Are you ready to fall in love?

Some people go on Vacation over spring break. I go to Sephora to escape (I've been there twice in the past four days). But my first trip was to return the Jennifer Aniston perfume I had purchased, which was sad because she can do no wrong in my book.

But while there, I discovered one of the best smelling perfumes ever, and it's Private Practice and former Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh's Boyfriend. Walsh created Boyfriend because she loved the combination of her perfume mixed with her boyfriend's cologne.

If this perfume could be a song, it would be "Your Body is a Wonderland" by John Mayer. The notes of jasmine, golden amber and vanilla woods leaves you feeling encapsulated by its warmth.

I sprayed this perfume on my wrist on Saturday. I couldn't get enough of Boyfriend all weekend, much like a new relationship.

Head to your nearest Sephora location to check out this scent. Boyfriend is the best new fragrance I've smelled in a long time. And trust me, I'm a perfume junkie.

Are you ready to fall in love?

Kim Insley: "Memorable Stories Center Around Memorable People"

0861273344_kim_insley_275.jpgI recently sat down with KARE TV news anchor Kim Insley for an interview. Insley has been working at KARE 11 for 17 years, where she has co-anchored the morning news program "Sunrise." You don't receive an Upper Midwest Chapter Regional Emmy award without passion for bringing the news to the viewers.

A few short hours after I have gone to bed, Insley is up and tracking the news. Her day begins around 2:20 a.m. She starts reading international news and the wire services. She'll also go over scripts that "Sunrise" producers have written throughout the night. "Sunrise" features numerous segments that include, "What's Cool in Our Schools," "Work it Wednesday" and "Stump the Weather Guy," which Insley produces.

Over the past few years, our country has faced many historical incidents, and Insley has been there to bring the news into our living rooms. We've seen the path of our country dramatically altered on 9/11. We've witnessed the wars in the Middle East. Our state even received worldwide attention when the Interstate 35-W bridge collapsed. There isn't one event that sticks out as the most memorable, but rather it's the collection of important events that have been worthwhile, Insley said.

"Memorable stories center around memorable people," whether or not they are well known, Insley said.

Well, this was one memorable experience for me. I was no longer sitting in class, and learning about the importance of building good relationships with journalist, but rather, I was discussing it with a journalist, who has probably seen the good, the bad and the ugly.

This is what Insley had to say about public relations.

Public relations is helpful, useful and necessary because it allows journalist to know what is happening in the community. Public relations professionals can be helpful, but they can also be a pain, Insley said.

Public relations professionals are the middle people between journalists and their clients, and they need to serve the needs of both the journalist and the client. But it is important that these professionals don't lead the journalist's stories.

It is also important to know the journalist's audience and the needs of the outlet. Insley said that it is important to be truthful and to deliver your promise. You should also be proactive. Are there people who would be good interviewees? Point out visual opportunities. And, work out the logistics. Finally, if your story falls flat, then go up to the journalist and acknowledge it, Insley said. Your relationship with the journalist will benefit with it.

However, sometimes your pitches don't work for journalists. You may call once for a follow up, but know when to let it go. "The more they push, the less it works," Insley said. This is one sure-fire way of deterring your relationship with journalists.

In the brief amount of time I spent with Insley, I realized that you don't get this far in the field of journalism without passion, which was truly inspirational.

How can you brand yourself using social media?

genimage2.pngMany people think social media is a waste of time, and still refuse to jump on the bandwagon. But as a college student who will be graduating soon, it can help me land a job in this staggering economy.

Why is Facebook important for a soon-to-be college graduate?

Facebook allows you to interact with your favorite brands and companies, which may be helpful if you'd like to work for them one day. For years, Victoria's Secret, which ranks as the number eight company on Facebook, has been one of my favorite companies because of how they have branded themselves.

They've been able to listen, interact, react and sell to the customers. Erik Qualman outlines this four-step process in his book "Socialnomics: how social media transforms the way we live and do business." Qualman's process establishes the social media literate companies from those that are not.

  1. Listen:This includes following the discussion of your brand and what customers are saying.
  2. Interacting: allows the company to join the conversation
  3. React: how do you adjust your product based on steps one and two
  4. Sell: Your company will easily benefit from steps one through three

This process can also be used for branding yourself when trying to land an internship or job after graduation.

