Blog Comments

You said 3 weeks ago:

Courtney, that sounds really interesting! Even though they caught you off guard with the question do you think you will come up with something in the future to tell them? If you are unsure, then do you think having an idea of what you will do would be helpful?

I’m still struggling with that myself.

You said 3 weeks ago:

I’m so glad that they decided to change the logo back. The old one looked tacky and kind of reminded me of old clip-art from microsoft word. Just my opinion!

You said 3 weeks ago:

I liked your mini “about me” here!

I’m really similar to you (minus being a morning person, lol); however, I still don’t get the whole “Twitter” craze and how that works. I worry that if I get an account I won’t be able to get off of it.

What is your favorite Sci-Fi movie? My personal favorite is Metropolis!


You said 1 month ago:

I can’t believe that someone would do that in the first place. From what I understand she already had children prior to giving birth to her eight children, is that true?

You said 3 weeks ago:

I started to think of him as more of a celebrity, too. I remember seeing something on the news about how he and his family were staying at Martha’s Vinyard over a holiday. I thought, “That’s great. You should spend time with your family, BUT as the President of the United States you have far more responsibility than the average American.”

I wonder what these next few months will bring…

You said 2 weeks ago:

I think I should probably try the porches in Ragsdale. I’ve been kicked out of the conference rooms so many times! How well does the WIFI work on the porches?

You said 1 month ago:

Yeah, I don’t understand it either. I mean, a persons sexual orientation doesn’t even affect how well they do their job. It’s irrelevant in my opinion. I just wish that people could be more open minded.


Gossip Hour: Where the hell can I study in a quiet place?!

Note: This isn’t meant to be “serious” writing.

This past weekend my boyfriend and I were going to study together. I thought, “Cool. We’ll hang out and get work done.” I couldn’t have been more wrong. First, we went to Mozart’s Cafe to have desserts and coffee…and find a flipping table to plug in our laptops. The people at Mozart’s are mean and unwilling to give up any space whatsoever. Finally, when two people got up from a table I ran to it and threw my purse down. And that is when a band decided to start playing right in front of us. I tried not to let that get me down. I mean, it happens to everyone, right?!

Our next stop was the Starbucks in Sunset Valley. I’m a sucker for Fire Bowl Cafe, which is practically next door to this Starbucks. He dropped me off at the front of the place and I ran inside. The ENTIRE flipping coffee shop was packed! We waited for about twenty minutes to get a table. I tried to find one in the kids section, but some girl thought she was cooler than me and took the only big table. When we finally sat down I realized that GOSSIP HOUR was going on right behind us. Two annoying girls (I couldn’t tell how old they were) were talking about “Oh my gosh, the world’s going to end in 2012 anyways…let’s take one day at a time, duh.” And another one said, “I mean, he’s so worried about everything. I’m like, chill bro. This is why we broke up.” This went on for half an hour. My boyfriend was lucky – he brought BOSE headphones that block out excess sound! I hate him.

I’m taking the LSAT in December because I hope to go to Law School once I graduate. I hope those two girls thought that their GOSSIP HOUR was LIKE SO worth it.


Keep the Gossip on this trashy show, thank you!

Public Speaking – Captivate Your Audience!

Although some pro’s make it look easy, Public Speaking is no easy task. In class we talked about some of the finer points of giving a speech and how to make it work for an audience. When making a speech one must be aware of the audience, what type of market you are speaking about (narrow it if necessary), and use immediate feedback during the speech to know what action to take next.

Sometimes you will be given many opportunities to give a speech; however, keep in mind that not every opportunity that presents itself is worthwile. Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not you should present:

WHO will be at the event?

Am I getting compensated?

How MANY people will be attending the event?

What is the NATURE of the conference?

Basics: The Presentation Itself

  1. It is okay to poke fun at yourself if it is done in a tasteful manner.
  2. Tell them what you are going to talk about at the beginning of the speech.
  3. Ask the audience a question.
  4. Take a quick survey.
  5. Open with something from the news.

Sometimes you will give a speech in the morning or at night. Depending on when you are giving your speech you should consider if the audience is likely to be awake and whether or not you are speaking during lunch. Would they be distracted? These are just a few things to consider. Also, in regards to time you should take the following tips into account:

  • For a typical speech you usually want it to be about 20 minutes in length and around 2,000 words. It is also important that you prepare ahead of time because the audience is more likely to pay attention to you if you have rehearsed what you will say and make it interesting!
  • If you are giving a speech during lunch or dinner it should be around 20-30 minutes in length with time alloted for a Q & A session. This can be about ten minutes.
  • For a breakout speech you can present between 45-75 minutes as long as you allot a ten minute Q & A session for the audience.

