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I Hate to do This … Again

March 22, 2010

I’ve moved.

This is the last time … I promise! I now am building my own site with a blog connected to it.

To follow me and get updates on the site, please visit DESIGNSbyswedishbee.com/the-buzz

Thank you!!!

I Have an Addiction

March 19, 2010

I’m addicted … to fonts.

Isn’t everyone?

No? Oh well, one can hope.

Seriously though,  I will be riding in the car looking at billboards calling out, “Antique Olive … Hobo … Lucida Handwriting – eww!” (when I’m not calling out cloud shapes, but that’s for another time). I will be looking at ads or editorial pieces in magazines and find myself thinking, “Now that’s a bold way to use Nueva, it always seems like such a feminine typeface.”

I’m not just one that can remember certain fonts names and recall them on the spot, I must also collect as many of them as possible. Being financially challenged, I love a good giveaway or freebie (Twitter has proven to be the best place for those). I have also been blessed to join in and share the burden of purchasing some collections (multi-users/multi-licensed products are so cost effective!).

In fact, I only have 6,000+ fonts on my laptop but at work, I have 6,000+ just in one sub folder in Suitcase Fusion! I actually have to force quit Suitcase in order to open any Microsoft Office applications. Otherwise, they just get stuck trying to optimize. That’s why I am never on iChat as soon as I get to work – it takes 15 minutes just to get me up and running  =)

I could go on and on buzzing in your ear about fonts, but I fear some of you will check out soon, so let me ask you: What’s your addiction?

Handling Situations – The Dreaded Basic Layout

March 10, 2010

Ever have a job that you try to make fun, or make “better” by giving the client more than they asked for only to be told they’d rather have a basic layout (think black box with white type)? Welcome to my world. I won’t give specifics (because I don’t want to hurt feelings) but I have come across this situation more than a few times.

Is it because I work with a lot of “Mom & Pop” type businesses? Is it because people have no vision? Is it because people with computers think Paint, Word and Publisher are actual design programs?

I don’t have the answers – I have my opinions – and I’m pretty sure you can read my thoughts  =)

Inevitably, the message will come. “…that’s nice but can you remove the background, change the type to Arial and add a black box to the header. How about a double border too?”

Once that email is marked as read, I sit back and take three deep breaths. Depending on the client I may try to convince them why their suggestions aren’t always the right direction for the project. Otherwise, I just do what they ask – afterall, the client is always right. Often I ask my coordinator, “Is it wrong that I don’t want my name associated with this?” She just laughs it off but those jobs always end with a silent scream.

Do you utilize the silent scream? Do you throw items? Do you cringe? If you find yourself in this type of situation, what do YOU do?

~SB

Basic, but a Necessity!

February 10, 2010

In today’s social media world, branding is everything. Messages are short and sweet but everyone “out there” needs to recognize you, your product, your service, etc.

Customized Twitter backgrounds are basic, but a necessity. You can think of them as an extension of your logo.

@peteyspromise

@southernbluepr

@BillPink

UNCC :: Alumni Panel

February 9, 2010

On Wednesday, Feb. 3, I found myself back on the campus of UNC Charlotte. It had been just over 10 years since I graduated with a Communications degree. A road closure almost immediately after the front entrance was actually a blessing in disguise – it forced me to drive around the whole campus and see all the changes that have taken place. I could still see my old dorm and the buildings that housed my classrooms, but they were now flanked by lots of new dorms and buildings. There’s even a Student Union! But I digress …

The reason for my return started with an email sent by one of my professors, Dr. Alan Freitag:

“…Once again, I’ll be teaching PR Principles beginning in January, and the alumni panels continue to be the most talked about and valued elements of that course among the students.  You guys are making me feel superfluous!  As you’re enjoying your eggnog and cookies in the coming weeks, please check your calendars and consider volunteering to serve on one of the panels listed below.  Ideally, we would have four great alums on each panel…”

I had missed opportunities to serve on the panel before. The times I could serve were limited due to my work schedule and I just wasn’t quick enough in my response to secure a spot on the other days. Now that I am connected 24/7 with my trusty Motorola DROID (not a shameless plug – L O V E this thing) I was actually one of the first to respond to the email. That made me feel good. Slightly nerdy, but good.

At the start of class, Dr. Freitag introduced the four alumni, we took our seats up front and the interview began. We each discussed our experiences including:

  • Current responsibilities
  • Organizational culture where you work
  • How does the communication function fit into the organization?
  • Current projects
    • How are you able to apply the principles of PR to those projects – the 4-step process, for example?
  • What are the qualities most important to excellent public relations practice?
  • What can students do now, while they’re in college, to acquire and polish those qualities?
  • What would you look for in screening candidates for internships or entry-level positions?
  • The academic and professional path that took you to where you are today

The Q&A was supposed to end with time left for the students to ask their own questions. It turned out we (the panel) are all talkers so we ran a little long but we did fit in a few questions from the class.

The experience was valuable not just to the students, but to me as well. There are days when after dealing with deadlines and phone calls and never-ending email chains that I wonder “What am I doing?” This panel let me put my work back in perspective and reminded me why I love what I do.

In all aspects of life we are constantly buzzin’ around, but it’s nice to land (even if just for a minute) and remember what brought you to where you are today.

A special thanks to Dr. Freitag for always getting me back on track!

(Sitting from L-R: Sara, Audra, Samantha & Dana)

Busy as … {what else} a Bee!

February 1, 2010

It has been far too long and I do apologize. I also hope never to start a blog entry here like that again!

I have kept busy with updating the BPC and PP websites, along with redesigning the Petey’s Promise newsletter … and I recently decided to surprise Liz at Southern Blue Promotions with a new site sometime in the near future. Hope she is excited!

Speaking of Liz @ SBP, she has asked me to help her with a new client. We will be working with Chizmark Larson on updating their website. You can get information on this insurance agency by visiting them at www.chizmarklarson.com. Liz and I will be consolidating their information, updating images and giving the user a better experience overall. I will keep you posted on our progress.

A Petey’s Promise update: We have fed over 1,000 animals! Check our website for more information on our recent efforts.

Keep buzzin’!
~SB

Desktop Wallpaper

November 24, 2009

Who doesn’t like interesting wallpaper for their computers?

If you’re not a camera wiz, here are two links for GREAT images.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/photo-contest/2009-wallpaper

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/wallpaper/download

Happy wallpapering!!  =)

~SB