Burkini bans in France

French mayors refuse to lift burkini ban despite court ruling – August 28, 2016 on The Guardian

Last week, I read a story about French policemen who were seen harassing a woman who was wearing a burkini, which is a type of swimwear that covers the entire body designed with Muslim women in mind. Soon after I found out that the country’s administrative court ruled that the burkini bans were illegal because it is a “violation of fundamental freedoms.” I thought that was the end of it, but this story says that over 20 mayors are choosing to ignore the court’s ruling as they are still enforcing the bans on their beaches. The story indicates that this is becoming a bigger issue because Manuel Valls, the Socialist prime minister, is encouraging the bans. Many French political figures believe that burkinis affirm the “Islamification” of France – which is apparently a threat to the country. So the political debate on burkinis will be a major issue in the next presidential and parliamentary elections.

This story is important because it gives the reader some perspective as to how other countries are struggling with human rights. This is not just one country’s problem, as the U.S. is also having its battles with granting its citizens what should be inalienable freedoms. Governments are continually trying to maintain its power while citizens try to limit it.

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Butterfly Blockers

Listening Aloud

While commuting to work this morning, I opened my WordPress reader instead of my book of the week and read an article entitled Black and Feminist, about the writer’s journey to becoming a black feminist.

A few weeks ago, I taught a bible study lesson on spiritual metamorphosis- “dying artfully to what you were to fully embrace what you are becoming.” What a gift it is to recognize your transition while you’re in the midst of it! The awareness of change frees you to yield to the process, instead of fighting or resisting.

Reading that post this morning and thinking about my own metamorphosis reminded me of a transformational moment during my ordination. In the Baptist denomination, ministerial ordination usually involves an interrogation interview with a council of (mostly male) pastors and other ordained clergy.

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Black and Feminist

Please read my piece about being a Black feminist, as published on sherights.com

Before I came to college, I was rather confused about my racial identity. I always knew that I was African American, but I did not know what that meant; my parents only raised me to be a good person rather than to be a Black woman. Throughout my adolescence, I experienced mild forms of discrimination, but I thought it was because I was a girl. I did not know it was because I was a Black girl. It is safe to say that I was a feminist before I knew I was a Black feminist.

During my freshman year of college at Indiana State University, I was exposed to a vibrant, red-headed professor whose thoughts and ideologies directly aligned with mine. But she knew how to articulate those thoughts much better than I could even think them. She is the one who first introduced me to feminism. When she explained…

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PR Chronicles: PR Class Reflection

Now that the semester is about to come to an end I have to take time to reflect on what I have learned. My public relations class has taught me so much about myself. I found out that I am a passionate blogger and a natural when it comes to thinking from a PR perspective. I am so grateful to have such a great instructor and surrounded by brilliant and talented classmates. I have never had to do so much work in such little time but it was a great experience. The course both challenged me and enlightened me. I think I have also challenged my instructor and my classmates by introducing the conversation about ethnicity and racism into the classroom.

Throughout this course I defined and solidified my brand, expanded my social media presence, interviewed PR professionals, conducted a PR campaign for a non-profit organization and secured a social media internship. Can you believe that this is only an introductory course? More than that, I learned that public relations is truly my passion. I feel truly blessed that I have found my passion at such a young age. I look at my friends who are struggling with finding out what they want to do and who they want to be and I feel lucky that I comfortable where I am.

If my life was a book, this semester’s chapter would be called Self-Discovery. This past summer I went through so much and there was a period of time where I completely lost myself and I felt numb to it all. When this semester started, I made a vow to myself that I would do everything I could to feel something again and find me again. I can say at this point right now that I have found myself and found other pieces of myself that I did not know existed. PR is a part of me now.

*Jamina’s Core Values: Honesty, Communication, and Creativity

Podcasts for the Young PR Pro

Photo Credit: Profound Whatever via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Profound Whatever via Compfight cc

Many people do not know what a podcast is but they can actually be beneficial to your professional development. A podcast is basically an internet radio show produced in a series. I listened to a few podcasts on Trafcom News such as “Five Tips for Podcasting Success” and “8 Podcasting Truths.” Both podcasts were produced by Donna Papacosta, the author of The Business of Podcasting. Below are my notes from what I learned from each podcast.

FIVE TIPS FOR PODCASTING SUCCESS

#1. Pick a Niche

You want to pick a specific topic for your podcast series for your desired audience. If you’re podcasts are all over the place you will confuse listeners and discourage people from tuning in.

#2. Get the Gear

Buy professional equipment to ensure the best quality podcast. Make sure you have an external mic and speak within six inches from the mic.

#3. Be Consistent

Be consistent with your topic, production values and efforts, content, and scheduling. Content and scheduling might be the most important. You want to make sure you are filling 15 minutes worth of content and not just rambling on about nothing. Scheduling is equally important because you want your audience to keep coming back and looking forward to new podcasts. You might want to get a co-host and have guest appearances. A new podcast every week is essential to successful podcasting.

#4. Prepare

Make sure you are prepared before you record a podcast. Sketch out what you will talk about. If you are interviewing someone make sure that you do research on your guest so you can prepare questions accordingly. It might not be the best thing to just go totally “off the cuff” unless that is how you are branding your podcasts.

#5. Have Fun

Have fun with your podcasts. Even if it is a professional podcast, you can have a good time while maintaining and enhancing your brand.

