Twitter and Instagram: A Social Media Journey


The Twitter and Instagram assignment for my PR Writing Class, PURE3600, was a challenging but enlightening experience. Over the course of the past few months, my class was assigned the task of tweeting and instagraming at least 36 times. My weeks of social media were exciting, and here are some of the most memorable experiences.

Best Experience: My best experience through this assignment came at the end of the semester. This past Sunday, the Marquette University Twitter account tweeted the link to a blog post about 28 reasons for people to love Marquette. The article was very relatable for me, so I proceeded to retweet Marquette along with adding “Just a few of the reasons I chose MU!” with the #PURE3600SP14 hashtag.



Thanks to my retweet, I was tweeted at by Marquette University and the Diederich College of Communications Twitter accounts and followed by both of them! Marquette retweeted my tweet, causing it to be viewed 2,182 times! I also gained 9 new followers.


Worst Experience: The most challenging, and at times frustrating, part of this assignment was using the hashtag #PURE3600SP14. Because Twitter is already such a restricted platform in terms of how many characters are available, having to include a hashtag that contained 12 characters was tricky, and often affected my tweets and sometimes even prevented me from retweeting certain tweets and links, simply because I could not fit the hashtag.

Learning Experience: This assignment really helped me to broaden my horizons on social media. By tweeting and instagraming posts so directly related to public relations, I was able to reach a new branch of Twitter users. Complete strangers were following me and interacting with me. Forming connections with other public relations professionals was a great experience, and I hope to stay active in the PR/Twitter world.


New Experience: Having never been an Instagram user before this semester, I got to experience the app for the first time. Prior to this assignment, I sometimes failed to see the benefits of using a social media site directed towards images, but a picture really is worth a thousand words. While I am not quite an Instagram expert yet, I plan on some day mastering the app!


This assignment was really valuable. I was able to further delve into the social media realm and expand my knowledge and develop my personal brand. I learned how to balance personal posts with professional ones, and had many amazing experiences along the way! I really will miss #PURE3600SP14 this summer!


Communication Failures at Penn State



Dr. Jeremy Fyke, a Communications Studies professor and the moderator of Lambda Pi Eta at Marquette University, gave a presentation on the communication surrounding the Sandusky scandal at Penn State University. Dr. Fyke gave the presentation to a full house, including over 200 students and faculty on April 22, at 7 p.m. in Marquette Hall.


According to Dr. Fyke, whose research was recently published in the Journal of Business Ethics, language use and a culture of silence deeply impacted how the situation played out and was handled overall.



 Dr. Fyke presenting on the communication surrounding the Penn State Scandal on April 22, 2014.


During his presentation, Dr. Fyke covered a variety of topics starting with critical upward communication and organizational culture. This case was especially interesting because the culture largely affected the outcome. All of the Penn State University employees involved in the incidents at hand were male, which leads outsiders to believe that the environment was a “macho” one, which may have played a role in the number of euphemisms used to describe what happened.


As the presentation progressed Dr. Fyke continued to discuss the role of euphemism in ethics, which was a very interesting topic that I had never specifically thought about. The phrase “linguistic camouflage” was used to describe euphemisms, which perfectly fit the situation. At Penn State, much of what happened was referred to as “horsing around” with Joe Paterno going as far as to say, “Sandusky and the boy were engaged in nothing more than horseplay.” The use of these euphemisms masked the seriousness of the issues at hand, and was just one of several topics covered by Dr. Fyke.


Overall, Dr. Fyke’s presentation was outstanding. His dissection of a topic in a different manner than I had previously seen was very thorough and eye opening. I enjoyed this presentation very much, and am happy I attended the event!


I must admit…I wasn’t always on the Instagram bandwagon. In fact, I didn’t even make an account until I needed one for school. However, social media and Instagram are a vital part of the PR world, so I’m slowly learning to love it. My most prized Instagram of late is of my baby cousin, Declan.



I wonder if this little munchkin will go to Marquette. 

Declan is quite possibly the cutest baby on earth, even when he has food covering his face, forming an almost beard. It’s crazy to think that someday he’ll be 18 and headed off to college, and I can only hope he chooses to follow in my footsteps and attend Marquette University. I’m excited to get to know the super cool kid I know he’ll be!

My second favorite Instagram is of none other than the Marquette campus.


The first buds of spring on Marquette’s campus! Tulips are on the way. 

Spring is not my favorite season, but tulips are my all-time favorite flower, and after this seemingly never ending winter, I am welcoming the first signs of spring with open arms. The sheer excitement I felt upon seeing these buds made me rejoice in a way I normally save for puppies or newborn babies, but it means sunshine and warm weather are that much closer!

Instagram has taught me that a picture says a thousand words, but a good caption can definitely help. I look forward to Declan growing up, spring and tulips and my further discovery of this fantastic social media channel!


Running Excels, Social Media and Peggy O’Neil


Running Excels is a great store that has established itself as a strong brand. However, I think that the store and those who run their media and social media accounts could use a little more focus overall. The PR Writing for Social Media exercise was an interesting way to approach how a brand could try to focus their message and really try to be consistent and aim for the target audience.

I especially enjoyed building a persona for my client. Running Excels’ customers are 60% female, which seems to be doing well for the store, so I deciding to stick with women as the intended audience. The primary age group of Running Excels customers is people between the ages of 35 and 44 so I decided to make my ideal target a woman named Peggy O’Neil, who was 40 years old. I had fun creating a person who could really identify with the brand.



I decided that Peggy was a married woman with three children because the typical Running Excels customer is very active in her community and the neighborhood the store is in is very family oriented. Their customers would be more likely to be involved in the community if they could relate to it.

Peggy had her Master’s Degree because more education tends to lead to a higher income. While running itself is not an expensive sport, the gear one may need, and the brands Running Excels carries are more expensive, requiring their customers to have some disposable income. To show that her family was comfortably a member of the middle, upper-middle class, which is common for the Beverly-area of Chicago where the store is located, I also decided that Peggy was the owner of a Volkswagen Touareg, a car that costs at least $45,000.

Aside from running, Peggy was very active. She enjoyed baking and cooking, and was also a member of the local Beverly Book Club, showing how committed she was to the community and how much she enjoyed being involved and staying busy.

Peggy consumes a variety of media, from the local paper, The Beverly Review to the worldwide news source The Daily Beast. She stays up to date on current events, and would be aware of news both locally and globally.

Overall, I believe that Peggy O’Neil is the ideal client, and most similar to the majority of customers at Running Excels, making her the perfect description of who the target audience is.