My Twitter/Instagram Experience-PR Writing

Throughout the entirety of my PR Writing course here at Marquette University, I’ve been using social media sites Twitter and Instagram. The site that I have used the most during the course of our class is Twitter. I’ve enjoyed using both of these sites very much and have learned a lot about the sites as well as various PR tips and tactics from our assignment. We were assigned to tweet or retweet materials related to public relations or Marquette University and to use the hashtag #pure3600 when doing so to document our tweets.

My tactic for beginning this assignment was to follow big names in the PR/Advertising/Marketing industry on Twitter and to read what they were tweeting out. I followed accounts such as PRWeek US, Adweek, AP Stylebook, and BuzzFeed which gave me a ton of material to read and retweet. Some of the tweets that I tweeted about were about public relations campaigns that were happening or how public relations could be related to trending topics (which is where BuzzFeed was a huge player). BuzzFeed keeps up with everything that is trending in the world and tweets in real-time which is helpful when you want a quick update on everything that is happening and is important to people in the world.

If I wasn’t tweeting about public relations or retweeting from the accounts mentioned above, I was tweeting about topics related to Marquette University. I attended various events at the university this past semester and I tried to tweet about those events and use the hashtag #pure3600 when tweeting about those events. It is important for me to grow accustomed to tweeting in real-time when I attend events. When the Bucks hosted an open practice on Marquette’s campus earlier this year I practiced these skills by tweeting out pictures that I took and posted on Instagram. This exercise also helped me with my Instagram skills. By linking these two social networks together I was able to reach more people and get my message out better and to a broader audience.

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In my PR Writing course, we were lucky enough to have many influential speakers visit our classroom. This gave me another chance to use my #pure3600 to show my followers who was coming to our class and what they spoke about. I also tweeted @ the speakers to thank them for visiting and sharing their knowledge with the entire class.

I really enjoyed our assignments that incorporated Twitter and Instagram. I feel that they helped me to improve upon my social media skills that I will be using in my future career!

Tips for Flying Alone

I’ve flown many times before, but never alone until recently. I wasn’t nervous to fly alone as I knew what I was doing, but I realized how the tips that I’ve picked up from flying with my family greatly helped me while on my own. I also learned a couple things from being forced to sit by complete strangers. My tips will range from tips on packing, tips for flying, and what to do on the airplane.

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Packing

My first tip is something I’m sure everyone has heard many times before. It is to pack light. Here is an article from Forbes on how to pack light. Nothing is worse than trying to make your way through a large airport with lots of heavy bags with nobody around to help you carry them.

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Only bring the essentials, and if you are traveling for an extended period of time, check your luggage. However, always keep in mind that when you check your luggage there is always the chance of your luggage getting lost. Whenever I travel to a tropical place I always pack a swimming suit and cover-up in my carry-on just in case my checked luggage gets lost.

Another tip about packing would be for people who wear contacts; pack your glasses in your carry-on bag! There have been so many times where I’ve sat in dry airports after traveling for hours and hours and all I want to do is take my contacts out and put my glasses on. Packing is something that should be thoroughly thought out. Luggage should be light but durable.

Tips for flying

The first thing I do after getting out of security is to buy a bottle of water. Airport water isn’t always super expensive if you buy off-brand and I always seem to be the most thirsty while waiting for the plane to takeoff on the runway. Another tip about water is to always ask for a glass when the drink service comes around, you can always pour your cup of water into your water bottle!

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My next tip would be to pack snacks. Not all airlines provide snacks to passengers and buying meals on planes can be pricey. Bring small snacks that don’t create a mess and make sure to give your trash to the flight attendants when they come around to collect so as to make their job easier when they have to clean the plane.

I’ve noticed lately that airplanes are cold. We traveled to a tropical island recently and I dressed lightly thinking of the warm weather we were heading to, but our airplane was freezing and I shivered the whole time. Always bring a jacket with you so as to be prepared for a cold airplane and cold airports!

