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Book’s Always Better

January 31, 2012

Movie adaptations of books are a fact of life. And thank goodness! Some stories are too amazing to be confined to one medium.

   

In a book/movie situation, I always want to read the book, usually before I see the movie. It’s the nature of a movie to be so much simpler and a book to be so much more complex. If you’re a person who likes complexity, who enjoys background information and just feels the need to know MORE, than the book is always going to be better.

THE PRINCESS BRIDE

The Princess Bride is the only book/movie combo that I can’t decide which version I like more. Each on their own is great, but together they produce double the joy. The book provides such amusing backgrounds for each character, along with a full background of the amazing, albeit made up, author, S. Morgenstern (Bill Goldman wrote the book and screenplay and called it an “abridgment of the epic story  by Morgenstern,” a Florinese author from the depths of Goldman’s own imagination). The movie in no way sullies the book because much of the dialogue is spot on and the actors embody completely their characters. No matter how powerful your imagination, when you read the book, Cary Elwes is Westley and it only makes the book better.

Other book to movie adaptations that matter to me:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – This is my mom’s favorite book, so I’ve heard a lot about how Gregory Peck was the perfect Atticus Finch in the 1962 movie. And it’s absolutely true, not only was the movie true to the main plot and spirit of the book, but Gregory Peck’s Atticus was named AFI’s Greatest Hero in American cinema.

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller – My favorite book, but the 1970 movie was less than great. Sure, it was amusing and clever and had great actors like Alan Arkin, Orsen Welles and poor Art Garfunkel who fell in love with a prostitute. However this movie illustrates why  it’s so much better to read the book. The book had such humor and satire and played with time in a way that a movie could never do justice.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling – I could write 1,000 blogs on the Harry Potter books/movies, but I’ll sum it up here: The beginning movies were alright, the fourth one was a bummer, the last two were wonderful!! Of course you can’t put all of the books in the movies, they wouldn’t be any good! But it so frustrates me to hear that people don’t read the books because there are movies. People, they are SO. GOOD. And there is SO MUCH MORE to the story!!

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein – Favorite Movies. One of the few times I’ve read the books after.  Loved everything about everything. The main reason Peter Jackson got the movies so right even though he had to leave so much out is because he is a major LOTR geek. A true fan of a book, movie, comic book, anything, will do everything in his or her power not to punch other fans in the face.

The Hunger Games by Susan Collins / Life of Pi by Yann Martel – These are two books that  I looooved and also have been turned into movies that will be released this year. I love these two because the worlds I imagined for these books are so wonderful and terrible and so unlike any other story. I’m excited to see how others perceive and tell these stories, but I strongly suggest reading the books before seeing the movies.

Because the movies might be the epitome of awesome; they might cure insomnia and inspire millions to recycle or bring tears to the eyes of even the coldest-hearted human being….

But the book will always be better.

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Picasso & Public Relations

March 8, 2011

 

Dalí

Picasso

 

I do not seek, I find.

– Pablo Picasso

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoy this quote by Picasso much better than the topic of the week’s quote (Sorry, Mrs. Groover!). For me,  the quote is comparable to carpe diem, but it inspires more confidence  that I can find success even when there is no clear opportunity around. Maybe you don’t always have to seek an impressive accomplishment to find an impressive accomplishment.

My most recent noteworthy accomplishment occurred last week when I volunteered to give a presentation in my Hispanic Literature class about Pablo Picasso (hence the quote). It was a small triumph, but one that I think made a difference in my approach towards that class and towards my attitude about my work. You see, I am never the first person to speak up or to give a speech and be happy about it, but that’s a quality that I’m constantly trying to overcome, especially in my Spanish classes. So I did it because I knew it would help make speaking in public easier in the future, because I knew I had to improve my Spanish speaking destrezas (skills) and because I have a deep love for Spanish painters, like Picasso.

I believe that sometimes we have to create our own opportunities and make them rock solid successes, rather than seek out other happenings that will bend to our causes.

 

 

 

I might not have been as enthusiastic to talk about Pablo Picasso to my classmates if I had not been wowed over winter break by the works of Salvador Dalí, who was influenced greatly by the cubist painter. The High Museum in Atlanta recently had a large exhibit of Dalí’s late works that I had been dying to go to for months. The chance for me to see so many paintings I’ve read about came in the form of a beautifully constructed campaign by the High called Dalí ‘Til Dawn.

In the last weekend of the exhibit, the High Museum threw a massive goodbye party for the famous artist. The exhibit was open for 31 hours and there was continuous entertainment including Dalí inspired performance artists, bands, and films. There were activities for kids on Sunday, and from the hours of 12am to 9am on that Saturday, admission was only $5 compared to the usual $18. (I took advantage of the cheap tickets, going with my parents at 5am. Totally worth it.)

