Spring Break Contest

30 03 2011

Sitting on the beach, a drink in one hand and a book in the other. The waves gently splash against your feet. A butler kindly asks if you need a refill. Is this how you spent your spring break? (Personally, I was sick on my couch for a week. The most exciting thing that happened to me was getting a shot from the doctor. Neat.)

Now that everyone is getting back into their school-time groove after a much-deserved spring break, we want to see how you spent your free time.


Beach erosion

How I (wish I had) spent my spring break.


If you post a picture of your spring break adventure on our Facebook fan page wall, you will be entered into a drawing to win some prizes. It’s that simple. The photos can either be of you or a picture of your vacation spot you found online. Some are even creating some unique Photoshopped pics for our fan page.

Feel free to add a caption as well, telling us your favorite memories from your trip or some interesting facts. Good luck!


More Students are Finalists in Photography Contest

30 03 2011

Three more UW Oshkosh students are finalists in Photographer’s Forum’s Best of College Photography Contest.

Josie Bennett, Kari Cassidy and Heather Hanson have been selected as finalist in the semi-annual competition. Bennett said she was thrilled when she heard the good news from the photography magazine.

“I was pretty excited about getting the finalist letter, but I was even more excited when I got the letter saying I won an honorable mention,” Bennett said. “I basically jumped up and down and screamed a little.”


Josie Bennett's photo that was selected as a finalist in Photograph Forum's Best of College Photography Contest.


Senior Kari Cassidy said photography is a hobby that is always on her mind.

“Photography is something I like to do in my free time,” Cassidy said. “I usually just take pictures for my pleasure, but I’m always envisioning a new photograph where ever I go.”


Kari Cassidy's photo that was selected as a finalist in Photograph Forum's Best of College Photography Contest.


Heather Hanson said photography is a unique art form that allows her to save memories.

“I enjoy capturing moments that other people might not capture or remember,” Hanson said. “It really made me feel special to have my photo picked.”


Heather Hanson's photo that was selected as a finalist in Photograph Forum's Best of College Photography Contest.


To see more photos from the contest, click here.

How Do You Show Without Showing?: Ad Club Meets Graphic-Design Rockstar

23 03 2011

By Jessie Tadder (@JessieTadder) and Monica Jazwiecki (@monicajazz)

Good question. This is something that rockstar graphic designer Chip Kidd is challenged with every day. This New York resident is best known for his innovative book covers and off-the-wall personality. On March 3 the UWO Ad Club was delighted to hear Chip speak at a Fox River Ad Club event in Appleton.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It’s something that’s been drilled in our heads since birth. In Chip’s case, it’s the complete opposite. Judgment is key for a customer to pick up a single book from a busy shelf, so Chip creates eye-catching covers that will draw in viewers to explore further.


The UW Oshkosh Ad Club posing with colorful graphic designer Chip Kidd.


“Tell or show,” that’s Chip’s mantra. Do one or the other, not both. For instance, don’t show an apple and say apple, just do one or the other.

The main point we took away from this discussion was to not over think a design. Simple works, but do the unexpected. So start with your initial design, and begin taking away elements until you discover the essence of the design.

There is no easy way of explaining the brilliant work Chip has created. We will not tell you, instead we are going to show you. So click here to look at some of the covers he has done.

Fallen Police Officer was UWO Grad

21 03 2011

The Fond du Lac police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Sunday was a UW Oshkosh graduate and was featured in the Journalism multimedia project “War: Through Their Eyes.” Read more to learn about Craig Birkholz’s story.

“Fond du Lac (Wis.) Police Officer Craig Birkholz was shot and killed in the line of duty Sunday, March 20.

Birkholz, 28, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology, was one of 16 soldiers and Marines featured in the War: Through Their Eyes project. The multimedia project was intended to give a name, a face and a voice to those who have enlisted during a time of war and to give them a forum to tell the world what they did and what they felt at the front lines. Birkholz , an Army veteran, served two tours, one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. Birkholz survived multiple mortar attacks and had marveled that he had gone through two wars without firing a single shot.”

Click here to read the full story and hear the podcast about Birkholz.

Drinking and Tweeting: Be Safe This St. Patrick’s Day

17 03 2011

By Tom Hanaway (@tomhanaway)

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a day where everyone pretends they are Irish and wears an obnoxious amount of green. (No, for real. My sophomore year someone walked around campus in a bright green suit. Not flattering.)

Besides green, there are a few other elements associated with St. Patrick’s Day, namely drinking. And with drinking follows a lot of risky behavior.

Drinking and driving is a lethal combination, but drinking and tweeting can be devastating to your reputation. Perhaps you should not only give your car keys to your friend, but your cell phone, too. That’s a lesson the Red Cross learned the hard way.

In February, a social media manager accidentally sent out a tweet through the Red Cross account instead of her own, causing quite a ruckus. The tweet read: “Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer…. when we drink we get it right #gettingslizzard.”


The infamous Red Cross "slizzard" tweet. Photo from Mashable.


