The Perfect Wedding Guest

In the last six months, I have been to three weddings. All of these weddings were close friends all under the age of 25. A major portion of the guests were 20-30 years old. All three have been beautiful and different in their own ways.

Through these experiences, I have started to realize the Do’s and Don’ts of being a wedding guest as an adult. This weekend I had the privilege of attending my sweet, high school friend’s wedding. On the drive to Memphis, I wondered what the wedding was going to look like, how beautiful the bride was going to be, what guest was going to make a fool of themselves first…

And it got me thinking of all the things wedding guests do that are pet peeves of mine and I’m sure others. Here are my top five.

1. Don’t wear white or cream. Unless it is specifically requested by the couple in the invitation, all you are doing is taking attention away from the bride. She is the only one allowed to wear white, period.

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Don’t be a Monster-In-Law type of diva

2. Bring a gift. I know for myself, I have several friends getting married right out of college and I understand we aren’t the richest people at this stage of our lives. However, coming to a wedding without something as simple as a card is just beyond rude to me. Show the couple some love!

Photo cred: thelittlewhitedress.ca

Photo cred: thelittlewhitedress.ca

3. RSVP. Couples send out RSVP cards for a reason. They need an accurate count of how many guests are planning to attend, so the finishing wedding touches can be completed. They need to know how many seats to have out, who to put where on a seating chart and make sure to order enough food for all the guests.

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4. Don’t arrive late. There’s nothing that distracts guests more then someone trying to sneak in the side door. By sending an RSVP to the wedding with a “Yes, I will attend” message, you are pledging to attend the wedding and arrive at the specified time. Late wedding guests are just plain distracting. This is especially true if your wearing a “statement outfit” like so

princess-beatrice-eugenie-royal-wedding-outfits-hats…you will be noticed.

5. Control your alcohol usage. Don’t get me wrong, weddings are a great occasion to let loose and celebrate the romantic union with a glass or 3 of alcohol. However, there is always that wedding guest who takes the celebrating too far. At this point they are no longer contributing to the celebration, they are contracting from it.

http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2013/08/miley-cyrus-twerks-at-the-royal-wedding-and-more-in-new-meme.html

Let’s keep the twerking for the club….or never

I hope these help you be the perfect wedding guest at your next loved ones’ big day!

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Tao of Twitter

In my Social Media 490 class, we were assigned to read ROI: Return On Influence and  The Tao of Twitter. Both of these books are authored by Mark Schaefer.

Mark is a Social Media Guru, college professor, author, speaker, and consultant. If you haven’t read either of these books or his blog {grow}, you need to get on it. Since I was introduced to his works, my mind has been open to a whole new world of social media.

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However I feel it is important to point out that I am no social media rookie. I am the proud owner of a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube among other social media platforms.

Even though I have all of these platforms, I had no idea how to use it properly. I was using all my social media sites for minimal day-to-day interactions; while I should be using a few like, Twitter, to help me for the future.

One of the takeaways for me was how Mark goes into setting up your Twitter. He talks about keeping your profiles unlocked. This allows for more connections to be made.

“Follow” your friends but then also follow bigger influencers in your field. They give you helpful links and could be a potential business connection. He gave personal examples of this and I loved it!

He also encourages you to build up “your tribe” by following people back. That is until you can afford to “unfollow” those who won’t be a helpful connection. As you can see I have adopted these practices.

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I have unlocked my profile and started following back my current followers and connecting with industry professionals. I have also linked my profile to my blog.

Twitter has definitely gotten more interesting. I can’t wait to see what my growing “tribe” will have in store for me. Through my readings of The Tao of Twitter, I have seen through Mark’s and his tribe’s experiences, how powerful it is. It has been a long time since I have read a book this fast. It was so interesting and i can’t wait to see if I’m blessed with the tao of twitter like them.

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As if I wasn’t already super pumped about my epiphany of Twitter and its power, Mark lives in Knoxville!

My Social Media 490 class had the pleasure of hosting Mark as a guest lecturer Thursday.

He gave us a sneak peek into the theories of his new book. Even told Dr. Childers to “Twitter down” on multiple occasions to make sure she wasn’t tweeting his secrets.

One of his points I was most interested in was that “content is power”. He went into how much power you have with the ability to create content that will move essentially. Whether that is your blog link being retweeted on Twitter or industry professionals quoting your blog. Truthfully, I have been struggling with what to put on my blog. What should I write about? And who cares enough to read it?

Mark said that for a beginner blogger, you should write what you are passionate about. He actually used me as an example. He turned my love of sports into my love of Bass Fishing, which I have never done in my life (haha). He said if you were interested in Bass Fishing to be that person that Bass Fishing pros and Bass Pro for example would want to follow.

