Friday, January 30, 2009

Vacation of Sorts: Vegas to P-Town

Viva Las Vegas! 

I had never been to Vegas before.  With all the "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" nonsense, I really wasn't sure what to expect.  But I went for a surprise birthday party in January and wanted to share!  

We kept mostly to old town, which I've taken to calling Disney Land for adults because it's what you get when you take the happiest place and add sex, gambling and drinking.  But on the last night, we took a drive down the strip so I could see what everyone is always talking about.  

I took a few pictures of the watershow at the Bellagio and all the pretty signs.   It was a nice conclusion to playtime. 

Going Home Again: Exploits in P-Town
Every single time I fly into PDX, I'm struck by the natural beauty of the area.  I grew up there, you'd think I wouldn't notice it anymore.  But I always do.  

This time I took a couple of pictures over the wing of the plane on the way in. Not the best quality, but you can still see the mountains, sorta.  

It really is special place. 

Beautiful and Yummy
Special place indeed--it's not just because of beauty though, but because of a way of thinking.  The next time you find yourself in Portland, Oregon, visit Voodoo donuts. 

Look at the entertaining and unique donuts below (warning: PG13)!  


Finally, sunset in P-town!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Media Bullseye Column and Cover

Middle of November, right around the time I went blog dark, I got some very exciting news. My Media Bullseye piece on raising kids in the digital world ("Digital Footprints: Raising Kids Online") was to be the cover story for the latest installment of the print edition of the magazine.

Pretty neat, huh?

I'm not going to lie, I sent a print copy home to my mom as soon as they came in the mail.

A day or so after I got the big news, I got a direct message from Chip Griffin, editor-in-chief over at Media Bullseye. He wanted to know if I would be interested in contributing a monthly column... Of course I would!

And it was so. And Familiar Marketing was born.

Familiar Marketing is published on the third Wednesday of every month. For the column, I write about advertising and marketing efforts that are familiar or family-related.

My first official column was published on Wednesday, December 17, 2008, and I wrote about a familiar, Christmas-time marketing effort: Santa Claus and Coca Cola. You can check out "Branding a Cultural Icon, Branding a Cola" on the Media Bullseye site here.

Plenty more to come here and on Media Bullseye. Feel free to post column ideas in the comments below.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Coming Clean on What I've Been Up To Recently

So you probably noticed I haven't been blogging. Some of you probably heard that I'm no longer with SHIFT. I figured I ought to come clean about what I've been up to these days.

SHIFTing Away...

Those of you who know me well know that I have been doubting my decision to do PR since I SHIFTed from Topaz Partners to the better-known SHIFT Communications in May. I got very little out of the practice of public relations as it tends to be done in agencies; and I found myself wanting my work to have more meaning--there was a reason, every internship I had in college was at a non-profit. I always thought I'd end up in cause marketing or PR.

As I transitioned away from SHIFT this past November, I wasn't really sure what direction to turn. I felt a bit burned out with traditional smile and dial form of public relations and I wondered how far my social media skills could really carry me.

My Media AWAKENing

I've known of Media Awaken since its founding in last June. Since then, I've been privileged to get to know its founder Maria Thurrell. Her passion for social media and her supreme belief in an individual's ability to conceive and inact change inspired me. I joined Maria and Media Awaken full time as of the first of this month, and I couldn't be happier to combine my public relations training with a company and founder that share my vision of what work should be about.

Sandying Also Means...

Finance. Finance and retail. Last January (2008), an acquaintance of mine told me he was starting his own personal finance website for young adults, namely college co-eds and recently dubbed professionals. Jared and I became fast friends, and I became advisor to his company YouBux, LLC.  Now, I am the VP of Marketing at YouBux.  Although, we're currently in the process of a site redesign, take a look at the site and let me know what's good!  If there's a topic you'd like more information on, please let me know--I work with Jared to develop the content for the site.  

Retail too?  I've been helping my yoga studio, Prana Power Yoga, out with their retail and merchandising.  Basically, I put together the orders and make all the stuff look pretty.   I'll take and post pictures the next time I'm in each studios, so everyone can see my work.  It's fun to have an opportunity to play with colors, instead of just words.  :-)

***I'll be back posting a few big events from my dark period last month, including my new column at Media Bullseye!