The campaign was a huge success, drawing over 20,000 people to the museum in those 31 hours. Thousands of people were exposed to Dalí AND to the High museum who otherwise might not have been. My parents, for example, had only been to the High once, but plan on going more often because of the wonderful time we had.

The High Museum created a huge event practically out of thin air that benefited both the museum and the people of Atlanta, and ultimately cemented not only my love of Dalí and Spanish art, but also my desire to share it with others. I can only hope that wherever I end up in my career in public relations, that’s the kind of work I will be doing.

Public Relations Needs Public Relations People

February 9, 2012

To be completely honest, I’m not certain how Social Media has changed the PR World, because I’ve been immersed in some form of social media longer than I’ve been in the PR World!

 I’ve always known the practice of public relations to be linked with the use of social media. I’m not dumb, of course, I know how facebook and twitter have changed with way businesses and people interact and communicate. They’ve changed the way businesses behave, and for the better.

The constant flow of communication from consumer to business and business to consumer makes the Public Relations department more important and busier than ever, and it my opinion, better than ever. If you believe School House Rock’s saying that Knowledge is Power then you have to believe that the information gained from social media could make businesses freakin ZEUS. The more information about consumers PR people have to work with, the better they can build a PR/business plan to perfectly suit the company and their public.

However,the importance of social media to public relations  creates the belief that social media is all PR does, therefore anyone who has a twitter, facebook, or whatever account can practice good public relations. That, as Dwight would say, is false. Public Relations is about using the information gained from Social Media (and a plethora of other sources) to create strategies that benefit the company.

That’s why when dealing with social media it’s good to have someone with a PR background around. Anyone can have and use social media (Obviously), that’s the point of it. It takes someone who knows what their doing to take full advantage and profit from it.

Bucket List-y Comments

January 27, 2012

Drew’s

http://dchesh.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/my-bucket-list/

and

Lauren’s

http://laurenstevens.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/tow-1-before-i-kick-the-bucket/

More Bits of a Bucket List

January 24, 2012

WELL! New class, old topic: bucket lists. Here is my previous bucket list. I’m sure I can jazz it up a bit for this go round. Here’s a few more bucket list-y items I’d like to accomplish!!

One. Visit both Guggenheims. All museums, really, but I love art museums. I would love to be able to say I’ve visited both Guggenheims, the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York City and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Bilbao, Spain. Not only do they boast ridiculous collections of contemporary art, but the buildings themselves are famous works of art designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (NY) and and Frank Gehry (Bilbao). The Bilbao building is especially fantastic, in my opinion, if not only for the famous dog made of flowers that guards the art.

 

Two. Crazy family vacation. My definition of a family vacation is a family consisting of two parents, one perfectly reasonable girl and two increasingly annoying younger brothers piling in a car and visiting relatives wherever they may live. I’m not complaining (much), I love my extended family and would go on all those family vaycay’s again (except one specific Michigan trip), but one time I would love to go somewhere with my immediate family just for fun and where we don’t know a soul. Maybe Bilbao? Knock out two at once?

 

 

 

 

 

Three. Hug David Tennant. That’s all I need. A hug and I will be forever satisfied with my life.

 

 

 

 

Four. Pyramids of Giza. Because who doesn’t want to see the last great world wonder? Honestly I can’t believe this wasn’t on my first bucket list, I have loved Egyptian culture and the pyramids since reading The Egyptologist.

Five. STILL read Jane Austen’s Emma. I swear it isn’t that I don’t want to read it. It’s just that I’ve been on the same page for almost five years now, it’s all dusty, and I keep getting excited to read other books! One day, Emma, I promise. One day.

Social Media News Releases and Me

May 8, 2011

After reading many many blogposts and articles dissecting and analyzing the purpose and power of a Social Media News Release, or SMNR, I feel like I really grasp all the concepts involved. And it feels so good.

SMNRs are press releases gone wild. While original PRs have the traditional “Here’s our info, here’s our story, go nuts!” type of reporting, SMNRs include multimedia like photos, gifs, videos, and links. It takes advantage of social media by making it available to any and all types of online networks.

Here’s a great SMNR done by NVIDIA, a computer and technology company. Even though I am by far not their target demographic, I can appreciate the usefulness of their SMNR. The regular press release info is there, and there are these great descriptive videos, pictures, and links if you want more information. The best part is the box with all the social media links. They are a part of every network there is, it seems, and they want you to know them all. Plus, it’s organized and looks nice without being boring.

The advantages of SMNRs are numerous. As Brian Solis says, SMNRs allow audiences to participate in the news release, to create conversation rather than just putting information out into the abyss. They are designed to cut the hype and nonsense out of press releases, and just give information, sometimes even in a more interesting way. Links allow readers to find more information on their own terms, and keywords make the press release much easier to find for anybody with internet access.

Copyblogger, a blog about content in blogging and advertising which has won me over enough to add to my google reader, has a nice little article on why SMNRs work more efficiently than regular press releases. It seems to be that social media just will not pay attention to your press release unless it has the ability to control how the information is presented.

