Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog

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May 12, 2012

“Maid-of-Honor Training”: Workouts in preparation for Kristin & Scott’s Wedding!

As I have mentioned, my sister Kristin will be getting married in less than 50 days from now (super exciting!)  Kristin has really been generous in sharing her insights and ideas for her wedding on her new blog (which all of my friends say they absolutely love from reading her updates on Facebook).  She has documented all of her planning for the big event – keep up the great work, sis!

However, my role of the maid of honor has been to 1) make sure that the bachelorette party goes well (we are planning on doing something fab in Orlando or around Epcot – in the planning stage) 2) get a bridesmaid dress (check – and matching shoes from Gianni Bini – my favorite shoe designer!) and 3) training.

You are probably asking yourself – training?  What does that entail exactly?  It is more like conditioning and being in the best shape possible in preparation for Kristin’s wedding.  With two weeks on the road with conferences in Phoenix, Milan, and Morgantown between now and the wedding, I want to make sure I have a plan in place so I can do workouts on the road as well.  In addition, based on Kristin’s discussion of all of the fabulous foodie items we are going to have for her wedding, I have to make sure I am ready and good on Jenny Craig until then! :)

Here are some of the exercises I have been preparing during my “Maid-of-Honor Training”:

  • Kettlebell Workouts:  These exercises so remind me of my track and field days – especially when I was throwing the weight at the University of Florida.  It is a great cardio and weightlifting workout since you can do exercises that tone your muscles while also giving you a cardio workout. Since our dresses have spaghetti straps, I wanted to make sure that I did some extra upper body workouts. :)
  • Spinning:  I have really enjoyed taking spin classes here in Louisville at the LAC – I started taking classes when I was at the University of Tennessee.  Great cardio workout and you really get some great results with toning as well.  Overall, if you only have an hour each day to workout – this is a great exercise to do!  Check out your local gyms to see if they have any stationary bike classes for you to take.
  • Running:  For being a former thrower, I have had to embrace running – but not at the marathon level some of my friends and sister are at! :) With social media apps like Nike+, I am able to calculate how much I am running and whether or not I have improved my time and distance.  Here are some other social media resources that will help maintain fitness as well.

So, these are just a few things I have been doing to be ready for Kristin and Scott’s big day in just a few weeks.  I am really looking forward to it and I am super happy for my sister! :) Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,


September 11, 2009

Social Media strategies to consider when managing online reputation

More than ever, it appears that people are finally recognizing the power of social media when it comes to how people see you online.  Some individuals are finding it the hard way when they are posting inappropriate status updates about others online or their work, and find themselves without a position.  However, in this current economy – this is very risky – so professionals need to be actively aware of what they need to do in terms of managing their online reputation effectively.

It is important to have a proactive strategy in managing your reputation not only among your friends, classmates, and fellow professionals – but it is key to do this as well online.  In many ways, you have to be active in being your own public relations team and representative.  Of course, this means that you have not only follow through with this once, twice, and so on – but this is something that you have to constantly be aware of.  In many ways – this is for the long-term, and there are some professionals that feel like they have be aware of how they are presented online just at one point of time – however, this is something that needs to be done on a consistent basis.

Another thing that is key is the focus on the relationships and networking opportunities that arise, and recognize that it is the small interactions that really pay off in establishing a proactive reputation.  Whether it is answering an email from someone that enjoyed your last blog post or tweet, or commenting on your Facebook status thanking you for helping out at an event – having good manners both in real life and online is key! With social media – it has enforced professionals to be aware of these relationships by keeping updated on what is going on with the social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, while having balance between their professional and personal lives.

So, these are a lot of things to think about for public relations professionals – we need to have a balance in our presence across all realities (real life and virtual).  PR professionals need to be aware that the most effective professionals today that have strong reputations for their corporation is that they are consistent with how they approach business, communications with various stakeholders, and even crisis situations.

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,


Attending Knoxville Twestival 2009: Meeting fellow social media enthusiasts & supporting a noteworthy cause!

Last night, I had the opportunity to attend the Knoxville Twestival.  This was an event sponsored by the Social Media Club in Knoxville along with other local organizations.  The Knoxville Twestival was held to benefit the Salvation Army – which is a great charity to donate to.  The event was held at the Knoxville Zoo, which is a wonderful place.  It was one of the first attractions I went to when I first came to Tennessee with my Mom in 2007, just before I started in the doctoral program at the University of Tennessee.

What I really enjoyed at the Knoxville Twestival was that it was an opportunity to talk with fellow public relations and marketing professionals in Knoxville and around the state.  There were people working for large organizations to owning their own internet business – and everyone was discussing the issue that are happening right now in social media. Plus, the event has been covered by the local media as well as some influential public relations practitioners – Laura Bower wrote an excellent post discussing how these organizations are really bringing Knoxville on the map in being cutting edge when it comes to social media.