How To Write A Press Kit

During the middle of October we talked about Press Kits in class. Professor Bazan showed us several visual representations of Press Kits from Lifeworks. One thing that I noticed about all of them was that they had a cohesive theme that made all of the information go together. A Press Kit is essentially a concise set of information that can be used in the following circumstances:

  • product launch
  • new company
  • gala
  • press conference
  • trade show

In class we made our own Press Kits last week for Bennett’s Cafe, which is located in York in the United Kingdom. We were given information about Bennett’s and told to put it into several different items in the Press Kit. The focus of the assignment was copy driven and a lot less focused on design.


  1. Press Release – detailed information about why the kit is being sent out. If you have a new audience you want to keep it clean and short.
  2. Fact Sheet – stats, benefits, past clients
  3. Bio’s – people in the company
  4. Past Press – Why are YOU worth talking about?
  5. Backgrounder – this is where you would include extras such as a companies Mission Statement and Logo.

The above list is an example of the basics in a Press Kit; however, if you are making a Press Kit for a band you would include and Electronic Press Kit (audio, video, images) and possibly a discography list, cover pictures, and equipment list.

Don’t Ask, Don’t tell: You’ll Have To Wait

According to The New York Times Article “Court Keeps Military Gay Policy for Now,” the decision to vote for or against the well-known “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy has been stalled. The article states, “The stay almost certainly means the government will go back to enforcing the law as it did before the lower court issued an injunction against it. ” For many who have waited for change, this is no doubt a frustrating situation. I’m sure that people who wanted a ruling on the issue feel like they are back to square one.

On the one hand many feel like getting rid of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” will cause all sorts of privacy issues in the military; however, some people feel that it isn’t right that they should have to hide their identity from people – especially military recruiters! The article gives a couple of opinions on the issues. One noteworthy example was of “a 21-year-old who declined to give his name” because he was worried that people would come on to him. He claims that he doesn’t work with anyone who is gay and has “never been approached by one.”

It is interesting to think that this is still such a big issue in the political arena. In my opinion, people seem to be open to diversity (especially in my hometown of Austin, TX) even when they may disagree with it. Hopefully this issue will resolve itself soon, but for now it has been stalled. Who knows when a proper resolution will take place.

Link to the NYT Article:

Popular Pop Icon Lady Gaga Speaks Against “Don’t ask, don’t tell”

To view the full story, click the image.

Recent UT Shooting/Suicide Brings Up Memories of the Past

The year was 1966. Charles Whitman, a UT student, had already murdered his wife and mother before he went to the UT Tower. This would later be known as the “UT massacre.” Atop the tower he killed 16 people and wounded 32 others before taking his own life.

On September 28th, 2010 sophomore Colton Tooley brought a gun to the UT campus while wearing a ski-mask and a business suit. His presence caused an uproar at the UT campus as squad cars were called in along with the military. Tooley apparently entered UT’s main library with the gun and ran past the security guard waving. He then ran to the sixth floor and eventually committed suicide. At the time, many believed it would be another school shooting like the one that happened back in 1966, but Tooley injured no one. However, it did have a few things in common with Charles Whitman. Both men were considered very intelligent. Tooley himself was a sophomore majoring in Mathematics at The University of Texas. People are still unsure what drove him to kill himself, but many people it was due to feeling socially insolated; he had a hard time relating to anyone.

The Latest Footage of the Incident Has Been Released:

This suicide also brings up an interesting point. What will be done about gun safety in the future? Another issue is suicide prevention. Many new organizations have popped up to deal with this ever present issue. One of them is “It Gets Better” where people tell there stories on youtube about overcoming hard obstacles.

Suicide Prevention Poster

I have linked the poster to a helpful website with more information about Suicide prevention. Hopefully these helpful resources will stop tragedies like the UT Shootings in the future.

Notes, Oct. 11-15

When you are trying to make a sale your “Features” should always push the reader into taking a certain action!

They can take several actions:

  1. Visit our page.
  2. Contact us.
  3. Hire us.
  4. Learn more about…(fill in the blank here).

Query Letters serve as a story proposal most of the time. Essentially, you are letting your customer know a possibility of the story. You have to been creative and think about what you say if you want their attention. This should take the form of an outline that is 1-2 pages in length because these take less time to read. MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT. The topic of the article should tell the reader what you want to write in the clearest way possible. Now, for most people, myself included, this is a pretty difficult task. Cut out repetition in your piece or any unncessary words. Also, avoid jargon and complex language at all costs.

Feature stories are a bit different from query letters. They have a set formula that follows this pattern:

  1. Tell them what you are going to tell them.
  2. Headline.
  3. Standfirst->in between the headline and the body copy.
  4. Opening paragraph->this will make your first point.
  5. Evidence/Expand *insert statistics and quotations here.
  6. Your second point.

Even the best feature stories aren’t perfect, however.

Weaknesses of a Feature:

  • no way of knowing the timing
  • it may be changed in size
  • could be used in pieces
  • you have no control over the placement

Additional Issues:

  • poorly written
  • repetative
  • too long or too short
  • not relevant to the reader
  • not using the *”house” style

*this means that it doesn’t sound like the voice of a particular writer/company

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