Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mom and Pop PR

Marketing and PR made Easy

Lots of people with small businesses have trouble competing with the big fish. The big fish can hire other people to do their marketing and PR for them. So these small business take what they can get. It doesn't have to be like that though. Small businesses can have powerful influences and large followings that will have them working overtime. The secret is getting over the old rules of marketing and PR. My PR class has been studying The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott. The result of this study is the the making of four videos that will teach all of you who want a larger influence, how to use social media and the internet in general to build your following without spending any money, and by using your knowledge of your profession to attract an audience. The goals of these videos is to make it easy for businesses to start doing the basics, and show those who are new to social media how to start.

Mom and Pop PR

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tribute to My Dad

Tribute to Dad

There are few pleasures in life greater than being son,
When his father has taught him how to work straight,
And not quit, ‘til the job was done.

When son crashed and scraped his knees and face,  
Father rushed to his aid,
“It’s ok to fall, if you stand up- stand up and take yourplace.”

When son rebelled, and thought he knew what was best,
Father came in his time of need to help him pass histest,
And though he did not bail his boy out,
His love and counsel were enough,
To remind the boy that it wasn’t too late to forsake, andchange his route.   

When the time came for the boy to leave and serve theLord,
Father’s tears broke the boy’s heart,
But his embrace gave him the strength to go, go andpreach the word.

When the boy married to be with the woman of his dreams,
His father counseled him best when he said,
“Love her every day, every day make sure she beams.”

Father’s responsibility to raise me to manhood now is all but done,
But to this day I am honored above all
When people say, “you are your father’s son!”

I'd love to say that I spent days and weeks writing this poem for my dad. He deserves at least that much work for something like this. However, I'm happy to say that in the hour it took me to write this, I was reminded of each spotlighted incident very poignantly, to the point of tears, as if I was not the one who actually wrote this poem. The idea to write it, and the memories that influenced it's production came from a power beyond me that knew that to me, a simple phone call would not be enough to give my dad the honor and the gratitude that he deserves. I love you dad!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Me Mudder

There were a lot of awesome posts on sunday about awesome Moms, and several people in church praised their mothers' amazing qualities. I must say, to be fair, that every mother is amazing, just for being a mother. However, I hope all you mothers out there wont be offended when I say that MY mother takes the cake. She's the best, hands down. I heard stories from various people that had it hard with their mothers but still respected them, some who didn't really have a relationship with their moms for a long time and then later in life became close to them, and still others who felt that their mom was the greatest woman ever to walk the planet. I have to say I put myself with the third group. My Mom is the best. She raised six kids, 4 girls and 2 boys. She managed this without going crazy. She managed this without making an enemy of any of us. I dont think any of us could ever say "my mom and i dont really get along." Mom has always been there for me whenever i needed her, whether i deserved her help or not. there were several late-night projects that only got done because she helped. Mom always encouraged me, and all of us to be our best, and get better at whatever we did. She pushed us to develop our talents. Mom fulfills all of her motherly responsibilities. On top of all this, she directs 4- count them- FOUR community choirs. Thats not all though, no, not even close. She also started all these choirs, who each have a specific age group in them, and then she started a non-profit organization called the Voices for the Performing Arts, and has recently added a strings program to this organization. Her concerts are huge, and she writes the scripts for each, and directs the set make, and even decides what kind of lighting she wants. You'd think that anyone who stretched themselves that thin would be irritable and stressed and tired all the time. Not mom. Everyone loves her. I dont know a single person who knows her, and doesn't love her. My mom has a capacity to love that is just so rare among humanity. Even when i fell hard, as result of open rebellion to everything she had taught me, she was still there to pick me up, and help me heal. She has given great advice, and helped me make important decisions that have made all the difference. Mom isn't too good for anyone. She loves everyone. No one is below her. She lifts everyone to where she is. She manages to see the good in everyone. Mom is intelligent. She figures things out for herself whenever she can, but isn't to prideful to ask for help. I could keep going, but I think this is sufficient for now, I dont want to brag TOO much. I love you mom. You're the best.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Marriage- A Love Story