On the airplane

One of the things that I’ve been working on in my life is to talk to others more often. In the age of technology, too many people resort to their cellphones when put into an awkward social situation. Too many people sit down in their airplane seats and pull out their devices right away. Most people will go a whole flight without saying a word to the person sitting next to them. I’ve decided that this is something that needs to change. Meeting new people is something that I absolutely love doing. You can learn so many things from having a simple conversation with somebody.

On my recent flight from Minnesota to Iowa I had the pleasure of sitting next to a man by the name of Cory who was one of the most talkative people I’ve ever met. He made my laugh the whole flight and was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met! I was so glad that my seat was next to his because he made a 45-minute flight seem like 10 minutes. If you don’t reach out to the people you’re sitting next to you could miss out on a new friendship.

Flying alone can be scary at times, but if you follow these tips and stay calm cool and collected it can be a breeze. Pack light, be prepared for your flight, and don’t be afraid to talk to strangers!

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Antigua

Before traveling to the island of Antigua, I had heard nothing about it. I knew it was a beautifully small island, but other than that I had no idea of what to expect. I had to do some research, so I headed to the internet. The island was smaller than I had thought as it only takes about 45 minutes to drive from one end to the other. I did some online research and found the activities that were most recommended for the island, which were visiting Stingray City and wind/kite surfing. I was very excited about both of these activities and set a goal on doing them.

The popularity of wind surfing on the island is no surprise. From the minute you get off the airplane you can feel the strength of the wind. I thought that maybe it was just extra windy the day that we arrived in Antigua, but the wind continued the entirety of our trip. While it could get distracting at times, it was not a big deal, and it kept the bugs away which is always beneficial.

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The weather was beautiful every day that we were there. It rained twice within the week that we were there but it was in the morning for about an hour, and then the sun came out for the rest of the day. The sun is VERY strong there, so I highly recommend sunscreen at all times.

The highlight of the trip for me was when we took a day to tour the island. We befriended a local worker at our hotel that was kind enough to take us to Stingray City one day as well as stop at other landmark places on the island. She was the friendliest woman, as were many of the people I met on the island!

One of the landmarks that we stopped at was a natural bridge called “Devil’s Bridge” This natural bridge was formed by the powerful waves that surround the peninsula that it resides on. The immense power of the water surrounding Devil’s Bridge was astounding, and the strength of the wind was even more so. The view was breathtaking.

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Stingray City was an experience I won’t soon forget. I’ve always wanted to swim with stingrays, but I never knew what to expect. We took a boat out to a shallow section of the ocean where stingrays naturally reside, and were given the opportunity to hold and feed the stingrays. I have to admit that the stingrays were a lot larger than I was expecting and I was a little skeptical of being so close to them at first, but I’m so glad that I did it and was able to have the experience of being so close to these amazing creatures.

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Another part of the trip that I was really excited for was windsurfing. I had never windsurfed before, but I had heard from multiple people that it was really difficult. I was prepared for the worst, but ended up loving it! My brother and I had a lesson together, and while he fell off of his board multiple times, I didn’t fall once! Our instructor, Vaughn, was awesome and helped me to perfect my stance on the board. It was still really difficult to try to catch the wind in your sail and not let yourself be thrown off the board, but once you get your sail in the right spot, it’s fun to sail across the water.

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The island itself was very nice. We stayed at one of the bigger resorts on Antigua called St. James Resort and the people there were extremely friendly. It was an all-inclusive resort, as many of the resorts on the island are, which was really convenient. I really enjoyed the resort and the watersports that were offered there. The watersports were located in a small bay as the resort is located on a peninsula and the side of the island that faces the ocean has rough waters.

Overall, I was very happy with the island and the experiences that it could provide. It was a great place for couples and for families, as there was something for everyone to enjoy. I would recommend Antigua for its water activities and scenery.

St. Lucia: The Perfect Island Getaway

One year ago around this same time (spring break season) my family and I traveled to the island of St. Lucia. I didn’t quite know what to expect, as I had never heard anything about the island before. This gorgeously secluded island very pleasantly surprised me.