  1. Are you listening to what people are saying in your field (public relations)? What are the professionals talking about? what's the latest news?
  2. Have you joined the social media conversation? Have you made connections with people in your field, or where you one day hope to work?
  3. Based on the information gathered in steps one and two, have you been able to better yourself, and set yourself apart from other job applicants?
  4. If you've done steps one through three, then you should be able to successfully sell yourself to employers.

This process may appear simple, but don't take simplicity for granted because it will push your brand to the top. Qualman calls that "the true beauty of socialnomics."

"The best strategy in social media is a simple one; in life and social media speed and simplicity win," Qualman said. "Always remind yourself of the fundamentals."

Whether you're a newcomer to social media or a veteran, each platform has different opportunities. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the benefits and etiquette of each, especially when engaging with potential employers.

Qualman also points out in his book that if you wouldn't want your mother to see your social media content, then you probably shouldn't put it on there. It's plain and simple. A company doesn't want to hire someone that spent their entire time in college (or so it appears) partying.

For up-to-date news on social media, please visit

Follow Erik Qualman on Twitter.

Marie Claire Blog Post Does not Contribute to Their Goal

alg_resize_mike-and-molly.jpgOver the past few years, blogs have allowed organizations to bypass the traditional media and get their message out to their publics. Blogging allows the organization's publics to engage in two-way communication with the message and the organization.

However, what happens when your blog does not act as a proof point for your key messages that support the overall goal of the organization?

Then you have a sort-of crisis communication situation on your hands like Marie Claire magazine and their blogger Maura Kelly who recently wrote a blog post titled "Should 'Fatties' Get a Room? (Even on TV?)."

Kelly discusses how she is "grossed out" that two overweight characters kiss on CBS's television show "Mike & Molly." "I'd be grossed out if I had to watch them do anything," Kelly said in the post.

In public relations, goals are an overarching theme for organizations that are supported and conveyed to publics with key messages and proof points. It is of vital importance that all key messages and proof points are aligned with the goal.

But, Kelly's post does not support the goal of Marie Claire.

Let us look at the magazine as the goal of the Marie Claire. The goal of the magazine is to inspire women of all shapes and sizes to be confident, independent, and ultimately, to be themselves.

Therefore, each issue of Marie Claire contains similar stories with different news angles that are the key messages, which include articles about frugality, health, beauty and issues concerning women.

Marie Claire bloggers can focus more on an issue raised in an article that was printed, which acts as a proof point to the key message of the issue, and the goal of the organization.

In the latest issue, topics include:

  • Six bloggers advocate that healthier lifestyles may be putting their readers are risk (no coincidence here).
  • Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and health care reform
  • How to ward off the flu this season

Now it can be said that the goal of Marie Claire as an organization is to influence readers to live a healthier lifestyle. However, Kelly's blog post does not delve deeper into any of these topics and it does not prove them.

However, if Kelly had blogged about the health risks of obesity, then the angle might have supported the key message of the magazine.

Therefore, outrage has stemmed from the intersection of the proof point, which is Kelly's post, and the key message, because they are not aligned. The disconnect between these two does not favor the goal of Marie Claire, which is why the magazine now faces a crisis communication situation, and their reputation is now at stake.

Blogs enhance communication between organizations and their publics, which is why it is important that all blog posts prove your key messages, and that key messages support the goals of the organization. By doing so, you can ensure the reputation of your organization and that its goals are conveyed successfully to the public.

Here is a link to my blog post that was featured on the Minnesota Public Relations Blog.

Also, here is a response from the creator of "Mike and Molly."

In The News: Christine O'Donnell's Introduction to the Nation

Christine O'Donnell, Republican Senate hopeful, ignited a fire storm of media coverage following the release of her "I'm You" campaign advertising spot in Delaware.

In the first few seconds of the commercial O'Donnell said that she is not a witch. This statement is a response to comments she made in the 90's about dabbling in witchcraft.

The purpose of the spot is to equate O'Donnell to the people. Also, the purpose is to be anti-washington and anti-establishment. However, These key messages were lost in the media coverage O'Donnell received in the following weeks.