One could say that I've experienced my share of miracles. Most of them have been an adventure for me, whether it was falling off a cliff and suffering nothing more that some minor shock, or serving a mission which led to my open heart surgery, which ended up saving my life, or the mission itself which changed me forever. However, the most miraculous event of my life happened a month and a half ago, when I married my best friend, Heather.
Many people would call it a cliche story, seeing as we only started dating 5 months ago. You can use all your "BYU-I do" jokes you want, or tell me it was too fast, or I or She is too young, or whatever, but after experiencing what I have experienced, it doesn't bother me.
Heather and I met kind of accidentally. We had a mutual friend, who introduced us kind of without trying to. We were all going to a dance party, and there was a big group of us going. The only problem with that was that we only had a 5-seater car. So we all crammed in to that car, and as it turns out, Heather ended up on my lap in the back of this car. We had never met, and we both recognized the awkwardness of the situation. We didn't speak. At all. Not for the whole night. In fact, I started dating someone else, and she took interest in someone else as well. One would think that we had missed our chance. I didn't even know that one had existed. Neither did she really. Apparently, we ran into each other a few more times, where she noticed me, but I was preoccupied with other things (clueless guy).
Anyway, the girl I was dating at that time had her missionary came home, and after a rude awakening that she was not mine, and confirmation that she belonged to someone else, and that there was indeed some else out there for me, we ended our relationship while keeping the friendship alive and well. I thought that  it would be a long time before I could let myself get back into the game. I was hurt and I had no idea how the healing would come. However, God's timing is hard to argue with, and at my request, and probably His intent anyway, the healing came only days later, and I was ok again, and even ready to move on. It was at this time that I started looking at the mutual friend of me and Heather's. I had no idea where to start, so I started close. However, it became very apparent that she was not interested, and at this same time, Heather had lost her previous interests in the another guy, and again noticed me.
Little did I know, she was gathering lots of information about me from our mutual friends, and facebook. One night, I was bored, and needed to get out, so I called up my friend and asked if she wanted to go on a drive. She came with another friend, and Heather. There was again strict silence between Heather and I, but apparently, in my sleep-deprived state, she saw something attractive. I have to admit, I thought she was cute, but I adhered to the common stereotype of freshman girls- which more or less was, avoid them.
However, that night, she decided to add me as a friend on facebook. I accepted, although in all honesty, I really knew nothing about her.
The next day I learned that she liked me, and thats when everything changed. It intrigued me. This girl that I knew nothing about, besides the fact that she looked like she was really fun, liked me. So that night, I started a nonchalant conversation on facebook. I started asking your normal questions, and eventually, I indirectly pulled it out of her that she liked me. I left it at that, and after some facebook stalking of my own, decided I was interested in her. I didnt really know if it would go anywhere, but at this point, I had nothing to lose. I soon found out however, that this was the best decision of my life. As we started spending time together, it was very easy to like Heather, and to talk to her.
It had only been about a week since we started talking, when i found myself doing homework, and prompted to ask her to be my girlfriend. My logic and defense systems all said heck no, its way too early for that, but the prompting kept coming. And it wouldn't go away! I could not focus on my homework. The assignment should have taken me 20 minutes. It ended up taking 2 hours. So finally, I gave in, and the next night, I asked her out. She was hesitant. She knew that i was looking for a serious relationship that preferably led to marriage. She said yes eventually, after I convinced her that I wasn't crazy, just over being single. It didn't take long until we were together every day, for as long as possible. I was happy with the relationship, and as the end of the semester quickly approached, I started wondering what would happen when we left, since we wouldn't be back for another 4 months. 2 days before the end of the semester, i woke up with the impression that i ought to mention marriage to her. The idea was laughable to me. But the impression was strong and persistent. So she came over that morning, and as we talked, I very carefully brought it up. She looked at me with what i just knew was the "are you crazy?!" face. But she surprised me when she indicated that she felt the same. After comparing notes, we found that we had both received the same inspiration at the same time. That morning.
We didn't really know how to go about making this happen, and kept this information to ourselves at the time. However, two weeks later when she came to visit my family, it became obvious that we needed to do it sooner rather than later, and it wasn't long until we both received confirmation that we should indeed get married. So we decided on a date, which just happened to be March 30, 2012. Exactly 1 year to the day from the day i got home from my mission.
The proposal supposed to be a surprise, coming earlier than i told her it would, but she caught wind of it, and was only mildly surprised. But it was pretty cool, so I'm gonna tell you about it. :) The ring is actually her mom's, so I didn't have to buy one, but I found out what her birth stone was, (topaz) and her favorite color is pink, so i found a pink topaz pendant. I proceeded to get the ring without her knowing, and bought the pendant. when she came to visit, i woke her up early and we watched a sunrise. We ate a big breakfast, then later went to lunch in town, and then came back and i took her on a tour of my family's property, and took her to my favorite spot. Here, i gave her the pendant. Then that night, we went on a formal date. We ate dinner at a restaurant that looked out on a board walk around a lake, and afterwards we walked around the lake, until we found a bench where we sat down, and it was here that i told her i was about to do something crazy- and then i knelt down, and asked her to marry me. She accepted, and from that point on, we planned the wedding. it was the longest 2 months of my life. However, we got closer over this period, and learned a lot about each other while we waited. The day finally came however, and we were married for time and all eternity in the Columbia River LDS Temple.
Now, we are back in rexburg, and we have 3 classes together, and we're happier than ever! :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Loving My Enemies

