Public Relations Connections


In this video, specific ways that Social Media tools benefit are disussed. The two that really stood out to me are as follows:

  • FaceBook. This is an amazing resource that is commonly overlooked to be legitimate, but it definitely can cause a lot of people to know about your organization, discuss it with friends, and promote the cause to raise more funds.
  • Video. By using a simple flip camera and creating short, segmented podcasts, a non-profit organization can really promote itself and recruit others to join their cause.


When I began using Twitter for Public Relations purposes for this class at the beginning of the semester, I started following @BrandYourself. This site has had so many different amazing tips that I have personally used this semester, particularly for my interview for an internship with Y Lakeland. @BrandYourself frequently tweets with interview tips, ways to manage a personal portfolio, how to write proper news releases, and much more.

As it is discussed in this video, personal branding, rather than product branding, is a lot more beneficial in today’s society.

With the massive trend in Social Networking for personal use, cyber-bullying has also massively increased with this technology. This situation has become even more elevated with the recent suicide of a young boy, due to the harassment he received. As shocking as this is, it is something that is very real and has happened within the past year alone.

It is my hope that our culture will not become so technological that we lose human contact and personal touch. I believe that more restrictions and accountability should be used for social networking, and face-to-face discussions about this issue will start to happen more often.

This video, which was shown in COMM 4333 class the other day, grabbed my attention instantly. The graphics were beautiful, the statistics were stunning, and the music was gripping. However, after watching it all the way to the end, I realized an important lesson, something that many people lack today – which is to not believe everything you hear or see, regardless of how truthful it looks. I know that I will need to remember this as a journalist, to always check my facts and make sure they are correct. Snopes.com is a site that is known for fact-checking, and is something I will most likely be using from now on.

When I stumbled across this video on YouTube, I found it to be very interesting! Through this semester, I have learned a lot about the importance of anything relating to Social Media, and have become somewhat proficient in Twitter and WordPress. However, I did not really realize how many businesses actually used these connective tools. I think that in the future, money may begin to have to play into Social Media, and it will become more of a marketing tool.

T-shirt company reveals the “heart”
behind the “trend” they are creating

Lakeland, Fla., April 24, 2010 – Heart Trend is an online T-shirt company that was established several months ago. They are currently in the process of implementing marketing strategies to make their name known, share the vision behind their company, and begin to make enough profit to send to organizations that battle the growing epidemic of human trafficking in the United States.

Kristen Hayes Behrens, co-founder and marketer for Heart Trend, is passionate about seeing Heart Trend expand and strengthen; not for the benefit of herself or the company, but to be a positive voice in the community, having an impact on the lives of young women through Heart Trend’s mission and founding goals.

Heart Trend was established with one idea in mind: to inspire girls in America to start a new trend of guarding their hearts and realizing their full value and worth, rather than giving every part of themselves away to any male that might show interest in them. Heart Trend believes that although it is not commonly spoken, many men in our culture today are careless in relationships, focusing only on their selfish needs and desires, without giving any regard to how their actions may effect the girl, or multiple girls, they begin a relationship with. These short-lived relationships typically end leaving the girl heartbroken, feeling empty and depleted after giving herself away, both emotionally and physically.

According to Heart Trend’s mission statement, “young women need to realize that they are too precious and valuable not to be loved and respected.” Heart Trend believes not in the rejection of love, but in the value of waiting for true, lasting love, without compromising or settling for anything less in the meantime. Heart Trend wants to encourage the young women in our society to no longer give themselves away, but to wait for someone who will treat them the way they deserve.

Kristen Behrens first heard of the idea for this company from her brother and founding owner of Heart Trend, Kyle Behrens. Instantly, she fell in love with the concept and mission behind Heart Trend, and was excited to immediately jump on board in developing this company. After Kristen Behrens decided to join her brother in helping launch Heart Trend, the company immediately turned into a family affair. Since Kristen was raised in a Christian family, and was blessed with close relationships with her two brothers, she has grown up understanding the value of having men in her life treat her well, and is passionate about sharing this with other young women, so they have the opportunity to understand how precious they truly are.

When asked why the concept of Heart Trend is so meaningful to her, Behrens responded, “Heart Trend is meaningful to me because it gives girls a chance to acknowledge the respect they deserve from guys.” Respect, which not many girls realize they should be treated with, needs to be the founding principle that any relationship is based off of.

Currently, Heart Trend is functioning out of New York, so Behren’s isn’t able to have as active of a role as she originally hoped. However, she spends a lot of her time marketing Heart Trend in any way she can, by making people aware of the company and encouraging them to buy shirts. In the future, the company hopes to re-locate to Lakeland, where they will continue to sell T-shirts online, and promote the company throughout the community, as well as draw awareness to the issue of human trafficking, supporting organizations such as Love146.

“People [need] to become more aware of the seriousness of human trafficking that happens throughout the world,” say Behrens. “It is a passion of our hearts at Heart Trend to do whatever we can to help those that are forced into such a terrible lifestyle. For us, as a company, we are currently focusing on trying to make enough money to support other companies that are currently helping those people.”

In the next few years, she [Behrens] hopes to see a good amount of the girls wearing the T-shirts, and that the “trend” of guarding their hearts will begin to catch on, so that the downward cycle of use, abuse, and heartbreak will drastically decrease.

In this photo, co-founder of Heart Trend, Kristen Behrens, wears one of the company’s first original designs, available on the company’s website.

This video features Love146, an organization promoting the awareness of human trafficking. This organization, among many others, will be supported by Heart Trend’s profits.

A few weeks ago, Jeff Houck from The Tampa Tribune came and spoke to Barbara Nixon’s COMM 4333 class. Houck spoke a lot about the details of working in the field of Journalism or Public Relations, and gave a lot of essential tips of how to be successful in this field, especially as a young college graduate. During his presentation, there were ten items of importance that particularly stood out to me.

1. Never submit anything with an embargo date on it to a journalist. Since journalists are so busy and recieve a lot of information on a daily basis, it is best to only submit news pitches that are for immediate release.

2. Use Social Media resources! Things such as Twitter and FourSquare are an integral part for making relationships and connecting people together. Use them!

3. Make personal relationships. Take your clients and co-workers out to lunch, and do not discuss business at all. Getting to know someone on a personal, face-to-face level will most likely cause them to write your story.

4. Create interesting e-mail subject lines. The majority of journalists use an e-mail system through their cellphones, and are only able to see about 15 characters of an e-mail headline. Be creative and to the point, so you have a higher chance of opening your message and responding.

5. Submit things on time and in advance! Give journalists plenty of time to read your pitch and think of a story. Two weeks in advance should be the minimum, if possible.

6. Make it easy. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Never send a journalist a pitch that has typos in it. It will most likely be rejected immediately.

7. Ensure that your by-line is correct. In addition to this, include all the necessary contact information for your client.

8. Meet your client face-to-face. Just knowing someone through e-mails or from their Twitter picture is not adequate.

9. Sell your story, but don’t write it for the journalist. Write conversationally, and do not use such formal language that it sounds like you are writing the journalist’s story.

10. Send everything in the correct format. Make sure all pictures and documents sent are in the format the journalist asks for.

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