Posts Tagged ‘ college students ’

Free Music, Coming to a Campus Near You?

Could your campus get unlimited rights for downloading music?  I just read on that some colleges are in talks with music labels to create an agreement that would allow for students to legally download, share and enjoy the music they love.   

This would be an awesome change from the current practice of randomly tracking down and serverely prosecuting people for illegally downloading.  I’m not sure where I stand on illegal downloads: I want artists to be properly compensated for their work, but I don’t like paying for something when I know it’s just a few clicks away for free.  

According to MediaPost Columbia, MIT and Stanford are leading the charge. 

Currently, my college’s policy is to block programs like Limewire.  What do you think?  Would you choose a college because you could get unlimited music downloads? (I remember when colleges were giving away laptops to all freshmen)




Podcasts Every Budding PRo Should Listen To

Podcasts are awesome.  Why?  Free.  Entertaining.  Educational.  Informative.

The best and worst aspect of podcasts is that ANYONE with a mic and 5 minutes to spare can make one.  I’ve wasted so much time when I go on a podcast-exploration binge subscribing, listening, deleting and unsubscribing from useless podcasts I’ve downloaded in my zeal to discover audial (sometimes visual) stimulation.   But my heart races and a smile crawls across my face when I find a podcast that blends just the right amount of music, sound effects, industry jargon and infotainment that makes for a fantastic listening (sometimes viewing) experience.

It’s taken me all of an excruciating semester to compile a “perfect” list.  It’s still growing, but I have enough to give a list of “Must Listen To Podcasts for the Budding PRofessional.”

Here it goes:

  1.  Quick & Dirty Tips– Like a $2 hooker my favorite podcasts are quick & dirty.  And much like a $2 hooker, each podcast lasts for two to five minutes and a listener walks away with a surprise.  But instead of a burning sensation, listeners of QDT hopefully learn something.  My favorites: Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, Modern Manners Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a More Polite Life, Get-It-Done Guy’s Tips for Getting Things Done, Legal Lad’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a More Lawful Life, The Digital Marketer’s Tips for Building Your Business, Sales Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Getting the Deal Done, Make-It-Green Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for an Earth Friendly Life and The Public Speaker’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills. You can find a full list of all the Quick and Dirty podcasts (which include a podcast for mothers and healthy living) at their website.
  2. National Public Radio– So what if you can’t listen to your favorite 5 pm show because of happy hour… I mean studying. Staying current is as easy as hitting the “subscribe button” in the iTunes store.  You can listen to Terry Gross in all her glory, hear fresh news on business and enjoy INSANELY interesting, but bizarre developments in science (did you know there is a fungus that creates pure diesel?).
  3. Freelancer’s Unite!!!– From the creators and contributors of FreelanceSwitch, this podcast deals with everything freelance.  I feel like I have an intimiate relationship built with the hosts of Freelance Radio because they are so down to earth, real and practical.  If you’re not convinced freelancing means anything to you as a college student, stay tuned for my post on freelancing being the new internship… especially in a down economy.
  4. PR (Boot) Camp– PR Camp is a video podcast where host Kathe Stanton discusses issues related to PR (mostly media related): leveraging media coverage, what exactly a media alert is, tips on writing features and creating media room info.  The shows average two to three minutes so PR Camp is especially great while you’re waiting for a cronically late professor.

What are your favorite podcasts?  Do you listen to any of these podcasts and if you do what do you think of them?  I would swear by most of these and encourage you to check them out. 


College Students- Stop Stressing and Create a Happy Life

(My first book review for college students)

Are you a perfectionist? Did you lose that spark and passion for learning?  Did you become afraid of those BIG ideas you used to have?  I did and according to Maria Pascucci, college grad and author of Campus Calm University, I’m not alone.  When this happens it makes school lonely, unpleasant and unbearable.  I almost became a statistic and drop-out because I felt… apathetic.  I just didn’t care about that BA because of all the BS I was going through mentally due to teachers and class.  Luckily, I’m stubborn and I held out until a faculty member reinvigorate my passion for people and college.  But if you don’t have a very giving faculty member at your school what can you do?


Maria Pascucci, author of Campus Calm University

Maria Pascucci, author of Campus Calm University



In Campus Calm University Pascucci discusses some of her real life situations and feelings she experienced while completing her degree.  At the beginning of the book, I was hooked and could instantly connect with Pascucci.  By the end of the preface I felt like a load had been taken off my shoulders.  It was definitly refreshing.

Her writing style is easy to read and energetic which is nice when you’re always reading text books which are dry and technical (it makes my brain hurt and kills my soul).

Her advice (like thinking BIG and surrounding yourself with positive people) is to the point and never condenscending.  But most importantly it is appliccable to any college student who is feeling stressed out by school and life.  

I’m tossing around the idea of doing a collegiate holiday wish list and this book will definitely be on it.  And it’s only $20.  It’s one of those great books to use as a book club read or pass around once your finished. 

Campus Calm University is more than a book.  There is a podcast and affiliate network.