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Every part of the island is a little slice of secluded paradise. We flew into the main airport that is on the very southern point of the island, but our resort was at the very northern part. It took us about 2 hours to drive from one end of the island to the other. The roads are very narrow as they wind through the hilly landscape of the island. The scenery is gorgeous and the lack of a main highway forces you to drive right through the middle of the island to get a real feel for the culture of St. Lucia.

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The resort that we stayed at was called The Landings and it was absolutely gorgeous. We were able to walk right down to the beach but were still close to a city center with various restaurant options. The thing that is most impressive about this island is how gorgeous the scenery is.

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The best way to see the island is by boat. We rented a boat for the day and were able to visit the whole length of the island. Each area of the island that we passed was different, but each seemed to be just as beautifully secluded as our resort was. On our boat trip, we stopped by Soufrière and visited the hot springs and mud baths. We also visited some waterfalls while in that part of the island. There was much to do in Soufrière as we also ate along the Pitons. The Pitons are two mountains situated near each other with impressive heights of 771 and 743 meters high.

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One of the things that I loved the most about St. Lucia was the high quality beaches and blue ocean that surrounds the island. I was amazed by the amount of wildlife that was on the island. Early in the morning you could sometimes see little yellow crabs coming out of their holes along the beach. While on our boat trip we were able to see whales in the distance, and when we went snorkeling we were able to see thousands of fish that swam just centimeters from our bodies. The experience was awesome.

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Snorkeling wasn’t the only water activity that we were able to partake in while visiting the island. We were able to paddle board, kayak, and ride a catamaran all in the water right off from the resort. The weather was nice almost every day that we were there. The mornings were sometimes filled with spurts of rain, but the sun would normally shine brightly every afternoon.

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Overall, I got only positive vibes from the entire island and enjoyed every second that we spent there. I would highly recommend the destination for anyone looking to get away to a beautiful destination.

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Social media can help you to choose a travel destination

The world is full of so many amazing countries and cities that it can be hard to choose where to travel to. Researching travel destinations is always a good idea, but where should you look? Who can you trust? The best advice comes from people that you trust, your friends, family, colleagues. The one place where all of these people come together is on social media.

Facebook is a great place to start when looking for advice. One post that says, “What place would you recommend I travel to?” can bring comments from everyone you value as a Facebook friend, and that should give you a great place to start in researching travel destinations. Hopefully all comments would be encouraging of destinations and not full of negativity that bash on bad vacation experiences. You have to keep in mind that if someone has one bad experience that doesn’t necessarily mean that you would also have that bad experience. Having said that, your friends and family are people whose opinions you would value highly and if they say you wouldn’t like a certain destination they probably know what they’re talking about.

Speaking of advice and opinions that you value, another place to look is on sites such as TripAdvisor. Much of the advice that I have used from reviews on TripAdvisor have held true in my own experiences, however there are quite a few horror stories that you can find on TripAdvisor that can be hard to believe. You must remember when looking at travel review sites that people are more likely to post about bad experiences than they are good experiences. The first thing you think of doing when you have a bad experience is complaining about it somewhere, and many people turn to sites such as TripAdvisor. However, sometimes people have such an amazing experience that they can’t wait to praise a destination online.

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Places that you may not think to check when looking for places to visit are Twitter and Instagram. Many departments of tourism have Twitter accounts that can be helpful in researching things to do when visiting that place. Another useful tool on Twitter in searching for hashtags. If you search #Mexico and #Vacation or #Travel in the search bar of Twitter you will be given a variety of tweets that mention things about Mexico that can be helpful to you in your decision.

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Similarly, You can do the same with Instagram. If you search relevant hashtags, such as destinations or things to do in certain destinations, you will be given a variety of pictures from those spots.

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Social media is a great place to get opinions from people all over the world, people in your hometown, and people in your family. As always, Google is always a good place to start when researching destinations, but if you are looking for honest opinions on destinations, turning to friends and family is a great place to begin your research.

Writing is…

Writing is a way of expressing one’s feelings and thoughts.

Writing can give someone the power to change the world.

Writing will continue to be used for as long as humans inhabit the earth.

Writing has shaped the world that we live in, and will continue to do indefinitely.