8 PODCASTING TRUTHS

#1. You Will Hate Your First Podcasts

The first couple times you hear yourself on a podcast you will cringe. As time goes on, you will get better and better. Hopefully, you will be able to upgrade your equipment and improve your podcast quality. You will also learn more techniques to running a smooth podcast.

#2. Your Audience Can Tell When You Are Reading

Voice acting is extremely important in podcasting. People do not want to hear you reading from a paper. You sound boring and you will not build an audience. Sketching out and scripting what you want to say is important but make sure you sound natural.

#3. Get the Tech Right

Learn how to use your equipment the right way. Get rid of the background noise, save the audio in an accessible file on your computer, and find the sweet spot on your mic.

#4. Passion Wins Over Tech

To a certain degree, passion wins over tech. Your audience will forgive you for the quality of your podcast if you are passionate about what you are saying. Granted, even your most faithful listeners will still be praying for you to upgrade your equipment.

#5. People Do Not Want to Dig for Your Podcast

Make your podcasts easy to find, access, listen to, and share because people will not waste time trying to find your podcast.

#6. Many People Do Not Know What Podcasting Is

It is a sad truth but just make sure that you share your podcasts with your friends, family, and on your social media sites. Most likely you will have to explain to your loved ones what a podcast is and what its purpose is.

#7. The Snake Oil Sellers

Ignore the snake oil sellers who only podcast about how to monetize your podcasts. You pay them to hear what they have to say about how to earn money from your podcasts and they are probably rich because of that. Do not trust them!

#8. Podcasts Can Build Communities

Do not overlook the power of podcasting when trying to build a community. Podcasting is a way to speak to your target audience and, in many ways, you can bring people together depending on what your podcasts are about.

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I have to be honest. I did not really know what podcasting was until my professor told me about them. I have actually listened to motivational podcasts when I was in this business organization but I did not know what it was called then. I just thought it was called audio recording – which that is basically correct. Young PR professionals and scholars can benefit from listening to PR podcasts in a multitude of ways. Because podcasts are niche-based, you can focus in on topics involving the PR world.

Podcasts are used as a guide and to acquire information. Podcasts can also be used as a part of a movement as it helps to build community among a target audience. Not to mention, podcasts also help one develop better listening skills. Know what I know now about podcasts, I have considered creating podcasts targeting African-Americans to help build community among us. I think that might be another topic a PR Chronicle.

For some great PR podcasts check out Trafcom News, For Immediate Release, Inside PR, The Creative Career, or Marketing Over Coffee.

PR Chronicles: Ferguson

 

Image Taken from stlpublicradio.org
Image Taken from stlpublicradio.org

I cannot be a PR scholar and simply not respond to the events that unfolded last night:

Black people all over the country have been protesting and rioting for months after Michael Brown was fatally shot by Officer Darren Wilson. The Black community wanted to see Wilson go to trial but instead there was a secretive grand jury decision made. More than that, the Black community not only wanted justice for Mike Brown, but they wanted justice for all Black lives. That decision yesterday made it clear that Black lives do not matter.

As I sat there watching the news, I wanted to curl up into a ball and cry. Law enforcement officers are supposed to serve and protect the PEOPLE, not themselves. Your life feels threatened because you have been raised to fear Black men? The news keeps showing the city of Ferguson burning but what about the faces of my Black people who are weeping in pain and disappointment?

Our nation is crumbling. Black people are not safe here. No one is safe here. While our President is fighting for immigration reform, he is virtually abandoning the Black community. When are people going to realize that Michael Brown is our symbol for justice and equality? If he could have received justice, that could have been one step forward for the entire Black community. More than that, Mike Brown is the symbol of our movement. And I vow that I will use all of the knowledge that I gain to advance my people and assist this campaign for justice and equality.

PR Chronicles: #BlogChat

Photo Credit: oggin via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: oggin via Compfight cc

Last night, I participated in my first Twitter chat which was #blogchat. Mack Collier, the brand expert and author of Think Like A Rock Star, is the founder of #blogchat and I joined him and other professionals in a conversation about improving one’s blog. The topic was improving your blog’s layout to enhance readability.

I really did not know what to expect as I had never participated in a Twitter chat before. I did not know anyone I would be corresponding with so the first thing I did was introduce myself to everyone in the chat. I was surprisingly greeted by a complete stranger who said he enjoyed reading my blog post about my interview with Faith McKinney. That really got me pumped for the chat!

At first, I was trying to respond to people’s questions but there were so many tweets coming in that I felt like I could not keep up. I started asking other people questions. I received some responses and then I started tweeting about what I personally do to enhance readability on my blog.

I learned that I am not the only one who uses sub-headings to enhance readability on my blog – I found that many people use that as a tactic to keep readers coming back, as well. However, you do not want to use too many sub-headings because it can make it easy to skip over the content in your posts. I also learned that a simple theme is better for blog readability. You do not want too many distractions on your blog. I think about changing my blog theme all the time to something more fancy but now I am wondering if that is necessary.

It surprised me how many people were actually participating in the Twitter chat. I had to refresh the page every 15 seconds to keep up with the conversation. I could tell the people who were the “regulars” of the chat and I had trouble keeping up with them. Halfway through the Twitter chat I stopped tweeting so I could read what people were saying. I was also surprised at how many more followers I gained by just participating in the chat. I think I received about 8 new followers who were participating in the conversation.

I think I will be participating in #blogchat again because I want to learn more about how to improve my blog. More specifically, I want to learn how I can build community through blogging. I even offered that as topic for next week’s #blogchat conversation.

Join #blogchat every Sunday at 8pm CT.