I give this book 15 credit hours out of 15 (that’s like 5 out of 5 stars).


what makes a PRofessional?

With a title like making a PRofessional, I’m surprised I haven’t already covered exactly what makes a PRofessional.  So I took the question to all my friends on HARO for their opinions on what makes a PRofessional, what doesn’t make a PRofessional and how important is accreditation like APR — not just for individuals, but for the entire industry!

I was pleasantly surprised with the responses I received.  So, in all its glory, here is what I got:

  • Can I get an order of Experience, with a side of a Degree?
    • Experience counts over a degree… for most.  Out of about 40 responses, only 4 said a degree was an absolute necessity.  That’s only 10%.  Most established Professionals said that being seasoned in the niche one works was more important than a piece of paper from an accredited university.  Remember my earlier post about impatience being a virtue?  Don’t wait to get started building your amazing, PRofessional portfolio.  Cause even with a degree, you still need experience.  At least three years from what I’ve seen for most entry level jobs.
  • Know your Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of the Media
    • Before you pitch a story do yourself and every other PR pro a favor…  Seriously.  Research your writer.  Read at least THREE of his or her writings and, if he or she has one, read their blog or friend them on a social media platform.  And do this before you pitch.   I’ve said it in an interview… bad pitchers would be the one thing I would change about what we do.  KNOW YOUR MEDIA!!!  KNOW YOUR REPORTER/WRITER/EDITOR!!!  Look here if you want to see some bad examples of media relations.
  • Like the Song Says… Smile Like You Mean It
    • Did you know that just smiling can change your whole attitude?  Yeah, that’s right.  And apparently employers are looking for personable people with positive  personalities (that hurt my soul a little).  Take that alliteration to heart because it could help you win in an interview and show your soon-to-be boss that you have what it takes to build great relationships with reporters, clients and fellow employees.  So turn your frowny face upside down and make it an awkward smile.


The responses didn’t stop there.  Here are some qualities PRofessionals are expected to have:


  • Remember that degree we talked about…?
    • Even though most hiring Professionals said experience was more important than a degree, you still need one.  And it doesn’t have to be in PR.  It can be in English, journalism, marketing or another communications field.  Some employers even prefer that new hires have a background in the media and it’s no surprise that many PRofessionals  come from journalism.  You know, because we do so much work with the media (see the second tip above). 
  • Don’t Be Pushy
    • This is kind of like smiling.  It’s important to be persistent, but know when to call it quits.  No one likes to be pushed into a corner and although being pushy may get you one or two stories in the media, continuing an abrasive behavior will strain your relationships.
  • Write Well
    • Writing is to PR what latex gloves are to doctors… Everything begins with latex gloves.  It is imperative to have good writing skills in PR.  You must be capable of communicating efficiently in your writing.  You must be capable of telling your client’s story in your writing.  You must be capable of persuading in your writing.  Writing is in everything we do as PRofessionals: pitching, creating press releases and newsletters, developing speeches…  Everything.
  • Think On Your Feet
    • ‘Nuf said.


Then there was the A. P. R.  Most PRofessionals seem to not carry the three letters behind their name that means they went through boot camp like training, studied like grad school students and reassessed their whole career.  With complete respect to the APR, I really feel like this is just a major accomplishment, not an industry be all, end all.  It sets a standard for the industry, but you don’t have to have it to practice PR and it certainly doesn’t give you the power to fly.  However, it’s an accomplishment I want to have.  With that said: Zackery Moore, APR… Yeah… that sounds cool.




P.S. I do not have an APR, just wanted to see what it felt like to write it behind my name.  Feels fancy.

Student Sleep Problems?

Last night I was tossing and turning and kicking my puppies who like to sleep around my feet.  Why?  Because I was having nightmares about a proposal that was due at 12 today.  In my dream I overslept until 1……  And my group members hated me.

Then, like Hermes bringing a divine message from Olympus, I recieved an email; an email about college students and their sleep problems.  

There were some cool facts in the email. did you know 73% of college students don’t get the right amount of sleep.  Only 11% do get enough sleep.  Ultimately the email was about a website that sells sleep aid stuff ranging from cds to sleep masks to some weird-ass back thing.

Here are some tips I found around the internet:

1. Alcohol actually doesn’t make you sleep better.  I don’t think that counts getting so drunk you pass out.

2. Smokers beware.  Nicotine is a stimulant and you have withdrawals as you sleep.  Yet another reason to quit.

3. Keep the noise level down.  It’s hard to control noise levels in a dorm setting so it might be good to invest in a mask or sound machine….. My fav is tropical rainforest: KA-KAW!

4.  Don’t do your homework in bed.  You may start associating your bed with work which is some psychological thing…..  I’m not a psych major so I can’t explain it.

5. Here is a list of things that help you sleep from

  • Glass of warm milk and half a turkey or peanut butter sandwich
  • Whole-grain, low-sugar cereal or granola with low-fat milk or yogurt 
  • A banana and a cup of hot chamomile tea