I got a chance to talk with a few public relations and marketing professionals about what I am currently working on in my research and how I am incorporating social media into the classroom.  They provided me with some great insights – first, they said that they are definitely looking for public relations and marketing students that not only know these social media sites, but are actively using them in their daily lives for their professional and personal lives.  So, they were very happy to hear that social media is being incorporating in a positive way in the classroom, so I was pleased with that. :)

Plus, they said that the trend that they are currently seeing in the profession is a blend of disciplines – marketing, public relations, advertising, etc – are all coming together, and practitioners are more than ever expected to know each of these areas in business and be able to work with multiple audiences and mediums at the same time.  This is a big point to bring up – we can not be specialists anymore- we have to actively learning and obtaining new skills to help us in the future.

Anyway, attending the Knoxville Twestival was a very rewarding and chic event – great networking opportunity and meeting new friends, great music, and a fun environment.  Can’t wait to the next gathering and Twestival! :)  Congrats and thank you to the Social Media Club in Knoxville and the other sponsors that put this fabulous event together! :)

Best Wishes,


August 16, 2009

Spending time with family fishing, baking, and celebrating life: It doesn’t get any better than this!

It seems that the summer is finally coming to a close, and school will be starting shortly.  I will be having one busy fall semester – but it is all good!  I will be taking two additional classes for my program and I am scheduled to be taking my comprehensive exams early next year.  I will also be teaching two classes this fall as well.  One class will be a PR Case Studies course, and the other will be an online course for West Virginia University for their IMC Master’s program.  I am really excited about the upcoming months! :)

But before I embark on my third-year doctoral student at the University of Tennessee and fifth-year as a graduate student (wow!) – I got the chance to come home and visit with my family.  It has been great to see Mom, Dad, and Karla at home and be able to relax and catch my breath before starting the upcoming semester.  We have done a lot of fun activities from making S’mores around our firepit, fishing at Avila Beach, going to see the new Harry Potter movie, making some amazing fiber and oat bars (quite tasty and yummy), having Dad’s amazing meals (the appleflaps this year were DELICIOUS!!!), and spending some quality time with family.

I am very lucky to have a wonderful family – my parents are the best, and my sisters are absolutely the best that I could ever ask for.  It is going to be really special to have all of us home for Christmas to celebrate – we are all really looking forward to Kristin’s safe return home and we are thankful for her bravery and courage serving our country proudly. :)

Hope you all are having a wonderful day!

Best Wishes,


June 21, 2009

Happy Father’s Day Dad! :)

Filed under: Dear Diary,Family,It Factor — Karen @ 7:54 am

Happy Father’s Day! I want to wish all of the wonderful fathers out there today a happy and joyful day – especially to my own Dad.   Dad is absolutely fabulous -he is kind, funny, intelligent, creative, and caring.  Dad is a ray of sunshine – he always looks at the positives that life has to over and has such strong character that I admire.  He is brave and protective of those that he cares about – and his jokes always make me laugh and smile.

I am very thankful and lucky to have two amazing parents, and Dad has been there for me in so many different aspects of my life in various roles. Here are just a few.

Dad as “CD” or also known as “Coach Dad” – One of the reasons that I got into track and field was because of my Dad.  Dad was an All-American in track and field and the former UCLA school record holder in the discus, and I first competed in track when I was 13.  Dad was my coach – he was the best!  From throwing in heavy rain to walking to the local junior high for our daily throwing workouts – Dad was always there and encouraged me to work hard each day and was very supportive.  I have very fond memories of our track workouts and meets – Dad and I did a lot of traveling in high school to various meets from New York to North Carolina and to Texas, and of course all around California. :)

Workout buddy - Working out with Dad was always fun.  We had our own gym set up in our garage back home where we would lift weights.  These workouts were very intense!  I remember the burnout workouts – trying to do as many reps at a certain weight as you can on a particular exercise (ex. bench press, squats, leg press, etc.)  Oh my goodness – I was always sore afterwords! :) To this day, I love lifting weights, and whenever I look at a weight room, I always think about the good times that I had with Dad working out. :)

But, these workouts were the best and really improved my strength – which helped my shot marks improve.  Dad was also the one that encouraged me to compete in several power lifting meets in high school, where I set four national age group records.  It was also fun to have lifting competitions with my Dad as well – we always pushed each other and it was fun! :)

Chef-partner - I believe that I got in touch of my inner foodie from Dad.  Whenever I come home for the holidays, Dad and I like to cook together, and we have made some fabulous dishes together.  It has been a lot of fun being in the kitchen and having my Dad teach me how to make baklava or making a traditional South African meal. Dad is also at the moment thinking about writing a cookbook – I can’t wait to read it! :)  It’s going to be fabulous! :)

Happy Father’s Day  Dad – you are a true inspiration and hero to me – and I am so lucky to have you as my Dad. :)  Love you forever Dad! :)  I want to wish all of the fathers out there a wonderful day – and a special wish to those bravely serving our country in the armed forces.  God bless you all, and I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Best Wishes,


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