My Causerie

"All great change in America begins at the dinner table." ~ Ronald Reagan

Let’s not spoil it: Groundhog Day your message January 30, 2017

Filed under: ACS 313 — mycauserie @ 2:30 pm

You were probably still in diapers when this movie was originally released, but no matter your age, many have probably seen, or at least heard about, the movie “Groundhog Day.”

Other than just enjoying this iconic film, Adele Cehrs points out that we can learn a lot from Phil Connors as he repeats Groundhog Day again and again and again…but let’s not spoil it. You can watch the movie later; for now, let’s look at the ways Cehrs says you can make your messages repeatable.

To “Groundhog Day” your messages as Cehrs puts it, you need to avoid these four common mistakes.

  1. Use clear and concise sentence structure. We’re only a few weeks into the semester, and you are probably already grasping the importance of brevity when it comes to your writing. In every exercise and writing assignment, you want to take the time to edit–get rid of the clutter if you want the message to be repeatable.
  2. Limit the number of messages. You don’t have to throw everything into one piece of copy. Cehrs recommends addressing three-five key points. If you have more than that, consider using a separate piece of copy to focus on the other issues.
  3. Write conversationally.Your audience won’t remember your message if you don’t speak their language. Writing in a comfortable and familiar tone makes it easier for your message to be repeated.
  4. Know your audience. When writing, you need to know the voice of your client along with the voice of their audience. This speaks to the importance of research and understanding the culture of each individual client. This means tweaking each message so that it resonates with each specific audience.

Keeping these tips in mind will make your messages repeatable, and that means repeatable success for you and your clients.

Here’s to Punxsutawney Phil not seeing his shadow and looking forward to an early spring! In the meantime, pull up a chair and let’s talk.


Infographic: Choosing images for your blog January 23, 2017

Filed under: ACS 313 — mycauserie @ 2:30 pm

As you begin a new semester of blogging, here is a great infographic from Who is Hosting This that can help you understand copyright laws and how to use images on your blogs. It also offers other tips and resources to help make your blog a success.


Are you ready to meet the demands of 2017? January 16, 2017

Filed under: ACS 313 — mycauserie @ 2:30 pm
Photo Credit: Gideon Flickr via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Gideon Flickr via Compfight cc

You are two weeks into the new year, and the first week of the spring semester is behind you. How did you do? I know this class is demanding, but I am honestly doing you a favor. If you hang in there, I am confident you will reap the benefits in the end.

Strengthening your writing skills is at the top of the list for this class, and if you take a look at the article “The key skills that 2017 will demand of marketers,” you will see it is No. 2 on this list too. You might also take note of No. 5 on the list, which touts the benefits of blogging experience. If you open the link “10 questions to ask when hiring a social media manager,” you will see question No. 7 is “Do they have a blog and do they write content for social media channels?”

You heard me say it on day one, the assignments in this class can be worth much more to you then the points assigned to them in this class. You should view every assignment as an opportunity to better prepare you for those post-graduation job interviews. There is a lot you can learn in this class, and much of it comes from outside the textbook.

No matter what your professional career goals are, there are integral qualities that all great leaders possess.  You can read a variety of articles on this topic, but I think “Top 10 qualities that make a great leader” does a good job of highlighting some of the most important qualities. You can read the full article at the link above, but I want to touch on a few of them.

  1. Honesty. I’m not sure I would read any further if this quality didn’t show up at the top of the list. This is paramount to success, and it is one I expect students to abide by in class. I do not babysit work ethic or integrity in this class. However, if either are compromised, there are natural consequences.
  2. Communication. This is another one that always makes the list. Effective communication is important in our personal and professional lives. It is especially important in a digital world and that includes this online class. Let me know if you do not understand an assignment. If you have questions, it may be several of your peers also have questions. Do not be afraid to speak up.
  3. Commitment. If you have learned anything about me during this first week of class, I hope it is that I am willing to be in the trenches with you. I want you to succeed, but I cannot do it alone. You have to be willing to work hard to achieve your goals. I have a strong work ethic; I expect the same from my students.
  4. Positive attitude. No, I will not provide the occasional beer…sorry…but if you are willing to stop by my office, I am happy to share advice and some dark chocolate! I want you to have a positive outlook toward this class, your writing and your career. Be happy and upbeat, and put your best work forward.

In the meantime, pull up a chair and let’s talk.



PRSSA-SIUE hosts fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Association November 16, 2016

Filed under: My Causerie — mycauserie @ 7:00 am

The SIUE Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America is hosting a night of unlimited bowling and laser tag at Edison’s Entertainment Complex in Edwardsville, Illinois. Pre-purchased tickets are $10 each with $5 of every ticket sale being donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

As we enter into the holiday season, many of us can reflect back on wonderful memories spent with family and friends. These memories are priceless, but even though we all have probably uttered the words, “I will never forget this day” or “I will never forget you,” the truth is, we might. Until a cure is found, Alzheimer’s can steal our memories, our loved ones and our lives away from us.

Memories matter. So let’s make Monday, Dec. 5 a “Memories Matter Monday!” If you would like to purchase tickets to help us in our fight against Alzheimer’s, please contact me. Deadline to purchase tickets is Dec. 4.