Of course there are disadvantages to SMNRs. They might not be taken as seriously as an original press release, as they are more casual in nature. As always, you have to think about who you’re trying to reach with your message. SMNRs aren’t for everyone or for every message. The thing that bugs me the most is the name. Too long. Doesn’t flow.  Even the abbreviation is dreadful. Makes me want to call them Smooners. Finally, SMNRs can get cluttered or overwhelming. A poorly formatted SMNR is brutally difficult to read, so most people simply won’t.

WHICH leads me to my next point: SMNR Formatters.

  • For my PR class project, we used http://www.prxbuilder.com/ which is great because it’s free and easy to use. If you’re needing a basic SMNR pretty quickly, this is the place.
  • My favorite that I found in my research was http://www.pitchengine.com/ which is one you have to pay for, but the example SMNRs look fantastic. For example, this SMNR from blogfrog.com looks great, has oodles of information, a great little slide show with relevant pictures and charts, a comments section, and a way to share it through all social networks. Too cool.

My class project SMNR is here, and it’s taken from a much earlier press release assignment about the Student Eagle Club. I wish I had read all that I have before I had made it.  My next SMNR will be much more informative and interesting, although there is only so much you can do with a small event that took place in February. The event was the GSU baseball game against Georgia Tech, the goal was to get as many members of the Student Eagle Club there as possible, therefore it was aimed at those members.

PR people should use SMNRs when trying to reach out to social media networks. They really are more interesting than other press releases, and they allow the audience to be involved in the reporting.

Some SMNR advice that I’ve gleaned:

  • Be interesting. A boring press release isn’t going to be read by many people.
  • The interesting info must be related to the release. Even if it’s a fabulous video, if it doesn’t have anything to do with the information, it shouldn’t be on there.
  • No more spin. PR practitioners have a bad rap of putting false spin on a subject. Straight facts, complete transparency is key.
  • Be organized. A sloppy presentation of the facts is never going to win a campaign fans.
  • Be brief. Brevity is the soul of wit, and I personally think it should be the soul of news releases as well.
  • Awesome Headline. This should be a rule for everything. If your headline doesn’t accurately describe the article or pique interest, it isn’t doing its job.

Comments on Bucket Lists!

April 29, 2011

This week on commented on

Autumn’s

http://autumnhedrick.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/bucket-list

and

Evanne’s

http://ef00558.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/bucket-list/

about  their very cool Bucket Lists.

Bits of a Bucket List

April 29, 2011

My first thought at the mention of a bucket list is traveling. As I’m sure I have the same travel dreams as a million other wanna-be tourists, here are a few of my fancier, more interesting places to see before I kick it.

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One. Stand on the Kjeragbolten. Possibly one of the scariest, most impressive things that I would like to do. Just a big boulder chilling in a mountain crevasse in Norway. There are a ton of pictures online  of people hanging out on the boulder, and I want to be in one of those pictures.

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Two. Shop in a Mexican market and buy one of these Frida Khalo bags. Too cool.

Three. Prague. First because it’s awesome, second because my last name is Czech and I want to see how people there pronounce it, and third because I want to see this Dancing House designed by Frank Gehry and eat in the restaurant on the top floor.

Four. I feel like I have to include the Spanish island of Ibiza. Ever since my blog post about my fantasy dinner party, Ibiza is my go-to dream destination. In fact, let’s just add having that whole dinner party/yacht cruise to the bucket list. Minus Lucy, unfortunately.

Five. Tango in Argentina. Because how could it get any better?

As for my non-traveling bucket list, I can really only think of a few good ones.

One. Become ridiculously good at swing dancing. I know the basics now, but someday I’d like to be good enough to confidently visit and enjoy a swing dance club, thing. Those exist, right?

Two. Meet Donald Glover. There are a ton of people I’d love to meet, but Donald’s just prominent in my head right now. He’s the funniest actor out of a lot of funny people on the show Community, and he’s a huge nerd.

aaaand I just accidentally watched 10 minutes of  Community clips with DG on youtube. It really is the end of the semester, isn’t it? Anywho, let’s watch one!

Three. Read Emma by Jane Austen. On because it has been sitting on my shelf for the past four years. There’s no real reason why I haven’t read it,  I just keep getting distracted. I’ll get around to it someday.

Four. Learn a really cool yoga pose to show off to people. I’m working on it. Still having trouble with that darn Warrior 3 pose, though.

I’m not sure at all how I want people to remember me. I try to remind myself not to put much thought into that because I can’t control other people or what they think. It would be great to be remembered at incredibly intelligent, witty or extremely charming, but for some reason that’s difficult to pull off a lot of the time. I know a girl who is known for smiling all the time. I think that would be a nice way to be remembered; as someone who is happy, and just good to be around. Maybe I should smile more.