The media storm erupted once Saturday Night Live parodied the "I'm You" commercial on Oct. 10.

The message of the advertisement was overshadowed by the denial of witchcraft. While the duration of the commercial might parallel the key messages of her campaign, which are: to be anti-Washington, D.C., anti-establishment, and to equate O'Donnell with her constituents.

The media latched on to the pitfall of the commercial, along with other down falls O'Donnell has experienced on the campaign trail. For example, during a debate with Democratic opponent Chris Coons, O'Donnell questioned whether or not "separation of church and state" appeared in the First Amendment.

Some prominent figures have even decried O'Donnell.

Meghan McCain said in an interview on ABC's "This Week":

My problem is that, no mater what, Christine O'Donnell is make a mockery of running for public offic. She has no real history, no real success in any kind of business. And what that sends to my generation is, one day, you can just wake up and run for Senate, no matter how [much] lack of experience you have.

Joy Behar of "The View" released, on her HLN television show, a response to O'Donnell's advertisement.

The media coverage has painted O'Donnell as a joke, but how fair has the coverage been?

Has the media coverage of Chrstine O'Donnell varied locally and nationally?

Media Pitch: AITTIA Scarves for Fashion Forward Women Everywhere

Silencio-2.jpgPeople StyleWatch magazine has continued to increase its circulation and their advertising pages in a time of uncertainty for the basic media platforms. This magazine brings women the hottest trends from the runway. Women are shown what styles are in, and how to where these new looks. Our favorite celebrities are also featured because it shows how women can take the looks from the runway and where them on the street.

AITTIA is a brand of scarves that was created by Tia Wilkins, a University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication graduate. These scarves were inspired by Wilkins travels throughout the world. The scarves represent the intersection of culture and individuality. The color and texture of these extravagant garments will appeal to fashionistas everywhere.

Therefore, People StyleWatch magazine is the perfect medium to bring AITTIA to fashionistas in the United States, because women that appreciate fashion seek the opinion of this magazine.

The following is an example of a media pitch on behalf of AITTIA to People StyleWatch magazine.

Dear [Name of media contact]:

AITTIA silk scarves are the perfect gift for women of all ages this holiday season because they can turn in any snowy, winter day from drab to fabulous with the extravagant texture and colors of the scarves. AITTIA silk scarves were created by Tia Wilkins to allow women to express their fashion sense, which she believes is the intersection of culture and interpretation. Tia Wilkins has been fortunate to travel to many different places. AITTIA emerged as a product of her travels throughout the world

AITTIA represents the contradiction of our cultural need to conform, but also to be an individual. Wilkins travels throughout the world have taught her to embrace individuality. As a result, Wilkins created scarves that are a representation of different locations she has been fortunate enough to travel to. AITTIA allows women to become their own individuals, while keeping in mind the different cultures that inspired each scarf. Women like Taylor Swift and Blake Lively, to women like Katie Holmes and Gwenyth Paltrow, can wear AITTIA scarves. AITTIA scarves unite women, while allowing their individual fashion sense to shine.

AITTIA scarves were made for the fashion-forward readers of People StyleWatch magazine. These women seek out fashionable clothes and accessories, which is why AITTIA scarves are made for women that appreciate the color, texture and creativity of these scarves.

For more information about AITTIA scarves, please visit

I look forward to following up with you in the next few days. Thank you for your time and consideration of media exposure. It is greatly appreciated.


Kelsey Tape

Who Am I?

Kelsey Tape is a 22-year-old student at the University of Minnesota where she is working towards her Bachelor of Arts in strategic communication - public relations and a minor in communication studies. Kelsey has worked part time at Cassini's Pizzeria in Cottage Grove, Minn. for five years, where she has fine-tuned her customer service skills by answering telephones, supervising employees and managing the restaurant on weekends. Throughout high school and college, Kelsey has filmed and edited multimedia projects for sports teams and weddings. Kelsey played Fastpitch softball during high school, which helped Kelsey evolve her leadership skills and hard-work ethic. Kelsey has also dedicated her life to the world of entertainment and pop culture.

Kelsey can be contacted via Twitter @KTape25.