Mitt Romney's running for presidency has dramatically increased the LDS church's publicity, for good and for bad. Fact. Some see it as a violation of the constitutional "separation of church and state" while others see it as a necessary means to judge His Character. Fact. All that aside though, I seem to always find the negative articles or comments posted by those who know little or nothing about the church, or who are out to get it. Either way, the comments are usually rude, assuming, and uninformed. Now, I'm not here to correct false ideas, although I'm happy to talk to anyone who is curious, and I'm not here to call those people out and mock them for their sometimes shocking ignorance. What I'm here to say, is that even though you have no idea how far reaching your comments are, even though you've insulted to a huge degree, many things that I hold Sacred, and even though you may hate me and/or my church, I forgive you. Are you asking for my forgiveness? No. Do you want it? Probably not. But to me, it's important that you know. Because a month ago there wasn't a snowball's chance in Hell that I would forgive you. 
I served a mission for this church. For 2 years, I put EVERYTHING on hold to go and serve my God, and my Fellow man. You may mock this all you want, but believe me when I tell you, there is not a more demanding yet rewarding experience out there, with the likely exception of marriage. However, after 2 years of devoted service, Teaching about Jesus Christ, and doing my best to follow Him myself, it made me a little upset when people who knew nothing of what I have experienced, treat, and talk about it with such disdain and lack of feeling. I understand that you don't agree with the teachings of this church. That's fine. More power to ya. I don't even mind if you voice your opinion. I'll defend your right to do so to my grave. But after I've given so much of me to the cause of virtue, and morality, and goodness, I found it hard to believe that someone who knows so little of the doctrines and beliefs that I have known since before I can remember, could ridicule them in such a feeling-less manner. Now, understand, I do not claim to be perfect. I'm nowhere near. Yes, I've wrongfully judged people before. Yes, I've completely missed the mark with whole groups of people- races and religions alike. I'm no better than anyone. But, having been the "victim" if you will, of some very severe and at best only partially true criticism, and knowing how it feels, I try to make sure that I am not the one offending something that others may hold sacred. 
You see, in reality, yes, it makes me angry when people insult things that I hold sacred. And it makes me angry when people post lies as facts. And I am constantly annoyed at the misrepresentation of my beliefs in the media, especially the news where reporters are paid to report ACCURATELY. And then I had this realization: I was doing EXACTLY what I had spent so long teaching people not to do. Holding a grudge, being angry, lashing out- all of it is completely against what I believe. So after some deep thinking and introspection, along with many prayers, I can honestly say, I hold no malice towards anybody. Whether you hate me or not. Whether you hate what i stand for, or not. Whether you couldn't care less, or not. I refuse to be someone who says one thing and does another. So however you'd like to label yourself- an enemy, a headache, a thorn in my side, a bystander, an acquaintance, a friend, or a family member- I love you. Because The Man- the GOD I claim to believe in, would have me love you. And so, even though it hasn't always been true, and even though I may yet fall short, I can in all honesty say, I love you.