Do a little BIG thing September 24, 2016

Filed under: My Causerie — mycauserie @ 3:00 am

donateWe are counting down with only six hours to go before the Walk to END Alzheimer’s. I sincerely need all my Facebook friends and family to take 66 seconds and click this link to make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association. If 525 people would click and donate…66 cents or $6.66 or $66, we could make a big difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Take a few minutes to think of a special occasion in your life: winning a championship game, graduating from college, marrying the love of your life, welcoming a new baby into the world or maybe just going for ice cream with your grandchildren. We all have memories we want to hold onto forever, and even though we have all probably uttered the words, “I will never forget this day,” the reality is we may all forget.

Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. But memories are worth fighting for, and if we all give a little, we will someday find a way to slow, cure and prevent Alzheimer’s disease from stealing our memories…stealing our lives.

So like, react, comment and share, but please don’t forget to donate. If we all give a little, we can make a big difference in this fight. Donate today to the Alzheimer’s Association.



66 hours to go: Make your 66 donation now September 21, 2016

Filed under: My Causerie — mycauserie @ 2:00 pm

We are 66 hours away from the 2016 Walk to END Alzheimer’s; have you taken 66 seconds to click this link and make your donation? If you have, thank you. You are helping to stop the clock on Alzheimer’s disease. If you haven’t, I want to encourage you to do it right now.

Many of us give our time and resources to many worthy causes, but the reality is Alzheimer’s disease takes our time and resources…without asking!



In 2015, 15.9 million family and friends provided 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. That care had an estimated economic value of $221.3 billion.

Unless something is done, in 2050, Alzheimer’s is projected to cost more than $1 trillion (in 2016 dollars). Costs to Medicare will increase 360 percent. This dramatic rise includes a nearly five-fold increase in government spending under Medicare and Medicaid and a nearly five-fold increase in out-of pocket spending.

But something can be done, if we all work together. We can stop Alzheimer’s disease from stealing our time, our resources, our memories…and our loved ones.

Take the next 66 seconds to click this link and make your donation…66 cents, $66, $6,600 or any amount in between. If we all join the fight, we can stop the clock on Alzheimer’s disease.



PRSSA-SIUE Walking the Walk September 19, 2016

Filed under: ACS 313 — mycauserie @ 7:00 am

walk-footprintMembers of the SIUE Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America don’t just talk the talk; they walk the Walk–the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Every fall the Alzheimer’s Association-St. Louis Chapter hosts several area Walks to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and to raise funds for research, advocacy and support for those living with the devastating disease. As part of its community service initiative, the PRSSA-SIUE Chapter supports the annual Edwardsville Walk, which takes place on the SIUE campus. This year’s Walk is Sept. 24.

SIUE alumna Lindy Noel is the marketing and communication coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association-St. Louis Chapter. She began her involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association six years ago as a member of the SIUE PRSSA Chapter.

“I didn’t know much about the Alzheimer’s Association or the Walk, but my grandma had the disease so my interest was piqued,” Noel said. “I had already volunteered my time with Relay for Life so I thought this would just be another Walk. I was wrong. I volunteered and found the cause to be amazing. I also started fundraising to help fund the mission. Later, when a position opened up at the Alzheimer’s Association, I knew I had found my place, my passion.”

Noel works extensively with media to help raise awareness about all the area Walks. It was her efforts that helped bring the SIUE Walk to the front page of the Edwardsville Intelligencer.

“In my role as the marketing & communication coordinator I feel like I’m making a small difference in the world. I know I don’t necessarily make as much as I could in the private sector, but I make good money and feel good about what I’m doing,” Noel said.

PRSSA members don’t just talk the talk when it comes to their professional goals either. They walk the walk by being active Chapter members and taking advantage of the professional development and networking opportunities their membership offers. Noel’s success should serve as inspiration to current PRSSA members. Her PRSSA membership introduced her to the Alzheimer’s Association, which resulted in her obtaining an internship with the organization and ultimately a full-time position.

The same can be said for Emily Kaiser, a senior applied communication studies major and PRSSA member. She got involved in the SIUE Walk, and she is now serving as an intern with the Alzheimer’s Association. Although the Association may not have an opening to hire Kaiser after graduation, she has gained a lot of industry experience, broadened her professional network and definitely secured some strong recommendations as she moves forward in her career.

“My experience working with the Alzheimer’s Association has been amazing,” Kaiser said. “I have learned so much about writing, connecting with an audience and public relations in general. I would encourage everyone to get an internship, even if it’s just over the summer. I also think the nonprofit sector is a good place to start; it has given me a lot of experience and writing opportunities.”

Kaiser wrote two feature stories about upcoming Walks. The first one was published in The Rolla Daily News, and the second one in the Farmington Press. Noel and Kaiser serve as excellent examples of what PRSSA membership can do for you.

So what are you waiting for? The PRSSA fall membership drive ends Oct. 12. If you want to learn more about membership benefits, contact David Gallaher, PRSSA-SIUE Chapter president, at or Desiree Bainbridge, PRSSA-SIUE Chapter vice president, at Both of these professional leaders can share multiple success stories regarding their own experiences as PRSSA members.

No matter what your professional goals are, find out how PRSSA membership can help enhance your education, broaden your network and launch your career.

You can also join the PRSSA Walk team or make a donation by going to this link.

Pull up a chair and let’s talk.




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