if bought in a can. They are also a nice crouton substitute for salads. Now let’s not forget the really great part about garbanzo beans…hummus. Throw a few handfuls of these little beauties in a food processor, add your favorite flavors, and voilà! You have a great batch of hummus that is perfect for dipping.

So why make an entire entry about beans? Well according to whfoods.com, black beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and when combined with whole grains, like brown rice, they provide a tasty meal that is high in protein and extremely low in fat. This is ideal for someone like me who is trying to blast fat and build lean, long muscles. Check out the link below for more details.


In closing, I’d like to leave you all with this simple concoction I just discovered today when I was trying to spice up my lunch. It left me full, satisfied and didn’t blow my diet.

Hispanic Mediterranean Salad

2 handfuls of spinach leaves (about 1 1/2 – 2 cups)
2 1/2 tbs of black and red bean/brown rice mix, cooked
1/4 cup of garbanzo beans or “chickpeas”
2 tbs of red pepper hummus (see additional recipe)
3-5 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken strips, cooked
salt and pepper

Combine the rice, beans, chicken, and hummus on top of the bed of spinach leaves for a tasty mediterranean/hispanic inspired twist on chicken salad.

Red Pepper Hummus Recipe

1 (16 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 fresh lime, juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Beer Guts

Original Blogspot Post: Monday, September 14, 2009

As any college student living in these Facebook times, I’ve found myself spending too much time online browsing photos of my fellow peers. One disturbing thing I’ve found is the overwhelming number of young girls with beer guts and double chins. Now I’m no pre-med student, but I don’t think it takes a total braniac to figure out whats making these girls fat. Alcohol. Whats even more upsetting is that they truly feel they can hit the gym a few times a week and lose the weight they’ve put on. The missing element to their brilliant plan is a healthy diet plan. They continue to be photographed bonging beer and pounding cheeseburgers at tailgates, but still think they’re taking the necessary steps to getting those six-pack abs. Think again, ladies.

Alcohol, like anything that your body won’t break down easily, should be consumed minimally when trying to lose weight. This is a common fact that you will find in almost every diet book. Although some would dispute that alcohol consumption is directly related to weight gain, it cannot be denied that overeating is associated with the actual consumption itself.

So what can girls do? Stop binge drinking.

Okay, so chances are most of these girls will not stop drinking, but they can take a few steps to help the binge eating when they feel the need to drink excessively.

1. Do away with the temptation. At most of these functions where heavy drinking takes place, there is sure to be not-so-good-for-you food. Take a tailgate for instance. At most of these you can easily find hotdogs, hamburgers, cookies, etc. Now these don’t seem TOO horrible, however when these party go-ers drink a lot, they stop thinking about how many hours at the gym those 3 hotdogs and cookies are going to cost them. They start thinking about how good the food smells, and how much they would enjoy grabbing just one more fistfull of chips. So if you know you’re going to be at an event like this, take your own healthy food that you know you can afford to munch on. For instance, trade in the homemade chocolate chip cookies for oatmeal with dark chocolate chips or swap your greasy potato chips for veggies and lowfat dip or hummus. These switches are a sure fired way to help you from popping a button on your cutoff jeans.
2. Only allow yourself a certain amount to drink. If you know you won’t be able to resist the snack table, cut back on the drinking or switch to a drink that will satisfy whatever you are craving.
3. The final tip would be to keep yourself active. If you are in a social situation where heavy drinking will be involved, keep yourself moving around. You’ll be more tempted to snack if you’re sitting around with a drink in one hand and a free hand just dying to clutch a cheesburger.

Also, something else to keep in mind, ladies. With every passing year it gets harder and harder for the pounds to come off. So keep that in the back of your mind whenever you’re planning to attend your neighbors keg party. You will regret it later. Promise.

Special K

Original Blogspot Post: Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I am a chocolate lover, as I’ve previously mentioned. I also love cereal. These two foods are obviously not the best things to be addicted to when you’re trying to watch your weight, but thanks to Special K’s Chocolatey Delight cereal I can enjoy both without the guilt.

I love this cereal. Not only is it yummy, but it isn’t overwhelmingly filling. The flakes are lightly sweetened, and in my opinion would be fine just by themselves. There are also little chocolate bits that make each bite a little better. I usually enjoy a small bowl of it after dinner or for a snack when I get home from class.

I’m also a big fan of the blueberry cereal they offer. It has blueberry flavored clusters and wheat flakes with blueberry flavoring as well. This is my healthy version of Muffin Tops cereal, which is just about the best stuff around.

If cereal isn’t your thing, Special K also offers a variety of shakes, protein and snack bars, and crackers. In my opinion, they offer the best figure-friendly snacks, as far as flavor goes.