I don’t know what my blog is going to be about in the future, but I am going to use this semester as a test run. I hope that this requirement turns into a passion and according to Mark my future career depends on it. This blog post of his I found particularly helpful: The truth behind why my blog sucked for two years

It’s Anchor Splash Time in Tennessee

During the 3rd week of September, the University of Tennessee was the setting for one of the biggest and best philanthropic events. Anchor Splash is a week-long event put on by the ladies of Delta Gamma Fraternity.

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 The proceeds coming from the week’s events go to DG’s nationally philanthropy, Service for Sight.

Last year UT’s Anchor Splash raised thousands of dollars.The money goes towards funding schools for the blind and visually impaired across the country.

Locally DG’s host events with Club VIBES, which stands for Visually Impaired/Blind Enhanced Services. UT DG’s also fund Vision Camp every spring for the blind and visually impaired kids, so that they may have a normal camp experience. DG raises the largest portion of this money through the Anchor Splash event.

This year DG had several fraternities, as well as sororities participating in the week-long competition. The week started out with Soak-a-DG Day.

Yes, I said Soak-a-DG Day. The ladies of DG wore their block-letters all day and the participating organizations use water guns, water bottles, water balloons, or just anything that can hold water and they soak DG’s for tickets.

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The campus is littered with young fraternity guys running around and hiding in bushes trying to find DG’s.

The guys literally look like they are 5 years old, out in the yard playing imaginary war games. It is the best. And as you can see, DG’s get into it just as much.

At the end of the day all the tickets are counted up and the top 3 fraternities and sororities receive points for their efforts. Also that first day of Anchor Splash, DG held a percentage night at Moe’s. Moe’s actually donates a percentage of the profits to DG for Service for Sight. This is just one reason why DG’s love Moe’s.

Second day of Anchor Splash is the Volleyball TournamentBUemZ7FCQAEDMQA. Participating organizations flock to the newly named “Diji Island”, to compete in a single elimination, back-yard style volleyball tournament.

During the tournament DG’s could be seen refereeing, line judging, and cheering on the teams.

At the end of the tournament there was a Men’s and Women’s Volleyball Champion.

Third Day of Anchor Splash is the 4th Annual Anchor Man Pageant. The Fraternities participating nominate one representative to compete in the pageant. The participating sororities enter a dance number and painted cooler.

The nominated fraternity member competes in 3 stages of the pageant. First is the Flex Off. In this round the guys dress in their best nautical swimwear and show off their “guns”.

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Second is the interview portion. In this round the guys don their best evening wear and answer a question onstage.

Third is the talent portion. In this round the guys show off their skills whether it be singing or dancing. Anything to wow the Senior DG ladies, who are the judges of the competition.996606_10200609410547043_496710615_n

As a Senior of Delta Gamma, we are in-trusted with judging the pageant along with 3 guest judges.

The judges also scored the participating sororities’ dance numbers. The numbers entertained the crowd between rounds.  The painted coolers were also scored. Part of the prize for being crowned DG’s Anchor Man was receiving the winning painted cooler. The coolers were decked out in bronze, pink, blue, anchors, DG, and Service for Sight. What a great public relations tool for DG!

Finally the culmination of the weeks hard work. The Anchor Games ends the week with a bang. Sororities compete in relay games and banner. While the fraternities compete in banner, belly flop, and synchronized swimming.

1238112_10200609425347413_218115686_nAgain, this is an opportunity for the Seniors of DG to serve as judges. The banners are hung above the TRecs outdoor pool and are judged on a number of categories. The participating fraternities nominate one guy to compete in the belly flop competition. The guys truly make a splash on the competition, putting their own spin on a classic pool trick.

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The final competition is the by far the best. In the synchronized swimming portion of the competition, the seniors line up on the  edge of the pool for a front row view of the routines.

The fraternity guys then show off what they, with the help of DG coaches, have worked on all week. Their 5 minute routines vary in style, costumes, and music choices. All of which have to do with DG and Service for Sight.

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The fraternities show off their dancing and lip-syncing skills to the seniors out of the water.

The guys then jump in the water to continue to show off their synchronization, as they make a Delta, Gamma, and Anchor in the water. Although most do much more than that. It is amazing to see how much effort all the participants put into their routines.

1209264_638970866125306_1243330809_nAs a DG, Anchor Splash has always held a special place in my heart. I have met some of the best people being a coach (shout out to all my AGR boys) and gotten so close to my sisters.