I don’t know who “Ryan” is, and any beer with the word “Dogfish” in it doesn’t sound delicious, but what I do know is that the tweet caused commotion at the Red Cross. Mashable reported that the social media director for the Red Cross was awoken in the middle of the night in order to do some damage control.

Fortunately the Red Cross was able to quickly bounce back from the embarrassing tweet with some humor. The next tweet read: “We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.”


The Red Cross sent out a funny tweet to fix the problem. Photo from Mashable.


The Red Cross was effectively able to laugh off the mistake and downplay what could have been a huge gaffe for the company. The Red Cross even received special donations because of the “rogue” tweet.

Consumers were able to push the beer company mentioned in the tweet to donate a large sum of money to the Red Cross. Dogfish also asked its consumers donate to the Red Cross, creating a great public image for both organizations.

While the Red Cross was able to recover from the potentially disastrous tweet, not all of us would be so lucky. Make sure you are careful during holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, otherwise you might completely destroy your personal and professional reputation. Hand over your phone to a friend, make your roommate change your Twitter password, or hide your computer’s power cord. Do whatever it takes to make sure you have a fun, but not embarrassing, St. Patrick’s Day.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short: Learning How To Brand Yourself

15 03 2011

By Lindsey Noack (@LinzCnoack)

In public relations we learn about creating a brand for a company and maintaining that brand by consistently sending the same message. But we forget that in order to land that job, we are first going to need to apply that same practice to market ourselves.

On Thursday, March 3, I went to a UW Oshkosh Public Relations Student Society of America meeting and listened to Lisa Cruz and Karen Buckoski from Red Shoes PR talk about the importance of personal branding. Cruz explained how from the beginning her agency has made it clear that it does public relations and nothing else. Focusing strictly on one role, company communication, has allowed Red Shoes PR to successfully help companies connect with their customers over the clutter and chaos of the recession. This approach of an unchanging focus needs to be applied in creating your personal brand as well.

Lisa said the first step in doing this is to determine what your focus is going to be. This is done by thinking about your passions and what you want to stand for. Write this down in a two to three sentence format which you will use as your “personal brand vision statement that serves as the platform for your online (and offline) voice”. Essentially this is going to be what defines you as an employee and a professional. Lisa gave her own vision statement as an example:

“To be the best in public relations while having fun, kicking @#$, and always pushing the envelope for myself, employees and clients. To use communications to make the world a better place.”

Remember when writing to stay truthful to who you are, but try to make it stand out to whoever will be looking at it (like in our case, future employers). This statement represents you and should match up with everything you write, tweet and say. You want to make sure that you are as transparent as possible by sending the same constant idea in person and on all your media platforms. In other words, learn who you are professionally now so when you are ready to head out into the workforce you’ll have no problem telling (and showing) other people.

Check out Lisa’s PowerPoint on personal branding below:


Babies, Parties and Grandma: What I Learned from @TommyTRC

8 03 2011

By Tom Hanaway (@tomhanaway)

Newborn babies, parties and grandma? What do any of these topics have to do with social media and the evolving world of communication? Well, actually, a lot.

Last month the UW Oshkosh Social Media Club had Thomas Clifford (or @tommytrc to his Twitter friends) come in and speak about the world of social media. Throughout his presentation he discussed the power of branding, how to go viral, online etiquette and more. Here are a few points that I walked away with after his incredible and motivating speech.

You Can’t Make Things Go Viral

These days every company wants to make a video that goes “viral,” or to have it become an Internet sensation that everyone e-mails to their friends. Clifford finally killed the idea of “making” things go viral and said that we have no control over them.

“You can’t make things go viral, but people can,” Clifford said.

He gave the example of how his newborn baby boy become an online phenomenon just by luck. Clifford tweeted updates throughout the birth of his son, which eventually went global, gaining him followers from across the world and even inspiring a family from California to send him a basket of muffins as a congratulations gift. He never expected his son’s birth to go viral, it just happened due to his many followers.

Twitter is a Party

Clifford gave the perfect metaphor that Twitter is like a huge party. Everyone is talking to everyone, so don’t mind nudging your way into a conversation and joining in. This means that if you see two tweeters discussing a topic of your interest, don’t be afraid to join in the discussion or share a relevant link with them. That’s how people make connections and network through sites like Twitter.

But just like a party, don’t focus all of your attention on one person. Feel free to mingle and meet new people. If you limit yourself to who you talk to, you are not broadening the your reach to its fullest potential.

What Would Your Grandmother Say?

Even today, students are still tweeting vulgar statements and posting the obligatory I’m-at-a-party-holding-a-red-cup pictures. If students are not sure what to post and what not to post, he gave us a short but powerful answer: Don’t post something your grandmother would not approve of.

This simple solution can easily become the little conscious in your head that makes you rethink everything you post online. So before you update your status about drinking or use Foursquare to check into a bar on a Monday afternoon, think about what your grandmother would say. Odds are she wouldn’t be happy.

So the moral of the story is to tweet about your grandma at a party… or something. Right? Close. If you want to see Clifford’s entire presentation, click here or view his Slideshare presentation below.