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When you see talent, education and compassion come together in young people, the world seems like it has a chance. That was the feeling that several hundred students, faculty and friends at the Loyola University, Chicago School of Communications shared last night, when I had the honor of presenting the Ebeling PR-ize for excellence in cause-related communications to several outstanding student teams, for the 7th year.
The winning team, of the 11 groups competing for the 2013 PR-ize, created the campaign, “Make the Connection. Paint a Brighter Future” innovating social media and creative collateral materials and expanded outreach through art stores in support of an art therapy program that benefits inner city at-risk students.
Honorable mentions went to teams that developed communications campaigns to benefit Chicago Canine Rescue and a program to aid teachers and community organizations to integrate music into the curriculum.
Here are opening thoughts I shared with the students last night:
There are never enough opportunities to celebrate successes in life, and for all of us here tonight, this is one such opportunity. Mahatma Gandhi, if I may be so bold to invoke his name, said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”
This is an occasion when we celebrate what has been done for the community by several student groups, and what they have communicated to others to assist these not-for-profit organizations. Thanks to their individual skills, their professional teamwork, and bolstered by the communications strategies and technologies they have studied here at Loyola, they have made a positive difference.
Today we also celebrate Earth Day, when we take notice of an environment that still sustains our lives, despite many challenges. It’s an environment that sustains our health and physical freedoms as human beings. Whether we are running in the race of our lives, or just cheering on others from the sidelines, we are one people on one earth, and to some extent, what affects each of us affects us all. The events of the past week certainly underline that.
So let me tie this together by observing that there are people watching and learning from what you think, what you say and what you do. The efforts of all the student teams here tonight point toward the reasons that we can remain hopeful.
And what do we think about their efforts? We think they and their results are terrific. So, to paraphrase Gandhi, what they have done and said, and what we all think about them, are in harmony, and we are happy about that. Very happy, indeed.
I just returned from the Lake Geneva premiere of the newest and 50th anniversary James Bond film, Skyfall. It was a large crowd of filmgoers, perhaps as many as 25, for a late afternoon showing here. The theater auditorium has a capacity of several hundred, but today’s turnout was as much as 25 times normal.
For regular James Bond fans, the film contains several surprises, some right at the end, involving Q, M, Miss Moneypenny, and even a classic Aston Martin of Bond film fame.
Don’t miss Skyfall. It does…
I recently obtained a new Fujifilm X10 compact camera. It is small enough to carry easily, unlike bulky DSLRs, yet seems to offer the potential to take high quality images under a wide range of conditions.
The little jewel comes with a detailed instruction manual that explains “what” the multitude of controls do, but not “how” to use them together to take great photos.
I’ve looked online and found a few partial stabs at strategies for using the smart but complex features, but nowhere yet have I found an even partially complete and understandable guide to getting the most out of this technological marvel.
Just found the very guide I was looking for at Amazon.com, and downloaded it to my IPad. Cost just $9.99. It contains the coaching I was looking for. Well worth it. http://www.photographyblog.com/news/photographers_guide_to_the_fujifilm_x10/
I began my blog, Applewoody, in November 2009. From 2010 to 2011, my annual and daily blog hits almost doubled.
Why? Am I getting more creative and interesting, or just more accustomed to this format of expression?
When I contemplated our gracious bicentennial oak tree, here at the edge of the forest of Applewood Lodge, I never imagined it populated by a cross-section of the animal kingdom, but now that chainsaw sculpturist Mike Bihlmaier (http://www.7-sons.com/) of Marengo, IL is at it, the first creature has emerged.
Over the next week, Mike will be adding many other birds and animals of our property to the old oak, including at least one cat, because we have the feral variety on hand, as well as our trusty house cats. Watch this site for more postings, as they arrive. Here is the scaffolding from which Mike is working, and some shots of the work in progress to date.
The Huffington Post is infamous for aggregation of news: lifting facts and information from other stories and rewriting them on their own site. Google News, which I love and use all the time, is a great aggregator of stories I’m interested in. There’s a good discussion on the pros and cons of aggregation at: http://gigaom.com/2011/07/13/like-it-or-not-aggregation-is-part-of-the-future-of-media/. As for me, I do it on my blog all the time, hopefully with due credit to the sources I use. Despite copyrights and such, I know it’s true that one’s unique claim to information reported is good only until another reporter reads it, and finds they can use it from their own, hopefully unique, perspective.
The bottom line for me is this: use and integrate information wherever you find it, but don’t cheat.
One capability I find missing on the internet, at least in a form as easy to access as Facebook, is a similar time-shift communication device that would be based upon spoken language and not written messages. I miss hearing the actual voices of my friends and correspondents. Yes, we could call one another on the phone or Skype, but that’s real-time, and does not provide the advantage of time-shifted correspondence, that I can listen to whenever it is convenient.
Rosabeth Moss Kantor, the former Harvard Business Review editor, has a thoughtful article regarding what the internet has NOT changed in society, based upon her attendance at an internet conference sponsored by France before the recent G8 meeting there. My idea for a voice-based Facebook employs at least one of the principles she espouses — that the internet must retain the human touch.
In the comments section of her article, which reflects on how the internet has empowered the individual (the Arab Spring), one writer also cautions that increased controls of the internet (for example, stricter copyrights for music), could gradually eat away at the freedom of communication the internet enables. He posits that this erosion of freedom could reflect the desires of government for information control, and prevention of future Wikileaks-style embarrassments. Good point.
Ms. Kantor’s article does indeed get one thinking about role of the internet — this sort of second planet — on human communication, in commerce, education, and social interaction in general. Here’s a link to the article: http://blogs.hbr.org/kanter/2011/05/the-internet-changes-everythin.html