I am truly blessed to have been in such an amazing organization. All the money the philanthropy raises and sheer number of people coming out to support us. As a senior I am so proud of my sorority and everything we have accomplished. This Anchor Splash has definitely not let me down. I honestly can not believe I had just witnessed my last Anchor Splash as a collegiate member of Delta Gamma. I will never forget it or my pledge class members I got to share it with.

There’s nothing else I would rather be than a DG at Tennessee! And that will never change.

Video

The Gamma Chi Experience

As a Greek woman at the University of Tennessee, one position is highly coveted. The position of Recruitment Counselor or Gamma Chi is an important one. A Gamma Chi is a sorority member who disaffiliates from her chapter in order to counsel potential new members through the process of recruitment. Gamma Chi’s are chosen through rounds of interviews and are announced by dropping a banner full of the lucky chosen few’s names.

Last fall, I was blessed to have been one of these chosen few. Spring of this year, myself and the other Gamma Chi’s took a class to learn all about counseling, the recruitment process and everything Panhellenic. After graduation, Gamma Chi’s could no longer wear their chapters’ letters or refer to themselves as being in that chapter. This summer was definitely a struggle not revealing my affiliation, but I knew it would be worth it in the end.

Before school started this fall, the Gamma Chi’s went on a retreat. The retreat was a weekend full of information and fun to get ready for recruitment. One of the best parts of retreat was going to the Chattanooga Zoo! We got so close over that weekend and it was an absolute blast!

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Recruitment week rolled around and Panhellenic was in strict silence. We were not allowed to talk to chapter members and they were not allowed to talk to us. In order for the Gamma Chi’s to help potential new members find their forever Panhellenic home, our affiliation was under lock and key.

The only time we were allowed to talk to our chapter members was during Roll Call. Roll Call is when the Gamma Chi’s go around to every chapter and with the barrier only being a sidewalk, Gamma Chi’s from each chapter got to lead them in their chapter cheer. After all of the chapters were visited, we did the Gamma Chi cheer and we were released for only one minute to go back to our chapter, see our sisters, and get our gifts.

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Jessica Minnick (my Little, shhh) and I before our first Roll Call.

I had no idea before the first Roll Call how emotional it would be. But during that short one minute of seeing my sisters, I was overcome with emotions. Not being able to hug or talk to them during the recruitment process, as much as I hate to admit it, took a toll on me. AKA I cried, yes I cried. And if you know me, you know I never cry.

We did Roll Call two more times during recruitment and it never got any easier. Each time we did it, got us more anxious for Bid Day. The rest of the week was whirlwind of “Gamma Chi’s knock on doors”, bus rides, and probing potential new members. At the end of recruitment was the long-awaited Bid Day. This was the day the potential new members got their bids and the Gamma Chi’s were returned their letters.

As the bids were ripped open and the new members ran out onto the Thompson-Boling Arena floor to join their perspective chapters; it was time for the Gamma Chi’s to prepare for Roll Call.

The Delta Gamma GX's are revealed and lead the Delta Gamma cheer

The DG Gamma Chi’s are revealed and lead the Delta Gamma cheer.

The Gamma Chi’s put their chapter letters on under their Bid Day t-shirts and circled out on the floor. As each chapter did their cheer, Gamma Chi after Gamma Chi revealed her letters with pride. This was the coolest moment of my life. We ended Roll Call with the Gamma Chi cheer one last time and we ran to our chapters. I was finally home with my Delta Gamma sisters.

This experience taught me so much about myself. I found out how much love I have for my chapter, while acquiring a whole new respect for all of the other Panhellenic Chapters. It is definitely an experience I would do over and over again. I gained 100 Gamma Chi’s sisters through this experience and I will not forget one of them.

One of my fellow Gamma Chi’s, Andi Abbajay, created this AMAZING video and it perfectly depicts recruitment week from the Gamma Chi perspective.

The Pitch, my new obsession

So while watching TV the other night, I stumbled upon a new show on AMC. The Pitch is a reality TV show that follows two competing advertising agencies. It reveals a rarely seen side of advertising. It gives a look behind the scenes of the agencies from when they get the client, through the creative process, and then finally the pitch to the client.
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Here’s a break down of the episode I got to watch:
The client meeting was the first scene of the show. Set in Chicago, the two competing agencies gave a dramatic walk-up moment as they head into a building to meet the client.
  • The Client–> Little Caesars.
  • The Mission–> Create a multi message digital campaign focusing on the real         tomatoes and real cheese, good quality of Little Caesars’ pizza at a reasonable price.
They then break down the two agencies.
  • Common Ground is a large agency in the city. Their strength is strategy first than creative, strategy is the platform they build on.
  • Bee Line is a small agency in “Burbs”. The CEO, Stacey, is a soccer mom and has attracted a creative team that is more family oriented.
They then show both agencies going through the brainstorming process.  It shows the different directions each agency takes, along with all the twists and turns of the creative process. The biggest lesson from this section, Googling every idea to make sure it hasn’t been done before is essential.

