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Below are a few samples of my blog, Damara’s Thoughts.

Public Relations Blogs

NO Smoking!! Colleges Move to Ban Smoking On Campus

Colleges across the country are attempting to snuff out smokers by forbidding the habit on school grounds. Will this help? Only time will tell. According to Time Magazine 365 U.S. colleges and universities have instituted anti-smoking rules both indoors and out within recent years. Of these schools the University of Maine and the University of Kentucky are the most recent. While some are imposing campus bans, others like the University of Iowa are simply trying to assist students with kicking the bad habit. They are offering smoking-cessation programs and providing temporary reimbursement for nicotine patches, gum and prescription medications like Zyban.

Because the entrance of Veazey Hall is where our smoke receptacles are located, that is where the smokers collect in between classes. I’m not excited about having cigarette smoke be the first thing I smell when I leave Veazey Hall, but if the smokers aren’t there, where will they go?

In most places, the issue doesn’t seem to be secondhand smoke. Rather, the rationale for going smoke-free in wide open spaces is a desire to model healthy behavior. Measures such as creating smoke-free buffer zones have been taken by some universities, but these restrictions and bans just seem extremely difficult to carry out to me. My first thought when the word ‘restriction’ comes to mind is who is going to be enforcing it? School’s can threaten to administer fines for caught offenders, but this is pointless if people are not shown that these offenses can be taken seriously. some campuses are so large that the task of merely keeping track of the people who smoke on campus is impossible.

Iowa State University students speak out against the proposed ban on smoking:

If Georgia Southern University proposed a campus-wide smoking ban, how do you think everyone would react?

Reothlisberger Investigation Continues: “No Assault”

Claims made against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger by a college student on Monday, March 8, 2010 have been denied by Reothlisberger’s attorney Ed Garland. The 20-year-old claimed that the two-time Super Bowl winner sexually assaulted her at a Milledgeville, Georgia nightclub while out barhopping with friends. Roethlisberger has not yet been charged, but is under scrutiny due to previous allegations of rape.

CBS News legal analyst Jack Ford speaking with Harry Smith on The Early Show about Roethlisberger’s lawsuit alleging sexual assault and his consensual contact claim.

Garland stands by the statement: “There was no criminal activity by Ben,” but is refusing to release any other facts until further investigation takes place.

Getting Involved with National Volunteer Week!!

This calendar week, April 19-25, 2010 is officially known as National Volunteer week celebrating “People in Action“. This year’s theme captures the meaning behind this signature week by honoring the individuals who dedicate themselves to taking action and solving problems in their communities.

Established by President Richard Nixon with an executive order in 1974, it brings together people from all walks of life to make a difference.This year’s Volunteer Week in particularly special, however. It commemorates the one-year anniversary of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, the largest expansion of volunteer service since the 1930s.

There are thousands of opportunities for you to help out around your community and participate, check out some of these local organizations:

“Whether through the workplace or a house of worship, in our own neighborhoods or in another state or country, service binds us together as Americans in a way nothing else can. It defines us as a people, and it is essential to achieving our national priorities”- President Barack Obama

Personal Blogging

The End of Groupthink: Trouble for New AmErykah?

Neo soul artist Erykah Badu’s new video for her song “Window Seat” may land her some time behind bars. The video was filmed in downtown Dallas, Texas where president John F. Kennedy was shot, and features the 39-year-old singer walking the streets stripping naked. When interviewed about the video, Badu said that is it a declaration, an attack on groupthink and its followers.

Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. This in turn limits individual creativity, uniqueness, and independent thinking. Members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. Groupthink may cause groups to make hasty, irrational decisions, where individual doubts are set aside, for fear of upsetting the group’s balance.

Badu shot the video on St. Patrick’s day, March 17, so the street was filled with many tourists, residents and children. The singer shared thoughts the day of the shoot through her twitter page. “We had one shot to get it right,” she wrote. “We didn’t plan the shoot. Too busy lookin for cops and being petrified! I remember Tweeting that day, ‘Okay, here goes nothing.’ I felt like I was going to do something life threatening.”

No charges have been filed against the singer thus far because the Dallas Police Department needs a witness to come forward and testify for the case to be prosecuted. Badu could face a class B misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure, which may cost her $2,000 and a jail term of up to 180 days. She may also be charged with a class An enhanced indecent exposure, which carries a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail, (because there were children present during the shoot).The video was done in one take with no crew, and afterward all involved ran away from the site.

At the end of the video Badu is shot down, and the words groupthink bleed from her head. The finish is a though-provoking statement:

“They play it safe, are quick to assassinate what they do not understand.  They move in packs, and ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another. They feel most comfortable in groups, less guilt to swallow. they are us. This is what we have become, afraid to respect through individual A single person within her circumstance can move one to change, to love herself, to evolve”

“Window Seat” by Erykah Badu

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“It was St. Patrick’s Day in Dallas. I was at the grassy knoll. Although I was thinking one million things as I walked, I didn’t see anything,” she continued tweeting. “I heard people yelling different things at me but I held my head up and kept moving. There were children there. I prayed they wouldn’t be traumatized.”

I love the song and the video, and I commend her for having the courage to do what she did. How do you feel about the video and Badu’s motion to resist Groupthink?


Below is a viral video project created by Meg Tidmore and myself:

For the assignment we had to create a viral video for a client of Georgia Southern University for the purpose of recruiting students, and we chose the Georgia Southern University Theater Department as our client.


These are two presentations that I’ve created in public relations courses at Georgia Southern University. If you visit my personal SlideShare, you can download the presentations to view my notes on each slide.

Below is a slidecast created for the tradebook Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking by Andy Sernovitz.

Below is a presentation I created for my PRCA 3711/4711 class of the top 10 things I learned in class this semester. I learned a great deal about professionalism, and many tips to take with me as I venture out into the “real world.”


For my Social Media for PR class, we had to plan, record, edit and create a 5-10 minute podcast about some aspect of the topic of public relations. I chose to work in a group with my friend Meg Tidmore for the assignment, and we named our show unPractical.

Topics for our first show are:

  • Facebook: people who use it, why it is being used, how, pros. Cons (:30)
  • Twitter: people who use it, why it is being used, how, pros. Cons (2:00)
  • Myspace: people who use it, why it is being used, how, pros. Cons (3:50)

We then had to create a list of possible follow-up shows. Topics for our next show could include:

  • Interview with a hiring firm on their views on social medias
  • An in depth look on the benefits and problems of the “online” you
  • Mass Media revealed: Key tips on making your “online” self more marketable
  • Things to NOT post on Twitter

Listen to the unPRactical podcast here!


Below are a few writing samples from assignments during my undergraduate career.

I wrote this sample News Release for a PR Campaign designed to help Charter Conservatory improve attendance at its Family Nights.

I wrote this feature release about Celebration South, a southern-themed music, arts, and food festival that takes place in the Statesboro area.

This is an analysis on public relations show Kell on Earth. I worked in a group with two other people from my PRCA 4335 class on the paper, but I am very proud of the finished product.