Pitch day then finally arrives and both teams get an opportunity to present their ideas.
  • Common Ground–> Their inspiration is the passion behind social sharing and in this case over sharing. They created a character named,”Chuck Perry”  and he is spamming social media platforms with his love for Little Caesars. Then they had the Little Caesars’ representative “apologize for not apologizing”

Then the show cuts to commercial and what do we see, but a Little Caesars commercial. They say something like, “you’ve just witnessed the winning pitch…” Umm, I’m sorry did they just reveal who before both teams presented their ideas. Yes, yes they did. I was completely shocked! They just ruined the last 15 minutes of the show!

They come back from the “Follow Chuck Perry” commercial and Bee Line has their turn to present
  • Bee Line–> Their pitch was a simply hashtag #PQuality. They hoped this would spread on Twitter about the quality of the pizza. They planned to have Segway chariots go around town and promote the has tag.

But the rest of their pitch no longer matters, because we already know who wins.

The Decision:
Common Ground is named the winner (surprise, surprise). Client felt the concept they presented was more innovative and fresh. After the decision, myself along with many other viewers felt that Bee Line should have won.
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After reading more into the decision on The Pitch section of AMC’s website I understand why the executive’s chose Common Ground. The idea of a company employee over sharing on social media about how much he loves Little Caesars is very different and fresh. I led with a predisposition of how much I hate those who over share on social media.
This turned out to be a good lesson for me, don’t lead with personal feelings. Now that I am about to become a PR professional, I need to start thinking that way. That being said, I will definitely be tuning in for next week’s episode. Hopefully the next episode conclusion will not be given away by an ill-conceived commercial placement.

Peyton Manning, UT’s Rockstar QB

As the University of Tennessee Football Team comes off of an impressive win over Western Kentucky this weekend; one of the university’s most prized alums as been proven great once again.

According to utsports.com, Peyton Manning has been named AFC Offensive Player of the Week. This is the 24th time in his career that Peyton has received this award. This award gives him more conference player of the week awards than any other player in NFL history. The win over the Baltimore Ravens, recorded Peyton with 464 passing yards which is the 2nd highest in his career.

All the tweets and posts by Vol Football fans about Peyton’s most recent success, just goes to show how much of an impact he has had on this University. Not only does he have his pictures everywhere around the athletic facilities, but a road and classroom  both sport his name.  Not too shabby, ehh?

Even though he has been graduated for a little while it is still apparent that he is and always will be our rockstar quarterback. As Vol Football fans we may not always be confident in our quarterback, but we will always have Peyton Manning.

I love a good meme. Go Vols!

I love a good meme. Go Vols!

Below is a link to see our great alum in action. Enjoy!

http://http://www.denverbroncos.com/multimedia/videos/Manning-Goes-for-Seven/df51342e-de57-40f9-8f43-e5b5ced439e8

Social Media Panel

In my 490 Social Media class Thursday, we got the privilege to have a Social Media Panel. This panel included young professionals in the Social Media Industry. All but one of the panel are alumnae of the University of Tennessee‘s College of Communication and Information.

Morgan Neal, Caroline Pekarsky, Amanda Person, Cailtin Riddler and Chance Vineyard gave our class insights into how Social Media has shaped their individual careers. The panel also represented three great companies: The Tombras Group, AC Entertainment, and Bohan.

The biggest things I took away from the panel were why Social Media, networking and professionalism are important. Social Media is becoming an ever-growing advertisers’ dream, so as a young professional it is imperative to have basic knowledge of all social media outlets. Because we have knowledge of these outlets were are considered an asset for companies.

Most on the panel got jobs through networking. I learned even if you are doing something as simple as waiting tables, it is crucial to have those good customer service skills. Service jobs also look good on resumes! I had no idea employers actually want to see if you had been a waitress or bartender. It shows you have experience dealing with tough issues with customers and such.

Also a good tip from the panel was about professionalism. Especially on Social Media it is important for students and young professionals to be weary of their voice and image on Social Media. Employers look at all your forms of Social Media. Your online profiles give your potential employers extra time to get to know you, so make the right impression.

Thanks again to the 490 Social Media panel! Loved all of your insights.

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Photo from UT School of Advertising and PR’s Facebook page